- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2007

INDIA

Police prepare for festival riots

HYDERABAD — Police in India’s high-tech southern city of Hyderabad said yesterday they had called in 15,000 reinforcements to bolster the normal 8,000 police, fearing new violence during major Hindu and Muslim religious events.

The city was rocked last month by bombings, which killed 43 persons, while bomb attacks on a mosque in May left 11 persons dead.

“For the first time in 27 years, the Ramadan and Ganesh festivals come together. They are important festivals for both communities. As it is, it is not tense but the smallest incident may cause the greatest trouble,” senior police official B. Reddenna said.

NEPAL

Diplomats urge adoption resolution

KATMANDU — Diplomats from six nations urged Katmandu yesterday to speedily resolve a deadlock over plans by hundreds of foreign families to adopt Nepalese children.

Nepal suspended international adoptions in June after critics said the system involved widespread corruption in which some children were sold.

The diplomats from France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Germany met Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma, Nepal’s minister for women and children, to try to resolve the fates of 358 children whose adoptions were under way.

INDIA

Blasphemy seen in canal defense

NEW DELHI — India’s government is being accused of blasphemy by its political opponents for saying some of Hinduism’s most important texts are not proof of the existence of Hindu gods. And on Thursday, threats of a nationwide protest forced the government to backtrack.

The government made the claim Wednesday in a statement to the Supreme Court, which is hearing a dispute over India’s plan to bore a shipping lane through a ridge of rock and sand between India and Sri Lanka that some Hindus think was built by a god.

Ancient religious texts say Hindu god Ram commanded his army of monkeys to build a bridge to Sri Lanka so he could rescue his kidnapped wife, Sita.

PAKISTAN

French missiles for Chinese fighters

PARIS — Pakistan is trying to buy French missiles and radar for a jet fighter it is developing with China, a defense journal said Thursday, and experts warned such a deal risks the technology falling into Chinese hands despite a European arms embargo for China.

Pakistan is talking to France about obtaining air-to-air missiles from the MBDA company and radars from Thales for its version of the JF-17 warplane, Jane’s Defense Weekly said in a report posted on its Web site.

Those missiles and similar radars also equip Taiwan’s French-built Mirage fighters, and the island’s weapons systems could be compromised if Pakistan transferred the technology to China, Jane’s said.

SRI LANKA

Wanted: pet dogs to fight terror

COLOMBO — Sri Lankan police this week made an appeal for the public to donate their pet dogs to help the fight terrorism and crime on the war-torn island.

“Make your pet a hero … to curb terrorism and make our motherland Sri Lanka a country with a new facelift,” the police department said in a public notice carried by the state-run Daily News.

It said donated dogs should be between 6 months and 2 years old and have an impressive pedigree.

Police said the dogs will be trained to identify explosives, search for buried mines, sniff out narcotics, take down criminals — and even perform tricks for the public. The dogs will retire after serving a maximum period of eight years and will be returned to their owners.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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