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India cautions Rumsfield on
arms supply to Pakistan

What is India News Service, Friday, 10 December 2004, 1700 hrs IST

Indian leaders today told visiting US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the American arms sales to Pakistan could impact the positive sentiment and goodwill for the USA in India.

However, India did not seek a review of the US decision nor did any suo motu assurance to this effect come from Rumsfeld, sources said.

On his part, Rumsfeld said Washington did not see its relations with India and Pakistan as a zero-sum game, which in simple language means that Washington looks at its bilateral relations with India and Pakistan as two separate sets of relationships.

During his brief visit, Rumsfeld called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and held discussions with External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Adviser J. N. Dixit.

Mr Rumsfeld told the Indian leadership that the USA understood the Indian sensitivities in this regard and would remain continually in touch.

India conveys concern to U.S. (The Hindu)
Your sale could start our arms race, Rumsfeld told (Pioneer)

Differences within police on approach to Kanchi case: At this juncture in the investigation of the Sankararaman murder case, in which the Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi is the prime accused, senior police officers want to distance themselves from the side tracks and sleaze that the investigating team seems to be pursuing with full vigour.

The dominant view among senior Tamil Nadu police officers is that the investigation must focus sharply on the murder case, without dissipating its energies on probing alleged sexual exploitation and so on. Four teams have been formed to look into all other complaints that have cropped up, either against the senior Sankaracharya or others in the Kanchi Mutt. With that step, police officers feel, the focus has got diluted, and this can lend itself to the interpretation that a ``witch hunt'' is on.

Mutt to seek relief from SC: The Tamil Nadu police rounded off a busy day getting the judicial remand of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati extended for 14 days more till December 23. 

Recent stories: Seer to move Supreme Court
Madras HC dismisses Kanchi seer's bail plea again
Bank fraud case: NBW against Usha 
'Seer's call: Nobody is above the law of the country...'


The trial of a seer
Equality before law is the real issue

By J. Sri Raman

FROM the whodunit and the \91howdunit\92 to the unholy mess of it all \97 the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati has raised a host of issues. More important than the questions about the murder mystery behind the arrest, however, is the issue of human rights involved.

On this issue, the post-arrest debate has revealed serious political differences. The most striking of these is the one between the reactions at the state and national levels. Tamil Nadu, the Shankaracharya\92s home base, has witnessed the least of trauma over the arrest. Sympathy for the Shankaracharya found its first voices outside the state. Actions in solidarity with him also originated far away from the Kanchi mutt\92s constituency. 

Seven-judge bench to study press-legislature issues: A seven-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will have a fresh look at the issues relating to press freedom and privileges of the Legislature in view of the conflicting decisions given earlier by a five-Judge Bench and ....

'MFN status, access to Afghanistan topped discussion with Aziz': Prime Minister Manhoman Singh said here on Thursday that normalisation of economic relations, granting most favoured nation status (MFN) and transit access to Afghanistan through Pakistan figured prominently in the recent talks with the Pakistani leadership. However, no conclusions were reached in the regard, he added.

"Accused saved my life": Prosecution witness Lal Mohammed told the court that one of the accused in the Best Bakery case, Munna alias Harshad Ravjibhai Solanki, saved him and his family during the riots on March 1, 2002, by allowing them to stay in his house.

Key witness to carnage "set on fire": Bibi Bano, who survived the Naroda-Patiya communal carnage in 2002 but lost eight members of her family, is now fighting for her life in hospital after allegedly being set on fire by an acquaintance who wants a share in the compensation she has received.

Health Min delaying implementation of soft drink standards:  Almost two years after an NGO report revealed that soft drinks contain pesticides, allegations are flying thick and fast that the Health Ministry is delaying implementation of standards for soft drinks.

ULFA not go ahead with talks: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) said it would not proceed further with peace talks with the Indian government.

NDA attacks Sonia b'day ad blitz: Amid festivities, greetings and high praise, uncomfortable questions rained on the Congress for expenditure of public money on Sonia Gandhi's birthday.

Golden Peacock award goes to Iranian film at 35th IFFI: Shahre Ziba tells the story of an 18-year-old\92s hope to escape an execution for a murder he had committed at the age of 16. 


SC seeks Judges\92 consent for transfer: The Supreme Court is understood to have sought the consent of four Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for posting them to other High Courts.

Custodial deaths on the rise in Punjab, says rights panel: There has been a spurt in the number of custodial deaths in Punjab with 87 cases being reported to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission this year till November 30. The disposal rate by the commission is poor with only 32 cases being settled.

Central observers in all Bihar Assembly constituencies: The Election Commission has decided to place a Central observer to each constituency in Bihar on the day of polling in the coming Assembly elections and ordered that all pending non-bailable arrest warrants be executed.

VHP, Al-Qaeda's basic ideologies are same, says Buddhadeb: The West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, today strongly criticised fundamentalist terrorism, equating the Vishwa Hindu Parishad with the Al-Qaeda in their basic principles.


Last shot at peace, says Musharraf: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that the bilateral Indo-Pak process is practically standing on its last legs. Musharraf, who is currently on an official visit to France, was quoted by The Daily Times as saying that anything further could not be achieved in the near future if nothing was achieved now.

Anti-terror bill gets Pakistan senate approval: The Senate on Thursday passed a bill prescribing higher punishments for acts of terrorism, before being prorogued after a 14-day session. The Anti-Terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill, which the opposition said was unnecessary, had been passed by the National Assembly and needs only the formality of the presidential assent to become law or act of parliament.

UNP campaign against jailing of MP: Sri Lanka's United National Party said it would launch national and international campaigns against the sentencing of its MP and former Minister, S. B. Dissanayake, jailed for contempt of court.

ARD seeks debate in NA on Kashmir 'options': The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy on Thursday submitted an adjournment motion to the National Assembly Secretariat to discuss Gen Pervez Musharraf's statement that there were 15 options available to sort out the Kashmir dispute. 

View from abroad

Musharraf sees new trade openings in West: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has described his visit to Latin America, the US, the UK and France as highly productive. 


India cautioned US on arms supply to Pakistan:  Visiting Defence Secretary Rumsfield was told India would mind if his country continued to supply arms to Pakistan. 

Police are divided on approach to Kanchi case: Senior policemen are saying the investigation should stop raking up issues that have little relevance to the case. 

Pakistan senate passed anti-terror bill: Acts of terrorism will now get more severe punishment.