The government has hinted at going after the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for its recent attacks in Assam.
“From our side, we want to have peace in Assam and if ULFA has decided to carry out these tactics, we will pursue it in a manner we were trying to avoid so far,” National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, MK Narayanan, told media persons on board the PM’s special aircraft on Saturday.
He hit out at the ULFA for its unwillingness to come to the negotiating table. "We offered a hand of friendship but the ULFA leadership of Paresh Barua and Arabinda Rajkhowa is completely out of step with the views and aspirations of the people of Assam. Perhaps they are acting at the dictates of a foreign power. The key to the stalemate in the state lies with the people who need to reject the ULFA," he said.
The prime minister, who returns from the Philippines on Monday, will travel the next day to Assam to meet victims of the ULFA violence.
Answering questions on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Pakistan, Narayanan said, “The external affairs minister is going there with an invitation for President Pervez Musharraf to the forthcoming SAARC summit to be held in New Delhi. If he attends, we will be very happy.”
Asked about Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's statement that Kashmir remained an issue, Narayanan said, “The atmosphere is good. For Pakistan, the issue is Jammu and Kashmir, but we are ready to discuss everything, including J&K," he said.
He dismissed Musharraf's proposal of a joint management of Jammu and Kashmir. India favoured joint consultative mechanisms in tourism, culture and enhancing people-to-people contacts, he said.
On Sir Creek, he said, “There is a survey which is going on and both sides are willing to abide by the result of the survey. So there is certainly progress there,” he said.