June 2003 News

Advani Rebuts Pervez On J&K Infiltration

17 June 2003
The Pioneer

London: Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on Tuesday strongly rebutted Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's statement that there was no (militant) activity around the Line of Control (LoC) and his allegation on 'elements in Indian Government blackmailing' (the world) on Kashmir. Concluding a successful visit to the US and UK, Mr Advani said a final view on sending Indian troops to Iraq would soon be taken in view of the clarifications given by the Pentagon team which visited New Delhi on Monday. It was also Mr Advani's turn on Tuesday to thank both the Bush and Blair administration for sharing India's concerns in areas of strategic concern and their fight against terrorism, in the 'process of transforming relations into a partnership of trust and confidence.' [General Musharraf rejected conversion of the Line of Control (LoC) into the international border as a compromise solution to the Kashmir issue late on Monday. The Pakistan President told reporters just before leaving on a four- nation tour that 'the LoC is the problem and not a solution', PTI reports from Islamabad.] Even as the Deputy Prime Minister dwelt at length on the deliberations he had with top US and UK officials, queries from the mediapersons, including a few from Pakistan, were largely limited to Pakistan and Iraq. Noting General Musharraf's refusal to reject outright any possibility of a Kargil-like conflict between the two countries and the statement he made here saying there was no activity at present around the LoC and that the Indian Government was to blame 'for blackmailing on Kashmir issue', Mr Advani said he had facts to substantiate India's position. 'I can say that even during my stay in the US and UK, I have been receiving reports of infiltration where at least on three occasions Pakistan- backed infiltrators were shot by security forces and terrorist violence, including killing of minority Hindus in Jammu region, has continued,' he said. But he evaded a direct reply to a query from The Pioneer on whether General Musharraf's point-blank refusal to recognise cross-border terrorism might create a roadblock in the peace process initiated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 'He (Musharraf) had not spoken on the issue for long time, since Mr Vajpayee's speech in Srinagar and his talks with Pakistani counterpart, Mir Zafarullah Jamali. We thought it was part of a conscious decision but parallel to that came the statement that there could be a repeat of Kargil. Thankfully he has denied that. Now we see more statements. Frankly, I don't understand this.' Mr Advani said: 'We want a dialogue with Pakistan and, as Mr Vajpayee has underlined from the beginning, no talks could be purposeful until cross-border terrorism stops and Pakistan's terrorist infrastructure is dismantled. India and Pakistan have a wide gulf in their stated position on the issue, which could somehow be bridged only after a comprehensive dialogue and some kind of compromise formula being evolved.' In this context, he pointed out the Indian parliamentary resolution, which said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and parts given to China are also part of Indian territory and should be acquired. Mr Advani said no decision has yet been taken with respect to sending Indian troops to Iraq and US defence department officials had held talks with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi. A decision would be taken by the leadership after all clarification were given by them, the Deputy Prime Minister said. On the Prime Minister's upcoming China visit, Mr Advani said it would give a great boost to relations between the two countries. 'Relations between India and China have been tension-free for quite some time. Though we had differences on the border and also relating to Tibetan refugees, the leadership in both the countries had consciously endeavoured to avoid taking up these issues. Our relations with China stands on its own and has no bearing on the proposed Indo-Pak talks,' he said. Later, addressing a press conference with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Mr Advani referred to the status of Purulia armsdrop accused Peter Bleach, saying the issue had figured in talks and that he would take it up with the concerned department on his return to India. Meanwhile according to PTI, India has named certain specific persons providing funds to Kashmiri terrorists from the UK and the issue will be followed up with the British Government, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said. 'Specific names (of those who provide funds to Kashmiri terrorists) were discussed' during his luncheon meeting with British Home Secretary David Blunkett, Advani told newsmen. 'We will follow it up,' he said.


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