January 2002 News

If LoC border, PoK will seem Pak''s : Advani

22 January 2002
The Asian Age

New Delhi: Union home minister Lal Krishna Advani on Tuesday stated that recognising LoC as the international border will emphasise that PoK is a part of Pakistan while the Valley is a disputed territory, with Jammu and Laddakh being a part of India. Replying to a query posed to him at the India Today Conclave, Mr Advani said that India has failed to convey effectively to the world that Kashmir is legitimately and constitutionally a part of India and its accession to India was democratically ratified. “We have allowed the world to think that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir belongs to Pakistan, Jammu and Laddakh regions are a part of India and the Kashmir Valley is a disputed territory.” He said that by accepting LoC as the international border, India will be emphasising this point. Mr Advani also pointed out that the point of recognising LoC as the international border has never been voiced by Pakistan. The home minister said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir changed because of an aggressive act of the Pakistani Army in 1947. Referring to what Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said in his speech on January 12 with regard to terrorism originating from Pakistan and aimed at Jammu and Kashmir, he said that it “seems tactical.” Mr Advani said, “It does not indicate any strategic shift of approach. We have, therefore, made it clear that we shall judge Pakistan’s sincerity and commitment to fight terrorism only after we have seen its corresponding action on the ground.” He said that India’s cynicism and scepticism about Pakistan runs so deep that nice words are no longer enough. Listing a five-point action programme which Pakistan must implement, he said, “It must stop training terrorists, arming terrorists, financing terrorists, providing asylum to them and facilitating their infiltration into India. Should that happen, India will not be found wanting in engaging Pakistan in very meaningful dialogue on all bilateral issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.” The home minister expressed hope and desire to see the coming together of India and Pakistan in some type of confederal framework in years to come. “This is not an impossible dream. After all, we have seen how the two Germanys reunited by pulling down the Berlin Wall. Those who lived through World War II, could not have imagined that Europe would unite. Yet it is a reality today.” He said government is opposed to Kashmir going to the pre-1953 status but is ready to give more powers to the state otherwise. He went on to state that “India, Pakistan and Bangladesh share so much in common with each other. We can continue to remain separate and sovereign nations and yet voluntarily opt for expanding the areas of cooperation.” On the issue of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, He said that the government is opposed to Kashmir going to the pre-1953 status but is ready to give more powers to the state otherwise.


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