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Sunday,14-August-2022

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India responds to Imran: Pak a ‘supporter of terrorists, suppressor of minorities’

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 India has denounced Pakistan as a patron of terrorism and a suppressor of minorities in reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tirade against the country.

“This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a firefighter,” Sneha Dubey, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Friday.

“Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, in fact, the entire world has suffered because of their policies.

“Today, the minorities in Pakistan, the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, live in constant fear and state-sponsored suppression of their rights. This is a regime where anti-Semitism is normalised by its leadership and even justified,” she said.

Responding to Khan’s claims about treatment of minorities in India, Dubey said: “Pluralism is a concept which is very difficult to understand for Pakistan which constitutionally prohibits its minorities from aspiring for high offices of the State. The least they could do is introspect before exposing themselves to ridicule on the world stage.

“Unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold highest offices in the country including as President, Prime Minister, Chief Justices and Chiefs of Army staff. India is also a country with a free media and an independent judiciary that keeps a watch and protects our Constitution.”

As for Khan’s allegations of “war crimes” by India, Dubey recalled the genocide perpetrated in Bangladesh in 1971 during and before the War of Independence in which more than 300,000 people were killed by Pakistan and hundreds of thousand women raped.

Pakistan “still holds the despicable record in our region of having executed a religious and cultural genocide against the people of what is now Bangladesh. As we mark the 50th anniversary this year of that horrid event in history, there is not even an acknowledgement, much less accountability”, she said.

Khan in his speech said that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “terrorism has been associated with Islam by some quarters” and “increased the tendency of right-wing, xenophobic and violent nationalists, extremists and terrorist groups to target Muslims”.

He then went on to link this to the BJP and the RSS.

Dubey said: “We marked the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks a few days back. The world has not forgotten that the mastermind behind that dastardly event, Osama Bin Laden, got shelter in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan leadership glorify him as a ‘martyr’.

“Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world.”

Pakistan has made an annual ritual of using up most it time at the high-level General Assembly session to attack India, which it also does at all meetings, regardless of the topic.

Dubey said: “This is not the first time the leader of Pakistan has misused platforms provided by the UN to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country, and seeking in vain to divert the world’s attention from the sad state of his country where terrorists enjoy free pass while the lives of ordinary people, especially those belonging to the minority communities, are turned upside down.

“This is a country which has been globally recognized as one openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of State policy. It holds the ignoble record of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the UN Security Council.”

Khan said that Pakistan “desires peace with India” but it is “contingent upon resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the wishes of the Kashmiri people”.

Pakistan, however, is in violation of Security Council Resolution 47 adopted in 1948 that requires it to withdraw all its personnel from Kashmir.

Dubey declared: “Let me reiterate here that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. This includes the areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”

On the conditions for peace, she said: “We desire normal relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. However, it is for Pakistan to work sincerely towards creating a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism against India in any manner.”

Khan blamed the US for the developments in Afghanistan, recalling the support Washington under President Ronald Reagan gave mujahidin fighting the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

“We were left with sectarian militant groups which were never existed before,” he said.

After 9/11, the US needed Pakistan’s help to invade Afghanistan, he said.

As a result, the same Mujahidin also turned against Pakistan and the Taliban attacked his country, he claimed.

After Dubey gave the right of reply speech, a Counsellor in Pakistan’s UN Mission, Saima Saleem, replied to the right of reply.

Saleem repeated many elements of Khan’s speech, in addition to quoting Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UN human rights bodies, ignoring their scorching criticism of her country.

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Operating licence of Pak’s ARY News revoked, paves way for permanent closure

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In an unprecedented move, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) revoked the operating licence of ARY News after the security clearance of the channel was withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior, paving the way for its permanent closure.

In a notification, the Ministry said: “The NOC issued in favour of M/S ARY Communications Pvt Limited (ARY News) is cancelled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies.”

The decision by Pemra was taken during its 172nd meeting which was chaired by re-appointed chief Saleem Baig, reports Dawn news.

Sources in the regulatory authority said Baig chaired the meeting in the presence of three other members, while four members, including the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman and the interior secretary joined the meeting via video link.

After detailed information and background regarding the renewal of the operating licence, the working paper of the meeting said: “Ministry of Interior vide letter dated 10.11.2021 had initially granted NOC/ security clearance for renewal of satellite TV licences of M/s ARY Communication Ltd. However, the Ministry has withdrawn the NOC in respect of M/s ARY Communication Ltd. (ARY News) vide letter dated 11.8.2022.

“Foregoing in view and based on the fact that the mandatory requirement of security clearance has not been fulfilled since NOC has been withdrawn by Ministry of Interior, the request of M/s ARY Communication Ltd. for renewal of licence for another term of 15 years may be regretted by the authority.”

The decision to shut down the news channel was met with disapproval across the board, Dawn news reported.

The ARY management condemned the ban, saying the network was being victimised by the federal government.

This move is akin to the “economic murder of more than 4,000 media workers associated with the news channel”, it said, adding that the Ministry’s notification will be taken to the courts as it was done without any due notice.

Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) President Azhar Abbas condemned it as an “excessive measure” and said such moves have never worked. He urged the government to immediately withdraw the decision, Dawn reported.

PPP leader and former senator Farhatullah Babar tweeted that the use of state power “arbitrarily will backfire”.

“There may be 101 good reasons but question as to who is competent to cancel, how & whether due process followed must be answered… Effects of (the) law of diminishing returns already becoming apparent,” he tweeted.

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Imran’s arrest may trigger ‘bloody politics’, warns ex-Minister

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 Reacting to the Pakistan governments move to file references against the PTI chairman in prohibited funding and Toshakhana cases, former Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has warned that attempts to arrest Imran Khan or break the party would trigger “bloody politics” in the country.

Rasheed said that the security of the country is more important than politics and power, adding that the instability in Afghanistan will also affect peace in Pakistan, Geo News reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a probe into the illegal funding and has summoned senior PTI leaders to appear before it.

The government is tightening the noose around PTI after the ECP ruling in the prohibited funding case and a smear campaign against the military following the Balochistan helicopter crash.

Warning the ruling alliance in a series of tweets, Rasheed said that the economic collapse, political instability, increasing extortion and terrorism incidents will bury their politics, Geo News reported.

He further added that China is thinking well of Pakistan and the rulers should understand its signals and don’t make Independence Day “a day of destruction”.

“Arresting Imran Khan and plans to break PTI will be the start of bloody politics.”

He maintained that their agenda is to disqualify Khan and make Nawaz Sharif eligible.

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Noida Police declares Rs 25,000 bounty on Shrikant Tyagi

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Noida Police on Monday declared a reward of Rs 25,000 for the person who gives information on the location of absconding politician Shrikant Tyagi accused of assaulting a woman during an argument, three days ago over the plantation of palm trees near his apartment here.

According to sources, an intense operation to nab the absconding accused is currently underway and multiple teams of the Noida Police are currently working in coordination to zero in on his location.

Sources told IANS that Tyagi’s last location was traced in Uttarakhand between Haridwar and Rishikesh and multiple police teams went there but still he was not found.

Earlier in the day, the district administration, acting tough on the accused, demolished a structure that was illegally constructed by the self-claimed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

Tyagi had encroached the common area of the society and constructed a wooden shed that had multiple pillars below it.

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