Bangalore, June 06: Keeping up mounting pressure on Pakistan and declining there was any softening of the Indian stance in the current stave-off, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes has averred that there was no question of any de-escalation on the Indo-Pak border until Islamabad ended cross-border terrorism and handed over the 14 terrorists wanted by India.
Dismissing reports that India might initiate the process of de-escalation soon, Mr Fernandes told reporters here that de-escalation can only come when cross-border terrorism ends. He reiterated that Pakistan must hand-over the 14 terrorists of Indian origin now “enjoying hospitality of Pakistan establishment.”
“Unless these things (ending cross-border terrorism and handing over of terrorists) were taken care of, there is no way one can discuss de-escalation,”
Mr Fernandes thundered. India, he emphasised, was consistent on these two points, which he described as significant and important. Queried if military option against Pakistan was still on, he said: “If cross border terrorism does not stop, we have a problem in our hands, which we have to resolve.”