Monday, January 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Walk a step, we’ll take two, Jaswant tells Pak
Tribune News Service

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh addresses a Press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI photo

New Delhi, January 13
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today welcomed Pakistan’s declared commitment not to support or permit any more the use of its territory for terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Jammu and Kashmir, and demanded that “this commitment must extend to the use of all territories under Pakistan’s control today.”

Addressing a press conference here after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) which met in the morning to discuss Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s address to the nation, Mr Jaswant Singh made it clear that India would wait for “effective and full implementation” of the series of measures announced by General Musharraf. The minister said India expected Pakistan “to cooperate with India in stopping all infiltration across the international border and the Line of Control.”

“The government notes the decision of the Government of Pakistan to ban the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the two terrorist organisations involved in the December 13 attack on Indian Parliament. We look forward to an effective and full implementation of this measure so that its members do not continue activities under other names,” Mr Jaswant Singh said in a two-page statement circulated at the press conference.

* Hopes Pakistan will reconsider refusal to hand over 20 terrorists.

* Rejects third-party mediation on Kashmir issue.

* No easing of diplomatic sanctions against Pakistan.

Significantly, he stressed the need for Pakistan to take a similar action against other terrorist outfits which are getting all logistical support from Islamabad. “There will be a similar need to address other terrorist organisations targeting India, as also the parent organisations that spawn them.”

Mr Jaswant Singh observed that talks between India and Pakistan could resume only if Pakistan translated General Musharraf’s announcements into deeds. “Every one step that Pakistan walks, we will take two... India will not be found wanting.”

Regarding General Musharraf’s point-blank refusal to hand over to India any terrorists or criminals who are Pakistanis, Mr Jaswant Singh termed the decision as “disappointing”. He said in response to a question that he was hopeful that Pakistan would take action against at least 15 of the wanted fugitives who were Indian citizens. While saying that the government remained committed to the bilateral dialogue process with Pakistan in accordance with the

letter and spirit of the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration to resolve all bilateral disputes, the minister made it clear that there was no scope for a third-party mediation on the Kashmir issue.

“We reiterate our conviction that all issues between India and Pakistan can only be addressed bilaterally. There is no scope for a third-party involvement.” He said the government rejected “entirely and categorically” the comments of General Musharraf about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The External Affairs Minister said his American counterpart, Gen Colin Powell, who is scheduled to visit the Indian subcontinent a few days later, telephoned him but described the conversation as “routine consultations”. Mr Jaswant Singh also had a telephonic conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov last night during which the current security situation in the Indian subcontinent was discussed. Mr Ivanov is also scheduled to visit India soon.Back


Not by words alone: Advani

New York, January 13
Reacting with skepticism to President Pervez Musharraf’s announcements, Home Minister L.K. Advani has said the Pakistani President should turn into ground reality his pledge to fight terrorism and stop infiltrating militants into India.

“We shall not judge any change in Pakistan’s policy on terrorism only on the basis of the statements and pronouncements of its leaders. India shall be satisfied only if categorical renunciation of terrorism as a state policy is accompanied by a decisive and demonstrable action on the ground in response to the specific demands that we have made of Pakistan,” Mr Advani told reporters here yesterday.

Warning that mere speeches would not do, he said, “There is so much skepticism among the people of India on the promises made by Pakistani leaders that only action, which makes the real difference, is acceptable”.

“I am told that in his speech, he has said that terrorism cannot be a part of the Kashmir cause ... If he has said it, then it becomes all the more imperative that he should not facilitate or allow anyone to cross the Line of Control or the international border to commit acts of terrorism,” Mr Advani maintained.

Pakistan also needs to meet the Indian demand that it hand over 20 terrorists whose list has been given to Islamabad, Mr Advani added.

India has given evidence about them and in fact Interpol had issued a red corner notice against several of them, which is not something done easily, he said. PTIBack


Bush appreciates India

New Delhi, January 13
US President George W. Bush tonight spoke to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee over the telephone and “appreciated” India’s response to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s address to the nation.

The conversation between Mr Bush and Mr Vajpayee lasted eight minutes, a PMO spokesman said.

He said Mr Bush appreciated India’s response to General Musharraf’s speech which announced a series of measures to combat terrorism in and outside Pakistan.

Mr Bush assured Mr Vajpayee that he would continue to work with India to counter terrorism, the spokesman said. PTIBack

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