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Hindu extremist groups ties with Modi govt biggest hurdle to Indo-Pak talks: Pakistan Minister



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Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday termed Hindu “extremist” organisations and their “influence” on the present Indian government as the biggest hurdle to the Pakistan-India peace dialogue.

“In our eyes, the biggest hurdle is Hindu extremist organisations and their influence and relations with the current government,” he said.

Khan also termed Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement regarding Pakistan-India ties as “surprising”.

“If the Indian government is serious about mending ties with Pakistan, then they should declare exactly what forces do not want better ties between the two countries,” he said in a statement released by the Interior Ministry.

He was reacting to Sushma Swaraj’s remarks that there are “forces” which do not want good ties between the two countries.

Khan also stated that the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s good relations with any other head of state is linked to the country’s national interest.

“The Indian minister should not take it as the PM’s personal interest,” he elaborated.

Sushma Swaraj had in her press conference on Sunday said that the “warmth and ease” in ties between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif can help resolve complex issues between the two neighbours.

“Indian seriousness over the issue can be gauged by Prime Minister Modi’s speech to the US Congress,” Khan added.

Modi, in his speech at the US Congress earlier this month, had said in an apparent reference to Pakistan that while terrorism has spread across the world, it is “incubated in India’s neighborhood”.

He had also urged the US Congress to send a clear message to those who “preach and practice” terrorism for political gains by “refusing to reward them”.

“Refusing to reward them is the first step towards holding them accountable for their actions,” said Modi taking aim at the US aid to Pakistan.


Indonesia’s Sulawesi island volcano erupts,spewing ashes upto 7.5 km high



Jakarta, Dec 16 : A volcano erupted in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province on Sunday, spewing a column of ash measuring 7.5 km to the sky.

Mount Soputan erupted twice — first at 7.43 a.m. and the second at 8.57 a.m., an agency spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

There were no reports of casualties and the ash was not considered a threat to aviation, agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Sunday.

Ashes were spread toward south west and south of the crater and small tremors jolted the area.

“In anticipating the hot ash from sliding into the flank of the volcano and flows of cool lava, the community is prohibited from having activities at the radius of 4 km from the crater, and for the area at southwest of the crater the no go-zone has been declared at 6.5 km,” the spokesman said.

Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

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Wickremesinghe reinstated as Sri Lankan PM




Colombo, Dec 16 : Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was forced out of office in October, was sworn in as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Sunday by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said on its official Twitter account that the deposed leader took oath before President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday.

“We thank the citizens of the country who fought the illegal seizure of power and ensured that democracy was restored,” the UNP said on Twitter.

His reinstatement has ended a nearly two-month political crisis,but has brought major embarrassment for Sirisena, who had replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following differences over policymaking and other issues.

However, Rajapaksa failed to win a parliamentary majority and resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.

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Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Babu Sheikh detained in Dubai



Chhota Shakeel

Mumbai, Dec 15 : The D-company received a major blow as  Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Shaikh, who is wanted in Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was arrested from Abu Dhabi Airport on Friday.Chhota Shakeel is considered the trusted right hand of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Sheikh, who is wanted in Mumbai and Thane in connection with several offences including the March 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was detained and questioned by the Dubai Police at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Among other things, Sheikh is wanted for allegedly co-ordinating the Mumbai serial blasts from a location abroad.

After the Mumbai serial blasts red corner notice has been issued against him  and Indian authorities are trying to seek Anwar’s custody.

After search and interrogation, the Dubai Police are understood to have recovered a Pakistani passport from Sheikh, raising questions on his extradition to India.

Both Indian and Pakistani embassies in the UAE are said to be in touch with the Dubai authorities seeking his deportation to their respective countries.


Mumbai and Thane police sources said that Sheikh is linked to Pakistan’s ISI and was involved in several terror acts in India before he fled this country.

Earlier this year, Thane Anti Extortion Cell chief Pradeep Sharma had nabbed couple of persons for illegally keeping AK-56 Army assault rifles in their Mumbai suburban home in Goregaon.




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