Friday, September 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

No negotiations on terrorism
Vajpayee hits out at Musharraf
P. Mohan Das

United Nations, September 25
Asserting that India would not allow Pakistan to use terrorism as a “tool of blackmail”, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today firmly rejected President Pervez Musharraf’s call for the resumption of bilateral dialogue until Islamabad completely stopped cross-border terrorism.

“We totally refuse to let terrorism become a tool of blackmail. Just as the world did not negotiate with Al-Qaida or the Taliban, we shall not negotiate with terrorism,” Mr Vajpayee said in his address to the 58th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said if India did so, it would amount to betraying the people of Jammu and Kashmir who defied a most ferocious campaign of violence and intimidation sponsored from across the border and participated in an election, which had been universally hailed as free and fair.

Speaking in Hindi, Mr Vajpayee said India could have a dialogue with Pakistan on “the other issues” between the two countries when cross-border terrorism stopped or when India eradicated it.

Lashing out at President Pervez Musharraf for his utterances against India in his UN address yesterday, the Prime Minister said the Pakistani leader had for the first time publicly admitted that his country was sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

After claiming for a long time that there was an indigenous struggle going on in Kashmir, Gen Musharraf had now offered to encourage a general cessation of violence within Kashmir, in return for “reciprocal obligations and restraints”, Mr Vajpayee noted.

Mr Vajpayee said he would like to point out to Gen Musharraf that he should not confuse the legitimate aspiration for equality of nations with outmoded concepts of military parity.

Strongly pitching for India’s inclusion in the UN Security Council, the Prime Minister said the Iraq crisis had reinforced the need for its enlargement and restructuring with the inclusion of more developing countries as permanent and non-permanent members. — UNI


PM to attend SAARC summit in Islamabad

New York, September 25
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will go to Pakistan to attend the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in the first week of January.

When SAARC Foreign Secretaries met in Kathmandu, they discussed and agreed on the dates, knowing that Prime Minister Vajpayee would be travelling to Islamabad for the summit, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha told reporters here.

He said, “I have already gone on record to say that it is a SAARC Summit and we need not attach bilateral meaning to it.” — PTI

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