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Bihar Votes For Development: Nitish

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Chief minister Nitish Kumar said Wednesday that the sweeping victory of his alliance was a vote for Bihar’s continued development.

Bihar Votes For Development: Nitish“This is a victory for the people of Bihar,” Nitish Kumar said in his first reaction after his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) crushed the opposition in assembly elections.

“The people had a clear choice: do they want development or do they want Bihar to return to its old days…

“The people have decided… we want development. Development has won in Bihar,” Nitish Kumar said in his usual soft tone.

Kumar today termed the victory of his NDA-JD(U) alliance as a victory for development and pledge to work harder in his second innings.

“We have no magic wand, but people’s trust. I will need to work harder than I did in the last five years and I will not hesitate,” 59-year-old Kumar told a press conference in Patna. The poll verdict, he said, would disappoint those doing politics on the basis of caste and the mandate would mark a “new story” in Bihar and have effect outside the state.

“The outcome of the elections also proves beyond doubt that it is a victory for development and for the people of the state,” he said.

In a veiled attack on the RJD-LJP alliance and the Congress, Kumar said, “It is unfortunate that these people have not seen the writing on the wall. The trends are positive and reflects that those making false claims or promises will face the music.”

Without naming RJD chief Lalu Prasad who had criticised the exit polls predicting victory for the NDA, Kumar said, “Media should not be criticised for its projection that NDA will pull off a landslide victory in Bihar.

“People should refrain from unnecessary criticism of the media …. if you live up to people’s aspirations and expectations you will definitely be rewarded,” Kumar said. “Now I feel that the people have thrust on my shoulder more responsibilities and I have to continue to make efforts with full dedication.”

Kumar promised to work hard for the next five years too.

“We will work in the same way, probably we will work harder…I can give one promise. I will not hesitate to work hard.”

He added that political competition should be about who works harder and also said that people who based their strategy on caste calculations have lost.

He congratulated the Election Commission for the successful elections but urged it to show more trust in Bihar saying that the six-phased polls were tough on the state.

-HT

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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Temple

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