January 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India
arrests 100 Jaish, Lashkar men
Year revellers hurt in Karachi blast
deploys troops for summit
on top of SAARC agenda
peace at SAARC, Annan tells India, Pakistan
wants talks between India, Pak
police breaks up peace rally at Wagah
trail leads to Baghran
admits losing trace of Osama
wants USA to quit Afghanistan
near Indonesian churches
transport halts in Dhaka
Tully awarded knighthood
Pak arrests 100 Jaish, Lashkar men
Islamabad, January 1
The arrests were made from different areas of the southern Sindh province, according to reports in Urdu newspapers.
According to the Karachi police chief, Mr Tariq Jameel, offices of these two outfits have been sealed. Earlier, 50 Jaish men, including their leader, Masood Azhar, had been taken into preventive detention.
Most offices of the outfit in Karachi wore a deserted look when the police raided these, the report quoting officials said.
It said senior officials were interrogating the Lashkar chief, Hafeez Muhammad Saeed, who was taken into custody two days ago. India had accused the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad for the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament.
Urdu daily Khabren reported from Ghotki that the police raided the local office of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and arrested four persons namely Haneef Pathan, Abdul Raheem Solanki, Hammadullah and Amanul Haq. They have been accused of playing the cassette of Masood Azhar’s speeches publicly.
According to a report from the Sukkhar bureau, the police continued raiding offices of these two outfits overnight and arrested four persons including Obaidur Rehman, Sohail and Abu Muhammad. A report from Multan says that offices of the Lashkar and Jaish have been closed down in southern Punjab.
The Lashkar has shifted all its offices to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and leaders of both outfits have gone underground. Another newspaper Ausaf said the police yesterday raided the Jaish office in Hyderabad in Sindh and arrested the local organiser Jalilur Rehman. The Jaish spokesman has also confirmed the arrest of Rehman, it said
According to an ANN news agency report published in Al Akhbar, the police in Karachi has intensified its operation against various jihadi outfits.
Yesterday the police raided offices of the Jaish, Lashkar and a Sunni sectarian outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba of Pakistan (SSP) and arrested more than one hundred activists belonging to these outfits.
Telephone connections of offices of jihadi outfits have been cut. The police also raided offices of the jihadi outfits in Sukkhar, Larkana, Jacobabad, Kot Ghulam Muhammad, Tundu Adam Maoru, Kot Maris and a number of other areas, it said.
The police also arrested 12 jihadis from the Sher Shah and Sirjan areas of Karachi. Some of them are also being interrogated for the murder of Ehtesham Haider, brother of the Pakistan Interior Minister, Mr Moinuddin Haider, who was killed two weeks ago in Karachi. Sipah-e-Sahaba headquarter in the Chornagi area was also raided and a number of SSP workers were arrested.
WASHINGTON: Appreciating Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s crackdown on militants as demanded by India following the December 13 attack on Parliament, US President George W. Bush has asked Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to give Pakistan time to bring the terrorists to justice.
“He (Musharraf) is cracking down hard, and I appreciate his efforts,” Mr Bush told reporters on Monday at his ranch in Texas.
“Terror is terror and the fact that the Pakistani President is after the terrorists is a good sign,” he said.
Mr Bush said he had asked Vajpayee to give Pakistan time to crack down on the militants.
“I told him (Vajpayee) I understood how he feels,” Mr Bush said, adding that “if someone attacked the US Capitol, I would feel angry too.
“However, I explained to the Indian Prime Minister while I understood his anger, I was happy they were not headed for war. Give us all a chance to work with President Musharraf to bring the terrorists to justice.”
Mr Bush has also asked General Musharraf to “eliminate” militant outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Toaiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Mr Bush said he urged General Musharraf “to do everything he could to crack down on the terrorist networks” that had raided Indian Parliament.
12 New Year revellers hurt
in Karachi blast
Karachi, January 1
The blast in the car park of the “Area-51” club in the southern district of Clifton also damaged more than a dozen vehicles just after midnight, said police officer Manzoor Mughal.
“It was an act of terrorism,” he said. No one has claimed responsibility and no one has been arrested.
Revellers were dancing inside the club at the time. “At first we thought it was some firecrackers as part of the celebrations,” said one.
“Karachi in the past had witnessed too much bloodshed and we again started a New Year with a bomb blast,” said city business Javed Siddiqui.
Thousands of people turned out on the streets of the southern city to welcome the New Year amid celebratory gunfire and firecrackers.
“I have never seen so many people at Clifton beach on New Year’s might and that despite rising tensions with India,” said Mr Siddiqui.
Thousands of police and paramilitary troops were deployed to keep order. At least 15 other persons sustained bullet wounds as New Year’s revelers fired into the air with automatic weapons in several other neighborhoods, they said.
The time bomb, hidden inside a car, exploded at 12:25 am in the parking area of the beachside Mariana Club, located in one the most affluent neighborhoods of the port city of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest. Three cars were also destroyed.
No group claimed responsibility, but the police said they suspect Islamic militants.
Fundamentalist Muslim groups abhor New Year celebrations and consider them contrary to the teachings of Islam. Shabab-e-Milli, the youth wing of the orthodox Jamaat-e-Islami, or Islamic Party, had warned people against celebrating the New Year.
The police said they are investigating, and had made no arrests by noon. Also last night, hundreds of revelers fired shots in the air in various Karachi neighborhoods to celebrate the New Year despite heavy police presence and tight security. It was the fiercest firing in recent years, witnesses said.
At least 15 persons were taken to hospitals with bullet wounds. One was reported in critical condition this morning.
In other major cities, including the capital Islamabad and eastern city of Lahore, heavy police presence was seen all night, specially outside hotels, clubs and private houses where New Year celebrations were taking place.
Nepal deploys troops for summit
Kathmandu, January 1
Aware of the current attention on the summit, King Gyanendra and Crown Prince Paras have both personally inspected key sites for security and other arrangements, officials said. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf are expected to be present.
Camouflage-clad army and police personnel carrying semi-automatic guns were already in the streets of the capital Kathmandu late yesterday, four days before the heads of state and government are due to begin talks.
While rising tension between India and Pakistan seems sure to overshadow all else at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, the chief security concern for Nepal’s government is the Maoist rebels who broke a ceasefire in November.
“The government has handed over security arrangements to the army and the armed police force to check any acts of terrorism by the Maoist terrorists during the three-day summit,” Home Ministry spokesman Gopendra Bahadur Pandey said.
Even though most Maoist-related violence has taken place outside Kathmandu, security forces have been watching all entry points to the capital “attentively” since the beginning of the week, Mr Pandey said.
Stringent restrictions have been imposed around Tribhuvan International Airport, which only passengers and government officials are being allowed to enter, and at the SAARC summit venue, the Birendra International Conference hall.
Terrorism on top of SAARC agenda
Kathmandu, January 1
The need to finalise a more comprehensive convention has arisen due to Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s reluctance to ratify the existing convention, making it irrelevant in arriving of a collective approach by SAARC countries to fight the menace, SAARC Secretariat sources said.
The Standing Committee of SAARC Foreign Secretaries, which finalised the draft declaration of the summit, sought immediate modifications in the convention, after Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer forcefully presented New Delhi’s case, especially in the backdrop of the December 13 attack on Parliament.
The member-countries agreed with India’s viewpoint that terrorism had assumed a greater dimension since the convention was adopted in 1987 at the Kathmandu SAARC summit.
Interestingly, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inam-ul-Haq also fully shared India’s concerns on the issue and supported the move to refer the convention to an expert committee for revision.
Senior SAARC officials said legal experts had been directed to examine the convention and “see how it is to be updated so that it can be made more effective to meet the challenge posed by terrorism to the world peace”.
The legal experts, who will meet in Colombo early this year, were asked to submit their recommendations to SAARC in the shortest possible time, given the urgency of the situation and the concerns of the member countries, especially India which has been a victim of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
Talk peace at SAARC, Annan tells India, Pakistan
United Nations, January 1
Mr Annan strongly urges the two countries to seize this opportunity to reduce tensions further, UN chief’s spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement here yesterday.
Mr Annan welcomed Pakistan’s crackdown on militants saying it could help reduce tensions with India. The UN chief had been in contact in recent days with leaders in both India and Pakistan, Mr Eckhard said.
The (UN) Secretary-General “welcomes the determined law enforcement actions taken by the Pakistani authorities,” Mr Eckhard said.
wants talks between India, Pak London, January 1 Speaking to his Pakistani counterpart Abdul
Sattar, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw welcomed the arrest of a leading Islamic militant and 22 other suspected militants. But he said more needed to be done to avoid all-out war and encouraged the Pakistani Government to enter into dialogue with India. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The Foreign Secretary told Foreign Minister Sattar that he welcomed the steps Pakistan had taken to clamp down on militant groups. “He encouraged them to do more and to enter into a dialogue with India.
London, January 1
Speaking to his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Sattar, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw welcomed the arrest of a leading Islamic militant and 22 other suspected militants.
But he said more needed to be done to avoid all-out war and encouraged the Pakistani Government to enter into dialogue with India. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The Foreign Secretary told Foreign Minister Sattar that he welcomed the steps Pakistan had taken to clamp down on militant groups.
“He encouraged them to do more and to enter into a dialogue with India.
Pak police breaks up peace rally at Wagah
Islamabad, January 1
The rally, which began from Lahore in buses, trucks and cars, was stopped by the police at Bab-i-Azadi as it reached the Wagah checkpost.
Also, the white peace flags, banners, posters and placards with slogans against war and terrorism were snatched from the participants and torn up by the police. Several women were among the injured, according to a report published in Dawn.
The rally was stopped from proceeding beyond the Bab-i-Azadi to the area where the usual daily flag-lowering ceremony was being held jointly by the guards of both Pakistan and India before sunset.
As the activists crossed the main gate, raising slogans against war and for peace, the commanding officer at the Wagah checkpost, Faisal Ghauri of Pakistan Rangers, ordered the guards to stop them from proceeding to the parade area.
The guards then forcibly drove back the processionists beyond the main gate, hurling invectives and baton-charging the participants which included a large number of women, the report said.
Omar’s trail leads to Baghran
Kabul/Washington, January 1
New York and Washington rang in the New Year united in their need to put behind them the suicide hijack attacks of September 11, which triggered the war in Afghanistan.
But Osama bin Laden, the man who, the USA says, masterminded the attacks that killed more than 3,000 Americans and other nationals, remained at large.
The one-eyed Omar is second only to Saudi-born Bin Laden on the USA’s most-wanted list.
US officials say Omar may be hiding near Baghran, in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, about 100 miles northwest of the Taliban’s former stronghold of Kandahar.
A senior Defense Department official said there had been a ‘’fairly consistent body’’ of intelligence suggesting this.
The anti-Taliban intelligence chief in Kandahar said he had asked villagers in Helmand to hand over Omar.
“We have told them to give us Omar, but no ultimatum has been issued,’’ Haji Gullalai told Reuters. “We have two goals: to disarm irresponsible people and to get Omar, who is a criminal for the Afghan people and the whole world.’’
He said he and tribal allies had assembled a force of up to 2,000 fighters. He would not say where he thought Omar was there.
The cleric who stamped his fundamentalist vision of Islam on Afghanistan was driven from Kandahar in December as his rule collapsed under the pressure of relentless US air strikes.
In New York City, still mourning the Americans and other nationals who died in the World Trade Center, thousands gathered in freezing cold on the streets around Times Square under the tightest security ever for a New Year’s eve party.
US President George W. Bush would not confirm the mission but repeated that the US military is intent on getting Omar — and the man he was long suspected of sheltering, fugitive terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden, the top quarry of American forces since airstrikes began in October.
“We’re going to get him. It’s just a matter of when,” Mr Bush said, stopping for lunch while vacationing in Texas. “Any time you get a person running, it means you’re going to get him pretty soon. And the same with Mullah Omar. It’s just a matter of time.”
Bin Laden’s whereabouts are unknown but US officials say that he is probably still alive and may have slipped into Pakistan.
The USA said Pakistan had sent 25 Bin Laden fighters for questioning, taking the number in US custody to 180.
USA admits losing trace of Osama
Washington, January 1
Speaking to reporters yesterday, US President George W. Bush, who launched the Afghan campaign more than 80 days ago with the rallying cry to capture Bin Laden dead or alive, said he remained optimistic.
“And all I know is that he’s running. And any time you get a person running, it means you’re going to get him pretty soon... It’s just a matter of time.” The President told journalists in Crawford, Texas, where he is spending the holiday season on his ranch.
So far, Mr Bush’s tough rhetoric on Bin Laden has met with singular failure in the field. US special forces and Afghan allies have so far found no trace of the fugitive in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, where he was reportedly hiding out in caves.
Forces guarding the frontier to prevent his flight into neighbouring Pakistan have also come up empty-handed.
“Where he is, is a question mark. The trail has gone cold as to whether he’s still in the caves of Tora Bora or, in fact, has slipped out into Pakistan,” Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on CNN Sunday.
Speculation that Bin Laden may have found refuge in the border regions of northern Pakistan has been vigorously countered by Islamabad, with Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar insisting that there was “not an iota of information which should lead to the speculation that Osama bin Laden or any of his associates are on Pakistan territory.”
While Bin Laden apparently roams free, the US triumph over the Taliban militia and the destruction of Al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan remains incomplete and leaves the Bush administration vulnerable to charges that it has mismanaged the campaign.
wants USA to quit Afghanistan Teheran, January 1 “Taliban and Al-Qaida are destroyed, what else do the Americans want and for how long they want to stay here this should be made clear,’’ Rabbani told IRNA in Kabul. “The continued attacks have so far only brought civil casualties like yesterday when some 100 persons were killed in the Yekta province,’’ Rabbani said. He added that at least the United Front (Northern Alliance) — in charge of the three key ministries of defence, foreign and interior affairs — is against the continuation of the US operations in Afghanistan. Rabbani was forced last month to step down from the presidency and handover the political power to Hamid Karzia’s interim government, as decided at the Afghanistan conference in Bonn.
Teheran, January 1
“Taliban and Al-Qaida are destroyed, what else do the Americans want and for how long they want to stay here this should be made clear,’’ Rabbani told IRNA in Kabul.
“The continued attacks have so far only brought civil casualties like yesterday when some 100 persons were killed in the Yekta province,’’ Rabbani said.
He added that at least the United Front (Northern Alliance) — in charge of the three key ministries of defence, foreign and interior affairs — is against the continuation of the US operations in Afghanistan.
Rabbani was forced last month to step down from the presidency and handover the political power to Hamid Karzia’s interim government, as decided at the Afghanistan conference in Bonn.
Blasts near Indonesian churches
Jakarta, January 1
The police in the central Sulawesi capital of Palu in the country’s east said four blasts outside churches in the city — three hit simultaneously as the New Year began — wounded at least one policeman. The province has witnessed savage clashes between Muslims and Christians in the past three years. The Palu blasts were caused by unidentified devices. Some 200 persons were in one of the churches when the midnight blasts hit, a local priest said.
transport halts in Dhaka Dhaka, January 1 City-bound buses, trucks, autorickshaws from the adjoining districts which were carrying passengers were stopped on the entry points and not allowed to enter the capital. A large number of vehicles were seized. The immediate reaction was stray cases of clashes with police. By 10 a.m., 60 per cent of the transport went off the road. This has caused inconvenience to the regular commuters and office goers. The additional burden was higher rate of fare charged by the buses and autos.
Dhaka, January 1
City-bound buses, trucks, autorickshaws from the adjoining districts which were carrying passengers were stopped on the entry points and not allowed to enter the capital. A large number of vehicles were seized. The immediate reaction was stray cases of clashes with police. By 10 a.m., 60 per cent of the transport went off the road.
This has caused inconvenience to the regular commuters and office goers. The additional burden was higher rate of fare charged by the buses and autos.
Mark Tully awarded knighthood London, January 1 Tully, who has made India his home, reacted with delight when contacted at his residence in New Delhi saying the knighthood was an “honour” for him which he could not have got without the help of his several colleagues. Tully was among a dozen persons of Indian origin who figure in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for 2002.
London, January 1
Tully, who has made India his home, reacted with delight when contacted at his residence in New Delhi saying the knighthood was an “honour” for him which he could not have got without the help of his several colleagues.
Tully was among a dozen persons of Indian origin who figure in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for 2002.
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