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Iran’s planned space launches violate UN resolution: Pompeo

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Washington, Jan 4: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called Iran’s planned space rocket launches as defiance of a UN Security Council resolution, demanding Tehran to cease the related activities.

In a statement issued by the State Department on Thursday, Pompeo warned that Iran’s plans to launch three Space Launch Vehicles in the coming months would demonstrate its defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231.

UNSCR 2231 endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the 2015 nuclear deal which Iran signed with world powers. The US had pulled out of the multilateral deal in May last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Pompeo said that the resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, claiming the planned space launches would incorporate technology “virtually identical” to that used in ballistic missiles, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation,” Pompeo said.

But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected Pompeo’s warning, saying their space launches and missile tests were not in violation of the resolution.

The US was in material breach of the resolution, Zarif said via the Twitter account of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Iran’s launch of space vehicles — and missile tests — are NOT in violation of Res 2231. The US is in material breach of same and as such it is in no position to lecture anyone on it,” Zarif tweeted.

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India created fake Ayodhya, Ram was from Nepal: Nepali PM Oli

Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli, on Monday, said that ‘real Ayodhya’ is in Nepal and ‘Lord Ram is Nepali not Indian’.

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Kathmandu, July 13 : Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has claimed that India has created a ‘fake’ Ayodhya, and Lord Ram was originally from Nepal — a shocking statement that has come at a time when India’s diplomatic ties with the Himalayan nation is going through certain upheavals.

“We have been oppressed a bit culturally. Facts have encroached. We still believe that we gave Sita to Indian Prince Ram. But we gave to the prince from Ayodhya, not India. Ayodhya is a village a little west to Birgunj, not the Ayodhya created now (sic),” Oli said at an event at his official residence in Baluwatar.

Oli was addressing a program to mark the birth anniversary of Bhanubhakta Acharya.

The stunning claim comes on the backdrop of an ongoing diplomatic tussle between Kathmandu and New Delhi over the newly published Nepal map which claims Indian territory as its own.

Bilateral ties between India-Nepal were stressed after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long road connecting Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8. Kathmandu reacted sharply to the development and claimed that the road was built on Nepalese land.

Nepal also updated its political map which included Indian territories. India condemned the move and handed over a diplomatic note to Nepal over the map issue.

The ties worsened further when Oli blamed India for demands by his party colleagues who sought his resignation over multiple ‘failures’. During a rally, Oli alleged that the leaders of his Nepal Communist Party (NCP) who were making attempts to ‘topple his government’, were doing so at the behest of India.

His remarks have invited severe criticism from senior leadership in that country. Former prime minister ‘Prachanda’, who was among leaders who demanded Oli’s resignation, said that Oli’s anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.”

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Pakistanis sing ‘Vande Mataram’ alongside Indians in London protest against China

The growing outrage against China is quite visible on the streets of London too. In fact, Saturday night saw an image reading ‘Free Tibet, Free Hong Kong, Free Uyghurs’ projected onto the Chinese Embassy building in central London.

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New Delhi, Jul7 July 13 : Pakistanis singing Indian national song is rare. But Sunday saw quite a few of them joining hundreds of Indians, literally hand in hand, in a protest organised outside the Chinese Embassy in London.

Arif Aajakia, a Pakistani human rights activist who believes in speaking “bitter and naked truth” about his country, shouted “boycott China” and “down with China” along with the members of several Indian diaspora groups protesting against China’s expansionist policies.

“Today was also the first time in my life that I sang Vande Mataram,” said Aajakia.

Joining him also was Amjad Ayub Mirza, who hails from Mirpur in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), a few others from Karachi and many from Iran, all pretty upset with China meddling in their affairs too.

“I have travelled all the way from Glasgow for this protest. I am from PoK, an Indian living under Pakistani occupation. The Chinese are wreaking havoc across Gilgit-Baltistan through CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and the Pakistani government continues to work hand in glove with them,” said Mirza, who has been quite vocal against oppression and injustice meted out to the people of PoK by Pakistani authorities.

The Indians, who’ve organised similar protests against China in the US, Canada and other parts of the world, carried posters and placards against Chinese President Xi Jinping, asking him to control his over-ambitious power play.

The growing outrage against China is quite visible on the streets of London too. In fact, Saturday night saw an image reading ‘Free Tibet, Free Hong Kong, Free Uyghurs’ projected onto the Chinese Embassy building in central London.

With the US sanctioning the Chinese government and its officials for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic Uyghur Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, the world condemning China’s ‘brutal, sweeping crackdown’ against Hong Kong’s people, Indians boycotting Chinese products after People’s Liberation Army intruded the Indian territory and killed Indian soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley and countries from Japan till Australia up against the dragon, the noose is gradually tightening around the authoritarian regime.

(This content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

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Pakistan marks July 13 as Kashmir Martyrs Day

Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted, saluting the people of Kashmir for fighting against what he called “illegal and oppressive Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir”.

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Islamabad, July 13 : July 13, 2020 is being marked as Kashmir Martyrs Day in Pakistan with homage being paid to the people of Kashmir, who lost their lives in the revolt against the Dogra dynasty in 1931.

The day is being marked as an opportunity for Pakistan to ponder more on what it calls the ongoing struggle of the people of Kashmir, first during Dogra Maharaja of British colonial rule in the sub-continent 89 years ago and then by the Indian forces.

Pakistan military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the day was declared as national day soon after the birth of India and Pakistan in 1947 and was observed by all sections cutting across political and ideological affiliations.

“Every single drop of blood shed shall not be forgotten nor forgiven,” Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG Maj-Gen Babar Iftikhar said in a tweet.

“KashmirMartyrsDay is reminiscent of utmost price paid 4 freedom by brave Kashmiris. Every single drop of blood shed, shall not be forgotten nor forgiven. Decades of Indian atrocities failed 2 suppress insurmountable spirit & legitimate freedom struggle, destined to succeed.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan also tweeted, saluting the people of Kashmir for fighting against what he called “illegal and oppressive Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Today, on the occasion of Kashmir Martyrs’ Day, we salute the people of Kashmir for their ongoing struggle against the illegal and oppressive Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. The martyrs of July 13, 1931 were the ancestors of today’s Kashmiri resistance,” he said.

On the other hand, Sardar Masood Khan, President of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, has written off any chances of table talks between India and Pakistan, owing to India’s conduct in Kashmir.

He said: “India has changed dynamics of the area unilaterally. So we would not sit with them around the negotiating table.”

Sardar Masood Khan insisted that the issue of Kashmir should not be taken as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan anymore, adding that the Kashmir issue has been internationalized and multi-lateralized.

“So, I think that we have this new space in the international domain. We should use it, not lose it,” he said.

He declared the Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan as redundant because of “unilateral Indian actions in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Sardar Masood Khan maintained that Pakistan is ready for a third-party intervention and mediation on Kashmir dispute.

“I think that as citizens of Pakistan, we are ready for the diplomacy of any kind. I believe that the starting point of such diplomacy should be the UNSecurity Council resolutions because these were drawn after prolonged deliberations and should not be set aside.

“Further, the Kashmiris should be associated with any direct or indirect negotiations on Kashmir. They are the real party to the dispute,” he added.

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