New Delhi, May 14:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh took a dim view of Pakistan Premier Imran Khan’s remark that a win for Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election would revive hopes for Indo-Pak peace, saying he should instead ensure that ‘terrorism’ is wiped out completely from his country.
Singh said India would extend all help to Pakistan in “fighting terrorism if it showed sincerity in eradicating the menace emanating from its soil.”
Asked during an interview to the PTI whether the recent statement by Khan that it would be good for peace between India and Pakistan if the BJP and Modi returned to power showed he was a fan of the Indian premier, Singh said, “Only he (Khan) can reply to that.”
After a brief pause, Singh smilingly said if Khan was so serious of wanting Modi to return to power and normalise relations with India then he should first announce that “terrorism would neither be nurtured nor allowed to thrive in Pakistan and take effective steps to stamp put terrorism.”
“Pakistan should announce that terrorism will be wiped out completely from their country and, if need be, help of India can be taken. If such a statement comes from Pakistan, we will believe that Imran is really a Modi fan and wishes to normalise relations with India,” he said.
To a question whether India would be willing to help Pakistan, Singh said, “India will wholeheartedly support such a step.”
A day before the first phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections on April 10, Khan met a group of foreign journalists for an interaction in Islamabad during which he expressed the hope that India-Pakistan peace had a “better chance under Modi”.
The BJP veteran also accused the Congress of diluting India’s stand on terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
“In 2004, (Gen Pervez) Musharraf had agreed for a statement that Pakistan’s soil would not be used for terrorism. A year later, during the Congress rule a statement was made by New Delhi that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism as India…this was a blunder.”
He also defended Modi’s decision to invite the then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014 and also for making an unscheduled visit to his home in Lahore.
“We wanted to experiment but things did not work the way we wanted.”
Asked whether an invitation will again be extended to the Pakistani premier if the NDA retains power, Singh said, “It’s too early to say who will be called and who will be kept away.”
On Balakot air strike in February this year, Singh said the Congress should have refrained from repeatedly questioning the government about the number of terrorists killed in the attack.
However, Singh side-stepped a reply to a pointed question that the figure of 300 terrorists being killed was first stated by BJP chief Amit Shah.
But he hastened to add, “Now see even a foreign journalist has said that nearly 170 were killed.”
Singh was apparently referring to a claim by an Italian journalist earlier this month that the Balakot air strike killed 130-170 Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists.
Asked for clarity on the number of deaths since several weeks had now passed after the air strike, he said, “I will only say that it was an intelligence-based successful anti-terror operation which has been unheard of in the history of the nation.”
Guv reassigns depts to Advisors
Srinagar, Jul 17: Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday re-assigned the charge of departments to his Advisors.
As per the order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), Advisor Vijay Kumar has been assigned charge of the departments of Home, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Health & Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Hospitality & Protocol, Civil Aviation, Estates and Information.
Advisor Khurshid A Ganai has been assigned the charge of the departments of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, ARI & Trainings, Cooperative, Floriculture, Tourism, Election, Planning, Development & Monitoring, Labour & Employment and Higher Education.
Advisor, K Skandan has been assigned the charge of the departments of Information Technology, Industries and Commerce, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Ladakh Affairs, Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Transport and Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs.
Advisor Kewal Kumar Sharma has been assigned the charge of the departments of Public Works (R&B), Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control, Power, Finance, Housing & Urban Development and Science and Technology.
Advisor Farooq Ahmad Khan has been assigned the charge of the departments of School Education, Technical Education, Hajj and Auqaf, Social Welfare, Tribal Affairs, Culture, Agriculture/ Horticulture and Rural Development & Panchayati Raj.
Papers related to General Administration Department shall be submitted by the Chief Secretary directly to Governor.
PDP still believes it will bounce back
Srinagar, Jul 17: A high level meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) leadership from south Kashmir was held at the party head office here in which various crucial issues confronting the state at present were discussed in detail.
Chaired by Party Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri, the meeting deliberated over various measures that the party has taken in the recent past to widen its reach and make masses aware about its agenda and mission.
Veeri in his address stressed upon the leadership to hold constant contact with the general public and highlight the issues they face on day to day basis and seek their resolution on priority from the concerned quarters.
“Veeri expressed full confidence that the PDP will bounce back in a revitalised form on the state’s political scene and that the party will continue to push for peace with dignity which is the focal point of its agenda,” the party statement read.
He, it added, said that the workers are committed to the agenda of the party and the vision provided by its founder Mufti Sayeed who founded the party in “trying circumstances”.
PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, while addressing the meeting, stated that the party “will continue to pursue it till durable peace is restored and that will never barter interests of the state against petty political gains.”
PDP leader, Sartaj Madni in his address stated that the need of the hour is that the party leadership, functionaries, activists and supporters must work in close coordination and make sustainable efforts in party’s overall growth and impressive performance in the coming time.
The participants of the meeting expressed full confidence in the leadership of the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, resolving in unison to support her each and every endeavour aimed at getting the people out of the cycle of uncertainty and lead the state towards a prosperous future.
Will find, deport all infiltrators in India: HM
New Delhi, Jul 17: The Centre will identify illegal immigrants staying in any part of the country and deport them as per international law, Home Minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The minister was replying to a supplementary query by Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan on whether the National Register of Citizens will be implemented in other states as well.
Currently, the NRC is being updated under the strict monitoring of the Supreme Court in Assam and July 31 has been set as a deadline for final publication of the registered data.
“It is a very good question. The NRC is part of the Assam Accord and was also in (BJP’s) election manifesto based on which the government has come to power. The government will identify illegal immigrants living on every inch of the country’s soil and will deport them as per the international law,” Shah said in the Upper House.
Noting that the Centre has received many representations for extending the NRC deadline in Assam, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said a petition signed by about 25 lakh applicants submitted to the Centre and the President demanded extension to correct anomalies.
Since many genuine names have been left out and many bogus names are registered, the minister said, “So the government has requested the (Supreme) Court to extend the time for this purpose”.
“There will be some delay but the NRC will be implemented properly without any faults,” he said, asserting that the government’s intention is to ensure no genuine citizen is left out of the NRC.
To a query on number of Rohingya Muslims in India, Rai said, “We don’t have an accurate data. They are spread across the country. Some of them have gone back to Bangladesh. We will get the data soon.” The government’s intention is to ensure no illegal immigrant is registered under the NRC. Foreigner tribunals have also been set up to curb illegal stay of foreigners in India, he added.