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Statement by Home Secretary on India-Pakistan talks on Terrorism and Drug trafficking, New Delhi, November 12, 1998

Reproduced below is the text of the statement made by Indiaís Home Secretary following talks between the Indian and Pakistani delegations on terrorism and drug trafficking. The Statement noted that terrorism and drug trafficking posed a direct challenge to democratic societies and political systems. Providing evidence of Pakistanís support to cross border terrorism, India urged Pakistan to take immediate steps towards closing down the terrorist training camps in PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) and to hand over to India those terrorists and underworld operatives of Indian origin currently sheltered in Pakistan. The statement also noted that both sides had agreed to set up a mechanism for regular meetings and exchange of operational information between the Central Bureau of Investigation of India and the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan.

1. As part of the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan, which is aimed at building a relationship of trust and confidence, putting in place a structure for mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and addressing outstanding issues, India and Pakistan today held discussions on Terrorism & Drug-Trafficking.

2. During the talks, India pointed out that terrorism and drug trafficking posed a direct challenge to democratic societies and political systems everywhere. In this connection, we drew Pakistan's attention to the incontrovertible and irrefutable fact that it had consistently used terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India. We pointed out that Pakistan's sponsorship and instigation of terrorism directed against India included recruiting, training, financing, arming, infiltrating and controlling terrorists, foreign mercenaries and assorted underworld criminal elements, with a view to using them in very way possible for destabilizing the Indian State. It was emphasized that such activities violated all established norms and canons of inter-state conduct, and were contrary to fundamental rights, civil liberties and freedom.

3. Pakistan's overt and covert involvement in terrorism directed against India is a matter of record. It is well documented and acknowledged by neutral international observers, including the media, and corroborating evidence is found in the Pakistani media itself. During these talks, we drew Pakistan's attention to these facts, and also presented overwhelming evidence of its involvement, and that of its official agencies, in terrorism in the Indian states of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir, as also elsewhere in India. In this connection, we also handed over to Pakistan a document containing material evidence of Pakistan's involvement in terrorism.

4. Pakistan Delegation tried to deny their involvement in state-sponsorship of terrorism in India on the alibi that they are only giving moral support to the so-called freedom struggle in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It was pointed out to Pakistani side that terrorism anywhere cannot and should not be justified by any civilised society on basis of such definitional quibbles. The pretense of Pakistan only providing moral support to terrorists in J&K was also exposed by the fact that as many as 243 Pakistani and 48 residents of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir belonging to various fundamentalist/terrorist organisations have been killed by Indian security forces in the last few years and as many as 91 Pakistani and 34 residents of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir are in Indian jails in connection with the terrorist crimes. Further, recoveries of over 47,000 sophisticated fire arms and over 30,000 kg. high explosives from Pakistan trained militants on the international border and elsewhere in other parts of the country also indicates Pakistan's involvement in sponsoring terrorist activities in India. Lionisation in Pakistan of mercenaries killed in Jammu & Kashmir by organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Badr etc. is also proof of Pakistan" involvement.

5. It was made abundantly clear to the Pakistan side that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and not a disputed territory as claimed by Pakistan. Successive democratic elections in the State of J&K to ascertain the popular will as well as to install democratically elected Governments bear testimony to this fact. Pakistan's suggestion for involvement of United Nations Military Observers Group (UNMOGIP) in India and Pakistan or some other international observers along the border in J&K to verify India's allegations regarding Pakistan's involvement in terrorism in India was firmly rejected. India is firmly opposed to any third party involvement in such matters and the Shimla agreement clearly provides that all differences between the two countries should be resolved bilaterally. Pakistan's allegation that though the roots of sectarian violence lay elsewhere but that India was taking advantage of the same was categorically rejected. Even the people and media in Pakistan attribute the growth of sectarian strife in Pakistan to Pakistan's own patronage to nurseries of terrorism like Markaz-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), Hizbul Mujahideen and Harqat-ul-Mujahideen etc. who have become breeding grounds for home grown militias that have turned Pakistan cities into battle fields.

6. We also underlined the fact that the menace of terrorism had assumed serious proportions through its nexus with narco-terrorism and drug trafficking. Pakistan today is a major source of supply and a transit route for illicit drugs including heroin. There was agreement on both sides to further strengthen existing bilateral cooperation between the Narcotic Control Bureau of India and Anti-Narcotics Force of Pakistan for combating drug trafficking.

7. Both sides also agreed to set up a mechanism for regular meetings and exchange of operational information between the Central Bureau of Investigation of India and Federal Investigation agency of Pakistan for expeditions assistance to each other for combating various types of crimes including counter feiting of currency, cyber crimes etc.

8. We urged Pakistan to stop its relentless but futile pursuit of destabilising India through state-sponsored terrorism. We believe that for creating a right atmosphere for bilateral relations, and as a responsible country, it is incumbent upon Pakistan to cease these activities which are not in the interests of either country. Accordingly, we proposed the following steps to be taken by Pakistan.

(i) Abandon the policy of state sponsorship of terrorism against India and dismantle totally the infrastructure existing in Pakistan for indoctrinating, recruiting, training, arming financing and infiltrating militants for the purpose of terrorist violence in India.

(ii) Close down more than 30 training camps for terrorists functioning in PoK/Pakistan.

(iii) Hand over immediately to India terrorists and underworld operators of Indian origin currently sheltered in Pakistan and against whom international warrants of arrest have been issued by Interpol.

(iv) To deny use of their territory of other facilities to fundamentalist and militant organizations who have been propagating the cult of religious violence, training militants and raising funds for 'Jehad'.

9. Our discussions were held in a frank and cordial manner. We urged Pakistan to abandon the policy of sponsoring terrorism against India. We pointed out that a stable structure of cooperation between the law enforcing and security agencies of both countries for expeditious assistance to each other in combating terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking would be useful. We have also made it clear to Pakistan that its proxy war will not succeed under any circumstances, and that it would be best to renounce this path and, instead, seek mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of combating terrorism and its associated evils which pose a threat to both our societies.

November 12 , 1998






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