PM warns Pak against interfering in J&K polls
10 December 2001
The Times of India
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
TOKYO: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday asked Pakistan not to create ''hurdles'' in the way of elections in Jammu and Kashmir and said the atmosphere for resumption of dialogue with Islamabad was not ''congenial''.''Pakistan should not create hurdles in the way of holding polls (in Jammu and Kashmir). Let the people of the state freely come out, participate in the elections without fear,'' Vajpayee told reporters before leaving for New Delhi after a five-day visit to Japan.To a question whether Japan wanted India to resume talks with Pakistan to resolve outstanding disputes, he said that every friendly nation wanted New Delhi to do so. He told his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi that India was facing certain difficulties and the atmosphere was not ''congenial''.Vajpayee said that he told him that there would soon be elections in Jammu and Kashmir and people would be free to decide what they want in a democratic manner.The Prime Minister also warned Pakistan-linked elements against creating ''impediments'' in the elections, adding ''we will know the views of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.''Asked whether Japan would back India in getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, Vajpayee said the Japanese leader had given an assurance in this regard. In return, India would help Japan secure a seat in the International Court of Justice, he said.