Friday, November 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Three more scribes killed in Afghanistan
No German role in Bonn talks: Schroeder
Islamabad, November 22
Three more foreign journalists have been killed inside Afghanistan, taking to 10 the number of mediapersons who have lost their lives in the war-ravaged nation since the US strikes began last month.

India flays P5 role on peacekeeping
United Nations, November 22
India, which has so far participated in 35 out of 58 UN peacekeeping missions, made a veiled attack on the five permanent members of the Security Council for not contributing enough troops for peace duties in strife-torn areas.

Bush backs anti-ultras’ drive
New York, November 22
US President George W. Bush’s support for countering Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in “great ally” Philippines is being seen here as a first step in America’s promise to fight terrorism around the world, including perhaps in Kashmir.

International journalists crowd around an official as he leaves the Taliban Embassy in Islamabad on November 22, 2001. Pakistan said it had ordered Afghanistan's embattled Taliban to close their embassy in Islamabad, the militia's last remaining diplomatic mission. — Reuters


EARLIER STORIES

  Anthrax claims fifth life in USA
New York, November 22
A 94-year old woman stricken with inhalation anthrax became the fifth victim of the deadly bacteria which has gripped the USA in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

UK troops join Osama hunt
London, November 22
British soldiers are operating alongside US special forces inside Afghanistan hunting suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.

UN to hold talks on terrorism
United Nations, November 22
Unable to resolve differences on the definition of terrorism, a key United Nations committee has voted to hold further negotiations in January on finalising a comprehensive convention against terrorism proposed by India.

Ex-king for trial of foreign mercenaries
Rome, November 22
The foreign mercenaries fighting for the Taliban should be tried by national or international courts, a senior aide to former Afghan King Mohammed Zahir Shah has said.

Gurdwara fire act of ‘arson’
Palermo (New York), November 22
A fire that destroyed a gurdwara in upstate New York was set deliberately, but investigators say they don’t know why.

A Palestinian inspects the blood stained spot near the place where five Palestinian boys were killed when one of them kicked an unexploded Israeli tank shell as they walked to school in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis on Thursday. The death underlined the problems facing US mediators who arrive in the region next week to try to forge a ceasefire to bolster Arab support for the coalition the USA has formed against terrorism. — Reuters

Pope John Paul II sends an e-mail at the Vatican on November 22, 2001. The Pontiff, in his first message sent to the world directly over the Internet, apologised on Thursday to victims of sexual abuse by priests and other clergy, including nuns in the developing world. — Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 





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Three more scribes killed in Afghanistan
No German role in Bonn talks: Schroeder
Muhammad Najeeb

Islamabad, November 22
Three more foreign journalists have been killed inside Afghanistan, taking to 10 the number of mediapersons who have lost their lives in the war-ravaged nation since the US strikes began last month.

The journalists were killed on their way to Kabul from Jalalabad, officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said. “Their names would be known soon,” an ICRC official told IANS.

Three journalists were earlier killed in the strikes. On Monday, four journalists were shot dead after being abducted by unidentified assailants in Jalalabad.

The bodies of the four journalists were recovered by militiamen of the new Jalalabad administration and handed over to the ICRC on Tuesday. The ICRC spokesman said that the bodies were handed over to the respective embassies on Wednesday.

The journalists include Harry Burton of Australia, Maria Grazia Cultlia of Italy and Spaniard Julio Fuentes. An Afghan journalist, Azizullah Haidari, who was accompanying them was also killed.

Some 30 foreign journalists who were stranded on the Afghanistan border as they did not have visas for re-entering Pakistan were permitted into the country and arrived here Thursday.

This is the second group of foreign journalists to be allowed into Pakistan in the past two days. A group of 120 journalists had been allowed in on Wednesday.

The journalists had rushed to Jalalabad on hearing of the fall of Kabul. Even as they waited to travel to Kabul came the news that seven of their colleagues had died — four on Monday and three on Thursday. The entire group then decided to return to Pakistan.

“On hearing of their plight, the Ministry of Information and Media Development intervened and requested the Interior Ministry to grant special entry permits, which was done,” Mr Rashid Ahmad, director in the Information Ministry, said.

The journalists belonged to CNN, BBC, AFP, and other international organisations, Mr Ahmad said.

Berlin: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder today rejected an activist role in next week’s all-Afghan conference aimed at creating a transitional government.

“This is an international meeting under United Nations auspices which is being organised by Afghans — not by Germans or Americans,” said Mr Schroeder in an interview with the Phoenix television network.

Mr Schroeder said non-Afghans should hold back from trying to impose their ideas on the conference which opens on Monday in Bonn and is open-ended.

“Those who want to form an Afghan government have to find a way to come together and thus public recommendations from outside are not necessarily helpful,” Mr Schroeder said.

The meeting will be held at a high-security German Government guest-house perched on the Petersberg mountain over the Rhine river.

Between 50 and 70 representatives are due to attend, including leaders of the Northern Alliance which controls Kabul as well as most of Afghanistan, and representatives of the 87-year-old former Afghan king, Mohammad Zahir Shah, who lives in Rome.

Also attending will be representatives from major factions and ethnic groups such as the Pashtoons, who comprise 40 per cent of the Afghan population.

But members of the collapsing Taliban regime — who draw support from the Pashtoons — have not been invited. IANS, DPA

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India flays P5 role on peacekeeping
Dharam Shourie

United Nations, November 22
India, which has so far participated in 35 out of 58 UN peacekeeping missions, made a veiled attack on the five permanent members of the Security Council for not contributing enough troops for peace duties in strife-torn areas.

India’s representative Y.K. Sinha said at a meeting of the special political committee on peacekeeping operations that most of the countries entrusted with the responsibility for maintenance of peace and security were not contributing troops for peacekeeping missions.

The council has to shed its “myopic vision” and contribute “meaningfully” towards strengthening the peacekeeping process, he said. The USA, UK, Russia, China and France are the five P-5 countries.

More than 58,000 Indian peacekeepers have participated in various operations, including in some of the most difficult missions in Africa, and over 100 Indians have laid down their lives for world peace.

In forthright remarks, Mr Sinha said the UN peacekeeping efforts should not be subverted by “false doctrines, wasted and narrow ends and diverted to serve other agendas.”

Mere strengthening of the UN on peacekeeping would not suffice, if the “crucial lessons of the past are ignored,” he added.

The P-5 countries should at least support a culture of consultations with troop contributing countries which could contribute meaningfully to the decision-making process that has a direct impact on the lives of troops serving the UN, he said.

He warned that this “anomaly” could lead to disenchantment of troop contributors and leave the council “little else but the holding of most pointless thematic debates.”

Demanding strengthening of meaningful consultations, Mr Sinha criticised the permanent members for continuing to “block and frustrate” the will of the majority.

“They should at least support a culture of consultations with troop contributing countries (TCCs) which contributes meaningfully to the decision-making process that has a direct impact on the lives of troops serving the United Nations,” he said.

Mr Sinha warned this “anomaly” could lead to disenchantment of troop contributors and leave the council “little else but the holding of mostly pointless thematic debates.”

However, he praised France for its support to proposals for a new mechanism of consultations with TCCs.

Strengthening the triangular partnership between the Security Council, TCCs and the Secretariat was an issue of “crucial importance”, he told the committee. PTI

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Bush backs anti-ultras’ drive
By Ela Dutt

New York, November 22
US President George W. Bush’s support for countering Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in “great ally” Philippines is being seen here as a first step in America’s promise to fight terrorism around the world, including perhaps in Kashmir.

“The front against terror is not just in Afghanistan... We’re going to fight terror wherever it exists. We will work with our allies and friends to use whatever resources we have to win the war against terror,” Bush said, at a briefing during his meeting with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Now is the time to take stand against terrorist activity, whether it be in Afghanistan, or in the Philippines, or anywhere else Al Qaida exists,” said Mr Bush.

US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill said in New Delhi on Tuesday that the “war against terrorism certainly includes terrorism against India”.

“The war against terrorism will not end until terrorism against India is ended, he said. The USA and India are in this battle together, he said.

While the situation in the Philippines may not be identical to the one in Kashmir, Manila’s advantage lies in the fact that Abu Sayyaf, a terror group that operates in southern Philippines and was banned by the US State Department last month, has not been internationalised as much as Kashmir.

“I want people in the USA to understand that, first of all, the theatre in Afghanistan is entering a difficult period of time. But there’s going to be other fronts in this theatre, there will be other places where we need to work to root out Al Qaida and other terrorist organisations,” he added, a statement that spells future potential for recognising terrorists for what they are in the Kashmir valley.

Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, said terror suspect Osama bin Laden may move anywhere from Iran to Pakistan to escape capture.

His comments, during a Chicago Tribune editorial board meeting, point to USAs’ knowledge about Bin Laden’s connections in Pakistan and even in Kashmir.

Ms Rumsfeld said: “I think he (Bin Laden) is probably in Afghanistan. ...But he’s moved on a number of occasions, both close to the Pakistan border and the Iranian border.

“He could be anywhere. He’s got friends in Chechnya, he’s got friends in Kashmir, he’s got friends in Pakistan...”

“Given Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan, the problem of the Pashtuns could be at least as messy as the situation in Bosnia and Kosovo,” says Anthony Cordesman, former State Department official and now head of strategic analysis at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies here. IANS
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Anthrax claims fifth life in USA

New York, November 22
A 94-year old woman stricken with inhalation anthrax became the fifth victim of the deadly bacteria which has gripped the USA in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The death of Ottilie Lundgren in a Connecticut hospital yesterday has baffled investigarors as to how the woman, who stayed at home, contracted the infection.

Investigators are unable to pinpoint the source of the infection. Among the theories being considered are that one of her letters which was infected during sorting by automatic machines with another containing anthrax might have infected her.

Lundgren was thought to be suffering from pneumonia when she was admitted to a hospital at Derby in Connecticut with a respiratory problem. But five preliminary tests conducted came out positive for inhalation anthrax.

Officials said they were trying to determine the source of infection and had reportedly visited her apartment after she tested positive and also the beauty parlour she regularly used. They were trying to determine the route that her letter followed.

The Chief of Medicine at the hospital said they had some hope that she might recover considering the rapidity with which the infection was diagnosed but “certainly, at her age, things did not go as we and her family would have wished.”

As a precaution, postal workers who may have handled Lundgren’s mail and a niece who looked after the elderly woman were being treated with antibiotics.

The emergency room of the hospital was sealed after another woman brought a packet containing a powdery substance that she considered suspicious but preliminary tests have come out negative.

Lundgren’s case was the first reported in three weeks and officials were worried whether it meant a new series of infections. PTI
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UK troops join Osama hunt

London, November 22
British soldiers are operating alongside US special forces inside Afghanistan hunting suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.

“There is no argument about the US-UK troops who are in Afghanistan to hunt down Bin Laden and to break up the Taliban and the Al-Qaida organisation,” he told BBC radio.

Straw was speaking from Teheran after talks with Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Minister of the Northern Alliance. Some 100 British troops, members of the elite special boat service, have been deployed in Afghanistan since Kabul fell, but other British special forces are said to have been operating there. Straw indicated, however, that any decision on deploying a “stabilisation” force in the country, including up to 6,000 British troops, would have to wait until UN talks next week. AFP
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UN to hold talks on terrorism

United Nations, November 22
Unable to resolve differences on the definition of terrorism, a key United Nations committee has voted to hold further negotiations in January on finalising a comprehensive convention against terrorism proposed by India.

The legal committee of the UN unanimously decided on another round of talks to be held from January 28 to February 1 yesterday when the negotiating team, after coming close to finalising the convention, stood divided on who was a terrorist and what constituted terrorism, a UN spokesman said.

The major sticking point was efforts by some nations, including Pakistan, to exclude what they call the “liberation movements” while defining terrorism though majority accepted that terrorism was justified under no circumstances. PTI
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Ex-king for trial of foreign mercenaries

Rome, November 22
The foreign mercenaries fighting for the Taliban should be tried by national or international courts, a senior aide to former Afghan King Mohammed Zahir Shah has said.

“This is an international issue. Those who are criminals should be tried either by the Afghan courts or by the international courts,” Hedayat Amin Arsala said here yesterday.

The senior aide added that he doubted that Osama bin Laden would fall into the hands of Afghan fighters loyal to various anti-Taliban factions. Mr Arsala, who was the Foreign Minister in the Mujahedin government after the fall of the pro-Moscow communist regime in 1992, is now a political adviser to former King Zahir Shah.

He headed a delegation last month to Pakistan after President Pervez Musharraf invited the former monarch to send representatives to Islamabad for discussions on a post-Taliban government. AFP
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Gurdwara fire act of ‘arson’

Palermo (New York), November 22
A fire that destroyed a gurdwara in upstate New York was set deliberately, but investigators say they don’t know why.

The gurdwara, Gobind Sadan, was set ablaze on Sunday. The gurdwara was housed in a former farmhouse north of Syracuse.

Oswego county Undersheriff Bob Lighthall said : “I don’t know if it’s kids in the area who just happened to pick that property ... or if it’s because of their religion.”

Some people mistakenly associate Sikhs with Muslims because they wear turbans and have beards following the September 11 attacks on the USA.

Gurdwara spokesman Ralph Singh said the group had gathered to offer prayers of forgiveness to those who set the fire. He also said the community had offered help, money and other sanctuaries for the Sikhs. AP

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