The French foreign ministry has summoned Pakistan’s envoy to protest claims by President Arif Alvi that a French bill cracking down on radical Islam stigmatises Muslims.
Addressing a conference on religion on Saturday, the Pakistan President said: “When you see that laws are being changed in favour of a majority to isolate a minority, that is a dangerous precedent.”
Specifically referring to the legislation drafted after the beheading of a French teacher by an Islamist radical over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, Alvi said: “When you insult the Prophet, you insult all Muslims. I urge the political leadership of France not to entrench these attitudes into laws… You have to bring people together—not to stamp a religion in a certain manner and create disharmony among the people or create bias.”
Pakistan was one of several Muslim countries that saw violent anti-French protests in October over President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to show cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
The French foreign ministry said late Monday it had called in Pakistan’s charge d’affaires to mark “our surprise and our disapproval (over Alvi’s remarks), given that the bill contains no discriminatory element”.
“The charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Pakistan in France has been summoned to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs following the remarks made by the Pakistani president during a conference which took place from February 20 to 21 relating to the bill to strengthen respect for the principles of the Republic,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry clarified that the bill is guided by the fundamental principles relating to the freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience, makes no distinction between different religions and its provisions will therefore also apply to all faiths.
“We expressed our surprise and disapproval, while the bill does not include any discriminatory provisions, in accordance with our Constitution and our international commitments. Extensive consultations on the bill were carried out by representatives of the major religions, civil society, associations and political parties,” the statement read. “Pakistan must understand this and adopt a constructive attitude with respect to our bilateral relations,” it added.
Relations between France and Pakistan deteriorated last year after Pakistani leadership attacked the French government and president Emmanuel Macron for not condemning caricatures of the Prophet.
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President Ram Nath Kovind presents Baton of Honor to Kiran Bedi
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday presented a baton of honour and a letter of appreciation to former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Kiran Bedi received a Baton of Honor decorated with the emblem of the Indian Republic and a letter of appreciation from President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The former Puducherry lieutenant governor received a Baton of Honor decorated with the emblem of the Indian Republic and the appreciation letter recognizing her service in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Kiran Bedi was removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on February 16 by the President of India and Tamilisai Soundararajan took additional charge as the Lieutenant Governor on February 18. (ANI)
Women have extra qualities of compassion, consistency and courage compared to males: Javadekar on Int’l Women’s Day
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Information and Broadcasting, and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, on Monday stated that women have extra qualities of compassion, consistency and courage compared to males, adding that they are hard-working and diligent in their work.
“God didn’t discriminate while creating female and male. My experience is that women have extra qualities of compassion, consistency and courage compared to us males. They are hard working and diligent in their work,” said the Union Minister in his address at the launch of the e-book “The Green Queens of India – Nation’s Pride” on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
He further expressed happiness over the fact that women forest officers in our country are now being recognised.
“Present in this event are women forest officers from across the country. I am glad that women forest officers are being recognised. 280 IFS and more than 5,000 women frontline staff– I welcome them all. God didn’t discriminate while creating female and male,” said Javadekar here today.
He further said, “An oil container ship was driven by females and this is the first example in the world. Women were restricted from getting education and exposure. And we are now seeing in board exams female students perform better because of their consistency.”
The union minister gave further examples of women’s strength and stated that women are present in all fields.
“In Gir, to tranquilise lions, women frontline workers do that. In history, we have examples of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar, Chennamma and Jhansi ki Rani who fought wars. This is women’s strength. Today women are present in all fields.”
The Minister also announced that five frontline workers shall be rewarded next time.
Javadekar also stated that women should get their due as per their capacity, adding that women work with the same force as men in politics.
“It’s a good opportunity today but as per their capacity, women should get their due. In politics, women work with the same force,” remarked Javadekar.
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. (ANI)
A day to remember contribution of Indian women including Former PM Indira Gandhi: Anand Sharma
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on the occasion of International Women’s Day remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and said let us pledge to bring transformative change in social attitudes and end prejudice, discrimination, atrocities and give respect to our women.
“This is a day to celebrate and recall the contribution of Indian women, well documented in history, from freedom fighters, social reformers, scientists, business leaders, sports persons, front-line warriors, astronauts, and armed forces and our illustrious Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi,” said Sharma.
“On this day, let us pledge to bring transformative change in social attitudes and end prejudice, discrimination, atrocities and give respect to our women,” he added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted women on the occasion of International Women’s Day and said India takes pride in its many accomplishments. He said it was his government’s honor to work towards furthering women’s empowerment in the country across a wide range of sectors.
“Saluting our indomitable ‘Nari Shakti’ on International Women’s Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our Government’s honor to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors,” PM Modi tweeted. (ANI)
Delhi Jal Board moves SC against Haryana govt over discharge of pollutants into Yamuna
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the Haryana government seeking immediate stoppage of discharge of untreated pollutants into the Yamuna river and also to release sufficient water to Delhi.
“Haryana once again has reduced the supply of raw water to Delhi leading to a shortage in water scarcity in Delhi,” Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha said.
“Such behaviour of the Haryana government is not only undesirable but also deeply disappointing. The regular fall in the level of Yamuna river, especially during summers, along with the discharge of pollutants into Yamuna, causing rise in Ammonia levels in the capital, is a matter of grave concern,” Chadha added.
He further requested the Haryana government to take urgent cognisance of the matter and immediate steps to increase the supply of raw water to Delhi and curb the release of untreated effluents into the Yamuna which lead to an increase in Ammonia Level.
Delhi is facing a potential severe water crisis due to the twin factors of high ammonia levels in river Yamuna and the continuously depleting water level at Wazirabad barrage, which supplies drinking water to the Wazirabad, Okhla and Chandrawal water treatment plants of the Delhi Jal Board.
The water levels that should stand at 674.50 feet are now down to an alarming low of 670.4 feet. Raw water is sourced from the river Yamuna and is drawn at Wazirabad Barrage in Delhi. The availability of quantity and quality of raw water at Wazirabad Barrage is dependent on release of water by the Haryana government. (ANI)
Tamil Nadu Polls: Owaisi’s AIMIM forms alliance with Dhinakaran’s AMMK
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 8 (ANI): Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) has formed an alliance with TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazhagam (AMMK) on Monday for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.
AIMIM will contest three Assembly constituencies including Vaniyambadi, Krishnagiri and Sankarapuram.
Elections to the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly will be held on April 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)
Five TMC MLAs join BJP ahead of West Bengal polls
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 8 (ANI): In a significant development ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls, five sitting Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs and a party candidate who was allotted a seat from Habibpur for upcoming polls joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday.
TMC MLAs Sonali Guha, Dipendu Biswas, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, Sital Kumar Sardar and Jatu Lahiri joined the BJP here in the presence of West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, party vice president Mukul Roy and party leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Sarala Murmu, TMC leader who was allotted a party ticket to contest from Habibpur, has joined the BJP despite making the fact that her name was mentioned in the candidate list in West Bengal this election season.
There has been an exodus of leaders from TMC to BJP in the last few months in the poll-bound West Bengal.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday released the list of 291 candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Following this, BJP on Saturday released its first list of 57 candidates for the polls and fielded Adhikari from Nandigram against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, setting the stage for a high-profile contest from the seat in the state Assembly elections.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)
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