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Rahul Gandhi To Choose Brahmacharya!



Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi, often considered India’s next prime minister in waiting, is also the country’s most eligible bachelor. Press often speculate about his romantic future though Gandhi has given very little material for them to play with. He has been always a bit of mystery as far as his personal side is concerned. And now in a rare admission, Gandhi clears the issue – he is not interesting in getting married. In an interaction with Congress MPs and journalists in New Delhi this week, Gandhi said he did not wish to tie the knot and start a family as doing so would lead him to develop a vested interest in the status quo at the expense of his mission to democratize the Congress and decentralize its decision-making.


“If I get married and have children, then I will become a status quoist and will be concerned about bequeathing my position to my children,” he said. This was the first-ever confirmation of Rahul’s much-speculated disinclination to marry and start a family. Rahul has so far fended off questions about his marriage by saying people would get to know about his plans at the appropriate time.


He also denied that he aspired to be PM and lamented that Congress as well as other parties had degenerated into oligarchies where a tiny elite call the shots. Asked about his interest in the PM’s job, he said, “Asking whether you want to be prime minister is to ask me a wrong question.” The response defied the growing clamour from the ranks that he be declared the Congress’s candidate for PMO in the 2014 polls.


The disclaimer also comes at a time when the move to project Narendra Modi as BJP’s candidate for the top job has gathered momentum, and belies the assessment that Rahul’s agreeing to Congress vice-president suggested that he had finally come around to be projected as the party’s spearhead for the 2014 polls.


Congress immediately rushed to insist that Rahul’s comments may not necessarily be the last word on whether he will accept the responsibility. Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, “All Congress workers desire that Rahul Gandhi become the PM one day and we are sure that our wish will be fulfilled.”


Rahul further declared his admiration for  Mahatma Gandhi who “wielded such influence because he never hankered for power”. He added that he was inspired by ‘nishkam karma’ or selfless pursuit of action, the central doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita. He said he was not interested in power, having seen prime ministers from close quarters.


Picking up from where he left in the party’s brainstorming session in Jaipur in January, Rahul said he wanted to rebuild the party from the ground up, empowering workers. He said decision-making in Congress had come to be concentrated in 15-20 people, resulting in a situation where the aspirant for a legislative council nomination in Andhra Pradesh had to come to Delhi. “Why should this be so?” he asked.


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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