December 2000 News

Terrorist attacks won’t deter peace efforts, says Fernandes

26 December 2000
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: DEFENCE MINISTER George Fernandes has said that terrorist attacks like the car bomb explosion outside 15 Corps Headquarters in Srinagar or the one at Red Fort would not deter India from continuing with the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir. In a statement issued a day after Mr Fernandes visited Siachen and Kashmir Valley, the Defence Minister has been quoted as having said that the attacks indicated that Pakistan had not stopped aiding and abetting terrorists in creating disturbances in various parts of the country. ''Pakistan''s true intentions will be judged only when it stops aiding and training fundamentalists to create disturbances across the border,'' Mr Fernandes said. He said that Islamabad would have to dismantle terrorist camps inside its territory and maintained that extension of the ceasefire till January 26 would give an indication of Pakistan''s intentions to establish a meaningful dialogue between the two countries. Mr Fernandes said that time has come for Islamabad to realise that there was no alternative to pursuing the path of peace for the welfare of its own people and Kashmir in particular. The Minister claimed that there was no security lapse in the militant strike on Red Fort, saying that the place was not ''impregnable as generally assumed'' due to a large civilian presence nearby. ''The place is visited by thousands of tourists. There are large number of commercial establishments within, and the rear wall facing the Yamuna was open and unguarded,'' the statement said.


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