September 2002 News

Pak. must end support to terrorism, says PM

22 September 2002
The Hindu
Sandeep Dikshit

NEW DELHI: Blaming Pakistan for the militant attempts to disrupt elections in Jammu & Kashmir, the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, said a conducive atmosphere for talks could be conceived only if Islamabad completely dismantled the infrastructure for supporting terrorism. ''An appropriate climate for dialogue can be created if support for terrorism is completely curbed. But the disruption of the elections in J&K does not suggest that Pakistan has changed its manner of thinking,'' the Prime Minister said, shortly before embarking on a visit to the Maldives. Mr. Vajpayee was responding to a query on India''s strategy to cool tensions in the region if the State Assembly polls were held successfully. Meanwhile, taking a cue from the Prime Minister''s statement as well as media reports emanating from Pakistan suggesting that State support to jehadis operating in J&K had resumed from July, the Army said it had killed over a dozen militants since yesterday. It did not comment on the casualties suffered by its troops but reports suggested that half-a- dozen jawans were killed a few days ago in a single encounter. Army officials claimed to have killed three terrorists in south Kashmir where four attempts in a week have been made on the life of the sole woman Minister in the Farooq Abdullah Government. Five militants were reportedly killed elsewhere in the Valley. Across the Pir Panjal range, an equal number were shot dead in two encounters.


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