Advani does tough talking on Hurriyat's Pak visit
17 January 2001
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: HOME MINISTER L K Advani has said that only those 'eligible' in the Hurriyat Conference delegation would get passports and told them bluntly that if they want to put that as precondition to visit Pakistan, 'let them not go'. 'Those who ought to get passports would get it and if it is their precondition that they would go to Pakistan only if all of them are issued passports, then let them not go. That is their decision,' he said in an interview to Hindi weekly Panchajanya, the RSS mouthpiece. Stating that the Government was adopting a firm attitude in various matters relating to the troubled state, he dismissed suggestions that the Government's preparedness for talks with the people of Jammu and Kashmir including militants was a sign of weakness. He also made it clear that the Government was firmly against holding tripartite talks on Kashmir despite militants breaking off the earlier parleys on this issue. 'There is no question of tripartite talks and that is the end of the matter.' In the interview, Advani also emphasised the need to accept the concept of 'federal crime' to help the centre effectively tackle anti-national activities including those of the ISI. He said that though the states had not not accepted the idea at a conference of the chief ministers, the Centre would again make efforts in this direction. Advani said what was being witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir was a proxy war. He said it was easier to win a war than fight a proxy war which takes longer and costs dearly as is happening at present. 'But, we are determined to control terrorism which they also call jihad and end it,' he said. Referring to the situation in Kashmir, he said unless and until Kashmiri Hindus return to the Valley and live peacefully, the Government will not consider the situation to be normal in the State. The Home Minister said during the last two years a large number of ISI agents have been nabbed or killed. This had not happened in such a scale before. The Intelligence Bureau had done good work in this regard, he said. However, the menace can be tackled by creating a public awareness of the dangers posed to the nation's security through these anti-national elements, he said. Advani said vote bank politics had caused immense harm to the nation. He said till three years back, even the mention of ISI was not considered proper, but the situation had now changed.