May 2002 News

Jammu massacre won''t go unanswered: Omar

17 May 2002
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Asserting that Pakistan would be stupid in considering use of nuclear weapons against India, Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah today declared the Jammu massacre would not go ''unchecked and unanswered'' by India. Maintaining that the terrorist strike in Kaluchak Army camp was ''as grievous as'' the attack on Parliament, he said Government would weigh all pros and cons before taking a decision which would be in the supreme interest of the nation. Participating in the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the May 14 strike, Abdullah attacked the international community for failing to take on board India’s concern against cross-border terrorism and said New Delhi would fight its own battle against the menace. ''I fail to understand how could Pakistan even consider a nuclear option. Given the size of India and Pakistan, which country will be around .... Pakistan will be stupid to consider nuclear option,'' he said. Regretting that Islamabad had failed to respond to the best diplomatic efforts made by New Delhi in the wake of the December 13 attack on Parliament, Abdullah said the ''international community had only paid lip service to India’s concerns and instead of punishing Pakistan''had given benefits including a 500 million dollar World Bank loan a day after the Jammu killings. Declaring that India has always waged its own fight against terrorism in the last 20 years, he said Government would continue to be stubborn in its demand for handing over of 20 terrorists by Pakistan as also its stand not to resume dialogue with Islamabad till cross-border terrorism ended. Complimenting leader of opposition Sonia Gandhi for her views on the matter, Abdullah said this demonstrated that on matters of national interest and security the country remained undivided and united. He said Pakistan was working on wrong assumption that it would be difficult for the coalition Government in India to take major decision on the basis of consensus. While infiltration from across the border has been increasing, violence in Jammu and Kashmir was also taking place unchecked, he said. Referring to the coming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said though the polls should be held in October as per schedule ''these are not more important than our unity and security''. ''We will like the elections to be held in time but we will also like the polls to be in peaceful atmosphere'', the Minister said. Stating that terrorist violence would have a serious impact on elections, he said National Conference would fully support the decision of the Vajpayee Government regarding polls in the State.


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