Thursday, 4 July 2019

4 July :Economic Survey predicts 7% GDP growth in FY20, says India needs 8% growth rate to become $5 tn economy by 2025/ Economic survey: Chidambaram says Modi govt appears to be ‘pessimistic’ about economy/SC to hear plea seeking deportation of illegal Bangladesh nationals, Rohingyas


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
04 July 2019: 30 Shawal 1440:Vol: 11, No:237
INDIA
Economic Survey predicts 7% GDP growth in FY20, says India needs 8% growth rate to become $5 tn economy by 2025
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled Economic Survey 2019 in Rajya Sabha today ahead of the Union Budget 2019. The Economic survey presents a roadmap on steps to be undertaken by the Modi Govt in order to achieve the goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian officially released the Economic Survey. The Survey is an annual document issued by Ministry of Finance that reviews the economic growth over the last year and in the current financial year. It consists of a detailed account of the growth rate in different sectors and serves as a guideline for understanding different sectoral trends based on data, statistics and policy ideas. The Survey also consists of in-depth research on various policy issues and ideas on the basis of statistical data. The survey also highlights the roadmap and policy initiatives to be taken by the Govt to further boost economic growth. The survey has predicted 7% GDP growth in FY20 on stable macroeconomic conditions. The general fiscal deficit is seen at 5.8% in FY19 against 6.4% in FY18. To become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, India needs to sustain a GDP growth rate of 8%. NewsX
Economic survey: Chidambaram says Modi govt appears to be ‘pessimistic’ about economy
New Delhi: Hours after Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament, former finance minister P Chidambaram and senior Congress leader today said there are no sector-wise growth projections in the survey and that Govt itself appears to be pessimistic about the economy.“It appears to me that the Govt, speaking through the Economic Survey, is pessimistic about the economy,” Chidambaram said.Commenting on the new Economic Survey, Chidambaram said, “I looked for the Outlook for 2019-20. It is in Volume-2, Chapter 01, but there is only a bland statement that growth of the economy expected to be 7 %  in 2019-20. There are no growth projections sector wise.”“The Economic Survey 2018-19 is the first of the new govt and the first under the new Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The first sentence of Volume-1, Chapter 01 is self-congratulatory (“During last 5 years, India’s economy has performed well.”). I looked for Outlook for 2019-20. It is in Volume-2, Chapter 01, but there is only a bland statement that “growth of the economy expected to be 7% in 2019-20. There are no growth projections sector wise,” he said. He  said that the closest in terms of describing the outlook for 2019-20 was found in Volume-2, Chapter 02, which flagged slowing growth, shortfall in revenue, finding resources without compromising the fiscal deficit target, impact of oil prices on the current account and recommendations of 15 Finance Commission on central govt finances.“I am afraid, none of these is positive or encouraging,” he added.indianexpress
Urjit Patel admits RBI was slow to take timely measures
A failure on the part of banks, Govt and the regulator till 2014 has got us into the current bad loan mess and the resultant low capital buffers, Urjit Patel, former RBI Governor, has said, asking all to resist the temptation of going back to the status quo.In his first comments since resigning as RBI Governor on Dec.10 last year amid sharp differences with Govt, Patel said banks indulged in over-lending, while the Govt did not “fully play” its role, and also conceded that the regulator should have acted earlier.Speaking at an event in Stanford University, Patel listed out areas of concern for the country’s banking sector, including high NPAs especially at state-run lenders, and current capital buffers being “overstated” and being insufficient to tackle the huge stress.“How did we get here? Plenty of blame to go around! Prior to 2014,all stakeholders failed to play their role adequately. Banks, the regulator and Govt,”he said.It can be noted that after 2014, which saw a change of guard in Govt and also Patel’s predecessor Raghuram Rajan assuming charge, RBI started an asset quality review, which led to the recognition of the huge pile of hidden stress in the system and resolution through the introduction of bankruptcy laws.These actions led to a sharp decline in banks’ ability to fund the needs of the economy, where growth has been sagging. PTI
SC to hear plea seeking deportation of illegal Bangladesh nationals, Rohingyas
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL seeking identification and deportation of all illegal immigrants and infiltrators including Bangladesh nationals and Rohingyas.A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi took note of submission of lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay that his plea, which was filed in 2017, be listed for an urgent hearing. "It would be listed for hearing on July 9," bench said. Upadhyay, in his plea, has also favoured Centre's stand to identify and deport to Myanmar around 40000 illegal Rohingyas staying here. The SC is also seized of a separate plea of 2 Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, and the plea said that Rohingyas had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there. PTI
PMO to disclose corruption complaints against Union Ministers after CIC order
Paving way for the disclosure of corruption complaints received against Union Ministers, Central Information Commission (CIC) has rejected objections raised by PMO on such disclosures. PMO will now have to declare all the complaints received by it against all its ministers. Petitioner Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who is a 2002-batch officer of Indian Forest Service (IFS) in Aug.2017 filed an RTI plea with PMO seeking details of corruption complaints against Union ministers received from June 2014 till the date of filing application.PMO, in its response in Oct2017 had said that this information was generic and vague and cited an earlier order of CIC to deny this information. Disappointed from PMO’s reply petitioner Sanjiv Chaturvedi approached CIC against Govt’s claims which had in its order passed on Oct.16 observed that respondent (PMO) has not given correct and specific reply /information to the applicant.In response to CIC order then, PMO had then cited Section 7 (9) of RTI Act to deny the information saying it receives a variety of complaints on different matters against Union ministers and high-level functionaries of the Govt of India and they may be scattered across different sections and units of the office and hence disclosure would disproportionately divert the resources.NewsX
SC refuses to take up mob lynching matter on urgent basis
The Supreme Court today refused to accord an urgent hearing to a petition on mob lynching and said it will come up in due course.The prayer for an urgent hearing was made before a bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The petition contended that the apex court judgement of July last year on the issue of mob lynching had not been complied with.The court had then said that "horrendous acts of mobocracy" cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land and issued a slew of guidelines to deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism.ANI
Muslim Auto Driver Tied Up, Thrashed for Refusing to Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in UP
Kanpur:A Muslim auto-rickshaw driver in Kanpur, was reportedly beaten up by 3 men on Wednesday for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.As per a report in Amar Ujala, the incident took place in Babu Purwa area of Kanpur. Three men allegedly tied up Atib, the victim, inside a Sulabh toilet and assaulted him with bricks and stones.The family of the victim said that he was driving his auto-rickshaw when the three attackers — Sumit, Rajesh and Shiva — got inside his auto and asked to be dropped at another location.Upon reaching destination, they started quarrelling with him, claiming they did not have any money to pay the fare. During this, they asked him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and when Atib refused, took him to the nearby Sulabh toilet and thrashed him.People in the area protested against the attack following which the police reached the spot and Atib was admitted to a hospital. His condition has been reported as serious. Enraged locals are demanding that 3 accused be arrested immediately.Caravan News
After violence in Agra, cops get cracking; file 6 cases, arrest 14
Agra: Police in Agra arrested 14 people for their alleged role in Monday evening violence, as parts of the city affected by it limped back to normalcy. Scores of shops were damaged as groups of people protesting against the lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand pelted stones and also clashed with police. On the basis of the video evidences and complaints of shopkeepers, 6 cases were registered in two police stations against 57 individuals and 2,000 unidentified men.Those who had made appeal to participate in protest on social media have also been booked. Majority of the 57 men named in FIRs are those associated with different Muslim organisations. These include Sami Agai of Muslim Vikas Manch, Irfan Salim of Muslim Action Committee, Jameeluddin Qureshi of Jamiatul Quresh, Chaudhary Farhan of Muslim Mahasabha and Idris Ali of AIMIM. TOI
UP on alert over reports of protest by Muslims
Lucknow:UP police have been put on alert ahead of Friday prayers following reports of protests over lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand, reports IANS.Muslims from across Uttar Pradesh are set to organise a peaceful protest after Friday prayers against the state police also that have booked over 1000 protestors in Meerut following demonstrations in western UP earlier this week, according to reports.A huge rally was held on Sunday in Meerut city of Uttar Pradesh to protest against mob-lynching in India and faced violence at the hands of the police in the form of lathi charge, according to reports.While none of the Muslim clerics in Lucknow is willing to comment on the nature of protest, they did not rule out a sit-in after the Friday prayers.Meanwhile, a senior police officer said all police chiefs have been told to ensure vigil on mosques in their area.Caravan News
Rahul Gandhi pleads not guilty in RSS defamation case, says this is fight of ideology, it will continue
New Delhi:Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today pleaded “not guilty” before a Mumbai local court in connection with a defamation case filed by an RSS worker against him for allegedly linking journalist Gauri Lankesh’s killing with the organisation. He was granted bail on a surety of Rs 15,000. Former Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad stood as surety for Gandhi. The matter has been posted for further hearing on Sept.22. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury who is also named in the case appeared before the court today and pleaded not guilty.Talking to reporters outside the court, Gandhi who quit as Congress chief said, “This is a fight of ideology. I am with the poor and farmers. The fight (against BJP) will continue with 10 times more vigour.”As Gandhi reached the court, around 150 Congress supporters held placards outside the building andshouted slogans asking Gandhi to take back his resignation as the party’s president. Congress workers also shouted similar slogans outside Mumbai airport when Gandhi landed here this morning.In 2017, RSS Swayam Sevak, Dhrutiman Joshi had filed a defamation case against Gandhi, Yechury for ‘defaming RSS’ following murder of Lankesh in Bengaluru.indianexpress
Kharge to Shinde: Names doing rounds for Rahul Gandhi’s successor
After Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress chief, the party is abuzz with names of possible successors and alternative solutions. Congress can put in place a CPM Politburo-like mechanism to run party collectively, a suggestion says. Some leaders are also suggesting the appointment of a veteran close to the Gandhi family as interim president or even holding an election.While Congress said Rahul will continue to be president until his resignation is accepted by CWC and a new chief is appointed after due process, here are a few names that are in the running for the spot: Mallikarjun  Kharge, 9-time MLA and 2-term MP had served as Union Cabinet Minister, Dalit leader Sushil Kumar Shinde, known to be a Gandhi loyalist, served as Home Minister in Manmohan Govt,  Anand Sharma, who served as a Congress spokesperson for years, is Deputy Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha since 2014, Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot and Mukul Balkrishna Wasnik, another Dalit leader whose name is doing the rounds for the top spot in Congress. indian express
Congress calls Aadhaar Bill 'political plagiarism' in Lok Sabha; says it breaches Fundamental Rights
Congress vehemently opposed Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha today. Congress Floor Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also criticised Govt for promulgating an Ordinance on the same. “You borrowed Aadhaar from us,” Chowdhury said. Direct Benefit Transfer programme was also borrowed, he added.“Your way is not befitting of a democratic Govt. It is political plagiarism,” he alleged. “When we constituted Aadhar, it did not breach anybody’s Fundamental Rights,” said Chowdhury. He said that while the Constitution had a provision for Ordinances, “it gives directions on when and why and how an Ordinance can be promulgated”. He said it can be promulgated under extraordinary circumstances or emergencies that warrant its promulgation.Manish Tewari said that UPA Govt had come out with 13 objectives to be achieved by UIDAI. “The rationale of Aadhaar was to ascertain the identity of those who were bereft of ration cards and such other basic amenities,” he said.thehindu
Opposition criticises govt on Aadhaar amendments
Opposition parties reject Centre's call for 'one nation, one election', demand return of ballot papers
New Delhi: Opposition parties have rejected govt's call for "one nation, one election" and demanded that the ballot papers must be brought back to restore the faith of people in country's electoral system."EVMs have been a very huge problem. We must not conclude or think if you are anti-EVM you are against technology. When the technology does not guarantee perfection then you need to question the technology. We want ballot papers," Derek O'Brien of TMC said initiating short-duration discussion on electoral reforms in Rajya Sabha.He listed several issues in the present electoral system, including interruptions of international companies during polls, misuse of data, social media and EVMs."It's time we legislate on electoral reforms," he said, suggesting to amend the Constitution or bring legislation as to how the election commissioners are appointed."EC is part of the problem," Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said quoting the poll panel's advisory which was issued in March prior to the Lok Sabha election, curbing the politicisation of Indian Army in the polls."He cited examples of several European countries that have banned EVMs and said his party's opposition to EVMs was "in principle".SP's Ram Gopal Yadav said EVMs may or may not be rigged, but the people do not trust it."To restore the confidence of the people,it is necessary that we should get back to the ballot paper," he said. CPI's D Raja urged the house to go for a collegium to appoint election commissioners and opposed simultaneous polls as "unconstitutional". Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, too, opposed conduct of elections through EVMs."Ballot system should be brought back,"he said.ANI
Rape against children in India up by 5 times in 20 yrs
New Delhi: The absolute number of reported rapes against children has gone up by 5 times in the last 2 decades, according to a report released by the alliance of child rights Joining Forces for Children India.The report ‘Child Rights in India – An Unfinished Agenda’ states that while India has made great strides on child mortality front, child sex ratio and sexual violence against children remains a concern. Citing National Bureau of Crime records, it states that the absolute number of reported rapes against children has increased approximately five times between 1994 and 2016.The report while acknowledging that the reporting of crime against children has increased maintains that “experts and communities believe that incidents of violence, particularly on younger children, have also gone up”.The report states that child sex ratio has declined from 927(Census 2001) to 919 (Census 2011), and continues to decline in many states of India. It reads, “Decreasing sex ratio, and increase in incidents of rape among girls are the two indicators that demonstrate the increased vulnerability of girls. In all the states, girls reported that their mobility is severely compromised due to safety and security reasons and this does not affect boys to the same extent.”indian express
Centre opposes PIL seeking to make rape law gender-neutral
New Delhi:Centre has opposed in the Delhi High Court a PIL for making IPC sections pertaining to rape gender-neutral, saying the perpetrators are mostly men and therefore, the legislation has been enacted to check the rising number of sexual offences against women.Ministry of Home Affairs, in its additional affidavit before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, said sections have been enacted after due deliberation and widescale consultations. ministry was responding to a PIL by Sanjjiiv K kumaar, who has said that “IPC 375 and IPC 376, in current form, which is gender specific and not gender neutral, doesn’t secure males and thus doesn’t stand the constitutional test and fails in Right to Privacy”.Kumaar, an activist, had also pointed that as per the recent apex court ruling on Right to Privacy, both male and female have equal protection of law under the Constitution. The petition said no one can claim special privilege if the perpetrator of the crime is a female and she is immune to criminal action.indianexpress
Karnataka: 4 students gangrape dalit girl, share video, 5 held
Mangaluru: 5 students of a private college in Dakshina Kannada district have been arrested on charges of raping a Dalit girl in March this year.The incident came to light after a number of video clips of the incident were shared on the social media and messaging applications, Mangaluru Police said. All the 5 accused are 19 years of age and have been charged with gangrape. 18-year-old girl knew one of the accused who went to the same college where the victim is pursuing her studies. According to police reports, all 4 accused took the girl to a forested area in their car in the first week of March this year. They drugged and raped her there and recorded the entire incident. They also threatened the girl not to tell anybody about the incident or they would be shared the video on social media. newsx
Attacks on Gujarat Dalits: Assailants on bail, parole
Rajkot:Less than a week ago, Piyush Sarvaiya, a 29-year-old Dalit from Una town, was assaulted by two men who were among 11 convicted by a special court last November for the murder of his brother in 2012. The two were out on parole and this was a revenge attack for the punishment handed to them by the court.This was the fourth such case in less than 2 months in Saurashtra where those accused of murder returned to attack the family members of their victims or against whom they had a grouse.The incidents preceding Una were reported from Rajkot, Surendranagar and Botad districts and each time, the assailants were either out on bail or parole. Piyush was kicked and slapped, but in the other three incidents, family members were killed.The motive behind the 3 killings seem to be the waning dominance of the upper castes in their own village or town. The string of copycat unrelated murders began on May 22 when 19-year-old Rajesh Sondarva was clubbed to death, allegedly by men from the Kshatriya community, two of who were arrested for murdering his father Nanji Sondarva last year. An RTI activist from Manekvada village in Rajkot, Nanji had filed pleas to expose alleged corruption by the accused.indianexpress
Family Alleges Fake Encounter after UP Police Killed 2 ‘Criminals’ in Barabanki
Lucknow:Family members of Zubair and Lomas, who were killed in a police encounter on 30 June in Barabanki, have alleged that the duo were slain in a staged encounter. They claimed that the deceased were not criminals but facing minor charges.But according to the police, Zubair and Lomas were dreaded criminals who were planning to rob a bank after stealing a motorcycle from a police station. The Superintendent of Police, Ajay Sahni claimed that they had cash rewards on their heads and three dozen cases filed against their names. A police team was also reportedly deputed to nab them, as they were freely roaming in the district.The duo had fired at inspector Sumit Shrivastva and Constable Shamsul Hasan, injuring them in the process. Following this, police retaliated. Both of them suffered heavy casualties in police firing and were rushed to hospital where they were declared dead. However, the family offered a completely different version. Calling the encounter fake, Jubair’s wife Noor Jahan said that the police picked him up from Basura area where he had gone to take money from somebody. When he did not come back, she tried calling him repeatedly but couldn’t reach him. They even searched for him profusely but without success. On Friday, police informed them about his death and encounter.Zubair on the other hand, was a bangle-vendor, and had reportedly beat up when he had pushed his father during a ration distribution. Due to this, Zubair had gone to Jail.Caravan Daily
Delhi temple attack: Don’t know whether temple was vandalised by Hindu or Muslims, says man involved in parking row
New Delhi:Amid reports of communal tension in Hauz Qazi of Chandni Chowk after a fight over parking snowballed into the vandalism of a temple, one of the men involved in the parking row said he was not sure which community vandalised the temple.I don't know if those who attacked the temple were Muslims. It's only hearsay that people who attacked the temple were Muslims. I can’t even recognise them, Sanjeev Kumar told India Today TV on Wednesday.On what triggered the argument, Sanjeev Kumar said on he found a bike parked in front of his house on Sunday night following which he asked the owner of the bike to park the vehicle somewhere else. This led to a scuffle,he said.Reiterating that there was no intention to give the Hauz Qazi incident a communal colour, Sanjeev said, I don't know if the man [bike owner] was a Muslim or Hindu. Accusing the politicians of giving the incident a communal tone, Sanjeev Kumar said, Politicians end up giving communal colour to everything. Whether it is AAP, Congress or BJP, there is no exception.indiatoday
Hauz Qazi: Muslim body to bear the expenses to renovate vandalised temple
New Delhi: In an attempt to restore peace in the city’s Hauz Qazi area, both the communities met and decided to put an end to the tension which arose two days ago after a parking dispute snowballed into a communal clash. Jamshed Siddiqui, who was heading Muslim community, said: “We have spoken to each other on the issue and decided that Aman Committee would bear the expenses to renovate the vandalised temple.” IANS
Custodial death of 2 Muslims in Bihar: SC rejects plea for SIT probe, asks petitioner to move HC
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has rejected a plea that had sought an SIT probe into custodial death of 2 Muslim youths, and asked petitioner to move the Patna High Court. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi rejected the plea filed by ex IAS officer Sajjad Hasan on behalf of civil rights group ‘Citizens Against Hate’.The police had picked Gufran Alam, 30, and Taslim Ansari, 32, from their homes in East Champaran district on March 6 this year in a case of alleged theft and murder case. Police took them to Sitamarhi district and next day informed their families about their death. They had been brutally tortured in the custody and even nails had been hammered into their bodies.India Tomorrow
DJs playing only bhajan will be allowed in Kanwar Yatra, no filmy songs, rules Yogi govt
Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has said that DJs will be allowed during Kanwar Yatra only if they play bhajan and not filmy songs. A strict action will be taken against those who are found violating this instruction.This decision was taken during chief minister Adityanath’s meeting with the administration and Police department officials at Lok Bhawan, Lucknow."DJs will not be banned during the 'Kavan Yatra' but they should only play bhajans. No filmy song is allowed," an official statement from CMO's office read.nationalheraldindia
On action against Hafiz Saeed, MEA says Pak trying to hoodwink international community
NewDelhi:Pakistan is trying to hoodwink the international community with its “cosmetic” steps against terror groups, External Affairs Ministry said. MEA’s response came after Pakistan claimed that it had “booked” Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his close associates for “terrorism financing” in 23 cases, amidst growing global pressure on Islamabad to act against militant groups launching deadly attacks in India.“Pakistan is trying to hoodwink the international community on taking action against terror groups.“Let us not get fooled by cosmetic steps against terror groups by Pakistan,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.PTI
Saeed, his aides to be arrested ‘very soon’: Pak cop
Lahore : JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his close aides will be arrested “very soon”, police said on Thursday, a day after Pakistani authorities booked them for committing multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering.CTD has booked (13) leaders of JuD and other proscribed organisations on the charges of terror financing. As FIRs have been registered the suspects will be arrested shortly,”Punjab police spokesperson Niyab Haider Naqvi told PTI. When asked as to why CTD has not yet arrested Saeed and others despite their nomination in FIRs, Naqvi said: “In first, FIR is registered against a suspect and then he is arrested. Saeed and others nominated in FIRs will also be arrested subsequently.”A source in the Imran Khan Govt told PTI that the Punjab police are waiting a go-ahead from the “top” to lay hand on Saeed.PTI
India has asked Pak to protect Hindus, stop targeting dissidents in Balochistan: MEA
Indian Govt has from time to time recommended to Pakistan to take steps for preventing 'conversions and marriages of minorities' including Hindu,Sikh and Christian women and stop targeting political dissidents in Balochistan, Lok Sabha was informed."India has recommended to Pakistan, inter alia, to end forced conversions and marriages of minorities, including Hindu, Sikh and Christian women, and prosecute all cases; to stop targeting political dissidents and legitimate criticism in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in Lok Sabha.UNI
‘Pak using Kartarpur to back Khalistani agenda’
Chandigarh: Indian intelligence agencies apprehend that Pakistan is more concerned and interested in opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor because it wants to exploit Sikh sentiments to support the Khalistani agenda in India. The security agencies also apprehend that after opening of the corridor, Sikh radicalization will be increased manifold in the state of Punjab. These observations were made by top security agencies of the country in meeting held few months ago to discuss issues related to management of border in Punjab. Kartarpur corridor will be operational for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak falling in Nov this year. More than 45% of work on the Indian side has been completed on the corridor despite the detailed apprehensions of the security agencies. India and Pakistan will meet at Wagah on July 14 for a second round of meeting to finalise the modalities of the corridor. 3 technical level meetings have been held in Dera Baba Nanak between the two countries after first meeting on March 14. TOI
Talks on Kashmir can be held only at highest level: Hurriyat
New Delhi:Even as Modi Govt has articulated its intent to address the festering Kashmir issue — both houses of Parliament have seen a substantive debate on this — the Hurriyat Conference has indicated its willingness for a dialogue with the Centre but with the caveat that meaningful talks can only be held at the highest political level.“It is better to have a dialogue at the level of the home minister and prime minister, like we did during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said.When asked why the separatists were not talking to Dineshwar Sharma,interlocutor appointed by NDA Govt, Mirwaiz said his mandate was not clear and that political talks would be more meaningful than a dialogue at the bureaucratic level. Sharma is former director of IB.Vajpayee Govt had made headlines for several rounds of talks with the Hurriyat Conference in 2004, when it even granted leaders of the separatist group passports and signalled that they could simultaneously hold talks with Pakistani establishment. “Vajpayee realised that the Kashmir problem needs a peaceful, political engagement. Modi has won a strong mandate and he should hold talks within the ambit of humanity,” Mirwaiz said, referring to Vajpayee’s offer of looking at Jammu and Kashmir through the prism of “Kashmiriyat, jhamooriyat and insaniyaat.”HT
India says Iran oil imports not stopped
New Delhi :Indicating that there is still some confusion in India’s position on stopping oil imports from Iran in line with sanctions by the US, the Govt said on Wednesday that it does not propose to cancel trade, including oil imports, from Iran.Replying to a question on whether the Govt would “withdraw or discontinue” trade with Iran, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said, “No.” thehindu
Israeli company slammed for putting Gandhi’s image on its liquor bottles; brewery apologises
An Israeli company apologised after they were criticised for using the image of Mahatma Gandhi on their liquor bottles. The incident was brought to light when Rajya Sabha members expressed concern over a picture of the Father of the Nation being used on liquor bottles of the Israeli company. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked External Affairs minister S Jaishankar to look into the matter and take immediate appropriate action.The brewery apologised to the ‘people and the Govt of India for hurting’ their sentiments. Clarifying their position, the manufacturers said that their intention was to “honour Mahatma Gandhi”, who was the only non-Israeli face on the limited edition bottles along with 3 ex PMs– David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and Menachem Begin. Theodor Herzl, The father of Zionism, was the fifth prominent figure on the limited edition bottles.indianexpress
Haj quota has increased by 63980 in last 5 yrs: Naqvi
Haj quota has been increased by 63,980 in last 5 years, minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.PTI
Provided scholarships to more than 3 crore minority students during last five years: Naqvi
WORLD
UNSC fails to condemn airstrike in Libya
UN Security Council has failed to condemn a recent airstrike in Libya because US would not support the statement's text, according to multiple reports.The council met behind closed doors for two hours to discuss the attack, which took place Tuesday, on a migrant detention center in Tajoura suburb of the country's capital, Tripoli, which killed at least 44 people and injured 130 others.The emergency meeting was called by Peru, which holds the council presidency in July. UK reportedly circulated a statement that condemned the attack and called for a ceasefire and return to political talks.But US diplomats did not approve the statement, saying they would need word from Washington to be able to vote in favor of it, according to reports.Libya’s Govt of National Accord (GNA) blamed the airstrike on commander Khalifa Haftar's forces.UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was outraged over the attack and called for an independent investigation.US State Department condemned the attack but did not call for a ceasefire.Anadolu Agency
Libya migrant centre attack may amount to war crime: UN envoy
Egypt court orders release of Qaradawi’s daughter
An Egyptian court has ordered the release of the daughter of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the former head of International Union of Muslim Scholars, under “precautionary measures” 2 years after her arrest. “Precautionary measures” means that the defendant should surrender himself to the police station at his residence on a periodical basis. Public Prosecutor now has 24 hours to appeal the decision to release 56-year-old Ola before she can leave detention, if an appeal is submitted she will continue to be held.Ola’s family had called for her and her husband Hossam Khalaf, to be released after they completed two years of pre-trial detention.Her daughter, Ayah, said that her parents completed two years in pre-trial detention “without any charge or evidence of their guilt”.“We have hope, Ayah added, that they will be released at the next hearing in accordance with Egyptian law, in reference to their 2 years of pre-trial detention.”In June 2017, Ola and Hosam, 58, were arrested by the Egyptian authorities after they were accused of “belonging to an illegal group, Muslim Brotherhood, and planning to carry out terror operations targeting state security and institutions.”
Daughter  al-Qaradawi given supervised release after 2 years in Egyptian prison
Rights group: 3,185 extrajudicial killings in Egypt since 2013
Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) said as many as 3,185 civilians have been killed by Egyptian security forces outside the frame of law since 3 July 2013.The group explained in a report that the victims included 2,194 people who were killed during the Egyptian security forces’ attacks on peaceful gatherings, most notably the dispersal of two sit-ins in the Rabaa and Al-Nahda squares on 14 Aug.2013, and 766 people who had died in detention centres, including 122 people who died as a result of torture, 516 people who died as a result of medical negligence, 37 due to overcrowding and poor conditions in detention and 91 people due to corruption of the detention facilities’ administrations.“In the six years since July 3, 2013, in Egypt, the human rights situation has been continually declining in an unprecedented manner. Security forces have practiced all forms of violations under the climate of complete impunity,”UK-based body said in its report titled “Six Years of Impunity”.middleeastmonitor
Rights group calls for international investigation into Sisi regime
Pak PM To Meet Taliban Leaders Soon
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan will soon meet with leaders of the Taliban in an attempt to push forward an otherwise sluggish peace process in war-ravaged Afghanistan, his adviser on political affairs said."Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet the Taliban leaders soon for the peaceful resolution of the Afghan crisis and the Afghan Govt has also shown its consent in this regard," Naeem ul Haq was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan while addressing a conference in the capital, Islamabad.Haq said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan late last month had helped build confidence between the two neighbors.Anadolu Agency
Pakistan gets $6 billion lifeline from IMF
Executive Board of IMF has approved a three-year, $6 billion bailout package for cash-strapped Pakistan, adviser to Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh confirmed.Executive Board has already released $1bn to Pakistan under the country’s 13th IMF programme. Islamabad will receive $2bn annually under an extended fund facility (EFF), reports said. With the loan package, Pakistan will be able to rein in mounting debts and stave off a looming balance of payments crisis.Confirming the approval of the loan, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said the financial support aims to return sustainable growth to the country’s economy and improve the standards of living. NewsX
Erdogan: US scrapping F-35 jet deal with Turkey would be robbery
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said it would be "robbery" for US to deny Turkey the F-35 fighter jets it has bought, according to remarks published in Turkish media."If you have a customer and that customer is making payments like clockwork, how can you not give that customer their goods? The name of that would be robbery," said Erdogan, as Turkey faces potential US sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile system. He said that Turkey had so far paid $1.4bn for F-35s and that four jets had been handed over, with Turkish pilots going to the US for training.aljazeera
Turkey protests with UNO, Geneva over PKK deal
Geneva:Turkey has lodged protests with UN's Geneva office for signing deal with PKK terror group and Switzerland for giving entry to the terrorists, officials said today. The protest notes came after UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba’s meeting with PKK terrorist Ferhat Abdi Sahin -- who commands SDF, a label used by the terrorist group PKK/YPG -- to sign an "action plan" at UNO in Geneva without the knowledge of the members.In the protest notes, Turkey's permanent mission to the UN office at Geneva documented that Sahin was sought by the Interpol with a red notice.The permanent mission also got in touch with the office of Geir O. Pedersen, the UN's special envoy for Syria, on whether they had knowledge about the "action plan".Anadolu Agency
Israel Supreme Court throws out petition for Palestinian child prisoners to call parents
Israel’s Supreme Court has refused to hear a petition filed by a human rights organisation which requested that Palestinian child prisoners be allowed to call their parents while in detention.Israeli non-profit “HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual” filed the petition to the Supreme Court, arguing against Israeli procedures which subject those Palestinian minors classified as “security prisoners” to the same restrictions as adult prisoners. This includes refusing them permission to call their parents while in detention, which HaMoked argues can cause severe psychological damage to the children.However, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the petition, claiming the case should have first been brought to a lower court on behalf of one or more specific prisoners.middleeastmonitor
Flash: views & NEWS
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq
(Released at: 7:00 PM)

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