June 11, 2021 4:00:52 am
After two days of intensive talks in Islamabad, India and Pakistan issued a joint statement ruling out the use of force or the threat of use of force between the two countries. The joint statement was released before the Minister of External Affairs, P V Narasimha Rao, left for Lahore after having a series of formal and informal meetings with Pakistan’s foreign minister Agha Shahi. The commitment of the two countries on ruling out force is contained in the paragraph on the Simla Agreement in the joint statement. It is significant in the context of several bellicose statements that have emanated recently from the two countries. The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to the Simla Agreement in the joint statement and noted that this commitment constituted a firm foundation of peace and improvement of relations between the two countries.
The Chinese foreign minister Huang Hua may put forward a barter deal to solve the border problems in his talks in New Delhi later this month, according to sources in the Chinese Communist Party. The sources say that China is keen to establish some degree of amity with India because of its preoccupation with the modernisation programme. China may propose the exchange of Chumbi Valley for Aksai Chin.
All seven bogies of the 416 Down passenger train which plunged and submerged into the southern Bagmati in Bihar on June 6 have now been located. According to members of the army’s rescue team, the doors of four bogies had to be cut open and 18 bodies were recovered. The thrust of the operation was to extricate the bodies and not recover the coaches. Lt General W A G Pinto, General officer commanding of the Central Command more than 700 people could have died in the accident.
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