May 2003 News

Pak Should Convince Infiltration Has Ended: India

10 May 2003
The Asian Age

New Delhi: India has firmly told the US that Pakistan had to convince the world that it had stopped cross-border terrorism for an Indo-Pak dialogue to begin, highly placed sources said on Sunday, a day after US Secretary of State Richard Armitage concluded his talks with the Indian leadership. Refusing to accept Washington's argument that it did not have any clout with Islamabad, Indian leadership, including Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, reportedly told Armitage that 'there is no way Pakistan would not accept US diktats as it had done in the case of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan'. The clout was also evident in the handing over of 500 al-Qaeda men to the US, they said. 'Pakistan cannot disregard what you say, as they are so dependent on you', Advani is believed to have told Armitage, who met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other Indian leaders on Saturday after coming here from Islamabad, where he talked with the Pakistani leadership. It was pointed out to Armitage that Pakistan had not taken any action on India's list of 20 terrorists and criminals so far, sources said. While Islamabad said some of the these 20 wanted men were Pakistani nationals, the rest of them should be handed over to India immediately, they said, adding these 20 people were fugitives who had committed crimes in India and worldwide alert notices had been issued by the Interpol against them. Taking exception to recent statements by some US officials that the Kashmir issue should be resolved first to end cross-border terrorism, the Indian leaders pointed out to Armitage that US President George W Bush had categorically stated after 9-11 that terrorism was an evil and there was no question of any political issue justifying it. Stating that India had wrested from the US the initiative to create world opinion against terrorism, Advani told the US official that New Delhi wanted Islamabad to make tangible moves first to establish peace and create conducive atmosphere for the talks to begin. This is the third time peace effort was being initiated by India and the message had gone across to the international community that New Delhi was in no hurry this time. 'It is a reaffirmation of our efforts and intentions towards peace and friendship,' the sources said.

 

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