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‘Serious measures’ taken by Pak to curb terror: Russian envoy to India

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New Delhi: The Russian envoy to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said that Pakistan has taken “serious measures” to curb terror financing and shown the desire to be a part of global and regional efforts to fight the menace.

His remarks come as ties between Russia and Pakistan appear to grow. In September 2017, the two countries held a two-week long military exercise – DRUZBA 2017 – focusing on counter-terrorism operations to boost bilateral defence ties.

Kudashev, however, said it would not be correct to say that Russia was getting closer to Pakistan as Moscow’s relations with New Delhi “are unique and second to no one”.

 

Responding to a question on whether Russia sees Pakistan as a reliable partner to address its interest in Afghanistan, the envoy said the integrity of Pakistan was growing.

“The credit must be given to Islamabad. After this country joined the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), it started taking serious measures to curb the financing of terror… The integrity of Pakistan is growing and there is no reason to deny its wish, its desire to be part of regional and global efforts to fight terror,” Mr Kudashev said in his address at the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Ambassador Series in New Delhi.

Russia is a key strategic partner of India and its major supplier of defence equipment. India has been maintaining that Pakistan is the “global epicentre of terrorism”.

But Mr Kudashev said the problems in Afghanistan would be impossible to solve without taking on board every neighbouring country.

“This logic also guides us towards further developing relations with Pakistan, which is, on the other hand, Russia’s historic and important regional partner as well. These ties are not emanating from the regional balance of power equations, but growing on their own merits,” he said.

“Importantly, we don’t look at the situation in the region from the point of view of bilateral disputes, which we are not in a position to interfere or take sides,” he said.

Kudashev, a career diplomat and specialist on South East Asia, was appointed Russia’s Ambassador to India in August.

On China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, he said Russia was ready to cooperate with China on BRI, saying it views the controversial project from an economic perspective.

The BRI aims to link Asian and European markets through a maze of rail, road and shipping networks. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a part of BRI and India opposes CPEC as it runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Replying to another question, Mr Kudashev hoped that major defence deals, including the one to deliver the Kamov helicopters to India, should be sealed after Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Russia this month.

Asked about the Russian response to air strikes on it ally Syria by the US, France and the UK, he said there would be a response but within the framework of the international law.


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National

SC dismisses plea seeking ban on roadshows, bike rallies during polls

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India to ban roadshows and bike rallies during polls.

“We are not inclined to entertain this,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepka Gupta told advocate Virag Gupta, who was appearing for petitioners Vikram Singh and Shaivika Agrawal.

Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said in his petition that the roadshows and bike rallies violate EC’s instructions and cause damage to the environment.

 
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Will give PM Modi whistle, cap if he wants to be ‘chowkidar’: Owaisi

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Hyderabad: Akbaruddin Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for adding ‘chowkidar’ as a prefix in his name on twitter and said that he would provide him with a whistle and a cap if the Prime Minister is interested in such a job.

Speaking at a rally here on Sunday, Owaisi said, “I have seen on Twitter where the names have become as ‘Chowkidar Narendra Modi’, ‘Chowkidar Amit Shah’. Why only one twitter? He should also mention ‘Chowkidar’ in his Aadhaar card, voter-id and passport.”

“We want a PM not a ‘Chaiwala’, ‘Pakodewala’…I am surprised at those who vote for Modi, what kind of person they vote for? If Modi is so interested in being a ‘Chowkidar’, he should come to me, I will offer him a Chowkidar’s cap and a whistle,” he said.

 

Akbaruddin had won from the Chandrayangutta Assembly seat in the last year’s assembly polls in Telangana.

In December 2018, Owaisi was elected as floor leader of AIMIM in the Telangana Legislative Assembly.

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Delhi HC seeks ED’s reply on Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of PMLA case

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New Delhi: Division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vinod Goel of Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora on their plea for quashing of FIR/ECIR by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Delhi HC said that it does not want to interfere since the anticipatory bail plea is being heard in the Patiala House Court.

Although, the Delhi HC Court has sought response of ED on their plea that challenges the Constitutional validity of certain sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It has also directed the ED to supply a copy of ECIR to Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora.

 

The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for May 2.

Robert Vadra had moved Delhi High Court seeking quashing of FIR against him filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Directorate has questioned Vadra multiple times in connection with the case which pertains London-based properties bought between the years 2005 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the ED filed a reply in the lower court alleging that Robert Vadra is the beneficial owner of various properties under investigation in the case which has been acquired through the proceeds of crime.

The Enforcement Directorate, in its application, had said that investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. In its reply, it had also sought a ‘free’ hand to a thorough interrogation.

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