Thursday, March 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

‘Foolproof’ security for Clinton

NEW DELHI, March 15 (PTI) — The Capital’s 55,000 strong police force has been put on a “general state of alert” to ensure “foolproof” security for Mr Bill Clinton who arrives here on March 19 evening, on the first visit by a US President in 22 years, Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said here today.

Describing Mr Clinton as a “very threatened person”, Mr Sharma told PTI that “all aspects” including a close watch on the large number of Afghan refugees in the Capital and a constant vigil on the entry and exit points to the city, “are being taken care of.”

“Vigil is being maintained across the city and the police is in a general state of alert,” he said, adding his force is closely coordinating with American and Indian intelligence and security agencies, including the US Marines, Intelligence Bureau and National Security Guard to ensure “fool-proof security” to the visiting dignitary.

All security arrangements would be in place by March 17, two days ahead of Mr Clinton’s arrival, he said.

“We will not allow the visit to be disturbed at any cost,” he said when asked about the proposed ‘protest actions’ planned by left-wing organisations, including burning of Mr Clinton’s effigies and US flags.

Asked whether the Delhi police had been relegated to the backseat with US marines and security officials taking charge of the presidential visit, Mr Sharma shot back “what is not seen is the real arrangement and we are taking care of that.”

“While I am in charge of the overall security, a Special Commissioner is coordinating all arrangements,” he said.

He said the services of NSG commandos, popularly would be requisitioned “wherever required.”

Questioned about the proposed “March to Parliament” by Left organisations on the day, Mr Clinton is scheduled to address the joint session of Parliament, he said, “We have never allowed anyone to march up to Parliament. We will stop them where we feel necessary.”

The Commissioner said there would be some restrictions on traffic movements in the city during Mr Clinton’s visit “but they would be publicised much in advance to avoid any inconvenience to the general public.”


Respect LoC, says Albright

WASHINGTON, March 15 (UNI) — US Secretary of State Madelene Albright has made out a strong case for upholding the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir, saying as long as this simple principle is violated, the people of Kashmir have on real hope of peace.

Tangible steps must be taken to respect the line of control, she said in a speech at the Asia society here yesterday on President Clinton’s visit next week to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

To drive home her point about the sanctity of LoC, she said, today, the conflict over Kashmir has been fundamentally transformed. Nations must not attempt to change borders or zones of occupation through armed force.

She also made clear that President Clinton was not going to Pakistan to mediate the Kashmir dispute and that he would not do that unless both sides asked.

She listed US interests in Pakistan: Avoiding the threat of conflict in South Asia, fostering democracy in Pakistan, fighting terrorism, preventing proliferation, doing what we can to help create an environment of regional peace and security and reaching out to a people whose history is one of friendship with the United States.

Ms Albright said that one topic that the US would discuss in both India and Pakistan was the relationship between these two countries. India and Pakistan today must find some way to move forward, she added.

Ms Albright said the USA continued to seek universal adherence to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). We believe the South Asian nuclear tests of May 1998 were historic mistake, and UN Security Council Resolution 1172 makes it plain that the international community agrees with us.

The United States does not regard India’s missiles or nuclear weapons as a direct threat to us. But we do regard proliferation — anywhere — as out number one security concern, Ms Albright said.

She said, we believe that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would advance India’s security interests, as it would advance our own, she said. We will persist in our efforts to reconcile, to the greatest extent possible, our nonproliferation concerns with India’s appreciation of its security requirements.

Ms Albright said, our dialogue on these subjects will be continued during the President’s trip, and beyond.-

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