C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


135 posts of teacher vacant 
Studies in rural schools hit
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 7
As many as 135 posts of teacher in government schools located in rural areas of the district are lying vacant. With most part of the academic year over, hundreds of students in most schools in rural areas have been unable to complete their syllabi.

The vacancies include 54 posts of social science teacher, seven posts of mathematics teacher, 29 posts of science teacher and nine posts of physical education teacher in government senior secondary, high, middle and primary schools.

The pass percentage of senior secondary schools was 60.54 per cent, of high schools 70. 99 per cent and of middle schools 67.08 per cent in urban areas during the last academic year. The pass percentage of schools in rural areas was around 50 per cent.

The authorities say shortage of teachers and lecturers in various government schools in the district and the inability to rationalise teaching staff is responsible for the dismal performance of students in various examinations conducted by Board of School Education, Haryana.

In the academic year 2002-03, the pass percentage of government senior secondary schools (Class XII result ) in the district was a mere 42.25 per cent, while that of government high schools was 39.8 per cent.

Sources in the Education Department say almost 30 per cent of the posts of school teacher/lecturer/ physical training instructor in the district are lying vacant. Interestingly, while most schools located in Panchkula town, and even in its semi-urban peripheral towns of Pinjore, Kalka and Barwala have almost no vacancies, the maximum vacancies are in the schools located in the far-flung villages of Morni, Barwala and Raipur Rani blocks.

The results of most schools in these villages have been dismal. Panchkula being considered a prize posting, it is generally the spouses (in government teaching jobs) of the who” manage a posting” in the district, remarked a senior officer of the Education Department.

Officials in the Education Department concede that course curricula for certain subjects had not even been started in certain schools because of shortage of teaching staff. They, however, maintained that the staff had been rationalised as far as possible, with staff from the towns being posted to village schools. They, however, added that if only one teacher for a particular subject was available in a school in urban areas, he could not be posted against a vacant post in a village school.

They said the process of selection of social science teachers and lecturers was on, and within a month the staff would be available in all schools. However, they fail to answer as to how these teachers would be able to complete the entire course curricula within two months, before the academic session is over. Back


Advertisers violate law with impunity
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, December 7
Trucks carrying billboards have mushroomed in the city, while the traffic police and other wings of the Administration have taken no note of these violations. Many trucks carrying advertisements of products and services are seen moving and parked on the roadside, near parking lots and crowded markets in violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954, that clearly outlines the guidelines for advertisers.

Courts in the country have restricted putting up of advertisements along the highways and places where these can cause accidents. Now advertisers are trying to circumvent the law by suggesting that they are only ferrying these ads and these have not been put up on a permanent basis.

These trucks are parked at busy city corners and places despite the fact that they are permitted to carry the advertisements on the vehicles only when they are moving on the roads. There are certain guidelines mentioned in the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954, about advertisements on moving vehicles, but these advertisers do not care about the rules mentioned therein.

Rules say that the advertisement boards should not be more than 10 feet in height from the ground level and seven-and-half-feet in width or the width of the vehicle, whichever is less. Most of the advertisers displaying ads on these trucks do not observe rules as regards size of advertisement. A truck parked outside the PGI for a week, displays advertisement of a nationalised bank. Even in this case the rules as regards size of the advertisements, as mentioned in the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, are being violated.

Not only this, the advertisers have used a hydraulic lift to raise the height of the board carrying the advertisement. The truck is parked at that porticular place for the past one week in clear violation of the rules that say that the vehicle should be in moving position while displaying an advertisement.

Such trucks can be seen parked along the busy Madhya Marg near the Sector 26 police station, near the Transport Chowk light point, on the Panjab University Campus, near Hotel South-end in Sector 35, in the commercial area of Sector 34 and at various other busy public places.

As per guidelines these advertisements cannot be illuminated and one vehicle carrying such advertisements can move on roads between 9.30 am and 11.30 am and 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm.

Such vehicles can be seen moving on the roads in violation of guidelines as regards timings. The rules clearly mention that these vehicles could not ply on national highways and on the Madhya Marg. Moreover there is also a restriction on distributing handbills and holding road shows but one can see these rules being violated with impunity.

Senior officials in the traffic police expressed surprise as to how these trucks were being allowed to carry advertisements by the municipal authorities as these trucks were an obvious distraction for motorists. When the State Transport Authority was asked how these vehicle were passed by it, it said this was permitted under the Chandigarh motor vehicle rules.



2 arrested in murder case
Main suspects still at large
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Mani Majra police today claimed to have solved the murder mystery of a youth, whose body was found on November 30 in a pit near the railway track in Shanti Nagar.

The DSP (East), Mr Vijay Pal, told a press conference that Mohammad Shahid (20) and Rakesh, alias Billa (20), were today arrested from Shanti Nagar in this connection. The main suspects, Vijay Kumar, alias Arjun (21), and Sunny (18), both of whom inflicted blows with sharp-edged weapons on the victim, Mahesh Gupta of Charan Singh Colony were still at large.

Mr Pal said Arjun took away Mahesh Gupta from his home on the night of November 29 on the pretext of getting him a job the next day. He also told the family of Mahesh that some money would be required for the job. Mahesh took Rs 1,200 along with him when he left home. Billa was also with Arjun when they went to the house of Mahesh.

The police said Arjun, during his frequent visits to Mahesh Gupta’s house, had seen the letter’s father, Mr Jamana Prasad, count money and seemed to have had an eye on it. Interestingly, Arjun and Mahesh had met during religious discourses at a religious place in Mani Majra.

Arjun had come in contact with the family during the discourses. Mr Jamna Prasad had appreciated Arjun, asking him to help his lone son be confident. Arjun grabbed the opportunity and reached Mahesh’s house in Charan Singh Colony. To impress the parents of Mahesh, Arjun reportedly slapped Mahesh publically, saying that he was not taking proper care of his parents, including his blind mother.

Arjun posed as a policeman when neighbours of Mahesh gathered during the exchange of blows between the two. Arjun told the people that he got a complaint that Mahesh did not take care of his parents and as a cop he was dealing with Mahesh.

Arjun, a gang leader of local goons, was surprised when Mahesh hit back at him with vengeance, pricking his ego. Arjun did not take the incident kindly and had revealed to his co-accused that he would avenge Mahesh Gupta’s audacity to hit back at him.

According to the police, Shahid was present on the spot where the body was found but showed ignorance about the identity of Mahesh Gupta. Shahid revealed this to the police during interrogation.

The suspects first went to the house of Rakesh and then around 1 am on November 30, killed Mahesh at a lonely place and dumped his body near the railway track.



More housing loan for UT staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
In a move that will benefit thousands of employees aiming to construct houses, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to take into consideration the enhanced pay for calculating the amount to be given as house-building loan to employees.

The enhanced pay had come about after the Union Government announced clubbing of 50 per cent of the dearness allowance with the basic pay. The additional pay was named dearness pay.

Now, for giving house-building loans, the basic pay and the dearness pay will be counted as one component. The order says, “The basic pay shall be the sum total of existing basic and the dearness pay.” This is important as government employees get loans on formats like: 50 times the present basic pay.

So, for example, if an employee earlier had a basic pay of Rs 5,000, he would have got a loan of Rs 2.50 lakh. Now, after the clubbing of the DA with the basic pay, the employee has a basic pay, of Rs 6,700 and would be able to get a loan of Rs 3.35 lakh.

The Administration has decided that “ all other provisions of house-building loan rules like eligibility, repaying capacity and recovery will remain unchanged.”

The upper limit of the house-building loan has not been increased. It still remains at Rs 7.5 lakh for a new construction or purchase and Rs 1.80 lakh for expansion of the existing house. 



Revert Professor, PEC told
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Chandigarh Administration has directed the Principal of Punjab Engineering College to (PEC) to comply with its orders to revert a Professor to his parent department Applied Sciences, in the college.

Teaching engineering geology in the Department of Applied Sciences, Dr L.N. Sharma, was transferred by the Principal to Civil Engineering Department. But the Administration reverted the orders of the Principal and directed him to maintain the status quo.

The Administration had directed the Principal to form a committee for department restructuring and have a comprehensive view of the issue. The Principal in a reply to the Administration said the status quo had been maintained on the issue of the transfer of Dr L.N. Sharma. Dr Baljeet Kapoor, Principal of the college, was not available for comments.

Dr L.N. Sharma would have lost his seniority if the order had been implemented. He had been teaching engineering geology as a regular faculty member in the Applied Sciences Department for the past more than eight years.

In a representation to the Administration, he said the transfer of engineering geology from the board of studies in applied sciences to the board of studies in civil engineering for BE courses from 2004-2005 was neither discussed nor got approved from the Board of Applied Sciences.

Since the subject was offered and taught by the Applied Sciences Department, the convener of the Board of Applied Sciences required a formal approval from the board before recommending the transfer of the subject, said sources in the college.



Sales centre to be set up for handguns
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Defence Ministry's Ordnance Cable Factory (OCF) in Chandigarh is in the process of establishing a sales centre for handguns being manufactured by other ordnance factories. The outlet here would be among 10 other outlets being set up in different parts of the country.

According to sources, the centre is expected to become functional within a few months. Two types of handguns, .32 bore revolver and .32 bore pistols, which are produced by the ordnance factories for the civilian market, will be released through these centers. These are manufactured by two ordnance factories, one of which is located in Kanpur.

Earlier, civilians had to deposit payment and obtain delivery of the weapons at the manufacturing itself factory. Under the new provisions, civilians desiring to buy these weapons would have to apply, along with requisite documents and the registration fee to the Field Gun Factory (FGF). This can be done through post. Delivery of the weapon can obtained from any of the listed 10 ordnance factories on depositing the payment.

About 20,000 pieces of the aforementioned weapons are produced every year. Both the weapons weigh around 700 gm and have an effective range of 30 metres. Their price varies between Rs.60,000 -- 65,000, depending upon local taxes and excise. A few months earlier, the FGF had also started direct booking for the weapons instead of going through the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

"This is being done for the convenience of the buyer. Instead of the buyer coming all the way to Kanpur, he can get the pistol at the ordnance factory nearest to him," an OFB officer said.

"We are working out modalities, including application of sales tax and excise, receipt and storage of weapons and transfer of payments," he added.

The sales, however, would be controlled only by the FGF. Other ordnance factories would only be responsible for executing the transactions in accordance with directives issued by the FGF. Ordnance factories would also be responsible for providing manpower and infrastructure to operate the sales centers.



India, Pak ‘should focus’ on people-to-people dialogue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
“India and Pakistan should look beyond their narrow perceptions of nationalism and focus on people-to-people dialogue.” This was stated by Dr Mukul Mangalik from Delhi University during a talk on “Struggle for Democracy in Pakistan” at the Sociology Department, Panjab University, here today.

Organised by Critique, a students’ discussion forum, the speaker, an expert on Pakistan’s history, discussed the nature of democratic dissent in Islam in West Asia and Pakistan.

Dr Mangalik said while the governments had been autocratic, people continuously waged a struggle to establish democracy. “Pakistan is the outcome of a two-nation theory. People who were the ruling elite at the time of the country’s independence kept religion out of politics. There are a lot of myths about Pakistan being a theocratic state. However, it is not so. Rather state is based on egalitarian character of Islam,” he stated.

Invited: Dr Vijay Rattan, Professor of Public Administration, Panjab University, has been invited to participate in the national convention on “Public Governance Dividends – The Road Ahead,” by the All-India Management Association (AIMA) to be held on December 10 in New Delhi.

It will be organised by the Centre for Public Governance (CPG) of the AIMA, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, Delhi Management Association and the George Mason University, USA.

The idea of the convention is to examine various governance issues in the context of managing for public cause, capacity building and how to provide a high quality life to citizens efficiently and equitably through overall economic growth.

The convention would also identify development problems and potential strategies. 



Rodrigues stresses on better facilities for attendants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
In his effort to meet the needy, the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) today met the attendants of patients at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and asked officials to equip accommodation for the attendants with mats and mattresses for the winters.

The Administrator who was accompanied by the Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, said a time-bound schedule be drawn for providing facilities at the sarai. His wife Jean Rodrigues was accompanying him.

General Rodrigues inspected various wings of the GMCH. He directed the hospital authorities to immediately make suitable arrangements for housing the attendants of the patients. He visited the patients in the emergency ward, went from bed to bed and enquired from the patients their status of health.



Armed Forces Flag Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Armed Forces Flag Day was observed here today, with Governors of Punjab and Haryana making liberal donations towards the Flag Day fund. Flags were pinned onto the lapel of Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) by the Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, Brig J.S. Jaswal (retd), Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, and Col G.S. Dhillon during a brief ceremony at the Raj Bhawan.

The Governor said that the day was observed each year to honour our martyrs, salute veterans and renew solidarity with the Armed Forces personnel. Flag Day donations, he added, are utilized for the welfare of serving soldiers as well as ex-servicemen and widows.

Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai said that the days reminded us of our responsibility towards the Armed Forces and the service and sacrifices for the country. He added that the welfare of rehabilitation of ex-servicemen, war widows disabled soldiers and their dependents was a noble cause.

After pinning a flag on the Governor’s lapel, Secretary of the Rajya Sainik Board, Haryana, Brig M.S. Beniwal (retd) said that the board’s Sainik Pariwar Bhawan had eight branches in the state which provided free education to dependents of war widows, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers.



No deadline for reopening vital bridge
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
No short-term relief seems to be in sight for commuters as the authorities concerned have failed to fix any deadline for the opening of the damaged bridge on the Kalka-Ambala highway at Bhankarpur village, about 12 km from here, to heavy vehicular traffic.

According to sources, the final round of the repair work is likely to get under way tomorrow as the 9-metre laminated fibresheet, which is to be fixed to the damaged beam of the fifth span of the bridge, will arrive tomorrow. Since the sheet was not available in the local market, it has been requisitioned from a Goa-based company.

However, the passage of light vehicular traffic is being regulated by Punjab police personnel on one side of the bridge. There are reports that the passage of light commercial vehicles is also being allowed at the discretion of the personnel manning the bridge.

An official said that after the completion of the repair work, the bridge would be kept “under observation” for a couple of days. This would be done to see that the bridge withstood the heavy vehicular traffic.

On the issue of the specific time frame for the opening of the vital highway, officials said previous deadlines, “which were blown out of proportion in a section of the Press”, had caused much embarrassment to the department.

One of the spans of the bridge, constructed in the 50s, had developed a depression on November 30. Since then, the traffic bound for Chandigarh from Ambala was being diverted to the Rajpura-Banur-Zirakpur route. Vehicular traffic going towards Ambala from here takes the Panchkula-Barwala-Dera Bassi route.

Thousands of commuters are an inconvenienced lot as besides taking more time to reach their destinations, they has to shell out Rs 3 more on the Ambala-Chandigarh route as Haryana Roadways have reportedly revised the fares.



Dharna call against Centre's anti-employee stance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Working Committee of Government and Municipal Corporation Employees and Workers will organise a dharna at Matka Chowk on December 29 to protest against the anti-employee policies of the Central government. This was decided at a meeting of the committee held here today.

The committee sought grant of bonus to the UT employees, grant of arrears of house rent allowance and daily allowance to daily wagers.

Fixed travelling allowance and uniforms for Class III employees, granting of pending overtime to CTU employees and restoration of the non-ITI employees on non-technical scales were other prominent demands.

Meanwhile, the indefinite fast by an employee of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Devinder Prakash, for regularisation of daily-wagers continued for the third day today.

The daily-wage workers of the Mani Majra sub-office also held a rally outside their office to press for regularisation of their posts.

Addressing a rally by all daily-wage employees, the speakers from various unions condemned the corporation and the Chandigarh Administration for being indifferent to their demands.



PSEB bonanza for 57 villages
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 7
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to provide 24-hour power supply to more than 57 villages falling in the Mohali circle.

The Board said 57 villages falling in Mohali circle have been chosen for the facility under the first phase and later more villages would be added.



Home Guards annual day observed

Chandigarh, December 7
The Home Guards annual day was observed at the Chandigarh Home Guards Headquarters, Sector 17, here yesterday.

Mr Varinder Singh Chahal, Additional Commandant General, Home Guards-cum-Senior Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), UT, inspected the Guard of Honour.

Mr Chahal appreciated the assistance being rendered by the UT Home Guards to the Chandigarh police in maintaining law and order in the city. OC



Best police station to be awarded on R-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rajesh Kumar yesterday introduced competition among various police stations and police posts by declaring the best of them would be rewarded on the Republic Day.

He set up a committee under the chairmanship of Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) with SP Traffic Amitabh Dhillon as a member to decide about the performance of the police stations. Sources said the practice had earlier been introduced eight years back, but was soon discontinued.

An announcement to this effect was made yesterday by the IGP in a crime review meeting held with all Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs) and Station House Officers (SHOs) of the city.

The committee would check cleanliness, crime, records and investigations done by a police station or a police post, an official statement said.

The committee would submit its report by January 5, 2005. The winner SHO and his staff would be rewarded suitably on the Republic Day.

Addressing the police officers, the IGP laid emphasis on the early redressal of grievances of public, checking burglaries, theft and snatching incidents.

Mr Rajesh Kumar asked police official, to hold regular meetings with residents welfare associations and market welfare associations. He said those found drunk on duty would be dealt with a heavy hand. He asked officers to make supervision effective over the staff. He reviewed the crime situation in the city.



RPO to outsource pending work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
With a view to ensure faster delivery of passports to the general public, the Regional Passport Office(RPO) has decided to outsource certain jobs. Under an ambitious plan prepared by the Ministry of External Affairs, the pending works in the RPOs all over the country will be privatised. The printing and scanning of passports, besides the sale of the forms, have already been privatised by the RPO.

The Chief Passport Officer, in a circular to the RPOs, has restrained the regular staff from working on Saturdays.

Sources said the decision had been taken with a view to bring about transparency in the working of the RPOs. There were allegations that the current staff delayed the passports for days together on frivolous grounds causing harassment to the applicants.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the All-India Passport Employees Association is up in arms against the privatisation move of the government. In fact, the members of the association protested here on December 4 against the decision. They have also threatened to go on relay fast from December 13.



Shirdi samaj celebrates ‘moorti sthapna divas’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 7
The ‘moorti sthapna divas’ (idol installation day) was celebrated in Shirdi Sai Samaj Temple, Sector 29-A, yesterday. The vice-president of the Shirdi Sai Samaj, Mr Bimal Rai, said the function started at 5.30 am with kakad aarti and mangal snan with Sri Sai Satchitra path being recited throughout the day.

A bhajan sandhya by Saxena Bandhu of Delhi was performed in the evening and concluded with the partaking of langar.

Over 2500 devotees thronged the temple to take part in the rituals.

The senior citizens of Old Age Home, Sector 15, were invited who were honoured with woolen shawls.



Villager duped by travel agent
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
One more case of cheating in which Rs 2.5 lakh were taken from a person on the pretext of sending him abroad has come to light. The aggrieved, Mr Kulwant Singh, a resident of Madanheri village, made a complaint to the Kharar police which was later sent to the local SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, as it was linked to an economic offence. It is learnt that Mr Agrawal has asked the complainant to produce some more documents linked with the case.

According to the police, Mr Kulwant Singh wanted to go to Korea. He gave Rs 2.5 lakh to Jaggi, a travel agent living in Rajpura, who promised to send him to Korea. The payment was made in the beginning of 1996.

On October 2, 1996, Mr Kulwant Singh was sent to Delhi by the travel agent. In Delhi, Jaggi told Kulwant Singh that he could not send him to Korea but he can send him to Thailand and from there he would make efforts to send him to Korea.

The very next day Mr Kulwant Singh left for Thailand. He spent about three months in that country waiting in Thailand an agent of Jaggi reportedly asked him to pay Rs 50,000 more for being sent to Korea, which the latter refused. Mr Kulwant Singh reportedly met some persons from Punjab in Thailand who were also waiting for being sent to Korea. He came back to Punjab in January 1997.



Gold ornaments worth Rs 3 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 7
Gold ornaments, valued more than Rs three lakh, were reportedly stolen in two separate incidents of theft in the city, the police said here today. Mr Vipin Chandra of Sector 41-A filed a complaint with the police that gold ornaments weighing around 10 gm were stolen from his residence yesterday.

A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

In another incident, Mr Didar Singh of Sector 3 reported to the police that 28 gold ornaments were stolen from his residence on the night of December 5.

The complainant was out of station when the theft was committed, said the police.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 3 police station.

Dowry complaint filed
Mr Kamalani, a resident of Sector 29-B filed a complaint against her husband Puneet Kumar of Hill View Convent school, Vikas Nagar, Dehra Dun (Uttaranchal), alleging that he was harassing and maltreating her to bring dowry.

She was married to him in June 2003.

A case under sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered at the Industrial Area police station.

One nabbed with smack
The local police has arrested Jai Singh of Dadu Majra Colony for allegedly possessing six grams of smack.

The accused was arrested near CTU workshop, last evening. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered against the accused at the sector 39 police station. 



CII, Austrade to promote agribusiness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Austrade, the export facilitation arm of the Government of Australia, have joined hands to promote agribusiness between Australia and India.

Announcing the launch of the “Partnering Australia for Business” program here, Mrs Michelle Marginson, Chargé d’Affaires, Australian High Commission, said that the initiative should help strengthen trade ties between the two countries.

Mrs Marginson said that North India could become a hub for Australian companies wishing to invest in India. “Australia is one of the world’s leading agricultural economies and with agriculture the mainstay of the North Indian states, the tie-up between Austrade and CII makes good business sense,” Mrs Marginson added.

Referring to the bilateral trade between the two countries, Mrs Marginson said that in 2003-04, Australian exports to India were around A$ 4.9 billion, which was around 4.5 per cent of Australia’s total global exports. “Food processing, food transportation and handling and farm equipment, are some of the sectors that can be explored for joint ventures between Australian and Indian companies,” she said.

Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, Vice-President, CII, said that more mutual trade could be an instrument of development for both countries. Referring to the WTO, Mr Deveshwar said: “India has already started implementing its obligations under the multilateral trading system to meet emerging challenges. If trade is to grow between the two countries and lead to development, we need to establish more contacts and open fresh lines of communication.”

Mr Mike Moignard, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade, said that India was the seventh largest market for exports from Australia. Businessmen from Australia and India had each invested over A$1 billion in each other’s economy. Mr Moignard noted that “Austrade was enhancing its presence in India and the new business partnership programme would provide opportunities for Indian companies and others to benefit from Australian expertise.” There were already over 140 joint ventures successfully working between Indian and Australian companies, he added.

Welcoming participants, Capt Alok Sharma, Immediate Past President, CII Himachal Pradesh State Council, said that CII endeavoured to create and sustain growth. Partnering Austrade was a step forward in CII’s mission. Mr Manish Bagrodia, Chairman, CII Punjab State Council, said that commonalities between the two countries as well as values and interests shared by them provided the basis for a comprehensive relationship.


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