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News, 12-19/4/02 (3) INSIDE IRAQ http://www.atimes.com/front/DD18Aa02.html * IRAQ DIARY, Part 8: Ghosts by Pepe Escobar Asia Times, 18th April BAGHDAD - "People here are afraid even of their own shadow," says the Ghost Man. He should know. He's dead scared. Saddam International Airport boasts its own VVIP (very VIP) terminal - for government ministers, ruling Baath Party notables and high-roller traders profiting from the United Nations trade embargo. Mere mortals use the Babylon terminal, the only one not idle among others with suggestive names (Ninive, Samarra). Saddam International - an impeccably neat and very modern airport by developing-world standards - is basically a green-and-white ghost town for most of the day because of the embargo - it is fully equipped with nowhere to go. International flights depart only to Amman and Damascus, and domestic flights to Basra and Mosul. The solitary midnight Royal Jordanian flight to Amman barely alleviates the boredom of customs and security officials. Mrs Shukur, wearing black pants and an elegant blue blazer, is bewildered in front of a bilingual instruction panel telling Iraqis that they are allowed to leave the country carrying only US$50 - roughly the rate for one night at an Amman hotel. Mrs Shukur, Iraqi-born, hadn't been back since 1989. She stayed for only 10 days, attending the seventh conference under the official motto "Roots remain home wherever we are" - during which, according to official government newspapers, "expatriates express support for their country's legitimate demands". As an expatriate, secular, upper middle-class woman living in the United Arab Emirates, Mrs Shukur prefers to declare herself "shocked" - basically with the resurgence of Islam in Iraq. "My cousin forces his nine-year-old daughters to go around wrapped in veils." She boards her plane to Amman with her family decked out California-casual style, mumbling that her relatives in Baghdad have at least "somehow" managed to survive. Saddam International Tower is a ghost tower - absolutely off-limits to any cameras. A Saddam Hussein statue sits at the base of the tower, pointing to the sky and surrounded by scraps of American missiles that fell during the "Mother of All Battles". On the top of the tower there is a slowly revolving restaurant - absolutely off-limits to 99 percent of the Iraqi population: a tough steak costs 6,500 Iraqi dinars (about $3.50), more than the average person will see in weeks. At lunchtime in the middle of the week, the only busy table was occupied by a delegation from the Russian parliament. >From the top of Saddam Tower, Baghdad looks like a Los Angeles suburb, with a lot more sand, and mosques instead of gas stations. Less than a kilometer from the tower lies the huge, gray, grim mass of half-finished domes of the Al Rahman mosque, being built by the government. Mansions ranging from $400,000 to $1 million apiece are visible closer to the tower: this is the embassy quarter, and also home to families lucky enough to bypass completely the hardships caused by the trade embargo and the UN sanctions. The main reason for the strict no-photo policy lies 500 meters away - visible only from above, never from street level: Saddam Hussein's Islamic-high-tech presidential palace. Entrances are far away from the main building, all of them protected by heavily fortified watchtowers. Any other top-of-the-tower revolving restaurant on the planet is an instant photo opportunity - but not in Iraq: foreign spies might sell their snaps of the palace to enemy security agencies. Instead, one can have one's photo taken beside a huge Saddam Hussein painting and buy a "Made in China" doll at the tower shop. No Saddam toys are on sale just yet. Saddam City during the day is - what else - a ghost city. Locals say it's home to at least 4 million people, which unofficially would compose 40 percent of the population of Baghdad, roughly estimated at 10 million. Saddam City owes its name to a visit by the president himself: the last of these visits was three years ago. Saddam City is a dirty, derelict, depressing sleeping-bag city: during the day everybody is out trying to make ends meet, in the formal or mostly the informal economy. That's why locals say there is no unemployment. Part of the city is off-limits even to locals: it's the realm of petty crime. Almost everybody is Shi'ite: most of their parents came to Baghdad from the south in search of a better life. Whenever there are siren calls announcing American bombing raids, special police reinforcements are sent to Saddam City: the "system" takes the possibility of a Shi'ite rebellion of the masses very seriously. Saddam City is where the Ghost Man lives. The Ghost Man lives in fear. He fears the system, he fears the government, he fears fear itself. In another land and under different historical circumstances, he could have been a contender. He is not a hollow man: he is educated, he reads, he's been to Europe. But the Ghost Man is a victim of every strike of bad luck - or Allah's wrath - that has fallen over Iraq since the 1980s. The Ghost Man may live in Saddam City. But he's never been to Saddam Tower. And there's no point going to Saddam Airport either because he cannot find the money, or the connections, to board that precious flight to Amman. So he keeps slouching around the streets of Baghdad, chain-smoking, eating the odd kebab, lucky to keep an odd job for a few weeks to feed his family of four. He may abhor "the system", but he is too weary even to try to fight back. He persistently asks whether the Americans will attack again - as if it might be the coup de grace capable of relieving him from his misery. Paraphrasing Bob Dylan, he's not busy being born, and he's not busy dying. But the Ghost Man of Saddam City is not totally defeated. Not yet. Until then, he remains a Dead Man Walking. http://atimes.com/front/DD19Aa02.html * IRAQ DIARY, Part 9: The voice of a Baghdad Palestinian by Pepe Escobar Asia Times, 19th April BAGHDAD - He just lost two sisters - two civilians killed in Palestine by the Israeli military machine, two more victims of the Palestinian tragedy. Maybe he should be grieving, and gloomily accepting condolences. But he remains unbreakable - and he only accepts "congratulations". Let's call him the Baghdad Palestinian. After duly accepting congratulations, he receives the foreign visitor into his own house and, speaking in Arabic through an interpreter, he agrees to talk. It's not an easy decision. For a Palestinian living anywhere in the Middle East, "we don't know who is a friend or an enemy anymore. The situation is frozen in the countries that surround Palestine." His two sisters lived in Nablus, in the same family house, since the 1960s. He says "they were assassinated" in the beginning of the latest Israeli invasion, "maybe by a rocket, maybe by a missile shot from an Apache helicopter". The house was destroyed. He learned about his sisters' death in Amman, where he was reached by some Nablus friends. "They are still there, under the rubble." But he is quick to emphasize, "We believe that martyrs do not face death, they ascend to life in Paradise." He is technically a Palestinian refugee in Iraq. He had been working as a Palestinian militant in 1969, until he was arrested and had to spend two years in jail in Nablus. He was then deported from Palestinian territory and forced by the Israelis to sign a "declaration of no return". Even his request to see his ailing mother was "refused for security reasons". Also for security reasons, he cannot say directly whether he carried out political activities. "Every Palestinian does. Every Palestinian proudly carries with himself the spirit of the revolution." He is proud to live in Baghdad, which he defines either as "the country of the honest" or "the country of the militants". "I'm proud to be living on the soil of a nationalist regime. Our problem and the Iraqi problem are intimately linked. I support the Iraqi jihad in Palestine." He refers to the Jerusalem Liberation Army - a campaign through which many thousands of Iraqis receive basic military training in the context of a possible order to fight a jihad in Palestine. Videos of the training campaigns are constantly shown on Iraqi television. The Baghdad Palestinian is unmistakably pan-Arab. "Every country that displays a national will, the US regards them as a target. We Arabs live in 22 different states. We need to have a single nation. The closest to this objective is the slogan of the Baath Party 'A single Arab nation with an eternal mission'." He adds, "Our civilization constitutes a unity. The union of the Arab world is the ultimate objective. At the popular level, these daily demonstrations everywhere in the Arab world mean that we can express ourselves as citizens in an unique way." Edward Said, one of the most prominent spokesmen of the Palestinian cause in the United States, has repeatedly pointed out how the US administration - and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - use the word "terrorism" in a uniform way every time the Palestinians react against Israel. Said himself finds the suicide bombing raids unacceptable: but by branding them as terrorism, and insisting that Yasser Arafat stop the Palestinian violence, US President George W Bush and Sharon "totally lose sight of the context, meaning the illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel for 35 years now, the longest period in modern history (side by side with the occupation of Korea by Japan between 1910 and 1945)". The Baghdad Palestinian couldn't agree more with Said, one of the leading Palestinian intellectuals of our times. "Ariel Sharon says that the kamikaze operations come from desperate people. On the contrary: injustice forces them to act. We believe this is our territory. The Zionists used to be dispersed: then they came to live here in our place. The Palestinian territory is a sacred territory." He then quotes a hadith (saying) from the Prophet Muhammad, according to which Allah ordered a jihad against infidels. The translation reads, "You who are my friends, living beside al-Aqsa, I command you to a jihad against the Zionists and the infidels." He says that the Koran accuses Zionists of being "killers of prophets" such as Zachariah and Isaiah. For the Baghdad Palestinian, there is no difference between Jews and Zionists. "As Muslims, we do not incite people to kill other people. Our religion represents peace and tolerance." He illustrates the point with the situation in Bethlehem. "We, Muslims, we respect Bethlehem as a sacred place for Christians. They have bombed the church where Jesus Christ was born. There are many Palestinian militants who are Christian. The Jews are here to kill, they do not differentiate between Muslims or Christians." He sincerely expects that "Christians should be deeply involved with us to save Palestine". The Baghdad Palestinian places "total confidence" in Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat; "All the Palestinian people do." He considers Iraq "the country that best represents the Arab nation. The enemy is always the same: the United States - manipulated by the Zionist lobby - is the enemy of all the peoples who fight for their freedom." And once again he absolutely rejects the label of terrorism. "We are not terrorists. We are involved in a jihad to recover our sacred land." The Baghdad Palestinian is not exactly optimistic about the future of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's proposal - land for peace - discussed at the recent Beirut summit by Arab leaders. "The Arab countries in Beirut have accepted the Saudi Arabian initiative. How did Israel answer? They attacked our houses." So the liberation struggle will go on. "We believe in life. We believe that peace is based on justice. British colonialism and later American colonialism cannot uproot Arab territories. If you see an Iraqi and a Syrian fighting alongside a Palestinian, this is what Arab unity is all about." One of the astonishing videos constantly played on Iraqi television shows Palestinian youths throwing stones coated with fire against the Israeli army. The Arab expression is hijarah men sejil - literally "stone on fire". Everybody knows what it means: according to the Koran, the fire comes right out of hell. The Baghdad Palestinian, as he takes the visitor to the front door, seems to imply that these stones will be burning for a long time to come. MINDLESS PARANOIA http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml? xml=/news/2002/04/14/npox114.xml&sSheet=/ news/2002 /04/14/ixnewstop.html * Iraq warnings prompt rush to order vaccine by David Bamber and Chris Hastings Daily Telegraph, 14th April TONY BLAIR rushed through an order for 16 million doses of the smallpox vaccine after Dick Cheney, the American Vice-President, warned him that a military attack on Iraq would be met by a biological terror onslaught on Britain. The two leaders met at Downing Street on March 12 and exchanged intelligence about the possible threat from Iraq. Mr Cheney told the Prime Minister that intelligence experts had warned that the United States and Britain would be the two main targets of biological warfare in the event of a conflict. American security reports suggested that Saddam Hussein would use all the weapons at his disposal if he was attacked. Unlike the Gulf war, where he showed some restraint, this time he would know that the military action is intended to end in his death or capture. Two days after Mr Blair and Mr Cheney met, six health ministers including Alan Milburn gathered in London and took the decision to order inoculations against smallpox. Health ministers from Japan, Mexico, France, Germany and America met to share intelligence on vaccine stocks and methods of responding to a bioterrorism attack. Three weeks later, the British Government placed a £32 million order for 16 million smallpox vaccines with PowderJect of Oxford. It is believed that in the event of a war being launched by the West, Iraqi special agents will attempt to smuggle smallpox into Britain and release it in confined spaces such as the Tube or cinemas. The worst case would be suicide terrorists infected with smallpox. This would spread the virus throughout the population rapidly, causing the deaths of up to a third of the people infected. Earlier this year, American scientists projected how smallpox infections would spread after a single terrorist strike. They found that an attack on a train on April 1 would result in 15,000 cases of smallpox, including 2,000 deaths, by June. The disease would also spread to four foreign countries, they calculated. Last year another computer model suggested that the introduction of smallpox in three American states during the winter would result in three million cases and one million deaths by the following February. According to American intelligence, Iraq is believed to have developed stocks of the smallpox virus, which is highly contagious and cannot be cured once contracted, during the early Eighties. During the Gulf war, Iraq prepared to use missiles tipped with smallpox and other deadly diseases against Allied troops and was only dissuaded by threats of nuclear retaliation. It is believed that Saddam’s dictatorship capitalised on a natural outbreak of smallpox disease in the Seventies, which happened when it was developing its own weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations Special Commission (Unscom), which was set up to inspect weapons in Iraq, has grown more concerned about the country’s biological weapons programme. Richard Sperzel, a specialist, told the US House of Congress committee on international relations in December that Unscom believed it was prudent to make the assumption that Iraq possessed the necessary necessary facilities, expertise and equipment for smallpox production, he said. A number of other clues strongly suggested that it had an interest, if not an active programme, in such weapons development. Iraq has also developed a vaccine for “camelpox”, which is similar to smallpox, that will give its own population some protection in the event of military use of the virus. The regime has admitted developing camelpox but has failed to say why. Roger Roffey, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, said in January: “The bioterrorism threat in the United States and also for the United Kingdom has increased since September 11. “Experts estimate that Britain has stocks of about three million doses of smallpox vaccine, which was made in the Seventies. Routine vaccination stopped in 1971 when the number of cases declined to zero. Almost everyone over 35 will have been vaccinated. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_e ast/story.jsp?story=286184 * Iraqis 'could turn camel virus into bio-weapon' by Charles Arthur The Independent, 18th April Iraqi scientists could turn a smallpox-style disease that infects camels into a deadly weapon, a British researcher says. Camelpox, a non-lethal disease that causes fever and skin rash in camels, has been found to be so similar to smallpox that only a few changes would be needed in its genetic make-up to create a harmful agent. Such a change could happen naturally or be engineered, New Scientist magazine reports today. In 1995, Iraq admitted to UN weapons inspectors that it was working with camelpox with a view to using it as a weapon, because its own troops were frequently exposed to the camel virus and would be immune. The inspectors were dubious about the claim, because camelpox does not cause disease in humans, but they thought Iraq could be using it for research prior to developing a smallpox weapon. Such fears recently prompted Britain to order £32m worth of smallpox vaccines in a contract awarded to a company run by a Labour Party donor. Fresh research, though, suggests that camelpox itself could pose a threat. Geoffrey Smith, of Imperial College, London, who sequenced the DNA of a camelpox strain isolated from camels in Iran in 1970, told New Scientist he was surprised how similar the virus was to smallpox. "It could be that only a small set of changes would be necessary for camelpox virus to infect people," he said. Both viruses come from the same family, known as "orthopox". They have common central DNA structures, used for their replication. The new evidence shows they are also similar towards the ends of their genome, where genes determine what animals they infect, how quickly and with what effect, raising fears camelpox could evolve to infect people. IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/america s/newsid_1931000/1931942.stm * Washington’s Chavez dilemma by Michael Buchanan BBC, 15th April Hugo Chavez’s return to power is both an embarrassment and an annoyance for the United States. The maverick populist has frequently angered Washington and his fall from power on Friday was welcomed by the White House. President Bush’s official spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said on Friday that Mr Chavez had been the author of his own downfall. “We know that the action encouraged by the Chavez government provoked this crisis,” said Mr Fleischer. “Government supporters, on orders from the Chavez government, suppressed peaceful demonstrations.” Those comments put the Bush administration at odds with most other countries on the continent, and left many Latin American nations wondering if Washington had a different approach to democracy depending on whether or not they liked the leader. And while Washington most certainly does not like Hugo Chavez, the CIA - which in the past has had its fingerprints on other coups in the Americas, most notably in Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973 - does not, at this stage at least, appear to have had any role in the Venezuelan upheaval. Hugo Chavez has angered the United States many times. Chavez has embraced America’s foes His close relationship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, long the bane of successive American administrations, is in Mr Chavez’s case arguably the least of his sins. He has paid highly controversial visits to Libya and Iraq, becoming the first foreign leader since the Gulf War in 1991 to travel to Baghdad. And his neutral stance on the FARC insurgency in Colombia has also annoyed Washington. So his dramatic return to power has put the Bush administration onto the back foot. The national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, urged Mr Chavez to use his new opportunity to reconsider his policies. “I hope he takes advantage of this opportunity to right his own ship which has been moving in the wrong direction frankly for quite a long time,” said Ms Rice. The problem for Washington is that it has no choice but to develop some sort of relationship with Mr Chavez. Venezuela is the third largest supplier of oil to the United States, responsible for about 13% of all US imports, and the situation in the Middle East - with its potential to disrupt even more crucial American oil supplies - puts Mr Chavez in a strong position. http://www.busrep.co.za/html/busrep/br_frame _decider.php?click_id=345&art_id=qw101888 9643731B256&set_id=60 * Oil rises as OPEC champion Chavez returns to power by Richard Mably Reuters , 15th April London - Oil prices staged a modest recovery on Monday as President Hugo Chavez returned to power, reassuring the market that Venezuela would remain one of OPEC’s most disciplined members in abiding by cartel output quotas. Calls again from Iran for an Islamic-wide oil embargo on the West to protest Israeli incursions into Palestinian territories also lent support to crude. Brent blend for June in late afternoon London trade gained 70 cents to $23.86 a barrel. U.S. light crude for May added 69 cents to $24.19. Brent remains well below a recent $28 high. “Hugo Chavez is back in power and that matters for the oil market,” said analyst Paul Horsnell of J.P. Morgan. “On Friday the petroleum market was on the brink of deciding that (Venezuelan policy) was that of producing oil at very low prices.” Brent slumped nearly $1.50 on Friday after Chavez was ousted by military officers and arrested following a general strike. A counter-rebellion secured his return on Sunday. Executives at state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) had said on Friday they wanted to change policy and set output according to market conditions rather than OPEC quotas. But as Chavez resurfaced, Venezuelan Oil Minister Alvaro Silva told Reuters that Caracas would continue its strict adherence to production limits. “It will be the same,” Silva said of policy. OPEC expressed relief at Chavez’s return. “We have every reason to be pleased that the political crisis is now over,” said an official at OPEC headquarters in Vienna, as cartel Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez, a former Venezuelan oil minister, left to visit Caracas. Under Chavez, the world’s fourth biggest exporting nation emerged as one of OPEC’s committed members, honouring output limits after years of quota cheating helped spark a slump in oil prices in early 1999 to under $10 a barrel. On Sunday, PDVSA executives said the conciliatory tone struck by Chavez would help settle the six-week stand-off between PDVSA and the government which saw exports to the United States disrupted last week. “President Chavez opened the possibilities for dialogue. We have to believe he is sincere, so we are going to proceed with the normalisation of operations,” said Edgar Paredes, PDVSA’s head of sales and refining, one of the dissident executives. Shippers said Venezuelan exports, 13 percent of U.S. oil imports, were returning to normal and that crude and refinery output was recovering. The appointment by Chavez of his political allies to top posts at PDVSA led to protests by some staff that sparked last week’s three-day general strike, prompting the President’s temporary overthrow. Also supporting crude prices on Monday was a reminder that Iran wants an Islamic-wide one-month embargo on oil exports to Israel’s allies. State television said Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami on Monday called for Islamic states to declare a ban in support of the Palestinians. The call by the moderate president echoed that by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 10 days ago. Neighbouring Iraq last week announced a unilateral embargo, cutting off output of nearly two million barrels daily, four percent of world crude trade. Baghdad criticised Iran for not following its lead. Libya also said it would support an embargo but only in the event of an Islamic-wide ban, something already ruled out by leading OPEC producer Saudi Arabia. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Riyadh would guarantee world supplies. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has underpinned oil markets for fear that unrest might spread across the oil-rich Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday but reported little headway in easing tensions in the region. http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=130 51104&template=baghdad/indexsearch.txt&in dex=recent * U.S. Planes Met With Iraqi Fire The Associated Press, 15th April WASHINGTON (AP) — American aircraft attacked an air defense site in southern Iraq Monday in response to hostile Iraqi fire, U.S. officials said. It was the first U.S. airstrike in the southern ``no-fly’’ zone, where U.S. and British air patrols prohibit Iraqi aircraft from flying, since Jan. 21, according to U.S. Central Command. A Central Command announcement said the incident happened at 7:15 a.m. EDT near the city of Tallil, about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. It did not identify the type of U.S. aircraft that conducted the attack. ``Coalition aircraft attack Iraqi anti-aircraft systems in self-defense to neutralize hostile threats endangering our air crews and inhibiting monitoring in support of humanitarian aims,’’ it said. The Iraqi government does not accept the legitimacy of the southern and northern ``no-fly’’ zones monitored by American and British aircraft and occasionally challenges them by firing air defense guns. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow .asp?art_id=6904663 * European peace delegation arrives in Baghdad Times of India (fromAFP), 15th April BAGHDAD: Some 120 people, including Belgian senators and doctors, British and French Gulf war veterans and representatives from European NGOs arrived Sunday in Baghdad for an “enquiry and testimony mission.” Collon Michel, the head of the delegation which flew from Brussels, said “the French and British soldiers who contracted diseases linked to depleted uranium used (by the US and Britain) during the Gulf war, will present an apology to the Iraqi people.” Michel added the delegation’s two-week visit was aimed at “expressing the rejection by the peoples of the European Union of US threats against Iraq.” Doctor Colette Moulaert, one of the delegation’s leaders had said Friday that the mission’s purpose was to “enquire and testify on the war threats facing Iraq again, on the effects of depleted uranium and on the consequences of the embargo on the population’s health and daily life.” The United Nations imposed an embargo on Iraq in 1990 after its invasion of Kuwait. The United States has issued repeated warnings that Iraq might be the next target of Washington’s “war on terror.” http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/15Apr200 2_news13.h tml * Jasmine rice for Iraq Bangkok Post, 15th April Baghdad plans to purchase Thai jasmine rice under a proposed oil-for-food deal, PM’s Office Minister Krasae Chanawong said yesterday. The minister, who made an official visit to Iraq from March 14-22, said Baghdad planned to buy 300,000 tonnes of rice annually under the deal. Iraq has to date traded about six million barrels of oil for rice from Thai exporters. Mr Krasae said Baghdad may in the future deal directly with the Thai Farmers Co-operative. Iraq would also send senior officials to inspect agricultural work in Thailand, he said. The Iraqi government sought investment in its transportation and telecommunications sectors, particularly mobile-phone networks, during his trip to Baghdad, he said. http://www.dawn.com/2002/04/17/ebr4.htm * 60,000 tons wheat being exported to Iraq by Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana Dawn, 17th April, 03 Safar 1423 KARACHI, April 16: More than 60,000 tons of wheat is being shipped to Iraq in two vessels late this month and next month following an approval of the samples by the Iraqi authorities, officials said on Tuesday. These two shipments replace the ones Iraq has rejected last year on the grounds that the wheat does not conform to their specifications. Sources said that a two-member team of Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supplies Corporation (PASSCO) carrying wheat samples recently visited Baghdad for getting approval from the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government, after testing the samples in a laboratory, gave its consent because the wheat was fulfilling their specification in term of its contents and properties. Pakistani wheat, which is of “hard milling” quality met the Iraqi specifications, which demands 28 per cent gluten and 14 per cent moisture. However, Baghdad gave some relaxation by allowing average gluten of 26 per cent. Baghdad has urged Pakistan that it should ensure that elements such as stones and mud should be checked strictly and the process of cleaning the produce should be undertaken with utmost care. According to tentative schedule the first ship-load of 35,000 tons would leave Port Qasim by end of this month or early next month and the second ship of equal load would be leaving by end-May, the sources said. The sources said that under the new arrangement, PASSCO and government of Punjab have been asked to arrange and prepare 31,000 tons each for timely wheat shipment to Baghdad. In order to ensure proper sieve and cleaning of the wheat consignments to Baghdad the Punjab government has installed 26 machines for de-stoning which was being done manually so far, official sources said. Early last year Pakistan entered into agreement with Baghdad for supply of 100,000 tons of wheat under UN programme of oil-for-food. Under this agreement three ship-loads of equal quantity were to be shipped for Baghdad. After accepting first ship load of 34,000 tons of wheat in August last year, the following two consignments of wheat loads were rejected by Baghdad on the ground that percentage of foreign elements in the wheat was little higher than the Iraqi specifications. Import of wheat by Iraq helped Pakistan to appear on the world wheat export map for the first time. Much of food grains to rich Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq are supplied by Canada, USA and Australia which are technically well advanced and have proper infrastructure to handle entire shipments. ------------------------------------------------- This mail sent through UK Online webmail _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk