Thursday, May 23, 2002
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By Luv Puri
The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, peering through a pair of binoculars while being shown captured weapons from militants at a military base in Kupwara in Jammu on Wednesday. AP
In a forceful address to the jawans at the Kupwara brigade headquarters here this afternoon, Mr. Vajpayee said the country was facing a proxy war waged by a neighbouring country and urged the armed forces to be ready for a "decisive battle".
"The time has come for a decisive battle and we will have a sure victory in this battle," the Prime Minister said, adding that his visit to Jammu and Kashmir had a deep meaning and "whether Pakistan or the world take note of it or not, a new chapter of victory and triumph will be written in the history books soon.'' The Prime Minister said the country believed in peace, but it should not be construed as "our weakness''. "The enemy has thrown us a challenge by waging a proxy war. We accept it and pledge to give it a crushing defeat,'' he said.
Mr. Vajpayee said many questions were being put to him about possible action against terrorists and the sponsors of terrorism. "My visit to the State holds an answer to it. Whether our neighbouring country or the world notices it, I am sure that by this visit an important chapter of victory and triumph will be added in our history. We will emerge victorious,'' he said amid applause from the jawans.
The Prime Minister said the country was prepared for any eventuality and its armed forces and 100 crore Indians had pledged to defeat the designs of the enemy. "We will teach the perpetrators of the proxy war a lesson. Our forces are standing like rock on the borders."
Referring to the Kargil war, Mr. Vajpayee said Pakistan had betrayed the country New Delhi had expected friendship. "But they sent in mercenaries and captured our land. We defeated them and liberated every inch of land from them. They were given a crushing blow. But they still did not derive any lesson from it,'' he said adding that despite the defeats they have not learnt lessons. "They have now waged a new type of war against us. But we have vowed to defeat it and our forces are in full preparedness to defeat the nefarious designs of the enemy,'' he added.
Referring to the Kaluchak carnage in Jammu in which 32 persons were killed by terrorists, Mr. Vajpayee said the gruesome killing of children and women showed the real face of terrorists. The Defence Minister, George Fernandes, said a new type of situation had arisen after Kaluchak and the country would not sit idle but would defeat the designs of the militants. He assured the Prime Minister that the armed forces were fully ready and capable of inflicting a crushing defeat on the aggressors.
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