September 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India
No assurance to USA:
New Delhi, September 27
“We have not given any direct or indirect assurance to the USA about offering our bases and we should put an end, once for all, to such speculation”, the Prime Minister observed at an all-party meeting here which included leaders of the Congress, Left parties, the AIADMK, the TDP, the BSP, the Samajwadi Party and the RJD.
The meeting saw a strong demand from several parties that India should take a lead in mobilising the NAM in the fight against terrorism.
Condemning attempts to link the fight against international terrorism with Islam, Mr Vajpayee called for an all-party national campaign against terrorism and stressed on the need for maintaining communal harmony in the country.
Briefing mediapersons after a two-hour meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said Mr Vajpayee said the government was not depending on anyone for its fight against terrorism.
Even as a majority of the Opposition parties extended their support to the government, the Congress and Left parties cautioned against taking any step which would run counter to the country’s long-sustained policy of non-alignment.
They also asked the government to step up efforts to activate the United Nations with the CPM saying it should not merely be a “follower of America”. The leaders suggested that the government should also have close consultations with neighbouring countries and a “look East” perspective instead of only contacting western countries in the prevailing international situation.
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