Sabtu, 14 Mei 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

The Star Online: World Updates

Pakistan's parliament condemns U.S. Osama bin Laden raid

Posted: 14 May 2011 06:44 AM PDT

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament condemned on Saturday the U.S raid to find and kill Osama bin Laden, calling for a review of U.S. ties and warning that Pakistan could cut supply lines to American forces in Afghanistan if there were more such attacks.

Newspaper headlines and clippings are posted on a wall inside a staff office at the White House in Washington May 2, 2011, the morning after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Pakistan's intelligence chief was cited as saying he was ready to resign over the bin Laden affair, which has embarrassed the country and led to suspicion that Pakistani security agents knew where the al Qaeda chief was hiding.

On Friday, two suicide bombers attacked a military academy in a northwestern town killing 80 people in what Pakistani Taliban militants said was their first act of revenge for bin Laden's death on May 2.

The secret U.S. raid on bin Laden's lair in the garrison town of Abbottabad, 50 km (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has strained already prickly ties with the United States.

It has also led to domestic criticism of the government and military, partly because bin Laden had apparently remained undetected in Pakistan for years, but also because of the failure to detect or stop the U.S. operation to get him.

"Parliament ... condemned the unilateral action in Abbottabad which constitutes a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," it said in a resolution issued after security chiefs briefed legislators.

Pakistan has dismissed as absurd any suggestion that authorities knew bin Laden was holed up in a high-walled compound near the country's top military academy.

The U.S. administration has not accused Pakistan of complicity in hiding bin Laden but has said he must have had some sort of support network, which it wants to uncover.

U.S. Senator John Kerry said the United States wanted Pakistan to be a "real" ally in combating militants but serious questions remained in their relations.

"But we're not trying to find a way to break the relationship apart, we're trying to find a way to build it," said Kerry, a Democrat close to the Obama administration and who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters in Afghanistan.

Kerry is due to visit Pakistan in the coming days.

Members of the two houses of parliament said the government should review ties with the United States to safeguard Pakistan's national interests and they also called for an end to U.S. attacks on militants with its pilotless drone aircraft.

They also called for an independent commission to investigate the bin Laden case.


Pakistan officially objects to the drone attacks, but U.S. officials have long said they are carried out under an agreement between the countries.

The legislators said U.S. "unilateral actions" such as the Abbottabad raid and drone strikes were unacceptable, and the government should consider cutting vital U.S. lines of supply for its forces in Afghanistan unless they stopped.

Earlier, a U.S. drone fired missiles at a vehicle in North Waziristan on the Afghan border killing five militants.

It was the fourth drone attack since bin Laden was killed.

Police in Charsadda said they had recovered for analysis body parts of the two suicide bombers who killed at least 80 struck at a paramilitary force academy.

A Taliban spokesman said on Friday the attack was in revenge for bin Laden's death and vowed there would be more.

The killing of bin Laden could trigger a backlash from his supporters across a giant area surrounding Afghanistan, the Shangahi Cooperation Council (SCO)regional security body said.

Dominated by China and Russia, the SCO also unites the mostly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"Craving for revenge, the supporters of al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other terrorist and extremist organisations may cause a new wave of terror," Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzgan Kazykhanov told a meeting with his SCO counterparts in Almaty.


Pakistani intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the military's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, told parliament in a closed-door briefing he was "ready to resign" over the bin Laden affair, a legislator said.

Pasha, who was asked tough questions by some members of parliament, told the assembly he did not want to "hang around" if parliament deemed him responsible, legislator Riaz Fatyana told reporters.

"I am ready to resign," Fatyana quoted the ISI chief as saying.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said civilian leaders, not the security agencies, should be deciding policy towards India, the United States and Afghanistan.

"The elected government should formulate foreign policy. A parallel policy or parallel government should not be allowed to work," Sharif told a news conference.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov, Bashir Ansari; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Palestinian dies after protest in Jerusalem

Posted: 14 May 2011 06:14 AM PDT

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A Palestinian teenager who was shot during protests in Jerusalem died on Saturday, hospital officials said, and Israeli police, expecting further demonstrations, deployed heavily in the streets.

Tensions are high in East Jerusalem as Palestinians prepare to mourn on Sunday the creation of Israel in 1948, which they call the "nakba", or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes.

Dozens of Palestinians who later took part in the youth's funeral procession clashed with Israeli police, and a number of them were arrested, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The 17-year-old had been brought to the hospital on Friday with a gun shot wound, but it was unclear who had shot him and police were investigating, Rosenfeld said.

The shooting took place in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Silwan, where, according to witnesses, violence broke out between Palestinian stone throwers and Israeli police and Jewish settlers.

An official at Makassed hospital said the teenager had been shot in the stomach.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of the state they intend to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Mohammed Assadi and Ari Rabinovitch)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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