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July 21, 1999
Probe into Kargil lapses soon: Jaswant
Conversion of the 740-kilometre-long Line of Control between India and Pakistan into an international border is not under consideration, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has said.
''I do not see any possibility of it,'' Singh said in reply to a question after delivering a talk in New Delhi yesterday.
The minister said the government would soon institute a high-level inquiry into whether any intelligence failure led to the Pakistani intrusions in Kargil.
''The members of the inquiry commission and its terms of reference will be known shortly,'' he said.
Asked if there was any possibility during the Kargil crisis for its escalation to a limited nuclear conflict, he said, ''From the Indian side, the question of such an escalation did not arise... Verbiage of that kind emanating from Pakistan should be taken note of.''
Singh said India's nuclear doctrine was very clear on 'no first use' and 'non-use against non-nuclear weapon states'.
Regarding the conditions put forward by New Delhi for resuming bilateral talks with Islamabad, Singh said, ''This is the route chart for the dialogue. Apart from withdrawal of intruders, India had asked Pakistan to reaffirm the sanctity and inviolability of the LoC and an end to its support to cross-border terrorism as steps for reinitiating the Lahore process. We are not ready for dialogue now. Our readiness is in principle,'' he explained.
Singh said India considered the sanctity of the LoC an essential confidence-building measure for promoting bilateralism with Pakistan. Referring to the Simla accord, he said, ''The LoC is a treaty document and its sanctity is borne out of it.''
''We do not believe that Pakistan cannot control cross-border terrorism. Islamabad has demonstrated its control over the Mujahideen during the Kargil crisis. We are faced with constant cross-border terrorism from Pakistan. It is for the international community to recognise the reality,'' he said replying to a question whether India planned a diplomatic offensive in the post-Kargil scenario.
Asked about his proposed talks with the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Singapore, he said, ''We will certainly discuss all issues of mutual concern.''
To another question, he said India had ''no proposal seeking declaration of Pakistan as a terrorist state''.
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