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Vajpayee slams Musharraf for raking up Kashmir at NAM

M Shakeel Ahmed in Kuala Lumpur | February 24, 2003 16:58 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday hit back strongly at Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for raking up the Kashmir issue at the Non Aligned Movement summit saying this camouflages Islamabad's designs on the valley, an integral part of India.

Taking the floor shortly after Musharraf violated the NAM charter barring raising bilateral issues and speaking about the need for NAM to recognise the "right to self-determination" in Kashmir,

Vajpayee said, "There can be no double standards or confusion between terrorism and freedom struggles."

Deviating from his prepared text to reply to Musharraf, he asked the 116-nation grouping to take a clear and unequivocal stand on the scourge of terrorism.

"Musharraf has justified terrorism against India by talking of root causes. His strange logic masks Pakistan's territorial designs on an integral part of India... he (Musharraf) justifies terrorism against India by talking of root causes," Vajpayee said. "Does he (Musharraf) go into the root causes of sectarian terrorism in his country? Or does he take stern action against
perpetrators of that terrorism?"

Vajpayee also ruled out a meeting between him and Musharraf on the sidelines of the summit. Lashing out at Musharraf forn describing the people of Kashmir as "oppressed", the prime minister said, "These same (Kashmiri) people very recently cast their ballots in an election universally recognised as free and fair. They defied the bullets of the terrorists, aided and abetted by Pakistan."

Vajpayee said those very terrorists assassinated candidates and political activists in the elections and killed women and children because they refused to provide them food and shelter.

"These terrorists continue to perpetrate violence against innocent civilians every day. Yet General Musharraf talks of an international humanitarian order!" the prime minister said.

Pointing out that there can be no justification for terrorism, he said, "No political, ideological, religious or ethnic grounds can justify the shedding of the blood of innocent people."

He urged the members to conclude the negotiations at the United Nations on India's proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

"It is a matter of the greatest shame to all of us that while terrorism continues to claim its victims with one brutal act after another, we cannot conclude an international agreement because we cannot find a universally acceptable definition of terrorism!" the prime minister said.

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Number of User Comments: 8

Sub: RE:Emotions lack intellect

I think the author of this message is insane. He/she needs to grow up. Wake up from your sleep so that you can stop dreaming ...

Posted by JB

Sub: Vajpayee hits back at Musharraf

It is commendable that India has been vociferous about the impact of terrorism on innocent civilians and the support extended to the perpetrators (like Pakistan) ...

Posted by sundararajan

Sub: RE:Hit Back on Musharraf

I think you should wake dear man/woman....the journalist is only relating what happened....and whats wrong with the PM asking the world to define Terrorism? isnt ...

Posted by moonspluto

Sub: Well done Vajpayee !!

One point : No talks unless the Pakistan sponsered cross-border terrorism is fully stopped. One note :US's and other western diplomats double standard on terorrism. ...

Posted by mohanty

Sub: Emotions lack intellect

Mr. Vajpayee speech can't be classifed as an eloquent because he spoke with emotions lacking the real intellect required at that moment. He made himself ...

Posted by Agha Sheraz Irani


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