|Sunday, April 16, 2000,
talks till Pak stops terrorism
sets buses on fire
demand Rushdies extradition
No talks till Pak
JAMMU, April 15 Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes reiterated Indias resolve not to hold talks with Pakistan unless Islamabad stopped aiding militants and encouraging infiltration.
In an informal chat with reporters here today after inaugurating a seller-buyer meet and an exhibition of Industrial goods manufactured by the units in the state, Mr Fernandes said I am willing to talk to General Parvez Musharraf. But while we will be busy in parleys his troops may be shedding blood of my jawans.
He said that India had always been willing to hold parleys with Pakistan to normalise relations between the two countries. But Pakistan has never been sincere. He said many people have been suggesting to him to hold talks with Gen Musharraf adding I am ready to discuss all issues over a cup of tea but who knows that while I am having tea or Khana his troops may be shooting my men.
Mr Feranandes said there should be no confusion about Indias stand so long Pak forces continued to pound our border villages we cannot hold talks.
He said that Pakistan had installed additional radars across the Kutch area. There was nothing alarming about it and the only purpose was to contest Indias claim that it had shot down Pakistani plane when it violated the air space. He said Pakistan had filed a case in the International Court of Justice and to give credibility to its version, that its plane had not crossed the Indian air space it had installed radars to explain to the judges that its radar system had not monitored any air violation by its planes.
In reply to a question Mr Fernandes said the LOC did not present any alarming picture. After Bill Clintons visit there was no Pak build-up across the border. He said reports regarding Pakistans plan of pushing into Jammu and Kashmir large groups of militants was yet to be confirmed.
In reply to another question the Defence Minister said that relations with China were improving and recent talks with Chinese leaders had removed misunderstandings. He hinted that the process of holding bilateral talks would continue.
Inaugurating the Meet and the exhibition Mr Fernandes said that when India purchased arms and ammunition from any developed nation.
We received preferential treatment. After sometime, he added, We are faced with a difficult problem when we seek spares. He said the countries that had earlier sold the weapons later started charging very high prices for the spare parts. He said India had to find an alternative when the model of weapons keep on changing after two to three years and spare parts of the old models were not available in the market.
He announced that the Defence Ministry would provide financial help to small scale industrial units manufacturing spare parts of weapons and other arms. The developed countries know it that India had no resources to set up large-scale ordnance factories where big weapons and spare parts could be manufactured though we have 39 ordnance factories in the country.
Mr Fernandes wanted the consumers in India to change their outlook and tastes. He said the American Thums Up is sold for Rs nine a bottle and apple juice produced locally was being sold at Rs 2.50 a bottle. He said if we take apple juice we would be helping our industries.
He said the USA had an annual apple production of 10 lakh tonnes and out of that 40,000 tonnes were used for making apple juices. He suggested to the state Government and the industrialists to set up more apple juice plants. He assured the Chief Minister that the Army authorities besides the CSD units in Jammu and Kashmir would be directed to purchase various items and commodities manufactured by the units within the state.
The meet and the Exhibition were jointly organised by the State Industries Department, Small Industries Service Institute and Government of Indias Agro Industries.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, said that India was passing through a difficult period because of continued Pakistans sponsored proxy war. He said that Pakistan had not responded to Indias desire for promoting friendly relations between the two neighbours and the Kargil conflict was a setback to Indias search for friendship with Pakistan. He said the military regime in Pakistan could commit any mischief and hence it called for a vigil.
Dr Abdullah said Pakistan could never take Kashmir by force and it was thus in the interest of Pakistan to promote friendly relations with India. He laid stress for industrial growth and sought Defence Ministrys help in marketing the products within the Army units. He said that since the state was not in a position to provide Government jobs to all unemployed youths it was necessary to develop industrial base.
Mr Omar Abdullah, Union Minster of State for Commerce said that he would keep his efforts on for getting Industrial package from the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir. He said his efforts would have succeeded but there were some agencies and individuals at the Centre that were trying to sabotage this package.
Mob sets buses on fire
JAMMU, April 15 (PTI) An irate mob today set four State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) vehicles afire and clashed with the police in protest against the alleged beating of a driver and subsequent police firing in Samba town of Jammu and Kashmir.
The trouble erupted when a group of SRTC drivers blocked the Jammu-Pathankot highway at Samba, 40 km from here, this morning protesting against the alleged police firing and beating of the driver yesterday.
The traffic on the highway remained disrupted for over five hours when the police moved in to clear the blockade. As the police resorted to a lathi charge, the protesters set four SRTC buses afire, damaging two of these completely.
Fourteen persons were injured in the incident.
The situation was later brought under control and traffic on the highway resumed, a police official said.
The incident occurred
following an altercation between a group of CRPF soldiers
and a driver last night. A police party, which rushed to
the spot, resorted to firing to bring the situation under
Shias demand Rushdies extradition
SRINAGAR, April 15 (PTI) Shia Muslims in Kashmir today protested against the Centres granting of visa to controversial British novelist Salman Rushdie and demanded his extradition to India.
Muharram processions at Hanjiveera-Pattan in north Kashmir and Badgam in central Kashmir turned into protest marches as news came in that India-born Rushdie was in the country.
The processionists raised anti-government slogans for granting visa to the controversial author of The Satanic Verses for which a fatwa has been issued by Iran, demanding his killing.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |