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Following goof-up, Gujarat Board withdraws result for GSEB HSC 11th Semester 1

“New results will be posted as soon as possible. We will also conduct an inquiry to find out how it happened and who was responsible,” he said.

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Respect for Indians grew after PM Modi’s foreign visits, says Sushma Swaraj <!– /.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 –>

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West Bengal hands over land for AIIMS-like hospital to Centre for free

“Tender for construction of boundary wall has already been floated by Centre. After completion of all formalities, we expect the work of the boundary wall to start in January or February. The DPR for the facility is also under process.” he added.

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Respect for Indians grew after PM Modi’s foreign visits, says Sushma Swaraj <!– /.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 –>

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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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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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Amarinder Singh obvious choice for Punjab CM: Manish Tewari

Tewari also rejected the assumption that the Aam Aadmi Party was any challenge to the Congress in Punjab. “Ask people of Delhi as how they are feeling after having made the AAP to rule them,” he said, adding that AAP has not been a failure but a complete disaster in Delhi. The choice, he said, in Punjab was very obvious between good and effective governance which Captain Amarinder is capable of providing, and the anarchy and lawlessness offered by AAP and SAD.

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<!– /.block –>Personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome, tweets PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome, tweets PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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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.

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<!– /.block –>Fadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces opposition <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s home

Prime Minister Modi today visited Lahore on his way back home in a surprise visit – the first trip to Pakistan by an Indian premier in more than 10 years.

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<!– /.block –>40 crore workers in unorganised sector to get smart cards: Government <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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Modi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav

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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<!– /.block –>Modi in Pakistan: Congress rejects claims that PM Modi’s Pakistan visit was spontaneous <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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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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Also ReadIndiaPM Modi returns home after concluding his three-nation tourIndiaGive me proof of any-party activities: Kirti Azad to Amit ShahIndiaFadnavis’ proposal for 10-yr rural service by med grads faces oppositionIndiaWelcome home: Sushma Swaraj confirms three Indian workers abused in Saudi Arabia will be back tomorrow IndiaModi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s favourite dish among other delicacies at Pak PM Sharif’s homeIndiaModi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav <!– /.block –>

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Sushma Swaraj to make statement in Parliament on her Pakistan visit

A Parliamentary Affairs Ministry release said that Swaraj will make a statement on her recent visit to Islamabad and developments relating to ties between India and Pakistan in both the Houses of Parliament during the next week of Winter session.

Reuters
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make a statement in both Houses of Parliament on Monday on her two-day visit to Pakistan and the recent developments relating to bilateral ties.”I will make a statement on my recent visit to Islamabad tomorrow at 11 am in Rajya Sabha and at 2 pm in Lok Sabha,” Swaraj tweeted on Sunday. A Parliamentary Affairs Ministry release said that Swaraj will make a statement on her recent visit to Islamabad and developments relating to ties between India and Pakistan in both the Houses of Parliament during the next week of Winter session. “This is one of the major agenda items for next week,” the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking the logjam in their ties, India and Pakistan had on December 9 announced in Islamabad 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 about a fortnight days ago, it was announced there that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue.The two sides came out with a joint statement, which happened after Swaraj met Sharif and later his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz there on the concluding day of her two-day visit (December 8-9). She was in Pakistan to attend a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

Most defence organisations have accepted OROP, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

As approved by the government in September, the OROP will be implemented from July 2014 and arrears alone would cost the exchequer about Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said government’s OROP (One Rank One Pension) formula for retired defence personnel has been accepted by most associations and only a small section had some issues on it.”The government has already announced its decision. Most personnel in their (defence) organisations have accepted that. If one faction or the other have reservations, I think it’s for all of you to sit together and decide …within the organisation itself. The mainstream organisations personally met me and thanked the government that their long-standing demand has been accepted,” he said.The Minister was responding to a question on the implementation of OROP at ‘Aaj Tak Agenda’ programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As approved by the government in September, the OROP will be implemented from July 2014 and arrears alone would cost the exchequer about Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.Replying questions on the government’s recent policy initiatives with regard to Pakistan, Jaitley said there were no fundamental changes and effort has been to resolve differences through talks. India’s foreign policy approach, the Minister said, “has always been of resolving disputes by way of talks but the environment, in which you want to talk, the responsibility (of it) lies with Pakistan as well.”So it depends on the environment and conditions. And when the conditions improve, it improves the conditions to talk as well. And government’s policy on the matter, being ongoing for so many years, is appropriate. We should hope that the conditions will remain good and the talks will keep going.”Following the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Paris, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad for talks. The official level talks are likely to continue.

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 –>

‘I have come with a message to move forward’, says EAM Sushma Swaraj in Islamabad

“I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj.

Image Courtesy: MEA

Setting the tone for their talks on Wednesday, foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on Tuesday expressed optimism and desire to improve ties which have witnessed strain in the past few months, maintaining the effort will be to carry forward the engagement.After arriving on a two-day visit, primarily to attend a multilateral meet on Afghanistan, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said relationship between the two countries should be better and that she will hold talks with Pakistani leaders to find ways to improve bilateral ties.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj.Swaraj will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaz Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday.Aziz said he was expecting a “good and positive” outcome from the meeting and both sides should take forward the engagement to improve ties.Swaraj’s visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.Later in the night Sushma Swaraj met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz during a banquet hosted by him for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.Aziz greeted Swaraj warmly and both engaged in a brief conversation. Aziz later sat next to Swaraj.The fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, is aimed at enhancing cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the region.The high-ranking delegations from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations are participating in the two-day conference.

My expectations are positive from talks with Sushma Swaraj: Sartaj Aziz

Immediately after arriving in Islamabad, Sushma Swaraj said the relationship between India and Pakistan should be better and that she will hold talks to find ways to improve bilateral ties.
File Photo
PTI
Ahead of his talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said he was expecting a “good and positive” outcome from the meeting on Wednesday and both sides should take forward the engagement to improve ties.”My expectations are good and positive from talks tomorrow,” Aziz told PTI.Immediately after arriving in Islamabad, Swaraj said the relationship between India and Pakistan should be better and that she will hold talks to find ways to improve bilateral ties.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”My message is also that we should take our engagement forward and improve ties,” Aziz said when asked about Swaraj’s comment that she has come with a message that ties between the two countries should be “good and move forward”.Swaraj is in Islamabad to lead the Indian delegation at the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan. Swaraj will hold talks with Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference tomorrow.Swaraj’s visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement. Aziz had said on Monday that the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties had eased to some extent.During his talks with Swaraj, Aziz said he would discuss various matters with focus on resumption of composite dialogue process between the two countries.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaches Islamabad

Upon her arrival in Islamabad, Swaraj said that the Heart of Asia conference holds immense importance.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday reached Islamabad to attend a multilateral conference, during which she will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation at the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday. In Islamabad, she will hold talks with Aziz and call on the Pakistani Prime Minister.Upon her arrival in Islamabad, Swaraj said that the Heart of Asia conference holds immense importance.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Heart of Asia conference is important because its associated with Afghanistan, that is why I came specially to attend this. I will meet Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif and my counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Efforts will be on to improve relations,” Swaraj said.Aziz had said on Monday that the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties had eased to some extent and the focus of the meeting would be on the resumption of the stalled composite dialogue process.Swaraj’s visit comes three days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan 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.

External Affiars Minister Sushma Swaraj to visit Pakistan today; to meet Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz

Swaraj will visit the Pakistan capital to attend the ministerial segment on Afghanistan during the annual Heart of Asia conference on December 9

Sushma Swaraj
File Photo
ANI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for a two-day visit to Pakistan on Tuesday, where she is expected to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad this week.Swaraj will visit the Pakistan capital to attend the ministerial segment on Afghanistan during the annual Heart of Asia conference on December 9. Upon her return from Islamabad on December 10, Swaraj will be making a statement on the latest developments that have taken place in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy also confirmed Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad and said that she would brief both the houses of Parliament in detail on the present status of Indo-Pak relations once she returns. “Sushma Swaraj will be visiting Pakistan tomorrow and once she returns, she will give a detailed statement about the discussions with Pakistan over issues including Terrorism. The government is fully prepared to give an updated status of Indo-Pak talks and this has been communicated to both the houses,” Rudy told the media outside the Parliament.Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had said the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties had eased to some extent and he is looking forward towards the bilateral talks with Sushma Swaraj which would focus on the resumption of composite dialogue process. In a surprising move, India-Pakistan had NSA-level talks in Bangkok on Sunday on a wide range of issues including terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and border issues.Post the meeting, both the nations released a joint statement saying that the discussions were held in a “candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere”.According to reports, the meeting was agreed upon by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif when they met in Paris last week on the sidelines of COP-21. A joint statement issued later said that the discussions “covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, other issues, including tranquility over the Line of Control”.

No big brotherly approach towards Nepal, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

PTI
Rejecting the allegation of adopting “big brotherly” approach towards Nepal, India today said it respects its sovereignty and wants to see the neighbouring country itself resolve the present crisis through consensus as violence could have impact even on India.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on India-Nepal relations during which members expressed concern over the deterioration in ties, she said the government shares their sentiments as also the worries of Nepal which has been hit by a blockade of supplies from India due to an agitation by Madhesis over the newly-adopted Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Still a way can be found… We are doing the same… We want to see a resolution through consensus so that supplies could be restored at the earliest,” Swaraj said adding India has conveyed this the Nepal government as well as the agitating Madhesis. “We hope some solution will emerge in 5-7 days,” she said.To the allegations that India was adopting a “big brotherly” approach, the minister said, “instead, we are adopting an elderly brother’s approach, a caring and sharing approach.” Rejecting the charge of interference into the neighbour’s affairs, she said, “Nepal is a sovereign country and we respect its sovereigntyl. We are not prescriptive but only give advice.” “Like elder brother, our attitude is that of caring and sharing and not of showing arrogance, which a big brother does,” Swaraj said.Allaying apprehensions voiced by JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, the External Affairs Minister said there is no need to have any doubts over the government’s intentions.”The present government will also follow the same path on which previous governments have handled Nepal. There is no difference between the deeds and actions of the government. This government does what is speaks,” she said.She said India is worried also because if the agitation by Madhesis turns violent, it will affect this country.”We told them this that if there is any violent agitation, then India’s peaceful border with Nepal will be restless and this could affect India’s relations with Nepal…We told them, this border of ours at least is peaceful. We do not want this also to be volatile,” she said.During her speech, Swaraj attacked Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for making some adverse comments about India’s role and for suggesting that rather than the External Affairs Minister, somebody “authoritarian” was dictating the policy, an apparent attack on the Prime Minister.”Mani has the habit of creating rifts. He has tried to create a rift between me and my leaders.. He also tried to create rift with Nepal,” she said. She also took exception to Aiyar’s remarks that an Indian delegation should go to Nepal and convey that the “Modi government rather than India” was behind the situation.Countering the charge that India was blocking supplies to Nepal, Swaraj said routes have been closed because of the protest by Madhesis in which India no role.”Who can be so foolish to turn goodwill into hostility? How can we collect lakhs of people for protest?… We are keen to send the supplies,” she said, while telling the members not to accept versions to the contrary.”We are not inhuman… 11,206 trucks, loaded with supplies, are waiting at the Raxaul-Birganj border post. They are not able to move forward because of the protest and we are not allowing them to come back, thinking they could get some chance to proceed,” she said.At the same time, she said, India is looking at alternative routes to send supplies like medicines. 864 trucks have gone into Nepal from one such route yesterday, compared to 450 trucks which usually go. She said clearing of the routes is not in the hands of India.”We can push the supplies either by firing at the protestors or crushing them under the trucks. Both are not desirable,” Swaraj said, adding “we are trying to find a political consensus.”

Sushma Swaraj’s visit will help improve Indo-Pak ties: National Conference

National leaders Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, both former Chief Ministers of the state, welcomed the fact that Swaraj will be travelling to Pakistan, hoping that it will help reduce tensions between the two countries

Sushma Swaraj

National Conference on Saturday hoped that the proposed visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan next week will help in improving relations, lead to resumption of dialogue process and resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries.National leaders Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, both former Chief Ministers of the state, welcomed the fact that Swaraj will be travelling to Pakistan, hoping that it will help reduce tensions between the two countries. “We hope that Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan will improve the relations between the two countries and also in carrying forward the dialogue process so that all issues between them can be resolved,” Farooq told reporters here after paying tributes to his father and party’s founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his 110th birth anniversary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Farooq, who was commenting on media reports about Swaraj’s visit, also welcomed the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris last week. “We do not know what they talked about but let us hope that they find some way of resolving this (Jammu and Kashmir) issue,” the NC leader said, addressing the party supporters at Sheikh’s mausoleum on the banks of Dal lake here.Omar Abdullah said although Swaraj was visiting Pakistan for a conference on Afghanistan it should not be taken lightly given the circumstances in which it is happening.”It is a good thing that Sushma Swaraj is going to Pakistan. Although this is not a bilateral visit… However, External Affairs Minister’s visit to Pakistan is not a small issue, especially in conditions where there is tension between the two countries. “Even if the visit is happening due to Afghanistan, we will be hopeful that the bilateral dialogue is also resumed,” Omar said.”We hope that this visit will lead to improvement in situation (between India and Pakistan), the ceasefire (along the border and LoC) will be respected and the dialogue process will be resumed,” Omar told reporters here.Farooq Abdullah addressed the party workers in Kashmiri, refusing a request by mediapersons to speak in English or Urdu. “This is our mother tongue and we should promote it,” he said to a loud applause from the party workers.He reiterated his earlier statement that neither India nor Pakistan had the capability to annexe the territory of Jammu and Kashmir in each other’s control. “Both have atom (nuclear) bombs. Are we going to drop these bombs on each other and get wiped out?” he asked. Supporting the status quo, he said the two countries should grant greater autonomy to their respective regions of Kashmir and make the Line of Control irrelevant by allowing free travel and trade between the two sides of the state.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj likely to visit Pakistan next week

A Foreign Office (FO) official said that Pakistan has invited the Foreign Ministers of different countries including India for the meeting. “We hope for maximum participation, though some of the countries like India so far have not confirmed high-level participation,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Sushma Swaraj
File Photo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is likely to visit Pakistan next week for a regional conference on Afghanistan, Pakistani officials said on Thursday.Pakistan is co-hosting a ministerial-level conference on December 9 to discuss regional cooperation on Afghanistan and officials of about 27 countries are expected to attend it.A Foreign Office (FO) official said that Pakistan has invited the Foreign Ministers of different countries including India for the meeting. “We hope for maximum participation, though some of the countries like India so far have not confirmed high-level participation,” he said on condition of anonymity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another FO official said there was “greater possibility” that Swaraj would come to Pakistan for the regional conference after the brief interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart in Paris on the sidelines of the UN climate summit. According to Dawn, a senior Pakistani official said that Swaraj was “highly likely” to attend the meeting.The Express Tribune quoted officials at Pakistan’s Foreign Office and an Indian diplomat that “Swaraj will most likely attend the conference following this week’s unscheduled meeting between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India in Paris”.Modi and Sharif had a brief meeting during which they warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat, with the Indian side describing the encounter as a “brief exchange of courtesies” but Pakistanis terming it as a “good” meeting.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.

Sushma Swaraj leaves for Malta to attend Commonwealth Summit

The Summit of the 53-member bloc, born out of the British empire, comes two weeks after the deadly terror attack in Paris and it is expected to deliberate extensively on finding effective ways to counter terrorism and radicalisation.

Sushma Swaraj leaves for Malta. Image Courtesy: MEA

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday embarked on a visit to Malta to attend the Commonwealth Summit beginning on Friday which is likely to focus on combating terrorism and violent extremism as well as tackling climate change.The Summit of the 53-member bloc, born out of the British empire, comes two weeks after the deadly terror attack in Paris and it is expected to deliberate extensively on finding effective ways to counter terrorism and radicalisation.India is Commonwealth’s biggest member country and Swaraj will articulate India’s position on a number of key issues at the Summit which is likely to be attended by more than 30 heads of state and government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Adding Global Value, with the Commonwealth! EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for the CHOGM Summit in Malta,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.The three-day long Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is also going to discuss a range of issues relating to climate change and it will try to drum up political support before the Paris Summit.A special Executive Session on Climate Change will discuss various issues to tackle climate change with particular focus on producing a unified commitment by the Commonwealth countries at the Paris summit.UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius are likely to attend the session.CHOGM is held after every two years and the theme for this year’s meeting is Adding Global Value. The Summit is also likely to deliberate on issues relating to trade and commerce and migration among others.In 2013, the then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh did not participate in the CHOGM summit held in Colombo in view of opposition by parties in Tamil Nadu as well as a section in Congress over alleged human rights abuses by the host during the 26-year civil war.The Commonwealth countries are home to around 2.2 billion people of which over 60 per cent are under the age of 30. The grouping includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-one of its members are small states, many of them island nations.The Summit, likely to be attended by Queen Elizabeth II, will also deliberate on ways to tackle radicalisation and extremism.Malta, a Southern European island country comprising an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, is hosting the CHOGM for the second time.

Two more families claim to be Geeta’s parents: Swaraj Swaraj

Indore: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that two more families have claimed Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired girl who returned from Pakistan last month, to be their daughter but she has refused to identify one of them on the basis of their photographs.

Swaraj also said that efforts will be intensified to trace Geeta’s real parents, which will include exhibiting her photographs in her childhood hair style.

Geeta returned to India after spending over a decade in Pakistan. PTIGeeta returned to India after spending over a decade in Pakistan. PTI

Geeta returned to India after spending over a decade in Pakistan. PTI

Swaraj met Geeta who has been staying with an organisation working for the cause of deaf and mute children here since her return from Pakistan.

“We are trying our best to locate parents of Geeta. Two families, including one from Bihar, have claimed that they are her family members,” Swaraj told reporters.

The minister said Geeta refused to recognise the photograph of a Muslim family, but sought more time to go through another photograph.

Swaraj said that at least four families from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab had also claimed Geeta to be their daughter, but their claims could not be proved.

Among the four families was Bihar’s Janardhan Mehto whose DNA didn’t match with Geeta.

“However, my efforts will continue till I find her real parents. I am hopeful and confident on the issue,” the minister said.

Swaraj also sought to fend off criticism of government by some quarters over keeping Geeta in the city-based organisation for the children with hearing and speech impairments.

“Some people ask why the government brought Geeta from Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation and kept her in the organisation in Indore. However, there is a major difference in staying in the Pakistani organisation and with the one in her own country.

“In Pakistan, she was staying in a place which was not meant for people like her, but here in Indore she is among those who are like her and she will gradually gain confidence that even without being able to hear and speak, she can become self-dependent and can lead a good life,” Swaraj said.

Geeta had inadvertently crossed the Indian border through Samjhouta Express over a decade ago. Swaraj also asked office-bearers of the organisation to interact with Geeta in sign language and find out what was her hair style when she had crossed the border.

“We will take her photographs in that hair style and exhibit them. It might help us in locating her parents,” she said.

The minister also expressed her gratitude towards Pakistan and Edhi Foundation for ensuring Geeta’s return to India.

“After it was established that Geeta was an Indian citizen, Pakistan allowed us to bring her back without any dilly-dallying. Edhi Foundation has also set an example of humanity and respected her religious feelings. It also provided her facility to worship Hindu gods and goddess and also served her vegetarian food of her liking,” Swaraj said.

On Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney’s concern over the delay in finding Geeta’s parents, Swaraj said, “I am not answerable to Burney and I have informed in detail about the efforts made by us to locate her parents”.

The minister said Geeta was enjoying her stay at the organisation and people working there were like her parents while other inmates were like her brothers and sisters.

“Geeta very much enjoyed the festival of Diwali at the organisation,” she added.

The minister said that besides sign language, Geeta was also learning computer operating and painting.

“This training will help her a lot,” she said.

To a query, Swaraj said that Geeta had communicated to her through sign language the Indian tricolour and Mahatma Gandhi.

“It was necessary for her to return to India and now she does not want to go back to Pakistan. However, she has lot of regards for Edhi Foundation and its people,” the BJP MP said.

Swaraj said that Geeta had shown her a photograph of Bollywood actor Salman Khan and once again expressed her desire to meet him.

“I will talk to Salman over phone and would fulfill her wish,” the minister added.

PTI

Russian acid attack victim shifted to Moscow

Sudhir Shetty
dna
The 23-year-old Russian girl, a victim of an acid attack in Varanasi, was flown back to Moscow early Monday morning. Darya Yurieva, a tourist who had been living in Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, had suffered 46 percent burns after her landlord’s son threw acid on her while she was sleeping, Friday morning.Yurieva was first admitted to Sir Sunderlal Hospital at Banaras Hindu University and then transferred late Sunday night to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, via Medanta’s air ambulance. On Monday, Poonam Dhanda, spokesperson for Safdarjung told the dna that Yurieva had been flown to Moscow at 5 am, on the Russian Embassy’s direction, as her parents wanted her home.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We got the news on Sunday night itself,” said Dhanda, “and she was transferred out of Safdarjung at 1 am.”Yurieva suffered burns to her facial area, according to Dhanda, mainly her face, both eyes, neck, front of the chest, right arm, abdomen, chest, right thigh, with her right eye being worse affected than her left. In the hours that Safdarjung had her, from 10:10 pm to 1 am, the doctors were working towards saving vision in her left eye.Tatiana Kutinova, the international press attache with the Russian embassy in New Delhi, told dna that Yurieva was in a state of shock. “She wants to know if she will get her face back, if she will look the same,” said Kutinova.”She has been shifted to a hospital specialising in burns in Podolsk, a city near Moscow. Though the Indian government has offered all possible help, her relatives want her there with them, instead of flying all the way to India.”Minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, also tweeted in the afternoon that Yurieva had been flown back home, and that the Indian ambassador had met her mother.”The acid victim has been flown to Moscow. Our Ambassador has met the mother of the victim,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.The minister further tweeted that “we have assured her that India will bear all expenses on her treatment in Russia.” She said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has also announced Rs 5 lakh towards this.Kutinova said that too many details couldn’t be given out about Yurieva, as most of the conversations Embassy officials had with her parents centred around the case and the subsequent medical treatment the young girl would need. “Most of what we know we found out from the Indian media; that Yurieva came to India in August and had been travelling. Siddharth, the accused travelled with her and they were friends. We don’t know the manner of their relationship, but it seemed he proposed to her in Varanasi and asked her to stay back in India. However, Yurieva wanted to return to Russia when her visa expired, in early 2016.”Yurieva has a dual citizenships with Bulgaria and Russia, and her family according to the embassy are from the Moscow district. She was an avid traveller, India not being the first place she visited.

After Mani resignation, Congress presses for Swaraj, Raje’s removal

Sushma Swaraj

A day after Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani resigned following bribery charges, Congress on Wednesday pressed for removal of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and BJP Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh in connection with various scams.Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters that Mani has resigned in the highest tradition of democracy, despite no guilt having been proved in the case against him. “Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi implement the same yardstick in the case of Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the wake of two cases in the Vyapam scam and Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj in the Lalit Modi controversy?” Surjewala asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mani, against whom an FIR had been registered in the bar bribery case, resigned yesterday night after pressure mounted on him from the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front to quit. Surjewala asked whether Modi would use the same yardstick to remove Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in the wake of the PDS scam and Maharashtra Ministers Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde who have been “accused in many scams”.The monsoon session of Parliament was a virtual washout this year with the Congress pressing for the resignations of Swaraj, Raje and Chauhan. The winter session of Parliament is scheduled to commence from November 26.

Pakistan invites External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for key Afghan conference

Islamabad: Pakistan has invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a crucial regional conference in Islamabad on Afghanistan, a move that could provide an opportunity for the two neighbours to mend their frosty ties.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

The ‘Heart of Asia’ conference will be held on 7 and 8 December, where representatives from Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE are expected to attend.

Pakistan has also sent an invitation to Swaraj, the Express Tribune reported.

“A formal invitation has been sent to India and 25 other countries for the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting on Afghanistan to be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior Foreign Office official was quoted as saying by the paper.

An Indian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed New Delhi has received the invitation but said the decision on whether the External Affairs Minister will attend the conference has yet to be taken, the paper said.

He said India is likely to send a high-level delegation headed by the minister given the conference’s importance.

The meet provides a moment to unfold the process for a dialogue between the two countries after recent hiccups in their ties.

Indo-Pak ties are going through a chill particularly after cancellation of NSA-level talks following differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad, and a planned meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

India has also accused Pakistan of repeated ceasefire violations and of having a hand in recent terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who were staying in the same hotel during their stay in New York in September for the UN General Assembly, did not meet on the sidelines of the summit.

Modi and Sharif had last met in Ufa, Russia, in July on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits.

It is believed that Prime Minister Modi may be ready for talks with Pakistan after Bihar elections, where his party could not repeat the success it had in Kashmir last year, the paper said, citing analysts.

The Afghan conference will discuss the current situation in Afghanistan with particular focus on helping the war-torn country’s economy.

PTI

Bihar Elections 2015: Arun Jaitley refuses to blame Mohan Bhagwat, says vote trasferability of grand alliance reason behind NDA’s defeat

Jaitley refuses to do finger-pointing.

Arun Jaitley

After severe drubbing in the Bihar elections, BJP parliamentary board took a stock of the situation on Monday. The meeting was attended by group of 12 leaders which was chaired by party president Amit Shah. PM Modi also attended the meeting. The likes of Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari were also present. After the meeting, Arun Jaitley addressed the press. He said that major factor of defeat was that constituents of grand alliance who fought alone earlier was united this time and managed vote transferability. Jaitley said that RSS has clearly expressed its stand on reservation and so has BJP. He refused to put the onus of defeat on the comments made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat, as many political pundits and even some within BJP has done.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arun Jaitley also refused to put the blame on allies saying they tried their best. He says that there is no one to blame separately and it is the collective responsibility of the party.Jaitley clearly rejected the notion that this is a referendum on the Modi government, saying it is something only known in journalistic parlance. Arun Jaitley expressed hopes that reform process will not be hurt by party’s setback in the Bihar polls. Finance Minister said that whatever package has been promised to the Bihar government will be delivered to them. Jaitley also tried to playdown the Bihar elections saying that party has done reasonably well in Assam, Kerala, Andamans, Ladakh etc.

Bihar debacle: PM Modi to meet top BJP leaders; Amit Shah meets RSS chief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday attend a meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board to discuss the impact of the party’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday attend a meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board to discuss the impact of the party’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections.The meeting of the party’s top-decision making group of 12 leaders will be chaired by party president Amit Shah. Other members of the group include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari.Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, a day after the party crashed to a humiliating defeat in the Bihar assembly elections which had prompted a section of the party to blame Bhagwat’s quota comments as one of the reasons for the loss.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the meeting, Shah is believed to have discussed Bihar results among other things.Party sources added that it was customary for top leaders to meet the RSS chief whenever he spends time in the national capital but the meeting has assumed significance due to Bihar results.The RSS chief’s suggestion for a review of reservation was seized by the grand alliance leaders who used it to rally backward castes, alleging that BJP planned to weaken it.After the loss, a few party leaders including veteran MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav has said it was a major reason for their defeat.The mahagathbandhan won 178 seats in Bihar, a commanding two-third majority in the 243-member assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies had to settle for a mere 58 seats.Various opposition leaders have dubbed the BJP’s drubbing as a rebuke to the aggressive campaigning by the Prime Minister.

Will send back Ramzan if Pakistan ready to accept him: Sushma Swaraj

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan had met Razia in Karachi and offered all assistance to her so that she could meet the boy in India.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said India will send back Ramzan, reportedly a Pakistani national currently with an NGO in India, if Pakistan was ready to accept him.”In case Pakistan is ready to accept #Ramzan, we will send him back. Our High Commissioner met #Ramzan’s mother in Karachi on 3 November. We are prepared to give her Visa to facilitate meeting with her son in Bhopal,” Swaraj tweeted.Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan had met Razia in Karachi and offered all assistance to her so that she could meet the boy in India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports, Ramzan, a teenager, had supposedly entered India from Bangladesh after running away from there. His Pakistani father had reportedly divorced his first wife and married for the second time in Bangladesh. Ramzan had accompanied his father to Bangladesh.The boy is currently with an NGO in Bhopal after efforts to send him to Karachi could not be fructify due to lack of papers to prove his Pakistani citizenship. Ramzan’s story is similar to that of Geeta’s.Geeta, a deaf and mute girl who had accidentally crossed over to Pakistan over a decade ago, returned to India from Pakistan last week.

India’s unity in diversity hailed abroad, says Sushma Swaraj

Hailing the country’s “unity in diversity”, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said there were high demands for setting up Indian cultural centres in countries across the world.

Sushma Swaraj

Hailing the country’s “unity in diversity”, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said there were high demands for setting up Indian cultural centres in countries across the world.Speaking at the first edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ in New Delhi, Swaraj said that there was tremendous “excitement” for Indian cultural traditions abroad and India’s unity fascinates people. “India is one despite so much diversity. The excitement in foreign countries over Indian culture is more than what it is in the country. Recently the PM (Narendra Modi) toured five Central Asian nations. Each and every country demanded that we set up an Indian culture centre there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Wherever we go, people request us to set up cultural centres. People are surprised by the fact that India has so much unity despite so much diversity,” Swaraj said. New Delhi BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was also present on the occasion, said that India is known for its culture globally although attempts “being made” and an ambience is being created to “dent that cherished heritage”.Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, whose department organised the ongoing seven-day event, said the unity of Indians amid diversity was its identity and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, which, he said is taking the country to “greater heights”. “Indians do not talk about million-trillion dollars when they go abroad. We talk about our culture which is taking us towards becoming the world leader. The way India is progressing under Narendra Modi and being taken to greater heights…I also congratulate the PM and Sushma Swaraj for successfully hosting the Indo-Africa Summit,” Sharma said.

Geeta’s story gets complicated, refuses to recognise Indian family

A team of doctors from the AIIMS, took blood samples of Geeta. Janardhan Mahato, who claims to be her father

Geeta with Sushma Swaraj

The story of deaf-mute Geeta got further complicated on Monday when she refused to recognise the Mahato family. Stranded in Pakistan 15 years ago, she arrived here to a rosy welcome. The family from Bihar had claimed Geeta as their lost daughter. In the chambers of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, where Mahato family was made to sit face-to-face, Geeta didn’t make any emotional bonding and preferred to stay with Indore based sign language expert Monika Punjabi.A team of doctors from the AIIMS, took blood samples of Geeta. Janardhan Mahato, who claims to be her father. The father has also already given his blood samples and is currently being tested at the Hyderabad based Central Forensic Laboratory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Pakistani media had highlighted her case way back in 2012, it created ripples only after movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan which had a story on similar lines. Sushma took a political swipe at the previous UPA government for not showing pro-activeness, saying, “We came to power in 2014…There is a need to show pro-activeness on certain levels to settle such issues.”Recounting that when after the Salman Khan blockbuster hit screens and the electronic media raised the issue of Geeta, minister of external affairs immediately asked Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan to visit Karachi along with his wife to verify claims of Eidhi foundation and Geeta.Armed with sketchy details and pictures, which were displayed and broadcast through media, four families from Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had approached the ministry of external affairs claiming the mute girl is their child. “I asked chief ministers of these four states to verify claims. And finally it was only the Bihar family which was somewhat closer to reality. She (Geeta) responded to their pictures as well, when she was shown it in Karachi,” said Sushma. Sushma, however, hastened to add that their were loopholes in Mahato story as well. “They said Geeta had been married and had left her husbands’ home. But she was just 11, when she wandered over the border. And Geeta also denies she had married. But we still took their story, but called for DNA testing,” said the external affairs minister.Swaraj, said: “It doesn’t matter if we find her parents or not. She is a daughter of India and we will take care of her.” The government has already identified an Indore-based NGO working with speech and hearing impaired people to teach Geeta. At first, she was kept at a children’s home in Lahore, where she was given the Muslim name Fatima. She would point at maps of India, especially to an area somewhere in Bihar until she was able to finally communicate she was from India, and not a Pakistani.Manoj, claiming to be Geeta’s brother, said Geeta must have been confused right now and hoped once after settling down, she will recognise her family. He claimed that Geeta was married and used to live with her husband when she got lost from a ‘Baisakhi fair’.

Plot Mein Twist: Geeta refuses to identify Mahatos as her family

As Geeta made her way out of the ceremonial lounge of IGI around 11.30 PM, the family tried to make their way forward carrying rose petals and marigold garlands but she was whisked away by security personnel.

File Photo

Elated over Geeta’s return from Pakistan after a gap of 15 years, the Mahatos from Bihar today turned up at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to accord a warm welcome to their “family member”, only to be left dejected hours later as she refused to recognise them.As Geeta made her way out of the ceremonial lounge of IGI around 11.30 PM, the family tried to make their way forward carrying rose petals and marigold garlands but she was whisked away by security personnel.Later, addressing a press conference, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Geeta refused to identify the Mahatos as her family. Earlier, she had identified them through pictures sent by the Indian High Commission in Pakistan.Talking to a huge media posse outside the lounge, one Manoj, who claimed to be Geeta’s brother, expressed his “disappointment” over not being given the chance to garland the 23-year-old.”We want to meet her. Wanted to welcome her properly. It’s a great moment for us. We had lost all hope. Want to thankthe media, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, our lawyer. It’s like lord Rama’s homecoming after spending 14 years in exile. This is our Diwali,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Contrary to her categorical denials in this regard, he also claimed that Geeta was married and used to live with her husband when she got lost from a “Baisakhi fair”. Janardhan Mahato, who claims to be her father, thanked Swaraj and Pakistani officials for ensuring her return. “She will recognise us all and will embrace us the moment we meet her. She is not a girl anymore, she’s god.” Geeta was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. Indian government has said that Geeta would be handed over to the rightful family only after DNA test.

Sushma Swaraj thanks Edhi foundation for safeguarding Geeta’s religion

“I would like to thank the Edhi foundation, I would like to thank Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi, you not only gave her mother’s love but also protected her faith,’ Swaraj said at a press conference.

Geeta and Sushma Swaraj

Expressing her gratitude towards the Edhi Foundation for taking care of Geeta during her stay in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that institution’s founders Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi had not only given ‘motherly love’ to the girl but also safeguarded her religion. ‘Today is a day of great happiness, after years our Geeta has returned to her homeland. India welcomes its daughter back home. I would like to thank the Edhi foundation, I would like to thank Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi, you not only gave her mother’s love but also protected her faith,’ Swaraj said at a press conference.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The External Affairs Minister said that the process to bring back Geeta started after a news channel reported about her. ‘Sometime back there was a TV report saying that a girl had gone across the border by mistake and she wants to come back. She was in the Edhi Foundation there. I immediately asked Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Raghavan ji to look into the matter,’ Swaraj said.’He went to Karachi, inquired there and told me that the girl is definitely Indian and she wants to come to India. She gave him some information about her home and surroundings,’ she added. Swaraj further said that Geeta had failed to recognise the photographs of two families, which had claimed that she was their daughter. ‘We started searching for her family. Four couple claimed that Geeta was their daughter, they were all from different regions, from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. I asked the state governments to find out the truth,’ she said. ‘Some of them were ruled out as facts did not corroborate with what Geeta had said. We then sent the photographs of parents from Pratapgarh and Telangana to Pakistan, Geeta failed to recognise both of them. After that the Mahato couple met and said that Geeta is their daughter,’ she added.Swaraj said that Geeta finally recognised the members of Mahato family. ‘We sent their photos to Geeta and she recognised them, she asked for photographs of her siblings. She recognised a few of them. We decided that we would bring her back, but also thought that there has to a scientific way to establish her relationship with parents,’ Swaraj said. ‘We decided to conduct DNA testing of both. We took Mahato couple’s blood samples and collected Geeta’s blood sample also today, we have sent both for testing,’ she added.
Swaraj said that Geeta, who arrived here a short while back, will be kept in an institution in Indore as she has failed to recognise Mahato couple. She will be under the care of the government till DNA tests establish Geeta’s parentage. Geeta had strayed into Pakistan at the age of 11 and was handed over to the Edhi Foundation by the police, who found her at Lahore railway station.Escorted by five members of the Edhi Foundation, Geeta arrived at the IGI airport in the national capital today.

As Geeta returns home, India issues visa to girl from Pakistan for transplant operation

Dubai: In a humanitarian gesture, India has issued a visa to a five-year-old girl from Pakistan suffering from chronic liver disease to undergo a transplant operation in the country.

Basma Mohammad Faisal is currently admitted in Royal Hospital in Oman and is scheduled to undergo a liver transplant operation at the Global Health City in Chennai.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnliveRepresentational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday, “We have issued a visa for Basma’s surgery in India. We wish her a speedy recovery.”

“She has become very weak, as she has not taken food for many days. We’ll fly to India once the doctors give her the fit-for-flying certificate. Right now, she is being fed directly into her bloodstream through a drip IV lodged in her vein,” her father Mohammad Faisal Raza said.

A spokesperson at the Global Hospital said that hospital staff has been in touch with the family to plan their travel to India.

“Our liver transplant team has already gone through the reports for the patient sent from Oman. The child has a cirrhotic liver with high serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). With the background problem of chronic liver disease, along with biliary system issues, it is essential for Basma to undergo a liver transplant operation,” said Syed Zia Akhtar, Assistant Manager-International Patients Assistance Center, Global Health City.

PTI

Sushma Swaraj calls for reforms in UNSC

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday advocated reforms to the United Nations Security Council and pointed out that neither India with nearly one-sixth of the world’s population nor the largest continent Africa in terms of number of countries were on board.

She said the United Nations continued to be a “representative of the world order of 1945”.

Sushma Swaraj. AFPSushma Swaraj. AFP

Sushma Swaraj. AFP

“A major issue in this context is that of UN Security Council reforms. The Security Council continues to be representative of a world order of 1945. It is inconceivable that the Security Council today does not have any permanent representation from Africa, which is the largest continent (in terms of number of countries),” Sushma Swaraj said while addressing the third India-Africa Editors’ Forum meeting here.

She said it was also incomprehensible that India, which represents almost one-sixth of world’s population and has all credentials to be a permanent member of the Security Council, was still out of it.

“We all need to work together to remove this anomaly and the media has an important role in this,” she said.

The minister said developing countries were articulating similar views and concerns as the UN celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Sushma Swaraj said 2015 has been a historic year for pushing forward south-south cooperation.

“We celebrated the 60th anniversary of Asian-African conference and the 10th anniversary of the new Asian-African strategic partnership at Bandung (in Indonesia). We worked together in the finalisation of the post-2015 Development Agenda,” she said.

Welcoming the participants of India-Africa Editors’ Forum at the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit, the minister said the unprecedented participation was testimony to the deep historical bonds that India shares with Africa.

The summit will begin on Monday and end on 29 October.

IANS

Congress reopens Lalit Modi case; to move privilege against Jaitley & Swaraj for misleading Parliament

Party chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewalawaraj alleged that the government had deliberately started extradition proceedings against Lalit Modi instead of seeking his deportation

The Congress once again reopened ‘fugitive’ cricket manager Lalit Modi’s case accusing the government of ‘bundles of lies’, indicating that it will move privilege motion against external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and finance minister Arun Jaitley for misleading both Houses of Parliament.The party chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala countered the government argument that no criminal case was registered against Lalit Modi to seek his deportation. He cited a money laundering case registered way back in 2012 to counter the claim perpetuated by both Swaraj and Jaitley in Parliament.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The party also released letters of P Chidambaram, he had written to his UK counterpart George Osborne in 2013. The government had refused to release these letters. Osborne letter confirms that his government had discussed the issue with the Indian High Commission in London, belying Swaraj claim that Chidambram had not kept the external affairs ministry in loop, while exchanging letters with his British counterpart. Chidambaram in his letter on August 21, 2013 had also clarified that India was not seeking the extradition of Modi, but deportation.Surjiwala further alleged that the government had deliberately started extradition proceedings against Lalit Modi instead of seeking his deportation. He said the government is rather helping Lalit Modi to escape the clutches of the Indian law and live a life of ultimate luxury. He flayed both Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj as both have been the lawyers and know very well that they are making a false alibi that Lalit Modi’s deportation is not possible.”By helping Lalit Modi get British travel documents on 01.08.2014 pursuant to request by Sushma Swaraj in July 2014, the Modi government ensured that no case for deportation survives against him,” Surjewala said, noting that the previous UPA government was pursuing his deportation which is a quick expeditious process as against extradition.He said both Jaitley and Swaraj know that the extradition process is lengthy enough to take 8-10 years by which time the public memory will fade away from the Modigate scandal and that is why the government refused to place in public documents various communications exchanged between then finance minister P Chidambaram and the UK government for Modi’s immediate deportation instead of extradition.Surjewala also challenged Jaitley’s false claim in Parliament that Lalit Modi can not be deported from UK since it requires a criminal case against him which did not exist. He cited the UK’s Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999, and its replacement by Immigration Act, 2014 to assert that there is no requirement for a pending criminal proceedings in the home country for an illegal immigrant to be deported from the UK.He said the UK has a law and policy to remove illegal immigrants not having valid travel documents and Chidambaram had specifically cited in one of his communications to the UK government about 2784 cases where “emergency certificates” were issued by the Indian High Commission in London in five years up to 2013 to facilitate deportation by the UK authorities. He alleged that deportation case against Lalit Modi was annulled when external affairs minister helped him to get travel documents.

Bring back Lalit Modi, sack Sushma Swaraj & Vasundhara Raje: Congress to PM Modi

Earlier today it was reported that UPA in 2013 had asked the United Kingdom to deport Lalit Modi. Former Finance Minister P Chideambaram had requested UK to deport him.

Surjewala charged BJP led government’s EAM Sushma Swaraj of hurting India’s case to get Lalit Modi back.

Congress spokesman RS Sujrewala has on Friday asked PM Narendra Modi to bring back Lalit Modi, the former IPL Chairman embroiled in allegations of money laundering. “PM should tell us when he will get Lalit Modi back into the country,” he said.Earlier today it was reported that UPA in 2013 had asked the United Kingdom to deport Lalit Modi. Former Finance Minister P Chideambaram had requested UK to deport him as he had a lot of cases pending were against him. “UPA wanted Lalit Modi to be brought back so that his case can be expedited,” said Surjewala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surjewala charged BJP led government’s EAM Sushma Swaraj of hurting India’s case to get Lalit Modi back. “Our deportation case was annulled when our EAM helped him get travel documents.”We demand PM to give a statement on his ministers aiding Lalit Modi, for him to sack EAM Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje,” he added.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar suspends Cabinet Minister Awadhesh Kushwaha over alleged sting

Kushwaha was caught in an alleged sting where a video of him taking money was taken.

Image courtesy : Facebook
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar suspended State Cabinet Minister Awadhesh Kushwaha after over corruption charges. Kushwaha was caught in an alleged sting operation where a video of him taking money was taken. Sharad Yadav took a jibe at BJP saying that the party did not act against their ministers who alleged involved in scams. “Whether it was the Vyapam Scam, Lalitgate or Sushma Swaraj’s matter, that party did not take any action,” he said.Yadav said that Kushwaha’s resignation has been sent to the Governor’s house. He said that the party believes that the sting operation was true.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added that the decision on who will replace him for Bihar election seat will be taken soon.