Monday, March 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Security ring for minority villages
Advani visits massacre site
Tribune News Service and UNI

JAMMU, March 26 — Union Home Minister L.K. Advani today vowed to give stronger security to minorities in Jammu and Kashmir, and said that villages inhabited by minorities would soon have a security ring.

“The security would comprise the state police and the paramilitary forces with support from the Army,” he told reporters here this evening after a visit to Chatti Singhpora village in Anantnag district where 35 Sikhs were massacred on Monday last.

Mr Advani, ruled out the possibility of holding talks with Pakistan unless Islamabad “created a conducive atmosphere” by stopping export of terrorism to Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Advani said “India has already conveyed to Pakistan on many occasions that talks cannot be held when Islamabad was aiding proxy war.”

He said that after its debacle in Kargil Pakistan, especially the ISI, had sent foreign mercenaries and Fidayeen to Jammu and Kashmir to kick up bigger violence. He said Chatti Singhpora massacre was part of this strategy to focus world attention on the Kashmir issue.

Mr Advani claimed that since the Kargil conflict, Pakistan had lost militarily and diplomatically. Its defeat on the diplomatic field was manifest by the new dimensions the US policy has assumed as far as its relations with India were concerned.

He said it was for the first time that not only the U.S.A. but China, Japan and other countries had supported India in its fight against transborder terrorism.

The Union Home Minister was accompanied by Governor, Mr G.C. Saxena, Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister of State For Civil Aviation, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, Union Minister for Information, Mr Arun Jaitley, and senior state government functionaries.

Mr Advani said proper in the village demanded adequate security measures which the state government had assured and he found there was no reason for migration of Sikhs from the valley.

Even while appreciating Mr Clinton’s stand on Kashmir, Mr Advani said that India still sought US assistance in declaring Pakistan a terrorist state. He said once Pakistan was declared a terrorist state consequences tagged with it would flow. He, however, did not hope that the US Government will take such a step saying “unless the American Government’s skin was touched the USA may not declare Pakistan a terrorist state.”

In reply to a question he said it was appreciable that Mr Clinton conveyed in plain terms to Pakistan that it should stop its support to cross border terrorism, create an atmosphere for bilateral talks, refused to mediate on Kashmir, and suggested to Islamabad to respect the sanctity of the LoC.

The Union Home Minister said “despite this change in the US stand we have to fight ourselves the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.”

In reply to another question he said the state had adequate security forces and what was need was their proper utilisation. He offered none comment, when he was reminded that the state government had been demanding additional forces after the militants had extended their operations to other areas in the State.

He announced that the government has decided to implement effectively its two-pronged policy for containing the activities of the militants. He explained that under this strategy security system would be further improved to give teeth to the proactive policy and secondly mobilise world opinion against Islamabad.

Referring to the existing situation he said “it is a war which the State and the Central Government have to fight.” He said that during the last two years the State and the Central Governments have been doing it unitedly and praised the state police and the paramilitary forces for their vital role in blunting the Pak offensive in the state.

He reiterated that there was no reason to dismiss the Farooq led government and impose Governor’s rule. He said the NDA government would not take hasty step in such a situation. He said that out of Rs 700 crore allocated to the State as special financial aid, Rs 400 crore had already been released and the remaining amount would be released after the State team discussed certain issues with the Department of Expenditure.

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