|Friday, February 11, 2000,
missile attack on Bekaa valley
|JKLF seeks end to violence
LONDON, Feb 10 A Bradford-based leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today demanded an end to the foreign-sponsored violence in Kashmir.
new military doctrine
|Clinton should not visit Pak:
WASHINGTON, Feb 10 US Deocratic Congressman Frank Pallone, in the House of Representatives last night, urged the Clinton administration to declare Pakistan a terrorist state, making it clear that there will be no further contacts with the Pakistan government until it stops provocative actions in Kashmir.
New form of matter created
Israeli missile attack on Bekaa
DUBAI, Feb 10 (UNI, Reuters) Israeli warplanes this morning raided the Western Bekaa valley, a resistance fighters position in southern Lebanon, as Lebanon issued an appeal to Arab states to help repel attacks by the Jewish nation.
Kuna quoted Lebanese security and Hizbollah sources as saying that two Israeli F-16 jet fighters launched two air raids within a span of five minutes and fired two air-to-surface missiles on specified targets. No casualties had been reported so far.
Hizbollahs central media bureau was quoted as saying in a statement that its fighters attacked with rocked-propelled grenades a joint Israeli proxy infantry unit in the eastern sector.
The statement said Hizbollah fighters carried out a series of raids early today on several positions within the Israeli proclaimed security belt in southern Lebanon using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Meanwhile, media reports monitored here said the Lebanese Trade and Industry Minister issued an appeal to Arab states to help repel Israeli attacks. The Lebanese Government hopes its Arab brothers will support Lebanon at this critical stage and help repel the repeated Israeli aggression, he said at a meeting of Arab Finance Ministers in Cairo.
Arab League chief Esmat Abdel-Meguid offered his complete support to the Lebanese fighting Israel.
Lebanese President Emile Lahud blamed Israel for the collapse of peace, describing the raids as a barbaric aggression against civilian targets and backed the right of Hizbollah to hit Israeli troops as long as they continued their occupation of southern Lebanon.
KIRYAT SHMONA (Israel): The Israeli Army ordered Israelis out of their bunkers in northern Israel today, two days after they were ordered to take cover from possible Lebanese guerrilla rocket attacks.
Residents of the North are permitted to leave the shelters and security rooms, said a terse statement issued by the army spokesman. Violence had reached a peak in the last two weeks with the killing of six Israeli soldiers and Israeli air attacks that left much of Lebanon without power.
Israel had warned that the soil of Lebanon will burn if Hizbollah resorted to the cross-border rocket attacks which have in the past plagued the Israeli inhabitants of the town of Kiryat Shmona and other places.
rhetoric, there had been hopes that the lack of Hizbollah
retaliation meant Syria, the main power in Lebanon, had
not given up hope of peace with Israel. Israel had
appealed to Damascus to rein in the guerrillas.
JKLF seeks end to violence
LONDON, Feb 10 (PTI) A Bradford-based leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today demanded an end to the foreign-sponsored violence in Kashmir.
We want unification of Kashmir, release of political detenues held without trial, vacation of foreign terrorists and withdrawal of forces, JKLFs Khwaja Mushtaq Hussain said in a statement here on the eve of the 11th death anniversary of front leader Maqbul Butt.
Hussain, president of the UK branch of the National Liberation Front, asked its leadership in the valley to reject violence, hold dialogue and demand unification of Kashmir and the right to have their own government.
In todays world, when Palestinians talk with their enemy Israel, and Syria holds dialogue with the Lebanese, why can we not talk to India and Pakistan, he asked.
Hussain said the
national democratic forces interested in unification,
upholding human rights and secular values should strive
to unite and oppose terrorism and religious fanaticism
and oppression by forces.
Window on Pakistan
ONE wonders how the poor, the unemployed, the landless labour class and the oppressed sections of society would react to the grandiose visit of a high-powered team from the international rating agency, Standards and Poor. The very name does tickle a bit. It is both Standards and Poor. Its aim is to assess the performance of the present military junta as far as economic reforms are concerned and then pass a judgement on Pakistans economy. One hopes the delegation of experts would discuss the Supreme Court judgement that places a total ban on interest on any lending, foreign or domestic.
A large majority of the people continue to suffer the dehumanised feudal system which has been strengthened over the years by various political parties. Right now a nexus of the military top brass, politicians, civil servants and landlords rules the roost. It is not that land reforms were not initiated, but these, as it happened in many parts of India, were not implemented. In 1958, the land ceiling was fixed at 500 acres per family unit. Later, in 1972, this was scaled down to 100 acres. Clearly, the pressure from the landless was forcing the rulers to initiate major reforms and give a push to agriculture, besides helping the countless landless workers. Since the country lacks in such infrastructure as roads, telecommunication and railways, the economy has not blossomed as it could have. There has been only lip-sympathy for the land reforms.
Nevertheless, the country has not done so badly in the farm sector. The cultivable land in Pakistan is mostly irrigated, using water from the two major dams Tarbala and Mangla. Like our Punjab, Pakistan faces an acute problem of either water shortage or water-logging.
The rainfall of 20 inches per year on an average is good, but it is not used in the right manner as it happens in this side of the border. Pakistan is losing one lakh acre per year either because of water-logging that is excess water or due to water shortage. The water-table is going down.
Reports in major Pakistani newspapers read like the reports published here. Again, while industry in some areas like Karachi, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan and other major towns has developed, it is farming which is the mainstay of Pakistan.
This has forced a very large population, almost 10 per cent, to move out of the country. Currently Pakistans population is estimated at 152.3 millions. It was 30 millions in 1947 when it won freedom from the British. Pakistani youth can be found anywhere in West Asia, Europe, Australia, the USA and Canada like Indian Punjabis. They send a good deal of money back home, making it possible for their families to survive and the government to use this foreign exchange to buy weapons. But allowing the best work-force to migrate leaves its own kind of effect on the social and economic life of the country.
The team from the Standards and Poor would by and large concentrate on fiscal matters, leaving the poor and their problems to their own care. This area is the breeding ground for religious fundamentalism, social tensions and violence.
But what does this agency, on whose recommendations international funding organisations will depend, has to say about Pakistans economic and fiscal health?
A month ago, the agency had stated that Pakistans future rating will depend on the efforts of the military authorities to expand the tax base, budgetary austerity, privatisation and administrative reforms. It had warned that further political upheavals could disrupt official creditor relations and destabilise the countrys credit standing. The fresh review and rating will focus on the same lines.
Since the power sector has been the centrepiece of the national economy and is being considered as a major factor damaging Pakistans economic interests in the world during the last couple of years, Standards and Poors team will specifically focus on the affairs of Pakistans Water and Power Development Authority.
Standards and Poor will analyse the restructuring, reorganisation and privatisation of power sector entities, the foreign investment policy and the latest position on tariff disputes with independent power producers.
Last December the agency raised some of its credit ratings on Pakistan, citing the rescheduling of nearly $970 million in loans that had been in default since July, 1998.
At the same time, however, Standards and Poor warned of the effects of a large public sector debt, equal to about 95 per cent of the gross domestic product as well as cumbersome foreclosure, bankruptcy and collateral recovery procedures.
Russias new military doctrine
MOSCOW, Feb 10 (UNI) Puckered at incessant poking by Western powers, mainly the USA, Russias new military doctrine has come out with proposals to face the challenges of the new unipolar world.
Novosti, quoting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, said the minister speaking on the first session of the new Duma said, compulsions necessitated by the new challenges, threats, terrorism, weapons and drug smuggling has forced Russia to review its consolidation of the state policy, now reflected in the new military doctrine.
Mr Ivanov said the prevalent trend of roughshoding world politics through the unipolar system thrust upon by privileged states is now being widely opposed. NATOs misadventure in Yugoslavia, its adoption of new strategic conception and expansion of membership right up to the Russian doorstep are pointers of things to come that relate back to the cold war era.
The latest detention of the Russian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf by US forces, done immediately after Ms Madeiline Albright left Moscow airport, was done to test Kremlins nerves and to show the world who the real boss was. It came in the light of the smooth passage of Russias revised military doctrine at various stages of the Russian power structure.
Meanwhile acting President Vladimir Putin, addressing public meetings has also dealt at length on the countrys new doctrine for effective and enhanced defence preparedness. He spoke of the designs of certain powers for the balkanisation of Russia, through incidents in Dagestan and Chechnya.
Referring to Mr Ivanovs policy statement Novosti said while creating a safety belt around its borders under the modified military doctrine, Russia has considerably improved its relations with China, India and other neighbouring states.
But besides all this the
Foreign Minister, in order to dispel any negative signals
emanating from Western capitals, told the Duma that
adoption of the new military concept does not envisage
use of force against any foreign state, even as he spelt
out the reasons for updating the doctrine.
FBI to probe website attacks
NEW YORK, Feb 10 (PTI) Anonymous cyberspace vandals continued their well coordinated attacks on major websites even as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said it would mount a full-scale investigation into the crime.
The Justice Department yesterday promised to locate the attackers but officials admitted they had no credible leads and analysts said finding the criminals would be an uphill task.
Shares of e-commerce companies dropped as investors were trying to figure out the repercussions especially peoples confidence in trading and buying on line. The companies were themselves taking steps to protect their websites.
Besides attacking the sites, the attackers slowed down traffic on parts of Internet.
Analysts and computer experts said the attacks seemed to be in planning for weeks or even months and were unleashed three days ago in a coordinated manner by one person or a group of persons.
They were quoted as expressing doubt that any defence against attacks could be applied easily.
Attorney General Janet Reno pledged to pursue the attacks but conceded that their identity was not known to the authorities as the hackers had covered their electronic tracks well.
Clinton should not visit Pak: Pallone
WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (UNI) US Deocratic Congressman Frank Pallone, in the House of Representatives last night, urged the Clinton administration to declare Pakistan a terrorist state, making it clear that there will be no further contacts with the Pakistan government until it stops provocative actions in Kashmir.
In a speech on the floor
of the House, he took objection to the recent
provocative utterances of Pakistani
military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf and said the end
result of the Generals provocation would be another
war with India over Kashmir and the problem is
that the Generals now control nuclear weapons they could
unleash in such a war.
New form of matter created
GENEVA, Feb 10 (Reuters) For the first time, physicists have created a new form of matter by recreating the conditions thought to have existed 10 microseconds after the big bang at the start of the universe, scientists announced today.
The European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), based outside Geneva, said scientists from more than 20 countries conducted a series of experiments which smashed together heavy lead ions in a fireball to prove a theory that had only existed on paper for years.
By generating collisions at temperatures 100,000 times as hot as the suns centre and at energy densities never before reached in laboratory experiments, they succeeded in isolating tiny components called quarks from more complex particles such as protons and neutrons, CERN said in a report.
compelling evidence for the existence of a
new state of nuclear matter, a quark-gluon plasma, which
CERN described as the primordial soup in which
quarks and gluons existed before they clumped together as
the universe cooled down.
appointed Pak Foreign Secy
in graft case
members held since Feb 5
arrests top militia leader
4-day highway blockade
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