August 2002 News

Sinha rules out demobilisation of troops from LoC

16 August 2002
The Daily Excelsior

HAZARIBAGH: Lambasting Pakistan’s continued support to foreign mercenaries to perpetrate violence and create disturbances during the ensuing Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha today ruled out demobilisation of troops from the border in immediate future. ''There will be no demobilisation of Indian troops from the border in immediate future.... We are prepared to deal with them (Pakistan) firmly and protect our sovereignty'', Sinha told reporters here. He said the August 14 speech of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was an indication that Islamabad wanted to continue its support to the foreign mercenaries to perpetrate terrorism and create disturbances during the forthcoming Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections. President Musharraf made his independence day speech out of frustration and ''we are not worried about the utterances of the military dictator at all.... We are ready to meet any eventuality,'' Sinha said. He said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his independence day speech yesterday had made it clear that Pakistan was encouraging infiltration of foreign mercenaries into India since it cannot defeat India in a war. The External Affairs Minister said Islamabad has lost its passion and in desparation have started creating terror in the Valley by targetting political leaders so that polls in Kashmir could not be conducted peacefully. Sinha said ''we are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that elections in Jammu and Kashmir are conducted peacefully and smoothly so that voters come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.'' He said Pakistan had tried to mislead world leaders when it said it had stopped infiltration of militants into India. ''Pakistan President made the promise of checking cross-border terrorism and infiltration to US Secretary of State Colin Powell only to deny it weeks later.... There was a slight decline in infiltration after Musharraf’s assertion but it again went up as usual,'' Sinha said. How could there be normalcy in Indo-Pak ties when incidents like massacre of innocent people in Qasimnagar and attack on Amarnath pilgrims continue to occur, he asked. Sinha said creating instability in India was at the core of Pakistan’s foreign policy but having good relations with our neighbours is the basic thrust of New Delhi’s foreign policy. ''Unfortunately Pakistan is not reciprocrating to our gestures.''


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