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Army to brief US Pacific Command chief on J&K
Josy Joseph in New Delhi |
December 10, 2002 18:41 IST
Indian army formations in Jammu and Kashmir will brief Admiral Thomas Boulton Fargo, who is on his first official visit to India as chief of the United States Pacific command.
A senior army officer said Admiral Fargo, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening, left for the Northern Army command at Udhampur on Tuesday for the briefings. Adm Fargo will be told about the "formation headquarters along the Line of Control" and in the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.
For security reasons, the army and the US embassy have refused to disclose the admiral's itinerary. The ceremonial welcome scheduled originally for Monday was shifted to Tuesday morning due to his delayed arrival. He was given a guard of honour at South Block after he had laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
Adm Fargo is expected to meet senior military commanders to discuss the security scenario and common concerns. He will also meet the defence secretary and Defence Minister George Fernandes, besides visiting some key military installations, during his four-day stay, an American embassy spokesman told rediff.com
The admiral is the second senior US dignitary to visit Jammu and Kashmir after the new government was installed there. US Ambassador to India Robert D Blackwill visited the troubled state last week, where he held extensive discussions with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Governor G C Saxena, senior army commanders, and others.
US interest in Jammu and Kashmir is not new, but there are no clear reasons why the Americans are showing renewed interest after India has repeatedly expressed its disappointment with America's inability to get Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism.