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July 13-Kasim Nagar (Jammu) massacre, Adjournment motion in the
Lok Sabha, July 16, 2002

In the massacre in Kasim Nagar (referred to also as Kasim Pura) on July 13, 2002, executed by suspected terroritsts of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), 28 persons were killed. The victims were primarily labourers and were offering prayers at the time of the attacck. Some three to five terrorists were involved in the incident that was perpetrated nine days ahead of the commencement of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage (a famous Hindu pilgrimage). According to a media report, this was the first terrorist incident of its kind on the peripheries of Jammu city.

Presented below is a synopsis of the debate on the adjournment motion tabled in the Lok Sabha, Lower House of India's Parliament, on July 16, 2002.

(Proceedings other than Questions & Answers)
Tuesday 16, 2002 / Asadha 25, 1924 (Saka)


Re : Massacre in Kasimpura, Jammu on 13th July, 2002 and the failure of the Union Government to combat cross-border terrorism

MR. SPEAKER: After I took over as the Speaker, I have had an occasion to interact, during the inter-Session period, with a good number of political leaders, parliamentarians, media persons and many other dignitaries in public life about the functioning of Parliament. The impression I gathered was that efforts are required to be made to ensure the smooth and orderly conduct of the business of our supreme legislative institution. I also met some of you and discussed this matter. I must say, I had a very encouraging response in this regard. I think I should share my thoughts with all of you before we commence our formal business today.

As you are aware, we are presently celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Indian Parliament. It is only appropriate that we re-dedicate ourselves to strengthen our parliamentary edifice. An important component of our endeavours in this direction should be to collectively ensure that the proceedings of the House are held in a smooth and orderly manner as per the rules and procedures we ourselves have framed in this regard.

During this year’s Budget Session, out of 287 hours and 54 minutes of sitting time, 66 hours and 35 minutes of precious time was lost due to disturbances leading to adjournment of the House. This comes to losing out an alarming 23.12 per cent of the total time of the House.

As you would agree, frequent and forced adjournments, besides leading to wastage of the precious time of the House tend to lower the dignity of Parliament in the eyes of the public.

All of us have been concerned about the gravity of the situation. We have discussed these issues during the Special Session of Lok Sabha convened to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Independence in August, 1997 and in the All India Conference of Presiding Officers, Chief Ministers, Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs, Leaders and Whips of parties on "Discipline and Decorum in Parliament and Legislatures of States and Union Territories", held in New Delhi on 25 November, 2001.

In December 2001, a new Rule 374A was added to the Rule Book providing for automatic suspension of a Member who comes into the Well of the House and creates disturbance there.

In spite of these laudable initiatives things did not improve much, as is evident from the loss of sitting time due to disorderly scenes and forced adjournments.

I am of the considered view that while rules are there to enforce discipline and decorum, Members should themselves voluntarily exercise self-restraint and ensure smooth and orderly conduct of the business of the House. Equally important, of course, is the need to strictly observe and adhere to the rules which we ourselves have framed. And this includes Rule 374A for automatic suspension of Members who rush to the Well of the House and create grave disorder. You will agree that the Chair is duty bound to carry out the directions of the House as enshrined in the rules. I hope and trust that such unpleasant occasions would not arise and we would indeed be able to conduct our business as per rules. It would also be my earnest endeavour to see that sufficient opportunities are made available to Members for raising important issues in the House. I would also appeal to the Government to address sincerely and urgently the genuine grievances of the Members. These endeavours, to my mind, would be the best tribute which we could pay to the memory of our late Speaker, Shri G.M.C. Balayogi who ceaselessly worked throughout his tenure to facilitate orderly conduct of the business of the House.

The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha lay down certain norms of etiquette and behaviour to be observed by Members whilst the House is sitting. To cite a few, the Rules prohibit Members – from reading any book, newspaper or letter except in connection with the business of the House; passing between the Chair and the Member who is speaking; leaving the House when the Speaker is addressing the House; sitting or standing with their back towards the Chair; approaching the Chair personally in the House and leaving the House immediately after delivering speech. The Rules also require Members to bow to the Chair while entering or leaving the House and also when taking or leaving seat; to always address the Chair and avoid talking or laughing in the lobby loud enough to be heard in the House. These are small and simple but meaningful gestures of courtesy which the Members must observe with regard to one another and the Chair who has the duty to enforce them.

As I had observed in my valedictory remarks on the last day of the previous Session, there has been a declining trend in the number of Starred Questions which are orally answered on the floor of the House. The average of the nine Sessions of the Thirteenth Lok Sabha has just been 2.52 Starred Questions per day, even though, as many as 20 Starred Questions are listed for each sitting. There is an imperative need to gradually raise this average. My earnest effort would be, of course with your cooperation, to raise this average to 5 Starred Questions being answered each day, starting this Session.

I am also keen to facilitate a more purposeful `Zero Hour’ everyday. With this in view, I propose that only matters of emergent national and international importance be raised during the `Zero Hour’. Matters relating to individual constituencies, however important those may be, could be raised by Members under Rule 377 by way of submissions. This, I strongly feel, could go a long way in a more positive and meaningful utilisation of the `Zero Hour’.

As the First Servant of this House – an honour which you have unanimously bestowed on me – it is my duty to ensure that the business of the House is transacted in accordance with the rules. I solicit the cooperation of all sections of the House to maintain the dignity, decorum and prestige of this supreme institution. Needless to say, Leaders, Chief Whips and Whips of Parties have a special role to play in this onerous task. Ultimately, it is left to each one of us, as servants of this great institution, to live up to the expectations of the people who have elected us to represent them. That would be the most befitting tribute to the millions, who make up this nation, in this Golden Jubilee Year of our Parliament.


Re : Massacre in Kasimpura, Jammu on 13th July, 2002 and the failure of the Union Government to combat cross-border terrorism

SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL : Once again the terrorists have struck and 28 precious lives of Indians are lost in Jammu in Kasimpura. This is an opportunity for us to take stock of what has been happening in our country and put our heads together and find the solutions to the problem rather than apportioning the blame, rather than trying to score the debating point. The entire country would condemn it. Let the help be given to the members of the bereaved families. Let there be no delays and let there be no hair-splitting of the law. The help has to be given not only to those people who have suffered in this manner, but to those people also who are living on the border areas. We would request the hon. Deputy Prime Minister to let us know what has been done up to this time to help these people. What are the plans of the Government to help these people?

Our Leader of the Opposition has said on the floor of the House that the parties here, sitting on the Opposition benches, will support the Government to control terrorism in whatever fashion they want to do. No conditions are put there, but they shall have to take wise decisions and they shall have to act. If Pakistan thinks that it would be able to achieve its objectives by perpetrating terrorism in India in this manner, Pakistan is mistaken. If no war can achieve this, the low intensity war or terrorism cannot achieve it, and India will certainly not allow it to be achieved in this fashion. Let this be clear to Pakistan. We expect the Government of India to explain to us as to how the Government of India is going to control this terrorism. What is the policy of the Government of India to control and contain the terrorism. Let the people know what the Government wants to do in this respect. We would like to know from you in clear terms and I hope that the Government will oblige us by giving, by shedding some light on the policies that they want to follow with respect to the terrorist activities that are taking place here, and with respect to the solutions they have found to control and contain that terrorist activity.

Whenever an incident of this nature takes place, what comes out in the media, what are the statements given by the Ministers and the responsible members of the Government: "That Pakistan is responsible. It is happening because of Pakistan." Simply by blaming Pakistan, are you going to solve the problem? What is the point in saying that they are sending the terrorists across the border? Why do you not stop them? Why do you not take action against them? Simply by repeating that Pakistan is responsible, this problem will not be solved.

The Deputy Prime Minister said in the last debate that we would solve it on our own. We would like to know how he wants to solve this problem.

The second thing that the Government does is that it tells the world community that `look, they are misbehaving’. The world knows it. Everybody in the world knows as to what is happening in this part of the world. That kind of an attitude should not be allowed to be taken. Beyond a point it is not necessary for you to repeat to the world powers that you should come to our succour. It is not necessary. What has been the third policy of the Government? The Government tries to solve this problem and reduce the tension through dialogue. We welcome it and we would welcome it in the future also. It is because dialogue would be necessary to reduce the tension, to create an understanding and to solve this problem to some extent. A dialogue is necessary. But let it be done in a skilled manner. We do want to say on the floor of the House with all responsibility and humility at our command that what has been done in this respect is not really very skilful. Our defence forces are standing at the borders. The terrorists will be hiding in the villages; in the forests; in the Districts and the Taluka places where the defence forces will not be easily available. This job has not to be done by the Defence Ministry or the defence forces; it has to be done by the police force, the Home Ministry and the Deputy Prime Minister.

In the country we see that war hysteria was created. If war is started, more people will die. We are not afraid of war. But we do not want to embrace war unnecessarily, in an unwitting manner, without any clear objective. Let us understand this. Sometimes we do think that in order to hide its weakness, in order to cover its inability to control terrorism, the Government has been blaming Pakistan more than it should be, and it has been complaining to the world powers every now and then, and it has been using the forces at its disposal in such a fashion that the onus of responsibility shifts from one place to the other, from right place to the wrong place. That is the kind of feeling we have. The Government owes an explanation to us on this point and we hope that it will explain this to us.

If you really want to control the terrorist activities, you have to strengthen your Police. Let there be a plan to strengthen the Police force. What has been done by the Union Government to strengthen the Police force which is at its disposal? Let us understand it because it is the Police force which will be more effective rather than the Defence forces. The Airforce force man, the Navy man, the sailor, the soldier will not be able to control the terrorism. It is the Police force which will be effectively controlling it.

The armoured vehicles can be made available to the police forces. Why is this kind of a thing not being considered in the Government? They do not have the communication facilities also. But the terrorists come with latest communication facilities. Why are those kinds of communication facilities not being given to them? The greatest weakness of our forces is the absence of adequate intelligence. Without intelligence, the Government cannot take action. The bureaucratic approach should not be there. Terrorism is a low intensity war, let it be dealt with on a war-footing. The attitude of casualness and to not obtain the cooperation from all is not good and the Government are not going to succeed by this attitude. This kind of an attitude should not be adopted by the Government. Our main charge is that this Government lacks policy, lack vision, lack determination to implement a plan. This Government is implementing the existing plans, which are insufficient, in a very bureaucratic manner. They are not going to produce the result in time. Our request is that the Government may please do something and help us.

SHRI PRAKASH MANI TRIPATHI : Such repeated acts are not only being condemned by us here but are being condemned by everybody in this country. The killings in Rajiv Nagar, in the outskirts of Jammu, have to be seen as part of a pattern. It is a known pattern of all the terrorists’ organisations to terrorise a community or an area. The point that has to be understood is that the terrorists will continue to see the soft targets. There is no excuse whatsoever for this kind of a thing happening at all. We have to be capable to stop it altogether. At the same time, we must understand that in every nook and corner, in all the dark allies things like these happen, then we have to take a certain lesson out of it. One thing that I would like to say that our policy cannot be reactive policy. It has to be a proactive policy. Such incidents should send some signals in our minds that now the terrorists are targeting a certain area and a certain section which they were not targeting earlier very much.

It has to be understood that the policy for fighting the terrorism has to be a multi-pronged policy. I cannot see anybody criticising this fact that we are repeating again and again that terrorists are coming from across the border. That has to be continue. That is one of the prongs of the multi-prong policy. The other side is the utilisation of Defence Forces. The third prong would be the utilisation of para-military and Central Police Organisations and the fourth prong will continue to be the civil measures which Shri Patil mentioned very clearly that we must give them adequate and timely relief and take action so that those people who have suffered from this should not be very much put to trouble. As the level of insurgency increases, the reaction of the Government, our Forces and the methodology of our Forces have also got to change.

One of the things that we have to specifically do is to take into account the fact that there would be caches of arms and personnel who dress up as Sadhus or as Indian Army soldiers, who go around without being detected or suspected and then carry out the damage. Therefore, one of the first things that we have to do is to carry out a search operation of all the possible areas where such things may have been kept. This point has to be kept in mind that the level of insurgency and terrorism will increase and in any case, we must always work on the worst case scenario taking into account that it will increase. Our planning and conduct must be based on this premise that the level is going to increase on this. This is one of the suggestions that I have got to make.

The basis of fighting terrorism or insurgency is intelligence, the early warning, early knowledge of their concentration and where the arms are kept. In the Valley, the early knowledge source had dried up when a certain community completely went up. The effort is that people should go away from there so that early knowledge for fighting insurgency should dry up in Jammu also. We have to ensure that, in the Valley, we send back people who belong there and who are able to get information.

This is an undeclared war. Therefore, we have to win this because in a declared war also, we will have a situation of this nature in the rear areas. We have to clean up this area as soon as possible. My view is that we have to have our own policy. There are no excuses for this kind of a thing. They have to be stopped. The infiltration routes and the areas which they used to come are getting sealed in a better manner. We are also very soon going to be driven by technology in this matter to be able to fight cross-border terrorism.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : We strongly condemn the incident that took place on the 13th night at Qasimpura and Rajiv Nagar. We convey our sincerest condolences to the members of the bereaved families and also convey our sincere sympathies to those who have been injured. The incident of this dimension of similar nature in that area after the assurance of the Home Minister during the last session that appropriate decision would be taken and implemented, is the result of the monumental failure of this Government. The safety of the innocent people is not secure in the hands of this Government. I would like to know, is there any Intelligence Forces in that area? When the border are well protected by Defence forces, then how these people are operating within our area. I would like to ask whose obligation is it to control that and to save the innocent people of this country.

The Government cannot honestly ever say that the Opposition has not cooperated with the Government in its fight against terrorism. Last time, we have given fullest support to the Government. But we cannot stand here as mute spectators, as dumb persons and exonerate this Government in whatever they do. I would like to know from the hon. Deputy Prime Minister whether he thinks that Pakistan is behind this attack or not? If Pakistan is behind it, what is the action that the Government proposes to take?

The only priority, the only agenda of the hon. Prime Minister is to improve the image of the BJP. I would like to know the reason for such incidents happening again and again. Where is your POTA now? What is your POTA doing? The only visible application of POTA is against Shri Vaiko. I would like to know from the hon. Deputy Prime Minister who is responsible for this latest incident. I charge this Government of misleading this Parliament and the nation about taking appropriate action for containing terrorism. If Shri Advani's words have any relevance, then, he must explain and apologise to this country.

I am reiterating on behalf of my party and I am sure everybody in this House will join me in expressing our commitment to fight cross-border terrorism, to fight proxy war. The Kashmir Assembly passed the resolution for autonomy but it was summarily rejected. Now the election is drawing near and Shri Advani says, ‘we shall consider the question of autonomy now’.

I would like to know what economic development has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir? You have taken up a policy for economic development for the simple reason you want the people with you, and it is your obligation to do that. We are very near the election in Jammu and Kashmir. It is apprehended that there will be more such attempts to disturb the even tempo of life in Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, it is more necessary for the Government to be extra cautious and they have to see not a single insurgency incident happens.

I condemn the incident in the strongest possible terms as we convey our sincerest condolence and sympathies to the people and their families who have suffered. I hold this Government equally responsible and they must explain their failure. Otherwise, the country will judge. There is no question of allowing the situation to continue in future. The people of India will give their verdict.

SHRI SURESH RAMRAO JADHAV : To my mind, no words are sufficient to condemn the dastardly killing of 27 persons by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. This is not the first incident of its kind which took place in Jammu and Kashmir. Such massacres are going on there for the last few years and loss of property is also taking place. Cross-border terrorism is the reason behind massacre. An example of this was seen on 13th of July. It was aimed at terrorising people of a particular community.

In all the wars fought till date, the number of persons killed was less than the number of persons killed in terrorist activities from across the border. In the militancy, 65 to 70 thousand persons including militants have lost their lives. It is the responsibility of the Government and the country to safeguard the life and property of common man. Even the opposition cannot shy away from this responsibility. This is not the opportune time for criticism. The whole House has to unanimously resolve to fight ongoing terrorism. There is a need to take specific steps to check cross border terrorism.

The Members who spoke before me, mentioned that our forces have got outdated weapons and terrorists have the latest weapons. Therefore, in my opinion there is a need to procure modern weapons. Our communication system is weak. That is why, the information is received late.

There are two kinds of wars- declared war and proxy war. To my mind, proxy war is more dangerous than an open war. In the open war, the enemy and target is known, but in the proxy war it is not known where the terrorists are hiding in J&K for undertaking assault. Therefore, we must pay greater attention towards fighting this proxy war. Pakistan is responsible for cross border terrorism. In J&K, time and again, innocent lives are being lost in terrorist activities and people of a particular community are being made the target so as to provoke their migration. On behalf of my Party and on my own behalf, I express my sincere condolences to the families of the 27 persons who lost their lives in the terrorist attack. It is the duty of the Government, the opposition and the country to provide safety and security to the people against terrorists activities. In future, such sorts of incidents must not be allowed to take place.

SHRI MULAYAM SINGH YADAV: The assurances have been given time and again in the House that the Government would take all steps to fight terrorism and they would succeed to root it out. However, the situation remains unchanged. The purpose behind the killings of innocent people is to create terror in the whole country. This Government looks forward to America to curb terrorism. But we cannot fight terrorism with the help of other country. Our army jawans are posted on borders for last seven months and it has cost the country Rs.8,000 crore for their movement. However, the terrorists are taking away the innocent lives in such heinous crimes. The Government needs to ponder over why it has failed to deal with terrorism. I hold that this is the weakest ever and a worthless Government. I hold this Government responsible for all these incidents. Jammu is on the target of terrorists for the last one and half year. As many as 125 people have been killed there till date. The Kashmiri Brahamins are still putting up in makeshift camps. They are not being taken care of. Our Home Minister had stated out of despair that we should have attacked Pakistan soon after the attack on Parliament on 13th December. However, we could not do so under international pressure. This shows how we are compromising with the interest of the country under international pressure.

Amarnath Yatra is being organized from 19th July. However, half of the pilgrims out of 1,80,000 have dropped in view of the risk involved in it. The Government needs to tell what it has done so far to fight terrorism. It is unfortunate that there is no consensus in the Government on the issue of the security of the country. The Ministers of the Government hold different views on this question. Now the hon. Prime Ministers says that the State may be put under President’s rule on the eve of elections there. Can we hope of peace in the Kashmir with this measure? The State continues to reel under plight. What Kashmir has got after independence? No development has taken place there. The Government formulates schemes for the State and funds are spent but Kashmir continues to be undeveloped. Kashmir had opted to merge with India instead of Pakistan but its plight remains the same. Today this Government takes America, England and other countries of the World into confidence but it does not bother to take the people of Kashmir into confidence. If Government can take the people of Kashmir into confidence, the terrorism would die its death. Now the Government of Kashmir blames Union Government for all wrong doings whereas the Central Government blames the Kashmir Government. However, we think that both the Governments are to blame.

The people of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Sangh Parivar have been demanding to trifurcate Kashmir. They are not different to the people sitting in this Government. The Government has hold over them. They want to keep Laddakh and Jammu and hand over Kashmir to Pakistan. This is what Jinnah also wanted. It seems that this Government is not in position to save Kashmir and they are sending this message to the people and the Army of the country.

We condemn this Kashimpura incident as it is a heinous crime. The Government should take whatever steps required in this regard. Samajwadi Party and all other opposition parties are behind this Government on this issue. Whereas we condemn the perpetrators of this heinous crime, Pakistan and Terrorists, we also condemn this weak and worthless Government for its inaction. However, we look forward to a concrete action and decision by this Government on this issue.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES) intervening, said: The points raised by the hon. Members in this debate are pertinent and justified in the aftermath of incident taking place at Rajiv Nagar. We condemn this incident in the strongest words. Whatever happened in Kaluchak or Doda earlier and in the several parts of Jammu and Kashmir during the last few months have a resemblance in a way. Innocent and unarmed people are being killed. The terrorism is manifesting itself in its bizarre form. Our security forces are fighting terrorism boldly as they did earlier. It is true that our fight against terrorism need to be stepped up further. Our security forces put demand for sophisticated arms and we supplied the same. We are taking all steps to meet their other requirements. Certain arms and weapons have to be imported. Shri Patil ji have held the charge of this Ministry successfully and he knows the complications and procedure. Shri Mulayam Singh ji has also held this portfolio. The terrorism in Kashmir is a kind of war. The ministries of the Government need to work in a coordinated way as each of the Ministries has its contribution. There are certain points relating to defence which need to be clarified. It has been said that the Army posted on the borders for a long time is demoralized and a huge amount is being spent on them. However, it would not be proper to say this when there is question of the security of the country. I want to assure not only this House but also the whole country that the morale of our army is high and one need not be concerned in this regard.

I have told the House as to how terrorism is being run by attacking innocent people. Pakistan is involved in it. If Pakistan wishes the terrorism will end immediately. I agree that talk with Pakistan should continue. But if Pakistan keep on giving training, money and arms to terrorists and infiltrate them into our country, I fail to understand how the talk with Pakistan will fit in any kind of diplomacy as we will fight with terrorists on the one hand and talk to Pakistan on the other. Although Pakistan has condemned the incident of Rajiv Nagar but who will believe them.

For the last two years, the Army has not only fought with terrorism but has also defeated them and got control over them. While doing so, some of our soldiers have also sacrificed their lives. It would not be proper to say that there is no policy or there is no planning due to which such incidents are increasing. The House should also keep in mind the contribution of Army in controlling terrorism so that they do not feel that their efforts have gone futile. This war cannot end in a month or two or in a year. This will continue till the mindset of Pakistan changes. For the last 50 years, Pakistan has raised no issue other than that of Kashmir on international forum whenever they got chance. This war will continue unless a drastic change takes place in their mindset.

The growth that was required in the field of economy in Jammu and Kashmir has not taken place and the requirement of people have not been fulfilled since long. I would like to say that special efforts are being made for the last few years in this regard not only by the Government but by Army also. The doctors of Army deployed are treating people there. Some of the programmes have been implemented there in the name of Sadbhavana and volunteers from all over the country participate in this programme. The efforts to solve the economic and social problems are continuing.

SHRIMATI MARGARET ALVA : We are here again to discuss the tragedy in Kashmir. On Saturday night, watching the one day test match held at Lords, they were attacked and the majority happened to be women and children leaving 27 dead. Three hours of firing goes on and at the end of it, unfortunately all those who attacked have escaped. What is the state of preparedness in these sensitive areas is the first question that any citizen today asks. I am not talking about Government or Opposition here today. I am not talking of religious groups or who died or who did not die. I am talking about the right of common citizen to the minimum protection in areas, which are known to be sensitive to such terrorist attacks over all these years. We are told that you have every possible kind of preparation. Yet the Government today is silent. Events after events had happened. Each time we come, we discuss, we debate and we pass Resolutions. On this issue the Government cannot fault any party. We have all stood and said that we stand by you and we support you. I would like to know from the Government one thing. What is the strategy over all these events like long-term, short-term and immediate ones that it has worked out? Is there anything lacking in your strategy? I am not trying to place the blame at anybody’s door steps. As a nation, as a people, we are answerable. With all the preparation that the Defence Minister is talking about, the incidents of the dead are rising year after year. Who do you blame for this? Is it the ISI or the Government of Pakistan? If Pakistan can hold us to ransom, what is the wrong with this country? I can say here without fear and hesitation that you cannot stop it just by bullets. You can shoot down ten terrorists and other ten will appear tomorrow. The answer is not just bullets. You need a much more detailed, effective policy to deal with the situation. The Government had rejected the Resolution of more autonomy earlier which had come from the Assembly and today the Government is going to negotiate autonomy. I would like to know whether it is within the Constitution, within Parliament or outside Parliament. I must say that the Home Minister himself has openly said that the General cannot be trusted and yet he bows to Western pressure. I am putting before this House all these contradictory statements, the contradictory moves and the confusion that is there in their mind. How then are they going to solve anything in Jammu and Kashmir other than inflaming the flames and crating more confusion?

We are not asking to cross the border and bomb their terrorist camps. We are simply saying that Pakistan handover to us these 20 men whom we wish to bring to trial." Not one person has been handed over. But someone who murdered an American single person has today been hanged in Pakistan. India’s current responses should be based on India’s national interests and not on what external powers expect us to do. There is absolutely no seriousness on the question of internal security or of national security itself. We must make sure that pressures to internationalise the Kashmir issue which are on are not succumbed to, and please do not give Pakistan a back-door entry for a dialogue without ceasing its proxy war of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan is following a two-track policy. Manipulating the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to declare a cease-fire, while at the same time, directing the Lashkar-e-Toiba and others to intensify the killings in the valley. There is going to be a systematic effort to disrupt the elections and to see that what we have committed cannot be done. You are dealing with a very dangerous set of people across the border. It is therefore, naïve to presume that peace will prevail in South-Asia once the Kashmir issue is resolved. No scope should be given to third party involvement, external or internal. The final solution, if any, will have to be within the Constitution of India. Taliban and Al-Quaeda fighters have infiltrated Kashmir.

What is happening with POTA. Killings are going on, only poor Shri Vaiko is sitting in jail now. I do want to point out that we need very much to keep up the military pressure. But with it, we need to ensure, protection of the civilian population by the Police. We need to offer negotiations to the insurgent groups. And, of course, the most important thing, perhaps, is the revival of the political process in the State. Elections are coming. We need to ensure and guarantee that people’s participation becomes possible. The youths of Jammu and Kashmir need to be brought into the mainstream both of the political processes and economic development. About 70 percent of the Budget of Jammu and Kashmir is financed from Delhi. We should see how much of it actually reaches the people. Does the Government see economic development and change coming in Jammu and Kashmir with all the investment and all the money that has flown in? Let us create an atmosphere of trust, confidence and nation building together. Let us try to find a solution to Kashmir in a spirit of understanding, love and if I may say so, forgiveness and service. Otherwise, I feel that Kashmir is going to be a very difficult chapter for the Government to deal with.

SHRI RASHID ALVI: The incident that took place in Jammu is highly regrettable. Words fail to condemn it. The people of the whole country share the pain and agony of the people of Jammu, but I would like to say that if a person, a community or a country fail to learn from the past mistakes, they cannot shape their future course. Pakistan was created on the basis of two-nation theory. Certain forces in Kashmir are bent upon segregating Kashmir from India. We cannot cure this problem unless we delve deep into the causes of this disease of terrorism. There is no doubt that Pakistan is involved in it, but we must see the strategy Pakistan is pursuing. It facilitates infiltration, resorts to killings and next day comes out with statement condemning the killings. Thus, it is trying to present a face of innocence before the world.

We are willing to fight terrorism but certain forces are preventing us. Recently, the U.S. Secretary of State was on a visit to the sub continent. On the eve of his visit, we took steps like demobilization and calling back of our naval fleet thus giving an impression to the world community that the steps were taken under pressure from America. We have not been able to successfully combat terrorism for the last 10-12 years. The whole country is concerned and anxious and also under the apprehension as to whether we can fight terrorism or not? We cannot fight terrorism if we send an impression to the world that India is a weak country which is not able to fight this menace successfully. History stands a testimony to the fact that the world does not respect a weak person, a weak society and a weak country. India is a strong country. Nobody can doubt the high morale of the Indian army. This problem cannot be solved unless free and fair elections are conducted in Kashmir.

Countries cannot be formed on the basis of religion. We have the example of Pakistan before us. An independent Bangladesh could not have come up if religion were really the basis of a nation. Lebia and Egypt could not be unified till date. Similarly, Iran and Iraq share a common border and yet both are staunch enemies. We will have to educate the Kashmir people that they shall have to fight the forces responsible for flaring up religious passions. In Kashmir, approximately 35,000 people including the civilians, security force personnel and the militants have so far been killed. This is according to the data of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Some 1500-2000 foreign mercenaries are active in Kashmir. There is need to give a package to the people of Kashmir so that unemployment is removed. The only solution to terrorism in Kashmir can be found by winning over the hearts of Kashmiris and involving them in the fight against terrorism. Simultaneously, we shall have to understand the psychology of the terrorists. A major terrorist incident takes place on the eve of the visit of a foreign dignitary or any other important event in the country. The whole country is prepared to eliminate terrorism. We should not hesitate to wage a war against Pakistan if the situation so warrants.

SHRI K. YERRANNAIDU: The incident of attacks on poor people below the poverty line, that happened on 13th, is a very barbaric incident and the Telugu Desam Party has condemned the incident. This has happened two months after the Kaluchak incident. For the past two decades, India is suffering from terrorism and cross border terrorism. We have lost thousands of civilians by this cross border terrorism. The United States of America is talking double standards. They are showing lip sympathy. Is it that something that has happened in the United States is terrorism and something that has happened in Jammu and Kashmir is not terrorism? At this crucial juncture, the Government of India have to protect the innocent citizens, particularly those in Jammu and Kashmir. All the Opposition Parties are behind the Government. We want peace, restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir. We have to prevent the infiltrators. If this incident has happened at the initiation of Pakistan, then we have to condemn Pakistan directly. Some newspapers are writing that Lashkar-e-Toiba is behind this. Even after the attack, we have not caught even one accused so far. It is a shameful thing. Such incidents should not occur. What are the measures we are taking for this?

Telugu Desam Party is always supporting the Government to restore peace, to prevent terrorism. We are spending thousands of crores of rupees, but the money is not reaching the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. In this scenario, we cannot control everything only through gun. So, we have to improve the economic standard of the people. Jammu and Kashmir needs some special powers. We have to analyse, we have to discuss what powers are required to control all these things.

The Government should give a commitment, an assurance to this House that even in future, such an incident would not occur. The whole House and all the political parties will support the Government. This is a national issue. If the Government is required to take some drastic actions also, everybody will support it.

SHRI P.H. PANDIAN : At the outset, I would like to condemn the incident as a ghastly incident. We have been deliberating on cross-border terrorism over the last two years at an interval of every three months. Now, it is high time that Pakistan should be given a fitting military reply. We have to be with the Government because the Government alone can attack Pakistan. I have mentioned here a number of occasions, about the diabolic attitude of President Pervez Musharraf. We must remember that with the amounts spent in the last 50 years on military to safeguard our borders in Kashmir we could have developed India into a big power. Therefore, we should not allow somebody to secede Kashmir from India. It is high time that Pakistan should be taught a lesson. I would say that this ghastly attack should not be repeated. But it has been happening once in almost every three months.

Young people even in India are taking to terrorism. We must try and put an end to this attitude of the young people in India who are taking to terrorism. We believe in ballot and not in bullets. So, the terrorists in India should not be encouraged. A banned organisation should not be encouraged. A banned organisation should not be supported by any person, howsoever high he may be. I urge upon the Government of India to maintain surveillance over the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir in order to avoid recurrence of such incidents in the future. We condemn this incident on behalf of All India Anna DMK Party. We appeal to the Government to take action on terrorist organisations, whether foreign or Indian, and their supporters so that Indian citizens can live in peace.

SHRIMATI KRISHNA BOSE : First of all I express my heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist attack at Rajiv Nagar. Why this particular attack had to happen at this time? The most important one was that the de-escalation process had started and somehow or other some people wanted to jeopardise this de-escalation. When our Parliament was attacked on 13 December, 2001, there was a wave of anger sweeping throughout the country. It is true that these Jehadis had a support network inside India. The local people do give them shelter and support. Keeping all this in view, I think, our Government’s policy should be two-pronged. One vis-à-vis Pakistan and the other one with our own people in Kashmir. President Musharraf has told the Americans that he will see to it that there is a permanent closure to cross-border infiltration. But does he have a political will to do so? Is he sincere about it? So, we have to tread very carefully on that promise.

The second question is: Does President Musharraf have the authority at all to stop this infiltration? As we all know, the ISI, which is very powerful was very much against India and is active against India and in Kashmir also. So, we have to ask the question as to how far General Musharraf has the authority, even if he wanted to, to stop infiltration. What should we do under these circumstances? We must keep open the door of dialogue. There is no other way.

Many of my colleagues were saying that we are not afraid of war. Some of them said that we must teach a lesson to Pakistan. To talk about teaching them a lesson or saying that we are not afraid of war, is very dangerous. We have to be very very careful because it would mean annihilation. We must refuse to be provoked. We saw what happened in May and June, when the world had a perception that we were about to go into a nuclear warfare. To me and to other Indians, it appeared to be an over-reaction. But Americans or Europeans, it was not an over-reaction. They thought that India and Pakistan did not have any idea of what a nuclear warfare was about.

Of the two-pronged policy, I would attach much more importance to our policy and to our own people in Kashmir. We have to admit that there is a general sense of alienation in Kashmir. The healing touch for them has been long, long overdue. Repressing people’s genuine feelings or grievances will never help. We all know, elections in Jammu are due. We must see that the election process is as broad-based as possible. We should try to bring as many such groups to the election process as possible. We must also see to it that it is genuinely free and fair. This is a 50 years old problem.. We are carrying the baggage of this problem. This baggage is the result of many omissions and mistaken policies of various governments predecessor to this Governments. In this regard, I would like to ask the Deputy Prime Minister to keep in mind the Northern Ireland peace process. The problem there is very much like ours. I think Mr. Deputy-Prime Minister will think about it.

To the Opposition, I only have to say, please lend their full support to the Government as they did last time. Only if all of us stand up together, we can do it.

SHRI PURNO A. SANGMA : I join this House in condemning the Kasim Nagar massacre of the innocent people by terrorists. On the 17th of May, 2002 this House had debated on the massacre in Kaluchak. In that debate, the House explored the possible options against Pakistan. The House was unanimous that certain actions have to be taken against Pakistan and we left entirely to the Government to decide what kind of action should be taken. The Government in its own wisdom decided to go for the coercive diplomacy. After having opted for coercive diplomacy, the Government has claimed that their policy has been successful. How does the hon. Defence Minister justify his statement that there is downscaling of terrorism and cross-border terrorism after what has happened in Kasim Nagar?

We have the ruler in Pakistan who speaks in multiple voices. He enjoys ridiculing India. And we are a very silent society and a silent country absorbing everything. We have the so called international community, the United States, the United Kingdom and the whole European Union who are not able to hold Gen. Musharraf, who are not able to make Gen. Musharraf do what he had promised to do. I have not seen any effect of the debate of Parliament of 17th May, two months back. No recommendation of the Kargil Commission has been implemented by the Government. I feel the so-called coercive diplomacy of the Government of India has been a disaster. I am not at all advocating a war. But if the USA can go to Afghanistan and destroy the training camps, the terrorist camps in Afghanistan, if the USA has a right to do it, why should India not have that right to do it?



 *** Supplement covering rest of the proceedings is being issued separately.

Note  :  It is the verbatim Debates of the Lok Sabha and not the Synopsis that should be considered authoritative.







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