Sunday, October 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Warrant issued for Bhutto’s arrest

ISLAMABAD, Oct 28 (AFP) — A Pakistani court has issued non-bailable arrest warrant against former Premier Benazir Bhutto for failing to appear before it to answer corruption charges, court officials said today.

The court, sitting in Rawalpindi, issued the warrant yesterday against the former Prime Minister, who ruled from 1988 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to November 1996.

The court ordered that Bhutto, currently living in self-exile abroad, be arrested and brought before it on November 10

A similar warrant against her in the past could not be implemented.

She has been charged with misusing powers to acquire illegal wealth and owning undeclared assets worth around $ 1.5 billion in foreign countries, the officials said.

Bhutto and her jailed spouse, Asif Ali Zardari, were sentenced to five years in another graft case in April last year for receiving kickbacks from a Swiss firm on a pre-shipment cargo inspection contract.

The couple attributed the charges to vitimisation by political arch-rival and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a military coup in October last year.

Zardari, who also faces other criminal charges, has been in jail since 1996, while Bhutto left Pakistan before the verdict in the kickbacks case and has been living abroad. Appeals lodged by the couple are pending before the Supreme Court.

The two former Prime Ministers, who top the list of persons accused of corruption, have blamed the junta for persecuting political leaders to pave the way for the continuation of the dictatorial rule in the country.Back


Pakistan closes skies to USA
Attack likely on Laden

KARACHI, Oct 28 (Reuters) — Pakistan today said it would not allow the USA to cross its airspace to attack Afghanistan-based Osama-bin Laden, the Saudi militant accused of attacking US targets.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said Washington had not sought permission for such an attack two years ago and stated that Pakistan would make an international protest if the USA violated its airspace again.

In 1998 US warships fired cruise missiles at camps in Afghanistan it thought were run by Bin Laden, who Washington accused of bombing two US Embassies in Africa. He has been named as a suspect in this month’s suicide attack on a US destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden.

“Pakistan did not allow the use of our airspace for any such attack on Afghanistan in the past, Pakistan will not do so now,’’ Mr Sattar told a Karachi press conference.

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