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Check Pak, or we'll do it ourselves: PM

Check Pak, or we'll do it ourselves: PM

Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 16, 2002
Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee has said if the international community fails to persuade Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, India will have to find its own way to achieve its objective.

Addressing members of the Congress from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday night, he said India was as determined as the US had been since September 11 last year to secure itself against Pakistani and Pakistan backed terrorism in Kashmir.

He expressed the hope that voices of reason in the international community would help persuade Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism. "If the international community is unable to persuade Pakistan, India will have to find its own ways to achieve its objective," he said.

India, Mr Vajpayee pointed out, had joined the international coalition against terrorism in the conviction that only a global and comprehensive effort would help eliminate this menace and counter the forces of international terrorism. The coalition, he said, had made considerable headway in Afghanistan but "a lot more needs to be done further east".

Mr Vajpayee said tension in South Asia continued because Pakistan had not lived up to the commitments made by Gen Musharraf. At another meeting, Mr Vajpayee virtually called Gen Musharraf a liar, and left experts on the region wondering where it would take the relations between the two countries to.

In the annals of public diplomacy between the two sides, there has not been an instance when the leader of one country directly accused another one of lying-a word that is banned in the Indian parliamentary lexicon. Not even at the height of the Indo-Pak wars.

But Mr Vajpayee not only accused Gen Musharraf of lying but of "crossing all limits of lying". He did not even use the fig leaf of saying Gen Musharraf doesn't speak the truth.

Indian officials reiterated that the Prime Minister's remarks were a result of Gen Musharraf's "multiple lies and distortions" from the time he took office and his "duplicity in exploiting every peace gesture made by India to further his career and hold on power".

"He lies, dissembles and distorts events for his convenience without any regard to facts. He is the one who began public diplomacy through grandstanding at Agra," one official accompanying the Prime Minister said, while listing Gen Musharraf's "perfidies".

Among the instances he cited: "Lying" about Pakistani infiltration in Kargil and arguing that Pakistani forces were not involved despite copious evidence; "lying" about the presence of most of the 20 wanted fugitives in Pakistan, including Dawood Ibrahim; "lying" about not have committed to ending infiltration permanently

American analysts said Gen Musharraf's diatribe against India at the UN and New Delhi's return fire was a setback for peace in the region. "Pakistan has taken a giant step backward by bringing out all the old complaints and going back to the plesbiscite question. They have brought out the worse in India too," said South Asia scholar Stephen Cohen of the Brooking Institution.

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