|W O R L D||
Monday, September 14, 1998
|Taliban capture Bamiyan
KABUL, Sept 13 Taliban fighters today captured the central town of Bamiyan, the last major stronghold of Opposition forces in Afghanistan, Taliban sources said.
Bangladesh flood toll 950, waters recede
DHAKA, Sept 13 Floodwaters across Bangladesh receded today even as the death toll crossed 950. Officials of the flood forecasting and warning centre here said water levels of all major rivers had dropped by about eight centimetres
chief slams Pak
Swraj Paul to be honoured
in Mexico claim 112 lives
Taliban capture Bamiyan
KABUL, Sept 13 (Reuters) Taliban fighters today captured the central town of Bamiyan, the last major stronghold of Opposition forces in Afghanistan, Taliban sources said.
The sources said they overran the town at around 10.30 a.m. IST and freed dozens of jailed Taliban fighters. There was no independent confirmation of the report.
But a Taliban spokesman accused the Shia Hezb-i-Wahdat forces of killing jailed Taliban fighters before fleeing the town.
Bamiyan has a Shia population of around 10,000 and fears of reprisal killings by the Sunni militia have been voiced by Iran, which has tens of thousands of troops on the border. Further details were not immediately available.
The movements supreme ruler Mullah Mohammad Omar has called on the militia to treat prisoners of war in Bamiyan with respect and in accordance with Islamic principles.
Meanwhile, a senior Taliban official called for international help to ease tensions with Iran but said the killers of nine Iranian diplomats would not be handed over even if they were arrested.
Deputy Information Minister Mawlawi Abdur Rahman Hotak said a full-scale war seemed unlikely but warned that Afghanistan was a pool of glue from which Iran would be unable to extricate itself.
Mr Hotak told reporters the United Nations had done little as tension escalated. Iran says it would deploy 200,000 troops along its borders with Afghanistan following the murder of nine of its diplomats there.
He said the Taliban militia would welcome efforts by any peace-loving country to settle the problem between the two Muslim countries but added that all-out war seemed unlikely.
Mr Hotak said Iran would use wisdom and keep an eye on what he called international conspiracies being hatched against Islam. God forbid, such a problem may not occur.
He said the Taliban authorities attached importance to fostering friendly relations with Muslim countries like Iran.
Relations between Shia Iran and the radical Sunni Taliban took a dangerous twist last month when soldiers described as renegades killed nine diplomats seized from the Iranian consulate at Mazar-i-Sharif.
ISLAMABAD (ANI): The Taliban movement said Iran was trying to interfere in the internal affairs of afghanistan under the pretext of killing of diplomats in the country.
Under the garb of killing diplomats, Iran is trying to interfere in Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Omar, Taliban supreemo said.
Omar said the Teheran was not upset with the death of nine Iranian diplomats but is only condemning it to seek a way to interfere in Afghanistan.
He made his remarks as Irans top security body, the National Security Council, said it could take every appropriate action to ensure peace and security in the region following the killing of Iranian diplomats by Talsban militia. Iran said some 200,000 troops would now hold exercises on the Afghan border.
Omar said that if the Taliban managed to find those responsible for the deaths of the Iranian diplomats, and if we know their killers, we will punish them. He admitted that his men killed the Iranians but were not acting on orders.
Omar said it would be hard to find the killers since there were thousands of Taliban fighters at Mazar-i-Sharif when the movement overran the city last month.
TEHERAN (Reuters): Irans top security body has said the country would take every appropriate action to ensure peace and security in the region following the killing of nine Iranian diplomats by Afghanistans Taliban militia.
A National Security Council official quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency said, Iran is consistently entitled to every appropriate action, and the country would proceed with arrangements for establishing peace and security in the region.
The council, Irans top policy-making body for security affairs, was chaired by President Mohammed Khatami.
The council commissioned all relevant authorities in Iran to consider every possible channel for protecting Irans national interests and maintaining regional peace and security and to adopt appropriate measures for ensuring those purposes, IRNA said.
The official quoted by the
agency said the council had decided to maintain Iranian
troops currently deployed at the border with Afghanistan
to protect Irans territorial integrity and
prevent any possible challenge by the Taliban.
Bangladesh flood toll 950, waters recede
DHAKA, Sept 13 (ANI) Floodwaters across Bangladesh receded today even as the death toll crossed 950.
Officials of the flood forecasting and warning centre (FFWC) here said water levels of all major rivers had dropped by about eight centimetres. Officials of the Bangladesh Water Development Board also said the crucial embankment on the eastern side of the Bangladesh capital was out of danger with water levels of the Buriganga and Shitalakhya rivers dropping this morning.
On Saturday, at least 30 people drowned in the Buriganga river after a boat carrying them from Keraniganj to Dhaka capsized in a whirlpool. Another 70 people were also reported killed in a boating accident on the Punarbhaba river in Chapainawabganj district.
The tackling of the floods apart, exporters here have said that they have lost close to $ 300 million because of delayed shipment of their orders abroad.
The USA and Japan have sent planes of relief goods, including plastic sheeting, blankets, water purifying units and medicine.
Meanwhile flood-affected Bangladeshis may have run out of staple food and potable drinking water, but as far the much-sought-after Hilsa fish is concerned, they are getting it at throwaway prices.
The silvery fish now accounts for 80 per cent of the total fish produce arriving in various markets across the country, and they are each being sold at less than $ 4.
2 murders affect Zardari case
ISLAMABAD, Sept 13 (PTI) The Sharif governments plan to start corruption proceedings against Benazir Bhuttos husband Asif Ali Zardari in an alleged financial scam has suffered a serious setback following killings of a key witness and a public prosecutor within the past four days.
Sajjad Hussain, former chairman of the Karachi-based Pakistan Steel Mills and a crucial witness in the case against Zardari, was shot dead in Karachi on Friday evening by unidentified assailants.
His killing comes close on the heels of the murder of Raja Sardar Khan, the public prosecutor in the same steel mills case. Khan was shot dead last Monday.
Hussain was killed only three days before his scheduled appearance before an Accountability Bench tomorrow to record his statement in the case pertaining to the alleged bungling of Pakistani Rs 33.7 million during premiership of Benazir Bhutto when Zardari was a minister.
Earlier, Hussains statement was recorded by officials of the accountability bureau in which he admitted personally handing over foreign exchange bearer certificates worth Rs 30 million to Zardari at the Prime Ministers house in Islamabad.
The bureau had claimed that the remaining amount of Rs 3.7 million was later recovered from Hussains residence.
Media reports said officials of the Accountability Bureau suspect the killing of both Hussain and Khan was not part of the terrorism activities in strife-torn Karachi, but a case of targeted acts.
The officials were quoted as saying that Hussain was a main link to the steel mills corruption case and had admitted that Zardari had received commission against a contract of the mill and expressed confidence in fighting the case.
Two killings within four days is definitely a cause of concern for the bureau, the officials said, adding that the killing of both Hussain and Khan would have a serious impact on the corruption case against Zardari.
Zardari, who is already in jail facing a murder trial for his alleged involvement in the killing of Benazirs brother Murtaza Bhutto, has alleged the killing of Hussain had been the handiwork of intelligence agencies as the crucial witness had refused to collaborate with the prosecution against him.
"Hussain was killed because he refused to play in the hands of the rulers," Zardari told reporters in Rawalpindi.
He also appealed to the Chief Justice to take suo moto notice of the killings and appoint a judge to probe the murders.
Ex-ISI chief slams Pak on CTBT
ISLAMABAD, Sept 13 (PTI) A former ISI chief, Gen Hamid Gul, has slammed the Nawaz Sharif government for taking the CTBT issue to Parliament, saying that the present House was not mandated to decide on it, and demanded a referendum on the matter of great national importance.
Claiming that the general masses are against Pakistan signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which would bound the country and expose its nuclear installations for an international inspection, General Gul asked the people to take to the streets to oppose the move to sign it.
The issue should be taken to the masses for seeking their verdict by holding a referendum, he told a local daily adding that the present Parliament had no mandate to hold a discussion on its signing as it was never included in the election manifestos of the political parties.
Therefore, the issue having great national importance could only be resolved through referendum, he said.
He further said Pakistan became a nuclear power after spending huge savings and making tremendous efforts for the past many decades, and warned that signing of the treaty would demoralise the nation.
Therefore, the final decision whether to ratify it should be in accordance with the aspirations of the nation, he said.
General Gul, who was heading the ISI when the Kashmir problem was at its peak in the early 1990s, warned that signing of the CTBT by Pakistan would be harmful for the Kashmir cause.
He urged religious scholars to come forward to demonstrate that they did not want the ratification of the treaty under any pressure.
General Guls comments come in the wake of reports that major religious parties and groups in the country have threatened to launch a nation-wide movement to block the governments move to get the nod from the joint session of Parliament which started debate on the issue on Friday.
The Jamaat-e-Islami has threatened to gherao Parliament in protest against the governments move to get clearance from Parliament where the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) enjoys a nearly two-third majority.
The Opposition led by Ms
Benazir Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)
and Khan Abdul Wali Khans Awami National Party, had
demanded an all-party conference and sought 12
clarifications from the government on the issue of
signing the treaty by Pakistan.
Swraj Paul to be honoured
LONDON, Sept 13 (PTI) In recognition of his business achievements, Lord Swraj Paul, an NRI industrialist who made Britain his home 30 years ago, is to be conferred honorary doctorate by the University of Central England.
Lord Paul, Chairman of the $ 650 million Caparo Group of Industries, will be conferred the doctorate by the university which is based in Birmingham, according to an announcement by the university.
A recipient of several honorary degrees, the 66-year old India-born industrialist is to receive another honorary degree, Doctor of Science, from the University of Buckingham.
Floods in Mexico claim 112 lives
MEXICO CITY, Sept 13 (AFP) Heavy rain and flooding in southern Mexico over the past week have killed 112 and displaced at least 500,000 persons, government officials reported here today.
In the southern border state of Chiapas, most heavily affected by the downpour, 102 persons have died and nearly 100 more are unaccounted for.
As the skies cleared yesterday, some residents dug through buildings covered by mudslides and pull out bodies.
After almost one week of non-stop rain, many areas throughout Chiapas were without drinking water or electricity. Gasoline was also scarce, said Civil Defence head Manuel Diaz Infante.
The heavy rain caused
flooding and landslides that have swept away bridges and
highways, slowing down rescue operations, Mr Infante
said.@Government aid has reached some coastal areas, but
dozens of rural communities so isolated they can
be reached only by air remain without help.
|PM extends sick leave
LONDON: Depressed by overwork, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik has extended his sick leave until September 24, the Prime Ministers Office said. Sick leave has been extended because Bondevik continues to need a period of convalescence and he aims to be back at work as Prime Minister on September 24, a PMO spokesman said. Mr Bondevik (51) left on sick leave on August 30 after a depressive reaction to overwork. ANI
Pride in foe
China slams USA
Nidal in coma
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business | Stocks | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |