Full text of the statement by MEA official spokesperson.
We are not surprised by General Musharraf’s empty rhetoric on Jammu & Kashmir in his address on the occasion of the Independence Day of Pakistan, though we would have expected him to use the opportunity to convey a more constructive message rather than re-cycle hackneyed thinking.
It is becoming increasingly clear, as we had suspected all along, that General Musharraf has no intention of putting an end to the involvement of the Pakistani State and its agencies with terrorism, including cross border terrorism. Our past skepticism, based on the wide gap between his words and actions, has once again been justified.
Instead of indicating what further measures he intended to take to end cross border infiltration and terrorism, in keeping with his commitments of January 12, May 27 and June 06, he has only repeated the time worn and frayed formulations about so-called ‘self-determination’, and ‘core dispute’.
The ‘sacred trust’ that he spoke about to the people of Pakistan should really be to establish a moderate and democratic Pakistan, free from military rule and networks of fundamentalist terrorism.
After the rigged referendum in Pakistan and constitutional and political manipulations that are going on before the October elections there, one would have hoped that General Musharraf would have been more restrained in his pronouncements on elections in Jammu & Kashmir in September and October. Perhaps it is the contrast between free and fair elections in Jammu & Kashmir within the framework of India’s democracy and the national elections in Pakistan conducted by a military regime that worries him.
His denigration of the electoral process in Jammu & Kashmir and indirect exhortations to boycott the elections, coupled with disowning responsibility for terrorist activity sponsored to disrupt the electoral process in Jammu & Kashmir, indicate that our concerns that Pakistan intends to sabotage these elections are well founded. Conduct of peaceful elections in Jammu & Kashmir is linked to Pakistan’s peaceful conduct, and this responsibility General Musharraf does not seem to want to discharge.
General Musharraf has referred ironically, to those that the Pakistani State has ‘guided’ and nurtured for years to conduct terrorist activities in pursuit of Pakistan’s objectives, as a ‘misguided’ minority which is carrying out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. It is time Pakistan learnt the right lessons from this situation.
It is regrettable that General Musharraf should continue to indulge in such negative posturing and seek to heighten tensions by provocative language. We have taken note of his intention to disrupt peaceful elections in Jammu & Kashmir and to continue his hostile postures towards India. The Government of India will take the necessary measures to counter Pakistan’s designs.
August 14, 2002