|Thursday, June 15, 2000,
Musharraf rules out war with India
Indians executed in Qatar
presses China for talks on Tibet
Musharraf rules out war with India
DUBAI, June 14 (UNI) Pakistans military ruler Pervez Musharraf has virtually ruled out a war between India and Pakistan despite continued tension on the Line of Control and accused Delhi of being insincere in resolving outstanding issues between the two countries.
The chances of a war are very remote because of the strong deterrent capability Pakistan possesses both in conventional and non-conventional arms, he told Gulf News in an interview in Muscat during his two-day official visit to Oman.
General Musharraf said India and Pakistan, both of whom became nuclear powers two years ago, ought to be responsible to understand the situation on the ground. Pakistan remained a responsible nuclear state and hoped the other party would not take any irresponsible action, he added.
Asked if Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee owed his victory in the last Lok Sabha elections to the Kargil issue, the Pakistani ruler said that could be partially true, thanks to the media manipulation which converted a failure and fiasco into success and triumph.
He said India knew the amount of tragedies it had suffered in the Kargil conflict. Their losses and damages were huge, he said.
It is a big national military cover-up, he said, and accused Delhi of double insincerity. Number one, they dont want to initiate a dialogue and number two, they are not keen to resolve the issue, calling Kashmir an integral part of India in the same breath.
Asked to sum up U.S. President Bill Clintons recent visit to South Asia and whether it had helped reduce tension in the region, General Musharraf said the visit has not achieved much in lessening the tension but it certainly has brought Kashmir into sharp focus and highlighted the dire necessity for a dialogue between India and Pakistan.
He said the disintegration of the Soviet Union had indeed turned the USA into the sole superpower but this does not mean that we have to compromise national interest...and I am sure the USA understands this.
About Osama bin Laden, who is wanted by the USA, General Musharraf said there was no doubt that Washington was overly concerned about him. We would certainly like to assist the USA in resolving the issue, but we have made it clear that we cant be held responsible for this task. The USA needs to engage the Taliban directly and we certainly will be willing to assist them.
To another question, General Musharraf said Pakistan was in no hurry to sign the CTBT and was evolving a national consensus on an issue, contentious enough to create destabilisation in the country.
It is rather premature to address the issue at this moment. I have highlighted the fact that it is not Pakistans signature which would bring the CTBT into effect.There is no need for haste.
When asked about deposed
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs trial, General
Musharraf said: They have defrauded Pakistan, they
have looted our money, they have looted banks. They have
nothing to say. So, this is the best course of action for
Flamboyant debut by Kim
SEOUL, June 14 (Oana-Yonhap) The word reclusive is no longer appropriate to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong-II.
Kim, North Koreas de facto leader and chairman of the National Defence Commission, made a flamboyant debut in the international political arena yesterday by dramatically greeting South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung at Sunan airport personally in Pyongyang before cameras beaming the image live around the world.
Chairman Kim Jong-II succeeded in promoting his image as a leader of North Korea both domestically and internationally by offering the highest-level of protocol to the historic first-ever encounter between leaders of the two Koreas to which the whole world was paying attention, a North Korea expert said.
Seoul officials said that Kim Jong-IIs appearance at the airport signalled success for the inter-Korean summit, noting the appearance implied success in the summit talks was also very important to North Korea.
The protocol at the airport proved North Koreas claims that they delayed the summit for one day to prepare it better, an official said.
Kim Jong-IIs surprises didnt end with his appearance at the airport. He unexpectedly got into the Lincoln Continental brought to take President Kim Dae-Jung to Baekhwawon State Guest House from the airport. The two spent nearly an hour together before the sedan reached its destination.
I was shocked. Its the highest-ever protocol one can imagine, said an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Kim Jong-II even showed President Kim into Baekhwawon Guest House and proposed a photo session with him and other North Korean officials before starting the first round of summit talks there.
It is normal for the Head of State of the host country to take a different sedan to lead a guest to his lodging. The host is then supposed to go back to his residence as soon as the guests sedan arrives at the guest house.
Kim Jong-II also arranged for the North Korean honour guard to march past the two leaders as they stood on an airport platform.
Most countries omit such a ceremony and simply offer an inspection ceremony before the honour guard.
Kim Jong-II also showed thoughtful consideration by saying he wanted to receive Kim Dae-Jung with the highest protocol, considering traditional Korean etiquette of respecting the elderly despite the fact that the two Kims represent different regimes
Kim Jong-II showed he
had a firm grasp of the situation when he told Kim
Dae-Jung, I understand that there is a question
mark about why President Kim wanted to visit Pyongyang
and why Chairman Kim accepted... We need to have talks in
an informal manner.
Russian media tycoon held
MOSCOW, June 14 (PTI) Russias media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky has been arrested on charges of fraud involving huge sums of money and sent to the countrys dreaded Butyrka jail in Moscow.
If found guilty Gusinsky (47) could face five to 10 years jail term, Itar-Tass reported quoting the Prosecutor-Generals office.
The agency said Gusinsky was arrested on Friday.
Gusinskys Media-Most, Russias most powerful media group, owns Russias only private national television network, NTV, satellite TV channel, NTV-Plus, regional entertainment TV network, TNT, influential radio Ekho Moskvy, daily Sevodnya and news magazine Itogi, that frequently criticised the Kremlin and war in Chechnya that put President Putin at the top seat.
His arrest is being seen as a warning to independent media and threat to Russias fragile press freedom, which recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Gorbachevs liberal press law which abolished censorship and Communist Party control over the media.
Mr Putin, currently on a tour of Spain and Germany, told reporters in Madrid that he was unaware of the Prosecutor-Generals office plans to arrest Gusinsky.
This is a dubious present for me at a time when I am discussing altogether different issues, he said.
Earlier last month the
Federal Security Service (FSB) had raided the security
unit of the group on charges of eavesdropping and
interfering in the private lives of individuals through
illegal phone and pager tappings.
India, USA sign pacts on healthcare
WASHINGTON, June 14 (PTI) India and the USA have signed two joint statements pledging to stimulate new cooperative efforts in the fields of HIV/AIDS prevention, research and maternal and child health research.
The two accords, signed yesterday by visiting Minister for Health and Family Welfare C.P. Thakur and his US counterpart Donna Shalala here, said The joint statements demonstrate the commitment of both countries to combat the epidemic of HIV/AIDS and to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents through the expansion of cooperative biomedical and behavioural research.
The statements are in accordance with agreements signed during the highly successful visit to India by President Bill Clinton.
Shalala expressed the hope that the joint research by the US and Indian scientists will help both countries develop new methods and programmes that will improve the health of men, women and children around the world.
I am confident that these agreements will go a long way in strengthening the friendly ties between our governments and the people of both our countries, Thakur said.
A press note noted that over the past 40 years, scientists from both countries have collaborated on basic and applied biomedical and behavioural research.
One highly successful programme, it pointed out, has been the Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme, which has supported crucial and ground-breaking vaccine research to address some of the worlds deadliest diseases.
By recognising the advantages of effective scientific and technological collaboration, the governments intend to expand current efforts to work together on maternal and child health research to improve the health status and well-being of the people of both countries.
The participating Indian
institutions in these efforts include the National Aids
Control Organisation, the Indian Council of Medical
Research and other Indian agencies, academic
institutions, research facilities and NGOs.
Solomons PM resigns
SYDNEY, June 14 (DPA) Solomon Islands Prime Minister Bart UlufaAlu resigned today in a travesty of democracy that only served to underline the South Pacific nations plunge into lawlessness.
Mr UlufaAlu, held at gunpoint for almost a week after a coup led by former Finance Minister Andrew Noris Malaitan Eagle Force, said he quit in the national interest ahead of a vote of no-confidence in Parliament scheduled for tomorrow.
We have negotiated our way out of that to ensure that the people of this country, are not subjected to international sanctions that are brought about by the breakdown of the rule of law, Mr UlufaAlu said.
He warned that the Solomons, one of the worlds poorest countries, could break up unless an international peacekeeping force arrived to separate the Malaitan Eagle Force and their adversaries in the Isatabu Freedom Movement.
The two militias are locked in a struggle for supremacy on Guadalcanal, an island made famous by the 1942 landing of American forces to take on the Japanese.
In the last 18 months up to 100 persons have died in clashes and more than 20,000 driven from their homes on Guadalcanal, one of the six main islands.
Australia and New Zealand have again rejected demands to send troops to prevent a descent into civil war.
Its the overwhelming view of the countries of the Pacific region that this issue should be resolved without the intervention of foreign forces, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.
The 500 foreigners still on the Solomons have been told to take advantage, a last offer of evacuation before the country is left to sort out its own problems. Military transport planes from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia were due to airlift nationals today.
3 Indians executed in Qatar
DOHA, June 14 (Reuters) Qatar said it had executed three Indians for murder today, the first time the Gulf Arab state imposed the death penalty in over three decades.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the two men and one woman were put to death here this morning. It did not say how they were executed.
The three had been found guilty under Islamic Sharia law of the premeditated murder of a Qatari man according to the statement, carried by the official Qatar news agency.
They had stabbed their victim to death at his home, transported his body to a remote area and driven over it to make the death look like an accident.
The statement said the execution was approved by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The three had lost their final appeal before the Appeals Courts, it added.
USA presses China for talks on Tibet
WASHINGTON, June 14 (AFP) The USA called on China to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama about his autonomy plans for Tibet and issued a new condemnation of Beijings human rights record in the region.
We urge the authorities in Beijing once again to establish a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, said Julia Taft, the state departments special coordinator for Tibetan issues.
There are significant Chinese interests that could be advanced in moving forward on Tibetan autonomy, Taft said in testimony to the East Asia and Pacific affairs subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.
She described the situation in Tibet, which China occupies, as inconsistent with international standards of respect for fundamental human rights.
Calls for genuine
autonomy under Chinese sovereignty by the exiled Tibetan
spiritual leader represented a stance of enormous
courage, she said, arguing that despite their
differences considerable common ground did exist between
the two sides.
Clinton, Arafat to meet today
WASHINGTON, June 14 (AFP) US President Bill Clinton, at his meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the White House tomorrow, will aim to give a decisive push to the West Asia peace process, officials said.
This will be despite the regional uncertainty created by the death of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.
The uncertainty was
aggravated on Tuesday by a deepening political crisis in
Israel. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking
in the aftermath of Assads death on Monday, said
the USA believes that a historic opportunity exists
to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sattar, Talbott to meet on June 15
WASHINGTON, June 14 (PTI) Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar will meet Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott on June 15 to resume dialogue on nuclear and security issues, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said.
He linked the meeting to the agreement reached during President Clintons visit to Islamabad to renew the dialogue on security and non-proliferation, which, he said were subject of great importance and interest to the USA.
Merchants film on Naipauls book
NEW YORK, June 14 India-born filmmaker Ismail Merchant will base his next film on an early book about a Trinidadian teacher, written by celebrated author of Indian origin V.S. Naipaul.
Merchant said he wrote to Naipaul asking him for permission to make the film on Mystic Masseur, according to the literary website india writes.com.
unencouraging towards screenplays of his work, reportedly
sent Merchant a two-line reply saying Dear Ismail,
Ive heard about your legendary powers of
persuasion. You may film Mystic
Supermodel to bare all on stage
LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) Texan supermodel Jerry Hall will follow in the footsteps of Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner and appear naked in the hit London stage version of The Graduate, according to The Daily Mail newspaper.
Cartoon film on Prince William
LONDON: US teenage pop star Britney Spears is taking off Prince Williams trousers for his 18th birthday in a special celebration cartoon. Britains Channel Four television is taking an irreverent look at the Prince in an animated film being aired on June 21, the day he turns 18. The singer has long expressed her admiration for the Prince. Reuters
Excess weight trouble women
LONDON: Overweight British women claim their excess bulk is wrecking their social lives, damaging their careers and health and ruining their sex lives, according to a survey published on Wednesday. Many of the women questioned for a national slimming survey are so overwrought about their figures they wont eat in public and will try almost anything to get slim. Reuters
Military plane crash kills 2
GUATEMALA CITY: A military flight instructor and his student were killed when their plane crashed as it was making its initial descent towards an air force landing strip in southern Guatemala. Flight instructor 2nd Lt Mario Roberto Barrios was guiding Pvt Benjamin Palma in for a landing on Tuesday afternoon when the Pillan T-35 two-seater plane suddenly nosedived and crashed about 400 metres from the landing strip at the Guatemalan air force base, a military spokesman said. AP
Mistaken for a gangster, shot at
FORT WORTH, US: A teenager practising sign language with a deaf cousin was shot at by a gunman who thought he was making gang symbols, the police said. Henry L. Handy III, 16, was shot in the chest on Saturday night and was listed in a fair condition on Tuesday. AP
Italys President pardons gunman
ROME: Italys President pardoned the Turkish gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II in a 1981 assassination attempt, the Justice Ministry said. Justice Minister Piero Fassino on Tuesday immediately signed an order sending gunman Mehmet Ali Agca to Turkey to serve a prison sentence there in an unrelated killing. AP
Migraine due to electrical disorder
WASHINGTON: The pain of a migraine can be so intense its disabling. Your head pulses, usually on one side, for hours or even days. Moving worsens the throbbing. Youre nauseated, sensitive to light and sound. Sometimes you have an aura, seeing pinpoints of light or other visual disturbances before the headache hits. Scientists are discovering that migraines are caused not by the abnormal blood vessels once blamed but by a unique electrical disorder of brain cells. AP
Philippine island rocked
MANILA: An earthquake of moderate strength jolted the main Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday but there were no reports of casualties or damage, government seismologists said. The 9:45 a.m. (715 a.m. IST) tremor registered a magnitude of 5.3 on the richter scale and caused mild panic in the northern mountain city of Baguio, where some residents rushed out of their homes on to the streets, witnesses said. Reuters
Exercise cuts stroke risk
CHICAGO: Exercising vigorously for 30 minutes a day or even taking a brisk half-hour walk daily reduces a womans risk of stroke, a report based on a study of nurses has said.Analysing a large population, we found that the more a woman exercises, the less likely she will suffer a stroke, study author Frank Hu of Harvard School of Public Health said on Tuesday. Reuters
Governor of Chinas province killed
BEIJING: The Governor of
Chinas inner Mongolia autonomous region was killed
when a train smashed into his car at a level crossing,
the Peoples daily reported on Wednesday. Yunbulong,
62, was on an inspection tour in the Xilingol Meng area
when the incident happened on Monday evening. His
secretary and bodyguard were also killed, while the
driver of his car was severely injured.
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