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Nepal PM Koirala To Personally Receive Modi Aug 3

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 Nepal PM Koirala To Personally Receive Modi Aug 3


Nepal PM Koirala To Personally Receive Modi Aug 3

Kathmandu: Breaking protocol, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will personally receive his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when he lands in Kathmandu Aug 3 on a two-day visit.

A special welcome ceremony will be organised at the Tribhuvan International Airport. There will be a guard of honour for Modi, who will be accompanied by a 101-member delegation including seven ministers, senior government officials and captains of industry besides journalists.

Dinesh Bhattarai, advisor to Koirala on foreign relations, told IANS that the prime minister himself would welcome Modi.

“This reflects the importance Nepal is attaching to Modi’s visit,” he said.

Modi’s trip is widely seen here as a major diplomatic event, as the Himalayan nation will be receiving an Indian prime minister on a bilateral visit after 17 years.

In 2006, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had received his Nepali counterpart, Girija Prasad Koirala, at the New Delhi airport.

Modi will arrive Sunday morning on a chartered flight, accompanied by officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, seven ministers, around a dozen journalists and a number of businessmen.

At Hyatt hotel, he will be briefed on his itinerary, including meetings and bilateral talks, by senior Indian government officials.

According to the tentative itinerary, Modi will attend a luncheon organised by the Indian embassy where political leaders will be invited unofficially.

He will speak in parliament later, becoming the first head of government to address lawmakers of Nepal after the restoration of democracy in 1990. According to a source, Modi may speak in Hindi.

On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Koirala will host a state banquet for his Indian counterpart and other visiting delegates.

On Monday, Modi will offer prayers at Pashupatinath temple and hold bilateral talks with Koirala.

Before returning to New Delhi the same evening, several agreements are expected to be signed. President Ram Baran Yadav is likely to host a luncheon for the visiting dignitaries Monday.

In two other special planes, Modi’s three armoured vehicles, including his personal vehicle and security personnel, will be transported to Kathmandu.

Additional vehicles will come via land. The Indian prime minister will be given Z-plus security by a combination of all security agencies, including the Nepal Army.

Modi will meet President Yadav in his office while his meeting with Koirala will be held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar during which several agreements will be signed.

Other political meetings of Modi are being arranged at Hotel Hyatt.

The Nepal prime minister has been holding meetings on a daily basis with major political parties so that all agreements with India are based on national consensus.

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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