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Usually cordial on Twitter, Sushma Swaraj blocks Cong MP

Twitter-savvy External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has blocked one of her fellow parliamentarians and Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Partap Singh Bajwa on the social media platform.Bajwa told DNA that Swaraj, otherwise open to helping people who reach out to her on Twitter, had done so as he had been asking her difficult question in the Parliament to nail the Centre’s “lie” on the 39 Indians who had gone missing in Iraq after they were kidnapped by Islamic State and who are considered ‘not dead’ by the external affairs ministry.”This is not the way one of the most senior minister of the government ought to behave. It is our right to ask her questions and it is her duty to respond. I was not even aware of this development. A few days ago, I tried tweeting to the PM and her regarding the plight of Sikhs in the Hangu district of Pakistani Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where they are being forced to convert. To my surprise, I saw that she had blocked me on Twitter,” Bajwa said.”I decided to tweet about it today (Wednesday) because in the intervening days, the Parliament was not working. I follow not her, but the external affairs minister. If she blocks an MP, then it is completely insensitive.”Bajwa also accused the government of trying to hide the truth. “For the past two or three sessions, I have been grappling with her to come clean. The eyewitness is from our Gurdaspur and he told us that all of them had been shot dead in the desert. Swaraj had said that the witness was misleading the government. She has repeatedly said the government will get them back, later claiming that they were all alive and have been tied up as bonded labour in Mosul, but this was repudiated by the Iraqi premier,” said Bajwa.”I believe that she was initially misled. She realised that a false stand had been put up in the Parliament, but now they are not ready to change their stand.”

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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)

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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.”

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Ahead of NSA-level talks, China says lessons should be learnt from Doklam stand-off

China today said that the Doklam stand-off posed a “major test” for the bilateral ties and lessons should be learnt from it to avoid a similar situation of its kind in the future.The comment came ahead of the 20th round of India-China border talks which are expected to be held this week in New Delhi between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi who are designated Special Representatives. Though the talks are scheduled for December 22, an official announcement has not been made yet from both sides.The two sides attach significance to this round of talks as it would be the first round of talks since the 73-day Doklam stand-off in the Sikkim section which ended on August 28. This Special Representative meeting is not only a high- level channel for the border issue discussion but also the platform for strategic communication,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today. This also allows the two sides to exchange views on the international and regional issues of major concern, she said.Also readIndian Army’s Doklam warning: Any mischief will get ‘nice and proper’ response “In 2017, China-India relations have maintained a good momentum generally but the Doklam incident posed a major test for the two countries. We should learn lessons from this incident to avoid any further conflict of this kind in the future,” Hua said. “We should follow our historical conventions on the border to uphold the tranquillity and peace in the border region as well as safeguard the larger picture of the India- China relations,” she said, adding that is in the best interest of both the countries. Asked about the Doklam stand-off’s impact on the talks, Hua said the issue also figured in the recent visit of Foreign Minister Wang Yi to New Delhi to take part in the foreign ministers’ meeting of Russia, India, China (RIC).On its sidelines, Wang also held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and President Ram Nath Kovind. Wang in his meeting with Indian counterpart also touched about the Doklam issue, Hua said. Besides attempting to resolve the vexed border dispute, the format of the India-China Special Representatives talks covered the whole gamut of relations between the two countries including political, strategic, economic and trade issues.The 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) covers from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Of this, 220-km section falls in Sikkim. The two sides so far held 19 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the dispute.Also readDoklam stand-off put severe pressure on bilateral ties: Chinese Foreign Minister tells Sushma SwarajOfficials say Wang’s visit, the first by a top Chinese official after the Doklam stand-off and the starting of second term of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October facilitated a more candid and frank talks between the two countries to tide over most contentious between the two countries beyond the diplomatic niceties. They said though a solution to the border dispute still eludes the two countries, a lot of headway has been made in the 19th round of talks in terms of working out mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity along the border to resolve tensions out of the aggressive patrolling by troops.The Doklam stand-off began on June 16 over PLA’s plans to build a road in area claimed by Bhutan after the Indian troops intervened to stop it as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its North- eastern states. India pointed Sino-Indian differences over the tri- junction between India, China and Bhutan in the Sikkim section which is yet to be settled. The stand-off ended on August 28 following mutual agreement between India and China. China, which earlier opened the Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash and Manasarovar, has closed it after the Doklam stand-off and yet to open it.

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During 1947, leadership was influenced by western ideology: Suresh Joshi

The number two leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Suresh (Bhaiya JI) Joshi said that the development model adopted in the country after independence is not our model. This is a foreign model. After independence, the leadership of the then country was influenced by western ideology.Bhaiya Ji was addressing the lecture organised on the topic “Relevance of Ekatma-manavvad (integral humanism)”. Joshi said that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay has done the task of keeping basic thinking in front of the society, and that is what we know as integral humanism.The country became independent, but we could not distinguish between the Suraj and the Swaraj. Therefore, the need for remembering those great men once again was needed. Pandit Upadhyay placed this thought in front of everyone. An opportunity came in 1947. Considering all the development plans taken on the basis of contemplation of Western thought could have been the matter of adding to the original stream. But unfortunately, this country’s leadership of that time was influenced by western ideas and western education. Considering the development model which was going in the world that time, it was accepted in the country also. From the legal point of view, India emerged as an independent country, but our country did not run independently nor did it run on its ideology. There was an opportunity in 1947 which we lost. Following west became our destinyExpressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment. The more you take, the same should be taken from nature.On this occasion, Mahesh Chandra Sharma, President of Ekatm-Manvvad Research and Development Institute, said that the path Independent India should follow was shown by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. DIGNITARIES PRESENT DURING EVENTChief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Prof RK. Kothari, RSS leader Durgadas and Nimbaram and other dignitaries were also present during the occasion. Expressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment.

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Doklam stand-off put severe pressure on bilateral ties: Chinese Foreign Minister tells Sushma Swaraj

The Doklam stand-off had put “severe pressure” on India-China ties though the issue was resolved through diplomatic means, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during their meeting in New Delhi.The bilateral ties went through a serious test after Indian border troops “illegally trespassed” into the Chinese territory in June, Wang told Swaraj yesterday. The Chinese foreign minister was in New Delhi to attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Although the stand-off ended eventually through diplomatic means more than two months later, lessons must be learned and efforts must be made to avoid such an incident in the future, said Wang, whose comments were posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website today.”The stand-off put the bilateral relations under severe pressure,” he said. Wang said that the Sino-Indian relations are at a crucial period and the most important thing between the two countries is to really cultivate mutual trust. Leaders from both countries have shared the view that China and India should regard each other’s development as opportunities rather than challenges, and China and India are partners rather than rivals, thus the two sides should sincerely implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, Wang noted.Also readFlashpoint, as India asks China to give back droneWhile enhancing strategic communication at all levels, restoring dialogue mechanisms that have been established and deepening pragmatic cooperation in all fields, both sides should also properly manage differences so as to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas, he said. Wang’s visit to New Delhi is the first by a top Chinese official to India after the 73-day Doklam stand-off and after the commencement of the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping.Also readChinese incursions increased after DoklamThe Doklam stand-off ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India s ‘Chicken Neck’ corridor. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by China in an area also claimed by Bhutan. Besides Swaraj, Wang also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.In his meeting with Doval, Wang said China and India should make correct choice in development of relations without politicising and complicating issues left over by history. Sino-Indian relations are at a crucial moment when both sides need to make right choice on the future of the bilateral relations, Wang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. KJV

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French tourists assaulted in Mirzapur: Sushma Swaraj seeks report from UP government

Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj on Monday sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on thethrashing of French tourists in state’s Mirzapur district.”I have asked for a report from Government of Uttar Pradesh,” Swaraj tweeted.Earlier on Sunday, eight people were arrested in connection with the thrashing of French tourists. A group of foreign tourists from France were allegedly beaten up and molested in Ahraura area of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh by a group of local boys. About a dozen French tourists had come to visit Varanasi. On Saturday, they visited a natural waterfall in Lekhania Dari under Ahraura police station in Mirzapur along with an Indian friend. While they were enjoying their visit, three local guys passed lewd remarks on girls and abused them.When French nationals objected, it led to an argument and soon tuned into a fight. Since the locals were less in numbers they left and again returned with 10 more local guys who thrashed French tourists. In the fight a French tourist sustained injuries on his hands, face and neck. The French nationals’ Indian friend told mediapersons that she was also abused, molested and beaten when she tried to stop them from attacking foreign tourists. She alleged that the attackers used sticks to beat them. They were taken to the hospital and given first aid.Also readUttar Pradesh: French tourists molested, thrashed in Mirzapur, eight accused nabbed The SHO Ahraura Police Station Praveen Singh said that an FIR has been registered against 13 people and they have already arrested eight He, however, denied that anyone was seriously injured in the attack. “Only one of them sustained minor bruises and scratches and was given first aid at the Mirzapur Hospital,” clarified the SHO.The DGP Sulkhan Singh has directed the Mirzapur police to arrest remaining accused and take strict action against them. A few months ago, the DGP had suggested CCTV cameras at tourist spots to check such incidents but no headway has been made so far. A German national was thrashed by a railway contractor at Sonebhadra Railway station on November 6 when he ignored greetings of the contractor. The accused was immediately arrested by the police.A Swiss couple was attacked in Fatehpur Sikri in Agra about two months ago by a group of local touts pressing for photographs. The Swiss man had suffered fractures in the attack and couple was treated at Delhi’s Apollo Hospital. Police rounded up about 50 touts and arrested a couple of them involved in the attack after public outrage over the incident. A Russian woman was allegedly raped by a bank manager in Vrindavan in Mathura in October. The bank manager was arrested after she lodged an FIR with the Mathura Police.

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Indian shot in Chicago; family asks for Sushma Swaraj’s help

An Indian man was allegedly shot by unidentified assailants at a parking lot in Chicago, US.The 30-year-old student from Hyderabad was shot at Albany Park area on December 6, according to an NDTV report. He has been seriously injured and is currently hospitalised in critical condition.The victim, Mohammed Akbar, has suffered bullet injuries on his cheek, according to his family.Also readKansas man indicted on ‘hate crime’ charges for killing Indian national Srinivas KuchibhotlaAkbar has gone to US to pursue higher studies and is doing his masters in computer science at DeVry University.The victim’s family has sought for Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s help on the matter. They have asked for Swaraj’s help on issuing an emergency travel visa to United States. They had also asked for Telengana home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy’s help to raise the issue with the concerned US authorities.The nature of the incident is not yet known and if it is hate crime incident in US. In February this year, an engineer from Hyderabad, Srinivas Kuchibolta, was shot dead and his two friends were seriously injured in United States’ Kansas by a Navy man who yelled “get out of my country”.

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Mom, wife can meet Kulbhushan Jadhav on Dec 25: Pakistan

Pakistan has allowed the wife and the mother of former India navy officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, to meet him on December 25 in a Pakistani jail. Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage and terrorism.In a letter sent to the External Affairs Ministry here, Pakistan Foreign Office has suggested that Jadhav’s family can meet him on Christmas. The development has come right when Pakistan was supposed to submit its response to India’s accusation that the country violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav.The Pak response has to be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 13.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed on Friday that Pakistan will grant visa to both the mother and the wife of Jadhav. Earlier on November 10, Pakistan had agreed to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him. India has been pressing Pakistan to grant a visa to his mother Avantika as well, on humanitarian grounds.”We also raised concerns about the safety and security of Jadhav’s kin in Pakistan,” Swaraj tweeted. The minister further said she has spoken to Jadhav’s mother Avantika about the development.Describing it as a positive development, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan has also permitted an Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s wife and mother during their trip. The diplomat will be present during their meeting in the jail. When queried whether allowing Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s relatives in jail meant granting consular access, Kumar said it was too early to predict the nature of the access.Jadhav had filed an appeal with Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending. In October, the Pakistan Army had said it was close to a decision on Jadhav’s mercy petition.According to Pakistan, its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, last year, after he reportedly entered the area from Iran. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he planned to start a business after retiring from the Indian Navy.After India approached ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case. The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its response by December 13, before the court could start further proceedings. Pakistan is now expected to inform the ICJ that since it has agreed to provide consular access to the prisoner, India’s plea at the world court be declared infructuous.

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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.

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SCO Summit: Terrorism can’t, shouldn’t be linked with any religion, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion as she urged the international community to enhance cooperation to combat the scourge which is a “crime against the entire humanity”.Swaraj, who is here to attend the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) — a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO — said that India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. India is attending the SCO summit as a permanent member for the first time. In June, India and Pakistan had become full-fledged members of the SCO. “My congratulations to Pakistan for becoming the full member of SCO,” Swaraj said.”This meeting has a special significance for India because it is the first meeting of the Council, after India became the full member of the SCO. Furthermore, it is being hosted by our old and trusted friend Russia. “I bring warm greetings and best wishes from our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the success of this meeting,” the minister said. Swaraj said that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism. “We are determined to consistently strengthen cooperation within the SCO framework, and to work together, to seek comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.Also readSushma Swaraj leaves for 4-day visit to Russia to attend SCO summit”We must reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group. It is a crime against the entire humanity,” she said while addressing the 16th meeting of Council of SCO heads of governments. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also present during the summit. India urges all nations to enhance cooperation in intelligence sharing, law enforcement, developing best practices and technologies, mutual legal assistance, extradition arrangements, capacity building amongst other measures for countering terrorism, Swaraj said. The minister said that connectivity with SCO countries is India’s priority.”We want connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between our societies. For this, respect for sovereignty is essential. Inclusivity, transparency and sustainability are imperative,” Swaraj said. Connectivity with Afghanistan is an important priority sector for India, and has improved with the operationalisation of the Air Freight Corridor between Kabul, Kandahar and New Delhi this past June, she said. “Greater involvement of the Central Asian countries in the economic development of Afghanistan especially through enhanced trade, investment and connectivity would serve the purpose of consolidating peace and security in our region,” the minister said.The annual SCO summit is being held in the Russian city of Sochi on November 30 and December 1.On economy, Swaraj said that challenges before the global economy continue to persist. “Slowdown in the world economy accompanied with increasing tide of protectionism and policy uncertainties will require measures of matching proportions. “In the background of sluggish economic growth in the world, India’s economic growth is expected to accelerate in the long-term and we would like the other SCO members to be part of India’s growth story,” she added.As an SCO member, India is expected to have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region. India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China. India had been an observer at the SCO since 2005. It has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region. The SCO had set the ball rolling to make India a member of the bloc during its summit in Ufa, Russia, in July 2015.
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Gujarat elections 2017 | PM Modi to speak to 5,500 block-level Mahila workers

To deepen the outreach of BJP among women, who are believed to be a caste neutral constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly speak to 5500 block-level workers of Gujarat BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday.The move comes at a time when caste is ringing louder in Assembly election campaign of Gujarat and BJP’s rival Congress has sewn up an umbrella alliance with various caste and tribe leaders from among the OBC, Dalit, tribal and assertive Patel community.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well, women are said to have played an important role in BJP’s stupendous victory and the party has never been shy of flaunting its work towards empowering the women.Ironically, both Congress and BJP have together fielded only 21 candidates in the Assembly polls of Guajrat this time, which, constitute of around percent of total votes.Of the 977 candidates contesting for the first phase of polls only 57 are women. BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Bupendra Yadav said that Modi will interact with 5500 block level workers of BJP Mahila Morcha in the state between 4.30 to 5 PM after they complete download of NaMo App by 4.30 on December 1. “The Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with them,” Yadav said. A party source said that Modi could also some of the questions during what is supposed to be a live video call.The BJP has been highlighting its contributions like PM Modi naming Anandiben Patel, a woman as Chief Minister of Gujrat when he demitted office after 2014 Lok Sabha polls to become Prime Minister.Sumitra Mahajan becoming Lok Sabha Speaker and Modi government giving two top portolios in the South Bloc—External Affiars Ministry to Sushma Swaraj and Defence Ministry to Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom are also now members of the coveted Cabinet Committee on Security, are also highlighted by the BJP leaders.The BJP has also sought to reach out to Muslim women with its repeated assertion of support to the abolition of the practice of triple talaq. The government has also announced to discuss the issue in upcoming Winter session.During the interaction with BJP Mahila workers, the Prime Minister is expected to do a pep talk and encourage them to reach out to women in larger numbers.This is the first time in last two decades that BJP is seeing a keen contest in Gujarat.BJP leaders during interactions in Gujarat have repeatedly highlighted the schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Common Service Centre involving 33,000 women, 50 percent reservation in panchayat and other such decisions as Modi government’s push towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment.On October 14, Swaraj interacted with one lakh women from across Gujarat in a Mahila Town Hall programme in Ahmedabad, which was hosted by BJP Gujarat Mahila Morcha via video conferencing as well as in person. Gujarat Mahila Morcha has also held a large number conferences in the run up to Gujarat polls.When Rahul Gandhi in October kicked up a controversy with his “women in shorts” not seen in RSS remarks, BJP’s female ministers including Swaraj were in the fore front, dubbing Gandhi’s remarks as “insult” to women.At a rally in Ahmedabad on October 14, Swaraj had reminded Gandhi that BJP had given four women chief ministers and four women governors to the country and that there are six women who were cabinet ministers in the BJP-led government.Swaraj, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Guajrat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and cine star turned Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini figure in the list of BJP star campaigners.Anandiben Patel, is, however, yet to campaign anywhere. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and film star turned politician Nagma figure in the list of star campaigners.
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Sushma Swaraj leaves for 4-day visit to Russia to attend SCO summit

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today left for the Russian city of Sochi to attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO.The annual SCO summit will be held on November 30 and December 1 and it is likely to discuss issues relating to the regional security scenario including situation in the Gulf and Afghanistan.In June, India and Pakistan had become full-fledged members of the SCO.In the summit, India is likely to press for concerted regional and global efforts to contain terrorism.”EAM @SushmaSwaraj leaves for Sochi, Russia to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government Meeting home to 42 % of world’s population and 20% of its GDP. India became a full member of SCO on June 9, 2017,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the SCO summit in June in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan.Last week, Kumar had said Swaraj will have bilateral meetings with several leaders on the sidelines of the summit.Asked whether she will have bilateral meetings with the Pakistan Foreign Minister or call on Chinese premier Li Keqiang, Kumar had said her schedule is still being finalised.”At this stage we cannot say anything,” he had said. Swaraj will return on December 2.As an SCO member, India is expected to have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region.India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China.India had been an observer at the SCO since 2005. It has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.The SCO had set the ball rolling to make India a member of the bloc during its summit in Ufa, Russia, in July 2015.
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Ex-AAP leader Yogendra Yadav says party kept double accounts, dodged tax authorities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav today attacked the AAP over the IT notice issued to it, alleging that the Kejriwal-led party kept double accounts, concealed information and dodged tax authorities.Yadav, however, noted that the notice was also a political vendatta against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).”Of course its vendetta. But a party that took on the entire political system should have known better. IT notice on solid grounds: AAP kept double accounts, concealed info from public and dodged tax authorities. Exposes AAP hypocrisy on financial probity and transparency,” Yadav tweeted.The Income Tax Department has charged the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with taking “hawala entries” worth Rs 2 crore from a Delhi-based operative and revoked the tax exemption given to it for being a political party, for the assessment year 2015- 16. The taxman, according to the penalty notice, has alleged that the Kejriwal-led party in power in Delhi “incorrectly disclosed the hawala money as voluntary donations”. The department slapped these charges on AAP in its assessment order issued to the party last week and determined the total taxable income of AAP at Rs 68.44 crore with a corresponding income tax of Rs 30.67 crore for AY 2015-16.
ALSO READ AAP served IT notice of Rs 30 crores, Kejriwal calls it ‘political vendetta’ Reacting to the notice Kejriwal had termed it as the “height of political vendetta”. Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, former AAP leaders, had questioned the funding of the AAP before they were ousted from the party in April 2015.

GES 2017: Ivanka Trump main attraction, to share stage with PM Modi in Hyderabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city is all set to host the eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will be inaugurated by Prime Minster Narendra Modi tomorrow.Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman and Suresh Prabhu will be attending the summit, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today told reporters here at a joint press conference with US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster.After the inauguration, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump and Indian Defence Minister Sitharaman will be participating in a panel discussion on opening up of opportunities for women entrepreneurs, Kant said.The discussion will be moderated by John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus CISCO, he said.
ALSO READ PM Modi and Ivanka Trump to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 10,000 security personnel to be deployedIvanka will lead a delegation from the US at the three- day event. The closing session of the GES will bring together key influencers who support, promote and fund women entrepreneurs, Kant said.The closing session will be moderated by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, he said.
ALSO READ Ivanka Trump ‘excited’ to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit, PM Modi looks forward to welcome herExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also participate in the GES, he said.More than 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel, will be represented by their all-women delegation at the summit, Kant said.With the theme of ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’, this will be the first GES in which women are expected to be majority (52.5 per cent) of the participants, he said.The theme of this year’s summit demonstrates the commitment of the US and the Indian governments to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive, he said.”Women entrepreneurs help drive innovation and job creation as well as address the world’s greatest and most critical challenges,” Kant said.Replying to a query, Juster lauded Modi for the recent World Bank’s ranking of India on the ease of doing business.”The important point is that the economic reform process will obviously increase US investments (in India),” he said.He, however, said the investment decisions are made by the private sector and are driven by market forces.On the GES, Juster said both India and the US focus on innovation and events like this will boost the process further in this regard.Refusing to speak on the recent H1B visa issue in the US, Juster said his country is doing a comprehensive review of the visa policy, which is yet to be announced.He, however, said the visa policy is not specific to any country and is aimed at attracting talent and innovation to the US.A number of leading female voices will speak at various plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including tennis champion Sania Mirza, Google’s Vice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield, and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob.The three-day GES will be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

Take action against erring recruitment agents: Sushma Swaraj urges Punjab CM

Updated: Nov 5, 2017, 11:23 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said she has requested Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to file criminal cases against recruitment agents who allegedly mislead and cheat people.Swaraj said she has also asked the Protector General of Emigrants, the authority responsible for protecting the interest of Indian workers going abroad, to proceed against all such recruitment agents. “I have requested @capt_amarinder to register criminal cases and proceed against all Recruitment agents who mislead and cheat our citizens,” the minister said in a tweet.There have been cases of fraud against certain recruitment agents who allegedly exploit local people going abroad in the search of greener pastures. “I have also asked @ProtectorGenGOI to proceed against all such Recruitment agents,” Swaraj said.

Attack on Sikh boy in US: Sushma Swaraj asks Indian Embassy for report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Indian Embassy in Washington over a Sikh boy being allegedly beaten by two students on a sidewalk near Kentridge High School in Washington State.”I have seen news reports about the beating of a Sikh boy in US. I have asked @IndianEmbassyUS to send me a report on the incident,” Swaraj said in a tweet.According to The News Tribune, a teenage boy followed the victim and knocked him to the ground with a punch.The victim was there after punched several more times as he tried to protect his head and crawl away.The local Sikh community has responded to the incident with outrage.The victim’s father claimed that his son was targeted because he was a Sikh.However, school officials said the attack was not religiously or racially motivated, but was instead a continuation of an earlier classroom dispute

Attack on Indian student in Milan case of robbery, not racist attack: Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian students have been assaulted in a string of incidents in northern Italy, the Indian Consulate in Milan has said.The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Milan yesterday issued an advisory to Indian students and asked them not to panic.”The Consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan,” according to the advisory posted on Twitter.The advisory did not mention if the attacks on Indian students appeared to be racially motivated.The CGI advised Indian students to be in touch with each other, especially when they go out.It also advised students to spread information among other students from India about the areas where they have experienced “such incidents” so that such areas can be avoided.In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had received a detailed report about the incidents.Swaraj said she was personally monitoring the situation and asked the students not to worry.”Attack on Indian students in Milan: I have got the detailed report. Please do not worry. I am monitoring the situation personally,” Swaraj tweeted.Swaraj also said that she has spoken to a victim.”He has told me that this was a case of robbery and not a racial attack,” she said, while appreciating the Indian Consulate in Milan for providing all help.

Indian students attacked in Milan, Sushma Swaraj says monitoring situation personally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said she was personally monitoring the situation in the incident of attack on Indian students in Milan. “Attack on Indian students in Milan: I have got the detailed report. Please do not worry. I am monitoring the situation personally. @cgmilan1,” Swaraj said in a Tweet.Indian students have been assaulted in a string of incidents in northern Italy, the Indian Consulate in Milan has said.The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Milan has issued an advisory to Indian students and asked them not to panic.”The Consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan,” according to the advisory posted on Twitter.The CGI advised Indian students to be in touch with each other, especially when they go out.It also advised students to spread information among other students from India about the areas where they have experienced “such incidents” so that such areas can be avoided.

India sends 1st wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj along with Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani and Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif through a joint video conference on Sunday flagged off the first shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan circumventing Pakistan, which has been refusing to provide a corridor. The wheat will be transhipped through the Chabahar port in Iran. The shipment is part of India’s commitment to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan on grant basis.The Foreign Ministers welcomed the fact that this will be the first shipment to reach Afghanistan through the Chabahar port after the trilateral agreement on establishment of international transport and transit corridor was signed. It was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in May 2016. Six more wheat shipments will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months. The two ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to continue their cooperation for the benefit and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan and the region.Indian officials described it as a landmark moment that will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan. Swaraj reiterated India’s continued commitment to support reconstruction, capacity building, and socio-economic development of Afghanistan, including under the framework of the New Development Partnership that she had jointly announced with Foreign Minister Rabbani last month during the meeting of India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council.She said the people of India, Afghanistan and Iran have been connected for centuries. There is shared commonalities of art and culture, ideas and knowledge, and language and traditions. She said mentioned that the current government is rejuvenating these connects and commonalities. “I am extremely delighted that today we have joined on a momentous occasion for the people of our three countries and the region,” Swaraj said, terming the move as an important step in realising the shared aspiration to carve out “new routes” of peace and prosperity.THE FIRST ONEThis will be the first shipment to reach Afghanistan through the Chabahar port after the trilateral agreement on establishment of international transport and transit corridor was signed.

India is very safe for tourists, very few incidents take place: Tourism Minister Alphons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending India post attack on tourists in Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons said that country is very safe for tourists. Alphons said that very few such incidents are reported every year. Speaking to ANI, Alphons also cited instances from other countries to drive home his point. He said, ” Shooting incidents happen regularly in USA& terror attacks in Europe,do we call those countries unsafe to travel?”. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government and sent her officials to see a young Swiss couple with a skull fracture and a broken arm after they were attacked at Fatehpur Sikri near Agra . The police arrested fivepersons for the brutal attack that sparked widespread outrage on Thursday with two other senior central ministers reacting sharply — one of them seeking immediate action and the other calling the incident a matter of shame. The Swiss Embassy has also reached out to the victims. The police said four men made lewd comments to Quentin Jeremy Clerc and his female friend Marie Droz, asked for selfies and later threw stones at them. The couple was also attacked with sticks. Clerc had a fractured skull, while Droz’s arm was broken in the attack. “I have just seen this. I have asked for a report from the state government. My officers will reach them (the couple) in the hospital,” Swaraj said on Twitter on Thursday. The crime came to light a day after the conclusion of the ‘Paryatan Parv’, India’s biggest tourism festival. The attack was described as a “matter of shame” by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who held the Tourism portfolio before a recent reshuffle.
ALSO READ Swiss couple attacked in Fatehpur Sikri: 5 arrested, Centre and UP govt condemn incidentThe Swiss Embassy also reached out to the couple which was attacked a day after a trip to the Taj Mahal. “In the framework of consular protection services, the Embassy is providing support to them. For reasons of privacy and data protection, the Embassy cannot communicate any further information in this regard.” Clerc, 24, came to India on September 30 with Droz, also 24. Doctors at Apollo Hospital in Delhi where the couple has been admitted said that they were recovering.

Swiss couple attacked in Fatehpur Sikri: 5 arrested, Centre and UP govt condemn incident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A young Swiss tourist couple was attacked by five youths in Agra’s Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh leaving them battered and bruised after which all of them were nabbed, police said today.As the Centre and the UP government condemned the attack on Sunday, doctors said Quentin Jeremy Clerc, 24, who came to India on September 30 with his female friend Marie Droz, also 24, are on the way to recovery.UP Secretary (Home) Bhagwan Swarup tonight said that five people were found to be involved in the incident.
ALSO READ Swiss couple attacked in Fatehpur Sikhri: Yogi Adityanath orders probe”All five have been arrested/apprehended. Prima facie, two appear be major and the rest three minors,” he said in a statement.Dr Rajendra Prasad, neurosurgeon at the Apollo Hospital in Delhi where the couple was admitted, said Clerc has been shifted to the ward from the ICU. He said Droz has a fracture in her arm but has been discharged after treatment.
ALSO READ Swiss couple brutally thrashed in Fatehpur Sikri, Sushma Swaraj seeks report from UP government”We have moved him(Clerc) out of the ICU into a room. He is having a hearing problem otherwise he is conscious and talking,” said Prasad, adding it is difficult to say at this stage whether he has suffered permanent hearing damage.”He’s improving but we will have to see in the long term,” he said.Prasad said the duo is in a state of shock and that Droz is at present with her male friend.The couple from Lausanne in Switzerland was chased and attacked on Sunday with stones and sticks by a group of four youths in the tourist town of Fatehpur Sikri, about 40 km from Agra, according to media accounts of the incident.”The Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi confirms that two Swiss citizens were attacked in India,” the Embassy said in a statement, adding, “In the framework of consular protection services, the Embassy is providing support to them.For reasons of privacy and data protection, the Embassy cannot communicate any further information in this regard.” UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was in Agra to visit Taj Mahal in an apparent damage control exercise following the controversy over its place in Indian heritage set off by BJP leaders, said two attackers have been arrested.”Two attackers have been arrested, and strict action will be taken against those (other people) involved in the attack,” he told reporters in Agra.”We have given instructions to police to strictly deal with such people. Our government will not accept such incidents,” he added.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought a report from the UP government on the attack and said the government is monitoring the progress of Clerc and Droz.In a series of tweets, the minister said, “our Joint Secretary S Bhattacharjee and Indian Ambassador designate to Switzerland C B George met Swiss nationals Clerc and Marie Droz in hospital this morning”.She also tweeted that these officials spoke to the concerned doctors who told them that while Droz has been discharged, Clerc is improving.Union Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons dashed off a letter to Yogi Adityanath, saying the incident could have a negative impact on the image of the country.Alphons said he was “deeply concerned” over the attack.”A fast and speedy response in identifying and ensuring speedy action, including conviction of the guilty, would be reassuring, as also a good message of our efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” the minister wrote.Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who held the tourism portfolio before the recent reshuffle and who played a significant role in organising the ‘Paryatan Parv’, also said the incident was a matter of shame for the country. The incident came to light a day after the conclusion of the ‘Paryatan Parv’, India’s biggest tourism festival which is aimed at increasing the tourist footfall in the country.”I condemn the attack on the foreign tourists. It is unfortunate and should not have happened. It is a matter of shame for us,” he told PTI in Delhi.Additional Director General (ADG) Crime Chandra Prakash told reporters in Lucknow that on October 22 someone informed Dial 100 about the incident after which the couple was admitted to a primary health centre and later to a private hospital in Agra.”As the couple did not lodge any FIR, police suo motu lodged an NCR (non-cognisable report) in the matter,” he said, adding that after medical report found a fracture in the arm of one of the tourists, relevant sections of the IPC were included in the FIR.Asked about the accused, the ADG said, “Initial reports said that some of them are minor. But as probe is on, it will not be fair to disclose their names.”The couple was quoted as saying in a media report that they were strolling near the railway station at Fatehpur Sikri after a day in Agra when a group of youths started following them and later attacked.

Swiss couple attacked in Fatehpur Sikhri: Yogi Adityanath orders probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the aftermath of the Fatehpur Sikri Swiss couple attack, the Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday assured that an accused has been arrested from Rajasthan and efforts are on to nab others. ‘We have arrested one person and efforts are on to nab others. The accused has been arrested from Rajasthan,’ ADG Crime C. Prakash told the media. UP CM Yogi Adityanath also ordered strict action against those involved in the Fathepur incident.Earlier in the day, an FIR was registered against four unknown people.
ALSO READ Taj Mahal is our responsibility, don’t politicise my Agra visit, says Yogi AdityanathMeanwhile, the Union Tourism Minister, K.J. Alphons, on Thursday wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressing his concern over the incident, in which the Swiss couple was allegedly harassed in Agra‘I am deeply concerned that two Switzerland citizens were attacked and injured at Fathehpur Sikri yesterday. You would kindly appreciate that such incidents negatively impact our image and are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination. A fast and speedy response in identifying and ensuring a speedy action including conviction of the guilty would be reassuring, as also a good message of our efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents,’ the letter read.
ALSO READ What happened to anti-Romeo squads? Akhilesh slams Adityanath govt over attack on tourists at Fatehpur SikriThe Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi said, ‘In the framework of consular protection services, the Embassy is providing support to them. For reasons of privacy and data protection, the Embassy cannot communicate any further information in this regard.’The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials today met the couple at the Apollo Hospital in Delhi.
ALSO READ Swiss couple brutally thrashed in Fatehpur Sikri, Sushma Swaraj seeks report from UP governmentEAM Sushma Swaraj also sought for a report from the Uttar Pradesh Government over the alleged harassment.Swaraj added that she would also reach the hospital the couple is admitted in.In a tweet, she said, “I have just seen this. I have asked for a report from the State Government. My officers will reach them in the hospital.”In a report surfaced in a newspaper, a couple from Lausanne in Switzerland was allegedly brutally thrashed by a group of youth in Agra’s Fatehpur Sikri on Sunday.The duo was reportedly seriously injured in the attack and is currently admitted in a hospital in Delhi.The Swiss pair has alleged that they were followed by a group of people while ambling near the railway station.Later, the group started passing comments at them and forced the couple to stop and take selfies. The group’s harassment soon turned violent and they suffered critical injuries. With inputs from agencies

Swiss couple brutally thrashed in Fatehpur Sikri, Sushma Swaraj seeks report from UP government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought report from the Uttar Pradesh government in connection with the brutal assault of a young couple from Switzerland in Fatehpur Sikri.The Union Minister, who is known for her prompt replies on Twitter, said that she has asked the UP government to submit a report in the case. “My officers will reach them in the hospital,” Swaraj said in another tweet.The incident took place on Sunday when Quentin Jeremy Clerc and his girlfriend Marie Droz were attacked outside the railway station in Fatehpur Sikri.According to a Times of India report, the attackers not only chased and harassed the couple, they also thrashed them so severely that Clerc suffered a skull injury and Droz’ arm was broken and she got multiple bruises.’The boys wouldn’t stop walking along despite our protests. All the while they kept taking pictures and trying to get close to Marie. From whatever little we could understand, they were asking our names and the place where we had put up in Agra. They were harassing us. They asked us to accompany them to some place, which we refused. A little after stones and sticks began to rain on me. When Marie intervened, she, too, wasn’t spared,’ Clerc was quoted as saying by the Times of India.Though an arrest has been made in the case, but the incident brings back the focus on safety of foreign tourists in India.The months from October to March are a traditional tourist season in India with millions visiting various historical places. Fatehpur Sikri is the historical city that was founded by Mughal empror Akbar in 16th century.

US will provide India with best tech for military modernisation: Rex Tillerson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her US counterpart Rex Tillerson also discussed further strengthening of the Indo-US strategic partnership and collaboration on security and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region.She said the two sides have agreed to hold the inaugural meeting of 2+2 dialogue at an early date. The 2+2 dialogue involves talks between the defence and the external affairs ministers.”We also reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded commerce in accordance with international laws in order to achieve a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Swaraj said in a joint press conference with Tillerson here, without any reference to China.On his part, Tillerson said the US also looks for further cooperation in the broader Indo-Pacific region as both India and the US promote a rules-based and sustainable approach towards economic development.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US will provide India with best technologies for its military modernisation which include offers to supply F-16 and F-18 fighter jets.After holding wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tillerson said the US supports India’s emergence as a “leading power” and it will continue to help New Delhi strengthen its military capability.”The US supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to the Indian capability to provide security throughout the region,” he said addressing a joint press conference with Swaraj.In the talks, both the sides deliberated extensively on further enhancing bilateral defence and security ties as well as ways to deal with challenge of terrorism in the region.”We are willing to provide India best technologies for its military modernisation efforts which include ambitious offers by American industry for F-16 and F-18 fighter planes,” said Tillerson.Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a bilateral meeting with US Defence Secretary James Mattis on the sidelines of a meeting of ASEAN defence ministers in Clark in the Philippines.A host of issues relating to defence and security cooperation was discussed at the meeting, officials said here.Swaraj appreciated the US administration’s intent to make available to India advance defence platforms, adding New Delhi was looking forward to making further progress in this area.”We believe that further liberalisation of the legal framework and full implementation of the bilateral understanding on India’s Major Defence Partner status will facilitate co-production and co-development,” she said.India was granted the ‘Major Defence Partner’ status by the previous Barack Obama Administration, providing for transfer of technology and deeper cooperation in the defence sector.”We have also agreed to hold the inaugural meeting of 2+2 Dialogue Mechanism at an early date. We also agreed to encourage industrial partnerships between our defence companies,” she said.The new 2+2 format will involve India’s External Affairs Minister, the US secretary of state, the Indian defence minister and the US defence secretary.Mattis had visited India last month, in first cabinet- level visit to India under the Trump Administration, and both sides then had decided to accelerate the pace of India-US defence cooperation.After the visit, Mattis had said there is a “generational opportunity” between the two largest democracies of the world to work together.The defence and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing.The Trump Administration had last month told the US Congress that defence cooperation with India would be an important pillar in the bilateral relationship as it needs the country to be a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region.It had also informed the Congress that it “strongly supports” transfers of F-18 and F-16 fighter proposals put forth by Boeing and Lockheed Martin respectively. Both the companies have offered to assemble these planes in India.Last year, India and the US had signed a crucial logistics defence pact enabling their militaries to use each other’s assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, making joint operations more efficient.

India will retain North Korean embassy to keep channels open: Sushma Swaraj to Tillerson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tillerson held talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj as part of a new effort by the Trump administration to deepen economic and strategic ties, as a way to balance China’s growing clout across Asia.Both sides pledged to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation and Tillerson said Washington stood ready to provide India with advanced military technologies.”The United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region,” Tillerson told a joint news conference with Swaraj.Swaraj said the issue of India’s diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea came up during the talks but she conveyed to the top U.S. diplomat that some level of diplomatic presence was necessary.”As far as the question of embassy goes, our embassy there is very small, but there is in fact an embassy,” she said.
ALSO READ Such a simple man: Rex Tillerson bowled over by Mahatma Gandhi’s aura and simplicity”I told Secretary Tillerson that some of their friendly countries should maintain embassies there so that some channels of communication are kept open.”India and North Korea maintain diplomatic offices in each other’s capitals, though New Delhi recently banned trade of most goods with the country, except food or medicine. Trade was minimal, Swaraj said.
ALSO READ India and US are natural allies, stand shoulder to shoulder against terror, says Rex Tillerson after meeting Sushma SwarajThe focus on North Korea comes as U.S. President Donald Trump heads to China next month, where he is expected to urge President Xi Jinping to make good on his commitments to pressure North Korea.SHOULDER TO SHOULDERTillerson landed in New Delhi on Tuesday night after a day-trip to India’s arch rival, Pakistan, which he called an important U.S. ally in the restive region that includes war-torn Afghanistan.On Wednesday, he said Washington was concerned about the stability of the Pakistan government against militant groups and that it stood with India in the fight against terror.”In the fight against terrorism the United States will stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorists’ safe havens will not be tolerated.”India has long blamed Pakistan for failing to act against militant groups operating from its soil, a concern shared by the United States and the Afghan government trying to fight Taliban insurgents who they say are also sheltered in northwest Pakistan.Tillerson’s visit comes a week after he made a speech in Washington about the United States wanting to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with India, which it sees as a key partner in the face of what he considers to be negative Chinese influence in Asia.”This visit could not come at a more promising time for the U.S.-India partnership, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of relations between our two countries and look forward to co-hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in (the Indian city of) Hyderabad next month,” Alice G. Wells, a senior U.S. state department official, wrote in a blogpost. (http://bit.ly/2yMLPpa)Tillerson, who toured India on several occasions as an oil executive before joining President Donald Trump’s government this year, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Wednesday.Fast-growing India is already a major market for the United States, with bilateral trade last year standing at around $115 billion, which the two countries aim to raise to $500 billion by 2022.

India and US are natural allies, stand shoulder to shoulder against terror, says Rex Tillerson after meeting Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and reiterated Washington’s support for New Delhi.Tillerson, who is visiting India for the first time, said that India and US are natural allies.In a veiled attack against Pakistan, Tillerson said that terror safe havens won’t be tolerated.Addressing media after the meeting, Sushma Swaraj also said the leaders discussed bilateral, regional and global issues to further strengthen bonds of friendship.Hitting out at Pakistan, Swaraj said, “President Trump’s policy on terrorism can only succeed when Pakistan takes action on terror groups.”She also said that the crucial issue of H1-B visas was also discussed.The foreign minister also said that India, Afghanistan and the Us will also hold a trilateral meeting later in December. Rex Tillerson is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the day and conclude his trip. He will fly back to Washington DC on Thursday morning. The visit is very crucial for both India and the US as it would set tone for new geostrategic ties in Asia.“China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the international, rules-based order even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations’ sovereignty,” Tillerson had said in a last week’s speech at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Sushma Swaraj in Bangladesh: MEA opens India’s new chancery complex in Dhaka

Updated: Oct 23, 2017, 12:34 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj opened the new chancery complex of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Monday on the last day of her Bangladesh visit.Swaraj lit a candle to mark the opening of the huge complex at Dhaka’s Baridhara diplomatic enclave while the High Commission was previously operating from a house in Gulshan area of the city.During the ceremony, she also inaugurated 15 development projects of Bangladesh being funded by India.Bangladesh Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali, Health Minister Mohamad Nasim, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s political affairs adviser H T Imam among others joined the ceremony.Swaraj will return to New Delhi later today wrapping up her Dhaka visit, the second since assuming office in 2014.​

Swaraj in Bangladesh: EAM says combating terror major challenge, says deeply concerned with violence in Rakhine

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday co-chaired the fourth Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali.Both leaders reviewed various aspects of bilateral relations. External Affairs Minister was greeted by Bangladesh Foreign Minister and the High Commissioner of India Harsh Shringla on her arrival in Dhaka earlier today.Swaraj, who is on two-day visit, will also be meeting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This is Swaraj’s second visit to Bangladesh. She last visited the country in 2014.Later addressing the press, Swaraj highlighted the issues discussed by JCC. She said, ” We discussed common challenges, one such challenge is that of terrorism, radicalisation & extremism. We will continue to fight this scourge together and along with other like minded countries.We are determined to protect our societies from threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror by adopting a zero tolerance policy and a comprehensive approach in fighting violent extremism and terrorism at all levels.”Swaraj also said: External Affairs Minister also weighed in on the existing Rohinhya crisis. She said that India is deeply concerned with the spate of violence in Rakhine state. EAM said that India has urged for the situation to be handled with restraint, keeping in mind welfare of the people. Regarding long-term solution, Swaraj said, “It is clear that normalcy will only be restored with the return of the displaced persons to Rakhine state. The only long term solution to the situation in Rakhine State is rapid socio-economic and infrastructure development. that would have a positive impact on all the communities living in the state”. Bangladesh has asked for the global community to chip in with help after huge influx of Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing Rakhine state of Myanmar. India so far has taken a hard stance on Rohingya Muslims issue, with Centre telling SC in an affidavit that they are potential security threats. With ANI inputs

Sushma Swaraj urges Indian mission to grant medical visa to Pakistani boy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has directed the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to issue a visa to a Pakistani child for medical treatment in India.The child’s father, Kashif, had requested Swaraj on Twitter to grant medical visa for treatment of Abdullah, saying he needed post-liver transplant evaluation in India.”The treatment of your child must not suffer for want of medicine. I have asked Indian High Commission to issue medical visa. @ChachaKashif,” the minister tweeted yesterday.Kashif had said the child’s medicines were about to finish and he needed immediate medical consultation in India.In another tweet, Swaraj said a medical visa has also been approved for a Pakistani woman, who wants to undergo liver surgery in India.The woman’s son, Rafique Memon, had requested Swaraj to intervene and grant visa to his mother.Swaraj also responded positively to a request by Nazir Ahmed that his eight-year-old child Mohammad Ahmed is awaiting medical visa for a year.”We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your 8- year-old child in India,” she said.Swaraj has been taking a sympathetic approach in granting medical visas to Pakistani nationals, notwithstanding strain in ties between India and Pakistan over a host of issues, including cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.​

Navy’s P8I aircraft joins hunt for missing Indian sailors off Philippines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Navy’s P8I, a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft has reached Manila and joined the search and rescue operation for the missing Indian sailors. 10 Indian crew members went missing after their cargo ship sank in the Pacific off the Philippines last week.The 33,205-tonne cargo ship Emerald Star with 26 Indian nationals on board sank off Okinawa.While 16 Indians were rescued, a search for the missing crew members was launched by Indian missions in the Philippines, Japan and China to locate them.”Indian Embassy in Japan has informed me that a helicopter and 2 patrol vessels of Japan Coast Guard are engaged in search/rescue operations,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a series of tweets, saidThe minister said the Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft has reached Manila and joined the search and rescue operation for the missing Indians. P8I is a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.Five Indian crew members of ‘Emerald Star’ are in Irene, the Philippines, and the country’s mission is bringing them to Manila before repatriation to India.

Sushma Swaraj tries to woo Gujarat voters through development agenda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addressed women in Gujarat on Saturday through a programme termed Townhall, organised by the BJP in the city. One lakh women across Gujarat were connected to Swaraj through a live two-way communication from 32 centres in the state, and through social media platforms too. The event aimed at attracting the attention of women voters towards the party before the Assembly polls.Swaraj could take 17 questions and women from Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Surat, and other towns asked questions related to women development, triple talaq, terrorism, financial and other social issues. Here are some picks:1) Why did it take 70 years for Triple Talaq to become issue of social concern in India? (Ayesha Javed Khambhatwala)In fact it took 1,300 years and that was because of a mindset, especially when it was attached with vote bank politics and it was difficult to resolve it amid that condition. It was a misfortune for the Indian society that the party which remained in power for the past 70 years did not show concern for the issue. Some people said that Triple Talaq was an issue of Shariyat so it never became a concern. Anyways, better late than never and hundreds and thousands of women in India have got relief from this inhuman system. In Hinduism, there were several social reforms brought by thinkers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Jyotiba Fule.2) You could succeed in building international pressure on Pakistan over the issue of terrorism when you spoke in the UN assembly. But why could the Indian government not control Pakistan-sponsored terrorism yet?(Sakshi Sharma)The issue of terrorism can be solved in two ways, and those are strategic and warfare. We succeeded to put international pressure on Pakistan by a recent convention of the United Nations and that was strategic method. While surgical strike was the warfare that India conducted to teach a lesson to Pakistan.3) Rahul Gandhi made remarks over no representation of women in the RSS, what is your viewpoint on that? (Keyuri)Had Rahul posed the questions directly without any reference or obscene words, I would have answered him. I do not want to react on obscene comments he made.4) Is the expense on the bullet train worth it when there are mammoth challenges before India?If you are referring this issue with the financial concern, India is going to get soft loan with negligible interest from Japan for bullet train so its cost would not become burden on Indian economy. When entire world have progressed and have network of bullet train, it is also needed in India to give a push to momentum of development. It is not that if bullet train comes, government will stop solving issues.TIP TO RUPANISushma he asked Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani to propagate the schemes of government properly so that women could know it. When Rupani claimed that his government spared Rs 56,000 crore for women in budget, Sushma corrected him and said that the amount was Rs. 3,600 crore. She arrived one hour and fifteen minutes late at the venue. The women who were brought as audience had reached three to four hours before that. Crying children made some women leave the place within the initial 20 minutes.

LK Advani backed Pranab Mukherjee as Prez nominee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a month before BJP named PA Sangma its Presidential nominee to contest against UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee, in June, 2012, LK Advani had favoured Mukherjee as the “unanimous choice” for the post, according to the book penned by Mukherjee.In the book, The Coalition Years 1996-2015, which was released on Friday, Mukherjee says that on May 27, 2012, renowned journalist and MoS for External Affairs MJ Akbar had apprised him of his informal discussions earlier that day with Advani and former Union minister Jaswant Singh regarding his candidature.Mukherjee claims that Akbar insisted that both Advani and Singh were supportive of his candidature. “They had told him (Akbar) that if the Congress officially nominated me, they would extend their support, thus making me the unanimous choice,” Mukherjee says in the book.Interestingly, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, a close confidante of Advani, had in the last week of April, 2012, announced that the BJP will not back Mukherjee’s candidature as he was an active Congress leader.Also, the then NDA ally JDU had formally announced support for Mukherjee’s candidature in the last week of June that year, but Nitish Kumar had distanced himself from Swaraj’s views much earlier.In the period between April and May, despite Swaraj’s categorical remarks, there was intense speculation that Mukherjee could emerge as a consensus candidate.Mukherjee further says in the book that the conversation between Akbar and BJP leaders was not made public, and he thought it was imprudent to do so as the Congress was yet to take a decision in this regard. It was only on May 29 that Congress President’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, informed him that Sonia Gandhi had “perhaps finalised” his name as UPA’s Presidential nominee.The confusion over the issue remained till June 14, when he was told about the party’s decision to nominate him.In the book, Mukherjee also presents an interesting account of how he went to meet the then Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, despite being told by the party to not do so, after the Sena leader announced support for his candidature and invited him for an interaction at his residence.Thackeray later told Mukherjee that he found him “distinctly different from other Congress politicians”. “Sonia Gandhi was not enthusiastic about my meeting with Thackeray and had advised me to avoid it, if possible,” he says, adding that Sharad Pawar’s advice was completely different and he insisted that Mukherjee must meet Thackeray.He further says that when he returned to Delhi afterwards, Congress leader Girija Vyas informed him that Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel were “upset” about his meeting with Thackeray.Mukherjee, who held key portfolios in UPA I and UPA II governments, also briefly mentions the “differences” between him and P. Chidambaram, which had escalated in 2011, when they were Finance Minister and Home Minister, respectively.Noting that Chidambaram entered politics much later than him, Mukherjee recalls that the latter’s second Union Budget, presented in 1997-1998, was not the “dream budget” as it was dubbed, though it “did not exactly morph into a nightmare”. According to Mukherjee, Chidambaram is intellectually sharp and well-informed, though he sometimes “appears to be arrogant” because of his very strong convictions and “style of presentation”.On the front of economy, he says his differences with Chidambaram might have been due to the “differing perspectives on the economy”. In the book, Mukherjee also praises former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao, saying he provided “stellar leadership” to India at a critical juncture.

DNA Evening Reads | Gauri Lankesh’ killers identified; PM Modi in Bihar; Pulwama encounter and Burhan Wani and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Gauri Lankesh murder case: Two suspects identified, SIT releases sketchesThe police said that there are two suspects and sketches were similar because they were made by two artists based on different eyewitness accounts. Read more here2. PM Modi says Nitish Kumar committed to Bihar, praises Patna University studentsPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first time after the the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold. Read more here3. ‘A big success’: LeT commander Waseem Shah killed in Pulwama encounterTop Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning. Read more here4. Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but oneFor Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir. Read more here5. Who said BJP is anti-women? EAM Sushma Swaraj cites cabinet members to counter detractatorsExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday lashed out at BJP’s rivals’ claims that the party was anti-women. Read more here

BMC proposes to shift Dadar fish market

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After following up with the local corporator for the past few months, residents of Swaraj Society in Dadar finally have a reason to smile. According to the residents, the presence of the Dadar fish market adjacent to their building has become a matter of concern.Every year, the residents suffer from infectious diseases like dengue, malaria, and swine flu due to unhygienic conditions of the fish market. In the last week of September this year, a resident lost his life to dengue.Anil Rane, resident of the building, said, “On Wednesday, the BMC’s market department head visited our society and heard out our problems. The residents have been facing traffic issues and suffering from various diseases due to the fish market.After following up with the local corporator for the last few months, we can finally see that some action has been initiated by the civic authority.”According to the BMC authorities, they have already sent a proposal to shift the fish market from the area. Ramakant Biradar, assistant municipal commissioner of G-North ward, said, “We visited the market on Wednesday morning and heard the issues. The proposal to shift the fish market from the area has been submitted to the higher authority. It will most likely be shifted to Mankhurd area from Dadar.”

EAM Sushma Swaraj comes to the rescue again, India to grant medical visas to two Pakistanis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said India will grant medical visas to an ailing Pakistani man requiring liver transplant and a three-year-old girl from the neighbouring country who needs an open-heart surgery.Heeding to a request by Uzair Humayun, a Lahore-based man, Swaraj said medical visa will be given to his daughter for an open-heart surgery in India.”We are issuing visa for the open heart surgery of your three-year-old daughter in India. We also pray for her speedy recovery here,” Swaraj said in a tweet.The external affairs minister also responded positively when Noorma Habib asked for her intervention in granting medical visa to her father who she said needs an urgent liver transplant.”Yes, Noorma. We are allowing visa for the liver transplant of your father in India. We wish him a successful surgery and a long life,” Swaraj tweeted. Swaraj has been sympathetically considering medical visa applications from scores of Pakistani nationals notwithstanding strain in the relationship between the two countries over a host of issues.

Buzz on Anandiben’s increasing importance, but she stays away from party programmes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniyan Swamy said on Friday that former chief minister Anandiben Patel should be reinstated as CM of Gujarat again. Swamy’s statement has created ripples in Gujarat politics, especially in the ambit of the BJP. On the other side, the party is preparing for Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Twitter townhall programme to address the issues of women. Anandiben Patel, as the senior most woman leader in Gujarat BJP, has stayed away from it.Swaraj is going to address women on October 14 in Ahmedabad and women across the state will connect to her through the social media platform from 25 places. The Mahila Morcha(women wing) of Gujarat has been meeting to plan the programme for the past few days but Ben’s absence is clearly seen at the party’s headquarter Shri Kamalam.A leader close to Anandiben Patel said, “Anandiben is working as an independent leader of the BJP and has been given a different role to play in the elections. That is why she is visiting different places and people. She is not the member of the Mahila Morcha and that is why it is not mandatory for her to be there in preparation of the programme, but she has other important duties to play meanwhile.”Anandiben has been visiting different parts of North Gujarat and has also been holding meetings with different people at her residence in Gandhinagar for the past few days.Gujarat president of BJP Mahila Morcha, Jyoti Pandya, said, “Anandiben Patel is our senior leader and she has been guiding us. It is not necessary for her to be seen in the posters of programmes elsewhere.”A senior leader of the party said, “Ever since Amit Shah met Anandiben Patel during the closed-door meeting, it is believed that Anandiben’s importance is increasing and the party is seriously missing her. In BJP, a single person does not decide everything. Important issues are discussed and then decided unanimously in the party forum. Ben becoming the CM depends on the unanimous decision of party’s parliamentary board.”Union minister Ravishankar Prasad announced Swaraj’s townhall programme on Friday from Gujarat’s BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam. Prasad also avoided questions on Anandiben. Patel could not be reached for her reaction.

Sushma Swaraj welcomes Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin for bilateral talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday welcomed the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan here, who is on a three-day official visit to India.The visit, which commenced on Thursday, will culminate on October 7.Ukraine Foreign Minister Klimkin will hold talks with EAM Sushma Swaraj as well as with other high-ranking officials.The visit aims at restoring the bilateral dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.The two countries will discuss preparations for the sixth meeting of the Ukrainian-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical, industrial and cultural cooperation, which is scheduled for the beginning of November.The last visit at the ministerial level between the two countries was made in 2011. ​

Pak rakes up Kashmir issue at UN, India calls it ‘lonely voice from the wilderness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue again at the UN with its envoy accusing India of spreading terrorism in the Valley, drawing a strong reaction from India which described her diatribe as a “lonely voice from the wilderness”.Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, during a debate of the General Assembly, also alleged that India made a “false claim” of conducting surgical strike across the LoC to provoke conflict with Pakistan.She warned New Delhi that “any aggression” by it would receive a “matching and effective response”.”This claim, and India’s repeated threats to conduct such strikes across the LoC, constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter’s injunction against the use or threat of use of force,” Lodhi said during the debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the work of the world body.Continuing her tirade against India on the Kashmir issue, Lodhi alleged, “To cover up its crimes against the Kashmiri people, and to divert world attention, India resorts to daily violation of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir.”Lodhi said the international community represented in the United Nations cannot allow “India impunity to conduct “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir under the “flimsy cover” of combating terrorism.”The only terrorism in Kashmir is India’s state terrorism. State terrorism is, in fact, considered as the gravest form of terrorism by the Non-Aligned Movement, comprising almost two thirds of the General Assembly s membership,” she alleged.Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, exercising the country’s right to reply said, “We have heard a lonely voice from the wilderness articulate a narrative of the past.”Pakistan, Gambhir said, has “focused on a topic that has not even been deliberated upon for decades” at the UN.”An issue which that delegation tries to keep alive by procedural stratagems even while the world has moved on.Yesterday’s people reflecting antiquated mindsets of the bygone times are symbolic of what holds us all back,” she said.The Indian delegation does not wish to “waste the precious time of this August Assembly” in engaging further with such distractions, Gambhir said.Lodhi also said India’s claim of carrying out the surgical strike provides Pakistan “sufficient reason” to respond and exercise its right to self-defence.Lodhi went ahead to warn India, saying it should not “underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself”.The top Pakistani diplomat said that the UN should not “ignore these open threats to use force” by India.The international community should take urgent action to ask India to halt its provocations against Pakistan, she said.During the General Assembly debate last month which was addressed by leaders from more than 100 countries, not a single country supported Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.Unmindful of that, Lodhi reiterated her allegation with regard to non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir.In her address to the UN General Assembly last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had responded to a similar allegation raised by the Pakistani Prime Minister on Un Security Council resolution.”Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the ShimlaAgreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally,” Swaraj had said.

PM Narendra Modi a ‘terrorist’, RSS ‘terrorist organisation’: Pak FM Khawaja Asif

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj hit out at Pakistan over terrorism in her speech at UN General Assembly, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘terrorist, who has the blood of Muslims on his hands’.”Sushma Swaraj has accused us (Pakistan) of exporting terrorism. (However) one terrorist (in India) is the country’s prime minister himself,” Asif said in an interview to Hamid Mir of Geo News.India is being ‘ruled by a terrorist party’ – the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh),” he added.Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi accused India of sponsoring terrorism in various parts of her country. and termed India as the ‘mother of terrorism’ in South Asia.During her speech, Swaraj slammed Pakistan for creating terror groups. “While India made institutes such as IIT, IIM, and AIIMS, Pakistan created terror groups such as LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, and the Haqqani Network. The reality is that Pakistan’s politicians remember everything, manipulate memory according to convenience. They are masters at forgetting facts that destroy their version,” she said.Swaraj also asked Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why India is recognised as a global IT superpower while the neighbour is infamous as the “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.Swaraj had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship since he assumed office. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer,” she had said.Swaraj reminded Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that in December 2015, when she was in Islamabad, a decision was made by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that dialogue between India and Pakistan should be renewed and named it a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue”.

Watch: Sushma Swaraj appeals to people to find Geeta’s parents, offers Rs 1 lakh reward

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj appealed to people to help Geeta, a deaf and mute Indian girl who was brought back from Pakistan in 2015.Almost two years after she was brought back from Pakistan, authorities still haven’t been able to track her parents or relatives.Swaraj said: “I announce that whoever helps us in finding Geeta’s parents will be given Rs 1 lakh as a reward.”Geeta was 7 or 8-years-old when she was found sitting alone in the Samjhauta Express at Lahore station by Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago. She was then adopted by Bilquis Edhi of Edhi Foundations. Her story came to light after the release of Salman Khan- starrer “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, in which the character essayed by Salman reunites a Pakistani girl with her mother.

Don’t blame us for Hafiz Saeeds, they were US darlings 20-30 years ago: Pakistan FM Khawaja Asif

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cornered after a blistering attack by India at the UNGA, Pakistan said that it can’t be ‘blamed for terrorists like Hafiz Saeed’, who masterminded the Mumbai terror attack, saying Washington had considered these men ‘darlings’.Pakistan’s Foreign Minister was quoted saying by NDTV at seminar in New York, “They are liabilities. I accept, they are liabilities but give us time to get rid of these liabilities because we don’t have assets to match these liabilities and you are increasing them further.”He further went on to say: “Don’t blame us for Haqqanis or don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds. These were the people who were your (US) darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people.”
ALSO READ Sushma Swaraj’s UN speech arrogant but there is terrorism in Pakistan: Chinese mediaSaeed is accused of masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead.India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had hit out at Pakistan for creating terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network, India today asked Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why their country is infamous as the “pre- eminent export factory for terror”.
ALSO READ Rattled by Sushma Swaraj’s speech, Pakistanis try to pass off Palestine victim as Kashmiri In her address to the 72nd UN General Assembly session, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke on issues like terrorism, climate change, maritime and cyber security, UN Security Council reforms, poverty and unemployment.In her hard-hitting speech, Swaraj accused Pakistan of waging a war against India and said a country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.
ALSO READ We made IITs, IIMs, you created LeT & JEM: Sushma Swaraj tears into Pakistan at UNGAShe was referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s speech on Thursday wherein he accused India of violating human rights and state-sponsored terrorism.”I would like today to tell Pakistan’s politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror?” Swaraj asked.India had ripped into Pakistan yesterday, describing it as “terroristan” and a land of “pure terror” that hosts a flourishing industry to produce and export global terrorism.Speaking in Hindi for the second consecutive year at the annual UNGA session, Swaraj said India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism.”We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world. But what has Pakistan offered to the world and indeed to its own people apart from terrorism?” she said, referring to the institutions such as IITs, IIMs and AIIMS.”We produced scientists, scholars, doctors, engineers.What have you produced? You have produced terrorists…you have created terrorist camps, you have created Lashkar-e- Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen and Haqqani network,” she said, adding that doctors save people from death; terrorists send them to death.Swaraj said that if Pakistan had spent on its development what it has spent on developing terror, both Pakistan and the world would be safer and better-off today.The minister said the terrorist groups created by Pakistan is not only harming India, but also hurting its neighbours – Afghanistan and Bangladesh – as well.She said that for the first time in the UN history, Pakistan sought right to reply (RoR) for one nation and then it had to simultaneously respond to three nations.”Doesn’t it reflect your nefarious designs,” she asked.Referring to Prime Minister Abbasi’s speech, Swaraj said that the Pakistani leader “wasted” too much of his time in making accusations against India.”Those listening had only one observation: ‘Look who’s talking!’ A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium,” Swaraj said.Commenting on Abbasi’s claim that Pakistan’s founder M A Jinnah had bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship, she said while it remains open to question whether Jinnah actually advocated such principles, what is beyond doubt is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship since he assumed office.”Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer,” she said.Noting that Abbasi spoke of a “Comprehensive Dialogue” between the two countries, Swaraj reminded him that on December 9, 2015, when she was in Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, a decision was made by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that dialogue between India and Pakistan should be renewed and named it a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue”.”The word ‘bilateral’ was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting that peace process,” Swaraj said.On old UN resolutions mentioned by Abbasi, Swaraj said that his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters.”He has forgotten that under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally. The reality is that Pakistan s politicians remember everything, manipulate memory into a convenience. They are masters at ‘forgetting’ facts that destroy their version,” Swaraj said.With inputs from PTI

7-year-old Pakistani girl granted visa for heart surgery in India; Swaraj prays for her early recovery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday granted a visa to Pakistani girl for open heart surgery in India.”Respected Sushma Swaraj mam my daughter need open heart surgery. I applied in August, still the visa is in process. Please help us,” tweeted a patient’s mother Nida Shoaib.Replying to the tweet, Swaraj said, “Yes, we are allowing Visa for your 7 years old daughter’s open heart surgery in India. We also pray for her early recovery.”Earlier in July, Sushma granted medical visa to a Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) resident Osama Ali, who was diagnosed with a tumour and wanted to come to Delhi for his treatment.In a similar incident in June, Sushma granted a medical visa to a four-month-old toddler from Pakistan, who then underwent a successful heart surgery at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.Sushma is popular wide across the globe for her active presence on social media and immediate address of people trying to reach out to her.

Sushma Swaraj’s New York stint charts a global role for country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s frontal assault on Pakistan at the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) plenary session may not change ground situation so immediately, experts here believe that her week-long packed scheduled of super diplomacy in New York has laid down the groundwork for India’s terms of engagement with the world to seek a greater share of responsibility. Coming back in action, after her kidney transplant a year ago, the swashbuckling Swaraj attended 20 bilateral meetings with an array of world leaders, 13 multi-lateral engagements and one tri-lateral session lined up for her, which it is understood has injected dynamism into Indian diplomacy, accustomed to a leisurely pace.Though her office had prepared draft for her speech, which Swaraj delivered with a fury and fire at the UNGA, she had devoted Friday evening and Saturday morning to fine-tone it herself to incorporate a stern message to Pakistan. She mentioned Pakistan 15 times and world terror 17 times in her speech, as against 2015 and 2016 speeches, where Pakistan was mentioned 3 and 6 times only. Pakistan PM Shahid Khakan Abbasi had mentioned Kashmir’ 17 times, and ‘India’ 14 times.Upon reaching New York last Monday, she immediately kicked off her engagement with a trilateral meeting with her American and Japanese counterparts Rex Tillerson, and Taro Kono respectively. The meeting was significant amid the recent Doklam stand-off and China flexing its muscles. Referring to North Korea’s nuclear testing, she made a strong push for investigations to hold those involved in non-proliferation accountable. In other words, demanding an action and investigations into Pakistan and North Korea nuclear tie-up.She also had a one-to-one meeting with Tillerson, where she strongly raised the issue of H1-B visa, the most sought after by Indian IT professionals and also regional issues with a focus of Pakistan, Afghanistan and terrorism. They also discussed the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which the US and India will co-host in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. The American delegation would be led by Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US President Trump.Her most important engagement in the context of current Rohingya refugee crises was with the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. While on on September 15, hours after her ministry had announced Operation Insaniyat, she had talked to the Bangladeshi PM on phone at the instance of the Prime Minister Modi, they had an on-board interaction on way to New York as they took the same Etihad Airways flight last Sunday from Abu Dhabi to New York. Both of them met again in New York. Swaraj is now expected to visit Dhaka next month for bilateral talks. Officials said Modi had asked to use a personal camaraderie to assuage Bangladesh’s concerns on Rohingya issue. For Modi government, the balance between Myanmar and Bangladesh has been a tightrope walk.Displaying aura of an emerging world power, she while attending conclave of foreign ministers of CARICOM, an organization of 15 Caribbean nations, she pledged emergency aid of $200,000 to the worst-affected countries by recent hurricanes in that region. She also announced another $2 million fund from the India-UN Partnership Fund for South-South Cooperation for the rehabilitation projects in the region.She had opportunity to rub shoulders with her Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif around the tables of ministerial meetings of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and at SAARC . On both occasions, she stressed the primacy given to removal of terrorism. “Regional prosperity, connectivity and cooperation can take place only in an atmosphere of peace and security. It, however, remains at serious risk in the region… It is necessary for our region’s survival that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support,” she said at the SAARC ministerial meeting.Admitting that Saarc had failed to live up to its objectives not being able to set up a free trade system or connectivity in the region because of non-cooperation of a single country (Paksitan), Swaraj was seen investing her energies in the multi-lateral forums like BIMSTEC, a Bay of Bengal Initiative involving Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal, BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) at the regional level. Modi government is encouraging these sub-groupings minus Pakistan to take up projects of physical connectivity, along with rail and power-sharing systems, into a new model of cooperation.Swaraj while attending the meeting of Non-Aligned Movement ( NAM) foreign ministers, assuaged the grouping that it still has a special place for India. She also reminded that India was a major contributor to the UNGA mandated UN Relief and Works Agency delivering valuable public services to Palestinian refugees around the world. India has been voluntarily contributing to the UNRWA for several years. In 2016, India contributed 1.25 million dollars towards its budget.SMOOTH OPERATORSwaraj reminded UN how India contributes vastly to its Relief and Works Agency
She said Non-Aligned Movement nations held a special place for India

Pakistan exposed at UN as it tries to pass off Gaza woman pic as ‘Kashmiri Victim’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A desperate Pakistan resorted to a blatant lie to take on India at the UN General Assembly, but faced widespread embarrassment as it failed in its attempt to pass off a photo of a violence victim in Gaza as that of a Kashmiri girl.Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi brandished the girl’s photo, showing multiple pellet injuries on the face, to back her charges of Indian “atrocities” against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.But she was immediately called out as the photo turned out to be that of 17-year-old Rawya Abu Jom, who was injured when two Israeli airstrikes hit her family’s apartment in Gaza in 2014.The Palestine resident’s photo had been featured in many photo galleries online, including by the New York Times and the Guardian. Rawia’s picture was taken by award winning photographer Heidi Levine.The official Twitter account of the Pakistani mission to the UN also tweeted the photo. India did not immediately exercise its right to response to Lodhi’s claims.Lodhi was trying to counter Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s blistering attack on Pakistan hours earlier. Swaraj had described Pakistan as a “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.Exercising the right of reply, Lodhi claimed that Swaraj was “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan”.Swaraj had said India has moved forward despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism. “We have marched ahead consistently without pause, creating IIMs, IITs, AIIMS… in the fields of education, health, space and across a range of human welfare. We established scientific and technical institutions, which are the pride of the world,” Swaraj had said.”Pakistan has only produced terrorists and terrorist camps… Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hijbul Mujahideen, Haqqani Network,” she had said.Swaraj was referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s speech and had said, “A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium.”Abbasi has in his speech urged the United Nations to appoint a special envoy to Kashmir, as he claimed that “the struggle of the people” in the region is being “brutally suppressed” by India.CALLED OUTPhoto turns out to be that of 17-year-old Rawya Abu Jom, wounded in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in 2014
It had featured in many photo galleries online, including by NYT and the Guardian
Rawya’s picture had been taken by award-winning photographer Heidi Levine (With agency inputs)

Mann Ki Baat is a one-sided communication by the Prime Minister: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress said on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ was a “one-sided” communication in which he did not speak on important issues such as the police action on BHU students, unemployment and high fuel prices.The Congress’s criticism came hours after Modi, in the 36th episode of his monthly address, said he has used the programme to reflect the views and aspirations of the people rather than expressing his own opinions.”Over the last three years, we have continuously seen that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is (a) one-sided communication exercise of the prime minister…He only does one-sided communication,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told reporters here.Kumar alleged that the prime minister did not speak on issues such as police action on students in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus last night, unemployment, high fuel prices, the “deteriorating situation” in Kashmir and border areas and incidents of sexual abuse of children.Terming the police action on students in BHU as “one of the most shameful incidents”, he criticised the Centre and state governments for their alleged failure in maintaining law and order in the state.Kumar also raised doubts over the government’s “intention” in running the ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao’ campaign, alleging that the fund allocated for the girl child in the last budget was very low.Kumar, however, welcomed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, saying she has “highlighted” India’s achievements in the past 60 years.”I would really request her (Swaraj) to give a coaching class to the prime minister who seems to never understand how much progress the country has made in the last 60 years,” he said.Referring to Modi’s appeal for buying Khadi products to help the poor, Kumar said the poor in the country are in distress due to high prices of pulses (daal), fuel, gas cylinder and unemployment. He urged the government to take measures to tackle these issues.On Modi asking countrymen to travel within the country to explore the diversity and richness of Indian culture, Kumar claimed that the highest number of tourists had visited Jammu and Kashmir during the UPA rule but there was a tremendous fall in their numbers since NDA came to power due to the trouble in Kashmir.Modi, during his programme today, said he had kept ‘Mann Ki Baat’ away from politics and had tried to connect with the people without getting swayed by the (political) “heat” and “anger” that may prevail at any particular time.

Rattled by Sushma Swaraj’s speech, Pakistanis try to pass off Palestine victim as Kashmiri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’This was the face of Indian diplomacy”! Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi’s dramatic waving of picture of a victim of Indian ‘atrocities’ in Kashmir during her Right to Reply to Sushma Swaraj’s UN speech turned out to be one big hoax, an elaborate lie. The picture was actually of Rawya Abu Jom’a. She was injured in Israeli airstrikes in 2014. It was taken by photographer Heidi Levine and has been featured in prominent newspapers like Guardian and New York Times.As soon as Maleeha Lodhi showed the picture and the video went viral, several alert twitter users pointed that it wasn’t a picture from Kashmir. The Pakistani representative may have been mislead because of earlier media reports which too have wrongly attributed the picture to Jammu and Kashmir. Clearly properly doing Google search is not a forte of Pakistanis. It may be owing to the deep scaring Pakistan received after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj slammed them at UNGA. In her indomitable style laced with powerful expressions, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ripped apart Pakistan on Saturday, while urging the comity of nations to accept terrorism as an existentialist danger to the humankind and to commit to adopt India’s draft on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by this year. Addressing the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in chaste Hindi, Swaraj identified violent extremism, climate change, maritime security, refugee crises, unemployment, gender injustice, nuclear proliferation, and cyber security as main challenges confronting the humanity. Complimenting Swaraj for delivering a “strong message” through the “incredible” and “insightful”speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “She has made India extremely proud at the world stage.”Congress thanked Swaraj for stating hard facts and giving a befitting reply to those who ask what happened in the last 70 years. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjeewala said: “Swaraj mirrored the yeoman’s progress India made under the Congress rule.” Carrying forward India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, Swaraj drew the attention of the UNGA President, Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák, to the fact that while India was engaged in fighting poverty, its neighbour Pakistan was engaged only in fighting India. Slamming Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s Thursday speech, she urged their politicians to introspect. She pointed out that while both countries got their independence at the same time, India progressed by establishing scientific and technical institutions that are the pride of the world, while Pakistan nurtured only terrorist organisations. “While India made institutes such as IIT, IIM, and AIIMS, Pakistan created terror groups such as LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, and the Haqqani Network. The reality is that Pakistan’s politicians remember everything, manipulate memory according to convenience. They are masters at forgetting facts that destroy their version,” she said.Using her Right to Reply, Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi cautioned the international community to act firmly against India if it wanted to avoid a dangerous escalation between the two neighbours. She said the ‘largest democracy’ is also ‘the world’s largest hypocrisy’ and it’s ruled by the ‘Fascist’ ideology. She described India as the ‘Mother of Terrorism in South Asia’ and urged the international community to stop New Delhi?s provocative and aggressive actions.With agency inputs

India ‘mother of terrorism’ in South Asia: Pakistan after Sushma Swaraj’s UN speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Sunday accused India of adopting a posture of that of a “predator” and said if the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between the two neighbours, it must call on New Delhi to halt its provocations and aggressive actions.Terming India as the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi accused it of sponsoring terrorism in various parts of her country.Exercising her right to reply after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday hit out at Pakistan for creating terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network, Lodhi alleged that “in her vitriol she (Swaraj) deliberately ignored the core issue” of Kashmir.Swaraj in her remarks did not mention Kashmir. ALSO READ Rahul Gandhi ‘thanks’ Swaraj for recognising Congress govts’ legacy of setting up IITs, IIMs”If the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan, it must call on India to halt its provocations and aggressive actions. It must end the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.It must halt its sponsorship of terrorist groups against Pakistan,” Lodhi said.Given that such responses are normally given by a low level foreign service official, it was quite significant that the top Pakistani diplomat took up the floor to launch a verbal dual against India.India did not immediately exercise its right to response to Lodhi s remarks, in which Pakistan for the second time accused the National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval of interfering in Balochistan.Lodhi said if the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute.”UN Security Council resolutions do not lapse with time. ALSO READ We made IITs, IIMs, you created LeT & JEM: Sushma Swaraj tears into Pakistan at UNGAOr are ‘overtaken’, as the Indian foreign minister put it. Law has no expiry date. Morality has no sell-by date. India’s posture is that of the predator. It cannot escape its legal and moral obligation to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council,” she said.Referring to Swaraj’s remarks on terrorism and her push for a definition, Lodhi said the UN should actually define terrorism.”In that definition, we should include ‘state terrorism’.The state terrorism which the Indian National Security Adviser has boasted is being sponsored by India’s spy agencies in Pakistan’s Balochistan province in what he called a ‘double squeeze’ strategy,” she alleged.”India has sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terror groups; destabilising and blockading neighbours to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan. All this establishes that India is the mother of terrorism in South Asia,” she alleged.She said the ‘largest democracy’ is also “the world’s largest hypocrisy” and it’s ruled by the “fascist” ideology.Lodhi alleged that Swaraj in her speech criticised Pakistan’s founding father M A Jinnah.She also said Pakistan remains open to resuming a comprehensive dialogue with India to address all outstanding issues, especially Jammu and Kashmir and discuss measures to maintain peace and security.”But this dialogue must be accompanied by an end to India s campaign of subversion and state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan,” she demanded. ALSO READ Sushma Swaraj made India extremely proud at world stage: PM Modi hails incredible speech by EAMIn her speech, Swaraj had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship since he assumed office. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer,” she had said.Swaraj reminded Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that in December 2015, when she was in Islamabad, a decision was made by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that dialogue between India and Pakistan should be renewed and named it a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue”.”The word ‘bilateral’ was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting that peace process,” Swaraj had said.

Rahul Gandhi ‘thanks’ Swaraj for recognising Congress govts’ legacy of setting up IITs, IIMs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi on Sunday thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for recognising Congress governments’ vision during her address at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).”Sushma ji, thank you for finally recognising Congress governments’ great vision and legacy of setting up IITs and IIMs,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.Other party leaders also welcomed Swaraj’s address and praised her for replying to ‘those who ask what happened in the last 70 years’.”Befitting reply to those who ask what happened in last 70 years. Sushma Swaraj mirrored the yeoman’s progress made by India under Congress rule, making ‘inclusive growth & progress’ as India’s mantra,” said Surjewala in a series of tweets.The Congress leader further said, “It was ‘time to move words into action as Pakistan still receives 743 million dollars annual US aid, collaborates with China on CPEC and buys arms from Russia.”On Saturday, Sushma ripped apart Pakistan at UNGA in New York stating that “India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism.Swaraj also asked Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why India is recognised as a global IT superpower while the neighbour is infamous as the “pre-eminent export factory for terror”.She also slammed Pakistan for creating terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network.In her address, Swaraj spoke on issues like terrorism, climate change, maritime and cyber security, UN Security Council reforms, poverty and unemployment.

We made IITs, Pak made LeT: Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In her indomitable style laced with powerful expressions, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ripped apart Pakistan on Saturday, while urging the comity of nations to accept terrorism as an existentialist danger to the humankind and to commit to adopt India’s draft on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by this year.Addressing the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in chaste Hindi, Swaraj identified violent extremism, climate change, maritime security, refugee crises, unemployment, gender injustice, nuclear proliferation, and cyber security as main challenges confronting the humanity.Complimenting Swaraj for delivering a “strong message” through the “incredible” and “insightful”speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “She has made India extremely proud at the world stage.”Congress thanked Swaraj for stating hard facts and giving a befitting reply to those who ask what happened in the last 70 years. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjeewala said: “Swaraj mirrored the yeoman’s progress India made under the Congress rule.”Carrying forward India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, Swaraj drew the attention of the UNGA President, Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák, to the fact that while India was engaged in fighting poverty, its neighbour Pakistan was engaged only in fighting India.Slamming Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s Thursday speech, she urged their politicians to introspect.She pointed out that while both countries got their independence at the same time, India progressed by establishing scientific and technical institutions that are the pride of the world, while Pakistan nurtured only terrorist organisations.”While India made institutes such as IIT, IIM, and AIIMS, Pakistan created terror groups such as LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, and the Haqqani Network. The reality is that Pakistan’s politicians remember everything, manipulate memory according to convenience. They are masters at forgetting facts that destroy their version,” she said.Swaraj further said the Pakistani PM’s accusation that India was involved in state-sponsored terrorism and violation of human rights was laughable. “Those listening had only one observation: Look who’s talking! A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death, and inhumanity has become a champion of hypocrisy, preaching about humanity from this podium,” she said.She then asked the Pakistani PM to answer why his nation spurned the offer of peace and friendship extended by Indian PM Narendra Modi.Swaraj, who arrived in New York last Sunday, spent a major part of the morning giving final touches to her speech. A large number of Indian expatriates, along with Minister of State M J Akbar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, and Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna had flown there for her speech at the UNGA.While a major portion of the speech was devoted to terrorism and Pakistan, Swaraj also reminded the UN about its duty to eradicate poverty and its millennium development goals. “In 2015, we set ourselves a target of 2030 to find solutions to many challenges on this agenda. Two of these years have passed already. Surely, it is already time to ask how much has happened. If complacency defames the next 13 years then we are in danger of losing control. We need a sense of urgency as well as unshakeable fortitude to take decisions that can avert catastrophe,” she said.She also identified steps taken by India and counted schemes such as Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India, and Stand-Up India, committed to sustainable development goals. She further hailed demonetisation, describing it a courageous decision to challenge corruption, and claimed that black money has disappeared from circulation. Mentioning the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation, Swaraj said the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of the country has been done away with.Referring to China and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries without mentioning their name, she reminded that the India’s draft on CCIT was pending before the world body since 1996, for want of consensus on definition of terrorism.”We all condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals. The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, self-interest of some leads them towards duplicity,” she said.Swaraj agreed that the draft has got stuck as some quarters don’t agree with the definition of terrorism. “If we cannot agree on how to define our enemy, how can we fight together? If we continue to differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists, how can we fight together? If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?” she asked.After touching on the issues of climate change, UN reforms, peace keeping, but surprisingly not mentioning the current Rohingya crises in Myanmar, she ended her speech by turning to a Sanskrit verse, which roughly translated means “May all be happy; May all be healthy; May all see what is good; May all be free from suffering.”

Demonetization a courageous move to end corruption; GST ends multiple tax order: Sushma Swaraj at UNGC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said demonetisation was a “courageous” decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to challenge the black money – one of the by-products of corruption.Prime Minister Modi on November 8, 2016, demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in a bid to clamp down on black money, fake currency menace, terror funding and corruption.”Demonetisation was a courageous decision to challenge one of the by-products of corruption, the ‘black money’ that disappeared from circulation,” Swaraj said in her address to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly here.She also said India has passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation, through which there is one-tax across the country, without the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of India.”Our ‘Save the girl, Educate the girl’ campaign is reducing gender inequality. The Clean India programme is generating what can only be described as a revolutionary change in social attitudes and habits,” she said.India, she said, has displayed the courage and leadership to take tough decisions which have launched the interlinked process of sustainable development.Swaraj said the complete eradication of poverty is the most important priority of the present government.”There are two ways of addressing the curse of poverty.The traditional method is through incremental levels of aid and hand-holding,” she noted.”But our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen the more radical route, through economic empowerment. The poor are not helpless; we have merely denied them opportunity. We are eliminating poverty by investing in the poor. We are turning them from job-seekers into job-providers,” Swaraj said.She said that all of the economic programmes — Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India and Stand-Up India – have a principal purpose, the empowerment of the poor.”The Jan Dhan plan must surely count as the world s largest financial inclusion scheme,” she said, adding that at least 300 million Indians who had never crossed the doors of a bank today have bank accounts: this is equivalent to the population of the United States of America.”This was, understandably, not easy to complete in three years, but our banks, achieved this visionary goal set by our Prime Minister. While some remain to be included, the target has been set every Indian family will have a bank account,” she said, adding that these accounts were opened with zero balance.Mudra yojana, she said, has enabled government to fund the unfunded. “Those who had never dreamt that bank credit was within their options, today, through Mudra, are getting soft loans without collateral to begin micro businesses,” she said.She said that over 70 per cent of these loans have gone to women.Describing Ujjwala a signature scheme of the government, Swaraj said free gas cylinders are being provided to the poor so that women do not have to suffer the dangerous consequences of wood-fired kitchens.She said India has started, this year, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, asserting that the country is completely engaged in fighting poverty.

Sushma Swaraj UN Speech: Live stream and where to watch in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is all set to make her second speech at the United Nations General Assembly tonight. You can watch the speech on TV on Doordarshan, WION or ZEE NewsIf you want to live stream it, then watch it hereBJP’s official handle will also air the speech through its Facebook page.

Ivanka Trump meets Sushma Swaraj, calls her charismatic foreign minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump on Tuesday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session.Ivanka took to Twitter to express her respect for Sushma Swaraj, describing her as the ‘charismatic’ foreign minister.”I have long respected India’s accomplished and charismatic Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and it was an honor to meet her today,” Ivanka tweeted.”We had a great discussion on women’s entrepreneurship, the upcoming #GES2017 and workforce development in the US and India,” she said in another tweet.Ivanka, who would be leading American delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India in November, discussed about women’s entrepreneurship and workforce development in the two countries.The Indian Embassy in the US also said that Sushma Swaraj discussed ‘Women Empowerment’ and Ivanka’s forthcoming visit to India.During her week-long stay, Swaraj is expected to hold about 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with leaders attending the session.Swaraj is scheduled to leave for India, a day after her address to the UN General Assembly on September 23.

India-US-Japan meet: Countries urged to respect international law; Sushma Swaraj deplores North Korea’s actions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj attended a trilateral meet among India-Japan-US on Monday. Rex Tillerson represented UN and FM Taro Kono was present as the Japanese representative. The meeting focussed on maritime security, connectivity and proliferation issues. The trilateral meet is significant amidst China’s growing importance in the region. Without naming South China Sea conflict, the joint statement emphasises the need for ​ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes. India also strongly condemned North Korea’s latest tests and said proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved must be held accountable.China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea. However, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.India and China last month ended a 73-day standoff in Doklam area of the Sikkim sector that was triggered by China’s move to build a road in the border area.India’s concerns about China’s ambitious OBOR project was also indirectly mentioned in the joint statement with importance of building connectivity based on ‘ universally recognised international norms, prudent financing and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity’ underlined. Swaraj will also hold bilateral talks with Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. She will also take part in a meeting, chaired by United States President Donald Trump, to discuss terrorism, on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Apart from terrorism, EAM Swaraj will also take up the issues of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, reforms in the U.N., climate change, and other peace-keeping issues in the United Nation General Assembly.Conclusively, Sushma Swaraj will also hold several bilateral meetings and multilateral commitments, apart from speaking at the U.N. general debate on September 23Here’s the full statement of the meeting:EAM had a Ministerial Trilateral with US Secretary of State Tillerson and Japanese FM Kono today morning in New York. Views on maritime security, connectivity and proliferation issues were exchanged. The Ministers emphasised the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes. On connectivity initiatives, the importance of basing them on universally recognised international norms, prudent financing and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity was underlined. On DPRK, EAM deplored DPRK’s recent actions and stated that its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable. The three Ministers directed their senior officials to explore practical steps to enhance cooperation. With agency inputs

Father Tom Uzhunnalil reaches Vatican, confirms Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday confirmed that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, abducted by Islamic militants in Yemen last year, had reached the Vatican.”Father Tom Uzhunnalil has reached Vatican,” EAM Swaraj said in a tweet on Tuesday.Meanwhile preparations began at Father Uzhunnalil residence in Kerala’s Kottayam distrcit, to welcome him.Father Uzhunnalil, the Indian Christian priest was rescued from the clutches of terror group Islamic State in Yemen on Tuesday.Earlier, EAM Swaraj confirmed the news and tweeted, “I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.”Father Uzhunnalil was reportedly kidnapped in March 4, 2016 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Yemen, when they attacked a retirement home in Aden run by the Missionaries of Charity, killing sixteen people, including four nuns.The Indian government, last year, confirmed that efforts were underway to ensure his early release.”Fr Tom Uzhunnallil – an Indian national from Kerala was abducted by a terror group in Yemen. We r making all efforts to secure his release,” EAM Swaraj tweeted back then.

iPhone 8 launch, Indian priest freed, AIADMK: DNA evening wrap

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian priest kidnapped by ISIS freed, tweets Sushma SwarajExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest abducted by ISIS from Yemen in March 2016 has been rescued. Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by the terror group, which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden. Read all our full report here.Jyalalithaa to be ‘eternal general secretary’, says united AIADMK campThe All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution to sack VK Sasikala from interim General Secretary post. “Late J Jayalalithaa will be the permanent GS of the party,” the resolution said. It also abolished the GS posts. The meeting also adopted a resolution to retrieve two leaves symbol frozen by Election Commission. It also ratified merger of O Panneerselvan and Edappadi K Palanisami factions. Read all our full report here.Rahul Gandhi’s attack on Centre in US kicks up political storm in IndiaThe BJP on Tuesday attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his comment on dynasty while addressing students at the University of California, and called him a failed leader. Hitting back at those who have accused him of reaping the benefits of ‘dynasty politics’, Rahul said that the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him. Read all our full report here.iPhone 8 launch event tonight: 9 announcements we expect from AppleToday’s the big day as Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to stage at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater to announce a slew of products. While there is no denying that the next-gen iPhone or the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X will be the showstopper, what will also draw attention is the Apple Watch 3, Apple TV upgrade, and possibly a new augmented reality hardware. Here are the nine announcements we expect from the event scheduled for 10:00AM PDT (10:30PM IST). Read all our full report here.Barrel of newly-acquired M Howitzer gun damaged after field firing in PokhranThe Indian Army suffered a setback after its latest acquisition, the M-777 Howitzer, suffered an accident during field firing in Pokhran on September 2 that resulted in the gun’s barrel getting damaged. No injury has been reported, sources said. As per reports, the barrel of the gun has been damaged, extent of which is being assessed by Joint Investigation Team. Read all our full report here.

India signs Motor Vehicle Agreement Act with Afghanistan, Sushma Swaraj praises Afghan cricket team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the press after the Indo-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council with various ministers including Afghanistan FM Salahuddin Rabbani, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that a very fruitful and productive meeting had taken place. Sushma Swaraj praised Afghanistan’s cricket team, reiterated India’s desire to stop cross-border terrorism and said India would keep on working with Afghanistan to ‘build governance and democratic institutions’ She said that for New Delhi, strategic partnership with Afghanistan is an ‘article of faith, which has a spiritual and civilisation connect’.She added: “We have seen unprecedented high-level exchanges in last 3 years; our relations are important not just for our people, but also for the region. We jointly agreed to embark on a New Development Partnership in keeping with the priorities of Afghanistan. 116 new High Impact Development Projects would be jointly implemented that would bring socio-economic and infrastructure development.”She said that focus would be on ‘building governance and democratic institutions, human resource capacity and skill development’. She said that measures to enhance trade and investment cooperation was discussed and India has liberalised visas for Afghan businessmen.She added: “India-Afghanistan trade & investment show in New Delhi on September 27-30, 2017 will provide opportunity to bring businesses together.” The EAM added to improve connectivity and transit, India would be expediting development of Chahbahar Port in trilateral cooperation with Iran.She added: “We commenced Air Freight Corridor in June 2017 to provide direct access to farmers of Afghanistan to the Indian markets. We signed the Motors Vehicle Agreement today. We hope that it would pave the way for overland transit.”India already has a Motor Vehicles Agreement with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh for the ‘seamless movement of traffic among the countries’. She said India would continue to work with people of Afghanistan in their efforts to build a ‘secure, stable, peaceful, prosperous, united and inclusive nation’.She said India would continue to support Afghanistan in overcoming challenges posed by cross-border terrorism. We support national peace and reconciliation in an atmosphere free from violence and within the framework of Afghanistan’s ConstitutionShe signed off saying: “From 2018, a new 500 scholarships programme for next of kin of the martyrs of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces will begin. India will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in realising their dreams.”Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said that both countries suffered from terrorism and violent extremism that threatened the ‘region’s stability’.He added: “Current regional trends bring India and Afghanistan closer than ever to protect & achieve our socio-economic and security and trade interests.”However, he added that Afghanistan’s friendship with India or any other country doesn’t mean hostility with others in our neighbourhood. He said: “I must be clear that our friendship with India or any other country does not mean hostility with others in our neighbourhood.”

India-Russia relations are rock solid: Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday told her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the “rock solid” friendship between the two countries cannot be weakened by anyone.Swaraj met Lavrov on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum being held in Vladivostok. She said the ties between the two nations were solid like a rock, according to a tweet by the Indian embassy in Russia.Earlier in the day, Swaraj attended the India-Russia Business Dialogue at the forum, where she said India was keen to expand its economic ties with Russia’s resource-rich Far East and sought Russian government’s assistance in facilitating Indian investors in the region.She said the leadership of the two countries had identified trade and economic relations as a top priority in their overall partnership and both the nations made “very significant” investments in each other’s countries last year.“India invested $5.5 billion in the oil sector in Russia. The largest Russian investment in India of $12.9 billion, which is also India’s largest FDI, was concluded last month in the oil sector between Rosneft and Essar,” she said at the India-Russia Business Dialogue at the Eastern Economic Forum held in Russia.“Politically, India has the best of relations with Russia. We have been partners for seven decades, and our friendship has expanded to almost all sectors of human activity,” Swaraj said.“There has been no better time to engage with India. I can assure our Russian friends that in India, a warm welcome awaits them,” she added.Deals inkedIndia invested USD 5.5 billion in the oil sector in Russia India will provide an annual grant of USD 10,000 to fund the study of Indology at Far East Federal University

India-Russia friendship rock solid: Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday told her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the “rock solid” friendship between the two countries cannot be weakened by anyone.Swaraj met Lavrov on the sidelines of Eastern Economic Forum being held in Vladivostok.She said the ties between the two nations were solid like a rock, according to a tweet by the Indian embassy in Russia.Details of their discussion were not immediately available.Earlier in the day, Swaraj attended the India-Russia Business Dialogue at the forum.She said India was keen to expand its economic ties with Russia’s resource-rich Far East and sought Russian government’s assistance in facilitating Indian investors in the region.Swaraj said under the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’ programmes the Indian government has made concerted efforts to attract technology, investments and best practices from around the world.

Doklam: Govt briefs opposition on easing of stand-off, Chinese have left with bulldozers, confirms official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government on Monday briefed the opposition leaders on the easing of Doklam border stand-off with China with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaking to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders.The Congress, on its part, welcomed and supported the understanding between India and China to de-escalate the border tension at Doklam in the Sikkim sector. Sources said Swaraj called up Singh and Gandhi, besides Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and deputy leader Anand Sharma. Sources said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar also called up Sharma separately and informed him about the current status and the easing of border tensions at Doklam.Sharma confirmed that the government has briefed Congress leaders about the Doklam stand-off ahead of the BRICS summit. “This understanding that has been reached is a positive development which we support,” Sharma said. Asked about the development at the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said this is a matter of national security but one should not go into a rejoicing mode. “There would be nobody happier than my party, than me, if what has just been stated by you, is not the momentary truth but the stable longer term or at least medium truth.
ALSO READ Omar Abdullah’s praise for PM Modi on ending Doklam standoff is a testament to our national unity”However, just like we should not go into panic mode as soon as something happens, we should not go into rejoicing mode the moment it is received,” he said. “I can only join you with the entire nation in hoping that this information which is coming is at least medium, if not long term true, stable and comprehensive and that unfortunately other conflicting information coming is untrue,” he added. He said both countries should engage to find a permanent solution in the light of the 2012 agreement between India- Bhutan and China about the location of the trilateral junction.”There must be an agreement to maintain the status quo until a resolution which is acceptable to all,” he said. Sharma, who is a former minister, said it is important that both the countries being strategic partners, neighbours and large developing countries work with sincerity guided by the principles and parameters of 2005 agreement between the two prime ministers on the border issues. Swaraj is also learnt to have talked to other opposition leaders, informing them about the development. CPI leader D Raja welcomed India and China agreeing to “expeditious disengagement” of troops, saying the move “is in the interest of the two countries”.
ALSO READ Doklam Stand-off | Expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China almost completed: MEAIndia and China have almost completed the disengagement of border personnel at Doklam, in a major diplomatic breakthrough that came a week before the BRICS summit in China which is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese have left with bulldozers: Officials As part of the disengagement, the Chinese troops have left the dispute area of Doklam along with bulldozers and removed the tents which they had pitched, according to a top Indian government official. The official, on the condition of anonymity, said there were about 1700-1800 Chinese troops in the area where they proposed to build a road and all of them have left. The Indian troops, whose number was in a “few hundreds”, have also moved out of the stand-off area, the official told PTI tonight, adding it is a “demilitarised” area now.The stand-off had begun in June when the Indian troops objected to the Chinese building the road there. “The bulldozers have been taken away, tents have been removed and even a flag which they (Chinese) had hoisted there has been removed,” the official said. Earlier, in the morning, the External Affairs Ministry said “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site in Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.”Later, in the evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the process of disengagement had almost been completed under verification, reflecting an end to the nearly two-and-half-month long stand-off. “This process has since been almost completed under verification,” Kumar said, referring to the disengagement. An official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the process of resolving the matter started after a brief interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg in July.Subsequently, the Special Representatives of the two countries — National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi — were in touch, the official said. The breakthrough came just days ahead of the BRICS Summit to be held in Chinese city of Xiamen from September 3-5, which Modi is expected to attend.

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