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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2002 > October
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 10, 2002


Jammu and Kashmir: Elections

The United States welcomes the successful conclusion of elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Vajpayee's personal commitment to making them transparent and open was a critical factor that helped to take the process forward. We hope that this will be the first step in a broader process that will bring peace to the region. We applaud the efforts of the Indian Election Commission and commend the courage of candidates and voters who chose to participate despite violence and intimidation. The Kashmiri people have shown they want to pursue the path of peace.

We unreservedly condemn the terrorist attacks aimed at disrupting a democratic process and intimidating the Kashmiri people. We welcome the assurances that reports of irregularities, including alleged coercion by the security forces will be fully investigated by the Indian authorities. It is important that these assurances are followed through.

Following the completion of credible elections in Jammu and Kashmir, we call on both India and Pakistan to make strenuous effort towards an early resumption of diplomatic dialogue on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir. A lasting settlement, which also reflects the needs of the Kashmiri people, can only be achieved through dialogue. We welcome the Indian government's commitment to begin a dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and we hope this dialogue will address improvements in governance and human rights.

The United States and the international community will continue to make every effort to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences.


Released on October 10, 2002

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