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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

Former Nagaland Deputy Speaker Longkmer dies in Delhi

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New Delhi/Kohima, Sep 22 : Former Nagaland Assembly Deputy Speaker and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party legislator, Imtikumzuk Longkumer, died at a private hospital in Delhi on Saturday.

Longkumer is survived by his wife Imkongzenla and his three children.

He was first elected to the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Congress ticket in 2013 and later joined Naga People’s Front. He was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in the T.R. Zeliang government and was later elevated to post of Deputy Speaker.

Longkumer, who retained his Aonglenden assembly constituency in the February 23 Nagaland assembly polls, was appointed as an Advisor to the Sericulture and Excise department in the BJP-backed People’s Democratic Alliance government.

Mourning Longkumer, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said: “His death has left a deep void in the state and is a big loss to the family, village and the party. He was a great asset to the government as well as the NDPP and his absence will be felt tremendously.”

T.R. Zeliang, the leader of opposition in Nagaland Assembly described Longkumer as a “a very simple man”. He said: “He was a man who had a very positive outlook towards life. In his untimely demise, we have lost a good soul.”

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RTI corrects data for women enrolled, benefited under maternity scheme in UP

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New Delhi, Sep 22: The Women and Child Development Ministry in an RTI reply to IANS has corrected the figures for women enrolled and benefited under the maternity scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in Uttar Pradesh stating that the previous RTI “contained certain errors inadvertently.”

According to the latest RTI, there are more than 6 lakh enrollment and the beneficiaries are more than 5 lakh till August 27, 2018. While in the previous RTI reply it was mentioned that only 184 women had enrolled for the PMMVY while the beneficiaries stood nil.

As per the second RTI, not just for UP that it has issued corrected figures. Even for states like Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, the figures of women enrolled and benefited under the PMMVY scheme have been changed.

However, according to the latest RTI, the money sanctioned or released for the scheme in UP and other states remains unchanged.

A total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 has been approved by the central government for 29 states and seven Union Territories covering 717 districts. Overall, 44 lakh women have enrolled across the country and 37 lakh have been benefited under the scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in an institution like a hospital and the remaining cash incentive of Rs. 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Rs 6,000.

Applicable to women aged above 19 for the first birth, the scheme provides partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth and child care and provides conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices, according to the information available on the scheme.

IANS

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It is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in same coin: Army chief

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that it is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in the same coin but not resorting to similar kind of barbarism.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists & the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to India calls off the meeting between Foreign Ministers, he stated ” I think our govt’s policy has been quite clear and concise. We’ve made no bones about the fact that talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of terrorism”.

Rawat also talked about the need of modernise weapons and said procurement of arms will continue.

“We continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a particular weapon, & as new technologies come, we also want them to be included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue”.

“But I don’t agree that it reduces our spirit. It’s not that we don’t have some other option. I don’t want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good for the forces”, he added.

When asked about Army being used in political campaigns, he responded saying ” I don’t want to comment on political issues. But I’ll like to say that we’re getting full cooperation. We’re given freedom on how to carry out our operations. And you can see its effect in Kashmir and North-east”.

WeForNews 

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