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Pak Taliban brand Imran Khan as 'American slave'

Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban have described cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as a "slave of the US and Europe" after he called himself a liberal.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan made the remarks in an interview with BBC Urdu.

Ehsan noted that Khan had said he is not a Taliban supporter and remarked: "We also think Imran Khan is not our sympathiser." The Taliban spokesman advised Khan to talk in Urdu, the language of the Pakistani people, if he considers himself the representative of the people. In a recent interview with the BBC, Imran had said that he is a liberal and does not support the militants.

But the Taliban spokesman said: "Those who call themselves as liberal are in fact free of Islam and other religions. A liberal man does not believe in any religion and particularly does not believe in Islam." Ehsan questioned Khan's remarks describing several Pakistani leaders as slaves of the US.

He claimed Khan was a "slave of those Americans who are no more in the world". Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, drew a mammoth crowd during a recent rally organised in Lahore as part of efforts to galvanise his supporters ahead of the general election scheduled for 2013.

He has called for the halting of military operations against groups like the Taliban and for dialogue to end the unrest in northwest Pakistan.





2G: Court dismisses Raja's plea

New Delhi: A plea by former Telecom Minister A Raja that he would not cross-examine prosecution witnesses unless the CBI probe is over in 2G spectrum case, was dismissed on Friday by a Delhi court which began formal trial in the matter.

Raja made the plea minutes before Special Judge O P Saini commenced formal trial, beginning it with the recording of first prosecution witness, Reliance Capital Ltd vice-president Anand Subramaniam's statement.

"As soon as the investigation in this case, which started on October 21, 2009, is complete and all the statements as mandated in section 244 of the CrPC as supplied to the applicant, the right to recall the witnesses for cross examination will be exercised," Raja said in an application to the court.

Appearing for Raja, senior advocate Sushil Kumar told the court that the CBI has apprised the Supreme Court that their investigation in connection with Loop Telecom is going on.

Raja's counsel said the court should ask the agency if the investigation as far as all the 17 accused is complete.

He said the investigation in the case is going on as only one FIR has been registered by the CBI. The court, however, dismissed Raja's plea and began recording the statement of the first prosecution witness.





SC seeks detailed report on Pakistanis in Indian jails

New Delhi: Expressing "shock" over large number of Pakistani nationals languishing in various Indian jails without trial, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to file within two weeks a comprehensive report on them.

A Bench headed by Justice R M Lodha also asked the government to explain as to why four women among the jailed Pakistanis should not be repatriated without any delay.

"You should take certain things seriously. Give us entire picture so that we could pass order. Complete information is not forthcoming. Let there be a comprehensive exercise and complete information be provided about foreign nationals in Indian jails," the Bench said.

The court was hearing a plea by J&K National Panthers' Party chief Bhim Singh seeking its directions to the Centre to release around 300 Pakistani nationals, lodged in different jails of the country.

He submitted that they have been in jails for many years without trial and which is against the law, prompting the court to state that "It is shocking".
"Right to personal liberty is the most dear Article (of the Constitution) to us and the most precious right given to the people," the Bench said while pulling up the government for not giving complete information to it on prisoners in various Indian jails.

"You have complete information with you. Why do you give information piece meal?," the Bench said after hearing arguments from various sides and adjourned the matter for two weeks.




Food inflation falls to 11.81pc

New Delhi:Food inflation declined marginally to 11.81 per cent in the week ended October 29, but the slight moderation in the rate of price rise provided little respite to consumers burdened by high prices of essential kitchen staples like vegetables and pulses.

Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 12.21 per cent in the previous week ended October 22. The rate of price rise of food items stood at 12.68 per cent in the corresponding week of the previous year.

As per data released by the government on Friday, vegetables became 26.05 per cent costlier on a year-on-year basis during the week ended October 29. Pulses grew costlier by 13.27 per cent, fruits by 11.70 per cent and milk by 11.79 per cent.
Eggs, meat and fish also became 12.74 per cent more expensive on an annual basis, while cereal prices were up 4.07 per cent.

However, onions became 19.31 per cent cheaper. Wheat prices were also down 1.77 per cent year-on-year during the week under review.

Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 11.43 per cent, compared to 12.08 per cent in the previous week. Primary articles have over 20 per cent weight in the wholesale price index.

Inflation in non-food articles, including fibres, oilseeds and minerals, was recorded at 6.41 per cent during the week under review.

Fuel and power inflation stood at 14.50 per cent during the week ended October 29, unchanged from the previous week.





Bhanwari Devi case: CBI files status report in HC

Jodhpur: The CBI on Friday filed a status report in the Rajasthan High Court in the Bhanwari Devi disappearance case in which former minister Mahipal Maderna is a suspect.

The report was filed a day after the agency quizzed Maderna on his alleged links with the missing nurse during which he is understood to have admitted that he knew her.
After seeking the court's permission to file the report in a sealed envelope, the CBI filed the report in the division bench of Govind Mathur and NK Jain here.

The CBI also requested the court to provide a Deputy Inspector General rank police officer to assist it in searching Bhanwari Devi, who is missing since September 1, but the court advised the agency to first approach the state government on the issue.
However, the court said, if the government does not take any action in this regard the court can interfere.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Amar chand, the husband of Bhanwari Devi. Amarchand had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna who denied the charge.

The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled on November 14.

Agency sources on Thursday said that Maderna was quizzed for about six hours and he came out with "valuable information" about the case and his questioning is likely to continue on Friday as he has assured the CBI of his "full cooperation" in the probe.
Maderna was confronted with statements of other suspects, his call records, details of his meetings with Bhanwari Devi, Sahiram and other suspects besides some recent recoveries made by the agency in the case.

He has admitted that "he knew" Bhanwari and has provided "valuable information", the sources had said, without elaborating.



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