New Delhi hails Musharraf move, but demands concrete action

Updated: Jan 14 2002, 05:30am hrs
In a cooling down of Indo-Pak tensions, New Delhi on Sunday gave a cautious, but positive welcome to President Pervez Musharrafs commitment not to permit use of Pakistani territory for terrorism in Kashmir with a caveat that future bilateral ties depended on the General taking concrete action on his promises.

The government also said it would respond fully and be prepared to resume the composite dialogue process if Pakistan operationalised its intentions and moved purposefully towards eradicating cross-border terrorism.

In a calibrated response after a meeting of the cabinet committee on security and parleys with the Opposition, external affairs minister Jaswant Singh said New Delhi would give all due time to Pakistan for implementation of the steps the General detailed Saturday night in his live address to the Pakistanis. We will take two steps for every one step they take, he told the press when asked how the government would respond to the Pakistani leaders speech in which he announced ban on the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad blamed by New Delhi for the December 13 terror attack on Parliament.

Mr Singh said, we welcome the now declared commitment of the government of Pakistan not to support or permit any more the use of its territory for terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Jammu and Kashmir. This commitment must extend to the use of all territories under Pakistans control today.

Mr Singh also said New Delhi would assess the effectiveness of the commitment only by concrete action and expected Islamabad to cooperate in stopping all infiltration across the international border and the Line of Control.

He said the government noted the decision to ban LeT and JeM and looked forward to an effective and full implementation of the measure so that their members did not continue activities under other names. There would also be a similar need to address other organisations targeting India and the parent outfits that spawn them, he added.

Prime Minister AB Vajpayee, who chaired the meeting of the cabinet committee on security, also met senior Opposition leaders before Mr Singh addressed the press to give the countrys formal response to Gen Musharrafs speech.

The minister categorically rejected the Generals demand for the US mediation to resolve the Kashmir problem and also his remarks on the situation in Kashmir. PTI