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December 19, 2001
1225 IST

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It's our war and we will fight it: PM

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday made a subtle dig at the double speak indulged in by various nations on the issue of fighting terrorism.

Without naming the United States and other nations, which have been counselling restraint on India's part in the wake of the attack on Parliament, Vajpayee said they should advise restraint 'to our neighbour also'.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told the Lok Sabha that the question before the country was not whether to go to war or no, but under what circumstances such a step should be taken.

"It is our war and we will fight it on our own," Vajpayee said intervening in the special debate in the Lok Sabha on the December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament.

"Those who attacked Parliament, the suicide squad and those who had sent them, had thought over it and had planned the attack. This is a big challenge for us and we should fight it together," Vajpayee said.

He told the members that India was keeping all options open in the fight against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but would exercise restraint for now.

Vajpayee countered the contention of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar that the government should not consider the option of going to war under any circumstances, saying that if the government had not acted during the Kargil crisis, the nation would have had to pay a heavy price.

"Whatever needs to be done will be decided in consultation with all concerned. It will be a national decision and it will be in the national interest," the prime minister said.

He rejected Pakistan's demand for a joint probe into last week's attack on Parliament and voiced confidence that all parties would rise above political considerations in fighting terrorism.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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