issue can’t be put under carpet, says Musharraf
Karbala (Iraq), October 17
Three US military policemen were killed and seven wounded in a midnight clash at a Shiite Muslim cleric’s headquarters in this shrine city, US authorities reported today. At least nine Iraqis were also killed, according to witnesses and the US command.
by troops in Iraq alarm US Army officials
USA slams Mahathir
remarks on Jews
Kashmir issue can’t be put under carpet, says Musharraf
Putrajaya (Malaysia), October 17
"I wouldn’t be sure because they (India) keep on changing their stance, ‘’ he told reporters at a press conference on the possibility of holding the summit of the South Asian leader in Islamabad.
However, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has already expressed his intention to visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit.
General Musharraf, who is currently here in connection with the OIC summit, said the SAARC summit should be held even if any country refuses to participate in it.
Referring to the initiation of dialogue with India, he said ‘’Unfortunately the process has not started. Pakistan had to cancel South Asian Federation Games due to India’s refusal to participate. There is no contact between the two countries.’’
He said Pakistan was desirous of taking confidence building measures (CBM) and certain were taken in the beginning. The Lahore bus service was restored, High Commissioners were exchanged. But after that ‘’process of dialogue has not started’’.
General Musharraf said his offer of immediate ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) or monitoring of the LoC through neutral observers was also rejected.
"Unfortunately the response was too shocking and it was said that this was an acceptance of me that everything happening in the state was at Pakistan’s behest,’’ he further stated.
Vancouver, October 17
This is the first testimony in the murder trial, which began on April 28 and subsequently stalled since September 22, which allegedly links Vancouver-based businessman Malik to terrorist activities.
The man testified that Malik had tried unsuccessfully to have him take a suitcase to India several weeks before the Air-India flight crashed off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 on board after he approached him for a loan.
He told the court that Malik told him that he was sending the suitcase to India to “teach a lesson to the Indian Government” and that he was assured that he would be considered a “matryr” if anything happened to him following the visit, media reports said.
Malik agreed to provide 40,000 dollars as loan in return for taking the suitcase to India. “If I did his work, then he would do mine,” the witness told the court through a Punjabi interpreter, adding he did not ask Malik what was to be in the suitcase.
In the end, one of the eight protected witnesses who cannot be named, said he received financial aid from his family and didn’t need Malik’s money.
Despite his turning down the request, Malik repeatedly asked the man not to tell anyone about the conversation, the witness said, adding the day the Kanishka flight blew up he received a threatening call from a man who said “the work was done...don’t open your mouth.”
Malik and the man also met a few more times at a gurdwara and each time Malik warned the man to keep their secret, the ‘Globe and Mail’ daily reported.
The witness said he did not talk to the police until 1997 about Malik’s request to take the suitcase to India. “I was a little scared and I couldn’t remember,” he told Justice Ian Bruce Josephson.
He also told the court that he was involved in a lawsuit against Malik over borrowed money. During cross-examination, Malik’s legal team had indicated that the man had extensive financial dealings with Malik over two decades and that the two were embroiled in a bitter dispute with the witness suing Malik over a financial loss.
The witness also said that he would publicly embarrass Malil. “I said ... I would insult you in from of 10 to 20 people.”
Malik and Kamloops millworker Ajaib Singh Bagri face first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the Air-India bombing case.
3 US soldiers killed in Iraq
Karbala (Iraq), October 17 The Americans were members of the 101st Airborne Division, said Maj Mike Escudie of the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida. Gunfire broke out again this morning in the same area in this restive city, where last night’s encounter may have signalled a new US determination to disarm religious militias and enforce curfews. An armoured personnel carrier of the US-led coalition appeared to be firing this morning as screaming men, women and children fled for cover. The gunfire soon ended, but young Shiites still manned rooftop and street positions with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Karbala (Iraq), October 17
The Americans were members of the 101st Airborne Division, said Maj Mike Escudie of the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.
Gunfire broke out again this morning in the same area in this restive city, where last night’s encounter may have signalled a new US determination to disarm religious militias and enforce curfews.
An armoured personnel carrier of the US-led coalition appeared to be firing this morning as screaming men, women and children fled for cover. The gunfire soon ended, but young Shiites still manned rooftop and street positions with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Suicides by troops in Iraq alarm US Army officials
Washington, October 17
At least 11 US army soldiers have committed suicide during Iraq operations, most with self-inflicted gunshot wounds, two Marines have committed suicide using firearms, officials said yesterday.
One official said “a few more” deaths were being investigated as possible suicides and the navy said the death of one service member was under investigation. The air force said it had no such cases.
Army officials have expressed concern about the suicides, many of which occurred after President George W. Bush declared major combat operations over in Iraq on May 1.
A 12-person mental health advisory team sent by the Army recently left Iraq after studying a wide range of mental health concerns, including suicide among US troops facing combat stress and longer-than-expected deployments.
USA slams Mahathir remarks on Jews
Washington, October 17
State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli condemned the remarks, noting “it’s not the first time we’ve seen comments like this from that official.
“Let’s be clear, the remarks are offensive, they are inflammatory, and we view them with the contempt and derision they deserve.”
The veteran Malaysian Premier told the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Malaysia that Muslims were suffering “oppression and humiliation”, with their religion accused of promoting terrorism.
He called on the Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, saying the Jews had “survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking”.
“They invented and successfully promoted socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also,” he said.
CANBERRA: Australia joined the European Union today in condemning comments about the Jews by Malaysia’s veteran and outspoken Prime Minister to a summit of Islamic leaders.
Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard described Mr Mahathir Mohammad’s comments as ‘’offensive’’ and ‘’dangerous’’.
Italy, which holds the rotating European Union (EU) presidency, said it would ask an EU summit to condemn the remarks.
“The Prime Minister of Malaysia used gravely offensive expressions not only towards the Jews —expressions that are strongly anti-Semitic — but also words that ran counter to the principles of tolerance and dialogue between the West and the Muslim world,’’ Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said.
— Reuters, AFP
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