Counsellor (Press, Information & Culture)
Embassy of India, Washington, DC
Following is a press release issued in New Delhi on the Joint meeting of theJune 8, 1999
National Security Council, Strategic Policy Group and National Security Advisory Board
The Prime Minister chaired a joint meeting of the National Security Council, the Strategic Policy Group and the National Security Advisory Board earlier today. Home Minister, Raksha Mantri, External Affairs Minister, Finance Minister and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission were present. The three Service chiefs were in attendance as members of the Strategic Policy Group. The main focus of the discussion was the situation in Kargil and the broader question of India-Pakistan relations.
The meting undertook an in-depth and wide-ranging analysis of the motivations and politico-strategic objectives of the current Pakistani intrusion, in both the short term and long term perspective. A clear understanding of Pakistan's aims emerged from the discussions. Pakistan's recent official pronouncements reveal an inclination towards adventurism, the consequences of which shall be entirely Pakistan' responsibility.
The dicsussions revealed complete unanimity that the combined Army-Air Force operations in Kargil were the right response to the Pakistani armed incursion across the LoC. All necessary means required to reverse this should be used. There was also complete agreement that Pakistani attempts to question the Line of Control, and to violate the Shimla Agreement were completely unacceptable.
It was also agreed that India should remain committed to the composite dialogue with Pakistan on issues that have been agreed between the two sides. The Lahore process should be sustained in the search for a comprehensive improvement in relations with Pakistan. At the same time, India must be prepared for all eventualities in the fluid situation prevailing today. This requires a sustained effort based on national will and political consensus.
The meeting also noted that the international community had shown greater understanding of India's concerns. The situation called for more intensive diplomacy so as to neutralise Pakistan's efforts to mislead and disinform public opinion.
Special attention at the meeting was paid to information-related aspects. India has been the target of a ten year terrorist campaign in J&K and other parts of India. It should make more active efforts at educating public opinion both in India and abroad. It should also highlight the forbearance it has shown so far, in the face of grave provocation.
Prime Minister decided that this process of combined consultations will be continued.