SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Iraq gets legal custody of Saddam
Saddam Hussein Baghdad, June 30
Legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 others was transferred to the Iraqis today, an international official said. The defendants were informed individually of their rights, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. An Iraqi judge witnessed the proceedings.

Iraqi police imposes curfew in Najaf
Najaf (Iraq), June 30
The Iraqi police imposed a curfew in the holy city of Najaf from today after a patrol party clashed with fighters loyal to militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Najaf police chief Ghaleb Hashem al-Jezairi told mediapersons that residents should stay in their homes between 9 pm and 6.30 am.

Hussain sworn in Pak PM

Islamabad, June 30
Chowdhary Shujaat Hussain, chief of the ruling military-backed PML-Q party, was today sworn in as Pakistan’s new Prime Minister by President Pervez Musharraf, who described the transition of power as a “landmark event” in the country’s history as for the first time it was done in a “peaceful and orderly” manner.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf greets newly appointed Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (left) greets newly appointed Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain during Hussain’s swearing-in ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

ASEAN ties with India intensifying: Megawati
Jakarta, June 30
Observing that ASEAN’s dialogue relations with India were intensifying, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri today urged the 10-member regional grouping to be on the forefront in the fight against international terrorism and cross-border crimes such as people-smuggling and maritime piracy.

Alterations in West Bank fence ordered
Jerusalem, June 30

In a landmark ruling, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered alterations in 30 km of the route of the West Bank separation fence, northwest of Jerusalem, saying everything must be done to minimise hardship to Palestinians living in the area.





India’s Abina Abdul Rashid Khan poses after being crowned Miss Tourism Queen in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
India’s Abina Abdul Rashid Khan poses after being crowned Miss Tourism Queen in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in China on Tuesday. A total of 56 women participated in the final of the beauty pageant in the eastern coastal city.
— Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

  Rape used for ethnic cleansing in Sudan
Washington, June 30
Rape is being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing of Africans by Arab militiamen in Sudan, since paternity determines the ethnicity of the baby, whether black or brown, under tribal rules regardless of how a baby is conceived.
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Iraq gets legal custody of Saddam

A defaced mural of Saddam Hussein's portraits hangs on a building in Baghdad on Wednesday
A defaced mural of Saddam Hussein's portraits hangs on a building in Baghdad on Wednesday. Saddam Hussein appeared before an Iraqi judge on Wednesday as Iraq's interim government took legal charge of the deposed dictator.
— Reuters photo

Baghdad, June 30
Legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 others was transferred to the Iraqis today, an international official said.

The defendants were informed individually of their rights, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. An Iraqi judge witnessed the proceedings.

There was no official confirmation from the Iraqi authorities, however, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had said that the legal - but not custodial - transfer of the 12 defendants would take place today.

They are to appear in court tomorrow for a formal reading of the charges.

"The first step has happened,’’ Mr Salem Chalabi, the director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal that will try Saddam, told The Associated Press. He refused to elaborate.

"I met with him (Saddam) earlier today to explain his rights and what will happen,’’ Mr Chalabi said.

Saddam will remain in an American-controlled jail guarded by Americans until the Iraqis are ready to take physical custody of him. That is expected to take a long time.

However, the legal transfer means that Saddam and the others are no longer prisoners of war - subject to rights under the Geneva Conventions - but criminal defendants whose treatment will be in accordance with Iraqi law.

LONDON: The trial of Saddam Hussein will be fair, broadcast live on television and radio and be the “trial of the century”, Iraq’s new national security adviser said on Wednesday.

Mouwafak al-Rubaie said the Iraqi Special Tribunal would be able to impose the death penalty. He said Saddam would not be allowed to turn the trial into a political game, by calling witnesses such as US President George Bush or British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“Saddam Hussein will be under the legal control of Iraqi law,” he told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. “He is going to be tried according to the Iraqi criminal code.”

Asked what the Iraqi court would do if Saddam tried to call Mr Blair as a witness, as Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had attempted to do at a UN court in The Hague, Netherlands, al-Rubaie answered, “We are not going to allow this to be a political showdown or a political game. We are going to restrict ourselves to the crimes.”

DUBAI: Iraq’s interim government has decided to reinstate the death penalty and offer an amnesty to Iraqis who do not have their countrymen’s blood on their hands, President Ghazi al-Yawar was quoted on Wednesday as saying.

Asharq al-Awsat newspaper said Mr Yawar, speaking just after Monday’s handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi Government, also said Iraq would reinstate a 1960s ‘’national security law’’.

The decisions were taken directly after Monday’s ceremony and will be formally issued in the ‘’near future’’, he said. Mr Yawar said the death penalty would be reinstated ‘’but with rules which comply with the norms in most countries of the world’’. It would apply to a limited number of crimes including rape, kidnapping, murder and terrorism. — AP, Reuters
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Iraqi police imposes curfew in Najaf

Najaf (Iraq), June 30
The Iraqi police imposed a curfew in the holy city of Najaf from today after a patrol party clashed with fighters loyal to militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Najaf police chief Ghaleb Hashem al-Jezairi told mediapersons that residents should stay in their homes between 9 pm and 6.30 am (GMT).

Witnesses said shops were closed and Sadr’s Mehdi Army fighters were on the streets in force after the clash with a police patrol party that had pursued a criminal into the city.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said the interim government, which formally took over sovereignty from the USA on Monday, might impose emergency law in parts of the country racked by an insurgency.

Sadr led an uprising against US forces from Najaf some three months ago but, under pressure from Shi’ite leaders, had since agreed to a truce that had seen his militia disappear from the streets and US troops stay outside the city.

Sadr told fightwers hailing from outside Najaf to go home in June, but his followers had occasionally clashed with the Iraqi police, now in charge of security in Najaf, site of the holiest shrines in Shi’ite Islam. — Reuters
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Hussain sworn in Pak PM

Islamabad, June 30
Chowdhary Shujaat Hussain, chief of the ruling military-backed PML-Q party, was today sworn in as Pakistan’s new Prime Minister by President Pervez Musharraf, who described the transition of power as a “landmark event” in the country’s history as for the first time it was done in a “peaceful and orderly” manner.

Along with 58-year-old Hussain, a 27-member Cabinet comprising all ministers of the outgoing Zafarullah Khan Jamali government was sworn in. Key portfolios like Foreign Affairs, Defence and Finance remained unchanged.

Hussain, PML-Q president, would be Prime Minister only for about two months before international banker-turned Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz assumes office after getting elected to the National Assembly as per the constitutional requirement.

Two new ministers from the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) bordering Afghanistan were also included in the Cabinet for the first time.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Musharraf told reporters the smooth transfer of power from Jamali, who resigned on Saturday following differences with the President, to Hussain was a landmark event in the history of the country.

“It is the first time in Pakistan’s history that power has been transferred in a peaceful and orderly manner and in consultation between coalition partners,” he said. — PTI

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ASEAN ties with India intensifying: Megawati
Jaishree Balasubramanian

External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh discusses with Rizali Ismail
External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh (right) discusses with Rizali Ismail, UN representative on  Myanmar, during their meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday. — PTI photo

Jakarta, June 30
Observing that ASEAN’s dialogue relations with India were intensifying, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri today urged the 10-member regional grouping to be on the forefront in the fight against international terrorism and cross-border crimes such as people-smuggling and maritime piracy.

“Our dialogue relations with India are intensifying as India pursues a ‘look East’ policy,” Megawati said opening the two-day ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting preceding the 23-member ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which would be attended among others by External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh.

Megawati also urged the ASEAN members to “be at the forefront in the fight against the most inhuman of multinational crimes, international terrorism.”

She noted that “free, honest and successful” elections were held recently in India, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Indonesia, which currently chairs the grouping, goes to polls on July 5.

Mr K. Natwar Singh, who arrived here this morning, is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the ASEAN and the ARF member countries.

India is a dialogue partner of the ASEAN and a member of the ARF grouping.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The ARF consists of the 10 ASEAN states along with Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Korea, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the USA. — PTI
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Suu Kyi may get to contest poll

Jakarta, June 30
Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest in Myanmar, will be free to contest elections after a Constitution convention finishes its work, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister said today.

“Myanmar disclosed that once the convention is finished, Aung San Suu Kyi can participate in future elections,” Hassan Wirajuda told reporters at the conclusion of the annual ministerial meeting of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). — Reuters
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Alterations in West Bank fence ordered

Palestinian boys play soccer at the construction site for the controversial Israeli security barrier
Palestinian boys play soccer at the construction site for the controversial Israeli security barrier which will separate the West Bank from Israel near the West Bank village of Biddu on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

Jerusalem, June 30
In a landmark ruling, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered alterations in 30 km of the route of the West Bank separation fence, northwest of Jerusalem, saying everything must be done to minimise hardship to Palestinians living in the area.

The ruling by Chief Justice Aharon Barak and justices Eliahu Mazza and Mishael Cheshin came in response to a petition filed by the village council of Beit Surik, north of Mevasseret Zion. The court does not have the mandate to ban the construction of the fence but in its ruling disallowed 30 km of the 40-km stretch of
the fence mentioned in the petition.

It had earlier frozen the construction of the barrier in the disputed area in March, pending a final decision.

“The route disrupts the delicate balance between the obligation of the military commander to preserve security and his obligation to provide for the needs of the local inhabitants,” Ha’aretz online quoted it as saying today.

“The route that the military commander established for the security fence... harms the local inhabitants in a severe and acute way while violating their rights under humanitarian and international law,” it added.

“This route has created such hardship for the local population that the state must find an alternative that may give less security but would harm the local population less. — PTI
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Rape used for ethnic cleansing in Sudan

Washington, June 30
Rape is being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing of Africans by Arab militiamen in Sudan, since paternity determines the ethnicity of the baby, whether black or brown, under tribal rules regardless of how a baby is conceived.

According to human rights officials and workers in the region of Western Sudan, 1.2 million Africans have been driven from their lands by government-backed Arab militias, tribal fighters known as “Janjaweed,” reported Washington Post.

Interviews with more than 20 women at refugee camps, schools and health centres in two provincial capitals in Darfuryi yielded consistent reports that the Janjaweed were carrying out waves of attacks targeting African women, the Post said.

The victims and others said the rapes seemed to be a systematic campaign to humiliate women, their husbands and fathers, and to weaken tribal ethnic lines. In Sudan, as in many Arab cultures, a child’s ethnicity is attached to the ethnicity of the father.

“The pattern is so clear because they are doing it in such a massive way and always saying the same thing,” said an internal aid worker who is involved in health care.

She showed a list of victims from Rokero, a town outside Jebel Marra in Central Darfur, where 400 women said they were raped by the Junjaweed.

“It is systematic,” said the aid worker. “Everyone knows how the father carries the lineage in the culture. They want more Arab babies to take the land,” she said.
— PTI
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BRIEFLY

Pak immigrant deported
BUFFALO (NEW YORK):
A Pakistani immigrant who was cleared of suspicions of terrorism but convicted of aiding illegal immigrants lost his fight to remain in the USA and will be deported, a federal official said on Tuesday. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied the request by Ansar Mahmood (27) to defer a removal order. The department cited the 2002 conviction for harbouring illegal immigrants as the primary reason for the decision to send Mahmood back to Pakistan. — AP

Chair named after Indian
NEW YORK:
Columbia University has announced the creation of a new chair in Indian political economy at its School of International and Public Affairs. ''The Jagdish Bhagwati Chair, named after the noted international trade theorist Professor Bhagwati, ensures ongoing scholarly attention to present-day India, which is undergoing rapid changes we need to understand,'' said Lisa Anderson, Dean of the school. Professor Bhagwati, a Columbia University professor, said, ''this is a big breakthrough for modern Indian studies at Columbia.'' — UNI
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