- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2002

INDIA
Government vows to stand by Saddam
NEW DELHI India will not let down Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the event of a U.S.-led military attack, Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha says.
Mr. Sinha told lawmakers in Parliament's upper house Thursday that Saddam has been a friend of India and should not feel let down when he is under pressure.
However, he also urged Baghdad to comply with the U.N. inspection of weapons of mass destruction, adding that any action against Iraq must be under the auspices of the United Nations and that efforts should be made to resolve issues peacefully.

UZBEKISTAN
Global finance official defends meeting plans
TASHKENT A top international finance official is defending plans to hold a prestigious annual meeting in Uzbekistan, rejecting human rights groups' demands that Tashkent first demonstrate its commitment to democracy.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an institution established to help 27 former communist countries make the transition to a market economy, has scheduled its annual meeting May 3 and 4 in the Uzbek capital.
Bank President Jean Lemierre stressed that the meeting should be viewed not as a reward but as a chance for the international community to see whether Tashkent is living up to its promises to reform.
"The best way to fight against rhetoric is to come," Mr. Lemierre said in an interview during a three-day visit to Tashkent in preparation for the meeting. "Nobody is blind."

PAKISTAN
Kashmir man killed by India shelling
MUZAFFARABAD A man was killed in the Pakistani-controlled zone of Kashmir in what police described as "heavy" Indian shelling.
The 55-year-old man was killed in Kharigam village in the upper belt of Neelum valley, 93 miles northeast of Muzaffarabad, on Thursday after being hit by splinters of a mortar round, senior police Officer Raja Ghulam Sarwar said.
He said the shelling in the valley straddling the Line of Control, which divides the disputed Himalayan region between India and Pakistan, started about 10:00 a.m. local time and continued throughout the day.

TAJIKISTAN
Russia to send back illegal Tajik migrants
DUSHANBE Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said yesterday that Russia would deport illegal migrants, many of whom travel from the impoverished Central Asian nation of Tajikistan and other former Soviet republics in search of work.
"Today, there are estimated to be up to 1 million foreign citizens who are not legally registered, so judges are ordering deportations, and illegal migrants will be kept in deportation centers until the decision on their deportation is made," Mr. Gryzlov said.
He spoke just hours after a group of 70 illegal Tajik construction workers had been scheduled to be deported from the Moscow region and sent home on a chartered plane in the first such organized expulsion of illegal migrants. The deportation did not, however, take place.

Weekly notes
Mother Teresa, who was put on the fast track to sainthood by the pope after her death five years ago, was tormented by a crisis of belief for 50 years, her writings reveal. The previously unpublished material was collected by Roman Catholic authorities in Calcutta after her death at the age of 87, the London Daily Telegraph reported. Sonia Gandhi, the leader of India's main opposition Congress party is to deliver a lecture at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies today.


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