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Pakistan paying the price of fomenting terror, says Fernandes

December 27, 2003 17:12 IST
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India on Saturday said the recent assassination bids on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf were nothing but manifestation of that country's terrorism promotion activity.

"We had been publicly telling Pakistan that those who start terrorism could end up facing it themselves. Now look what has happened," Defence Minister George Fernandes said at Pokhran.

The defence minister was addressing jawans of the 34th Armoured Brigade manning the Indo-Pak border. He said while facing the onslaught of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, India had always maintained that terrorists did not have any "jaat, dharam, desh or pradesh" (caste, religion, nation or state).

"Terrorist is just a terrorist. He only knows how to spread violence. We told Pakistan. However, they did not listen to us," he said, adding that the same terrorists had now attempted to kill Musharraf and that too near the country's capital, Islamabad.

Fernandes attributed the latest ceasefire at Pakistan's initiative as a consequence of the hard work put in by the Indian soldiers. "It is because of your contribution of successfully manning the border that Pakistan initiated the ceasefire."

Though the guns had fallen silent and shelling stopped, there was no significant reduction in infiltration, he said, adding Pakistan was still providing money, training and weapons to terrorists.

Nonetheless, with the ceasefire continuing to hold for the past month, there were reasons to be optimistic about the outcome of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Islamabad next week, Fernandes said and hoped that the new year would mark a new beginning towards peace.

The defence minister also distributed Christmas cakes to the soldiers.

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