Forty Years Ago: March 18, 1979
The Pakistan Supreme Court reserved its judgment on the revision petition of Z A Bhutto in the Kasuri murder case. Chief Justice Anwarul Huq said the court would take three or four days to examine the submissions of defence counsel. Yahya Bakhtiar, counsel for Bhutto, pleaded before the court that, while arriving at the judgment, introduction of Islamic laws in the country be also taken into consideration. He pleaded that Bhutto should get lesser punishment than the death sentence as he was not present at the spot of the crime, committed on November 10, 1974. Ahmed Raza Kasuri, ‘s political opponent, had escaped an ambush at Lahore on that date but his father, Nawab Mohammed Khan, was killed.
Saudi-Egypt ties dip
Saudi Arabia has warned Egypt that it will impose economic sanctions immediately after Egypt signs a peace treaty with Israel. Damascus Radio of Syria reported that the Saudi warning was given to the Egyptian vice-president, Hosni Mubarak. Saudi Arabia is Egypt’s main financial backer and a likely cutoff of Saudi financing would be a very serious blow to the ailing economy. Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organisation leader, Yasser Arafat said the “whole Middle East will explode” once the US-sponsored peace treaty between and Israel is signed.
Urs faces heat
The Grover Commission is understood to have indicted Karnataka Chief Minister Devraj Urs on several counts. Justice A N Grover had submitted the final report of the commission recently. In his interim report submitted in January 1978, Justice Grover had upheld four of the seven charges he had inquired into by then. These included the charges of favouritism in the appointment of Kemparaj Urs (brother of CM Urs) as director of the Karnataka Film Industries Development Corporation, and the grant of 20 acres of land in Nelamangala taluk of Bangalore district to his son-in-law, M D Nataraj.