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June 12, 1999
The Rediff Interview/ K P S Gill
'Few months is too short a period to say Bus Diplomacy has failed '
Former director general of Punjab Police, Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, has become an editor in his own right. The Institute of Conflict Management, founded by the super-cop, recently
came out with the first edition of its journal entitled
Faultlines. Printed in book form, the journal has
articles authored by Gill, Arundhati Ghose, who retired as India's ambassador and Permanent Representative
to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, and few others.
Gill hit the headlines early this week for another
Reason, when the Delhi police special branch arrested a human
bomb from Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi. Fortytwo-year-old
Rachpal Singh, the alleged human bomb, was on a mission to
eliminate Gill. In an exclusive interview with
Gill hit the headlines early this week for another Reason, when the Delhi police special branch arrested a human bomb from Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi. Fortytwo-year-old Rachpal Singh, the alleged human bomb, was on a mission to eliminate Gill. In an exclusive interview withOnkar Singh, the super-cop says he is hardly bothered by such attempts made by the fundamentalists, particularly the Babbar Khalsa group.
Recently a human bomb was arrested in Delhi. Police say he was here to kill you. Has your security been beefed up?
This is not the first time a militant has been arrested for trying to kill me. Prior to this arrest militants belonging to the Babbar Khalsa have made four or five such attempts. They keep on finding people who they can brainwash and train to become human bombs. One such human bomb killed Beant Singh, the former chief minister of Punjab, in 1995.
Did the Delhi police tell you about his arrest? There have been reports that you were not aware of the arrest?
The Delhi police did tell me about Rachpal Singh's arrest the moment they came to know about his diabolical plans. But this kind of thing does not scare me because I have been living with such threats all my life. If I were afraid, I would not have fought against the militants in Punjab.
While commenting on the Kargil issue in a national daily, you said the job should be left to the armed forces. Why?
Intrusion in Kargil, Drass, Batalik and other sectors is not just a mere intrusion. It is an attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue and change the Line of Control to the advantage of Pakistan. Our armed forces are doing a wonderful job and they will eventually push out every single intruder from the Indian side of the LoC.
While they are doing their job, all those experts who have been giving their considered opinion, either through their write-ups in the print media or giving television interviews, should refrain from doing that. I personally believe all such assessments are far off the mark and totally wrong because they have been arrived at without getting the basic inputs.
What is the ground reality according to you, and how would you have tackled the situation?
I would not make the same mistake which the others have. Since I am not aware of the ground realities therefore, I would not even attempt to make my own assessment and give solutions while sitting in New Delhi. I think the Indian Army and the Air Force are doing a good job and the matter should be left to our service chiefs and their subordinates to handle.
Would you say this is a desperate attempt by Pakistan?
Of course it is. Pakistan has failed to achieve its so-called goals through the Kashmiri militants, whom it has been training through ISI. We have been aware of the ISI's designs in India. Terrorism would soon be out of date in a world which is changing so fast.
I cannot say when that would happen. But the way things are going on at the international level, I think this should happen in the first few years of the next century.
Vajpayee's critics allege his Bus Diplomacy has failed. Do you agree?
I don't know on what basis they are saying this. If they are saying it because of the situation in Kargil, then they are mistaken. The buses from two countries are still plying between New Delhi and Lahore. The era of peace has already begun. Whether those manning the Pakistan administration like it or not, they would have given in to peace sooner than later.
A few months is too short a period to say that Bus Diplomacy has failed. Give it some more time and then decide whether it has failed or it has withstood the test of time.
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