A T E S T N E W S
India's tough talk rattled Pakistan: Rice
by India's tough talk after the Mumbai terror attacks, a
"terrified" Pakistan pressed the panic button and told the US,
China, Saudi Arabia and "everyone that India had decided to go to
war". Islamabad informed the White House that India had warned them
that they had decided to go to war and a US Presidential aide anxiously
called her to convey this, says the then Secretary of State Condoleezza
"That isn't what they're (India) telling me," she told the
"In my many conversations with the Indians over the two days,
they'd emphasised their desire to defuse the situation and their need
for the Pakistanis to do something to show that they accepted
responsibility for tracking down the terrorists," Rice wrote in her
book 'No High Honors' that is scheduled to hit the book stores next
Giving an insider account of what transpired beyond public gaze after
the 26/11 attacks, Rice discloses that the origin of the panic in
Pakistan were the "stern words" conveyed by the then External
Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to his Pakistani counterpart Shah
Mehmood Qureshi during a phone call.
Rice asked the operations centre to get Mukherjee on the phone, but they
couldn't reach him.
Consequently she started getting nervous and she thought that Mukherjee
was trying to avoid her as New Delhi was preparing for war.
"I called back again. No response. By now the international phone
lines were buzzing with the news. The Pakistanis were calling
everyone—the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Chinese. Finally Mukherjee
called back. I told him what I'd heard," Rice wrote in her 766-page
strongly opposes commuting sentence of Rajiv assassins
opposing the petitions by three Rajiv Gandhi assassins challenging their
death sentences, the Centre on Friday said the delay in the disposal of
the clemency pleas was not a valid ground for commutation of capital
"However long it may be, is not a mitigating circumstance or can be
construed as a valid ground for commutation of death sentence and in any
event does not reduce the gravity of the crime," the Centre said in
its counter affidavit in response to the petitions filed by Murugan,
Santhan and Perarivalan.
On August 30, a division Bench comprising justices C Nagappan and M
Satyanaryanan, had stayed for eight weeks the execution of the trio.
When the petitions came up on Friday, the judges adjourned the hearing
on the petitions to November 29 as the Supreme Court was hearing a
petition for transferring the petitions to another high court.
In the affidavit on behalf of the Centre, Joint Secretary (Judicial) in
the Union Home Ministry, J L Chugh, pointed out that the power of the
President under Article 72 of the Constitution "is a discretionary
power which cannot be taken away by any statutory provision".
The power cannot be altered, modified or interfered with in any manner
whatsoever by any statutory provision or authority, the affidavit said,
adding that "exercise of power under Article 71 of the Constitution
is not curtailed by any limitation as to the timeframe within which such
power conferred might be exercised".
Asserting that deterrent punishment alone could prevent other potential
offenders from committing such crimes, the counter said it was also
likely to dissuade people from associating in future with any terrorist
organisation in committing such diabolical and heinous crimes.
for overhauling of Team Anna; to skip Core panel meet
New Delhi: Another
Team Anna member Medha Patkar on Friday said there was a need for
"overhauling" the group as it was facing a number of
allegations and many members of the Core Committee were being targeted,
but denied any rift within.
At the same, Patkar said she will not be attending Saturday's Core
Committee meeting, which Hazare and Justice Santosh Hegde have also
decided to skip.
"I don't think there is a difference of opinion. The only thing is
a bit of overhauling is certainly becoming necessary because there are a
number of allegations and Core Committee members are being
targeted," she said.
She said Saturday's meeting of the committee will be in a better
position to take a decision on the overhauling.
Her remarks came as another Team Anna member Kumar Vishwas shot off a
letter to Hazare on the eve of Core Committee meeting, seeking its
expansion to make it more representative against the backdrop of
Congress leaders targeting it.
He said the leaders of the ruling party were targeting Hazare and each
member of the Core Committee and trying to tarnish their public image
Patkar, a prominent member of the Core Committee, said all its members
are with the movement. "The movement does not mean only Core
Committee," she asserted.
Asked about Justice Santosh Hegde's remarks on allegations faced by Team
Anna members that "it's a nice churning and 'manthan' is going
on", Patkar said he was not giving any opinion against the
Committee or the movement.
"He has the
right to give his own frank opinion whether it is with respect to any
allegation or otherwise," she said.
tests nuclear-capable Hatf-7 cruise missile
on Friday test fired nuclear-capable Hatf-7 cruise missile with a range
of 700 km that can hit targets in India.
The test of the "indigenously developed multi-tube" cruise
missile system was successful, said a statement issued by the military.
The Hatf-7 or Babur missile has stealth capabilities and can carry
nuclear and conventional warheads, the military said.
The test was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee Khalid
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani
congratulated the scientists and engineers on their achievement.
reconnects its landlines with pvt mobile
companies in Punjab
nearly a month of disruption, state-owned telecom major BSNL on Friday
restored services between its landline telephones and private mobile
The services have been restored following fresh directions issued by the
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to BSNL to restore the
services by Friday.
"The Points of Interconnect (providing connectivity between BSNL
landline phones and mobile phones of private operators within Punjab
have been restored, following directions from the head office," a
BSNL official said here.
Earlier last week, BSNL had ignored similar directions of Trai, after
which private mobile operators again approached the regulatory body.
On September 29, BSNL's Punjab circle had disconnected the services to
five mobile operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices,
Reliance Communication and Idea, on account of pending dues amounting to
Rs 13 crore.
Customers could not call up on one another's network in Punjab,
Chandigarh and Panchkula in Haryana.
BSNL landline subscribers could not make a call to mobile subscribers of
private mobile operators and vice-versa.
On October 3, BSNL restored services to RCom and Tata Teleservices as
telecom tribunal TDSAT stayed BSNL from disconnecting services of the
two private operators.
BSNL, following hardships faced by those in distress, had restored
services to emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 in the Punjab
In Punjab, BSNL has about 11.91 lakh landline customers, while mobile
operators Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had 67.09 lakh, 42.30 lakh, and
47.34 lakh subscribers respectively as on July 31.