|W O R L D||
Wednesday, July 7, 1999
Benazir may return this
Kurdish rebels step up
Respect LoC, says China
Serbia rejects Kosovo deal
Benazir may return this month
ISLAMABAD, July 6 (PTI) Former Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition Benazir Bhutto is likely to return to Pakistan this month amidst growing attacks on the Sharif Government over the Kargil issue and threats of an impending civil war.
Benazir will return home this month and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) plans to hold a massive welcome for her almost similar to that organised in 1986 when she had returned to challenge Zia-ul-Haqs regime, partys Punjab Provincial President Rao Iqbal Sikandar was quoted by media as saying.
An unprecedented welcome will be held at Lahore airport on Benazirs return to the country after a gap of three months, Sikandar said at a function in Lahore yesterday.
The PPP media centre here, however, could not confirm the report saying that they do not have such an information, but added that Benazir had now stopped saying that she will not return to Pakistan.
The former premier, who along with her husband Asif Ali Zardari had been found guilty by a two-member Bench of the Lahore High Court on corruption charges relating to kickbacks on a Swiss contract and sentenced to five years in jail, had earlier said she will not return to Pakistan as her life was at risk.
Benazir had gone abroad in early April while the judgement was delivered warning the Sharif Government to refrain from any plan to arrest the PPP President on her return, Sikandar said the need of the hour was to install a national government in Pakistan as demanded by Benazir.
Sikandar accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of only pursuing his business interest, saying that he (Sharif) is trying his best to normalise relations with India, because he wanted to sell sugar to India.
The report of Benazirs return to Pakistan comes as almost the entire Opposition and the powerful religious parties in Pakistan have come out strongly against Sharif for reportedly committing before US President Bill Clinton for withdrawing from Dras and Kargil areas.
Former Chief of ISI Hamid Gul had even warned that the issue may lead to a civil war in the country.
After the hanging of her
father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1978, Benazir had gone out
of Pakistan for several years, but had returned in 1986
to lead the PPP to victory in Pakistans first
democratic elections in 1988 in a decade following the
death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash.
Siachen part of LoC: Pak
ISLAMABAD, July 6 (PTI) Pakistan today strongly refuted Indias contention that Siachen is not part of the Line of Control (LoC) and claimed that the 1984 capture of the Siachen glacier was a "flagrant violation" of the Simla Agreement.
The LoC is the result of the 1972 Simla Agreement and "this agreement clearly states that neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation," a Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman here said.
"At that time (1972) no Indian troops were present in the Siachen glacier area and India occupied that region in 1984," the spokesman said in a statement adding that, "as such the Indian action is a clear and flagrant violation of the Simla Agreement."
In response to a query, an Indian foreign office spokesman had earlier stated in New Delhi that a return to status quo ante did not imply a return to the status quo in Siachen that existed when the Simla Agreement was signed.
Siachen and Saltoro ridge are well beyond point NJ 9842 where the LoC ends, the Indian spokesman had said.
Using Kashmir as springboard for fundamentalism
FAR from being the innocent fall-guy for the Pakistan armys misadventure in Kargil Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set in motion a Machiavellian plan for the dispersal of Islamic fundamentalism using Kashmir as a springboard.
Evidence is growing that the man who has managed to accumulate so much power that he is able to clip the wings of the President; sack the Chief of Army Staff who had come to be regarded as the most powerful third force in the troika that had been set in place to rid Pakistan of the odium of being a military dictatorship; and hobbled the judiciary; was not merely aware of the Armys plan to breach the Line of Control but may well have been its progenitor.
Even those with short memories will recall the political heir-apparent of the late military dictator Zia-ul-Haq leading Kashmiri separatists to try and breach the Line of Control in protest marches against Indian occupation. It has also not escaped notice that he spoke to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Srinagar knowing fully well that he was on his way to Kargil and within a few hours bombs rained down on the spot where the Indian Prime Minister was supposed to address a public gathering so much for diplomacy of trust and understanding.
Since the very raison detre for the creation of Pakistan has been hate Indiaism and every ruler of Pakistan from Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who accepted two widely separated entities West Pakistan and the erstwhile East Pakistan now Bangladesh in the hope that eventually Pakistan would be able to engulf India nurtured that hope in spite of the internal contradictions that saw Bangladesh break away.
After 1971, revenge for the excision of East Pakistan became the cornerstone of Pakistans policy towards India and it is symptomatic that cadets passing out of the military training establishment at Kakul swear to avenge that defeat.
Having created and nurtured the fundamentalist Taliban to expand its strategic depth into Afghanistan Nawaz Sharif cannot allow a mismatch between the Taliban brand of fundamentalism and Pakistan society as a whole to grow otherwise he will not be able to utilise the potential of Islamic fundamentalism to achieve geopolitical goals in the region which, he envisions, would range from the Central Asian Republics to South East Asia.
That is why he has to pander to the fundamentalist forces by introducing shariat laws in an already deeply feudal milieu. Pakistan, as is Afghanistan , is nothing but an agglomerate of disparate feudal fiefdoms which Mr Nawaz Sharif deems necessary to be welded together with Islamic fundamentalism to be used in ever expanding ripples into Central Asia and India. As the mercenaries interviewed by western media have pointed out, the belief is that Kashmir is the window through which India is to be penetrated.
The current intrusion by
a mix of Islamic mercenaries and regular troops of the
Pakistan Army in the Dras-Kargil sector is a
manifestation of that perception of Pakistan geopolitics.
However, the first plan to vivisect India through the
creation of Khalistan in Punjab failed and current events
in Kargil point in the same direction in Kashmir as well.
Kurdish rebels step up violence
ISTANBUL, July 6 (Reuters) Kurdish rebels have stepped up attacks in Turkey following the imposition of a death sentence on their leader Abdullah Ocalan, killing one person and injuring more than 30 in bomb attacks since Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Turkish army, which says it is close to a military victory over Ocalans Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said yesterday it had sent thousands of troops into North Iraq and Turkeys southeastern mountains in pursuit of the rebels.
The suspected rebel suicide bomber wearing a black religious veil killed herself and injured 14 others yesterday when she detonated explosives she was carrying outside a police station in the southern city of Adana, Anatolian news agency said.
Witnesses said the woman had made a victory sign before the explosion. Three civilians were among the injured.
Officials also said guerrillas had planted a bomb in a rubbish bin in an Istanbul part that killed one person and injured more than 20 late on Sunday. Instanbul Governor Erol Cakir said the attack was in retaliation for Ocalans sentence.
Respect LoC, says China
BEIJING, July 6 (PTI) China today appealed to Pakistan and India to honour the sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC) and called for early dialogue between the two to resolve their differences in a just and reasonable manner.
Proceeding from the aspiration of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, we sincerely hope that India and Pakistan will respect the LoC and resume negotiations at an early date in accordance with the spirit of the Lahore declaration signed by the two sides, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said.
came in response to a question on Chinas view on
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs commitment
to the U.S.A that infiltrators would be withdrawn from
the Indian side of the LoC.
Serbia rejects Kosovo deal
BELGRADE, July 6 (Reuters, DPA) Serbia has rejected a cooperation agreement between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, saying that the Serb signatories had no power to sign such a document.
A statement by the government in Belgrade yesterday said Fridays agreement was an attempt at the manipulation on the part of the UN administration in Kosovo.
It said the aim of the document was to ensure that NATO and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were granted an amnesty for the crimes they committed against the Serbs.
KLA Chief Hashim Thaqi signed the document for Kosovos Albanians, while the orthodox Bishop Artemije and the leader of the opposition Serbian resistance, Momcilo Trajkovic, signed for the Serbs.
Artemije and Trajkovic on Monday threatened to scupper the agreement unless the Albanians ended attacks on Kosovo Serbs and freed Serbs taken hostage.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters yesterday called for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to resign on Monday and his officials insisted they would not allow pessimism about the war-damaged countrys economic future.
Local media said about 20,000 persons marched through the southern Serbian town of Leskovac, 250 km south of Belgrade, yesterday to demand a change and the resignation of Mr Milosevic.
The protesters were joined by the Yugoslavian army reservists, who have been staging sporadic protests across Serbia over the past few weeks to demand wages for time served in Kosovo during NATOs 11-week air campaign on Yugoslavia, Beta and Pancevo radio reported.
Opposition groups also gathered in Belgrade and other parts of Serbia to voice their dissatisfaction with the government or collect signatures on a petition calling for Milosevic to go.
They also promised to pursue a policy of economic and monetary stability, speed up reforms, attract foreign capital and ensure that the NATO aggressors pay for what they had ruined.
|Royal couple back to work
LONDON: Britains Prince Edward and his new wife Sophie, will spend half the week leading separate lives because of work commitments, newspapers reported on Tuesday. The royal newly weds have both insisted that they will carry on working she as a public relations consultant and he as the head of a television company. Sophie (34) returned to her London office for the first time on Monday since her June 19 wedding. She told reporters she planned to spend a few days in London each week. Reuters
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