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'Gujarat Was An Unadulterated Act Of Terrorism'

The MEA spokesperson on the visiting EU team, Musharraf and his comments on Gujarat, IMF loan to Pakistan and Abu Salem deportation. September 30, 2002.

Reaction to EU comments on Pakistan elections; EU has also criticized the constitutional amendments..

I haven’t seen the text of the statement. We have seen a number of such comments issued by people who have been in Pakistan, who have been observing the pre-election process and there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Pakistan’s definition or  invention of "sustainable democracy" is a concept that is not recognized or shared by other countries and while we don’t comment on internal developments in Pakistan, it is unfortunate that Pakistan seeks to present itself as the gold standard when it comes to commenting on the fully free and fully fair election process in Jammu and Kashmir. So that’s all I would like to say.  

General Musharraf has made a number of comments on Gujarat..

As I said earlier that we have seen gross interference in our internal affairs on the part of Pakistan. Everybody all over the world has condemned this act of terrorism while Pakistan seems to spin its own theories and offer its own explanations for what happened. I think this is something we do not accept and it is time Pakistan set its own house in order rather than seeking to pontificate on matters that do not concern it. What happened in Gujarat was an unadulterated act of terrorism from beginning to end. Innocent men, women and children were victims of that act and terrorism has to be condemned. You can’t have good or bad terrorists. You can’t justify an act of terrorism. That’s very clear. I think it is clear to all of us. All of us, like minded people who are united in our understanding of what terrorism means and what its consequences are. 

Is the Government of India concerned about the release of US $300 million by IMF to Pakistan?

Answer: You want me to comment on everything that happens in Pakistan! We have always spoken in favour of the welfare, the development of all people in this region. In the case of Pakistan on the majority of occasions that you have seen in the past, you have seen economic assistance that has gone to that country being used for means which are not designed for the development of Pakistani people but are  means basically aimed at intensifying conflicts in our region, raising tensions, and I mean specifically to Pakistan’s military build up, to its acquisition of weapons and military capability that is basically aimed against India. That is where our concerns are magnified. As far as the assistance for the development of the Pakistani people, for their health, for their education, economic development, the people of India, the Government of India has no opposition to that.  

What is the status on Abu Salem?

I will have to check. As I mentioned our CBI team is in Portugal and our External Affairs Minister has written to the Portuguese Foreign Minister. I know there was a question from your paper yesterday about a Portuguese news report saying that the Portuguese have responded to it.  I have no information to corroborate that report

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