Pak Army denies report of Kayani`s talk with Indian PM

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 21:58

Islamabad: Pakistan Army on Sunday dismissed
as "unfounded" and "totally baseless" a media report that its
powerful chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani held talks with Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh through a "secret envoy and back
channel".

A spokesperson of the Inter-Services Public Relations
Directorate (ISPR) denied the news item which appeared in `The
Times` of London on April 23 and called it "unfounded and
totally baseless".

The paper had reported that Singh had appointed an
"unofficial envoy" to make contact with Kayani, "who exercises
de facto control over Pakistan`s foreign policy".

The talks, through a back channel, have encouraged the
UK and US believe that the countries` competition for
influence in Afghanistan could be better managed during
efforts to start a peace process, the media report had said.

The Prime Minister`s Office in New Delhi had yesterday
termed as `false` the report that Singh had contacted Kayani
before the Mohali meeting between Prime Ministers of the two
countries.

PTI
Government panel clears Yunus of mishandling of foreign fund
Dhaka: Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus was
on Monday cleared of misappropriating Norwegian aid money for his
Grameen Bank by an official committee but the finding is
unlikely to change the Bangladesh government`s decision to see
his ouster.

The report comes nearly two months after Yunus, a
celebrated pioneer of micro-finance, was forced out on March 2
from the Grameen Bank which he founded nearly three decades
ago.

Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith today said the
committee appointed by the government to investigate Grameen
Bank`s operations has found no evidence of financial
irregularities.

"The (government) review committee said it did not
find any irregularity in handling of the foreign fund," he
told newsmen as the committee submitted its 50-page report.
He said the committee also found that the effective
interest rate of the micro financier -- 20 percent on basis
loans -- was the lowest compared to other micro lending agency
of the country.

"The committee has given its report within its purview
and now the government will take the next step," Muhith said.

The panel also found no truth in allegations that the
Bank charged excessive interest rates on loans to the poor.

Yunus` dismissal was upheld by the High Court and
Supreme Court -- on the grounds that he had overstayed in his
position and ignored requests to step down.

Local media quoted officials and experts as saying
that the government`s decision to fire Yunus as the bank`s
managing director is unlikely to be changed as he had
overstayed the official retirement age for bank chiefs in
Bangladesh of 60 years.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 21:58

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