October 2002 News

Polls showed J&K mind: PM

8 October 2002
The Asian Age

Nicosia: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was at his vintage best at Nicosia on Monday night as he unmasked Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf for his double-speak, praised the people of Kashmir for their outright rejection of terrorist violence and support to the democratic process, and held that his 24-party coalition government was strong and stable. Mr Vajpayee kept the Indian community spell- bound for an hour at a reception hosted in his honour, doing some plainspeaking which was punctuated with his characteristic wit. ''We want friendship with our neighbouring countries. So I went to Lahore by bus (on the peace mission). But the bus later got punctured,'' Mr Vajpayee told the receptive gathering comprising mostly software programmers and IT experts who repeatedly cheered him. ''People of Kashmir have made their wishes known in these elections that they will be with us at any cost,'' he said. Mr Vajpayee said he was told here about the problem of partition being faced by Cyprus from Turkey. ''I told them that those who orchestrated Partition of India, they themselves had to face partition in the form of Bangladesh. Those who sow seeds of discord and division can never achieve their ends.'' The Prime Minister said the Partition was ''very painful,'' but there were some who will even go to war to carry this out. Meanwhile, imparting a new dynamism to their bilateral relations, India and Cyprus on Tuesday signed five agreements for cooperation in Information Technology, science and technology, telecommunications, health and cultural exchange and decided to intensify high-level political contacts and explore prospects of tie-ups in tourism and other diversified areas. The agreements were signed in the presence of Mr Vajpayee and Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides after the two leaders held one-to-one talks on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern.


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