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Statement of Jaswant Singh, External Affairs and Defence Minister, in response to the Press conference of Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan

New Delhi,
July 20, 2001

I believe that this press conference better explains and now people can judge for themselves as to why it became so difficult to arrive at an agreed document during the Agra Summit.

I do however wish to take this opportunity to place clearly and categorically on record that the thesis advanced by His Excellency Gen. Pervez Musharraf that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory is totally not acceptable to us. It is not a disputed territory, it is an integral part of India and precisely yet another reason why the continuous insistence by Pakistan to treat it as a core issue and our difficulty to accept that because we continue to believe that the state of Jammu and Kashmir and what it represents is at the core of Indian nationhood.

Another aspect relating to the cross-border terrorism, it is disappointing that in the face of daily killings of innocent men, women and children, terrorism encouraged and abetted from across the LoC and across the border is attempted to be explained away on some newly stretched argument of legalism. The LoC is a treaty document born of the Simla Agreement. There are contained in the Simla Agreement commitment by both India and Pakistan not to do anything to encourage any activities that disturb or order in either of the country.