Bangladesh goes India-bashing
Quake-hit Pak town waits to collect dead
Pak rape victim acquitted in trespass case
Moscow, October 28
This was conveyed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his meeting with External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh here today.
Mr Natwar Singh, who was here to attend the meetings of the Indo-Russian Inter-Government Commission (IRIGC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), was also assured by Mr Lavrov that Russia was “mindful of India’s impeccable record’’ on non-proliferation.
The two sides agreed that the vexed Iran nuclear issue should be discussed within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the situation should not be allowed to escalate to a point where the process of dialogue is stopped.
Regarding India’s non-proliferation record a reference was made to the legislation passed in India, which strictly controls export of any sensitive technology and materials.
“It was felt that an exception could be made for India in terms of norms observed by the NSG,” an official spokesman said.
Regarding the India-Russia-China trilateral grouping, both sides agreed to hold the next meeting in New Delhi in March next year. It was felt that energy and transportation could be the two key topics for discussions.
On UN reforms, both sides agreed to continue consultations on the functioning of the world body and expansion of the Security Council.
The two sides also reviewed the October 26 meeting of the Indo-Russian Inter-governmental Commission and referred to further increase in cooperation in trade and economic areas and science and technology.
The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on working within the SCO framework.
Mr Natwar Singh said India would be organising an Asian Energy Conference in New Delhi on November 25, which would bring together energy producers and consumers.
During the talks the forthcoming summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Putin, which is to take place in Moscow in December was also discussed. It was agreed that the two sides would work closely together to put together the various agreements in the areas of the use of Rupee debt funds, Russia’s accession to the WTO, intellectual property rights in military technical cooperation, facilitation of visas for businessmen and other ordinary passport holders and illegal drug trafficking. — UNI
Bangladesh goes India-bashing
New Delhi, October 28
There is no dearth of political issues in Bangladesh for India-bashing but what is surprising for the South Block is that an orchestrated campaign is on in Dhaka to blame India for more than 400 bombings in 63 of the 64 districts in Bangladesh on August 17.
The September 30 outburst by the Director-General of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) here at a BSF-BDR joint press conference was by no means an accident. Major-Gen Jahangir Hossain Choudhury had been needling his BSF counterparts during the meeting by saying that the August 17 serial bombings in Bangladesh was an act by “Indian criminals”. At the press conference he might have stopped short of accusing India as the culprit. But Maj-Gen Choudhury made the point that a mere Bangladeshi official could stand in India’s capital, insult India and get away with it.
General Choudhury was appreciated at the highest political level in Bangladesh for his bravado, diplomatic sources said today.
India could have ignored the remarks as immature antics if Bangladesh’s political leadership’s conduct was different. On the contrary, the ruling BNP and its coalition ministers made similar statements. Minister of State for Home (BNP) Lutfuzzaman Babar, Minister of Industries Matiur Rehman Nizami (Jamaat-e-Islami) and some others have gone public, suggesting India’s hand in the August 17 bombings in collusion with the Opposition Awami League.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in her address to the Jatiyo Sangsad (Parliament) on its opening day in September after recess left no doubt that she had held India responsible in collusion with the Awami League. She repeated this in New York also.
Foreign Minister Morshed Khan tried to convince even the British High Commissioner that the bombings was an Indian plot. A large section of the ruling coalition is now engaged in India-baiting, while a few faces like Finance Minister Saifur Rehman are doing a careful balancing act.
The developments in Bangladesh, otherwise a moderate and intellectual Islamic country, suggests that it is about to be revisited by the Razakar and Al-Badr marauders Islamabad unleashed in 1971. Begum Khaleda Zia’s politics raises many questions where her country’s liberation history and secularism is concerned. The Bangladesh Government website mentions that the late President (Gen) Zia-ur-Rehman, her husband, was the liberator of the country from Pakistan. He actually was a sector commander in the liberation war.
Quake-hit Pak town waits to collect dead
Chinari (Pakistan), October 28 The tiny town, 50 km southeast of Muzaffarabad, is still cut off by landslides which the army is struggling to clear. The town looks as if the quake happened only yesterday. Crushed cars still litter the main road through the largely flattened market and the smell of death hangs in the air. ‘’You can’t imagine the misery we’re living in. It’s terrible, it’s terrible,’’ said Abdul Aziz, returning to Chinari with a load of food from a town lower down the Jhelum valley. The 7.6 magnitude quake on October 8 knocked the Al Falah school off its foundation. The two top floors of what used to be a four-storey building have collapsed and lie precariously perched on a steep slope above the Jhelum river. Residents say about 180 children were killed there. The residents have no equipment to clear the debris and the rest of the children lie where they died.
Chinari (Pakistan), October 28
The tiny town, 50 km southeast of Muzaffarabad, is still cut off by landslides which the army is struggling to clear.
The town looks as if the quake happened only yesterday. Crushed cars still litter the main road through the largely flattened market and the smell of death hangs in the air.
‘’You can’t imagine the misery we’re living in. It’s terrible, it’s terrible,’’ said Abdul Aziz, returning to Chinari with a load of food from a town lower down the Jhelum valley.
The 7.6 magnitude quake on October 8 knocked the Al Falah school off its foundation. The two top floors of what used to be a four-storey building have collapsed and lie precariously perched on a steep slope above the Jhelum river.
Residents say about 180 children were killed there.
The residents have no equipment to clear the debris and the rest of the children lie where they died. — Reuters
Islamabad, October 28
Sonia’s counsel argued before the court that the case was baseless and that it only served to falsely implicate his client.
The police had booked Sonia on the charge of sneaking into the National Assembly on April 20, and sent her to Aadiala Jail on judicial remand. She was granted bail on April 24, but on June 29 the court cancelled her bail and issued an arrest warrant against her because she failed to appear in court. On October 5, her bail application was restored, reported the Daily Times.
She also claimed the police had registered a fake case against her husband and said she would fight for her husband until the end. Since getting bail, Sonia has been alleging that her rapists were giving life threats. — ANI
Scotch whisky new rage in China
London, October 28
Traditional Scotch dealers didn't ever imagine their drink would be put to such use, but they are not complaining, not after sales crossed the one-billion-pound mark in the first half of 2005 - for the first time in eight years.
A spokesman of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said: "Personally, I wouldn't touch it for all the tea in China - but different people have different tastes and there's a range of ways to enjoy Scotch whisky." Figures published by the SWA show that China has emerged as the fastest-growing export markets for the spirit.
India is considered another promising market, where exports rose 19 per cent to seven million pounds.
The SWA is working with the European Commission to persuade the Indian government to reduce the current duty and tax burden of between 212 per cent and 525 per cent.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said he planned to visit Beijing in November "to discuss market conditions with Chinese officials and to learn at first hand how this exciting market is developing a taste for Scotch whisky".
Hewitt is expected to sample the way whisky is being drunk in China as a long drink mixed with green tea.
Reports from China say that it is particularly popular as a tipple for friends visiting a bar, where they fill a jug with ice, pour in some whisky and then top it up with green tea.
The concoction is said to be drunk mainly by the lower and middle classes, with the wealthy tending to drink a single malt on its own.
Five years ago exports to China were only one million pounds, but since then import tariffs have come down from a punishing 65 per cent to only 10 per cent. — IANS
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