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Statement By the Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani on
Situation in Jammu & Kashmir on August 9, 2000 in Parliament

Following the August 1-2, 2000 massacres in Jammu and Kashmir and the withdrawal of the cease-fire declared by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the Union Home Minister L K Advani made a statement in the Parliament on the situation in Kashmir. We reproduce the full text of the statement.

On July 24, 2000, the Hizbul Mujahideen announced a unilateral ceasefire and publicly expressed a willingness to initiate talks with the Government of India. The Government of India responded positively to the offer. The people of Jammu & Kashmir enthusiastically welcomed the development.

Yesterday`s announcement by Hizbul Mujahideen that the ceasefire has been withdrawn has naturally come as a deep disappointment to all those who were looking forward to a return of peace to J&K state.

The nature, location, context and content of the announcement by Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin can leave no doubt in anybody`s mind that it is Pakistan which has sabotaged the prospects of peace in the State.

The offer of ceasefire was made by Majid Dar, a leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, in Srinagar. It was withdrawn by Salahuddin in Islamabad.

It is clear that the voice that made the announcement may have been Salahuddin`s, but the words came from the ruling establishment in Islamabad which is the arch patron for numerous militants groups engaged in State sponsored cross border terrorism in J&K and other parts of India.

The Hizbul Mujahideen leader has said that his organisation withdrew from the proposed talks because of India`s unwillingness to invite Pakistan as the third participant in the talks. This has precisely been the demand of Pakistan`s military establishment, which it has expressed on several occasions in the past but most shrilly after Hizbul Mujahideen announced its ceasefire and its readiness to have talks with the Government of India.

Indeed all statements from Islamabad since July 24 made it obvious that the ceasefire did not fit in with Pakistan`s design of continuously promoting terrorism in J&K.

Pakistan`s determination to sabotage the talks became known with deadly clarity when extremists trained and armed on its soil created a mayhem of massacres in J&K on August 1 & 2 leaving over 100 innocent persons dead.

It is not difficult to know why Pakistan struck terror on such an unprecedented scale and soon thereafter sabotaged our initiative for talks with some representatives of our own people. The rules of Pakistan are terrorized by the prospect of peace in J&K. They were similarly terrorized by the prospect of friendship with India following Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee`s historic peace initiative in Lahore.

Kargil War was the result of their fear of peace in 1999. The brutal killing of the Amarnath Yatris and other innocent people is the result of their fear of peace in 2000.

Just as India could not be frightened by the War inflicted by Pakistan in Kargil, we shall not be frightened by the intensification of proxy war by Islamabad now. Pakistan had to face a humiliating and self-damaging defeat in the Kargil war. Similar will be its fate in its proxy war against India.

India`s sincere desire for restoration of peace and normalcy in J&K and a comprehensive and lasting solution to the issue of Kashmir are now clearly established.

Not only the people of Kashmir but also people all over the world now clearly know who is for peace and who is for hostilities; whose is the voice of sanity and humanity and whose is a vice of subterfuge and sabotage.

The Hon`ble Members of this House must also have noticed the negative role played by the Hurriyat leadership in this entire episode. From the beginning, their response to the Hizbul initiative was not just cold, they even labeled it as a `hasty`move. Perhaps they forgot that Jammu & Kashmir has been in a bloodied turmoil for the last more than a decade. Under the circumstances how could this peace initiative be called `hasty`? It seems that the Hurriyat leadership was acting under pressure from Pakistan. They certainly did not act in the interest of Jammu & Kashmir and thus compromised the well being of the people of the State.

In the days and months to come India will not deviate from its chosen course of talks with all those in Kashmir who eschew the path of terror and violence and our simultaneous battle against all those who continue to stick to that path. We shall persist with our policy of firmness and flexibility.

Our security forces are ready to face the challenge and threat of renewed militancy in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. In fact, it is the militant outfits which should worry because they have the Indian security forces and the never-say-die spirit of the Indian soldier to face. More importantly they have the strength of Indian democracy to contend with.

India has all along maintained that the question of a dialogue with Pakistan is a separate issue. Prime Minister, Shri Vajpayee has made it clear that India is willing to talk with Pakistan on all matters of bilateral concern when Islamabad demonstrates its resolve to end cross border terrorism.





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