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December 15, 2001
1400 IST

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Pakistan getting desperate: Abdullah

Onkar singh in New Delhi

Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah has described the allegations made by Pakistan that the attack on Parliament was engineered by Indian intelligence agencies as a sign of its desperation.

Speaking to rediff.com, the minister said India does not need a Pakistani stamp to prove to the world that the attack on Parliament was a terrorist strike.

"I think Pakistan is getting desperate because it has been exposed in Afghanistan. Pakistani nexus with the Taliban exposed their designs. They are now upset with the new relationship that New Delhi has with Kabul," he said

"We do not need Pakistan's stamp to prove that the attack on Parliament was a terrorist attack. The whole world, including the United States, Britain and the United Nations, has described it as a terrorist strike," Abdullah said.

The minister also said Pakistan was trying to change its strategy.

"Pakistan has told the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed to carry out such attacks. It hopes that the Hizbul Mujahideen would own up the responsibility for them."

"This way they can claim that it is an internal struggle for freedom. But unfortunately for them, the Hizb leadership has not done anything of that sort," Abdullah said.

According to the minister, Pakistan is trying to whip up violence in the hope of disrupting the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during his speech in Japan, had warned Pakistan not to try and interfere in the J&K elections. But Pakistan is trying to do exactly that. We will hold the elections and the people of the state will come and vote," he said.

He hoped that the All Party Hurriyat Conference would also join the electoral process.

He described the turn of events in Afghanistan as unpleasant from Pakistan's point of view.

"I can tell you that the growing relationship between India and Afghanistan is going to problematic for Pakistan. In fact, the new dispensation in Afghanistan is going to be problematic for Pakistan and Islamabad knows it," he said.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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