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White House Issues Fact Sheets On Obama’s India Visit



The White House has issued a series of fact sheets about the US-India “strategic relationship (that) encompasses a range of issues, activities, and programmes that reflect the vision of President (Barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh”.

White House Issues Fact Sheets On Obama's India VisitExport Controls: Manmohan Singh and Obama agreed to take mutual steps to implement a four-part export control reform programme, including: support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, removing India’s defence and space-related entities from the US “Entity List;” export licensing policy realignment, and export control cooperation.

Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution: Manmohan Singh and Obama agreed to work together to develop, test, and replicate transformative technologies to extend food security in India as part of an “Evergreen Revolution”.  These efforts will benefit farmers and consumers in India, the US, and around the globe, and will extend food security in India, Africa and globally.

Counterterrorism Cooperation: Since the first bilateral discussions on counterterrorism in 2000, counterterrorism cooperation has become a pillar of the US-India relationship.  In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the US and India resolved to deepen collaborative efforts, and intensify exchanges, culminating in the signing of the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative (CCI) in July 2010.

Civil Space Cooperation: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed to scale-up joint US-India civil space collaboration, including space exploration, earth observation, and scientific education.

Clean Energy and Climate Change: Manmohan Singh and Obama reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to taking vigorous action to address climate change, ensure mutual energy security, and build a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century.

Cybersecurity: Recognising the importance of cybersecurity, the US and India are advancing efforts to work together to promote a reliable information and communications infrastructure and the goal of free, fair, and secure access to cyberspace.

CEO Forum: Recognising the vital role bilateral commerce plays in the global strategic partnership, Obama and Manmohan Singh highlighted the importance of the US-India CEO Forum and the progress made in implementing its recommendations.

Defence Cooperation: The US-India defence relationship has grown from solely military-to-military links into a mature partnership that encompasses dialogues, exercises, defence sales, professional military education exchanges, and practical cooperation.

US-India Economic and Financial Partnership: Since the launch of the new US-India Economic and Financial Partnership in April 2010, the two governments have institutionalised deeper bilateral relations on economic and financial sector issues.  These efforts include a macroeconomic dialogue and financial sector and infrastructure working groups.

Education: Obama and Manmohan Singh are committed to an expanding, dynamic, and comprehensive education partnership, including expanding academic exchanges, developing university and school linkages, and holding a US-India Education Summit.

Entrepreneurs Roundtable: This event introduced the president to the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs and showcased innovative partnerships between US and Indian businesses that are creating new markets for US-manufactured technologies.

The National Export Initiative: As part of the National Export Initiative, Obama noted that India-with its tremendous economic growth and its large and growing middle class-is a key market for US exports.  On the margins of the president’s trip, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in US export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 US jobs.

Indian Investment in the US: As the US-India economic relationship deepens, investment from India contribute to the growth and vibrancy of the American economy and in the creation of jobs in the US.  Over the last decade, investment capital from India grew at an annualised rate of 53 percent reaching an estimated $4.4 billion in 2009.

Nuclear Security: The US and India signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a general framework for cooperative activities in working with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which India announced at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit.

Deepening US-India Strategic Ties: Manmohan Singh and Obama renewed their commitment to expand cooperation on strategic issues facing the US and India and agreed to deepen and broaden strategic consultations on core foreign policy issues of mutual concern.

US-India Development Collaboration in Afghanistan: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed to collaborate closely to assist the people of Afghanistan by identifying opportunities to leverage the two countries’ relative strengths, experience and resources.  The collaboration will focus on agricultural development and women’s empowerment, where Afghanistan’s needs are great.

Securing the Air, Sea, and Space Domains: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed that in an increasingly interconnected world, it is vital to safeguard areas of the sea, air, and space beyond national jurisdiction to ensure the security and prosperity of nations.


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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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