Saturday, September 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA prepares for war
Senate approves use of force
T. V. Parasuram

Washington, September 14
The US strategy to move decisively against perpetrators of the devastating terrorist strikes was today set in motion with the Senate unanimously approving the use of force as Washington awaited a response from Pakistan for lending logistical and ground support for possible military strikes against prime suspect Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

The Senate also approved $ 40 billion in emergency aid, part of which is to be utilised to hunt down those responsible for attacks in New York and Washington, even as President George W. Bush authorised a call up of 50,000 reserves.

The call up of the reserves is one of the first public steps in US military preparation for a sustained campaign against terrorists and the states that sponsor them.

“The President is authorised to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organisations or persons he determines planned, authorised, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11 or harboured such organisations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the USA by such nations, organisations or persons,” the resolution passed by the Senate said.

With the threat of military action looming large, Taliban supremo Mullah Mohammad Omar hardened his position vowing to take revenge, in sharp contrast to yesterday’s appeal by the militia leaders to the USA to desist from launching any military action.

“We are ready to pay any price to defend ourselves and to take our revenge,” Omar’s spokesman was quoted by AFP as saying.

Even as investigators fanned across Europe and West Asia pursuing “thousands of leads” into the terrorist strikes at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, FBI agents foiled a hijacking attempt by apprehending 10 persons allegedly carrying fake id cards and pilot licences and knives at JFK airport.

The authorities have identified 50 suspects said to be directly or indirectly involved in the devastating strikes.

“Black boxes” from two of the four hijacked planes used in the strikes that could give crucial clues on the happenings before they crashed have been recovered.

Rao Chalasani adds a poster for his missing sister Swarna on a wall outside Bellevue hospital on Thursday.
Rao Chalasani adds a poster for his missing sister Swarna on a wall outside Bellevue hospital on Thursday. Swarna was working on the 94th floor of the World Trade Center when the disaster hit on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

Efforts to search for possible survivors in the debris of collapsed WTC skyscrapper were hampered by a severe thunder storm that struck Manhattan this morning.

Ninetyfour bodies had so far been pulled from the debris and 47 identified as the toll of the missing persons crossed 5,000, New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani said.

A national day of prayers was held across the USA in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks. A day of mourning was also declared throughout the European Union.

Officials in Pakistan would not disclose details of the US demands.

Pakistan’s intelligence chief, Lt-Gen Mehmood Ahmed, heading talks in Washington, told US officials that his country needed time to consider the demands, the senior Pakistani official said on customary condition of anonymity.

He said the USA was discussing a comprehensive strike to wipe out a whole network of terrorists operating from secret bases in Afghanistan.

Powell said yesterday that when the Bush administration is certain who sent suicidal hijackers on their horrific mission, “We will go after that group, that network and those that have harboured, supported and aided that network, to rip that network up.”

And, he added grimly, “when we are through with that network, we will continue with a global assault against terrorism in general.”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army closed Islamabad International Airport (PIA) to commercial flights for two and a half hours before dawn today for movement of military equipment, officials at the aviation regulatory body said.

“It was a unscheduled closure...and there was some very intense movement of military hardware,” a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters.

He said the airport was sealed off from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. (local time).

An official of the state-run PIA said two of its scheduled flights to Islamabad were diverted to Karachi because of the closure.

Saulat Raza, director of the military’s Inter-Services Public Relations Department, declined to comment and it was not clear if the closure was linked to possible US retaliation on Afghanistan for the terror attacks on Washington and New York. PTI


Bush declares national emergency

Washington, September 14
US President George W. Bush today declared a national emergency after history’s worst terrorist attacks left New York’s World Trade Center in ruins and damaged part of the Pentagon. AFP



Islamabad looks towards Beijing for guidance
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
Faced with the dilemma of whether or not to cooperate with the United States of America on her possible action against the Afghanistan-based terrorist hideouts, Islamabad is reportedly looking towards Beijing for guidance and advice.

While China has stated officially that it was against all forms of terrorism, it at the same time reportedly is of the view that any US or NATO action against the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist air strikes in New York and Washington DC should be taken in a transparent manner and after due consultations.

“We are opposed to all kinds of international terrorism. Of course, we are opposed to terrorism in other regions including those in South Asia. In particular, we are opposed to international terrorism affecting China’s sovereignty and rights and interests”, Chinese Foreign Ministry top bureaucrat Wang Yi said last month talking to visiting Indian reporters.

“While combating terrorism, we need to be guided by the basic laws of the international community, such as respecting the legitimate rights and interests of the sovereign states”, Mr Wang observed.

China has all along maintained that Pakistan was its ‘old friend’. The Sino-Pakistan axis, which has existed between both Beijing and Islamabad, is for the first time under serious test, observers here said.

Beijing has reportedly told Islamabad through diplomatic channels that it should act in accordance with its vital national interests and that it should not agree to the entire US wish list. It should also try and extract a price for its compliance.

Meanwhile, Washington is already in touch with Beijing to solicit its nod for a concerted action against those responsible for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on this Tuesday.

Sources said that China is following a twin-pronged strategy of condemning the act publicly on the one hand and on the other offering its assistance for a price.

Washington knows full well that Beijing has been assisting Pakistan in its nuclear and missiles programme and it has considerable clout over Islamabad.

On the other hand, China is playing its cards deftly as Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organisation would require cooperation from developed and industrialised nations.

China will like that the US relents on its plan of missile defence system and should also tone down Beijing’s record of human rights and over and above West should speed up its investments. China will like to use the present crisis in the western world to its advantage and Islamabad can be an effective instrument to achieve its long term objectives.


Pak willing to allow use of airspace: report

Washington, September 14
Pakistan is willing to allow its airspace to the USA to launch strikes on the hideouts of Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the terrorist attacks in America, in Afghanistan, but is hesitant to permit the ground troops fearing violent protests by militant Islamic groups in the country.

Washington Post, quoting Pakistan military officials from Islamabad today, said while the country could allow US warplanes to strike targets in Afghanistan overflying Pakistan, it cannot permit US ground troops to operate against Afghanistan from Pakistan because of popular sentiment that would be aroused by such action. PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |