October 2001 News

Bush briefs PM, says Jaish will be banned

7 October 2001
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: US President George W Bush spoke to Prime Minister Vajpayee over the phone on Sunday around 5.30 pm and informed him that the American strikes in Afghanistan would take place later in the evening. He also assured the PM that the Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e- Mohammad would be banned soon.Bush also told Vajpayee that he had spoken ‘‘to our mutual friend’’ Tony Blair, the British prime minister.When Vajpayee complained to Bush that India’s concerns were not being taken into account, the US president told him in very clear terms that Washington was concerned about terrorism in all parts of the world and not in a particular region. ‘‘Terrorism is terrorism and can’t be condoned anyway,’’ Bush said.He said the US would soon issue an executive order banning the Jaish-e-Mohammad, adding he (Vajpayee) could take credit for having brought to the notice of the world the activities of the Jaish, which is led by Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar was released by India following the hijack of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar in January, 2000.Bush assured Vajpayee that the issue of attacks on Sikhs in the US following the September 11 strikes in New York and Washington had been discussed at various levels, including Sikh representatives, and that all steps have been taken to ensure their safety. According to PTI, Bush said secretary of state Colin Powell would be visiting India in the third week of this month.


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