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Modi cautions against Invisible enemy

Written By Kvartha People on Friday, October 17, 2014 | 7:36 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday saw a “rare” possibility of a full scale war but asked the armed forces to be ready for “invisible” enemy and challenges which will be “less predictable” in a changing world.

In his first interaction with top commanders of the three defence services, he emphasised that an atmosphere of peace and security was essential to enable India to achieve its goals of economic development and that his government has focused on creating a favourable external environment and on strengthening India`s security.

Outlining his strategic vision, he observed that in addition to the familiar challenges, India has to be prepared for a changing world, which demanded new thinking on our part with regard to economic, diplomatic and security policies.

“Full scale wars may become rare, but force will remain an instrument of deterrence and influencing behaviour, and the duration of conflicts will be shorter,” he said.

His observation came against the backdrop of recent escalation of cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistan on the Line of Control and International Border as well as Chinese incursions in Ladakh.

“Beyond the immediate, we are facing a future where security challenges will be less predictable; situations will evolve and change swiftly; and, technological changes will make responses more difficult to keep pace with,” Mr. Modi said, adding, “The threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible.”

He underlined that domination of cyber space will become increasingly important and control of space may become as critical as that of land, air and sea.

Feeling the need for transforming India’s defence forces, he assured them of his commitment to provide adequate resources to ensure full defence preparedness, overcome shortages and meet modernization needs.
7:36 PM | 0 comments

Jayalalitha to be released tomorrow

AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, granted bail by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case, is expected to step out of the prison here on Saturday after completion of formalities.

“Jayalalithaa will be released... but tomorrow because we have yet to complete formalities for her release from the prison,” Ms. Jayalalithaa’s senior counsel B Kumar told said here.

Mr. Kumar said they would approach the Special Court on Saturday, which had sentenced the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to four years in jail, to furnish surety for her release after receiving copy of the Supreme Court order.

“We will get the Supreme Court order copy by today evening. Tomorrow, we will approach the special court and furnish surety to secure my client’s (Jayalalithaa) release,” he said.

DIG Prisons P M Jaisimha said the release will happen “definitely tomorrow.” He had earlier said formalities would be completed on Friday itself.

He said he had met Ms. Jayalalithaa on Thursday night to enquire about her health. Her health condition is fine, he said. “She told me she is fine, health-wise and not having any problems.”

AIADMK supporters erupted into boisterous celebrations near the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, where Ms. Jayalalithaa is lodged since September 27, after the news broke about the apex court granting bail to her. They danced in joy and hailed their leader.
7:30 PM | 0 comments

No one to warn India says Rajnath Singh

Written By Kvartha People on Thursday, October 16, 2014 | 10:04 PM

With China reacting sharply to government’s plans to construct a border road in Arunachal Pradesh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday sent a strong message, asserting that no one can warn India.

“Today, no one can give warning to India. We are a very powerful country,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Manesar.

Mr. Singh was asked about China’s strong reaction to plans to construct a road network along McMahon line from Mago-Thingbu in Tawang to Vijaynagar in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh to match China’s infrastructure development.

“There is a dispute about the eastern part of the China-India border. Before final settlement is reached we hope that India will not take any action that may further complicate the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lie had said in Beijing.

The Home Minister on Thursday said India and China should sit together to resolve the border dispute.

Government is taking a number of steps for improving infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border, especially in Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Forces of the two countries were locked in a stare-down at Chumur in Ladakh for a fortnight beginning September 11, which clouded the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day India visit.
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Arvind Subramanyam to be new economic advisor

U.S.-based economist Arvind Subramanian became chief economic adviser to the Indian government on Thursday, confirming the appointment of the development economist whose candidacy first emerged in August.

Mr. Subramanian, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, attended a news conference in New Delhi at which his appointment was announced.

He is a development economist who worked closely with Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan when both were at the International Monetary Fund.
10:00 PM | 0 comments

Pakisthan is proud of Malala

Written By Kvartha People on Friday, October 10, 2014 | 7:01 PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday congratulated teenage girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala, 17, was shot in the head in an attack by Pakistani Taliban militants in 2012 in Mingora town of northwest Swat region. The militant outfit was opposed to her campaign for girls’ education.

She has since become a global celebrity after winning several prizes, capping them with the prestigious 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

“She is pride of Pakistan. She has made her countrymen proud. Her achievement is unparallelled and unequalled. Girls and boys of the world should take lead from her struggle and commitment,” Sharif said in his felicitation message.

Malala is the youngest person to win the prize, which she shared with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.

She was also congratulated by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, former President Asif Ali Zardari, Opposition leader Imran Khan, TV anchor Hamid Mir and several others.

There are reports of celebration in her hometown of Mingora after local media broke the rare good news for the people of the militancy—hit region.
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Malala and Sathyarthi win Nobel prize

Kailash Satyarthi, the child rights activist from India, and Malala Yousufzai, the activist for girls’ education in Pakistan, were announced as the joint winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday. “It is an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and extremism,” said the Committee in a press release. The prize was for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Kailash Satyarthi showed “great personal courage” and “maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain”, it said.

Based in New Delhi, Mr. Sathyarthi is credited with having saved thousands of children from bonded labour in factories through his Bachpan Bachao Andolan and other organisations.

On Malala Yousufzai, the Committee said that, “Despite her youth, [she] has already fought for several years for the rights of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.”

Shot by Taliban militants two years ago in Swat, Pakistan, for her campaign against the terrorist groups violence against girls attending schools, she recovered to become a global symbol of the fight against extremism.

At the age of 17, Malala is now the youngest Nobel Prize winner ever. She and Mr. Satyarthi will share the $1.11-million prize to be awarded in Oslo on December 10.

This year there were 278 nominees for the prize, more than any other year till date. The other major contenders for the prize this year were Edward Snowden, who exposed the surveillance activities of U.S. intelligence agencies; Pope Francis, the first non-European Pope in modern times; Denis Mukwege, a Congolese leader who worked with rape victims; and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
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BJP condemns Pakistan for ceasefire violations

Written By Kvartha People on Sunday, October 5, 2014 | 10:33 PM

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday condemned the firing by Pakistan at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) and said the defence forces have been tasked to give an appropriate reply.

“We condemn this. Whatever is needed to be done, it is left to the defence forces,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here when asked about the cross-border firing by Pakistan.

Violating the ceasefire for the 10th time this month, Pakistani troops on Sunday opened heavy fire on Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. Army troops guarding the borderline with Pakistan effectively responded to the firing.

Noting that Pakistan has internal problems, Mr. Prasad said, “India is leading under Narendra Modi’s leadership and Pakistan is frustrated because of this. Internal problems have also frustrated Pakistan.”

Asked about former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s recent statement blaming India for ceasefire violations, he said, “Musharraf is not taken seriously in his own country, so you should not take him seriously also.”
10:33 PM | 0 comments

Modi says wont utter a word against sena

Clarifying his silence on the Shiv Sena in his election rallies so far in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he would not speak a word against the BJP's estranged ally as a "tribute" to the late Balasaheb Thackeray.

In his election rallies in Beed, Aurangabad and Mumbai on Saturday, Mr. Modi had avoided any mention of the Sena. This triggered political analysts to conclude that it was a well-calculated political tactic of the BJP as though Mr. Modi avoided the Sena, in his speeches he evoked Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji multiple times. Shivaji is considered any icon by the Sena as well as the dominant Maratha population in the State.

"This is the first election in Maharashtra to be held in the absence of Balasaheb Thackeray. So I have decided, to show my respect for him, I will not speak a word against the Sena," Mr. Modi told a rally in Tasgaon in Sangli district.

"It is my tribute to him," he said.

Expressing his adulation for the late Thackeray, Mr. Modi said he always admired and revered the late Sena supremo for his will-power.

"To show my respect for his devotion to building the Shiv Sena, which he did against all odds and criticisms, I will not speak a word against the Shiv Sena," Mr. Modi said.

Answering newspapers and political analysts, he urged them to not weigh his stance in politics but view it as a means of expressing devotion towards Balasaheb Thackeray.

"Without understanding our feelings, don't measure this with the balance of politics. Some things are above politics."

The BJP recently split with its ally of 25 years, the Shiv Sena. While the Sena, which was left embittered after the break-up has continuously attacked the BJP for orchestrating the split, the BJP has maintained silence on the issue.
10:31 PM | 0 comments

Protests in U.S gathered momentum against Modi

Written By Kvartha People on Sunday, September 28, 2014 | 6:23 PM

Even as excitement surged to a climax for Sunday’s community reception for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Madison Square Garden, protests rallies planned at the event venue appeared to gather momentum, as did a second “Citizens’ Court” protest in Washington, for which an “indictment” was said to have been “served” to the Indian Embassy.

On September 28 a broad coalition of organisations that came under the umbrella Alliance for Justice and Accountability plan to hold a rally, demonstration and press conference outside the Madison Square Garden to register their protest against Mr. Modi, whom they hold responsible for not stopping the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister of the State.

Meanwhile human rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) said that as U.S. President Barack Obama rolls out the red carpet for Mr. Modi on September 30, a Citizens' Court in Lafayette Park, immediately outside the front end of the White House, would hold indictment proceedings against the Indian Prime Minister that would be telecast live throughout the U.S.

In this regard a copy of the “charge sheet” and notice of indictment proceedings for the Citizens’ Court was said to have been recently served on Mr. Modi via the Indian Embassy using a summons delivery service, whose officer signed an affidavit that he delivered a copy of the documents to a named Embassy official at the Embassy premises near Dupont Circle and informed that person of the contents.

The “charge sheet” includes six counts against Mr. Modi under identified statutes of U.S. law, SFJ said.
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Paneerselvam is the new Tamilnadu CM

The meeting of AIADMK MLAs on Sunday is said to have unanimously elected Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam as the party’s Legislative Party leader and he is likely to be sworn in as Chief Minister.

Raj Bhavan sources said the AIADMK had sought an appointment with Governor K. Rosaiah at 6 pm.

This is the second time Mr Panneerslevam has become the Chief Minister of the state.

Described as “Mr Faithful”, Panneerselvam belongs to the dominant Mudukulathor community and is a trusted lieutenant of Jayalalithaa.

The name of Mr. Panneerselvam was understood to have communicated by Jayalalithaa in the court itself after the verdict was pronounced on Saturday. She also had a long conversation with him in the court before she was lodged in Bangalore jail.

The soft spoken and suave leader literally functioned as “interm-chief minister” for about six months and duly vacated the post after Jayalalithaa was acquitted in the case.

Mr. Panneerselvam, who had been camping in Bangalore since Saturday when Jayalalithaa travelled there for the verdict in the disproportionate asset case, returned to the city on Sunday to take up the new responsibility as per her direction.
6:21 PM | 0 comments

Obama asks to fight IS

Written By Kvartha People on Thursday, September 25, 2014 | 7:51 AM

“There can be no reasoning, no negotiation, with this brand of evil,” Mr. Obama told the General Assembly. In a striking shift for a President who has been reluctant to take military action in the past, Mr. Obama declared that force is the only language the militants understand. He warned those who have joined their cause to “leave the battlefield while they can”.

The widening war against the Islamic State was just one in a cascade of crises that confronted the Presidents, Prime Ministers and monarchs at the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. Also vying for attention was Russia’s continued provocations in Ukraine, a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the plight of civilians caught in conflicts around the world.

“Not since the end of the Second World War have there been so many refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened Wednesday’s session.

In a rare move, Mr. Obama also chaired a meeting of the U.N. Security Council where members unanimously adopted a resolution requiring all countries to prevent the recruitment and transport of would-be foreign fighters preparing to join terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group.

The American-led military campaign in the Middle East was at the centre of much of the day’s discussions. After weeks of airstrikes in Iraq, U.S. planes began hitting targets in Syria this week, joined by an unexpected coalition of five Arab nations- Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

There were more U.S. and coalition airstrikes Wednesday on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border. U.S. and allied planes and drones hit a dozen targets in Syria that included small-scale oil refineries that have been providing millions of dollars to the Islamic State, the U.S. Central Command said. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in addition to U.S. aircraft.

France has also taken part in strikes in Iraq, and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office announced that Parliament was being recalled to London to debate whether to join the campaign, too.

The Islamic State has made lightning gains in Iraq this year and now moves freely across the increasingly blurred border with Syria. The group has claimed responsibility for the beheading of two American journalists and a British aid worker, sparking outrage in the West and contributing to an increase in public support for military action.

Shortly after Mr. Obama’s remarks, France confirmed that Algerian extremists allied with the Islamic State group had beheaded one of its citizens after the French ignored demands to stop airstrikes in Iraq. French President Francois Hollande, who was in New York for the U.N. meetings, said the killing underscored why “the fight the international community needs to wage versus terrorism knows no borders”.

U.S. officials say they are concerned that foreigners with Western passports could return to their home countries to carry out attacks. And even as Mr. Obama welcomed support for the resolution to deter foreign fighters, he said more must be done.

“The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action,” he said.

The threat from the Islamic State group has already drawn Mr. Obama back into conflicts in the Middle East that he has long sought to avoid, particularly in Syria, which is mired in a bloody three-year civil war. Just months ago, the president appeared to be on track to fulfil his pledge to end the U.S.-led wars he inherited in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama sought to distinguish this current military campaign from those lengthy wars, declaring that he has no intention of sending U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands. He also pressed Middle Eastern nations to look beyond military action and take steps to reject the ideology that has spawned groups like the Islamic State and to cut off funding that has allowed that terror group and others to thrive.

“No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds,” Mr. Obama said in his nearly 40-minute address.

Apart from the Middle East, the President was particularly blunt in his condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. He accused Moscow of sending arms to pro-Russian separatists, refusing to allow access to the site of a downed civilian airliner and then moving its own troops across the border with Ukraine.

Still, Mr. Obama held open the prospect of a resolution to the conflict. While he has previously expressed skepticism about a cease-fire signed this month, he said Wednesday that the agreement “offers an opening” for peace.

If Russia follows through, Mr. Obama said, the U.S. will lift economic sanctions that have damaged Russia’s economy but so far failed to shift President Vladimir Putin’s approach.

The chaotic global landscape Mr. Obama described Wednesday stood in contrast to his remarks at the U.N. one year ago, when he touted diplomatic openings on multiple fronts. At the time, the U.S. was embarking on a fresh attempt to forge an elusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians and there were signs of a thaw in the decades-old tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

The Mideast talks have since collapsed, though the President said that “as bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace.” And while the U.S., Iran and world powers are now in the midst of nuclear negotiations, those talks are deadlocked and there is skepticism about whether a deal can be reached by a Nov. 24 deadline.
7:51 AM | 0 comments

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