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India And The World
India's verbal adherence to the UN Charter has been unequivocal. This, despite the fact that the UN platform has been singularly hostile to Indian aspirations both in the J&K issue as well as the de facto Nuclearization of India. The following is the speech by ABV. By and large it is a good speech, probably written by one of those Babus who stood first in the IAS exam.


He had this to say to his old friend Mush ,

Quote:Yesterday, the president of Pakistan chose this august assembly to make a public admission for the first time that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. After claiming that there is an indigenous struggle in Kashmir, he has offered to encourage a general cessation of violence within Kashmir, in return for "reciprocal obligations and restraints".Touche for ABV. obviously how can the terrorist state 'encourage' a general cessation of violence, if they do not already have a measure of influence and control over the jihadis and are constantly encouraging the jihadis in their murderous game.

We totally refuse to let terrorism become a tool of blackmail. Just as the world did not negotiate with Al Qaida or the Taliban, we shall not negotiate with terrorism.an excellent point. In my recollection this is the first time that an Indian PM has called the Paki actions blackmail.

If we do so, we would be betraying the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who defied a most ferocious campaign of violence and intimidation sponsored from across our borders, and participated in an election, which has been universally hailed as free and fair. This was an unequivocal expression of both determination and self-determination.

When the cross-border terrorism stops - or when we eradicate it - we can have a dialogue with Pakistan on the other issues between us.

While on this subject, I would also like to point out to the president of Pakistan that he should not confuse the legitimate aspiration for equality of nations with outmoded concepts of military parity.
Ganguli makes the same remarks as I did above.

[url="http://headlines.sify.com/2481news4.html?headline=Classy~Vajpayee~makes~mincemeat~of~Musharraf"]Classy Vajpayee makes mincemeat of Musharraf [/url]

By Shobori Ganguli in New York

Kudos for ABV (even)from the normally dorky side of the Indian media.

[url="http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=32289"]PM blows chill wind over Gen Musharraf’s hot air[/url]

‘Musharraf admitted to UN that Pak has hand in terror’; ‘World doesn’t talk to Al-Qaeda...we won’t negotiate too’

Kaushal, after hearing ABV, Pakistan's Akram Munir completely lost it.

Here's what Rediff had to say about Munir's tirade and India's sharp response. Made my day. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />


Flustered Pakistan rants about Indian response

Aziz Haniffa at the United Nations | September 26, 2003 11:15 IST

Last Updated: September 26, 2003 12:21 IST

The success enjoyed by India in putting forward its position on terrorism during the debate at the United Nations General Assembly has clearly flustered Pakistan.

The consternation it has caused in the Pakistani camp was visible on Thursday when that country's Permanent Representative to the UN Munir Akram responded to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's address in strong terms, a diplomatic equivalent of abusive and foul language.

Complete coverage of Vajpayee's visit

One long-time journalist, who's been covering the UN for decades, told rediff.com that in all of his years and being privy to some of the most heated debates between India and Pakistan, he had never heard of such invective.

Vajpayee during his address had termed Musharraf's offer of cessation of violence in Kashmir as an admission of sponsoring terrorism.

Akram, using the UN's provision of a right of reply, said, "The response from the Indian prime minister was sadly disappointing. Disappointing for Pakistan and I am sure disappointing for the international community."

"By his negative response," he claimed, "we have lost another opportunity to bring peace in South Asia. Instead, Pakistan's offer of help to promote a cessation of hostilities within Indian occupied Kashmir was sadly misconstrued and misinterpreted by the distinguished Prime Minister of India as an admission of guilt."

"This is preposterous. The Kashmir struggle is between India and the Kashmiri people. Eighty thousand Kashmiris have been killed in Kashmir, by the over 700,000 Indian occupation forces. Thus, Kashmiris are buried in their graveyards of Kashmir, not in Pakistan," he claimed

"India wants the killings to continue because it believes that even now after 12 years of failed suppression that it can cow down the Kashmiris to give up their struggle for liberty," he alleged

"But" continued Akram, "India, like all other colonial oppressors of the past is mistaken surely. Kashmir will be free one day."

He claimed the dialogue Musharraf had proposed to India 'is a dialogue of for peace', and not a 'favour to Pakistan'.

"It is the only mechanism envisaged by our charter to promote the easing of tensions and the resolution of conflict. Sadly, the Indian prime minister rejected this reasonable offer for peace," he said

Dabbling freely in the internal affairs of India, Akram then launched diatribe against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

He said Vajpayee's rejection of Musharraf's offer reflected 'the negative stance' of the BJP.

"The purpose of the so-called hard-line in New Delhi is designed to yield electoral gains for India's ruling party in the forthcoming elections," he alleged.

"The BJP's political strategy is borne out of its victory in the recent elections in Gujarat, where it gained popularity after state-managed massacre of 2,000 innocent Muslims. This is genocide being converted in the service of genocide," he claimed.

Akram said this was how democracy 'was perverted when fascists assume power'. "It was the party which destroyed the Babri Mosque -- the great citadel of Muslim culture of India," he said.

He then went to claim the BJP had threatened to destroy 3,000 other mosques. "A leader of the fascist Shiv Sena -- Bal Thackarey-- recently called for the formation of groups to commit terrorist acts against Pakistan and the Muslims of India. He is still running free," Akram alleged.

"While India continues to brutally suppress the Kashmiri freedom struggle, the Kashmiris have a right to Indian occupation by all means at their disposal," he claimed. "This struggle cannot be denigrated or described as terrorism."

"India knows all about terrorism," he claimed. "It is, to use a popular saying, the mother of terrorism," He also accused India of sponsoring terrorism in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

He claimed terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir were being perpetrated by 'renegade Kashmiris' trained by Indian intelligence.

"It is our hope that despite Mr Vajpayee's statement today, cooler heads -- if there are any -- in New Delhi will reflect and come to the conclusion that dialogue is truly the only option, to resolve problems between India and Pakistan and they will respond positively to the offer made by the President of Pakistan," he concluded.

Indian delegation members, who were seen hurriedly writing down a response as Akram kept going with his vitriolic tirade, in their right of reply to the right of reply, said, "With each year in this forum, Pakistan exposes the limitations of its ability to conduct itself in a responsible and forward-looking manner."

Harsh Singla, counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India, reading the quickly drafted statement, said, "We regarded the UN General Assembly as a forum for offering views and not one for resorting to abuse."

"Pakistan continues to be the epicentre of terrorism despite its protestations, which come easily to a country whose foreign policy has relied traditionally on camouflage and double-speak. The international community is beginning to discover and acknowledge this with the resurgence of Taliban activity in Afghanistan," he said.

"Pakistan has been making desperate efforts to create political fiction about its anti-terrorist credentials. This is not surprising for a country whose history and policies have been rooted in political fiction," he added.

"In our experience, Pakistan's combat against international terrorism is based on one per cent intentions and 99 percent pretensions. This ratio needs to be reversed if Pakistan expects us to take its commitment to end cross-border terrorism against India seriously," Singla said.

"We would like to remind Pakistan that they cannot hope to pursue the goal of 'enlightened moderation' without demonstrating some sign of moderate enlightenment while dealing with serious issues of peace and stability," he added.

"As we do not wish to reciprocate Pakistan's diplomacy of abuse and hate, we would not take up further issue with the egregious comments of the representative of Pakistan," he said.
Quote:Akram said this was how democracy 'was perverted when fascists assume power'. "It was the party which destroyed the Babri Mosque -- the great citadel of Muslim culture of India," he said.

Words of wisdom from the same Munir Akram who was unceremoniously and very publicly dumped by his Ukrainian mistress for sexual and physical abuse.

As for his remarks on the Babri Monstrosity, who can blame him, after all he is picking up his cue from the pseudo secularists in India.
Quote:It was the party which destroyed the Babri Mosque -- the great citadel of Muslim culture of India

Really ??
Some people understand English, some Hindi, some Gujarati and some understand the language of 'Danda.'

These pakis fall in the last category!

Screw pakistan!
They shot themselves in the foot by that reply. Look at all the press they have been getting. I watched a couple of TV interviews that Musharaff gave. They are digging into him there too.

The honeymoon is way over. I feel sorry for the guy. They are now inviting Gen Aziz to check him out. Who knows Mushy could be history quite soon.

What can I say? It could not have happened to a sweeter guy....
Akram said this was how democracy 'was perverted when fascists assume power'. "It was the party which destroyed the Babri Mosque -- the great citadel of Muslim culture of India," he said.


Hello Guys,

Mr. Munir AKram betrays his ignorance by juxtaposing Muslim and culture together , there is/was no such thing in existancxe . Who in the right mind will think anything constructive about Babar ? only a perverse puke mind identifying with their ancestor's rapist and killers. One should remind him that Babar dont belong to India, hense anything echoing his name and deed needs to be eradicated for the sacred soil. More powers to those doing that good job.
Welcome to the forum prem.

Meanwhile back at the UN ranch the invective has reached new heights. Here is a ball by ball account from Chidanand Rajghatta

[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?msid=206414"]'Musharraf's vitriol set fire to Indo-Pak ties'[/url]


[url="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/07/international/middleeast/07WIRE-DIPLO.html?ex=1066190400&en=f534f522be2d8e48&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVER"]U.S. May Drop Security Council Resolution on Iraq[/url]

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Despite divisions in the 15-member U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte on Tuesday ruled out making any substantial changes to the Bush administration's draft resolution on Iraq.

Consequently, council diplomats said the United States had to decide soon whether to drop the effort entirely or push for a split vote in the council that might limit its impact.

Easy passage of the resolution, aimed a broadening military and financial support, was assured until Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week turned down U.N. political participation unless Iraqi sovereignty was accelerated.
[url="http://newsfromrussia.com/main/2003/10/15/50506.html"]Russia warns against UN Security Council's excessive expansion[/url]

Quote:In case the decision to create additional vacancies of UN Security Council permanent members is adopted, Germany, Japan, India, Brazil and an African country will have to take them, Russian Federation permanent representative Sergei Lavrov told a plenary sitting of the fifty-eighth session of the UN General Assembly.
Expanding NATO into Anti-Terror Organization (ATO)

The following article by Thomas L. Friedman should set us thinking.

The failure of USA to recruit the full support of Germany, France and Russia into the Iraq war effort should be a matter of serious concern to the US military strategists.

They had succeeded in bringing NATO into Afghanistan -- as an anti-terror force -- It should be remembered that Afghanistan is a neighbour of India (POK).

Should NATO be expanded, it should have a focus after the end of the cold war; it has a raison d'etre to be a force to fight world-wide terror, terror in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, in particular. It should be able to counter the dhimmitude evidenced in Germany and France because of these countries are trying to pamper Islamists within their countries. And Russis is facing Islamic onslaught all around its periphery -- Chechnya being the glaring example and Kyrgystan as the theatre of conflict with islamists and christists (read, proselytizing baptists).

So, the new focus of an expanded NATO should be dovetailed with the war of th 21st century -- the war against terror.

A natural ally in carrying forth such a change in focus for NATO is India which has been bearing the brunt of the terror war for the last 56 years.

India has stemmed the advance of Islam into Asia. There is a need to ensure that Islamic states such as Malaysia and Indonesia do not fall into the hands of the islamists who dream of an Islamic caliphate.

The presence of India in NATO will be a first step in forming another Organization to complement NATO -- an Indian Ocean Treaty Organization (IOTO). Together NATO and IOTO can be powerful defensive and strategic forces to constitute the ATO -- Anti-Terror Organization.

How about making a position paper and sending it to NATO headquarters?


Expanding Club NATO


Published: October 26, 2003, New York Times

I've been a long and cranky opponent of NATO expansion, out of fear that it was going to dilute the organization. But now that NATO is expanding to 26 countries, I say: why stop there? Virtually all of NATO's future threats are going to come not from the east and Russia, but from the south — the Middle East and Afghanistan. So if NATO really wants to secure Europe, it can no longer just be in Europe. It needs to help stabilize these other regions. To do that, NATO needs to add three more members: Iraq, Egypt and Israel. Yes, you read that right.

Let's go through the logic, starting with Iraq. If a legitimate government emerges in Iraq, we will quickly face two security challenges there. First, how big an army should Iraq have? As Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign affairs expert, notes, "Iraq needs an army that is big enough to deter Iran and yet not so big that it could be used to smother Iraqi democracy and threaten the whole neighborhood, the way Saddam's huge army did."

In short, we want Iraq to have a small army, but to still be an effective counterweight to Iran. The best way to manage that would be to have Iraq join NATO, which would give Baghdad credible deterrent power without having to maintain a large army.

In addition, even if Iraq gets a democratic government, it will be a fragile democracy for a long time. It will need some kind of force in reserve, over the horizon, to serve as a guarantor of Iraqi democracy, so that no party or individual could ever run off with the system again. This force would serve as the guardian of Iraqi democracy the way the Turkish Army does in modern Turkey. The ideal force to do this would be a combined Iraqi-multinational force, like NATO, that would also include an Arab-Muslim component. If Iraq were in NATO, it would be politically so much easier to deploy such a force, which could be stationed in a base out in the desert, but always be in the background just in case.

And that brings us to why NATO should invite in Egypt: manpower. As Lord Robertson, the NATO secretary general, explained to me, all of the NATO European members, plus Canada, have a combined total of 1.4 million soldiers on active duty — but only 55,000 are actually "usable" for missions abroad. The others are either deskbound, untrained for anything other than sitting in one static position in Europe to deter the Soviet Union or lacking in logistical, engineering and command and control support for long-range missions. Also, many Euro-armies are unionized and don't care to work weekends! Since all 55,000 of NATO's usable Euro-Canadian troops are now deployed on peacekeeping missions, absent military restructuring, NATO is pretty well maxed out — and so are we.

Egypt, however, has a huge surplus of military manpower with little to do. Bringing Egyptian soldiers into NATO would give it the Arab-Muslim character it needs, make it much easier for NATO to do peacekeeping in Afghanistan and Iraq and provide resources and status for the Egyptian Army, while tying it into the West. Moreover, the main justification that NATO proponents gave for expanding NATO to the shaky democracies of Eastern Europe was that this would promote democratization and stability there. Where better to promote reform than Iraq and Egypt? Surely they are as important as Latvia.

You would want to bring Israel into NATO because it would make any peace process easier by giving Israelis a deeper sense of security. Also, if Egypt were in NATO, Israel would have to be as well to maintain the balance of power. But lastly, if Israelis and Palestinians can ever, one day, reach a peace accord, they will very likely need a credible multinational force to police it, and the only one I can think of is a U.S.-led NATO force. If Israel and Egypt were both in NATO, NATO peacekeepers would be much more acceptable to the Israeli public and to Palestinians.

No, I haven't lost my marbles. I am just sitting here at NATO headquarters, listening to NATO officials tell me that their future is to the south, but that they have no manpower to go there, then matching that up with the needs and resources of the countries to the south. Do that, and the answer becomes obvious: If you can't bring Muhammad to the mountain, bring the mountain to Muhammad — and to Moses.

Another example of Pakiness

[url="http://www.dawn.com/2003/text/top3.htm"]Islamabad may move resolution next week: Declaration of self-determination[/url]

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 2: In an effort to keep alive the concept of Universal declaration of Self Determination, Pakistan is expected to move a resolution in the UN General Assembly next week which "reaffirms that the universal realization of the right of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination."

Pakistan's UN Ambassador, Munir Akram, underscored the vital importance of the resolution saying it was essential "in an atmosphere where India and other countries in occupation of foreign territories are trying to project the freedom struggles as "terrorist" movements.

The resolution, which is expected to garner majority support in the UN General Assembly, calls upon "those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories and all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment, in particular the brutal and inhuman methods reportedly employed for the execution of those acts against the peoples concerned."

It deplores the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons, who have been uprooted as a result of the aforementioned acts, and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.

It asks the Commission on Human Rights to continue to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation.

The Indian diplomats at the UN are wary of the resolution, which also has the endorsement of the US delegation on the matter of principle. They believe that Pakistan will continue to bolster its case on Kashmir on the international forum on the principle of self determination.
This would end up being a very troublesome resolution for the US, because of the fact that they snatched the entire continent from the native Americans, without ever bothering to ask them whether they wanted self determination. The same goes for South America and Russia and China where the aspiration of native peoples (Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs) have been suppressed to make way for the Imperial power. Almost every country has a skeleton in its closet when it comes to self determination of native peoples including of course Pakistan.
Yes, it will bring Sindu nation and Balouch nation. Let see whether they really bring this resolution.
[quote name='Kaushal' date='Nov 4 2003, 09:42 AM'] This would end up being a very troublesome resolution for the US, because of the fact that they snatched the entire continent from the native Americans, without ever bothering to ask them whether they wanted self determination. The same goes for South America and Russia and China where the aspiration of native peoples (Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs) have been suppressed to  make way for the Imperial power. Almost every country has a skeleton in its closet when it comes to self determination of native peoples including of course Pakistan. [/quote]

but who is there to raise voice?

i never heard them raising voice against US govt.? <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/huh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Huh' />
Quote:Almost every country has a skeleton in its closet when it comes to self determination of native peoples including of course Pakistan.

Forget native peoples. Pakistan does not give right of self determination to single one of its citizens. As far as POK and Northern Areas go, Pakistan's record of oppression is well known. :liar liar
Some lessons may be learnt from this message by Bharat, Russia and Israel for a contingency of de-nuking Islamic nukes in the world -- with US help if available, without such help, if necessary. It is, after all, becoming a world driven by smart technology-driven warfare strategies.


Nukes option by U.S. in Korea

By Bill Gertz


SEOUL — The United States is committed to defending South Korea from an attack by the North and would use nuclear forces if needed, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the government here yesterday.

Mr. Rumsfeld, who finishes his first official visit to Asia today, said the U.S. commitment to South Korea includes "the continued provision of a nuclear umbrella" for South Korea, according to a statement issued after joint security talks.

"We understand that weakness can be provocative, that weakness can invite people into doing things that they otherwise might not even consider," Mr. Rumsfeld told a joint news conference with South Korean Defense Minister Cho Young-kil.

The two defense chiefs also discussed transferring some of the 37,000 U.S. troops in South Korea to two areas south of the demilitarized zone.

The tasks carried out by the U.S. forces will be handed over to South Korean troops, including security for the truce area of Panmunjom at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas and the development of South Korean antiartillery capabilities.

Mr. Rumsfeld met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and told him that the United States would like Seoul to send "self-sufficient" troops to Iraq that do not need the protection of U.S. combat forces or help with supplies, said a senior defense official at the meeting.

South Korea has said it will send additional troops in the coming months but did not say whether they will be combat troops or humanitarian forces. The dispatch of humanitarian forces would require protection from terrorist attacks and Iraqi insurgents by U.S. or allied troops.

At the annual defense talks, the two sides agreed that North Korea poses a "global threat," the joint statement said.

Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cho share the "grave concern that North Korea's self-acknowledged nuclear-weapons program threatens regional and global security and violates North Korea's commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula."

North Korea has not tested a nuclear device, but the CIA stated in a recent report to Congress that Pyongyang has "validated" atomic weapons design to the point of posing a credible nuclear threat.

North Korea is continuing to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles, and poses a danger of exporting the weapons and technologies, the statement said.

The United States pulled out all of its tactical nuclear weapons, including nuclear land mines, in the early 1990s. It was then that Washington promised to use its nuclear forces, primarily missile-equipped submarines, to counter any atomic threats to South Korea.

However, the explicit restatement of that promise was unusual, and appeared intended to pressure North Korea in upcoming nuclear arms talks and to persuade South Korea not to develop its own atomic weapons.

North Korea's deployment of nuclear arms in the late 1990s shifted the strategic balance on the peninsula in Pyongyang's favor.

The United States' willingness to use nuclear arms to defend South Korea is expected to anger the communist North, which has accused the Bush administration of planning a nuclear attack.

Asked later about the nuclear assurances, Army Gen. Leon LaPorte, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, said he could not comment on operational plans.

"Our concern is to maintain a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula," Gen. LaPorte said in an interview with reporters.

The United States is developing nuclear weapons capable of penetrating deep, rock-hardened bunkers like those housing North Korean weapons, U.S. officials have said.

Both leaders called on North Korea to "completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear-weapons programs" and halt the testing, development, deployment and export of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related technologies, the statement said.

North Korea should take the opportunity of the six-party talks to denuclearize, the statement said.

Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly is in Tokyo and will visit Seoul later this week. He told reporters that a resumption of six-party talks is expected as early as mid-December.

Mr. Rumsfeld said at the press conference that the 13-year plan to move forces away from the demilitarized zone and consolidate bases over the next several years will strengthen the 50-year-old alliance with South Korea.

The alliance is successful because "we have had the ability to deter and defend and, if necessary, prevail," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "And that has been well understood. I can assure you it will be well understood in the years ahead, and, needless to say, neither of our governments would do anything that would in any way weaken the deterrent and the capability to defend."

Mr. Rumsfeld and South Korean leaders did not discuss cutbacks in the numbers of troops, but a U.S. official quoted Mr. Roh as saying that weapons upgrades and organizational reform make the number of troops less important than in the past.

"It is not numbers of things, it is capability to impose lethal power, where needed, when needed, with the greatest flexibility and with the greatest agility," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

Defense officials have said they do not want U.S. military forces to be used as a vulnerable "tripwire" in any initial attack by North Korea's 1.2-million-troop army.

Thousands of U.S. Army forces are deployed in camps spread close to the demilitarized zone and would be quickly overrun by invading North Korean forces or forced to make a difficult withdrawal through the urbanized Seoul area during a conflict.

The two sides were unable to reach an agreement on the relocation of some 700 to 1,000 U.S. troops from the military's Yongsan garrison in Seoul. South Korea does not want the troops in the Seoul area to be moved. The U.S. wants them pulled back to areas around Osan air base, located south of the capital.

Letter to US President to neutralize Pakistan's nuclear threat


There are over 9100 signatures so far.

The centre of gravity in the ongoing crusade, the 21st century war on terror (aka islam) is shifting. Bharat with long-standing relations with Turkey should get concerned. It is not surprising that there is a Pakistani involved in the synagogue bombing. US should realise the nature of the failed state that they are trying to prop up. Even bigger dangers lurk ahead; the islamic nuke in Pakistan is ticking. US should get serious about de-nuking Pakistan -- with Bharat's help.


Explosions in Istanbul Destroy British Consulate and Bank; At Least 27 Killed, 400 Injured


Published: November 20, 2003

ISTANBUL, Nov. 20 — Two explosions rocked Istanbul today, one at the British Consulate and the other at the British international bank HSBC, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 400, Turkish government officials said.

Among the dead were the British consul general, Roger Short, and his personal assistant, Lisa Hallworth, The Associated Press said.

"In today's attacks, there were again trucks loaded with explosives and it's highly likely that both were suicide attacks," said the Turkish interior minister, Abdulkadir Aksu. He said two of those killed were police officers. The Istanbul governor's office said the death toll was 27, but rescue workers said more victims could be buried in the rubble.

The attacks, which coincided with President Bush's visit to Britain, came less than a week after suicide bomb blasts at two Jewish synagogues in the city; 25 people were killed in those attacks, including the bombers.

"This incident that innocent people have faced a day before the Kadir night, a day of Ramadan, is an incident to be cursed," said Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister. Kadir night, the holiest night of Ramadan, marks the beginning of the dictation of the Koran.

Windows were shattered in buildings in the vicinity of the bank, located near shops, restaurants and a metro station on the busiest street of the upper middle class Levent neighborhood. Shocked victims rushed from the scene, their hands clamped on their wounds in an attempt to stanch the flow of blood.

"There was a massive explosion, I couldn't tell what was happening," said a banker, Cigdem Dicle, who was coated with dust. Her suit was spattered with blood. "I was in shock. We immediately went down, everything happened in seconds."

The explosion at the consulate was so powerful that it blew off the outer wall, witnesses said, and the force of the blast smashed windows and rocked houses nearby.

Emergency physicians, who were meeting at the nearby Taksim Hospital, provided immediate medical attention to the victims, the television station NTV reported.

At a joint news conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair this morning in London, Mr. Bush said that terrorists hoped to intimidate and demoralize free nations, but "they are not going to succeed." He said Britain, the United States and other allies were "united in our determination to fight and defeat this evil wherever it is found."

Mr. Blair, a steadfast ally of the United States in the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism, said: "Once again, we're reminded of the evil these terrorists pose to innocent people everywhere and to our way of life. "Once again, we must affirm that in the face of this terrorism there must be no holding back, no compromise, no hesitation in confronting this menace, in attacking it wherever and whenever we can, and in defeating it utterly."

Calling today's attacks a "terrorist outrage," Mr. Blair said an "unshakeable unity of purpose" was required to confront terrorism side by side with the United States.

No group claimed responsibility for the blasts, but the British foreign minister, Jack Straw, said, "I'm afraid to say it has all the hallmarks of international terrorism practiced by Al Qaeda."

"At this stage we can't say for certain who is responsible," he said in remarks broadcast on television before he left for Turkey.

The prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said in a news conference that the attacks today were similar to those last Saturday. "If one considers the form of the attack, it is almost the same as the attacks five days ago," he said.

He called the attack "another example of callous assault against peace and stability in the country by those circles who have no sense of humanity." Mr. Straw said that three or four consulate employees did not show up for roll call after the blasts in Istanbul, which he called an "appalling act of terrorism." He did not give the nationalities of the employees.

The television station NTV reported that HSBC bank closed its branches in Turkey for security reasons, and that security was tightened at American institutions.


Pakistani link in synagogue attacks

November 20, 2003 16:46 IST

Last Updated: November 20, 2003 16:49 IST

Turkish police have found clues pointing to Pakistani links in last week's synagogue bombings in Istanbul, a report said on Thursday.

Three of the four Turkish suicide bombers involved in the attacks received training in Pakistan and Iran while the background of the fourth man was still not clear, The Turkish Daily News reported.

At least seven killed in Istanbul bombings

The paper also said that the police found pieces of a Pakistani passport believed to belong to one of the attackers. But it did not say why a Turk would have a Pakistani passport.

The local media carried the names and photos of the four terrorists on Thursday.

"Four Al Qaeda Turkish militants organised synagogue bombings," a headline in the Turkish Sabah newspaper said.

Six people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the bombings.

Meanwhile, a police official in Dubai denied reports in the Turkish press that two accomplices of the attackers, Azad Ekinci, and Feridun Ugurlu, had fled to Dubai before the bombings.

The official said that they went through the airport records during the past month and the two names were not listed. They were checking the photographs published in the media to determine if the two had entered the country.


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