- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

No talks with Pakistan
Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansingh believes his government has made a strong case to the United States about the "futility" of talks with Pakistan until India's nuclear rival stops terrorists from infiltrating India-controlled Kashmir.
"We have convinced them that, from our point of view, it will be an exercise in futility to have a dialogue while terrorism is still going on," Mr. Mansingh told Indian reporters in Washington.
India and Pakistan were on the brink of war last year, after repeated attacks from the Pakistan-held part of Kashmir that included a December 2001 assault on the Indian Parliament.
India has blamed Pakistani terrorists for the attacks and complains that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has failed to fulfill his promises to end the infiltration of militants from Pakistan's part of the Kashmir region.
Mr. Mansingh, in a year-end news conference last week, told reporters that relations with the United States are at an "unprecedented" level, marked by dozens of top-level visits and a dramatic increase in trade.
He said President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who visited Washington in September, have improved cooperation in space exploration and nuclear energy and in the exchange of high technology and commerce.
India increased its exports to the United States by 20.3 percent last year, the highest of any country, Mr. Mansingh said.
India's top-level visitors to Washington included Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, Defense Minister George Fernandes, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.
The State Department announced last week that Richard Haass, the director of policy planning, will visit India beginning today for consultations on India's relations with Pakistan and to brief India on the situation in Iraq.
"Mr. Haass is traveling to a number of places to discuss issues involving the South Asian region and the Persian Gulf," said spokesman Richard Boucher.
Mr. Haass will also visit Morocco, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Aid to Pakistan
The United States donated nearly 400 vehicles and 750 telescopes to help Pakistani troops patrol the lawless border area with Afghanistan and hunt down al Qaeda terrorists and fugitives from Afghanistan's toppled Taliban regime.
"We are giving this equipment to the Frontier Corps to increase it efficiency," U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell said at a ceremony in Peshawar last week. "This is necessary for the safety of Pakistani and U.S. nationals residing over here."
The $13.25 million donation, which includes off-road vehicles and long- and short-range telescopes, is part of a $73 million aid package the United States has pledged to assist Pakistan in the war on terrorism.
"We believe that this equipment can play a real role in making the lives of Pakistanis and Americans living in Pakistan easier and also in issues like narcotics, terrorism, smuggling and crime," the ambassador said.
Kenya's historic vote
Kenyan Ambassador Yusuf A. Nzibo called the elections that ousted the long-ruling party of former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi an example for the rest of Africa.
"These elections are not only a resounding success for Kenya, but they provide a model for all of those who aspire for true democracy in Africa," Mr. Nzibo said in a statement.
"Just as Kenya has led the way over the past few decades as an island of stability on the African continent, it is now leading the way for the rest of the continent in its conduct of free, fair, transparent and robust multiparty elections."
Mwai Kibaki, the former leader of the opposition, won more than 62 percent of the vote in the Dec. 27 presidential election. Mr. Moi's KANU party won 31.3 percent, according to official results announced Friday.
Mr. Moi, often criticized for his authoritarian rule, stepped down after 24 years in power.
"This is a very historic day for Kenya," Mr. Nzibo said on Election Day. "By all accounts, these elections have been overwhelmingly peaceful, orderly and transparent.
"The voter turnout has been massive, demonstrating that the Kenyan people have fully and enthusiastically embraced multiparty democracy."

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