December 2003 News

Ceasefire fruit of India's diplomatic offensive: Advani

1 December 2003
The Pioneer

New Delhi: Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani on Monday said that Pakistan's moves to ease tensions on the border and the ceasefire were the direct fallouts of a sustained diplomatic offensive against terrorism and Government's resolve to fight militancy. 'There has already been a lot of infiltration. Several militants were camping inside the country and killing innocent people. Therefore, it is more important not be complacent and to be alert. Cross-border terrorism has not stopped,' Mr Advani said. 'The steps taken by Pakistan is attributable to two factors - the success achieved by our security forces on the ground and the international condemnation of terrorism at the behest of India,' he said while speaking at the 38th Raising Day of the Border Security Force (BSF). While India had reciprocated the Pakistani gesture of ceasefire, Mr Advani, however, warned that it did not mean that the security forces should lower their guards as terrorism still continued. Maintaining that any improvement in relations between India and Pakistan was welcome, he said 'We should not forget that Pakistan is not a democratic country and is headed by a military ruler. Any military ruler or regime only thrives on the fact that there is tension between the two countries.' He expressed concern over illegal immigration from Bangladesh, that posed another threat to the internal security. He complimented BSF's Director General Ajai Raj Sharma for successfully deporting nearly 16,000 illegal immigrants back to Bangladesh. 'India is possibly the only country in the world which is facing the problem of illegal immigration at such a large magnitude,' he said. 'The BSF should be more vigilant at the Eastern borders in putting an end to this menace,' he added. Referring to the problems faced by the BSF, Mr Advani said, a high-level meeting would be held with the Finance Ministry this weekend, where the problems faced by the force, including reducing disparity in the ration money and other allowances between armed forces, would be discussed. The BSF Chief requested him to sanction an additional 22 battalions, as this would help the force to remain battle worthy. 'The percentage of collective training has been decreasing over the years and this is not a good trend,' he said.


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