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October 7, 2001
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Bush briefs Vajpayee, JeM to be banned

P Jayaram in New Delhi

Hours before the US-led forces launched airstrikes on Afghanistan, President George W Bush telephoned Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and informed him that Washington had decided to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad, which was behind the October 1 terror bomb attack in Srinagar.

The JeM, a Pakistan-based outfit, had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, which left 35 people dead and over 70 injured.

Bush, who called Vajpayee at 17.30 IST, less than five hours before reports of bombing of major cities in Afghanistan started pouring in, however, did not refer to the impending strikes, official sources said.

Bush told Vajpayee that the notification banning the JeM would be issued shortly.

Apparently, taking note of the clear disappointment in New Delhi of the 'unifocal' approach of the US-led campaign against terrorism with Afghanistan as the main target, Bush said unequivocally, "Terrorism is terrorism, any where it occurs and the US will not tolerate it, including in Jammu and Kashmir."

Bush also informed Vajpayee that he was sending US Secretary of State Colin Powell to India in the third week of October for detailed discussions.

Officials said the prime minister welcomed the visit.

"We look forward to having detailed discussions with him," Vajpayee told Bush.

Bush also referred to the attacks on the members of the Sikh community in the US in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and said he had made it clear to authorities that such incidents should not occur.

Bush also noted that he had met with Sikh community leaders and assured them of all protection.

Vajpayee was very appreciative of the prompt action taken by the US president, officials said.

Indo-Asian News Service

The Attack on America: The Complete Coverage

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External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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