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Pakistan police arrests three ‘suspected RAW agents’

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Islamabad, April 15, 2017: At least three persons, said to be agents of the Research and Analysis Wing by police, have been arrested in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Mohammad Khalil, Imtiaz and Rashid, all from Taroti village in Abbaspur, were in the custody of police in Rawalakot, the headquarters of Poonch division, Dawn online reported.

According to Poonch Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sajid Imran, Khalil is the “main suspect.” He said the three were involved in anti-state activities, including the bombing of a police station, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Khalil, according to the police, had reportedly visited Indian Kashmir in November 2014 to see his relatives in Bandi Chechian village. There he came in contact with RAW which “lured him to work for them.”

Khalil had an intra-Kashmir travel permit.

Later, he is said to have recruited Imtiaz and Rashid to work with him “for handsome returns”.

During preliminary investigations, according to the police, Khalil told investigators that he had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) about 14 or 15 times from different parts in Abbaspur sector.

Imtiaz and Rashid had also “confessed to crossing the LoC five to six times,” the paper said.

“Khalil would take with him cigarettes and [mobile phone] memory cards, carrying pictures of bridges, mosques controlled by the Deobandi school of thought, and army and police installations,” Imran said.

According to him, he had given two active SIM cards registered in his name to Indian officials.

The DSP said the arrested persons had planted an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) outside a police station in Abbaspur on September 27 last year.

“We tracked their movements and phone calls with the help of intelligence agencies and finally arrested them two days ago (Tuesday),” he said.

They have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and Explosives Act.

The development follows the death sentence given to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on April 10. Jadhav has been charged with espionage and waging war against Pakistan. India says Pakistan had abducted Jadhav from Iran.

IANS

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North Korea suspends nuclear, ballistic missile testing

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North Korean Kim Jong un

Seoul, April 21: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

According to the report, North Korea will also close a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side in a bid to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

Pyongyang’s decision comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries.

The last bilateral talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, praised the announcement from Pyongyang.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump said in a tweet.

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DJ Avicii dead at 28

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Madrid, April 21: World-renowned Swedish DJ and electronic music producer Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, his agent said on Friday. He was 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Efe quoted Diana Baron as saying.

“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” Baron said. “No further statements will be given.”

Bergling had struggled with health problems, some caused by excessive drinking and was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 for treatment of acute pancreatitis.

In early 2016, he announced his temporary retirement from touring, citing a desire to “explore other interests.”

“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” Bergling told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, adding that he had taken on board “too much negative energy” from the music scene.

Avicii achieved global fame in 2011 with the release of his smash hit “Levels,” which was followed by other chart sensations, such as “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother”.

He was known for his collaborations with other artists, including Coldplay, David Guetta, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Williams and Rita Ora.

In 2014, he teamed up with Carlos Santana, Wyclef Jean and Alexandre Pires on the official FIFA World Cup anthem, “We Will Find a Way”.

IANS

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IMF expects India’s role to expand in Indo-Pacific region

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International Monetary Fund

United Nations, April 21: The International Monetary Fund expects India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region’s development to continue to expand because of its robust growth, but it has to carry out more trade reforms, Ken Kang, the deputy director in IMF’s Asia Pacific Department said on Friday.

“Given our robust growth forecast where we see India’s growth rising from 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 7.8 per cent in 2019, we do expect India’s role in the region to continue to expand,” he said at a news conference in Washington.

“That being said, India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers,” he added.

“The statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15 per cent, and higher than those in the rest of the region,” he added. “So there is room to do more on trade reform.”

IANS

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