Tuesday, June 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Stand by your pledge
Stop infiltration, India, USA tell Pak
Tribune News Service

Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf greets US General Tommy Franks
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf greets US General Tommy Franks in Islamabad on Monday.
— Reuters photo

New Delhi, June 24
Reacting to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s reported statement that he had made no promise to stop infiltration of terrorists into India, New Delhi today maintained that Gen Musharraf had indeed given such assurances and reminded Islamabad that “Pledges are pledges. Nations cannot go back on pledges.”

A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs termed Gen Musharraf’s recent comments as “verbal callisthenics” and advised him to instead fully abide by his commitment to permanently stop infiltration and cross-border terrorism to reduce tension between the two countries.

“Despite some occasional verbal callisthenics by Pakistan, there is an assurance by Islamabad that its commitment to stop infiltration and cross-border terrorism remains undiluted”.

Referring to Gen Musharraf’s interviews to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and “Newsweek”, the spokesperson, Ms Nirupama Rao, said “We have seen both interviews of the Pakistan President...Pakistan has committed itself to fighting terrorism. It is an unambiguous and clear commitment lending itself to no other interpretation”.

Ms Rao said the top Indian leadership had been “conveyed” Gen Musharraf’s assurance. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had conveyed to India Gen Musharraf’s commitment to stop infiltration during their recent visits to New Delhi, while US Secretary of State Colin Powell mentioned such an assurance in his statements. “It has been conveyed to us in categorical terms that Pakistan is committed to stopping infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC)”.

She said Pakistan must deliver on its promises if the region is to see a lasting peace. “We would like to hold Pakistan down to its commitment”, she added.

On whether Gen Musharraf’s statement had not brought the situation back to square one in the region, she said: “I consider it irrational anger and frustration... Pakistan has not responded to our well-considered and concrete measures to reduce tension...Pakistan refuses to see the writing on the wall”.

She said it was necessary for the world community to remind Pakistan to take concrete action against infiltration and cross-border terrorism.

On Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s interview to Newsweek in which he stated that infiltration was continuing unabated while Defence Minister George Fernandes was saying that infiltration had almost ended, the spokesperson said: “We are yet to see a definite trend that suggests infiltration has stopped”. She said the month of July had always been the month in which infiltration gained momentum and “We have to see what Pakistan does to stop that”.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw telephoned External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh this afternoon and exchanged views on the current Indo-Pak standoff.

During their 10-minute talks, the two leaders held in-depth discussions on Gen Musharraf’s remarks that he has not given any assurance to the U S that cross- border terrorism will be permanently stopped.

The USA insisted on Monday that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf did assure Washington that he would stop terrorist incursions into Jammu and Kashmir.

Reacting to Musharraf’s remarks to Newsweek that he made no such pledge to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the U.S. Embassy here said that he had indeed given the assurances that were conveyed to New Delhi.


EU appeal to Pak reflects India’s concern: Advani
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 24
The European Union’s latest appeal to Pakistan to take more efforts to stop infiltration of terrorists into the Kashmir valley reflected India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism, Union Home Minister L K Advani said today.

Mr Advani, who returned here after a five-day visit to Spain, said he was happy over the declaration adopted by the 15-nation European Union at its recently concluded summit in Seville, Spain.

The declaration showed that the EU appreciated India’s concern over cross-border terrorism,” said the Home Minister, who was in Spain around the same time during the EU summit.

The declaration had called on Pakistan “to take further concrete actions...to stop infiltration across the Line of Control and to prevent terrorist groups from operating from territory under its control.”

Mr Advani, who had visited Spain to sign an extradition treaty with that country, had also deliberated with his Spanish counterpart on the security scenario in the region and Indo-Spanish cooperation in combatting terrorism were among other issues. 

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