Tuesday, January 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

India rules out talks with Pakistan
Musharraf relents, says India’s list of 20 under scrutiny
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
India today ruled out the possibility of a dialogue until Islamabad showed a change in its attitude to control groups indulging in cross-border terrorism.

Emerging from a two-hour long meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh said: “Where is the question of dialogue when there is no change in attitude (of Pakistan)?”.

Expressing regret over the Pakistani attitude, Mr Jaswant Singh said Islamabad seemed to have double standards on terrorism.

To Pakistan’s contention that India should provide evidence against 20 terrorists and criminals whose extradition it had sought, he asked what more evidence Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf wanted.

“We have given full evidence. There are Interpol Red Corner notices against the 20 terrorists and criminals. It is regrettable that such statements still emanate from Pakistan,” he said. He declined to spell out what would be New Delhi’s next diplomatic move if Islamabad failed to hand over the 20 terrorists.

On the shooting down of a Pakistani Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which had intruded into Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Jaswant Singh said the intrusion was detected by the ground troops and subsequently it was shot down. The wreckage of the UAV had fallen in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, he said, adding that only one Pakistani UAV had violated Indian air space.

Asked if India would lodge a protest with Islamabad following its air space violation, Mr Jaswant Singh said the shooting of the aircraft was in itself demonstration of India’s protest. To a question that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had last night denied shooting of the Pakistani UAV, he said probably the Chief Minister was not aware of it.

Mr Jaswant Singh also clarified that an Indian UAV had also earlier crashed in the state after it developed a technical snag.

Asked about the situation along the border and whether there was reduction in the tension between India and Pakistan the minister said the situation was not satisfactory.

ISLAMABAD: In an apparent climbdown from his hardline stand, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Monday said his government was “in the process” of analysing the cases of 20 “individuals” whose extradition had been demanded by India for committing heinous crimes.

“We talked about the list of names. We have not fully analysed full details of individuals (named in the list).

“We are in the process of analysing,” General Musharraf told a joint press conference after his discussions with visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

General Musharraf’s remarks came a day after he had during the just-concluded SAARC Summit in Kathmandu rejected handing over any of the 20 persons India wanted for their involvement in the December 13 attack on Parliament, 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, 1999 Kandahar hijacking and other heinous crimes. PTI



Pak told to claim bodies of Jaish ultras

New Delhi, January 7
Pakistan has been asked to claim by January 10 the bodies of five Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists killed while attempting to storm the Parliament House on December 13 failing which these will be disposed of, Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said today.

He asserted at a press conference here that all five slain terrorists — Mohammad, Raja, Rana, Haider and Hamza — were Pakistani nationals and “whatever proof supports that is in the knowledge of the government”.

The Government of India has already asked Pakistan to claim the bodies, he said, adding “It is now for Pakistan to accept or not to accept these.”

Mr Sharma said Pakistan had been given time till January 10 to claim the bodies and “if that is not done, these will be disposed of.”

To a question, he said all bodies had been embalmed to prevent decaying.

Asked whether Mohammad was really ‘Burger’, one of the five hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane in 1999, Mr Sharma said Shaukat Hussain and Afzal, accomplices of the five terrorists who attacked the Parliament House, had asserted so.

“Besides, there was information (in this regard) from one more the (Jammu and Kashmir police),” he said, adding efforts are on to confirm this.

Describing the attack on the Parliament House as the “most sensational incidents” of the year 2001, Mr Sharma lauded the “bravery” of the Delhi police and other security personnel for thwarting the designs of the terrorists and “the lightning speed at which evil designs of the ISI were laid bare by the Delhi police by smashing the entire module.”

Answering a question on terrorist activities in the Capital, the Police Commissioner said several countries were afflicted with the menace. “Terrorism has come to stay and we have to live with it,” Mr Sharma said. PTI



Jaswant downplays meeting with Sattar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today sought to give not much importance to his meetings with Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, saying he met his counterpart from across the border about “half a dozen times: all in the “confined space” of the SAARC meeting in Kathmandu.

“We have called back our High Commissioner (from Pakistan) but have not given up civilities,” he pointed out to the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). “I had half a dozen meetings with Mr Sattar... We were all in the confined space of one meeting.”

Regarding his comments in Kathmandu that no substantial discussions took place during his meetings with Mr Sattar, the External Affairs Minister said had he remarked that something substantial had taken place then it would have been taken in a different context.

Mr Jaswant Singh also dismissed the speculations about the exchange of documents between Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra and the Pakistani Foreign Minister.

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