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September 8, 2000
Dialogue and terrorism do not go together, PM tells Pak
M K Razdan at the United Nations
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave Pakistan a blunt message that there can be no talks with it as dialogue and terrorism do not go together and asserted that New Delhi has the means and the will to protect its national interest.
Without naming Pakistan, the prime minister, in his address to the UN Millennium Summit, lashed out at the military regime for its vicious terrorist campaign against India and its doubletalk.
Describing Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharraf's speech from the same podium two days ago as "an Orwellian mockery," Vajpayee accused him of stifling democracy at home and talking of freedom here, engaging in clandestine acquisition of nuclear weapons and delivery system and talk of ridding South Asia of these weapons.
In his address to the Asia Society, Vajpayee asked the international community to reject Pakistan's attempts to cloak terrorism as jehad and made it clear that Islamabad should demonstrate its commitment to bilateral agreements and abjure terrorism for a meaningful dialogue.
Vajpayee said "nevertheless, India remains committed to a composite dialogue process with her neighbour. But for a meaningful dialogue that country must demonstrate its commitment to bilateral agreements and abjure cross-border terrorism."
He asserted India is determined to preserve its national interests and none should doubt that it has the means to protect its territorial integrity, secular unity and communal harmony.
Referring to the Pakistani leadership, he told the summit leaders that "those who have repudiated solemn covenants talk of new agreements to prevent war. The authors of a vicious terrorist campaign that has claimed more than 30,000 innocent lives in India, who actively sabotaged a historic peace initiative, are now offering new initiatives for dialogue.
"The world must see the reality as it is. The acid test of sincerity of purpose is not words but deeds. Terrorism and dialogue do not go together."
Touching on the dangers of terrorism and the need for global action against it, Vajpayee told over 150 leaders "we urge the international community to quickly adopt and implement the Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism that will be negotiated at the UN General Assembly session that follows the summit."
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
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