Pak Made No Major Move To Check Terror: India
2 May 2005
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: India on Monday said there had been no end to cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir despite the growing thaw with Pakistan. It also said that Islamabad had made no 'significant' effort to dismantle the infrastructure supporting terrorists sneaking into the country. The Defence Ministry's report for 2004-05, released on Monday, also noted steps taken by India and China to improve their ties but said New Delhi would continue to keep a close eye on Beijing's military modernisation programme, particularly in areas like Tibet that border India. Noting that 2004-05 had 'ended on a hopeful note' for India-Pakistan relations, the report said, 'there was an end to cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. 'While there was some decline in the level of infiltration, this was more on account of measures on the part of the Indian armed forces than any discernible change of heart or action by Pakistani authorities,' said a Defence Ministry statement. 'There was no evidence of any significant Pakistani effort to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism such as communications, launching pads and training camps on its eastern borders with India, comparable to its western borders with Afghanistan.' The report said despite the operations against the Al Qaeda and Taliban elements on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the principal threats to peace and stability in the region remained 'the combination of fundamentalism and terrorism nurtured in madrassas and training camps in the area and the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and access to them by fundamentalists and terrorists'. Referring to China, the report said both the countries were maintaining peace and tranquillity in their border areas and had stepped up efforts to resolve their boundary dispute. 'However, the report has observed that China's close defence relationship with and military assistance to Pakistan continued,' the statement said. It said, 'India will continue to monitor development of military infrastructure by China in the border areas and its military modernisation including the maritime sector'. The annual report is a formal document that outlines the defence ministry's policy and contains an assessment of threats to national security. It said 'effective diplomacy' backed by 'credible military power' would be India's answer to challenges like terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which were among the country's primary security concerns. India's response to these threats and challenges had always been 'restrained, measured and moderate, consistent with its peaceful outlook and reputation as a peace-loving country'. Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, which had a direct bearing on peace and security in the region, the report said threats posed by remnants of the Taliban and other fundamentalists groups continued to challenge the Afghan government and were a cause of concern. On Bangladesh, the report said it had been 'insensitive and unresponsive to India's concerns regarding the presence and activities of Indian insurgent groups from the northeast and (Pakistan's) ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) on Bangladesh soil, large-scale illegal immigration and the criminalisation of the border'. Referring to developments in Nepal, the report said the Maoist insurgency there could be 'addressed effectively only through a national consensus between constitutional forces. India is of the view that there can be no purely military solution to the Maoist insurgency'. The report also expressed serious concern over links between Nepal's Maoist rebels and left- wing extremist outfits in parts of India and the 'possible expansion of their influence'. About the situation in Sri Lanka, the report said India remained committed to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka and to a 'comprehensive negotiated settlement acceptable to all communities of the island nation' and reflecting the pluralistic nature of Sri Lankan society within the framework of the united Sri Lanka.