Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to attend the 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS), landed in Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Thursday. He will be holding bilateral meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit. The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
“Landed in Samarkand to take part in the SCO Summit,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Earlier, in a special briefing, Foreign Secretary, Vinay Kwatra said, “Besides his bilateral talks with the host country, PM will have bilateral with other leaders. PM’s participation in the Summit is a reflection of the importance that India attaches to the SCO & its cause.” He said this when asked about his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The Prime Minister is expected to have bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand.
PM Modi and the Russian President will discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20 during the SCO summit.
“PM will attend the Summit on Friday morning. The Summit usually has 2 sessions – a restricted session, only for the SCO member states, and then an extended session likely includes participation by observers and special invitees. Prime Minister is there for the SCO Summit for a brief period; he reaches there later tonight, and attends the restricted & extended sessions & a couple of other engagements tomorrow, along with a set of bilateral meetings. He’s then scheduled to return tomorrow night,” said Foreign Secretary.
Kwatra said that the security situation in the region, expansion of the grouping, trade, and connectivity will be the focus of the SCO Samarkand Summit.
“We expect that the discussions during the summit would cover topical, regional and international issues, reform and expansion of SCO, the security situation in the region, cooperation perspective in the region, including strengthening connectivity, as well as boosting trade and tourism in the region. Samarkand Declaration and numerous other documents are expected to be finalized during the summit. They are currently under consideration,” said Kwatra.
The heads of the two permanent bodies of SCO, the Secretary-General of the SCO Secretariat and the Director of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) will also be present in both sessions.
“The regional anti-terrorist structure – RATS is another important mechanism of the organization. India assumed the chairship of the Executive Council of RATS in October last year for a year and has been focussing on promoting practical cooperation in combatting the problem of terrorism in the region,” said Kwatra.
Leaders of SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests would attend the meeting.
The Foreign Secretary also answered India’s stance on price capping on Russian oil, he said, “On the price cap coalition, what form it takes, what shape it evolves into something which the countries that floated the idea perhaps can better answer to that.”
“India is not a member of G7. Deeper discount, market pricing. We have said several times, that when Indian entities go out. They procure from the market and they are not government-to-government purchases”, he added.
When asked about boat rides with other leaders, Kwatra said that PM Modi would be there (Samarkand) for a very brief period.
Speaking on the issue of terrorism, Kwatra said, “Here are multiple ways to look at how different countries assess and look at the challenge of terrorism irrespective of what a particular country does, there is deep appreciation within the SCO.”
He refused to comment on the issue of disengagement talks with China, saying that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had already commented on it yesterday.
PM Modi has been leading the Indian delegation to the SCO Summit every year since India became its full member in 2017. During the last two summits in 2020 and 2021, Prime Minister participated in the virtual format.
“In Samarkand, we expect full-physical format participation by all the leaders. Since, joining SCO as a full member, India has been making positive contributions to the SCO’s processes, deliberations and its outcomes,” said Kwatra.
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People take over Marine Drive with spectacular Garba performance
A huge crowd soaked themselves in the spirit of Navaratri as they performed Garba at the iconic Marine Drive in Mumbai.
In a video posted on Twitter by industrialist Anand Mahindra, the young crowd can be seen performing for a huge crowd of spectators alongside the scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea and the ever-growing Mumbai skyline.
Anand Mahindra captioned the video, “Mumbai, Marine Drive. The conquest and annexation of Mumbai’s streets are complete. But these are invaders who are welcomed with open arms. No place like Mumbai during Navratri. (I know I’m going to hear howls of protest from cities in Gujarat!)”
Although it’s not yet confirmed whether this performance is fresh or if it’s an old video, it has now gone viral. People are loving the energy and enthusiasm of those performing.
Well, now that the auspicious occasion of Navaratri has begun, performances, dances, and celebrations are going to be a routine affair, especially in places like Gujarat. Navaratri is celebrated every year with much galore and fanfare, with every year’s celebration exceeding the previous year’s benchmark. It only gets bigger and better with each passing year, excluding the past two years (due to Covid-19).
But now people are more than excited to celebrate Navaratri this year, after keeping it quite low-key or low-scale for the past two years.
Lords’ Balcony-themed pandal portrays craze for Sourav Ganguly
The devotion during Durga Puja and the craze for the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ and former skipper Sourav Ganguly are two of many things that define and unite the state of West Bengal, especially Kolkata.
On Tuesday, when the Mitali Sangha community erected a stunning Durga Puja pandal in Garia themed after the Lord’s Pavillion, which recalled the sight of one of cricket history’s most iconic moments back in 2002.
That moment in July 2002 at the Lord’s, also known as the ‘Home of Cricket’, when Yuvraj Singh (69) and Mohammed Kaif (87*) helped India chase down a gigantic 326-run target set by England in the Natwest series 2002 final.
After the total was chased down, Ganguly was so ecstatic that he took off his shirt and twirled it from the balcony. It was the then-Indian skipper’s response to a similar act by English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff after a series-levelling win over India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, another iconic cricketing venue in India, earlier that year.
Over the years, this moment became highly iconic, foreshadowing India’s dominance in foreign lands, particularly in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) in years to come. With that act, Ganguly had unleashed a bold, defiant, and fearless India, and the national team adopted these traits in years to come, especially under the leadership of star batter Virat Kohli.
A durga puja pandal based on the pavilion of this iconic venue brought back its memories to fans. And on top of that, it was Sourav Ganguly, now the president of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) two decades later, who came to inaugurate it to the delight of his fans, who perhaps love him more than the sport itself.
The Hindu festival of Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is a yearly celebration that honours the Hindu goddess Durga and commemorates her victory over Mahishasur.
To destroy Mahishasura, Goddess Druga appeared from the fusion of all the gods’ energies in heaven. She had ten arms, and on each of them, she carried the most lethal weapon belonging to each God. All of Goddess Durga’s weapons are sanctified during this time.
Over the years, Durga puja has become an inseparable part of Indian culture, with innumerable people celebrating this festival in their own unique way while adhering to tradition. Hindu mythology holds that the goddess comes to her earthly abode to bless devotees.
Everything to know about Bigg Boss 16’s first confirmed contestant Abdu Rozik
Abdu Rozik is the first contestant of Bigg Boss 16, and while everyone finds him cute, it’s important to put it out there that he is not a minor! Abdu Rozik is around 19 years old and eligible to enter the Bigg Boss house.
Abdu is the first confirmed contestant of Bigg Boss 16. At a promotional event in Mumbai, Salman Khan announced Abdu’s name as the first contestant of the season.
With a broad smile, Abdu Rozik expressed his excitement and said, “I love going to the Bigg Boss house. Excited, bahut excited!”
He continued, “I love you, everyone. Please support me as (I am) Chota Bhaijaan. Please support me, please vote for me! Please don’t fight with me. I love you,” soon after which Salman gave a disclaimer that Abdu is not a kid and that he is older than 18 years and very much eligible to enter the Bigg Boss house.
Bigg Boss 16 is set to premiere on 1 October 2022, on Colors TV.
Kim Kardashian struggles to walk in body-hugging dress
Kim Kardashian is once again making headlines for her fashion choices.Kim recently attended Milan Fashion Week and, although she did not walk the runway, she made headlines for her super-tight glittery attire. Wearing the super tight body-con dress, Kim posted a comical behind-the-scenes video of herself having a hard time walking and climbing stairs.
In the video, Kim can be seen wearing a Dolce Gabbana dress with very high heels. And, because of how tight the dress is, Kim is seen jumping and hopping up the stairs. Clearly, Kim couldn’t walk in the dress! She used a handrail as support as she climbed by clinging to it. When attempting to enter her car, she ran into a similar issue.
The video is now viral!
Kim attended fashion week in Milan with her sister Khloe, who has now sparked dating rumours with ‘365 Days’ actor Michele Morrone. Khloe and Michele posed for a picture, leaving their fans in shock and awe at the same time.
Recently, Kim got involved in another controversy with her ex-husband Kanye West, who lashed out at her family on social media.
Earlier this month, Kanye took to Instagram to share a post admitting that he has an addiction to porn and that it “destroyed” his family. Kanye has now deleted the post.
According to Page Six, Kanye wrote, “Don’t let Kris make you do playboy like she made and Kim do. Hollywood is a giant brothell”
Pak Army, Taliban involved in narco trade, reveals NATO probe
The unholy nexus of the Pakistan Army and the Taliban’s involvement in the narco trade was revealed by the NATO Defence Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) report.
According to this 2022 report titled “Narco-Insecurity, Inc, the convergence of Pakistan and Afghanistan narco-trade was made possible with the help of Pakistan’s military spy agency the ISI, which launched several covert operations with sympathetic jihadist groups, all of whom relied heavily on narcotics trafficking to fund their operations,” reported South Asia Press.
The illegal narcotics trade constitutes one of the main financial sources of the insurgency groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but, more importantly, it feeds narco-terror, globally.
Moreover, Af-Pak heroin networks, drug lords and their nexus with the Taliban and Pakistani military present a principal impediment to security, state-building, and democratic governance in Afghanistan and the region.
Pakistan’s role in drug proliferation is validated by a number of arrests of its nationals in other countries on charges of drug trafficking.
It is reported that Pakistan has established smuggling networks over the last years into India – and especially within the Kashmir valley – so as to ensure a steady supply of narcotics and weapons, reported South Asia Press.
The central aim of this NATO academic report written by David R Winston is to analyse the growth of the narcotics industry stemming from Afghanistan as well as Pakistan and the nexus that has formed between narcotics trafficking and terrorism.
The Taliban have long used narcotics as their main source of revenue. Without the poppy crop, they may never have grown to be the massive organisation that they are today that was capable of toppling the Ghani government, as per the writer.
With the control of Afghanistan by the Taliban last year, the terror group has acquired control over the opium cultivation in the country, reported South Asia Press.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) November 2021 Report, Afghanistan accounted for around 85 per cent of global opium production in the year 2020 and supplied approximately 80 per cent of the world’s opium consumers.
The total value of opiates (opium, morphine, and heroin) was 9 per cent to 14 per cent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. Methamphetamine and cannabis are two other major drugs which have expanded production in Afghanistan in recent years, reported South Asia Press.
Fighter jets escort Singapore Airlines plane amid bomb hoax, man arrested
A 37-year-old male passenger was arrested Wednesday for allegedly making a hoax bomb threat on board a plane travelling from San Francisco to Changi Airport, which forced the Singapore Air Force to scramble two fighter jets, a media report said.
The two fighter jets escorted the Singapore Airlines plane until it landed safely at Changi Airport at 5:50 am local time, CNN reported. “Earlier today, two of our F16C/Ds were activated to escort a Singapore Airlines flight that departed San Francisco for Singapore. This was because of a suspected bomb threat on board the aircraft,” the Singapore Air Force said. “Our fighters escorted the airliner till it landed safely at Changi Airport.”
The report said teams from the army’s chemical, biological, radiological and explosives defence group and airport police division were on site to verify the claim. Defence Ministry officials, who discovered the bomb threat to be false, said the army was “mobilized immediately.”
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