Thursday, October 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Food convoys reach Kabul
Kabul, October 3
Urgently needed United Nations humanitarian relief convoys reached the Afghan capital, Kabul, today and aid workers said the hardline ruling Taliban were cooperating.


A porter loads sacks onto a truck in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday. The United Nations World Food Programme says it has managed to take several hundred tonnes of wheat to various parts of Afghansitan without any security risk over the past several days.  —  Reuters photo

A porter loads sacks onto a truck in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday.

Rally against Pak support to USA
Karachi, October 3
Hundreds of people thronged the streets of Karachi on Tuesday in yet another demonstration against the military government’s “unstinted support” to the United States of America.

Anti-Taliban forces claim success
Peshawar (Pakistan), October 3
Anti-Taliban forces claimed to have moved within 2 km of Chakcharan, the capital of the militia-held Ghor province in Central Afghanistan, the Afghan Islamic Press reported today.


Kamaljit Kaur, center rear, and her children Sehaj Singh, 2, center front, and Tejasvir Singh, 8, left, take part in a candlelight vigil at Centennial Park in Atlanta in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Kamaljit Kaur, centre rear, and her children Sehaj Singh, 2, centre front, and Tejasvir Singh, 8, left, take part in a candlelight vigil at Centennial Park in Atlanta in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday in Atlanta. The vigil was sponsored by the United Georgia Indian-American Community and attracted more than 400 people. — AP/PTI photo

 
Video: Real Player
Northern Alliance soldiers have been moving up to frontline positions north of Kabul, ahead of a possible US-led offensive against the Taliban.
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Hundreds of people in Karachi took to streets on Tuesday to denounce the military government for its "unstinted support" to the USA.
(28k, 56k)

Laden ‘may have N-arms’
Paris, October 3
A leading US expert on arms control has said there was “evidence” that Osama bin Laden had tried to get nuclear and biological weapons and may already have some toxic chemical agents.

Masood’s kin exposes Pak doublespeak
London, October 3
Pakistan has helped to send thousands of fighters into Afghanistan over the past three days, while claiming that it is backing the U.S. war against terrorism, late Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood’s brother has said.

Retired fireman from New York Robert "Bob" Beckwith wears a helmet as he poses with his trophy late on Tuesday in Mainz, western Germany. In the TV show "Courage - A Prize for Humanity," 69-year old Beckwith was awarded for his engagement in saving victims of the World Trade Center attack. — AP/PTI photo Retired fireman from New York, Robert "Bob" Beckwith wears a helmet as he poses with his trophy late Tuesday in Mainz, western Germany.

EARLIER STORIES

Move for Afghan elders’ meeting gains momentum
October 3
, 2001
Pressure mounts on Pak to replace Taliban govt
October 2
, 2001
Focus shifts to hijackers’ European links
October 1
, 2001
Taliban not averse to talks with USA
September 30
, 2001
UN chief for $ 584 m to feed, shelter Afghan refugees
September 29
, 2001
Liberate Kabul from Taliban yoke: ex-king
September 28
, 2001
7.5 m Afghan refugees will suffer from hunger, cold: UN
September 27
, 2001
Attack plan bid to install pro-US govt: Omar
September 26
, 2001
Kazakh support for US action
September 25
, 2001
Bin Laden’s men leave Al-Qaida camps, disperse
September 24
, 2001
  USA identifies 23 militant bases
Washington, October 3
The US intelligence agencies have identified 23 militant bases in Afghanistan as well as some Taliban military forces as targets in President George W. Bush’s campaign against terrorism, the Washington Times reported on Wednesday.

Russia may no longer oppose NATO
Brussels, October 3
President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia would reconsider its opposition to NATO’s further expansion if Moscow were more involved in the process. Russia has, until now been opposed fiercely to the inclusion of the three former Soviet Baltic states in the 19-nation Western Alliance when NATO considers its next wave of enlargement next year.

Khaleda stakes claim to form government
Dhaka, October 3
Armed with a massive electoral mandate, BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia tonight met President Bangladesh Shahbuddin Ahmed and staked claim to form government by Sunday even as her arch rival Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League rubbished the results and threatened to boycott Parliament if its demand for fresh elections was not accepted.

Right Wing Islamic fundamentalist Bangladesh Nationalist Party, or BNP, Chairperson Khaleda Zia makes a point at a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday. — AP/PTI photo

Right Wing Islamic fundamentalist Bangladesh Nationalist Party, or BNP, Chairperson Khaleda Zia makes a point at a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday.

 
Palestinians carry a wounded man after he was shot by Israeli troops during an attack in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. 5 Palestinians killed
Gaza, October 3
An Israeli tank shell killed at least five Palestinians today during an Israeli incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said. Israel launched the operation after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis during a raid yesterday on a Jewish settlement in the area. Israeli soldiers killed the two attackers.



Palestinians carry a wounded man after he was shot by Israeli troops during an attack in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

Neerja case: Pak extradites 5 Arabs
Karachi, October 3
Acceding to the US demand, Pakistan has extradited one of the five Arabs who tried to hijack a Pan Am airliner and ended up killing 32 persons including Indian airhostess Neerja Bhanot, reports SADA news agency.
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Food convoys reach Kabul

Kabul, October 3
Urgently needed United Nations humanitarian relief convoys reached the Afghan capital, Kabul, today and aid workers said the hardline ruling Taliban were cooperating.

“The convoys come without any problem. The Taliban is fully cooperating with us at the distribution sites,’’ said Yosuf Yosufzai, a World Food Programme (WFP) logistical officer in Kabul.

“Along the way we didn’t have any problems... There is no security problem for the transportation of convoys and no restrictions in the distribution,’’ he said.

At various feeding points in the city, the WFP’s main beneficiaries — women swathed in the mandatory all-enveloping burqa, children and elderly men — lined up to receive their rations.

After three years of drought and two decades of war, conditions have deteriorated further since the deadly September 11 hijack plane attacks on the USA, with people fearing US military reprisals fleeing the cities.

Washington says Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan, is the prime suspect behind the attacks on New York and Washington that left nearly 6,000 persons listed as missing or dead. The United Nations has launched a $ 584 million emergency appeal as it prepares for up to 1.5 million Afghans who may try to enter neighbouring countries, with most believed likely to end up in Pakistan and Iran.

The WFP, which halted food convoys after September 11 when the Taliban told all foreign aid workers to leave the country, says at least six million of Afghanistan’s 24 million persons are dependent to some extent on food aid.

TEHERAN: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) will be sending an important humanitarian aid shipment to Herat, western Afghanistan, Unicef sources said on Wednesday.

The 30-tonne shipment is scheduled to arrive tomorrow in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad, near the border with Afghanistan, and comprises 4,000 blankets, 309 medical emergency kits, water and water-purification tablets, and 100 tonnes of wheat.

Unicef said the shipment would help some two million persons for a three-month period. Reuters, AFP
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Rally against Pak support to USA

Karachi, October 3
Hundreds of people thronged the streets of Karachi on Tuesday in yet another demonstration against the military government’s “unstinted support” to the United States of America.

The rally was organised by the Mohib-e-Watan (Patriotic) Party in Keamari, the city’s port area.

The protesters, carrying placards, banners and flags, shouted in support of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the September 11 terrorist attacks, and Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.

They also raised slogans against possible American strikes against Afghanistan which, Washington says, was harbouring Bin Laden.

Leaders from religious parties, including the Jamiat ul Ulmai Islam, the Jamaat Islami, the Sipah-e-Sahaba, the Swad-e-Azam Ahle Sunnat, the Jamiat Ulma Council, the Jamiat Ittehad Ulma, the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadis, and other jehadi parties addressed the protest rally.

The main speaker was Maulana Asad Thanvi, president of the Jamiatul Ulmai Islam (JUI).

“The people of Pakistan will not allow the government to give airbase, integration of intelligence system, air ways or water ways to the American forces attacking brotherly Islamic country Afghanistan. This battle is not against Osama bin Laden or Afghanistan. This battle is against Islam,” said Maulana Thanvi.

He also demanded concrete proof about Bin Laden’s involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington.

“I request the humanity all over the world and the people having any faith that they should stop America and they should stop President Bush who has become mad by starting state terrorism,” Maulana Thanvi added. ANI
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Anti-Taliban forces claim success

Peshawar (Pakistan), October 3
Anti-Taliban forces claimed to have moved within 2 km of Chakcharan, the capital of the militia-held Ghor province in Central Afghanistan, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported today.

Quoting an opposition spokesman Mohammad Habeel in Takhar, northern Afghanistan, the AIP said their forces made an advance of about 15 km to get closer to Chakcharan and are preparing to march on the town soon.

Habeel said the movement was possible after three Taliban commanders with their 75 fighters also defected to the opposition, leading to the fall of the strategically located villages of Adham, Telak, Band-e-Amir and Tajakhaa.

The spokesman also reported fighting on the Lolash frontline in another northern Faryab province but gave no further details.

He, however, confirmed that the Taliban militia had recaptured the centre of the Lolash district on Tuesday. The rest of the district was under our control, Habeel said.

The Taliban, under increasing international pressure to turn over Osama bin Laden still control some 90 per cent of Afghanistan. DPA
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Laden ‘may have N-arms’

Paris, October 3
A leading US expert on arms control has said there was “evidence” that Osama bin Laden had tried to get nuclear and biological weapons and may already have some toxic chemical agents.

Michael Moodie, president of Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute, an independent thinktank in Washington, said he had “no doubt” that Bin Laden would use such weapons of mass destruction “if he could.”

Moodie is a former assistant director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Bureau for Multilateral Affairs and a former senior negotiator, under the Clinton administration, at talks to beef up a 1972 global treaty on biological weapons.

BERLIN: A total of 214 bank accounts containing deposits amounting to some $3.5 million have so far been frozen in Germany in efforts to crack down on financial support for terrorism, according to an announcement made by the economy ministry.

In a notice in Tuesday’s official government gazette, the ministry has also ordered the closure of other accounts relating to 26 individuals and entities which figured on a list issued by Mr George W. Bush last week as being linked to terrorism, the statement said.

THE HAGUE: The Netherlands has frozen assets worth a total of $500,000 in two bank accounts belonging to people or organisations believed to be linked to terrorism, the finance ministry has said.

SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank on Wednesday ordered a block on any accounts held by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaida group. AFP
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Masood’s kin exposes Pak doublespeak
Sanjay Suri

London, October 3
Pakistan has helped to send thousands of fighters into Afghanistan over the past three days, while claiming that it is backing the U.S. war against terrorism, late Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood’s brother has said.

“These fighters have been going into Pakistan within at least the knowledge of the Pakistani military,” Mr Ahmed Wali Masood, who has been charge d’affaires of the pre-Taliban government in London, said in an interview. Mr Masood said he had authentic information on the movement of these fighters into Afghanistan from key leaders of the Northern Alliance — that his brother led for many years. Mr Masood was assassinated in northern Afghanistan days before the September 11 U.S. terror attacks.

“Our people in the field have given us information about convoys coming into Afghanistan from the Pakistan side and digging in,” Mr Masood said. “The people going in are mainly Arab and Pakistani.”

He said the movement had picked up over the past two to three days. “We have to watch Pakistan very carefully. General (Pervez) Musharraf claims now to be committed to the alliance against terrorism, but it is the same general’s, ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) that has established a network of terrorists inside Afghanistan.”

He alleged the thousands of Arabs and Pakistanis already inside Afghanistan “could only have gone in through Pakistan. There is no other way they could have reached Afghanistan, and so we should be very careful in believing that the Pakistani military and the ISI will now fight their own people.”

Mr Masood said he had warned western governments before that they were being misled by Pakistan. “If they had heeded such warnings, then all these tragedies would not have taken place.” he said.

General Musharraf was not the only general in Pakistan, Mr Masood said. “There are other generals and the ISI working hand in glove with the ISI, (Afghanistan’s ruling) Taliban and (Saudi exile) Osama bin Laden,” he said. “They are a part of the same deal and action.”

Fighters from Arab countries enter Pakistan with Pakistani visas before moving on to Afghanistan. “They come to Pakistani airports, they cross the border from Pakistan, they get their supplies, their weapons, their oil, their food, their money all from Pakistan.” “Two months back, Musharraf had said certain religious groups are holding all of Pakistan hostage. Now he says these groups have no camps inside Pakistan. The general is contradicting himself,” Mr Masood said. “Either he has lost his memory or he gets away with lying all the time.” IANS
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USA identifies 23 militant bases

Washington, October 3
The US intelligence agencies have identified 23 militant bases in Afghanistan as well as some Taliban military forces as targets in President George W. Bush’s campaign against terrorism, the Washington Times reported on Wednesday.

Citing US officials, the newspaper said the 23 training camps were located throughout the Central Asian nation and included sites near the cities of Kabul and Jalalabad.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a group of former US government officials last week that numerous “high-value” targets inside Afghanistan had been targeted, the Washington Times said, citing a participant at the meeting.

NEW YORK: The Pentagon plans to minimise the use of Pakistani bases in a military strike against Afghanistan so as not to destabilise a key ally. The New York Times reported on Wednesday in its online edition.

The Pentagon fears that an extensive deployment in Pakistan could destabilise a critical but volatile ally that has tested nuclear weapons, the report quoting senior Bush administration officials said.

A senior Pakistani official said the USA had not asked to station ground troops in Pakistan and he did not expect the US military to deploy fighter jets, bombers or other aircraft for extended periods of time, the newspaper reported. Reuters
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Russia may no longer oppose NATO

Brussels, October 3
President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia would reconsider its opposition to NATO’s further expansion if Moscow were more involved in the process.

Russia has, until now been opposed fiercely to the inclusion of the three former Soviet Baltic states in the 19-nation Western Alliance when NATO considers its next wave of enlargement next year.

“As for NATO expansion, one can take another, an entirely new look at this...if NATO takes on a different shade and is becoming a political organisation. Of course we would reconsider our position with regard to such expansion if we were to feel involved in such processes,’’ Putin told a joint news conference with European Union leaders.

In his most conciliatory comments so far, the Russian leader said it was essential to devise a joint mechanism for Moscow and the 19-nation Western Alliance to fight the common threat of terrorism.

“They keep saying that NATO is becoming more political than military. We are looking at this and watching this process. If this is to be so, it would change things considerably,’’ he said. Reuters
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Khaleda stakes claim to form government

Dhaka, October 3
Armed with a massive electoral mandate, BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia tonight met President Bangladesh Shahbuddin Ahmed and staked claim to form government by Sunday even as her arch rival Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League rubbished the results and threatened to boycott Parliament if its demand for fresh elections was not accepted.

Begum Zia (56) who steered BNP-led four-party combine to two-thirds majority in the 300-member Jatiya Sangsad (National Parliament), requested the President to ensure the formal notification of election results at the earliest, BNP Secretary-General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan told reporters after the 50-minute meeting between the two leaders.

Bhuiyan said the BNP and its allies, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted the new government to be sworn in by October 7, a day before repolling is held in 42 centres spread across 16 constituencies.

With results of 283 constituencies out, the BNP and its allies have secured 202 seats and the Awami League won 61.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Wednesday greeted former Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia for her party’s emphatic electoral success and said he looked forward to working with her to promote Indo-Bangladesh cooperation. PTI
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5 Palestinians killed

Gaza, October 3
An Israeli tank shell killed at least five Palestinians today during an Israeli incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said.

Israel launched the operation after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis during a raid yesterday on a Jewish settlement in the area. Israeli soldiers killed the two attackers.

The Palestinian officials said five Palestinians, four of them policemen, were killed when an Israeli tank shell hit their security post near the Palestinian town of Beit Lahiya at the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said the aim of the incursion, about a km into a Palestinian-ruled area, was to protect Jewish settlements from attack.

Meanwhile, members of the hardline Palestinian group Hamas today announced over loudspeakers at anti-Israeli demonstrations here that their members carried out a deadly attack on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Reuters
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Neerja case: Pak extradites 5 Arabs

Karachi, October 3
Acceding to the US demand, Pakistan has extradited one of the five Arabs who tried to hijack a Pan Am airliner and ended up killing 32 persons including Indian airhostess Neerja Bhanot, reports SADA news agency.

Official sources said the convicted man was taken out of his cell for interrogation on Sunday but he did not return. His four colleagues contacted their lawyers to file a petition with the court. IANS
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