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October 13, 1999
Cabinet Committee on Security discusses Pak developments
India is concerned about what is happening in Pakistan but there is no cause for alarm or anxiety, Union minister Jaswant Singh said in New Delhi today after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security.
The committee, chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, met for more than an hour-and-a-half this evening to take stock of the situation in the subcontinent following the military takeover in Pakistan yesterday.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Jaswant Singh denied reports that the Indian armed forces had been put on alert following the coup. Asked about the resumption of bilateral talks with Pakistan, the minister said it depended on how the situation evolved in the neighbouring country, and hoped the situation would stabilise.
''It's our hope and there is also an expectation for resumption of talks. But, Pakistan must take concrete steps,'' he added.
Referring to initiatives taken by the Vajpayee government to normalise relations with Pakistan, Jaswant Singh said the fact that the Lahore-Delhi bus operated normally today was a pointer in this direction. Both sets of buses, from Delhi to Lahore and vice-versa, left and arrived at their respective destinations without a hitch today.
Describing Vajpayee's bus diplomacy as a historic step, Jaswant Singh said the initiative continued to have meaning even today.
The CCS, which met at Vajpayee's 7, Racecourse Road residence, was attended by senior ministers Jaswant Singh, L K Advani, Yashwant Sinha, George Fernandes, the three service chiefs, convenor of the National Security Council K C Pant and National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra.
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