Imran Khan praises India for buying discounted oil from Russian 'to provide relief to the masses'

News Network
May 22, 2022

Islamabad, May 22: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan once again praised India for buying discounted oil from Russia despite being a key member of a US-led Quad alliance.

"Despite being part of the Quad, India sustained pressure from the US and bought discounted Russian oil to provide relief to the masses," Khan said in a tweet.

"This is what our government was working to achieve with the help of an independent foreign policy," he added.

In a second tweet, Khan claimed that for his government, "Pakistan's interest was supreme but unfortunately the local Mir Jafars & Mir Sadiqs bowed to external pressure, forcing a regime change and are now running around like a headless chicken with the economy in a tailspin".

The former premier also tagged to his tweet a South Asia Index report, saying: "After buying discounted oil from Russia, the Indian government reduced petrol price by 9.5 rupees per litre, Diesel price has also been reduced by 7 rupees per litre."

Michael Kugelman, a scholar of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Centre, Washington, also referred to this report, saying: "This is why Khan was praising India during his final days as Prime Minister."

He pointed out that Khan wanted to import wheat and eventually gas from Russia, Dawn reported. 

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News Network
June 27,2022

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Mumbai, June 27: There was jubilation in the rebel Shiv Sena legislators' camp after the Supreme Court proceedings on Monday while hectic politicking started in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the mood turned sombre in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadig.

Rebel leader Minister Eknath Shinde tweeted, "This is the victory of Hindu HridaySamrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva and the ideology of Dharmveer Anand Dighe."

The faction - currently in a Guwahati hotel - erupted into joy and celebrations after the apex court ruling and also expressed gratitude to the Centre for providing security to the rebel MLAs and their families.

Shinde is reported to have initiated the process to finalise and send a letter to the Maharashtra Governor that they have withdrawn support to the MVA government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress.

On the Opposition side, the BJP's core committee meeting got under way with top leaders present to finalise their strategy to form the next government in the state, possibly with the help of the rebel group.

Shinde has claimed the support of 39 Sena MLAs, and 11 independents or other parties, totalling to 48, and the group is likely to extend its sojourn in Assam by a few more days.

Several leaders joining the meeting were seen beaming in anticipation and some flashed the 'V' sign, indicating an upbeat mood.

Hitting out again, MVA Minister Aditya Thackeray alleged that many of the MLAs were misled or abducted to join the rebel group and the party is ready to take them back.

"If the rebels had courage, they would have first resigned and faced the electorate instead of all this," said Thackeray Jr.

Sena chief spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said that "this a legal battle and will continue" and said the party will fight it out.

Court Relief For Rebel Sena MLAs

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday virtually kept the disqualification proceedings initiated against 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde in abeyance, by extending the time for them to file their response to the notice issued by the Deputy Speaker, till July 12.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala said the status quo needs to be maintained in the matter, in order to decide the competing claims. The 16 MLAs were given time to file their response by 5:30 pm Tuesday.

"We have to decide very competence of the Deputy Speaker if he is entitled to proceed with the matter. Today, we have to ensure that the matter does not become infructuous," the bench said.

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News Network
June 28,2022

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Believe it or not! The reason for journalist Mohammad Zubair’s sudden arrest is a four year old tweet, wherein he had posted a photo of  a Bollywood comedy film from 1983 directed by the legendary Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

In the evening of Monday, June 27, officers with the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit of the Delhi police arrested Zubair, co-founder of the fact-checking website Alt News. He was booked under sections 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 295 (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. 

The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders celebrated the arrest as a victory of truth. BJP general secretary C T Ravi went on to call him a ‘jihadi’ and accused him of inciting violence.

The police sources have confirmed that Zubair’s crime was the tweet dated March 24, 2018. The police also claimed that Zubair’s conduct during the investigation was found “questionable”, warranting his custodial interrogation to “unravel the conspiracy in this matter”.

The Twitter handle of a self proclaimed ‘Hanuman bhakt’, which complained to the police against Zubair, has tweeted only once since its apparent inception in October 2021 – the tweet targeting Zubair, published June 19, 2022.  

Ironically, the image of the hotel signboard in the tweet which prompted Delhi Police to arrest Zubair was also used as the lead image in an article in the Indian Express in March 2018, and has received no particular attention from those religiously outraged. 

In fact, the image is actually a screenshot from the 1983 movie – Kissi Se Na Kehna – duly cleared by the censor board at the time and shown innumerable times on television since then. 

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News Network
June 26,2022

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Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party faced a huge setback in the Punjab by-elections on Sunday with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann defeating the ruling party's candidate on a Lok Sabha seat held last by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Simranjit Singh Mann beat his AAP rival Gurmail Singh by a margin of over 5,800 votes from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, after a close fight between the two.

Simranjit Singh Mann, 77, is a former MP and the president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) - not related to the larger Shiromani Akali Dal.

Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy, BJP's Kewal Dhillon and the Akali Dal's Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana were at the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

Counting of votes began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.

Sixteen candidates had appeared for the contest on June 23.

The bypoll to Sangrur Lok Sabha seat had witnessed a low turnout of 45.30 per cent as against 72.44 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 76.71 per cent in 2014 polls.

There were 15.69 lakh eligible voters this time.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann from the Lok Sabha seat after he was elected as an MLA in the state assembly elections earlier this year.

Bhagwant Mann, who is the state's chief minister now, had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.

The bypoll was the first major electoral battle after the Aam Aadmi Party's resounding victory in the state assembly polls in March this year.

For the ruling AAP, the bypoll was seen as a battle of prestige for retaining its bastion, while for opposition parties Congress, BJP and SAD were looking to register a victory after being decimated in the assembly polls.

The AAP fielded Singh, 38, who is the party's Sangrur district in-charge, while the Congress placed its bet on former Dhuri MLA Goldy.

The BJP fielded former Barnala MLA Dhillon who joined the party early this month.

Sangrur parliamentary constituency is considered the bastion of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which won all the nine assembly segments -- Lehra, Dirba, Barnala, Sunam, Bhadaur, Mehal Kalan, Malerkotla, Dhuri and Sangrur in the 2022 assembly elections.

Bhagwant Mann had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa with a margin of 2.11 lakh votes.

Mr Mann again contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Sangrur and won it by a margin of 1.10 lakh votes after defeating Congress party's Kewal Dhillon.

While the opposition parties -- Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP - assailed the AAP for an alleged deteriorating law and order situation, murder of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala and "unfulfilled" poll promises, the ruling party focused on its promises of eradicating corruption, creating jobs, improving the condition of schools and hospitals, and paving the way for a "Rangla (vibrant) Punjab" again.

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