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Sunday, 29 October 2017

29 Oct.ND:J&K will remain integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370, clarifies Chidambaram; hits back on PM over JK autonomy issue



Evening NEWS DIGEST
29 Oct.2017: 8 Safar 1439:Vol:9, No:32
J&K will remain integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370, clarifies  Chidambaram; hits back on PM over JK autonomy issue
New Delhi:Retorting to PM  Narendra Modi’s criticism of his remarks on J&K’s autonomy, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Sunday that he was “imagining a ghost and attacking it” and maintained that those criticising him should first read his comments. Chidambaram said it was obvious that PM had not read the whole answer to the question put to him on J&K at an event in Rajkot on Saturday.“PM is imagining a ghost and attacking it,” he told reporters in the capital. Asked during an interaction in Rajkot whether he still felt that J&K should be accorded greater autonomy to defuse the unrest in the valley, he said. “Yes…The demand in Kashmir Valley is to respect in letter and spirit Article 370. And that means that they want greater autonomy. My interactions in J&K led me to the conclusion that when they ask for ‘azadi’, most people-I am not saying all-(an) overwhelming majority want autonomy.” “Therefore, I think we should seriously examine that question and consider on what areas we can give autonomy to J&K,” PC said. Observing that granting such autonomy will be “perfectly within the Constitution of India”, Chidambaram said, “J&K will remain an integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370 (of Constitution).”Congress has distanced itself from PC’s comments. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala has said, “Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh is an integral part of Indian Union and will always remain so unquestionably…(The) opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of INC.” Chidambaram also said neither the Congress nor him had criticised the “surgical strike” carried out by Indian Army on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “We pointed out that these were cross-border actions and such actions had been done in the past too, as admitted by the Army Chief,” he added.PTI
After Chidambaram's remark, PM accuses Congress of backing separatist voices in J&K
Bengaluru:In a sharp attack on the Congress, PM  Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Opposition party of supporting separatist voices in J&K  and called it an “insult” to the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers in the Valley. Addressing BJP workers in Bengaluru, PM  asked, “Why are Congress leaders lending their voice to those who want azadi  in Kashmir? This is an insult to our brave soldiers.”  Modi also accused the Congress of taking a U-turn and lending its voice for the support of “Kashmiri azadi,” a language spoken by Pakistan. “Yesterday's [Saturday] statement of a Congress leader on Kashmir clearly shows how the party feels on surgical strikes and bravery of our Army,”  Modi said.Accusing the Congress leaders of practising double standards, Modi said, “People, who were in power yesterday, those people are taking complete U-turn. Shamelessly making these statements.” thehindu
Omar Abdullah comments on P Chidambaram row, says Centre must respect conditions of J&K 's accession
Srinagar: National Conference's Working chief Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that the Central Govt  must respect and restore the conditions on which the accession of J&K  to India is based."Promises made to the people of J&K  must be fulfilled. Centre should ensure that the conditions on which the accession of the state to the union of India is based should be restored and respected."We want the present uncertainty, bloodshed and violence to end. We want to live with honour and dignity," he said at a convention of NC leaders and delegates in Srinagar, where his father and former CM  Farooq Abdullah was unanimously re-elected party president.IANS
Separatists call for 'mass agitation' if SC delivers verdict against Article 35A
Srinagar: 3 separatist leaders today urged the people of Kashmir to launch a "mass agitation" if the Supreme Court delivered a verdict in favour of pleas seeking the repeal of Article 35A and said any effort to "tinker with" a state subject law will create "a Palestine- like situation".In a joint statement here, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik urged the people to "launch a mass agitation if the Supreme Court delivered a verdict against the interests and aspirations of the people of the state".The matter is expected to come before the Supreme Court shortly. The Article relates to special rights and privileges of the permanent residents of J&K .Article 35A, added to the Indian Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, also empowers the state's legislature to frame laws without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution."Any move to tinker with a state subject law will create a Palestine-like situation," the leaders said.They asked the people to prepare for protests against any change in the law that bars people from outside J&K  from acquiring immoveable property in the state."A conspiracy has been hatched to change the demography of the Muslim-majority state," they claimed and urged scholars and writers to make people aware of the consequences if the state subject law was repealed.People from all corners of state will "come on the roads and resist" any attempt made to modify Article 35A, they said.They alleged the BJP Govt  was working to sabotage the referendum process in the state and described the PDP, its ruling partner in the state, as "an ally of the RSS".PTI
Hurriyat is a stakeholder, no talks with militants: DyCM
Srinagar: Deputy CM  and senior BJP leader, Nirmal Singh, said Saturday that the Hurriyat is a stakeholder but ruled out any talks with militants.Singh said this while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of state office bearers of BJP which commenced at Srinagar ahead of its working committee meeting scheduled on Oct. 29. Later, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav also reached the venue to join the party leaders. Madhav said, “We will give whatever we has to give to Kashmiris.’’“Hurriyat is a stakeholder. We welcome all but there will be no talks with those who have picked up gun. Govt  appointed interlocutor will talk to everyone who are ready to talk,” Singh told media persons on the sidelines of BJP meeting which was organised at Govt  guest house of Irrigation and Flood Control dept at Ram Munshi Bagh. risingkashmir
Countering false sloganeering and online propaganda top priority: Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma
Dineshwar Sharma, who has been entrusted with the task of initiating dialogue with all stakeholders in J&K , on Sunday said that he will focus on preventing the youth in the Kashmir valley from falling prey to false online propaganda. Ex-IB director, who is slated to reach J&K  later this week to take charge of his duties, said that countering false sloganeering and propaganda available online will be one of his top priorities. indianexpress
Were close to resolving Ram Temple-Babri issue in 1991, claims Sharad Pawar: indianexpress
Mumbai: Ex-Union Minister Sharad Pawar told a leading Marathi news channel that Babri Masjid dispute may have been resolved, had the Congress not withdrawn support from the seven-month old Chandrashekhar-led govt in March, 1991. The channel quoted Pawar as saying that Chandrashekhar, elected as PM  on Nov. 10,1990, had almost immediately taken up the task of resolving the dispute in an amicable manner. According to Pawar, the former PM had informally appointed a committee comprising himself and then Rajasthan CM  Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to hold deliberations with both sides. “While I was tasked with negotiations with representatives of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Shekhawat held talks with members of Babri Masjid Action Committee. Later, joint meetings involving both sides were held,” Pawar was quoted as saying. Pawar has also recounted this in his autobiography — On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of Power — published in Dec, 2015.Pawar said they were almost on the verge of a solution. “The focus was on retaining the disputed site as a memorial, while land would have been allotted for construction of both the temple and the mosque,” his memoir states.On Saturday, the channel quoted Pawar as saying that a formula had been arrived at, wherein about 60-65% of land, excluding the disputed site, could be used for construction of a Ram temple. Further, on the condition that the site where the tomb exists was to be part of the mosque, the remaining 35-40% land was to be used for construction of a mosque.He claimed that both sides had agreed in principle to this land-sharing suggestion.But just when the talks had entered the next phase, Congress, then led by Rajiv Gandhi, withdrew support to Govt, resulting in a breakdown of the talks. In his autobiography, Pawar said that the issue could have been resolved, had Chandrashekhar Govt  lasted for another seven months.

 Ready for talks but won't allow construction of mosque on 'Ram Janmabhoomi', says Mahant Ram Das
Ayodhya: Amid efforts by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to help find an out-of-court settlement of Ayodhya dispute, the main litigants on Saturday said they were ready for talks but refused to budge from their stated positions.The oldest Hindu litigant, Mahant Ram Das of the Nirmohi Akhara, said, "We are ready to talk to anyone for peaceful and early construction of Ram temple on the disputed side, but we won't accept the construction of any mosque in the disputed acquired area or near it".Khaliq Ahmad Khan, the nominee of Maulana Fazlurrahman, who is a party to the case, said that Muslims have always welcomed efforts towards negotiations in Ayodhya issue."But before starting the talks, the mediator must make it very clear in his mind that we will talk of the mosque also," he told PTI.Meanwhile, VHP claimed it has started two workshops in Ayodhya for carving stones. More than thirty trucks from Rajasthan have already arrived with the stones. PTI
Review meeting on draft Haj policy on Nov 2
New Delhi:The ministries of minority affairs and external affairs are expected to discuss the Centre’s proposed Haj Policy as also the suggestions received from stakeholders next week, sources said on Sunday. The review meeting — expected to be attended by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, senior officials from the 2 ministries and the Haj Committee of India (HCI) — is scheduled to be held on Nov.2 here, the sources said.Prior to that, HCI and Haj committees from states and Union Territories (UTs) are scheduled to discuss the draft policy at two separate meetings to be held in Mumbai, they said.The state and UTs Haj committees will deliberate on the draft on Oct. 30 in the Maharashtra capital, which houses the headquarters of the HCI, and submit its suggestions.The draft policy will again be placed before the HCI a day later along with the suggestions and comments made by the states and UTs.“The draft policy will be placed before the review committee along with suggestions made by all stakeholders at every level. It is in this committee’s meeting that it will be decided when to place the draft before the SC as instructed by it,” a source in the minority affairs ministry said.The policy — drafted by a panel with former Union secretary Afzal Amanullah as its convener — has been worked out in light of a 2012 Supreme Court order asking the Centre to abolish the Haj subsidy gradually by 2022. The draft policy was submitted to the minority affairs ministry earlier this month. indianexpress
9 newborns die in Gujarat Govt  hospital in a day
Ahmedabad: As many as 9 infants, including 5 referred from other public hospitals in critical condition, have died at the Govt  Civil Hospital here in a single day, official sources said.The newborns breathed their last on Saturday at Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.5 of them had been shifted from Civil Hospitals in Lunawada in Gujarat's Mahisagar district, Surendranagar district town, Mansa in Gandhinagar district, Viramgam in Ahmedabad district and Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district hospitals in the state, while four were born here.The rest four, who succumbed at the Ahmedabad hospital were all underweight, just like the 5 from other towns, according to M.M. Prabhakar, Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad.He said the newborns were referred to Ahmedabad in a critical condition and this should not have happened."The infant who was brought from Lunawada Civil Hospital weighed only 1.1 kg with extreme preterm. The place is 130 km from here, the patient could have been taken to any other Govt  hospital in the vicinity," he asserted.IANS
Down From 12 to 2: Gujarat Assembly Shows Sharp Dip in Muslim Representation Since 1980
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Assembly, which will go to two-phased polls on Dec. 9 and 14, has seen a sharp dip in Muslim representation over the last three decades, reflective of the sharp religious polarisation in the state.Muslims account for 10% of the state’s population, but only two people from the minority community were elected as MLAs in 182-member Assembly in the 2012 elections. This amounts to just 1% of the total legislative strength.Both Congress and BJP have, over the years, given fewer tickets to candidates from the minority community, though the size of the Muslim population is said to be substantive enough to influence election outcomes in at least 18 seats.In 1980, 17 Muslim candidates were in the electoral fray, out of which 12 entered the Assembly.In the 1990 elections, only 11 Muslim candidates were given tickets and three of them won.In the 2012 assembly elections, only five Muslims were in the fray, out of whom two were returned to the House by the electorate.This is a sharp fall as compared to 1980 when Muslim representation in the Assembly stood at 10%, equivalent to the percentage population of the minority community in the state. 3 Rajya Sabha MPs from Gujarat at the time were also Muslims.News18
Ahmed Patel decides to file defamation case against Gujarat CM
Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Ahmed Patel, has decided to file a criminal defamation case against the incumbent Gujarat CM, Vijay Rupani.Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter,a source close to Patel said that the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi was in talks with his lawyers to seek advise on filing a criminal defamation case against Rupani.“In his desperation to lose elections, Rupani has resorted to his party’s old dirty tricks. By alleging that the men arrested on terrorism charges Rupani and his bosses have clearly tried to communalise the campaign since they have no answers on questions related to fake Gujarat Model story. AP is talking to his lawyers. Since courts are closed over the weekend. we will file the defamation case over the weekend.”Janta Ka Reporter
Ahmed Patel writes to Rajnath; seeks fair probe into arrest of ISIS suspects

IS suspects: Hospital says no ties with Ahmed Patel
Surat:A day after CM  Vijay Rupani claimed that Congress MP Ahmed Patel was a trustee of Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute in Ankleshwar, where one of 2 arrested IS suspects worked, the hospital on Saturday said that neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members were associated with it. The trustees of the hospital said that Patel had only “helped the hospital” in gathering funds.Trustee Jayesh Patel said, “Neither Ahmed Patel nor any member of his family are associated with this hospital as trustees.We don’t want to give shelter to terrorism. Our hospital management condemns such activities and the accused, if guilty, should be strictly and legally punished. Only, Ahmed is an MP and he is the son of this land. He helped the hospital by way of funds, which has benefited people. We should be thankful to him for that.” indianexpress
Ancient India's political history is based on violence: Historian Upinder Singh on new book
‘Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru helped create the myth of a nonviolent ancient India while building a modern independence movement on the principle of ahimsa. But this myth obscures a troubled and complex heritage: a long struggle to reconcile the ethics of nonviolence with the need to use violence to rule,’ states the summary of historian Upinder Singh's new book, Political Violence in Ancient India, published by Harvard University Press. Singh explained the ideas she explored in her book, and her findings in documenting ancient Indian political thought for the past 1,200 years. Singh said, "About 8 years ago, I suddenly realised — and it was really like a flash that went through my head – that in spite of having studied, taught, researched and written about ancient Indian history for over 30 years, I had not realised that this history was shot through and through with enormous violence. I had always ‘known’ the details — that there were wars, power struggles, conflicts between the state and forest people, class and caste oppression, crimes and punishment, violence within the family, etc.. But there are ways and ways of knowing. The realisation that hit me in a very powerful way 8 years ago is that the entire political history of ancient India is based on political violence." She said,"We know that Buddhist and Jain kings fought many wars (except for Ashoka), and boasted of their victories. If we think in the long-term, we can see that the history of Buddhist countries is full of violence, sometimes extreme violence. Think of the violence that has marked the history of Sri Lanka and the Japanese role in World War II. And think of the Buddhist-majority country of Myanmar, in which the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, have not only been persecuted, but forced to leave their country and become refugees. In the case of all religions, at all times, we need to make a distinction between what religions preach, and what their followers actually do." Firstpost
Jamiat’s multi-religious conference vows to eliminate differences, establish peace
New Delhi: A multi-religious conference organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) here on Sunday vowed to establish peace and communal harmony in the country and adopted a declaration underlining that any kind of violence against innocent persons is anti-Islamic.The conference named “Aman and Ekta Sammelan” saw participation from top religious leaders of various faiths and sects besides several thousand Islamic clerics from across the country.The conference presided over by JUH President Maulana Syed Mohammed Usman Mansoorpuri, had Swami Chidanand Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh as the chief guest and was addressed by Akal Takht Amritsar Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jain guru Acharya Lokesh Muni, head of Drikung Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Chinmiya Mission Chennai leader Swami Mitranand, Sadguru Brahmeshanand Acharya, Gandhian Shankar Sanyal and Pandit N.K. Sharma, President, Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness.Addressing conference, JUH General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani said that majority of Indians are peace loving and stressed that Islam is the religion of dialogue with no place for violence. Giani Gurbachan Singh said that all religious texts and founders of religions have stressed on peace and urged people of different faiths to live like a family. He said that India equally belongs to people of all faiths and sects and not to any single community or faith.Swami Chidanand Saraswati said that it is wrong to blame Islam for the wrongdoings of a few people and urged the people to work unitedly to alleviate poverty from India and to preserve its environment as he presented a plant to the JUH President. The Declaration adopted at, and ratified, by the conference said: “In this crucial time…no longre shall words and acts of hatred and division be tolerated. We pledge to unify across all sects, faiths, castes and creeds to lend our hands and hearts for a new era dedicated to greener and more harmonious future, in which all are included, none is excluded and fellowship reigns true.”IANS
‘Unpatriotic’ Left, ‘corruption’ of Congress and Islamic fundamentalism aiding jingoism: Guha
Bengaluru : An unpatriotic Left, which looks upto another country than our own traditions, the corruption of Congress from the party of freedom movement to being restricted to a single family, coupled with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the country’s backyard, are the major contributors to rise of jingoism in the country, observed noted city-based historian Ramachandra Guha.He was delivering a talk on “Jingoism v/s Patriotism” in the city on Saturday.Delineating the aspects of patriotism and jingoism, he came down heavily on the homogenisation and criminalising dissent in the country. “There is nothing indigenous of Hindutva. Speaking of its origins, it is partly 19th century European nationalism and has its roots in medieval Middle East, where the Christians and the Jews were considered second-class citizens in a Muslim majority state,” he said. Guha listed out the traits of a constitutional patriot, which he proposed to be the best antidote to jingoism. "Acknowledge and appreciate the inherited diversity of the land, by extension of which no type of Indian by his religion or language is superior to the other. Patriotism operates at many levels, like charity it begins at home; patriotism is concern for one’s neighbourhood, city, state and the country and each is complementary to the other." He remarked that the yellow and red flag of Karnataka doesn’t threaten the nation. “A state flag doesn’t lead to republic of Karnataka, we want to live in India,” he remarked and added: “Catalans have declared independence since Spain did not let them speak their language among many other concerns.” thehindu
Arrest of Verma: Journalists slam Chhattisgarh govt., demand evidence from police
New Delhi: Condemning the way senior journalist Vinod Verma was arrested by Chhattisgarh police, many senior journalists have criticized BJP Govt led by CM  Raman Singh and demanded Verma's immediate release. Holding a protest meeting at the Press Club of India here on Saturday they demanded the Chhattisgarh Police to exhibit evidence against Verma who has been arrested on charges of extortion allegedly over a "sex CD" of a state Minister."Chhattisgarh police should immediately furnish the evidence of extortion for which Verma has been accused by them. A letter from Press Council of India and Editors Guild of India should be sent to the Govt  of Chhattisgarh urging it to make public the evidence it has against journalist Vinod and in the absence of that he should be released forthwith. If this demand of ours is not met by the Govt we must move the court," said Vinod Sharma, Political Editor of HT. "This is not the way a Govt  protects and defends the freedom of speech," he averred.Journalist Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police in Ghaziabad early on Friday on charges of allegedly blackmailing a BJP minister. Verma has denied the charge and said he was being framed. Veteran journalist Om Thanvi, Jai Shankar Gupta, President of Press Association, Gautam Lahiri, President of Press Council of India, R Vinay Kumar, Secretary General of PCI, BBC journalist Ram Sharan Joshi, and veteran journalist Rahul Jalai also featured at the protest meeting. indiatomorrow
Crucial Hearing Of Hadiya Case Tomorrow: Jahan Likely To Move Contempt Against NIA
In a fresh Application, Mr. Asokan K.M, Hadiya’s father, has claimed that Shafin Jahan, has “a radical mind set with links to terrorist organization”.A three Judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud will hear the case tomorrow. Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Advocate Haris Beeran will appear for Jahan tomorrow. Meanwhile Shafin Jahan, the petitioner is likely to file a Contempt Petition against NIA. As per the office report in the case NIA has filed some investigation reports before the Court. During the last hearing Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave submitted that the NIA investigation in this case is illegal since the Supreme Court had ordered the investigation under the supervision of former Supreme Court Judge Justice RV Raveendran. However Justice Ravindran declined the request citing personal reasons. In such circumstances NIA investigation in the case is against the August 16 order of the Supreme Court. livelaw
‘Free Hadiya from parents’ custody’: Muslim leaders petition Kerala CM
A delegation of Muslim leaders met CM  Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday demanding that Hadiya, who converted from Hinduism to Islam, should be freed from her parents’ custody. Representatives of prominent Muslim organisations including Jamaat-e-Islami, led by Indian Union Muslim League leader and MP, PK Kunhalikutty, met CM with the petition, sources close to the MP confirmed to TNM. The petition said that Hadiya has been literally under house arrest after the High Court put her in her parents’ protective custody. CM  said that he would look into the issue and take action.The meeting comes days after a video was released by activist Rahul Easwar, in which Hadiya says, "You need to get me out. I will be killed anytime, tomorrow or the day after, I am sure. I know my father is getting angry. When I walk, he is hitting and kicking me. If my head or any other part of my body hits somewhere and I die..." thenewsminute
Palestinian Gandhian Ziad Medoukh gets Jamnalal Bajaj Award
Mumbai: Renowned Gandhian Ziad Medoukh of Palestine has been conferred this year's prestigious "Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India", it was announced on Saturday.A staunch believer in democracy, freedom and human rights, Medoukh is professor and director of the French Department at the Al-Aqsa University in Gaza.Known for his brilliant testimony of non-violence that he presents to his students, Medoukh is one of the prominent speakers for Palestine in French-speaking countries, and imparts training in non-violence to teachers and youth in Europe and Middle East.In 2006, he and his friends founded a Peace Centre based on the principles of non-violent economy of Mahatma Gandhi which has played a crucial role in education as a form of non-violence resistance in Palestine.In 2011, he became first Palestinian to be conferred France's "Knight of the Order of Academic Palms".IANS
India turns down Pak. offer of talks on transit trade to Afghanistan
New Delhi:India has rejected an offer from Pakistan for talks on transit trade to Afghanistan, diplomats and officials in New Delhi and Kabul have confirmed to The Hindu.ccording to sources, the offer was made by the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed when he met President Ashraf Ghani on Oct. 1 in Kabul. During discussions on the renewal of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), that lapsed in 2015, President Ghani repeated concerns that trade with India over the Wagah border had been blocked by Pakistan, despite being agreed to in APTTA.“At this, the Pakistani Army Chief offered to talk about the transit trade issues with Indian officials,” said a diplomat privy to the talks, adding that General Bajwa reportedly said, “Ask the Indian side to speak to us and we will try and sort it out.”President Ghani is understood to have conveyed the conversation to New Delhi through the Indian Embassy in Kabul. However, days later, Indian officials at SCO Afghanistan-Contact group meeting in Moscow, told the Afghan delegation that it would not take up the offer for talks.“It wasn’t a real offer, as far as India sees it,” an MEA official, who asked not to be named, said, confirming Govt decision.“APTTA is a bilateral deal. It is not working because of unilateral decisions by Pakistan not to honour it. So how can India-Pakistan talks fix that?” he said.The Hindu
India sends 1st wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar port
New Delhi: India on Sunday sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in Iran, seen as a "landmark" move to operationalise the new strategic transit route, bypassing Pakistan.The shipment was flagged off from the Kandla port in Gujarat with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani joining the ceremony through video conferencing."The shipment of wheat is a landmark moment as it will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan," the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said in a statement.In June, India and Afghanistan had launched an air freight corridor between the two countries to boost trade as Pakistan has been refusing land transit access through its territory."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 consignment will be transported to Afghanistan from Chabahar through land route.Swaraj also 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 announced last month."The wheat that is leaving the Indian shores today, is a gift from the people of India to our Afghan brethren. It is testament to the continued commitment of the Govt  and the people of India to support our Afghan brethren in building a normal, peaceful, prosperous, secure and bright future for themselves," Swaraj said.The external affairs minister also renewed commitment to work closely with regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.PTI
To lift economy, rethink China trade, RSS affiliate tells Modi govt
Govt  should revisit its trade policy with China rather than relying on “cosmetic treatments” such as recapitalisation of banks to create employment and improve the economy, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has said.The SJM, which is the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of ruling BJP, has been carrying out a year-long campaign against Chinese goods and has also opposed the Govt  on economic issues such foreign direct investment, job creation and GM foods.The Govt  on Oct. 24 announced a Rs 2.11 trillion rupees recapitalisation package to clean banks’ books and revive investment in a slowing economy.HT
Militants kill policeman,escape in Kashmir’s Bandipora
Srinagar:Militants shot dead a 35-year-old policeman and escaped after a gunfight with security forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora on Sunday.This was first militant attack after the central Govt  appointed an emissary on Oct. 23 to start peace talks in the state fighting a three-decade-long separatist insurgency. Bandipora police superintendent Sheikh Zulfikar said constable Zaheer Abbas Khan died of grave bullet wounds in the attack. He was taken to Srinagar for treatment but couldn’t be saved.A resident of Poonch, Khan was a member of the J&K  police’s special operations group. He’s survived by his aged parents, wife and three children — 10-year-old Mehtab Zaheer, Manik Ahmad and Sumaira Zaheer, the younger 2 aged 8 and 5. hindustantimes
Beefing up staff to control illegal meat trade, which attracts flies, crows and dogs in South Delhi: dailymail
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is about to get additional hands to help tackle the menace of illegal meat shops. The civic body's veterinary services department has floated a tender for 50 personnel who will join SDMC by Nov.. They will help it bring under control the unlawful units who sell animal products without scientific inspection for diseases, in unhygienic conditions, while attracting flies, crows, dogs and birds of prey. Several residents of colonies near slum markets have repeatedly complained against their illegal operations, along with the foul smell they emanate. Currently, SDMC's vet department is poorly staffed with just 47 employees — who are in charge of catching dogs for sterilisation, along with stray bovines, and carrying out raids on illegal meat units in local markets. Director of the department, Dr RBS Tyagi, said: 'We will definitely heave a sigh of relief after getting these personnel. 'Even with few staff, we managed to close 106 such units in south Delhi between July and Oct. this year. They were all over Munirka, Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Uttam Nagar, etc.' Complaints started pouring in on the issue of blood and offal going into sewer lines and Yamuna.
No nod for rally, Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest
Hyderabad:A police team from AP put writer and social activist Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest in Hyderabad on Saturday to prevent him from leaving for Vijayawada in order to address a public meeting. Vijayawada Police denied permission to Ilaiah to address the meeting, being organised against alleged suppression of freedom of expression by AP and Telangana Govt s.Police officials told Ilaiah that there was no permission for the meeting, and he would be arrested if he left his home in Tarnaka, Hyderabad. As the news spread, a large number of Ilaiah’s supporters gathered outside his house. indian express
WORLD
Israel delays vote on bill to Judaise Jerusalem
Israel has delayed a vote on a controversial bill that would annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to the Israeli-defined boundaries of the city of Jerusalem.The so-called "Greater Jerusalem bill" was meant to be voted on by a ministerial committee on Sunday before going to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for approval.The Israeli Govt  did not say why the vote was postponed, but an official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the bill's current version "invites international pressure and involves difficult legal issues"If passed, the legislation would annex to the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem the three major mega-settlement cities of Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev and Gush Etzion, which together house around 140,000 Israelis. It would add the Israelis who live there to the population of Jerusalem, thus allowing them to vote in local elections.Simultaneously, the bill would create "independent municipalities" for several Palestinian neighbourhoods, housing at least 100,000 people, that are part of the Jerusalem municipality but cut off from the city by Israel's separation wall.The purpose is to ensure a Jewish majority in the city of Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs currently make up some 40 % of Jerusalem's population and Israeli Jews the remainder. "The Govt  will approve the Greater Jerusalem law that will strengthen eternal capital Jerusalem - demographically and geographically," Yoav Kish, the Knesset member who submitted the proposal for the bill, said on Twitter last week before the vote was postponed.Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) legislator, said that Israel has been able to push forward such settlement policies due to the "failure of the world's Govt s to hold Israel accountable for its deliberate violations of international law"."Through its settlement policies, Israel is working to consolidate the occupation, prolong it and maintain it by extending legitimacy to the presence of extremist settlers in the Palestinian territories, and continue to isolate Jerusalem, our occupied capital, and annex it fully, to end the two-state solution," she said. aljazeera
IAEA: Iran is living up to nuclear deal
Tehran, Iran - What would have been a routine visit by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) became a public relations opportunity for the Iranian Govt .Yukiya Amano was in Tehran on Sunday, his first visit since US President Donald Trump told Congress that Iran is not complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the 2015 nuclear deal.The IAEA chief put a positive face on proceedings, but the stakes are high. This time, his verification of compliance was a moment of vindication for Iran and another international rebuke of the White House."Ladies and gentleman, I am very happy to come to your country again," Amano said during a press conference at Iran's nuclear agency. aljazeera
Rouhani: Iran will continue to produce missiles
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will continue to produce missiles for defence purposes and does not believe its missile development programme violates international accords. In a speech to parliament on Sunday, Rouhani also hit out at the US, calling negotiations with Washington "madness.""We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles," the 68-year-old was quoted by State TV as saying. "We are not contradicting UN Resolution 2231." Rouhani's comments come after US President Donald Trump refused to certify Iran's compliance with a landmark 2015 deal curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump has repeatedly criticised the accord, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and enshrined under UNSC Resolution 2231, as "the worst deal ever" and "an embarrassment".Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions.Iran has repeatedly denied its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.Al Jazeera
Erbil decides to hold presidential election in Nov
Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani called for presidential elections to be held a month earlier in northern Iraq on Nov. 1 instead of Dec. 7.Senior Barzani assistant Hemin Hawrami tweeted on Saturday evening that the present KRG president had "refused to get any extension, or any amendments"."President Barzani called for Parliament / President elections on12/7 to be held in Nov 1. Parliament extended its work for two seasons.“President Barzani refused to get any extension, or any amendments. He sent a letter to the Parliament today. Parliament convene tomorrow," Hawrami tweeted.On Wednesday, the KRG -- fearing more military escalation by Baghdad -- offered to “suspend” the results of last month’s illegitimate referendum, halt all military activity and enter into dialogue with the central government.Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several disputed areas, including Kirkuk -- voted on whether or not to declare political independence.World Bulletin
Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani will not extend term
UN aid chief: Humanitarian conditions 'shocking' in Yemen
UN emergency relief coordinator called the humanitarian conditions in Yemen, "shocking and horrendous".Mark Lowcock made the comments at the end of a five-day visit that saw severely malnourished children, hospitals with minimal electricity, and unpaid health workers. He has called on all sides to do much more, as well as to respect international law and protect civilians. aljazeera
Follow Indira Gandhi's footsteps on Rohingya issue: BNP tells Bangladesh PM Hasina
Bangladesh's main opposition BNP urged Premier Sheikh Hasina to follow in the footsteps of India's former PM  Indira Gandhi, in handling the Rohingya crisis as the country is confronted by a refugee problem similar to the one faced by India in 1971."We saw the then Indian PM  Indira Gandhi visiting important countries during our 1971 Liberation War. Only then the global initiative (to stop the Pakistani genocide) began," BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.He said BNP had long been advocating that the premier should play a special role to resolve the Rohingya crisis to convince countries which still support Buddhist-majority Myanmar, allowing it to carry on alleged atrocities against ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims.BNP is known for its hawkish stance on India as opposed to Hasina's ruling Awami League.India crucially supported Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan and offered refuge to nearly 10 million Bengalis who fled their homes in the face of genocide. Alamgir's comments came as BNP chief and ex-PM  Khaleda Zia departs for Cox's Bazar to witness the Rohingyas' plight as over 600,000 forcibly displaced people have taken refuge in southeastern Bangladesh after fleeing their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state.PTI
Rohingya crisis: UN official ‘very disappointed’ in Suu Kyi
Yanghee Lee, the UN investigator of human rights abuses in Myanmar, has expressed deep disappointment in Aung San Suu Kyi for her indifferent response to the Rohingya crisis. Speaking to reporters at the United Nations on Thursday, the investigator underscored international frustrations over the behaviour of the state counsellor of Myanmar regarding the persecution of the Rohingya. Child rights expert Yanghee Lee of South Korea was appointed to her UN human rights post in 2014, reports the New York Times.“Well-documented accounts of killings, rapes, burned villages and forced displacement gets no coverage in Myanmar’s news media,” Lee said while talking about the hatred and hostility against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.She said: “It has really baffled everyone, and has really baffled me, about Daw Aung’s non-position on this issue.“She [Suu Kyi] has not ever recognised that there is such a people called Rohingya — that’s a starting point. I’m very disappointed.”UN investigator added: “If the Myanmar leader [Suu Kyi] were to reach out to the people and say, ‘Hey, let’s show some humanity,’ I think people will follow her — she’s adored by the public.” dhakatribune
Militant attack on hotel in Somali capital kills 29
A militant attack on a hotel in the Somali capital ended on Sunday after 25 people had been killed in a near 12-hour siege, police said, underlining the insurgents’ ability to carry out deadly attacks in the heart of the city.“The death toll rises to 25 people including police, hotel guards and residents. The death toll may rise. We suspect some other militants disguised themselves and escaped with the residents who were rescued,” police officer Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters. The attack began around at 5 pm on Saturday with a car bomb. Gunmen then stormed the building after the bomb had destroyed its defences. The siege ended on Sunday morning. Middleeastmonitor
7th round of Syria talks in Astana to begin on Monday
The seventh round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict will begin on Monday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.The talks, which will focus on strengthening the cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, have been brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.The two-day meeting would also address the release of captives and hostages, and humanitarian action on mines, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Oct. 6.World Bulletin
Egypt appoints new armed forces chief of staff
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Saturday appointing a new armed forces chief of staff.General Mohamed Farid Hegazy will replace Mahmoud Hegazy, who has been made the president’s adviser for strategic planning and crisis management, a statement from the presidency said.Egypt is fighting an insurgency in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula in which hundreds of members of the security forces have been killed in recent years. Middleeastmonitor
Egypt's Sisi orders security reshuffle after attacks
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