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MoEF and WII to begin captive breeding of Great Indian Bustard

Annually, GIB lays one egg and two eggs on some rare occasions. But with proper nutrition, ideal location, temperatures, food and management they can produce more than two eggs per year. The ministry has envisaged that about 25-50 eggs of GIB will be collected from wild habitats over a period of five years. These eggs will be incubated, hatched and their chicks will be reared to achieve a breeding population target of 50-100.The union environment ministry has approved a budget of Rs.33.85 crore for the project. While Rs.81.7 lakh has been sanctioned for Rajasthan, Maharashtra will receive Rs.1.38 crore. Gujarat’s share of Rs.1.10 crore is still under process.

Nikhil M Ghanekar

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Also ReadIndiaAAP govt to take a call on Badarpur power plant closure dateIndiaAfter 100 smart cities in 2015, 132 smart villages in 2016IndiaBMC has a New Year gift for Bhendi BazaarIndiaCentre takes the high road, clears coastal road projectIndiaGujarat: Patanjali products sent for testingIndiaAI plane hit by catering van at Newark airport in US <!– /.block –>

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DMDK Chief Vijayakanth hits back at Jayalalithaa for criticising his party workers

Meanwhile, BJP leaders Muralidhar Rao and Pon Radhakrishnan met Vijayakanth today, in a meeting the party described as a “courtesy call”.

PTI
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High time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities, says Nawaz Sharif <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaRespect for Indians grew after PM Modi’s foreign visits, says Sushma SwarajIndiaCPI(M) thinking about introducing retirement policy in partyIndiaHeroin trade strained India-UK relations in 1980s: UK filesIndiaPM Modi to visit Noida on Thursday, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to give it a missIndiaCongress dubs Centre’s Smart City project as ‘unconstitutional’IndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt tells agencies to allow date-wise parking <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Lalu Prasad Yadav ‘Super CM’ of Bihar: Sushil Modi<!– /.block –>High time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities, says Nawaz Sharif<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Delhi odd-even rule: Trial run to be conducted on Thursday

“Convince your parents, relatives and friends to follow the odd-even scheme. We are to do this not out of any imposition, but because it is important for our health and life. If you see anyone violating the odd-even scheme, just ask that person to go back home. If the same person receives 10 such remarks in a day, it would stir his conscience and persuade him to keep his car off the road,” Kejriwal said, addressing the students at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in north Delhi’s Civil Lines.

PTI
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Also ReadIndiaRespect for Indians grew after PM Modi’s foreign visits, says Sushma SwarajIndiaCPI(M) thinking about introducing retirement policy in partyIndiaHeroin trade strained India-UK relations in 1980s: UK filesIndiaPM Modi to visit Noida on Thursday, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to give it a missIndiaCongress dubs Centre’s Smart City project as ‘unconstitutional’IndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt tells agencies to allow date-wise parking <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Lalu Prasad Yadav ‘Super CM’ of Bihar: Sushil Modi<!– /.block –>High time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities, says Nawaz Sharif<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi woos Dalit entrepreneurs

“The government under PMMY scheme has disbursed Rs50,000 crore loan without any guarantee to nearly 80 lakh. They are mostly Dalits, OBCs, STs and some women and they all do small little works. In all such people provide jobs to about 14 crore people in the country,” said Modi.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaMore than 11 lakh students go “missing” in UP!IndiaHas Syedah Asiya Andrabi got IS links?IndiaI-T raids on brokerages, traders in 4 cities to check pulse hoardingIndiaJayalalithaa allots houses for people who lost homes in Chennai floodsIndiaNo secret talks were held between Modi-Sharif at Kathmandu last year: Sartaj AzizIndiaBJP hopeful of ‘upset wins’ in Maharashtra council polls <!– /.block –>

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More than 11 lakh students go "missing" in UP!

A senior social department official said that despite several reminders, the institutions have not responded. They have now been given a final opportunity till January 31, after which the department will initiate strict action, he added.

Deepak Gidwani

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An attempt to bring transparency and integrity of DDCA affairs <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaMore than 11 lakh students go “missing” in UP!IndiaHas Syedah Asiya Andrabi got IS links?IndiaI-T raids on brokerages, traders in 4 cities to check pulse hoardingIndiaJayalalithaa allots houses for people who lost homes in Chennai floodsIndiaNo secret talks were held between Modi-Sharif at Kathmandu last year: Sartaj AzizIndiaBJP hopeful of ‘upset wins’ in Maharashtra council polls <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Mauled government seeks CBI probe into cubs’ death, 10-year jail for poachers<!– /.block –>An attempt to bring transparency and integrity of DDCA affairs<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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2016 may be a watershed year in Indo-Pak ties

If the year-end turned out well for India-Pakistan relations, 2016 holds greater prospects.After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore, he is set to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the Swiss city of Davos, on the margins of the World Economic Forum between January 20 and 23.This is the third meeting between the two leaders in less than two months – the first being in Paris. It will take place a few days after the meeting of the foreign secretaries in Islamabad on January 15.Both prime ministers will have another opportunity to meet in Washington in March. US president Barack Obama has invited both the leaders for the Nuclear Security Summit to be held on March 31 and April 1.Experts here believe that the frequent summit meetings are designed to put pressure on bureaucrats to carve out a road map for peace, ahead of Modi’s tete-a tete in Islamabad with Sharif in September, on the sidelines of the SAARC summit.Insiders believe that a combination of factors pushed the Modi government into chalking a new line, cloaked in optics and symbolism.Western nudges, fears of extremism in South Asia, security situation in Kashmir, repeated requests by J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and worries of disruptions to a thaw – all played a part.Also, after repeated setbacks, the US and Russia appear to have concluded that the recent peace attempts between the Afghan government and the Taliban represent the last opportunity for a resolution in Afghanistan.Given Pakistan’s centrality in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table, the US has, for weeks, been nudging New Delhi and Islamabad to resume dialogue, last suspended in 2013.US president Barack Obama, in October and November, had hosted both Nawaz Sharif and his army chief Raheel Sharif. The US secured an assurance from both that they were keen on avoiding exacerbation of tensions with India.While welcoming Modi’s diplomatic outreach, the J&K CM recalls that during his October 15 meeting with Modi, he had conveyed to the latter that development and success of his PDP-BJP coalition was linked to peace with Pakistan.”I was assured that an effort was on,” he said.Pakistan’s recent appointment of a former army general, Naseer Khan Janjua, as its national security adviser, has also opened a fresh window for early negotiations on terrorism and cross-border violence.”That the Pakistan NSA represents the views of his military establishment is good because the shadow-boxing is over,” said former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy.The “mother of all coups” – Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar described Modi’s December 25 visit to Lahore – also had an important fall-out.Modi’s optics have succeeded in convincing Pakistani leaders once again that a hardline BJP was more decisive than the Congress.Congress prime ministers, right from Rajiv Gandhi to Narasimha Rao to Manmohan Singh, despite having agreed to settle issues like Siachen and Jammu and Kashmir, backed out because of indecision.Ministry of External Affairs officials concede that what Modi had achieved was something Manmohan had dreamt of for a decade, but was not allowed by his own party – the Congress.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Nawaz Sharif dons pink turban gifted to him by Modi at granddaughter’s wedding

Though all the wedding ceremonies are being kept a close family affair away from the public eye, selected footage is released to the media like during the marriage of Sharif’s elder son Husain back in the 1990s. The locals as well as British tailors have reportedly been hired to prepare dresses of the bride and her relatives.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>England vs South Africa: All-rounder Broad puts England slightly ahead <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash JavadekarIndiaSunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt <!– /.block –>

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After bonhomie in Lahore, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif to meet in Washington?

The first visit by an Indian premier in 11 years marked another step forward by the two countries in their efforts to put on an even keel in their ties which was going through a chill until recently. Modi also attended a marriage function of Sharif’s grand-daughter Mehrun Nisa (who is the daughter of Mariam Nawaz Sharif) at the latter’s Raiwind home on the outskirts of Lahore.

dna Web Team

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<!– /.block –>West Bengal Elections 2016: Alliance with Congress on cards, hint Left leaders <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>More business leaders needed from Parsi community: Jaitley<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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DDCA row: BJP asks Kejriwal to apologise after inquiry report makes no mention of Jaitley

The BJP spokesperson said after the November 15 report became public, AAP is trying to wriggle out of the situation, saying the investigation was not meant to name any person. “But there are names in the report…you don’t run government with tamasha (drama),” he said.

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<!– /.block –>Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif in Afghanistan to revive talks with Taliban <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Mann Ki Baat: Mason gets PM Modi’s praise for building toilets for free<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Government plans 50 more research parks to boost Start-up India campaign

A few rounds of meetings have taken place since October, when the idea was mooted for the first time by the prime minister. IIT Delhi which has one of the first industry incubation centres will be amongst the first one to get a research park on its campus. “We already have a very successful incubation centre. The process of setting up a research park has already been initiated. We will be able to set up a research park early next year,” said Professor Kshitij Gupta, officiating director at IIT Delhi.

Rohinee Singh

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<!– /.block –>A fistful of listicles 2015: 15 personalities who made fools of themselves <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaGovernment plans 50 more research parks to boost Start-up India campaignIndiaATS nabs ‘IS-bound’ Telangana cousins in NagpurIndiaAAP, BJP hit out at Vadra for remarks on even-odd schemeIndiaIs Nawaz Sharif putting PM Modi over Kashmir, questions Hafiz SaeedIndiaKolkata: One dead, 150 shanties gutted in Dum Dum Park fireIndiaNDA government’s nickname is flipflop: Salman Khurshid <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Mhada shortlists 13 architects for BDD chawl redevelopment<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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AAP, BJP hit out at Vadra for remarks on even-odd scheme

Defending Vadra’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Tom Vaddakan said he is expressing the view of the citizens of Delhi and “rightly so, when there is no operational facility available in terms of transport, in terms of metro and the last mile factor and the connectivity is not there.” He said while the disabled and patients are exempted by AAP government, the doctors are not. Judges are permitted but lawyers are not.”If democracy is to be throttled in this way and the provisions of aadm aadmi is all about ‘khas aadmi’ by these VIP exemptions, questions will be asked by people of Delhi,” Vaddakan said. Vadra in his facebook post has said, “Odd and Even ways !! Creating parallel lists of exemption, is complete hypocrisy. If a law is implemented in the interest of the people, we all must adhere, and not be VIPs.”The Delhi government has announced a scheme of allowing vehicles of even and odd numbers alternatively on Delhi roads in its bid to control pollution in the national capital, but has come out with exemptions for VIPs. The scheme is to be enforced from January 1.

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<!– /.block –>Is Nawaz Sharif putting PM Modi over Kashmir, questions Hafiz Saeed <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaReality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj AzizIndiaTamil Nadu elections: PMK says it will give Dy Chief Minister post to BJPIndiaDelhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila DikshitIndiaNDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar PrasadIndiaVypam scam: Dummy candidate among two get 3-yr jail for forgeryIndiaShiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan <!– /.block –>

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Watch: Here is what LK Advani said in support of PM Modi’s Pakistan visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday made a stopover in Lahore to wish his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the occasion of the latter’s birthday. During his two-hour stopover, Modi visited Nawaz Sharif’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore. “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi. Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif and wished him on his birthday,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets moments after inaugurating the new building of Afghanistan Parliament in Kabul.

dna Web Team

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<!– /.block –>Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Sardaar Gabbar Singh’ new schedule to start in Hyderabad <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaWeekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi flagged offIndiaKeralites back after harrowing experience in Saudi ArabiaIndiaBihar: Two engineers shot dead by unidentified assailants in Darbhanga, 6 detainedIndiaWatch: Here is what LK Advani said in support of PM Modi’s Pakistan visitIndiaKejriwal govt scraps nearly 1,000 autorickshaw permits, suspends 3 officials after alleged scamIndiaCongress wins five seats in Madhya Pradhya urban bodies elections <!– /.block –>

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China hails PM Modi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore

Modi stayed for over two hours in Lahore on his way back home from Afghanistan yesterday during which he held talks with Sharif at his Raiwind house.

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Also ReadIndiaChina hails PM Modi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in LahoreIndiaRahul Gandhi needs to speak up more in Parliament: Ashok ChavanIndiaControversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som claims he got death threat from ISISIndiaAAP calls Robert Vadra’s criticism of VIP exemption for Delhi’s Odd-Even formula hypocriticalIndiaCentre should go to court if it is against DDCA probe: Arvind KejriwalIndiaModi’s Pak visit transformative moment for subcontinent, Cong criticism childish: BJP <!– /.block –>

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LK Advani backs PM Modi’s Pak visit. says AB Vajpayee’s initiative needs to be taken forward

During his two-hour stopover, Modi visited Nawaz Sharif’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore. “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi. Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif and wished him on his birthday,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets moments after inaugurating the new building of Afghanistan Parliament in Kabul.

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<!– /.block –>’India most tolerant country in the world’,says violin virtuoso L Subramaniam <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi raised dignity of nation by his birthday diplomacy: Rajnath SinghIndiaChina hails PM Modi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in LahoreIndiaRahul Gandhi needs to speak up more in Parliament: Ashok ChavanIndiaControversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som claims he got death threat from ISISIndiaAAP calls Robert Vadra’s criticism of VIP exemption for Delhi’s Odd-Even formula hypocriticalIndiaCentre should go to court if it is against DDCA probe: Arvind Kejriwal <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>90s’ favourite ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ to make a comeback on small screen<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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In yet another life-saving mission, Coast Guard rescues eight crew members from distressed ship

All crew members were examined by the medical team of Coast Guard and found to be fit. The dhow is being monitored by ICGS Samrat and rescued crew are being brought to Mumbai, the spokesperson said.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>40 crore in unorganised sector to get social security smart cards from Centre: Labour Ministry <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

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Here’s what the American media said about PM Modi’s Lahore stopover

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of the opposition Peoples Party of Pakistan, welcomed the Prime Minister’s surprise stoppage at Lahore. “Constant engagement is the only way to resolve all outstanding issues,” he wrote on Twitter.

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<!– /.block –>Chennai’s trade group AIEMA seeks special fund from Centre for flood-hit businesses <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

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UP CM Akhilesh Yadav sacks minister Ompal Nehra after he asks Muslims to help build temple

“Where can a Ram temple be built if not in Ayodhya? It is an emotional issue. In Mathura, where we worship Krishna, how can there be a mosque there. Muslims should think about it and in fact come forward for Kar Seva (voluntary work) and say build the temples at these places. We should not fall in their (VHP’s)trap,” Nehra has said in Bijnore.

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Diplomats hail move but with caution

Sumitra Kumar, senior research fellow at the premier strategic think-tank – Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) — however, is apprehensive about Nawaz Sharif’s manoeuvrability with regard to terror elements given that the Punjab provincial government has over the last few years been allocating considerable funds in its annual budget for the Jamaat ud Dawa. “Even faced with the improbability of making much headway on terrorism and Kashmir in the resumed dialogue, it is still important for India to engage with Pakistan. If India hopes to be taken seriously by the international community it should be seen to be managing its relationships with the neighbours earnestly,” Kumar said. Also, continuing the dialogue might tend to weaken the anti-India elements in Pakistan, he said. Besides, the experience of the last 18 months during which the dialogue was interrupted twice has brought both governments to the view that if any forward movement has to be made in improving relations they can only resort to a dialogue and nothing else,” said Kumar, an expert on Pakistan and military affairs.

dna Correspondent

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Nawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party

“Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif & wished him on his birthday,” came the first tweet. The twitter handle was @narendramodi.Then came the second. “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.”It took the world by surprise. Modi was in Kabul then. But at the end of the two-and-a-half hours in Pakistan, the two sides had given trust a big push. The two leaders agreed to increase people-to-people contact and take talks forward.The prime minister’s choice of the day for the visit was also significant. It was not only Christmas day, it was Nawaz Sharif’s birthday as well. It was also the Rasm-e-Heena (a wedding ceremony) of Sharif’s granddaughter Mehr ul Nisa.In fact, Modi was recreating what his mentor A B Vajpayee did in 1999, that too on the latter’s birthday.In his inimitable style, Modi ended 2015 with a unique diplomatic venture, having dinner in Moscow, breakfast and lunch in Kabul and afternoon Kashmiri noon chai (salt tea) at Sharif’s Raiwand residence.The surprise move even caught Modi’s own party, the BJP, off-guard. Its leaders, however, characterised it as one of PM’s “pleasant surprises”.Though official sources here said that the PM himself took this “instantaneous” decision, the sequence of events over the past one week, makes one believe that a window was being explored behind-the-scene for this highly secretive visit.Pakistan’s high commissioner in India, Abdul Basit, had left for Islamabad last Tuesday. The presence of an Indian industrialist in Lahore, who had arranged a one-to-one meeting between Modi and Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year, to attend Sharif’s birthday as well as the wedding of his granddaughter, doesn’t seem a coincidence.After the meeting, Pakistani foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said: “The Modi-Sharif meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere… It has been decided that there will be greater interaction, people-to-people contact, and an environment of goodwill will be created.”Pakistani channels reported that both the prime ministers were in a casual mood during the chai pe charcha, which included vegetables, kheer and special Kashmiri salt tea. Sharif later saw off PM Modi at the airport.Chaudhry said that during the brief meeting, the two PMs decided that as part of a comprehensive dialogue, the foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet in mid-January.Attempting to dispel the notion that the visit was pre-planned, Chaudhry said that the Pakistani PM’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua too would have attended the meeting if the Indian PM had informed about his visit earlier.He added that the two sides decided to collectively work towards the common goal of fighting poverty and to open new avenues for peace and mutual cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.Special security arrangements were put in place in and around Lahore. Flights were diverted or grounded, hours before the Indian Air Force plane hit the tarmac of the Alama Iqbal Airport, Lahore. Modi had left for Moscow in Air India One, meant for the PM’s foreign travels, he arrived in Kabul and Lahore in an Indian Air Force plane which was escorted by a decoy plane and was also laced with defence systems.Modi is scheduled to visit Pakistan once again, in September 2016, to attend the SAARC summit.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Breakfast in Kabul, tea in Lahore, dinner in Delhi: Modi-Sharif hug makes it to NYT headlines

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Will Modi’s Pak visit lead to action against terror, Dawood, Saeed: Sena, VHP

He said “we also sincerely hope that Modiji will compel Pakistan to take effective action against Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi both of whom have been roaming scot-free in the neighboring country despite their involvement in the dastardly terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

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Personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome, tweets PM Modi

“He (Sharif) recalled their interactions & asked me to convey his regards to Atal ji,” Modi said in another tweet. Modi, who sprang a surprise by making a sudden stopover in Lahore on his return to New Delhi from Kabul, said he had a spent a warm evening with the Sharif family at their family home. “Nawaz Sahab’s birthday & granddaughter’s marriage made it a double celebration,” he added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PTI
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Give me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit Shah

“As you (Shah) have not mentioned DDCA corruption, I believe that the party has nothing to do with this matter and (it) is purely out of its preview,” he added. BJP had on Wednesday suspended Azad from its primary membership three days after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament, over alleged irregularities in DDCA.

PTI
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Modi in Pakistan: Congress rejects claims that PM Modi’s Pakistan visit was spontaneous

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed

Sayeed was yesterday admitted to AIIMS here after he complained of uneasiness at his residence in Srinagar and was flown to Delhi in a state aircraft. The 79-year-old PDP leader was admitted in the private ward of the premier medical institute.

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Sayeed hoped that the meeting between the two leaders will provide the much-needed momentum to the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue for peaceful resolution of all issues between the two countries.
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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

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Modi in Pakistan: PM has taken a ‘courageous’ step, says Sudheendra Kulkarni

“Modi going to Lahore and meeting Sharif on Atalji’s birthday is a pleasant surprise,” he said. “Today is also the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. Jinnah wanted India and Pakistan to live together in peace,” he said. Hameed Haroon, the chief executive officer of Karachi-based Dawn Group of Publications who is currently visiting Mumbai, said “Modi has made an adroit move”. “This visit indicates that he wants good relations between the two neighbours,” Haroon said.

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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

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PM Modi’s Pakistan visit path-breaking departure from protocol-driven politics: BJP

“We had the Ufa statement which was focused on our primary concern that is terrorism. There were hiccups after that. Then we had the Bangkok talk. Our Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan. “If the two countrioes can try to have a positive approach and work out a relationship that brings peace not only between them but to the entire region and therefore to the world, then that is something that should be welcomed,” he said.

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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

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JD(U) ‘shocked’ by PM Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan

The ties between India and Pakistan have witnessed some positive developments, however, after a chill of several months. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after Modi and Sharif met in Paris recently. But Tyagi said in the wake of Modi’s surprise move that “nothing is going to improve unless the leaders of Pakistan change their mindset. Pakistan should know that friendship with India on one hand and betrayal on the other cannot go together.”

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India PM in surprise Pakistan visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands in Pakistan on a surprise visit to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Updates: PM Modi leaves for Lahore for unexpected Pakistan visit, after speech at Afghan Parliament

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The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months.

Modi

PM Narendra Modi has left for Lahore airport from Kabul, on an unexpected and impromptu visit to Pakistan. He will meet Nawaz Sharif there.Earlier, In a surprise development, it had been announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a stop over in Lahore, to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif there on Friday afternoon.Modi was in Kabul on Friday, inaugurating the Afghan Parliament building and delivering a speech. Modi announced scholarships for 500 children of nartyred Afghan security forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for childrenModi on Friday greeted his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and wished him good health.”I wish the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and pray that he remains in wonderful health,” Modi, tweeted.The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after Modi and Sharif met in Paris.

Security in Lahore on high alert ahead of PM Modi’s surpise visit

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Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”

Pakistani authorities on Friday put security on high alert in Lahore especially around the airport area following the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to the city.A PM House spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will receive his Indian counterpart at the Lahore airport who is expected to reach here around 2.45 PM (local time) from Afghanistan.”PM Modi’s plane is scheduled to arrive at the Lahore airport shortly,” the spokesman said, adding that the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police and Pakistan Rangers have reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport and taken charge of the security.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan Parliament”Security in Lahore has been put on high alert,” a senior police official told PTI. He said police have also been deployed on the adjoining areas of the airport. A PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which is taking place today at the Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence of Raiwind.”I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said. Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”Also Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

Congress slams, BJP hails Modi’s sudden detour to Pakistan

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It also happens to be Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, and Modi has already extended his greetings.

PM Narendra Modi

The Congress has slammed PM Narendra Modi for announcing an unexpected visit to Lahore, Pakistan to meet PM Nawaz Sharif. The two will meet at Lahore airport.”If the decision is not preposterous then it is utterly ridiculous,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari. “This adventure of PM Modi is going to have serious implications on India’s national security”, he claimed.”Have relations with Pakistan improved that PM is meeting Pakistan PM today, without taking the people into confidence?”, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar argued.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli praised the decision.”Better relations with Pakistan are in the interest of the region. We will keep raising our concerns too. If two countries can try to work out a relation that brings peace not only between them but the entire region, it is something to be welcomed,” he said. Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan ParliamentModi is currently in Afghanistan and will fly to Pakistan this afternoon before coming back to Delhi. It also happens to be Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, and Modi has already extended his greetings.Modi on Friday delivered a speech at Afghanistan’s new Parliament building, which India has built. He announced scholarships for 500 children of martyred Afghan soldiers. Among other things, he also promised that India and Afghanistan would always remain friends.Related Read: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif tells ministers not to make anti-India remarks: Reports

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The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his ministers and aides not to make anti-India statements that can affect the recently resumed peace dialogue, according to a media report.”There will be statements only that encourage the dialogue process rather than digging out the past. The Prime Minister has asked close aides and cabinet members to promote peace,” a close aide of Sharif was quoted as saying by The Nation.The measure was taken to let peace process move forward after being set in motion this month. The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharif’s aide was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister was optimistic about better ties with India which would benefit the whole region. He said Sharif was annoyed by some statements from India but understands this is not the Indian government’s policy. Sharif, the aide said, wanted to give top priority to Kashmir, terrorism and trade when the two sides sit on the table to discuss peace.Another official was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister and the military leadership were on the same page to make peace with India.”There is no difference of opinion and both agree that there should be no compromise on the stated position on key issues,” he said.Analysts say it was a positive development that Pakistan and India agreed to resume comprehensive dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan earlier this month during which she called on Prime Minister Sharif and met his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’. The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month to work out the details of the dialogue.

Pakistan attaches great importance to good ties with India, says PM Nawaz Sharif aide

Fatemi said it would help strengthen the common desire of the two countries to establish peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan accords great importance to good ties with India and the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at a regional meet here would strengthen the common desire of peace and stability in the region, a top aide of Premier Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs (SAPM), Syed Tariq Fatemi, during a farewell call by outgoing Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan, described Swaraj’s participation at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference as a “welcome gesture”. “Stressing that Pakistan attached great importance to establishing good neighourly relations with India, the SAPM underscored that the Indian Foreign Minister’s presence in the ‘Heart of Asia: Istanbul Process’ was a welcome gesture,” Foreign Office said in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fatemi said it would help strengthen the common desire of the two countries to establish peace and stability in the region. He appreciated the services of Raghavan for his efforts to improve relations between Pakistan and India during his tenure as India’s High Commissioner. Fatemi expressed hope that the incoming Indian High Commissioner would also continue to promote cordial ties between the two countries. Swaraj last week travelled to Pakistan where she attended the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference on Afghanistan.During her two-day visit, Swaraj called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and held talks with her counterpart Sartaj Aziz. In the meeting, the two countries decided to engage in a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month in Delhi to work out the details of the dialogue.

War with Pakistan not an option, talks only way to end terror: Sushma Swaraj

When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.

PTI
Declaring that “war is not an option”, India on Wednesday said it had decided to hold dialogue with Pakistan as it is the only way to remove “the shadow of terrorism”.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha that India and Pakistan decided to hold talks on terror when the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif met in Ufa (Russia) in July and then in Paris recently.”We said we can talk so that terrorism comes to an end. So talks (between NSAs) took place in Bangkok where we discussed about terrorism. But one meeting will not bring a solution to all the problem. So we will continue the dialogue,” she said during Question Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.”We have decided that through talks we will resolve the issue of terrorism as talks is the way forward so that the shadow of terror is removed. But we want to make it clear, our Prime Minister has made it clear that talks and terror can’t go together. Dialogue is drowned by the sound of explosion,” she said.Swaraj was speaking against the backdrop of recent decision to re-start the ‘Comprehensive’ dialogue with Pakistan under which various subjects, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, will be discussed.The External Affairs Minister said Modi had said there was a need for talks to resolve the issue of terrorism.”The Prime Minister said let’s talk on terror. For talks we will have to put in faith. There is no third party. Through talks, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue of terrorism,” she said.Swaraj said following Modi’s conversation with Sharif in Paris on November 30 on the sidelines of climate change summit and in line with the Ufa understanding between the two leaders, the National Security Advisors of the two countries met in Bangkok on December 6.”They held candid and constructive discussions. During my recent visit to Pakistan on December 8-9, the two sides decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial,” she said.

Meetings with Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj had encouraging results: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif

Sharif had met Modi last month at the Paris climate change summit and Swaraj at the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad last week.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

PTI
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said his recent meetings with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yielded “encouraging results” with both countries agreeing to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue.Sharif said this during his meeting with Premier Li Keqiang in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou where he briefed the Chinese leader on his recent meetings with Modi and Swaraj. Sharif had met Modi last month at the Paris climate change summit and Swaraj at the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad last week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Pakistani premier apprised his Chinese counterpart of his recent meeting with Modi and Swaraj that have yielded encouraging results,” said a press release issued by the Pakistani embassy here on the Sharif-Li meeting.”Both countries have agreed to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, which is a welcome development,” Sharif said on the revival of the Indo-Pak talks.During his meeting with Li on the sidelines of the 14th Heads of Government Council Meeting of the six-member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Sharif said that Pakistan has established a Special Security Division (SSD) to protect “our Chinese brothers” working in his country on various projects. On the USD 45 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Sharif said he was satisfied with progress of CPEC projects.”Pakistan wants all the projects under CPEC to be implemented in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.Sharif said the progress achieved by Chinese takeover of the strategic Gwadar Port Free Zone is a good beginning for initiating the process of building the economic zone. The Prime Minister said Pakistan valued SCO’s role and was grateful that with China’s support, Pakistan is being accepted as a full member of SCO.On counter-terrorism and security issues, Sharif apprised the Chinese premier about military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ and National Action Plan to fight terror that are being successfully implemented in Pakistan.While expressing satisfaction over progress in CPEC, Li said that China will extend full support to the implementation of agreed projects and help Pakistan build its industrial capacity. Sharif also extended an invitation to the Chinese premier to visit Pakistan.

Talks with Pakistan on the basis of trust: Sushma Swaraj

The minister also assured the Lok Sabha that dialogue will continue uninterruptedly. “There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion,” she said.

Underlining the importance of talks with Pakistan, India on Monday admitted that the deadlock had adversely affected the progress of SAARC and peace in the region. Rejecting the impression that there have been several flip flops in talks with the neighbouring country in the last few months, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told both Houses of Parliament that talks have been re-started on the basis of trust and there is a need to bridge the gulf in relations with Pakistan.The minister also assured the Lok Sabha that dialogue will continue uninterruptedly. “There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During half-an-hour discussion on her statement on her recent visit to Islamabad to attend Heart of Asia conference, Swaraj said dialogue is the only way forward hoping that anti-dialogue elements will not be able to provoke and effect the dialogue process. She also categorically stated that there is no involvement of any third party in talks held at Bangkok, Ufa in Russia and Paris. She also told Parliament that expansion of list of trade items through Wagah and Muzaffarabad routes is on the agenda of the talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. The minister said that religious tourism, which was not part of previous composite dialogue process, has now been included in the new comprehensive bilateral dialogue process.She further said the new dialogue mechanism has twin aims of removing hurdles in the path of a constructive engagement by addressing issues of concern, and exploring and establishing cooperative ties. She said that initiatives on trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues will contribute to welfare of the entire region, and promote better understanding and mutual trust.In the morning, in a similar statement in the Rajya Sabha, amidst ruckus created by Opposition benches on the issue of a killing in Punjab, Swaraj hoped that re-engaging with Pakistan will mark beginning of peace and development as continued estrangement was a hurdle to peace and prosperity in the region. She said the foreign secretaries of both the countries have been tasked to work out modalities and prepare schedules of the meetings under the new dialogue. She said, the government will take all steps, including through diplomatic channels to meet any security threat. Swaraj also noted that there was a sharp awareness that principal obstacles to the growth of ties, especially terrorism, would have to be clearly and directly addressed.Following Modi-Sharif meeting on November 30, it was decided that the two sides should hold the NSA-level meeting. “The national security advisors of the two countries accordingly met on December 6” in Bangkok, Swaraj said.The two NSAs focussed on “peace and security, terrorism, tranquility along the Line of Control and Jammu and Kashmir — the state which has been most directly impacted by terrorism and violation of LOC,” she said, adding her visit to Islamabad came on the back of these “constructive talks”. Swaraj said in her talks with Sharif and Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad, which where held in the backdrop of this “positive development”, the “two sides condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace.”Swaraj said the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia conference on December 8-9 in Islamabad was devoted to the themes of security and connectivity.”The conference provided to us an important opportunity on a vital regional platform for political consultations and regional cooperation to reiterate India’s commitment to Afghanistan’s stability and development and our faith in its future,” she said. Swaraj said the expected meetings of NSA and directors general of military operations, as envisaged at Ufa, did not materialise “for the reaons that we all know.” Against this backdrop, when Modi and Sharif met during the COP-21 Summit in Paris on November 30, “there was a discussion on how the two countries could build an atmosphere conducive for again re-engaging with each other,” she said.

Swaraj briefs Rajya Sabha on Pak visit amid ruckus; says Indo-Pak talks to mark beginning of peace, development

Indo-Pak talks to mark beginning of peace, development – Representational Image
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India on Monday expressed hope that re-engaging with Pakistan under a ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ will mark beginning of peace and development as continued estrangement was a hurdle to peace and prosperity in the region.Making a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha on her last week’s visit of Islamabad and recent developments relating to ties between the two neighbours, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the environment conference in Paris “again re-engaging with each other.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The underlying sentiment, on which I am confident that this House concurs fully, was that the continued estrangement of two neighbours was a hurdle to the realisation of our shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous region,” she said. At the same time, there was also a “sharp awareness” that principal obstacles to the growth of ties, especially terrorism, would have to be clearly and directly addressed.She read out her statement as members of several opposition parties were in the Well vociferously raising slogans on several issues.Swaraj said following her visit to Islamabad a ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ with Pakistan will begin with the objective of “removing hurdles in the path of a constructive engagement by addressing issues of concern.” Also, it aims at “exploring and establishing cooperative ties,” she said, adding initiatives on trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues would contribute to welfare of the entire region and promote better understanding and mutual trust.”The new Dialogue, we sincerely hope, marks a new beginning also for peace and development in the whole region,” she said.Following Modi-Sharif meeting on November 30, it was decided that the two sides should hold the NSA-level meeting. “The National Security Advisors of the two countries accordingly met on December 6” in Bangkok, Swaraj said. The two NSAs focussed on “peace and security, terrorism, tranquility along the Line of Control and Jammu and Kashmir – the state which has been most directly impacted by terrorism and violation of LOC,” she said, adding her visit to Islamabad came on the back of these “constructive talks”.Swaraj said in her talks with Sharif and Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad, which where held in the backdrop of this “positive development”, the “two sides condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace.””There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion,” she said.Following this, it was decided to begin a dialogue with Pakistan under the new title ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ and foreign secretaries have been tasked to work out modalities and schedule of the meetings under the new dialogue, she said. “I would like to assure the House that this Government accords the highest priority to the country’s security. In order to meet any threats in this regard, the government will take all steps, including through diplomatic channels,” she said.The Government, she said, was “committed to building an environment of peaceful and cooperative relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan, so that the efforts for peace and development in South Asia, initiated by the Government on the day of assuming office itself, are taken further forward.” Swaraj said the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process on December 8-9 in Islamabad was devoted to the themes of security and connectivity. “The Conference provided to us an important opportunity on a vital regional platform for political consultations and regional cooperation to reiterate India’s commitment to Afghanistan’s stability and development and our faith in its future,” she said.The process, she said, brought together friends of Afghanistan from its immediate and extended neighbourhood as well as supporting countries and international organisations to promote political consultations and regional cooperation for a united, democratic, independent, strong and prosperous Afghanistan. “My visit to Islamabad underlined India’s strong commitment to that cause,” she said, adding New Delhi at the conference sought full and direct transit for Afghanistan through Pakistan.”In the context of relations between India and Pakistan, I advocated working together for peace and development in South Asia, with self-confidence and maturity,” she said.Swaraj said the beginning of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue was announced in a joint statement following her meeting with Aziz in Islamabad on December 9. “This decision of the Government follows the recent developments and engagements between the two countries, especially the constructive discussions between their National Security Advisors in Bangkok on December 6, 2015.”The meeting of the NSAs resulted from discussion between our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Paris on November 30,” she said.The Minister said Prime Minister of Pakistan was invited in May 2014, among other SAARC leaders, by Modi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Government. “This was a demonstration of our commitment to good neighbourly ties with Pakistan, in line with our vision for peace and development in the region through deeper regional integration in South Asia,” she said.In their first meeting, India’s views on ties between the countries and its concerns on terrorism and violence were conveyed to the Pakistani authorities. The meetings as decided between the two sides in May 2014, however, did not take place, she said. The two leaders met in Ufa, Russia in July this year and agreed that the two countries had collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development, Swaraj said. “They condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menance from South Asia.”At the Ufa meeting, they decided on a meeting of the NSAs to discuss all issues connected to terrorism. They also stated that the two nations were prepared to discuss all outstanding issues. “During the Ufa meeting, PM was extended an invitation by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Islambad for attending the SAARC Summit in 2016,” she said, without saying if Modi will visit Pakistan.Swaraj said the expected meetings of NSA and Directors General of Military Operations, as envisaged at Ufa, did not materialise “for the reaons that we all know.” Against this backdrop, when Modi and Sharif met during the COP-21 Summit in Paris on November 30, “there was a discussion on how the two countries could build an atmosphere conducive for again re-engaging with each other,” she said.

Come to Pakistan: PTI chief Imran Khan tells Narendra Modi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former cricketing legend Imran Khan met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi today.

Narendra Modi with Imran Khan

Image Courtesy: Vikas Swarup (Twitter)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former cricketing legend Imran Khan met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. According to Express Tribune’s sources, Khan and Modi would discuss a number of important political and strategical issues. Vikas Swarup, spokeperson of MEA wrote on Twitter: “At his request, Pakistan MP & Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf Party Imran Khan called on PM @narendramodi today. Mr Imran Khan invited PM @narendramodi to visit Pakistan. They welcomed recent developments in bil relations & expressed hope that these would lead 2 closer cooperative ties btween the 2 countries.” Imran Khan was quoted saying: “We grew up in Pakistan hating India but when I came here and started interacting with people my views changed. Don’t judge a whole country by acts of a few extremists.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj returned after a ‘successful’ visit to Pakistan, where she attended the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference and held bilateral talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his adviser Sartaj Aziz. “After a successful visit to Pakistan, EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for Delhi,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Holding a bilateral discussion, Swaraj and Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today ‘condemned’ terrorism and ‘resolved’ to cooperate to eliminate it. (Read: Sushma Swaraj returns after successful Pakistan visit)

How South Asian rivals resumed talks

India and Pakistan agree to resume high-level talks, but can they achieve lasting peace?

Pakistani media welcomes resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue

Dawn reported that in a “major breakthrough”, Pakistan and India announced that they were resuming the dialogue on outstanding issues, ending a two-year logjam.

Reuters
Pakistani media on Thursday welcomed the resumption of Indo-Pak comprehensive dialogue, describing it as a “major breakthrough” and a pleasant turn in bilateral ties following three top-level meetings in 10 days.The decision to resume the talks was taken yesterday during visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here and her meeting with Pakistani leaders.Dawn reported that in a “major breakthrough”, Pakistan and India announced that they were resuming the dialogue on outstanding issues, ending a two-year logjam. “The ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ as it has been named will include all elements covered under the previous versions of the talks peace and security, confidence-building measures, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage / Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges and religious tourism,” it reported.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under the headline ‘Breakthrough at last’, The Express Tribune wrote that “ten days and three meetings that’s all it took Pakistan and India to break the deadlock in their strained relations”. It further said that a “chance meeting” between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris and surprise talks between their National Security Advisers in Bangkok led to a formal meeting between their top foreign policy officials in Islamabad on Wednesday which produced a major agreement: resumption of a stalled dialogue process.The Nation s headline: ‘Composite dialogue goes comprehensive’ captured the essence of new format of talks which will be not much different than the one suspended after Mumbai attack.”All the pillars of the composite dialogue would be part of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue and more things could be added to it,” it wrote. The paper commenting on Swaraj’s meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that they agreed on increased contacts at all level and resolving all the outstanding issues between the two nuclear neighbours through dialogue, during the meeting which lasted for almost an hour.”Premier Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all its neighbours including India which was reciprocated by Indian minister. Sushma confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Pakistan next year for the SAARC summit expected to be held in September 2016,” it said. The News International termed that start of dialogue as a ‘pleasant turn’ in ties of the two nations.”The mercurial relations between Pakistan and India took a pleasant turn when both countries decided to restart the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue previously known as the Composite Dialogue.” It reported that a succession of meetings paved the way for a possible meeting between the two foreign secretaries.Talking about terrorism it reported that it appears that terrorism will now be the exclusive domain of the two National Security Advisers with Pakistan holding out an assurance that there will be movement on the Mumbai trial which has moved at a snail’s pace. Swaraj’s visit here came days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok.Before Paris, the Prime Ministers of the two nations had held bilateral meeting in Russian city of Ufa where they decided that their NSAs would meet to discuss all “terror-related” issues. However, Pakistan had called-off Aziz’ visit after New Delhi had made it clear that he would not be allowed to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Indian capital. In August last year, India called off Foreign Secretary-level talks over the same issue.

India, Pakistan to resume dialogue; Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen among issues to be discussed

Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris only ten days ago, it was announced here that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue. Pakistan has assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.

Reuters
Breaking the logjam in their ties, India and Pakistan on Wednesday announced that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris only ten days ago, it was announced here that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue. Pakistan has assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan who had recently met in Bangkok, will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries. The joint statement came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Sharif and later his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz here on the concluding day of her two-day visit for attending a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.In another significant step towards betterment of ties, Modi will visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit likely to be held in September. The “comprehensive bilateral dialogue” will also include Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Baragge/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism, Narcotics Control, Humanitarian Issues, People-to-People exchanges and religious tourism.The joint statement condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it. Swaraj and Aziz noted the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues in Bangkok by the two NSAs and decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. At a joint press conference with Aziz, Swaraj said that she had a “very good meeting” with both Aziz and Sharif. She said we have decided to start afresh the dialogue, which was going on under the composite dialogue earlier and then in the name of resumed dialogue, and call it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD).”The CBD will have all the pillars of Composite Dialogue and some additional components. How this dialogue process should be taken forward will be decided in a meeting between our Foreign Secretaries, who will work on scheduling and modalities of the process.”Scheduling means which all pillars, when, what modalities and who all Secretaries will hold it,” Swaraj said adding “It will have additional components apart from those in the composite dialogue.”Earlier, speaking at the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference on Afghanistan, Swaraj extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, saying it was time the two countries displayed “maturity and self-confidence” to do business with each other and offered to move cooperation at a pace Pakistan is comfortable with.”Let me take this opportunity to extend our hand to Pakistan as well. It is time that we display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation. The entire world is waiting and rooting for a change. Let us not disappoint them.”For its part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. But today, let us at least resolve to help Afghanistan – in the best traditions of good neighbourliness – through more effective transit arrangements,” she said.Swaraj, who was accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan and envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha, said terrorism in that country has grown in both intensity and scope in the last few months and that India was ready to work with the Afghan government to strengthen its defensive capability.Swaraj will make a detail statement on her Pakistan visit in Parliament tomorrow. Asked what was the “big change” for India to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue, sources said the NSA-level meeting to address terror-related issues went off constructively and that was a big change.They said Pakistani side showed that they understand India’s concerns over the Mumbai attacks trial on which the Pakistani side assured India of the steps to expedite the judicial process. On the Swaraj-Aziz meeting, the sources said some amount of time was spent on the Mumbai trial case.On renaming the dialogue process, they said, “the sense was that we could re-engage but there are other issues like fishermen and religious tourism which needed to be discussed…” The sources said the dialogue process is not disowning the past but taking forward the broad-based dialogue. “We wanted more than the existing subset in the composite dialogue that is why it was renamed,” the sources said.They said the Bangkok meeting was a good meeting and the issues were complex but were not dealt in an accusatory manner but in a constructive way. Swaraj’s meeting with Sharif was multi-lingual where Urdu, Hindustani and Punjabi were used for the conversation.She also met Sharif’s family which included four generations of his family — his mother, wife, daughter and granddaughter. The effort was to unblock ties and move forward, the sources said.In her meeting with Aziz, Swaraj discussed a number of issues with the Pakistani side showing an understanding to India’s concerns over terror. Asked about the progress in ties, the sources said this goes back to Paris where the two Prime Ministers desired to find a way to go forward and India saw the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference as a good opportunity and to convince Pakistan to have NSAs meeting before the External Affairs Minister comes here.

Indo-Pak Talks: Minor controversy over missing Indian flag

Earlier, the tricolour was hoisted upside down during PM Narendra Modi’s photo with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur. The missing national flag in Pakistan did not go down well with many Indians.

Sharif- Swaraj

PTI
Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif came under some scrutiny when the tricolour was found missing from the backdrop, where both the leaders were sitting. Generally, whenever two leaders meet, the flags of both nations are displayed in the backdrop.Earlier, the tricolour was hoisted upside down during PM Narendra Modi’s photo with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur. The missing national flag in Pakistan did not go down well with many Indians. Here’s how they reacted on Twitter:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Sushma Swaraj returns after ‘successful’ Pakistan visit

Holding a bilateral discussion, Swaraj and Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday ‘condemned’ terrorism and ‘resolved’ to cooperate to eliminate it.

Sushma Swaraj reaches New Delhi

Image courtesy: ANI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached New Delhi late Wednesday evening after a ‘successful’ visit to Pakistan, where she attended the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference and held bilateral talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his adviser Sartaj Aziz.”After a successful visit to Pakistan, EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for Delhi,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Holding a bilateral discussion, Swaraj and Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today ‘condemned’ terrorism and ‘resolved’ to cooperate to eliminate it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They acknowledged the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues in Bangkok by the NSAs of both the countries, and decided that the NSAs would continue to address all issues connected to terrorism.However, Indian was assured by Pakistan of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial. Both sides, accordingly, agreed to a ‘Comprehensive’ Bilateral Dialogue, and directed the Foreign Secretaries of their respective countries to work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings. During her two day visit, Swaraj also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and discussed the terror threat in Afghanistan and the status of peace and reconciliation process.Swaraj also held bilateral meeting with her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev and discussed issues of mutual interest.

India, Pakistan to resume comprehensive bilateral dialogue: Sushma Swaraj

Joint statement says pledge taken for cooperation to eliminate terror.

Sharif- Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process Ministerial conference here and held bilateral talks with him and his adviser Sartaj Aziz.Addressing a joint press conference with Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Affairs Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said, “We have decided to start a fresh and call the commencement of dialogue as comprehensive bilateral dialogue. It was earlier known as ‘composite’ dialogue, which later came to be known as ‘resumed’dialogue.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elaborating upon the decision of comprehensive bilateral dialogue, she said: “All pillars, which were present in composite and resumed dialogues, will be there in the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, besides some other issues can also be added to it.” “To move the comprehensive bilateral dialogue forward, we have asked the Foreign Secretaries of both the countries to chalk out schedules and modalities,” said Swaraj. The External Affairs Minister acknowledged that the National Security Advisers of both the countries were able to break the ice in Bangkok, which resulted in her visit to Islamabad and the decision to start the comprehensive bilateral dialogueWith Agency inputs

Afghanistan seeks help to fight terror

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tells a security conference in Islamabad that ‘regional and international terror groups’ are responsible for the violence in his country.

Indian minister in Pakistan for talks

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is in Islamabad for a security conference on Afghanistan and talks with Pakistani officials.

Indo-Pak Talks: Top Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir’s account hacked, makes bizarre comments about Sushma

He wrote on Twitter: “I have been receiving a lot of twitter password reset requests recently. Someone trying to hack me.I have changed my twitter email and recovered the password. Thank God.”

File Photo

On Tuesday, Hamid Mir, one of the top Pakistan’s journalist’s Twitter account seemed to have been hacked as whoever was handling his account made some rather mischievous comments. Mir wrote on Twitter that he had been receiving lots of password resets.He wrote on Twitter: “I have been receiving a lot of twitter password reset requests recently. Someone trying to hack me.I have changed my twitter email and recovered the password. Thank God.”The account before it was allegedly recovered made a host of bizarre comments including one which suggested India’s External Affair Minister was having an affair with PM Nawaz Sharif. His tweet read: “According to my sources, sushma swaraj is having secret relationship with PM Nawaz Sharif and she is here to have some fun :).”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
There were other bizarre tweets as well, along with various emails from Hamid Mir’s personal account.This comes at a time when Sushma Swaraj is leading a delegation to improve bilateral ties with the country. She was quoted saying: “I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj, who is in Islamabad to lead the Indian delegation at the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday.She refused to share what she would be discussing with Pakistani leaders, but said, “What will happen during the talks will be known after meeting.””Heart of Asia conference is very important for India because it is associated with Afghanistan. That is why I have come here to participate. Since it is happening in Pakistan it is necessary and appropriate for me to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and hold talks with my counterpart Sartaz Aziz to talk about improving the bilateral ties and take them forward,” Swaraj said.

Sushma Swaraj to visit Pakistan for ‘Heart of Asia’ meeting, talks with Sartaj Aziz on cards

Swaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on Sunday in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.

During her visit, Sushma Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.

PTI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel on Tuesday for a multilateral conference in Islamabad, where she will also hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz, who said the focus would be on the resumption of composite dialogue process.”External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to lead Indian delegation for ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.Swaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on Sunday in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement. She will call on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and meet his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Aziz on the sidelines of the Afghan meet on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Islamabad, Aziz told reporters that Swaraj is arriving tomorrow to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference and during her visit she will also call on Sharif. Aziz said the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties had eased to some extent.During his talks with Swaraj, Aziz said various matters with focus on resumption of composite dialogue process between the two countries will be discussed. Swaraj’s visit comes three years after former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna travelled to Islamabad in 2012 when the countries also inked a visa liberalisation pact.During her visit, Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.The joint statement after the meeting of NSAs said the talks were held pursuant to a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate meet in Paris, rejecting the version given by the Indian side then that it was a mere “exchange of courtesies” although Sharif had told Pakistani media that he had a “good meeting” and “doors of dialogue should open”.Before Paris, Modi and Sharif had held bilateral meeting in Russian city of Ufa where they decided that their NSAs would meet to discuss all “terror-related” issues. However, Pakistan had called-off Aziz’ visit after New Delhi had made it clear that he would not be allowed to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Indian capital.

EAM Sushma Swaraj to visit Pakistan for multilateral conference tomorrow, to hold talks with Sartaj Aziz

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on Tuesday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and attend a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

AFP
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on Tuesday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and attend a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.”External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to lead Indian delegation for ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweetedSwaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on Sunday in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The External Affairs Minister will call on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and meet his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Aziz on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ regional conference on Afghanistan on Wednesday.Her visit comes three years after former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna travelled to Islamabad in 2012 when the countries also inked a visa liberalisation pact.During her visit, Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.The joint statement after the meeting of NSAs said the talks were held pursuant to a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate meet in Paris, rejecting the version given by the Indian side then that it was a mere “exchange of courtesies” although Sharif had told Pakistani media that he had a “good meeting” and “doors of dialogue should open”.Before Paris, Modi and Sharif had held bilateral meeting in Russian city of Ufa where they decided that their NSAs would meet to discuss all “terror-related” issues.However, Pakistan had called-off Aziz’ visit after New Delhi had made it clear that he would not be allowed to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Indian capital.

High-level India-Pakistan talks held

India and Pakistan describe their high-level talks in Bangkok as ‘candid, cordial and constructive’.

Sushma Swaraj may travel to Pakistan next week, final decision on Friday

When asked about her discussions with Modi, she told reporters that the foreign minister keep discussing issues with the Prime Minister. “It is not final so far,” she said replying to a specific question that whether she was travelling to Pakistan next week.

Sushma Swaraj

Getty Images
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj may travel to Pakistan next week for a multilateral meeting, a move that could break the impasse in Indo-Pak ties, although she tonight said that her visit has not been finalised yet.Pakistan is hosting a 14-nation ministerial-level conference on December 8 to discuss regional cooperation on Afghanistan. Swaraj has been invited but New Delhi has so far given no indication whether she will attend.However, informed sources said here that prospects of the Indian minister’s visit were “fairly bright” but a final decision was likely to be announced by Friday. After the cabinet meeting, Swaraj had stayed back and held discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for nearly 20 minutes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked about her discussions with Modi, she told reporters that the foreign minister keep discussing issues with the Prime Minister. “It is not final so far,” she said replying to a specific question that whether she was travelling to Pakistan next week.Swaraj’s possible visit may also indicate breaking of impasse created in Indo-Pak ties after the cancellation of a meeting between the NSAs of the two countries in August amid mutual blame game. Significantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brief but warm chat with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of climate meet in Paris last Monday after which Sharif told Pakistani media that the talks were held in a “good way, in a good environment”.”I had good discussions with the Indian Prime Minister in a good way, in a good environment and even they have expressed that we should take our issues forward. And we also have the same opinion and hope,” he said.The US also welcomed the brief meeting between Modi and Sharif in Paris.”We always welcome these kinds of exchanges and dialogue between India and Pakistan,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters yesterday when asked about the meeting. “A constructive relationship between the two countries is not only good for the two countries but good for the region and the stability of the region,” Toner said.

PM Modi showed ‘huge tolerance’ by shaking hands with Nawaz Sharif, says Shiv Sena

“Modi has shown huge tolerance by shaking hands with Sharif. Even if the other (party) raises hand, we should fold ours. This is our tolerance and Modi has displayed it,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.

Shiv Sena

In a sarcastic take on Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif’s hand shake on sidelines of the climate summit in Paris, the Shiv Sena today said the Prime Minister has displayed “huge tolerance” by shaking hands with his Pakistani counterpart.Modi and Sharif had a brief meeting on Monday in Paris on the sidelines of the UN climate summit during which they warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amidst frosty ties between the two neighbours.”Modi has shown huge tolerance by shaking hands with Sharif. Even if the other (party) raises hand, we should fold ours. This is our tolerance and Modi has displayed it,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: When PM Narendra Modi shook hands with Pakistani PM Nawaz SharifThe editorial further said that “now nobody has to leave the country on the pretext that there is an atmosphere of intolerance. The country is on the right mode and Modi’s critics should remember that.””Isn’t shaking hands gently with PM of a country whose terrorists are killing our soldiers an act of tolerance? The furore over intolerance in the country should now subside with this display of tremendous tolerance by Modi,” the Sena said. Taking a jibe at the Pakistan Prime Minister, the editorial said that by choosing the ‘muhurat’ of 26/11 to sign a letter of approval for the India-Pakistan cricket series, Sharif has in a way paid tributes to 26/11 terrorist Kasab.”(We are sure) Modi must have questioned Sharif over this,” the ruling alliance partner said. “Modi is doing whatever he can to bring good days to the country and he is touring and flying on a massive scale for the same,” it said.The Sena further said that “If a small country like Nepal warns of taking our soldiers captive, then the time has come to debate where India is going wrong.” “Who knows, one day the Nepal leader will also meet Modi ‘suddenly’ as Sharif met in Paris and the bilateral issues will be resolved in their talks held while standing,” it added. Notably, the Shiv Sena has been opposed to resuming cultural and sports ties with the neighbouring country. Following its protest, Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert scheduled in Mumbai was recently cancelled.The party had also opposed the launch in Mumbai of a book written by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and Sena activists had later blackened the face of the event organiser Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Why the fuss over the Modi-Sharif handshake?

Tongues have started wagging about the future of the talks.

The handshake offers a ray of hope. One hopes that this gesture turns out to be ice-breaker before the winter chill sets in.

File Photo
News and social media went into frenzy after Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked up to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of a climate change summit in Paris and shook hands. Many jumped the gun and started discussing the fate of the stalled talks between the two countries. Was the handshake a mere courtesy photo-op, or was there something more to it? And so on and so forth. Well, one just does not know what the two leaders discussed, but one thing is certain that they did not discuss the climate of Paris. But what mattered most was the handshake which replaced the most important Paris climate talks as the lead story in Indian and Pakistani newspapers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tongues have started wagging about the future of the talks. What a prosaic interpretation? Is there any doubt about resumption of talks? Absolutely not! It is just a matter of time when the two countries will again start talk the talk, but what is more important is whether they will walk the walk. No two neighbours can remain in a perpetual mode of denial for long. In the past also, the two countries have been involved in talks despite going to full-fledged wars three times and a brief conflict in Kargil in 1999 since their independence. But they were back to talks after sometime. It is an on and off exercise which will go on before the two nations regain trust about each other to operationalise the full-scale structured talks. The leadership of both the countries is mature enough to understand that war would only lead to catastrophe and complicate the matters beyond repairs. Dialogue can only take them forward to any meaningful and lasting solution to the issues that bedevil their relations.But for that to happen, a congenial atmosphere is the basic requirement. Incidents in the last few months have only widened the trust deficit as both the countries view each other with suspicion. The media of the two countries has also played a devilish role by resorting to jingoist rhetoric forcing the hands of the leadership of both the countries to move cautiously. The cross-border firing, increase in militant activities in Kashmir, the recent arrest of agents affiliated to Pakistan’s intelligence agency in India do not augur well for the immediate resumption of talks, even though cosmetic, in the immediate future.The handshake offers a ray of hope. One hopes that this gesture turns out to be ice-breaker before the winter chill sets in. This was their second meeting this year after they met in the Russian city of Ufa in July and decided to give a push to the stalled talks by agreeing to a meeting of National Security Advisors. But sadly, the meeting just failed to take off as both the sides stuck to unreasonable grounds. There was another opportunity a month later in the United Nations General Assembly session for them to meet. But by then the ties had soured and the two leaders intentionally decided to stay away from public glare by only waving at each other.Talks for the sake of talks should be avoided. Both the countries should do some serious introspection and adopt a pragmatic approach if they are really serious in taking the talks forward. Nawaz Sharif’s recent offer of unconditional talks with India during his meeting with British Premier David Cameron on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit in Malta has largely gone unnoticed in India as New Delhi has not even bothered to take note of it, leave aside making any comments. Pakistan needs to understand that talks and terror can?t go hand in hand. At a time, when the world has been rattled by a series of bloody terrorist activities, the sentiments are running high against terrorist groups. And to expect India to enter into talks with Pakistan as long as it is seen as in collusion with terrorist groups is asking for too much. Pakistan needs to make some forward movement in this regard before it can hope for resumption of normal ties.The use of terrorism as a state policy is falling apart as the nations themselves are feeling the pinch. Who knows is better than Pakistan which has suffered the most? The same groups whom it cradled have started turning their back on it and are causing the maximum damage. Terrorism today poses a major threat to the world than anything else. The Paris attacks have only emboldened the resolve of the global community to formulate a common and concerted strategy to defang this monster which is spreading its tentacles.There is an opportunity before Pakistan to join the global war against terrorism to regain its bruised image. India is not the only country which views its estranged neighbour with suspicion. The list is endless. Pakistan has been ticked off by major powers from time to time. It should listen to the sage counsel and launch a war against terrorism. There is no doubt that it will feel the pain initially, but this pain is worth suffering, because if it is allowed to fester it will become a deadly disease and amputation will be the only recourse. It is up to Pakistan to decide which path it wants to tread. Talks with India can wait.Vikas Khanna is a senior journalist and the views expressed by him are personal.

Congress dubs Modi-Sharif meet as ‘sixty second selfie’

“It looked like a sixty-second selfie rather than any substantive dialogue. In any case, this government has no policy towards Pakistan. It drifts from the sublime to the ridiculous,” Congress leader Manish Tiwari said.

The Congress Party on Tuesday referred to the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit as a ‘sixty second selfie’ and asked the government to frame a substantive policy towards Pakistan.”It looked like a sixty-second selfie rather than any substantive dialogue. In any case, this government has no policy towards Pakistan. It drifts from the sublime to the ridiculous,” Congress leader Manish Tiwari told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”At times, they hug and kiss Nawaz Sharif and play verbal kabaddi with him. It is high time that this government sorts out its Pakistan policy,” Tiwari added.Prime Minister Modi and Sharif met briefly yesterday in Paris as the climate conference began in the French capital. The two leaders warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amidst frosty ties between the two neighbours.The two leaders had earlier met in Russian city of Ufa and had agreed that their National Security Advisors would meet.

PM Modi shaking hands with Nawaz Sharif indicates his ‘tolerance’: Shiv Sena

During their meeting in Paris, Modi himself walked up to Nawaz Sharif and shook hands; it shows the tolerance of our Prime Minister, said Raut.

Image Courtesy: MEA

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture of walking up to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and shaking hands with him on the sidelines of the recently held Climate Summit in Paris, France, indicated his ‘tolerance’.”During their meeting in Paris, Modi himself walked up to Nawaz Sharif and shook hands; it shows the tolerance of our Prime Minister. Under the prevailing atmosphere in the country, where Modi is being criticised, it should be understood that to meet the Prime Minister of a country which is spreading terrorism is the most tolerant thing he has done. Such discussions should be stopped,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi and Sharif had a brief meeting during which they warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amidst frosty ties between the two neighbours.Downplaying the chance encounter, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “this was a brief exchange of courtesies in the Leaders Lounge. Prime Minister meets many Heads of State/Government.”After his meeting with Modi, Sharif told Pakistani media that the talks were held in a “good way, in a good environment”.”I had good discussions with the Indian Prime Minister in a good way, in a good environment and even they have expressed that we should take our issues forward. And we also have the same opinion and hope,” he said.”Pakistan desires better bilateral relations with India,” he said.(With ANI-PTI inputs)

Congress takes exception to Modi- Sharif meeting, asks for political consensus

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni raised doubts on Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif’s credentials of having a mandate.

Modi-Sharif

The Congress Party on Monday took strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference, stating that there should be a political consensus in the country before these talks take place abroad.”We were not aware of Modi ji meeting Nawaz Sharif; I believe there should be a political consensus in the country before these talks take place,” former law minister Ashwini Kumar told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Till the time acts of terrorism don’t stop from Pakistani side, these talks won’t be fruitful. This has been the stated position of the country and the Congress party,”he added When asked if this initiative was a good move for taking ahead the dialogue process with Pakistan, Kumar pointed out that when circumstances are in favour, then only these initiatives matter, otherwise they fail to have an impact.Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni raised doubts on Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif’s credentials of having a mandate. “One doesn’t know if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has mandate to assure the Prime Minister that he genuinely wants to discuss the issues which are in the interest of the people of both the nations,” she said.Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Nawaz Sharif has drawn mixed responses from all the corners, with experts dubbing it as an opportunity for future talks and few terming it as an act of diplomatic courtesy.Prime Minister Modi and Sharif were seen shaking hands on the sidelines of the summit where 150 heads of states and governments will make three-minute speeches each, offering their political support to the negotiations that are expected to deliver a landmark global agreement on climate change.

No point of dialogue unless Pakistan gives up terrorism: BJP

Sharif had reportedly said that his government is willing to hold dialogue with India without preconditions.

Pakistan government says something, and the ISI and terrorist organisations there do something else: Hussain said.

File Photo
Rejecting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that they are willing to hold dialogue with India without any preconditions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said that dialogue with Islamabad was pointless unless it gives up terrorism. “India has always wanted dialogue. It is Pakistan which has always derailed the talks. They run away from dialogue because they cannot stop doing what they do. Pakistan government says something, and the ISI and terrorist organisations there do something else. Unless Pakistan gives up terrorism, there is no point of dialogue,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharif had reportedly said that his government is willing to hold dialogue with India without preconditions. He said this during his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Fort Angelo in Maltese capital Valletta on Friday. Sharif also reportedly said that dialogue with India was key to sustainable peace in the region.

Entire Indian Army cannot defend Kashmir against terrorists; dialogue only option, says Farooq Abdullah

Jammu: Dialogue is the only way forward for a resolution to the Kashmir issue, former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said even as he held that nothing has been done to reclaim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir from the neighbouring country while reiterating views that have invited criticism.

“The only way left is to hold dialogue and find a solution (to the Kashmir issue),” the National Conference leader said at a function in Jammu.

“Ever since I came into politics, I have always said that this state (PoK and J-K) can never become one. Neither do we have the power to take back their part (PoK) nor have they (Pakistan) the power to take our part; we are a nuclear power and they, too, are,” he said at a discussion by civil society to explore the ways for bringing peace and reconciliation between the two countries.

“How much can the army defend us; even if the entire army of India came to our rescue, they cannot defend us against terrorists or militants. The only way left is to hold dialogue and find a solution,” he stressed.

Farooq Abdullah. AFPFarooq Abdullah. AFP

Farooq Abdullah. AFP

He said he was hopeful that the Kashmir issue would be solved during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but that did not happen.

In the wake of his comments on Friday, he blamed the media for hyping up his statement and said his views about Pakistan continuing to hold PoK and India keeping J&K could not be the only scenario and he would accept any decision which was acceptable to the majority of people in India, Pakistan and J&K.

“I never said it was the ultimate solution that they keep their part and we keep ours. If you have a better solution acceptable to a majority of Indians, Pakistanis and J&K citizens, it is also acceptable to us,” he said while urging that dialogue has to be started for reaching a resolution.

Referring to the 1994 Parliament resolution on PoK, Farooq said nothing has been done following its adoption unanimously to reclaim area under Pakistani occupation.

“They say there is a resolution in Parliament; but tell me what the Parliament has done so far to reclaim that part.

“You passed the resolution, tell me how many resolutions are there in United Nations regarding Kashmir; have any of those been implemented. People on both sides are suffering due to the cross-border firing,” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP on Saturday sought an apology from Abdullah for his remarks that “PoK is part of Pakistan” and said he was “deliberately raking up” the issue in order to remain in news for his political survival.

“For how many years have we been saying that it (PoK) is part of India. What have we done so far, have we ever taken it back,” he had said on Friday.

The former J&K chief minister said that even though Nawaz Sharif was heading the government in Pakistan, the real power was in the hands of the army there.

Further, claiming that if Pakistan army wanted, it would not take more than two minutes for it to get Sharif removed, he said, “The day problems between India and Pakistan are resolved, Pakistan army will lose its significance.”

He said that a former Pakistan external affairs minister had told him that before the Prime Ministers of the two nations decide to meet, all roadblocks that may impede any meaningful dialogue need to be removed.

On the issue of the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, he said that the country has till date not been able to accomplish that.

“When I tried to do it, the very same day two massacres took place in Ganderbal and Budgam in which innocent and unarmed Kashmiri Pandits were killed.

“How will the situation improve till the time Pakistan does not understand that this part of J&K will never become their part,” he said.

Recalling that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had tried to find a way out in Egypt’s Sharm-al-Sheikh, Abdullah said that the attempt had evoked a backlash in the country and within Congress.

“There was a hue and cry in India and even in his own party which said that if you talk friendship with Pakistan we will lose elections. Let these elections go to hell which divide the people,” he said.

“Every election makes India weak and does not strengthen it”, he said, adding that “we get divided into religions and even divide religion into small parts”.

Seeking to caution India and Pakistan against America, he claimed that the country was a friend of neither of the two South Asian neighbours and was only interested in selling its weapons to both.

Talking about the Kashmir problem, he said that it was not an economic but a political one.

“We are saying we have got a Rs 80,000-crore package, now we will do everything. This is not an issue of development. It is a political issue which has to be resolved. If it was only about money, then the country has already spent billions on this state, but the issue still lingers,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an apparent attack on PDP, he charged that “they (PDP) claim Abdullah used to say that we will drop bombs; ask them, when our houses were being blown, when our hospitals and schools were being blown, when our people were being fired upon because they were the ones who were carrying Tricolour, what was their fault.

“They were killed inside their houses. What should have Farooq Abdullah said, to keep quiet.”

Without taking any names, he further said that “man was being made an enemy of another man and now they are ruling and saying such things… they don’t have a conscience. God knows what attraction they have with each other.”

Turning to Pakistan, he stressed that he was proud to be an Indian and an Indian Muslim.

“I want friendship but I don’t want to be their slave. I am for sure a Muslim, but I am not a Chinese, Pakistani or an English Muslim; I am an Indian Muslim, I am born an India, live as an Indian and will die as an Indian,” he said.

“Today Farooq Abdullah is sitting amongst you, he might not be there tomorrow. Tomorrow, some terrorists will kill me but I am not afraid. I am only afraid of Allah,” he added.

He said that the need of the hour was to strengthen the unity amongst the different religions in the country.

“We have to strengthen the bond between Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and other religions and our survival is not possible without the survival of
India,” he said.

PTI

Nawaz Sharif tells David Cameron that Pakistan is ready for dialogue with India: Geo News

Valletta (Malta): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has indicated that Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India without pre-conditions for sustainable peace, according to Pakistani TV channel Geo News.

Sharif is said to have given this indication during a meeting with his British counterpart David Cameron on the sidelines of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Valletta on Friday.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. ReutersPakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

The channel reported that Sharif said Pakistan intends to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours including India and Afghanistan.

Ties have been strained between the two neighbours over border firing and a series of ceasefire violations. Talks between National Security Advisors of the two countries were cancelled in August because of a dispute over the agenda.

India wanted to discuss terror attacks and Pakistan insisted on raising Kashmir.

The Pakistani Prime Minister told Cameron that Pakistan was deeply saddened by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and that his country, itself being victim of terrorism, could feel the pain of French people.

The two leaders expressed long term commitment to work together for greater security and prosperity of their countries.

Both prime ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work in partnership for countering the shared threats of terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration, the report said.

It said Sharif and Cameron agreed to continue close collaboration in diverse fields particularly trade, investment and security and the British Prime Minister lauded Pakistan’s efforts in eradication of militancy and extremism.

PTI

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