SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI
W O R L D

Kalam for defence ties with Singapore
Singapore, February 2
India today proposed joint development, production and marketing of passenger jets with Singapore as the two countries agreed to study scope for cooperation in defence research and technology and discussed maritime security.
President APJ Abdul Kalam is greeted by schoolchildren in Singapore President APJ Abdul Kalam is greeted by schoolchildren in Singapore on Thursday.
— PTI photo

Ultimate decision on Iran rests with India: USA
Washington, February 2
Ahead of the crucial IAEA meeting on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, the USA has said while it will like India to vote with it on Tehran, the ultimate decision is left to New Delhi.



EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Pak welcomes PM’s comments on India-Pak ties
Islamabad, February 2
Pakistan today described as “positive” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks that his government was committed to a “pragmatic and practical” solution to all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and said the Indian leader had shown some flexibility.

Nishan-e-Pakistan conferred on King Abdullah
Islamabad, February 2
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf today conferred the country’s highest civilian award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of greater understanding between the two countries.

In video: Saudi King visits Islamabad. (28k, 56k)

Prophet Mohammed’s cartoons : Editor sacked
Paris, February 2
The owner of French newspaper France Soir has dismissed the publication’s managing editor after the paper reproduced a set of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed first published in Denmark that have created an uproar in the Muslim world.
Top








 

Kalam for defence ties with Singapore

Stumped!

President Kalam today appeared to have been stumped when a student of an Indian international school asked him why he has not got married.

“Sir, why have you not found a life partner?” the student fired the question at the President after delivering an ex-tempore lecture in which he restated his vision of a peaceful and prosperous world and the role of youth in the efforts to that end.

After a brief silence, the President replied “I wish all of you find the best life partner,” drawing peals of laughter from the audience at the auditorium of the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan International School here. — PTI

Singapore, February 2
India today proposed joint development, production and marketing of passenger jets with Singapore as the two countries agreed to study scope for cooperation in defence research and technology and discussed maritime security.

The two countries also agreed to examine the idea of collaborating in developing the Buddhist religious tourism circuit as Buddhism was a key cultural link between India and ASEAN, and reviving a multi-disciplinary university in Nalanda, one of the greatest centres of Buddhist scholars.

Addressing Nanyang Technological University, a prestigious centre of excellence here, visiting President A P J Abdul Kalam said Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited of India and Singapore Technologies could move forward with a joint venture for designing, development, production and marketing of ASEAN Passenger Jets.

On the penultimate day of Kalam’s three-day visit here, Singapore said it was promoting India as an attractive investment destination not only to investors from the city state but also Japan.

The joint collaboration in defence sector came up for discussion when Singapore Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean called on President Kalam.

Kalam also had talks with Commerce and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang and Foreign Minister George Yeo, wrapping up his talks with Singapore leaders.

Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry Rajiv Sikri told reporters here that Mr Kalam and the Singapore Defence Minister felt perhaps there was scope for cooperation in defence research and technology.

The two leaders also discussed maritime security and expressed concern over the situation in Malacca Straits, which serves as energy lane connecting Persian Gulf and large consuming countries in East Asia, and is often buffeted by piracy and gun running.

Kalam and Teo also discussed promotion of joint exercises between defence forces of India and Singapore.

Referring to the meeting between Kalam and the Singapore Commerce Minister, Sikri said both sides agreed to implement the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in letter and spirit within the stipulated timeline of August this year.

Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath would visit Singapore next month to discuss implementation of CECA.

Once CECA, signed in June last year, comes into effect, India-Singapore trade was estimated to go up to $ 17 billion dollars in the next two to three years, Sikri pointed out. Lim conveyed to Kalam that Singapore was actively promoting India as an investment destination and recently told a group of Japanese investors to put their money in India.

President Kalam also said the “wound” of the 1962 conflict with China had “healed,” and said India’s “national aim” was the coming together of the two Asian powers. The President also favoured a calibrated approach to formation of an Asian economic community on the pattern of European Union.

The President’s remarks assume significance in the wake of India seeking to carve a niche in South-East and East-Asia in the face of growing clout of China in the two regions.

With China having embarked on the path of greater economic integration with East Asia and ASEAN much before India, a number of ASEAN countries wanted India to make foray in the regions in a big way, apparently as a counter-balance, officials here said, adding India’s ‘Look East’ policy should in part be read in this context.

Meanwhile, the prestigious Nanytang Technology University (NTU) of Singapore today offered to become a hub of business intelligence on India, providing information to Singaporean investors about opportunities in the country.

NTU aims to be a leading centre for Indian business intelligence in Singapore and a key science and technology partner of India, its President Su Guaning said in a press statement. The University has also offered seats to outstanding students from College of Engineering in Pune to graduate courses and doctoral research. — PTI

Top

 

Ultimate decision on Iran rests with India: USA

Washington, February 2
Ahead of the crucial IAEA meeting on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, the USA has said while it will like India to vote with it on Tehran, the ultimate decision is left to New Delhi.

“We have expressed our hope that they (India) would vote yes. They voted yes back in September to find Iran in non-compliance. We would hope that they would do so again on this resolution. But that is their decision. They’re a sovereign country and it is going to be the Indian Government’s decision on how they vote.

“We would certainly encourage them to vote yes, but how they vote will be up to them,” spokesman Sean McCormack said, adding he was not sure if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had spoken to anyone in New Delhi on the matter.

On US Ambassador to India David Mulford’s comments that there would be a “devastating” effect on the Indo-US nuclear deal if India did not vote against Iran at the IAEA, the spokesman said his remarks merely pointed to an aspect of the implications of the vote—that of Congressional reaction on the Capitol Hill.

He described Mulford as a “distinguished ambassador” who was doing a “good job” for the USA in India.

Asked if the Bush administration would back calls in Congress to cut off “deals” if New Delhi voted against the USA as had been said by Mulford, McCormack said “... we have talked about this before...Ambassador Mulford said himself that he was providing his analysis of the political scene in Washington. Certainly there are realities on Capitol Hill concerning these issues.

“I said that we view them as separate issues. They certainly come up in the same conversation in the context of strengthening the non-proliferation regime worldwide”.

“There are certainly realities in the Executive Branch. We view these issues as separate issues but we certainly talk about them in the same conversations. As for the Hill, there are strongly held views on this matter and they don’t center necessarily on India but on the seriousness of the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to the region but to the world,” the Spokesman added. — PTI

Top

 

Pak welcomes PM’s comments on India-Pak ties

Islamabad, February 2
Pakistan today described as “positive” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks that his government was committed to a “pragmatic and practical” solution to all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and said the Indian leader had shown some flexibility.

“Naturally it is a positive statement. We want both sides to show sincerity, flexibility and courage for the solution of Kashmir dispute,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told the state-run PTV.

Aslam said judging from the media reports of Dr Singh’s comments he had shown some flexibility.

Pakistan has repeatedly expressed desire for peaceful solution of bilateral issues, including Kashmir, she said.

The Prime Minister’s comments on the Indo-Pak ties made in a press conference in New Delhi yesterday were prominently reported in the media here. — PTI

Top

 

Nishan-e-Pakistan conferred on King Abdullah

Islamabad, February 2
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf today conferred the country’s highest civilian award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of greater understanding between the two countries.

The award was conferred at a special investiture ceremony at the President’s House. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Senate chairman Mohammad Mian Soomro, Speaker of the national assembly, Choudry Amir Hussain, governors and chief ministers, cabinet ministers and service chiefs also attended the ceremony.

The citation also recognised the pre-eminent position of the Saudi leader within the Islamic conference as a ‘torch bearer’ for the future of the community.

Speaking at a banquet hosted in his honour by President Musharraf the Saudi King appreciated the peace process between Pakistan and India and hoped that the issues would be resolved amicably.

He said during his visit to India, he expressed the need for an early settlement of the disputes. — UNI

Top

 

Prophet Mohammed’s cartoons : Editor sacked

Paris, February 2
The owner of French newspaper France Soir has dismissed the publication’s managing editor after the paper reproduced a set of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed first published in Denmark that have created an uproar in the Muslim world.

France-Soir owner Raymond Lakah said in a statement to AFP he “decided to remove Jacques Lefranc as managing director of the publication as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual.”

“We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication” of the cartoons, the statement added.

The French Government earlier said the decision to reprint the dozen caricatures was the “sole responsibility” of France Soir, while also reaffirming its commitment to freedom of the Press.

France Soir, a once successful daily which is now fighting to survive, said it had intended to illustrate the controversy sparked by their initial publication in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten paper in September.

Islam considers any image of the Prophet blasphemous, and Muslim anger over the caricatures has boiled over into a diplomatic row threatening Danish trade interests. — AFP

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |