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LoC can be basis of J&K solution: NSA

India maintains J&K is an integral part of India, and nation's NSA's comments mark a significant shift.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 20:13 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

India's National Security Adviser MK Narayanan has indicated the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan could form the basis for a lasting solution to the Kashmir problem.

At the same time, he accused Pakistan of breeding a new form of jehadi terror aimed at fanning communal tensions within India and pointed to the bomb attacks in the temple town of Varanasi this month that killed 15 people and injured over 100.

New Delhi has always maintained that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including the part under Pakistani control, is an integral part of India, and Narayanan's comments marked a departure from this position.

In a wide-ranging interview with the CNN-IBN news channel aired on Sunday, Narayanan referred to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and said: "It may not be easy. The point really is, I presume, that if finally you have to reach an agreement there must be certain amount of give and take.

"I suppose when people talk in terms of Line of Control it is saying that: 'All right, what has been the actual ground position in the last so many years?' That may be the starting point for an exercise to any changes that you might like to make."

But Narayanan said Pakistan did not seem serious about finding a solution to the Kashmir problem and that India was confused by the suggestions emanating from Islamabad.

"Pakistani suggestions will not lead us forward," he maintained.

Narayanan admitted that Indians could be becoming a part of the Pakistani-sponsored jehadi movement in the country.

"There is a very distinct attempt to alter the mix, if I may say so. We do find, here and there, individuals who are Indians who are getting involved in these (terrorist) offences," he said.

"Almost all of them are sort of inveigled into going across. Sometimes it is Bangkok that is the port from which they go and sometimes it is West Asia. By and large, they are Pakistani connections," he said.

Even so, Narayanan did not rule out a dialogue with Pakistan-based United Jehad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin.

Narayanan also spoke about the India-China border dispute and said leaders of both countries were "ready to go forward", even as New Delhi and Beijing would "have to consider giving up their respective claims" related to the disputed border.

Narayanan, who is India's special representative for talks with China on the border dispute, said: "The last round of Indo-China talks were quite a big step forward.

"The leaders of both the countries are ready to go forward on the boundary dispute. India and China will have to consider giving up their respective claims."

He was also confident of the US Congress ratifying the civilian nuclear deal struck with India during the visit of President George W Bush this month, saying "we are optimistic".

According to Narayanan, the Bush administration was confident of pushing through the nuclear deal in the US Congress.

"(Under Secretary of State) Nicholas Burns spoke to (our) foreign secretary and he admitted that it is a difficult task, but we are making good progress," Narayanan said.

"We are optimistic and I think that it is good for the country and good for the world at large. And despite the fact that there are a large number of doubters all over, we have got a good deal," he asserted.

Holding that the nuclear deal would not dent India's nuclear capability, Narayanan made it clear that New Delhi will not consider new conditions for the pact.

On Bangladesh, Narayanan said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will raise the issue of terrorism with Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia during her visit to India beginning on Monday.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 21:03 IST