Bush condemns Mumbai blasts
5 hanged in Pak for gang rape
Ruling PoK party set to form govt again
Plot to kill Pervez: militant
PM, Hu, Putin to discuss trilateral ties
Russia beefs up security for G-8 summit
Bush condemns Mumbai blasts
President George W. Bush expressed outrage over the bomb blasts that killed over 183 persons in Mumbai on Tuesday and said the United States stood with India in the war on terror.
“The United States stands with the people and the government of India and condemns in the strongest terms these atrocities, which were committed against innocent people as they went about their daily lives,” Mr. Bush said in a written statement issued while he was travelling in Wisconsin.
“Such acts only strengthen the resolve of the international community to stand united against terrorism and to declare unequivocally that there is no justification for the vicious murder of innocent people,” he said.
Earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there was “no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people.”
“Those responsible for these terrible acts should be swiftly brought to justice,” she said. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press said the coordination of the attacks and the targeting of trains at peak travel times matched the modus operandi of two Islamist groups active in India during the last several years — Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. The U.S. government has designated both as terrorist organisations.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the attacks “in the strongest possible terms.”
“Many have lost their lives, and many more were injured. So our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones or friends or relatives in these attacks, and we wish a speedy recovery to all of those who were injured,” he said. Mr. McCormack said the Bush administration had been in touch with the Indian government and will offer any assistance that New Delhi might request for.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns telephoned India's ambassador in
Washington, Ronen Sen, to convey condolences and a sense of shock on behalf of the U.S. Mr. Sen also received a phone call from the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Ayalon, the first foreign envoy in Washington to offer his sympathies.
On Capitol Hill, members of Congress condemned the bombings. Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, said she was “disgusted that perpetrators of these acts could have had such little regard for the loss and sorrow that their actions would cause.”
Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., New Jersey Democrat, called the attacks “a senseless act of terrorism and violence... The world mourns this tragedy along with the victims, their families and all Indians.”
Congressman Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, said, “While terrorists claim to pursue a lofty purpose, their cowardly attacks against civilians demonstrate that they are monsters motivated by evil and the destruction of life. By targeting innocent travelers in India, these mass murderers have reminded the world of their inhumanity and the importance of defeating terrorism throughout the globe.”
“Today, our hearts and prayers are with the Indian people. Just as they stood with us on September 11th, we are standing with them on July 11th and each day forward as our two nations continue to fight terrorism and protect our freedoms,” Mr. Wilson said.
Senator George V. Voinovich, Ohio Republican, echoed this sentiment while condemning the bombings. “Following 9/11, India was one of the first countries to offer assistance to our nation,” he noted. “Its people and government expressed genuine sympathy for our loss while they mourned losses of their own at the World Trade Center.”
Islamabad, July 12
The men were sent to the gallows at the district jail in Sialkot, Superintendent Jail, Abdul Razaq
He said it was the first time that five persons were hanged the same day in Sialkot.
Another jail official said the men were aged between 23 and 35 and three of them were married. Their bodies were handed over to their relatives outside the jail.
The gang rape victim Sureya Bibi had appealed to the court yesterday to forgive the convicts but the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court rejected her request.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry argued that there could be no reconciliation in a case of rape and, therefore, the punishment could not be stopped. Gang rape is punishable by death
The men Mushtaq Papu, Shehzad Maseeh, Muhammad Yousaf, Abdul Jabbar and Iftikhar Ahmed were convicted of raping the woman in September 1999, and had appeals against their death sentences rejected by higher courts. — PTI
Islamabad, July 12
The Muslim Conference has so far bagged 21 out of the 41 seats in the Assembly for which the elections were held yesterday.
The Assembly has 49 seats in total and the remaining nine seats would be filled by nominations.
The Muslim Conference, which had 31 members in the outgoing Assembly, hoped to get 30 seats in all in yesterday’s poll, Sarver Hussain, a senior party leader and a close associate of Qayyum Khan, told PTI here today.
Qayyum, known as the moderate among the pro-Pakistani Kashmiri leaders, had previously served as President and Prime Minister of PoK.
He did not contest the elections but his son Attiq Khan, who has won his seat, is tipped to take over as Prime Minister after consultations with President Pervez Musharraf.
Hailing his party’s victory, Attiq Khan said the return of Muslim Conference to power would provide the political and ideological stability to PoK as both Pakistan and India have embarked on a peace process and implemented a number of confidence building measures to bring the two sides of Kashmir closer.
Significantly, the Islamic alliance Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA), which was expected to make gains following the relief work carried out by some ‘jihadi’ groups in the quake-hit areas, drew blank. The Jamat-e Islami, a dominant partner of the MMA in PoK, had fielded many candidates.
The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the political party of the Indian migrants which had till now dominated politics of southern Sindh province, has made its debut in PoK by winning a seat.
According to unofficial results, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) bagged seven seats followed by its breakaway group Peoples Muslim League which got four seats and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party which won one seat. Independents got five seats.
The elections were held amid stray incidents of violence and allegations of rigging by the opposition parties. — PTI
Karachi, July 12
Defence lawyer Sami Ullah said the police had failed to provide evidence against Naveed-ul-Hasan, an activist of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alami group.
“The court in its ruling said the evidence against him was full of doubts,” he added.
Hasan was accused by the police of parking a vehicle packed with explosives along a route General Musharraf was to take in the port city of Karachi in 2002. But the remote-controlled detonator failed. — Reuters
PM, Hu, Putin to discuss trilateral ties
Beijing, July 12 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on the sidelines of the ‘outreach’ summit of G-8 in St Petersburg, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told reporters here. The G-8 nations will be holding their annual meeting on July 16-17 in the Russian city. India and China are among countries invited for the ‘outreach’ session of the summit. “The Russian side proposed a trilateral meeting between the leaders of China, Russia and India to try and strengthen and deepen the cooperation between the three countries. They made a good proposal and we respect the arrangement of the host country,” Mr Cui said. “The Foreign Ministers of the three countries have been meeting each others for many years. So it is natural for the leaders of the three countries to continue their meetings in St Petersburg,” Mr Cui said.
Beijing, July 12
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on the sidelines of the ‘outreach’ summit of G-8 in St Petersburg, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told reporters here.
The G-8 nations will be holding their annual meeting on July 16-17 in the Russian city. India and China are among countries invited for the ‘outreach’ session of the summit.
“The Russian side proposed a trilateral meeting between the leaders of China, Russia and India to try and strengthen and deepen the cooperation between the three countries. They made a good proposal and we respect the arrangement of the host country,” Mr Cui said.
“The Foreign Ministers of the three countries have been meeting each others for many years. So it is natural for the leaders of the three countries to continue their meetings in St Petersburg,” Mr Cui said. — PTI
Moscow, July 12
The summits of the G-8 countries with considerable political and economic clout have traditionally been a focus of anti-globalisation protests and a potential terrorist target. So, the Russian authorities are not leaving anything to chance.
''Everything has been prepared for the summit in St Petersburg. I am sure this important international event will be held at a high level and will yield good results. All conditions for this have been provided in the city,'' St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko told reporters.
The G-8 countries will hold several rounds of talks and meetings in different formats during their summit. Some of the meetings will be with leaders of several countries, invited for the outreach session, including India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Congo.
The G-8 Presidents and their wives will begin to arrive at the Pulkovo airport in the afternoon on July 15.
The official summit will open on July 16 with a working meeting of the leaders of Russia, the US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada in the Pavilion of Negotiations.
On July 17, the G-8 Heads of State will begin their programme by meeting invited leaders of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, as well as heads of several international organisations. — UNI