June 4, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Peace Zone Rejectedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/june-4-1978-forty-years-ago-peace-zone-rejected-5202576/

June 4, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Peace Zone Rejected

Front page of The Indian Express on May 4, 1978.

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Front page of The Indian Express on May 4, 1978

External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said India will not accept Pakistan’s proposal to declare South Asia alone as a “zone of peace”. Such a course will increase the dangers of a global conflagration because declaring one part of the world a zone of peace will lead to the stockpiling of weapons in another part and start an arms race there. Speaking to mediapersons in Shimla, Vajpayee reiterated his plea to the major powers to enter into a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

UP Trust Vote

Though the UP Chief Minister Ram Naresh Yadav has a big majority, the ministerialists are determined to force the issue of open voting and debarring 10 members from voting at the Janata legislature party meeting in Lucknow. The dissident leader, S P Malaviya, did not rule out a boycott if the dissidents’ demand for secret ballot and participation of all the members in the voting was not conceded. He said the central observer, George Fernandes, has been non-committal about the demand of the dissidents. Malaviya claimed support of over 200 members and said the dissidents would take a decision “on the spot” if their demand for secret ballot was not conceded and 10 members against whom no disciplinary action had been taken by the Central Parliamentary Board, were prevented from voting.

Cases against Indira

Any legal action against former prime minister Indira Gandhi will await the return of Prime Minister Morarji Desai from his foreign tour on June 17, it is understood. Though considerable thought has been given to the possible cases in which Mrs Gandhi’s actions might attract criminal liability, no final decision has yet been reached. A closer scrutiny of the evidence already collected by the CBI in these cases will be needed and further probes may also be necessary to collect more material. The government’s stand is that where there are foolproof cases of criminal liability, there should be no hesitation in going ahead. But there should be no attempt at witch-hunting.