The summit conference of hardline Arab states took a secret decision to establish a fund of $1 billion for the overthrow of the Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, and the Camp David West Asia accord, conference sources said. “The summit has proved very fruitful in countering Camp David,” declared President Hafez Assad of Syria in a brief address during the closing session of the day meeting in Damascus. An official communique at the end of the conference listed four other main decisions: The establishment of a military pact bringing together the members of the “Steadfastness Front” — Syria, Algeria, Libya, South Yemen and the Palestine Liberation Organisation; the establishment of closer relations with the Soviet Union, apparently to counter the increased influence of the US in West Asia; the economic boycott of Egypt; and a demand by the Front that the headquarters of the Arab League should be shifted from Cairo to another Arab capital.
Bansi Lal Guilty
The Justice P Jaganmohan Reddy Commission has indicted the former defence minister, Bansi Lal, for “browbeating” officials of the defence ministry for entering into a contract with a West German firm to benefit Sanjay Gandhi, disregarding the interest of the army “and hence of the country”.
PM On Caste Violence
Prime Minister Morarji Desai advised the chief ministers to deal ruthlessly with those responsible for atrocities on Harijans. He said he was aware of the dimension as well as exaggeration of the problem. Persecution of Harijans continued and it should be dealt with ruthlessly. Desai’s remarks came during his summing-up of the two-day conference of chief ministers, which ended after considering various facets of the law and order issue. The discussion covered the general law and order condition, arrears in courts, Harijans’ problems, student and labour unrest, police morale, communal disturbances, crime on railways and newspaper reporting.