April 2003 News

'Nadimarg Killing Infused Fresh Thinking On Dealing With Terror'

4 April 2003
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: The Nadimarg massacre of Kashmiri Pundits and reports of massing of mercenaries in Pakistan have infused 'fresh thinking' in the Government on dealing with terrorism sponsored from across the borders, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said today. He also asserted that Pakistan has weapons of mass destruction and continues to be the epicenter of terrorism. 'If these were considerations for a pre-emptive strike against another country, then definitely India has a better case', the minister said in an interview to PTI. The minister said 'Nadimarg has resulted in a fresh thinking in dealing with the terrorist menace. We have information about the designs of terrorist organisations and we will do our best to meet the threat. Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani's meeting with the J and K Chief Minister was a pointer to that. 'Such a meeting was held after a gap of five years. The security situation was reviewed in detail. Further action will be taken in furtherance of the decisions taken there,' he said. Asked whether India was satisfied with US assurances of pressing Pakistan to put an end to infiltration and cross-border terrorism, he said 'it should be a matter of their own satisfaction' Recalling that it was US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who conveyed that Pakistan has given an assurance of permanently ending infiltration and terrorism, he said this was a commitment made to them which has been flouted. 'They should feel sorry about it, not India'. He said the US State Department statement on the Nadimarg massacre also spoke of a dialogue between India and Pakistan as the only way out. 'We responded by saying that if Pakistan has no role in the killings, they why talk to them. If it has a role, then it should be first condemned. They saw the contradiction in their approach and tried to correct it in their subsequent statements', he said. Sinha said there was 'great deal of hypocricy' in Pakistan's claim to be a partner in the international coalition against terrorism. The minister said 'we regard the US and the UK as very friendly countries. We also realise that they have their own point of view like every other country. There are some issues on which we continue to have a different perception'. 'The problem with US is on the one hand we want to condemn the US, on the other hand we are too much concerned about what they are saying', he said. On the fate of a SAARC summit meeting which is due in Pakistan, he said India has clearly stated that summits should not be reduced to a 'mere ritual'. 'Summit decisions should be implemented in full. No single country should be allowed to stall implementation of the decisions. As long as Pakistan continues to do so, we don't see much meaning in the ritual of SAARC meeting. 'The future of SAARC could be very bright only if we make progress especially on trade issues,' he added. (PTI)


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