Tuesday, April 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Jaswant for Sino-Indian military cooperation

Shanghai, April 1
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today stressed that India and China would have to develop military cooperation, putting the past behind them.

He also ruled out the possibility of any cooperation with Pakistan in combating terrorism.

Mr Singh said Pakistan would have to give up sponsoring terrorist activities and cross-border terrorism.

The External Affairs Minister was responding to queries from the intelligentsia after his address at the Shanghai International Study Institute.

Mr Singh said a solution to the Sino-Indian border dispute was imperative for the sake of the future, which could not be clouded by the shadow of the past.

Mr Singh said it was not essential that the two countries be in agreement on all issues.

He said the international community had had to pay a heavy price for allowing Al-Qaida and other terrorist organisation to build up a worldwide network.

Terrorism, Mr Jaswant Singh said, had to be crushed and any decision that impaired the unity of forces fighting the menace had to be avoided.

For long, India had been cautioning the world against the destabilising forces of terrorism, but only now had the international community started viewing the threat with seriousness, he said.

He said India and China had resolved to combat terrorism jointly and for this purpose an inter-departmental group had been constituted, which would meet for the first time on March 26 in New Delhi.

He also voiced India’s grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Wast Asia and called for an immediate end to violence.

“I continue to feel that President Yasser Arafat represents the authority of the Palestinian people and to subject him to such treatment leaves an impact on him and also the Palestinian people”, he said.

“Violence perpetuating more violence must be avoided,” he said. UNI, PTI

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