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Punjab Drugs Haul Now Nets Indian-Origin Briton

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Punjab Drugs Haul

Punjab Drugs Haul

Chandigarh: Hours before he was planning to fly out of India, a British national of Indian origin was arrested for his role in the multi-million dollar drugs racket spanning Europe, Canada and the US, Punjab Police said Tuesday.

Kulwant Singh, a British national who originally hails from Phagwara town in Punjab, was among the three people arrested in the drugs racket busted recently, police said.

Kulwant Singh was arrested from a hotel in Mahipalpur area of Delhi Tuesday, police said.

Co-accused Kirpal Singh, a retired deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of Uttar Pradesh Police, was arrested from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and conduit Harpreet Singh was taken into custody from Patiala, a police spokesman said here.

“Punjab Police today arrested three more persons in the Fatehgarh Sahib drug recovery case, in which Anoop Singh Kahlon (a Canadian national) had been earlier arrested and 28.6 kg heroin had been recovered. About 30 kg raw material for production of ‘Ice’ drug has also been recovered,” the spokesman said.

“Kulwant Singh was planning to fly out of the country tomorrow. His ticket has been seized,” the spokesman said, adding that Kulwant was the organiser of the drugs distribution network in Europe and Canada, where the gang used to send the drugs.

“The intelligence wing of Punjab Police is doing the requisite liaison with the British and Canadian police authorities, who have contacted us,” he said.

Two people arrested earlier – Anoop Singh Kahlon and Mani Gill – are Canadian citizens, he said.

Kirpal Singh was running a pharmaceutical factory at Meerut and was one of the main suppliers of raw material, amphetamine, used for production of Ice drug, which is popular among youths in party circles, police said.

Harpreet Singh was a conduit between the suppliers and those who sent and distributed drugs abroad, police said.

The Fatehgarh Sahib district police in Punjab earlier this month (March 7) recovered from Kahlon over 28 kg heroin, worth Rs.130 crore in the international market.

The haul was made from Kahlon’s flat in Zirakpur, near Chandigarh, and his car, police said.

Police also found a sport utility vehicle, registered in the name of international boxer Vijender Singh’s wife Archana, parked outside Kahlon’s flat.

Kahlon reportedly told police that Vijender and fellow boxer Ram Singh were his “clients”.

Punjab Police have already questioned Vijender in connection with the drugs racket. The boxer has, so far, refused to give his blood and hair samples to police.

Vijender, who is a deputy superintendent of police in Haryana Police, was questioned by a Punjab Police team recently.

Though police have so far refrained from directly linking Vijender with the drugs haul, Ram Singh’s statements to police have seen Vijender’s name figuring in the controversy.

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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