Thursday, July 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hoon holds talks with George
Infiltration unabated, says India
Tribune News Service

Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes shakes hand with British Defence Secretary
Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes (R) shakes hand with British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

New Delhi, July 3
India today conveyed to Britain that Pakistan was still to rein in the terrorist groups and that there was a spurt in the cross-border infiltration after a brief lull last month.

India’s assertion came during the one-on-one meeting between Britain’s visiting Secretary of State for Defence Geoffrey Hoon and Defence Minister George Fernandes at the South Block this evening. The British Secretary of State for Defence is on a two-day visit to India after visiting Pakistan yesterday.

Giving explicit evidence of unabated infiltration, India reiterated its stand that any further steps to ease the prevailing tension on the Indo-Pak border would be taken only after Pakistan stopped abetting the terrorists wanting to cross over.

Mr Fernandes is understood to have apprised Mr Hoon of the three major infiltration bids from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir area which were foiled by the Indian Army last week. Besides, there has been a spurt in heavy shelling on the LoC by Pakistan which is usually accompanied by infiltration bids.

Mr Hoon arrived here from Islamabad early in the evening and went straight for his meeting with Mr Fernandes. He is scheduled to meet the National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Minister for External Affairs Yashwant Sinha before flying off to Kyoto, Japan, later tomorrow afternoon.

Mr Hoon is on a specific visit to the Indian subcontinent intended at stabilising the situation in the region and had detailed discussions with Pakistani leaders before coming here. Both Britain and the USA have been coordinating with India with the basic purpose to reduce tension in the region and it was on their assurance that New Delhi had decided to take certain steps in that direction.

Mr Hoon is said to have also discussed the matter of India purchasing the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers from Britain. However, there were no details available as to what was the final decision.

Mr Yogendra Narain, who retired as Defence Secretary last week, had said that the AJT negotiations were in the final stages. He had said that the Price Negotiation Committee had submitted its report and when asked specifically had also indicated that Britain had also agreed for the transfer of technology as part of the deal.

Mr Hoon comes to New Delhi after a series of visits from US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

After Mr Hoon, it will be the turn of Sir David Manning, one of Mr Tony Blair’s key advisers who also enjoys tremendous respect in the US Administration, to come calling on July 10.


Sinha flays Pak on infiltration issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Newly appointed External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha today lashed out at Pakistan for going back on its promise to plug infiltration, saying that India reserved the right to take appropriate action to foil the proxy war being waged by Islamabad.

Talking to mediapersons soon after assuming office at the Ministry of External Affairs in South Block, Mr Sinha said infiltration, which had shown a brief lull in the recent past, was again on the rise. He made clear that there was no scope for a third party role in Jammu and Kashmir.

After his welcome by new Minister of State for External Affairs Digvijay Singh, Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal and other senior officials of the ministry, Mr Sinha pointed out that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had gone back on his commitment made to the USA and Britain that he would put a permanent end to infiltration and cross-border terrorism.

“We are monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis,” the minister said.

Mr Sinha, who was hitherto the Finance Minister, took the line of his predecessor saying that Pakistan had to take “visible and credible” steps to end infiltration.

“Our response will depend upon the actions taken by Pakistan to plug infiltration,” he pointed out.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |