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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Pakistan’s strategic outlook on Kashmir unchanged
Washington, July 15
The all-powerful military in Pakistan was likely to continue using extremists to achieve its strategic objectives of keeping India engaged in Kashmir and protect the country's position in Afghanistan, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been told.

Shabana for empowering women to check AIDS
Shabana Azmi Bangkok, July 15
The face of HIV/AIDS in South Asia is young and female and unless urgent measures to empower and educate women are taken, the threat of the deadly virus will continue to loom large, well-known actress and former Rajya Sabha Member Shabana Azmi said here today.

Sonia attends AIDS conference
Sonia GandhiBangkok, July 15
The Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrived here early this morning to attend the closing session of the 15th International Conference on AIDS.

Carl Jara of the USA carves a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe during the Sand Sculpture Festival in Zeebrugge, northern Belgium, on Thursday Carl Jara of the USA carves a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe during the Sand Sculpture Festival in Zeebrugge, northern Belgium, on Thursday.
— Reuters

South African state to help traders of
Indian origin

Durban, July 15
A South African state will take steps to help create a conducive business climate for two Indian-origin traders, who claimed they suffered racial discrimination, after an inquiry found it was not racism but business rivalry that sparked off the dispute. Salim Moosa and his brother-in-law Shahiem Kadwa had alleged that African businessmen in the township of Nyanga in the Western Cape state were using racist slogans to drive them out of the area.


Stephen Hawking
Black holes, those fearsome galactic traps from which not even light can escape, may not be quite so terminally destructive after all, according to cosmologist Stephen Hawking (shown in a file photo). The author of A Brief History of Time now believes some "information" sucked into black holes escapes over time, contradicting some of his most famous work on the phenomenon. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 
Pink flamingoes fly over Lakuru lake in Kenya in this January 2004 file photo Pink flamingoes fly over Lakuru lake in Kenya in this January 2004 file photo. Ten thousand flamingoes died from suspected water or algae contamination in neighbouring Tanzania’s Lake Manyara in the last month, authorities said on Thursday. The surviving birds have moved from the stretch that is littered by carcasses. — Reuters


Video

Pakistani man claims to have the longest moustache in the country.
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Pakistan’s strategic outlook on Kashmir unchanged

Washington, July 15
The all-powerful military in Pakistan was likely to continue using extremists to achieve its strategic objectives of keeping India engaged in Kashmir and protect the country's position in Afghanistan, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been told.

"...that Pakistan's strategic outlook on Afghanistan and Kashmir issues has not changed suggests that the military is likely to continue to use extremism to achieve its strategic objectives," Vali Nasr, Professor of East and South-Asia politics at the Naval Postgraduate School told the Senate hearing yesterday.

The reasons why Pakistan used militants in the 1990s to achieve its domestic and regional goals have not changed. Pakistan was at that time able to perpetuate its regional interests by adroitly using extremism with minimum investment in resources, he said.

The key issue, however, is how will Pakistan manage to balance its strategy of preserving its "jihadi" assets and even deploying them while supporting the war on terror and how will it manage extremists without that policy affecting Pakistan's own society and politics and President Pervez Musharraf's goals of economic development and social modernisation, he told the committee.

The Senate Committee also agreed that getting General Musharraf away from taking support from extremist organisations and terrorist outfits is extraordinarily difficult because the extremists help him against the traditional political parties while the terrorists try to end Indian rule in Kashmir and regain influence in Afghanistan.

Nasr also pointed out that extremist Islamic forces in Pakistan are resurgent and gaining in sophistication and strength, "all of which poses a threat to political stability in Pakistan."

The extremist network in Pakistan, he said, from inception had ties with Arab fighters in Afghanistan that later coalesced around Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and enjoyed the financial support of Saudi Arabia

"More important," he said, "it also enjoyed the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which since the mid-1980s saw extremism as a strategic tool for controlling Afghanistan, giving Pakistan strategic depth, keeping India under pressure in Kashmir, as was evident in the Kargil operation, and helping the military manipulate domestic politics in Pakistan."

He also referred to the Saudi role in Pakistan and linked it to creating a Sunni block in the region to isolate Shiite Iran.

Teresita Schaffer, Director, South-Asia Programme at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the US needed to adopt a comprehensive strategy towards Pakistan, or risk failing in all of its objectives.

She said the US tendency to build its policy around the person of President Musharraf was a mistake. — PTI
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Shabana for empowering women to check AIDS
Jaishree Balasubramanian

Bangkok, July 15
The face of HIV/AIDS in South Asia is young and female and unless urgent measures to empower and educate women are taken, the threat of the deadly virus will continue to loom large, well-known actress and former Rajya Sabha Member Shabana Azmi said here today.

"Let us get real about HIV/AIDS... today's young people are simply following in the footsteps of older generations. The danger lies in not telling them about the choices they have and in failing to give them the knowledge and support to keep them safe," Azmi said at a discussion on "Pledging Action: Political, Religious and Youth leadership to fight HIV/AIDS in South Asia."

Over 5.2 million persons in South Asia are living with HIV/AIDS, an overwhelming number are from India. Most new infections in the region are among young persons below the age of 25.

The actress, who acted in a Public Service Advertising film on AIDS nearly 10 years ago, said the young were not doing something that the older generation did not know. However, they needed to be educated about safe sex.

Shabana said another phenomena was sterilisation of women. Once a woman had borne children, she is sterilised as a family planning measure. Her husband, however, may not use family planning measures, but after migrating to other areas, indulge in unsafe sex and come back to their wives who may contract the disease.

"Condoms should be seen as dual health benefits - to protect from HIV/AIDS and as a family planning method," she added.

She said former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been the first Prime Minister in India who had talked openly about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and the new government too was making efforts for prevention of the pandemic. — PTI
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Sonia attends AIDS conference

Bangkok, July 15
The Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrived here early this morning to attend the closing session of the 15th International Conference on AIDS.

She will address the conference tomorrow. Her presence at the conference reaffirms her personal commitment and the political consensus within India on the need to combat AIDS in a multi-dimensional manner with access for all, sources said.

During her stay here, Ms Gandhi will meet Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatara, the Thai Foreign Minister Surakiat and veteran leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela. — PTI
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South African state to help traders of Indian origin

Durban, July 15
A South African state will take steps to help create a conducive business climate for two Indian-origin traders, who claimed they suffered racial discrimination, after an inquiry found it was not racism but business rivalry that sparked off the dispute.

Salim Moosa and his brother-in-law Shahiem Kadwa had alleged that African businessmen in the township of Nyanga in the Western Cape state were using racist slogans to drive them out of the area.

However, an inquiry by the Economic Affairs and Tourism Department of the state government found it was not racism but the low prices charged for goods by the two brothers-in-law which was the real cause of the dispute.

"The investigation found that the bone of contention between the traders was the apparent low prices for goods sold by them," Provincial Minister in charge of Economic Development and Tourism Lynne Brown said.

She said the problem had to be dealt with on two levels. "First, the government and other community stakeholders need to act in unison to resolve the dispute between the Indian businessmen and their Nyanga counterparts."

"Secondly, the Department is aware that the small traders cannot compete with larger shops and are being squeezed out of business", she said. — PTI
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BRIEFLY


A farmer inspects one of his ducks at a farm in Ayutthaya, near Bangkok, on Thursday
A farmer inspects one of his ducks at a farm in Ayutthaya, near Bangkok, on Thursday. Thailand confirmed more outbreaks of the deadly bird flu among chickens and wild ducks and now has recurrences of the virus in nine of its 76 provinces. — Reuters

Adnan Sami sues Canada
TORONTO:
A searing tug-of-love custody battle between Bollywood singer Adnan Sami Khan and his glamorous ex-wife landed in a Toronto courtroom on Thursday with a $ 30 million suit against the Canadian Government. Khan is suing Canada for economic loss and emotional distress, which, he says, was triggered by an immigration raid in November 1998, which saw his young son taken away. He claims that he was "severely embarrassed, humiliated and traumatised" by his arrest after the raid, and the loss of his son, Azaan, whom he has not seen since. — AFP

Record auction for bowl
LONDON:
A 1,700-year-old West Asian bowl set a new world record for glass at an auction when it went for £ 2,646,650 ($ 4.91 million). The bowl, known as the Constable-Maxwell Cage-Cup, is the size of two cupped hands and would have filled with oil and suspended from the ceiling as a light. Glass specialist Joanna van der Lande said: " The most staggering thing to note about this is that it is all cut from one block of glass." The bowl is intact except for a small piece missing from the filigree base. — Reuters

Adnan Sami sues Canada
TORONTO:
A searing tug-of-love custody battle between Bollywood singer Adnan Sami Khan and his glamorous ex-wife landed in a Toronto courtroom on Thursday with a $ 30 million suit against the Canadian Government. Khan is suing Canada for economic loss and emotional distress, which, he says, was triggered by an immigration raid in November 1998, which saw his young son taken away. He claims that he was "severely embarrassed, humiliated and traumatised" by his arrest after the raid, and the loss of his son, Azaan, whom he has not seen since. — AFP

Record auction for bowl
LONDON:
A 1,700-year-old West Asian bowl set a new world record for glass at an auction when it went for £ 2,646,650 ($ 4.91 million). The bowl, known as the Constable-Maxwell Cage-Cup, is the size of two cupped hands and would have filled with oil and suspended from the ceiling as a light. Glass specialist Joanna van der Lande said: " The most staggering thing to note about this is that it is all cut from one block of glass." The bowl is intact except for a small piece missing from the filigree base. — Reuters
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