|Friday, March 17, 2000,
Execution of Pak child
bans rallies, strikes
|Musharrafs claim contested
WASHINGTON, March 16 Two prominent Democratic Congressmen, accompanying President Clinton during his trip to India next week, have taken exception to Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharrafs claim that the Presidents decision to have a brief stop-over in Pakistan was a recognition of the righteousness of our stand on Kashmir.
Sanctions handicap WB
to remain in Chechnya permanently
Execution of Pak child killer ordered
LAHORE, March 16 (AP) A Lahore court today sentenced Javed Iqbal to death for multiple murder in the countrys worst serial killing.
Iqbal was found guilty of killing as many as 100 children and sentenced to be publicly executed in a Lahore park. He can appeal his conviction and sentence.
You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed. And your body will then be cut into a 100 pieces and put in acid the same way you killed the children, said Judge Allah Baksh Ranja when he handed down the sentence.
The trial has generated strong emotions in Pakistan, where multiple murders are a rarity.
Iqbal initially confessed to the killings in a letter last year to the police. He said he strangled the children, dismembered their bodies and placed them in a vat of acid. He later recanted his confession. The children were apparently sexually abused before being killed.
In his letter, Iqbal led the police to his home where they found a blue vat in which the remains of two bodies were found. The police also found in the house pictures of 100 children, whom Iqbal in his letter confessed to having killed. They also found clothes belonging to the young victims.
Parents of the missing children were contacted and one by one they passed the pictures and waded through the clothes to try to identify their missing child. Most of the children were identified, however, the police did not recover any more bodies.
In January Iqbal walked into the Lahore office of a leading newspaper and turned himself in. He refused to go directly to the police saying he feared for his life.
Many of the children, whose picture or clothes were identified by relatives, were among the citys poorest. Some were beggars, others were among the army of children in Pakistan who work on the streets selling goods, and still others had left home and never returned.
According to the letter sent to the police, Iqbal said he killed the children after being wrongly picked up by the police and badly beaten while in custody. In his letter he said he went on a killing rampage in retaliation to the police abuse.
The police in Pakistan conducted one of their biggest manhunts in their search for Iqbal. A number of persons were picked up and questioned, including several of his relatives.
Pakistan bans rallies, strikes
ISLAMABAD, March 16 (Reuters) Pakistans military government has banned open air political rallies and strikes, saying the step was taken to restore order and harmony in the society.
A statement after a meeting of military ruler Gen Parvez Musharrafs cabinet yesterday said indoor political meetings would be allowed, but the use of loudspeakers there would be prohibited.
The ban was the first to be imposed on political activity since the Army Chief ousted Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in October. It comes 10 days before U.S. President Bill Clinton is to make a brief trip to Islamabad.
The federal government has decided to impose a ban, with immediate effect, on all political meetings in public places, strikes and processions as the country cannot afford the luxury of agitation and violence-prone politics which disrupts the normal public life, the government statement said.
Indoor meetings are permitted. However, the use of loudspeakers for such political meetings is prohibited, it added.
Despite the absence of such a ban after the October 12 coup, few political rallies have been held. But Mr Sharifs wife Kulsoom has addressed some rallies in recent weeks denouncing the coup and the arrest and trial of her husband on charges for which he could be sentenced to death.
The main object of the government is the restoration of order and harmony in society with a view to providing security and prosperity to citizens, the government statement said.
It said the government had received reports that elements working against the interest of the state are preparing and planning hostile acts to create chaos and portray Pakistan as an irresponsible state.