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January 29, 1978, Forty Years Ago

Foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee envisioned a larger Asian community extending from Iran to the Indo-China peninsula permitting an uninterrupted interchange of commerce, economic and cultural cooperation and ideas.

By: Editorial |
Updated: January 29, 2018 12:00:43 am
Atal Behari Vajpayee, Israel, Palestinians, Asian community, B P Koirala, Nepal, Indian Express Vajpayee reiterated that India believed in peace and would continue to protest against the Zionists’ move to usurp legitimate land of the Palestinians.

Atal against Israel

External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called on all non-aligned nations and those who believed in peace and justice to “raise their voice in protest against the injustice being meted out to Palestinians”. Addressing a public meeting arranged by the Indo-Arab Friendship League, Vajpayee reiterated that India believed in peace and would continue to protest against the Zionists’ move to usurp legitimate land of the Palestinians.

Asian community

Foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee envisioned a larger Asian community extending from Iran to the Indo-China peninsula permitting an uninterrupted interchange of commerce, economic and cultural cooperation and ideas. He said he anticipated and hoped for a community of equal and sovereign nations, enriching one another with their national assets, economic, scientific and technological achievements as well as their culture and heritage.

Delivering a lecture in Hyderabad, Vajpayee observed that this would take a long time to be turned into a reality. But if Western Europe, with all its criss-crossing national predilections and diversity, could knit itself together in an integrated economic community, there was no reason why nations in Asia should not be able to do so, he said.

Koirala’s health

Two American medical experts, who treated the Nepalese leader, B P Koirala, expressed concern at the reported deterioration in his physical condition and urged that he should return to the US for a revaluation of his health. On a visit to India, the doctors had proceeded to Kathmandu for a follow-up examination of Koirala, currently under detention, but were refused permission. Koirala went to New York in 1977 after being released by the king of Nepal on health grounds. The king had financed the trip and the surgery. Koirala rejected offers that he stay back in the US. He told a public meeting that the king had released him on trust. On reaching Kathmandu, he was arrested.

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