August 2000 News

Borders Cannot Be Redrawn On Religious Basis: Vajpayee

15 August 2000
Harish Khare

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today told the Pakistani rulers that borders could not be redrawn "either in the name of religion or on the strength of the sword". The Prime Minister used the occasion of his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort to tell the Pakistani establishment that it would not be able to get its way "through the undeclared war that it has been waging against India". Using the nation"s most hallowed pulpit, Mr. Vajpayee quoted the Urdu poet, Sahir Ludhianvi, to debunk the two-nation theory, and to tell Pakistan that Kashmir was and would remain an integral part of India. The "clock cannot be turned back," noted the Prime Minister. Addressing himself to the Pakistani rulers and the audience beyond, Mr. Vajpayee spelled out five propositions of India"s approach to the Kashmir dispute: first, religion or sword could no longer be used to redraw boundaries; second, this is the age of reconciliation, rather than deliberate prolonging of conflicts; third, the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are tired of violence and desire peace; fourth, it is time for healing the wounds in Jammu and Kashmir; and, fifth, India is prepared to heal the wounds by larger canons of insaniyat (humanity).


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