July 12, 2020
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Lok Sabha Debate

'We Do Not Fear International Isolation'

Pakistan being a nuclear power is not something that we have to always talk about because the more we talk about this, the more we limit our own security options which I do not think we should do.

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'We Do Not Fear International Isolation'
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We can say that the December 13th attack was also the same as that of September 11th, I think we must also look at our reaction. After September, 11th incident, there was not one voice that was uttered against President Bush and his Government. Why? It is because the United States of America knows what it is to stand together in an hour of crisis. Unfortunately, in our case it is sad but it is true.

I know what security failure is. If security were to have failed on December 13th, it is a fact, unfortunate but true, a lot of us may not have been here today. That is a credit to the security forces, to their bravery and to the fact that we had a system in place that allowed us to withstand the worst possible attack. When one or more people act with an intention of laying down their lives for a cause, it is extremely difficult to safeguard against such people.

Now, a lot has been said about how India has been isolated after this attack and the world has not joined us in condemning it. President Bush called our Prime Minister on the very same day; Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke to the Prime Minister Vajpayee the very same day. There have been messages of condemnation from almost every country of the world condemning what happened on the December 13th as an act of terrorism.

A lot has been said about how this Government has internationalized Kashmir and how Kashmir has become an international issue. The fact of the matter is that Kashmir was internationalized long before the NDA Government took charge; the fact of the matter is that terrorism now has been internationalized by us. The world at large now recognizes that India is a victim of the worst form of international terrorism and they are standing by us in our hour of need.

What is India’s response going to be, what we are going to do. There have been voices in favour of taking on camps in Pakistan. There have also been voices that they have talked in terms of diplomacy. Diplomacy, of course, is our primary initiative, our primary goal. We are not an irresponsible Government. If India were an irresponsible Government or rather if the NDA were an irresponsible Government, not aware of its international obligations and commitments, after Kargil, we would have gone across the Line of Control and done whatever we had to, then.

Keeping in mind the responsibilities that we have to our country, to our people and beyond to the international community, we have always, where necessary, acted with restraint and with the great degree of maturity possible. We will do what is necessary to protect our borders, but it will not be the first option that we will consider. Force, violence and war will never be the first option of this NDA Government under the able leadership of hon. Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This much I can assure the House and we can assure the rest of the country.

A lot has been mentioned about the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear power and this in itself should stop us. I for one, and this is my own personal opinion, am reluctant to believe that in the event of a normal war going against them, Pakistan will choose the nuclear option. This is not something that we have to always talk about because the more we talk about this, the more we limit our own security options which I do not think we should do.

We do not fear international isolation. We have never feared international isolation where a decision has been in the interests of national security. I was not, going to use this opportunity to talk about POTO because this is not a debate on POTO. But since Shri Somnath Chatterjee made reference to POTO and made reference to me in the same sentence. I still believe that POTO is a law which is necessary. My Party believes that it is necessary which is why the Jammu and Kashmir Government has already implemented POTO in J&K.

I am a Kashmiri and proud of being an Indian. It is my humble appeal to everyone, both within the House and outside, that not all Muslims are Pakistanis and not all Kashmiris are terrorists. There are more than enough Kashmiris today who are laying down their lives for this country. The Jammu and Kashmir Police who are working side by side with the Central Agencies, not only to crack this crime but all other incidents of terrorism, are also Kashmiri. They are also Muslim but they lay down their lives every day for this country.

I once again like to reiterate this Government’s firm resolve and commitment to combat all forms of Pakistan’s nefarious designs both diplomatically and if, once again if, need arises, we will combat them by any means necessary. But we will most certainly keep the sentiments, opinions and the security of the people of India foremost in our thoughts before we decide.

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