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PM Aspirant Jayalalithaa Calls Elections ‘Second Independence’ For India

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PM Aspirant Jayalalithaa Calls Elections 'Second Independence' For India

PM Aspirant Jayalalithaa Calls Elections ‘Second Independence’ For India

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who was endorsed for Prime Minister my West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee this week, has called the forthcoming general election as the ‘second independence’.

“It is not an ordinary election that would result in change of government. It is one that would give Indians freedom from corrupt rule, threat from neighbouring nations and other ills,” Jayalalithaa said.

Listing price rise, rupee devaluation, unemployment and stagnation in agriculture as the faults of the central government, Jayalalithaa said corruption levels had touched new heights under the present regime.

Referring to the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, the chief minister said the Congress government had played dirty even in sports.

On a day (Tuesday) when the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 32 Indian fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa said: “The predominant problem before the state is the Sri Lankan attacks on fishermen.”

“If this has to change, a strong government at the centre should be there. That will be possible only when you vote for the AIADMK so all its candidates win in the polls,” Jayalalithaa added.

She said for the past 10 years, people have been suffering from price rise, inflation and rupee devaluation due to the wrong economic policies followed by the centre.

The AIADMK leader added that the price of oil should be determined based on the refining cost, not international prices.

Jayalalithaa said the oil pricing policy would be changed when the new government, of which the AIADMK would be a part, comes into power at the centre. “Oil prices would remain stable throughout the year,” she promised.

Referring to foreign investment made through Mauritius, Jayalalithaa said the central government had postponed the implementation of tax avoidance measures to 2015 owing to foreign pressures.

Jayalalithaa charged the centre with betraying Tamil Nadu’s interests by not setting up the Cauvery Management Board to oversee sharing of Cauvery river water, by its failure to protect the state’s fishermen from the Sri Lankan Navy, by supporting the ruling regime in the island nation instead of imposing economic sanctions for actions against the Tamils there, by not taking action to retrieve Katchatheevu, low allocation of kerosene, non-supply of power from the central pool and other issues.

“It is not enough to have a people’s government at the centre. It should be a government of Tamil Nadu, a government in which the AIADMK is a part. Only then the rights of Tamils would be established.”

She said the Congress-led government also did not spare the defence sector from corruption. “The Congress government has made the defence forces defenceless,” she said.

For the past 60 years, heads of armed forces have been writing to the prime minister to take steps to modernise the forces. However, no prime minister found time to reply to those letters.

Jayalalithaa said the Indian Navy does not have sufficient submarines, ships, the air force lacks fighter aircraft and the army lacks equipment and personnel.

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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SOUTH ASIA

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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SOUTH ASIA

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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