Monday, September 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India warns world on cross-border terrorism
Hari Jaisingh

New York, September 15
One major highlight of the Prime Minister’s visit here was his meeting with some US Congressmen and Senators on Saturday which was a positive pointer to growing Indo-American relations, specially their common concern in critical areas of democratic and economic bonds and countering of terrorism.

Mr Vajpayee told them that India should not be seen merely in the context of South Asia but in a larger framework of global challenges.

The Prime Minister stated that if the world community failed to respond to India’s battle against Pak-sponsored cross-border terrorism, then it would find its own ways and means to combat and eliminate this menace.

Addressing members of the Congress from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, he said India was as determined as the USA had been since September 11 last year to secure itself against Pakistani and Pakistan-backed terrorism in Kashmir.

He expressed the hope that voices of reason in the international community would help persuade Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism.

“If the international community is unable to persuade Pakistan, India will have to find its own ways to achieve its objective,” the Prime Minister said.

India, Mr Vajpayee pointed out, has joined the international coalition against terrorism in the conviction that only a global and comprehensive effort would help eliminate this menace and counter the forces of international terrorism.

The coalition, said the Prime Minister, has made considerable headway in Afghanistan but “a lot more needs to be done further East.”

He said tension in South Asia continued because Pakistan had not lived up to the commitments made by President Pervez Musharraf.

Infiltration across India’s borders has increased and, most important, every effort is being made to sabotage the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir by intimidating voters and threatening candidates, Mr Vajpayee said.

India, he said, attached the greatest importance to free, fair and peaceful elections in Jammu and Kashmir and is taking every possible measure to ensure this even in the face of terrorist attacks orchestrated by Pakistan’s ISI.

He pointed out that representatives of the international media and diplomats of foreign missions had been frequently visiting the state in recent months to see this for themselves.

Referring to his meeting with US President George W. Bush on September 12, Mr Vajpayee said Mr Bush and he shared their commitment to establishing long-term bilateral relations between India and the USA-based on trust.

He said they welcomed progress in implementing the various initiatives they had agreed upon last year in important areas requiring greater attention.

Mr Vajpayee said he and Mr Bush would work together to find ways of achieving these objectives. “Both sides are agreed that there is particular promise for cooperation in nuclear energy and space.

Defence cooperation between India and the USA, he said, was proceeding well and could be intensified further.


PM faces demonstrators
Hari Jaisingh

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee pays respect to Swami Adeshwarananaji
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee pays respect to Swami Adeshwarananaji of the Ramakrishna Mission at a function organised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in New York on Saturday. 

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee speaks at at a function
Prime Minister
Atal Behari Vajpayee speaks at at a function organised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in New York on Saturday.— PTI photos

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today faced half a dozen youths shouting slogans and flashing placards on alleged atrocities in Kashmir, when he and Indo-American community members were coming out after attending a function organised here by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

The incident took place outside the Fashion Institute Auditorium, where Mr Vajpayee had come to attend commemoration of hundred years of Swami Vivekananda’s “Mahasamadhi”.

Mr Vajpayee released a souvenir on Vievekananda, “Vivekananda: Prophet of India”.

The youths holding placards with slogans saying “80,000 Muslims have been killed in Kashmir”, and “Indian occupation in Kashmir must end”, rushed towards the members of the Indo-American community.

In response to the unexpected sloganeering some members of the community reacted by shouting “Vande Matram”, the verbal duel between the agitating youths and the Indian community continued for over five minutes.

Mr Vajpayee hailed the verdict of the Supreme Court that the BJP-led NDA was not “saffronising” education and said it was good the matter came up in the Apex Court. He said ever since his government came to power, allegations were being levelled against his government that it was “saffronising” education.

“It was good that the matter came up in the Supreme Court which turned down the plea that education was being saffronised,” Mr Vajpayee said at a function organised by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in memory of Swami Vivekananda.

The Supreme Court had on September 12 upheld the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education (NCFSE), rejecting the contention that it was an attempt to saffronise education.

In the context of saffronisation of education, Mr Vajpayee in a lighter vein wondered what was wrong with this. “Bhagwa (Saffron) is a good colour and is associated with the battlefields for ages. The colour has a long history”.

The Prime Minister said people in India must be made aware of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The police had to move in to avert a clash between a group of Pakistanis and non-Resident Indians (NRI) outside the venue of a meeting addressed by Mr Vajpayee last night.

About a dozen Pakistanis carrying placards attacking India’s policies on Kashmir held a demonstration outside the auditorium where Mr Vajpayee was meeting Indian-Americans.

The NRIs raised slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” to counter the anti-India slogans raised by the demonstrators.

Sensing trouble, the police quickly moved in to separate the two groups before the situation could escalate. Back


Musharraf’s 4-point plan on Kashmir

New York, September 15
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has a four-point plan to settle the Kashmir dispute with India.

Talking to members of the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations here, Musharraf said the first step would be to initiate a dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad. The next step would be to accept the centrality of the Kashmir dispute in India-Pakistan relations. 

Step three would be to eliminate from the dialogue whatever was unacceptable to all sides and put them aside. Step four was to find solutions good for all three sides — India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. IANSBack

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