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US wants accountability from Pakistan on 26/11

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The US has reiterated that it wants accountability from Pakistan on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead, but ruled out sanctions on the South Asian country for failing to weed out terrorists.

“We want to see accountability and justice in the case of the Mumbai attacks… there were American citizens who lost their lives in those attacks,” US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a daily press briefing on Monday.

Toner made the remarks in response to a question about Secretary of State John Kerry’s mentioning about US’ efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks in which 10 terrorists targeted numerous sites in Mumbai.

Kerry was in New Delhi to attend the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue on August 30.

According to Toner, the US has “long encouraged and pushed for greater counter-terrorism cooperation and the sharing of intelligence between India and Pakistan” in regards to the attacks, believed to be carried out by Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“That continues; those efforts continue. As I said, we want to see full accountability for these terrible attacks.”

However, Toner also said the US was not considering sanctions on Islamabad and that Washington had “very frank conversations with Pakistan… about the need to take more efforts on all the terrorist groups… operating from within Pakistani soil”.

“Well, again, you’re asking me — and the question was whether we’re looking at sanctioning Pakistan. No… we’re working with Pakistan, we’re making our concerns clear that they need to go after all the terrorist groups,” he said.

“We have seen some efforts to make progress in that regard. We’re going to continue to have those conversations with them as we move forward,” Toner said.

Ajmal Kasab, one of the 10 terrorists, who carried out the four-day attacks starting from November 26 in 2008, was captured alive and put to death under the Indian justice system while the other nine were killed by security forces.

Responding to a question regarding the need to impose sanctions on Pakistan, Toner said: “I don’t think we’re even at that point. We continue to have… conversations with the highest level of the government of Pakistan. And our basic point in all of these conversations is that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbours, and eliminate all safe havens.”

“But the suggestion of any kind of sanctions, we’re not there,” he added.

The deputy spokesman was responding to a question about former US Ambassador to the UN and Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s statement that since Pakistan is not taking enough action against these terrorist networks, the US should consider taking some kind of sanctions against Pakistan.

According to Toner, Pakistan had assured the US of their intentions to target all the militant groups on its soil.

“We’re going to continue to work with them to increase those efforts and apply more pressure to these groups,” he said.

Pakistan, however, maintained that India did not provide sufficient evidence against the terrorists and that any action was possible only after such evidence had been provided “through diplomatic channels”.

On April 9, 2015, the foremost ringleader of the attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was granted bail in Pakistan against surety bonds of 200,000 Pakistan rupees ($2,000).

IANS

India

Lok Sabha to discuss “No Confidence Motion” on July 20

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: The Lok Sabha is scheduled to discuss “No Confidence Motion” moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government on Friday (July 20).

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday accepted a no-confidence motion.

“We have decided that we will send all 34 TMC Lok Sabha MPs on a whip to be present for discussion and voting of No Confidence Motion in the Parliament, on Friday, said TMC leader Derek O’ Brien.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party issued a three-line whip over #NoConfidenceMotion, also asks its allies in NDA to issue the whip.

Mahajan said she had received notices from at least six MPs seeking no trust vote against the Narendra Modi government and was duty-bound to put it to the consideration of the House.

She told the house that Kesineni Srinavas of the Telugu Desam Party was the first to give his no-confidence notice and asked members if it can be moved.

The speaker asked Srinavas to introduce the motion which was supported by over 50 members, including from the Congress and other opposition MPs.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready to face the no trust motion and asked Mahajan that it may be tabled.

“Everything will be clear after the discussion. I want to make it clear in the House that the people of the country have full confidence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Speaker why the other members who had handed over their notices were not allowed to read them.

In response to this, she said rules allowed her to table the notice that was submitted first.

Mahajan further stated she read out the names of these members.

The Names include Mallikarjun Kharge, K.C. Venugopal (Congress), Tariq Anwar (Nationalist Congress Party), N.K. Premachandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Thota Narsimham (TDP).

WeForNews 

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Terrorist violence sees new high in Jammu and Kashmir in last 3 years: MHA

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New Delhi, July 18: A total of 256 incidents of terrorist violence — a steep hike from 2017 and 2016 — have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in just six months of 2018, Home Ministry data presented in Parliament on Wednesday revealed.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Rajya Sabha that 100 terrorists, 43 security personnel and 16 civilians have been killed in the 256 incidents in the strife-torn state between January 1 and July 8.

The data mentioned that 342 and 322 incidents of terrorist violence were reported in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

It said a total of 213 terrorists, 80 security personnel and 40 civilians were killed in 2017 while 150 terrorists, 82 security personnel and 15 civilians were killed in 2016 as a result of terrorist violence.

“As per reports, two youths from other states of the country have been found involved in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir and in this regards two separate FIRs have been registered in 2018,” Ahir said while responding to a question.

IANS

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Bill against human trafficking introduced in Lok Sabha

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: A Bill seeking to prevent trafficking, especially of women and children, provide rehabilitation to the victims and prosecute offenders was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, was introduced by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.

Besides taking up prevention, rescue and rehabilitation, it covers aggravated forms of trafficking such as forced labour, begging and marriage.

The Bill provides for confidentiality of victims, witnesses and complainants and time-bound trials and repatriation of the victims.

It proposes to create institutional mechanisms at district, state and central levels. It calls for punishment ranging from 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine not less than Rs one lakh.

Officials said that human trafficking is the third largest organised crime in the world.

IANS

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