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Syed Akbaruddin hits out at ‘subterranean’ cover for terrorists at UN

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India has hit out at the “subterranean” cover given to terrorists at the UN by China which has vetoed action against Pakistan-based masterminds of attacks on India, and demanded reforming the process of imposing sanctions on terrorists and their protectors.

Deriding the Security Council committees that deal with sanctions as a “subterranean universe” because of their secrecy, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday called for opening up their voting so that those vetoing action against terrorists are made to publicly acknowledge their role.

Speaking at a Security Council debate on it working methods, he diplomatically avoided naming China but it was clear his criticism was directed at Beijing that has used the secrecy of the sanctions committee, which is one of the so-called subsidiary bodies of the Council to veto action against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohamed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and against Islamabad for freeing Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

“When a Council resolution is voted upon all of us know who votes for what and member states explain their positions,” Akbaruddin said, adding “However, in the subterranean world of subsidiary bodies there is no explanation given. No one says what is the rationale.”

“Furthermore, a rejection does not even surface in the public space,” he added. “No one indicates who specifically is not supporting a request. Indeed, proposals that can’t make it are buried without public acknowledgment that they were ever considered.”

While vetoes in the sanctions committee were ultimately leaked – as in the case of Beijing providing cover for Pakistan-based terrorists – the absence of a public record of the decision-making allows countries to avoid taking responsibility for their action.

Akbaruddin also criticised another aspect the decision-making system of the sanctions committee, where rulings have to be unanimous unlike in the Councila, where only the permanent members wield vetoes.

“While the trend now is to consider means to curtail the use of the veto in the Council’s own work,” he said, acein the subterranean universe all Council members have extended vetoes to themselves as members of Sanctions Committees.”

“The adoption of principles of anonymity and unanimity has absolved individual members of accountability,” he asserted.

When India asked the sanctions committee to add Azhar, the mastermind of the January attack on Pathankot air force base in its list of terrorists, China vetoed it even though all the other 14 members supported taking action. If the panel, popularly known as the 1267 committee after the Council’s resolution number setting it up, had acted Pakistan and other countries would have been required to freeze his assets and ban his travel.

Last June, China also blocked India’s demand for taking action under the Council’s anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for freeing Lakhvi, the Lashkar-e-Taiba mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed.

Turning to another crucial area of interest to India, which is historically the largest provider of troops to UN peacekeeping operations, Akbaruddin called for regular and inclusive consultations between the Council, the Secretariat and the troop contributors.

The lack of such dialogues has “generated frustration on all sides and underminedathe implementation of mandates”, he said citing the case of South Sudan where more than 2,000 Indian peacekeepers are deployed.

As conditions have worsened in the civil war-torn country, Akbaruddin said, “there has been talk and suggestions about increasing the number of troops; of possible expansion of mandate; deployment of a rapid action brigade; measures for protection of civilians; and calls for an arms embargo.”

But “at no stage have there been efforts at institutionalised consultations” with troop contributors, he said.

Entertainment

Swara Bhasker reacts to question on whether right-wingers are ‘allowed’ to have a crush on her

On being asked about the possibility of entering politics, Swara said, “I am still considering my Bollywood career! (laughs) so I would like to spend many years here before I do anything else in life.”

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Swara Bhasker Farmers

Swara Bhasker, a self-proclaimed right-wing baiter with strong political opinions, reacted to a man asking if right-wingers were allowed to have a crush on her. “Kya RW hokar bhi @ReallySwara par crush allowed h (Are you allowed to be a right-winger and still have a crush on Swara Bhasker)?” a Twitter user asked.

Retweeting the tweet, Swara wrote, “Question of the day!!,” followed by a number of laughing, thinking face and heart-eyes emojis.

Swara has campaigned for political candidates belonging to different parties, including Kanhaiya Kumar of the Communist Party of India, Digvijaya Singh of the Congress and Atishi Marlena of the Aam Aadmi Party. She has also been a part of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and even joined protesting farmers at the Singhu border last month.

In an interview with Hindustan Times in 2018, Swara said, “[The majority of] things that I have commented on, I have not said [or commented on them] unthinkingly. I think that I normally say something when I believe in it, and that’s why I don’t take my statements back. I will always stand by what I say, because it’s not coming from a place of ill intention or impulsiveness. It comes from a belief in something [ideologies, principles, etc.].”

On being asked about the possibility of entering politics, Swara said, “I am still considering my Bollywood career! (laughs) so I would like to spend many years here before I do anything else in life.”

Last year, Swara appeared in a number of digital projects. She started with the Amazon Prime Video series Rasbhari, followed by Flesh on Eros Now. Most recently, she was seen in the Netflix show Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, in which she plays a woman who gives up a cushy life to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

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India

Anna Hazare to stage fast in Delhi for farmers; first meeting of SC-appointed panel on laws likely on Jan 19

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Supre Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to be held on January 19, according to one of the members Anil Ghanwat.

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anna hazare

With protests against three agri-marketing legislations completing 50 days, Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday wrote a letter to to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reiterated his decision to launch a hunger strike for protesting farmers in the national capital by the end of January. In his letter, 83-year-old Hazare, who was the face of the India Against Corruption movement in 2011, said that he has written to the concerned authorities for permission to the Ramlila Maidan on four occasion, though received no response in the matter.

“On the issue of the farmers, I have corresponded (with the Central government) five times, however, no response has come,” Hazare wrote in his letter. “As a result, I have decided to go on a hunger strike of my life.”

Hazare’s letter to the Prime Minister has come a day before farmers are scheduled to hold the ninth round of talks with the Central government in a bid to end the deadlock. The two sides have failed to reach consensus on two of the main demands of the protesters: Government’s guarantee to the MSP and the repeal of the three agri laws.

Late last month, Hazare had written a letter to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, threatening of the hunger strike if his demands, including the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations on agriculture, were not fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Supre Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to be held on January 19, according to one of the members Anil Ghanwat. The committee had been appointed on January 11 after the government and agitators failed to reach on consensus on two main issues.

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Entertainment

Who is Jasleen Bhalla? Voice behind corona vaccine caller tune; check details

Amitabh Bachchan who has given his voice for coronavirus caller tune in India is now getting replaced by Jasleen Bhalla, who has even lent her voice for Delhi metro, Spice Jet, Indigo

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Jasleen Bhalla

Amitabh Bachchan who has given his voice for coronavirus caller tune in India is now getting replaced by Jasleen Bhalla, who has even lent her voice for Delhi metro, Spice Jet, Indigo and used to be a sports generalist at the channel before she became a full-time voice-over artist and has been an artist for over 10 years now.

Amitabh Bachchan’s caller tune has been in place for about 4-5 months and now it will be Jasleen Bhalla, who would be updating people with vaccine information which will be available from today onwards.

On lending her voice for caller tune, Jasleen Bhalla said that one day she had recorded this message, but didn’t know that it is being recorded for this purpose. And one day out of nowhere when my relatives and friends called they told me that my voice is being heard all over the nation and I couldn’t believe it.

The new caller tune will be active from Friday, January 15, 2021, and will be heard by people all across the nation who would be calling each other and have to hear the message about the covid-19 vaccination and it uses. As per Jasleen, it is a dream come true as everyone will hear her voice now.

Prior o this, a PIL was filed by an advocate over Amitabh Bachchan’s voice as teh caller tune, as he said that the caller tune should be removed as Government is paying Amitabh Bachchan’s crores of rupees for lending his voice, so a better person, a covid-19 warrior should rather be the voice behind giving the message.

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