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Britain condemns Pakistani support of terrorism in J & K

Britain condemns Pakistani support of terrorism in J & K

Author: PTI
Publication: Rediff of Net
Date: December 10, 2001

Britain will continue to condemn cross-border support of terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and the "Pakistan government can be under no illusion on this matter", Sir Rob Young, the United Kingdom's high commissioner for India, said on Monday.

"We know for a fact that cross-border infiltration is a contributor to terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, and Britain condemns it," Sir Rob told a meeting in New Delhi on the role of India and Britain in the war on terror. The meeting was organised by the NRI Institute.

"Britain condemns terrorism everywhere, including in Kashmir. Terror tactics cannot be justified anywhere in the world, including in Jammu & Kashmir," he said.

Asserting that Britain's Terrorism Act of 2000, which has outlawed outfits like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayiba, aims to make it impossible for Britain to be used as a base by anyone to threaten the security of other countries, he said the current process of establishing an interim government in Afghanistan was a unique opportunity for stability in the region.

Maintaining that the military offensive in Afghanistan was only the first phase of the fight against terrorism, he said there is a long global campaign ahead in which India and Britain have active roles to play.

Former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao was chief guest at the meeting which was addressed, among others, by Dr L M Singhvi, former Indian high commissioner for the UK, non-resident Indian industrialist Srichand Hinduja and Air Chief Marshal (retired) N C Suri.

Maintaining that only a beginning had been made in fighting terrorism, Narasimha Rao reminded the audience that nations also have to address the minds and guns of terrorists.

"Better late than never, we have started feeling the reality of terrorism," he said. "But the tougher task is to address the mind and gun of the terrorist, which will take the longest time."

Dismissing theories painting the war as a clash between religions and civilisations, he said, "We will have to look into how the ramifications of the fight against terror are addressed." He appreciated Britain's co-operation with India in this regard.

Hinduja said the problem of Kashmir should also be resolved to bring lasting peace to South Asia. He emphasised that economic development was the only way to address the root causes of terrorism.

"Economic development of the people will prevent them from depending on terrorists," he said, adding that the money spent in war should be used to create basic physical and social infrastructure, which would lead to economic growth and a better quality of life.

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