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Frontier Gandhi’s son dead
Pakistan, January 27
Reflecting the respect India has for the late veteran Pakistani leader and its close friend Wali Khan, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha K Rehman Khan today attended his funeral and described him as the “true son” of ‘Frontier Gandhi’ Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who wanted the two countries to live like brothers.

Pakistani woman pilot Ayesha Rabia Naveed with her co-pilot Sadia Aziz
In this photo released by Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistani woman pilot Ayesha Rabia Naveed (left) with her co-pilot Sadia Aziz sit in the cockpit of a passenger plane in Islamabad. The first Pakistani passenger plane with a woman pilot and all-woman crew operated a domestic flight this week, making aviation history in Pakistan. — AP/PTI





EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Indian fishermen arrested in Pakistan.
(28k, 56k)
France willing to take back toxic waste
Paris, January 27
France has offered to take back toxic asbestos waste from the Indian shipbreaker charged with dismantling the Clemenceau aircraft carrier, the Defence Ministry said yesterday.

Hamas win alarms Bush
U
S President George W. Bush on Thursday said the Palestinian militant group Hamas cannot be a “partner in peace” as long as it advocates the destruction of Israel.

Interpol notice meant to discredit, says Bhutto
Washington, January 27
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has charged that Interpol’s Red Notices against her and her husband Asif Ali Zardari that notified its member countries the two faced arrest back home on corruption charges, were part of a political campaign by President Pervez Musharraf to discredit her.

Want alert mind, have apple
New York, January 27
Eating apples and drinking apple juice could keep you mentally sharp despite ageing, researchers say.
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Frontier Gandhi’s son dead

Pakistan, January 27
Reflecting the respect India has for the late veteran Pakistani leader and its close friend Wali Khan, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha K Rehman Khan today attended his funeral and described him as the “true son” of ‘Frontier Gandhi’ Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who wanted the two countries to live like brothers.

Rehman Khan flew in by a special plane from Delhi and attended the funeral of Wali Khan, who died at the age of 89 yesterday after prolonged illness, in Peshawar along with Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Shivshankar Menon and other senior diplomats, following which the body was brought here for burial.

“We conveyed the message of the Prime Minister to Wali Khan’s son Afsandiyar Khan and we hope that our coming here will further strengthen bonds between the two countries, and present generations of India and Pakistan will emulate such freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the Indo-Pak friendship,” Rehman said after extending condolences to Wali Khan’s wife Begum Naseem Wali Khan and the son.

Paying tributes to Wali Khan at his ancestral residence at Wali Bagh here, Mr Rehman said he was was a friend of India and the “true son” of Frontier Gandhi. “He loved India and wanted India and Pakistan to live like brothers.”

Afsandiyar Khan said he was touched by the gesture of Indian government and had no words to express his gratitude to the display of solidarity by India. Wali Khan had been advocating friendship between India and Pakistan since last 50 years. — PTI 

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France willing to take back toxic waste

Paris, January 27
France has offered to take back toxic asbestos waste from the Indian shipbreaker charged with dismantling the Clemenceau aircraft carrier, the Defence Ministry said yesterday.

Dogged for weeks by environmentalists who say the ship’s insulation poses an unacceptable risk to Indian demolition workers, the 265-metre vessel transited the Suez canal early this week.

But the Supreme Court has banned the 24,000- tonne vessel from Indian waters until February 13 when it is due to reach a decision based on consultations with all parties, including Greenpeace and the French government.

“Our ambassador has indicated to the Indian committee of experts that if the Indian authorities demand it, the asbestos waste will be repatriated to France,” said defence ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau.

“This question doesn’t seem to be resolved, so we have made this proposition to avoid any ambiguity and of course for the return we will obviously apply the Basle convention on the transport of dangerous waste,” he said.

But environmentalists said the offer made no difference to the risk confronting the ship breakers at Shree Ram Vessels Scrap in the northwestern province of Gujarat.

The Defence Ministry says 115 of the 160 tonnes of asbestos on board was removed and that taking the rest would have threatened the ship’s structure.

GANDHINAGAR: Clemenceau’s Indian buyer has challenged Greenpeace to come out with concrete statistics to support their charges that breaking of asbestos here has caused asbestosis or cancer among workers.

The owner Mukesh Patel of Shri Ram Vessels has said “I challenge them to prove by giving names and details of workers who have got asbestosis or cancer on account of working in Alang shipyards”. —AFP/TNS

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Hamas win alarms Bush
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

US President George W. Bush on Thursday said the Palestinian militant group Hamas cannot be a “partner in peace” as long as it advocates the destruction of Israel.

Speaking to reporters as results from the Middle East showed the Islamist group pulling off a stunning victory in parliamentary elections, Mr Bush said, “I know you can’t be a partner in peace if … your party has got an armed wing”. He said his administration would “watch very carefully” the formation of a new Palestinian government.

Hamas’ landslide triumph will test the sincerity of the Bush administration’s rhetoric of spreading democracy in the Middle East. The Palestinian group has been designated a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) by the U.S.A. and the European Union and is considered a mortal enemy by Israel. With Hamas preparing to form a government, Washington’s reaction will reveal whether it seeks the emergence of true democracies or convenient allies.

The FTO designation means it is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to the group. The Bush administration, which provided over $500 million in the past year to the Palestinian Authority and the ruling Fatah party, had threatened to cut off funding to a Palestinian administration that includes Hamas. On Thursday, Mr. Bush did not say whether he would stick to that threat.

As Israel and the West scrambled to formulate a response to Hamas’ victory, Mr. Bush attempted to put a brave face on the development. He said the results reminded him “about the power of democracy,” and were “a wake-up call to the leadership”. That a large number of Palestinians are frustrated with corruption in the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party was evident when the party once led by Yasser Arafat won just 43 of the 132 parliamentary seats. Hamas won 76 seats.

“Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo. The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find health care,” Mr. Bush said. The elections, he said, “should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Bush administration’s opposition to Hamas had not changed. “You cannot have one foot in politics and the other in terror,” she said in a message broadcast to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.Top

 

Interpol notice meant to discredit, says Bhutto

Washington, January 27
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has charged that Interpol’s Red Notices against her and her husband Asif Ali Zardari that notified its member countries the two faced arrest back home on corruption charges, were part of a political campaign by President Pervez Musharraf to discredit her.

“My husband and I have faced these scurrilous, baseless, malicious, and politically motivated charges for the past nine years. And by the grace of God, there’s not a single conviction against either my husband or myself for fraud or for corruption,” Ms Bhutto told the ‘Voice of America.’

Ms Bhutto, who is currently here, said the notices were part of Musharraf’s political campaign to discredit here. “As far as I’m concerned, if any court wants me in Pakistan, I am prepared to catch the next plane and go to Pakistan. So it is not an issue of my evading presence in a court. But no court in Pakistan to my knowledge has asked me to be present. And I believe that Interpol has not been given the correct facts by the military regime in Pakistan,” she said.

Ms Bhutto also said the notices were aimed at diverting the media attention from the recent US air strike targeting Al-Qaida members at a village close to Afghanistan, in which 13 civilians were killed.

She claimed the government’s campaign against her and her secular-based Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had empowered the extremist religious parties.

Pakistan government had approached the Interpol to issue the notices against Bhutto and Zardari. Although a Red Notice is not an arrest warrant, an Interpol spokesman said members consider it as a valid request for provisional arrest, especially if they are linked to the requesting country via a bilateral extradition treaty.

Bhutto had left Pakistan in 1999 amid a string of corruption charges instituted against her and Zardari, by her successor, Nawaz Sharif. The military regime and successive governments that followed kept the cases going, which she said was aimed at preventing her from coming home.

Zardari was jailed for eight years without any legal resolution and was released on bail in 2004. He has been in the United States for the past several months for medical treatment.

Recently, Ms Bhutto claimed Musharraf’s emissaries, who met her in October had offered to freeze all the cases against her if she renounced politics or stayed out of it for a specified period, which she rejected. — PTI

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Want alert mind, have apple

New York, January 27
Eating apples and drinking apple juice could keep you mentally sharp despite ageing, researchers say.

The researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell found that there is something in apples and apple juice that protects brain cells in normal aging, reported science portal EurekAlert.

The researchers assessed whether drinking apple juice could protect against brain damage in aging mice, damage that can lead to memory loss.

The study, which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, says apples have naturally high level of antioxidants that are responsible for these positive effects. — IANS

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