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‘Pak will not open airspace until India withdraws fighter jets from forward airbases’

Press Trust of India

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Islamabad, Jul 12: Pakistan has told India that it will not open its airspace for commercial flights until New Delhi removes its fighter jets from forward IAF airbases, Pakistan”s Aviation Secretary Shah­rukh Nusrat has informed a parliamentary committee.

Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir.

Aviation Secretary Nusrat, who is also the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on Thursday informed the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that his department has intimated Indian officials that Pakistani airspace would remain unavailable for use by India until the country withdraws its fighter jets from forward positions, Dawn News reported.

 

“The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,” Nusrat told the committee.

He further apprised the committee that Indian officials have contacted Pakistan requesting it to lift the airspace restrictions.

“However, Indian officials have been told that Indian airbases are still laden with fighter jets and Pakistan will not allow resumption of flight operations from India until their removal,” said Nusrat.

After the restrictions, all the passenger flights are being diverted to alternative routes by India, The Express Tribune reported.

The CAA official also contested India”s claim that Delhi had opened its airspace for Pakistan, the report said.

“Pakistani flights from Thailand have not been restored since the closure of the Indian airspace. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights for Malaysia also remain suspended,” the CAA DG informed the committee.

Last month, Pakistan gave special permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi”s VVIP flight to use its airspace for his official trip to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

However Prime Minister Modi”s VVIP aircraft avoided flying over Pakistan. Earlier, Pakistan had allowed India”s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly though Pakistani airspace to participate in the meeting of SCO foreign ministers in Bishkek on May 21.

India aviation industry has suffered huge losses due to the airspace ban by Pakistan.

On Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Parliament that due to the closure of Pakistan airspace, Air India had to spend an extra Rs 430 crore on longer routes.


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PDP leader’s PSO shot dead in Bejbhera

Global News Service

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Srinagar, July 19: Personal security officer (PSO) of PDP leader Sajad Mufti was shot dead by suspected militants after friday prayers in Baba Mohalla, Bejbhera in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Reports reaching said that suspected militants fired upon cop namely Farooq Ahmad Mir resident of Khiram, Anantnag in chest after he came out of the mosque after performing Friday prayers. He was immediately shifted to Sub district hospital Bejbhera where doctors declared him brought dead.

Medical superintendent SDH Bejbhera Dr. Showkat told that Farooq had bullet wound in chest and was brought dead to the hospital.

 

A police officer confirmed the incident and said that one AK-47 has been also snatched by the militant from the slain cop.

Soon after the incident the whole area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers.

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ICC suspends Zimbabwe Cricket over ‘political interference’

Agencies

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LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 18 – International cricket chiefs on Thursday suspended Zimbabwe over a failure to keep the sport free from government interference, throwing into doubt their participation in qualifiers for the T20 World Cup.

The decision means International Cricket Council funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen and representative teams from the country will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events.

The punishment comes after the Zimbabwe Cricket Board was suspended by the government last month and replaced with an interim committee.

 

“The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October board meeting,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The ICC board heard from both the sports and recreation committee representatives of the Zimbabwe government and Zimbabwe Cricket before making their decision.”

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: “We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly but we must keep our sport free from political interference.

“What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.

“The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC constitution.”

Zimbabwe were due to compete in the men’s World T20 qualifiers in October and November and the women’s qualifiers starting in late August but their participation is now unclear.

Political turmoil within the sport and a string of humiliating performances led Zimbabwe to suspend their involvement in Test cricket in 2005 although they continued to play one-day internationals and Twenty20 (T20) internationals at the highest level.

They returned to Test cricket in 2011 but are languishing in 10th place in the rankings.

They are 12th in the one-day international rankings and did not take part in the just-concluded World Cup in England and Wales.

The Croatia Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have both also been suspended for continuing non-compliance with ICC membership criteria while the Moroccan Royal Cricket Federation has been expelled over continuing non-compliance.

At the same meeting in London, the ICC also approved the introduction of concussion replacements, effective from the first Ashes Test starting on August 1, following successful trials in domestic cricket.

The player will need to be a like-for-like substitute, and any switch will need to be approved by the match referee.

And the ICC agreed that captains would no longer be suspended for repeated or serious over-rate breaches.

All players will be held equally responsible for slow over rates, and as such will be fined at the same level as the captain.

In World Test Championship matches a team that is behind the required over rate at the end of a match will have points deducted.

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Babri demolition case: SC asks judge to deliver verdict within 9 months

Press Trust of India

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The Supreme Court Friday asked the special judge conducting trial in the politically sensitive 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans such as L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, to deliver the verdict within nine months from today.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant said the recording of evidence in the case should be completed within six months.

The bench also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pass appropriate orders within four weeks to extend the tenure of the special judge, who is set to retire on September 30.

 

The top court said the extension of tenure of the special judge will only be for the purpose of concluding the trial and delivering the verdict in the case.

During the extended tenure, he will remain under the administrative control of the Allahabad High Court, it said.

The special judge had on Monday moved the apex court seeking six more months to conclude the matter.

Besides Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti, the accused against whom conspiracy charge was invoked in the case on April 19, 2017, by the Supreme Court include former BJP MP Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambara.

Three other high-profile accused Giriraj Kishore, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died during trial and the proceedings against them have been abated.

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