J&K CM Takes Shot At Terrorists, Says Bullets Only Way For Peace

18 May 2008
Economic Times

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who broke off from the political opinion that insists peace can be achieved by carrying no stick, said terrorists should be neutralised with force before they kill innocents. “How can you initiate talks with terrorists, who after attaining training from across the border, come to kill you. You have to kill him, otherwise you will be killed,” Mr Azad said while speaking at a function in Jalandhar to disburse Shaheed Parivar fund among terrorism-affected families. The chief minister said the reluctance to meet force with force in the name of peace will beget not peace, but further death and destruction. Mr Azad, who appeared to disagree with those who claim that the problem can be solved with overtures of peace and understanding, said there was no place of specious arguments of moral equivalence. “We may have talks with the neighbouring country but as far as terrorism goes, there can be no tolerance towards terrorists and they should be dealt with a stern hand,” Mr Azad said. “We are in favour of talks and peace but cannot tolerate talks and terror together,” the chief minister added. He said the terrorists wanted to divide the country on the basis of religion by targeting places of worship. Political parties should not politicise the issue of terrorism and elections should be contested on the basis of policies and programmes, he said. The governments of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir should unitedly fight against the scourge, Mr Azad said. Mr Azad claimed that the situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir during the last couple of years, as was evident from the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself conducted a round table conference in the state attended by all political parties. Mr Azad, who alleged that efforts were being made to revive terrorism in the state, said his government will not let such attempts succeed. Addressing the same function, finance minister P Chidambaram said the government’s respect for the law should not be mistaken for a soft approach towards terrorism. “Although we respect human rights and laws and want these to be applied to everyone, our tolerance and respect of law should not be mistaken as soft approach towards terrorism because government is determined to fight terrorism tooth and nail,” he said. “Terrorism has no religion and caste and no country of the world is immune to terror as every major city in the world, be it in United States or the United Kingdom, is feeling the heat of terrorism, the finance minister said and added that the world should unite against terrorism.