October 30, 2001
Volume 2, #42
Pakistani newspapers noted a recent report in the New Yorker magazine that a special United States’ military unit is training with Israeli commandos to remove Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in case of a coup against President Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistan strongly denied reports in British media that Osama bin Laden had obtained nuclear material from Islamabad.
A California-based firm has been indicted by a US grand jury on charges of violating US laws by exporting nuclear pulse generators to two Indian government organizations.
India has sent its first spy satellite into space. Indian columnist Raja Mohan discusses India’s position on missile defense in the context of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s forthcoming visit to Moscow and Washington.
Abdul Haq, a well-known anti-Taliban Pashtun commander, was captured and subsequently executed.
Afghan opposition forces may have lost ground near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Ahmad Faiz, Afghan vice-consul and official spokesman in Peshawar, Pakistan, discusses current events in an interview.
” A glimpse into the Taliban mind “
Former Afghan king Zahir Shah may visit Pakistan during the first week of November in an effort to form a broad-based future Afghan government.
A conference of Afghan elders and leaders called upon the Organization of Islamic Conference and the United Nations to cooperate with them in convening the Loya Jirga, the Afghan grand council.
“Peshawar peace moot seeks UN, OIC help: Convening of Loya Jirga”
Leaders of the Northern Alliance met to finalize their list of sixty nominees to the 120-member Council of National Unity. Discussion of the formation of the Council is expected to take place next week in Ankara, Turkey. Zahir Shah, the former king of Afghanistan, is expected to provide nominees for the remaining sixty positions..
The Turkish President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, underlined the need for ensuring representation to all the social and ethnic groups in the future political dispensation in Afghanistan.
“Turkey backs broad-based Afghan setup: Musharraf opposes outer influence”
The Taliban refused to allow Pakistan-based pro-Taliban Jihadis to enter Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Qazi, asked the Jihadis to wait until called into action by their leaders.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) is rethinking its activities and strategy in Afghanistan.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers stated that the U.N. wants Pakistan to open its borders to Afghan refugees as early as possible.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has warned that anti-American sentiment is gaining ground in the Islamic world.
The United States is considering shifting its operations from Jacobabad to Mianwali Airport for strategic and security reasons.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has suggested that nobody, including Washington, has any clear solutions for Afghanistan.”
Writer and intellectual Aijaz Ahmad argues that the real strategic aim of the United States is “not so much a change of regime in Afghanistan but to obtain realignments of power across the globe.”
Six gunmen killed eighteen Christians at a Catholic church on Sunday. The Pakistani government and media condemned the massacre.
“Bahawalpur killings condemned”
Armed tribesmen took control of the airstrip at Chilas, a town in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The tribesmen have also blockaded Karakoram Highway, the main road that links Pakistan and China, for the last four days. The tribesmen are demanding change in Pakistan’s Afghan policy, an end to US air strikes, and the release of religious leaders.
Religious political parties continued to protest President Pervez Musharraf’s government’s decision to join the U.S. led coalition.
Exports from Pakistan declined by 30 per cent during the month of October 2001.
President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee might meet when they visit New York in mid-November to attend United Nations General Assembly session.
At a press conference in Islamabad, the visiting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder addressed numerous topics, including the need for resumption of peace talks between India and Pakistan.
Writer and editor Najam Sethi argues that if India wants to “clinch an honorable and equitable compromise” on Kashmir, then there is “no better-placed or flexible Pakistani than General Pervez Musharraf.”
A recent report describes various factors that have led to strong anti-American sentiments in Pakistan.
Writer Kuldip Nayar argues that it would be in the interests of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to distance itself from more right-wing Hindu nationalist parties.
“India versus BJP’s India”
The US State Department, in its annual report, has criticized the BJP on the issue of religious freedom in India.
Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes said on Saturday that New Delhi would not cross the Line of Control (LoC) in pursuit of Kashmiri Mujahideen. Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, however, stated the government would keep open the option of “hot pursuit” against Pakistan.
Contradictory reports emerged on the possibility of a meeting between Pakistani President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee of India.
“US making efforts for meeting, says India: Vajpayee-Musharraf talks”
Columnist M.J.Akbar presents a general assessment of political situation in the region.
“When an article becomes a serious problem”
Report on continuing violence in Kashmir:
“9 soldiers among 20 killed in Kashmir”