US ignoring India’s concerns about terrorism: Vajpayee
NEW DELHI: India yesterday openly criticised the United States for ignoring its concerns on terrorism a week after offering Washington “unstinted support” in its campaign to fight the menace.
In an interview to the Times of India, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said: “No statements have emanated from Washington to suggest that the US, though appreciative of India’s offer to support its war against terrorism, was in a mood to focus on India’s bitter experience of terrorist activities on its soil.”
An armed Muslim insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir has claimed more than 35,000 lives since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of training, arming and funding Islamic militant groups operating in Kashmir. Islamabad refutes the charge, saying it offers only moral and diplomatic support to the rebels.
Commenting on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s charge that India was seeking to exploit the situation to damage Islamabad’s interests, Vajpayee said “the allegations were along expected lines.”
“What concerns him (Musharraf) is not terrorism. It is Kashmir. How can he be concerned about terrorism? He has promoted it.”
In his interview, Vajpayee also alleged the United States had not declared Pakistan a terrorist state, a longstanding demand by New Delhi, because “it has not seen terrorism in this part of the world in the correct perspective.”
“It is for America to decide whether terrorism is a global phenomenon or whether it is restricted to just one individual,” Vajpayee said, referring to the US campaign to catch Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the attacks that killed more than 6,300 in the United States.
“America alone can determine whether it will address the symptom of terrorism or the system of terrorism,” Vajpayee was quoted as saying.
“America will have to look at the sanctuaries provided to terrorists, at the training camps, at the arms and the money flowing into the hands of the terrorists if it wants to get rid of terrorism, root and branch.”
source: Bahrain Local Time, September 22, 2001