Hold Pak accountable for terrorism: PM to world
30 September 2002
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Asking the world to hold Pakistan accountable for sponsoring terrorism, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said India would intensify diplomatic initiatives to press the international coalition to combat the menace everywhere. ''Which means, that Pakistan must be held accountable for its continued sponsorship of terrorism in India,'' he said addressing the annual conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police and intelligence officers here. While security forces would have to continue their ''good work'' on the ground, ''we will intensify our diplomatic initiatives to remind the leading nations of the international coalition against terrorism that they must redeem their pledge to combat and defeat terrorism everywhere, irrespective of the cause it espouses,'' he said. Declaring that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir ''is at a turning point'', the Prime Minister said he was confident that the State would leave the ''nightmare of militancy behind and return to peace, normalcy and development''. ''Cross border terrorism fueled by religious extremists -draws its ideological sustenance, organisational patronage and operational support from outside our borders,'' the Prime Minister said. To overcome this challenge, Vajpayee said ''we have to fight our battle at various levels with multiple means -diplomatically, politically, ideologically and, of course, on the ground with intelligence and firepower''. Maintaining that India had made steady advances on all these fronts in the past years, he said this has made ''our adversary grow desperate. And desperation is leading it to become more and more dastardly in its losing war of terrorism against India.'' He said terrorist attack on Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building, the carnage of innocent men, women and children in Kaluchak and Kasim Nagar and most recently the bloody sacrilege at Akshardham Temple ''all these are signs of our enemy’s desperation.'' Stating that the police and security agencies had made ''signal contribution'' in anti-terrorist operations, he said ''a good part of this desperation owes to the growing success gained by our security forces in turning the heat on terrorist outfits and infiltration from across the border''. On the insurgency situation in the northeast, Vajpayee said while peace efforts with NSCN(I-M) had ''made headway'', similar efforts were also on with Bodos and negotiations with a militant outfit from Karbi Anglong district of Assam had been initiated. ''On a parallel track, we are trying to speed up all-round economic and infrastructural development in the Northeast.'' Referring to left-wing extremism which was ''spreading tentacles in many parts of Central and Eastern States'', Vajpayee asked the police and security agencies of the affected states to ''pool their intelligence and experience and undertake coordinated operations on a sustained basis''. Asking the police and security personnel to remain ''apolitical, neutral and free of sectarian, regional or any other kind of bias'', the Prime Minister asked the police leadership to ''spare no pains'' in inculcating a sense of duty for protecting communal harmony among the personnel. Intelligence Bureau Director K P Singh, chairing the conference, sought Government help to overcome ''chronic shortage'' of staff, equipment and funds saying ''the long arm of law should be made the strong arm also''. The IB chief said the SAARC proposal to set up a police mechanism to share information on terrorism, drug trafficking, counterfeit currency and other issues, besides police training, be given effect to. Asking the police personnel to ensure communal amity and social harmony at all costs, Singh said the ''recent holocaust'' in Gujarat stressed that there was no room for complacency in this regard. ''We have to strictly maintain professional objectivity and function without bias towards any community,'' the IB chief said, adding that ''objectivity of approach devoid of bias towards any community'' should be ensured. He also listed the achievements of the security and police forces in fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. The Prime Minister also presented President''s Police Medal for distinguished service to IB Joint Director R Bagchi.