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Abdullah urges India, Pak to start sustained dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue

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Ram Temple; pappu

Srinagar | National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to start a sustained dialogue process and advocated an Ireland-type settlement model to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“Abdullah impressed on the governments of India and Pakistan to start a sustained dialogue process and advocated an Ireland-type settlement model to resolve the procrastinated Jammu and Kashmir issue,” an NC spokesman said.

He added that the NC chief said this while addressing a public gathering at Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Abdullah urged the Centre to restore autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest.

“Autonomy is the only way ahead to address the political and developmental deficit of all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. It will secure the secular character of our state and strengthen the bonds of amity and brotherhood,” he said.

The Member of Parliament from Srinagar also said a day would come when the people of the state would breathe in a peaceful atmosphere, without any insecurity.

“We should not feel disheartened. The current situation is grave, but we have witnessed even worst throughout the history. At one time in our history, people would not buy the idea that the autocratic rule will end. But a day came when democratic forces usurped the kings’s throne with determination and struggle,” he added.

Abdullah asked the people to keep the faith and follow the path shown by the prophet of Islam.

“In this hour of grief and uncertainty, we should not let anxiety and hopelessness overpower us. We should follow the teaching of the prophet of Islam in our day-to-day lives. Hopelessness is a curse,” he said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the NC had to face many challenges since its inception and that scores of party functionaries were “preyed upon by the monster of conflict”.

“Our party was back-stabbed by many political shenanigans and turncoats, but history bears testimony to how they eventually faded on their own. The NC is a people’s party, we owe our being to people and we are a grassroot-level party,” he added.

Abdullah said the state’s special status was “infringed upon by the machinations of national political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, and their attitude has not changed”.

“The current situation is no different. People should remain watchful of crafty politicians who are products of these machinations. Self-respect and dignity of our state should not be bartered for a few pennies,” he added.

National

For million problems in India, there are billion solutions: PM Modi

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Narendra Modi

Mumbai | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said films and society are reflection of each other and like cinema, India too is changing with times.

The prime minister was speaking at the inauguration of the National Museum of Indian Cinema here. “The country is changing and finding its own solutions. If there are a million problems, there are also a billion solutions,” the PM said.

“Films have an important role in India’s soft power,” Modi said, while narrating how he was struck by popularity of Indian films overseas when he met and interacted with the leaders of foreign countries. He assured the film industry that effective steps are being taken to curb piracy and “camcording”.

“A single-window system for obtaining permissions for film shoots and related matters are on the anvil,” he said. Like the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, there could be a global film summit in India, the prime minister suggested.

“Films also play a big role in the growth of the tourism sector, which gives employment to even the poorest people, even ‘chaiwala’ makes money when tourism grows,” he said.

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National

Delhi court extends interim protection from arrest to Vadra’s aide till Feb 6

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Robert Vadra

New Delhi | A Delhi court on Saturday extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest granted to Manoj Arora, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, in a money-laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Arora was cooperating in the probe. “He joined the probe yesterday. So far he is cooperating,” Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh, appearing for the ED, said.

ED’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana sought two more weeks for arguments on the application which was allowed by the court. The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property — located at 12, Bryanston Square — worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

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Zakir Naik case: ED attaches assets worth Rs 16.40 cr under PMLA

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New Delhi | The ED has attached fresh assets worth Rs 16.40 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, it said on Saturday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a statement, said it had issued a provisional order for attachment of Naik’s assets, located in Mumbai and Pune, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The estimated value of the immovable assets was Rs 16.40 crore, the central probe agency said.

This is the third such attachment in the case by the ED. The agency is probing the case after taking cognisance of an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Naik, who is said to be based in Malaysia at present.

With the latest order, the total value of assets attached in the case by the ED stands at Rs 50.49 crore.

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