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India walks out of UN General Assembly as Imran begins attack

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Imran Khan at UNGA

United Nations, Sep 26 : The Indian delegate at the United Nations General Assembly session on Friday walked out in protest when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan began attacking India in his speech at the high-level meeting.

First Secretary Mijito Vinito, who was sitting on the second seat in the first row of the Assembly chamber, stood up and left as soon as Khan turned on India by focusing on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

In a tweet, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T.S. Tirumurti decried Khan’s attacks as “warmongering and obfuscation”.

Khan’s pre-recorded speech was screened at the General Assembly chamber during the annual meeting stymied this year by the Covid-19 precautions.

A new element tucked into Khan’s 34-minute speech, more than a third of which was devoted to India, was a call for the Security Council to send its peacekeeping force to Kashmir by drawing a parallel to East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste.

“The Security Council must prevent a disaster conflict (in Kashmir) and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, as it did in the case of East Timor,” Khan said.

The Security Council authorised international intervention and sent peacekeepers in the aftermath of the Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony, but a parallel would require such a force to clear Pakistanis in Kashmir in defiance of its resolution demanding their withdrawal.

Khan also declared a thinly veiled support for the attacks on India by the militants.

“The government and the people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” he said.

To preemptively deny the involvement in any Pakistan-sponsored attacks on India, Khan said, “We have consistently sensitised the world community about a false flag operation.”

Khan alleged, “India is playing a dangerous game of upping the ante against Pakistan in a nuclearised environment.”

In his tweet, Tirumurti said, “PM of Pakistan’s statement a new diplomatic low at 75th UN General Assembly. Another litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities and of its cross-border terrorism. Befitting Right of Reply awaits.”

At the start of his speech with religious platitudes, Khan declared his commitment to an even more stringent theocratic state before accusing India of moving away from secularism.

“We envisage Naya Pakistan to be modelled on the principles of the state of Medina, established by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,” he declared.

Later, the premier of the Islamic republic, which constitutionally denies full citizenship rights to non-Muslims as well as Muslims of the Ahmadiyya sect, asserted that India is giving up on the secularism of Mahatma Gandhi and is moving towards a “Hindutva” state.

“The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra,” he asserted.

Khan’s attacks on the RSS is to try to build up support for his cause, which has so far seen only Turkish support, by linking it to Nazism as his attacks on India have not found any backing.

Khan was silent on the persecution of the Uighur minority in China, Pakistan’s patron, and Beijing’s verified creation of camps for internment of the Muslim minority and campaign to eradicate their cultural and religious identity.

But he claimed that according to “reports”, there were camps in India filled with Muslims.

He also accused India of changing the demography of Kashmir and suppressing its cultural identity.

He invoked the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and said the Council should enforce them.

However, the main resolution on Kashmir — No. 47 — demands that Pakistan should withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.

Business

India extends $1 billion credit line to Central Asian countries for priority projects

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.

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eam jaishankar european parliament

India on Wednesday extended a $1-billion line of credit to Central Asian countries for priority projects in connectivity, energy, IT and health care, with the move being perceived as part of New Delhi’s efforts to boost its role as a transparent development partner.

The line of credit was welcomed by ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan during the second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held via video conference under the chairmanship of external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Acting Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar joined the meeting as a special invitee.

The meeting discussed cooperation in political and security matters, and all the countries called for settling the Afghan conflict on the principle of an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process”, according to a joint statement. The countries also condemned terrorism and reaffirmed their determination to destroy terrorist safe havens, networks, and funding channels.

In a tacit reference to Pakistan, the joint statement said: “They also underlined the need for every country to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks against other countries.”

Jaishankar told the meeting: “India and Central Asia share ancient historical and cultural linkages. We consider Central Asia as India’s ‘extended neighbourhood’.” He added, “We face common challenges of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking… All these commonalities make us a natural partner in our developmental journey.”

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.

The ministers emphasised the importance of connectivity in increasing trade and commerce between India and Central Asia, and appreciated New Delhi’s efforts to modernise Chabahar port in Iran as an important link in trade and transport between markets in Central and South Asia, the joint statement said. The ministers agreed to promote joint initiatives to create regional and international transport corridors.

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India

ISRO adopts new satellite naming style, RISAT-2BR2 now EOS-01

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

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ISRO launch

Chennai, Oct 28 : The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided follow a new naming policy for its earth observation satellites, it is learnt.

Henceforth, the Indian space agency will be naming its earth observation satellites as EOS tagged with a serial number.

As a result, ISRO’s radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR2 has been renamed as EOS-01, an official preferring anonymity told IANS.

The ISRO on Wednesday said its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) will launch EOS-01 as a primary satellite along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

The launch is tentatively scheduled at 3.02 p.m. on November 7, subject to weather conditions.

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, the ISRO said.

The radar imaging satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can shoot pictures in all weather conditions.

The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.

This time around, the ISRO will be using the PSLV rocket’s DL variant that will have two strap-on booster motors.

This rocket variant was used the first time to put into orbit Microsat R satellite on January 24, 2019.

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

Owing to Covid-19 pandemic norms, ISRO has decided to close the rocket launch viewing gallery for the public during this launch and gathering of media personnel at the Sriharikota rocket port is also not on the cards.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Disaster

Delhi records highest new Covid cases since pandemic began

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

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coronavirus delhi

New Delhi : Delhi reported an unprecedented rise in the number of daily infections on Wednesday. According to a health department bulletin, the national capital recorded 5,673 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike till date, taking the total case-load to more than 3.7 lakh with 40 new fatalities pushing the death count in the national capital to 6,396.

This is the highest single-day figure that Delhi has reported since the pandemic struck the country. The national capital, which is battling the third wave of infections, has been logging more than 4,000 cases daily for the last six days.

With the onset of the festive season, the unprecedented spike has raised concerns, especially when the national Covid tally has shown a steady decline.

The Covid-19 figures in the national capital have been increasing rapidly.

On Tuesday, Delhi reported 4,853 new infections and 44 deaths, which was also its highest daily spike. The number of fresh cases recorded on Monday stood at 2,832, and 4,136 on Sunday, while the figures were 4,116 on Saturday and 4,086 on Friday.

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

The Health Ministry had expressed concern over the spike in Delhi’s cases and is expected to hold a meeting with top officials of the UT government on Thursday to chalk out a strategy for prevention of the Covid spread, the officials said on Tuesday.

The unwanted record spike coincides with an extended festive season and the onset of winter.

Medical experts have suggested that the Covid-19 virus could become even more potent and fatal as the temperature drops.

The increase in Covid cases has also been linked to the worsening pollution in the national capital, which is preparing for its annual bout with “severe” and “hazardous” air quality levels.

Meanwhile, the daily national Covid tally of India is on a constant decline for over a week, which had been reporting close to one lakh cases daily till last month.

Experts say the country has passed its peak but a surge is looming over in view of festivities and laxity observed by the public.

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