|Sunday, January 30, 2000,
to brand Pak terrorist state
more testify against Sharif
for early trade talks
|7,000 reported killed in Congo
NAIROBI, Jan 29 Gruesome scenes of genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were shown today in a video released by a humanitarian organisation, with eyewitnesses cited as saying that as many as 7,000 persons had been killed in the region in the past three weeks.
Women in India face
US citizenship to Elian: nun
body cremated by Soviets: report
Resolution to brand Pak terrorist state
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (PTI) A bipartisan resolution branding Pakistan as a terrorist state has been referred to the US House International Relations Committee amid suggestions from the Clinton Administration that Islamabad could face such action if it continued to support militant groups.
Besides the terrorist organisations themselves, those countries that harbour terrorist organisations or provide them with technical, financial, political or other support should be held accountable, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone said introducing the resolution in the House yesterday.
Mr Pallone, a former co-Chairman of the India Caucus, has also written to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calling for Pakistan to be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.
For a long time, I have been expressing concern about the role of Pakistan in terms of international terrorist activities. In particular, we have seen Pakistani involvement in the ongoing terror campaign in Kashmir, but it doesnt end there, he said.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Republican Congressman Bill McCollum.
Mr Pallones Congressional resolution noted the Secretary of State, pursuant to the Export Administration Act, should designate the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a country the government of which has repeatedly provided support for international terrorism.
In addition to terrorist organisations themselves, those countries that harbour terrorist organisations or provide them with technical, financial, political or other support should also be held accountable, the resolution said.
According to Mr Pallone, given the shared threat that the USA and other countries face from international terrorist organisations, the State Department is urged to explore ways to step up US cooperation with those countries in the struggle against terrorism.
The various clauses of the resolution noted that reports from western media sources had cited Pakistan as a base and training ground for terrorist groups, and that Pakistans government has demonstrated a reluctance to halt the use of its soil for terrorist organisations. It also cited reports that have implicated Pakistans Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) directly in terrorist activities, as well as the international drug trade.
The Harakat ul-Ansar, a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, was declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the State Department in 1997. The hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane in December 1999 were identified as being part of the Harakat ul-Mujahideen, and among the hijackers demands were the release of the organisations former general secretary, Maulana Masood Azhar, who hails from Pakistan, and other jailed Pakistani militants.
The resolution also stated that during the December 1999 hijacking incident, it was reported that Indian intelligence intercepted satellite telephone conversations between militant groups in Kashmir that confirmed Pakistan had links to the hijackers, and that it had been reported that, after the crisis ended, the hijackers left Afghanistan for Pakistan.
Mr Pallone pointed out that Pakistan was one of three countries to recognise the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Islamic militia, which had been declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the State Department, had provided refuge and assistance to Osama Bin Laden, whom the USA and had declared as an international terrorist.
The resolution also cited the fact that Pakistan was placed on the State Departments watch list of suspected state sponsors of international terrorism in 1993.
Numerous cases of
terrorist attacks or attempted terrorism, that have been
linked to Pakistan, many of which have resulted in death
or injury to Americans and other Westerners, were also
noted in the resolution.
2 more testify against Sharif
KARACHI, Jan 29 (DPA) Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others accused of conspiracy were today brought to court amid tightened security in the wake of two bomb explosions which killed four persons in Karachi yesterday.
Two more prosecution witnesses testified, including an Air Traffic Controller, posted at the control tower at the Karachi airport on October 12, and a senior police officer of Nawabshah city in the southern Sindh province.
Mr Ehsanullah Gondal, SP, Nawabshah, testified that the IGP, Mr Rana Maqbool Ahmed, accused in the case, had instructed him to take General Musharraf in custody after his plane landed at the Nawabshah airport.
But later, the instructions were changed, Mr Gondal said, and he was asked to cordon off the aircraft with the police and not let anybody embark or disembark from it, allowing it to be refuelled and to take off.
Mr Gondal quoted Mr Ahmed as saying that these were the instructions of Mr Sharif. Later, contingents of paramilitary Rangers took control of the Nawabshah airport.
The Air Traffic
Controller, Mr Mohammad Asif, gave technical details
along with the timing of various instructions and actions
during the period when the Pakistan International
Airlines flight, PK 805, was prevented from landing at
the Karachi airport. He said it was all done under the
instructions of the CAA chief.
USA for early trade talks
DAVOS, Jan 29 (PTI) Displaying scant regard for the concerns of developing nations, US President Bill Clinton today insisted on inclusion of labour and environmental standards in the fresh round of trade negotiations which have been delayed due to the collapse of the Seattle WTO conference over these contentious issues.
If these issues (labour and environment) are not discussed, they will fuel fires of protectionism and not extinguish, President Clinton said at the plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet here.
He, however, advocated the need for arriving at a political consensus to facilitate early launch of the new round of trade negotiations to promote rule-based trading system with reduced trade barriers.
In this context, he said he was not in favour of disbanding the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or postponing the new round of global trade talks and wanted Americas trading partners to facilitate the start of the new round of talks.
President Clinton urged the leaders of developing countries to work for ensuring that government institutions were open, accountable and honest.
Referring to the anti-WTO protests in Seattle in December last year, he advised the 1,000 chief executives and world leaders in Davos not to be in denial about the protesters.
Find a way to let the dissenters have their say and turn them into constructive partners, Mr Clinton told an audience which included dozens of Heads of State, Prime Ministers, Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors and corporate chief executives.
In his one-hour speech, Mr Clinton issued a strong backing for Chinas access to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Those who heard the wake-up call in the streets of Seattle got the right message, Mr Clinton said in urging world business leaders to take seriously the anti-WTO protesters concerns.
While also backing Chinas admission to the WTO, he gave a strong endorsement to the WTO as an institution for ensuring rule-based trade and business relations.
He made a strong appeal to developing countries to discuss issues like labour conditions and environment in the WTO if protectionism were to be defeated.
7,000 reported killed in Congo genocide
NAIROBI, Jan 29 (DPA) Gruesome scenes of genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were shown today in a video released by a humanitarian organisation, with eyewitnesses cited as saying that as many as 7,000 persons had been killed in the region in the past three weeks.
Video footage taken by the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) was broadcast by East African television stations, showing women and children with gaping machete wounds, bodies stacked in a church and buildings ablaze in Blukwa village.
The village in the north-east of Congo near the border with Uganda is the scene of fighting between rival Lendu and Hema communities. The area is under the nominal control of Ugandan forces, who are allied with Congolese rebels fighting the government of DRC President Laurent Kabila.
Ugandan troops and rebel forces do not appear in the video footage provided by the CBM, whose Director, Mr David Macallister, said the scenes were recorded by CBM workers in recent weeks.
He told journalists the footage was being released for broadcast to awaken the world to the horrors of the genocide taking place in the region and to avoid a repeat of the slaughter in Rwanda six years ago, when as many as 800,000 civilians were massacred within 100 days.
Women in India face
INDIA has been urged at an international womens human rights forum to enact legislation to end patriarchal traditions that discriminated against women and make changes in personal laws of ethnic and religious communities.
The call came during the deliberations in New York of the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which is currently in session reviewing the reports of eight state parties to the UN convention on the subject that has been in force since 1981.
An expert on the 23-member committee, speaking on the report concerning India, noted that generally ethnic and religious groups had the tendency to be responsible for patriarchal traditions that discriminated against women. The state was obliged to enact legislation to counteract those values and take measures to induce alternative non-discriminatory practices.
Perpetuating the personal laws of ethnic and religious communities was incompatible with womens rights and beach of the UN convention. Unless creative way was found to deal with countrys position, many specific advances in Indias policies in education, health and other areas could be nullified, the expert said.
Another expert expressed concern about the Indian governments unwillingness to intervene in those personal laws. The report on India had referred to working towards the establishment of a uniform civil code. Many countries with plural systems used such code to regulate the practice of the law. De jure equality did not necessarily provide de facto equality, the expert said.
The Indian report under examination by the committee gives a background of the political, legal land constitutional framework in which the convention is being implemented and specific information on the constraints of, and future action by, the government in the course of that implementation. It states that womens groups around the country have been demanding withdrawal of Indias reservations against the Convention. Furthermore, the governments present policy of non-interference with the laws of minority communities, except at their initiative and with their consent, has already resulted in a number of changes, notably in Hindu, Parsee and Christian laws.
The report notes that in India the family is very often the place where discrimination and subordination occur. In that setting, violence against girls and women reach alarming proportions. Consequently, female foeticide, infanticide, dowry-related violence and torture remain largely invisible and often go unpunished in spite of constitutional guarantees and the laws. However, the report points out, judicial activism by the Supreme Court and efforts by the media have become instrumental in changing societal attitudes.
Ms Kiran Aggarwal, Secretary to the Department of Women and Child Development in the Ministry of Human Resources, while presenting the countrys initial report on with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, told the committee that the ministry of Information and Broadcasting had been creating actively mass awareness to generate a positive portrait of women in society.
Ms Aggarwal conceded that family relations in India had traditional been governed by religious personal laws. The major religious communities Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsee had their separate personal laws and governed by their respective religious laws in matters of marriage, divorce, succession, adoption, guardianship and maintenance. The personal laws of minority communities had remained untouched on the basis of the policy of non-interference in the personal laws of any community, unless the demand for change came from those within those communities.
The committee the only United Nations human rights treaty body that deals executively with womens right, consists of 23 experts, serving in their personal capacities. There are two experts from South Asia Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In the course of the committees deliberations, many experts expressed apprehensions and concerns on several issues concerning womens rights in India. One of them held the view that the 1995 Beijing Plan of Action did not seem to have integrated in the Indian governments programme for the welfare of women. Another asked how the figure of 33 per cent agreement for reservation of seats in Parliament and State Assemblies and been settled upon, given that India had about 50 per cent women. Also, if only 25 per cent of women got elected, did that mean the remainder would go to the men?
The Committee is
scheduled to end its current session on February 4. Since
1997, to date, the Committee has considered 101 initial,
70 second, 46 third and 14 fourth periodic reports from
State parties. One hundred and sixtyfive member States
have either ratified or acceded to the Convention, which
entered into force on September 3, 1981.
Nepal minister resigns
KATHMANDU, Jan 29 (Reuters) Nepals Finance Minister Mahesh Acharya has resigned over differences with Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai over the appointment of the Central Bank head, Mr Acharya said today.
Yes, I have resigned, he told Reuters.
Nepals eight-month-old cabinet has been sharply divided over the appointment of a successor to Mr Satyendra Pyara Shrestha, who retired as the Governor of the Central Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on January 17.
Prime Minister Bhattarai has touted Mr Tilak Rawal, former chief of a state owned bank, for the Governors job, while Mr Acharya favoured Finance Secretary Ram Binod Bhattarai.
Mr Acharya was a junior minister in charge of Finance between 1991 and 1994, and latterly an architect of Nepals liberal economic policies, including privatisation and opening the economy to foreign players.
Give US citizenship to Elian: nun
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (AP) The Florida Roman Catholic nun selected as a neutral party in the custody battle over Elian Gonzalez has endorsed legislation to grant the boy US citizenship. But she said Attorney-General Janet Reno did not appear willing to change her mind that the boy should be returned to his father in Cuba.
Sister Jeanne OLaughlin, whose Miami Beach home was used earlier in the week for a meeting between Elian and his grandmothers, made a personal appeal to the Attorney-General yesterday for the boy to remain with his florida relatives.
But Ms Reno did not feel she had the legal reasons to change her mind, sister OLaughlin told reporters at the Justice Department.
She said she left her meeting with Mr Reno with both making a promise that we will both keep pursuing the truth as we see it.
Sister OLaughlin cited a change of heart after meeting the boy. I am no longer neutral, she said.
Earlier, she appeared with Mr Sen Connie Mack, a Florida Republican and chief sponsor of the Citizenship Bill, to urge that the six-year-old shipwreck survivor not be returned at this time to his father in Cuba.
If it took a Congressional Act to keep him here, so be it, she said.
The child has been in the torment of the seas and now hes been in the torment of political agendas. Somehow we must find for him clam seats, at least for while, she said.
HAVANA: Meanwhile, President Fidel Castro charged that the mother of Elian was practically kidnapped along with her son on the voyage that killed her and 10 others and led to the six-year-old child being found off the Florida coast clinging to an inner tube.
In remarks to a
conference of economists yesterday, the Cuban leader
denounced the idea that Elisabeth Brotons had been
fleeing to freedom in the USA an idea embraced by
many who want Elian to remain in Florida.
Hitlers body cremated by Soviets: report
MOSCOW, Jan 29 (AFP) The remains of Adolf Hitler were cremated by Soviet agents after a 25-year odyssey that took the corpse through several burial sites in East Germany, according to the Russian newspaper Troud.
Backing up revelations made in 1995 by German magazine Der Spiegel, Troud reported on Thursday that the late Soviet leader Yuri Andropov ordered the body to be incinerated in 1970, when he was still head of the KGB.
But Russian archives cited by Troud show that from his death in the last days of World War II to his cremation, Hitlers body charted an extraordinary graveyard journey under the watchful eyes of the Soviet secret service.
Red Army troops found his body, and that of his partner Eva Braun, in the remains of the Nazi leaders bunker in Berlin on May 4, 1945.
A Soviet counter-espionage expert filled out the documents needed to carry the two bodies to an area safely inside the Russian-controlled zone the same day.
On May 8 the day the Third Reich surrendered doctors carried out an autopsy, and transmitted their results straight to the head of Russias then secret service, the NKVD.
The top of the skull is partially missing. There are lots of cracks in the nose and upper jaw.... Bits of glass have been found in the corpses mouth, stated the autopsy report.
A strong smell of bitter almonds emanating from the body led the forensic experts to put Hitlers death down to cyanide poisoning.
Only months later, in late 1945, the version of Hitlers cause of death was changed to suicide by shooting after his body was disinterred from a temporary grave in Rathenow, west of Berlin, for a fresh examination.
By January, 1946, Hitlers body was underground once again, this time in the courtyard of a house at 36 Westende Street, in the town of Magdeburg. There the body remained until 1970, when imminent building work convinced Andropov to order the tomb to be opened, and the contents destroyed by incineration.
The destruction of the remains took place in a fire close to the town of Schensbek, 11 km from Magdeburg, said the Russian archives cited by Troud. The remains were burned with petrol and reduced to ash before being thrown in the Biederitz river.
kills father for beating mother
spends 8 hours on tree
Jones pregnant: paper
attacked, 9 killed
by school officials
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