Index

Statement by Prime Minister in Srinagar
J u n e   1 3,   1 9 9 9

By sending mercenaries and its own armed personnel across the Line of Control in the Kargil Sector, Pakistan has once again committed aggression against India. Our Armed Forces are coping with this aggression with their customary bravery and efficiency. I have come here first and foremost to register my support and admiration for our soldiers who are discharging their sacred duty in very difficult conditions. They have the entire nation behind them and we shall not rest until the job is complete.

The State of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India. As everybody is aware, there is a Parliamentary Resolution calling for the return of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to India. Under the Shimla Agreement, India and Pakistan have undertaken not to violate the Line of Control and we have adhered unfailingly to this obligation. Unfortunately, Pakistan is seeking to cloud the issue of its violation of this solemn understanding by suggesting that there are differences of interpretation of the Line of Control. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both India and Pakistan have agreed on the map where the Line of Control runs and Pakistan knows the alignment of the Line of Control up to Point NJ 9842 and north to the glaciers beyond. We will not tolerate any intrusions across this Line of Control and will evict any intruder who violates the Line.

I have been deeply moved by the plight of the people who have been forced to leave their homes in Kargil and other areas close to the Line of Control. The continuous shelling of these villages for the last several years has been particularly heightened in recent months. This tells us the nature of the adversary whom we are confronting. My Government is determined to ensure the return of the displaced persons of their homes, whether in the areas adjacent to the Line of Control or other parts of J&K and we will spare neither effort nor expense in ensuring the safe return and normal living conditions of the displaced persons.

India is for the continuation of the Lahore process which includes a commitment to the Shimla Agreement. For that process to be fruitful it is absolutely necessary for the status quo ante to be restored on the Line of Control. That is the only way to defuse the situation and avoid a costly escalation of the conflict.