- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 19, 2002

Kashmir's vote impasse leads to federal rule

SRINAGAR, India The Indian government on Thursday imposed direct federal rule in Jammu and Kashmir state, where recent legislative elections led to a fractured verdict.

Officials said the step followed a refusal by outgoing Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to remain as caretaker head of the state administration.

Gov. Girish Chandra Saxena had extended until Monday a deadline for the various parties to forge a coalition to form a government.

Mr. Abdullah's National Conference party won 28 seats but fell short of the 44 needed to form a government. India's national Congress Party and the regional People's Democratic Party also were big winners in the vote that ended Oct. 8.


Sri Lankan official hints at early vote

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Sri Lankans could go to the polls for the third time in a little more than two years, a Cabinet minister said Thursday, a move likely to cast a cloud over the island's peace bid and efforts to revamp its struggling economy.

Constitutional Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said the government would consider an election if the Supreme Court rules that a proposed constitutional change to limit the president's ability to dissolve Parliament must go to a referendum.

The government says the amendment is crucial for stability to back a negotiated end to 19 years of conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels, but it has been challenged in court by various parties and groups.


Maoist leader vows to topple Nepal's king

HONG KONG The leader of Nepal's Maoist rebels vowed to wage a relentless war against King Gyanendra for his "coup" against the elected government, a magazine reported Thursday.

The Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review said it conducted via e-mail a rare interview with the elusive Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, or "The Fierce."

On Oct. 4, King Gyanendra declared Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba "incompetent" and assumed power for a week before appointing staunch monarchist Lokendra Bahadur Chand to head an interim government until elections are held.


India says al Qaeda active in Bangladesh

CALCUTTA India is worried that al Qaeda operatives in neighboring Bangladesh pose a threat on its eastern border, which is much less well-guarded than its western frontier with Pakistan, officials said Thursday.

Security and intelligence officials said "scores of al Qaeda personnel" linked with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.


Bangladesh crackdown on crime nets 300

DHAKA, Bangladesh Bangladeshi troops deployed across the country Thursday to help police curb runaway crime; they killed one man and detained at least 300 suspected criminals, police said.

The man was shot in northern Bogra district after soldiers detained several activists of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party and their supporters countered with a protest.

Law and order has sharply deteriorated in Bangladesh during the past year despite promises by Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia to curb crime. Police say about 10 people are killed every day by crime syndicates or gangs linked to politicians.


Weekly notes

A 42-year-old Pakistani woman drugged her 11 children and husband and ran off with her 18-year-old lover, local press reported. The woman from a village outside Multan in central Punjab province had been caught twice with the teenager. … A swarm of large black bees attacked a family on a village road in eastern Bangladesh, killing three of them including a pregnant woman, a newspaper reported. The bees descended and attacked as the family of five walked past a tree in the Brahmanbaria district Tuesday.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide