Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: pakistan

Day after Kulbhushan Jadhav kin humiliation, Indo-Pak NSAs met secretly

A day after Pakistani authorities humiliated the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in a Pakistan jail on trumped up charges, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua (retd) reportedly had a secret meeting in Bangkok.The foreign ministries of both the countries, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, were in the loop about the hush-hush meeting, which had been fixed a few days ago. There was no indication if issue of humiliation of the Jadhav family in Pakistan, which rocked the Parliament also, was discussed at the meeting.The meeting and its timing have raised a lot of questions, especially in light of the strong anti-Pakistan mood in India over that country’s continued support to terrorists and ongoing violations of the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Officially, there was neither a confirmation nor a denial about the reports of the meeting, but official sources said that both countries have remained in touch through back channels to address pressing issues.Sources insisted that such interactions cannot be construed as resumption of the normal dialogue process. “The meeting is part of the agreement between the two NSAs to meet and sort out bilateral issues. Similar meetings in Bangkok had taken place in the past as well,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Day after Army chief’s LoC visit, Pak troops kill jawan

A day after Army chief General Bipin Rawat visited the forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian forward positions, killing a jawan, in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district in Jammu division on Sunday.The incident took place in the early hours of Sunday, when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and fired indiscriminately on the Indian forward posts along the LoC in the Nowshera sector. The Indian Army troops immediately swung into action and retaliated in equal measure to silence the Pakistani guns.”In the exchange of fire, however, Sepoy Jagsir Singh was grievously injured and later succumbed,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at the Northern Command.Hailing from village Lohgarh, Thakhran Wala, district Firozepur of Punjab, Sepoy Jagsir Singh, 32, is survived by wife Mohinder Pall Kaur, two daughters, and a son.”Sepoy Jagsir Singh was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Colonel Joshi said.The ceasefire violation comes just a day after the chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, visited the forward posts in Rajouri and exhorted the troops to continue to remain “vigilant and ever-ready”.Pakistan’s latest provocation also comes six days after the Indian Army troops, in a tit-for-tat action, crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani Army men in Rawalakot sector of Poonch on Monday. The attack was carried out 48 hours after four Army soldiers, including a Major, were killed by the Pakistan Army on December 23.Meanwhile, figures presented in the Lok Sabha have revealed that Pakistan violated the ceasefire along the LoC in J&K 771 times, till December 10 this year, and 110 times along the International Border (IB) till November-end. Nearly 30 people, including 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians, and four BSF personnel, were killed in these ceasefire violations this year.Also, last year, 449 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported, in which 13 civilians and 13 security personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured. The truce between India and Pakistan along the IB, the LoC, and the Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen glacier came into force in November, 2003.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

WION Expose: Palestine’s envoy in Pakistan met Hafiz Saeed earlier too

Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy in Pakistan after pictures emerged of him attending a rally with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi. However, Palestine ambassador in India claimed that the envoy wasn’t aware of Hafiz Saeed’s identity. Even Palestine government dubbed the incident as ‘unintended mistake’, but not ‘justified’. But according to footage accessed by WION, it is not the first time, Walid Abu Ali met Hafiz Saeed. On December 14 too, they had a meeting as shown in the footage. Hence Palestine’s claim that Walid Abu Ali wasn’t aware of UN declared terrorist Saeed’s identity sounds hollow. Here’s the full footage:Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed rally: Palestine recalls ambassador in Pak, says ‘unintended mistake’ but not justified Earlier Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija told ANI, ”Our Ambassador did not know Hafiz Saeed and wondered who he was. Ali spoke after Saeed left the stage. Even that was not acceptable to us. That’s why a decision to recall him from Pakistan has been taken”. Palestine Foreign Ministry in its official communique said,Also readEnvoy in Pakistan didn’t know Hafiz Saeed, says Palestine’s ambassador in India “The Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressed on the commitment of the State of Palestine and keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism and in that regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism.The State of Palestine highly appreciates India’s support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 boarders with East Jerusalem as its capital and this is especially seen in the honorable position that India has taken by voting in favor of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week.On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified. Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately.”Palestine government dubbed it as ‘unintended mistake’. But this footage clearly shows Palestinian envoy had past contact with Hafiz Saeed, and Friday’s presence in the rally wasn’t an one-off. With agency inputs

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Envoy in Hafiz Saeed rally: Palestine recalls ambassador in Pak, says ‘unintended mistake’ but not justified

The Palestinian Authority today described as “unintended mistake”, but “not justified” the presence of its ambassador to Pakistan at an event also attended by Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and decided to recall him immediately.India today issued a strong demarche to Palestine after its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, was seen sharing stage with JuD chief Saeed during an event in Rawalpindi organised to express solidarity with Jerusalem. “On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our Ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified,” a statement from the Palestinian Authority (PA) said.”Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine, decided to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately,” it said. The statement from the PA described Palestine as a “real partner” of India in its war against terrorism and also expressed its appreciation for New Delhi’s vote in favour of the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of Jerusalem.Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed’s rally: Palestine issues ‘regret’, recalls himThe statement quoted the Spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressing on the “commitment of the State of Palestine and its keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism”. “In that regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism,” it said.India’s vote in favour of a UNGA resolution that made US President Donald Trump’s unilateral announcement declaring Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel “null and void” was also appreciated by the PA in its announcement. “The State of Palestine highly appreciates India?s support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and this is especially seen in the honourable position that India has taken by voting in favour of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week,” it further added.The External Affairs Ministry (MEA) had earlier today condemned the act by the Palestinian Ambassador in strong words and called it “unacceptable”. “The government has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador’s association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on December 29 is unacceptable,” the MEA said. Here’s the full statement: The Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stressed on the commitment of the State of Palestine and keenness to maintain strong and friendly relations with the Republic of India, as well as its support to the efforts made by the Republic of India in its war against terrorism and in that regard the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism.The State of Palestine highly appreciates India’s support in its tireless efforts to end the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 boarders with East Jerusalem as its capital and this is especially seen in the honorable position that India has taken by voting in favor of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week.On the basis of the principled and firm Palestinian position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified. Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Envoy in Pakistan didn’t know Hafiz Saeed, says Palestine’s ambassador in India

Palestine on Friday called back its Ambassador in Pakistan after he was seen in the company of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed. “We are supporting India in its fight against terrorism and because of that my government decided to directly call our Ambassador to go back home and not to be a Palestine ambassador to Pakistan anymore,” Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija told ANI.His statement has come after a photograph of Palestine’s Pakistan envoy Waleed Abu Ali sharing a platform with Saeed, who is designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations, at a rally in Rawalpindi is doing the rounds on the social media. “Our Ambassador does not know this person. When he starts speaking, he asks who is this person? Our Ambassador’s speech was after him, he made his speech and left. For us, even with that, it is not accepted and a decision has been taken,” he clarified. Saeed is accused of masterminding the Mumbai 26/11 attacks that claimed 166 lives.Also readEnvoy in Hafiz Saeed’s rally: Palestine issues ‘regret’, recalls himSpeaking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the country, Haija said, “Mr Modi is a great guest to Palestine, we welcome him there. I hope soon he will visit Palestine, waiting for his visit,”Earlier today, Palestine expressed deep regret after India took up the matter with its authorities. “Palestine has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their ambassador’s presence at this event,” said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement. The Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with terrorist Saeed is “unacceptable”, it added.The MEA has conveyed the concerns to Haija as well as to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in Ramallah, State of Palestine. Palestine has also assured India that it will deal with this matter appropriately. “It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” the MEA said.Saeed carries a bounty of 10 million USD (approx. Rs 66 crore) and continues to exercise a lot of influence in religious circles. He has recently been released from house arrest after a Pakistani court cited lack of evidence against him in the Mumbai attack case. India has protested against Pakistan time and again for ‘harbouring a terrorist’ like Saeed.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Pakistan says 192 pilgrims denied visa by India for Nizamuddin’s Urs

Pakistan today claimed that India has denied visas to nearly 200 pilgrims who wanted to visit the country to participate in the death anniversary ceremony of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya.The Foreign Office said in a statement that “Pakistan regrets the last minute postponement and non-issuance of visas by India” for the visit of 192 devotees to participate in the Urs ceremony (death anniversary) in New Delhi from January 1- 8.”As a result of this Indian decision, the Pakistani Zaireen (devotees) would be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the Urs, which is of special significance,” the statement said.The visit was to take place under the provisions of the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and is an annual feature.”This is unfortunate and runs counter to the letter and spirit of the 1974 Protocol and objective of people-to-people contacts,” it said.The statement said that besides being violative of the bilateral Protocol, and the basic human right to religious freedom, such measures also undermined the efforts aimed at improving the environment, increasing people-to-people contacts and normalising relations between the two countries.”It is ironic that this was done on the occasion of Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya who was a symbol of bringing communities closer to each other,” the FO added.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Jammu: 100 underground bunkers to save locals from Pakistani shelling on LoC

More than 100 shell proof underground bunkers are being constructed to save the local population from cross-border shelling in the vulnerable villages along the Line of Control in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district in Jammu division.This follows the fresh escalation on the borders in Pir Panjal Valley of the Jammu division.District Development Commissioner (DDC) , Rajouri Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has directed the sub-divisional magistrate of Sunderbani to finalise the location to construct 100 bunkers along the Line of Control.”The DDC directed SDM Sunderbani for finalisation of location for at least 100 bunkers along LoC in Sunderbani in consultation with elected representatives, locals and army representatives”, said an official spokesman.This followed the demands made during a public meeting chaired by DDC at border village Meenka in Sunderbani near the Line of Control. More than 300 people from six panchayats participated in the meeting.Also read’Jammu and Kashmir extremely safe destination for women travelling alone’The design and layout of bunkers are being made in such a manner that they will withstand the Pakistani shells. Sources said the highlight of the bunkers will be the double RCC slab which will be covered with five feet of sand so that the shells do not penetrate inside.Tension had gripped the LoC after four army soldiers including a Major were killed when Pakistan violated ceasefire on December 23. Forty-eight hours later Indian army troops in a tit-for-tat action crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani army men and injuring another in Rawalakote sector.Also readJammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at PoonchFigures presented in the Lok Sabha revealed that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10 this year, and 110 times along the International Border till November-end. Around 30 people including 14 army personnel, 12 civilians, and four BSF personnel were killed in these ceasefire violations this year.Last year there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 security personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured. The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, the Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen glacier came into force in November 2003.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Live updates: Sushma Swaraj speaks on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case in Rajya Sabha

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is making a statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case and the treatment meted out to his family in Pakistan. Jadhav, 47, was allowed to meet his mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav across a glass screen on Monday. India has maintained he was kidnapped and implicated. On Wednesday, political leaders cutting across party lines in Parliament condemned Pakistan’s mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family in Islamabad and demanded efforts to bring back the former Indian Naval officer who has been captured and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terror. Here are the Live Updates:11: 25 am : It was nothing like a humanitarian gesture. Human rights of the family members were violated again and again & an environment of fear was created for them: Sushma Swaraj​11: 23 am: Even after her repeated attempts, the shoes of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife were not returned. Pakistan says there was a camera or a recorder in the shoes, nothing can be more absurd than this as she traveled in 2 flights with those shoes on. It is an absurdity beyond measure: Sushma Swaraj11: 20 am : Not just his wife but bindi and mangalsutra of his mother were also removed: Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha​It was nothing like a humanitarian gesture. Human rights of the family members were violated again and again & an environment of fear was created for them: Sushma Swaraj

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Pak at it again, probing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife shoes

Anger mounted in India on Wednesday against the mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family when it met him in Islamabad two days ago, but it has not stopped Pakistan from continuing with its propaganda. Pakistani authorities have sent the shoes worn by the former Indian Naval officer’s wife for forensic testing to examine the alleged presence of “a metallic object”, reports said on Wednesday. Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal suspects it could be a camera or a recording chip.“There was something in the shoes. It is being investigated. We gave her a pair of replacement shoes. Her other belongings were returned after the meeting,” Faisal said. India said on Tuesday that Pakistan went so far as to have the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed before they could meet him. India also accused Pakistan of disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities of the family in the name of security.India also said Pakistani press was allowed to approach the family closely, “harass them despite a clear agreement the media would not be allowed close access.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Parliament takes on Pak dirty tricks

Political leaders cutting across party lines in Parliament condemned Pakistan’s mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family in Islamabad and demanded efforts to bring back the former Indian Naval officer who has been captured and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terror. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she will make a detailed statement on the issue in both Houses on Thursday. Jadhav, 47, was allowed to meet his mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav across a glass screen on Monday. India has maintained he was kidnapped and implicated. India has said Pakistan had the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed, disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities. The Pakistani press also harassed the two women. During Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, members of Congress, Shiv Sena, TMC and AIADMK protested against Pakistan. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded that Jadhav be brought back. The issue was initially raised by Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant who questioned the government silence. TMC leader Saugata Roy described Pakistan as “hypocritical”. AIADMK’s M Thambidurai said that asking a woman to remove her ‘mangal sutra’ is an insult to the country. Shiv Sena members raised slogans against Pakistan in the House.Outside Parliament, Congress leaders Veepara Moily and Salman Khurshid called it a diplomatic failure on the part of the government. “MEA should have ensured a protocol for the family,” Moily told reporters. He said that the issue should have been taken up with Pakistan before Jadhav’s kin went to Islamabad. Khurshid, a former External Affairs Minister, said the meeting between Jadhav and his family was distressing and disturbing. “We expected better from Pakistan, the situation is unfortunately very grave,” he said. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reacted sharply on Wednesday and said that India should go to war with Pakistan and split it into four parts. The Rajya Sabha MP said that “serious homework” for the war should begin “right now”. “The treatment given to the mother and the wife is akin to Draupadi’s vastraharan that resulted in Mahabharat,” he said.Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also slammed the “very irresponsible” Pakistani media over the heckling of Jadhav’s mother and wife. “Pakistan media is very irresponsible, it is not responsible like the Indian media,” Rijiju told reporters outside Parliament, assuring action by the External Affairs Ministry.India has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law when Jadhav was convicted, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body whose rulings are binding, but occasionally flouted. In May, the world court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Pakistan’s ISI trying to revive pro-Khalistan movement for anti-India activities: Govt

Operatives of Pakistan’s espionage agency ISI are making efforts through moral and financial support to revive pro-Khalistan elements for anti- India activities, the government informed the Rajya Sabha today.Certain elements in Pakistan are providing funds to separatists for secessionist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir as well, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in response to a question.”Inputs indicate that ISI operatives are making efforts towards moral/financial support to pro-Khalistan elements for anti-India activities as well as to revive militancy in Punjab,” he said.He said the government has adopted an integrated approach to counter the attempts to revive militancy. This includes sustained vigilance along the borders, strengthening of mechanisms for intelligence gathering and sharing.”A close watch is maintained on the activities of various groups known to have been engaged in trying to foment terrorist activities. Necessary action is taken so as to maintain peace and harmony in the State,” he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

There was ‘something’ in shoes of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, ‘clarifies’ Pakistan

Clarifying its stance, Pakistan has claimed that the Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife’s shoes were confiscated on security grounds as there was ‘something’ in it.’There was something in the shoe (of Jadhav’s wife),’ the Dawn has quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal as saying.The shoe is being investigated, he added. Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement, said, ‘We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations and categorically rejected India’s baseless allegations and twists.’The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday stated that, ‘For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard.’Pakistan had disregarded the cultural and religious sensibilities of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family, who met him on Monday in Islamabad, the MEA added.Also readIf Kulbhushan Jadhav has been declared a terrorist by Pak, then he will be treated like one: SP’s Naresh Agrawal’Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included the removal of mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,’ MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.Kumar added the Pakistani press, despite prior agreement that the media would not be allowed close access, was allowed on multiple occasions to approach the family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Jadhav.Also readIndia hits back at Pak, says Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate false narrative “We note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” he said.Kumar further said that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan, who was supposed to be with the family all the time, was initially separated from family members.Also readDay after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj The MEA spokesperson concluded by saying that the manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath seemed clearly to be an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities, adding the exercise lacked credibility.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

From disallowing speaking in Marathi to forced to remove bangles: Jadhav’s kin harassed by Pak

A day after wife and mother of former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad , India on Tuesday took serious objections to the conduct of Pakistan and the way its officials arranged the meeting disregarding all “sensibilities”. A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the exercise lacked credibility and during the meeting Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. “Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan,” it said. Pakistan’s public relations (PR) pitch coming ahead of the top UN court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins to hear India’s appeal against Jadhav’s death sentence took new heights, when its Foreign Office not only made meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana with a death-row prisoner a media spectacle, but also used the occasion to release his second video and a medical report showing him healthy and fit.In a strongly worded statement, MEA said not only Pakistani media was unleashed to harass visiting relatives, but prior to meeting their cultural and religious sensibilities were also disregarded, by forcing them to remove mangal sutra, bangles and bindis. They were also asked to change their attire that was not warranted by security. They were also asked to put off their shoes. After the meeting despite requests shoe of Jadhav’s wife was not returned.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav’s family was harassed; wife had to remove mangal sutra, bindi: India exposes Pakistan’s PR showEarlier in the morning, both women met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence. Jadhav’s father also accompanied them. Among others Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad JP Sigh also attended the brief meeting. Both the women were later headed to Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, the offices of MEA for debriefing sessions.Narrating sequence of events, the MEA statement said that prior to the meeting the two countries through diplomatic channels had worked out modalities and format of the meeting. “There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments,” it said. The MEA noted with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings.“The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Shri Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access,” the statement added. It further stated that under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security.Further,Jadhav’s mother was prevented from talking in her mother tongue Marathi, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. During the meeting, she was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard. India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh, who was tasked to accompany family members in the alien land was initially separated from them. Once inside Foreign Office building, they were taken to the meeting without informing Singh. The meeting started without his presence. After his protested, he was allowed to join Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed.The height of insensitive didn’t stop here. Despite repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being,” the statement added, rejected the video played by the Pakistan Foreign Office. “We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned. Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Shri Jadhav’s alleged activities. You would all You agree that this exercise lacked any credibility, “the statement said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family was harassed; wife had to remove mangal sutra, bindi: India exposes Pakistan’s PR show

A day after Kulbhushan Jadhav met his family from behind a glass partition, India in a terse reply, exposed Pakistan’s PR show.In a detailed response, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Prior to the meeting, the two governments were in touch through diplomatic channels to work out its modalities and format. There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments.”“However, we note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” he said. Also readDay after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj Exposing Islamabad’s farce, New Delhi revealed that, “the Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access.”In blatant disregard to cultural sensibilities, Pakistani officials asked Jadhav’s wife to remove her mangal sutra and bindi. “Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,” the MEA statement said.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother from behind glass screen; not the last meeting, says Pakistan “The mother of Jadhav was prevented from talking in their mother tongue, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. She was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard,” Kumar added.“Deputy High Commissioner was initially separated from family members who were taken to the meeting without informing him. The meeting was started without his presence and he could join only after pressing the matter with concerned officials. Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed,” the statement said.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes; thanks Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’“For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Shri Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard,” Kumar said.“From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being,” MEA said.“We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned. Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities,” the statement added.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Day after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj

A day after meeting ‘convicted’ ex-Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, his family met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Tuesday.Jadhav’s father along with his mother and wife met Swaraj at her New Delhi residence. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, who went to Islamabad with the family, also accompanying them. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar also attended the brief meeting.Jadhav’s meeting with his family members was not any ordinary meeting as they were separated by a glass barrier.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreenThe Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), to this end, clarified that the screen was placed due to security reasons and that Jadhav already knew this would be the setting.”It was there due to security reasons. We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there,” Dr Mohammed Faisal, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, replied to a poser by ANI, in a press briefing in Islamabad.Also readFeel ashamed for acts against Pakistan and its people: Kulbhushan Jadhav in new ‘confessional’ videoFaisal substantiated his stance by adding that Islamabad considered Jadhav as “the face of Indian terrorism, especially in Pakistan.”In addition to this, the MoFA released another ‘confessional’ video of Jadhav’s, in which the convicted alleged spy was seen confessing that he did cross from Iran to Pakistan two years back.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes; thanks Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’Jadhav, in the video that was apparently shot before he got to meet his kin, also said that he had requested to meet his family members and that he was grateful to the Pakistan Government for letting that happen.Jadhav’s wife and mother, before meeting him, had visited the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, after which they moved to the MoFA building.Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh was also present during the meeting.Pakistan had agreed to facilitate the visit of Jadhav’s family and also assured their safety, security, and freedom of movement in the country.Jadhav was arrested in March this year, in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in ‘espionage and subversive activities for India’s intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).’India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.(With ANI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreen

In a carefully orchestrated event that played out through tweets, photos and videos, Kulbhushan Jadhav (47), on death row in Pakistan, met his wife and mother across a glass screen in Islamabad on Monday.After denying any communication with the former Indian Naval officer since his arrest on March 3, 2016, Pakistan arranged a meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav at the Pakistan Foreign Office building, but denied any physical contact. Both women spoke to Jadhav through an intercom in the presence of five officials.Jadhav has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism, a case that has become a rallying point in India, spurring calls for action to save the 47-year-old who New Delhi says was kidnapped and implicated by Pakistan.Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal indicated that it might not be the last such meeting. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he said. But he repeated that Jadhav is a face of Indian terror directed against Pakistan.India has moved the ICJ in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body.In May, the court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.It was apparent that Pakistan was converting the humanitarian gesture into a full-fledged publicity blitzkrieg, by releasing a second video of Jadhav.Its diplomats portrayed visas to the two women and then a meeting on the birthday of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah a grand gesture ahead of the hearings at the ICJ.But a jail-like setting and not allowing the two women, who had travelled all along from Mumbai to meet the death-row prisoner did not go down well in India.Though there were no immediate reactions from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, “The settings of the meeting and their full publicity have robbed it of any compassion and humanity.”The meeting was supposed to last 30 minutes. But at the request of Jadhav, it lasted 40 minutes. Pakistan’s Foreign Office also issued a new video message in which he is seen thanking the its government for arranging the meeting.All information about the meeting emerged through Pakistani Foreign Ministry tweets and images. Its spokesman Mohammad Faisal identified Jadhav with his military title. He also tweeted that the meeting was arranged in light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds.” “The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments,” informed Faisal.From Pakistan’s side, Foreign Office Director for India, Dr Fareha Bugti, was present at the meeting.After the meeting Faisal made it clear that it was not a consular access. He said India’s deputy High Commission was present during the meeting, but was not allowed to speak or participate in discussions.He, however, said that decisions on consular access will be taken by Islamabad keeping in view the law and interests of his country. He said that the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly, but refused to share its details.Earlier, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a Pakistani media channel that his country has granted India consular access since an Indian diplomat will be accompanying the prisoner’s wife and mother. India downplayed the comments, maintaining that the its diplomat was only accompanying Jadhav’s family. Later Pakistani spokesperson himself overturned the statement of his own minister.The FO spokesperson claimed Jadhav had admitted to his involvement in acts of terror.THE FARCE PAK TRIALMarch 2016 India’s former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism April 2017 Jadhav sentenced to death by Pak. India says he was kidnapped from Iran, where he ran a business May ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution on India’s petition against the farce trial Dec 20 Pakistan issues visa to 47-year-old’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad and meet him Dec 25 Jadhav meets his family, first time after his arrest in March 2016

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Allowed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with wife, mother on ‘humanitarian grounds’: Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday said that it allowed the mother and wife of former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the country’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh, Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti met him at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad. A glass wall was put between Jadhav and the rest during the meeting. Speaking to media after the meeting, Dr Mohammad Faisal​, the spokesperson of the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the meeting was not a “consular access” as the diplomat was present but was not allowed to speak to Jadhav. “This was conveyed to Indian High Commission categorically,” he said. Also readKulbhushan Jadhav LIVE updates | Not consular access, meeting allowed on humanitarian grounds, says Pakistan “An Indian diplomat was present during the meeting and he could see Jadhav but he was not allowed to speak to him,” Faisal​ said. It was the first meeting between Jadhav and his family since his arrest in March last year. Also readKulbhushan Jadhav case: At ICJ, Pak rejects India’s request for consular accessThe meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, but it was extended for 10 more minutes on the request of Jadhav and his family members, the spokesperson ​said. “The meeting was very positive and they (Jadhav’s mother and wife) were satisfied. They thanked us before leaving,” Faisal said.On the question why a glass wall was put between them during the meeting, he said it was done “for security reasons.””We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there he said. Earlier, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav in which he thanked the Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’. “I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Govt of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” he was heard saying in the video which was played several times before the Foreign Office briefing.The video message played by the Foreign Office during a press conference after Jadhav’s meeting with his family was recorded before their meeting, officials said.During the press conference, the spokesperson read out a statement repeating old allegations against Jadhav. He said he was involved in “terror activities” and was “face of Indian terror on Pakistani soil.” Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

The Long and Short of Gujarat elections

The results of the 2017 Gujarat assembly election results were something that both BJP and Congress would be happy as well as sad about. The BJP would be happy, because it won for the sixth straight time in the state despite strong anti-incumbency and other challenges, and the Congress would be pleased as it managed to give the BJP a run for its money in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.Why would the BJP be sad with the results? The answer is that Gujarat has been its fortress since the mid-1990s. Even when it barely had presence in other states, Gujarat was its stronghold. The party would be worried as the election results expose the chinks in its Gujarat armour, especially just a little over a year before the elections. The results take away the aura of invincibility from the formidable combination of Modi and Shah, and show that they can be beaten. The reason Congress would be sad is because it was a case of it being so close and yet so far from that elusive victory in Gujarat. In spite of several so-called missteps of the ruling BJP, Congress could not finish the job, so to speak.When the election results were announced on December 18, the BJP was declared the winner in 99 out of 182 seats. This was 16 seats less than the party had won in 2012, and its lowest in any assembly election in Gujarat since 1995, when it first stormed to power. The Congress, on the other hand, won 77 seats, which was 16 more than it had won five years back. The Congress’s allies won three more seats, including Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani from Vadgam seat, effectively taking its tally to 80.The BJP increased its vote-share marginally from 48 per cent in 2012 elections to 49 per cent in the latest polls, but Congress saw its vote share rising from 38 per cent to 41.4per cent . With its allies, the vote-share was more than 42 per cent.BJP biggies had it easyKey BJP candidates such as chief minister Vijay Rupani, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, and state unit chief Jitu Vaghani were among the key winners. However, many other partyv leaders such as health minister Shankar Chaudhary, assembly speaker Ramanlal Vora, and energy minister Chiman Sapariya ended on the losing side.Cong leaders swept awayThough Congress was surely buoyed by its overall performance in the crucial elections, the loss of its entire leadership in the state, including the likes of Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhwadia, Siddharth Patel and Tushar Chaudhary, came as a huge shock. Their defeats has led to calls to groom other leaders who can lead the party in the future.Paresh Dhanani, Mohansinh Rathwa and Kunvarji Bavaliya were among the senior Congress leaders who won in the elections. Dhanani is seen as a front-runner for the post of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the House.36 sitting MLAs lostAs many as 121 sitting MLAs were in the fray in the 2017 polls. However, of them, 36 ended up losing, with remaining 85 getting re-elected. Of the 85 re-elected MLAs, 58 are from the BJP, 25 from Congress, and one each from NCP and Chhotu Vasava of Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP).Incidentally, BJP had fielded seven Congress turncoats as its candidates. Five of them, viz. Tejshree Patel, Raghavji Patel, Ramsinh Parmar, Amit Chaudhary, and Mansinh Chauhan, lost. Only two of the turncoats, viz. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and CK Raulji made it to the 14th Assembly.Three Muslim MLAsThe Congress had fielded six Muslim candidates, of whom three emerged as winners, and three came up short. Gayasuddin Sheikh and Imran Khedawala won from the Dariapur and Jamalpur-Khadia seats in Ahmedabad respectively. Sitting MLA Mohammed Javid Pirzada won again from the Wankaner seat. Congress’s Muslim candidates in Bharuch, Bhuj and Surat West seats lost.Close call in 27 seatsThough the difference in number of seats, BJP’s 99 and Congress’s 77, would suggest that BJP notched up an easy victory, the elections were far more closer than the numbers suggest. As many as 27 seats were won or lost with a margin of less than 3,000 votes. Of these, the BJP won 15 seats, while the Congress bagged 12. The victory margin in seven seats was less than 1,000, which means they could have gone either way, but for a few votes.NOTA bad at allAs many as 5.51 lakh voters, or nearly 2 per cent of the 2.98 crore who voted, chose None Of the Above (NOTA). In spite of the presence of Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party, it was NOTA that bagged the highest number of votes after BJP and Congress, and in fact, in nearly 30 seats, NOTA votes numbered more than the winning margin. Again, another indicator of how close the elections really were.For Congress, the biggest positive from the 2017 elections was its performance in Saurashtra, where it improved its tally from 11 in 2012 to 27 in 2017, even as BJP’s tally fell from 29 to 21.The Congress did reasonably well in north Gujarat, where it won three more seats than in 2012. In south Gujarat too, it won two more than the last elections, but it won two less in central Gujarat.Near-sweep in cities saved BJPIn the overall analysis, it was its near-sweep in the four major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot, that saw the BJP home. Out of 36 seats on offer in these cities, Congress won just four, all of them in Ahmedabad. The party came a cropper in Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot, even failing to open its account.While it won more rural seats than BJP, the urban seats again proved to be the Achilles Heel for the Congress, once again, where the results turned out to be a lopsided affair.Advantage Cong in RS pollsIf assembly results are anything to go by, the Congress would seem to have the numerical advantage in 8 to 9 Lok Sabha seats, especially the ones in Saurashtra and north Gujarat, when they go to polls in early 2019. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won all 26 seats in the state.While these are based on conjectures, the results would definitely boost Congress’s strength in Rajya Sabha. Four seats in the Upper House from Gujarat are set to fall vacant in April. Incidentally, all four Rajya Sabha members who are slated to retire are from BJP, viz. Arun Jaitley, Mansukh Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala and Shankar Vegad.Considering its reduced strength of 99 in the assembly, BJP would be able to fill only two of the four vacant seats, while Congress is assured of the remaining two. However, this could change if elections were held and in the unlikely scenario of massive cross-voting.Hardik fails to deliverPatidar reservation agitation leader Hardik Patel’s roadshows attracted large crowds, but the results show that only few actually voted for the Congress. The second possibility probably explains the lower turnout in many of the Patidar dominated urban seats.“Even with the simmering anger among Patels, we could not win a single Patidar dominated seat in Surat or Ahmedabad. This is a big worry for us, and needs to be addressed immediately,” said a senior Congress leader.Fairer sex strength down to 13Thirteen women were elected this time, three less than in 2012 when the number was 16. Nine of the female MLAs are from BJP, including five sitting MLAs, and four new ones. Four women were elected to the assembly on Congress ticket, including sitting MLA Chandrika Bariya from Garbada.Modi, Rahul slogged it outThough stakes in the Gujarat elections were very high, both for BJP, which was keen to hold on to its traditional stronghold, and Congress, seeking to challenge the ruling party in its own den, the campaign was surprisingly low-key. This in spite of extensive campaigning by both prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.Modi addressed more than 30 rallies across the state, while Gandhi undertook yatra in all corners of the state and also addressed several rallies and public meetings. The Congress’s campaign mainly centred on the Centre’s alleged mishandling of the economy with moves such as demonetisation and hasty implementation of GST, which Gandhi dubbed as Gabbar Singh Tax. Gandhi also attacked Modi for devoting his speeches to the Congress party, while failing to utter a word about his vision for Gujarat’s future.Modi’s speeches, on the other hand, talked about the work done by him while he was the CM and now as PM, and also targeting the Congress for its alleged anti-Gujarat and anti-Gujarati mentality. He also likened Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as Congress president to Aurangzeb-raj, seen as an attempt to polarise voters.Neech, Pakistan,and what notThe election speeches, however, got nastier after the first phase of polling was over, especially after now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comment used the word ‘neech’ for the PM. Modi brought up the word in speech after speech to attack the Congress.However, what led to a major controversy, and was seen by many as an attempt to polarise voters by bringing the Pakistan angle, Modi alleged that Aiyar had hosted a secret meeting with some Pakistani officials a day before calling him ‘neech’, and also accused Congress of conspiring with the enemy country to install senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel as Gujarat chief minister.While it is difficult to say if the episode influenced voters in any way, the election results suggest it did, as the BJP fared much better in the second phase than in the first one.The last of the Pakistan angle is yet to be seen as it later emerged that former PM Manmohan Singh, and former vice president Hamid Ansari were among those who had attended the dinner meeting at Aiyar’s residence. The charge, which Congress alleges amounted to Modi accusing Singh, Ansari and others of treason, continues to paralyse Parliament with the Opposition seeking an apology from the PM, and the BJP ruling out any such possibility.Vikas went missing, crazyThough the Gujarat election was supposed to be contested on the issue of development, the word Vikas somehow did not figure much in election speeches, especially those of BJP leaders. This was quite ironic considering that BJP’s election slogan was Hun Chhu Vikas, Hun Chhu Gujarat (I am development, I am Gujarat).Many believe that this was because of the Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe (Development has gone crazy) campaign that went viral on social media a few months ago. The campaign made BJP the butt of jokes, and also inspired several memes.BJP sought to hit back with the Pappuone Pachtu Nathi (Pappus cannot digest this) and other campaigns, but frankly, they didn’t catch people’s imagination.1,444 lost deposit1,444 of the 1,828 candidates who contested in the Gujarat polls lost their deposits. An analysis of the results reveals that in 172 seats, all candidates barring the winner and loser, lost their deposits. In the remaining ten seats, the third-placed candidates won more than one-sixth of the total votes polled, and hence their deposits would not be forfeited.HOW THE RESULTS WERE EXPECTED & UNEXPECTEDEXPECTED BECAUSEBJP was expected to win, it did It was expected to win less seats than in 2012, it did Congress was expected to put up a fight, it did BJP was expected to sweep urban seats, it did BJP was seen as losing ground in rural areas, it did UNEXPECTED BECAUSEBJP tally was expected to fall, but not below 100 seats, but it did The kind of reverses BJP suffered, especially in Saurashtra, were unexpected Loss of four top Congress leaders was unexpected Patidar anger failed to hurt BJP, or benefit Congress, much, quite unexpectedly POLLS IN FIGURESBJP 49.1% 1,47,24,427Cong 41.4%1,24,38,937Ind. 4.3%12,90,278BTP 0.7%2,22,694BSP 0.7%2,07,007NCP 0.6%1,84,815NOTA 1.8%5,51,615

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his mom and wife today

The Pakistan government has thrown a security blanket around the Constitutional Avenue hosting its Foreign Office and other top government offices in the wake of the arrival of Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in in Islamabad on Monday.Both women are arriving in Pakistan via Dubai on a commercial flight on Monday morning and will leave the country the same evening after meeting Jadhav. The meeting will take place at the Pakistan Foreign Office and not in prison. India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad J P Singh will accompany them to the meeting.A Pakistan Foreign Office official will also be present during this time, as per the agreement between the two countries through diplomatic channels. India conveyed the itinerary on Saturday after Pakistan gave the deadline of Sunday to provide the requisite information about the family members’ visit or risk the meeting being deferred or cancelled.Sources said Pakistan had said they needed to put in place elaborate security arrangements for transporting Jadhav from jail to Islamabad and also for the meeting. Pakistani media reported that while Pakistan had completed the preparations to arrange the meeting India was delaying providing relevant information about the itinerary. The Indian High Commission was informed about the issuance of the deadline, the reports said. They said Pakistan needed time to bring Jadhav to the Foreign Office and for other security-related matters.In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan has deployed heavy security and traffic personnel within and outside their Foreign Office. Pakistani diplomatic sources said the meeting will last for an hour. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, if Jadhav’s mother and wife want to speak to media. But the offer has been rejected by India, reports said.Pakistani sources indicated that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members will not be the last, raising hopes that his death sentence may be deferred. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s wife to visit him. But later, it agreed to allow his mother to join, who had originally applied for the visa. Pakistan later agreed to Indian condition — to allow an Indian diplomat to accompany the two women and also to provide a sovereign guarantee to their security and safety. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed last week as the meeting date.Jadhav, who was reportedly captured by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case. Pakistan had earlier repeatedly rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

4 soldiers killed in Keri sector: Army says no mutilation of bodies

The Army today clarified that the bodies of its personnel killed in firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir were not mutilated and the injury marks were due to splinters and gunshots. An Army major and three soldiers were killed yesterday after Pakistani troops targeted the Army patrol at Brat Galla in Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district. “The injuries suffered are due to splinters and gunshots sustained due to firing by the enemy on the patrol,” Army sources said here. Responding to media reports, they said that there has been no mutilation of bodies.Congress slams govt’s Pak policy: The Congress today attacked the Centre over the killing of four Indian soldiers along the LoC by Pakistani troops, saying the incident raises questions over the government’s ability to protect the country’s borders.Also readArmy Major, 3 soldiers killed in Pak firing in Keri sector, J&K CM pays tribute Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said yesterday’s incident along the Line of Control (LoC) was an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “flip-flops and somersaults” on Pakistan. Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers in Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, yesterday. Tewari claimed that there have been 900 attempts of incursion by Pakistan this year, out of which 780 cases have been reported along the LoC and 120 along the International Border (IB).”There were 583 major ceasefire violations in 2014 (between June-December), 400 in 2015, 450 in 2016 and 900 this year. The prime minister points fingers at others, accuses people who have occupied top posts of committing treason but this government seems incapable of protecting our borders,” the former union minister told reporters. Modi, during the Gujarat assembly polls campaign, had suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the Assembly polls in the state.The government and the Congress are involved in a face- off over prime minister Modi’s ‘conspiracy with Pakistan’ remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh. Tewari said that the BJP government’s Pakistan policy is driven by “flip-flops, somersaults and adhocism” and demanded that the prime minister comes clear on his agenda behind his 2015 stopover in Lahore or the Centre’s decision to allow ISI personnel at the Pathankor terror attack site.He said India’s neighbourhood policy was in tatters under the BJP dispensation as apart from the “frequent” Pakistani shelling along the border and incursions, the new Nepalese government was overtly tilting towards China. “In Sri Lanka, growing Chinese influence is a matter of concern. Maldives has signed an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with China disregarding India’s position. China has constructed permanent structures in Dokalam,” he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to visit Pakistan tomorrow, says Foreign Office

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother will arrive here on Monday to meet the Indian prisoner on death row, the Pakistan Foreign Office has said.They will arrive in Islamabad by a commercial flight and leave the same day after the meeting, it added.India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh will accompany the visitors to the meeting.”India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted last night.Earlier, media reports said that Pakistan had asked India to convey the plan of Jadhav’s family at the earliest otherwise it would be difficult to arrange the meeting.Separately, Faisal had said that the meeting would take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its photo and video footage would be issued.The mother and wife of Jadhav were being provided with a meeting with him in the light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds,” he had said.Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.It said that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Peace talks only when Pakistan stops supporting terror in Jammu and Kashmir: General Bipin Rawat

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat today said peace talks with Pakistan can take place only when it stops supporting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.Given its actions, it doesn’t appear that Pakistan really wants peace, the Army chief added.He was in the western sector, close to the India-Pakistan border, to witness the “Hamesha Vijayee” exercise conducted by the Southern Command in Thar desert.Rawat said Pakistan should stop supporting terrorists.”Only then can we say that peace talks should take place,” he told reporters in the exercise area near Barmer.Also readOperations against terrorists in Kashmir will go on, says General Bipin Rawat “We also want relations should be better but given what kind of actions there are (from their side) and terrorism is spreading in Jammu and Kashmir, it doesn’t appear that they really want peace,? Rawat said.The Army, paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir police have been taking actions against militants in Jammu and Kashmir successfully and the action will continue, he added.Also readPakistan Army chief urges govt to improve relations with India, assures supportRawat’s comments come a day after Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India would like good relations with Pakistan provided Islamabad takes action against terror groups.”It is important for Pakistan to understand our core concern, which is terrorism. We have time and again asked them to take action against terrorists who are operating from their soil. This is something they (Pakistan) will have to handle if they are serious in cultivating this friendship,” Kumar said.The assertions follow Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa pledging his support for better ties.According to media reports, Bajwa has said he will support any initiative of the civilian government to resolve issues with India through talks.In a rare move, the Pakistan Army chief briefed the Senate – the upper house of the parliament – on security situation and regional issues on Tuesday.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Shed ‘raaj-hatth’, clarify remarks against Manmohan: Congress to PM Modi

The Congress today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shed his “raaj-hatth” (stubborness) and clarify in Parliament his ‘conspiracy with Pakistan’ remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh to end the stalemate and enable a discussion on issues such as the Rafale deal.With no end in sight to the current impasse on the issue, the proceedings in Parliament continued to be disrupted.Congress leader Anand Sharma held the “obduracy” of the prime minister and the attitude of the government as being responsible for the impasse in Parliament, that continued with a washout of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for a fourth day today.He also accused the government of wanting to continue the standoff so that issues of critical concern to the people are not taken up.Sharma alleged that the government does not want the opposition to raise issues of acts of “commission and omission” and the wrong decisions of the prime minister.He said that the government does not want that it is exposed on the floor of the House on issues such as the Rafale scam which the opposition wants to discuss.”It is the responsibility of the PM to clear doubts regarding his accusations. It is his duty to restore the dignity of the office and in the interest of parliamentary democracy that this deadlock comes to an end,” Sharma told reporters.”We urge the prime minister to shed his ‘raaj-hatth’ (stubbordness) and clarify his remarks against Singh and Ansari, which he made to win Gujarat polls,” Sharma said.The stalemate, he said, continues primarily because of the attitude of the government and obduracy of the prime pinister, who refuses to register the seriousness of the situation resulting from his “baseless and unwarranted aspersions” for electoral gains.He said, as one who is occupying the constitutional office, it is the duty of the prime minister to restore the dignity of the office of the institution.Whatever is said in politics, never before a prime minister has pointed any finger of suspicion on the commitment to the country of former prime ministers or former vice presidents or even the former Army chief.”It is in national interest, in interest of parliamentary democracy that this deadlock is brought to an end.”It is unfortunate that prime minister has still not apologised for his ill-thought accusations against the former PM Manmohan Singh who was PM for 10 years and dedicated his life for this country,” he said.Sharma, however, said it is being conveyed by government that the prime minister is not willing to take back his words.He “disappointed” the opposition today when it was his day for the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress leader said.Sharma said the opposition also wants to raise other issues concerning the economy and job losses.The Indian economy has suffered losses due to some “wreckless” decisions of the prime minister, he alleged.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Rajya Sabha adjourned after repeated disruptions by Congress MPs

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Thursday.The Bill seeks to revise the salaries of judges as follows: (a) Chief Justice of India – from Rs 1,00,000/pm to Rs 2,80,000/pm; (b) Judge of Supreme Court – from Rs 90,000/pm to Rs 2,50,000/pm; (c) Chief Justice of High Court – from Rs 90,000/pm to Rs 2,50,000/pm; and (d) Judges of High Court – from Rs 80,000/pm to Rs 2,25,000/pm. The revision is effective from January 1, 2016.Lok Sabha also took up discussion on the Supplementary Demand for Grants. The demands for grants include a gross additional expenditure of Rs. 66113 crores. During the discussion, members highlighted several concerns about the overall economy.Also readAfter Naidu’s intervention, Rajya Sabha stalemate over PM’s remarks against Manmohan likely to endMembers raised questions about the impact of GST, challenges in its implementation, impact of demonetisation on employment in the organised and unorganised sectors, falling growth rate, among other issues.With the government’s introduction of the supplementary demands and increased expenditure, members asked if the government will be able to meet its fiscal deficit target.Also readCongress disrupts Rajya Sabha over PM Modi’s remarkThe Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, had to be adjourned, owing to repeated disruptions by the opposition over a demand for the Prime Minister, to come to the House, to give a clarification on his remark that his predecessor, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was conspiring with Pakistan to ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the recently held elections in Gujarat.Dr. Singh has rejected the charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”, and added he was deeply pained by the prime minister’s “ill thought transgression”.Addressing an election rally in Palanpur, Gujarat, earlier this month, Modi suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the assembly polls in the state. He claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6. This was a day before Aiyar’s “neech” jibe against Modi.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family

The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday granted visas to former Indian navy officer and prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. The two women will travel to Pakistan on December 25 to meet Jadhav who is currently on a death-row. They will be accompanied by an Indian diplomat during the meeting. Pakistan has so far rejected over 20 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav.Pakistan had initially offered a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on ‘humanitarian grounds’. But after a request from India, Islamabad agreed to permit his mother and an Indian diplomat to meet Jadhav as well. Jadhav, who was detained by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.Meanwhile, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that there are 60 civilian prisoners including Jadhav and 416 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s custody. She said since 2014, Indian government has provided legal assistance to 3 Indian civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case.She said there have been reports of ill-treatment of Indian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody. “Since 2014, 10 Indian fishermen and 2 Indian civil prisoners have died in the custody of Pakistan authorities. Mortal remains of all these prisoners were brought back to India, except in the case of late Abu Bakar Nohri, who was buried in Pakistan as per the wishes of his family and as per Islamic rules,” she added.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Manmohan Singh-Pakistan remark: Nobody will apologise as incident did not happen in House, says Vice President Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, addressed the controversy surrounding the allegations made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against former PM Manmohan Singh of conspiring against Pakistan.“This is not the way. Nobody is going to give apology. Nothing happened in the House. The statement was not made here,” Naidu said in the upper House.The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm after an uproar by the opposition in the house over the allegations that the Congress had conspired with Pakistan for the BJP to lose in Gujarat. PM Modi had made the allegations following a dinner party hosted by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar that had ‘top Pakistani officials present.’ However, Singh listed those who attended the dinner hosted in honour of visiting former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. “None of them could be accused of any anti-national activities,” he said.Also readParliament attack anniversary: Modi, Manmohan Singh shake hands after row over ‘Pak meddling’ allegationsOn Monday, Congress continued its protests in the Parliament on Monday, disrupting proceedings in both Houses for the second day. The party had raised objection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that suggested former prime minister Manmohan Singh conspired with Pakistan to influence Gujarat elections.While Lok Sabha was adjourned within minutes on Monday, Rajya Sabha was first adjourned within 10 minutes after it assembled at 11 am. At 12 noon, when it reassembled, it was adjourned again as Congress continued with sloganeering and would not allow any legislative business to continue.Also readApologise to Manmohan Singh, Congress tells Narendra ModiCongress leader Anand Sharma demanded a clarification by Prime Minister on his remarks about Singh, a sitting member of Rajya Sabha.Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu insisted on taking up a question, but some Congress members did not allow him to continue. As the chaos continued, Naidu remarked, “I don’t want this kind of thing to be seen by the people,” and adjourned proceedings for the day as Congress members were seen walking into the Well.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India to discuss forced conversion of Sikhs with Pak

India will discuss with Pakistan the issue of alleged forced conversion of Sikhs to Islam. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday expressed concern over media reports of Sikhs being forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan’s Hangu district in the frontier Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “We will take this up at the highest level with Government of Pakistan. Sikh community in Hangu being forced to convert,” she said on Twitter, tagging the official handle of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan in the tweet.Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had requested her to take up the matter with Pakistani authorities. Singh wrote, “Request @SushmaSwaraj ji to take up this issue with Pakistan. We cannot allow the Sikh community to be victimised in such a manner. It’s our duty to help protect the Sikh identity and the @MEAIndia should pursue the matter at the highest levels.” Later he also wrote a letter to Swaraj.Captain Amarinder Singh said the Indian government was duty-bound to ensure that Sikhs in any part of the world are not victimised or coerced in any manner. “We are duty-bound to protect the identity of Sikhs, wherever they (Sikhs) may be living,” he wrote in the letter. Pointing out that the community, which had been living in the area for more than a century, was reported to have filed an official complaint to the district deputy commissioner, said the chief minister.According to reports appearing in Pakistani media a government official was forcing members of the Sikh community to convert to Islam. The community members have lodged a complaint with the deputy commissioner accusing assistant commissioner tehsil Tall Yaqoob Khan of harassing them. “We the residents of Doaba area are being tortured religiously… The Constitution empowers us to defend our religious beliefs against anyone and we want you to call AC Tall Yaqoob Khan and inquire the issue,” the complaint read. The district administration, however, said there was no issue of converting someone forcefully to Islam and the authorities had ensured religious freedom. However, taking cognizance of their complaint, the Sikh community members had been invited to a meeting to address their grievances.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Centre drafting rules for artworks at airports

The Modi government is in the process of drafting a policy on installation of statues and portraits of prominent dignitaries and persons at airports of India, a reply to an RTI query has revealed.In its reply to Aneesh Bhanot, the civil aviation ministry said it is in the process of framing a policy on installation of statues and portraits at airports, and that no such installations will be undertaken until it is finalised.Aneesh is the brother of Ashoka Chakra awardee Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life trying to save passengers in the hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in Karachi in September 1986.The ministry of civil aviation conferred an honour on Neerja posthumously on February 18, 2010 in New Delhi at the launch of the celebrations of the centenary of Indian aviation.Aneesh has also written to civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju requesting that Neerja’s statue be displayed at prominent places in airports of the country with a plaque which would inspire Indian and foreign passengers.”That the world recognized her immense bravery and sacrifice is obvious from the fact that she was conferred the Ashoka Chakra by India and she became the first woman recipient of the Ashoka Chakra,” the letter mentioned, highlighting other awards received by her, including Tamga-E-Insaniyat by Pakistan, awards of ‘Special Courage’ and ‘Justice for Crimes’,” he wrote.RTI RESPONSENo art installations will be undertaken until the Civil Aviation Ministry frames a policy on it. This was revealed in reply to an RTI query by Ashoka Chakra awardee Neerja’ Bhanot’s brother.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Imran Khan confuses Jayalalithaa with Sasikala, later deletes tweet

In what seems as an embarrassing goof-up, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan on Tuesday mixed the name of late Indian actress turned politician J.Jayalalithaa with her close aide Sasikala, who is currently serving jail term. Imran, in his tweet, had wrongly stated that Indian politician Sasikala died recently, whereas she is still alive.”Shashikala, a famous South Indian actress turned politician in India’s Tamil Nadu died recently & below her house were discovered gold reserves, jewels & illegal stash of money! A msg to all corrupt Idrs: the hoarded bns stolen from our impoverished masses will be left behind,” Imran said in now deleted tweet. However, after this gaffe was caught by a Gulf News journalist Sadiq S Bhat, Imran promptly deleted his tweet.”Dear @ImranKhanPTI you got it completely wrong. Sasikala is in jail. Her friend Jayalalitha, ex-CM of Tamil Nadu, died late last year and those pictures are obviously fake. One expects better from a senior politician like you,” Bhat tweeted along with screenshot of Imran’s tweet.Also readImran Khan not out, close aide disqualified from parliament in foreign funding case by Pakistan SCThe pictures, which Imran had posted, were reportedly fake and had been taken from bank robberies in two different places in India. The Supreme Court of India found Sasikala and her co-accused ‘ Ilavarasi (her sister-in-law) and V. N. Sudhakaran (her nephew) guilty of conspiring, laundering and amassing illicit wealth worth about Rs. 66.44 crore in the 1990s in a criminal conspiracy with Jayalalithaa. The three have been sentenced to a four-year jail term by the apex court.Sasikala is currently serving her jail term. She was a close aide of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who headed AIADMK from 1989 until her death in 2016. After Jayalalithaa’s death, the party’s general council unanimously appointed her as the interim secretary general of AIADMK. Sasikala was removed from the AIADMK after the factions led by Chief Minister Palanisamy and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, joined hands.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India reduces visas to Pakistani nationals by nearly 20,000

India has drastically reduced visas to Pakistani nationals and has given travel documents to 34,445 people from that country so far this year, the Lok Sabha was informed today.Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said 34,445 Pakistani citizens have been given visas under various categories so far this year in comparison to the 52,525 visas given in 2016.As many as 12.89 lakh visas have been given to Bangladeshi nationals so far this year in comparison to 9.33 lakh visas issued in 2016, he said in his reply to a written question.Indo-Pak relations have nosedived after Pakistan- backed terrorists attacked a brigade headquarters in Uri, Indian Air Force Station in Pathankot and the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani by the security forces.Pakistan tried to highlight Wani’s killing internationally.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Will take up at highest level in Pak govt reports of forceful conversion of Sikhs, assures Sushma Swaraj

India will take up at the highest level in the Pakistan government reports of Sikhs being forced to convert to Islam by a government official in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.Her reaction came after leading Pakistan daily The Express Tribune published a news story about the Sikh community raising serious concerns after being forced to convert to Islam by the government official in Hangu district of K-P.”We will take this up at the highest level with the Government of Pakistan,” Swaraj tweeted while tagging the Indian High Commission in the report. According to the news report, the community has lodged a complaint with Deputy Commissioner Hangu Shahid Mehmood, claiming that Assistant Commissioner Tehsil Tall Yaqoob Khan was allegedly forcing Sikhs to convert to Islam.Replying to a separate tweet regarding a man in Punjab trying to get body of his son, who was reportedly shot dead in Manila, Swaraj said the government was seized of the case. “Indian Embassy in Manila is pursuing this with the Police. The mortal remains will be sent from Manila on 21st December,” she tweeted.Also readPakistan Army’s first Sikh officer gets married; top officials say respect rights of religious minoritiesShe was replying to a tweet, “No bigger pain for an old man than the news of the death of his son but his pain intensifies when he is unable to see even his dead body. Requesting Sushma Swaraj Ji to help family of Harpreet Singh (shot dead in Manila) from village Wander Jatana to bring youth’s body back to Punjab.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Watch-Pakistan never conspires: Farooq Abdullah rejects PM Modi’s charges

Without taking name of Congress’ leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah said on Tuesday the grand-old party would have won Gujarat elections, had some of its leaders avoided using wrong words.”I do not want to take any names, but if some people wouldn’t have said certain wrong things then the Congress would have won in Gujarat,” Abdullah said, suggesting that Congress lost due to Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Also readGujarat Election Results: Congress may have lost, but the outcome will boost morale, says Ashok ChavanRegarding Himachal Pradesh’s result, the NC president said it was nothing new for the state as it was a regular pattern there. ” In Himachal Pradesh, one party unseats the other every five years, it is nothing new,” he told media before entering Parliament house to attend winter session.On being asked if a conspiracy to defeat Prime Minister Modi in elections was made in Pakistan, Abdullah said, “Pakistan never Conspires”. The BJP stood victorious in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections with 44 seats while the Congress pocketed 20 in the total 68 constituencies. In Gujarat, the BJP won the election for the 182-member assembly with a clear majority of 99 seats.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat Election Results: Congress may have lost, but the outcome will bost morale, says Ashok Chavan

The Congress may have lost the Gujarat elections on Monday, but the final results will certainly boost the party’s morale, feels Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan. In Gujarat, in total 182 seats of assembly, BJP won 99 seats while Congress 80. Congress won mostly in the rural belt of Gujarat due to farmers’ unrest. “We are also facing the same situations in Maharashtra. Farmers are not getting the good rates to their crops — cotton, soya bean etc. Besides, the promised farm loan waiver has not been yet fulfilled,” said Chavan on Tuesday.He said that during the Congress regime, farmers were getting Rs 6,000- Rs 7,000 for per quintal of cotton against present Rs 4,000-4,500. “Farmers are working hard but not getting fair rates. On this same issue, BJP MP Nana Patole resigned. BJP has gone back on its given promises. They no more talk about the Ache Din now,” the former chief minister said.Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsIn Maharashtra, there are total 288 seats. Presently, the BJP has 120, Shiv Sena – 62 while the Congress and the NCP 42 and 40 respectively. “Last elections, the Congress and the NCP fought separately. Now, NCP president Sharad Pawar has also indicated possible alliance of Congress and NCP again. In the upcoming elections, we will put the united face that will help to get us majority in state assembly and improve our tally in parliament as well. Modi-Shah juggernaut which was slower down by Congress in Gujarat will be halted in Maharashtra permanently,” Chavan said.NCP leader Ajit Pawar also criticised BJP. “If BJP struggled to get the century in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its party president Amit Shah’s home state, they will not make much impact in Maharashtra. Here, Gujarat pride, Pakistan and fanning Hindu-Muslim issue will not work. We believe in issue-based politics,” said Pawar.Also readAssembly elections 2017| ‘Gujarat model’ has been shaken, verdict a warning for 2019, Shiv Sena tells BJPInterestingly, the Shiv Sena is unlikely to form an alliance with the BJP in the upcoming state and Lok Sabha elections. “Seat sharing between the Sena and BJP is major issue. No one will cut down their current seats numbers to accommodate each other. Therefore, they have no options but to contest separately. And that will surely go in favour of Congress and the NCP,” said political observer.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th time

As predicted by exit polls, it’s a saffron sweep again, with BJP retaining Gujarat and wresting Himachal from Congress. Sure it had a bit of a shock, when Congress pulled away once and both its CM and deputy CM trailing at one point, but as they say the party with superior organisation and the better leader finally prevailed. As trends indicate, BJP will end up just short of 100, less than what it got in 2012 and much short of Amit Shah’s 150 seats target prediction. But after 22 years of anti-incumbency and battling resentment from Patidars , one suspects the saffron party will be more or less happy with this electoral win. Here are the major factors that lead to BJP’s win in Gujarat.The NaMo factor:Also readAs trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebratesIt may not be tsu-Namo any longer, but it’s sufficient to get BJP across the line. PM Modi did close to 40 rallies in Gujarat, criss-crossing his home state where his party was stuck on a rut. But what showed his great leadership quality truly was the ability to understand that people are veering away from BJP during the closing stages of the election. Thus came the changed narrative in the last phase of the polls bringing the Pakistan conspiracy theory and fully using the Mani Shankar Aiyar gaffe. He managed to be proactive and got Congress in the defensive. Naysayers will call it cynical politics not proper for the PM of world’s largest democracy, but he got the job done for his party, and that’s what all matters in electoral politics. BJP’s urban fortress remains intact:Also readHimachal Assembly Election 2017: What cost Congress the electionsStruggling with triple whammy of demonetization, GST and Patidar agitation, many thought BJP would fare poorly in its urban centres. As it turns out, the voters may be unhappy with BJP, but the love affair continues. A cursory look at Gujarat map shows giant cluster of saffron surrounding all the major cities. It is leading in 13 out of 16 in Surat and 17 out of 21 in Ahmedabad. BJP is down 6% from 2012 in vote share in urban seats, but Congress still lags behind. BJP has won 43 out of the 55 urban constituencies. In many places vote percentage has fallen sharply from 2012 and 2014. It’s plausible to guess that BJP supporters who are unhappy with the party but don’t want to reward the Congress, stayed away and saved Modi’s team from blushes. Hardik factor worked but only just..:The Patel factor reigned supreme in Saurashtra and North Gujarat, where the agitation started originally. In Saurashtra, BJP is set to lose around 13 seats. It is ahead only in 22, whereas it won 35 in 2012. However, in North Gujarat, the party has done decently well just dropping 2-3 seats from 2012. It has done reasonably well even in districts like Mehsana, Patan, Banaskantha. For Congress to win, Hardik’s clout needed to carry crucial seats in these district. But somehow the saffron party managed to hold on to many of the bellweather seats, thanks to older Patels voting for BJP and Hardik, who is a Kadwa Patel not getting support from Leuva Patels. Infact of the total 25 Patel dominated seats, BJP and Congress won 12 each. The state government’s good performance during the floods managed to give them brownie points in districts like Banaskantha. The party has lost only three seats in Central Gujarat, which has been a major Congress bastion. Congress couldn’t reap dividends from agrarian distress:With crops failing for two successive times, and poor MSP for cotton and groundnuts, many pundits expected the Congress to virtually sweep the rural seats. In the rural centres, in 2012, Congress was only a percentage point behind BJP in vote share. So the grand old party really had the chance to surge ahead in rural Gujarat, where the famed Gujarat model hasn’t really reached. However, the party couldn’t exactly latch on to the loose balls given by BJP and out of the 128 rural or semi-rural seats, it is leading only in 65 odd. In short, Congress needed to sweep rural Gujarat to fill the deficit of their weakness in urban pockets. But it failed in that account. Congress couldn’t decode the caste calculus:Congress before the elections had assurance of support from two of the largest caste groups, the Thakors and Patils. This along with Jignesh Mevani bringing the dalit vote should have been game-set-match for Congress. But on ground, owing to presence of rebels, poor selection of candidates and lack of proper coordination between PAAS and Congress workers, the caste advantage couldn’t be leveraged. While Mevani and Thakor both pulled through, they have some way to go before becoming cult leaders like Lalu or Mulayam, who can get the support of their entire caste group enmasse. But for Congress, the most disappointing thing would be loss of their several tall leaders. The likes of Arjun Modhwadia, Shaktisinh Gohil, Indranil Rajguru means the party is bereft of credible leaders who can tap on to popular resentment against ruling government. The Congress wanted to win this election by outsourcing it to caste leaders from outside. The gamble worked partially but failed in its core purpose, thus giving Rahul Gandhi many things to ponder upon. In the end, it was a case of a missed opportunity for Congress. It can pat on its back for winning more seats and giving BJP a real scare, but considering the anti-incumbency of 22 years , an ineffective state leadership of the saffron party and massive resentment till recently among the Patels, the Congress should and could have won easily. But BJP’s superior ground game and the Modi factor, finally got BJP home. Modi like in many of the past elections is truly the man of the match. When the dust settles, Rahul and rest will be just sideshows of the 2017 Gujarat election history.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

46 years on, families look for missing heroes through social media

When the entire nation was busy celebrating the 46th Vijay Diwas to mark the victory of 1971 war, the mood at the home of Sepoy Jagdish Lal in Kathua was sombre.It was 46 years ago that Jagdish Lal of 2-Mahar regiment went missing while fighting the Pakistani army at the Dhaka Theatre.Sepoy Lal had chosen the battlefield despite pressing needs at home in the best traditions of the army. He had left behind two minor daughters and a five-month pregnant wife, Rano Devi.Forty six years have passed; Sepoy Lal’s family believes that he is languishing in a Pakistani jail after being taken as prisoner of war. Lal is among the six soldiers of Jammu division who went missing in 1971 and their families are not giving up the fight for their return .Enter 2017; the families are now taking the battle to cyber space using social media to prod the government to bring back their dear ones from Pakistan. From Twitter battle to online petitions, the families are using social media to the hilt to force the government to act.Leading the social media campaign for the missing war heroes is Bansi Lal Raja, the son-in-law of Sepoy Lal. “I have two Twitter accounts and I more than 2,000 followers. Whenever I tweet anything about the missing soldiers, it is instantly being retweeted. From 10 to 300 my tweets are retweeted. I request everyone but no one in the government is responding”, said Raja.Raja rues the apathy shown to the missing war heroes by the governments. “If you see my Twitter handle, you will find pictures of the leaders, who are now in power protesting along with us for justice”, he said.Subadar Assa Singh of 5-Sikh regiment of Jammu had gone missing while fighting gallantly against the Pakistani forces in 1971 war in the Chamb sector of Jammu region.For the last 46 years, Subaidar Singh’s 79 year old wife Nirmal Kaur has been fighting a quiet battle to bring her husband and other war heroes’ home from Pakistan. She even went to Pakistan along with the family members of other missing soldiers but with no success.”My mother is living with only hope that her husband will come home one day. We had high hopes from the government that they will bring back our dear ones. We are now posting our pleas on Twitter but there is no response”, said Harcharan Singh, son of Subadar Assa Singh.General Officer Commanding (GOC) White Knight Corps, Lt Gen Saranjit Singh, laid wreath at Ashwamedh Shaurya Sthal War Memorial at Nagrota to honour the valiant martyrs of Indian Army.Speaking on the occasion, the GOC said Indian Army has always stood tall and met all the challenges faced by the nation in an exemplary manner, coming out victorious each and every time. He also exhorted the valiant troops of Indian Army to be “Ever Ready” to face any future challenges that the adversary may pose, with grit, determination and valour.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Col Ashok Kumar Tara, a 1971 hero, who saved a young Sheikh Hasina, recounts Bangladesh liberation war

A battle-hardened veteran, who was in the midst of heavy action in Dacca (now, Dhaka) during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Colonel (retired) Ashok Kumar Tara, is no stranger to limelight.During the war, Colonel Tara was told to rescue Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s wife and family, which included his 24-year-old daughter Sheikh Hasina (current prime minister of Bangladesh) and her child.The family was held hostage by a dozen trigger-happy, heavily armed Pakistani troops at a fortified house in the Dhanmondi area in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh).Tara, then a 29-year-old Major, managed to rescue the Bangabandhu family, in a do-or-die situation as he himself puts.”During this operation I had to face trigger-happy, heavily-armed Pakistani forces, who just killed a media person who had tried to reach to them. I was alone. And unarmed. I took this bold decision to win over them psychologically, because asking an extra force would have taken a lot of time. I knew chances were very bleak, but I went ahead, in what can be known as ‘The Battle of Guts and Wits’,” Colonel Tara tells ANI.He added, “Reaching the house where Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s family was under housearrest, they threatened to kill me. Their commander even ordered his men to load the weapon and was ready to shoot, but I stood my ground and repeatedly told them to surrender. However, I gave them an assurance of safe passage, so that they could go to their HQ. And from there to Pakistan to meet their families waiting for them. I finally got them surrendered and rescued the family. This was a do-or-die situation.”Colonel Tara, who retired in 1994, had already been awarded the Vir Chakra in the Battle of Gangasagar a few days ago.Elaborating on the above-mentioned battle, he said, “It was a railway station in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh) opposite Agartala (in Tripura). It was an attack in file formation along the railway lines and was ‘Hand To Hand’, ‘Bunker to Bunker’. The battle went for about two hours. During the attack, I had to use maltove cocktail (patrol bomb), threw a hand grenade and pulled enemy medium machine gun from a bunker to destroy the enemy. For this, I was awarded the Vir Chakra.”Colonel Tara got recognition for his valour in 2012, when Dhaka announced it was conferring the ‘Friend of Bangladesh’ Award to him.Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister in 1971, was conferred the award in her time.Earlier this year, Colonel Tara featured with Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the “Sommanona Ceremony” in New Delhi to honour the 1971 war martyrs.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

‘All in Well, not well’: When Chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s one-liners livened noisy RS proceedings

It was Day One of the Winter Session for Venkaiah Naidu as Rajya Sabha Chairman and the VP didn’t disappoint regaling the Upper House with his witty one liners. However, Congress MPs still fuming over PM Modi’s Pakistan remark during Gujarat campaign might have been too livid to see the funny side. On not finding Tiruchy Siva, a DMK MP from Tamil Nadu in RS, the VP quipped that Siva was missing and made a joke about Lord Shiva’s omnipresence as he remarked, that ‘Shiva was everywhere but not here in the house’.Also readNo need to beg, we are independent: RS Chairman Venkaiah Naidu asks members to get rid of colonial terms Another funny repartee came when SP’s Naresh Agarwal tried to raise a point regarding the disqualification of two former JD(U) members of the House.The Chairman did not agree with him saying there is no “point … in your point of order”. He also said the matte cannot be discussed as it is a decision of the Chair.Also readManmohan Singh meets Venkaiah Naidu on eve of Parliament sessionJoining the issue, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the opposition was not challenging the decision taken by the Chair and wanted to say something more, but Naidu repeated that it was not a matter up for discussion.Meanwhile, when Naidu asked A Navaneetha Krishnan (AIADMK) to go ahead with his Zero Hour mention regarding cyclone in Tamil Nadu, Congress and SP members trooped into the Well raising slogans.Also readPM Modi attacks Congress, Kapil Sibal for linking Ram Mandir with Lok Sabha electionsThis angered the VP no end, as he asked them to return to their seats but they continued to raise slogans. “You want to do like this on the first day…All in Well not well…,” he said and adjourned the House till noon. And that ended a nondescript day in Rajya Sabha where no work was done but the mood was certainly livened up by our quirky new Chairman who has a way with words. Opp leaders protest rejection of notice to discuss PM Modi’s Pakistan remarkOpposition leaders today protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha demanding an explanation and apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy with Pakistan” remark involving his predecessor Manmohan Singh.The leaders termed the comment “unfortunate” and told reporters outside the House it was “disappointing” that Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow a discussion on the notice.They also objected to the “illegal disqualification” of rebel Janata Dal (United) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari.In place of Yadav and Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar should be disqualified for breaking away from the grand alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, they said.”We gave a notice, but the chairman adjourned the House and did not let us raise the issue. We are disappointed. The chairman should have given us permission. This is a national… international issue,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.At an election rally in Gujarat on Sunday, Modi had suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the state assembly polls.He had claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6.Azad said the prime minister should come to the Rajya Sabha and explain his remarks to its members.His party colleague Anand Sharma, Naresh Agarwal of the SP and D Raja of the CPI said the people concerned should be punished if the allegations levelled by Modi were true.”But if it is false, if he levelled such a big allegation to polarise the people in view of the Gujarat polls, then he should apologise not only to the House but also to the people of the country,” Azad said.Raja said it was “not correct” on Modi’s part to cast aspersions on Singh.The CPI national secretary said Modi should have called up his predecessor if he had any information on the “conspiracy” issue.”He should have done it, but the way he raised the issue in an election campaign… It is highly objectionable. It is not good for democracy,” Raja said, asking the government to respect the Opposition.Sharma said it was “undemocratic” that the Opposition’s voice was being “muzzled”.He said the prime minister was “aware” of the notice and could have “used the opportunity to clarify his remarks, express regret and apologise”.”But the prime minister and the dispensation are arrogant and confrontational. And this is most unfortunate. This attitude does not augur well for democracy. It is an ominous development on the first day itself,” Sharma said.With inputs from PTI

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Winter Session of Parliament begins, Congress seeks PM Modi’s apology over Pakistan remark

Day after the final phase of Gujarat Assembly Elections, the Winter Session of Parliament will begin today.The session will witness a stormy start with the Congress demanding apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his Pakistan remark.During an election rally in his home state, PM Modi had alleged that former PM Manmohan Singh and other senior members of Congress were colluding with Pakistan for Gujarat Assembly polls.Talking to reporters, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said, “For the first time a Prime Minister has accused Former PM, former Vice President and diplomats of conspiring with Pakistan for Gujarat elections. PM must clarify in the Parliament.”Ahead of the session, PM Modi said that he expected a ‘fruitful session.” He also said that, “I hope for positive and innovative arguments.”Also readDay after Gujarat polls, Parliament’s Winter Session to begin todayOn Thursday also, after an all-party meeting, the Congress had demanded PM’s apology.Also readWinter Session: As Congress sulks over Pak allegations, PM seeks cooperation at all-party meet”Either the government should prove the claim or the Prime Minister must apologise… Nothing short of an apology will satisfy us,” Congress leader Anand Sharma had said.The BJP, however, has already rejected the demand. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in fact, termed the dinner at now-expelled Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence as a ‘political misadventure’.Interestingly, BJP president Amit Shah will make his Parliamentary debut in the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session today.The Winter Session will provide a total of 14 sittings spread over a period of 21 days including four Private Members’ days. Further, 25 Bills are pending in the Lok Sabha, while 39 Bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat Elections 2017 | In Behrampura, lack of parking near polling booths pushes people away from voting

Residents of Behrampura in Gujarat that goes to polls today in the second phase of the assembly elections stated a strange reason for not casting their votes.According to Nasir Mirza, a local in the area, the residents have an issue with the traffic jams and the lack of parking facilities near polling booths. “The streets have been crowded as if India and Pakistan are playing an ODI match. There is no space to move or park vehicles,” he said.Earlier in the day, voting began in the second and final phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections . Over two crore voters are casting their ballots to seal the fate of 851 candidates contesting for 93 seats across 14 districts in Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 LIVE UPDATES: Polling for second phase underway, 7% turnout recorded till 9 amSome of the prominent names who cast their vote included BJP President Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017: Manmohan Singh attacks PM for second time

In a video statement released Wednesday, former prime minister Manmohan Singh targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second time, accusing him of spreading “falsehood and canards” to score political points. Strongly rejecting the “innuendos and falsehoods” made by the PM, Singh said he did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Modi, nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else at the dinner.The remarks drew sharp reaction from BJP chief Amit Shah who questioned Singh’s silence on Sonia Gandhi’s ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’ remark and the “monumental loot” during the UPA-II Union government.Singh, who had on Monday attacked Modi over his suggestion of Pakistan meddling in Gujarat polls, today sought an apology from the PM for what he called his “ill-thought transgression”.The former PM said he was deeply pained and anguished by the “falsehood and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than Prime Minister”.”Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable,” he said, adding that he sincerely hoped that the Prime Minister would show “maturity and gravitas”, as expected of the high office he holds.The former premier also asserted that Modi “is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former prime minister and Army Chief”, and described it as sad and regrettable.In a sharp reaction, BJP national president Shah asked asked why the “angry” Congress veteran was silent when a “monumental loot” took place during his tenure at the Centre. “We want to ask respected Manmohan Singh ji why was he not angry and anguished when a CM of his country was called ‘Maut Ka Saudagar,” Shah said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

India, Bangladesh gear up to celebrate Vijay Diwas

India and Pakistan are gearing up to celebrate Vijay Diwas, which is commemorated every year to mark the victory of both the countries over Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.In order to keep alive the spirit of War of Liberation of 1971 an arrangement of reciprocal visits by Muktijodhas and War Veterans was institutionalised in 2005. A delegation of Muktijodhas along with their spouses or companions is invited by the Government of India to participate in the Vijay Diwas celebrations that are held at Fort Williams, Kolkata.The Government of Bangladesh also invites Indian war veterans along with their spouses or companions to participate in the Victory Day celebrations. Also readKargil Vijay Diwas: In memory of the martyrsMore than 300 Muktijodhas from Bangladesh and 150 Indian war veterans have participated in these celebrations. This initiative was further extended to include serving officers so as to pass on the spirit to the current generation. This year a delegation of 30 Muktijodhas and six serving Bangladesh Armed Forces officers, along with their companions will participate in the Vijay Diwas celebrations in Kolkata from December 14-18, 2017. The delegation is led by Mosharraf Hossain, Minister of Housing and Public Works and has three Members of Parliament, one Prosecutor Additional attorney general of ICT, retired officers from Bangladesh Armed Forces, diplomats, senior bureaucrats and prominent personalities from the civil society.The delegation will participate in a large number of ceremonial functions and receptions being held in their honour as also get an opportunity to interact with Indian veterans of the War. They will also visit ‘Jorashanko’ (Thakurbari), the family house of Shri Rabindranath Tagore and other historical places.Twenty-seven Indian War veterans and four serving officers, accompanied by their companions will arrive in Dhaka on December 14, 2017 to participate in the Victory day celebrations. The Indian delegation is led by Lt Gen (retired) Jai Bhagwan Singh Yadava. He was awarded with the gallantry award Vir Chakra in the 1971 war for his acts of gallantry in the battle of BOGRA.The delegation will participate in the Victory day functions and also call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force and Principal Staff Officer, Armed Forces Division.They will also get opportunities to interact with Muktijodhas during separate receptions being hosted by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, War Course Foundation of Bangladesh, Dhaka club and the High Commission of India. The delegation will also pay homage to Father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial museum as also visit some of the battle sites of Liberation war.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Sharad Pawar leads protest march on 77th birthday, asks farmers not to pay power bills, other dues to govt

NCP President Sharad Pawar on Tuesday asked farmers to resort to non-cooperation against the Maharashtra government and not to pay outstanding loan or dues like electricity bills unless it deposits the loan waiver amount into their bank accounts. Addressing a public rally on his 77th birthday, the former Union Minister warned that farmers were capable of bringing down the government if their issues are ignored. “Unless the loan waiver amount is deposited into the bank accounts of farmers, I appeal to the farming community not to pay any dues or even electricity bills to the state government,” Pawar said.On his birthday, the former Union Minister for Agriculture led a united Opposition’s “Jan Aakrosh Halla Bol” march against the state government. Congress and NCP, along with all opposition parties including Peasants and Workers Party, Samajwadi Party and CPIM, took part in the march against the Devendra Fadnavis government. Congress and NCP took out two separate protest marches and after 2 kms of foot-march, a joint public rally was held at T Junction near Sitabuldi outside Vidhan Bhavan, where state assembly is holding winter session.Congress’ march, which started from Deeksha Bhoomi where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, was led by former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. NCP started its march from Dhanwate National College.Pawar who is celebrating his 77th birthday today criticised the state government for not implementing loan waiver and said, “Chief Minister is telling that money would be given but despite his repeated assurances for last six months, farmers are not receiving any money towards loan waiver. Now farmers who possess to dethrone the governments should resolve that they would not pay any government bill, be it power bill or society dues unless loan waiver amount is deposited in their bank accounts.” Blaming Fadnavis Government for destroying families of farmers, Pawar said that this government is “so insensitive that it is not acting even after suicides by farmers.” He recalled that he himself along with the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had visited Vidarbha region and had announced Rs 70,000 crore loan waiver package for farmers during the UP rule. Both Pawar and Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his allegations against former Manmohan Singh and involving Pakistan in electioneering of Gujarat. Pawar said that it was not in the interest of the country while Azad said that whenever Prime Minister realises difficult situations he is reminded of Pakistan.Hitting out at the BJP, Azad said the saffron party “is not a political party but has become an election winning machine.” “That is the reason Prime Minister is either abroad or on election campaign tour in some or the other state but never in his office,”he said. State unit presidents Ashok Chavan and Sunil Ttakare, leaders of both the Houses Radhakrishna vikhe-Patil and Dhananjay Munde, senior leaders from both the parties were present on the dais.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

‘Pak meddling in Gujarat polls’ remark: BJP is intellectually bankrupt, says its Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena

Wading into the battle between the BJP and the Congress over allegations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Pakistan was trying to manipulate the Gujarat elections, the Shiv Sena said repeated attempts to bring in Pakistan and fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in the discourse during polls indicated “intellectual bankruptcy.” Noting that the “Prime Minister should not make allegations but take action,” an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, which has party president Uddhav Thackeray as the editor and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Rat as the executive editor, dared Modi to take military action against Pakistan.Alluding to Modi’s charges about a secret meeting with Pakistani officials hosted by former Congress minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Shiv Sena also dared Modi to arrest those who were present. “The Gujarat elections are turning out to be more important than the Kashmir imbroglio,” the Shiv Sena said, adding that allegations about Pakistan was pushing for senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s name as the chief minister of the state could raise questions about attempts to polarise voters to win elections.Also readNothing more than Indo-Pak relations were discussed at Aiyar’s residence: Ex-Army Chief rejects PM’s allegation“In every election, either Pakistan or Dawood Ibrahim is invoked. This is intellectual bankruptcy” the Shiv Sena charged, adding that these bogeys were used by the BJP when it found the going to be politically tough. The editorial noted that during the Bihar elections, BJP president Amit Shah had said that the victory of the Janata Dal (United) under Nitish Kumar would lead to crackers being burst in Pakistan, but the BJP had allied with Kumar later. “In the Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP government worked to the hilt to ensure Ahmed Patel’s defeat. If these same attempts are made against Pakistan, none if its activities against India will succeed,” the editorial said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

BJP is directionless in Gujarat, says Rahul Gandhi

BJP has become directionless in Gujarat and the party leaders are raising issues that do not have a direct relation with the state, Congress president designate Rahul Gandhi said in Gandhinagar on Monday.Addressing a gathering of close to 12,000 people, Gandhi said that no power in the world can stop Congress from coming to power in Gujarat and now BJP workers are privately admitting it.”After misguiding the state for almost two decades, BJP is now faced with harsh reality, which it is unable to cope with. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is raising issues of China and Pakistan in Gujarat which do not have a direct impact on Gujarat,” he said.On the other hand college professors, health workers and many other sections of the society are complaining about inadequate wages.Gandhi said farmers are complaining of inadequate water and electricity and the middle class is trying to get their children educated in costly colleges and healthcare costs have sky rocketed.”Modiji, this is Gujarat. Talk about the future of the youth. You have nothing to offer to the youth, farmers and the masses,” said Gandhi adding that Modi is now engulfed with truth and is finding no way out.”Now you have been exposed. People of Gujarat know you very well. This state gave Mahatmas Gandhi, Sardar Patel. They defeated powerful with love. We will also defeat you with love,” the Congress president designate said.Modi betrayed people of India: Nana PatolePrime Minister Narendra Modi has betrayed the trust of the people of India, former BJP MP from Maharashtra Nana Patole said here on Monday. He also termed demonetisation as the biggest ever scam in the history of India, ‘where black money has been converted into white’. Citing an incident of meeting of MPs from BJP with the PM, Patole said that when one of the senior MPs questioned the PM, he was silenced and insulted.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Russia bats for India’s participation in OBOR initiative

Russia today pitched for India joining China’s One Belt One Road initiative and hoped that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega connectivity project without sacrificing its position on the issues flagged by it.In an address at a think tank, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said a sustainable security architecture in the Asia Pacific region cannot be achieved through “bloc arrangement”, in a clear signal of Moscow’s opposition to the quadrilateral grouping comprising the US, Japan, India and Australia. Talking about regional issues, the Russian Foreign Minister said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj “suggested” improving not only India-China ties but also India’s relations with Pakistan.Lavrov, Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today held the 15th Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral meeting during which a range of regional and global issues were discussed. On OBOR, Lavrov said Russia feels the concept is very interesting and needed to be explored in the context of building harmonious relationship for deeper regional trade and investment. About India’s opposition to the project, he said, “the specific problem in this regard should not make everything else conditional for resolving political differences”. India has opposed the OBOR due to its sovereignty concerns over the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). CPEC is part of the OBOR.Lavrov said almost all the central Asian countries have already signed documents with China for cooperation in the OBOR while Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union concluded economic cooperation agreement with it, indicating that the process is irreversible. “I am 100 per cent convinced that India has enough very smart diplomats and politicians to find a way which will allow it to benefit from this process and at the same time not to sacrifice your position,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.In a clear reference to the quadrilateral grouping among the US, India, Japan and Australia, he said, “We believe that sustainable security architecture in the Asia Pacific region cannot be achieved through bloc arrangement and is only possible through an open ended collective basis.” Officials of the four countries held their first meeting in Manila last month to give shape to the much talked about quadrilateral alliance to keep the Indo-Pacific region “free and open”.The formation of the bloc is seen as an effort to contain China’s growing assertiveness in the resource-rich area. The Russian Foreign Minister also talked about the need for peaceful settlement of the disputes saying use of force and threatening to use force will not resolve any issue. Calling India a key partner for Russia, he said further strengthening of ties between the two countries can address numerous problems in the Asia Pacific region.On tackling terrorism, he called for a “truly universal coalition” to act against the terror groups without “any double standards and hidden agenda”. Sounding critical of the role of the US in Afghanistan, Lavrov said every stakeholder including the Taliban and the war-ravaged country’s neighbours should be taken on board for brining lasting peace to it. The Russian Foreign Minister said his country was ready to ensure transfer of technology to manufacture critical military platforms in India in joint venture and co- development projects.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Modiji please devote two-three minutes of your speech to talk about Gujarat: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi today took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and Japan in the Gujarat elections but avoiding speaking about his home state.Gandhi, who was declared elected as Congress president today, said Modi was frequently shifting his campaign plank in Gujarat. He said, first it was the Narmada water, but after farmers started saying it has not reached their fields, Modi changed tack and began speaking about OBC issues. When that also did not find favour with people, he went for development issues “but people punctured it”, he said.”Now, Modiji speaks about Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Japan. Modiji, this is the election about the future of Gujarat. Please say something about Gujarat also,” he told a well-attended rally here in Banaskantha district. Gandhi was apparently targeting the prime minister over his yesterday’s suggestion that Pakistan was trying to influence the Gujarat Assembly polls and that some current and former officials of that country had met Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence a day before Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark against him.Also readIt’s official! Rahul Gandhi is new Congress president, to assume office on December 16The Congress leader said, in his speeches in the last couple of days, the prime minister devoted half the time to Congress-bashing. “On one hand he is claiming that he has finished the Congress party from India, and on the other, he devotes half of his time to Congress. The other half of his speech is devoted to Narendra Modiji himself,” the 47-year-old leader said. “Modiji please devote two-three minutes of your speech to (talking about) the future of Gujarat,” he said. Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Hardik Patel denied roadshow permission by Ahmedabad Police Gandhi reaffirmed his promise that the Congress, if voted to power in Gujarat, will waive farm loans within 10 days. He claimed the NDA government waived Rs 1.30 lakh crore loans of 10 richest people in the country. He said when farmers also ask for a loan waiver, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and the prime minister say it is not their policy.”Why the loans of farmers are not waived,” Gandhi asked, and in the next breath gave the reply “as they do not fly in planes, they do not have big cars, and they do not have suit worth Rs 15 lakh.”Gandhi again alleged there was corruption in the Nano deal between the Gujarat government and the Tatas. “The Congress allocated Rs 35,000 crore to MNREGA, while the BJP government gave Rs 33,000 crore to the Tata Nano factory. The water from Narmada went to that factory. The factory gets electricity for 24 hours even when you get it only at night,” he alleged.The Congress leader claimed land in villages in and around Mundra were given to the Adani group at the rate of Re 1 per square metre, which the latter sold back to the government at Rs 3,000 for every square metre. Assailing the government over demonetization and the GST, he said half the money of common people was “looted” by the note ban and the rest by the “Gabbar Singh Tax”.Tomorrow is the last day of campaigning for the second and final phase of Gujarat polls which has been high-pitch and vitriolic, with both Modi and Gandhi often making personal attacks against each other. Polling will be held on December 14. Votes would be counted on December 18.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Nothing more than Indo-Pak relations were discussed at Aiyar’s residence: Ex-Army Chief rejects PM’s allegation

Guests at a dinner hosted by suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar have denied that domestic politics figured in the discussions with Pakistani leaders after PM Modi’s allegation that Islamabad was trying to meddle in the Gujarat election.Two-ex diplomats who were privy to the matter said that discussions revolved around India-Pakistan ties.The meeting included former PM Manmohan Singh and former VP Hamid Ansari were present at the dinner for former Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Mahmud Kasuri’s visit.The other guests at the dinner included the Pakistan High Commissioner, former FM K Natwar Singh, former Army Chief Deepak Kapoor, former diplomats Satinder Lambah, Salman Haider, TCA Raghavan, Sharat Sabharwal, Chinmaya Gharekhan.General Kapoor, the 23rd Army Chief, confirmed he was part of the meeting and said they only discussed India-Pakistan relations. He was quoted saying by The Indian Express: “Yes, I was part of the meeting and we discussed nothing more than India-Pakistan relations.”Also readDay after PM Narendra Modi’s ‘poll-meddling’ allegations, Pakistan says stop dragging us in your election debatesGharekhan told NDTV: “It was entirely devoted to talking about relations between India and Pakistan. Inevitably, cross-border terrorism came up and Kashmir came up but no one, I am 100 per cent sure, not a single person talked about either Gujarat elections or the domestic situation in India or for that matter, the domestic situation in Pakistan.”Lambah also said he there was just a general discussion on Indo-Pak relations.Also readWhy did Manmohan Singh not show courage to order surgical strikes post 26/11 attack: PM ModiThe Congress Party on Monday came down heavily upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleging that Pakistan was meddling in the Gujarat assembly polls and supporting Congress leader Ahmed Patel to have him elevated as the chief minister of the state.Reacting to Modi’s comments, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that “India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on (its) own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible”.Also readReady for any punishment party deems fit: Mani Shankar AiyarDubbing Prime Minister Modi’s statement as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘outrageous’, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded an apology from him.‘Ex-Pakistan Foreign Minister was here to attend a wedding. There was a dinner organised for him in which there were former diplomats, former army chief among other dignitaries. Does the prime minister think they were all conspiring with Pakistan’ This is reprehensible. It’s expected of the prime minister to use a language which is equivalent to his post. He should retract his statement and should apologise to maintain the decorum of his post,’ Sharma said.He further said that Prime Minister Modi’s remarks show that the BJP has realised it was going to lose the Gujarat elections.”The Prime Minister has said Congress is conspiring with Pakistan for Gujarat elections. Its outrageous. This is just an attempt to polarize ahead of second phase of voting in Gujarat polls.This also shows their desperation and that BJP’s loss is now certain,” he added.Yesterday, while addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Banaskantha, Prime Minister Modi alleged that former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique was helping Patel to become the Gujarat chief minister.”Former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique was backing and willing to help make Ahmed Patel the chief minister,” he said.The prime minister had also questioned suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former vice-president Hamid Ansari’s meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner.Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has asked India to stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

‘Stop giving us lessons,’ India’s blunt reply to Pakistan on ‘poll-meddling’ statement

India on Monday tore into Pakistan’s statement on the poll-meddling allegations in Gujarat.“Condemn this unwarranted statement,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the Pakistan foreign ministry tweeted about the allegations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Islamabad was interfering in the elections in his home state.“Completely abhor outside interference in India’s internal affairs. Pakistan’s promotion of terrorism in India is well known but Pakistan must stop giving us lessons, we are proud of our democracy,” Prasad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.Earlier on Monday, Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, tweeted that India must not drag Pakistan in its electoral debates.Also readDay after PM Narendra Modi’s ‘poll-meddling’ allegations, Pakistan says stop dragging us in your election debates“India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible,” he said in a tweet.The poll-meddling allegations were made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in Gujarat’s Sanand.Also readPoll war: Congress can’t win Gujarat polls using Pakistan as pawn, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi On Sunday, while addressing the rally, he had said asked about the ‘secret meeting’ of top Pakistani officials at the residence of now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in New Delhi.”On one hand, Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, and on the other, Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts?” he had said while addressing a poll rally in Gujarat.The prime minister also raised questions about the alleged appeal by former director general (DG) of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq for making senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel chief minister of Gujarat.(With PTI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Poll war: Congress can’t win Gujarat polls using Pakistan as pawn, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday said that the Congress cannot win the Gujarat Assembly elections using Pakistan as a pawn.The union minister told ANI, “Congress ko samajhna chahiye ke jis Pakistani political patang ko woh Gujarat mein udane ki koshish kar rahi hai, Gujarat ke log Bharat ke manjhe se aise patang ko kaatna jante hai. (Congress should understand and stop dragging the political agenda of Pakistan in Gujarat as people of the state will downplay it their nationalism). “”The people of Gujarat will give the Congress an appropriate answer for dragging Pakistan,” said Naqvi.On Sunday, while addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Banaskantha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had alleged that former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique helped Congress leader Ahmed Patel to become the chief minister of Gujarat.”Former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique was backing and willing to help make Ahmed Patel the chief minister,” he said.Also readDay after PM Narendra Modi’s ‘poll-meddling’ allegations, Pakistan says stop dragging us in your election debatesThe prime minister had also questioned suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner.In the meantime, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has asked India to stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

In secret conclave, Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed pledges to step up terror against India, US

The Jaish-e-Mohammed, a group founded by UN-designated terrorist Masood Azhar, recently organised a ‘Shohada-e-Kashmir’ conference in Rawalakot to commemorate the martyrdom of several terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.Three militants of JeM – identified as Talha Rasheed (nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar), Bhai Mohammad and Bilal – were killed in the encounter by the Indian security forces on November 6 in Pulwama.The secret conclave was attended by Maulana Talha Saif, younger brother of Maulana Masood Azhar, Maulana Mufti Asghar Khan, Amir JeM, PoK, Mukhtar, father of Bhai Muhammad, one of the killed militants, and many others.Over a thousand JeM cadres attended the event in which slogans against India and the United States were raised.Also readMove to block resolution on Masood Azhar not contradictory to BRICS declaration: China Challenging the democratic countries, including India and the United States, Maulana Talha Saif, in his speech, said, “If someone wants that ‘Fidayeen missions? must stop their attacks then they must stand in front of them like both hands folded.”A senior JeM functionary Saifullah Akhtar, in his speech, said, “JeM cadres will not forget their martyrdom and will continue their mission till it gets completed.”Mukhtar, father of Bhai Muhammad, one of the killed militants, said, “We have been waging a war since for the past 28 years and still asking we had got nothing. But, if you ask from those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for Kashmir then they will tell you that their shedding of blood in Kashmir will not go in vain but it becomes more fruitful. They are doing Jehad for Kashmir but doing it for Allah.”Also readJeM Chief Masood Azhar is a ‘bad guy’, should be called global terrorist: USNaveed Masood Hashmi, a senior JeM functionary from Islamabad, accused Nawaz Sharif for acting against JeM.He said, “Mauland Masood Azhar had prepared hundreds of JeM cadres and sent them Kashmir for the protection of Kashmiri brothers and sisters. But, Nawaz Sharif wanted to arrest them in Punjab.”He added, “Who is enemy of Islam” Nawaz Sharif or Maulana Masood Azhar? Nawaz Sharif is the enemy of Islam and that’ s why we are not getting a victory in Kashmir. Kashmir will get liberated only after the pro-Islamic government is established in Pakistan.”Such gatherings in support of terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir authenticate the Pakistan-based terror outfits to be behind terror activities in India, especially J-K. This also affirms the fact that Pakistan-based terror outfits not only use the PoK territory for `jihad’ against India, but also organise conferences to emotionally exploit the locals for proxy wars.Also readDefer all non-essential travel to Pakistan: US tells citizens amid increasing terrorist violence

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017: Cong questions PM’s Pak visit

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that Pakistan was interfering in Gujarat elections to help the Congress, the party hit back asking Modi to clarify the reasons behind his surprise visit to Pakistan on the occasion of then Pak PM Nawaz Sharif’s birthday about two years ago. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala questioned Modi for his surprise stopover in Pakistan in December 2015, which was the first by an Indian PM in 11 years.”Despite the Pak-sponsored terror attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur, PM Narendra Modi went to Pakistan to attend a birthday and marriage ceremony in Nawaz Sharif’s family. What that not an insult of the martyrs,” he questioned. Surjewala also raised questions on the circumstances in which wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s wife visited Mumbai from Pakistan and left without any of the security agencies or the government getting a whiff of it. He also asked the PM why officials from Pakistani intelligence agency ISI were allowed to visit the Pathankot terror attack site.The Congress’s counter-attack came in response to Modi claiming that Pakistan wanted Congress leader Ahmed Patel to be made chief minister of Gujarat. Modi also alleged that just a day before calling him ‘neech’, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had met Pakistani high commissioner and other officials.Congress leaders dismissed Modi’s statements as attempts to communally vitiate the atmosphere and to polarise voters in the middle of the Gujarat elections.Surjewala also hit out at Modi over demonetisation, calling it the largest scam in the country, which had not only failed to find any black money, but had broken the back of trade and industry.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat elections 2017: PM slams Congress for Pak ‘poll-meddling’ in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on?Sunday that Pakistan was interfering in the Gujarat Assembly elections, and asked the Congress to come clean on reports of its top functionaries recently meeting leaders from the neighbouring country.The PM also raised questions over a reported appeal by former director-general of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made Gujarat’s Chief Minister in case the Congress wins the elections. The PM said former Congress minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him “neech” (vile) a day after an alleged meeting of Pakistani leaders with top Congress functionaries.”There were media reports on Saturday about a three-hour closed-door meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” the PM said.”No Indian official was present during this meeting and the government also was not intimated later,” the PM said.”The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was ‘neech’. This is a serious matter,” he said. The PM said that Rafiq had backed Patel as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. “On one side Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, and on the other, Pakistan’s people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house,” he said.”All know that relations between India and Pakistan are a sensitive issue and our Congress leaders meet Pakistani leaders secretly. Can any Indian tolerate this? Should we tolerate such activities taking place on the sovereign land of India? Congress is in utter depression and that is why they are trying to finish me by hook or crook. Congress should answer on this issue,” said Modi, as he escalated his attack on Gujarat’s Opposition party that’s been out of power in the state for 22 years.”And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts?,” Modi said. He said the Congress should inform the people of the country what exactly it wants to do.Modi was addressing a rally at Palanpur in Banaskantha district for the ongoing assembly polls. The second and final phase of polling in north and central Gujarat, including Banaskantha, will take place on December 14. Results for the 182-member Assembly will be out on December 18.(With PTI inputs)

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Go back to Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf formula for peace: Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri

Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Friday suggested that the Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf formula for diplomacy could still pave way for restoration of peace between India and Pakistan. He, however, blamed India for stalling the dialogue process by setting new ‘red lines’ for Pakistani leaders and its diplomats — barring them from meeting Kashmiri separatist leaders.”Pakistan is ready to address other issues afflicting India, but would never agree to this red line,” he said, adding that it has potential to adversely affect public opinion back in his country.Speaking at an event with Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on the current relations between the two nations, he said India was too important a country for Pakistan to ignore. Admitting that there were completely different narratives on Jammu and Kashmir, he said both countries had tried everything from wars to tensions to military build-ups. “We have tried everything and it has not yielded any result. We have fought wars and suffered from it. So, India and Pakistan have to progress together,” he added.He said that besides nuclear parity, the two nations were also on equal footing as far as conventional weaponry was concerned. “Any future war between the two countries will not end in 15-17 days; it will last months and years. Neither can win, but both will lose I don’t know any condition when there was peace after hosting wars,” he said.The ex-minister also attacked United States President Donald Trump and said that Pakistan couldn’t be isolated, as it was at an important strategic location.”They will isolate Pakistan? Let me tell you, Pakistan cannot be isolated. It is important, not just for your strategic location, adding, “Today, the US is isolated, not Pakistan.”AIYAR AT EVENTStressing the need to initiate dialogue with Pakistan, he said it was important to co-operate with Pakistan rather than looking at it suspiciously regarding terror movement

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Gujarat Elections 2017: Priest says he was attacked for supporting BJP and Hindutva

Just a couple of days before the election, a priest belonging to the Swaminarayan sect was attacked in Gujarat. The priest claims that he was attacked for his views about nationalism and Hindutva. Two unidentified assailants attacked Bhaktiprasad Swami with iron rods on late Thursday night in Kotda village of Visavdar tehsil in Junagadh district when he was returning after campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Talking to ANI from hospital bed, Bhaktiprasad said, “The attackers were fumed because I propagate Hindutva and nationalism. We are saints and if we won’t speak on nationalism then will we speak on Pakistan? This attack is not only on me but on whole Hindu Sanatan sect.” He further added that “if being a nationalist is a crime then I would like to commit this crime time and again”.When asked about who was behind the attack on him, he didn’t take the Congress party’s name but said, “This is election time and everybody knows who are against the BJP and Hindutva. But, I want to tell them that such attacks are not going to deter us from propagating Hindutva and nationalism.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | A storm is brewing as Congress will win the elections, says Rahul GandhiRecounting the attack on him, he said,”I was returning from conducting an election rally for the BJP. When we were going to Visavadar then all of sudden a car overtook and stopped in front of our car. By the time we could understand anything; the assailants smashed the windshield of our car with iron rod and started abusing us. When the passerby gathered there, the assailants fled the scene leaving behind their car.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | BJP campaigns seek to mobilise Muslim women votersHe said the police have taken his statement and promised to take strict action against the culprits.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Pakistan will give visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother: Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will give visas to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.In Islamabad, a Pakistan foreign office spokesperson said it will allow convicted Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife and mother on December 25.Swaraj said Pakistan had earlier agreed to give a visa only to Jadhav’s wife but India asked that a visa should also be given to his mother.”We also raised concern about their safety and security in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj tweeted.Pakistan has assured India of their safety, security and freedom of movement in that country, she said.Also read4 assurances India has asked for allowing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to travel to PakistanThe government had also asked that a diplomatic officer of the Indian High Commission should accompany them while they are in Pakistan, she added.The minister said she had spoken to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika Jadhav, and informed her about it.Jadhav, 47, was given death sentence by a Pakistani Army court in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Did you visit Pakistan to give my ‘supari’, PM Modi blasts Mani Shankar Aiyar

In an all out attack against the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only blasted now suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, but also asked the people of Gujarat to ‘punish’ the Grand Old Party.In a blistering attack following the ‘neech’ row, PM Modi said that Aiyar visited Pakistan and during that trip he said, “remove (Narendra) Modi from the way and then see what will happen to India-Pakistan peace. What did he mean by removing me from the way.”“What does it mean to remove someone from the way? Did Aiyar go to Pakistan to give my supari,” PM asked.Talking about how Congress leaders were ‘enjoying’ in a Bengaluru resort while people in Gujarat were suffering the floods, PM Modi said that the Congress ‘must be taught a lesson.’While addressing the election rally in Banaskantha, PM Modi said, “People of Patan and Banaskantha know the difference between Congress and BJP.”“BJP leaders were providing flood relief whereas Congress leaders were relaxing in swimming pools in resorts in Bengaluru,”he added. Speaking about development by BJP in Gujarat, PM Modi said, “Earlier, people from here would have to travel a considerable distance to pray to Maa Narmada. Due to BJP, Narmada waters have come to this region.”It was not only Aiyar who was slammed by the Prime Minister. He also cornered senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. “Instead of coming clear on why he wants Ayodhya matter to be discussed in court after 2019, he is busy saying whose lawyer is he. He says he doesn’t represent Sunni Wakf Board but he should say who is he representing? Why doesn’t Congress also remove this lawyer leader,” PM Modi said.The polling for the first phase of the Assembly Elections will take place tomorrow and votes will be counted on December 18.The Gujarat Assembly has 182 seats.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Pakistan allows Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family to meet him in jail on December 25

The family of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian naval officer facing death sentence in Pakistan, has been allowed to meet him in jail on December 25.Though it has not been specified that who exactly has been permitted to meet Jadhav, it is sure that an Indian diplomat will accompany the family member.The news comes after India set some pre-conditions for the meeting, specifically asking for the safety of Jadhav’s family members.Earlier, India had allowed wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to travel to Pakistan.However, the women’s travel permission is linked with certain pre-conditions.Also readPakistan yet to give a sovereign guarantee about safety and security of Kulbhushan Jadhav: VK Singh”In our response, we have conveyed that Jadhav’s wife would like to travel with her mother-in-law for the meeting. We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the Pakistan Government to ensure safety, and security of both. Also, during their stay in Pakistan they should not be questioned, or harassed,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.”We have further asked that a diplomat from our High Commission in Pakistan shall be allowed to accompany them at all times, including during the meeting,” he added.Also read4 assurances India has asked for allowing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to travel to PakistanPakistan on November 10 had said that on ‘humanitarian grounds’, it can allow meeting between Jadhav and his wife in jail. The 46-year-old was arrested in March last year on charges on espionage. The Pakistan authorities alleged that Jadhav was working with RA&W and was involved in terrorist activities in strife-torn Balochistan region.After nearly four months of trail termed as ‘farcical’ trial, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court. But, India moved to International Court of Justice and in major victory, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s death sentence in May this year.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Longewala battle heroes’ reunion after 46 years

The soldiers of the 23 battalions of the Punjab Regiment of the Indian Army, who wrecked a full tank brigade of Pakistan in 1971 war, recalled the 46 years old memories after reaching the Longewala Battlefield.Especially the real hero of this war, Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, who has now become old but his enthusiasm is still so great that even today he is ready to fight with the enemies. Fourteen heroes of 120 warriors attended the three-day program in the battlefield on the anniversary of the Longewala battle. It was a reunion where the old friends meet and warmly embraced each other.During interaction with hundreds of young military officers, the heroes told them the incidents of Longewala war and the young officers present were amazed at the fact that despite being in small numbers they managed to win the war.The Heroes met together with great warmth. Mahavir Chakra winner Chandpuri enhanced the courage of the young officers of the army by responding to their question and recalling the events of the war. During the program, Heroes interacted directly with the young officers and answered their questions. The Longewala Battle heroes were honored by naming the roads as Chandpuri Marg, Atma Singh Marg, and Ratan Singh Marg.The roads were inaugurated by Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri and other war veterans.It is worth mentioning that 120 soldiers of the Indian Army in Longewala had dusted the two thousand Pakistani soldiers of the Tank Brigade of Pakistan Army. their bravery has become a golden chapter of history.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Terror behind brs till death

After seven years, a local court has sentenced life imprisonment to eight members of Pakistan based terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including three Pakistanis on Wednesday. Additional district judge Pawan Garg also imposed total fine of Rs 94 lakh including Rs 11 lakh each on six convicts while the remaining two were fined Rs13 lakh each.Pakistani terrorists Asgar Ali, Mohammed Iqbal and Shakar Ullah along with locals Babu Nisha Chand Ali, Hafiz Abdul Majid, Kabil Khan, Pawan Puri and Arun Jain were found guilty under section 13, 18, 18B and 20 of Anti lawful activity act. Their life sentence will run until their death. The court expressed apprehension that these terrorists were planning to harm Bala Saheb Thakre and Pravin Togadia to create disturbance in the country.The court took serious note of Lashkar’s chief commander Walid Khan’s long conversation with Pakistani terrorists lodged in Indian jails. The court expressed surprise that Asgar Ali had a phone during the court appearance. Judge Pawan Garg has sent copies of the order to DG Jails of Punjab and Rajasthan as well as principal home secretary for action against the Jail superintendents of Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nabha and Patiala.Judge Pawan Garg also commented on Hafiz Abdul Majid when his lawyer said that he has good knowledge of Quran and Hadees. “No religion or religious book preaches killing of innocent people. Quran is a holy book, after reading and acting on its teaching even a fool will not think of getting involved in terrorist activities,” he remarked.Immediately, after the verdict was pronounced, Arun Jain began shouting and said that the verdict was wrong and there was no proof against him. The convicts refused to leave the court till they were provided a copy of the order which was promptly provided. Later, the police took all of them to the jail. Their lawyers have said that the verdict will be challenged in the High Court.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

Srinagar: Accepting Farooq Abdullah’s challenge, Shiv Sena workers attempt to unfurl tricolor at Lal Chowk

Braving sub-zero temperatures, a group of Shiv Sena members tried to unfurl the tricolor at the historic Lal Chowk in a bid to offset the challenge of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.Last month Abdullah had dared the Centre to hoist the national flag in the historic Lal Chowk before talking about unfurling it in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.Police, however, detained some Shiv Sena workers and took them to the Kothi Bagh police station where they were made to talk to the top police officers and accordingly were allowed to wave the national flag outside the police station.Also readForget PoK, raise Indian flag in Srinagar first: Farooq Abdullah“We had reached Lal Chowk early in the morning. We unfurled the flag but police immediately bundled us into the vans and took us to the police station. We later talked to the DGP. We were told to unfurl the flag ahead of Lal Chowk. Later police took us in proper arrangement to the area where we unfurled the flag”, said Manish Sahni, general secretary of Shiv Sena, Jammu and Kashmir.Sahni asserted that despite police posse they were able to unfurl the tricolor at Lal Chowk before being whisked away. “We unfurled the tricolor at around 6 am because we knew they will not allow us later. It was after we unfurled the tricolor that they whisked us away in the police vans”, he said.Also readAnti Terrorist Front India announces Rs 21 lakh bounty for Farooq Abdullah’s tongueInspector General of police, Kashmir Zone, Munir Ahmad Khan said the Shiv Sena had not sought the mandatory permission from the district magistrate for the event.“There is proper procedure. One has to apply for proper permission before any such event. The permission is given by the district magistrate. This is a public place and they had not applied for the permission”, he said.Also readTerritorial Army jawan killing: Shiv Sena questions govt claim on fall of terror activities in Kashmir
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecwq tetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore
Yogi Adityanath

–>

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

© 2020 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.