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Press Release on Pak General Parvez Musharraf's statement

New Delhi
October 18, 1999

In response to a question, the Official Spokesman said that we had seen response of General Parvez Musharraf’s televised address of 17th October 1999. The steps outlined by General Musharraf confirm that Pakistan is now effectively under what amounts to martial law, following the military coup of 12 October 1999. The administrative structure sought to be put in place will be entirely under the direction and control of the Pakistan Armed Forces.

In his brief reaction of October 13, 1999 Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had outlined India’s consistent and principled policy towards Pakistan. India continues to wish the people of Pakistan well and desires to build with them ties of friendship and co-operation based on mutual trust and confidence for which the government of Pakistan needs to create a proper environment. In order to foster such an environment, it is imperative that Pakistan should seize its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. Pakistan has pursued the sponsorship of terrorism in India as a matter of state policy and as yet we see no signs that this is abating. We will judge them by their actions in stopping cross-border terrorism and abandoning hostile propaganda.

In the context of General Musharraf’s comments on the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the official spokesman reiterated that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. A part of the territory of the state is under the illegal and forcible occupation of Pakistan. The state is at the very core of the India nationhood. The people of the state have shown remarkable resilience and have not been cowed down by Pakistan’s campaign of terrorism.

With regard to General Musharraf’s announcement of the return of forces moved to the international border in the recent past, the official spokesman said that let us be clear about this withdrawal offer. The withdrawal is intended to be from the international border where Pakistani troops had massed during the Kargil operations. All that is going to happen is that Pakistani troops from these locations will now go back to their barracks. Attempts, however at transgressing the LoC continue, of which Kargil was an extreme manifestation.