October 2003 News

Vajpayee rejects call for plebiscite

18 October 2003
The Dawn
Our Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday rejected President Pervez Musharraf's call to accord the right to self- determination to the people of the Jammu and Kashmir, saying Islamabad had no locus standi on the issue. 'There has been talk of right to self-determination (in the Jammu and Kashmir). Does Pakistan have democracy? Does it have an elected government?' he said at a public function in Panipat, near Delhi. 'Those who rule at gunpoint are talking of right to self-determination. It is not right,' Mr Vajpayee said. In fact, he said, the parts of Azad Kashmir belonged to India and this issue would be taken up with Islamabad whenever there was a dialogue about the region. 'We do not want anybody's land but we will not part with even an inch of ours,' Mr Vajpayee said. In Delhi, Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani said on Saturday that India required a nuclear deterrent to keep at bay a neighbour who had 'lost declared wars but continued to wage a proxy war through terror.' At a public function, he said 'Pakistan has to decide - give up this road, or the way the world looks at it as a pariah, an isolated state,' he said. 'Some countries say it, some don't say it openly.'


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