Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Advani talks ‘hot pursuit’ again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Union Home Minister L K Advani today said India had kept the option of “hot pursuit’ against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism “open” although it had no plans for now to use that option to counter escalation in cross-border terrorism.

“As of now, we don’t want to avail of this option. It does not mean we can’t use it. Hot pursuit is legitimate under the international laws to counter terrorism,” Mr Advani said on the sidelines of the 40th Raising Day celebrations of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police here.

The Home Minister said the country which had “boldly” and “effectively” faced cross-border terrorism for the past 10 to 15 years had the capability to defeat the nefarious designs of the neighbouring country, like in the Kargil war, remaining well within “our own territory”.

To a question on the possible installation of a new government in Afghanistan spearheaded by the Northern Alliance, Mr Advani said in the event of the formation of a new regime in Afghanistan in the post-US attacks, “there should not be any place for people with Taliban psyche in that regime.”

“We are not against Taliban people as such, but we are definitely against people with Taliban psyche and such people should not be part of any new regime installed in the post-US attacks,” he said.

Earlier, addressing jawans and officers of the ITBP, the Home Minister asserted that the Kashmir issue was India’s problem and it could tackle that problem on its own.

“I want to make it very clear to those who view that the government is looking towards the USA to resolve the Kashmir issue that we are not dependent on anyone and can effectively deal with the problem on our own,” Mr Advani said amidst applause.

Making a scathing attack on Pakistan, the Home Minister said “I pity them for eating their own words.”

“They (Pakistan) used to term the terrorist operations in Kashmir by Pak-based militant groups against India as freedom struggle, but had to eat their own words and term it as an act of terrorism when the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.”

Terming terrorism as the biggest threat to the country’s security, the Home Minister said “we have given Pakistan a befitting reply in Punjab and we want to tell the world that terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir will also be crushed by India effectively.”

Labelling the war in Afghanistan as “peculiar”, Mr Advani said the US-led attacks had no time frame. “The USA has not come out clearly as to how long the war will continue,” he added.

Referring to the anthrax scare and the letter which his ministry received yesterday, he said there was no need to panic but called upon the people to remain alert. “Those who are doing this are trying to create fear among the people to derive political mileage, he added. 
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Hostile voices need robust response: Pak

Islamabad, October 24
Pakistan today accused India of issuing threats of war and said hostile noises from India required a robust response.

Pakistan Foreign office spokesman Riaz Ahmad Khan said some Indian personalities talked of “hot pursuit” in occupied-Kashmir, which needed a robust response from Pakistan.

About Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement asking Pakistan to decide whether it was for peace or war, he said: “Pakistan is for peace and opposed to war and wants all outstanding disputes between the two countries to be resolved amicably.”

Reiterating the offer for talks, the spokesman said: “President Pervez Musharraf had reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for dialogue with India.” UNI 
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Two jawans killed

Srinagar, October 24
Fourteen persons, including eight militants and two jawans, were killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, official sources said today.

A group of militants attempting to sneak into the valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir at Amrohi village near the Line of Control at Kupwara district exchanged fire with an Army patrol. Two civilians, including a village numbardar were killed while a seriously injured jawan, Raj Bahadur, later succumbed to his injuries. PTI
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