16 May, 2021

Visiting Troubles

Pakistan is snubbed, but won’t be declared a terrorist state

Visiting Troubles

An off-lead story on page one in the January 25 New York Times, slugged "Jet Hijackers Are Backed by Pakistan, US Contends", touched off the present row over the US attitude to Pakistan. The daily, quoting Clinton administration officials, had reported that "the US now believes that a terrorist group supported by the Pakistani military was responsible for the hijacking of an Indian Airlines jet last month. A judgement that puts Pakistan at risk of being placed on Washington’s list of nations that support terrorism", a demand made by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee after the Christmas-eve hijacking.

The day the Times splashed the story, President Bill Clinton addressed a press conference, where he was asked if he knew of any Pakistani involvement. Clinton emphatically said: "No, we don’t. We do not, no. I guess the simplest thing I can tell you is that we do not have evidence that the Pakistani government was in any way involved in that hijacking." White House spokesman Joe Lockhart went further: "We have no evidence that the...

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