New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking his one month in office, said in a blog post Thursday that every decision taken by his government has been guided “solely by national interest” and his numerous meetings with ministers and officials have led to the regime coming up with “excellent roadmaps” for moving ahead.
Modi, who was sworn in May 26 after the BJP’s stunning victory in the elections, said he does not have the luxury of a “honeymoon period”.
“In the last month, our entire team has devoted every single moment for the welfare of the people. Every decision we took has been guided solely by national interest,” he wrote.
Modi said at the time of taking over, he was assailed with the thought that he was new to the place and “some people believed that I would take at least a year or even two to learn the intricacies of the working of the central government”.
“Fortunately, a month later that thought does not exist any longer in my mind. My confidence and determination has increased tremendously and I credit a substantial part of this to the collective experience and wisdom of my ministerial colleagues and also to my experiences as a four time chief minister. The affection of the people and support from officials has also added to this confidence in large measure,” he said in his blog post, whose link was posted on his Twitter handle.
The prime minister said that he has been meeting ministers and officials from various departments over the past few days and listening to their presentations, which have “enabled a wonderful exchange of thoughts and ideas and we have come up with excellent roadmaps for the various ministries and departments”.
Modi said that several chief ministers have met him in the past month and extended their good wishes and spoken about issues concerning their states. “I look forward to working closely with them in the times to come,” he said.
“I feel there are areas where surely we need to improve. A big challenge I am facing in Delhi is to convey to a select group of people about our intentions and sincerity to bring a positive change in this country. These are people who are both within and outside the government system.
“There have been some instances in the last month with which our Government had nothing to do yet these controversies have persisted. I don’t blame anybody but I surely feel that we need to strengthen systems whereby the right things are communicated to the right people at the right time. Hopefully things will change then,” he wrote.
Referring to the so-called “honeymoon period” of his government, Modi wrote: “Previous governments had the luxury of extending this ‘honeymoon period’ upto a 100 days and even beyond. Not unexpectedly I don’t have any such luxury. Forget 100 days, the series of allegations began in less than a hundred hours. But when one is working with the sole aim of serving the nation determinately, these things do not matter. That is why I keep working and that is most satisfying.”
In a reference to the Emergency, and in an oblique attack at the Congress, Modi said that June 26 is an important date in many ways.
“It marks the completion of one month of our journey to fulfil the aspirations of the people. This day is also another landmark day, when in 1975 I witnessed an important phase that taught me the significance of a vibrant democracy. 26th June was the day when the Emergency started, having been imposed an evening earlier. As a youngster, I have several memories of those testing times.”
Terming the Emergency as “one of the darkest periods in our history” and “a grim reminder of the dangers associated with subverting freedom of speech, press, expression and silencing opposition”, Modi said that Indian democracy will not sustain if we can’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression.
“Today is also a day to reaffirm our pledge to safeguard these values and at the same time create strong institutions through good governance so that that we never ever see those dark days again.”
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
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.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
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.
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.
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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