NATIONAL

India unhappy

Dushanbe (Tajikistan) Nov. 13. India is extremely unhappy with the comments made by the Pakistan Information Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, on the sidelines of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in New Delhi.

"The Pakistani Minister has shown his class," an agitated External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, told presspersons on board the Prime Minister's aircraft from Moscow to Dushanbe tonight.

"I don't want to match him in language and cultural behaviour," Mr. Sinha said, adding that India "hears and speaks clearly."

Asked whether India had confirmed that the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, would attend the SAARC summit in the first week of January in Islamabad, Mr. Sinha said that as of now Mr. Vajpayee would travel to Pakistan.

On whether India had formally confirmed attendance at the meeting, Mr. Sinha replied: "We will formally confirm the acceptance of the invitation in course of time."

Separately, highly-placed sources in the Prime Minister's delegation confirmed that contracts relating to the purchase of the aircraft-carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, would be concluded during the visit of the Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Ivanov, to New Delhi, towards the end of the month. They said that "almost all the details have been tied up."