Express front page, February 1, 1980. (Express archive)
India has told President Carter’s special envoy, Clark Clifford, that its efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan within the framework of the Simla Agreement would be jeopardised if Islamabad goes in for arms aid. Clifford stressed the American position that the decision to resume arms supplies to Pakistan was aimed at strengthening that country against a Soviet thrust from across its border and that these arms would not be used against India.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has ordered withdrawal of all criminal conspiracy cases pending in Delhi courts against Mizo National Front chief Laldenga, according to informed sources. Prominent Congress (I) leaders from Mizoram, here for the past one week, have been trying to persuade central leaders to resume the peace talks abandoned by the Janata government in February 1977. The cases against Laldenga, under house arrest since July 1976, relate to alleged criminal conspiracy for procuring an Indian passport on forged documents.
Movies For MGR
The Tamil Nadu chief minister M G Ramachandran, said he will resume acting in films from April. Releasing a cinema fortnightly, Cinema Express, of The Indian Express group in Madras, he said his first film will be released on Diwali. Ramachandran said he will continue as chief minister while acting if the law permitted. If not, he would resign.
Cong Identity Stays
The Congress will keep its “separate identity”: It will not be wound up or changed into a new party. This is the main point which came out of the discussion in the Congress Working Committee. The CWC met in Delhi for three hours. Tarkeshwari Sinha, party general secretary, told newsmen that the CWC had strongly expressed its solidarity with the party and the party president, Devaraj Urs.