|Australian jailed to 45 yrs for rape, murder of an Indian|
|MELBOURNE, May 16 (Agencies): A 21-year-old Australian man was today sentenced to 45 years in jail with a minimum non-parole period of 30 years for the "planned and premeditated" rape and murder of Indian student Tosha Thakkar, who he strangled to death, stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in a canal.
New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Derek Price sentenced Daniel Stani-Reginald to a maximum of 45 years in jail with a minimum non-parole period of 30 years. With time served, he will be eligible for parole in March 2041.
Stani-Reginald strangled 24-year-old Thakkar to death with a cable, stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in the canal off the Parramatta River on March 21, 2011, when he was aged only 19, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
He and Thakkar, who was an accountancy student, l...|
|Kidnappers were fluent in Pashto, says Sarabjit's lawyer|
|LAHORE, May 17 (Agencies): Awais Sheikh, the Pakistani lawyer of slain Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, has told police that the armed men who abducted him and his son were "Pashto-speaking".
According to the FIR registered by police, Sheikh and his son Shahrukh were intercepted by four to five men travelling in a red pick-up truck and a motorcycle yesterday morning.
The armed men then bundled them into the pick-up.
Sheikh said the kidnappers did not talk to him or his son while they were in captivity.
The men, who were armed with sophisticated weapons, assaulted Sheikh and dumped him on Sheikhupura Road, 40 km from Lahore.
The abductors did not harm Shahrukh and dumped him several kilometres from the point where his father was thrown out of the pick-up.
Sheikh told police that the k...|
|15 killed in blasts in Pak mosques|
|ISLAMABAD, May 17 (Agencies): At least 15 people were killed and about 50 others injured when two blasts ripped through two mosques in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan today, officials said.
The blasts occurred during Friday prayers in the mosques in the remote Bazdara area of Malakand district, an erstwhile stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.
Fifteen people were killed, officials were quoted by TV news channels as saying.
The mosques were damaged by the blasts.
Local residents took the injured to hospitals in nearby towns. Officials said many of the injured were in a critical condition.
Deputy Commissioner Amjad Ali said the death toll could rise.
Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.
No group claimed responsibility f...|
|Pak court appoints judge to probe Sarabjit's murder|
|LAHORE, May 17 (Agencies): A serving judge has been named by a Pakistani court to probe the murder of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who died earlier this month after being assaulted within the Kot Lakhpat Jail here.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial appointed Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi to investigate the matter and submit a report to the court.
However, no deadline has been given to Naqvi to complete the probe.
Earlier, caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi had written a letter to the Chief Justice, asking him to appoint a judge to conduct the probe.
Five to six prisoners had brutally assaulted Sarabjit in a well-coordinated attack on April 26.
After being comatose for nearly a week, Singh died at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on May 2.
|India looking to set up feeder fund for IDFs: FM|
|LONDON, May 17 (Agencies): India is exploring the possibility of setting up a London-listed 'feeder fund' for Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs), and is looking to work with the UK on increasing institutional investments in the sector, said Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
"Both countries agreed to pursue joint work on the common aim of exploring ways to encourage increased institutional investment in infrastructure," Chidambaram said in a joint statement issued with his British counterpart, George Osborne.
"This will include exploring the possibility of establishment of a London listed 'feeder fund' for Indian Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs)," he said after the 6th annual India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue that ended here yesterday.
A feeder fund makes most of its investments thro...|
|Pak frees 51 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture|
|ISLAMABAD, May 17 (Agencies): Pakistan today announced it would free 51 Indian fishermen who had completed their prison terms as a gesture of goodwill.
"Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has decided to release 51 Indian fishermen on humanitarian grounds as a gesture of goodwill. These prisoners have already served their sentences," said a statement from the caretaker premier's office.
Khoso expressed the hope that the Indian government would reciprocate by freeing Pakistani prisoners.
The statement did not say when the prisoners would be repatriated.
The decision to release the fishermen was made at a meeting attended by interim Law Minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi, caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Zahid Qurban Alvi and senior officials of the Interior, Foreign and Law Ministries and the Pr...|
|Gang leader who kidnapped Gilani's son Held: Pak cops|
|ISLAMABAD, May 17 (Agencies): Pakistani police today claimed they had arrested the leader of the gang that kidnapped former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider, even as security forces were continuing their search for him.
Haider was abducted on May 9 while he was campaigning in his hometown of Multan in Punjab province for the elections. The kidnappers shot and killed his secretary and a bodyguard.
Police officials told the media that they arrested the suspect ring leader, identified as Wazir Gul, in Mardan district of the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Gul is the brother of one of the six persons arrested in neighbouring Nowshera district yesterday.
Like the others arrested, Gul is an Afghan national. He is wanted by police for several crimes, officials said.
|Sarabjit's lawyer abducted, later freed|
|LAHORE, May 16 (Agencies): Awais Sheikh, the Pakistani lawyer of slain Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, and his son were abducted and briefly held by unidentified men in an area near the border with India.
Sheikh and his son Shahrukh had gone to a village near Burki Hudaira area this morning to buy land for a farmhouse.
Two men riding a motorcycle, who were wearing police uniforms, intercepted them, said Haroon, another son of Sheikh.
The lawyer and his son were bundled into a pick-up truck and taken to an unknown location, Haroon told the police.
About an hour-and-half later, Sheikh and his son were dumped beside a highway by the kidnappers.
Sheikh told the media that the abductors assaulted him and his son before throwing them out of a car.
The lawyer and his son sought help from s...|
|Kabul suicide bombing of NATO convoy kills 14|
|KABUL, May 16 (Agencies): A suicide car bomb targeted a foreign military convoy in Kabul today, killing 14 people including six NATO personnel and two children in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital for nearly a year.
The powerful explosion, which struck at 8:00 am (local time) in the Shah Shaheed southeastern residential district, also injured 37 passers-by including many children going to school, officials said.
In total eight Afghans died, along with two NATO soldiers and four NATO contractors who were travelling through the city's busy rush hour traffic.
Hezb-i-Islami, an insurgent group that is independent from Taliban militant forces, claimed responsibility for the attack.
One NATO sports utility vehicle was completely destroyed in the blast and surrounding streets were q...|
|6 suspects held in Gilani's son kidnapping case|
|ISLAMABAD, May 16 (Agencies): Six suspects, including two women, were arrested today during an operation to trace the kidnapped son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani in Pakistan's restive northwest, officials said.
A joint team of police and law enforcement agencies raided the property of a man named Sardar Ali near Akhora Khattak in Nowshera district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province early this morning.
The team arrested six suspects and freed a kidnapped man named Abdul Wahab but could not trace Ali Haider Gilani, who was abducted on May 9.
Nowshera district police chief Waqar Ahmed told the media that Abdul Wahab had said that Ali Haider too had been held by the kidnappers at the same place.
Ahmed said the raid was carried out after police gathered some "technical data" about the k...|