Saturday, September 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA readies to ease sanctions

Washington, September 21
The State Department has notified Congress that it is taking steps to ease sanctions against Pakistan and India, administration and congressional sources said today.

Key House members were briefed yesterday and Senators were being briefed today, all behind closed doors, said a House Republican aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The plan is to ease the sanctions early next week, he said.

An administration official said a final decision had not been made and that the Administration consulted Congress about the sanctions policy and how best to try to curb the spread of dangerous technology.

The official, who declined to be identified, said it will be President George Bush’s decision and indications were the sanctions would be eased.

Sen Joseph R. Biden Jr, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, in a statement said this week that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had promised his nation’s “full unstinting support to us, at the time we need it most.”

The chairman of the House International Relations Committee Rep Henry Hyde, said he, too was grateful for Pakistan’s support.

“We have to give something to them, and I think the sanctions have outlived their usefulness,” Mr Hyde said.

The Bush Administration is giving classified briefings to Congress on plans to lift nuclear sanctions on India and Pakistan.

State Department number three Marc Grossman has been gauging opinion in both the House of Representatives and the Senate on easing the restrictions.

The process was highlighted earlier today when a senior western diplomat in Islamabad said the sanctions would soon be removed.

The diplomat said Washington would also reschedule $ 600 million in debt with Pakistan through the Paris Club of International Creditors next week, to help Islamabad through the instability created by possible US strikes against Afghanistan.

Mr Grossman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, gave a closed door briefing to members of the House or Representatives International Relations Committee this week, a congressional source said. AFP, APBack


Strike hits life in valley
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 21
The police lobbed teargas shells to disperse demonstrators when anti-US slogans were raised and the US flag was burnt in Jamia Masjid area here today even as life was paralysed in the valley in response to the militants’ strike call which was opposed by APHC.

The demonstrators in interior parts of Srinagar city, particularly Jamia Masjid area, raised anti-US slogans and pelted stones at the police. They raised slogans in favour of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

All shops and business establishments, remained closed here with skeletal traffic on roads. The strike was observed in all major towns of the valley.



Hizbul militant held in Delhi
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 21
The Delhi police arrested a militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit of Jammu and Kashmir from Jama Masjid area of Central Delhi. He was involved in several terrorist activities in the valley. He came to the Capital to obtain a Saudi Arabia visa where he wanted to go for Umra, a religious practice, the police said.


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