October 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India
used in Moscow siege
whisked away for two hours
fail to agree on govt formation
blasts in S. Africa town
migrants’ largest exporter
‘Anaesthetic’ used in Moscow siege
Munich, October 30
“It is probably an anaesthetic called halothane,” said Munich coroner Ludwig von Meyer at a media conference. “This material was detected in one of the two German hostages. It is possible a second unidentified material was also deployed.”
All but two of the 117 hostages who died were killed by the mystery gas used by Russian special forces on Saturday to end a three-day siege. The two Germans were treated in a Munich university clinic and have since been discharged from hospital.
Russians have refused to identify the active agent in the gas used to stun bomb-laden Chechen guerrillas threatening to kill their hostages unless was Russian troops withdrawn from their southern homeland.
Russia says it is keeping the nature of the gas secret to avoid helping militants plan future attacks.
Moscow: Separatist guerrillas shot down a Russian Mi-8 helicopter on Tuesday night near Moscow’s main military base in Chechnya just outside the capital Grozny, killing four servicemen, officials said.
Interfax news agency quoted Gen Stanislav Kavun, Deputy commander of Interior Ministry troops, as saying the helicopter was downed as it prepared to land near the Khankala base.
“Preliminary data shows that the helicopter was shot down as it was about to land. Four persons - the crew and passengers - died,” he said.
An Emergencies Ministry spokesman in Moscow said the craft was attacked with a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile.
The attack came days after 117 people died in the worst hostage drama in Russia’s history when armed Chechen rebels seized a Moscow theatre and held some 800 hostages for nearly three days.
Interfax quoted eyewitnesses as saying that after it was hit, the helicopter spun for some time before crashing into the ground and exploding.
The crashed Mi-8 was the fourth helicopter to come down under rebel fire in Chechnya in the last three months. Mi-8s, the workhorses of Russia’s helicopter fleet, are usually used as battle gunships in Chechnya and are often targeted by rebels.
whisked away for two hours
Islamabad, October 30
Mr Zardari was taken away for two hours from a government hospital, where he was undergoing treatment, for “talks” as the party remained firm in its opposition to form a coalition government with pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), reports here said.
Ms Bhutto, who is in Washington holding talks with officials of the Bush administration, made frantic phone calls to her party leaders last night urging them to immediately rush to the government hospital in Islamabad where Mr Zardari was undergoing treatment.
According to PPP leaders, the Musharraf government had last year given permission to Mr Zardari to leave the country to join his self-exiled wife provided both of them quit the leadership of the party.
Local daily “The News” said the he could be flown out of the country if the deal worked out.
The Musharraf government, meanwhile, is thinking of amending the constitution to allow members of the National Assembly to defect to parties of their choice as the PML-Q, which has emerged as the single largest party, has failed to win support of other parties to form a government.
Amidst media speculation that a new ordinance permitting floor crossing was in the offing, Law Minister of Punjab province Rana Izaz Ahmad told a local TV channel that such a law was necessary to end the political stalemate.
There is speculation in the government camp that PPP leader Makhdoom Fahim will walk over to the government side to form a coalition with pro-Musharraf PML-Q.
Mr Fahim, a trusted Bhutto loyalist, sparked off a storm by having a “chance” meeting with Gen Musharraf at a hill top restaurant here last weekend.
Both Mr Fahim and Gen Musharraf said it was an accidental meeting but subsequent media reports said it was arranged by top officials of the Musharraf government.
Ms Bhutto reportedly told Mr Fahim not to have any more “accidental” meetings with Gen Musharraf. “There can be no solo flights in the PPP,” an associate of Ms Bhutto was quoted as saying by local Daily Times.
Officials here speculated that Mr Fahim could cross over with 26 PPP MLAs and form the government along with PML-Q. The PPP and the PML-Q have won 63 and 77 seats, respectively and expected to get chunk of 60 seats reserved for women.
The reserved seats would be allotted by the election commission based on the percentage of votes polled by parties. The reserved seats have not been allotted even though poll were held on October 10. The two parties require 172 members to get a simple majority.
Parties fail to agree on govt formation
Islamabad, October 30
Leaders of government-backed Pakistan Muslim League — Qaide Azam (PML-Q), former Premier Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA), an alliance of six hardline religious parties, and pro-Musharraf National Alliance met here last night to thrash out their differences over President Pervez Musharraf’s constitutional amendments which became a thorny issue in the way of government formation.
The PPPP and the MMA are sticking to their reservations in accepting General Musharraf’s legal framework order (LFO), which incorporated the amendments. The PML-Q, the PPPP and the MMA had emerged as the top three parties in the October 10 poll, but none of the three could secure a majority to form the government.
While failing to agree on government formation, the parties, however, vowed not to create any deadlock in the way of transferring of power by military government to the elected representatives and adopted a four-point declaration, calling on Musharraf government to immediately convene sessions of the National and Provincial Assemblies and issue a schedule for transfer of power.
The resolution said “the parties agreed that they would not create any deadlock in Parliament which would impede the political process”.
They also agreed to settle that differences over government formation in Parliament, it said.
The resolution said the parties agreed to continue mutual negotiations on the issue and assigned the PML-Q leader. Mr Shujaat Hussain, to coordinate the talks between the political parties and the government.
Nine blasts in S. Africa town
Durban, October 30
A 42-year-old woman died, while her 51-year-old husband sustained serious head injuries when debris from one blast hit their squatter shack in which they were sleeping, he said.
A tenth bomb was found at a nearby garage and was defused by a bomb disposal unit, he said.
India migrants’ largest exporter United Nations, October 30 An estimated 3 per cent of the world’s population, or 1.75 million people, are currently residing in a country other than that of their birth, with the USA proving to be the most attractive destination for migrants, playing host to over 35 million of them as of 2000, the UN Population Fund said in a report here. India, with 6.27 million, Saudi Arabia with 5.25 million, and Pakistan with 4.24 million were all among the 10 largest exporters of migrants, the report said, while pointing out that developing countries like, rich nations, saw immigration both as a source of wealth and as a threat. Most of the world’s migrants — 56 million, live in Europe, 50 million in Asia and another 41 million in North America. This shows that almost one in every 10 persons living in more developed regions is a migrant, while one in every 70 persons living in developing nations is a migrant, it said.
United Nations, October 30
An estimated 3 per cent of the world’s population, or 1.75 million people, are currently residing in a country other than that of their birth, with the USA proving to be the most attractive destination for migrants, playing host to over 35 million of them as of 2000, the UN Population Fund said in a report here.
India, with 6.27 million, Saudi Arabia with 5.25 million, and Pakistan with 4.24 million were all among the 10 largest exporters of migrants, the report said, while pointing out that developing countries like, rich nations, saw immigration both as a source of wealth and as a threat.
Most of the world’s migrants — 56 million, live in Europe, 50 million in Asia and another 41 million in North America. This shows that almost one in every 10 persons living in more developed regions is a migrant, while one in every 70 persons living in developing nations is a migrant, it said.
OVER 100 PERISH IN FIRE
A survivor of a fire at the International Trade Center is helped down a ladder in Ho Chi Minh city on Tuesday.
— Reuters photo MISS INDIA WORLDWIDE PAGEANT IN DURBAN INDIAN DRIVERS TO LOSE JOBS IN S. ARABIA MISTRY WINS KIRIYAMA PRIZE CHECHEN DEPUTY PM ARRESTED
MISS INDIA WORLDWIDE PAGEANT IN DURBAN
INDIAN DRIVERS TO LOSE JOBS IN S. ARABIA
MISTRY WINS KIRIYAMA PRIZE
CHECHEN DEPUTY PM ARRESTED
SHOULD DE-ESCALATE FIRST: PAK ORDER
ON PERVEZ NEEDS RE-LOOK NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY SESSION ON NOV 6
ON PERVEZ NEEDS RE-LOOK
ASSEMBLY SESSION ON NOV 6
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