Masani Quits Panel
M R Masani is relinquishing charge as chairman of the Minorities Commission. He said the reason for his action was that three major assurances given to his colleagues and himself when they responded to the government’s invitation had not been honoured. He is giving up the chairmanship after three years. “The government was to consult the commission on all relevant matters concerning the minorities and give considerable weight to our recommendations. On the very first occasion, however, that arose for such consultation the commission found itself ignored and bypassed. It was a crucial matter concerning India’s largest minority, namely, the Bill which was proposed to be introduced in Parliament to amend the Aligarh Muslim University Act,” he said. Masani said the commission’s letters to the government on the matter went unanswered.
Vice-President of the Chinese National People’s Congress, Ulan Fu said that “if India has any views on simultaneous pursuit of a border solution and normalisation of relations, we would like to discuss them”. He was confident of a settlement of the problem being reached. Talking to the visiting Indian press delegation, Ulan said, “The Sino-Indian border problem will have to be solved and it will be solved.” Meanwhile, he said there should be exchange of delegations to improve relations between the two countries. Ulan said “the one million Russian troops on the Mongolian border are also directed against the US and Japan. War is inevitable. and the US have common strategic interests.’’
Atal On Afghanistan
External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said on his return from Iran that the developments in Afghanistan need not cause a setback to the process of regional stability and cooperation. India recognised that these developments are internal affairs of Afghanistan, the minister said.