Ceasefire can be withdrawn if it's not in Nation's interest: Farooq
4 April 2001
Jammu: The Centre would not hesitate to withdraw its unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir if it was found that it was not in the interest of the Nation. This was stated by Jammu and Kasmir's Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday. He also warned Pakistan to change its policy of sponsoring militancy before security forces lost their patience. "The centre is closely monitoring the situation on the ground in the wake of unilateral ceasefire and will not hesitate to withdraw it as and when the Government finds it is no longer in the interest of the Country and its people", he said while replying to a discussion in the State Assembly. "This bold initiative has established beyond doubt India's yearning for peace and good neighbourly relations with Pakistan despite our neighbour being a sponsor of trans-border militancy," Mr Abdullah said. Expressing the hope that wisdom would dawn on Pakistan and it would stop hostilities against India, he said, "let them change their policy otherwise our security forces will lose their patience." "ISI backed terrorist outfits, including Lashker-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, are killing innocent people and political workers to create dissension in our secular fabric", he said. The Chief Minister said, "this is being done since 1947 but they have never succeeded nor would they ever succeed." "Pakistan should not consider our peace efforts as a sign of weakness," he said, adding "India is strong enough to teach Pakistan a lesson. But the entire world knows that despite being a power, India is not seeking destruction of Pakistan." Mr Abdullah said an unilateral ceasefire was not an easy decision and as part of India we cannot hesitate to offer sacrifices. Referring to increased killing of innocent people by militants during the ceasefire period, the Chief Minister said, 'some measures taken by us and have yielded success in the recent weeks." He admitted that during the fight against militancy some mistakes were committed by the armed forces which left an unpleasant situation for the Government. But it is committed to take action even in this situation. Referring to the infiltration from across the border, the Chief Minister said the fencing of 120 Km border from Kathua to Akhnoor will be completed at every cost. Work of border fencing is in progress and some stretches have been completed. This will go a long way in checking the infiltration from across the border, he added.