LETTER:Bhutto condemns kidnappings

From Mr Kamran Shafi

Sir: Your report "US pressure on Bhutto 'saved Kashmir hostages' " (23 August) is absolutely wrong to say that President Clinton or any other US official spoke to Prime Minister Bhutto in regard to the hostage crisis. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has, on several occasions, condemned out of hand the kidnapping of five tourists and the murder of one of Indian- held Kashmir.

The kidnapping and the horrific murder of the Norwegian tourist Hans- Christian Ostro can only do harm to the Kashmiri struggle for freedom from the Indian yoke which is why every faction fighting in Kashmir is thoroughly opposed to, and has condemned, the kidnapping.

Al-faran is a group of terrorists being tutored by Indian intelligence to give the fight for freedom a bad name and also to pillory Pakistan which supports the Kashmiri cause politically and diplomatically because it is honour bound to do so.

I might remind your readers that Pakistan, along with India, is signatory to the UN Security Council Resolutions of 1948 which promise the right of self-determination, through a plebiscite, to the people of Kashmir.

Yours sincerely,

Kamran Shafi


Information Division

High Commission for Pakistan

London, SW1

23 August