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July 14, 1999
Lahore Declaration still relevant: Vajpayee
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said the Lahore Declaration signed between India and Pakistan was still relevant as a firm commitment was made by both the countries to solve all problems through peaceful means.
But the Kargil episode was totally against that commitment, Vajpayee said in a chat with newspersons after addressing a public meeting in Kulu in Himachal Pradesh.
He said it was for Pakistan to see how it could make a new beginning.
He refused to comment when his attention was drawn towards a Pakistani statement describing as a pack of lies India's claim that a July 16 deadline has been set for withdrawal of intruders from Kargil.
Addressing a public meeting earlier, Vajpayee said Pakistan had betrayed India by making incursions in Kargil after signing the Lahore Declaration.
He said Pakistani propaganda vis-a-vis the Shimla agreement was an afterthought. ''If they had any objections on the Line of Control, they should have raised the matter when I had gone to Pakistan to sign the declaration,'' he added.
He said he had extended the hand of friendship but Pakistan, took advantage of it, to which India gave an adequate reply.
Asserting that there was need to further strengthen the defence of the country, the prime minister said India's preparedness should not be found wanting despite its commitment to peace.
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