Index

DATE=3/26/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA - CLINTON - REACT (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-260615 BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Official Indian reaction to President Clinton's Saturday trip to Pakistan has been low key - but New Delhi appears to be pleased with what is sees as a strong message to Islamabad on Kashmir, terrorism and its nuclear program by the United States. From New Delhi Anjana Pasricha has a report. Text: After closely watching President Clinton's Saturday address to the people of Pakistan, officials in New Delhi welcomed his criticism of both Islamabad's nuclear program, and its support for Kashmiri militants. President Clinton had said Pakistan's nuclear program and the Kashmir conflict amounted to a "tragic squandering of the nation's resources." Referring to Pakistan's dispute with India over Kashmir, he told Islamabad, "you cannot redraw borders in blood." Foreign minsitry spokesman Ramindar Jassal says India welcomes President Clinton's call to the people of Pakistan to "look to the future and not remain mired in quarrels of the past." Official reaction in the Indian government to President Clinton's visit to Pakistan has been muted - but the mood is upbeat. Officials say the President's trip to Pakistan indicates a swing away from the earlier American policy of siding with Islamabad. New Delhi also feels President Clinton has been responsive to India's security concerns, and appeared to understand India's position on issues such as Kashmir and nuclear proliferation. The Indian media and political analysts are also reflecting New Delhi's positive mood. The Economic Times newspaper said, "Pakistan (has been) rapped on the knuckes, and told to stop praising terrorists as war heroes." Independent political analyst Brahma Chellaney says President Clinton's advise to Pakistan to stop giving support to terrorism will be seen in New Delhi as a recognition by the U.S.A. that India has been a victim of terrorism, with the support of the Pakistani government . ///Insert Chellaney act/// He openly urged Pakistan to respect the line of control and crack down on those who are waging are campaign of terror. For India his words were particularly welcome. ///end Chellaney act/// (opt) Mr. Chellaney says the change in the American position has come about gradually, and is dictated by its interests. ///Chellaney actuality/// The US is no longer siding with Pakistan that is very clear. The US is doing what it has always been doing, promoting its interest, and America's interests today are far more focussed on India, on the Indian markets, on cooperation and partnership with India. ///end actuality/// (end opt) However political analysts are cautioning New Delhi against raising its expectations too high, saying it remains to be seen whether Pakistan will heed President Clinton's advise. (signed) 26-Mar-2000 05:55 AM EDT (26-Mar-2000 1055 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .