Monday, March 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

‘Defrauding’ Pak exchequer
Interpol’s red warrant against Benazir?

LONDON, March 12 — Interpol has accepted a request of Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to issue “red corner warrants” against 30 Pakistanis, including former Premier Benazir Bhutto, whom the ruling military regime considers as corrupt absconders responsible for “looting the national wealth,” a London-based Asian weekly reported today.

Khatami’s close aide shot at
TEHRAN, March 12 — Mr Saeed Hajjarian, one of Iran’s leading political activists and a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, was today shot at and wounded at close range by unknown attackers, the official IRNA news agency said.


HAVANA: Two of the most famous writers of the 20th century, American Arthur Miller, left, and Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez pose for a photograph on Saturday, at San Francisco de Paula in Havana, Cuba after making a pilgrimage to the former residence of another literary giant - the late Ernest Hemingway. Led by Miller and novelist William Styron, a delegation of U.S. authors traveled to Cuba Wednesday in a trip aimed at promoting contacts between intellectuals of both nations. AP/PTI

Treason case against Kulsoom
KARACHI, March 12 — The Pakistani police has registered a treason case against the wife of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and 16 other party leaders, a Police Inspector said today.



EARLIER STORIES
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  Driver exposes Mitterrand’s love life
PARIS, March 12 — Late French President Francois Mitterrand’s passion for women led him to a series of secret meetings with, among others, a Middle Eastern queen, his official driver has revealed in a book to be published next week.

Arms tech transfer to China suspended
MOSCOW, March 12 — Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a secret decree suspending transfer of sensitive military technology and know-how to China, a Russian Internet based private news service has reported. Mr Putin has put on hold transfer of some sensitive defence technologies promised by ex-President Boris Yeltsin during his meetings with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, usually well-informed “agency of Political News’ (APN) said.

Mittal richest Asian in UK
LONDON, March 12 — Lakshmi Mittal, founder of Ispat International Steel Empire, has emerged as the richest Asian in Britain, edging out the Hindujas to the second position, The Sunday Times reported today.
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Defrauding’ Pak exchequer
Interpol’s red warrant against Benazir?

LONDON, March 12 (PTI) — Interpol has accepted a request of Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to issue “red corner warrants” against 30 Pakistanis, including former Premier Benazir Bhutto, whom the ruling military regime considers as corrupt absconders responsible for “looting the national wealth,” a London-based Asian weekly reported today.

Besides politicians like Ms Bhutto and MQM chief Altaf Hussain, the warrant would also be issued against bureaucrats like Salman Farooqui and former Deputy Director of Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) Rehman Malik, ‘The Nation’ reported quoting sources close to NAB.

“Pakistan Government will formally declare these required people as absconders along with full charge sheets to meet the requirements before Interpol gears up its action,” it said.

The weekly said Interpol had agreed to set up an office in Pakistan which would work closely with its headquarters in Lyon, France, besides the offices in New York and London for extraditing them.

The military government wants Malik in Islamabad in connection with certain cases, the sources said. However, they acknowledged that the former investigating officer had been cooperative with Lt. Gen Syed Mohammad Amjad Hussain, the NAB Chairman, whenever he visited London for investigations.

The NAB team also visited France and Switzerland, besides London, before returning home to Islamabad on Wednesday.

The NAB team, headed by Prosecutor General Farooq Adam, got a major breakthrough in Switzerland after it held wideranging talks with Attorney General and other Swiss officials in Geneva to get important documents related to secret bank accounts of various Pakistani personalities, the newspaper said.

The team held detailed meetings in London last week with certain people who provided them “very important information about various Pakistani figures required by the government.”

Pakistan has also decided to request, through its Ambassador, the French Government to sign an international mutual legal assistance agreement.

The sources said a team of lawyers would be hired in France for taking up the cases involving defence deals.

In Switzerland, the NAB team held meetings with Swiss officials and persuaded them to speedily dispose of the money-laundering cases pertaining to certain defence deals.

In UK, the team interviewed private detectives to be hired for the NAB and short-listed them for taking a final decision.
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Khatami’s close aide shot at

TEHRAN, March 12 (Reuters) — Mr Saeed Hajjarian, one of Iran’s leading political activists and a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, was today shot at and wounded at close range by unknown attackers, the official IRNA news agency said.

It quoted doctors at nearby Sina Hospital as saying Mr Hajjarian was expected to live. They described his condition as “stable”.

IRNA said Mr Hajjarian, a pro-reform newspaper Editor and member of the Tehran City Council, was hit once in the face and once in the shoulder.

“The gunman had aimed his gun at Hajjarian’s temple but because his hand was shaking the (first) bullet struck him the face”, Mr Mahmoud Alizadeh-Tabatabaei, a colleague on the council, told IRNA.

Mr Alizadeh-Tabatabaei had also said Mr Hajjarian was in a coma after the shooting.

Witnesses told Reuters the attackers had been cruising the nearby streets on a 1000-cc motor cycle. This size of machine is outlawed in Iran except for use by the people and security personnel.

They said a gunman wearing a helmet approached Mr Hajjarian as he left the council offices and shot him with a Colt revolver before fleeing on the back of the motor cycle.

IRNA said the attack took place at 8.35 a.m. (1035 IST) in central Tehran. It said witnesses had provided the police with descriptions of the attackers and their motor cycle.

Mr Hajjarian was one of the masterminds of the Reformists’ big victory in last month’s parliamentary, and there was widespread speculation he would soon step down as editor of Sobh-e-Emrouz daily to devote himself to full-time political work.

His newspaper has been in the forefront of the pro-Reform Movement, aggressively exposing what it says is a hardline circle within the Intelligence Ministry involved in the murders of dissidents dating back many years.

After leaving the Intelligence Ministry, Mr Hajjarian joined other Leftist theoreticians in political exile at think tanks and universities before returning to politics in the 1997 election victory of President Khatami.
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Treason case against Kulsoom

KARACHI, March 12 (AFP) — The Pakistani police has registered a treason case against the wife of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and 16 other party leaders, a Police Inspector said today.

“A case of treason has been registered against them for making provocative speeches against the armed forces in a bid to create hatred against the government,” said police Inspector Hamid Taheem.

The crime is punishable by life imprisonment, the police said.

Mr Taheem himself registered the case in the southern city of Hyderabad yesterday, two days after Mr Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz and other leaders of Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML) addressed a workers’ convention there.

Mr Taheem said the police had also named former Federal Minister Haleem Siddiqui, former Minister for Women Affairs Tehmina Daultana, former Sindh Governor Mamnoon Hussain and several PML leaders.

Newspapers said the convention was attended by about 3,000 participants and PML leaders made fiery speeches.

This is the first criminal case against Ms Kulsoom Nawaz.
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Driver exposes Mitterrand’s love life

PARIS, March 12 (AFP) — Late French President Francois Mitterrand’s passion for women led him to a series of secret meetings with, among others, a Middle Eastern queen, his official driver has revealed in a book to be published next week.

Four years after his death at the age of 79, more explicit details of Mitterrand’s love life are revealed in “Driving on the Left,” the book written by the socialist leader’s long-time driver, Pierre Tourlier.

Tourlier claims Mitterrand slipped into the unnamed queen’s room in Paris while her husband was absent.

He also had an affair with a socialist party worker, as well as endless passing liaisons, which he juggled masterfully, sometimes staggering three different visits over the course of one night, the book claims.

“He tired me out,” Tourlier writes. “The President explained it to me once. According to him, some of his nights were like a menu, with a starter, a main course and a dessert.”

Mitterrand also had a wife and a kept mistress, Anne Pingeot, the mother of his daughter Mazarine.

Tourlier alleges that in his effort to keep his private life secret Mitterrand once ordered his driver to beat up a writer, Jean-Edern Hallier, who was planning to ask embarrassing questions at a press conference.
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Arms tech transfer to China suspended

MOSCOW, March 12 (PTI) — Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a secret decree suspending transfer of sensitive military technology and know-how to China, a Russian Internet based private news service has reported. Mr Putin has put on hold transfer of some sensitive defence technologies promised by ex-President Boris Yeltsin during his meetings with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, usually well-informed “agency of Political News’ (APN) said.

It claimed the decision had been taken in view of China seeking only the technology and know-how, while refusing to purchase arms in bulk from Russia.

Beijing is seeking to end its dependency on Russian arms supplies and military-technical cooperation with its northern neighbour in the shortest period and this would have serious geopolitical implications for Moscow, the agency said.
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Mittal richest Asian in UK

LONDON, March 12 (PTI) — Lakshmi Mittal, founder of Ispat International Steel Empire, has emerged as the richest Asian in Britain, edging out the Hindujas to the second position, The Sunday Times reported today.

Fortynine-year-old Lakshmi Mittal, who also launched the Asian digital film channel last year, is slated to be worth 2.2 billion.

Mr Sri Chand and Mr Gopi Chand Hinduja, Chairman and President of the Hinduja group of companies, respectively, who held the top slot last year, are adjudged as the second richest Asians in Britain with worth of 1.95 billion.

The Hindujas have holdings in Gulf oil, transport and Internet business in India, the report said.

Lord Swaraj Paul, Chairman of the Caparo steel business, is Britain’s third richest Asian with 330 million worth with his family.
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WORLD BRIEFS

USA turns down Russia’s proposal
WASHINGTON: The USA has turned down three Russian proposals for a sharp reduction in the number of strategic nuclear warheads each will have in its armoury. “We don’t want to go any lower (than 2,000 or 2,500 strategic warheads for each side) because we need these weapons for nuclear deterrence,” US State Department spokesman James Rubin said. At present, both Russia and the USA have 6,000 warheads each. The USA is prepared to reduce the number to 2,000 to 2,500 for each side while the Russians have proposed 500 to 1500 warheads. — PTI

Mother admonishes President
SANTIAGO: Barely a few hours after taking office, Chile’s President Ricardo Lagos got a first reprimand and an offer of help... from his centenarian mother. “Why do you get involved in these things,” Emma Escobar, 103, told him as he entered the presidential palace in the heart of Santiago. “So much work, you must be so tired,” she said softly as her son leaned toward the wheelchair in which she was seated. — AFP

Stephanopoulos sworn in
ATHENS: President Costis Stephanopoulos was sworn in for a second five-year term as Greece’s head of state on Saturday, more than a month after being re-elected by Parliament. Stephanopoulous, (74) took the oath of office in Parliament in the presence of Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the Chamber’s 300 Deputies. — AFP

Blair baby due on May 24
LONDON: Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife Cherie has disclosed during a visit to Saint Petersburg, Russia, that the couple’s fourth child is expected on May 24. During a guided tour of the Petrodvorets Palace just outside Russia’s second city, Cherie Blair on Saturday specified the date to a Russian TV journalist who is expecting her own baby four days earlier. — AFP

Rare book sold for $ 8.8m
NEW YORK: Birds of America by John James Audubon sold for $ 8.8 million, a record for a printed book at an auction, Christie’s auction house said. The original four-volume subscriber set of the book by the American ornithologist was estimated to sell for $ 4 million at Friday’s auction, Christie said in a statement. — AFP

Find missing e-mails, White House told
WASHINGTON: A US judge has given the White House two weeks to search for missing e-Mails and backup tapes in response to accusations that thousands of electronic messages under subpoenas by a federal grand jury and three congressional committees are missing. Judge Lamberth warned Justice Department lawyer James Gilligan, who represents the executive office of the President, on Friday not to tamper with or destroy and documents that might be found. — PTI

Turkey chooses US combat chopper
BERLIN: Turkey has chosen constructor Bell Helicopter-Textron and its Cobra AH-1 model to supply Ankara with 145 combat helicopters, German daily Die Welt reported on Sunday. Die Welt said Turkey had opted for the Cobra because that model had been adapted for the Israeli and American armies, with whom Ankara could collaborate. — AFPTop

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