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India joins UN in condemning terror attacks in Afghanistan

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India joins UN in condemning terror attacks in Afghanistan

UN chief say terrorists must not succeed in deterring Afghan citizens from taking part in forthcoming elections 

India has joined UN in condemning Sunday’s terror attacks in Afghanistan calling them “cowardly” and “barbaric” leading to the deaths of nearly 70 civilians.

The statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs Sunday evening said,What makes this attack particularly reprehensible is the fact that the terrorists and their backers chose to attack a voters’ registration centre for the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.”

It further said, “The attack has resulted in the death of Afghans who firmly support and believe in the democratic process to empower themselves and make their voice heard. This is not only an attack on innocent civilians but also an attack on the democratic rights of the Afghan people.”

Read More: India succeeds hurting Pakistan’s trade interest in Afghanistan

At least 57 people were killed in Kabul by a suicide bomber who walked into the crowd at the doorway of an ID distribution centre and detonated his explosives. However, Doha based Al-Jazeera TV network has confirmed the death of 63 people and wounding of hundreds others.

India joins UN in condemning terror attacks in AfghanistanThe targeted election ID centre is situated in Dasht-e-Barchi area, a neighbourhood known for being dominated by Shia Hazara community.

Read More: IS target mosques to create Sunni-Shia violence in Afghanistan

Hours later, six more people, belonging to one family, were killed in Pul-e-Khumri city in Baghlan province, when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb near another voting centre.

The terrorist group Daesh (IS) has taken responsibility for the Kabul attack while no group has owned the attack in Baghlan province so far.

According to The Kabul Times, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and country’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah have condemned the heinous terrorist attacks in Kabul and Pul-e-Khumri.

Afghan President, in his statement, wished “Allah’s mercy upon those who martyred, speedy recovery to the wounded, and conveyed his deep condolences to the victims’ families”.

Abdullah Abdullah, said in his statement, “Our resolve for fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won’t win against the will of Afghan people”.

Meanwhile Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, while condemning the attack said, “They must not be allowed to succeed in deterring Afghan citizens from carrying out their constitutional right to take part in forthcoming elections.”

India joins UN in condemning terror attacks in AfghanistanTolo news reports that exact figures on how many people had been waiting at the Kabul voter ID centre were not available but officials said that particular office had in recent days been processing about 100 ID applications a day.

Tolo news further reports that by Sunday mid-day, there had been five attacks in less than a week against the election process. Last week three other attacks took place. Media outlets in such terror-infected countries keep reporting hour by hour because of fragile situation and recurring attacks, sometimes many in a single day.

On Tuesday, unknown armed men attacked a voter registration center in Ghor province and kidnapped three Independent Election Commission (IEC) employees and two policemen. Ghor police spokesman had claimed that said the attackers were Taliban.

On Thursday, two policemen were killed in the ensuing gunfire when unknown armed men attacked them in Jalalabad City. The policemen were guarding a voter registration centre.

On Friday, a police officer was killed by unknown armed men at a voter registration centre in Qala-e-Naw, the center of Badghis province. The officer was deployed to secure the centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the parliament building in Kabul in December 2015. On that occasion he was quoted saying “We must support Afghanistan without timelines because new clouds of extremism are rising, even as the old ones continue to darken our skies”. The construction of building, conducted by India, began in 2009 and missed its completion deadlines at least three times since 2011.

The election for the Afghan parliament is now scheduled to be held on 20 October 2018. They were originally scheduled to be held in October 2016, but due to election reforms and security situation the parliamentary elections were postponed to July 2018 and then to October this year.

Read More: Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince MBS, sells weapons

Most of the terror outfits active in Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere, who are ideologically influenced by Saudi origin Wahabism, oppose democracy. They opposed elections in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. This was confirmed by a minister in Saudi establishment who reportedly said that more than 2000 Saudi youth had entered into Iraqi territory for “jihad” who will pose danger if they return to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is the closest ally of United States and Israel in the region. This has been confirmed repeatedly by officials and leadership in all three countries. Saudi Arabia leads Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab League (AL).

Read More: Trump: Arab Monarchs wouldn’t survive for two weeks if US leaves

US President Donald Trump had chosen Saudi Arabia for his maiden foreign visit in May last year when Riyadh managed to gather more than 50 heads of Muslim states as audience. Major arms sale agreements were signed by Donald Trump in Riyadh.

Read More: Saudi Crown Prince recognise Israelis right to their own land

India News

Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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India News

US reiterates its call for fair, transparent, legal process for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, speaks on Congress frozen accounts

The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections.

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A day after India summoned an US diplomat over their remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, the US reiterated its call for fair, transparent, timely legal processes on Wednesday.

Responding to questions on India summoning Gloria Berbena, the US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they will continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Notably, the meeting at the foreign ministry’s South Block office lasted nearly 40 minutes yesterday with India objecting strongly to the US remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Matthew Miller also responded to a question on the Congress party’s frozen bank accounts. The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. He added that the US encourages fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of the issues.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the Delhi liquor policy scam. Earlier, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were arrested in the same case.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier stated that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others, and this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies, adding that it could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.

The Ministry further emphasized that India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. It mentioned that casting aspersions on India’s legal procedure is unwarranted.

The United State’s remarks followed days after Germany’s Foreign Office stressed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. The Indian government labelled their remark as blatant interference in internal matters.

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5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

This is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

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Nearly five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion during an attack on their convoy by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday. Reportedly, the suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers travelling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack. As yet, none has claimed responsibility for the attack. Bisham Station House Officer (SHO) Bakht Zahir asserted that the incident was a suicide blast and the authorities concerned were collecting the evidence.

The Station House Officer further added that security arrangements were tightened at the spot and the bodies were being shifted to a hospital. He added that they will investigate from where and how the vehicle of a suicide bomber came and how it happened. Notably, this is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

Previously, two attacks hit an airbase and a strategic port in the southwest province of Balochistan where China is investing billions in infrastructure projects. Several Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for multiple years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa.

Notably, Dasu is home to a significant dam project, has been a target of previous attacks. Earlier in 2021, the attack in Dasu resulted in the deaths of nine Chinese nationals, along with two Pakistani children. The incident occured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the Dasu Hydropower Project site was targeted.

There was confusion surrounding the nature of the attack initially, with some reports suggesting it was a bus accident. Nonetheless, subsequent investigations revealed that it was indeed a terrorist attack. The bus was hit by a blast, leading it to plunge into a ravine.

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