Sunday, February 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

India rejects Pak plea on list of 20
Tribune News Service

Union Home Minister L. K. Advani
Union Home Minister L. K. Advani addresses at the Delhi Police Raising Day parade in New Delhi on Saturday. Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma is seen in the picture. — Tribune photo Mukesh Aggarwal

Union Home Minister L. K. Advani presents a police medal
Union Home Minister L. K. Advani presents a police medal to ACP O. P. Tiwari at the Delhi Police Raising Day parade in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI photo

New Delhi, February 16
Home Minister L.K. Advani today virtually rejected Pakistan’s plea that the issue of 20 terrorists and criminals demanded by India be negotiated, saying that New Delhi no longer believes in “big” announcements emanating from Islamabad and would judge the neighbour’s sincerity by assessing the ground situation.

Pakistan must dismantle terrorist training camps on its soil, stop arming militants and giving them asylum, discontinue its support to cross-border infiltration and hand over the 20 terrorists sought by India, Mr Advani said in a speech after inaugurating the Raising Day parade of the Delhi police.

Referring to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s claims on the issue during his US tour, he said: ‘’We can’t go by what they say. We will ascertain on our own if the required action has been taken on the ground.’’

“Doodh ka jala chhachh bhi phoonk phoonk ke pita hai (Once bitten, twice shy),” he observed while underlining New Delhi’s cautious, but determined approach on the issue.

While addressing the Delhi police officers and personnel Mr Advani said, “So we will not take decisions on the basis of somebody’s announcements or statements. We will see whether the demands made by us have been met. India will believe Pakistan is sincere in doing what it has been saying only if it hands over the 20 terrorists and criminals,” Mr Advani said.

He said, “The issue of terrorists being handed over by Pakistan needs to be addressed when we start negotiating on all issues, including Kashmir. We will address this issue then. It may be important. We will address it together,”

Referring to United Arab Emirates prompt action for deporting Aftab Ansari, main accused in the American Center shootout, Mr Advani asked Pakistan to do the same with regard to the 20 terrorists wanted by India.

For India, the December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament was a turning point as “the Ravana of terrorism crossed the Lakshman Rekha (extreme of patience)”, he said, adding that the incident forced India to declare a “decisive” war against terrorism.



Pak refuses to hand over 20 ultras to India

Islamabad, February 16
Amidst a plethora of contradictory statements, Pakistan bluntly told India that it would not hand over the 20 terrorists and criminals sought by it giving new reasons, even as President Pervez Musharraf claimed that the USA was making “behind the scenes” efforts for mediation between New Delhi and Islamabad on Kashmir.

“They have the list of 20 persons. Now, I am not going to do their bidding,” General Musharraf told Pakistani media before leaving for home from Washington at the conclusion of a three-day trip.

Speaking to reporters in Dubai while transiting from Washington, he said the Indian demand “is nothing more than a bid to malign Pakistan.” PTI

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