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Post 370: Pak missions in Dhaka, Kathmandu new dens of ISI operations

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New Delhi, 19 Oct Intelligence agencies have gathered sufficient evidence against two key Pakistan Army officials posted in Dhaka and Kathmandu of ‘misusing diplomatic channels’ in facilitating the smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and fuelling anti-India activities after New Delhi revoked Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The role of the Pakistan Ambassador to Nepal, Mazhar Javed, is also under the scanner for fomenting anti-India sentiments in key Nepalese groups influential in Kathmandu.

A top secret report of the Intelligence Bureau reviewed by IANS reveals that Mazhar Javed held a high-level meeting on September 27 at the embassy premises in Maharajganj, Kathmandu, wherein top 30 human rights activist, intellectuals and diplomats were invited.

The report further says that during the meeting, Mazhar Javed tried to provoke the Nepalese lobby by saying that the Indian establishment is abusing human rights by torturing the people of the Valley.

On October 3, Mazhar Javed wrote an article in a prominent Nepali daily, ‘Nagarik’, distorting the facts by alleging that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was alarming.

‘Nagarik’ is owned by Nepal Republic Media Private Limited. The report says that Mazhar Javed, said to be close to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, has almost turned the embassy premises into a counter-intelligence den by sheltering the sleuths of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premiere intelligence network.

According to a report, the defence attache of the Pakistan embassy, Colonel Shafqat Nawaz, actually represents the ISI and had been a key person in organising smuggling of FICN through well-established links of local gangsters having linkages with the D-Company.

Shafqat Nawaz is also instrumental in funding different ISI modules active in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. His role had come to light during the seizure of high quality FICN notes worth over Rs 7.67 crore from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport in May 2019.

A D-Company operator in Nepal, Yusuf Ansari, who frequented the Pakistan embassy in Kathmandu, was arrested by the Nepal Police in this connection.

A few months later in August, Ansari’s proteges were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on charges of smuggling high quality FICN, reportedly printed at the state-owned Security Printing Press in Karachi.

The Indian agencies have also gathered sufficient inputs on the role of the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka.

A reliable source said that the defence advisor at the Pakistan High Commission, Brigadier Kamran Nazir Malik, has held secret meetings with jehadi leaders in a hotel located in the posh Gulshan area of Dhaka.

Besides terror activities, Kamran Nazir Malik was also involved in patronising the smuggling of FICN.

On September 25, a parcel carrying FICN worth around Rs 50 lakh was seized by the Dhaka Police. During investigation, it was found that a Dubai-based ISI agent, Salman Shera, was shipping such parcels to various locations in Bangladesh.

Earlier in 2015, on a report of the Dhaka Police, one High Commission attache, Mazhar Khan, was expelled from Bangladesh on charges of sheltering a big FICN syndicate.

On the basis of the said IB report, the Ministry of Home Affairs has alerted the border police (Sashastra Seema Bal) on the Indo-Nepal border and the Border Security Force (BSF) deployed on the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Other federal law enforcement agencies have also been apprised of the developments across the border, especially after the abrogation of Article 370 in August.

India

Yashwant Sinha criticises Modi over economy

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Yashwant Sinha

New Delhi, Yashwant Sinha, a strong critic of the Narendra Modi government made a satirical remark against Prime Minister over the decline in economic growth rate as GDP growth between Jan 2020-March 2020 is 3.1% , lowest in 11 years .

“The sharp decline in economic growth rate in the first year of Modi-2 is not because of any fault of this govt but because of Pt Nehru. If he had not ruled India from 1947 to 1964 India today would be growing at double digit,”former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha tweeted.

” The growth figures of earlier quarters of the last fiscal had to be revised downwards because of the lockdown imposed on March 25. The govt cannot be blamed for this. I am warning all critics in advance,” he added.

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SC junks plea to set aside Kerala MP election

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court declined to set aside the election of United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate N.K. Premachandran from Kollam parliamentary constituency in Kerala for allegedly making statements against the entry of women of all age groups in Sabarimala temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy refused to entertain an appeal filed by CPI-M candidate K.N. Balagopal, who lost to Premachandran by close to 1.5 lakh votes in the last general election.

The bench said it does not see how such a comment could lead to disqualification. Besides, there is no sufficient material, which could lead to disqualification, added the bench.

According to P.V. Dinesh, who represented Balagopal, the bench dismissed the petition through a one-line order. Balagopal, in the election petition, had cited statements made by Premachandran against LDF and the CPI-M, where he allegedly said the leaders of these political parties do not hold any faith in Lord Ayyappa, and if elected, they would allow entry for women of all age groups in the Sabarimala temple. This would offend the faith of the believers, said Premachandran.

In January, the Kerala High Court upheld the election of Premachandran from the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency. Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar rejected the petition filed by Balagopal challenging the election of Premachandran.

Balagopal had told the High Court that Premachandran had delivered a speech and distributed pamphlets in connection with the Sabarimala issue, allegedly as an attempt to woo the voters. The High Court had observed that the election petition did not make out a cause of action.

Balagopal’s lawyer contended before the top court that Premachandran’s speech was an appeal to the voters to get him elected to stop all age-group women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple. The lawyer before the top court claimed that the nature of such statements qualifies as corrupt practices under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Therefore, it is appropriate to set aside his election.

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7 more Air India cabin crew among 58 new corona cases in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 30 (IANS) Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Saturday said that 58 new coronavirus cases were reported in the southern state, including seven more Air India cabin crew.

As on date, she said, there are 624 corona patients under treatment. As many as 575 patients have so far been cured.

It was on May 7 that the air evacuation operations began from the Middle East.

On Friday, the first case of two Air India cabin crew testing corona positive had surfaced. So, nine cabin crew of Air India have so far tested positive.

Kerala has four international airports where evacuation flights had landed.

Of the 58 new cases, 17 were returnees from abroad, and 31 returnees from within India. Only 2 cases were of local infections.

As on date, 1,28,953 people are quarantined at homes and 1,204 in various hospitals.

Shailaja said that in the past 24 hours 3,206 samples was send for testing.

On Saturday, five more hot spot areas was added, taking the total numbers in the state to 106.

In a related development, the relatives of a patient who died of Covid on Friday at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital have written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Shailaja to allege serious lapses in the treatment at Pathanamthitta’s state-run hospital.

Shailaja on Friday had claimed that the patient was obese and diabetic.

The 68-year-old person had visited UAE and returned on May 11. He was moved from an isolation facility to the Pathanamthitta hospital on May 18 and to Kottayam Medical College Hospital on May 25.

The bereaved family claimed that even though it was said that the treatment is free, they had shelled out over Rs 80,000 for his treatment.

The hospital authorities however denied any lapses and said everything was done according to the WHO guidelines.

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