Taliban indicated they'd be reasonable in addressing India's concerns: Foreign Secretary

News Network
September 4, 2021

Washington, Sept 4: India and the United States are closely watching Pakistan’s actions in Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday.

In the limited engagement that India has had with the Taliban, the new Afghan rulers have indicated that they would be reasonable in addressing New Delhi’s concerns, the foreign secretary added.

“Obviously, like us, they're also watching carefully and we have to watch Pakistan’s actions with a fine tooth comb,” he told a group of Indian reporters at the end of his three-day official visit to Washington DC adding that the US will have a wait-and-watch policy with regard to how the situation evolves in Afghanistan.

India also has a similar policy. “That doesn't mean you don't do anything. It simply means that you have to... the situation is very fluid on the ground, you have to allow it to see how it evolves. You have to see whether the assurances that have been made publicly are actually maintained on the ground, and how things work out,” he said.

 “Our engagement with them (the Taliban) has been limited. It's not that we have (had) a robust conversation. But for whatever conversation we've had so far, they've been sort of. At least, the Taliban seem to indicate that they will be reasonable in the way they handle this,” Shringla said.

He was responding to a question about the recent meeting that India’s Ambassador in Qatar had with a senior Taliban leader in Doha.

“In our statement, we have said that we have told them that we want them to be cognizant of the fact that there should be no terrorism that emanates from their territory directed against us, or other countries; that we want them to be mindful of the status of women, minorities and so on so forth. And, and I think they have, also, you know, made reassuring... from their side,” he said.

The top Indian diplomat was in Washington DC for a series of meetings with his American counterpart and top officials of the Biden administration in addition to interaction with representations from the industry and think-tanks.

On Thursday, he had called on the Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Observing that the situation in Afghanistan is very fluid and moving fast, Shringla said that both India and the US are keeping a close watch on it. “Look on 15th of August, you had a situation where (Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani suddenly left. You had the Taliban come in. The situation is moving so fast it's so fluid that is difficult to comment at this point of time on anything,” he said.

Shringla said the US is watching the situation in Afghanistan very closely. “They will obviously see how different players get engaged in the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan is a neighbour of Afghanistan. They have supported and nurtured the Taliban. There are various elements there that Pakistan supported,” he said.

At the same time, he noted that the UNSC resolution on Afghanistan adopted during India’s presidency makes mention of the proscribed entities in the UN sanctions list, including the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba. “We do have concerns about the free ingress that these two terrorist groups have had in Afghanistan, their role and we will watch that carefully. The role of Pakistan has to be seen in that context,” Shringla said.

Responding to a question, the foreign secretary said the Americans have always said the Taliban has committed to them that they will not allow Afghan territory to be used again in any manner that is detrimental to any country outside Afghanistan.

The US has made it clear to the Taliban that they would hold them accountable if any terrorist activities are emanating from Afghanistan. The international community is on the same page, he said.

“We are obviously very much engaged with US on Afghanistan on the situation there, the role of Pakistan there, and of course looking at how the situation would evolve in that country,” he said.

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News Network
October 11,2021

RSS-linked magazine "Panchjanya", in its latest edition, has targetted the Christian church and priests over the widespread allegations of sexual exploitation.

The magazine, that would hit the stands on October 17, has, in the cover story, dwelt on the complaints of sexual exploitation of children and nuns across the world, and demanded an investigation into those allegations in India also.

Citing the instance of France, the magazine said that over 3 lakh children were exploited between 1950-2020, and around 3,000 priests were named as accused.

Panchjanya mentioned that an independent enquiry committee set up in 2018 came across those details during its probe. It also termed Pope Francis' apology in 2019 over these complaints and incidents a "formality under pressure", noting that despite it, episodes of similar nature have not seen any downward trend. 

It also cited complaints and incidents of sexual exploitation reported from various parts of India, underlining that the people of the country have been seeking probes against the church and priests.

Claiming that such incidents are on the rise in India too, it referred to several incidents in Jharkhand and Kerala, besides the rape of a woman in Missionary College, Chennai, and of a nun from Kerala. Panchjanya held the style of functioning of the church responsible for the worldwide decline in the number of nuns.

It said that in Kerala, the number of nuns has reduced to only 25 per cent and therefore, the church is taking into its fold, girls from poor families in states such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Odisha "under the guise of deceit, coercion and allurement".

Earlier, in its October 10 edition's cover story, the RSS-linked magazine had slammed the Congress and its former President Rahul Gandhi, saying the country's oldest political party is passing through its "worst-ever phase".

The Panchjanya had been in the news for its previous issues attacking Infosys and its leader N.R. Narayana Murthy over the glitches in the income tax portal, and then Amazon and its chief, Jeff Bezos, calling the global e-commerce giant "East India Company 2.0".

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coastaldigest.com news network
October 12,2021

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Mangaluru, Oct 12: Greeshma Nayak, the topper in the SSLC supplementary exams, had reportedly tried to end her life only a few months ago. That was when she was not allowed to take a crack at the (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) SSLC main exam merely because she was unable to clear her school’s dues.

On Monday, she showed her mettle when the results of the SSLC 2021 supplementary examinations were announced. Greeshma, hailing from a village in Koratagere taluk of Tumakuru district and a student of Alvas English Medium School in Moodbidri, topped the state by securing 599 out of 625.

Despite repeated requests, Greeshma was denied an admission ticket to write the main exams.

Even the then education minister S Suresh Kumar’s visit to the girl’s house did not help as he could only assure her of an opportunity to appear for the supplementary examinations.

A disappointed Greeshma had then reportedly tried to end her life.

However, the girl was allowed to appear for the supplementary exams only after giving in writing that her dues will be cleared during the issue of the transfer certificate.

Greeshma said, “I was expecting high marks but never thought I would be the topper.” Greeshma said she wants to take up science and pursue medicine.

Meanwhile, MD Shanawaz from Grammar Multimedia School, Kalaburagi secured the second place with 592 out of 625 and the third place was secured by Gowri Manohari of Sudarshana High School, Mysuru with a score of 591 out of 625.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Mumbai, Oct 22: Despite the uproar over Ananya Panday's grilling by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), official sources hinted on Friday that there is apparently no evidence of any 'drug-related exchanges' in her alleged WhatsApp chats with Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

The sources reluctantly divulged that there are 'no traces or references' of any Marijuana (Ganja) or weed-related chat in the two star kids' WhatsApp communication being scanned in-depth by the NCB.

More likely, Ananya is being questioned for her version by the NCB for some different leads it has collected in the case, but the officials declined to elaborate.

The latest disclosure comes in the wake of certain unconfirmed media reports claiming the emergence of at least three purported WhatsApp chats between the two star-kids allegedly discussing drugs, etc. which the NCB was probing now.

In a surprise addition to the ongoing investigations into the October 2 rave party raid aboard a cruise ship, the NCB 'visited' the home of Ananya Panday and slapped her with a summons.

Acting promptly on Thursday, accompanied by her father and veteran actor Chunky Panday, Ananya went to the NCB and was questioned for over 2 hours by half a dozen officials, and has been summoned again this day (October 22).

The developments came even as a Special NDPS Court Judge VV Patil extended the judicial custody of Khan and 7 others arrested on October 3, till October 30. Khan's bail plea will come up before the Bombay High Court on October 26.

Earlier on Thursday, Shah Rukh Khan had visited Aryan in the Arthur Road Central Jail where he spent a few minutes with him, and later an NCB team 'visited' his Bandra bungalow.

This prompted the veteran Bollywood actress and TV hostess Simi Garewal, 75, to come out in indirect support of Aryan, Ananya and others vide a cryptic tweet: "In a population of 1,397,642,731 - they can only find these 6 or 8 young Bollywood stars to target for drugs??"

Meanwhile, after nabbing at least 20 people to date in the cruise ship raid case, the NCB has not ruled out making further arrests as the investigations widen and progress. 

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