Sunday, September 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India won’t add to Pak problems: Jaswant
Speaks to Sattar on phone
Tribune News Service and agencies

New Delhi, September 22
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today told his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Sattar that India had no intention of adding to the current complexities of Indo-Pak relations.

Mr Jaswant Singh made this observation when Mr Sattar rang him up today and asked him to convey these feelings to President Pervez Musharraf. The telephonic conversation lasted 10 minutes, Ms Nirupama Rao, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Significantly, the conversation between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan comes at a time when the two countries have once again got engaged in a war of words against each other.

In another development today, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had a telephonic conversation with French President Jacques Chirac while Mr Jaswant Singh spoke to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and discussed the situation in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks against the USA.

Mr Vajpayee and Mr Chirac agreed that a global phenomenon like terrorism “should not be compartmentalised and clubbed with any region.” During their 20-minute conversation they also agreed that Islam should not be equated with terrorism as it was a peace-loving religion.

The Prime Minister’s conversation with Mr Chirac comes in the wake of the French leader’s US visit and his talks with President George W Bush.

Mr Jaswant Singh’s conversation with the Israeli minister focussed on the situation in West Asia and the fast-paced developments that are taking place since the attacks. Mr Peres told Mr Jaswant Singh that he was looking forward to visiting India.


Western diplomats arrive from Pak
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, September 22
As the USA and the Taliban prepare for war, foreign diplomats, their families and other nationals, mostly from European nations, today entered India through the Wagah checkpost road. According to customs and BSF officers manning the border post, more than 70 foreign nationals possessing transit visas issued by the Indian Embassy in Islamabad were allowed safe passage.

Besides the diplomats, tourists from Canada, the UK and some East European nations were asked by their respective missions in Pakistan to leave the country for their own safety.

Last night, the Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan, along with his family, crossed over to India.

Talking to reporters, he said in view of the tense situation, he was advised by his government to leave Pakistan.

According to reports available representatives of various missions in Delhi were camping at the Wagah checkpost for facilitating the entry of their diplomatic staff and other nationals for their safe passage to Delhi en route to their respective countries.

The Customs Department and other agencies have extended full cooperation to them for crossing into India, even at odd hours and the border will remain open round the clock.

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