US moves draft resolution in UN to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar
United Nations: Stepping up the international pressure to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the US, supported by France and the UK, has moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror group’s chief.
Two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council, the US on Wednesday circulated the draft resolution to the powerful 15-nation Council to blacklist the leader of the Pakistan-based terror group and subject him to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo. UN sources told PTI that this is the “first time” the US, the UK and France have moved a draft resolution directly in the Security Council to designate Azhar. The previous have been listing proposals in the Sanctions Committee of the Council to designate Azhar.
Unlike a listing proposal, which is generally under a 10- day no objection period, the draft resolution is not under any no-objection provision. Sources said that the draft resolution will be discussed informally and then it goes to the Council. However, it’s not yet decided by when a vote would be held on the draft resolution, during when it could again face a veto by China, which has in the past blocked bids to blacklist Azhar.
Germany initiates move at EU to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist
Sources said the draft resolution would condemn “in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing” on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that killed 40 CRPF personnel. An annex to the draft resolution says Azhar is associated with the Islamic State terror group, Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating” or “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material” or supporting acts of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
It says that Azhar founded JeM after his release from prison in India in 1999 in exchange for 155 hostages held on an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan. It adds that Azhar was previously the leader of the terrorist group Harakat al Mujahadin, also known as Harakat ul-Ansar, and that most of these groups’ members subsequently joined Jaish under Azhar’s leadership.
In 2008, JeM recruitment posters contained a call from Azhar for volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces. The Sanctions Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. However, for a resolution in the Security Council to pass, it needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes from any of its five permanent members – China, Russia, the United States, France and the UK. France, the UK and the US on February 27 moved a proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
It was under the no-objection period and Committee members had a period of 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. More than a dozen member states had co-sponsored the proposal. About an hour before the no-objection deadline was to expire on March 13 at 3 PM, China blocked the proposal by putting a hold on it.
India expressed disappointment by the outcome, saying in a statement “this has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019”. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an apparent reference to China blocking the proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council when he said Wednesday that China abuses over a million Muslims at home, but “protects” violent Islamic terror groups from UN sanctions.
“The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN,” Pompeo said in a tweet, without mentioning the JeM or the outfit’s chief. The February proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar. In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 – the US, the UK and France in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016. In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked the proposals from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.
A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities. The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals.
Under the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts and technical advice, assistance or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
Donald Trump meets Sunder Pichai, says Google committed to US military, not China
Washington: President Donald Trump has said that Google is totally committed to the US military as he met the internet giant’s Indian-American CEO Sunder Pichai at the White House, days after he accused the tech company of helping China and its army.
Trump, who has been at loggerheads with several big companies, earlier this month said, “Google is helping China and their military, but not the US”. On Wednesday, after a meeting with Pichai at the White House, the US President said: “Meeting ended very well”.”Just met with Sundar Pichai, President of Google, who is obviously doing quite well,” he said.
Pichai “stated strongly that he is totally committed to the US military and not the Chinese military”, Trump said. “Also discussed political fairness and various things that @Google can do for our country. Meeting ended very well!” said the President. There was no immediate tweet from Pichai. However, a Google spokesperson said that the company is pleased to have productive conversations with the President.
“We were pleased to have productive conversations with the President about investing in the future of the American workforce, the growth of emerging technologies and our ongoing commitment to working with the US government,” said the Google spokesperson. Trump’s tweet criticising Google earlier last month came after Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan and General Joseph Dunford, chairman joint chiefs of staff, said during a Congressional hearing that “Google was partnering with China… but the Internet search engine giant has shown a lack of willingness to work with the US Department of Defence”.
During his trip to Washington DC, Pichai also met India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh V Shringla. “A thoroughly enriching experience to meet and interact with” Pichai on Google’s positive engagement in India and elsewhere in the world, privacy laws, internet governance and a host of other issues, the ambassador said in a tweet.
Belarus governor fired for keeping cows in poor condition at farm
Moscow: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has fired three officials including a governor for keeping cows in poor conditions at a local farm. Video aired by state television showed Lukashenko, an avid farmer himself, scolding the farm managers and the governor on a visit to the farm in the northern Mogilev region on Tuesday.
Lukashenko, who gave a sack of potatoes to Russian President Vladimir Putin last year, compared the conditions at the farm to those at a Nazi death camp. The cows were shown walking in the manure with mud caked on their bodies. The Belarusian president said that the cows were “barely alive” and the officials were “sick” for not noticing that.
US takes note of India’s first anti-missile test; expresses concern over space debris
Washington: Taking note of India’s first anti-satellite missile test, the US has said that it will continue to pursue its shared interests with New Delhi in space and technical cooperation, even as it expressed concern over the issue of space debris.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite. The test makes India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the strategic capability to shoot down enemy satellites. Commenting on the development, a State Department spokesperson on Wednesday told PTI: “The state department saw PM Modi’s statement that announced India’s anti-satellite test”.
To a question, the spokesperson said that as part of “our strong strategic partnership with India, we will continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation, including collaboration on safety and security in space”. However, he expressed concern over the issue of space debris. “The issue of space debris is an important concern for the US government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues,” the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no space debris. “Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks,” it said. The MEA has also come out with a 10-point explainer to say the anti-satellite missile test was carried out to verify India’s capability to safeguard space assets and that it was not directed against any country.
It also said in a statement that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. “We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponisation of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets,” the MEA added.
US warning of Pakistan: Another terrorist attack on India will bring great trouble
The US has asked Pakistan to take strict action against the terrorists. With this, the US warned Pakistan that another terrorist attack on India would be 'very problematic'.
A senior official in the White House told reporters on Wednesday, "Pakistan needs strong and consistent action against terrorist groups. There is a need to take action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, especially in the region, due to the situation of tension.
On condition of anonymity, the official said, "If Pakistan does not take action against terrorists and there is another attack on India then it will be a major problem for Pakistan which will cause tension between the two countries and both of them Would be dangerous. '
On being asked by Pakistan about the steps being taken by Pakistan after the air strikes by Pakistan in Pakistan, the official said that there is a need for 'irrevocable and sustained' action against terrorist organizations by the US and international community. The official said that it will be quick to evaluate the full evaluation.
The official said that Pakistan has taken some action in recent days. The properties of some terrorist organizations have been seized and some have been arrested. Some of the features of Jaish-e-Mohammed have been taken into control. However he further added that they want to see more action now.
The official said that the US is working with its international partners to increase pressure on Pakistan. Given that Pakistan also has economic concerns. He said that FATF is an area which reflects their need to take action against terrorist organizations. Otherwise they are in danger inside the system.
Pakistan needs to decide that she wants to see herself as a responsible global player, where she has access to all financial systems or wants to see herself isolated if she fails to act against terror organizations. . The official said the option is to select Pakistan.
The US official said that even though the tension between the two countries has come down, the army of both the countries is still on high alert. The official said, "Therefore, we feel that if there is any terrorist attack, God forbid that, then you can see the increase in tension, therefore we are making clear that any kind of additional military action There is an unacceptably high risk for both countries and regions.
Christchurch Attack: All guns shot in New Zealand are military style
New Zealand's PM Jasminda Ardhen has announced to ban the sale of all types of semi-automatic weapons. In view of the Christchurch attack, he has taken this step. Since the murder of 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch last Friday, the country's gun law is in dispute.
At the same time, Ardhern said that the new law is expected to be implemented by April 11. He said that a purchase-funding scheme will be set up for restricted weapons. Prime Minister Jessinda Ardhorn said that with the immediate effect of New Zealand, Assault Rifles, High Capacity Magazine and 'Military Style Semi Automatic Riflot Ban'.
Alderney announced the ban on Thursday and said it will be given legal form next month. He said that the person arrested in the attacks had bought his arms legally and increased the ability of the attack by using easily purchased 30-round magazines through a simple online portal.
Let us know that on March 15, a man in Christchurch's New Zealand in New Zealand fired a fierce firing. Till the 28-year-old Tentent helmet entered, he started roaming the pistol shooting called 'Let's start the party'. At the time when the assaulted mosque was full of Namazis. The Bangladesh cricket team was also present there.
Pakistan: If the teacher called the women in the party, the student took the knife
A student in Pakistan killed his college professor. According to media reports, he did this because the professor had invited women in his Fairwale party, which the student considered non-Islamic.
Police officer Farhan Hussain said that when Khatib Hussain attacked the English professor Khalid Hameed, he was preparing for a Fairwell party. Farhan said that Khatib is not related to any religious group, but we are investigating this bias.
The police said that the accused Khatib is in police custody and a case of murder has been registered. College Principal Wali Muhammad informed Reuters that the attacker was dropped by the students present in the party on the ground, but Professor Hameed could not be rescued. Hameed was immediately taken to the hospital, but he could not be saved and he died.
Muhammad said that Egerton College is one of the few institutions in Pakistan, where female students are more than men. Here, 2000 students and 4,000 students study. The dead professor was about to retire in four months.
When the student Khatib attacked the professor, then his son Valid was together. Walid told that the killer was keenly watching the professor. He saw that when my father went to office, Khatib attacked with a knife on his head and stomach. Then I took them to the hospital where they were declared dead. After the attack, the student screamed, "I killed him, I told him that the program of men and women is non-Islamic."
Iraq PM Adel Abdel Mahdi asks MPs to fire governor over ferry capsize
Baghdad: Iraqi PM Adel Abdel Mahdi made a formal request to parliament on Saturday to fire the governor of Niniveh province where 100 people were killed in a ferry capsize. Most in Thursday’s sinking on the Tigris River were women and kids headed out of Iraq’s second city Mosul for a Mother’s Day picnic on Kurds’ Nowruz New Year holiday.
In a letter to the speaker of parliament, Abdel Mahdi said there was clear evidence of “negligence and concrete failings” that merited a vote on dismissing governor Nawfel Akoub. “An ongoing investigation has found evidence of the misuse of public funds and the fraudulent abuse of his office,” the prime minister alleged. Akoub has already been subjected to the anger of victims’ relatives and their supporters over alleged corruption and cronyism.
When he visited the scene of the tragedy on Friday stones were thrown at his convoy by protesters demonstrating against perceived corruption and neglect. There is widespread anger in Mosul at the slow pace of reconstruction since the city’s recapture from the Islamic State group in 2017 by Iraqi troops backed by a US-led coalition.
The city still bears the scars of three years of iron-fisted rule by the jihadists who made it their “caliphate’s” de facto capital. Survivors of Thursday’s disaster were treated in hospitals heavily damaged by the months-long military campaign against IS.
British PM Theresa May may not seek vote on Brexit deal this week
London: British PM Theresa May has told lawmakers she may not seek passage of her troubled Brexit withdrawal plan in Parliament next week. The embattled leader, who faces a major protest march in central London on Saturday, wrote to lawmakers Friday night saying she would bring the European Union withdrawal back to Parliament if there seems to be enough backing for it to pass. “If it appears that there is not sufficient support to bring the deal back next week, or the House rejects it again, we can ask for another extension before 12 April, but that will involve holding European Parliament elections,” she said.
May’s changing stance reflects the plan’s dismal chances in the House of Commons after two prior defeats. She also says she would need the approval of House Speaker John Bercow to bring the plan back for a third time despite his objections. Bercow has said a third vote would violate parliamentary rules unless the plan is altered.
May said in her letter to lawmakers that if the deal is approved, Britain will leave the EU on May 22, a date agreed with EU officials. Lawmakers have twice rejected the deal and haven’t shown any clear swing toward endorsing it in recent days. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on April 12 if no deal is approved. May told lawmakers in her letter that Britain still has options including an extension that would require taking part in European Parliament elections in May.
She also said Britain could revoke Article 50 but characterized that as a betrayal of the Brexit vote in favor of severing EU ties. She also said Britain could leave without a deal. In a conciliatory tone, the prime minister offered to meet with lawmakers to discuss Brexit policy. She had offended many legislators with a speech Thursday night that seemed to blame Parliament for the stalled Brexit process.
Italy supports China’s Belt and Road initiative
Rome: Italy has signed a memorandum of understanding with China in support of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, which aims to weave a network of ports, bridges and power plants linking China with Africa, Europe and beyond. PM Giuseppe Conte and Chinese Prez Xi Jinping shook hands during a ceremony in Rome after 29 separate sections of the memorandum were inked by members of both govts.
With the memorandum, Italy becomes the first member of the Group of Seven major economies that includes the US, to join Belt and Road, following Portugal’s embrace of the initiative in December. Italy’s involvement gives China a crucial inroad into western Europe and a symbolic boost in its economic tug-of-war with Washington.