- Islamabad (IANS) - Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf
Saturday banned two terrorist groups that India has blamed for the attack
on its Parliament but reiterated Islamabad's unflinching support for the
cause of the Kashmiri people.
- In an hour-long speech in which he touched on issues
ranging from Kashmir to terrorism and from reform of madrassas (religious
seminaries) to fundamentalism, Musharraf also rejected New Delhi's demand
for extradition of 20 suspected terrorists and criminals wanted for crimes
- He said categorically that no Pakistani would be extradited
while non-Pakistanis will be dealt with strictly according to the law and
evidence supplied by India.
- "We have not given any asylum to non-Pakistanis.
We will consider what action to take against them," Musharraf said.
- Directly addressing Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, Musharraf appealed for a dialogue and quoted him to say that
"Mindsets will have to be altered and historical baggage will have
to be jettisoned."
- "I take you up on this offer. Let us start talking
in this very spirit," Musharraf told Vajpayee.
- At the same time, he warned that Pakistan was fully prepared
to meet any military challenge and said if India were to try any military
adventurism across the border, Pakistan's armed forces will respond with
full vigour and might.
- Musharraf also appealed to the international community,
particularly the U.S., to play an active role in resolving the Kashmir
issue and to closely monitor what he termed as "state terrorism"
and actions of the Indian security forces in the state.
- "Kashmir runs in our blood. No Pakistani can sever
connections with Kashmir. We will continue our moral and diplomatic support
to the Kashmir cause. There is no going back on this," Musharraf said.
- Bracketing the October 1 attack on the Kashmir assembly
and the December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament with the September
11 terror strikes, Musharraf said Pakistan condemned the acts and would
take strong action against organisations and groups indulging in such activities
- "Pakistan will not permit any organisation resorting
to terrorism anywhere in the world," Musharraf said.
- Projecting himself at once as a political and social
reformer and a renaissance man, Musharraf sought to bring about wide-ranging
reforms in the country's religious institutions like mosques and madrassas,
in the police and in the judiciary and sternly warned that any violations
of the country's laws in this regard would be severely punished.
- He said Pakistan had earned a bad name because of the
association of certain religious-extremist elements with the Taliban and
said that his government's efforts would be to project the country as a
modern, progressive and Islamic society where the rule of law prevailed
and the writ of the government extended to the entire country and all its
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