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Third World leaders meet in Havana
Musharraf, Annan discuss Pakistan's return to democracy
HAVANA -- Saying it is in Pakistan's interest to end military rule, Pakistani ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf has outlined to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans for returning democracy to his nation.
However, details of Musharraf's plan were not made public following the leaders' Wednesday meeting in Havana on the sidelines of the G77 meeting of Third World nations.
"The discussion had two focuses: Firstly, the general's plans for democratization of Pakistan, and secondly, regional security issues," Annan's spokesman, Fred Eckard, said.
Musharraf assumed control of Pakistan's government on October 12 after the military ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup.
Also stemming from that incident were charges of kidnapping, terrorism, attempted murder and hijacking filed against Sharif. An anti-terrorism court last week found the former prime minister guilty of hijacking and terrorism, and imposed two life sentences.
"The people of Pakistan want (democracy), and I certainly want it. There is no problem there," Musharraf told reporters.
Castro: World economic order criminal
Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 73, demanded Wednesday that a "Nuremberg" trial be held for financiers. He said a world economic order dominated by the rich -- in which the poor must pay increasing debts and commodity export prices are pushed down -- was criminal.
"We need a Nuremberg to put on trial the economic order that they have imposed on us, that every three years kills more men, women and children by hunger and preventable or curable diseases than the death toll in six years of the second world war," said Castro.
Forty-two nations' leaders are attending the five-day G77 summit, which has grown since its founding in 1964 to group 133 nonaligned nations. The summit's first-ever presidential phase began Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistani and Nigerian delegations called for action to stop corrupt politicians from smuggling money out of their countries into rich international banks.
Meanwhile, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid told the summit that there was a division between countries like Cuba and Malaysia -- which support a radical overhaul of the global economy -- and richer nations.
"If we quarrel about approaches to be made, then all will face losses," Wahid said, warning that poor nations infighting could scuttle chances of a united voice to address their concerns.
Nigeria urges consolidation of democracies
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo called on the leaders who were present -- including Musharraf -- to consolidate their democracies, which would lead to investments and possibly lower debts.
Musharraf vowed Pakistan would establish a South Institute of Technology to help spread knowledge, especially information technology, among the poorer countries.
"This technology is far less capital-intensive than old industrial technology, and therefore may enable poor countries to leapfrog some of the long and painful stages of development that others had to go through," Annan said.
Also on the summit's sidelines, Annan discussed with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen the issues preventing a UN- backed tribunal from trying former Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity. They agreed UN and Cambodian diplomats would meet soon to try and resolve the deadlock.
"(Annan and Hun Sen) are seeking a compromise formula," a UN statement said Wednesday. "The two working groups will have to meet one more time, and the expectation is that this will happen in the shortest amount of time."
Cambodia and the UN have argued about which side should control the trials stemming from the deaths of approximately 1.77 million Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge's reign in the 1970s. While they have agreed tentatively to a jointly controlled tribunal, Cambodia opposes allowing an international prosecutor to issue independent indictments.
Musharraf, Annan discuss nuclear treaty
During their talks, Musharraf also explained to Annan Pakistan's position on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Musharraf said Pakistan wants to build a national consensus before deciding whether to sign the document.
Musharraf also said Pakistan wants third-party mediation -- either led by the United States or the UN -- to help resolve its Kashmir-related tensions with neighboring India.
Pakistan and India, which have fought two wars over Kashmir since 1947, almost went to war over the region last summer. However, India opposes mediation, and has said it does not want Kashmir to become an international issue.
"Whether it is mediation, or facilitation, or bilateral dialogue, we need to initiate a dialogue," Musharraf said.
Developing countries want better deal from lenders
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