Jehad cannot legitimise terrorism
16 August 2001
The Times of India
New Delhi: India on Thursday warned that Pakistan''s use of the concept of ''jehad'' (armed crusade) to legitimise terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir would pose a grave threat to peace not only in this region but to the world at large. ''Why doesn''t the world understand that this country has millions of Muslim population who do not legitimise the jehad call of Pakistan because they know it very well that secular traditions are taken utmost care of in this country,'' Omar Abdullah, minister of state for external affairs, said here. Asked about the future course of action especially after the failure of Agra summit, Abdullah said ''the summit did not fail in totality. At least both sides agreed to talk at some levels and the meeting between the two foreign secretaries was an outcome of this understanding.'' Rejecting the Pakistani plea that the armed struggle in the state was indigenous, Abdullah said ''(Pervez) Musharraf does not have guts to call a spade a spade. He acknowledges terrorism here but makes a complete about turn when he reaches Islamabad.'' He said that India would continue to highlight the menace of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan as this was posing a great threat not only to this region but the world over. The minister said that Pakistan should take utmost care to see that terrorists killings like in Doda, where innocent people fell prey to bullets of militants, were stopped. ''Pakistan, as a confidence-building measure, needs to rein in militants immediately failing which Islamabad will have to regret its continued support to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir,'' Abdullah said. On the peace initiatives of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Abdullah said ''Pakistan should understand that India''s history of non-violence should not be construed as its weakness. We are determined to stamp out militancy and protect the country''s sovereignty and territorial integrity.'' Stating that the confidence- building measures initiated by the Prime Minister, including setting up of two border check posts in Jammu and Kashmir, would continue to be in place, Abdullah said ''we will continue with the process and it is for Pakistan to reciprocate.'' He added that Pakistan would have to realise one day that Kashmir issue could be solved once confidence in other fields like trade and commerce was built. ''Islamabad is shying away from this now, but one day they will have to admit it,'' the minister said.