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'Pak doesn't command militants in Kashmir'

Pak Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri said that they do have influence over the militant groups.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 16:24 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Claiming that it does not command the militant groups active in Kashmir, Pakistan has said that it has "influence" over them, which it would like to use to bring down violence.

"Pakistan does have influence (over the militant groups) but we do not command (them). Pakistan has influence because it has been advocating and highlighting the Kashmir issue," Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri said on Friday night at a dinner he hosted in the honour of the delegates attending the Kashmir conference here.

"When we say we have influence it does not mean that we have control, of course we do not have any control but we do have influence," he said adding that Pakistan would like to use its "influence" to bring down violence.

"Pakistan is interested in bringing down the level of violence because we feel that will definitely facilitate resolution of (the issue of) Jammu and Kashmir. For durable peace we need to resolve the Kashmir issue," he said.

Kasuri was responding to CPI (M) leader from Jammu and Kashmir Muhammad Yousuf Taragami's remarks that Pakistan should help bring down violence in the Kashmir valley by using its influence over the militant groups.

At the dinner, attended by 50 delegates who took part in the conference organised by the US-based NGO 'Pugwash', Taragami also said that India and Pakistan should facilitate the return of scores of Kashmiri youth who have crossed into Pakistan.

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 15:54 IST