Monday, January 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Jaswant favours joint security efforts

RIYADH, Jan 21 (PTI) — India today said New Delhi and Riyadh should work jointly for security of their respective regions and made it clear that its nuclear and missile programme were not aimed at any country.

“The security of the two regions is inseparable. We must work together with that recognition of reality”, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, told newsmen at the end of his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

Asked about Pakistan attributing motives behind his visit to the kingdom, he said it “stands on its own and is aimed at furthering relations between the two countries and is not directed against any third country.

Allaying any apprehension about India’s missile programme in the context of test-firing of Agni-II, he said it had no aggressive content and was part of New Delhi’s concern of tackling extremely complicated security situation in the region.

India declared its commitment to a composite dialogue with Pakistan provided Islamabad ended cross-border terrorism and said New Delhi’s nuclear policy would continue to be that of restraint and responsibility.

“India is committed to a composite dialogue but to make it meaningful Islamabad should demonstrate its commitment to existing bilateral agreements — the Simla accord and the Lahore declaration — and effectively end its support to cross-border terrorism,” Mr Jaswant Singh said.

“As the Indian Prime Minister said at the UN, terrorism and dialogue do not go together,” Mr Jaswant Singh told a gathering of distinguished Saudis including industrialists and intellectuals here.

Describing international terrorism, with its links to religious extremism, drug trafficking and illicit arms transfer, as a “serious phenomenon,” he said democracies and pluralistic societies were principal targets of the menace.

He said India had been a victim of this for nearly 20 years which had claimed lives of 40,000 innocent people and nearly 5000 security personnel.

“We completely reject all attempts to cloak this medieval barbarism in the veneer of ‘jehad,’ which we see as a travesty and negation of the great tenets of Islam.”

On New Delhi’s nuclear policy, he said, “India has always subscribed to and remains committed to elimination of all weapons of mass destruction — globally.”


Horses for Jaswant

RIYADH, Jan 21 (PTI) — As a gesture of goodwill, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah-bin Abdul Aziz today gifted a pair of Arabian horses from his personal stable to visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.

The horses — a male and a female — are named Jarra and Samira. Both would be reaching India soon.

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