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June 26, 1999
Chandra Shekhar suggests restraint on both sides
Former prime minister, Chandra Shekhar, has asked the political leadership in India and Pakistan to take a more mature view of the Kargil crisis and desist from resorting to irresponsible talk.
''Having gone nuclear it is incumbent upon the political leadership of both the countries to use more restrained language and explore all methods to understand the desirability of respecting the sentiments of the people on both sides,'' Chandra Shekher said in a statement while expressing fears that the conflict in Kargil may take a grave and serious turn.
He said there seemed to be little awareness among people in authority on both sides about the wider implications of the deteriorating situation in Kargil.
The former prime minister said nobody in India, with a sense of responsibility and understanding, would like accentuation of the conflict but there were some sections who held extreme views.
''It is sad that already voices are being raised that India should not hestiate to use nuclear devices to teach a lesson to Pakistan. I am sure similar will be the reaction among many in Pakistan,'' he said.
Chandra Shekhar hoped that the Pakistani leadership would realise before it is too late that the futile adventurism was going to prove very costly to them.
''It will be dragging the sub-continent into a tragic conflict which is bound to impede the economic development of the region so essential for meeting the aspirations of its people''.
He said the very strategy of India and Pakistan to go nuclear, while both of them had not been able to meet the basic needs of the people, was nothing short of an ill-considered adventurism.
''Not even a year has passed and we hear voices of nuclear confrontation in the sub-continent. A highly dangerous situation can easily emerge in this area,'' he added.
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