|N E W S
I N ..D E T A I L
Thursday, October 15, 1998
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI) India will forcefully take up the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir during the three-day Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks beginning in Islamabad on Friday.
New Delhi will convey its serious concern over unabated attempts from across the border to stir up trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, Senior External Affairs Ministry officials said today.
Foreign Secretary K. Raghunath will leave for Islamabad tomorrow leading an eight-member Indian delegation for talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shamshad Ahmad.
The Indian delegation comprises Joint Secretaries Vivek Katju (Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan), Rakesh Sood (Disarmament) besides a Joint Secretary (Policy and Coordination) in the Defence Ministry and senior External Affairs Ministry officials.
While on October 16, the two sides will discuss proposals on peace and security including confidence-building measures, on October 17, the parleys will be exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir.
The delegations will have a wrap-up on October 18.
The officials made it clear that India was going for the dialogue, resuming after a year-long gap, with a "serious, constructive and positive frame of mind".
PATNA: Defence Minister George Fernandes on Wednesday termed as "uncalled for" the reported concern of Pakistan over Indias plan to undertake a military exercise on its border saying that such an exercise was a "routine one in nature".
"It is like an exercise we do for physical fitness... The Army has to do it to keep the jawans fit", Mr Fernandes told reporters at the airport here while on way to the strife-torn Biharsharif town.
"More so, we have already informed Islamabad which is also contemplating an exercise later this month," Mr Fernandes said.
He said the exercise planned by us had nothing to do with the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries.
The Defence Minister ruled out the possibility of an armed conflict with Pakistan and charged the Western media with having launched a "sinister campaign to create an atmosphere of fear in South Asia."
The Defence Minister said the Union Cabinet might send back its recommendation for dismissal of the Bihar Government to President K.R. Narayanan.
"We have for the time being shelved the recommendation to the President for use of Article 356 of the Constitution in Bihar..... The Cabinet may send it back to him (Narayanan) in future, Mr Fernandes said.
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