August 2002 News

India at war with Pak over Kashmir: Advani

21 August 2002
The Times of India

LONDON: India considered itself ''at war'' with Pakistan over Kashmir despite there being no formal declaration of hostilities, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani said on Wednesday. ''When people ask me ''will there be a war between India and Pakistan?'', they are obviously referring to a declared war like that which happened in ''71 or ''65. But for India, we are at war,'' he told Britain''s Channel Four television during a visit to London. About a million troops are lined up along the border after a December attack on Parliament blamed on Pakistan-based militants. Thousands have died in the last decade, and another 13 people - including four Indian security force personnel - were killed in fresh separatist violence there since Tuesday, police said on Wednesday. Referring to September 11, Advani said ''If that one single day could be described as a war on America, think of India which has been facing a similar situation for nearly two decades. So it''s a continuing war, though an undeclared war.'' He said that India had mulled a more dramatic response after the December attack but had been praised by Western nations for its moderation. ''They considered us restrained and they said that we will see to it that Pakistan abandons its present path and decides to discard the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy,'' Advani added. Cross-border militant activity was still considerable, Advani said. ''Though I must say that following the pressure of the international community on Pakistan there has been some reduction in the level of infiltration.''


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