ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that there might be a better chance of peace talks with India if his counterpart Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the general elections.
“If the next Indian government is led by the opposition Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), fearing a backlash from the right,” the prime minister told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview.
“Perhaps if the BJP – a right wing party — wins, some kind of settlement on Kashmir could be reached.”
This is despite the massive alienation that Muslims in IOK and India are facing under the Modi regime, Imran observed.
“I never thought I would see what is happening in India right now. Muslim-ness is being attacked.”
The prime minister said Indian Muslims he knew — who many years ago were happy about their situation in India — were now very worried by extreme Hindu nationalism.
PM Imran asks if Indians, Israelis are outraged at their leaders’ ‘moral bankruptcy’
“Modi, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is electioneering based on fear and nationalist feeling.”
The prime minister noted that the BJP’s pledge this week to propose stripping decades-old special rights from the people of IoK that prevent outsiders from buying property there is a major concern, though it could also be electioneering.
He added that the Kashmir liberation movement was a political struggle and there was no military solution.
Imran reiterated that Islamabad was determined to dismantle all militant groups in the country and that the government had the full support of the army for the programme.
The premier said if the polls turned against Modi in the next few weeks, there was still a possibility that India could take military action against Pakistan to boost his party’s election campaign.
“It is vital for Pakistan to have peaceful ties with its neighbours, Afghanistan, India and Iran, if it was to have the kind of economy needed to pull 100 million people out of poverty,” he remarked.
Earlier, Imran accused India and Israel of moral bankruptcy over their election annexation pledges. He questioned whether the citizens of both countries felt outraged at their leaders’ “moral bankruptcy” as they defied international law to gain votes.
“When leaders in Israel and India show a moral bankruptcy in their readiness to annex occupied West Bank and IoK [Indian occupied Kashmir] in defiance of international law, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and their own Constitution for votes, don’t their people feel a sense of outrage and wonder how far they [the leaders] will go simply to win an election?” he asked in a tweet.
Israelis began voting in an election on Tuesday that could hand the conservative Netanyahu a record fifth term or see him dethroned by an ex-general who has pledged clean government and social cohesion. Netanyahu pledged last week to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election.
India goes to polls next week where BJP would be trying its utmost to return with a thumping win while the main opposition Congress party would attempt to deny Modi’s party continuity in the saddle and to win a majority.(Reuters)
Soldier killed in cross-LoC firing in Rajouri
An Army soldier was killed Monday in cross-border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, officials said.
A soldier, manning a forward post, was critically injured in the Pakistani firing in Sunderbani sector and was immediately rushed to the military hospital where he succumbed to injuries, the officials said.
Earlier, a defence spokesman said the Pakistani troops targeted the sector in the early hours, prompting retaliation by the Indian Army.
The cross-border firing started around 6.30 am and continued intermittently for several hours, causing panic among the border residents who have been advised to take necessary precautionary measures for their safety, the officials said.
GSLV rocket carrying India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts
India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 aimed at landing a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole was launched Monday onboard the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle from the spacesport here Monday.
The three-stage rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 2.43 p.m amid cloudy skies, a week after the earlier launch was called off on July 15 following a technical snag observed during the propellant filling stage.
It will inject the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into Earth orbit, about 16 minutes later, marking the first phase of the ambitious mission that will take about 48 days to land on the moon surface.
The three-component Chandrayaan-2 comprising an orbiter, a lander and a rover will undergo 15 crucial manoeuvres before landing on the moon, expected by the first week of September, Indian Space Research Organisation said.
Earlier, a 20-hour countdown for the launch started at 6.43 pm Sunday after ISRO scientists rectified the glitch that prompted them to call off the earlier launch.
Billed as the most complex and prestigious mission undertaken by ISRO since its inception, Chandrayaan-2 will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States and China.
Modi govt presents 50-day report card, says ‘walking the talk’ on promises
New Delhi: Presenting a report card after completing 50 days in office, the government on Monday said it is already “walking the talk” on its promise of fast-paced development with “speed, skill and scale” being manifested in the Modi dispensation’s second term.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn-in on May 30 after the BJP won 303 seats — the first time since 1971 that an incumbent government returned to power with such a thumping mandate.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar presented the the report card and achievements of the government in the first 50 days in office, saying the country has felt assured that the pace of reforms, welfare and justice to all has increased as compared to the first term.
The target of USD 5 trillion economy is not just a dream but a roadmap has been given for it, he told reporters.
Javadekar asserted that the first 50 days have shown that Modi government’s second term will be more effective and will build on the success of its previous tenure.
The government has taken historic decisions which shows a clear roadmap of faster development in infrastructure, social justice and education, he said.
The minister said that the government has hit the ground running for the welfare of all sections of the society, including farmers, traders, small businesses, unemployed youth and middle class.
The prime minister’s presence on world forum has made a difference to India’s influence over world politics, Javadekar said.
“With Rs 100 lakh crore of investment to be made in roads, railways, ports, airports and other infrastructure, the formation of Jal Shakti ministry, the mission to reach out to every house by 2024 with assured water supply, we are walking the talk with speed and many historical decisions,” he said.
Citing the setting up of a national research foundation, giving labour, particularly unorganised labour, and small and medium-sized enterprises required help for flourishing, he said these efforts will not only increase the employment opportunities, but also ensure justice and welfare for all sections of the society.
He also expressed confidence that the government will achieve its dream of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy in the period in which it has decided to achieve the target.
In the coming 5 years, new investment opportunities will be provided, Javadekar said.
“Investment will come from across globe. In 50 days so much has been done for all sections of the society that people are assured of what Modi had said after assuming power that ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, aur sabka vishvas’ (with all, development for all, with everyone’s trust) and fast-paced development,” he said.
“People have seen action on this vision. Speed, skill and scale have been manifested in the 50 days. Farmers, soldiers, youth, labourers, middle class, traders, taking India forward, taking India’s relations with neighbours forward, investment, development of resources, fight against corruption and social justice, have been the highlights of 50 days,” he said.
Listing the achievements of the government in the first 50 days in office, Javadekar said important developments were Rs 6,000 assistance to all farmers, increase in Minimum Support Price of several crops by two-three times, and codes for labourers, among others.
The prime minister’s first decision after assuming office for the second term was for children of slain military and police personnel, giving scholarship to them.
Among other achievements of the government, he cited pension for traders, tax benefit for the middle class, and benefits of home loans interest and the GST.
The minister said there is a massive push in the direction of making India a 5 trillion economy, with several measures announced in the budget from assistance to banks to corporate tax benefits.
Javadekar also highlighted government’s crackdown on economic offenders and efforts to bring back those who are wanted, but have fled the country. He also talked about the government bringing a bill to crackdown on ponzi schemes.