Govt to talk to terrorists if they shun violence:Advani
9 October 2002
The Hindustan Times
Shimla: Deputy Prime Minster LK Advani on Wednesday said the Centre was ready to negotiate with terrorists if they abandoned the path of violence to resolve the Kashmir issue. It is the declared policy of the government to hold talks with terrorists organisations, including the banned outfits, if they shun violence and come to the negotiation table, he told reporters after dedicating the Japyee University of Information Technology to the nation. The Centre would start talks with elected representatives of the people and the opposition to resolve the vexed issue, Advani said. Pakistan's designs to target democracy in Jammu and Kashmir through cross-border terrorism were defeated by the people of the state who participated in the assembly elections braving terrorist's threat, Advani said. Pakistan had been sponsoring cross-border terrorism to create terror by killing innocent people, but this time its target was democracy. The free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir is a 'victory for India and triumph of democracy'. The world community has accepted that the elections were free and fair inspite of terrorist threats and it was a victory for democracy, the Deputy Prime Minister said. The elections are over in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan is going to polls with two of its former Prime Ministers' debarred from contesting, he said, adding the flourishing democracy in India and dictatorship in Pakistan presented a picture of contrast.