February 2002 News

Pak a haven for terrorists: PM

15 February 2002
The Daily Excelsior

LUCKNOW: In a fresh offensive, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said Pakistan continues to be a haven for terrorists where most of the fleeing Taliban fighters are hiding and demanded that Islamabad hand over the 20 terrorists and criminals sought by India. Addressing an election meeting here in his Lok Sabha constituency, he said India has been a victim of cross-border terorism for 20 years and the Government was committed to eliminate the menace. Vajpayee demanded handing over of the 20 terrorists from Pakistan saying they had committed heinous crimes in India. ''Pakistanís dream to grab Kashmir with the help of terrorists will not be allowed to succeed. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and it is being developed as part of the country'', he said. He said the United States could realise the gravity of the problem of terrorism only after it experienced its horrors on September 11 last. Expressing concern at the rising crime graph in the country, the Prime Minister said extortion and kidnapping ''have become a business'' but the Government was ''alive to the problem''. Voicing concern over anti-national activitiesí in the country, he said internal security was a pre- condition for development. ''The country is passing through a critical phase. The Government is fighting terrorism and and the jawans are in a state of alert on the borders,'' Vajpayee said.


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