- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 24, 2002

Top Indian, Pakistani to meet in January
KATMANDU, Nepal The leaders of India and Pakistan will attend a South Asian summit in January, but it is not known if they would meet directly to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The announcement that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would both attend the leaders' summit in Pakistan came Thursday at a meeting in Nepal of foreign ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
The dates of the summit have not yet been set, said Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha.

Afghan minister hits squandering of aid
HONG KONG Afghan Planning Minister Mohammed Mohaqeq, who is on a visit to Hong Kong, has attacked the way international aid is being spent in his country, saying much of the process has become illegal.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. aired yesterday, Mr. Mohaqeq said large quantities of aid were being misused and channeled through well-connected people outside the control of the government.

Aral Sea needs waters replenished
MOSCOW Up to 3 cubic miles of water per year need to be pumped into Central Asia's dying Aral Sea if there is to be any chance of saving it, an international forum on environmental and water-resource management in Tajikistan heard yesterday.
The meeting opening in Dushanbe yesterday was attended by government delegations from the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Thailand denies arrests were to placate Burma
BANGKOK The government denied that a roundup of Burmese activists living near the Thai border was designed to curry favor with the military junta in Rangoon, as criticism mounted over the arrests.
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi led the protest, telling the Chiang Mai-based magazine Irrawaddy that people should not be harassed for peacefully expressing political beliefs.
Of the 31 arrested Tuesday, about half were believed to be representatives of several dissident groups, including the All Burma Students' Democratic Front and the Democratic Party for a New Society. The rest were Burmese refugees taking English classes at a church in a border village.

Weekly notes
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe traveled to India yesterday to boost cooperation in the information-technology field, government spokesman G.L. Peiris said. Mr. Wickremesinghe will spend three days in the states of Andra Pradesh and Karnataka and meet with Indian experts and business leaders in the IT sector, he added. A man who jumped on the car of Bangladesh opposition leader Sheik Hasina Wajed from a motorized rickshaw in western Noagoan district March 4 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to media reports. In addition to the prison sentence, Khalid Bin Hedayet was fined $517.

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