Feb 21 - 27, 2005



"This is a moment for me and my family; it's not a political event."

(Asif Ali Zardari after being released said that he had deliberately kept his traveling plan vague, adding that this would be the first New Year's Eve he would spend with his family in over five years)

"Benazir wants the government to declare that she was no longer a party in a corruption case that is being heard in a Swiss court, but so far the government has not agreed to it."

(Gulf News quoting a Pakistan Peoples Party's insider)

"We decided to jump down from the window of our first-floor flat, as a drunken male employee tried to sexually assault us. He had threatened us to chop us into pieces and throw us in the garbage bin if we complained to the management."

(Gulf News quoting Two Filipinos house maids who saved themselves from being sexually assaulted by one of their male employee in Deira apartment on January 27)

"Major Rehman Hussain, an Indian army major found guilty of sexually molesting a 10-year-old girl and her mother in Jammu and Kashmir is to be dismissed."

(Gulf News quoting an Indian Army spokesman Colonel R.K. Sen adding that the decision by a military court was one of the swiftest to deliver justice to victims of abuse by Indian security forces battling militants in the Himalayan state)

"They are also humans."

(A 100-member bishops' organization commented and after it has been criticized for being too lenient with priests guilty of sexual misconduct. 200 priests have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past two decades with offenses ranging from rape to keeping a mistress and siring a child. More than 200 priests have left the clergy since 1985 after failing to follow the vow of celibacy)



"A high profile Indian astrologer Swamiji Kishore Shastri, has been arrested who offered to solve problems related to love-marriages, divorce, remarriage, failure of love, higher education and business problems and sexually assaulted wealthy women in his five-star apartment block. Among those who fell victim were a gem merchant's wife, an army officer's wife and other wealthy women."

(A special police team of Slave Island in Colombo investigating the case revealed before the press, adding that they had deployed two female decoys acting as mother and daughter)

"We in the UAE have always called for implementing the UN resolutions without maintaining double standards, as with Israeli killing and destruction in the Palestinian Occupied Territories and against the Palestinian people, who have the right to defend their land, resist the occupation and strive for the freedom of their lands, independence and sovereignty."

(General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister speaking ahead of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex), which gets under way in Abu Dhabi)

"Any military action that causes the shutdown of the Strait of Hormuz (Iran) will have an immediate and significant effect on the world economy. If the strait was closed by Iran or US military operations, obviously we would all run out and buy oil futures. Shut down their flow of oil for a few weeks and see how they react to that."

(US foreign policy think tank in a news conference presented an Iran's policy paper)

"It is not acceptable that developed countries generate 70 or 80 per cent of their electricity from nuclear energy and tell Iran, a great and powerful nation, that it cannot have nuclear electricity. Iran does not accept this."

(Cleric and former President Iran Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers at Friday prayers adding that, Washington will not stop Iran pursuing nuclear technology and should not attempt a military "adventure" in the country)

"The US intelligence community began using Iraq as a base to spy on Iran shortly after taking Baghdad in April 2003. Small pilotless planes, penetrating Iranian airspace from US military facilities in Iraq, use radar, video, still photography and air filters designed to pick up traces of nuclear activity to gather information that is not accessible to satellites."

(A former US official was quoted as disclosing in Daily Gulf News)

"Security, is the main concern this year in Bahrain, officials try to ensure the safety of the faithful in light of attacks on Shias in Iraq. Bahrain is estimated to have at least 600 officially recognised Matams."

(Bahrain authorities said while issuing security plans during annual Ashura commemorations)