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Pakistan hostilities continue despite Eid, soldier killed

Shelling from across the Line of Control marred Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. One soldier died in the unprovoked firing from Pakistan in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, said the Army.The ceasefire violation on the day of the festival prompted the Army to cancel its customary exchange of sweets with its counterparts from the neighbouring country.The Pakistani army fired mortars 700 metres deep inside the Indian territory in the morning targeting patrol parties along the LoC. “In the exchange of fire, Rifleman Bikas Gurung was grievously injured who later succumbed,” said an Army spokesman in Jammu.Twenty-one-year-old Gurung, who hailed from Khunka Khuki village in Manipur, is survived by his mother Beana May Gurung. “The unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan, especially on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, is highly unethical and unprofessional”, said the spokesman.Officials said the Indian Army exercised maximum restraint in spite of serious provocation. “However, Indian Army was forced to respond to the unprovoked firing. It will give a befitting response at the time and place of own choosing,” the spokesperson said.To mark its protest, the Army decided not to go ahead with the Eid sharing of sweets, considered a goodwill gesture, with the Pakistani army. “The exchange of sweets between the Indian and Pakistan Army on the sacred occasion of Eid stands cancelled,” said the spokesman.Saturday’s ceasefire violation comes three days after Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy shelling on Border Security Force troopers, killing three officers and a jawan dead and wounding five in Chamliyal area of Ramnagar sector of Samba district.The killing of the soldier also comes one and a half months after the Director General of Military Operations of both countries agreed to “fully implement” the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” to stop cross-border firings in Jammu and Kashmir.According to official data, 633 ceasefire violations were recorded along the LoC and the International Border in the state in the first two months of 2018. Of these, 432 incidents were reported from the LoC. Last year, there were 860 ceasefire violations along the LoC and 111 incidents on the IB.Figures presented in the J&K Legislative Council show that 25 civilians were killed and 163 injured in Pakistani firing along the LoC and IB in past two years.
Jammu And Kashmir

Indian Army

Pakistan Army

Line of Control

Border Security Force

Ceasefire Violation

Pakistan Rangers

Bikas Gurung

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Jammu and Kashmir: BJP leaders meet family of slain Army jawan Aurangzeb on Eid

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina on Saturday met the family of Army rifleman Aurangzeb, who was abducted and later killed by militants in Shopian district of South Kashmir, and said his killers would be eliminated soon.Aurangzeb was abducted on Thursday when he was on his way home in Rajouri district for Eid celebrations. His body was found by a team of police and Army about 10 km away from Kalampora in Pulwama district. He was shot in head and neck.Raina and other BJP leaders met Aurangzeb’s family in Salani village in Poonch district and condoled his death.As Raina reached the village, local people gathered in the area shouted pro-India and anti-Pakistani slogans.Raina, MLA from the border constituency Nowshera, asserted the sacrifice of army men will never go unnoticed. He said “a pall of gloom has descended on this village” on Eid.”Pakistan is involved in the bloodshed and violence in Kashmir on the last day of Ramzan before Eid,” he said, adding, “all those killers will be eliminated soon.” Raina urged the civil society of Kashmir to rise and contribute to eliminate the evil of terrorism from the Valley.BJP state general-secretary Ashok Kaul said the attack on Aurangzeb was an act of extreme cowardice as the militants targeted him when he was off-duty.BJP in-charge Kashmir Narinder Singh said the party stands with the Army jawan’s family in this hour of sorrow.
Pakistan

Ramzan

Aurangzeb

Army

Jammu

Pulwama

Poonch

Ashok Kaul

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Gauri Lankesh killing: SIT summons Sri Ram Sene district head, Pramod Muthalik distances himself

The Special Investigation Team probing the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has summoned Rakesh Math, the Vijayapura district president of fringe right-wing outfit Sri Ram Sene, for questioning, a senior police official said today.The SIT decided to question Math since the suspected shooter of Lankesh, Parashuram Waghmare, was an active member of the Hindutva organisation linked to moral policing in parts of Karnataka, the official told PTI.The official, from the SIT, said they wanted to find out whether Math was involved in Lankesh’s assassination and whether he “brainwashed” Waghmare to participate in the plot.Math and Waghmare were allegedly involved in hoisting a Pakistani flag outside the tahsildar office in their hometown Sindagi of Vijayapura district in Karnataka in January 2012.The SIT believes Math has a strong support base in coastal regions, including Mangaluru, and parts of north Karnataka.”We have summoned Rakesh Math. He has not come yet,” the official said.Sri Ram Sene founder and chief Pramod Muthalik has distanced himself and his organisation from Waghmare and the killing of Lankesh and other rationalists.Lankesh was shot dead at the entrance of her Bengaluru residence on September 5 last year.”There is no connection between Sri Ram Sene and Waghmare. He is neither our member nor our worker. This I say very clearly,” said Muthalik.The Sene chief said when the Pakistani flag hoisting issue had come to light, it was said that Waghmare was a member of Sri Ram Sene. However, he said he has proved that Waghmare was not a member of Sri Ram Sene but of RSS.”I had shared his pictures sporting RSS uniform. I had said at that time that he is an RSS worker and not of Sri Ram Sene,” Muthalik said.Conceding that Math is the district head of Sene, Muthalik said he has been summoned for inquiry because all of them are from Sindagi town and were involved in the Pakistani flag hoisting incidentSince both Waghmare and Math were involved in the Pakistani flag case and were from the same town, the police might have summoned the latter for interrogation, he told PTI.”Rakesh Math is our district president. However, the organisation has its own constitution according to which it functions. If somebody does something privately in his personal capacity, it cannot be held responsible,” he said.Parashuram Waghmare’s father Ashok Waghmare, who had come from Sindagi to Bengaluru to see his son, said he was innocent but could not recall where he (Parashuram) was on September 5, the day Lankesh was shot dead.”I think he was at home,” Ashok Waghmare told a Kannada news channel.Math said he came to Bengaluru following a notice to appear for the inquiry.”I received a notice stating that my presence was required for the investigation (of Lankesh murder case),” Math told the channel.He also said he has been Parashuram Waghmare’s friend and his arrest was quite shocking.He said he came to know about his (Parashuram Waghmare’s) arrest after the police picked him up.Math was confident that his friend would come out clean.He denied his involvement in the killing and said he has only been doing organisational work.
Karnataka

Hindutva

Pramod Muthalik

Sri Ram Sene

Gauri Lankesh

Rakesh Math

Parashuram Waghmare

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Armed with RTI reply, Congress asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise

Equipped with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) reply, the Congress has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi either to substantiate the allegation made during Gujarat election campaign that the Congress had held a meeting with Pakistani officials and were trying to influence the polls, or apologise for it.A Right to Information (RTI) query sent to the PMO by the Congress sought to know on what basis did PM Modi allege that top Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had met with Pakistan’s high commissioner and former foreign minister, and that the foreign power had intervened in the Gujarat elections.Stating that PM Modi’s allegations were grave as they pertained to the country’s sovereignty, the RTI query sought to know if there was any evidence about the alleged meeting and if a probe had been launched into the matter.In its reply, the PMO said, “The information sought does not form part of the records held by this office.”The PMO added, “Inputs received from multiple channels, including formal and informal, form the source of the PM’s statements.”Asking PM Modi to come clean on the issue, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “PM Modi’s allegations had shocked everyone then. Why did not he launch a probe to unveil such a dangerous conspiracy. He should either tell us the source of that critical information or apologise to the country for making baseless allegations to influence public opinion.”During the final phase of the campaign, PM Modi while addressing a rally in Palanpur had raised questions about the alleged appeal by former director general (DG) of Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, to make senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel the chief minister of Gujarat.Sucking former PM Manmohan Singh into the controversy, PM Modi had alleged that Pakistan’s high commissioner and former foreign minister had attended a meeting at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house where former PM Manmohan Singh was also present.”On one hand, Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, on the other, Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Aiyar’s house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts?” PM Modi had said.‘Sovereign Issue’RTI query to PMO sought to know on what basis did Modi allege that top Cong leaders including Manmohan Singh had met with Pak leaders.
Congress

Pakistan

Right to Information (RTI)

Narendra Modi

Manmohan Singh

Mani Shankar Aiyar

Pakistan Army

Ahmed Patel

Pawan Khera

Gujarat elections

Gujarat Election Campaign

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SCO military drills will help ease Indo-Pak tensions: Chinese experts

A joint military exercise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states to be held in Russia in which Indian and Pakistani armies are taking part for the first time will help ease tensions between the two neighbours and promote positive interactions, Chinese experts have said.Member states of the SCO will participate in the joint military drill dubbed Peace Mission 2018 to promote mutual trust, cooperation and coordination against terrorist threats and to maintain regional peace and stability, the China Daily reported today.The drill will follow the 18th SCO Summit, scheduled for June 9 and 10 in Qingdao, Shandong province, the daily said.The summit will be attended by a host of world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The last exercise of the SCO was held in Kyrgyzstan in September 2016. The 2018 exercise will be the first for India and Pakistan since becoming full members of the SCO in 2017, the daily reported.The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.It also will be the first time India and Pakistan take part in a military exercise together since their independence, though their militaries have previously worked on United Nations peacekeeping missions, the daily said.Li Xing, a professor of international relations at Beijing Normal University, said India and Pakistan joining the exercise represents a new height in security cooperation through the SCO.”India and Pakistan have had many conflicts, but the SCO exercise can facilitate positive interactions between the two militaries and help ease tensions between the two countries,” Li said.Li Li, a researcher of South Asian countries at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said many exchange mechanisms between Pakistan and India have been halted due to constant border tensions.”It is very rare for the Indian and Pakistani militaries to interact with each other,” she said.”The SCO is a great platform for member nations to build mutual trust, improve their ability to tackle terrorist threats and maintain regional peace and security,” she told the daily.The drill’s command post exercise will take place at the Chebarkulsky training ground in the Ural Mountains.Chiefs of general staff of the SCO nations will also hold a meeting during the joint military drills.The exercises are biannual, multinational drills with the goal of enhancing counterterrorism coordination and cooperation among the eight member countries, the paper said.India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China. With the expansion of the grouping, SCO now represents over 40% of humanity and nearly 20% of the global GDP.India is hopeful that cooperation in security and counter-terrorism among SCO members can play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism in the region.It is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
India-Pakistan

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

military drills

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Gujarat: IAF Jaguar crashes in Kutch, pilot dead

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 11:22 AM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>An Indian Air Force Jaguar has crashed near Jamnagar in Gujarat on Tuesday morning. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>According to reports, the Jaguar was on a routine sortie when the accident took place. The pilot is critical, according to reports. Developing story
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Watch: Pakistani outpost destroyed by BSF firing in Jammu’s Akhnoor sector

For the second time in less than a month, Pakistan has been compelled to appeal for respite after Border Security Forces pummelled their outposts in Jammu’s Akhnoor sector on Sunday A video accessed by Zee News shows BSF targeting Pakistani outposts. The footage shows smoke from a Pakistani outpost after it was destroyed by BSF fire. The firing by BSF was done in retaliation to firing by Pak forces which had resulted in the death of two BSF personnel, including an officer. Several civilians were also injured. The heavy firing from the Pak side lasted almost 12 hours in the Pragwal area of Akhnoor, Kanachak and Khour sectors of Jammu district and ended 12 days of lull in border skirmishes.The firing from across the border in violation of the ceasefire agreement prompted a strong and effective retaliation by the BSF, forcing Pakistani Rangers to buckle down. A commander-level meeting was held at 17:30 pm on Monday with both sides committing to ensure peace.Also readAfter 11 grenade attack in J&K, BSF, Pakistani Rangers hold meet, decide to ensure peace on borderThe BSF last month said that Pakistan had ‘pleaded’ with them to stop firing along the International Border.Amid ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops despite DGMO level talks, the Border Security Force (BSF) officials met Pakistani Rangers on Monday to ensure peace in border areas. “A BSF-Pak Rangers Sector Commander level meeting was held at 05:30 today. Meeting went off in a conducive atmosphere with prime focus to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border,” said BSF PRO (Jammu Frontier). The next meeting is scheduled to held on June 21.The official said that today’s meeting is likely to bring firing-free environment, particularly for border area villagers on both sides. “Commanders on both sides agreed to keep talks on at every level to develop confidence between two border guarding forces,” he said.Also readPakistani Rangers plead with BSF to stop its fire assaultJammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged both the Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to talk again to stop bloodshed and shelling on the borders. “It is unfortunate that despite talks between the two DGMOs this has happened. It should not have happened. The DGMOs of the two counties should talk again because people from both sides are dying. Bloodshed and shelling should be stopped,” she said.With inputs from PTI
Jammu And Kashmir

BSF

Mehbooba Mufti

Border Security Force

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After 11 grenade attack in J&K, BSF, Pakistani Rangers hold meet, decide to ensure peace on border

Amid ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops despite DGMO level talks, the Border Security Force (BSF) officials met Pakistani Rangers on Monday to ensure peace in border areas.”A BSF-Pak Rangers Sector Commander level meeting was held at 05:30 today. Meeting went off in a conducive atmosphere with prime focus to maintain peace and tranquility on the border,” said BSF PRO (Jammu Frontier). The next meeting is scheduled to held on June 21.The official said that today’s meeting is likely to bring firing-free environment, particularly for border area villagers on both sides. “Commanders on both sides agreed to keep talks on at every level to develop confidence between two border guarding forces,” he said.There have been a series of attacks on security personnel since last week. Earlier today, at least 16 people, including four policemen, were wounded in Shopian district when militants hurled a grenade at security forces in a busy market.In the early hours today, intermittent firing and shelling by Pakistani troops was reported in Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir.The limited firing targeting at least four border outposts was reported in Akhnoor sector which was responded accordingly.Yesterday, two BSF personnel including an officer were killed and 14 persons, mostly civilians, were injured in heavy firing and shelling by Pakistan in Akhnoor, Kanachak and Khour sectors.The violation came nearly a week after the director generals of military operations (DGMOs) of both countries agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in letter and spirit.Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged both the Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to talk again to stop bloodshed and shelling on the borders.“It is unfortunate that despite talks between the two DGMOs this has happened. It should not have happened. The DGMOs of the two counties should talk again because people from both sides are dying. Bloodshed and shelling should be stopped,” she said.
Jammu And Kashmir

BSF

India

Ceasefire Violation

Pakistani Rangers

DGMO (Director General of Military Operations)

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People on both sides dying, DGMOs should hold dialogue again: Mehbooba Mufti on ceasefire violation

Two BSF personnel, including an officer, were today killed as Pakistani Rangers targeted Indian posts along the IB here with mortars and firing, a violation which comes nearly a week after DGMOs of both countries agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit”.Reacting to the incident, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called the incident ‘unfortunate’. She said: “It’s unfortunate that this has happened even after Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) held dialogue. People on both sides of the border are dying. The DGMOs should hold dialogue again. This bloodshed must be brought to an end.”The heavy firing and mortar shelling from across the border in Pragwal area of Akhnoor and nearby Kanachak and Khour sectors also left 10 persons, including a policeman and a woman injured, and forced people to abandon their homes and rush for safer places. Pakistan side resorted to unprovoked firing by targeting forward duty points at International Border (IB) in Pragwal around 0115 hours, causing critical injuries to Assistant Sub-inspector S N Yadav (48) and constable V K Pandey, a senior BSF officer told PTI. He said both the injured were evacuated to medical facilities but succumbed to injuries. The firing from across the border in violation of the ceasefire agreement prompted a strong and effective retaliation by the BSF, the officer said adding cross-border firing spread to Kanachak and Khour areas as well and was going on when last reports came in.A police official said nine civilians and a policeman were also injured in the Pakistan shelling and were evacuated to hospital. He identified six of the injured persons as selection grade constable Zakir Khan, Sulakshana Devi (25), Bansi Lal (40), Balwinder Singh (22), Sudhakar Singh (50) and Vikram Singh (34). On May 29, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan agreed to “fully implement” the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” forthwith to stop border skirmishes in J&K.The two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the LoC and the IB in Jammu and Kashmir during a conversation over the special hotline.The hotline contact was initiated by the Pakistani DGMO.Following the conversation between Indian DGMO Lt Gen Anil Chauhan and Pakistan’s Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the two armies issued identical statements saying both sides agreed to implement the 15-year-old ceasefire understanding.The latest deaths in the Pakistani firing raised the casualty figure during ceasefire violations along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 46.The dead includes 20 security personnel.Last month, thousands of people residing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts had to flee their homes following intense shelling from Pakistan between May 15 and May 23 which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans and an infant, and scores of others injured.After the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other, hope rekindled among border residents who had started returning to their homes but the latest incident triggered fresh concerns among them and the people in the affected areas started fleeing their homes.With inputs from PTI
Pakistan

Kashmir

Samba

Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu

Kathua

Yadav

Zakir Khan

Ceasefire Violation

Bansi Lal

Vikram Singh

Akhnoor

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Indo-Pak DGMO level talks to stop cross-border firing rekindles hope among border residents

The decision of India and Pakistan to fully implement the 2003 ceasefire and stop cross-border firing has generated hope among the border villagers here who have been bearing the brunt of fierce shelling repeatedly. The optimism, though, is tinged with wariness as promises of peace have often not lasted.The border residents are again returning to their homes after getting displaced due to intense Pakistani shelling for nine days from the middle of this month. We welcome any initiative aimed at ensuring peace along the borders. People are leaving the relief camps and returning to their homes after the DGMOs of the two countries agreed to maintain the ceasefire, Yashpal, sarpanch of Deba village of Abdullian sector, told PTI.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan yesterday agreed to “fully implement” the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” and to stop cross border firings.The two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the LoC and the international border in Jammu and Kashmir during a conversation over the hotline at 6 PM, the Indian Army said.The special hotline contact was initiated by the Pakistani DGMO. Following the conversation between Indian DGMO Lt Gen Anil Chauhan and Pakistan’s Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the two armies issued identical statements saying both sides agreed to fully implement the 15-year-old ceasefire understanding.Yashpal, however, says that this was not for the first time that India and Pakistan are speaking to honour the 2003 ceasefire agreement.Pakistan has always violated the agreement and we do not have any faith in it, the village head said. Some people of the village who were reluctant to go back to their homes and were still housed at the relief camps, returned last night after getting information about the DGMOs telephonic talk and the decision to maintain ceasefire along the borders, he said. Sarpanch of Chandu Chak village, Bachan Lal, said this was the second time this year the people of the border villages were forced to flee their homes.The first migration took place in January itself and we returned after DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other and it was followed by flag meetings between the security forces on the either side. However, after a lull of several months, we were again in the relief camps, he said. It has become a routine to migrate to safer places three to four times a year, rued Lal. We want a permanent solution to this problem. We pray that the two countries uphold the agreement in true spirit, he added.Referring to the recent Pakistani shelling that left 12 people dead and scores injured, Lal said three of those killed were natives of his panchayat area. What was their fault? They were in their homes. At least 25 mortar shells hit houses in my area,” he said.There is nothing more precious than peace, Lal said. Poor people from both sides are suffering. Meagre compensation of Rs one lakh and a job or five lakhs for human life and Rs 30,000 for an animal is all that is given. Motor companies are not entertaining the claims for damage to vehicles and the government also does not cover the damage of the vehicles under any scheme, he said.Lal says he raised these issues with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on one of her recent visits.The villahe head said the border residents have faced Pakistani shelling for the past over two decades. Besides the risk to our lives, the education of our children is getting affected along with farming and other business activities, he said. Pawan Raina of Suchetgarh said nobody can imagine the plight of border residents during the times of ceasefire violations. Over the past several years, the situation had worsened, he said supporting the peace initiatives between the two countries.Veena, 28, who works as a saleswoman at a cosmetic shop here to help her family of five comprising parents, a sister and a brother, said they returned to their house yesterday after spending nearly a week in the relief camp at the ITI campus. We have a ‘kutcha’ house and have no option but to run for the safety during Pakistan shelling, she said pleading for permanent peace along the border. She demanded early construction of underground bunkers for each family and a scheme to transform their ‘kutcha’ houses into ‘pucca houses’.
Pakistan

Kashmir

Indian Army

Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu

Director General

Yashpal

Veena

JK

Deba

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Ramzan truce? Lashkar terrorists storm house in J&K’s Bandipora, slit man’s throat

In a brazen disregard for the Centre’s Ramzan ceasefire, Lashkar terrorists attacked a house in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora area and killed man by slitting his throat.Police said Mohammad Yaqoob Wagay, a mutton seller by profession, was taken to a room of his home where he was killed by slitting his throat.”His family members were kept in another room and threatened to meet same fate. He was taken to another room where his throat was slit”, Sheikh Zulfikar Azad, Senior Superintendent Of Police, Bandipora, told DNA.Azad said a five member group of Lashkar e Toiba led by Saleem Parrey were involved in the crime.Police have registered a case and started investigation into the matter, he added. The attack comes a day after the Centre expressing satisfaction with the response to the Ramzan ceasefire and saying that the truce could extend it beyond the holy month.”The cease-op is getting good response. Can’t rule out extending it beyond Ramzan,” a top MHA official said on Thursday. He also mentioned that the increased shelling by Pakistan along the International Border was also a result of the government’s peace initiative in Jammu and Kashmir bearing fruit.The MHA official also said that Pakistan had accelerated ceasefire violations along the border as they are unhappy with the positive outcome of the ceasefire in Kashmir. At least five civilians were killed and 30 people, including six BSF jawans, were injured in shelling by Pakistani rangers on Wednesday. Nearly the entire 181km-long International Border from Kathua to Akhnoor in Jammu division was rattled by Pakistani firing. The spurt in firing by Pakistan at the same time that the Valley is experiencing relative peace is not a coincidence, said officials. According to Jammu and Kashmir’s DGP SP Vaid, there had been only six incidents of stone pelting were reported between May 17 and May 20, just after the introduction of the ceasefire. SP Vaid had tweeted: “The initiative of Hon’ble PM has helped in general improvement in law & order. The situation especially in south Kashmir has eased and is serving as confidence building measure for families who want their boys to return back home.”PDP Leader Waheed Para welcomed the Centre’s decision to consider an extension. “A congenial atmosphere is being created. On the ground there is a lot of relief. If Centre extends Ceasefire, it will be a welcome move,” he said.
Kashmir

Jammu And Kashmir

Bandipora

Lashkar

Hajin

Lashkar -e -Toiba

terrorism in Kashmir

Ramzan ceasefire

ramzan truce

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Jammu: Five including two cops injured after grenade attack on bus stand

Two policemen were injured in a grenade attack at a bus stand on Jammu’s BC road.Early report suggest that five people, including two policemen were injured. The police has cordoned off the area.Earlier in the day, it was reported that schools in Schools in Kathua were to remain closed as Pakistan continued violating ceasefire along the LoC. Deputy Commissioner Rohit Khajuria said, “Firing has been on for the past 2-3 days, schools within 0-5 kms range of LoC to remain closed till the time firing continues.” Last week, 20 civilians were injured as Pakistani troops shelled Indian villages with mortar bombs by targeting hamlets and border outposts (BoPs) in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts along the International Border (IB) in the Jammu region for the eighth day today, prompting a strong and effective retaliation by the BSF. An eight-month-old was killed.Hundreds of panic-stricken villagers fled their houses and took shelter either at the houses of relatives or relief camps set up by the government at safer places. All educational institutions in the affected areas remained closed.Over 700 such incidents have been reported so far this year, which have left 39 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured. Meanwhile, opposition National Conference (NC) today expressed concern over the shelling and called for peace along the border.
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What enmity does Pak Army have with eight-month-old? Father inconsolable after toddler’s death in J&K

An eight-month-old infant was one of those killed on Tuesday when Pakistan violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Arnia.Speaking to news agency ANI, the victim’s father said that the boy suddenly started crying. “His clothes were drenched in blood. He died by the time we took him to hospital. What enmity does Pakistan has with an 8-month-old?”Union minister Kiren Rijiju also spoke sharply to the Pakistan Army’s attack. “The Home Ministry has instructed to not engage in any operation while Ramzan is being observed. This doesn’t mean our security forces will not react to any situation, they will act & react at the right moment,” he said.Meanwhile, an anti-Pakistan protest was held here today against firing and shelling by the neighbouring country in which seven people, including an eight-month-old baby, have been killed and 24 others injured in the past one week.Also readPakistan does it again, violates ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Arnia SectorThe protest was organised by the Jammu West Assembly Movement, which advocates the cause of Jammu. Led by its chairman Sunil Dimple, over 200 members of the organisation took out a protest march which began from the Janipur high court road.They burnt effigies and flags of Pakistan on the high court road against the ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control. The Pakistani army shelling has affected several villages and hamlets in the border region. A large number of people have fled their homes due to Pakistani shelling along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba district, the protestors said.They also burnt effigies of the BJP-PDP state government and demanded handing over J&K to the army and imposing governor’s rule.Sunil said people of the state are fed up of Pak-supported terrorism and routine ceasefire violations. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a befitting reply to Pakistan.With PTI Inputs
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Pakistan guilty of sacrilege during holy Ramzan, says Jitendra Singh

Union minister Jitendra Singh today said Pakistan was guilty of sacrilege for killing innocent civilians during the holy month of Ramzan.Speaking to reporters soon after his arrival here to attend the Udhampur District Development Board (DDB) meeting in his capacity as the local MP, Singh said Pakistan was indulging in the worst kind of unholy (“na-pak”) activity.He was replying to questions on Pakistani forces firing at and shelling villages on the Indian side and killing people in the holy month of Ramzan, when India had announced a ceasefire as regards anti-terror operations in Kashmir.Singh said Pakistan, which was carved out to establish a dispensation based on the principles of the “Quran”, had proved unworthy of its avowed objective.He added that it was for the entire world to see that while, during the observance of “Roza”, every practising Muslim was forbidden from causing harm to fellow human beings, there was an Islamic State that found nothing wrong in indulging in violence and killing of civilians.The Union Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said for every single gun-fire from the other side, there were multiple gun-fires in retaliation from the Indian side.He added that in the last several decades, there was never such a powerful retaliatory action from the Indian side, which had resulted in heavy damage on the other side.Giving full credit to the Indian Army and the security forces, Singh said under the current BJP-led government, the forces enjoyed the professional freedom to decide on the nature and quantum of retaliation, based on their discretion and on-the-spot assessment.”We have some of the best forces in the world, for which we are proud and also deeply indebted,” he added.Expressing concern over the civilian casualties and damage as a result of Pakistani firing, Singh said there could be no compensation for the loss of a human life, but nevertheless, the government would try to provide the best possible assistance and relief to the victims and their families.Later, the Union minister attended the DDB meeting, along with board Chairman and Jammu and Kashmir Forest Minister Rajiv Jasrotia and all the three MLAs from the district — Pawan Gupta, Dina Nath Bhagat and RS Pathania.
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MHA official, 3 others arrested for ‘bribe-for-visa’ case; orders inquiry

The Home Ministry has ordered an internal inquiry into the entire process of granting long-term visa to Pakistani immigrants after the arrest of one of its officials, accused of demanding and accepting bribe from applicants, officials said.The ministry has also ordered officials to clear the pending cases of Pakistani immigrants applying for Indian citizenship or extending long-term visa (LTV).”We are conducting an internal inquiry into the allegation that a ministry official demanded and accepted bribe from Pakistani immigrants. We are taking action to find out the loopholes and to plug them,” a home ministry official said.PK Mishra, a senior secretariat assistant in the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry, was arrested along with three others by the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau last week for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe from Pakistani immigrants applying for Indian citizenship or extending long-term visa.The home ministry was awaiting a report from the Rajasthan Police on the arrests and the alleged racket of “bribe-for-visa”, another official said.Rajasthan police officials said the alleged racket was operating in the region for several years in connivance with government officials, who used an extensive network of agents, many of whom were Pakistani Hindu immigrants.Three other people arrested were Ashok, Govind and Bhagwan Ram all Pakistani immigrants.
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Former diplomat Madhuri Gupta, accused of passing info to Pakistani lover, convicted in espionage case

On Friday, a Delhi Court convicted former diplomat Madhur Gupta in an espionage case. A former second secretary of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad in an espionage case.She was arrested in 2010 and was accused of leaking classified information to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.In 2012, she was granted bail. The court had granted bail on her plea that she has already spent over 21 months in jail while the offences she has been charged with carries a maximum jail term of three years on being held guilty. She also submitted that the Criminal Procedure Code too provides for leniency in grant of bail to women. Gupta, 55, was arrested on April 22, 2010 by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.She was posted as Second Secretary (Press and Information) in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The court had charged Gupta under Section 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act for allegedly supplying country’s information to an ISI agent during her Islamabad posting.According to the charge sheet filed in July 2010, she was involved in a relationship with Jamshed whom she planned to marry and communicated with him using a code name ‘Jim’.She was also charged with the breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and various other provisions of the Official Secrets Act. Under Section 3 of the Act, passing information relating to defence carries a maximum jail term of 14 years while leaking information, not related to defence, carries a lighter jail term of three years and Gupta has been charged with thelatter offence. Her trial is to begin from March 22.It was alleged that Gupta had revealed certain classified information to Pakistani officials and was in touch with two ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.The diplomat was using a computer installed at her residence in Islamabad and a Blackberry phone to be in touch with the two Pakistani spies, it said.Gupta, however, refuted all the allegations levelled against her and submitted that the said information is not sensitive and the alleged act of passing on information relating to country’s internal security to the ISI “cannot be read as related to work of defence” under Section 3 of the Act.With inputs from PTI
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Ceasefire Violations: One BSF jawan killed, 2 civilians injured in Jammu

A jawan of the Border Security Force was killed and another was injured early on Friday in an unprovoked firing along the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in Arnia sector of Jammu, officials said.The slain jawan was identified as 28-year-old constable Sitaram Upadhyay. He hailed from Giridih in Jharkhand and joined the force in 2011.Upadhyay is survived by a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, they said.”Firing in Heeranagar area was on during the intervening night of May 16 and 17 in which one BSF trooper was injured. Yesterday, during the daytime, it stopped but Pakistan resumed firing last night in Arnia sector which claimed the life of a jawan early today,” a senior official of the border guarding force said.The official added that in R S Pura sector of the IB in Jammu, unprovoked shelling of mortars and heavy fire from the Pakistani side started at about 4 am today which was being “suitably countered” by the BSF units.”The firing in R S Pura sector is intermittent,” he said.The incidents of unprovoked firing and attempts to infiltrate the IB have increased in the last few days even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to reach Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow as part of an official visit.A BSF jawan was killed along the Jammu border area earlier this week while he was thwarting an infiltration bid.
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Jammu and Kashmir: Jawan injured as Pakistan targets border posts, civilian areas

Pakistan Rangers opened fire and lobbed mortars at over 15 Border Out Posts and some civilian areas along the International Border (IB) in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir overnight, leaving a BSF jawan injured, an official said on Thursday.BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated and the exchange of fire was going on when reports last came in, a senior BSF officer told the news agency.”Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire and resorted to heavy and unprovoked mortar shelling and firing along the IB on 10 to 15 BoPs in Samba and Kathua districts since last night”, the officer said.In the exchanges, a BSF jawan suffered injuries and has been hospitalised, the officer said.On May 15, a 28-year-old BSF jawan was killed as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by opening fire on forward posts to help infiltrators cross the International Border (IB) in Samba sector. Troops also foiled four infiltration bids along the IB since Sunday.The BSF jawan’s death took the number of persons killed in over 700 incidents of Pakistani shelling along the IB and Line of Control (LoC) in the State to 33, the highest this year. The deceased included 17 security personnel.
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Pak’s 26/11 Terror Admission: Under-fire Nawaz Sharif ‘blames’ Indian media for ‘grossly misinterpreting’ remarks

Facing ire from all quarters for his admission on the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif today claimed that the media “grossly misinterpreted” his remarks.Sharif, for the first time, publicly acknowledged in an interview that militant organisations are active in Pakistan and questioned the policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai.The former premier, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said Pakistan has isolated itself.Also readSitharaman will be appointed I-T Dept lawyer- Chidambaram hits back at Sharif jibe A spokesman for Sharif said: “At the outset, statement of Nawaz Sharif has been grossly misinterpreted by the Indian media. Unfortunately a section of Pakistani electronic and social media has intentionally or unintentionally not only validated but has lent credence to the malicious propaganda of Indian media without going through the full facts of the statement”.”The PML-N would like to set the record straight on the interview of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif carried yesterday by Dawn,” he said in a statement issued here.Also readMumbai attack: Sharif’s remarks proves India’s stand has been right all way, says Defence Minister The spokesman said the PML-N as the country’s premier popular national political party and its supreme leader (Nawaz Sharif) need no certificate from anybody on their commitment and capacity to preserve, protect and promote Pakistan’s national security.”After all, it was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most important and most difficult decision on national security in Pakistan’s history by making the country a nuclear power in May 1998,” he said.In an an exclusive interview with Dawn on Friday, Sharif also criticised the apparent delay in the conclusion of the Mumbai attack trial.He is under attack from opponents as well as some of the estranged leaders from his Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) party for allegedly supporting the Indian narrative on the Mumbai attack case and harming national interests.Leading opposition leader and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said that Sharif was speaking the language of (Indian Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and cooperating against enemies of Pakistan to harm the country.In the interview, Sharif said: “We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it”.Without naming Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar’s militant organisations — Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad — operating in the country with impunity, Sharif said: “Militant organisations are active in Pakistan.”Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial”.Sharif, 68, was disqualified by the Supreme Court for not being “honest and righteous” as he failed to declare in 2013 a salary he got from the company of his son in the UAE.Some 166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 LeT men. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged after handed down death sentence.
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Jaipur Blast: Long road to justice for the victims

It has been 10 years since the serial bomb blasts rocked Jaipur on the ill-fated evening of May 13, 2008. For the families of blast victims it has been a log wait for justice. Even after 10 years they are still waiting for the guilty to be punished. The state government had set up a special court to hear the matter many years ago but the court has failed to speed up the process. In spite being a special court for the bomb blasts cases, trials and appeals of other criminal cases are being heard in this court like an ordinary court. However, it is the prosecution’s success that not even a single witness has turned hostile in the blast case.The pace of the lawsuit of this case that brought Jaipur on terror map has always been on slower. Sometimes, the judge was not available for hearing while on other occasion the defendants’ lawyers refused to argue in the case on some technical basis. Even after 10 years of the unfortunate incident, the trial has not been completed yet by the special court.A total of 8 FIRs related to the matter were registered in different police stations. The police presented their chargesheet separately and their trials were also done independently. 1,341 witness were there while the police, administration and technical experts in these cases are the same. However, law experts believe that if the trials of all the cases were done together, then the hearing of the case could have been completed speedily. Presently, the trial is going on in all the 8 cases in the court. The prosecution witnesses are being presented in all court cases through video conferencing but total number of witnesses to be presented has not even reached 50%. Special court is hearing the case thrice a week, while hearing on other criminal cases are being done on remaining days.
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Pakistani army violates ceasefire on LoC, one killed

Pakistani army on Friday violated ceasefire and opened fire on Thursday night in Gulpur area along the Line of Control (LoC). A 21-year-old youth, who was attending a wedding ceremony at Gulpur-Degawar area in Poonch district of Jammu division, got hit by a bullet died.Mohammad Iqbal received bullet in his chest when the Pakistani army started shooting while every body was in panic and looking for a cover.District Development Commissioner of Poonch, Mohammad Aijaz told DNA that the family was busy in pre-wedding rituals on the rooftop of their house when the firing from Pakistan started at around 11 pm.”This boy had entry and exit wounds on his body. Entire family slipped into mourning after this. We have processed his case for the ex-gratia relief,” said Aijaz.Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, defence spokesman at Jammu, said that the incident occurred in a distance of 300 to 400 metre from the LoC.Official figures revealed that 633 ceasefire violations were recorded along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir in the first two months of 2018. Of these, 432 incidents were reported from the LoC and 201 on the International Border.
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Jammu and Kashmir: 22-yr-old man killed in Pakistan firing on LoC in Poonch

A 22-year-old man was killed on Friday after Pakistani troops resorted to firing from small arms on Indian Army posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a police officer said.There was small arms firing by Pakistani troops along the LoC in the district’s Gulpur-Bagyal Dhara belt, the police officer told PTI. The Pakistan Army initiated firing around 12:30 am on Indian Army posts in Baghal Dhara, he said.The Indian Army retaliated effectively, the officer said.The deceased was identified as Mohammad Ikhlaq, a resident of Kalsan Malti Baghal Dhara. He suffered serious injuries and died on the spot, the officer said.The man was killed during a marriage function in an area close to the LoC. A bullet fired by from across the border hit Ikhlaq, he said.There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir this year, resulting in the death of 31 people, including 16 security personnel, in over 700 such incidents.
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It is for Nawaz Sharif to respond to money laundering charges: India

Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday ordered a probe against Sharif and others for allegedly laundering USD 4.9 billion to India, according to Pakistani media reports. ”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>It is for Nawaz Sharif to respond to money laundering charges: India File Photo:
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , DNA file photo<!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Right_300x250_ATF –><!–bnr300–>Share

<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written By
PTI
Updated: May 10, 2018, 11:39 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>India today chose not comment on Pakistan’s top anti-corruption body ordering a probe against former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over charges of laundering USD 4.9 billion to India.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was for Sharif to respond to the charges.”This is something on which former Prime Minister Sharif has to respond,” Kumar told reporters in reply to a question on the issue.Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday ordered a probe against Sharif and others for allegedly laundering USD 4.9 billion to India, according to Pakistani media reports.
Nawaz Sharif

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Pakistan girl’s photo on Bihar’s ‘Swachh Jamui Swasth Jamui’ booklet triggers controversy

The booklet was printed by Suprabh Enterprises printing press in Patna.”
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Photo of Pakistani girl used on a notebook of ‘Clean Jamui, Healthy Jamui’ campaign. <!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Right_300x250_ATF –><!–bnr300–>Share

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ANI
Updated: May 5, 2018, 04:19 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Triggering a controversy, a Pakistani girl featured as the “brand ambassador” on the cover page of a booklet meant to promote ‘Swachh Jamui Swasth Jamui’ initiative in Bihar’s Jamui district.The incident that came to light on Friday and apparently didn’t go down well across various spheres.An investigation revealed that the girl was also seen drawing Pakistan’s flag in a picture, that added fuel to the fire.It was also revealed that the girl was being promoted as the face of UNICEF in Pakistan for education.The booklet was printed by Suprabh Enterprises printing press in Patna.
Pakistan

Bihar

Brand Ambassador

booklet

Swachh Jamui Swasth Jamui

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Jammu and Kashmir: One civilian injured as Pakistan violates ceasefire in Keran sector near LoC

In response, General Chauhan emphatically stated that retaliatory firing by Indian troops are only carried out in response to unabated support given by Pakistan Army to armed terrorists, who infiltrate across the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons.”
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Updated: May 4, 2018, 09:17 AM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>One civilian was injured in the ceasefire violation by Pakistan late on Thursday night in Jammu and Kashmir’s Keran sector.India retaliated to Pakistan’s firing from across the Line of Control (LoC).The exchange of firing continued for nearly 45 minutes.This comes a week after Indian Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan and his Pakistani counterpart held an unscheduled hot line interaction on ceasefire violation.During the DGMO level talk, India stood its ground regarding Pakistan sponsored terrorism in the Kashmir Valley while Pakistani DGMO accused Indian security forces of resorting to unprovoked firing along LoC.In response, General Chauhan emphatically stated that retaliatory firing by Indian troops are only carried out in response to unabated support given by Pakistan Army to armed terrorists, who infiltrate across the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons.
Pakistan

Kashmir

Jammu And Kashmir

Indian Army

Jammu

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Setback for India? Pakistan removes chief prosecutor of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case for ‘not taking govt line’

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has abruptly removed the chief prosecutor from the Mumbai terror attack case for “not taking the government line”, an official said today, in a major setback to India’s efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists had sailed into Mumbai from Karachi and carried out coordinated attacks, killing 166 people and injuring over 300 in November 2008.”The Interior Ministry has removed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, who had been representing as chief of prosecution in the Mumbai attack case since 2009, from the high-profile case,” an official of the FIA privy to the development told PTI.Azhar has been told that his services in the Mumbai attack case are no more required, he said.”Azhar has only been separated from the Mumbai attack case. However, he will continue to representing the state in other cases like Benazir assassination,” he said.Azhar developed differences with the government over the “manner” the case was being pursued, the official said.”The government has its own ‘special consideration’ in this case and Azhar perhaps is not taking the government line. He was keen to follow the high profile case by book,” the official tried to explain the possible reasons of the differences between the chief prosecutor and the ruling PML-N government.When contacted, Azhar only confirmed that he was asked to stop pursuing the Mumbai attack case.”I am no more with this case,” he said.The government offered no explanation of the decision, terming it a routine matter.”It seems to be a routine matter. I will have to talk to the relevant persons to know the reason,” an official of interior ministry said.The Mumbai attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its suspects in Pakistan has been punished yet, showing that the case had never been in the priority list of the country that appears to be keen to put it under the carpet.The weekly hearing in this case hardly takes place since the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has completed the statement of all (70) prosecution witnesses.According to the prosecution, the case may not further proceed till the Indian government sends its 24 witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements.Pakistan has written to India in this regard. India replied that Pakistan must put Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on trial based on the evidence it had provided to it.A number of Pakistani witnesses both official and private testified and provided evidence against the seven accused… But still the Pakistani authorities have been insisting on sending Indian witnesses for reaching a verdict in the nine-year-old case.”The Mumbai attack case is being tried in an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad since 2009. There has hardly been any such case in any ATCs in country taking more than nine years and still pending. The ATCs are meant for speedy trial but in this case the ATC is acting like that of a sessions’ court where a case is usually not decided in years.”It appears that the state is not in a hurry to decide this case since the matter is related to its arch-rival India,” a senior lawyer said.Had the authorities concerned here been serious, this case would have been decided years ago, he said.Seven LeT suspects — Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum — are facing charges of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack since 2009.Except Lakhvi, the other six are kept in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.LeT operation commander Lakhvi got his freedom about three years ago after securing bail. He has been living in an undisclosed location since then. There are reports that he had come to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa headquarters in Lahore last November to greet Saeed on his release from a 10-month detention under terrorism and public safety laws.Some 166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 LeT men. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged after handed down death sentence.The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack.
26/11

Pakistan

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

Ajmal Kasab

Mumbai Attack

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)

Mumbai Terror Attack

Chaudhry Azhar

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Pak DGMO complains about ‘unprovoked firing’ along LoC, India asks Islamabad to stop supporting terror groups

In a strong message, the Indian Army today asked Pakistan military to stop supporting terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that it will continue to take all “retaliatory measures” foil Pakistan’s evil designs.In a telephonic conversation, Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Anil Chauhan told his Pakistani counterpart that the onus on bringing down tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir lies with Pakistan, Army officials said.The unscheduled interaction over the hot line took place this evening following a request by Pakistan, they said adding the Pakistani DGMO alleged that Indian security forces had resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC.Also readWith all eyes on Inter-Korean Summit, a forgotten slice of history about Indian Army’s role in Korean War”Indian Army DGMO emphatically stated that retaliatory firing by Indian troops has only been carried out in response to unabated support given by Pakistan Army to armed terrorists who infiltrate across the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons,” the Army said.It said Lt Gen Chauhan further impressed conveyed to his Pakistan counterpart that support to terrorism by Pakistan Army was unacceptable and the Indian will continue to take all retaliatory measures.Also readPakistan rejects report of DGMO-level talks with India as ‘baseless’ “The onus of de-escalation along the LoC rests with Pakistan Army provided they stop supporting terrorists and put an end to unprovoked ceasefire violations to abet infiltration,” the Army said.The LoC in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops in the last few months and the Indian Army has been retaliating effectively to Pakistani actions.
Kashmir

Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu

Pakistan Army

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‘Missing’ Indian Sikh found at Facebook friend’s home in Pakistan, to be sent back

A 24-year-old Indian Sikh, who had gone missing in Pakistan during Baisakhi festival celebrations, was found from his Facebook friend’s home in Punjab province’s Sheikhupura city and efforts are on to send him back to India, an official has said.Amarjit Singh, a resident of Amritsar, had arrived in Pakistan along with other 1,700 Sikh pilgrims to celebrate Baisakhi festival on April 12. But his disappearance was only noticed when the Indian pilgrim group prepared to return to India.He will be sent back to India via the Wagah border today, the Express Tribune reported.Confirming that Singh had been traced, spokesperson of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Amir Hashmi said that Singh will be handed over to the Indian authorities.”Amarjit Singh has been found and will be sent back to India today. Singh on his arrival to Nankana Sahib had left the group to meet his Facebook friend – Amir Razzak – in Sheikhupura (some 30km from Nankana Sahib).”In fact the family of Razzak contacted the board and told it about his (Singh) stay at his residence. Both Singh and Razzak visited the ETPB office in Lahore and told it that he (Singh) had not gone missing,” Hashmi told PTI.He said, Singh told the board that he thought that he had a one month visa and he would return the country after spending a couple of weeks with his friend here.The ETPB collects passports from the visiting pilgrims and returns them on their departure to their homeland.A source told PTI that Pakistani intelligence agencies have quizzed Singh for ‘several hours’ after he went ‘missing’.”After it was established that he had not deliberately disappeared and had no links with the Indian intelligence agency, Singh was handed over to the ETPB to be deported to India,” he said.According to investigation by the ETPB, Singh separated himself on April 16 from the visiting Sikh group members on a visit to Gurdwara Janamestan in Nankana Sahib (some 80km from Lahore).The ETB came to know about his disappearance when Singh did not turn up on April 21 along with other visiting Indian Sikhs at the Wagah railway station to leave for India.Singh and others had a valid Pakistani visa till April 21.Singh’s disappearance came at the heels of another visiting Indian pilgrim Kiran Bala, who married a Pakistani man Mohammad Azam, a resident of Lahore, and applied for Pakistani citizenship.She had arrived Lahore on April 12 to attend the Baisakhi festival. She has applied for Pakistan citizenship and extension to her visa.

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Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman to attend SCO meet today

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will attend a preparatory meeting on Tuesday related to the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).Sitharaman will attend the SCO defence ministers’ meeting, whereas Swaraj will take part in foreign ministers’ meeting.The annual summit of the SCO, in which India and Pakistan became full members last year, will take place in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June.Swaraj, who flew to China on April 21, is already in Beijing on a four-day visit to finalise the agenda for the summit of the eight-member political, economic and security bloc.Meanwhile, Sitharaman arrived in China late evening on April 23.The two are expected to hold discussions on trade and terrorism in the respective meetings.On a related note, the Ministry of External Affairs had earlier confirmed that there would be no bilateral meeting between Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman, and their Pakistani counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO.The SCO, which is headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2001.It comprises of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, and aims at military cooperation between the member states.

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CHOGM 2018: PM Modi holds bilateral talks with several world leaders on sidelines

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today had a series of bilateral meetings including discussions with Seychelles President Danny Faure and his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth on the sidelines of the multilateral Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) here.”Friend in an extended neighbourhood! PM @narendramodi and President of Seychelles, Danny Faure met on the sidelines of #CHOGM18 and discussed cooperation in areas of trade and investment and other bilateral issues,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.The bilateral talks between Faure and Modi assumes significance after Seychelles ordered an inquiry into the leak of a highly classified agreement signed with India to develop infrastructure on Assumption Island, which lies southwest of the mainland of Mahe.Also readModi in UK: Full text of Prince Charles’ opening remarks at CHOGM London 2018The opposition in Seychelles has decided not to ratify the pact because of Assumption’s relative proximity to Aldabra atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises.Cementing close friendship with Mauritius, Prime Minister Modi met his Mauritius counterpart Jugnauth and talked about cooperation in trade and investment, maritime cooperation and people-to-people ties, Kumar said.The “pull-aside meetings” with world leaders included an interaction with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Gambian President Adama Barrow, Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Rick Houenipwela.Also read’Repeating a lie doesn’t turn it into truth’: Pakistan rejects Modi’s remarks on ‘surgical strikes’, calls it baselessModi also interacted with President of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau, and Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Gaston Browne.Sheikh Hasina is set for an interaction with Modi, their first meeting since the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s visit to New Delhi last year. Some of the other world leaders expected to have one-on-one deliberations with Modi include Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness.Additionally, Modi is likely to interact with Dr Keith C. Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago.”The summit offers ample opportunity for leaders to interact in meeting rooms for bilateral discussions on matters of mutual interest as well as cooperation over Commonwealth issues,” a senior official said.Officials had earlier indicated that no meeting or interaction has been requested or scheduled with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.The bilateral talks took place as the formal heads of government meeting got underway in London today, following a formal launch by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Prime Minister Modi was scheduled to address the second plenary meeting of the heads of government during the closed-door executive session of CHOGM.At the launch of the CHOGM executive session at Lancaster House open to the media, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The great strength of the Commonwealth is that all our members have equal status, an equal voice, and an equal right to make that voice heard. So, as we tackle these challenges, I want to hear from everyone, and everyone will have chance to speak.”We face many challenges in the world today. But the Commonwealth is a unique organisation and, at this summit, we have an opportunity to deliver lasting change that benefits all of our 2.4 billion people.”Later today, the 91-year-old monarch will host a dinner for all 53 heads of government at the palace.”I had not been able to visit the last summit and this time, it was an honour that Prince Charles came personally to India last year to invite me for it. The Queen herself wrote a personal letter to me, a matter of great pride for India,” Modi had said during his ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ diaspora event in London last evening.An Indian Prime Minister is attending CHOGM, held every two years, after a hiatus of nearly a decade, having skipped CHOGMs in Perth, Colombo and Malta since 2009. The Indian government has said that this symbolises the country’s wider efforts to step up its role across global forums.The executive session of the summit today will be followed by a retreat at Windsor Castle tomorrow, when the leaders get together in an informal setting without any pre-set agenda or being accompanied by their close aides.The summit concludes tomorrow when leaders will issue their communique and a leaders’ statement after their retreat. CHOGM takes place every two years in different Commonwealth countries, with the next host country also to be announced at the end of this summit.Following the retreat, Modi will head back to India after a brief stopover in Berlin, Germany for his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Men held for supplying meat of dead cow to Kolkata restaurants

Two persons including an employee of Budge Budge Municipality in South 24 Parganas have been arrested for allegedly running a racket of supplying meat extracted from carcass of cows, to different eateries in Kolkata.Residents of Budge Budge area had been noticing for some days that the area marked by the local municipal body to dump carcass of cattle and other animals was being cleared as soon as a body was dumped. “Curious, we thought we would keep an eye on the place and this morning, as soon as a dead cow was dumped there, we say Raja Mullick, who is a Group D staff member of the Budge Budge Municipality skinning the animal and carrying the meat into a taxi. We caught him and the driver of the car Shyamlal. When questioned, he was fumbling for answers and could not come up with a satisfactory reply as to what he was doing with the meat of the dead cow,” said an area local.The two were beaten up by local residents and then handed over to the police. It was found out that as they were beaten up, Mullick had confessed that he used to collect meat of dead cattle and supply those to different eateries in Kolkata. “Even the thought of it is nauseating. He might have supplied the meat to restaurants here as well and we may have eaten those,” said another resident of the area.Police said that the two used to collect the meat from the dumping ground and take in taxi to a small workshop which he had hired. There the meat was cut in smaller pieces, filled with ice in thermocol boxes and delivered to different restaurants in Kolkata. An irate mob besides beating the duo also damaged the car which was used to transporting the meat. Police said an they have initiated an investigation and were also trying to find out who else are involved in the network. Sometime ago, another racket of supplying meat of dead chicken to restaurants and roadside eateries had been busted by the police.

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Centre to set up Defence Planning Committee chaired by NSA

The Centre has set up a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to facilitate “comprehensive” planning for the defence forces besides focusing on military doctrines to deal with emerging security challenges.Apart from the NSA, the committee will comprise, the foreign secretary, chairman of chiefs of staff committee, the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs and secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry, officials said.The chairman of the DPC can co-opt experts into it depending on requirement.The officials said the committee would prepare drafts of national security strategy and doctrines, international defence engagement strategy and roadmap to build defence manufacturing ecosystem.It will also work on strategy to boost defence exports, and prioritised capability development plans for the armed forces.The DPC would submit its draft reports to the Defence Minister according to “given timelines” following which further approvals will be obtained as required.The officials said the DPC would also analyse and evaluate all relevant inputs relating to defence planning and foreign policy imperatives besides focusing on defence acquisition and infrastructure development plans including the 15-year-long integrated perspective plan.The committee will also focus its energy on development of Indian defence industry and technology advancements.To provide duly considered and refined inputs to the DPC, specific issues would be managed through a number of sub committees, the officials said.The sub-committees are likely to be in areas of policy and strategy, plans and capability development, defence diplomacy and defence manufacturing ecosystem, the officials said.

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Restrict withdrawals to Rs 1,000 per account: RBI instructs Mumbai-based city Co-operative bank

The Reserve Bank of India has instructed Mumbai-based City Co-operative Bank to restrict withdrawals to Rs 1000 per deposit account.The Reserve Bank of India in a statement said that it has placed the City Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, under Directions.”According to the Directions, depositors will be allowed to withdraw a sum not exceeding ₹ 1000 (Rupees One Thousand only) of the total balance held in every saving bank or current account or any other deposit account by whatever name called, subject to conditions stipulated in the RBI Directions,” the statement reads.It also said that without prior approval in writing from the Reserve Bank, the bank will also not be able to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits, disburse or agree to disburse any payment whether in discharge of its liabilities and obligations or otherwise, enter into any compromise or arrangement and sell, transfer or otherwise dispose any of its properties or assets except as notified in the RBI directions dated April 17, 2018.However, the Reserve Bank said that it may consider modifications of these directions depending upon circumstances.

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Nicknamed ‘The Boss’, ex-Pakistani diplomat in NIA’s wanted list

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has put a Pakistani diplomat on its list and has released his photograph, seeking information, news agency ANI reported.The individual identified as Amir Zubair Siddique is a Pakistani official who worked as a visa counsellor in the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the investigation agency said.He has been identified as ‘Boss’ in the NIA website.According to a Deccan Chronicle report, Siddiqui would recruit spies and instruct them to collect information about defence installations, movement of arms and nuclear establishments. Among the installations, they planned to attack the US consulate in Chennai, the Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru, Eastern Naval Command Head Quarter, Visakhapatnam and ports in the country.According to a report by the Hindu, Siddique and two others for circulating high quality Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with the objective of destabilising India’s economy and waging a war against the country.The two others who have been put on the ‘wanted’ list apart from Siddiqui, are a Pakistani intelligence officer who went by his alias ‘Vineeth’, and another official codenamed ‘Boss alias Shah’, The Times of India reported, adding that another official had been added, taking the list of wanted individuals to four.Interestingly, Siddiqui was arrested for allegedly conspiring to attack vital establishments in India and was quietly withdrawn even before the NIA’s request under Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty (MLAT) reached Colombo, the New Indian Express reported.The 4,000-page supplementary charge-sheet filed in the Special Court for Terror Cases at Poonamallee near here said that the terror plot came to light after the NIA police personnel arrested an ISI agent Mohammed Zakir Hussain (37) through the ‘Q’ Branch of the Tamil Nadu police in 2013. The reason was that he was gathering details about vital installations in Tamil Nadu and sent photographs to Siddique, the report added.

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Saga of a Kargil Braveheart

Noted military historian John Keegan once wrote, “Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until its been done.” It was this uncompromising attitude of retired havildar Digendra Singh – a native of Jhalara village in Sikar district, that won him the second highest war time gallantry award – MahaVir Chakra and the same attitude has helped him flourish in life after retirement even though with an 80 percent disability.During the 1999 Kargil war, then 32-year-old Digendra Singh fought in the most decisive battle – the battle of Tololing – and made sure he won it for the country. “Ek junoon sawar thha Tololing wapas hasil karne ka, apni injury kitaraf dekhne ka khayal hi nahin aaya” (There was an obsession to win back Tololing, the thought of my injury did not cross my mind) – Singh says, remembering the days of the war.Picture this: The mighty Himalayas where snow rules even when the plains reek under soaring temperature. A height of 16,000 feet where the oxygen level is low and even a single feet’s climb can have severe effects on the body. The temperature ranges from -5 to -12 degrees Celsius at night and a wind speed that can easily knock you over, and enough snow that can result in a frostbite, if exposed. An enemy that is waiting for you armed with formidable weapons and you are tasked with not only climbing the hill against all odds nature can throw at you, but also defeating the enemy and winning back the position, all in the pitch dark of night.These were the circumstances when Digendra Singh not only scaled the height along with his platoon, but won it even though being severely injured in the process.“We were scaling slowly in the snow when I felt a metal object near a bunker. What appeared to be an iron rod protruding out of the snow was actually a light machine gun barrel with a Pakistani soldier on the other side,” Singh, who was made the commander of Ghatak Platoon of the 2 Rajputana Rifles during the mission, remembers.Havildar Digendra Singh tried to take support and got an entire burst of bullets on his shoulder. “One bullet hit me in the hand and three got lodged in my chest. I took out a grenade and threw it inside the bunker and as it burst we heard someone crying – “Kaafir ka attack” – and I thought someone has been hit inside,” he said. Gravely injured and bleeding profusely, he kept on fighting, lobbing grenades and clearing enemy bunkers. “We were 10 men and we killed 30 enemies. We crawled in 11 bunkers and threw 18 grenades in the bunkers by 4 am,” Singh said. Just when he thought the worst was over, his weapon developed a snag and a Pakistani Major, with a pistol in his hand, was staring into his eyes. Digendra took another bullet on his waist, took out his dagger and knocked of the Pakistani Major before falling unconscious.“In the first victory of the war, we won Tololing on June 13, 1999,” Singh said with pride. However, it was his life after the battle of Tololing that needed a similar never say die attitude. “Here, I was back home with 80 per cent physical disability and 100 per cent unfulfilled responsibility towards my family.” He recounts that with a smile today life has been a struggle as a disabled person. What kept him going was his never say die attitude which the Army had imbibed in him. He stood up and fought back to script another victory, this time for his family. With his eldest son becoming an engineer, the younger one a national sportsman and the daughter pursuing her MA it has been a long journey and a successful one despite the disability. Singh was awarded the MahaVir Chakra – the second highest War Time Gallantry award. A gas agency was awarded to him for his services which he runs till date and has supported the family consisting of his wife, two sons and daughter.THE TOLOLING MOUNTAINThe mountain, that overlooks the town of Drass, rises to a formidable height of 16,000 feet. Devoid of any cover for efficient movement of troops, the mountain has a single steep track that snakes its way to the top. Since there was no cover available for Indian Troops, the Pakistanis could see every inch of the mountain from their concrete bunkers and reinforced sangars. This vantage point was used for heavy artillery fire on the National Highway (NH) 1A ultimately bringing a halt to the vehicular and other movement. Thus, it was necessary that Tololing be recovered so as to reduce the threat to the highway and for recovering other peaks.

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INX Media case: Supreme Court extends relief granted by Delhi HC to Karti Chidambaram till April 2

On Saturday, a special court on Saturday granted anticipatory bail till April 16 in the Aircel-Maxis case.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Updated: Mar 26, 2018, 04:08 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>The Supreme Court today extended till April 2 the interim relief granted by the Delhi High Court to Karti Chidambaram from arrest in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).Earlier, the apex court on March 15 had extended till March 26 the interim relief granted by the Delhi High Court.The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Karti, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media case. He was in jail in connection with the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI. On Saturday, a special court on Saturday granted anticipatory bail till April 16 in the Aircel-Maxis case.

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70th anniversary of Pakistani occupation of Balochistan observed in Canada

A group of Baloch political and student activists in Canada gathered at Fairview Library in Toronto to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s occupation of the land of the Baloch people.The event organized by Baloch National Movement (BNM) was supported by Sindhi, Pashtun, Kashmiri, Kurd and other human rights activists.Speaking at the event, Zaffar Baloch, President, Baloch National Movement ‘ North America said, ‘The seven decades of Baloch struggle has witnessed worst forms of military operations under military and civilian rulers; General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization of society to counter secular politics; rise of Taliban and the jihadist terror outfits; and of course the Chinese military and economic expansion in the coastal Balochistan and the Arabian Sea’.He added, ‘Balochistan’s invasion on March 27, 1948 by Pakistan wasn’t simply territorial; it was this newly founded jihadist state’s first assault on democracy and the democratic will of a people. The bicameral legislative assembly of Kalat State had unanimously decided for Balochistan to be an independent country as of August 11, 1947’.‘The military invasion of Balochistan in 1948 and that of Kashmir a year earlier marked the beginning of successive military dictatorships and Talibanization phenomenon in South Asia, said Zaffar while addressing a gathering.The Baloch activists demanded a peaceful end to the Pakistani military occupation of Balochistan that took place on March 27, 1948. They also demand an end to the genocidal military operation in Balochistan that has claimed thousands of innocent lives.Women chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation ‘ Azad (BSO-A), Karima Baloch said, ‘We did not just loose our self rule and a piece of land to Pakistan on March 27, we lost our cultural identity and our language. We lost our right to a peaceful and self life’.Canadian writer of Pakistani origin, Tarek Fatah also attended the event as a special guest and spoke about the history of Baloch struggle.Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest and resource rich province, but the people are living in intense poverty where unemployment and illiteracy is rampant.The political activists and intellectuals are being targeted by the army and intelligence agencies as the province witnesses’ frequent incidents of enforced disappearances, killings and tortures.The Baloch also demand an end to all China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Balochistan that are basically designed by the Pakistani military to plunder natural wealth and build settlers colonies to further marginalize indigenous population through demographic changes.They demand complete halt to Chinese control of Gwadar port and withdrawal of all the Chinese personnel from the area.

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Pak court acquits 20 accused of lynching Christian couple over blasphemy

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has acquitted 20 people accused of burning alive a Christian man and his pregnant wife for committing blasphemy in the outskirts of Lahore in 2014.The couple, Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama, who were working as labourers at a brick kiln in Kot Radha Kishan area, were lynched and burned alive by a mob of around 1,000 people over accusations that the couple desecrated the Quran in November 2014.Also readPakistan under international pressure to rein in blasphemy lawA local prayer leader had allegedly provoked the villagers through announcement from area mosques against the couple. The couple was brutally tortured, dragged and thrown into the furnace of the kiln by the mob.The autopsy report submitted to the Supreme Court in December 2014 had stated that the couple was alive when they were thrown into the kiln.Police had arrested scores of villagers and a court in 2016 sentenced five men, including the cleric, to death while 10 others were given varying jail terms.The anti-terrorism court in Lahore yesterday acquitted 20 suspects giving them benefit of doubt.Also readBlasphemy lynching case: Pakistani court hands out death to one student, life imprisonment to 5 othersA court official said the role of the acquitted suspects could not be established in lynching and killing the couple in the light of witnesses.

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Anantnag: Charges framed against eight LeT militants in the SHO killing case

A local court in Anantnag has framed charges against the eight Lashkar-e-Taiba militants for killing the Station House Officer (SHO) and five policemen at Achabal area in June last year.Two of the accused including welder-turned-criminal-turned -Jihadi from Uttar Pradesh Sandeep Kumar have been arrested while two others have been gunned down by the security forces in an encounter. Six accused are still absconding.Six cops including a Station House Officer of Achabal police station Feroz Ahmad Dar were killed when a group of Lashkar-e-Taiba militants led by slain commander Bashir Lashkari ambushed their vehicle near Tajwara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on June 16, 2017. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the J&K Police had filed a detailed chargesheet on February 5, 2018 against the accused in the case. The investigation had “established that LeT terrorists headed by Bashir Lashkari – the main accused –were involved” in the attack.Police said based on the disclosures of Uttar Pradesh resident Sandeep Kumar, who was arrested from an encounter site on July 1, 2017, in which Bashir Lashkari along with Pakistani militant Abu Maz was killed, the investigators were able to crack the SHO’s murder case. Sandeep and another accused Mohammad Ashraf Wani alias Molvi are currently in judicial custody.A close aide of slain LeT commander, Sandeep alias Adil of Muzaffarnagar Uttar Pradesh was part of the group that ambushed and killed Station House Officer of Achabal police station Feroz Ahmad Dar along with five other cops on June 16. Lashkari and his Pakistani associate Abu Maaz was killed in the encounter at Brinty Dailgam village on July 1.Police have named four active militants Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, Mehrajuddin Bangroo alias Asif, Sahir Ahmad Makroo and Zeenat-ul-Islam, alias Zeenshah as the accused in the case All of them are absconding.

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Diplomats harassment row: We want to sort it out, it affects relationship, says Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood

A week after he was called back for consultations amid raging row between India and Pakistan over harassment of diplomats, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has said that the government wants to sort out the issue as soon as possible. Mahmood was called back to Islamabad for consultations after alleged incidents of “harassment” of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi with Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal claiming that the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staffers by its intelligence agencies.”I discussed this (diplomatic row) issue with our government and we want to sort this out as soon as possible because it affects the relationship between our countries,” Sohail Mahmood told ANI.Both New Delhi and Islamabad have accused each other of harassing its diplomats.Also readPakistan gets powerful missile tracking system from China in new defence deal: ReportOver the last few months, several Indian High Commission staffers have been severely harassed and intimidated and in one case an official’s home was broken into and a laptop stolenIn Pakistan, the High Commissioner’s car was recently stopped by agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending an event,” a source saidThe strong reaction came after Pakistani news-paper Dawn quoted Pakistani officials of accusing India of harassing its diplomats and their families in the country and threatened to pull out the families if the intimidation did not stopIndia has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure that High Commissions are allowed to do their job in an atmosphere free of harassment and intimidation, that staff be allowed to work.Also readPakistan intelligence agency ISI training Sikh youths, says Ministry of Home Affairs

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Pak envoy to India Sohail Mahmood to return to Delhi today

India and Pakistan have accused each other of harassing diplomats in Islamabad and New Delhi respectively. ”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Pak envoy to India Sohail Mahmood to return to Delhi today Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written By
PTI
Updated: Mar 22, 2018, 06:13 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>A week after he was called back for consultations amid raging row between India and Pakistan over harassment of diplomats, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood will return from Islamabad tonight, Pakistani government sources said today.According to sources, Mahmood will host a series of events tomorrow to mark the ‘Pakistan National Day’ at the country’s mission in New Delhi, including a dinner reception.In the morning, the Pakistani envoy will also hoist the flag and deliver a speech, they said.Also readPakistan calls back High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for consultations over ‘harassment’Mahmood was called back to Islamabad for consultations after alleged incidents of “harassment” of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi with Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal claiming that the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staffers by its intelligence agencies.India and Pakistan have accused each other of harassing diplomats in Islamabad and New Delhi respectively.

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Pakistan targets forward posts, civilian areas in late night shelling across LoC in Poonch

The Pakistan army resorted to mortar shelling and small arms firing across LoC in Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir late last night, the police officials said today.In its unprovoked shelling, it targeted forward posts and civilian areas along LoC in Balakote sector, following which the Indian Army hit back effectively with the exchanges continuing intermittently till dawn today, they said.The Pakistani troops had targeted border villages of the district with mortar bombs on March 18, killing five members of a family including three minor brothers.Two sisters were critically injured in the shelling and had to be airlifted to Jammu for treatment.The civilian casualties occurred in forward village of Devta Sargloon when a shell hit the mud house of Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, a police official said.The deceased were Ramzan, 35, his wife Malika Bi, 32, their sons Abdul Rehman, 14, Mohammad Rizwan, 12 and Razaq Ramzan, 7.His two daughters, Nasreen Kouser, 11 and Mahreen Kouser, 5, were critically injured in the incident and were airlifted to Jammu for treatment, the police official said.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on March 19 had expressed anguish over the loss of lives and stressed the need for peace along the LoC in the interest of the people of the state.In a tweet, she had said she was anguished to hear about the loss of lives in the crossfire along the LoC. My deepest condolences to their family, she had tweeted.

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Sikh youth being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan: Home Ministry

The Home Ministry has conveyed to a parliamentary panel that Sikh youths are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan to carry out terror activities in India, and members of the community who are settled in Canada and other places are also being instigated against the country with false and malicious propaganda.Top officials of the home ministry, led by the Union Home Secretary, told the Committee on Estimates, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, that radicalisation of youths by terrorist groups through the misuse of internet and social media has emerged as a big challenge.According to the report of the committee – ‘ Central armed police forces and internal security challenges-evaluation and response mechanism’ – which was tabled in Parliament on Monday, there have been some developments on the Sikh militancy front.The “commanders” of terror groups based in Pakistan are under pressure from ISI to further the Pakistani spy agency’s terror plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country, it said.”Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks,” the report said.Sikh youths based or settled in Europe, the US and Canada are also being misguided and instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda, but the situation is being watched closely by the central and state agencies and they are taking lawful action as and when required.On the issue of new challenges which have emerged as a threat to internal security, the ministry, in a note furnished to the committee, voiced concern over radicalisation of youths by the terrorist groups through the misuse of Internet and social media.”The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers etc. to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”Activities of radicalised people returning from conflict areas and threat of lone wolf attack are also a challenge,” it said.The ministry told the panel that India continues to remain the prime focus of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and a faction of Indian Mujahideen besides groups like SIMI and Al-Unmah.Separately, there are indications regarding the revival of JeM in Pakistan and renewed efforts of the said outfit to cause harm to India. Besides, the IS and Al-Qaeda in Indian sub-continent have started posing new challenges to the existing security environment.The ministry also said that violence by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) outfits continue to pose a threat to the internal security scenario in the country.”Since its formation in September 2004, CPI(Maoist) has emerged as the most potent among the LWE outfits active in the country,” the report said.

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The Kashmiri property rows that date back to British India

Families are still fighting to prove they own property lost when British India was partitioned.

Army evacuates children injured in ceasefire violation at LoC

The Indian Army on Sunday evacuated two children from Rajouri sector of Jammu region following a ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army.The children were injured in the unprovoked ceasefire violation and admitted to a hospital in Jammu.The Indian and Pakistan Army frequently exchange fire at the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.Earlier in the day five members of a family were killed and two others injured in heavy shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a senior police officer said.Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand said the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Bimber Gali started around 0745 hours. They are specifically targeting civilian areas,” he said.Also readJammu and Kashmir: 2 terrorists who tried to kill BJP leader gunned down by security forcesDirector General of Police S P Vaid in a tweet said, “Due to shelling from across (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch, 5 civilians of a family died & 2 are injured who are being shifted to hospital”.The civilian casualties occurred in forward village of Devta Dhar when a shell hit the house of Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, a police official said.Also read5 civilians killed in Pak fire in Balakote sector of J&K, appropriate action will be taken, says Jitendra Singh The dead include the house owner, a woman, a boy and a minor girl, he said.The police official said heavy shelling was going on from both the sides. Army troops retaliated strongly and effectively to silence Pakistani guns, he said.

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Farooq Abdullah courts controversy, says India can’t retrieve PoK; LoC will eventually become Indo-Pak border

While speaking on Pakistan, he argued that it would be incorrect to call Pakistan a rogue state. "Yes, there is a rogue army in Pakistan. You have to know that not every Pakistani hates India. There are many Pakistanis who love us," Farooq Abdullah said.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Updated: Mar 17, 2018, 04:30 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah has again courted controversy by repeating his assertion that India won’t be able to retrieve Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). National Conference (NC) leader also maintained that Pakistan won’t be able to snatch any more territory from India. Farooq Abdullah believes that Kashmir issue could be settled only when India and Pakistan agree to accept Line of Control (LoC) as the border between the South Asian neighbours. Speaking at the Zee India Conclave in New Delhi, Abdullah was responding to a question on whether he thought the Kashmir issue could ever be resolved. “It will be resolved. It will certainly be resolved. But you have to first acknowledge that a part of Kashmir is with Pakistan. And you have to acknowledge that you are not going to be able to take it back. And Pakistan has to acknowledge there is no way they are going to take any more of the land”. “And when the resolution comes, it is only realistic that what we today call the Line of Control will eventually become the boundary between India and Pakistan,” he added.During the conclave, a number of heated exchanges were witnessed with members of the audience who shouted questions at him. While speaking on Pakistan, he argued that it would be incorrect to call Pakistan a rogue state. “Yes, there is a rogue army in Pakistan. You have to know that not every Pakistani hates India. There are many Pakistanis who love us,” Farooq Abdullah said.

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‘Routine,’ says India as Pakistan calls back envoy for consultations over ‘harassment’

As Pakistan called back its envoy in India for “consultations” following repeated incidence of alleged “harassment” of its diplomatic staff, New Delhi downplayed the development calling it a “routine.””I am surprised why is this question being raised. He has been called for consultation. This is pretty normal & routine. It is not a recall,” Raveesh Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, said today. Also readFor Pakistan, it’s all about matching India’s nuclear capabilities: Pak academic Hassan Abbas Earlier, Pakistan said it decided to call back its High Commissioner in India Sohail Mahmood for “consultations” after repeated incidence of “harassment” of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal said the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staffers by its intelligence agencies.”Our High Commissioner in New Delhi has been asked to come to Islamabad for consultations,” he said.On Tuesday, the Foreign Office had summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh over the alleged harassment of its officials and their families in New Delhi.This came even as India alleged that its diplomats in Pakistan were being harassed. Over the last few months, several Indian High Commission staffers have been severely harassed and intimidated and in one case an official’s home was broken into and a laptop stolen.In Pakistan, the High Commissioner’s car was recently stopped by agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending an event,” a source said.Also readPakistan calls back High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for consultations over ‘harassment’However, Indian diplomats chose to tackle this matter with quiet and persistent diplomacy rather than by airing issues in the media, the sources said.”We want that our Commission in Islamabad functions smoothly, the officials are not harassed, their work is not obstructed & that the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations, 1961 is abided by” the MEA Spokesperson said in New Delhi. India has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure that High Commissions are allowed to do their job in an atmosphere free of harassment and intimidation, that staff be allowed to work.(With PTI inputs)

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For Pakistan, it’s all about matching India’s nuclear capabilities: Pak academic Hassan Abbas

For Pakistan’s nuclear managers today, matching Indian nuclear capabilities is all that matters, says a new book which critically examines how and why the neighbouring country acquired its nuke weapons and many related issues.In “Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: A Story Of Defiance, Deterrence And Deviance”, academic Hassan Abbas profiles the politicians and scientists involved in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, and the role of China and Saudi Arabia in supporting its nuclear infrastructure.The book also examines Pakistani nuclear physicist A Q Khan’s involvement in nuclear proliferation in Iran, Libya and North Korea, and argues that the origins and evolution of the Khan network were tied to the domestic and international political motivations underlying Pakistan’s nuclear weapons project, and that project’s organisation, oversight and management.It further takes a look at the prospects for nuclear safety in Pakistan in the light of the country’s nuclear control infrastructure and the threat posed by the Taliban and other extremist groups to the nuclear assets.”Whether it is about prospects of admission into Nuclear Supplier Group or gaining access to western technology useful for civilian nuclear purposes, Pakistan feels that it is treated unfairly vis-a-vis India. On the side,Pakistan is also aggressively investing in developing nuclear reactors capable of yielding weapon-grade plutonium with China’s help,” Abbas writes.The author also says that the simmering Kashmir dispute continues to drive Pakistan’s security perspective and it considers all means including use of any proxy militant groups as legitimate. He adds that Pakistan is unlikely to budge from this posture in foreseeable future.”India is obviously not impressed with this state of affairs and its calculus also involves following China’s nuclear capabilities and policies,” he writes in the book published by Penguin Random House India.According to Abbas, India’s nuclear posture naturally corresponds to its status as a rising global power; it pledges “no first use” but also promises a massive retaliation against an adversary that strikes first with nuclear weapons.This only further complicates the South Asian security scene that has already yielded to a deadly nuclear arms race, he says.Abbas also provides a brief sketch of North Korea’s nuclear development, followed by an analysis of the historical nature of Pakistan-North Korea relations.”Clearly, North Korea’s determination in acquiring nuclear capabilities over 40 years suggests that the issue remained one of the highest priorities for the country’s national security and strategic considerations,” he writes.”As for Pakistan, nuclear proliferation, or the sale of its nuclear expertise to North Korea did not constitute a threat to its sovereignty. But what occurred beneath the surface is critical. Information about the exact nature of the transactions between Pakistan and North Korea reveals a complex web that involves the AQ Khan network, the Pakistani military, and the government of Pakistan,” he says.

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Pakistani who strayed into India 27 years ago, deported back via Attari border

A Pakistani national, who strayed into India from across the border 27 years ago, when he was 10 years old, has been deported through Attari border checkpoint in Punjab after a court ruled that he had been living illegally in the country, Mumbai Mirror reported.As per the report, Siraj Khan (37), who claims to have strayed into India as a 10-year-old boy, had settled in Antop Hill after marrying Sajida, an Indian. They have three children. After a failed battle to keep Khan here, Sajida has stayed back with the kids and works as a house help.According to the report, Khan had told the police he had run away from his home fearing that his father would scold him for failing an exam. He wanted to return to his uncle’s home in Karachi, but boarded the wrong train and reached Amritsar.After a few years, he reached Gujarat where he found shelter in a remand home. When he turned 18, he came to Mumbai and got married. He took up a job as a waiter, and over a period made a home in Antop Hill.“Khan was booked for staying illegally for the first time in 2009. In 2013, the police said when a CID team had raided Khan’s home in 2009, he had said he was originally from Post Sarkul, Tal Chetpen, District Mansehra in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). But he could not produce any document to prove it,” the Mumbai Mirror report added.On January 4, 2014, he was convicted under the Foreigners Act, 1946, and Passport (Entry into India) Rules and sentenced to seven months in jail. The court later ordered that he be deported and asked the police to keep him under preventive detention. His family had said they had filed an application for Khan’s Indian citizenship and it was pending.On October 7, 2014, Khan allegedly fled from the police station premises, and a fresh case was registered against him under the Foreigner’s Act. If convicted, he could have got up to five years’ imprisonment.

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Diplomatic spat gets ugly, Pakistan accuses India of harassing envoys’ children in New Delhi

The diplomatic spat between India and Pakistan got ugly with Islamabad accusing New Delhi of harassing, bullying and targeting its envoys, especially the children.In a detailed statement, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said that the ‘children (of the envoys) are being harassed and intimidated by Indian agencies.’Islamabad has said that the ‘families and children of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi continue to face intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies. These have escalated exponentially in the last few days.’ It also listed out specific instances of such acts. Pakistan claims that ‘On March 7 and 8, the children of the officers of the Mission were harassed while returning from school. Their cars were stopped by unknown persons who threatened the children and filmed them.’In another incident, Islamabad claims that ‘the car of the Naval Adviser was aggressively chased. On the same day, Counselor Political was forcibly evicted from a cab and harassed by unknown persons, who used abusive language, threatened him and filmed the whole incident with impunity.’According to Foreign Office Spokesperson the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was summoned at FO and a strong protest was lodged in this context.Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Dr. Mohammad Faisal emphasized that under the Vienna Convention, the safety and the security of Pakistani diplomats and their families is the responsibility of the Indian government.All this comes a day after India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that ‘incidents of alleged harassment will no doubt be investigated. India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in.’However, New Delhi also said that the Indian diplomats have been facing difficult situations in Pakistan for a long time. But they chose to tackle it with ‘quiet and persistent diplomacy’”Harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad,” said the MEA.

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Pakistan-India accuse each other of harassing diplomats

Coinciding tensions along the borders, the strained relationship between India and Pakistan has left their diplomats in the respective capitals worried. After Pakistan accused India of harassing its diplomats and their families and threatened to pull out the families, sources in Delhi said the staff at the Indian mission in Islamabad has been facing tremendous harassment for long, particularly in the last year.They also mentioned multiple incidents of hooliganism against Indian properties and personnel in Islamabad. “India’s residential complex in Islamabad was raided by Pakistan agencies, who expelled all Pakistani service providers and later disconnected power and water supply,” they said. This has led most families to return to India and children have been withdrawn from schools.The matter was brought to the notice of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on February 16, by Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria. Despite Janjua’s assurance, the power supply was not restored for over two weeks, sources said, adding that Pakistan mission in India doesn’t face such disruptions.They further said that Indian diplomats chose to tackle this matter with quiet and persistent diplomacy rather than raking a storm in the media. Authorities in India, however, said the issues raised by Pakistani mission of alleged harassment will be investigated.Earlier, Pakistan’s leading newspaper Dawn reported that a demarche was issued to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad against intimidation of its diplomats. “It is becoming difficult for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents,” said the newspaper quoting a source. It further added that harassment of families would not be tolerated at all.Sources in India said all efforts are made to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in, unfortunately, this cannot be said of Islamabad.”More troublingly, over the last few months, several High Commission staff have been severely harassed and intimidated. In one case, an official’s home was broken into and his laptop stolen. Harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad. The High Commissioner’s car was recently stopped by Pak agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending an event,” the sources elaborated. They further said that in Islamabad aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and dangerous proximity is a perennial issue.”India has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure that High Commissions are allowed to do their job in an atmosphere free of harassment and intimidation, that staff be allowed to work, that construction projects get completed on time. We would like to continue the fine tradition of allowing diplomats to do their jobs,” sources added.Pakistani sources pointed that over the past three days the children of Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner were stopped and harassed on their way to school. In another incident a senior diplomat was harassed while moving in Delhi. They alleged that their vehicles were being stopped on different pretexts and searched. Indian employees of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, he said, were also being stopped from coming to work.

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Pakistani troops shell forward posts, villages in J-K’s Poonch

There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and the International Border this year, resulting in the death of 21 people, including 12 security personnel.”
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Updated: Mar 10, 2018, 12:14 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, the police said.Heavy shelling from across the border in Mankote sector started around 7.40 am, prompting strong retaliation from the Indian Army, a police official said.He said shelling from both the sides was going on when last reports were received, however, there was no immediate report of any casualty in Pakistani shelling.There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and the International Border this year, resulting in the death of 21 people, including 12 security personnel.

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Thaw in ties? India, Pakistan agree on exchange of ‘special’ prisoners

In what can be termed as a welcome step towards defreezing relations, India and Pakistan have agreed on some humanitarian gestures. Pakistan today agreed on an Indian proposal regarding the civilian prisoners incarcerated in both the countries. The agreement included a. Exchange of three categories of prisoners, women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age.b. Revival of the Judicial Committee mechanism.c. Facilitating the visit of medical experts (from both sides) to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation. Additionally, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Pakistani Foreign Minister also extended two more humanitarian proposals which are a) Exchange of prisoners above 60 years of age; b) Exchange of child prisoners, below 18 years of age.The announcement comes at a time when India has witnessed steep rise in the ceasefire violation on the Line of Control.On Wednesday also, Pakistan violated ceasefire in the Sundervani sector along the Line of Control. According to reports, the Pakistani troops at 10:30 am resorted to firing of small arms, automatics and mortars. This comes nearly a week after Pakistan forces resorted to a ceasefire violation in Rajouri sector, thus extensively damaging property in the area. Earlier, a civilian was injured as Pakistan continued firing in Nowshera sector, and also resorted to indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars in Bhimber Gali sector, along the LoC.More than 19 people have been killed in the Pakistani shelling on Line of Control (LoC) and International border (IB) across Jammu division since January 17 this year. More than 50 people have suffered injuries and 50,000 people have fled their homes in Jammu division.

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India retaliating to Pak actions along LoC proportionately says Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The armed forces are “proportionately” retaliating to Pakistani actions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and effectively containing cross-border infiltration, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Sunday.She also said there was “no rethinking as of now” on the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which has been in force in Jammu and Kashmir and several insurgency-hit states in the Northeast.The act gives the security forces special rights and immunity in carrying out various operations in disturbed areas. There has been a long-standing demand from various quarters in J-K and the Northeast to withdraw it.Also readCeasefire Violations: Pakistani troops shells villages and posts in J&K’s Poonch Asked about the situation in the Maldives, Sitharaman said: “we are watching it”.On the situation along the LoC, she said, “We are able to contain infiltration to a large extent. We are also able to retaliate proportionately (to Pakistani actions).” She said security forces are “eliminating” the infiltrators at the LoC before they could sneak into the Indian side but added that it would be not right to say that no one manages to infiltrate.Also readJammu-Srinagar Highway closed due to landslides in RambanThe LoC has remained volatile since last year. According to official figures, 860 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops were reported in 2017 as against 221 the year before.Six Army personnel and a civilian were killed in an attack on the Sunjuwan military station in Jammu on February 10. The attack on the camp had come days after four Army men were killed in Pakistani firing in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.After the Sunjuwan attack, Sitharaman had said that Pakistan would pay for the misadventure.Following the spate of attacks, the Army had given “full freedom” to locals commanders of the army along the LoC to effectively retaliate any act of violence by Pakistani troops, Army sources had said.They said the Indian Army has been inflicting heavy casualties to Pakistani troops while replying to Pakistani shelling along the LoC in the last few weeks.Asked about demands to withdraw the AFSPA from J-K and certain states of Northeast, Sitharaman said: “there is no rethinking on it as of now.” In January, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had also said that time has not come to rethink on AFSPA.”We have never been strong in applying the force the way it could be applied (under AFSPA). We are very concerned about human rights. We are absolutely concerned about collateral damage,” he had said.

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J&K: Woman pilgrim dies of cardiac arrest after paying obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine

The body will be handed over to her family after completion of legal formalities on Sunday, the official said. ”
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Updated: Mar 4, 2018, 09:48 AM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>A 58-year-old woman pilgrim died of cardiac arrest after paying obeisance at the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said on Sunday.Ramakashi Devi, a resident of Rampur in Bihar, complained of chest pain and uneasiness late last night and was taken to a dispensary near the shrine by her family members, he said.After initial treatment, she was referred to the community health center in Katra – the base camp for pilgrims headed to the shrine – but was declared brought dead by doctors there, the official said.The body will be handed over to her family after completion of legal formalities on Sunday, the official said.

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Elite Pakistan club puts Indian envoy Ajay Bisaria’s membership on hold: Report

Amid rising hostilities between India and Pakistan, an elite club in Islamabad has put Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria’s membership on hold, a media report said today.The prestigious Islamabad Club has Pakistani elite and foreign diplomats as its members. It is customary for an ambassador to seek membership of the club after landing in Islamabad as the place is considered the favourite hangout of all top diplomats.According to a report in the Times of India, Bisaria, who took over as Indian high commissioner in December last year, applied for the membership of the club soon after landing in the Pak capital. His membership, however, has not been approved yet. Memberships for foreign diplomats are normally approved within weeks.Bisaria is a 1987-batch IFS and succeeded Gautam Bambawale, who was posted to China last year. Bisaria arrived in Pakistan in mid-December through the Wagah Border and presented his credentials to the Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on December 21.He is the 25th Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.The report said that besides putting Bisaria’s membership request on hold, the club has also threatened to not renew the membership of other Indian diplomats.Also readAjay Bisaria appointed high commissioner to PakistanEven in the past, membership for other Indian diplomats has been delayed due to heightened tension between the two countries but this is the first time that the Islamabad Club has stalled the membership of the Indian high commissioner.Islamabad Club describes itself as an exclusive club and has government officials, diplomats and the elite of Islamabad as its members. The club is situated next to the diplomatic enclave and is spread over 346 acres.This comes even as India has invited Pakistan to participate in the informal WTO ministerial meeting taking place in Delhi on March 19-20. Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik has confirmed his attendance.

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Pakistan claims two of its soldiers were killed in ‘unprovoked firing’ by Indian troops across LoC

In the recent past, Pakistan has accused India of carrying out more than 400 ceasefire violations in 2018, resulting in the death of 18 civilians. ”
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Updated: Mar 2, 2018, 12:43 AM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Pakistan Army has said that two of its soldiers were killed in “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops across the Line of Control.According to a statement issued yesterday by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani Army’s media wing, Indian troops initiated “unprovoked firing” in Bhimber Sector along the LoC.Two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed in the incident, it said.It further said that Pakistani Army troops retaliated and caused “substantial damage” to the Indian posts.Defence officials said that the situation was tense and the two sides were engaged in exchange of fire on the LoC.In the recent past, Pakistan has accused India of carrying out more than 400 ceasefire violations in 2018, resulting in the death of 18 civilians.

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Mehbooba Mufti meets PM Modi; discusses security, development

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and discussed the prevailing situation in the state and various development issues with him, an official said.During the hour-long meeting, Mehbooba briefed Modi on the security situation in the Valley as well as along the border with Pakistan, which has been witnessing heavy cross-border firing and continuous attempts of infiltration by militants.The two leaders also discussed the ongoing peace initiatives undertaken by the Centre’s representative, Dineshwar Sharma, the official added.The prime minister and the chief minister also discussed various aspects of the implementation of the Rs 1 lakh crore package for Jammu and Kashmir, which was announced by Modi in 2015.The central government has already sanctioned a total of Rs 62,599 crore of the package.On Monday, the General Officer Commanding of the army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, had said a large number of terrorists were waiting at launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) to cross over into Kashmir and that the ceasefire violations by Pakistan were an attempt to facilitate the entry of the infiltrators.There were 515 incidents of infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, in which 75 militants were killed. In 2016, there were 454 such cases, in which 45 militants were killed.In January alone, eight civilians and six security personnel were killed and around 70 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Indo-Pak border in the Jammu region.The Pakistani troops had carried out intense shelling along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts and from across the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts between January 18 and January 22.While no ceasefire violation by Pakistan was reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.The home ministry had yesterday said it would reimburse all the funds spent by the Jammu and Kashmir government to pay compensation to the victims of cross-border firing.

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Art with a dash of humour: Priya Kuriyan

Mount Litera School International brought Bookaroo-Children’s Literature Festival to Mumbai, where writers and artists from across the world conducted several kind of sessions for the young participants. We chatted up with one such participant- Priya Kuriyan, who is a book illustrator and an animation filmmaker. Her art weaves everyday happenings in a quirky manner with great detailing.Not many can illustrate humorous scenarios from everyday happenings. How do you create your content?I try and observe everyday happenings closely as I feel that the devil is always in the details. It helps me grasp nuances that one might miss if one does not look close enough. I carry a sketchbook all the time and sometimes take down quick notes in the form of drawings if I feel it is something that I might want to use in my work at some point. I think India, as a country, is so quirky and diverse, that it offers ample inspiration for humour.The detail that goes into each of your pieces is astounding. How do you incorporate every particular item into your work?I love adding details to my work. I want kids to find new things in my illustrations each time they read the book I’m not sure exactly how it happens, but if I were to give you an example of a character in a book, I always like to think of what the character’s back story would be even if he might not be the hero of the book. What kind of clothes would he like to buy, what would he like to eat or what might his favourite bollywood movie be? Answering some of these questions, helps me add details to the story.Did you always know you wanted to be an illustrator when you grew up?I always wanted to be someone who did something related to arts. I loved to draw as a kid. Then, I didn’t know that being an illustrator was actually a job. I was trained as an animator and was always interested in visual narratives and storytelling. It was after I quit my job as an animator at Sesame Street that I started engaging seriously with children’s books.In today’s age of political correctness are there any taboos that affect your work?I try not to think about that too much. The important thing is that it has to be a good story and that is really what should drive what one decides to put in the story or not.

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