I have seen press reports about General Musharraf'srecently released book.
I am still to see the book. But his reported comments on the failure of our talks at Agra have surprised me. No one insulted the General and certainly no one insulted me.
Ever since the NDA Government was formed in March 1998, establishing normalcy in Indo-Pak relations had been a principal item on our agenda. But everyone in our government was acutely alive to the fact that there could be no normalcy in Indo-Pak relations until cross-border terrorism, which had cost thousands of innocent lives, was ended.
With this objective in mind, I undertook a bus journey to Lahore to meet my counterpart and thrash out this and other issues in person.
That trip was appreciated by all, but it yielded no results. When the establishment in Pakistan changed, my government decided to invite General Musharraf to Agra.
General Musharraf readily accepted our invitation and came to Delhi. But at Agra, during our talks he took a stand that the violence that was taking place in Jammu and Kashmir could not be described as ?terrorism?. He continued to claim that the bloodshed in the State was nothing but the people'sbattle for freedom.
It was this stand of General Musharraf that India just could not accept. And this was responsible for the failure of the Agra summit.
Pakistan came to our view point when, in the joint statement of January 2004, it agreed that Pakistan Govt. would not allow Pakistan or any land in its control to be used for purposes of terrorism.
The joint statement of January 2004 became a starting point for the composite dialogue between the two countries.
If General Musharraf had been willing to accept our position in 2000, the Agra Summit would have become successful, and the three subsequent years may have proved very valuable to take our initiative forward.
I am issuing this statement just to put the record straight.