Terrorism will never succeed in J&K: Vajpayee
14 April 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said the terrorism will never succeed in Jammu and Kashmir and declared that peace process with Pakistan will be maintained. He assured that the Parliamentary elections will be peaceful, free and fair like 2002 Assembly elections. 'Terrorists can kill people. They can terrorise the people. They can spill blood. But, they will never succeed (in their designs)', Mr Vajpayee said addressing an impressive election rally in the sprawling lawns of Mini Stadium at historic Parade Ground here late this afternoon. 'Killings, violence and looting can hamper development (of the State) for sometime but it can’t succeed forever', he declared. 'Some people in the State don’t want peace, They believe in violence, not democracy. They take help from outside', the Prime Minister averred and remarked 'Woh Bahar Ke Bhrose Kamyaab Naheen Honge (they won’t succeed with the help of outsiders)'. Mr Vajpayee devoted most part of his 40 minutes speech on the efforts being made by the Centre to maintain peace with Pakistan and restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir. In view of the elections, he also touched a number of local issues including controversial Women’s Bill, equal development of all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir, inclusion of Dogri in Eighth schedule of the Constitution, running train to the Kashmir valley and the problems of both Kashmiri Pandits and border migrants. Hundreds of people, who were waiting to listen to the Prime Minister for more than three hours in the scorching heat, turned impatient as Mr Vajpayee’s black colored car DLCM 7434 reached the dais at 5.23 pm. For next five minutes, only slogans eulogising Mr Vajpayee and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rented the air. However, as the Prime Minister started speaking at 5.35 pm, there was a pin drop silence among the huge crowd. During next 40 minutes of his address, the silence was broken only once when a BJP worker shouted 'Desh Ka Neta Kaisa Ho, Atal Bihari Jaisa Ho'. But, the sloganeering was not liked by Mr Vajpayee, who told the party worker not to raise such slogans. 'I will tell you at an appropriate time to raise the slogans', he said snubbing the unidentified worker. Saying that he was happy to see the peace between India and Pakistan, the Prime Minister quipped 'Aaj Topon Ke Gole Naheen Chal Rahe Hain, Cricket Ki Gaindon Kaa Milaap Ho Raha Hai (today the two countries are not exchanging bullets. They are playing cricket)', he said referring to the ongoing Indo-Pak cricket series. 'Hum Chahte Hain Shanti Sathayi Ho. Parosi Mulak Hain Milke Rehna Chahiye. Vikaas Ke Liye Shanti Abashyak Hai (we want permanent peace. We are neighbouring countries and should live in peace. Also, peace is imperative for development)', Mr Vajpayee said. Recalling that Kargil was about to happen when he had gone to Lahore for the first time with a message of peace, the Prime Minister said, today, a new chapter has begun. 'We had always stressed that the neighbours should solve their disputes through talks. I’m happy that neighbouring Pakistan has also admitted this fact and now both the countries are moving ahead towards improving their relations', he added. Asserting that India always supported peace, the Prime Minister, at the same time, cautioned that 'if required we also know how to counter the attacks'. 'Talks are on. We hope the talks will succeed and both the countries will co-operate with each other. We are sincere on talks. Entire world also wants the talks to succeed. Ours policy is also the same', Mr Vajpayee noted. He pointed out that Pakistan’s declaration before the world that it wouldn’t allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities was a very important announcement. Without naming any organisation, he said some people don’t understand its importance. And, if they understand, they don’t want to digest it. 'Had Pakistan relented at Agra (during President General Pervez Musharraf’s visit), the peace would have been restored earlier', he said. In another significant announcement, the Prime Minister declared that the Lok Sabha elections will also be free, fair and peaceful and there will be no coercion of the voters in Jammu and Kashmir. 'We have proved this in the last Assembly election', he observed. 'Before the Assembly elections, I was told you can’t hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir. And, if you can hold the elections, they wouldn’t be free and fair', Mr Vajpayee recalled. He added that there was no complaint against the elections during 1977 but thereafter the complaints started pouring in. 'I said in our rule, the democracy will be upheld. Loktantar (democracy) can not only change the Government or members of Parliament but the ‘Vyavastha’ also', he recalled and said 'Koi Garbarh Naheen Hona Chahiye (there should be no hanky panky)'. Cautioning that some organisations, who have no faith in the democracy, will try to disturb the elections, Mr Vajpayee said the Government had asked them to contest the elections but they say they have no faith in these elections. 'From where, we can manage a new set of elections for them. The country’s political process is fixed'? he asked. Taking a dig at the Congress, the Prime Minister charged the party with pulling down non-Congress Governments one after the other. However, he hoped that the Congress support to (PDP led) coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir would last long. 'In J&K, there is a new experiment of running a coalition Government with Congress support. I hope the Congress support to the Government here will last long', Mr Vajpayee said and hoped that Government should work for balanced development of all three regions—Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. 'The three regions have a slightly different identity, which should be maintained. I hope all three regions will have good relations and progress jointly', he said in an obvious reference to oft-repeated allegations by the BJP of discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh regions. In another important statement, the Prime Minister stressed for maintaining unity among all three regions of the State. 'I see a bright future for Jammu and Kashmir. I hope unity of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will be protected', he said virtually rejecting the demand for trifurcation of the State being raised by some organisations including Jammu State Morcha, an important ally of State unit of the BJP. The Prime Minister, however, criticised the State, albeit without naming any political party, for passing controversial Permanent Residents Disqualification Bill, commonly known as the Women’s Bill. Asserting that there should be no 'communal considerations' by bringing such a Bill, he observed that the women have their independent status in the country and there should be no infringement of their rights. 'Why they passed the Bill if they had to oppose it'? Mr Vajpayee asked without naming the Congress, which now has been opposing the Bill after unanimously passing it in the Legislative Assembly. He said all parties should sit together and work out a solution to the Bill. Pointing out that this was his fourth visit to Jammu and Kashmir during last few months, the Prime Minister said the Central Government has done a lot for Jammu and Kashmir during last five-six years. 'Dogri has been included in Eighth schedule of the Constitution. The train will also run to the Kashmir valley from August 15, 2007', he said and also referred to the package worth about Rs 20,000 crores given to the State in different forms for development and employment. The Prime Minister also voiced concern over the militant attack at a PDP election rally in Uri saying these are not the ways to solve the problems. Seeking votes for BJP candidates Prof Chaman Lal Gupta and Dr Nirmal Singh, contesting the elections from Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch constituencies, Mr Vajpayee quipped 'if you want, they will win and I’m confident you will like them to win as we have done a lot for you'. Terming as ‘unfortunate’ the fact that India is still being rated as a ‘developing’ country, the Prime Minister declared that India is on its way to emerge as a ‘Mahaan Shakti’ ( a super power). 'We have full food stores, good foreign exchange and a complete check on the price rise. New policies are in offing to uplift poor, remove poverty and backwardness, give justice to all and generate job opportunities', he said declaring it was aim of the Government to give a good life to the people for which, he added, 'we need people’s support'. The Prime Minister asserted that the Congress has not been able to play the role of even an effective opposition. 'We did opposition for 40 years but we never tried to destabilise the country for benefit of the party. We fulfilled our role of an opposition', he said, adding the Congress has enjoyed the power and now it should rest. Charging the Congress with making attempts to destabilise the NDA Government during all these five-six years, Mr Vajpayee expressed happiness over the fact that the NDA succeeded in running the Government for a full period. 'Even, we would have remained in the office for few more months. But, we decided to go for an early election', he said. Mr Vajpayee said the Government was seized of the problems of Kashmir and border migrants and the ‘sharnarthis’. 'They shouldn’t lose courage. We will remove their sufferings', he said. Earlier, addressing the rally, Minister of State for Defence and party candidate for Udhampur-Doda seat, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta said that forthcoming Lok Sabha elections will provide an opportunity to the masses to strengthen hands of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 'NDA Government led by Vajpayee has taken many revolutionary steps to mitigate miseries of the people of Jammu region', he said and listed various projects sanctioned by the Centre exclusively for Jammu region. Prof Gupta, who represents Udhampur-Doda constituency, asserted that before formation of BJP led Government at Centre, situation was worst in Doda district. 'Lives of people were not safe', he reminded and recalled various grue-some massacres executed by the terrorists. He, however, said that after formation of Vajpayee Government situation by and large was controlled by the security forces. Minister of State for Defence shifted all blames on previous Congress regimes for militancy and terrorism in the State. 'Governments headed by Congress and other parties never tried to contain terrorism', he regretted, adding, 'it was only BJP led regime which can protect integration of the country'. State BJP chief and party candidate for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, Dr Nirmal Singh who spoke in Dogri, lambasted the State Government for its anti-people policies. While welcoming the Prime Minister, Dr Singh, on behalf of the people of Jammu, expressed his gratitude towards Centre Government for including Dogri in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution, allotting grants for upgradation of GMC Jammu on the pattern on All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), adequate relief for border migrants and funds for water supply schemes for Kandi areas. Dr Singh also expressed his gratitude for protecting fundamental rights of the women folk of the State by opposing controversial Women’s Bill. Former BJP chief Daya Krishan Kotwal, in his address, lavished all praise on BJP led NDA Government for improving law and order situation in the State in general and Doda district in particular. He exhorted the people to ensure victory of BJP candidates in the State to strengthen hands of Prime Minister Vajpayee. Lone BJP MLA, Jugal Kishore Sharma, who was comparing the proceedings with typical Dogri language, flayed State Government for flooding Jammu region with liquor by opening large number of wine shops in the region. 'Only achievement of this regime is that it has given employment to almost all ruling party MLAs by forming jumbo Ministry', he said and called upon the people to teach a lesson to coalition partners in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. BJP candidate from Srinagar-Budgam constituency and grand son of late G M Sadiq, Dr Ifthikar Sadiq, while speaking in the rally, said that their family has decided to join BJP due to the policies and programmes of party. He said that people of Kashmir valley were impressed by the bold decisions taken by the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for bringing peace in the sub-continent.