Friday, May 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

We won’t allow Pak’s proxy war: Vajpayee
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Srinagar, May 23
Short of declaring war against Pakistan, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said India would no longer allow Islamabad to continue its proxywar and stated, “We are preparing ourselves for a decisive victory against the enemy’’.

“We will not let Pakistan to carry on its proxywar against India any longer. India has accepted the challenge thrown by our neighbour and we are preparing ourselves for a decisive victory against the enemy,’’ Mr Vajpayee said at a news conference here on the concluding day of his three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

He described the situation on the Indo-Pak border as “serious and challenging’’, stating India would win the battle against the proxywar.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah shares a smile with his son
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah shar
es a smile with his son and Union Minister for External Affairs Omar Abdullah during Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's Press conference in Srinagar on Thursday. — PTI photo

“The sky is clear, there are no clouds. But sometimes lightning strikes even from clear skies. We hope that lightning does not strike,’’ he said, describing the tensions on the border.

Mr Vajpayee remarked that he had nothing to add to his public statement yesterday that the time had come for decisive action against cross-border terrorism.

Condemning the assassination of Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone, Mr Vajpayee said, “There is no doubt that he was gunned down by the enemies of peace because of his courageous voice against the gun culture”.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted peace and normalcy to return at the earliest. “Militancy has no future in the state because it has only brought suffering and pain to the people, irrespective of their religion or region”.

The Prime Minister also asked Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to match his words with action and fulfil his promises of curbing terrorism.

Asked to comment on General Musharraf’s comments yesterday to fight terrorism, the Prime Minister said the Pakistan President had made a similar commitment in a televised address to his people on January 12.

“What is important is not making announcements. Words must be matched by deeds. That has not happened,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Vajpayee said he was waiting for the full text of President Musharraf’s statement and this would be considered by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) which was meeting in New Delhi later tonight.

Turning to the political situation in the state, Vajpayee said the process of dialogue would continue. He had met a cross-section of political leaders in the state and would be willing to talk to others in New Delhi.

Expressing his willingness to talk to the 23-party Hurriyat Conference, the Prime Minister made it clear though there was no question of agreeing to the conglomerate’s demand for inclusion of Pakistan in the dialogue process.

Vajpayee indicated that the Centre was prepared to talk to the ruling National Conference on its demand for greater autonomy to the state although New Delhi had turned down this demand earlier.

Referring to the Kaluchak massacre, Mr Vajpayee said, “These acts of violence are a part of the 20-year campaign of terrorism, extremism and subversion in Jammu and Kashmir and in other parts of India planned, aided and abetted from across the border. We will not let Pakistan carry on with its this proxy war against border. We will not let Pakistan carry on with its this proxy war against India any longer.”

The attack at Kaluchak was “designed to demoralise the people of India and our security forces,” he stated.

“I have a message for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Your pain and anguish is mine too. It is shared by all the people of India. We are with you in your sorrow and we will be with you in your joy,” he said.

Mr Vajpayee announced that two Indian Reserve Battalions would be raised to make counter-insurgency operations more effective,

An amount of Rs 26 crore had been earmarked for raising these two battalions, he added.

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