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Statement by External Affairs Minister on recent actions taken by India

December 27, 2001
New Delhi

Regrettably India's serious concerns about all the ramifications of the 13th December attack on our Parliament have not been fully grasped in Pakistan. The depth of concern in India, the totality of rejection by the entire cross-section of our country's opinion of Pakistan's continued sponsorship of cross-border terrorism, and its promotion of terrorism as an instrument of state policy has also not been sufficiently appreciated. That is why it is doubly regrettable that attempts to dupe the international community with cosmetic half measures, non-measures, or even fictitious incidents are still being made. This is not acceptable. Terrorism can simply not be justified on any grounds, or under the any name. It must be eradicated fully. The Government of India therefore has no option but to take the following further steps :

(a) the strength of the respective High Commissions in the two countries will be reduced by 50%. This is particularly important in the context of recent events, wherein the officials of the Pakistan High Commission have been involved in espionage, as well as in direct dealings with terrorist organizations. This would be implemented within 48 hours;

(b) movement of the officials of the Pakistan High Commission and their families, who stay back, would be confined to the municipal limits of Delhi;

(c) all over-flight facilities available to Pakistan or Pak Airlines to over-fly Indian airspace will cease or be suspended with effect from 1st January 2002. These are, once again, minimal measures that are being taken. We hope even now that the Government of Pakistan will understand the gravity of the situation and take urgent measures to curb the activities of terrorist groups. The Government of India remains ready to take such further measures as are considered necessary.