No Guarantee On End To Infiltration: Pak
26 June 2003
The Hindustan Times
Washington DC: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said that Pakistan has done 'all it can' to control cross border terrorism and rein in extremist organisations but could give no guarantee on ending infiltration across the LoC. Musharraf, who is on an official visit to the US, however, asserted that the military balance between India and Pakistan and his country's strategy of 'minimum (nuclear) deterrence' ruled out the possibility of war. In an interview to the Washington Post he said, 'We have, at the government level, ensured that nothing ought to be happening on the Line of Control. I can't answer how much infiltration is going on. For me there is no infiltration going on.' He, however, refused to give any guarantee that no one is crossing over into Kashmir from the Pakistani side. 'Pakistan cannot be held responsible to ensure, to guarantee that not a bird will fly across the LoC. It is not humanly possible,' he said, adding that sealing the border was 'not possible'. On the crackdown on militant outfits by his government, he said groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish- e-Muhammad, 'who were creating apprehension in the minds of India and the world', have been banned. Their offices, including in PoK have been sealed and closed and their accounts frozen, he added. Although he said relationship with India could 'never be satisfactory,' Musharraf said he did not expect any war between the two countries in the near future. 'I think no leader in his right mind will go to war,' Musharraf said, describing the border tensions between the two neighbours as 'strategy of coercion' being applied on Pakistan. 'No country, no opponent, Indians cannot accept the damage that it can incur on them in any outcome of war,' said Musharraf, who held talks with President George W Bush at Camp David on Tuesday. He also accused India of 'disturbing conventional military balance' in the region through its hiked defence budget and added that he had raised the issue with Bush. Musharraf asserted that Pakistan was taking 'strong action' against Al-Qaeda, Taliban supporters and religious extremists in the country.