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Delegation leaves for Pak to take part in Indus commission meet

To drive the point, the source recalled how Pakistan’s concern over India’s Uri-II and Chutak hydroelectric projects were resolved seven years ago through discussions.

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Permanent Indus Commission

New Delhi, Mar 19 : A 10-member Indian delegation today left for Pakistan to take part in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) beginning tomorrow in Islamabad.

The delegation comprises India’s Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena, MEA officials and technical experts.

Speaking to PTI, a government source said India is “always open” to discuss and resolve concerns Pakistan have over its projects under Indus Water Treaty (IWT) bilaterally.

The source, however, reiterated that there will be “no compromise” on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact.

However, the agenda for the meeting, taking place nearly six months after India decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits, is yet to be finalised.

Permanent Indus Commission

Asked whether the delay in reaching consensus over agenda for the meeting will leave little time to resolve issues, the source replied in negative.

“We always go into such meetings with optimistic mindset..

In the past too, there had been delays in finalising agenda for the meeting, yet solutions were achieved,” the source added.

To drive the point, the source recalled how Pakistan’s concern over India’s Uri-II and Chutak hydroelectric projects were resolved seven years ago through discussions.

Pakistan had raised objections over designs of 240 MW Uri-II and 44 MW Chutak projects, built in Baramulla and Kargil districts of Jammu and Kashmir respectively, saying these will deprive it of its water share under the pact.

However, at a meeting held here in May 2010, the neighbouring country withdrew objections after Indian side provided details of these.

Similarly, Pakistan has been flagging concern over designs of India’s five other hydroelectricity projects — Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) — being built/planned in the Indus river basin, contending these violate the treaty.

It had approached the World Bank, the mediator between the two countries of the 57-year-old water distribution treaty, in August last year raising issues over Kishanganga and Ratle projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

While there is no clarity yet whether issues relating to these two projects will figure during the meet as they are before the Bank, the source said Pakal Dul, Miyar and Lower Kalnai may be discussed.

Blog

Punjabi diaspora worried, shocked over ‘brutality’ against farmers

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

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Farmers Beaten

Chandigarh, Nov 29: The planned protest against new farm laws and the ‘brutality’ of the security forces by lobbing teargas shells and using water cannons to stop the peaceful march of the farmers towards the national capital has left the diaspora largely from Canada worried and shocked.

They asked the Indian government to engage in an open dialogue with the farmers as their livelihoods are going to be impacted.

Expressing solidarity with the farmers, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized were very troubling.

“Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Joining the issue, Sonia Sidhu, MP for Brampton South, Canada, tweeted, “I received many messages from constituents concerned in Brampton South about the situation in India.

“My residents told me how worried they are about the protests of the Punjab farmers. I share their concerns and hope that the situation will be resolved peacefully.”

Joining her counterpart, Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton (North), said the determination and resilience of the farmers is admirable.

“In a free and just society one should be able to advocate for their cause without the threat of force being used against them. The brutality being faced by the Indian farmers in these images is deplorable,” she said in a tweet.

Joining the cause, Chandigarh-born Rachna Singh, Parliament Secretary of British Columbia, said she was really saddened by the way Punjab farmers are being treated. “This is unacceptable.”

Describing the violence perpetrated by the Indian government against farmers peacefully protesting is appalling, Canada’s New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted: “I stand in solidarity with the farmers from Punjab and across India — and, I call on the Indian government to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than violence”

He thanked Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East, for his advocacy.

“We are shocked to see the Indian government’s suppression of farmers protesting new laws which will endanger their livelihood. Instead of using water cannons and tear gas, the Indian government needs to engage in open dialogue with farmers,” said Harris.

“Peaceful protests are fundamental in any democracy, and I urge for the rights of the protestors to be respected,” said Navdeep Bains, MP for Mississauga-Malton.

“Shocking scenes from Delhi,” remarked MP from Britain, Preet Kaur Gill.

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

Tracing his roots to a farmer family, Indo-Canadian politician Gurratan Singh said the images of police brutality were horrific.

“I come from a family of farmers. I feel the pain and struggle of farmers protesting laws that threaten their livelihoods. The state continues to meet peaceful protestors with violence and brutality,” he tweeted along with the video of his speech made by him in the Ontario Assembly.

“Farmers are the backbone of our society. They feed cities, and right now they are under attack in India. Folks in my riding are concerned about new laws that are passed by the Indian government that are going to hurt the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and others across India.

“That’s why I am asking all the members of this House to come together to stand with farmers against these unjust laws passed by the Indian government, so farmers in India can live with respect and dignity that they deserve,” Gurratan Singh said in his speech.

Standing with farmers in India, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Andrea Horwath, said: “Everyone deserves to be able to exercise their democratic rights without fear of state-sanctioned violence”.

Canadian MP Tim Uppal posted, “India’s farmers deserve to be heard and respected. This is horrific.”

The farmers are protesting against the farm laws as they feel that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.

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Disaster

Coronavirurs: India’s Covid-19 tally nears 94 lakh

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 62 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.45 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Coronavirus India

New Delhi, Nov 29: With 41,810 new coronavirus infections and 496 deaths in the past 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 93,92,920 on Sunday, as the fatality toll touched 1,36,696, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Currently, there are 4,53,956 active cases, whereas 88,02,267 patients have been cured and discharged so far.

The recovery rate stands at 93.71 per cent, and the fatality rate is 1.46 as per cent, the Ministry said.

Maharashtra continued to be the worst-hit state with 18,14,515 cases till date. There are 90,965 active cases and 46,986 Covid-19 deaths.

According to the ministry, almost 70 per cent of the daily new cases are contributed by eight States and UT, i.e., Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh.

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 62 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.45 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 6,21,47,874 and 14,50,326, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 1,32,33,884 and 2,66,009, respectively, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of cases.

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India

Farmers plan to stage protest near Parliament, Jantar Mantar

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Protests happen at Ramlila ground, then why should we go to Nirankari Bhawan, a private facility? We will stay put here today”.

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Farmers Delegation

New Delhi: Farmers continued with their demonstration in Delhi and refused to move to the government suggested venue against the farm reforms.

“Today, we will go to Delhi and stage our protest either near Parliament or at Jantar Mantar. We do not accept govt’s proposal and will not go to the allotted ground in Burari,” news agency quoted a farmer as saying.

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Protests happen at Ramlila ground, then why should we go to Nirankari Bhawan, a private facility? We will stay put here today”.

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