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Ajit Doval: Narendra Modi’s most powerful weapon

Anusha Bhattacharya

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Recently there was a big development in New Delhi, this week, with the Narendra Modi-led union government deciding to revive the Strategic Policy Group. The Strategic Policy Group apart from being the main mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination, will also form the national security policies based on the integration of inputs. However the big change is that the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval would head the group instead of the Cabinet Secretary.Yes, he has a big responsibility on hand, but the Prime Minister trusts him to deliver and lay the road map ahead. With so many responsibilities, the question being asked is whether Doval has his hands full?

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Pakistan court acquits 2 prime suspects in Sarabjit’s murder case

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Lahore | A Pakistani court on Saturday acquitted two prime suspects in the murder case of Indian national Sarabjit Singh in 2013 in the Kot Lakhpat jail, citing “lack of evidence” against them. The Lahore Sessions Court announced its verdict in the case which was pending for more than five years.

According to a court official, Lahore’s additional district and sessions judge Muhammad Moin Khokhar acquitted the main suspects – Amir Tamba and Mudassar after all witnesses turned hostile.

“Not a single witness testified in the court against both the suspects. The court acquitted them for lack of evidence against them,” the official said. He said both suspects made their presence in the court through a video link from the Kot Lakhpat Jail because of security concerns.

Amir and Mudassar, two Pakistani death row prisoners, attacked Singh, 49, in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in 2013 resulting in his death. In previous hearings, the judge had expressed his anger as the prosecution failed to bring forth prosecuting witnesses to record their statement.

One witness in the previous hearing told the court that Singh was brought to the Services Hospital in a critical condition. “I wanted to record Singh’s statement but the doctors stopped him, terming his condition very serious,” the official quoted the witnesses.

Sarabjit died before recording his statement before the doctors. A one-man judicial commission of Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi of Lahore high court had initially investigated Singh’s murder case before the trial kicked off in the Sessions court.

Naqvi recorded the statements of some 40 witnesses in the case and submitted its report to the government which is yet to make its findings public.

The one-man commission had also issued notices to Singh’s relatives through the foreign ministry to record their statements and produce any evidence they had regarding his death. However, Singh’s family did not record their statements, the officials had said.

Tamba and Mudassar, in their statements to the commission, had confessed to the crime and said they killed Singh as they wanted to avenge the killing of people in

and Faisalabad in bomb blasts allegedly carried out by the Indian national.

Singh has been sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in a string of bombings in 1990 in the Punjab province of Pakistan.

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Who is Kamal Nath??

Anusha Bhattacharya

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Chief of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, Kamal Nath, on 13th of December was appointed as the 18th chief minister of India’s heartland. The announcement finally ended the suspense about who would become the CM of Madhya Pradesh. Both Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia were the two front-runners for the position. With wins in 114 seats, the Congress party had not done enough to secure a clear majority, but managed to scrape past the halfway mark with the help of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. The infighting in the Congress in Madhya Pradesh was a major challenge and Kamal Nath was the sole person responsible to bring the scattered Madhya Pradesh Congress back to a mold..

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Nepal bans higher denomination Indian Currency notes

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Kathmandu | The Nepal government has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations, according to a media report.

The government has asked the people to refrain from keeping or carrying Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100 denomination as it has not legalized them, The Kathmandu Post quoted Minister for Information and Communications Gokul Prasad Baskota as saying.

The decision can affect Nepalese labourers working in India as well as Indian tourists visiting Nepal.

The Indian government introduced notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations after demonetization in 2016.

People have been using new Indian currency notes in the Nepali market for nearly two years.

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