India and Iran called for maintaining the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and felt that a new content and meaning be given to the friendship between the two countries. Speaking at the banquet in honour of the visiting Iranian prime minister, Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said, “Our friendship is not against any one. Exclusiveness is incompatible with the dictates of our times”. She said India sought friendship with all nations, especially its neighbours. In an apparent reference to normalisation of relations with neighbours, Mrs Gandhi said, “This is our objective in taking the recent initiatives to enlarge the area of goodwill and to mitigate distress.”
India-Bangladesh talks on Farakka concluded in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. A goodwill team from India is likely to visit Bangladesh soon to continue discussions. A joint statement at the end of the talks said the delegation from Bangladesh discussed with its Indian counterparts the effect of withdrawal of water from Farakka.
No To Concorde
India’s refusal to allow Concorde flights over the country is based mainly on grounds of possible injurious effects on life, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Raj Bahadur said in Parliament. He made it clear that we have no intention at all to “squeeze out” any civil aviation benefits from the UK.
India and Pakistan were likely to agree on resuming overflights and air links when they reopen talks in Islamabad on normalisation of relations, diplomatic sources said. An Indian delegation led by Foreign Secretary J.S. Mehta, and including officials from the ministries of home, civil aviation, shipping and transport, railways and finance, was scheduled to hold talks with Pakistani officials for three days.