THT 10 YEARS AGO: Achham village women yearn for HIV-infected status!

Safebagar, May 3

Many women of remote villages of Achham district want organisations concerned to declare them HIV-infected. Reason: These poor souls are lured by goodies offered to real HIV victims.

According to Achham district public health office (DPHO), Achham has 370 HIV-infected persons, the highest number of HIV-infected persons in a district. With their husbands in India to make money, most of the women of Achham district find it difficult to eke out a living for themselves and dependents.

To combat poverty, they have begun appealing to organisations working for the welfare of HIV-infected to declare them HIV-infected. “My husband has gone abroad to earn money. How would I feed my children or send them to school? Had I been an HIV victim, organisations would have provided for our food and children’s education,” Saraswati Pariwar of Marku VDC-6 of Achham said. Gaumati Kunwar of Chandi VDC said she came to Safebagar thinking she was infected with HIV because her husband has been bedridden for quite some time. “My husband used to work in Mumbai. We are having a tough time ever since he fell ill. Nobody cares for us. It would be better if I were HIV-infected.

At least I would get support from organisations.” Counsellor Durga Subedi of Hasti AIDS, an organisation working for HIV victims, said many women came to the organisation, pleading that they be declared HIV-infected.

Kargil war was planned in mid-90s, reveals book

Indo-Asian News Service

Islamabad, May 3

A new book reveals that Pakistan planned its costly Kargil military operation, which almost triggered a major war with India, years before it actually happened in the summer of 1999. The book, “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army and the Wars Within”, comes up with admissions by the assassinated Benazir Bhutto and former army chief Jehangir Karamat that Kargil was discussed in the mid-90s, the Daily Times reported today. Pakistan’s former foreign minister Sartaj Aziz endorses this view.

President Pervez Musharraf is widely believed to be the man who planned and executed the Kargil operation in which hundreds of Islamist guerrillas seized the Kargil hill in Jammu and Kashmir, surprising India.

Bhutto told author Shuja Nawaz, a former journalist with The New York Times, that Musharraf had discussed Kargil with her when she was the prime minister and he headed the military operations at the army headquarters in Islamabad. Bhutto said Musharraf, while presenting a war game, recommended a military incursion into Indian Kashmir and the seizure of its capital Srinagar.