With the US and NATO troops set to leave Afghanistan completely by 11 September this year, India has started preparing its strategy to deal with the situation arising out of this development. What has caused concern in the Indian diplomatic establishment is the spike in violence and likelihood of Taliban’s return to Kabul, apart from Pakistan’s bid to enhance its influence in Afghanistan.
“If such a scenario becomes a reality, then there will be a strong possibility of Afghanistan turning into a safe haven for terrorist groups,” say MEA sources. With all this in view, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is said to have held a high-level meeting to discuss and prepare a robust strategy to deal with what might happen after the withdrawal of Northern Alliance troops from Afghanistan.
According to top MEA sources, India’s diplomatic effort will be to ensure that important and powerful countries of the world keep their focus on whatever development takes place in Afghanistan even after the departure of US and Northern Alliance troops from there. India wants the USA, European nations and Arab countries to continue to be vigilant about the happenings in Afghanistan. India is impressing upon the world community that the situation is volatile in Kabul with violence continuing in the country. With US troops leaving Kabul, all is not well in Afghanistan whose soil may be used to host terrorist organisations if it was turned a blind eye to. This is the message India is said to have given to the United Nations as well, through MEA’s diplomatic channel.
Similarly, Jaishankar also managed to drive home this message during his meeting with a top European Union (EU) representative in London in the first week of May. Sources said that Indian diplomats have been asked to update their counterparts in USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy and other powerful countries about the Afghanistan scenario so that it does not get ignored after the final troops leave Kabul in September.
Sources say that the EU is quite convinced of India’s interpretation of what may follow the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. EU nations are also worried about regional security if Taliban manages to gain control of power in Kabul and Pakistan uses its old policy of conspiring with Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban to create trouble for Indian constructive and positive missions in Kabul.
When S Jaishankar met EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell Fontelles on the sidelines of a meeting of the G7 in London, the former gave the latter a detailed perspective of Afghan situation in the wake of US troop withdrawal. What India is happy about is that the EU has taken a strong note of ongoing violence in Afghanistan where Pakistan is supposed to control the situation.
European Union called for an “immediate, permanent and comprehensive” ceasefire in Afghanistan. India considered it a positive development as far as its strategy to rope in the global community is concerned. Moreover, Jaishankar and Borrell had underlined the importance of ensuring that the “soil of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten the security of India and the EU”. EU representative is said to have been more concerned about the possibility of Talibani terrorism rearing its head again in changed circumstances in Afghanistan.
According to sources, the EU representative has assured India that the issue will be taken up on other key international forums such as the UN so that nothing in Kabul goes unnoticed. Meanwhile, apart from Pakistan’s conspiratorial activities against India’s interest in Afghanistan, New Delhi is also concerned about China seeking to grow its influence in the troubled land-locked nation. Sources said that what gives India a sigh of relief is that the USA, Australia, Japan and other nations are also keeping a close watch on how Beijing behaves in Afghanistan. China has sought to play a role of a mediator in Afghan peace talks. Beijing even seeks to host the Taliban for negotiations, a development which India sees as the Dragon’s hyperactive behaviour exposing its desire to expand its tentacles in Kabul.
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J&K: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah grieves over death of 6 ITBP personnel
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti grieves over the death of ITBP personnel in the Pahalgam bus accident on Tuesday.
Taking to Twitter Mufti said, “Terribly sorry to hear about the targeted killing in Shopian. Condolences to the deceased’s family. GOI (Government of India) continues to behave like an ostrich with its head buried deep under the sand. Every resident of J&K has become cannon fodder in Delhi’s quest for ‘manufactured normalcy’.”
Meanwhile, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed condolences.
“…I send my condolences to the families and colleagues of the brave ITBP jawans killed in an accident in Pahalgam today. A number of ITBP personnel have been injured. I send my best wishes for their speedy and complete recovery,” Abdullah said.
Moreover, Lt Governor Sinha also said, “Deeply anguished by the bus accident near Chandanwari in which we have lost our brave ITBP personnel. My condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. All possible assistance is being provided to the injured personnel.”
Earlier Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his grief and wish for the early recovery of those injured.
“Anguished to learn about the accident of a bus carrying ITBP and police personnel in Pahalgam, J&K. My prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved families. The injured were rushed to the hospital. May they recover at the earliest,” Shah tweeted.
Dr. Syed Tariq a doctor at the Government Medical College of Anantnag said that 30 people were injured in the accident.
However, a major accident happened on Tuesday where an Indo-Tibetan-Border Police (ITBP) bus fell into a deep roadside river bed. The bus carrying 37 ITBP personnel and two J-K Police was on its way from Chandanwari to Pahalgam.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expands his cabinet; RJD gets major share
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has divided the ministries after the expansion of the cabinet on Tuesday. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has kept the Home, Surveillance, Election, and General Administration departments with him.
The same Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has got the Ministry of Health, Road Construction, Rural Development, and Urban Development and Housing.
Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar Choudhary has been given the Ministry of Finance, Commercial Taxes, and Parliamentary Affairs. Vijendra Prasad Yadav has got the Ministry of Power and Planning and Development. Alok Mehta has been given the Ministry of Revenue and Land Reforms.
Lalu Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav has been given the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Yadav was the Health Minister in the Mahagathbandhan government formed in 2015.
Moreover, Animal and Fisheries Resources to Mohd. Afaq Alam, Building Construction to Ashok Choudhary, Rural Development to Shravan Kumar, Cooperatives to Surendra Prasad Yadav, Food and Consumer Protection to Lashi Singh, Social Welfare to Madan Sahni, Tourism to Kumar Sarvjeet, Lalit Yadav has been given Public Health Engineering and Santosh Kumar Suman has been given the Ministry of Scheduled Castes/Tribes Welfare.
Furthermore, Sanjay Jha has been made Minister of Water Resources and Ministry of Information and Public Relations. Sheela Kumari has been made Transport Minister, Sameer Kumar as Mahaseth as Industries minister, Chandrashekhar as Education minister, Sumit Kumar Singh as Science and Technology minister, and Sunil Singh as Prohibition, Excise and Registration Minister.
However, Anita Devi has been made Backward Class Welfare Minister, Jitendra Kumar Rai as Art, Culture and Youth Minister, Jayant Raj as Minor Water Resources minister, Sudhakar Singh as Agriculture minister, Jama Khan as Minority Welfare minister, Murari Prasad Gautam as Panchayati Raj minister, Karthik Kumar as Law minister, Shamim Ahmed has been given sugarcane industry, Shahnawaz has been given disaster management, Surendra Ram has been given labor resources and Mo. Israel Ansari as Ministry of Information Technology minister. These ministries are allocated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
While expanding his cabinet on Tuesday, Nitish Kumar included a total of 31 ministers in his cabinet. Earlier in the day, the 31 ministers took the oath administrated by Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhavan.
‘We are ready to work with the Center to improve health services and education’, says CM Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is ready to work with the center to improve the healthcare and education facilities in the country. Kejriwal also urged the BJP-led Union government to not term free education and health care facilities as “freebies.”
Addressing a press conference Kejriwal said, “We are ready to work with the Center to improve health services and education. I also request Center to stop calling them freebies.”
Meanwhile, AAP’s national convenor stressed getting every child a good and free education.
“Every child should get good and free education across the country. Every person should get good and free treatment for healthcare purposes. We should now start this work on a war footing basis. Only then, India will become the number one country,” Kejriwal said.
“I have only one dream – I want to see India as the most powerful country in the world. We want India to become a rich country. India will become rich when every Indian becomes rich. It cannot happen that the country is rich but the people are poor. I want to make every poor of India rich,” Kejriwal further said.
Kejriwal said, “I have no problem with the rich people. I want to make every poor person as rich. How can a poor man become rich? We need to think that. The children of laborers, and farmers attend a government school. If the education provided to children by a government school is excellent, then the child will come out of poverty and help his family by pursuing a career as a doctor, engineer, business person.”
Talking about government schools Kejriwal said, “Over 17 crore children in the country study in government schools – most of the schools are in bad condition. Parents do not have money (to educate their children) in private schools. If we make these schools good, every child will make his family rich. If all these families become rich, then India will also become rich.”
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended birthday greetings to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
“Birthday greetings to Delhi Chief Minister Shri @ArvindKejriwal Ji. I pray for his long life and good health,” PM Modi said.
Thanking PM Modi’s wishes CM Kejriwal replied “Thank you, sir”.
Moreover, CM Arvind Kejriwal also paid tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The filched Indian Gems
Over time, theft of Indian antiquities and diamonds has robbed India of its demarcation as the “Golden Bird,” or Sone Ki Chidiya. Many ancient artefacts vanished when India was still a colony. Here are some of the listed items:
The renowned Mughal Peacock Throne of Allaudin Khalji was the owner of the Koh-i-Noor. Diamond experts from all around the world refer to it as the “Mountain of Light.” Following the establishment of the East India Company by the British in India in 1849, it was given to Queen Victoria. It is currently kept in the Tower of London’s Jewel House.
The Ring of Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan was defeated by the British in a fight in 1799, and after his death, the colonisers took his sword and ring. The ring, which Vijay Mallya had spent a lot of money on, was sold at auction by the British in 2014 for £145,000, while the sword was given back to India.
The wine cup of Shah Jahan
Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie stole the wine cup that belonged to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the early 19th century and sent it to Britain. The wine cup was donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1962, where it is currently displayed.
The Peacock Throne
A well-known peacock throne has also been taken. According to legend, it served as the sear of the Mughal emperors who conquered North India. This throne was previously located in Delhi’s Red Fort. Shah Jahan, an emperor in the 17th century, constructed this throne specifically for him. This throne was removed by the Persian King Nader Shah in the year 1739.
The marble idol of Sarswati
The goddess’s marble statue was inscribed in the year 1034 AD. This was the most priceless statue in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhojshala Temple. The statue was eventually misplaced, and in 1886 it was mysteriously discovered in the British Museum.
6 ITBP personnel died in a bus accident, president expresses grief
On Tuesday, President Droupadi Murmu expressed sorrow over the deaths of six members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), who perished when the bus they were riding in crashed into a riverbed in Pahalgam.
“The tragic loss of precious lives of ITBP personnel in the unfortunate accident at Anantnag, J&K fills me with sadness. My heartfelt condolences for the bereaved families. I pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.
A civilian bus carrying 37 ITBP employees and two J-K Police officers was travelling from Chandanwari to Pahalgam when it apparently experienced brake problems and crashed into a steep gorge, injuring 33 people, according to a senior ITBP official.
“Deeply anguished by the bus accident near Chandanwari in which we have lost our brave ITBP personnel. My condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. All possible assistance is being provided to the injured personnel,” Lt Governor Sinha said.
Amit Shah, the union home minister, also shared his grief over the unfortunate occurrence and wished for the quick recovery of those hurt.
“Anguished to learn about the accident of a bus carrying ITBP and police personnel in Pahalgam, J&K. My prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved families. The injured were rushed to the hospital. May they recover at the earliest,” he tweeted.
According to Dr. Syed Tariq, a physician at the Government Medical College of Anantnag, 30 individuals were injured in the collision.
“Our six jawans have lost their lives, 30 injured. We will provide the best possible treatment to the injured. ITBP Headquarters is keeping a watch on the situation. The jawans were returning from Amarnath Yatra duty. All help will be provided to affected families, Vivek Kumar Pandey, ITBP PRO said.
The incident happened in the Pahalgam region of Frisland.
For the Amarnath Yatra, the jawans were stationed there.
“We are in touch with the local administration and teams of disaster management have been rushed to the site for a rescue operation,” an ITBP official said.
On June 29, the Amarnath Yatra set out from Jammu under the strict security measures put in place by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the army, and the local police.
The pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine, a 3,880-meter-high cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the higher Himalayas, is conducted from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal.
Kashmiri Pandit shot dead, 2nd attack in two days
A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead in a terror assault in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday, and another person was hurt, according to a tweet from the J&K Police, who also noted that the injured person was receiving medical assistance at the nearby hospital. The dead have been identified as Sunil Kumar Bhat and his brother Pintu Kumar was hurt, according to the identification.
Police declared that the two were killed in an apple orchard.
“Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in the Chotipora area of Shopian. One person died and one was injured. Both belong to the minority community. An injured person has been shifted to hospital. The area had been cordoned off.Further details shall follow,” the police said this afternoon.
Omar Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference and a former chief minister of J&K, strongly denounced the attack and expressed his sympathies. It was the most recent in a horrifying string of targeted killings that began in October of last year.
“Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident (referring to the death of at least six troops from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police who died after the bus they were in fell into a riverbed) and a militant attack have left a trail of death and suffering. I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally, in which Sunil Kumar was killed and Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences…”
Altaf Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s J&K spokesperson, declared that he “seriously condemns” the wicked act of terror.”
He said, “I strongly condemn this dastardly act of terror on innocent majority community members… in which one minority community member, Sunil Kumar, was killed and another injured. Terror has no religion. Killers should be punished.”
In less than 24 hours, Kashmir has experienced a second attack on Pandits who are not migrants.
Terrorists injured Karan Kumar Singh when they tossed a grenade at a home in Budgam on Monday, the day the nation celebrated its 75th Independence Day. Singh was taken to a hospital in Srinagar.
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