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May 30, 1999
PM rejects UN chief's mediation offer
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has rejected United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's offer to send an emissary to India and Pakistan to mediate in the Kargil crisis and said the operations in the area would continue until the Pakistani intruders had been flushed out.
Vajpayee disclosed this while addressing a gathering that had come to see him at his residence this evening.
He said Annan called him late last night and offered to help defuse the situation that had developed in the Kargil sector.
The prime minister made it clear that there was no need to send a representative to India. "We have been attacked. Why do you want to send your representative here? Send him to Pakistan, which created this situation," Vajpayee said he told Annan.
The prime minister said the entire country and all political parties are solidly behind the government's resolve to flush out the militants. The intruders have to be repulsed, he told Annan.
He said the Line of Control had been respected for years, but now the Pakistanis had violated it.
India, he said, is prepared to talk to Pakistan, even on Jammu and Kashmir, but without any pre-condition or third-party mediation.
He pointed out that one-third of Kashmir is still in Pakistan's control.
"We are not scared of talking to Pakistan, but we will not do it under any duress. The operations in Kargil will continue until we achieve our target of evicting the infiltrators," he said.
When he was told that the gathering of slum-dwellers had come to congratulate him, Vajpayee said those who should be congratulated were the brave soldiers who were fighting the intruders at heights of 15,000-17,000 feet.
He told the slum-dwellers that Kargil is a part of Ladakh, which is in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. Which is why what is happening there should be of concern to the entire nation.
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