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December 16, 2001
2358 IST

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Ex-army chief advises caution on targeting military camps in PoK

Former army chief V P Malik on Sunday night cautioned the government against attacking terrorist training camps in Pakistan and said the country should be adequately prepared, as the possibility of an all-out war could not be ruled out.

It 'may not be wise' to attack the camps in Pakistan, Malik, who led the Indian Army during the 1999 Kargil war, said.

The fact that Pakistan is a nuclear weapon state should go into any war-gaming plan, he said.

He warned the country could be getting 'closer and closer' towards an all-out conflict with its neighbour owing to the stepped up terror attacks by Pakistan-based militants and patience of the Indian government running out with Pakistan's reluctance to rein in terrorist groups.

He said among the options to deal with the terrorists were covert operations by Indian agencies in Pakistan.

Congress MP Kapil Sibal also felt the government should not indulge in any adventurism.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister L K Advani said the government is 'seriously considering all options on the issue of hot pursuit' against cross-border terrorism in India.

"The political leadership and military leadership would jointly take a decision on this issue," he told Aaj Tak when asked whether the government would consider the option of crossing the Line of Control and smashing terrorist camps in PoK.

Advani said the government was aware of the popular sentiments on the issue and it would be taken into account while taking any decision.

He asserted that hot pursuit was considered a legitimate option internationally when a country is attacked or when a country sends its people either to sabotage or indulge in terrorist activities.

"The government has taken it (attack on Parliament) very seriously. We think it is not a mere terrorist strike. It is an attack on the country, the very symbol of democracy," Advani said.

Advani also said that the countries, which advised India to maintain restraint, were not giving such advice now.

Defence Minister George Fernandes also said that any measures against cross-border terrorism will be taken after a 'lot of thought' and considering the 'time factor'.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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