|Wednesday, February 23, 2000,
to visit Pak: aide
|Mozambique on alert as cyclone
MAPUTO, Feb 22 Screaming winds and torrential rain today began to batter parts of the coast of Mozambique, already hit by its worst floods in 30 years.
2 French soldiers hurt in
Man of Indian
origin first Anglican Bishop
hid bomb in purse
fails to avoid run-off
of 11 ministers accepted
Clinton to visit Pak: aide
ISLAMABAD, Feb 22 (UNI) US President Bill Clinton will visit Pakistan after his five-day tour of India, a senior aide to Gen Pervez Musharraf has claimed.
The Advisor to the Chief Executive on National Affairs and Media, Mr Javed Jabbar, said this last night after a meeting with the US Ambassador to the Pakistan, Mr William B. Milam.
Mr Javed Jabbar, told The News that the issue of Clintons visit to the country was discussed when Mr Milam called on him yesterday, the paper reported today.
Mr Jabbar refused to comment when asked to give the response of the US envoy, and said, a visit by a US President is always important, but relationship between the two countries transcends time and personalities.
Institutional and state to state relationship has to be seen on the basis that Pakistan, irrespective of which country it neighbours, in itself is a very important country, Mr Jabbar added.
Mr Jabbar said Pakistan was a very dynamic society and the visit (of Clinton) has to be seen in that context.
Pakistan has a demonstrated capacity in different fields ranging from excellence in nuclear energy to a whole range of disciplines, he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan appears to be going all out to persuade White House to include a stop-over in Islamabad during President Clintons visit to India and Bangladesh next month.
Its supporters in Congress, led by Democratic Senator Tim Johnson are busy securing signatures of fellow lawmakers, urging Mr Clinton to add Pakistan to his visit. Leaving Pakistan off the itinerary would be a snub to a traditional ally of the USA, he argues.
Mr Johnson, quoted in the Washington Times today, having said, he understood the administrations reluctance to meet General Pervez Musharraf.
Mr Johnson, however, said he had a very candid and positive discussion with General Musharraf on a visit to Pakistan last month and received strong assurances that the military ruler would act positively regarding U.S. concerns about the restoration of democracy, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the threat of terrorism in the region.
According to Pakistani sources, some lawmakers have either written to the President or personally talked to him urging against dropping Pakistan from his South Asia itinerary. They include Senate Minority Leader Tom Dashle, Democratic Chief Whip David Bonier, Republican Chief Whip Harry Reid, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Sub-committee on South Asia, Senator Sam Brownback and Sen, Robert Torricelli (both Republican).
Chechen leader told to leave Pak
ISLAMABAD, Feb 22 (UNI) Pakistan has asked the visiting former Chechen President Zelim Khan Yandrabaye to cease his activities forthwith and leave the country immediately.
Mozambique on alert as cyclone nears
MAPUTO, Feb 22 (Reuters) Screaming winds and torrential rain today began to batter parts of the coast of Mozambique, already hit by its worst floods in 30 years.
The South African Weather Bureau said cyclone Eline was expected to make landfall this afternoon, but reports from coastal regions north of the capital said winds in excess of 120 kph and heavy rain had already arrived.
South African Radio said South African air force helicopters had suspended aid flights because of the weather.
More than 200,000 Mozambicans have already had their homes washed away by flooding in two weeks of rain.
The rushing waters have also dislodged landmines, a legacy of a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992.
It is an intensifying cyclone. We expect bad weather over Mozambique and wind gusts of 250 kph, bureau spokesman Sam Thema said.
There will be heavy rain over Mozambique. Some parts of South Africas Mpumalanga and northern provinces might be affected.
Mr Thema said the cyclone, moving at 25 kph per hour, was expected to hit Beira, Mozambiques second city, as well as other parts of the provinces of Inhambane and Gaza.
The state radio reported that Mozambican authorities had appealed to residents in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone to stay indoors.
Mr Thema said the cyclone was gaining intensity as it moved towards the mainland, a phenomenon attributed to the warm waters in the Mozambique Channel.
Eline was already causing heavy rain on the Mozambican coast between Beira and Vilanculos.
2 French soldiers hurt in clashes
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA (Yugoslavia), Feb 22 (Reuters) NATO-led peacekeepers clashed with Kosovo Albanians in Mitrovica after around 20,000 persons marched on the tense city in protest against its de facto division along the ethnic lines.
In the latest eruption of violence, British, French and Canadian peacekeepers fought with hundreds of ethnic Albanians yesterday trying to storm the bridge over the river dividing the city into Serb and Albanian-dominated sides.
The peacekeepers fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the crowd, and the situation calmed down as darkness fell.
It would have been a disaster if they had broken through, said the Commander of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force, German General Klaus Reinhardt.
A KFOR spokesman, British Warrant Officer Mark Cox, told Reuters that two French soldiers were slightly injured. He had no information on any injuries to civilians.
Earlier yesterday thousands of ethnic Albanians ran into the city, a major flashpoint between the two hostile communities, and towards the bridge after walking for several hours from the provincial capital Pristina.
Man of Indian origin first Anglican Bishop
DURBAN, Feb 22 (PTI) A prominent former anti-apartheid religious leader whose great-grand-parents came to South Africa as indentured labourers from India has been enthroned as the first coloured Anglican Bishop of Kwazulu-Natal.
Bishop Rubin Philip, whose forefathers came from Andhra Pradesh to work on sugar plantations of the then Natal, was enthroned by the Anglican leader of Southern Africa Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane yesterday.
Bishop Philip (52) has come a long way from the dusty streets of the suburb of Calirwood in Durban where he grew up.
Although his father did not follow any religion, he did not object when his young son chose to follow the path of Christianity.
Suicide-bomber hid bomb in purse
COLOMBO, Feb 22 (PTI) The LTTE suicide bomber who blew herself up in an election rally of Chandrika Kumaratunga on December 18 injuring the Sri Lankan President, carried the explosives in her handbag and not strapped to her body as initially believed, detectives investigating the case have said.
CID official, S P Samasinghe told a Colombo court yesterday that forensic tests conducted at the site of the blast have established that the suicide bomber carried the explosive in a parcel which was concealed in her handbag.
Earlier police had believed that the bomber who managed to gain entry into the VIP enclosure of the rally, blew herself up when Chandrika was leaving the meeting.
Despite having placed a Rupees two million reward for any information on the suicide bomber, the police was able to only partially identify her as not many people came forward with credible clues to her past.
Rafsanjani fails to avoid run-off
DUBAI, Feb 22 (UNI) Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjanis bid to enter Majlis in the first round of parliamentary elections in Iran virtually ended in a failure as reformists appeared set for a majority in the 290-member House.
The Interior Ministry headquarters in Tehran today announced that according to the latest tally, Mr Rafsanjani would have to fight it out in the second round of run-off elections, planned for some time in May.
Mr Rafsanjanis name was in the list of eight other hopefuls who also could not garner the minimum 25 per cent of the votes needed to avoid a run-off, Kuna said.
Iranian television announced that some 8,00,000 votes from 992 Tehran polling stations had been counted. Mr Rafsanjani was on the 27th spot.
Resignations of 11 ministers accepted
KATHMANDU, Feb 22 (AFP) King Birendra today accepted the resignations of eleven ministers who have joined a group of disgruntled ruling Nepali Congress MPs seeking Prime Minister K.P. Bhattarais ouster, official sources said.
The eleven, including five senior Cabinet ministers, submitted their resignations to Bhattarai on Friday after a no-confidence motion registered by 58 MPs of the Nepali Congress parliamentary group.
They allege that Bhattarai has failed to control the extreme left Maoist insurgents, check administrative corruption or boost the economy.
The party parliamentary group will meet on Saturday when Bhattarai is expected to defend his record, an official close to him said.
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