August 2000 News

Vajpayee justifies peace efforts

5 August 2000
The Hindu
Harish Khare

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, today reasserted that notwithstanding his Government's efforts to explore peace in Jammu and Kashmir, there would be no let-up in the fight against cross-border terrorism. 'With the people on our side, we can - and we shall - defeat' the diabolical external forces seeking to disrupt our unity and integrity, he said. Mr. Vajpayee was hopeful of the success of his Government's 'initiative for a dialogue with anybody who is willing to sit across the table and eschew violence in Jammu and Kashmir'. He cited the experience of 'talks with insurgents in Nagaland.' The Prime Minister was inaugurating the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security. Deemed to be the project of the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, the conference was intended to secure the States' consent for various federal ideas and initiatives in consonance with the expanded version of 'internal security'. As the Prime Minister saw it, the problem of 'internal security' stood redefined because Pakistan had 'adopted cross- border terrorism as an instrument of State policy to further its hostility towards India'. Consequently, the Indian response too has to be reformulated. The Prime Minister pointedly rejected the suggestion - made by Pakistani functionaries from Gen. Pervez Musahrraf down - that these cross- border acts of terrorism were manifestations of any jehadi struggle.


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