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Saturday, July 21, 2018

April 12, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Soviet Defection

Front page of The Indian Express on April 12, 1978

By: Editorial | Published: April 12, 2018 12:22:30 am
Indian express forty years ago, Indian express on April 12, 1978, front page of indian exxpress , indian express editorial Front page of The Indian Express on April 12, 1978

The highest-ranking Soviet official in the United Nations bureaucracy, Arkady N Shevchenko, has defected from his country. He gave “differences” with his government as the reason for his decision, which came as a total surprise to delegates. He did not elaborate. There was no comment from officials at the Soviet mission. According to the US State department in Washington, Shevchenko notified through New York attorney, Ernest A Gross, that he would not return to the Soviet Union. He, however, did not ask for political asylum in the US. The US administration is trying to deal with Shevchenko’s case through quiet diplomacy.

Salal Dam Talks

India and Pakistan are keen that an agreement on the Salal Dam project be reached “as soon as possible”. This became clear after a day of intense discussions on this and other bilateral matters between the two delegations led by Agha Shahi, adviser on foreign affairs to the government of Pakistan, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, External Affairs Minister. In fact, it would surprise nobody if an agreement to the issue was reached in a round of talks between the two delegations. The Salal hydro-electric project in Kashmir has been a matter of serious dispute between the two countries because Pakistan’s earlier contention was that the dam, which India was constructing on the Chenab, violated the terms of the Indus Water Treaty signed by the two countries in 1960.

Poll Expense Panel

The Tarkunde committee on electoral expenses set up by the Executive Council of Citizens for Democracy on the advice of Jayaprakash Narayan has recommended that facilities should be made available at government expense to every candidate in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections. This is to ensure that contestants with modest means do not suffer. The committee has also recommended an increase in the ceiling on election expenses and security deposits.

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