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George Fernandes against demilitarisation of Siachen

Source: PTI
November 13, 2006 14:54 IST
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National Democratic Alliance convenor George Fernandes has strongly opposed demilitarisation of Siachen, the world's highest battlefield, saying vacating the glacier by India would mean inviting Pakistan to 'come in without any botheration'.

"It (vacating) has to be resisted. It is not just concerned with those involved in defence matters. The whole country should stand up to oppose it," Fernandes told reporters on Sunday night.

The former defence minister cited the China factor also.

Asked about the fate of the Indo-US nuclear deal in the light of the victory of Democrats in elections to the American Senate and regaining control of Congress, he said, "From the look of it, it (the deal) does not seem to be going through. The Democrats have their own views on this."

On Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's memoir, In the Line of Fire and references contained in it about the Kargil war (when Fernandes was defence minister), he said he had not gone through the book.

But, Fernandes said, "From whatever people say, it is all rubbish. Musharraf is trying to project himself as the one who can keep his country going. He has said things which are stupid or some things which have not happened."

On NDA, he said it would be strengthened and 'it has to be strengthened'.

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