Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The facility was headed by JeM chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar, says Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale
The Balakot camp run by the terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that was hit by the Indian Air Force in the early hours of Tuesday “housed more than 200 terrorists”, a senior government official said.
The camp was headed by Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. It is located around 200 km from Islamabad on a hilltop in a forest far from the civilian area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On the banks of the Kunhar river, the camp offered the possibility of aquatic training to terrorists. Trainers at the camp were “ex-Army personnel”, the official said.
The camp was initially used as a training camp by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), another terrorist outfit active in Jammu and Kashmir and supported by Pakistan.
A former Intelligence official told The Hindu that Yusuf Azhar, alias Mohammad Salim, alias Ustad Ghouri, was a Hindu who converted to Islam and married Azhar’s sister.
He was one of the main conspirators involved in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 to Kandahar in 1999. The JeM chief was released by India in exchange for the hijacked passengers. His name was on a list of 20 fugitives handed over by India to Pakistan in 2002.

In 2000, the Interpol on the basis of a request by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) opened a red corner notice against Yusuf Azhar. The notice said that his place of birth was in Karachi, Pakistan and he was fluent in “Urdu and Hindi”, He is wanted in India for “hijacking, murder and kidnapping”.
The ex-official said the JeM was run like a “family enterprise”. “After Azhar, his brothers, Rauf and Ibrahim, are the most important functionaries. The next in line is Yusuf. While the main recruiter continues to be Masood Azhar, Yusuf’s job is to mainly train recruits. Masood likes to remain in the background post-2001 Parliament attack,” he said.
“The precision hit was conducted on a vast, advanced training camp. It was an important training centre for the JeM and other terror organisations. It had several structures to accommodate terrorist trainees and facilities to train them and was used for battle inoculation,” he said.
Masood Azhar and other terrorist leaders had delivered “inspirational” lectures on several occasions. “The terrorists were imparted the advanced Daura e Khaastraining in weapons, explosives and field tactics, tactics for attacking the convoys of security forces, planting and making IEDs, preparations for suicide bombing, rigging vehicles for suicide attacks and survival tactics in high altitudes and extreme-stress situations. The JeM specialises in fidayeen actions and gives immense importance to religious indoctrination and ideological brainwashing,” the ex-official said.
Masood Azhar’s relatives and cadres were trained at Balakot in advanced weapons and tactics, he said.
According to him, the first camp handed over to JeM was between Mansera and Balakot in 2001. “These camps were located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) earlier but after pressure built on Pakistan post-2001 Parliament attack, they were shifted to deep inside Pakistan,” he said.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

India vs Australia 1st T20I | Australia scampers home off the final delivery in tight finish

Coulter-Nile, Maxwell and Short the architects of the win; Bumrah bowls a brilliant penultimate over but his efforts go in vain
Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson combined to score 14 off the final over as Australia snatched a dramatic three-wicket victory over India in the first T20 international. A capacity crowd at the ACA-VDCA stadium was treated to a remarkable game on Sunday as fortunes swung this way and that.
Chasing a far-from-imposing 127, the touring side appeared to be cruising towards the target, needing 29 off the last five overs with seven wickets in hand.

But D’Arcy Short was run out in silly fashion before Krunal Pandya bowled Ashton Turner as India glimpsed an opportunity. As the tension rose and Australia’s batsmen sweated, Jasprit Bumrah sent down a superb 19th over, taking two wickets and conceding only two runs. The home side seemed the favourite from that stage but Umesh Yadav was unable to prevent one last twist.

Terrible start

Australia began its reply poorly, slipping to five for two after Marcus Stoinis and Aaron Finch fell cheaply. But Glenn Maxwell soon took control. The Victorian is a delightful striker of the ball and he was on song here, attacking Umesh Yadav before launching towering sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal and Mayank Markande. When he fell for 56, the touring side was still firmly in charge but in T20 cricket, things can often unravel at break-neck speed.

Rahul is back!

Earlier, K.L. Rahul’s breezy 50 on his return to the side proved to be the top score of the Indian innings. The Karnataka batsman will have been relieved with his effort: he had endured a difficult tour of Australia, before his suspension forced an early flight home. Here, Rahul looked in fine form from the outset, opening alongside Rohit Sharma while India rested Shikhar Dhawan. He clipped Richardson off his hips before driving him through the covers. Adam Zampa was thumped down the pitch, and later deposited beyond the sight-screen.
At the other end, Rohit fell early, caught at short fine-leg trying to paddle-sweep Jason Behrendorff. Virat Kohli was involved in a lively 55-run stand for the second wicket with Rahul, a partnership broken when the captain was caught at long-on in his attempt to clobber Zampa.
Rishabh Pant was cheered to the crease, a sign of his stature as an entertainer with the bat, but his stay lasted all of five balls. He was run out for three, Behrendorff making a diving, one-handed stop at point before releasing the ball in a flash. Pant was a long way down the pitch.

The slide

When Rahul perished, caught at mid-off one ball after completing his half-century, India was still some distance away from achieving an imposing total. A big contribution would be needed in the final third of the innings, but there simply wouldn’t be any. Dinesh Karthik followed Rahul to the pavilion three balls later, Nathan Coulter-Nile uprooting middle-stump with one that moved in off the seam.
Krunal Pandya was dismissed for one, clumsily trying to heave the same bowler over the leg-side. Coulter-Nile finished with three for 26, just reward for his efforts on the evening. The Australian was also named the Man-of-the-Match.
India handed Markande his international debut, omitting Vijay Shankar from the side. The pitch would take turn, Kohli had felt at the toss, as he fielded three spinners. What this meant, however, was that Umesh walked in at eight: tails do not come much longer.
Cummins, who was excellent during his four-over spell of one for 19, swiftly accounted for the Vidarbha quick. From 76 for two at the end of the ninth over, India had slid to 109 for seven in the 17th. Even M.S. Dhoni could not help India mount a serious recovery: too much damage, it seemed, had already been done.

Scoreboard:

India: Rohit Sharma c Zampa b Behrendorff 5 (8b), K.L. Rahul c Finch b Coulter-Nile 50 (36b, 6x4, 1x6), Virat Kohli c Coulter-Nile b Zampa 24 (17b, 3x4), Rishabh Pant run out 3 (5b), M.S. Dhoni (not out) 29 (37b, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik b Coulter-Nile 1 (3b), Krunal Pandya c Maxwell b Coulter-Nile 1 (6b), Umesh Yadav lbw b Cummins 2 (4b), Yuzvendra Chahal (not out) 0 (4b); Extras (lb-2, w-9): 11; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 126.
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Rohit, 2.3 overs), 2-69 (Kohli, 8.4), 3-80 (Pant, 9.6), 4-92 (Rahul 12.2), 5-94 (Karthik, 12.6), 6-100 (Krunal, 14.6), 7-109 (Umesh, 16.5).
Australia bowling: Behrendorff 3-0-16-1, Richardson 4-0-31-0, Coulter-Nile 4-0-26-3, Zampa 3-0-22-1, Cummins 4-0-19-1, Short 2-0-10-0.
Australia: D’Arcy Short run out 37 (37b, 5x4), Marcus Stoinis run out 1 (5b), Aaron Finch lbw b Bumrah 0 (1b), Glenn Maxwell c Rahul b Chahal 56 (43b, 6x4, 2x6), Peter Handscomb c Dhoni b Bumrah 13 (15b), Ashton Turner b Krunal 0 (5b), Nathan Coulter-Nile b Bumrah 4 (8b), Pat Cummins (not out) 7 (3b, 1x4), Jhye Richardson (not out) 7 (3b, 1x4); Extras (w-2): 2; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 127.
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Stoinis, 1.6), 2-5 (Finch, 2.1), 3-89 (Maxwell, 13.3), 4-101 (Short, 15.2), 5-102 (Turner, 16.2), 6-113 (Handscomb, 18.5), 7-113 (Coulter-Nile, 18.6).
India bowling: Bumrah 4-0-16-3, Chahal 4-0-28-1, Umesh 4-0-35-0, Krunal 4-0-17-1, Markande 4-0-31-0.
Toss: Australia.
Man-of-the-match: Coulter-Nile.
Australia won by three wickets off the last ball to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Next match: Feb. 27, Bengaluru.z.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Trump says India looking at something ‘very strong’ after Pulwama attack

The international community led by the US pressed Pakistan to deny safe haven to terror groups operating form its soil and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.
Asserting that there is a lot of problems between India and Pakistan, US President Donald Trump has said New Delhi is looking at something “very strong” in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) rammed a vehicle carrying a huge quantity of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack and highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
The international community led by the US pressed Pakistan to deny safe haven to terror groups operating form its soil and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.
Mr. Trump, after his meeting with a visiting Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday that “in Kashmir, it’s very dangerous”.
The President referred to the possibility of a strong response from India in the wake of the terrorist attack.
“India is looking at something very strong. And I mean, India just lost almost 50 people with an attack. So, I could understand that also,” he said when asked about India’s right to self-defence.
Responding to questions on the tense situation between the two South Asian neighbours, Mr. Trump said the US is talking so does some other nations, without mentioning them.
“We are talking and a lot of people are talking. But, it is a very, very delicate balance going on right now. There’s a lot of problems between India and Pakistan because of what just happened,” said the US President.
“We’re very much involved in that, if that’s what you’re referring to,” he said.
Mr. Trump described the current situation between India and Pakistan as very dangerous.
“It’s a terrible thing going on right now between Pakistan and India... it is a very, very bad situation and it’s a very dangerous situation between the two countries. We would like to see it stopped. A lot of people were just killed and we want to see it stopped,” he said.
Mr. Trump claimed that his administration has developed a much better relationship with Pakistan, even after he stopped $1.3 billion in financial aid to Islamabad.
“I stopped Pakistan, the $1.3 billion that we were paying them. In the meantime, we may set up some meetings with Pakistan.
“Pakistan was taking very strong advantage of the United States under other presidents and we were paying Pakistan 1.3 billion a year. I ended that payment to Pakistan because they weren’t helping us in a way that they should have. And honestly, we’ve developed a much better relationship with Pakistan over the last short period of time than we had,” Mr. Trump said.
In the wake of the Pulwama attack, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval last week that America supports India’s right to self-defence as both sides vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe haven for JeM and other terror groups.
India has asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control.
New Delhi also announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan.

JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Jamaat-e-Islami members arrested in Kashmir

Multiple raids were conducted in south Kashmir to arrest JeI’s leadership; Mehbooba questions clampdown
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and socio-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JeI) 30 members, including the top leadership, were arrested after a night-long clampdown in Kashmir on Saturday.
Security agencies started the operation on Friday night when they arrested Malik from his residence at Maisuma around 11 p.m. He was shifted to a local police station.

An official said multiple raids were conducted in south Kashmir to arrest JeI’s leadership.
“Forces agencies launched a mass arrest drive on Friday night and dozens of central and district level leaders have been arrested,” said a JeI statement.
Those arrested included JeI chief Dr. Abdul Hamid Fayaz, spokesman advocate Zahid Ali, former secretary general Ghulam Qadir Lone and Anantnag head Abdur Rouf. The organisation has around 5,000 members in the State.
“Any attempt of eroding or tempering Article 35(A) is unacceptable for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” it added.
Former Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti questioned the government’s move. “In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders and workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. I fail to understand such an arbitrary move, which will only precipitate matters in J&K. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas,” she tweeted.

100 companies sought for Valley

In the run up of the parliament and Assembly elections, the Union Home Ministry has sought 100 companies of the security forces for J&K.
The 100 companies included 45 companies of CRPF, 35 companies of the Border Security Forces, 20 of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and 10 of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The fresh deployment also comes ahead of the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court, likely on Monday.
According to the police, the additional forces were called for election purposes, while the arrests of some leaders and activists were a move to prevent any disturbance during the election process.
An election commission team would be arriving in Kashmir on March 5 to assess the situation and to take a call on holding polls. “We took some measures to ensure peaceful elections,” said the police.
Jammu and Kashmir is now under President's rule. The PDP-BJP government fell apart in June last year.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out in Anantnag where youth clashed with security forces. The clashes impacted traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway

Arvind Kejriwal announces hunger strike, movement for Delhi Statehood

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he would start an indefinite hunger strike and the Aam Aadmi Party would launch a “movement” to demand statehood for Delhi on March 1.
Speaking on day three of the Budget session of the Delhi Assembly, Mr. Kejriwal announced in the House that he would go on indefinite hunger strike to push for the status of a full state for Delhi. The Assembly also passed a resolution in support of the demand for statehood, making it the second such resolution in less than a year after a similar resolution was passed on June 11, 2018.

Addressing the House, the Chief Minister said he was ready to give up his life for the cause, terming it the “aar paar ki ladai” or final battle. He said both the BJP and the Congress had promised statehood for Delhi during previous election campaigns, but had forgotten the promise once elected.
Later in the evening, Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet: “I cannot repay the debt of my Delhi for all that the people here have given me in my life. It will be my proud privilege to lay down my life fighting for Delhiites rights. Delhi deserves full statehood & must get it at all costs (sic).”
The AAP chief’s announcement came at the end of a day of discussion in the Assembly on the issue of powers of the elected government vis-a-vis the Lieutenant-Governor and the Centre.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Kejriwal said: “The Prime Minister should deal with Pakistan, which he is not being able to do, and leave Delhi Police and the municipal corporations to the people of Delhi”.
Earlier during the proceedings, which started off with a motion of thanks for L-G Anil Baijal’s address on Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Centre had tried to stall various projects of the AAP government.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta said the AAP was raising the demand for statehood as the Lok Sabha elections are near and the party used the lack of powers of a full state as an excuse.

Airlines, CISF put on alert after Air India receives hijack threat

A call has been received at the Air India’s Airport Operation Control Centre in Mumbai regarding a threat to an Indian Airlines flight getting hijacked to Pakistan.
Air India’s Mumbai control centre on February 23 received a phone call threatening to hijack its plane, following which the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) ordered all airlines and CISF to follow specific enhanced measures to ensure security, according to an official note.
“A telephonic message received by the station duty office, AI (Air India) AOCC (Airport Operation Control Centre) Mumbai, stating information regarding a threat to Indian Airlines flight getting hijacked to Pakistan on 23.2.2019,” stated the BCAS note dated February 23.

The note added, “In view of the above, APSU (Airport Security Unit)/ASG (Aviation Security Group) and all aircraft operators shall adopt the following (eight) measures with immediate effect.”  Both APSU and ASG are part of the Central Industrial Security Force.
According to BCAS note, the measures to be followed are: Strict access control to regulate entry to terminal building, airside, all operational area and other aviation facilities. Intensive checking of vehicles entering car parking area to preclude possibility of car bomb attacks. Enhanced screening of passengers, staff and visitors including enhanced random screening at the main gate. Enhanced screening and protection of hold baggage, cargo, cargo terminal, catering, mails, etc. Surveillance through CCTV cameras as well as manual surveillance in and around the terminal building and operational areas. Quick reaction team and perimeter patrolling to be strengthened. Manning of all cargo gates and vehicle entry gates will be strengthened with strong armed support. Any other security measures based on local intelligence inputs.
The Parliament passed Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill in 2014 in order to lay down new protocol to deal with hijacking of an airplane.
“The Bill provides death punishment for the offence of hijacking, where such offence results in the death of a hostage or of a security personnel; or with imprisonment for life and the moveable and immoveable property of such persons shall also be liable to be confiscated,” the central government said in a statement on December 3, 2014.

Friday, 22 February 2019

A drop in an ocean of debt: how farmers have benefited from Rythu Bandhu.

The first transfer of money under the PM-KISAN scheme is scheduled for Sunday. Priscilla Jebaraj reports from villages in Warangal, Telangana on how farmers have benefited from Rythu Bandhu, the income support scheme seen as the inspiration behind PM-KISAN
Early one morning in the second week of February this year, A. Kumaraswamy, 30, set out from his home in Devanoor village in Telangana’s Warangal district and walked towards his cotton field. He was staring at a third straight year of crop failure due to rainfall shortages, but he still took out his plastic canister of expensive pesticide — he uses at least ₹2,000 worth of the chemicals each week — and began spraying. Once done, he took a costly drink.
Two weeks later, Kumaraswamy sits slumped on the steps of his unplastered brick home, his fingers shaky, his eyes averted. “I was in the fields, feeling quite depressed. So I decided to drink the rest of the pesticide I had used for that morning’s spraying.” Seeing him fall down, a farmer in the neighbouring field had run across, thrown him on the back of his motorcycle and rushed him to the government hospital in Warangal town 35 km away. It’s now a week since he was discharged, and he has spent his first day in the fields again. “I still feel dizzy,” he says.

Five days before Kumaraswamy’s suicide attempt, the Union Interim Budget had announced the launch of a new scheme meant to provide income support for small farmers like him: the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, or PM-KISAN scheme. It promises ₹6,000 per year to all families who own less than two hectares — that is, five acres — of farmland. The first instalment of ₹2,000 is to be paid by this March, before the Lok Sabha polls.
In many ways, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre is following in the footsteps of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government in this State. Last May, just four months before dissolving the State Assembly and calling for fresh polls, the Telangana government launched the Rythu Bandhu or farmers’ investment support scheme, offering farmers ₹8,000 per acre in a bid to “enhance agricultural productivity and… break the vicious cycle of rural indebtedness”. Only land-owning farmers are eligible beneficiaries and there is no cap on the number of acres owned. The scheme has a budget of ₹12,000 crore for 2018-19 for a total of 57 lakh targeted beneficiaries, although farmers groups say that at least nine lakh beneficiaries are yet to receive any money.
When Assembly elections were held in December, after the first instalment of Rythu Bandhu had been paid, the TRS swept the polls, winning 88 out of 119 seats, including the entire Warangal area. Rythu Bandhu was seen as one of the major reasons for the victory.

‘It solves no problems’

Kumaraswamy had been a beneficiary of the Rythu Bandhu scheme, receiving ₹8,000 for the one acre he owns. However, he received no benefit for the five acres he leased.
He had started leasing land six years ago, lured by the solid profits then enjoyed by cotton farmers. He hoped that a higher investment would rake in higher returns, help him pay off some pending loans, and finance his children’s education. It paid off for a couple of years, before three consecutive years of drought and poor rainfall threw him into a nightmare of higher investment, higher losses, and higher debt. He says: “I need to pay for labour, tractor rental, 10 bags of fertilizer per acre, plus lease of ₹10,000 per acre per year. Every week, I spend ₹2,000-₹3,000 on pesticides because every week there is a new pest, even though Bt cotton was supposed to cut down on pesticides. I have no money to dig borewells.” He used the money from Rythu Bandhu to buy fertilizer, but it was merely a drop in an ocean of bills. He now has pending loans of more than ₹6 lakh, mostly taken from family and friends at an interest rate of 2% per month.

U.P. Police drop sedition charges against 14 Aligarh Muslim University students

Police have dropped sedition charges slapped against 14 Aligarh Muslim University after the recent protests on the campus, citing lack of evidence.
The students were booked for sedition after Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) district president Mukesh Lodhi alleged he was assaulted by some students who chanted pro-Pakistan slogans, police said.

Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said on February 22 the charges were dropped three days back as there is no evidence to support them.
He said there was no video proof or any other evidence to support the claim that anti-India or pro-Pakistan slogans were raised by the students during the clash between two groups at University Circle on February 12.
The clashes appeared to have been triggered by reports that AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was visiting the campus. BJYM, the youth wing of the BJP, had demanded that the reported visit should be banned.
There was also an altercation between some AMU students and a news channel’s crew that had come to cover the anticipated visit, which never took place.
Meanwhile, police raided a house in Noida on February 22, looking for Kashmiri student Basim Hilal over a tweet mocking the security forces after the Pulwama terror attack.
They failed to find the student who has already been suspended by the AMU authorities. A case under section IPC 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) had been registered against him.

Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize for 2018.

Award committee recognises his contribution to the growth of Indian and global economies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth.
The award was presented to him by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at a grand ceremony in Seoul. A short film on the life and achievements of Mr. Modi was screened at the event.

While conferring the award on Mr. Modi, the award committee recognised his contribution to the growth of Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor.
The committee also pointed to his contribution to regional and global peace through a proactive policy with countries around the world.
Mr. Modi is the 14th recepient of the award and the past laureates include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and renowned international relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.
The Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul. The award was established to crystalise Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean peninsula and in the rest of the world.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed-led JuD, its charity wing FIF

Pakistan on Thursday banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
A spokesman of the Interior Ministry said that the decision to ban these groups was taken during a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan at his office on Thursday.
It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against proscribed organisations,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“It was further decided that Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation be notified as proscribed organizations by the Ministry of Interior,” he added.
Earlier, the two outfits were kept on the watchlist of the interior ministry.
According to officials, JuD’s network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance service. The two groups have about 50,000 volunteers and hundreds of other paid workers.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated its chief Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017.
The NSC meeting also reviewed the National Action Plan against terrorism in detail. Services chiefs and key ministers were in attendance.
“We need to move to ensure that militancy and extremism are rooted from the society and the State never becomes hostage to extremists,” Mr. Khan said as he directed both the interior ministry and the security institutions to immediately accelerate actions on ground.

PM Modi arrives in South Korea on two-day visit to bolster strategic ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Seoul Thursday on a two-day visit to strengthen India’s strategic ties with South Korea and seek to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including trade and investment.
Ahead of his visit, the Prime Minister described South Korea as an important partner for India’s key initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, and said as fellow democracies the two countries share values and vision for regional and global peace.

Mr. Modi is visiting South Korea on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in. This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and second summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said the visit would strengthen India’s special strategic partnership with South Korea and add dynamism to the Look East Policy.
During the visit, Mr. Modi will have bilateral and business engagements, unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi and accept the Seoul Peace Prize conferred upon him, Mr. Kumar said in a tweet.
Earlier in his departure statement, Mr. Modi said his visit is reflective of the importance “we both attach to our relationship”.
“We regard the Republic of Korea as a valued friend, a nation with which we have a Special Strategic Partnership. As fellow democracies, India and the ROK have shared values and a shared vision for regional and global peace,” the Prime Minister said.
“As fellow market economies, our needs and strengths are complementary. South Korea is an important partner for our ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as in our ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Clean India’ initiatives,” Mr. Modi said.
He said collaboration between the two in the field of science and technology is encouraging, with joint research ranging from basic to advanced sciences.
“Our people to people ties and exchanges, as always, provide the bedrock of our ties of friendship, he said.
“Working together, we are determined to take our relationship forward as a ‘future oriented partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace’,” the prime minister said.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

PM Modi arrives in South Korea on two-day visit to bolster strategic ties

Mr. Modi is visiting South Korea on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in. This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and second summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said the visit would strengthen India’s special strategic partnership with South Korea and add dynamism to the Look East Policy.
During the visit, Mr. Modi will have bilateral and business engagements, unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi and accept the Seoul Peace Prize conferred upon him, Mr. Kumar said in a tweet.
Earlier in his departure statement, Mr. Modi said his visit is reflective of the importance “we both attach to our relationship”.
“We regard the Republic of Korea as a valued friend, a nation with which we have a Special Strategic Partnership. As fellow democracies, India and the ROK have shared values and a shared vision for regional and global peace,” the Prime Minister said.
“As fellow market economies, our needs and strengths are complementary. South Korea is an important partner for our ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as in our ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Clean India’ initiatives,” Mr. Modi said.
He said collaboration between the two in the field of science and technology is encouraging, with joint research ranging from basic to advanced sciences.
“Our people to people ties and exchanges, as always, provide the bedrock of our ties of friendship, he said.
“Working together, we are determined to take our relationship forward as a ‘future oriented partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace’,” the prime minister said.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case live | Even under Pakistan laws, possessing a fake passport doesn't warrant a death penalty: India

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Here are the live updates:
8:20 p.m.
In Tuesday's arguments, Pakistan quoted two articles published in Indian magazines to prove their point. Harish Salve, India's counsel, quotes the same articles and says Jadhav was not arrested in Iran-Pakistan border town Sarawan as claimed by Pakistan.
8:10 p.m.
During the second round of public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India strongly objects to the abusive language of Pakistan’s counsel. Harish Salve, on behalf of India, reiterates that Pakistan never allowed consular access to Jadhav.
Countering Pakistan's claims that they were unsure of Jadhav's nationality as the reason for denying consular access, Mr. Salve says India has never said Jadhav wasn't an Indian national.
If Pakistan believes Jadhav's confession, why are they doubting his nationality? he asks.
Mr. Salve accepts that Jadhav did carry a fake passport, which is a crime in India too. But does that warrant a dealth penalty? he asks. Even under the laws of Pakistan, possessing a fake passport doesn't warrant a death penalty, he argues.
Just because he carries such a passport, it doesn't mean he was there to carry out terror activities, Mr. Salve says.
8.00 p.m.

Oral arguments set to continue

Both India and Pakistan will get an hour-and-a-half to present their final arguments. "Second round must not be a repetition of the first," said Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf on Tuesday, at the conclusion of the hearing on Day 2.

7.50 p.m.

Jadhav's arrest and sentencing

Jadhav, a former naval officer, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April 2017 over allegations of espionage and abetting terror, after three-and-a-half months of trial.
In May that year, India filed an application to launch proceedings against Pakistan for “egregious violations” of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, accusing Pakistan of failing to comply with its obligations under Article 36 of that convention. It argued that Pakistan had failed to inform Jadhav of his rights and had denied him consular access, despite repeated requests for this to happen.
India also applied for provisional measures to stay the execution of Jadhav, arguing that without such a measure it feared that he could be executed before the full case could be heard