Friday, October 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S


Varanasi, October 11
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today vowed to firmly deal with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that security operations will be stepped up to flush out the Pakistan-backed mercenaries.

“The government will not shy away from intensifying the security forces operation,’’ he said adding, “we are discussing the matter and an operation to this effect might be launched after considering all options.’’

Talking to the mediapersons here before leaving for Ballia, to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Jaiprakash Narayan, Mr Vajpayee said the government was also considering the facts made available by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah who had also advocated for such operations.

The Prime Minister said that the government was alive to the issue of terrorism in Kashmir and would not move back.

Supporting the US attacks on Afghanistan against terrorism, he said that it was wrong to suggest that the attacks was against any particular religion. ‘‘Those who are trying to make this an issue are only helping the cause of terrorism,’’ he pointed out.

When asked whether Pakistan had taken an edge over India regarding the US attacks against terrorism, Mr Vajpayee said that it was well known that Pakistan had been supporting terrorism and had to take the turn after pressure from the global community.

He said that India had supported the USA against terrorism, to root out this global phenomenon much earlier. The Prime Minister later left for Ballia by an Indian Air Force helicopter. The UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh and the BJP state president Kalraj Mishra were among those who accompanied Mr Vajpayee to Ballia.

JAIPRAKASH NAGAR (BALLIA): Mr Vajpayee today called upon the countrymen to cross the walls of narrow ideologies and issueless politics in order to build an India of the dreams of national heroes like Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan.

Inaugurating the year-long Jaiprakash birth centenary celebrations at the Lok Nayak’s birth place Sitabdiyaara village here, Mr Vajpayee said that JP had given primacy throughout his life to values and principles. He said the Lok Nayak converted a small-scale students agitation into a revolution for nation-building in 1974 and did not let the torch of democracy and liberty be extinguished even in the wake of an emergency imposed by the then government.

The Lok Nayak had launched the ‘Sampoorna Kranti’ revolution to remove corruption from public life but it still remains incomplete, the Prime Minister regretted and added that many of the present-day politicians owe their stature to Jaiprakash Narayan.

“JP never liked to ignore basic national aims and interests by indulging in narrow ideologies. Though, he was accused of changing ideologies, he never observed any such contradiction in his life’’.

JP’s life, the Prime Minister said, was like a laboratory where he used to explore new ways and solutions under various circumstances.

Mr Vajpayee said that the life and deeds of Lok Nayak can be a source of help and inspiration for us to overcome the difficult phase the country is passing through.

The Prime Minister dedicated a postal ticket released in the memory of Jaiprakash Narayan to the nation today.

He announced that the Maanjhi Bridge being constructed on river Ghaghra would now be known as ‘Jaiprakash Setu’ and the nearby railway station at Bakulaha would be named ‘Jaiprakash railway station’.

On the occasion, Vice-President Krishan Kant, chairman of the programme committee of the Jaiprakash Narayan birth centenary celebrations, recounted the part played by Lok Nayak in the events of 1942, Emergency and other important national occurrences. He said that JP reflected Mahatma Gandhi in some ways and added that though despite training many generations of political leaders, he himself stayed away from the temptation of power. UNI


Powell expects India to exercise restraint

Washington, October 11
The USA does not believe India might try to take advantage of the prevailing situation in the region and ignite a conflict with Pakistan, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said.

“I don’t think that will be the case,” Powell told CBS-TV when asked whether the USA was concerned that India might try to take advantage of the situation and ignite a conflict while the world is distracted.

“In fact, we have been in touch with both governments and they both realise the volatile nature of this situation and I think both of them understand this is not the time for provocative action, which would cause the situation in the region to become unstable,” he added.

Powell said both India and Pakistan had been very forthcoming in terms of the support in the US-led campaign against terrorism.

“Pakistan is on the frontlines of it, really, because of their proximity to Afghanistan, and President Musharraf has done quite a number of very, very important things.

“The Indians have also been very forthcoming with the support that they have given,” he said.

On his coming visit to India and Pakistan, Powell said “I want to go to consult with the leaders in the region, get their assessment, and let them know of American support for their efforts and American interest in the issues that affect those two very important countries on the subcontinent.” PTIBack

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