Nation & States  

Pakistan demand leaves Saarc
foreign secretaries at a loss

What is India News Service, July 19, 2004, 1700 hrs IST

The two-day SAARC foreign secretaries' meet in Islamabad began on a contentious note with Pakistan raking up the issue of the need for expansion of the council's charter to include bilateral disputes and peace and security in the region. 

Though Pakistan had raised the subject in the past, other member-states were at a loss to understand the reasons behind Islamabad's decision to speak about it in the SAARC Standing Committee forum. 

The main objective of the Standing Committee meeting, attended by foreign secretaries of seven-member countries, is to finalise the programme for the Council of Ministers meeting beginning July 20. 

According to the agenda, the foreign ministers will review the progress on decisions taken at the January SAARC Summit here in Islamabad. 

ISI wants softliners roped in: As the fate of Centre-Hurriyat talks remained uncertain, Pakistan\92s ISI is exerting pressure on hardliners to expand their base by roping in moderates, and using militant groups like Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) to terrorise pro-dialogue leaders. 

No split in D Company: Underworld don and global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is funding all legal expenses of his alleged collaborator in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Abu Salem, presently lodged in jail in Portugal. 

Ex-militant, wife gunned down: Even as unidentified gunmen, suspected to be militants, have killed a couple in Shopian area, police and security forces killed at least two militants in Kulgam area of south Kashmir.

Pak bought missile tech from N. Korea: Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Sunday said her country had bought long-range missile technology from North Korea following a visit she made to Pyongyang in 1993.

US, Pakistan N safety talks: A team of Pakistani nuclear scientists left for home on Sunday after participating in the first-ever talks on nuclear safety between Pakistan and the United States.

Afghanistan releases 66 Pakistanis:
Afghanistan has released 66 Pakistani prisoners who had been in jails since the US-led war toppled the hardline Taliban regime in late 2001, officials said on Sunday.

Two Taliban officials arrested: The Afghan defence ministry has arrested two members of the former Taliban regime here, a spokesman for Nato-led peacekeeping forces said on Sunday.

Tehran says suspects may have crossed illegally: Iran said on Sunday that suspected Al Qaeda members involved in the Sept 11, 2001, attacks may have passed through its territory, but insisted they would have done so "illegally".

People's War ready for talks: The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War has said it is not averse to holding negotiations with other state governments, as it has with Andhra Pradesh, provided "they give up their repressive measures." 

Centre asks states to approach SC: In a tight spot over Punjab's unilateral action on the Sutlej Yamuna water accord, the centre has advised the Rajasthan and Haryana chief ministers to challenge the legislation in the Supreme Court. 

Sonia visits fire victims: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday visited survivors of Friday's school fire in Kumbhakonam. The tragedy claimed 90 lives. 

Offices set ablaze: Five Government offices were set ablaze by agitators continuing protests against the killing of a woman allegedly by the Assam Rifles personnel in
Manipur where an indefinite curfew continues to be in force. 

Warrant for Shibu Soren: The tainted ministers issue will return to haunt Parliament on Monday after a Jharkhand court on Saturday issued an arrest warrant against
Union Coal Minister Shibu Soren in a three-decade-old massacre case.

Indigenous medicine colleges raking it in: Colleges offering Indian systems of medicine and allied medical courses have a unique 30:70 seat-sharing ratio in which
70 per cent is filled by the college managements. 

MP Veerappa is dead: Ramachandra Veerappa, India's oldest MP at 96, died in Karnataka. He was known for his Gandhian values of honesty and simplicity.


Saarc meet began in Islamabad: But Pakistan brought up an issue that wasn't on the agenda. 

Dawood is funding case: The terrorist is helping co-accused Abu Salem fight his case, contrary to the view that they have split up. 

Naxals said they would talk: A prominent group, which has made peace in Andhra Pradesh, says it is willing to talk to other state governments as well.

Benazir said N Korea had helped:
The former Pakistan prime minister said she had negotiated and bought missile technology from North Korea in 1993.