Tuesday, October 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hold Pak accountable: PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today asserted that Pakistan must be held accountable for continuing to sponsor terrorism in India. He said the government would intensify diplomatic initiatives to remind the leading nations of the international anti-terror coalition partners to redeem their pledge in this direction.

“While our security forces will have to continue their good work on the ground to get the better of militancy, we will intensify our diplomatic initiatives to remind the leading nations...to combat and defeat terrorism everywhere, irrespective of the cause it espouses,” Mr Vajpayee said. He added, “Which means, Pakistan must be held accountable for its continued sponsorship of terrorism in India.”

He was speaking at the conference of DGPs and IGPs at Vigyan Bhavan, here.

Stating that terrorism had failed to find any place in the conscience of human society and that what had been rejected by society could not have an enduring life, the Prime Minister said “those who continue to support it (terrorism) will doubtlessly get isolated from the rest of humanity.”

However, Mr Vajpayee pointed out that before terrorism actually died and disappeared from the world as a political instrument, it would continue to commit many more depredations.

“Therefore, we have to become more vigilant against this menace, and more determined to stamp it out,” the Prime Minister said while lauding the role of security forces in tackling militancy in the country.

The terrorist attack on India’s Parliament House, preceded by the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building in Srinagar, the carnage of innocent men, women and children in Kaluchak, Kasim Nagar and, most recently, the bloody sacrilege at the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar — all these were signs of our enemy’s desperation, he said.

“Needless to say, a good part of this desperation owes to the growing successes gained by our security forces in turning the heat on terrorist outfits and infiltration from across the border...I would like to specifically recognise the signal contribution of the police in conducting successful anti-terrorist operations,” he said.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister exhorted confidence that the state would leave the nightmare of militancy behind and return to peace, normalcy and development.

“We have seen it happen in Punjab, where the police and security forces, with the cooperation of the people, ultimately overcame the challenge of militancy,” he said.

Mr Vajpayee said the manner in which the people of Jammu and Kashmir were braving terror and participating in the poll once again demonstrated that the bullet could not defeat the ballot in a democracy.

“In Jammu and Kashmir, we had pledged to hold free and fair elections to the state Assembly. The polling in the first two rounds so far has borne out this commitment. There was a widespread fear psychosis created by terrorist organisations backed by Pakistan. There were killings of candidates and political activists, intimidation of voters, calls for poll boycott. However, the people of the state braved all this to once again demonstrate that the bullet cannot defeat the ballot in a democracy,” he said.

He added that he would be failing in his duty if he did not compliment the state police, various paramilitary forces, the Army and intelligence agencies for doing a difficult and challenging job well.


PM’s 3-nation tour ‘next week’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will embark upon a three-nation tour of Cyprus, Denmark and the UK about a week later, official sources said here today.

He will be attending India-European Union summit in Copenhagen, scheduled for the second week of October. It is understood that Mr Vajpayee will begin his tour on October 7 or 8.

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