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Akbaruddin isolated Pakistan at UN, engineered India’s ICJ win over UK

The Fund also distinguishes itself from China’s controversial aid programmes by providing assistance multilaterally through the UN.

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Syed Akbaruddin United Nations

United Nations, May 29 : Having deft diplomacy to successfully isolate Pakistan on the Kashmir issue at the UN and engineered India’s unprecedented victory for the judgeship of the World Court over a Security Council permanent member, Syed Akbaruddin has wound up his term as India’s Permanent Representative to the world body.

Akbaruddin, who retired after a 35-year career in the Indian Foreign Service this month, helped create history when the members of the UN overwhelmingly voted for the re-election of Dalveer Bhandari in 2017 rebelling against the hegemony of the permanent members and forced Britain to withdraw its candidate Christoper Greenwood, who had the majority support in the Security Council.

It marked a clear shift in the balance of power at the UN, from old colonial powers of the last century to the emerging nations of this.

“I was lucky to represent India when our global image was on the rise,” Akbaruddin told IANS, attributing the nation’s successes during his tenure to that and an appreciation of how New Delhi engaged with countries around the world.

Pakistan’s persistent, intensive diplomacy to internationalise the Kashmir issue was checkmated with 189 of the 193 members repudiating it.

Besides Pakistan, only Malaysia and Turkey have raised it in the General Assembly, and even that only once and giving up after being isolated.

China tried twice to bring it up in the Security Council but couldn’t even get a statement acknowledging that it had been discussed in closed-door consultations.

He helped rip China’s protective mantle over Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and have him listed as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.

Of his diplomacy, Akbaruddin said: “The only way to succeed here is through partnerships.”

And partnerships he had built aplenty winning the regard of fellow-diplomats and UN leaders.

General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande described him as a “great diplomat”.

He told IANS: “Syed Akbaruddin was one of the very best. I can tell you, I cannot imagine anyone of us who has worked with Syed who will say anything differently. He is a very wise man, very, very sincere, very knowledgeable.”

Muhammad-Bande added that he would congratulate India for producing diplomats like him.

Akbaruddin projected India’s soft-power at the UN, organising grand concerts by maestros A.R. Rahman and Amjad Ali Khan at the General Assembly chamber.

The UN issued a stamp honouring the classical Carnatic singer MS Subbulakshmi in 2016, commemorating her UN concert 50 years earlier that year in 1966.

And during the International Yoga Days he literally had ‘asanas’ projected on the UN headquarters building and for Diwali a greeting, the image of which became the backdrop for a Diwali stamp set issued by the UN postal system.

Quick to seize opportunities for India’s image-building, he promoted the construction of the 50-kilowatt Gandhi Solar Park on a UN building to provide clean electricity to the UN complex as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres prioritised a global move away from fossil fuel-generated power.

Akbaruddin’s tenure also saw the launch of the UN-India Partnership Fund that provides aid to small developing countries. Starting in 2017 with a project to provide a climate early warning system for seven island nations in the Pacific region, the programme has grown into a 10-year programme with a goal of $150 million.

Currently there are 40 projects covering 39 countries.

The Fund also distinguishes itself from China’s controversial aid programmes by providing assistance multilaterally through the UN.

An avid user of social media, who pushed its multimedia use by the mission, Akbaruddin was ranked the diplomat at the UN with the second-highest number of Twitter followers after then-US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley.

A second generation diplomat – his father Syed Bashiruddin was India’s Ambassador to Qatar – Akbaruddin joined the foreign service in 1985. Among his many diplomatic assignments was that of the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry and acting as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s spokesperson on his travels abroad.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

Cities

To forestall Dubey’s surrender, police presence near news channels, courts bolstered

Checking of vehicles was conducted at various points in Noida and Greater Noida.

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Vikas Dubey.

New Delhi/Noida, July 8 : Amid speculation that wanted gangster Vikas Dubey might surrender either in a court or a news channel office, police presence has been increased outside such premises in Noida.

The Film City in Noida’s Sector 16, where many national news channels” offices are located, saw heightened police presence on Wednesday. It was apprehended that the gangster might sneak into any news channel office to evade the UP Police, which is trying to arrest the absconding accused in the killing of eight policeman as early as possible.

“We have increased the presence of the police teams at various strategic locations in Noida. Strategic routes are also checked. We are searching for the gangster and have deployed our men at all possible places where there is a slightest possibility of him being seen,” DCP, Noida, Sankalp Sharma said.

Checking of vehicles was conducted at various points in Noida and Greater Noida.

Heavy security was deployed outside the Noida court on Wednesday after speculation of Dubey attempting to surrender before the court made rounds.

Also in Delhi, police presence was heightened at strategic locations and men in plain clothes were deployed outside various courts to check the possibility of Dubey’s surrender.

The UP gangster has kept the police teams of not just UP but all the adjoining states on high alert after he went underground following the killing of eight policemen approaching his home in Kanpur.

Earlier on Wednesday, Haryana Police arrested three close associates of Dubey from Faridabad after a glimpse of the gangster was caught in a hotel CCTV on Tuesday afternoon. The gangster, however, gave the police a slip.

Earlier the UP Police gunned down Dubey”s close aide Amar Dubey in Maudaha, Hamirpur in UP. He was involved in the July 3 shootout. Crackdown by UP Police has also started in Greater Noida and Bulandshahr, while the bounty on Dubey was doubled to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2.5 lakh.

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Cities

BJP leader, family members killed by terrorists in Kashmir

The family had component of 8 security people but unfortunately none of them was there at the time of the incident.

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BJP Leader Wasim Bari

Srinagar, July 8 : A BJP leader and an ex-district president of the party for North Kashmir’s Bandipore was killed by suspected terrorists on Wednesday evening.

According to sources, the former BJP president of Bandipora district Wasim Bari was at his shop with his father and brother when some unidentified terrorists struck and shot at them injuring them critically. All three succumbed to the injuries.

The family had component of 8 security people but unfortunately none of them was there at the time of the incident.

DGP, J&K Dilbag Singh told IANS that a probe has been ordered and all the eight men who were assigned on BJP leader”s security are being arrested.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav condoled with the family and tweeted: “Shocked and saddened by d killing of young BJP leader Wasim Bari and his brother by terrorists in Bandipora. Bari”s father who is also a senior leader was injured. This despite 8 security commandos. Condolences to d family.”

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Cities

BSES ”geared up” for seamless power supply in Delhi in monsoon

The discom urged customers to alert BSES in case somebody comes across any fallen cable, pole, exposed wiring or digging work on the roadsides.

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Power Grid Failure Nine Minutes

New Delhi, July 8 : Power distribution company (discom) BSES on Wednesday said that it was geared up to ensure incident-free power supply to its over 44 lakh consumers in the national capital and issued an advisory to the public on adopting simple safety precautions during the rainy season, including maintaining “social distancing” from electricity infrastructure.

In a statement, the discom said that the BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) have undertaken extensive preventive maintenance works to minimise the accumulation of moisture in grids and panels.

Since water-logging during the monsoons greatly increases the risk of electricity-related mishaps, BSES advised people to “stay away from electrical installations like electricity poles, sub-stations, transformers and streetlights”.

It also advised customers to caution their children from playing near electricity installations, even if they are barricaded, and not play in parks that are water logged.

The discom also said that customers should get the entire wiring in their premises thoroughly checked by a licensed electrical contractor.

“Put off the main switch in case there is water-logging or leakage observed in the meter cabin. Put on the main switch only on ensuring that all faults have been rectified properly,” it said.

“Install an Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB) to help avoid shocks and mishaps and also keep a tester at home to check if there is an electricity leakage,” it added.

Emphasising that power theft by hooking on to an electricity system poses a serious safety hazard, BSES also urged customers to report incidents of power theft and convince people not to illegally draw electricity by hooking on to mainlines or roadside electrical equipment.

The discom urged customers to alert BSES in case somebody comes across any fallen cable, pole, exposed wiring or digging work on the roadsides.

“Another reason for outages is unplanned digging for road repair or to lay cables/pipelines. This not only causes outages, but can also be a serious safety threat — especially during the rainy season — for the area residents/passersby,” the statement said.

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