Tuesday, May 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pak not exporting terror
Musharraf blames India for war hysteria

Pakistanis watch a televised speech
Pakistanis watch a televised speech of President Pervez Musharraf at a shop in Islamabad on Monday. — Reuters photo

Islamabad, May 27
In his much-awaited address to the nation tonight, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf only repeated his earlier promise not to allow any terrorist attacks from the country’s soil and brushed aside India’s complaints on cross-border terrorism, saying that no infiltration was taking place from the Pakistani side.

He declared that his country’s soil would not be allowed to be used by terrorists.

In a televised address to the nation, General Musharraf said tension with India was “at its height” and that there was a danger of war breaking out. Pakistan was “passing through a critical juncture. We are faced with a grave situation,” he said.

“We are standing at the cross-roads of history and any steps taken at the moment will have repercussions,” he said. “Tension is at its height. The danger of war is not yet over.”

General Musharraf termed the Kaluchak attack as a “terrorist act” and said those behind it wanted to destabilise Pakistan.

“Targeting civilians is a terrorist attack. We condemn it. Whosoever is responsible wants to destabilise Pakistan,” he said.

General Musharraf said Pakistan was a responsible state and it “will not allow its soil to be used by terrorists. We will not allow that”.

He recalled that he had stated this in his January 12 speech and there has been no deviation from it. He also said no infiltration was taking place in Kashmir.

General Musharraf declared his country did not want war but if it was thrust upon it, Islamabad would use its full might and give a “befitting reply”.

“Pakistan does not want war. We will not be one to initiate war. We want peace in the region...... But if war is thrust upon us, we will use our full might and give a befitting reply,” he said.

Addressing the international community, General Musharraf said, “Pakistan is doing nothing across the Line of Control”.

Islamabad, he said, would never allow export of terrorism anywhere in the world from its soil.

General Musharraf said Kashmir was in the heart of every Pakistani and Islamabad would “always fulfil its duty of providing moral, diplomatic and political support” to Kashmiris.

“We will always support the liberation struggle of Kashmiris till the end,” he said.

He alleged that “the enemy is trying to intimidate us by hurling threats of war.”

“Armed forces of Pakistan are in the state of ever-preparedness,” General Musharraf said, adding that Islamabad “will not be intimidated by threats.”

He said the world community should “take note of atrocities being perpetrated by Hindu extremists in Kashmir, Gujarat and elsewhere against Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and (their) own Scheduled Castes.”

General Musharraf regretted that India had not given any positive response despite Pakistan taking “very bold steps and initiatives” since the January 12 address.

General Musharraf said the world community must ask India to move towards normalisation of relations, which meant de-escalation and reduction of tension on the borders, initiation of the dialogue process, cessation of “atrocities” on people of Kashmir and allowing international media and human rights organisations to enter Kashmir and see the ground realities.

President Musharraf also announced that parliamentary elections would be held in the country from October 7 to 11. “The process of ushering in true democracy in Pakistan would begin in October. The elections will be held from October 7 to 11,’’ General Musharraf said in an address to the nation. He promised a free and fair poll and assured that foreign observers would be invited to oversee the polling. General Musharraf denied that there was any official interference during the recent referendum on his presidency. Media reports had indicated large-scale rigging in the referendum. PTI, UNI


India to see speech in context of actions

New Delhi, May 27
India tonight said it would analyse in totality Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s address to the nation before issuing a detailed reaction tomorrow.

“We have to assess General Musharraf’s statements in their totality. What has been stated today has to be in the context of the January 12 statement and also his recent interviews,’’ Foreign Office spokesperson Nirupama Rao said.

The spokesperson said India needed to verify the Pakistan President’s words with actions. Asked to comment on General Musharraf describing India as “enemy’’, she said, “This is in the tradition of Pakistan. We have seen very little difference in his approach towards India.’’ UNI

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