Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003
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Sir, This has reference to the news report "Turkey, U.S. mull deal" (Feb. 23). Apparently, "aid package" in international diplomacy is a euphemism for "bribe". Turkey is being promised a $15 billion aid package by the U.S. in return for use of its bases to attack Iraq. Reports have also hinted that the sea-borne assault machinery is carrying hardware as part of the package. The U.S. President, George W. Bush, had reportedly spoken to the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, on the eve of the last Security Council meeting at the U.N. The confirmation of support is apparent though Islamabad makes symbolic, weak protests against some of the U.S. pronouncements. Over a year ago, a special aid package was given to Pakistan in return for use of its territory to attack Afghanistan's Taliban regime. One wonders what new package has reached Pakistan this time.
Sir, The planned aggression of the U.S. and Britain on Iraq is rocking that country and its citizens. Millions of people from across the world reject a war which will have a destabilising effect on the whole region. It would also have far-reaching political, economic and other attendant devastating repercussions on all the countries, particularly on those in the Middle East. At this hour of crisis, we must express our solidarity with the people of Iraq and with peace-loving people everywhere. We must also affirm our opposition to the war.
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