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NATIONAL EXECUTIVE December 29, 2001 at New Delhi

Highlights of the remarks made by Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
at the emergency meeting of the National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi - December 29, 2001


The terrorist attack on our Parliament on December 13 has created a situation in the country which is truly without a precedent. No self-respecting nation that values its freedom can take it lying down.

This development has made our decisive fight against terrorism the most important issue on the nation's agenda. Everything else is now secondary.

Our objective is to put an end to Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and in the rest of the country. We shall use all the means and resources at India's command to achieve this objective. No means will be spared, although we shall do our utmost to avoid war with Pakistan.

I have said it before, and I say it again: We do not want war, but a war in the form of cross-border terrorism has already been thrust on India. We would like the world community, which had earlier remained indifferent to this proxy war against India for close to two decades, to bring pressure on Pakistan to take effective steps to stop its policy of cross-border terrorism.

The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11 have changed the world's outlook towards the issue of terrorism. More and more countries now agree that India was right when we were alerting the world community about this menace.

The success in Afghanistan was principally due to the unprecedented global unity against terrorism. India urges the international community to show similar resolve in the struggle against terrorism aimed at India, since the genesis of terrorism, fueled by religious extremism, in Afghanistan and in our country is one and the same.

We welcome the understanding and support extended to India by the international community in our struggle against terrorism. We shall intensify our diplomatic efforts in the days to come to secure a concrete dimension to this understanding and support.

At the same time, I would like one and all to know that, if necessary, India shall fight this battle on its own to achieve our objective.

We have won the battle against terrorism in Punjab on our own strength. We shall similarly triumph against terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and defend our national unity at all costs.

I would like to make it clear that India will not come under any external pressure to dilute our struggle against terrorism. This is our firm resolve.

At this juncture, I appeal to my countrymen to be prepared to face any eventuality - with unity, with courage and with supreme confidence in the justness of our struggle.

In Afghanistan, the outward signs of terrorism have disappeared. Taliban has lost power, which is a welcome development. However, the basic ideology of terrorism is yet to be defeated.

We in India are happy that our policy on Afghanistan has worked. Our support to the Northern Alliance, even at a time when the end of Taliban was not in sight, has demonstrated our principled stand.

In contrast, Pakistan's stand on terrorism has been exposed to be opportunistic. General Musharraf has hinted that he chose to join the international coalition against Taliban with the sole purpose of getting Kashmir. We accept this challenge.

I urge the Party - indeed, all political parties - to launch a Jan Jagaran (mass awareness campaign) to educate our people about the developing situation. Our endeavour should be to take every section of our diverse society with us on this issue. As a matter of fact, the nation is already united. We need to strengthen this unity.

I thank the Opposition parties for the support they have extended to the Government at this hour of crisis. This is in keeping with our proud national tradition.

We should take special care to ensure that no divisive issues are raised by anybody at this juncture. It is our prime duty to see to it that communal peace and harmony remains undisturbed throughout the country.

In conclusion, I have just this appeal to each and every worker of the Party:

"Prepare the nation, in close cooperation with all other parties - ruling or opposition -- to face any eventuality and march as one. Our victory is certain."

I am confident that our Party will rise to the occasion.