Saturday, February 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No talks with Pakistan: PM

New Delhi, February 1
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today ruled out the immediate resumption of talks with Pakistan or handing over any part of Kashmir to Islamabad and said: “our neighbour has been put in a very difficult situation” in the wake of the global campaign against terrorism.

“They all the time harp on Kashmir. Kashmir is a part of India and will continue to be so..... There is no question of part of Jammu and Kashmir or any other part being handed over (to anybody)”, Mr Vajpayee said at a function at which the Thirunavukarasu-led MGRADMK merged with the BJP.

Stating that Pakistan had been put in a very difficult situation, he said: “they do not know what to do and what to say. They keep on saying they would like to meet with Indian leaders.”

“Meeting for what? For discussing weather or some business?” he asked.

Recalling his trip to Lahore, he said what India got in return was Kargil intrusion.

Despite this, India invited Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for the Agra Summit in the fond hope that in the vicinity of the Taj on the banks of the Yamuna, there would be some progress on the path to brotherhood. “But that did not happen. He went back empty handed. What else did he want. All the time (he was harping on) Kashmir”, Mr Vajpayee said.

The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that time would come sooner than later when peace would return to Jammu and Kashmir like Punjab, which had witnessed terrorism and was deftly handled by the administration with the active cooperation of people.

He said India was fighting against terrorism and there was now a global alliance against terrorism.

The Prime Minister prefaced his remarks by saying that the country was facing some problem at the border and was fighting against terrorism for the past two decades. PTIBack

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