The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani sees Ulfa, not ISI, hand

New Delhi, Nov. 27: The man Pakistan blamed for scuttling the Agra summit is now being extremely cautious not to say anything that would give the impression of spoiling the Prime Minister’s latest peace initiative.

Although junior ministers in the Vajpayee government have not hesitated in blaming Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the recent attacks on Biharis in Assam, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani refused to make any allegations against Pakistan.

“I don’t want to comment on this,” Advani said, when asked for his views on the ISI hand in Assam. “At the moment, the United Liberation Front of Asom’s role is evident,” he added, putting the blame squarely on the Assamese militants.

“The situation needs to be brought under control. If Assam requires more forces, the Centre will be able to provide for additional numbers after the elections are over,” Advani said, without pointing fingers at the Congress administration of chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

But minister of state for home I.D. Swami had no such qualms. Earlier in the day, he blamed the Assam government for its inability to contain the violence against Biharis. Over 50 migrants from Bihar have been killed in the northeastern state, mostly in Upper Assam, a stronghold of the Ulfa.

“Law and order is the responsibility of the state government. But the Assam government did not act swiftly when attacks on Hindi-speaking people had just started,” Swami told reporters at a function in the capital.

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