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Kargil, Pulwama showed India won’t hesitate to strike back: Parthasarathy

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Jammu Kashmir kargil snow

New Delhi, July 14 The Kargil conflict 20 years ago established to Pakistan that even if it sent its regular military across the Line of Control they would be defeated, and the surgical strikes post Pulwama have made it very clear to Islamabad that India will not hesitate to strike back across the LoC if provoked, says former diplomat G. Parthasarathy, who was the High Commissioner to Pakistan at the time of Kargil.

Speaking to IANS, Parthasarathy said that the Simla Agreement of 1972 is “premised on the sanctity” of the Line of Control, and if Pakistan violates it then they will face the consequences of the action.

Speaking of the role of the international community at the time of the conflict, the former diplomat said there was a “fair amount of concern” from the international community over the Kargil war, but no word from China, Pakistan’s all-weather ally.

“I would say quite obviously the Chinese cooperation with them (Pakistan), particularly militarily, continued through Kargil. On Kargil itself, China did not make any comments,” the diplomat said.

According to Parthasarathy, the attitude of the Pakistan Army has not changed over the years. “And knowing them, they will try” another misadventure.

“There is nothing to suggest as yet that anything has changed. I do not think that individual incidents will make it (the Pakistan Army) change. Their ambitions and sentiments go back to the defeat of the 1971 War of Bangladesh and their failure of the Kargil intrusion, which in both cases have reduced them in the eyes of their own people and the world,” he said.

Speaking of the current Imran Khan government, Parthasarathy said that it is referred to within Pakistan as “a selected government and not an elected government”, which he said suggests that it has been selected to rule the country by the army. “And if that is how the people of Pakistan considers them then obviously the outside world thinks likewise”, he said.

On the current response of the international community, he said that dozens of member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have called on Pakistan to desist from terrorism. “By and large the international community is certainly more responsive to our assertions on Pakistan’s participation in terrorism.”

“The Kargil conflict brought home many hard truths for us. Firstly, the Pakistan Army, which rules the country, is not going to forget its 1971 humiliation. It will try and take some form of revenge, whenever it can. Enmity towards India is essential for its very existence and for it to continue as de facto ruler of the country.”

During the Kargil conflict, India continued to issue visas to Pakistanis liberally, with the approval of then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. The cross-border Lahore Bus Service and Samjhauta Express train too functioned normally, carrying passengers to and from Pakistan. “While Pakistanis were being misled by screams of imminent victory and azadi for Kashmiris, calm and determined Indians were going about their normal lives,” he said.

India

Bill Gates to attend Agriculture Statistics meet in Delhi

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BILL Gates
BILL Gates (Picture Credit - AFP)

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Billionaire Bill Gates will be the chief guest of the four-day- long eighth International Conference on Agriculture Statistics which is going to start here on Monday, a statement said.

India is hosting this event for the first time in which the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft will share his views on the importance of data and use of technology in agriculture.

Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Tomar will chair the inaugural function of the event. Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Purushottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary will be the special guests.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, US Department of Agriculture, Eurostat, India’s Statistics and Program Implementation Ministry and many other national and international organisations will participate in the event.

According to an Agriculture Ministry statement, around 1,200 participants will attend the four-day long event.

Indian Council of Agriculture Research Director General Trilochan Mahapatra, in a statement last week, said that young scientists and teachers of the country will get a chance to satisfy their queries from foreign agricultural experts. They will get to know about various knowledgeable programs that being carried out in the foreign countries.

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Soldier killed in suspected IED blast in Jammu and Kashmir

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Indian Army CRPF Jammu And Kashmir encounter

New Delhi, Nov 17 : A soldier was killed on Sunday in a suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said here on Sunday.

The blast took place at around 11 a.m. in Pallanwala area of Akhnoor. The martyred soldier, Havildar Santosh Kumar (40) belonged to Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, said sources, adding that he is survived by his wife Vimla Devi.

Havildar Kumar, who sustained grievous injuries, was evacuated to the Army Command Hospital, Udhampur but succumbed.

“Havildar Santosh Kumar was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The Nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said a statement released by the Army.

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Narmada Bachao Andolan back on indefinite protest

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Medha Patkar

Bhopal, Nov 17 : For a second time in just over two months, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and many persons affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam have launched an indefinite protest demanding relief. The protest that began on Saturday has continued after the state government failed to put on record any assurances to help the oustees by bringing pressure on the Gujarat government.

“We want the people in MP affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam built in Gujarat should be provided relief, and rehabilitated according to the book,” Patkar said on Sunday evening. The protests would continue, the NBA said.

“Those ousted are living a miserable life. We will continue our protest till our demands are met. Hundreds of families have been ruined by the filling of Sardar Sarovar Dam in the catchment area of the reservoir in Madhya Pradesh,” she said.

Most protesters spent the chill dewy Saturday night under the sky, wrapping themselves up with blankets, making a poignant sight.

The previous BJP government had, on oath, presented a misleading picture of rehabilitation efforts before the Supreme Court to help Gujarat government to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam reservoir, Patkar said, adding that the fate of 32,000 families in Madhya Pradesh has been hanging in balance due to previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government’s “deceit” and Gujarat government’s “insensitivity”.

A much larger area than projected in the MP government’s plans has come under submergence. As a result, the areas marked for rehabilitation have also been inundated, ruling out resettlement of the project-affected people.

The Kamal Nath government had in September agreed to review the rehabilitation issue afresh as the pre-condition for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Patkar to end her indefinite fast. Patkar, who had ended her fast on September 3, held talks with the state government and secured assurances for early resolutions to the issue. Things have, however, not gone according to the activists’ understanding with the government.

The NBA activists have been in touch with the authorities to expedite the rehabilitation process without further losses to the oustees. The government, on its part, is prepared to persuade the Gujarat government but said it is not in a position to offer any written assurance.

“Gujarat Chief Minister and all officers raised the level of water in the dam to 139 metre height only for the sake of celebrating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. We damn the celebrations on his birthday. Wish him a long life. But he should understand his duty and responsibility to let people live,” Patkar had said after Gujarat government ignored the Madhya Pradesh government’s request to keep the reservoir level lower than 139 metres.

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