Sunday, September 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

UN Council votes for crackdown on terrorism

United Nation/Islamabad, September 29
Military strikes against Afghanistan appeared increasingly imminent amid reports of the US Special Forces conducting scouting missions in the country and the UN Security Council adopting a US-sponsored resolution to pave the way for a crackdown on financial assets of suspected terrorists and a global effort to combat terrorism.

Hopes for finding a diplomatic solution to the stand-off were dashed after a Pakistani delegation returned from Kandahar from its mission after failing to persuade the Taliban rulers to hand over Osama bin Laden.

Apparently bracing for the war, Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar appointed his aide Jalaluddin Haqqani as Commander-in-Chief of 60,000-strong militia’s forces, which also has 70 Stinger missiles given by the USA during their confrontation with Soviet troops in 1980.

The appointment of Haqqani, one of the senior army commanders who played a prominent role during the Afghan war against the Soviet forces, is considered to be significant as he belongs to an Afghan tribe that has a large number of fighters in its ranks.

Haqqani has been asked to establish his command base at Khost, about 260 km south-west of Pakistan border town of Kohat, ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon today denied reports about the arrest of three commandos of the USA in Afghanistan, Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported, quoting British ITN radio station.

According to the report, Pentagon spokesman Brian Cabell said the information about the arrest of three US servicemen was “absolutely false.” The Taliban have also refuted the report about the arrest of US commandos in the territory under their control. In an interview with Reuters, the Foreign Minister of the Taliban said no one had penetrated into Afghanistan.

The report on the alleged apprehension of US commandos in Afghanistan had earlier been broadcast by Quatar’s satellite TV channel Al-Jazira, which, in turn, received the information from a source affiliated with the Daga political organisation led by Laden.

US officials have said that American special operations troops have slipped into Afghanistan on a small number of reconnaissance missions.

According to a report from Moscow, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan is regrouping its forces for a massive offensive as it expects the us to launch strikes on the country on October 1.

In an effort to stem the rising wave of terrorism across the world, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously approved a US-sponsored resolution resolution demanding that all states immediately crack down on all sources of financial and logistical support for terrorism.

The resolution, which comes almost two weeks after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, demands that financing of terrorism operations be criminalised and all states stop providing safe haven to anyone who support terrorists or their organisations.

The resolution, which invokes Article 7 of the UN Charter that makes its provision enforceable, was approved by 15 members set up by the Council.

But it stopped short of providing for mandatory sanctions against those who violate it. However, it does express the Council determination to take all necessary steps to ensure its full implementation.

The USA sponsored the resolution in wake of worldwide demands that it build the coalition against terrorism through the United Nations.

The resolution draws its language and provision from a dozen anti-terrorism conventions adopted by the General Assembly over last three decades though not all member states have ratified each of them. PTI


No war’, say American protesters

Washington, September 29
Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Washington today protesting potential US military action in retaliation for the attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Flanked by dozens of police in riot gear and followed by city buses for potential arrests, the protesters carried signs saying “No war” to urge the Bush administration to avoid military conflict. “We are marching for an alternative to the war that Mr Bush is proposing,” said Mr Piper Joseph, 26, an environmental consultant. Some protesters carried Palestinian flags.

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