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Pravasi Samman For Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce



Jaipur: The Indo-Canada Chamber Of Commerce was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) at the recently concluded Pravasi Diwas and was presented to the President of ICCC by Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of India.


The PBSA is the highest honour conferred by the Government of India on overseas Indians or an institution run by overseas Indians. The PBSA acknowledges contributions by an organisation in eight different spheres, and includes contributions that lead to a better understanding abroad of India, support to India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way, and building closer links between India, the Indian Diaspora and their country of residence.


Accepting the award on behalf of the ICCC, Thakkar said, “This is an extraordinary honour being bestowed on the ICCC. This singular recognition by the Government of India of the ICCC’s many contributions over the last 35 years is a tribute to the successive leadership of past presidents and in particular to our vibrant members across Canada.”


Thakkar is at present in India, leading an ICCC-Town of Markham business delegation to India and the UAE. The delegation, comprising over 60 small and medium business entrepreneurs from diverse sectors is also participating in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention of the Indian Diaspora in Jaipur besides visiting Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Dubai. The Mayor of Markham, His Worship Mr. Frank Scarpitti, is the co-leader of this delegation.


The High Commissioner of India in Ottawa, Mr. S. M. Gavai, in his congratulatory message said, “This is in recognition of ICCC’s contribution towards the promotion of India Canada friendship. We are confident that this signal honour conferred by the Government of India will further encourage the institution to work towards the promotion of ties between India and Canada, particularly in the field of trade and commerce and people to people relations.”


In commenting on what he described as a “well-deserved award,” High Commissioner for Canada to India, Mr. Stewart Beck said, “Over the years, the ICCC has done an excellent job in strengthening the people-to-people and business-to-business relations that are so important in strengthening our bilateral relationship. The ICCC did an outstanding job in organising the regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Toronto last June, one of the many events from last year’s Year of India in Canada.”


Preeti Saran, Consul General of India in Toronto, said, “I have had the pleasure of interacting with the ICCC leadership and its membership over the last many years. This award is a wonderful recognition of this pioneering organization’s splendid work on so many fronts. I want to congratulate Satish Thakkar, President, ICCC and his team on this milestone achievement.”


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



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




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



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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