|Wednesday, March 15, 2000,
Pak on Kashmir,experts tell Clinton
lawyers end trial boycott
for probe into Leftists massacre
wins trust vote
admits assaulting Anwar
security for Clinton in Pak
still in coma
|US sanctions on Iran extended
WASHINGTON, March 14 US President Bill Clinton has extended 1995 sanctions that ban US oil companies from singing contracts with Iran, citing Tehrans continuing support of international terrorism and lack of support for the West Asia peace process.
3 die in renewed clashes
first cloned pigs
Warn Pak on Kashmir,experts tell Clinton
WASHINGTON, March 14 (UNI) Some 22 US foreign policy experts have urged President Bill Clinton to make known to Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, during his brief stopover in Islamabad, that the USA will have little option but to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism if it continued to support violence and insurgency in Kashmir.
Such a designation entails the imposition of economic and other sanctions against the country under the current US law.
You should voice strong criticism of their provocative posture toward the Kashmir insurgency, making clear that they (Pakistani rulers) and their country will not be better off if Pakistan foments a war with India over Kashmir or anything else, they said in an open letter to Mr Clinton, released here last night.
It wanted Mr Clinton to ask Pakistani leaders to adopt a more realistic approach to what diplomacy might accomplish vis-a-vis Kashmir in the foreseeable future and drop their insistence that Kashmir constitute the core of any dialogue with India.
The letter maintained that President Clinton was right in visiting Pakistan, a country in danger of failing.
The experts, who constitute an independent task force, warned the President to resist the temptation to place ambitious nuclear weapons-related goals at the centre of US aims vis-a-vis India.
Any attempt to persuade India to eliminate its nuclear arsenal would fail and poison the atmosphere for the constructive discussion of issues, they said.
They urged both India and Pakistan to take steps to reduce the chance of conflict over Kashmir, but advised the USA to get directly involved in diplomacy relating to Kashmir only if all parties so desired.
South Asia was a far
more dangerous place than it was one or two years ago and
relations between India and Pakistan have sunk to a
dangerous level, one that could all too easily lead to
conflict, they said.
Sharifs lawyers end trial boycott
KARACHI, March 14 (AP) After two days of pleading, the deposed Pakistani PM, Mr Nawaz Sharif, today told the court that his lawyers have agreed to end their boycott and defend him in his hijacking trial.
Judge Rehmetullah Hussein Jaffri adjourned the proceedings until Monday to give Mr Sharifs lawyers time to meet their client and prepare their closing arguments, which they will give next week.
Mr Sharifs lawyers staged their boycott to press a demand that the trial be moved out of Karachi after a colleague was shot and killed in a brazen daylight attack last week.
But after several telephone calls from Mr Sharif, Mr Khawaja Sultan, who was in the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, agreed to return to Karachi.
The prosecution earlier said the Sindh provincial government would provide additional security for the defence lawyers. They will also provide housing for them in Karachi, rather than having them stay at a hotel. Lead defence lawyer Khawaja Sultan told Reuters from Lahore that after talking to Mr Sharif he would return to Karachi and meet his client tomorrow morning.
We will see the security measures and consult with our client... if our client wants us in Karachi we will have to do so, Sultan said.
Mr Sharifs lawyers stayed away from the proceedings for two court sessions after one of their colleagues, Mr Iqbal Raad, was gunned down in his office here on Friday, and had demanded that the trial be shifted out of the port city.
No one has claimed responsibility and have police have not established a motive for the daylight attack, in which two other people were also killed.
Prosecutors had opposed shifting of the venue, and said the government was prepared to provide full security to the defence team, most of whom are from other parts of Pakistan.
Mr Raja Qureshi, Advocate-General for Sindh province, told reporters Jafri had adjourned the hearing until next Monday, when the prosecution will begin its final arguments. The defence is expected to start its final arguments on March 24.
Wahid for probe into Leftists massacre
JAKARTA, March 14 (AP) Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid said today that he would support an unprecedented judicial probe into the massacre of hundreds of thousands of alleged Communists in the late 1960s.
The governments task is to follow up the findings of the investigations. To punish those... who are found guilty, Mr Wahid said in an interview with state-run TVRI television.
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian Leftists were slaughtered in the aftermath of an abortive coup in 1965. The purge was conduct by Maj-Gen Suharto, who later took over as head of state from then-President Sukarno.
Mr Suhartos supporters in the Army claimed the coup attempt had been backed by the Indonesian Communist Party.
Official statistics says that between 450,000 and 500,000 people were killed in the carnage that followed the uprising. At estimated 600,000 suspects were detained without charge.
Frankly speaking, I have apologised long ago over the killings of those alleged members of the Communist party, Mr Wahid said.
Meanwhile, President Wahid said some senior military officers were lining up against him, but said any challenge would fail because he had the peoples support.
I know several military commanders are gathering strength to stand against me, he said on TVRI. It does happen. (But) I have nothing to worry about... the people are behind me. If someone is supported by the people, he should not be afraid of anything. Let (the commanders) face me.
Barak wins trust vote
JERUSALEM, March 14 (Reuters) Israel intends to hand over villages near Jerusalem to full Palestinian control soon, state-owned media reported, stirring the ire of Israeli hardliners who oppose any concessions near the holy city.
The Jerusalem-area villages of Anata and Abediya are part of a handover map drawn in consultation with Palestinian officials, government-owned channel one television said late yesterday.
Israel has resisted a key Palestinian demand that areas near Jerusalem be part of a promised but postponed withdrawal from a further 6.1 per cent of the West Bank.
Israel radio said the handover, slated for January 20 under interim peace deals, could take place as early as next week.
On Sunday the map will be presented to the full Cabinet for approval. If approved, the pullout will take place next week, the radio said.
The response of Jewish settlers was swift and biting.
Barak is casting a Palestinian ring of strangulation around the capital, and is partitioning Jerusalem, said Jewish settlement spokesman Yehoshua Mor-Yossef.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Barak narrowly defeated a no-confidence motion that hawks said showed the government could collapse when it faces crucial decisions over Arab-Israeli peace moves.
The hardline opposition Likud said the government could topple in a new no-confidence vote expected in about 10 days time. The upcoming motion will be in opposition to expanding Palestinian rule over areas near Jerusalem, it said.
Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh, who often enunciates Baraks policy, has spoken in recent weeks of a creative solution to the Jerusalem issue.
Analysts say the solution is likely to take the form of Palestinian control of areas near the present Israeli-defined municipal limits, an arrangement that could afford Palestinians a compromise Jerusalem capital.
The talks are expected to resume in Washington after the Id holiday, which begins later this week.
Noor admits assaulting Anwar
KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 (Reuters) A former Malaysian police chief today pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assaulting ex-Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim in a police cell in 1998.
Former Inspector-General of Police Abdul Rahim Noor made the plea on the first day of his trial after prosecutors rewrote the charge against him, reducing the maximum sentence to one year in jail from 42 months under an earlier charge.
Opposition politicians and a Rights group criticised the decision by government prosecutors to lessen the charge, saying that it was at odds with the seriousness of the beating which a doctor said Mr Anwar was lucky to survive.
Mr Anwar says that he was beaten until unconscious while blindfolded and handcuffed in Federal police headquarters on September 20, 1998, the night he was arrested at his suburban home after leading an anti-government protest through the capital.
I find you guilty, Sessions Court Judge Akhtar Tahir said, saying he would announce the sentence at 9 a.m. (06.30 a.m. IST) tomorrow. Mr Anwar was not present in the courtroom.
Canine security for Clinton in Pak
ISLAMABAD, March 14 (Reuters) Pakistans latest weapon to prevent explosions during the US President Bill Clintons visit later this month has four legs and a wet nose and chews through a couple of pounds of meat a day.
The police is already scouring Islamabad, where Clinton is set to make a brief stopover on March 25 after a five-day visit to India, using specially trained dogs to sniff out any possible bombs in streets or crowded markets.
Using dogs to detect bombs, while common in other countries, is a novelty in Pakistan even though bomb attacks and other explosions are frequent occurences.
Until recently, Islamabad was mostly untouched by those attacks, but that changed in November when six rockets were launched in a coordinated attack on US and United Nations offices.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which slightly injured one guard and came two days before UN sanctions, backed by the USA, were to go into effect against Afghanistans ruling Taleban movement for not surrendering terrorism suspect Osama Bin Laden.
Hajjarian still in coma
TEHRAN, March 14 (AP) Iranians were urged today to pray for an Iranian reformer gravely wounded in an assassination attempt.
In Iran, such an appeal usually indicates little hope for recovery and imminent death.
Mr Saeed Hajjarian has been in a coma with a bullet lodged in the back of his neck since Sunday when he was shot at in the face by an unknown assailant.
US sanctions on Iran extended
WASHINGTON, March 14 (DPA) US President Bill Clinton has extended 1995 sanctions that ban US oil companies from singing contracts with Iran, citing Tehrans continuing support of international terrorism and lack of support for the West Asia peace process.
In a letter to the House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert, yesterday, Mr Clinton said the conditions that led him to impose the ban in March 1995 remained.
The actions and policies of the Government of Iran, including support for international terrorism, its efforts to undermine the Middle East peace process, and its acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the USA, Mr Clinton wrote.
3 die in renewed clashes
JAKARTA, March 14 (DPA) Renewed clashes between Muslims and Christians in Indonesias strife-torn Maluccas islands have claimed the lives of at least three persons and injured dozens of others, the official Antara news agency reported today.
The Muslim-Christian fighting resumed yesterday in several villages of the West Gane sub-district on Halmahera island of North Maluku province. Dozens of homes were set ablaze, the news agency said.
About 500 inhabitants of Kayoa island, armed with bows and arrows, home-made bombs and Molotov cocktails, attacked residents of Boso village on the island.
The violence was brought under control about three hours later after a platoon of soldiers was deployed to put a stop to the religious and ethnic fighting.
Last week, at least 30
persons were killed and scores of others injured in
similar Muslim-Christian fighting on North Halmahera
island. Maluccas, also known as the spice islands, have
been plagued by sectarian clashes between Muslims and
Christians since January 1999.
Worlds first cloned pigs
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) Britains PPL Therapeutics, the company that gave the world Dolly, the sheep, today said it had developed the worlds first cloned pig.
Five healthy piglets Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel and Dotcom were cloned from adult cells and born on March 5, the company said in a statement.
It opens the door to making modified pigs whose organs and cells can be successfully transplanted into humans the only near-term solution to solving the worldwide organ shortage crisis, PPL said.
killed in cracker factory explosion
Tussaud to have
killed last year : report
hubby to get $ 220 million
papers given to museum
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