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Jadhav now facing trial on terrorism, sabotage charges: Pakistan official

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Kulbhushan Jadhav

Islamabad, Feb 6: Alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military tribunal for spying, is now facing trial on terrorism and sabotage charges too, Dawn quoted an official as saying.

The Pakistan government has also sought access to 13 Indian officials to get information in the Jadhav case – a fact that is supposedly also mentioned in the counter-memorial submitted by Pakistan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the official told Dawn news.

But New Delhi has remained “stubbornly uncooperative”, he added.

According to the official, Jadhav, 47, has multiple cases against him in which he had been indicted on terror and sabotage-related charges.

The cases were progressing, he said, emphasising the one relating to spying had only concluded.

The official did not disclose the names of the 13 Indian individuals.

“We want to reach Jadhav’s handlers,” he told Dawn news.

Pakistan has also sought information about his Navy service file, bank record of his pension payment, and issuance of the passport in the name of Mubarak Hussain Patel.

According to Pakistan, Jadhav was captured by its security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan.

In April 2017, a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) sentenced Jadhav to death after being found guilty of espionage.

India has said that Jadhav is innocent and has maintained that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for handling his businesses after superannuation from the Indian Navy.

His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military app­ellate court and his mercy petition is lying with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, reports Dawn news.

On December 25 last year, Pakistan arranged a meeting between Jadhav and his family — through a glass panel — but did not allow a private discussion.

The ICJ is currently hearing an Indian petition challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to Jadhav.

Oral arguments are yet to commence as the court has allowed further written pleadings in the case by India till April 17, and a rejoinder by Pakistan till July 17.

The world court has restrained the Pakistan government from executing him till it decides the case.

IANS

Election

Obama scoffs at Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ interview

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Barack Obama

At an event in Miami Florida, former U.S. President Barack Obama scoffed at President Donald Trump for walking out of a ’60 Minutes’ interview.

Former President Barack Obama lit into President Trump during a drive-in rally at the Florida International University campus in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Saturday.

With hundreds of cars honking, Obama tore into Trump from the start. The former president said the current occupant in the White House has shown little interest in taking his job seriously and that he “treats the presidency like a reality show.”

Trump “hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody except himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show to give himself more attention. And as we noted the other day, his TV ratings are down,” Obama said.

Obama added, “The rest of us have to live with the consequences of what he’s done.”

The former president went on to speak about those consequences as it relates to Trump’s bungling of the pandemic response. And he encouraged Floridians to make Trump a one-term president.

“At least 220,000 Americans are dead. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Half a million jobs are gone. Half a million jobs are gone. Right here in Florida. Half a million jobs,” Obama said. “You delivered twice for me, Florida, and now I’m asking you to deliver for Joe and for Kamala [Harris].”

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Election

Trump, once Presbyterian, now says he’s a ‘nondenominational Christian’

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Donald Trump

President Trump, who has long identified as a Presbyterian, now considers himself a “nondenominational Christian.”

Trump shared his change in religious identity in a written statement to Religious News Service.

“Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a nondenominational Christian,” Trump wrote, without giving an explanation for the transformation or saying when it occurred.

Trump has a loyal base among white evangelicals, who in 2016 helped propel him to victory.

That year, the religious group made up roughly a quarter of the electorate, and 81 percent of them voted for Trump, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The president told RNS that his parents “taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age.”

Trump, who contracted COVID-19 in early October, attributed his swift recovery to his faith.

“I said, ‘There were miracles coming down from heaven.’ I meant it — Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and returning us to good health,” he told the outlet.

The president received a cocktail of anti-virus drugs while battling COVID-19. After taking an antibody treatment by drug-maker Regeneron, Trump said he “felt like Superman.”

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Middle East

Guterres hopes Israel-Sudan agreement will bring peace to wider regions

The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting Sudan’s efforts to achieve socio-economic recovery, stability and prosperity for all people in Sudan and the wider region, the statement added.

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday expressed hope that the agreement between Israel and Sudan to normalise relations will create opportunities for peace and prosperity in the wider regions, said his spokesman.

Guterres took note of the announcement of the agreement by the governments of the United States, Israel and Sudan, Xinhua news agency reported.

He hoped the agreement will further cooperation, enhance economic and trade relations, and bring about new opportunities to advance peace and economic prosperity in the wider Horn of Africa and Middle East regions, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.

The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting Sudan’s efforts to achieve socio-economic recovery, stability and prosperity for all people in Sudan and the wider region, the statement added.

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