- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 7, 2002

Killings precede Kashmir elections

SRINAGAR, India Two activists from pro-India political parties were fatally shot this week ahead of state assembly elections that start Sept. 16 in Indian-administered Kashmir, and Muslim militants fighting Indian rule there have threatened to attack anyone taking part in the elections.
Police said gunmen had fatally shot a senior activist of the pro-India Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday. A day earlier, rebel suspects fatally shot an activist of the ruling National Conference party in Baramulla, they said.
Elsewhere, a soldier and six militants were killed in gunbattles across the state over 24 hours, police said.

Pathans shield al Qaeda 'guests'
LAHORE, Pakistan Hundreds of Pathan tribesmen demonstrated against the Pakistani army close to the border with Afghanistan on Thursday after troops attacked a nearby village to force tribal villagers to surrender six al Qaeda extremists.
The tense standoff in Pakistan's sensitive tribal belt underlined a growing crisis for President Pervez Musharraf as he heads to the United States, where President Bush is expected to urge the military ruler to allow U.S. troops to comb the tribal areas for remnants of al Qaeda.
The six al Qaeda militants were arrested Monday at a military checkpoint near Janikhel in the tribal belt between Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and Afghanistan.
Armed tribesmen stormed the checkpoint, freed the militants and gave them sanctuary in Janikhel. On Tuesday, a large force of paramilitary troops moved in, shelling the village and arresting a dozen tribesmen.

Burma frees eight, ails two NLD members
RANGOON, Burma Two members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) have been sentenced to three years in jail for possessing a journal published by exiled dissidents, party sources report.
Aung Thein and Kyaw Naing Oo, both members of the NLD youth wing, were arrested Aug. 22 and tried successively on Aug. 23 and Aug. 26, NLD officials said. They were found guilty under a 1950 emergency provision act and sentenced on Thursday as eight other NLD members were released from jail to mark a European Union delegation visit to Rangoon tomorrow.

Weekly notes
Retired professor Iajuddin Ahmed, nominated by the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was named president of Bangladesh on Thursday as the sole candidate for the largely ceremonial post, the Election Commission announced. He replaces A.Q.M. Badruddoza Chowdhury, who resigned in June amid an unexplained dispute with Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia. China indicated this week it could live with a Taiwan representative office just opened in Mongolia to promote bilateral relations, despite a lack of diplomatic ties. "As for nongovernmental, private, cultural and other relations, we have no objections," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told reporters in Beijing.


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