December 2002 News

No talks with proxies of Pakistan: Advani

30 December 2002
The Asian Age

Jodhpur: The Centre is not prepared to hold talks with those in Jammu and Kashmir who only ''reflected Pakistanís voice,'' deputy prime minister L.K. Advani said on Monday. ''We are ready to talk to elected representatives and to others as well but not with those who only reflect Pakistanís voice and consider that country to be their master,'' he told reporters on board a special aircraft on his way here. Without referring to the Hurriyat Conference, he said the approach of some Kashmiri leaders that they want to go to Pakistan ''does not make any sense.'' ''We do not want to talk to Pakistan or their proxies. If we have to talk to Pakistan, we will not require any intermediary,'' he said. Making it clear that there was no variation in Indiaís stand, Mr Advani said, ''We will not talk to Pakistan till they dismantle their terrorist infrastructure and stop cross-border terrorism.'' ''When we say the epicentre of terrorism has shifted to Pakistan, it is not a mere rhetoric. There is substantial evidence,'' Mr Advani said. ''Western powers also understand our position but they have their own political considerations and assessments. They have a right to have this but we think they are mistaken,'' he said, adding that this did not mean that they were against India. If the United States wanted to overcome terrorism, it must realise that the focus should be on Pakistan and not on Jammu and Kashmir and that the military-fundamentalist character of states like Pakistan must change, he said. Describing Pakistan as an inimical state, Mr Advani said Islamabad wants to be on the right side of the US but, at the same time, continues to pursue anti-India policy. ''They have no intention to reduce the level of its anti-India propaganda.''

 

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