Monday, January 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Terrorism sign of cowardice: PM

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee inspects a guard of honour on the occasion of NCC Day in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI photo

New Delhi, January 27
India today said it wanted friendship with all countries which was not possible as long as it was made a target of terrorism to which it would give a befitting reply.

“We want friendly relations with all, but when we are made targets of terrorism it cannot be that we do not reply to this”, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said addressing the NCC Republic Day camp here.

Terrorism poses a challenge to the country both from outside and inside, Mr Vajpayee said adding that India would tackle this successfully and root out the menace.

Describing terrorism as a sign of “barbarity”, the Prime Minister said terrorists were targeting innocents, women and children.

Saying this was not a sign of bravery but cowardice, he told nearly 2,000 cadets assembled here for the yearly camp that the nation was passing through a challenging and tense situation.

He said for over two decades India has been fighting terrorism and “now an international coalition had been formed to fight this and we are part of it”.

Speaking after witnessing a two-hour long air and ground show presented by cadets from all over the country, the Prime Minister patted NCC and hinted that efforts were on for its expansion.

Praising the role of NCC in moulding the youngsters to be responsible citizens, Mr Vajpayee said: “NCC is making commendable contribution towards fostering and promoting national integration, widening the horizon of the youth, forging brotherhood and bridging cultural gaps. It is an example that everyone in our nation will do well to emulate.”

The Prime Minister and the three service chiefs, Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, Admiral Madhvendra Singh and General S. Padmanabhan and officers of the three defence forces witnessed a colourful display by the cadets. PTI


HAL to phase out MiGs

Bhubaneswar, January 27
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman N.R. Mahanty today indicated that MiGs would soon be replaced by Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Mr Mahanty told reporters here that India had as many as 300 MiGs of categories such as the MiG-21 FL, MiG-21 M and MiG 21 BIS.

Among these, the first two would be phased out initially while the MiG-21 BIS would be upgraded so that its capability could be enhanced. UNIBack

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