Pak target not J&K alone but entire India: Advani
7 January 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Charging Pakistan with making deliberate attempts to destabilise India, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr LK Advani, has asserted that Pakistan will not succeed. Every effort, he also asserted, would be made to abort Pakistanís attempts to destabilise India. Talking to media persons after inaugurating a day-long conference of State Chief Secretaries and Directors-General of Police here on Tuesday, Mr Advani said that Islamabadís main intention was not to get Jammu and Kashmir but to destabilise India. Reiterating that Pakistan launched the proxy war after having been defeated in direct wars with India, the Deputy Prime Minister said that Islamabad will not be able to destabilise India. Mr Advani insisted that every effort should be made to defeat and eliminate terrorists. He also emphasized that focus should also be on those people who operated within the country and made it vulnerable to terrorist designs. Pakistan, Mr Advani said, had not liked Indiaís secularism and democracy. 'Secularism and democracy have taken roots in India. This has become eyesore for our western neighbour (Pakistan), which feels that it cannot live together and alongside with such a system', he added. As he recalled that India had formed joint working groups with several countries so far to combat terrorism, Mr Advani argued: 'No country, big and powerful it may be, can feel safe from terrorist activities'. To substantiate his argument he made a pointed reference to the September 11 terror attacks on the United States and said that the event had proved this. The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the need for close cooperation among all countries against terrorism and said: 'All countries should join hands to fight the menace'. Mr Advani said that maintenance of internal security was a 'vital' factor for the countryís speedy progress. He regretted that required attention had not been paid to education and health which were 'crucial' for any country to exploit all its potential. He maintained: 'Our dictators, engineers and workers, wherever they are, should feel that they are answerable to the system and that they have a national responsibility. Only then can we progress'. As he emphasized that police and paramilitary forces 'must be committed' to their jobs, the Deputy Prime Minister, who also holds Home portfolio, referred to Punjab and said that terrorism in the State was stamped out because of the commitment of the police force and peopleís cooperation. He, nonetheless, admitted that there could be exception to that rule. It was a major move by the Deputy Prime Minister as he declared crackdown on 15 million Bangladeshis and 11,500 Pakistanis illegally staying in India. He, in fact, asked State Governments and Union Territories to lauch 'special' drives to detect and deport them, as they, he said, posed a 'serious' threat to national security. According to Mr Advani, nearly 11,500 Pakistanis have entered India with regular papers ansd passports but have overstayed. He said: 'There is no reason why our States be soft on them'. He demanded 'immediate' steps to identify them, to locate them and to throw them out. The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated that all States should launch 'special' campaigns to detect and deport Pakistanis and Bangladeshis illegally staying in India. He voiced concern over what he called 'serious' problem of illegal immigration from Bangladesh and said that all State Governments should also firmly tackle this problem. He also wanted the police authorities to present figures of how many illegally overstaying Pakistanis were traced during 2002. The Centre, Mr Advani disclosed, was seriously considering preparing a national register of Indian citizens and issuing to them multi- purpose national identity cards. These, he pointed out, would provide a credible individual identification system and also act as a deterrent for future illegal immigration. A visual presentation on how Pakistanís ISI was using Bangladeshi soil for anti-India activities as also operations of insurgent groups from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan was made at the conference.