July 2002 News

US should declare Pak a terrorist State: Advani

16 July 2002
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: The United States should declare Pakistan a terrorist state if it failed to stop cross-border terrorism against India, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said in Lok Sabha today. ''If the US wants it can stop terrorism and put an end to terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan by threatening that Washington would declare it a terrorist state,''Advani said while intervening in an opposition-sponsored adjournment motion to discuss last Saturday’s Jammu massacre and Government’s failure to combat terrorism. Dissatisfied with Advani’s speech, the entire opposition walked out accusing the Government of not spelling out clear-cut steps to deal with Pakistan-backed terrorism. Later, the House rejected the motion, moved by Congress deputy leader Shivraj Patil, by a voice vote. Firmly ruling out any third-party mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue, Advani asserted that India would have to fight its own battle against terrorism being sponsored from across the border. Maintaining that the international community including the US was ''not doing enough'' to force Pakistan to stop terrorism, Advani said Islamabad will not be able to bear sanctions that would follow once that country is brought on the list of terrorist States. However, he quoted a US leader as having told him recently that ''India is exaggerating our clout''. Observing that New Delhi should not expect much from the international community, he stressed ''we have to fight our own battle against the menace.'' He said the world must realise that the epicentre of international terrorism has now shifted to Pakistan. Rejecting the two-nation theory, Advani asserted that J and K is an integral part of India and will remain so. ''Pakistan has not reconciled to the fact that J and K being a Muslim-majority State is a part of India,’’ he said,adding it was under the India accession act that the Maharaja of J and K chose to remain with India and this was accepted by then National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah and the Constituent Assembly. Advani announced that newly-appointed BJP general secretary and former Law Minister Arun Jaitley would be the Centre’s point man to discuss with the J and K Government and political parties there the issue of devolution of greater powers to the State. ''This exercise will begin immediately,'' he said adding J and K was a special state and the Government had no objection to giving it more powers. Advani, however, said the Centre had rejected the J and K Assembly resolution seeking greater autonomy as it meant restoration of pre-1953 status which would lead to the people being deprived of their rights they got under the constitution after 1953. He also rejected the RSS demand for trifurcation of J and K into Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions, saying the State was one entity even though it has different cultures. On the ensuing Assembly elections, he said they must be free and fair. The Centre would also create conditions including providing adequate security so that a majority of the electorate could exercise its franchise, he said. During his 30-minute intervention, the Deputy Prime Minister said he would prevail upon the Finance Minister to ensure that necessary funds were allotted to the State for modernisation of its police force. He recalled that from 1980 to 2000, J and K had received just Rs 14.84 crore as against Rs 60 crore being given to it in the last two years for police modernisation. This Rs 60 crore is totally ''insufficient and inadeqaute'', he said. Referring to Washington’s attitude towards Pakistan, Advani said the US ''sees Gen Musharraf to be its best bet and that it may not agree with our assessment (about Islamabad aiding and abetting terrorism against India)''. India, he said, was determined to fight the scourge without any outside help. Recalling that Musharraf at the time of the Agra summit in July last year had termed the violence in J and K as part of ‘freedom struggle’, he said the Pakistani military ruler was forced to call the December 13 attack on Parliament, the May Kaluchak massacre and the July 13 Jammu attack as acts of terrorism. This was due to India’s diplomatic efforts to sensitise the world community about Pakistan-backed terrorism, he said adding Musharraf had changed his stand from Agra to last month’s Almaty security meet. He said Pakistan has resorted to proxy war against India after it was defeated in the open wars in 1947, 65 and 71. On ISI activities in India, Advani said various agencies had succeeded in unearthing and destroying 154 modules bulk of which were found in Delhi followed by Maharashtra, UP and West Bengal. Before walking out, Patil said the opposition was terribly disappointed with the response of Advani who, he charged, had failed to outline Government’s policy to fight terrorism. Patil said Advani had not stated how the Government would build a favourable international opinion to bring more pressure on Pakistan. If the Government did not want to enlist its options in the House, it should have taken leaders of various parties into confidence, he said. The Congress leader also rejected allegations by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah that the party was trying to politicise the July 13 killings.


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