Zardari's Words On J&K Terrorists A Welcome Step: India

5 October 2008

Shimla: India today welcomed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's remarks that militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir are 'terrorists' and hoped the neighbouring country will honour its words to combat the menace through 'action'. 'President Zardari's statement describing militants in Jammu and Kashmir as terrorists, a statement made, perhaps, for the first time by a top Pakistani leader which is in contrast with its earlier position of terming militants as jehadis, is confirmation of India's assertions all these years,' Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told reporters here. 'Zardari's statement is a welcome step. President Zardari and Pakistan should honour the words with action in curbing terrorism.' India had always raised the matter of cross-border terrorism on international fora and Zardari's statement confirms this, he added. BJP also welcomed Zardari's remarks. In New Delhi, BJP National Spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said 'The statement of the Pakistan President describing the militants operating in Kashmir as terrorists is a real welcome statement.' Hoping that the statement will usher in a new chapter in India-Pak relationship, Rudy said the remarks perhaps will pave a firm foundation for bridging the divide between two nations. 'It reminds us of the peace initiative initiated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee during NDA regime,' he said. Zardari after his first meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York recently publicly voiced his determination to tackle terrorism head on.