- The Washington Times - Friday, August 22, 2003


Top court orders Pakistanis released

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court has ordered federal authorities to free Pakistanis who have served their full terms in prison and set Sept. 2 as the deadline for New Delhi to issue “appropriate orders.”

Thursday’s decision resulted from an appeal filed to India’s highest court by 14 Pakistanis held in various Indian prisons. The court noted that while some of them were still serving their sentences, others had completed their terms as long ago as 1992.

“They have sought deportation. Their prayer must be granted,” the two-judge bench ordered. The order came two days after the Supreme Court asked India’s attorney general the grounds for holding 11 other Pakistanis in prisons for more than a decade in Indian Kashmir.


Maoists plan strike to protests killings

KATMANDU — Maoist rebels have called for a one-day general strike Wednesday to protest the army’s killing of at least 17 of their number, an incident that scuttled peace talks this week and raised concerns that a six-month truce could collapse.

Two days ago, Maoist chief negotiator Baburam Bhattarai said 19 rebels were killed in the clash at Toramba village and that the dead included the regional head of the Maoists’ rebel “people’s government,” Baburam Lama. The army, which reported 17 Maoists were killed in the clash a week ago 181 miles east of Katmandu, said troops fired in response to an attack by the rebels.


Armenians accused of border shooting

BAKU — The government accused Armenian forces at midweek of firing on its troops on the disputed border with the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, but Armenia said the attack came from the Azeri side first.

The incident was the latest in a series of firefights between forces of the two former Soviet republics that have claimed several lives in recent months and left the decade-old cease-fire between the two sides under strain.

The gun battle early Tuesday forced observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to abandon a visit to the area to monitor the cease-fire, according to the Defense Ministry.

Weekly notes …

Ilham Aliyev, 41, Azerbaijan’s prime minister and son of ailing President Heidar Aliyev, has flown to the United States to visit his hospitalized father. The senior Mr. Aliyev, 80, is being treated for heart failure at a Cleveland clinic, and his son is expected to succeed him as leader of the oil-rich former Soviet republic. … An ethnic minority army allied with Burma’s military rulers may be rushing to sell more than 50 million methamphetamine pills buried along the Thai border before they become ineffective, according to Gen. Manas Paorik, commander of Thai troops along the northern border. “That’s why they fell into our sting operation and were defeated yesterday,” he said, referring to a midweek clash between Thai soldiers and a caravan of drug traffickers in which seven Burmese from the United Wa State army were killed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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