Invitation to Musharraf, part of strategic perspective: Advani
8 June 2001
Chennai: Firmly ruling out holding of elections in Kashmir under international supervision as sought by the Hurriyat Conference, Home Minister L K Advani on Friday said that the invitation to Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf for talks was an integral part of the Centre's strategic perspective to establish durable peace in South Asia. "We sincerely hope that Pakistan reciprocates this perspective", he said while addressing the 165th annual general meeting of the Madras Chamber of Commerce here. "The invitation extended by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapyee was a motion forward and something positive is certain to emerge out of the discussion with Mr Musharraf though it may not be end of the tunnel," he said. Earlier, asked by reporters about Hurriyat's willingness to contest polls under international supervision, the Home Minister said "there is no question of holding elections in Kashmir under international surveillance.....The way polls had been conducted has been admired the world over." In his address to the Chamber, Mr Advani referred to the proxy war the country was facing from its neighbour over a decade and said it was "worse than an actual war". Asserting that the Government would defeat the proxy war, Mr Advani said that it was with this sole intention that the Centre decided against extending the unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir and at the same time decided to invite the Pakistani ruler. The Government is following a "bold policy" aimed at ensuring peace at borders and a strong internal security environment simultaneously, he said. Mr Advani said that the recommendations of the task force appointed to review the country's border management system would be implemented soon. Later, answering a question from the audience, he said that the Union Cabinet was yet to take a decision on appointing the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as recommended by the group of ministers on security. "The Prime Minister will discuss the issue in the Cabinet and with the opposition leaders to arrive at a consensus on the matter," he said.