July 2, 2001,
decides not to invite Hurriyat
round of Indo-Bangla talks begins tomorrow
mark HK handover ceremony
special emissary to India
US envoys leave Russia
to map early universe launched
USA’s best director
Pak decides not to invite Hurriyat
Islamabad, July 1
Pakistan officials confirming media reports today said Pakistan was no longer pushing for a meeting between Hurriyat leaders and Musharraf during his visit to India. “This proposition to not to invite Hurriyat leaders has been made to us by India and we have accepted it”, they said.
English daily dawn quoted a senior official as having said, “We are not pressing hard for the meeting. We expected that the Indians would show better judgement and not impede the APHC’s formal meeting with Musharraf. That did not happen. So at this point our focus is on the main summit.”
Pakistan’s decision not to invite Hurriyat leaders follows strong messages sent by India though diplomatic channels that it would not permit the Hurriyat leaders to meet Musharraf even if Pakistan invites them for a ‘High Tea’ reception being hosted by Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on July 14.
The official, however, denied that Pakistan by dropping the proposal for a formal Hurriyat-Musharraf meeting has accepted New Delhi’s position on Kashmir.
“Our position is that Kashmiris are an integral part of any final solution to the Kashmir problem. We have kept Kashmiri leaders abreast of all new developments on this issue. We will try to press for some sort of a tripartite framework once the two leaders meet in India,” he was quoted as saying.
“However, at this point the most important concern is to establish mutual trust between India and Pakistan. The rest will follow”, said the official.
The official said the idea for the Hurriyat-Musharraf meeting was conveyed to the Indians by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and at that time it was hoped that this was a viable way to keep the Kashmiris plugged into at the dialogue between the two countries.
“We were also hoping that the tripartite peace initiative that got stuck on New Delhi’s refusal to give the Hurriyat delegation permission to visit Pakistan, could be revived this way,” the source said.
Despite elaborate explanations from Pakistan officials, diplomatic sources here see this as an yet another snub delivered by Pakistan officials to the Hurriyat leaders who in the hope of a tripartite talks burnt their bridges with the Indian leaders.
The first snub came when Pakistan accepted the Indian invitation for Musharraf to visit New Delhi just hours after it was announced. It was subsequently explained by Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar that tripartite process was the original idea of the Hurriyat and Islamabad had only endorsed it.
Pakistan, however, maintains that it continues to engage Hurriyat leaders at different levels. Early this week Sattar is reported to have had a long meeting with former Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Farook in Mali during the Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, (OIC) at Mali.
Second round of
Indo-Bangla talks begins tomorrow Dhaka, July 1 The Indian delegation led by Ms Meera
Shankar, Joint Secretary of Indian External Affairs Ministry, arrived here today. Mr Janebul
Haque, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh, Home Ministry, who had led the talks in New Delhi is likely to lead the home side in this round also. The talks will be held in two phases, one will deal with the demarcation of 6.5 km of borders and another to handle exchange of enclaves and lands in adverse possession of both the neighbours.
Dhaka, July 1
The Indian delegation led by Ms Meera Shankar, Joint Secretary of Indian External Affairs Ministry, arrived here today. Mr Janebul Haque, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh, Home Ministry, who had led the talks in New Delhi is likely to lead the home side in this round also.
The talks will be held in two phases, one will deal with the demarcation of 6.5 km of borders and another to handle exchange of enclaves and lands in adverse possession of both the neighbours.
Protests mark HK handover ceremony
Hong Kong, July 1
Some 500 senior officials and dignitaries, led by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, braved winds and sweeping rain caused by Typhoon Durian to attend the ceremony at the Exhibition and Convention Centre on waterfront Wanchai.
However, unlike in previous years, no Chinese leaders attended the event.
Similar to previous celebrations held since 1997, activists marked the day when the former British colony reverted to the Chinese rule with calls for increased democracy.
Several members of the pro-democracy April 5 Action group clashed with police near the venue.
They demanded Mr Tung step down and called for introduction of direct elections for the post of the Chief Executive.
The Chief Executive is chosen by a Beijing-anointed 800-member election committee.
Mr Tung’s five-year term is due to end next year, but reports say Beijing is firmly behind his seeking a second term.
His popularity has fallen since he became the territory’s first Chief Executive on July 1, 1997, despite being credited with steering Hong Kong on a stable course after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Anti-terrorism law soon
Islamabad, July 1
“We are almost at the final stage of promulgation of this new law which will ban shutting down of shops by force and threatening the people to follow dictates of any particular group,” the minister said. She, however, said voluntary strikes seeking public cooperation for a particular purpose were not going to be banned, as this law was exclusively aimed at checking terrorist activities.
“A strike will not be banned if it is done voluntarily, but if the people are forced to shut down, it will not be allowed at any cost. Violent and forced strikes can no longer be tolerated”, she said.
“We are going to ban all those organisations against which we have enough proof that these are involved in acts of terrorism,” a media report quoted her as saying today.
The minister said the people of Pakistan were fed up with the strikes which meant to spread fear by burning public and private vehicles or tyres or resorting to aerial firing.
The new law, the minister said, aimed at restoring peace and protecting the democratic rights of people projecting their viewpoint.
While drafting the new law, the provincial governments and the bodies dealing with human rights were consulted, besides taking benefit from the prevailing law in the UK and other developed countries, she said.
Pak poet special emissary to India
Islamabad, July 1
Faraz, a friend of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and former Premier I.K. Gujral, is currently in New Delhi, interacting with various political and literary personalities to create a conducive atmosphere ahead of Mr Musharraf’s proposed visit starting July 14, Dawn reported.
Commenting on the report, Indian High Commission officials here said they were not aware of any special emissary status accorded to Faraz. However, they said that the poet had sought visa to go to India last month, which was “promptly granted”.
Reporting on Faraz’ visit, the daily said the move to send him as special emissary has come in the wake of Mr Musharraf’s assumption of office as President, a move which raised uncalled for apprehensions in the mind of Indian intelligentsia and government that the change may affect the earlier “mood and agenda” of the talks.
This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that a poet has been engaged to meet and prevail upon his “friends” in the political, social and literary circles and apprise them of the importance of the visit, it said.
Expelled US envoys leave Russia
Moscow, July 1
“All 46 diplomats left Russia by last midnight,” the deadline set by the Russian government, the sources said.
Four other the US diplomats declared persona non grata — the customary term for spies — left in April.
Last week US Embassy official said most of the 46 had already left and that all rest would be out of the country by July 1.
The deadline was set in March when Russia responded in kind to Washington’s expulsion of four Russian diplomats in connection with the arrest of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, charged with spying for Russia.
Satellite to map early universe launched
Cape Canaveral, (US) July 1
The $ 145-million Microwave Anisotropy Probe, MAP, satellite left Earth aboard a Delta II rocket launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:46 pm. EDT (1946 hrs GMT) yesterday.
“Tthe whole science community is agog over this mission,” said Mr Alan Bunner, a NASA cosmologist. He said MAP should produce an image of the universe as seen in the fossil light that was still present from the Big Bang.”
By studying the remnants of light that existed 14 billion years ago, scientists believe they can reconstruct the birth of galaxies and better predict the ultimate demise of the universe as we know it.
MAP’s sensors are so sensitive that even when they were powered down, they had to be protected from mobile phone signals and shielded from radar at Kennedy Space Center, where the satellite had been stored since April.
This mission is a follow-up to NASA’s 1992 Cosmic Background Explorer mission, which first detected variations in the microwave background of the universe. The sensors are about 1,000 times more accurate, NASA said.
The MAP satellite, 12-1/2-foot (3.8 metres) high, with a circular solar-energy panel that gives it the look of a futuristic beach umbrella, will spend about 14 months making the measurements that scientists will use to make their best map of the early universe.
Ang Lee USA’s best director
New York, July 1
In Time’s first-ever “America’s Best’’ series, which will hit newsstands tomorrow, Lee was given the nod as the top director in the USA for his work on movies such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’’ and “Sense and Sensibility’’.
“This soft-spoken gentleman is proving again what’s always been true: that US cinema is nourished by the artistry of foreigners,’’ Time said in its article on the Taiwanese director who has lived for over 20 years in the USA.
Time called Lee a cosmopolitan chameleon who seemed at home in any culture but was detached enough to see it with an ironic acuity.
“We were looking for a director in the USA who was really at the top of his game right now in terms of excellence in his craft and innovativeness, and someone who was influential as well,’’ said Steve Koepp, deputy managing editor of Time.
Lee’s martial arts fantasy “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’’ made Academy Award history earlier this year by being the first Asian film to win the foreign-language film award. It also picked up Oscars in art direction, cinematography and original score.
Time’s “America’s Best’’ series was aimed at creating a definitive list of people who stood for the best in the USA today, the magazine said. Tomorrow’s edition lists those whom Time sees as the country’s top artists and entertainers.
FAMILY FORGIVES, LAW DOES NOT SADDAM’S DIRECTIVES FOR EARLY MARRIAGE HITLER’S ALPINE LAIR TO BECOME HOTEL GUITARIST CHET ATKINS DEAD VICAR DELIVERS LONGEST SERMON FIJI RED CROSS HEAD BELIEVED MURDERED BRAZILIAN COLONEL GETS 632-YR SENTENCE FOOTBALL HOOLIGANS ATTACK GAY PARADE KUWAIT SENTENCES 2 IRAQI SPIES
SADDAM’S DIRECTIVES FOR EARLY MARRIAGE
HITLER’S ALPINE LAIR TO BECOME HOTEL
GUITARIST CHET ATKINS DEAD
VICAR DELIVERS LONGEST SERMON
FIJI RED CROSS HEAD BELIEVED MURDERED
BRAZILIAN COLONEL GETS 632-YR SENTENCE
FOOTBALL HOOLIGANS ATTACK GAY PARADE
KUWAIT SENTENCES 2 IRAQI SPIES
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