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September 8, 2000
PM may hit back at Pak in UN speech
Savera R Someshwar in New York
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has a rather busy second day in New York on Friday.
He is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly at 1245 hours local time. His speech, which ministry of external affairs sources say, is expected to be in Hindi, much like his famed address to the UN in 1977, is expected to have a hard hitting response to Pakistan Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf's remarks on Kashmir.
Though the prime minister's address will be limited to five minutes -- the limit set for each leader addressing the UNGA -- the official version on record is much longer.
At about the same time, outside the UN, protests will be staged by Kashmiri separatist groups, spearheaded by the Kashmiri American Council. They are expected to be joined by Khalistanis, the Indian Christian Forum and the National Association of Asian Christians of USA.
The prime minister begins the day by signing the Convention On The Supression Of Financing of Terrorism, proposed by the French government. The signing, which was scheduled for 1000 hours local time, has been delayed by an hour. MEA sources say no reason has been assigned for the delay.
The convention details the French government's contention that the financing of terrorism needs to be attacked as the major step towards eradicating the menace.
India has been a strong supporter of the convention. In fact, the Cabinet decided to sign and ratify the convention about two months ago.
India, say MEA sources, has also proposed a comprehensive draft on terrorism that is expected to be taken up by the UN soon. It will follow a Russian proposal on nuclear terrorism.
Included in the prime minister's schedule are bilateral meetings with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala of Nepal, before he attends the Millennium Summit finale.
Later in the evening, the prime minister is scheduled to attend a reception hosted in his honour by Indian Ambassador Naresh Chandra.
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
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