Thursday, July 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Blair’s envoy told no talks with Pak yet
Tribune News Service

External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha (C) and Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibbal (R) with British National Security Adviser David Manning in New Delhi on Wednesday.
— PTI photo

New Delhi, July 10
India today conveyed to Britain that it was not possible to normalise relations with Pakistan until Islamabad took visible, permanent and credible action against infiltration and cross-border terrorism.

“Pakistan must translate its words into deeds and destroy the terrorist infrastructure and the safe haven it has provided to the terrorists”, Indian leaders told Mr David Manning, Foreign Policy Adviser and Special envoy of the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, during discussions here.

Mr Manning, who arrived here yesterday night, held meetings with the External Affairs Minister Mr Yashwant Sinha, the National Security Adviser, Mr Brajesh Mishra, and the Foreign Secretary Mr Kanwal Sibal.

A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs , while briefing reporters about Mr Manning’s visit here, said the current Indo-Pak tensions were discussed. Mr Manning was given an overview of India’s foreign policy, particularly post-September 11. The two sides agreed that the Indo-UK relations could not be seen through the prism of developments in the region.

Significantly, at the same briefing, in response to a question, she said, “Thirty per cent temporary decrease in cross-border infiltration on the LoC over a few weeks “ was not enough and it did not prepare a conducive situation for de-escalation of tension and resumption of dialogue with Pakistan.

The MEA spokesperson made it clear that no talks could be held with Pakistan until Islamabad took “visible, permanent, credible steps” to end cross border infiltration and dismantle all terrorism infrastructure.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to arrive on July 28 or 29 en route to Brunei where he is scheduled to attend an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting on July 30.


Pervez to address nation today
It will be army, America and Allah again
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will make another televised address to his nation tomorrow evening wherein he is expected to give details on the proposed constitution amendments and mollify the fundamentalist lobby on the role of American troops and FBI in Pakistan.

According to well-placed diplomatic sources here, General Musharraf’s speech at 7.30 p.m. tomorrow is likely to address three “A’s” as usual: Army, America and Allah. The Indo-Pak situation is likely to be covered by the first “A”, while the increasing operations of US troops and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) within Pakistan and gunning down of 10 Pakistani troops by the Al-Qaida are likely to be covered by the other two “As”.

The military ruler is likely to “clarify” to his people that the FBI was only assisting the Pakistani security agencies and was not having a free run, sources said.

General Musharraf is expected to give details on the proposed constitution amendment package which was floated on June 26 and was immediately debunked by main Opposition parties as a transparent attempt by the General to stay in charge after the elections.

According to the proposed amendments, General Musharraf is going to vest himself with more powers than his benefactor Gen Zia ul Haq ever had through the controversial eighth amendment.

More importantly, General Musharraf proposes to set up a National Security Council (NSC) and endow it with such sweeping political powers that it would become just an extension of his kitchen Cabinet on virtually everything that might be of interest or threat to him.

The proposed NSC gives constitutional role to the armed forces in the country’s governance. The body will have an upper hand because it would be headed by the President. Of the 10 members there would be five Generals having wide-ranging powers. It will discuss such issues as the sacking of federal and provincial governments and the dissolution of the National Assembly.

Besides, it will be the President who would appoint the Governors instead of the Prime Minister whose authority will be undermined.


Pak poll on Oct 10

Islamabad, July 10
President Gen Pervez Musharraf today announced that parliamentary elections in Pakistan would be held on October 10 this year, state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) reported. Poll to elect Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies would be held on the same day, PTV said. DPA

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