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June 7, 1999
Vajpayee talks tough, says LoC is sacrosanct
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today warned Pakistan that any attempt to use the present intrusion in Kargil and other areas of Jammu and Kashmir as a stratagem to alter the Line of Control would fail.
In a national broadcast tonight, Vajpayee said India was always open for talks, but these must have a definite purpose. If the purpose of talks is to alter the Line of Control, then the proposed talks would end before they could begin.
He said it was clear that Pakistan had used force as an attempt to unilaterally alter the Line of Control and then say that the line was vague. He said this was nothing but an ex post artifice to justify aggression.
The prime minister said that though fomenting insurgency here was heinous enough, army regulars have been sent this time to occupy Indian territory and then choke off links with other parts of the country -- in particular with Siachen and Ladakh.
It was clear that this step had been taken with a great deal of preparation and was a pre-planned operation.
Vajpayee said the intrusion was "a repudiation of the letter and spirit of the Lahore Declaration and was a violation not just of one article of the Simla Agreement but an eight-fold violation of that solemn agreement."
He said that after the Simla Agreement, the military authorities from both sides had gone over the Line of Control and marked it out carefully in five months.
Furthermore, this had not been questioned anytime in the last 27 years.
He added that the new assertion on the part of Pakistan was only a contrivance to explain away the aggression and would fool no one.
Describing the situation in Kargil as serious and fraught with danger as it had arisen from Pakistan's decision to cross the Line of Control, the prime minister said, "No government can tolerate such an incursion -- our government certainly will not."
He added, "It is our duty to rid our sacred motherland of every single intruder."
He said, "No one should entertain the slightest doubt: the Indian armed forces shall not stop till they have completely attained their objective. No one shall stop them till they have done so."
The prime minister regretted that the Pakistani action had come at a time when relations with that country were improving rapidly.
The prime ministers and other ministers were in regular contact, dialogue among officials was proceeding constructively and objectively with identification of areas of co-operation, and there was an outpouring of goodwill in people-to-people contacts.
Vajpayee said the subject before any talks at this time "is one, and one alone: the intrusion, and how Pakistan proposes to undo it. To discuss this, our doors are always open, and all dates are convenient to us."
But Vajpayee said, "Till that happens, we have a job on our hands. Our first and last thought must be for our jawans, for our airmen and officers who are fighting back the intruders. I want each one of them to know: the entire country stands with you, every Indian is grateful to you. The whole operation has been thrust upon us. To ensure victory, you would not be wanting in your requirements."
Noting that the jawans and officers were laying down their lives, the prime minister asked: "Should we be continuing our petty squabbles at such a time ? We should stand by them and avoid unnecessary debates. Let us use this occasion to learn from our defence forces: let us translate into our conduct some of the discipline for which they are renowned."
He also said that at this time, "we must maintain equanimity and act with confidence. We should not be disheartened by some momentary mishap. We must realise the gravity of the situation and emulate the fortitude with which our fighting men take such events in their stride, and we must have confidence in the ability of our armed forces."
He said the armed forces "shall accomplish this task and ensure that no one dares to indulge in this kind of misadventure in future".
For complete coverage check The Kargil Crisis
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