Sunday, August 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Advani tells Pak to keep off J&K poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 24
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today categorically told Pakistan to keep off from the poll process in Jammu and Kashmir and also ruled out a summit meeting between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Talking to reporters after returning from his three-day Britain visit last night, Mr Advani said, “We expect that our neighbour will not try to interfere in the poll process and create an atmosphere herein the people face problems.”

He said India had conveyed to Britain its viewpoint on various issues, especially the cross-border terrorism, and he was given an assurance that Britain would extend help in whatever way it was possible.

On the possibility of a summit meeting between Mr Vajpayee and General Musharraf, Mr Advani said these summits unnecessarily arouse high expectations. “Today there is no point in that,” he said. Mr Advani also accused General Musharraf of wanting to impress the West with “tactical moves” rather than changing his strategy of backing Kashmiri terrorists.

He said India was ready to resume full relations with Pakistan if it was presented with evidence that the militant campaign was over.

While asserting that Islamabad continued to arm, train, finance and shelter terrorists in training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Mr Advani said India was still waiting for Pakistan to act against the 20 suspects wanted in India for involvement in various terrorist activities, most of whom are Indian nationals.

Giving an account of how the two sides came close to a war in December last year after Islamic militants attacked Parliament House on December 13, he said it could have been a tragedy far worse than the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center if those five terrorists had managed to get inside the Parliament House.


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