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Atal trains terror gun on Pakistan

New Delhi, Feb. 8: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today upped the ante against Pakistan, charging it with using Bangladesh and Nepal for pursuing its anti-India policy.

Vajpayee made the charge shortly after India announced the expulsion of Pakistani deputy high commissioner Jalil Abbas Jilani.

“For us, the most disconcerting aspect of terrorism is that it is sponsored, supported and funded by Pakistan as a matter of state policy,” he said while inaugurating the chief ministers’ conference on internal security in the capital. He pointed out that there were reports about territories in Nepal and Bangladesh being used by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to pursue its anti-India agenda.

The comments clearly indicate that India wishes to take a tough line not only against Pakistan but also the other neighbours, which have so far been indifferent to Delhi’s security concerns.

However, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani made it clear that India has no desire to close down its mission in Islamabad — a possibility being speculated in several quarters after the latest round of tit-for-tat expulsions. “There is no proposal at this juncture to close down the Pakistan high commission,” he said.

But it was the Prime Minister who raised the pitch at the conference. Vajpayee, who has generally refrained from Pakistan-bashing at home, accused Islamabad of not dismantling the terror infrastructure, Delhi’s precondition for resumption of talks between the neighbours.

“Pakistan has taken no significant action against terrorist camps and infrastructural support to terrorism. This questions its claim to participate in the international struggle against terrorism,” he said. He also charged Islamabad with violating the United Nations resolution 1373, which forbids any government from supporting terrorism, whatever the provocation.

“The Pakistani establishment does not appear to be interested in establishing tension-free and good-neighbourly relations by ending its proxy war against our country,” he added. The words were directed at the chief ministers, a clear attempt on Delhi’s part to sensitise the states on issues that are uppermost on India’s security agenda.

Vajpayee also took the opportunity to clarify his stand on Ayodhya. Without mentioning it by name, he said the dispute should not be left unattended for long and that it was for the judiciary to urgently give its verdict. “When a dispute could not be resolved through negotiations, the verdict of the judiciary has to be accepted by all concerned,” he said, adding that “no issue, however justified in the eyes of one or the other party, can be solved through confrontation and communal violence”.

In a clear message to the judiciary, Vajpayee said: “When circumstances bring such matters to the court, people expect the judiciary to give its verdict expeditiously. This would enable the country to leave behind contentious issues from the past and move on to deal confidently with pressing tasks of nation building.”

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