NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh made it known on Wednesday that irrespective of whatever President Bill Clinton says about the signing of CTBT by India during his visit next week, the Vajpayee Government would not come under any pressure. “Our decision will be taken in Delhi and not in Washington,” he affirmed.
He was responding to a volley of questions in the Lok Sabha on the pressures that Clinton may exert during his India visit. He said, “America has been fully made known India’s views on various matters” and as such there can be no confusion.
Asked by Congress deputy leader Madhavrao Scindia whether the military rule in Pakistan had created further hurdle, besides terrorism, to dialogue between the two countries, Jaswant Singh quipped that who rules Pakistan was “not our concern” as only the Supreme Court of Pakistan can resolve such an issue.
“We have not made any condition about the chief executive’s position,” Jaswant Singh added, while making it known that India remains committed to resolve various disputes with Pakistan through dialogue “but it needs suitable climate.” Time and again, Pakistan has been told to create that climate for dialogue “by stopping promotion to cross-border terrorism and complete stoppage of hostile propaganda,” he said.
Confronted by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav that the Government cannot escape responsibility by describing development in Pakistan as its internal matter, Jaswant Singh said India had already held the military rule in that country as “khedjanak (unfortunate).”
AZAD KASHMIR: India never accepts the area of Jammu and Kashmir in occupation of Pakistan as “Azad Kashmir” as hailed by Pakistan, but the term “Azad Kashmir” unfortunately went on the record of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday as the ruling BJP member Chandresh Patel chose to describe the occupied area as “Azad Kashmir” in one of his supplementaries. He wanted to know if there was any possibility of discussion on “Azad Kashmir” with Clinton during his India visit.
Jaswant Singh was, however, careful in describing the territory as “Pak-occupied Kashmir” and pointing out that both the Houses of Parliament have adopted unanimous resolutions that the territory was actually part of India and the Prime Minister had also made this quite clear only recently asking Pakistan to vacate it. The US has been made fully known about India’s view, the External Affairs Minister said.
He pointed out that the Government’s consistent view has been that all issues between India and Pakistan have to be resolved through bilateral dialogue, in accordance with the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999, and also that there is no role for any third party in the resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan.
The Minister quoted even Clinton accepting this position of India when he said on February 16 that India and Pakistan will “have to work out this business of Kashmir between themselves, and unless we are asked by both parties to help, we cannot get involved.” END