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October 12, 1999
Indian troops put on high alert
Indian troops were put on full alert and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee held a meeting with senior Cabinet colleagues in New Delhi following reports of the military coup in Pakistan today.
Vajpayee, who is going to be sworn in tomorrow once again as prime minister, held discussions with Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Defence Minister George Fernandes and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra on the latest developments in Pakistan.
The army, navy and air force have been put on a state of high alert as a precautionary measure, senior defence officials said.
"The reports emanating from Islamabad are a matter of grave concern and we are closely watching the situation," a spokesman in the prime minister's office said.
He said the prime minister was keeping abreast of the developments and maintaining constant touch with the Indian mission in Islamabad.
"All the members of the Indian mission in Islamabad are safe," the spokesman said.
The Cabinet Committee on Security is scheduled to meet in the capital tomorrow, soon after the new Council of Ministers is sworn in, to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, flights to Pakistan from India have been cancelled. The Indian Airlines service from Bombay to Karachi at midnight tonight was cancelled while an Air France flight from Madras to Karachi was diverted to New Delhi.
There was also an indication that the bus service from Delhi to Lahore, which began in February following Vajpayee's visit across the border, may be suspended.
Though there was no cancellation till late in the night, an official said no risks would be taken and the bus may not leave the capital as scheduled at 0500 IST tomorrow.
Police are also keeping a close watch in areas around the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi to avert any untoward situation.
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