Saturday, July 28, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PM gets invitation from Musharraf

New Delhi, July 27
A formal invitation to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to visit his country is understood to have been delivered today.

The invitation was handed over by High Commissioner Ashraf Jehangir Qazi to Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer this afternoon.

President Musharraf invited Mr Vajpayee to visit Pakistan during their first one-on-one meeting at Agra on July 15. The Prime Minister readily accepted the invitation.

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has already received an invitation from his Pakistan counterpart Abdul Sattar a few days back.

It is expected that Mr Jaswant Singh would visit Pakistan in September ahead of the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musharraf in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. UNI


India to accept 29 of 31 prisoners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
The announcement made by Pakistan yesterday that 31 Indians, who are lodged in Quetta jail at Balochistan will be released soon has come as a ray hope for several Punjab-based families whose wards are languishing in the Quetta jail for the past several months.

A national TV news channel has reported that among the 31 Indians to be released by the Pakistan authorities, 29 belonged to Punjab. It may mentioned here that the Punjab Government had taken up the matter with the Pakistan authorities through the Union Home Ministry as well as the Union External Affairs Minister for the release of the Punjabi youth.

The story of Punjabi youth in the Pakistan jail would never have come to light if Mr Gurdeep Singh, who is also lodged in the Quetta jail, had not written a letter to his relative in Morinda explaining in detail their fate.

ISLAMABAD (PTI): India is ready to take back 29 of the 31 Indian prisoners who Pakistan offered to release yesterday, but expressed reservations about two women who were believed to be Sri Lankan nationals married to Indians.

Indian High Commission officials here, who provided consular access to the 31 Indian prisoners jailed in Quetta for illegally entering into Pakistan, today said they found 29 of them to be Indians, while two women had Sri Lankan nationality, who claimed to have married to Indians.

The 31, mostly comprised youth who travelled as stowaways in ships to go to Western countries, but caught by the Greek police. They were later sent to Iran from where they entered Pakistan without visas, the officials said.

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