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June 30, 1999
Flush out intruders soon: Rao
Shireen in Hyderabad
Former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao has said that the operations to flush out the Pakistan-backed intruders from the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir should be completed as early as possible.
Addressing a gathering of freedom fighters in Hyderabad on Tuesday, Narasimha Rao said that there was no need to fix a time-frame to throw out the intruders. "The reports from Kargil indicate that there is a conducive situation for us. There is no need to take 30 days when we can finish the task (of flushing out the intruders) in just 10 days. My only wish is that they (the Indian Army) completes it as early as possible," he said.
He lambasted Pakistan for its conspiratorial role against India. He said that Pakistan's nefarious designs to encroach upon Indian territory always proved futile. India, he said, would not allow the intruders to occupy a single inch of its territory.
"The entire nation is behind the valiant soldiers who are engaged in driving out the Pakistan-backed infiltrators from our borders," he added.
He recalled that he visited Pakistan several times and interacted with its citizens. "I don't understand why the rulers there want war with us when the citizens of both the countries are against it," he said.
India, he said, had made many attempts to be friendly with Pakistan. "History proves that we have always played our role in the right manner in regard to relations with Pakistan and we continue to do so," he said and regretted that Pakistan failed to reciprocate in the same spirit.
He exuded confidence that India would emerge victorious though it is fighting against several odds. "We are blessing our brave soldiers from the bottom of our heart," he said.
He said that the sacrifice of every solider in the battle against the incursions caused immense grief and agony to him and other freedom fighters.
Earlier, about 300 freedom fighters, most of them in their 70s, took out a rally in Hyderabad. The rally, which was flagged off by Narasimha Rao, culminated in a public meeting.
He addressed the gathering standing below the statue of Swami Ramananda Thirtha, his political mentor who led the struggle against the Nizam's feudal rule.
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