Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated on Friday that he had been in touch with the “highest levels” of the Chinese government and media reports of incidents on the long India-China border were a reflection of the inadequate flow of information from his government. This would be rectified.
On the latest reports that Pakistan had acted against the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, alleged to have masterminded the Mumbai terrorist attack, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram both separately said it was a “small step forward.” India would have to wait and see whether Pakistan follows this through. Mr. Chidambaram said that even if it was a small step, “we should and we do welcome it.”
At an ‘Iftar’ hosted by him at his residence, Dr. Singh was asked about reports of incursions by the Chinese into Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control. He pointed out that the border was long and sometimes incidents took place. But he was in touch with the Chinese government and on Thursday China’s Ambassador to India met the National Security Adviser.
He implied that his government had been negligent as far as information flow to the media on this sensitive subject was concerned. The Prime Minister indicated that the reported border incidents were not as significant or as alarming as was made out to be in some news reports.
Separately, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told The Hindu that she would be away from the country till September 29, but soon after her return she was planning to hold a detailed “on record” briefing on the subject.
The large number of guests included Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, Communist Party of India-Marxist Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and a number of Cabinet Ministers.
Diplomats, educationists, journalists and others were also present on the lawns of 7 Race Course Road where after the namaz-e-maghrib the roza was broken and dinner served.