SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Govt to work towards prosperous, powerful India: Natwar
Jakarta, July 1
The rapid progress being witnessed in India will be carried forward by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make the country prosperous, powerful and internationally respected, External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh told a large gathering of NRIs here.

European Union representative Chris Patten and India's Foreign Minister Natwar Singh hold informal talks European Union representative Chris Patten (right) and India's Foreign Minister Natwar Singh hold informal talks in Jakarta on Thursday.
— AP/PTI photo

Progress on Kashmir after Foreign Ministers’ meet
Islamabad, July 1
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan “went of well” but the sincerity with which progress will be made on Kashmir and other issues will be known only after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in August.
In video: Indo-Pak talks — a begining to peaceful settlement of Kashmir. (28k, 56k)

Musharraf rules out slowdown in N-plan
Pervez MusharrafIslamabad, July 1
Pakistan will not roll back its nuclear weapons programme and plans to carry out another missile test within two months, the President, Gen Pervez Musharraf has said.
In video (28k, 56k)

Benazir BhuttoBenazir faces stiffer charges
Geneva, July 1
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto now faces more severe money laundering charges against her in Switzerland, paving the way for her trial before a Swiss jury, legal officials and lawyers said today.

Reward for Zarqawi increased to $ 25 m
Washington, July 1
The USA has increased the reward for the capture of suspected Al-Qaida operative Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi from $ 10 million to $ 25 million, equal to the reward for Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.


A little boy walks over rubble near a defaced mural of the ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
A little boy walks over rubble near a defaced mural of the ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in a Baghdad on Thursday. An Iraqi tribunal will charge Saddam Hussein and 11 senior associates with crimes against humanity on Thursday, months ahead of a trial that could help Iraq come to terms with 35 years of Baathist brutality. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

  Human corpses on display
Los Angeles, July 1
A controversial exhibit of mostly humans by German “plastinator” Gunther von Hagens is set to open on Friday in Los Angeles, the first US city to host the Body Worlds exhibition.

Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Hong Kong on Thursday

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan speaks to Sudanese refugee women at the Zamzam camp in northern Darfur on Thursday

Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Hong Kong on Thursday to demand more democracy in one of the territory's biggest protests since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.  UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (left) speaks to Sudanese refugee women at the Zamzam camp in northern Darfur on Thursday. Annan assured displaced black Africans in Sudan's troubled west that no one would force them to go home without guarantees of protection from marauding Arab militias. — Reuters photos

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Govt to work towards prosperous, powerful
India: Natwar

Jaishree Balasubramanian

Jakarta, July 1
The rapid progress being witnessed in India will be carried forward by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make the country prosperous, powerful and internationally respected, External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh told a large gathering of NRIs here.

Indian economy under the able guidance of Prime Minister should be able to achieve growth of 7 to 8 per cent sustainable over the next five to six years, Mr Singh said.

“We in India under the new government are committed to give an honest government that takes care that harassment of the ordinary man is minimum, red tape is reduced if not totally eliminated and that economic reforms are projected with a human face,” Mr Singh said at a dinner last night hosted by the trustees of Gandhi Seva and the India Club in his honour.

Mr Singh said India “was going places” adding that the next 12 years would be tremendous for the South-Asian country. “It will be marked with progress in all walks of life,” he said.

The External Affairs Minister is in the Indonesian capital to attend the ASEAN Plus 3 meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum, a high-profile security club of select countries.

Mr Singh, who has been to Jakarta innumerable times, the first visit along with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1969, was widely cheered by the non-resident Indians at the dinner meeting at Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The NRIs included leading businessmen, traders and executives.

The minister said his government had specially set up the Non-Resident Affairs Ministry under Mr Jagdish Tytler to “take care of the over two crore Indians outside India who are doing so well”.

“Indians are a factor to be reckoned with,” he declared adding they were law abiding, qualified and contributed to the overall development of the place they were in. Mr Singh hoped mistakes of the 20th century would not be repeated in the next and was confident that young people all over the world would enjoy a better world as a result of rise in human consciousness and science and technology.

Mr Singh said the old international agenda of colonialism, apartheid and imperialism had changed and dismantled. “Today’s agenda is terrorism, HIV, markets, population, immigration, migration, emergence of sub-nationalism and ethnicities.”

Mr Singh said members of the United Nations had more than tripled since it was formed but its five permanent members represented the whole world.

“China represents the whole of Asia, Latin America and the four other permanent members represent the others,” he said adding “a change has to take place”. — PTI
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Progress on Kashmir after Foreign Ministers’ meet
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, July 1
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan “went of well” but the sincerity with which progress will be made on Kashmir and other issues will be known only after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in August.

“It will be known more after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. But I am very hopeful,” Musharraf said in an interaction with media here yesterday during which he dispelled the impression that he forced former prime minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali to quit. Musharraf, however, said he was satisfied at the progress made so far in the official-level talks.

Commenting on Jamali’s resignation, the President said he neither interfered in the affairs of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) nor asked Jamali to step down.

“I never got involved in the party affairs. I did not ask Jamali to step down and he resigned after holding detailed consultations with party leadership,” he said.

Musharraf also pointed out that he did not nominate Jamali in 2002 to become the Prime Minister. “I had not nominated Jamali for the post of Prime Minister nor did I play any role in the nomination of Shaukat Aziz as the future Prime Minister,” he said, adding all these decisions were taken by the PML-Q.

Musharraf also openly referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the context of appointing Shaukat Aziz, international banker-turned Finance Minister, as the country’s new Prime Minister. Aziz will take charge after two months.

“When it is done in the neighbouring countries we talk big saying that it is good. It (India) is the biggest democracy in the world. Manmohan Singh is a member of the Rajya Sabha. He is also an economist and was the Finance Minister,” he said, adding Aziz too is a member of upper house senate and worked as the Finance Minister since he took over power in 1999.

He said “If somebody is a member of Senate and Finance Minister, what is the problem. They give an example saying that they have done in India and we have also done it.. then what is the problem. Ours is also a good democracy,” he said, adding that there was no contradiction in Aziz’s nomination as he was a successful technocrat and a Finance Minister.

When asked whether the appointment of Aziz, a former Vice President of Citi Bank, would lead to a rollback in Islamabad’s nuclear and missile programme, Musharraf asserted Pakistan would conduct a great missile test within two months.

The country would conduct a “great missile test” in two months time, he said but declined to reveal further details. “Only a mad person could talk about rollback of nuclear or missile programme,” he quipped. — PTI
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Musharraf rules out slowdown in N-plan

Islamabad, July 1
Pakistan will not roll back its nuclear weapons programme and plans to carry out another missile test within two months, the President, Gen Pervez Musharraf has said.

In remarks to local journalists late yesterday, General Musharraf said there was no pressure on Pakistan from the USA to slow atomic arms development despite a damaging proliferation scandal involving one of its top nuclear scientists.

‘’We are conducting a missile test every second day. I give you important news that within two months Pakistan will conduct a big missile test,’’ he said in remarks quoted by Jang, a leading Urdu newspaper.

China’s Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying Pakistan would conduct an important ‘’nuclear’’ test.

Pakistan has not conducted a nuclear test since May, 1998, when it carried out a series of experiments in response to India.

On June 20 this year, India and Pakistan renewed a moratorium on nuclear test explosions following talks in New Delhi, although the agreement allowed an exception to be made if either country believed ‘’extraordinary events’’ threatened its interests.

Pakistan and India carry out fairly frequent missile tests. On June 4, Pakistan successfully test fired its nuclear-capable Ghauri missile.

‘’We are taking our nuclear programme forward,’’ General Musharraf said. ‘’We will continue to manufacture nuclear-capable missiles and it will be a madman who accuses me of rolling back the nuclear missile programme,’’ he added. — Reuters 
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Benazir faces stiffer charges

Geneva, July 1
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto now faces more severe money laundering charges against her in Switzerland, paving the way for her trial before a Swiss jury, legal officials and lawyers said today.

Geneva investigating magistrate Christine Junod said she had formally charged Bhutto with aggravated money laundering at a hearing yesterday, marking a step up from the simple money laundering case first opened in 1997.

“The legal qualification of laundering can be made in this way when the amount thought to have been laundered, in this case about $ 12 million, is high enough,” Junod told the Swiss news agency ATS.

Legal sources said the charge carries a stiffer penalty and also extends the statute of limitations from about seven years to 15 years for the former Pakistani Prime Minister, who was forced out of office in 1996.

Once the examining process is completed, the case must be tried in court by a jury. It carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail as well as a fine of about one million Swiss francs if Bhutto is found guilty.

Francois Micheli, a lawyer for the Pakistani government, told AFP that the seven year-old Swiss legal battle may reach a courtroom in 2005.

Bhutto’s lawyer Alec Reymond said he was seeking to have the Pakistani government excluded from the case after it struck an out-of-court settlement with the Swiss inspection company SGS over the contract that helped trigger the laundering allegations. — AFP
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Reward for Zarqawi increased to $ 25 m

Washington, July 1
The USA has increased the reward for the capture of suspected Al-Qaida operative Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi from $ 10 million to $ 25 million, equal to the reward for Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell authorised the increase in the reward for information leading to the Jordanian national’s arrest or conviction, the State Department said in a statement yesterday.

“Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi has had a long-standing connection to the senior leadership,” of Al-Qaida, it said.

“His organisation has committed numerous atrocities in Iraq in recent months, including the barbaric murder of American citizen Nick Berg,” it added. The USA , it said, was determined to bring Zarqawi to justice.

The US-led coalition in Iraq had blamed Zarqawi for at least 25 attacks in Iraq, including the March 2 suicide bombings in Karbala and Baghdad that killed 170 persons.

The US military has also accused Zarqawi of marshalling resources and masterminding attacks waged by loyalists of ousted President Saddam Hussein. — AFP
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Human corpses on display

Los Angeles, July 1
A controversial exhibit of mostly humans by German “plastinator” Gunther von Hagens is set to open on Friday in Los Angeles, the first US city to host the Body Worlds exhibition.

More than 200 plastinated corpses will be on display from tomorrow at the California Science Centre. The centre asked an ethics commission, composed of representatives of different faiths and medical fields, to review the exhibits before it was approved. — DPA
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BRIEFLY

Indian to head US panel
WASHINGTON:
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has elected Preeta D Bansal to serve as ‘Chair’ replacing the outgoing Dean of George Washington University Law School, Michael K Young. The election followed the commission’s practice of alternating the post of Chair yearly between Democratic and Republican appointees. — PTI

SC ruling on downloading
TORONTO:
Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark judgement that Internet service providers (ISP) do not have to pay royalties on music downloaded by customers. In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the court on Wednesday ruled that ISPs were not responsible for material web surfers download. — AFP

6 soldiers sacked
CANBERRA:
Six Australian soldiers found guilty of torturing and killing a litter of kittens will be kicked out of the defence force, the army said on Thursday. An army statement said the behaviour of the six servicemen, based in Townsville on Australia’s east coast, was not consistent with the values of the army and well below expected standards. — Reuters

Four Iraqi guards killed
Samarra, (Iraq):
Four Iraqi bodyguards were killed today when guerillas attacked the house of an official of the new interim government. Gunfire echoed through the northern town of Samarra when masked militants with rifles and rocket launchers attacked the house hours after US troops pulled back from the town to allow Iraqi forces to take over security, witnesses said. — Reuters

30 Palestinians held
JERICHO:
Israeli troops today detained more than 30 suspected militants in Jericho. At least 20 jeeps and five tanks moved into Jericho at around 5 am (7.30 am IST), with aerial cover provided by two helicopters, where they remained for around five hours. All entrances were sealed off while a curfew was imposed. Palestinian residents said that part of the town’s ancient mosque had been damaged by the soldiers during the operation, adding that two houses were dynamited. — AFP
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