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Press Release on Pakistan's activities along the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir

New Delhi
May 21, 1999

We have seen the statement made yesterday by an Official Spokesman of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on recent developments along the Line of Control in the Kargil sector in Jammu & Kashmir. We have also seen reports of comments made by a Pakistan Military Spokesman on these developments. These constitute a brazen attempt by the Pakistan government to obfuscate the truth and camouflage their true intentions, while projecting an air of injured innocence.

The facts are that Pakistan has, since early this month, under the cover of intense artillery shelling, pushed into Indian territory across the LOC in the Kargil sector, a large number of armed intruders. Evidently, Pakistan hoped that these armed intruders would succeed in consolidating their positions, so that they could pose a continuing threat to peace and security in Jammu & Kashmir. However, the Army has through effective and timely movement surrounded most of these infiltrating groups. All necessary action will be taken by the Armed Forces to complete their task of putting an end to this intrusion. Pakistan should be aware from its own experience that such foolhardy ventures against India can never succeed.

This is yet another instance of Pakistan's persistent efforts to infiltrate terrorists across the LOC, in pursuit of its designs on Jammu & Kashmir. We call upon Pakistan to observe its obligations under the Simla Agreement, in particular, to desist from violating the international boundary and the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. We reiterate that Pakistan must abandon its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, and elsewhere in India, its continuing firing, including artillery shelling across the international boundary and the LOC in Jammu & Kashmir, often targeting the civilian population , as well as its vicious propaganda against India. We must once again make it clear that there can not be a resolution of complex issues, or the building of a stable bilateral relationship as long as Pakistan continues to engage in these confrontational and hostile activities.

Our desire for good neighbourly relations with Pakistan was once again made amply clear in the historic initiative of Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee to visit Lahore in February this year. We call upon Pakistan to join us in following up on the Lahore Declaration, which commits the two countries to work purposefully in building confidence and trust, put in place a stable structure of cooperation and resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful bilateral discussions.