|Friday, June 2, 2000,
6 Pak women victims of
India invites joint ventures
Dr Kotnis widow meets
Russia relaxes curbs on N-exports
A shoplifter becomes
US missile defence know-how for
Russia rules out military ties
6 Pak women victims of honour killings
ISLAMABAD, June 1 (AFP) Six Pakistani women were strangled, axed or stabbed to death in incidents of "honour killings" by close relatives suspecting sexual misconduct, a newspaper reported today.
The murders took place yesterday in the central Punjab province, The News said.
Ghulam Hussain hacked his mother-in-law Zahooran to death in Bahawalpur district over her alleged sexual liaison with a neighbour, while Abida Bibi was killed for "immodesty" by four men in the same area, the report said.
An unnamed youth strangled his young sister Zakria Bibi in a village near the town of Toba Tek Singh after claiming to have seen her in a "compromising condition" with her alleged lover, who escaped, it said.
In Multan city a man, identified only as Ismail, killed his sister Assia for an alleged extra-martial relationship, the report said.
A man named Basharat stabbed his wife Bakhan Bibi and mother Manzooran Bibi to death in a village near Pakpattan town, it added.
Quoting a recent report by the non-governmental Human Rights Com- mission of Pakistan, the newspaper said more than 1,000 honour killings took place in Pakistan every year.
Pakistani military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf last month vowed tough action to curb the wide-spread problem of honour killings of women by close relatives.
India invites joint ventures
DALIAN (China), June 1 (PTI) India today asked China to step up bilateral business cooperation, particularly in software development, information technology and pharmaceuticals, and set up joint ventures with Indian public enterprises.
India had a vast pool of technical expertise in the field of information technology, and the Indian Government was keen to participate in the efforts that the Chinese Government was making in developing this sector, Heavy Industries Minister Manohar Joshi told Chinese entrepreneurs and industry leaders here.
Elaborating on the Indian strategy towards public sector enterprises, Mr Joshi informed the Chinese industrialists at a breakfast meeting that India was looking for joint venture partners in the engineering, chemical, steel, cement and consumer industries.
"We are also looking for joint ventures in public enterprises in the areas of paper, tyres, leather goods and bicycles," he said.
The Indian Government, Mr Joshi said, had already approved equity participation up to 74 per cent by joint venture partners in some of the enterprises and would welcome Chinese enterprises to join hands with Indian public sector enterprises for mutual advantage.
Mr Joshi complimented an
Indian company, Orissa Industries Ltd, for establishing a
steel refractory plant at Dalian and informed
industrialists that the economic reform programme had
resulted in a liberalised industrial and financial
environment in India.
Window on Pakistan
PAKISTANI newspapers are putting the maximum pressure on the military government, obviously in a subtle way, to restore the democratic system as quickly as possible. The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, is tolerating all this because of internal and external factors working against him. The May 12 Supreme Court judgement that legitimised the new regime by invoking the doctrine of state necessity has provided a good opportunity to the media to create a situation in which the General has only one option: to pave the way for the takeover of the administration by elected representatives of the people. Opinion pieces by thinkers of various hues are being published frequently to emphasise that democratic set-up alone is in the interest of the people at large. The sooner it is resto-red, the better.
In the magazine section of Nawa-e-Waqt of May 21, many politicians have asserted that the democratic experiment has not failed in Pakistan. It is those who have been controlling the levers of power could not fulfil their obligations. Among these people, who participated in a discussion organised by the Nawa-e-Waqt Forum were those not just professional politicians but also thinkers. The present ruling dispensation was represented by Dr Khalid Ranjha, State Minister for Law. The others were Nawabzadah Nasrullah Khan, President, Democratic Party of Pakistan; Sheikh Rafi Ahmed, a former Senator and PPP leader; Mr Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, a central leader of the Muslim League (Junejo); Chaudhary Mohd Aslam Salimi, Vice-President, Jamaat-e-Islami; Malik Hamid Sarfaraz of the Tehriq-e-Isteqlal; Prof Sajid Meer, chief of the Jamiat Ahle Hadis; and Mr Aftab Khan, Chief Organiser, Awami Tehrik.
Mr Nasrullah Khan appealed to the politicians to declare that whether they were in the government or in the Opposition, they would work for strengthening the democratic institutions. He blamed the defence and civilian bureaucracy for not allowing democracy to grow deeper roots.
The Nation in an editorial on May 14 expressed the fear that despite all that was being said in defence of democracy, the military regime might try to find some pretext to prolong the present arrangement beyond October 11, 2002, the deadline set by the Supreme Court for the return of civilian rule. This will be unfortunate for a country reeling under a heavy foreign debt. The editorial, however, reminds the military regime that "....it should be noted that the Supreme Court has nowhere forbidden the government from holding elections before the time stipulated, nor has it expressly forbidden the withdrawal of the suspension of the assemblies. The Musharraf government should set a graceful example by not squeezing the last minute and second out of the judgement, and make a dignified exit well before the deadline."
There is a lurking fear that what General Zia did in 1977 may be repeated by General Musharraf "on grounds of poor economic growth", using the dreaded doctrine of state necessity. This feeling gets strengthened by statements often made by those in the government. Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, a spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations, said the other day that the Chief Executive might not achieve the goals he had set for himself within the three years given by the Supreme Court for holding elections. In any case, the debate that has begun may help the proponents of democracy to convince the people that a military dictatorship can never be a replacement for an elected government.
Dr Kotnis widow meets President
DALLIAN, June 1 (UNI) Ms Guo Quinglan, 85-year-old wife of late Dr Kotnis, called on President K.R. Narayanan at the hotel where he is staying in the north eastern coastal town of China.
Ms Quinglan, who is working in a private hospital here, was accompanied by her grand daughter when she met the President.
Later she told newspersons that she was meeting Mr Narayanan for the fifth time and described him as a warm person and a friend of China.
Russia relaxes curbs on N-exports
MOSCOW, June 1 Russia has relaxed curbs on exporting sensitive nuclear equipment in a unilateral break with the international consensus that arms control experts say is a blow to non-proliferation efforts.
Breaking with the international practice of banning exports of nuclear materials to countries whose nuclear power programmes are not subject to the full scrutiny of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), President Vladimir Putin has decreed that it is up to Russia to decide who may buy its nuclear power products.
"This is a step against the mainstream of the non-proliferation treaty," said an international official dealing with nuclear energy. "Putins decree makes exports possible without guarantees of fullscope safeguards."
Mr Putins decision, the latest evidence of his resolve to pursue a more robust foreign and economic policy regardless of Western reservations, ditches commitments by his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, pulling Russia into line with the west in its nuclear exports policy.
In theory, Mr Putins decree will leave Russia free to supply maverick states such as India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Cuba and Yugoslavia with nuclear materials, whereas Mr Yeltsin made this impossible in 1992.
Under a Yeltsin decree eight years ago, Russia signed up for the directives of the nuclear suppliers group which proscribe nuclear exports to countries which either had declined to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or refused full IAEA access to their civilian nuclear projects.
India, Pakistan, Israel, and Cuba have not signed the treaty while North Korea, a signatory, is generally considered to be in breach of the agreement.
Analysts saw the go-it-alone move as a mockery of the recent pledge from the big nuclear powers, including Russia, to work towards the full elimination of nuclear weapons and of the talk of progress at the recent non-proliferation review conference in New York.
"This is a softening of Russias non-proliferation policy," said Annette Schaper, an international arms control expert at the Peace Research Foundation in Frankfurt, Germany. "Its a big problem that Russia has unilaterally decided to break with the prevailing consensus." Igor Farofontov, of Greenpeace in Moscow, said: "This is a completely stupid move. We could end up with economic sanctions against us."
The decision, however,
which is in line with Mr Putins determination to
assert Russias clout on the international stage,
reflects the influence on him of the powerful nuclear
energy lobby, and also shows his eagerness to cash in on
what little of Russias economic assets remains.
Guardian News Service
A shoplifter becomes adviser
RATINGEN, June 1 (DPA) Within the space of an hour, Detlef Kohl had made off with 5,000 marks (2,400 dollars) worth of goods from an electronics equipment shop.
None of the shops security equipment door sensors, video cameras, electronic tags on the goods could stop him.
But Kohl does not have to worry about being punished. He is a professional shoplifter and on this particular day he was stealing the goods with the express consent of the store owner in Ratingen, a town a few kilometres north of Duesseldorf.
The owner wants to take out a new kind of insurance policy against shoplifting, but for this he must first let Kohl and his team of helpers to pay a visit.
The German Retail Traders Association estimates that each year shoplifters cause five billion marks (2.4 billion dollars) worth of damage, despite the 1.5 billion marks which store owners invest in security equipment and special schooling. At work, Kohl tears open packages and puts the contents inside his jacket pockets, or he puts them inside other packages.
"All you have to do is take the package of a cheap product and stick four camcorders inside it. Then you have goods worth 10,000 marks in the carton but you pay only 50 marks at the cash register, he says.
On this visit, the trick works. A store employee has not noticed, and when confronted with what happened, theres a helpless shrug of the shoulders.
"They have gotten so good at it that sometimes you only find out later on who it was by using the surveillance cameras, the employee says about the situation.
wrong, says shoplifter-consultant Kohl. He
tells employees that they can do a great deal to prevent
theft. Personnel should go up to customers, be friendly,
and offer to help in choosing something to buy.
US missile defence know-how
THE USA is willing to share technology for missile defence with other "civilised nations, Mr Bill Clinton promised worried Europeans yesterday.
Speaking during the US-European Union summit in Portugal, he confirmed he would offer American know-how to Russia in order to defuse its opposition to the controversial national missile defence system, nicknamed "son of star wars".
Mr Clinton goes to Moscow on Saturday for his first face-to-face meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who is concerned about US plans to amend a key cold war arms control treaty to permit the construction of the system.
European leaders oppose the multi-billion dollar project on the grounds that it could divide NATO as well as spark a new arms race which would prompt Russia and China to bolster their nuclear arsenals. However, European objections have so far been muted.
Mr Clinton is to decide before the November elections whether to deploy the missile shield, intended to protect the USA against "rogue" states like Iraq and North Korea, after tests due in July.
"I dont think we could... advance the notion that we had this technology designed to protect us against a new threat, a threat which was also a threat to other civilised nations who might or might not be nuclear powers... and not make it available to them, President Clinton said.
Portugals Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres, who is currently chairman of EUs rotating presidency, said any move to strengthen the security of Europe "must be as comprehensive as possible".
Mr Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, said: "We decided that megaphone diplomacy would be replaced by telephone diplomacy. That is more constructive, even if less sexy."
President Clinton said he was satisfied with the progress made in Europe since he was elected president in 1992, shortly after the breakup of the Soviet empire.
"Many were predicting Europes new democracies would falter, that Russia would turn inward," he said, adding: "Europes new democracies are joining the transatlantic mainstream ... we have persevered and strengthened NATO."
Little progress was reported at the one-day summit outside Lisbon on a series of trade disputes over US tax breaks for exporters, European banana imports, and a European ban on imports of hormone-treated US beef. But the two trading blocs, the worlds largest, agreed to establish a scientific panel to review biotechnology issues, including genetically modified food, which are already under discussion in the wider forum of the G8 group.
The EUs foreign policy supremo, Mr Javier Solana, said he did not expect these issues to weaken other aspects of the US-EU relationship.
On Monday Washington threatened to retaliate against EU export programmes after Brussels rejected US revisions to the so-called foreign sales corporation programme which is aimed at bringing the US into line with World Trade Organisation rules.
The row centres on a 15% tax break for US exporters that is worth $3.5bn a year and benefits giants including Boeing, General Motors and Microsoft.
The USA and the EU are already at odds over European government aid for the Airbus consortium and a new EU aircraft noise law which discriminates against US manufacturers, Washington claims.
Russia rules out military ties with Pakistan
MOSCOW, June 1 (IANS) Russian Vice-Premier Ilya Klebanov has ruled out the possibility of any kind of military relationship with Pakistan because of Moscows strategic partnership with New Delhi.
"India is our strategic partner," Mr Klebanov said in his first press conference after his induction into the new Cabinet when asked if military-technical cooperation with Pakistan would be possible.
"I would like to
stress both words strategic and
partner; and this is really so," he said of
New Delhi. "India is a very serious and very
reliable strategic partner and that is why our military
contacts with Pakistan are on hold today," he added.
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