India will not swerve from chosen path, says Advani
9 August 2000
New Delhi: In a message calculated to signal the Government''s firmness of purpose in the post-Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, today asserted that the insurgent groups better watch out. Declaring that the security forces were ready to ''face the challenge and threat of renewed militancy'', he warned that ''it is the militant outfits which should worry'' because the Indian forces were ready for them. There was an unmistakable note of toughness in Mr. Advani''s statement, made in both Houses of Parliament. (However, in the Rajya Sabha, the Home Minister refrained from ''clarifications'', as per an agreement thrashed out with the Deputy Chairperson). The statement reflects an anxiety to assure the country that even though the Government had probably made many miscalculations in its approach to the Hizbul ceasefire offer, it was not going to get caught napping now. He added that while ''India will not deviate from its chosen course of talks'' with all those who want a dialogue, ''we shall persist with our policy of firmness and flexibility''. But the official assessment is that the Syed Salahuddin faction would want to stage a bloody event just to prove it was alive and kicking.