Left to ‘quiz’ govt on N-deal  

Posted on 18 March 2008 22:57While the IAEA still awaits confirmation from New Delhi to conclude the negotiated safeguards agreement, the Left is gearing up to prolong engagement with the Government on the IAEA negotiations and is preparing a detailed questionnaire ahead of the next meeting.

Left sources said the questionnaire would be sent to the Government, which could prepare its response before the next meeting. All parties of the Left would hold a meeting towards the month-end to clear this questionnaire.

While this process starts here, a source familiar with the India-IAEA talks in Vienna said: “Yes, the sides are close to a final text but India has to confirm to the IAEA that there is an agreement on the text. Until then, there is in fact no agreement.”

The confirmation, of course, can only happen after consultations with the Left, which in turn, is in touch with its panel of experts on the nuclear deal to come up with a detailed set of questions.

The decision on a questionnaire was taken after the Government refused to hand over the full text of its agreement with the IAEA. At Monday’s meeting, the Government had given the Left only a gist of what transpired in talks with the IAEA at Vienna. The Left was “unhappy” with what they were given and asked for more.

In fact, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed Government’s inability to give the full text of an international agreement which was supposed to be a “secret.”




US to search in India for airmen missing since WWII  

Posted on 18 March 2008 23:15

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) A US military team will be here Wednesday to discuss a joint operation with India to search for US airmen who went missing in plane crashes over Indian territory during World War II.

Rear Admiral Donna L. Crisp, commander of Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action, Accounting Command (JPAC), will meet Indian officials and discuss a joint operation to trace the missing American servicemen from World War II, official sources said.

The two sides are likely to announce an expedition to trace the missing American airmen, the sources said.

According to the US Department of Defence, more than 500 US aircraft and 1,200 crewmembers went missing in the China-Burma-India theatre during World War II. At least 416 Americans went missing in India alone.

Advani alleges Musharraf lied to him  

Posted on 20 March 2008 3:46New Delhi: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf lied to him about underworld don Dawood Ibrahim not being in Pakistan, said senior BJP leader L K Advani quoting a Pakistani official present when the two leaders met.

Recalling his meeting with Musharraf in Rashtrapati Bhavan in July, 2001 preceding the Agra summit, Advani said he had told the General that handing over of Dawood to India will generate enormous amount of trust in him and his country.

Musharraf, his unease palpable, replied assertively: “Mr Advani, let me tell you emphatically that Dawood is not in Pakistan” wrote 80-year old Advani in his book My Country My Life which was released on Wednesday.

Several years later, he said, one of the Pakistani officials who was present during the meeting told him that “what our President said about Dawood on that day was a white lie”.

The US had assured the Vajpayee government in 2002 that Pakistan will handover Dawood Ibrahim but later there was a “certain lack of enthusiasm” on its part and there was no action from Islamabad which was only “fibbing and foot-dragging”, he said. 



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