Thursday, May 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


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Stop terrorism, says UK
Straw asks Pervez to translate words into action
Tribune News Service

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw talks to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (L) talks to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

New Delhi, May 29
Britain today categorically told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that he would have to translate his words into action to check cross-border terrorism and made it clear that terrorism included cross-border terrorism as also terrorism in the garb of ‘freedom fight’.

"The test (of verification) is by action and not words. There has to be measurement on the ground. The international community looks to General Musharraf for full implementation of the promises made by him," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told a joint press conference with External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh here after holding wide-ranging talks.

Mr Straw, who arrived here last night on a 24-hour visit from Islamabad to defuse the current Indo-Pak crisis, said General Musharraf must ensure that the Line of Control (LoC) with India is effectively sealed and there was no infiltration into India from Pakistan.

The British Foreign Secretary, who yesterday had a 75-minute meeting with General Musharraf in Islamabad, expressed the view that the Pakistani ruler was serious about controlling terrorism. However, he added that "the test of any statement of a country or a leader of the country should be by measurement of the action on the ground."

Mr Straw said Britain "comprehensively" backed India in its fight against terrorism. "The United Kingdom stands four square behind India in its fight against terrorism".

He, however, added that the international community would do everything it could to ensure that the Indo-Pak tensions did not escalate into military action.

Asked if India had mooted any fresh mechanism for verification of Pakistan’s efforts to contain infiltration, Mr Jaswant Singh said there were various kinds of verification and that there were many proposals in this regard. He, however, added that it was not for India to establish any time-frame for Pakistan to implement its commitments.

Mr Jaswant Singh asked Pakistan to recognise the "urgency" of the situation and stop cross-border terrorism. He said India had so far "waited patiently".

Apart from Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Straw also met Home Minister L.K. Advani, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra.



Straw invites Sonia to UK
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today told the visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that her party was supportive of the government’s policy of combating violence in Jammu and Kashmir and that all issues between India and Pakistan would be settled eventually through negotiations.

The emphasis by Mrs Gandhi on the eventual solution to contentious issues through dialogue is significant in the current atmosphere of tension between India and Pakistan. The Congress apparently feels that even in case of a military confrontation between the two countries, India and Pakistan would have to hammer out a final solution to their differences through talks. The party had taken a similar position at the recent AICC session.

Mr Straw, who called on Mrs Gandhi today to discuss the evolving situation in the subcontinent, apprised her of his talks in Islamabad with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and other Pakistani leaders.



No move to ban Hawk deal: UK
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
Britain today made it clear to India that there was no move to bar the deal for sale of 66 Hawk-100 Advanced Jet Trainers or to impose any arms embargo on New Delhi.

The UK’s decision in this regard was conveyed to India by the visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during his 45-minute meeting with Defence Minister George Fernandes.

Mr Straw, who discussed with Mr Fernandes the tense situation on the Indo-Pakistan border also made it clear that there was no move from the UK to bar the supply of components for Deep Strike Penetration aircraft Jaguars, jump jet Sea Harriers or the naval Sea-King helicopters.

The British side said “misunderstanding” on the Hawk deal and arms embargo had arisen due to one of the top ruling Labour Party leader speaking out of turn.Back

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