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Indo-Pak foreign secretaries may meet next month

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The Indo-Pak secretaries are expected to meet next month,a senior official has said.

India and Pakistan have agreed on meeting in February, but its dates have not been finalised, the official said on Saturday.

The January 15 meeting, which had to decide the timetable and modalities of the resumed peace dialogue, was postponed after a terrorist attack on India’s air base at Pathankot in north Punjab.

The January 2 attack on Pathankot airbase left seven security personnel killed. A total of six terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were also killed.

India blamed Pakistan based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the attack and linked the resumption of the foreign secretaries’ meeting to an action by Pakistan against the group.

Senior officials from both the sides have been in touch for rescheduling the meeting, Dawn online reported.

Pakistan formed a team to investigate the evidence provided by India about JeM’s involvement.

The crackdown that came a day before the foreign secretaries were scheduled to meet was welcomed by New Delhi as “important and positive first step”, but it could not prevent the meeting getting postponed.

A statement on the deferment of the meeting, jointly issued by Islamabad and New Delhi, said: “Pakistan and India have agreed to reschedule Foreign Secretary-level talks in the very near future.”

The official said the foreign secretaries’ meeting next month would prove that the terrorist act had failed to quash the momentum for normalisation of ties generated by leaderships of both the countries.

Meanwhile, the planned visit of a team of Pakistani investigators to Pathankot has not been scheduled as yet.

“The team would first present its findings to the government, which would then decide about the visit,” a source in the interior ministry said.

Although an announcement has been made, the government is yet to approach India with a proposal for the trip, which would also give details of the terms of reference and objectives of the investigation team’s visit.

Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup earlier this week said: “We continue to closely follow on the progress in the investigation in Pakistan on the Pathankot terrorist attack… We continue to expect robust action by Pakistan against all the perpetrators.”

wefornews bureau

 

India

Shia board issues Muharram guidelines

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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Muharram Shia

Lucknow, Aug 12 : The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has issued its Muharram advisory, asking people to follow all norms of social distancing, wear masks and wherever possible, take part in Muharram rituals online or via TV channels broadcasting them.

The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram is a mourning period in remembrance of Imam Husain-Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and his family and companions who were martyred by Yazid in Karbala (Iraq) in 680 AD.

The 14-point advisory issued by board president Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi and general secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that all mosques and Imambaras with carpets and floor covers should ensure disinfecting the space before and after every majlis (sermon session).

Clerics said that the advisory was in accordance with the guidelines by ayatullahs from Iraq and Iran, including Grand Ayatullah Ali Al Sistani.

Children, pregnant women and the elderly have been advised to stay at home and use online and other mediums to be part of the sermons.

Water and food distributed among the poor as ‘tabarruk’, should be packed and sealed, and guidelines issued by the administration should be followed. A number of Shia and Sunni clerics have also met the district officials and discussed the guidelines with them.

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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India

Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha posts emotional tweet

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Pranab Mukharjee Iftar Party

New Delhi, Aug 12 : As former President Pranab Mukherjee remains in critical condition after a brain surgery, her daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee on Wednesday posted an emotional message on her Twitter handle.

“Last year, August 8 was one of the happiest day for me as my dad received the Bharat Ratna. Exactly a year later, on August 10 he fell critically ill. May God do whatever is best for him and give me strength to accept both joys and sorrows of life with equanimity. I sincerely thank all for their concerns,” she tweeted.

Pranab Mukherjee remains on ventilator support at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. The 84-year-old had earlier tested positive for coronavirus. He had undergone a brain surgery for the removal of a clot.

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Cities

Derogatory social media post accused arrested in Bengaluru

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Begaluru Violence

Bengaluru, Aug 12 : City police have arrested the person accused of posting a derogatory message which triggered riots in Bengaluru east last night, an official said on Wednesday.

“With regard to the incidents in D.J. Halli, accused Naveen was arrested for posting derogatory posts,” said city Police Commissioner Kamal Pant.

Naveen is said to be the relative of Congress MLA Akanda Srinivas Murthy.

Following his social media post, irate mobs resorted to rioting and arson in D.J. Halli, K.G. Halli, Pulikeshinagar and Kaval Byresandra.

Pant said 110 accused persons involved in the rioting have been arrested.

“Total 110 persons accused arrested for arson, stone pelting and assault on the police. Appeal to all to cooperate with the police to maintain peace,” said the police commissioner.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa said last night’s mischief lead to rioting and assault on Murthy’s home and the D.J. Halli police station.

He directed the officials to take action against the perpetrators.

“The attack on journalists, police and the public in the riot last night was unpredictable. The government will not tolerate such provocations and rumours,” said Yediyurappa in Kannada.

He said strict action against the perpetrators was certain and appealed to the people to act with restraint.

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