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Efforts On To Make India An International Filming Destination

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Manish Tiwari

Manish Tiwari

New Delhi: The government would make all possible efforts to make India a major international filming destination, Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari said here Thursday.

The ministry had taken certain concrete steps to put in place a mechanism, which would facilitate international as well as domestic film producers, said Tewari at the launch of six-day Centenary Film Festival at Siri Fort auditorium here.

He said that the single window mechanism of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Promotion and Facilitation of Film Production in India would ensure the removal of all possible hurdles and lay down a timeline for different agencies involved for granting clearances for film shooting in India.

To encourage filmmakers from different streams, the filming of features, shorts and TV programmes had been included in the ambit of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

Tewari also said the government was committed in restoring the rich legacy of Indian cinema, for which the National Film Heritage Mission had been launched.

He further stated that the ministry looked forward to the recommendations of the Justice Mudgal Committee that had been constituted to identify the contemporary requirements of film certification.

Regarding the festival, he stated that the objective was to take India’s rich film heritage to the common people and facilitate the screening of classic masterpieces by famous Indian directors.

Praising the film industry he said that Indian Cinema had a unique and unmatched identity. The medium had undertaken a technological leap from the black and white silent era films to 3D.

Cinema over 100 years had captured different moods and phases of development of India as a Nation in a subtle yet realistic manner. It had proved to be an extremely powerful medium in the journey of reflecting aspirations and dreams of its people through a journey of love and hope.

The six-day festival, which includes screenings of some classics as well as contemporary Indian films by master directors such as Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and their ilk, is being celebrated in Siri Fort as well in venues such as Jamia Milia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and India Habitat Center.

A special Satyajit Ray retrospective and display of artwork of Ray, pays homage to one of the best-known ambassadors of Indian cinema.

A Play on the life and times of Dadasaheb Phalke by Aamir Raza Hussain would mark the end of the festival in Siri Fort on 30th April 2013.

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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