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Saeed house arrest a diplomatic win for India



Saeed house arrest a diplomatic win for India

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]New Delhi’s success in isolating Pakistan globally forced Islamabad’s hand

By Abu Turab

India’s aggressive diplomacy against Pakistan for its support to cross-border terrorism has been productive and has led to a sense of isolation in Islamabad which is what reportedly forced Pakistan to place Jama’at-ud-Da’wah chief Hafiz Saeed under house arrest on January 30. India has been, for quite some time, demanding that Saeed be put on the United Nations-sanctioned terrorists’ list.

New Delhi’s recent diplomatic moves began when it refused to approve the appointment of Amjad Hussain Sial as Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in January this year. Sial is Islamabad’s candidate as it was supposed to host the 19th SAARC summit in November last year, but the event fell through when India decided to boycott it and other countries also pulled out.

In the normal course,the appointment of the Secretary General is approved by the Council of Ministers of the member countries when they meet before the summit. New Delhi feels that Sial’s appointment should not be cleared without following the set procedure.

According to Hindustan Times, the ministry of external affairs asked the SAARC secretariat, currently in Kathmandu, to follow the process laid down in the charter for appointing the Secretary General. India emphasized that the appointment should not be done merely through a diplomatic note. It pointed to Article V of the MoU on the establishment of the SAARC secretariat. But the Council of Ministers’ meeting could not take place because the boycott prevented the summit being held.

Pakistan’s reputed Dawn newspaper reported on February 1 that officials in Islamabad accuse India of employing “delaying tactics” and insist that concurrence had been received from all members, including India. A copy of an Indian diplomatic note dated May 30, 2016, conveying concurrence for Sial’s appointment, was shared by Dawn.

Pakistan also claims that Sial’s nomination was made at the SAARC Council of Ministers in Pokhara, Nepal, in March 2016 and was endorsed by all member states.

Relations between the two nuclear-powered neighbours nosedived last year when violence erupted after the killing of  Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen, in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir in July last year. India also accuses the Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based terror group, for attacking its military camp in Uri, killing 17 soldiers, in September last year. At one point of time Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had even called Pakistan a terrorist state.

Dawn observed that the Indian leadership does not say it, but a sub-regional transport agreement and statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicate that India is working towards a regional bloc minus Pakistan. Furthermore, by isolating Pakistan, it believes, India is trying to gain maximum leverage and influence in the region.

The Pakistani daily talked about Pakistan’s importance in the region and observed that Pakistan, besides its large territorial size, has been an active member of SAARC and is currently contributing 24 percent of the secretariat’s budget.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign policy, Sartaj Aziz, on January 27 alleged that India, by boycotting the SAARC summit, “impeded” the grouping’s process and “violated the spirit of its charter”. Aziz was speaking while meeting outgoing SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa in Islamabad. Thapa’s stint ends on February 28.

The Islamabad Foreign Office, while quoting Aziz, in a statement said that “Pakistan remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad at the earliest so that the objectives of the regional cooperation can be pursued more vigorously.”

In a damage control exercise, Pakistani establishment chose to place Saeed under house arrest. He is the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and the Jama’at-ud-Da’wah chief.Saeed said his house arrest was the result of pressure from India because of his advocacy of freedom of Kashmir and Balochistan. Among the reasons for his arrest, he cited the bonhomie between Modi and US President Donald Trump.

Saeed was earlier placed under house arrest in December 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack and again in September 2009. On both occasions, the house arrest was lifted after a short duration.

On January 9 Dawn reported that the civilian government had informed the military leadership of “growing international isolation of Pakistan” and sought consensus on several key actions by the state. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also directed fresh efforts to conclude the Pathankot investigation and resume Mumbai terror attack-related trials in the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

According to the daily’s report, the message was clear that military-led intelligence agencies were not to interfere if law enforcement agencies acted against militant groups that are banned or considered off-limits for civilian action.

Dawn further revealed that Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, in a presentation in the PMO, summarized the results of the recent diplomatic outreach by Pakistan and described the isolation it has been facing in major world capitals. He said that relations have deteriorated and will likely further deteriorate because of the US demand for action against the Haqqani network. On India, Chaudhry stated that completion of the Pathankot investigation and some “visible action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammad were among the principal demands.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Calcutta High Court suggests changing name of Sita, Akbar lions

Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.



The Calcutta High Court on Thursday suggested to the Bengal government that the names of lioness Sita and lion Akbar, who were placed in the same enclosure at the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri, could be changed.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the High Court to change the name of the lioness Sita, who was recently brought to West Bengal from Tripura.

Hearing a petition, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya orally directed the State to avoid controversy and consider renaming the big cats.

Questioning the intention of the State, Justice Bhattacharyya asked the government if it would name a lion after a Hindu deity, a Muslim prophet or Christian god, a freedom fighter or a Nobel laureate. Generally, anyone who has been revered or respected by the people of our country, Justice Bhattacharyya further asked.

On this occasion, the Additional Advocate General (AAG), appearing for the State, submitted that the naming of the lions took place in Tripura, and it was the responsibility of the Tripura Zoo authorities. Counsel further told the Court that the State itself was already considering changing the name of lions.

Upon hearing the arguments, the Bench also questioned the logic behind naming the lions after a god, freedom fighter or Nobel laureate and further asked why the State did not challenge the names given by Tripura.

The Court further noted that the petition filed by VHP espoused the rights of a large section of people and said that naming a lion after Sita, a largely worshipped by Hindus would hurt their religious sentiments.

During the exchange with AAG, Justice Bhattacharyya also stated that the animals could not be named after respected figures. He further asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

The Bench had directed the petition by VHP to be reclassified as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and redirected it to a regular Bench that can hear the same.

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Farmer who died in protest, survived by mentally ill father, unwed sister

Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran Singh a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. 



The 21-year-old farmer, Shubhkaran Singh who died during the clashes between the police and the protesting farmers on Khanauri border left behind his mentally ill father and an unwed sister. His mother died years ago.

The 21 years old, a resident of Balloch village of Bathinda in Punjab, left his home on February 13 to join the Delhi Chalo march. Reports stated that Shubhkaran Singh was the youngest among the group of 15 people who left to join the protest from the village.

Reportedly, Shubhkaran was the only son and sole breadwinner of the family. The 21-year-old farmer has about two acres of land. Shubhkaran, who has two sisters, also took a loan for the marriage of his one sister.

The farmers who halted their protest for two days after the death of the youth, have blocked the autopsy. Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the AAP led Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. The leader further said that the government should create a five member board to conduct the post-mortem examination.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the police took action when the farmers were peacefully trying to cross over into Haryana. He added that more than 100 farmers have been injured and demanded the treatment of injured farmers.

Haryana police while appealing for peace said that farmers escalated the violence by attacking the police personnels with sticks and maces and that the police were only trying to restrain them.

Issuing a statement, Additional Inspector General, Manisha Chaudhary said that farmers surrounded the police from all sides, burned stubble by pouring chilli powder in it. She added that around 12 policemen were seriously injured because of the attacks by protestors at Datta Singh Wala-Khanauri border.

Meanwhile, farmer’s leader Pandher said that farmer leaders will discuss future actions and until then, all farmers will remain camped at the borders.

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Congress slams Govt over X blocking accounts linked to farmers protest on Centre’s order, says democracy is being murdered

X disagreed with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.



The Congress party on Thursday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the action of microblogging platform X blocking accounts and posts linked to the ongoing farmers’ protest and called it a murder of democracy.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, taking to X, said that the action taken by the social media platform on the Centre’s order was a murder of democracy in India.

The Elon Musk-led X, sharing a post on its platform in response to the IT ministry’s order asking it to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers’ protest, said that the Indian government has issued executive orders requiring it to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment.

The X’s Global Government Affairs team further stated that it complied with the orders and they would withhold these accounts and posts in India alone, however, they disagreed with these actions and maintained that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

Consistent with their position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. X has also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions following their policies.

Due to legal restrictions, they were unable to publish the executive orders, but they thought that making them public was essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making, the X’s Global Government Affairs said in a post on its platform.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hit out at the Modi government and termed it a murder of democracy. Taking to X, he raised several questions and said if farmers ask for MSP, shoot them. Is this the Mother of Democracy? Gandhi further said that when the youth ask for the appointment, the Centre refuse to even listen to them, if the former governor tells the truth, then they send CBI to his house.

He also attacked the Modi government for freezing the bank accounts of the most prominent opposition party. He added, saying that Section 144, internet ban, sharp wires, and tear gas shells on farmers are not justified in the democracy. He further attacked the Centre for suppressing the voice of the people. He charged on Centre, saying Modi ji public knows that the government have murdered democracy and they will answer it.

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