Saturday, November 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Vajpayee, Bush pledge to fight terrorism
Tribune News Service

S President George W. Bush, interrupted by an Indian reporter
US President George W. Bush, interrupted by an Indian reporter while answering a question, points to the reporter asking him to let him finish his answer, as he holds a Press conference with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (L) in the Grand Foyer of the White House on Friday. — Reuters photo

Washington, November 9
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and US President George W. Bush, after their first ever one-to-one discussion here today, announced that they would fight terrorism in all its forms.

Emerging from their much-awaited discussions, the two leaders said they had very meaningful talks relating to the current Afghanistan problem, the issue of terrorism, post-Taliban arrangement in Afghanistan, apart from bilateral and multi-lateral relations.

To a question by an Indian journalist whether an American life was more precious than an Indian life, an apparent reference to cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan, Mr Bush said: “Terrorism is evil and all of us must work to reject evil.”

He said when there was the terrorist attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, he had condemned it strongly.

Mr Vajapayee, when asked whether he conveyed India’s concerns on cross-border terrorism and that countries which were part of the problem could not be part of the solution, said the issue of cross-border terrorism had been engaging the attention of both countries.

Referring to Mr Vajpayee’s remarks in an interview to the Washington Post on the less satisfactory progress on the war in Afghanistan and whether coalotion partners could air their grievances in public, Mr Bush said the Prime Minister and he had very good discussion about the progress in the war.

In his opening remarks at the news conference, Mr Bush said his administration was committed to developing a fundamentally different relationship with India, one based upon trust and mutual values.

“Trade with India is going to be an important part of our growth in the future. India has got a fantastic ability to grow because her greatest export is intelligence and brain power, as our country has learnt over the past decade,” Mr Bush said.

Mr Vajpayee said in the past few months, there had been an intensive interaction between the two countries on a wide range of political subjects. Back


Vajpayee for action against nations sponsoring terrorism
Hari Jaisingh

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at a reception hosted by Mr Lalit Mansingh, India’s Ambassador to the USA, in Washington on Thursday.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at a reception hosted by Mr Lalit Mansingh, India’s Ambassador to the USA, in Washington on Thursday. — PTI photo

Washington, November 9
In an oblique reference to Pakistan, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told U S Congressmen and the India Caucus here that countries which promote and encourage international terrorism cannot become partners of the coalition of democracies in fighting this menace.

Mr Vajpayee’s message to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the India Caucus yesterday was that New Delhi would increasingly be pro-active in dealing with Pakistan’s continued sponsorship of State terrorism. At the same time New Delhi would strengthen the coalition’s fight against all forms of terrorism.

He said public opinion in India as in the USA or anywhere else sought action from its elected representatives in the face of stepped up cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Prime Minister stressed that obviously the battle against terrorism could not end in Afghanistan. At the same time India needed to be assured that its security was not affected. The US-led coalition against international terrorism had to address similar manifestations elsewhere. Simultaneously, it had become imperative to take action against those states instigating terrorism as state policy.

Mr Vajpayee told the India Caucus that even though the ghastly airborne terrorist strikes in the USA on September 11 would have unpredictable consequences in international relations, he had no doubt that the emerging new challenges “will draw our two countries into a more cooperative partnership.”

The co-chairman of the India Caucus, Mr Jim Mcdermott, said it was his personal opinion that there should be no future arms sales to Pakistan. At the same time he was not averse to the USA providing economic assistance to Pakistan. However, he wondered if giving arms to the Pakistan army was in anybody’s best interests.

Expressing India’s outrage at the terrorist strikes in September, Mr Vajpayee noted at the India Caucus luncheon that “our response was not motivated by tactical or foreign policy considerations. It was spontaneous and emanated from our fellow feeling for you and from the pain of our own experience with terrorism.”

He commended the India Caucus for its vision and said it had opened new avenues of Indo-US cooperation and reinforced mutual trust and confidence between the two countries. He impressed upon the USA to seriously explore the possibilities of strengthening bilateral linkages with India through trade and investment. India, he assured, would facilitate such cooperation and further strengthen Indo-US trade and economic ties.

India has also said that it is not perturbed by the growing ties between Washington and Islamabad following the September 11 terror strikes in New York and Washington. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh conveyed this to his American counterpart Colin Powell here yesterday.

Mr Jaswant Singh emphasised that India’s fight against terrorism did not hinge on US assistance. “If the USA chooses to help India, very good and our commitment to Indo-US relations is on the basis of values. If the USA chooses not to join the fight against terrorism in India, then fine. India will continue the fight,” he told a press conference here late yesterday.

He said there was increasing recognition that the menace of terrorism was really global in dimension and hence needed to be addressed globally. He dismissed suggestions that Indo-US relations had deteriorated. “Relations don’t deteriorate on account of a third country. This is a relationship that is based on values,” he added.

The US House of Representatives adopted a resolution welcoming Mr Vajpayee to the USA and commending India for its support against international terrorism. The resolution was sponsored by Congressman Tom Lantos and 43 others.

The resolution notes that from the very day that the terrorist attacks occurred in New York and Washington, India has expressed its condolences for the terrible losses, its solidarity with the American people, and its pledge of full cooperation in the campaign against international terrorism. The resolution pledged US commitment to the “continued expansion of friendship and cooperation” with India.Back

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