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India slams Pakistan for deliberate attempt to shift focus from internal failures

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi: India has slammed a recent press conference by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and the Establishment, terming it “yet another futile anti-India propaganda exercise”.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, in response to a media query, said: “We have seen media reports on a press conference by the Pakistani establishment. This is yet another futile anti-India propaganda exercise.”

“The so-called claims of ‘proof’ against India enjoy no credibility, are fabricated and represent figments of imagination. This desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of Pakistan’s tactics and proof of its terror sponsorship has been admitted by none other than its own leadership,” he added.

The reaction by India came a day after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed a press conference with Army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar to claim that India was behind some of the terror attacks in that country.

The MEA spokesperson said: “The face of global terror, Osama Bin Laden, was found in Pakistan; Pakistan’s PM glorified him as a ‘martyr’ from the floor of Parliament; he admitted the presence of 40,000 terrorists in Pakistan; their Science and Technology Minister proudly claimed involvement and success of Pakistan, led by its Prime Minister, in the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Indian soldiers were martyred.”

Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquillity, Pakistani forces continue to engage in providing supporting cover fire to infiltrators, he said. The incessant infiltration of terrorists and induction of weapons to fuel terror activities continues unabated. Such activities are not possible without the support of Pakistani forces deployed along the LoC, he added.

The MEA spokesperson said the press conference was a deliberate attempt on the part of the Pakistani establishment to shift focus from its internal political and economic failures. It also seeks to justify cross-border terrorism, including ceasefire violations and infiltration across the LoC and the IB.

“We call upon Pakistan to end its support to cross border terrorism. Pakistani leaders have never hidden the fact that it has become a factory for producing terrorists. India is not the only neighbour to be targeted as underlined by the statements of countries similarly targeted,” he added.

“Distant parts of the world have seen the terror trail lead back to Pakistan. Concocting documents and peddling false narratives will not absolve Pakistan of such actions. We are confident the world will hold it to account,” Srivastava said.

India

Centre convenes all-party meet on Jan 30 ahead of Budget session

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Parliament

The Modi government has called an all-party meeting on January 30 to hold discussions ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget in Parliament on February 1.

The Centre has invited leaders of all political parties in both the Houses to the proposed meeting slated to begin at 11.30 am through videoconference. Sources said the National Democratic Alliance parties too will meet on the same day.

Parliament’s Budget session will be held in two phseses amid all precautions against coronavirus — from January 29 to February 15, and from March 8 to April 8.

The all-party meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP’s Rajya Sabha leader Thawarchand Gehlot, Deputy Leader Piyush Goyal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muralitharan.The one-hour Question Hour has been restored in the Budget session, which was suspended during the Monsoon session in September 2020 during corona pandemic.Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Tuesday that corona tests for members att

ending the Parliament session will be mandatory.

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India

Right to salary a fundamental right: Delhi HC

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Jan 20 : The Delhi High Court has pulled up the municipal corporations for the non-payment of salaries and pensions to their employees, noting that paucity of funds cannot be an excuse and that right to receive pay is a fundamental right enshrined under the Constitution of India.

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was hearing a batch of petitions in relation to the non-payment of salaries and pensions to the employees of Delhi municipal corporations, particularly North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

“Reason assigned for non-payment of timely salaries is stated to be paucity of funds which, as is well settled, cannot be an excuse for non-payment, keeping in view the fact that the right to receive salary and pension is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of Constitution and non-payment would have direct bearing on quality of life,” the court stated.

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India

NCP should decide on poll alliance soon: Goa leader

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Sharad Pawar

The Nationalist Congress Party should decide its political strategy for the 2022 Assembly polls in Goa well ahead of time, NCP state president Jose Philip D’Souza said on Wednesday.

D’Souza also said that party supremo Sharad Pawar was scheduled to arrive in Goa on Wednesday for a brief visit to meet with the state executive committee members and discuss strategy for the upcoming polls.

“We will be discussing our electoral agenda with Sharad Pawarji, because elections are just a year away,” D’Souza said.

“Planning should be done in advance. If like minded parties want to go together for the 2022 elections, it has to be decided now. We will be discussing this issue,” D’Souza also said.
The party had fared poorly in the 2017 Assembly polls winning just one seat in the 40-member Goa Assembly, after much delayed talks for an alliance with the Congress failed.

D’Souza claims that it was imperative for the party to ensure that if the party was to ally with a “like-minded” party for the 2022 polls, the deal had to be sewn together sooner rather than later.

“Whether we should go with an alliance with other parties or not, it has to be decided now. If we leave it for too late, with a month or two to go for elections, then there is limited scope for discussion and things can go wrong. The talks should begin now,” D’Souza said, adding that he would be discussing the matter with Pawar.

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