Tuesday, January 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Israel backs war on terrorism
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
India today got a further boost in its fight against terrorism with Israel not only stressing that Pakistan had not done enough to root out terrorist outfits but also advocating New Delhi’s inclusion into the UN Security Council as a permanent member and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told reporters after a meeting with Home Minister L.K. Advani at the latter’s office that NATO should fight against terrorism and India should be made part of the organisation. He added that India was an important constituent of the global fight against terrorism.

“The world is no longer divided into East and West (in the context of world terrorism). Earlier, it was armies against armies. Now it is armies without enemies,” Mr Peres said.

Mr Peres who arrived in India earlier today for a three-day visit, is likely to have discussions with Indian leaders on issues related to security, global war against terrorism and economic development. He is scheduled to meet Defence Minister George Fernandes tomorrow morning, Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh in the afternoon and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in the evening.

Mr Peres is scheduled to participate in the business summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bangalore.

Mr Peres was scheduled to have a meeting with Mr Jaswant Singh today which was later postponed.

Mr Peres said his country was shocked over the December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament House. Such incidents proved that greatest danger to the world today came from terrorism, he said.

He said it was, therefore, a natural demand that whoever harbours terrorism, must bring an end to it. Greater problem was created when terrorism became global, Mr Peres pointed out.

He said although Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had initiated certain steps against terrorist organisations operating in that country, but the world community would be satisfied only when all forms of terrorism are uprooted.

“Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had himself condemned the December 13 attack but satisfaction would come only when all terrorists were uprooted,” he said.

Mr Peres described the meeting with Mr Advani as very “friendly and cordial” and said he had discussed with the Home Minister the fight against world terrorism.



Give up terrorism to resolve Kashmir: Blair to Pervez

Pakistani children present flowers to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie as Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar looks on in Islamabad on Monday. — Reuters photo

Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) meets President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on Monday. — Reuters photo

Islamabad, January 7
British Prime Minister Tony Blair tonight bluntly told President Pervez Musharraf that the time had come to abandon the option of using violence as a weapon to resolve the Kashmir issue and settle for a comprehensive dialogue with India to peacefully resolve the vexed problem.

“Whatever may be the political cause, there can never be justification for acts of terrorism, whether it is September 11, October 1 or December 13 attack on Indian Parliament,” he told a joint press conference with General Musharraf after two hours of talks.

Without mincing words, Mr Blair, who arrived here after intensive talks with Indian leaders, turned to General Musharraf and said, “In our discussions, Mr President, you made it clear that Pakistan rejected terrorism in all its forms. I welcome that.

“Prime Minister Vajpayee said he was willing to have a dialogue on all the issues between India and Pakistan on the basis of exclusively peaceful means. That dialogue must be meaningful and comprehensive. In the meantime, I emphasised to both of you the desire of UK and the international community to see that the current tensions are reduced,” he said.

In same breath, he said, “I spoke to (US) President Bush earlier today and we are absolutely one on this. We must all be resolute in our total rejection of acts of terrorism such as those of October 1 and December 13 and clear also that there should be a proper, meaningful and peaceful dialogue to resolve disputes such as Kashmir.”

Mr Blair made it clear that only India and Pakistan can resolve the disputes between themselves without the international mediation. Earlier, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said today that the international community must not abandon the war-ravaged Afghanistan during its rebuilding process.

“The international community has got to remain committed to helping Afghanistan,” Mr Blair told a news conference shortly after arriving in Pakistan on the third leg of his South Asian tour.

Mr Blair said such a commitment was necessary to ensure the country, having been a “failed state for many years”, becomes “a reliable partner in this region”.

“Let us reflect on what happened when we failed to make that commitment 12 years ago. Afghanistan became a failed state,” he said.

“It is vital that we as an international community remember the commitment we have given to the people there,” he said.

The British premier said the ousting of the fundamentalist Taliban regime was only the first step in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation.

“The second step is to put in place the stability for the long term and that is why the international community has got to remain committed to helping Afghanistan to becoming a stable partner in the region and a proper member of the international community.” PTI


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