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Pakistan stalls release of 'Indian' fisherman

Mumbai, The Pakistan government has declined to release one of the 338 Indian prisoners who will be freed from Karachi jail Friday. In a last-minute announcement, the government claimed that the Indian authorities had not confirmed the nationality of fisherman Manoj Kumar Warma, son of Pannalal. "All other prisoners as per the list will be released according to schedule," said Rizwanullah Jamil, a representative of the Legal Aid Office in Pakistan who learnt of the development. The 338 prisoners, among them eight children, are mostly fishermen. They will be released from Karachi's Malir jail Friday and will cross over into India through the Wagah border ...
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LoC attack: Antony should apologise to India, Sushma Swaraj says

New Delhi, Opposition BJP and UPA's outside supporter SP on Wednesday stalled Parliament over contradictory statements by defence minister A K Antony and Army over the killing of Indian soldiers on the Line of Control. BJP demanded that Antony should apologise for "toeing the Pakistani line" when he stated that the 5 Indian soldiers were killed by 20 heavily armed terrorists and persons in Pakistani army uniform, while an Indian Army statement said the terrorist were assisted by Pakistan Army. As the Lok Sabha met for the day, leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj slammed Antony for giving Pakistan army a "clean chit" in the attack. She said while an earlier statement by the Army and the defence ministry blamed terrorists and Pakistan army regulars for the attack, Antony said those involved in the incident were terrorists and people wearing Pakistan Army uniforms. "The defence minister should apologise to the country," Swaraj said amid din over Telangana and law and order situation in West Bengal. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present in the House, Swaraj demanded a statement from him on the issue stating categorically that Pakistan army was involved in the ...
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Pak army violates ceasefire, kills 5 Indian soldiers at LoC

Jammu, Pakistani troops attacked an Indian post along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir late on Monday night, killing five Indian soldiers. Defence sources said on Tuesday the Pakistani soldiers intruded into the Indian territory past midnight and ambushed the Sarla post on the Indian side of the LoC. Five Indian soldiers were killed, the sources said. Chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "(I) was briefed early this morning about the news that five of our soldiers had been killed on the LoC. My heartfelt condolences to their next of kin. "These incidents don't help efforts to normalise or even improve relations with Pak and call in to question the Pak Govt's recent overtures," he said. Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh is taking stock of the situation, Army sources said in Delhi. The incident could cast a shadow on the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue process expected later this month. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are slated to meet in New York next month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The incident comes hours after a BSF jawan was injured in firing from across Indo-Pak ...
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60 dead in rain, floods; Karachi worst-hit in Pakistan

Islamabad, Heavy monsoon rain and flash floods across Pakistan have killed 60 people over the past three days, with southern port city of Karachi being worst-hit, officials said on Monday. Most of the people were killed in Karachi where some areas like Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Amroha Society and Saadi Town are still inundated, they said. The deaths occurred due to electrocution, roof-collapsing and drowning, said a rescue official of Edhi ambulance service. Rain started in Karachi on Saturday and was still going on intermittently in some parts of the city, creating hurdles in the rescue operations. Monsoon also wreaked havoc in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in north-west, Balochistan in south-west, interior districts of Sindh and Rajanpur district of Punjab. Kamran Zia of National Disaster Management Authority said that eight people were killed in KP and 12 in tribal areas, 10 people in Balochistan and 12 in Punjab. Hundreds of people have been affected and army was called in Karachi to shift the marooned people to the safe places. Crops over hundreds of hectares have also been damaged. The Meteorological department has predicted more rains in the country as part of annual ...
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Zardari's party to boycott presidential election in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan People's Party on Friday decided to boycott next week's presidential election to protest over advancing of the polling dates. Senior PPP leader and presidential candidate Raza Rabbani said the rescheduling of the election date to July 30 from August 6 had drastically curtailed the time period needed for campaign. The Election Commission had announced that the polls would be held on August 6, which falls on 27th day of the Muslim holy month of fasting which is considered as sacred. Raja Zafrul Haq, chairman of PML-N, had asked the court to change the date in a petition filed on Tuesday. The Supreme Court changed the schedule on Wednesday and shifted the election to July 30. "This is violation of our rights and constitution as the court decided without hearing our views," said Rabbani. The decision is not going to affect the outcome of the elections as PML-N candidate Mamnoon Hussain is already poised to easily win the contest. The election will be held despite the boycott by a major party as several other candidates are also running, including one nominated by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of former cricketer Imran Khan. PML-N has so far not ...
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PML-N formally nominates Nawaz Sharif for PM's office

Islamabad, The PML-N has formally nominated its chief Nawaz Sharif for the office of Prime Minister after the party moved towards a simple majority in the 342-member National Assembly or Pakistan's lower house of parliament. The final approval for Sharif's nomination will be made during a meeting of the PML-N's parliamentary committee before the start of the first session of the new National Assembly. The PML-N is all set to form government after emerging the single largest party in the National Assembly during the May 11 general election. The party won 126 of 272 directly elected seats in the lower house of parliament. Eighteen independent candidates recently joined the PML-N, taking its tally of directly elected seats to 144. The PML-N will be allocated 32 reserved seats for women and five reserved seats for non-Muslims. This will give it 181 seats in the 342-member House, or 10 seats more than the 171 required for a simple majority. The PML-N's strength in the National Assembly could increase further as several parties ? including the PML-F, National People's Party and National Party ? are expected to enter into an alliance with it. The new Prime ...
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Imran Khan's party wins revote in Karachi, protests expected

Islamabad, Cricket hero Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party won a revote in an upmarket constituency of Karachi on Sunday, unofficial results showed, a day after gunmen killed a party leader, setting the stage for protests and counter-protests. Khan blamed the killing of Zara Shahid Hussain on the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party, which has a stranglehold on the city. Furious MQM leaders denied responsibility, condemned the killing and demanded a retraction from Khan. The attack in the upscale Defence area, the family neighbourhood of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, capped a bloody election campaign in which around 150 people were killed nationwide. The May 11 general elections handed a landslide victory to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Imran's campaign electrified many Pakistanis, pushing the PTI from a marginal party to Pakistan's third largest. But results from a handful of constituencies across the country are still uncertain amid accusations of vote-rigging. There is re-polling in a few others where security issues prevented voting. Last week's election gave the MQM 18 of 19 national ...
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1210 got citizenship in 3 years, not Pak migrants who came 20 years back

Jalandhar, Even though the Union government has granted citizenship to 1,210 foreign nationals from 2009 to 2012, Hindus who migrated from Pakistan two decades back are still waiting for it. Some have even died while waiting for the citizenship. On May 8, the Union home minister, in reply to questions asked by BJP MP Avinash Rai Khanna about the migration of Hindus and Sikhs in India, had revealed that although Hindus and Sikhs had migrated to India from Pakistan, statistical data about their numbers was not being maintained by the Centre. Khanna had also asked how many Hindus and Sikhs had been granted citizenship during the last three years. In reply, the minister had stated that 1,210 persons had been granted citizenship but he did not specify whether this number was for Hindu or Sikh migrants. "The government should expedite the process of granting citizenship to these migrants who, in any case, are not going to return to Pakistan as they had come here under compelling circumstances," Khanna had remarked. "We migrated here in 1993 and there were 32 members of the extended family. While some of our members have already passed away, including my father, uncle (father's ...
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1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: SC to consider Sanjay Dutt's review plea today

New Delhi, The Supreme Court will on Friday take up Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's plea seeking review of its March 21 judgement upholding his conviction under the Arms Act and sentencing him to five years in jail in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. A bench of P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, which had delivered March 21 verdict, will take up the review plea in chamber. It will also consider similar pleas made by other six convicts in the case. Other six convicts, who filed review petitions are Yusuf Mohsin Nulwalla, Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nazir, Mohamed Dawood Yusuf Khan, Shaikh Asif Yusuf, Muzammil Umar Kadri and Mohd Ahmed Shaikh. A day before the deadline for his surrender ended, the Supreme Court had on April 17 granted Dutt four weeks time to surrender before jail authorities to undergo 42 months remaining sentence in the case. The apex court had on March 21 upheld his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which it said was organised by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and others with the involvement of Pakistan's ISI. However, the apex court had reduced to five years the six-year jail-term awarded to him by a designated TADA court in 2006, ruling out ...
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Dalbir Kaur demands Pakistan to return Sarabjit Singh's personal belongings

Amritsar, Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur will demand handing over of her brother's personal belongings by Pakistan government so as to preserve them for his daughters. Dalbir Kaur told TOI on Wednesday that she would write to Pakistan President to direct authorities of Kot Lakhpat jail to send Sarabjit's belongings, including clothes, chappals, etc., which he was wearing at the time of arrest in 1990, besides his other belongings like spectacles, watch, clothes, diary and books, which he used before being attacked by fellow inmates on April 26. "I had given him clothes and other items of personal use. I want them back. I will write to Prime Minister of India and President of Pakistan," said Dalbir, adding that she would also personally urge President of India to intervene to bring back the belongings of her brother from Pakistan. She said that during her visit to Kot Lakhpat jail in 2011, Sarabjit Singh had told her that he writes a daily diary, mentioning who and how jail inmates and staff behaved with him on that particular day, what and how much he ate, etc. Sarabjit had told her that his clothes and other belongings which he had on at the time of his arrest were ...
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Sanaullah's body to be handed over to Pak: Shinde

New Delhi, The body of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay, who succumbed to injuries at a Chandigarh hospital on Thursday, will be handed over to Pakistan. "We will hand over the body to Pakistan," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said. Shinde said the ministry of external affairs is coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to complete the formalities to send back his body home. "Once the formalities are done, we will hand over the body," he said. Sources said a detailed post-mortem of Sanaullah, 52, would be done in Chandigarh and the travel arrangements would be made as per the request made by Pakistan. Government has been informed that Pakistan is arranging an aircraft to fly his body back home, the sources said, adding "If they arrange a non-military registered plane, the clearance would be prompt". Sanaullah, a convicted terrorist serving life sentence, was injured in a scuffle with another inmate in the high-security Kot Balwal jail in Jammu and rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh on Friday ...
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Pakistan seeks international probe into Sanaullah Ranjay's death

New Delhi, The Pakistan high commission has requested the Indian government to institute an international probe into the death of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay, who died on Thursday at a Chandigarh hospital after being attacked in Jammu jail last week. "We have requested the government of India for an international inquiry into the brutal attack on the Pakistani citizen. We request the government of India to immediately give his body to his family members so the funeral can take place according to Islamic rituals," Manzoor Ali Memon, one of the three diplomats granted consular access to the prisoner, told a TV channel. Sanaullah, who had been at the PGIMER hospital after his attack in Jammu's Kot Bhalwal jail May 3, died just before 8am on Thursday. "We are in deep grief and we are shocked. We express our deep condolences to Sanaullah's family and people of Pakistan for the brutal and extra judicial killing of the innocent citizen of Pakistan. The killing has taken place under the nose of Jammu and Kashmir jail authorities," Memon said. The Pakistani had been in deep coma since he had been flown to Chandigarh from Jammu last Friday. Sanaullah had suffered ...
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China exported arms worth $11 billion in 5 years, Pakistan major buyer: Pentagon

Washington, Asserting that China has signed agreements for arms exports worth USD 11 billion from 2007 to 2011, the Pentagon has said that Pakistan remains Beijing's primary customer for conventional weapons. "From 2007 to 2011, China signed approximately USD 11 billion in agreements for conventional weapons systems worldwide, ranging from general purpose materiel to major weapons systems," the Pentagon told the Congress in its annual report on China. In 2012 and the coming years, China's arms exports will likely increase modestly as China's domestic defence industry improves, it said, adding that Chinese defence firms are marketing and selling arms throughout the world with the bulk of their sales to Asia and the Middle East/North Africa. In 2012, China unveiled the Yi Long tactical unmanned aerial vehicle, which will probably be marketed to developing countries, it said. Pakistan, it said, remains its primary customer for conventional weapons. "China engages in both arms sales and defence industrial cooperation with Islamabad, including co-production of the JF-17 fighter aircraft, F-22P frigates with helicopters, K-8 jet trainers, F-7 fighter aircraft, early warning ...
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Pakistani prisoner attacked in Jammu jail, condition serious

Jammu, A Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah serving a life term was attacked inside the high-security Kot Balwal jail by a fellow inmate this morning and his condition is stated to be serious, official sources said. It was not immediately known whether the attack on the 52-year-old convict with a sharp weapon was a backlash against the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a hospital in Pakistan yesterday after being comatose for nearly a week following a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a high-security Lahore jail, officials said. Official sources said the Kot Balwal jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal has been suspended by the Jammu and Kashmir government which also ordered a probe. The sources said Sanaullah, a resident of Pakistan, was admitted in Government Medical College hospital in an unconscious condition with serious injuries on his head after being hit by a fellow inmate in the morning. A case of assault was registered against Vinod Kumar, an ex-serviceman who is also serving a life term in the jail in the outskirts of Jammu. Kumar hails from Uttrakhand. The sources said the health condition of Sanaullah was stated to be very critical as he was hit ...
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Punjab CM Badal says Punjab govt to give a state funeral to Sarabjit Singh

Chandigarh, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal today demanded an independent probe by an international agency into the circumstances leading to death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan. Badal also criticised the Centre's approach towards the matter. "Government of India too dithered and dilly-dallied in reacting to the attack on him (Sarabjit). Was enough done to save him? Steps by government of India to secure his release earlier were weak and totally inadequate," he said in a statement. Badal asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take highest diplomatic initiative to bring Sarabjit's body back to Punjab. He said the Punjab government will give a state funeral to Sarabjit. Demanding that his body be brought back to India for a "dignified funeral", deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal promised government jobs to Sarabjit's ...
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India reacts with anger, dismay over Sarabjit Singh's death in Pakistan

New Delhi/Amritsar, India on Thursday reacted with anger and dismay on hearing the news of death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore's government-run Jinnah Hospital this morning. Sarabjit had been admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with a severe head injury and injuries to his neck and torso last Friday. He had been attacked by six Pakistani prisoners while on a stroll inside Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. In an official statement, ministry of external affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said: "It is with great anguish that we have received the news of the demise of Sarabjit Singh who has succumbed to injury after the brutal attack on him in a jail." "It was simply a killing of our citizen in jail. We demand the government of Pakistan should conduct a thorough investigation to identify those who are guilty," he added. "We share deep condolences with the family. We have demanded that the Pakistani officials release his body so that he can be given funeral in India amongst his people," Akbaruddin said. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described Sarabjit's death in a hospital in Lahore as "condemnable". "This is a shameful ...
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Govt trying to get Sarabjit Singh's body: Sushilkumar Shinde

New Delhi, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde today met the family members of Sarabjit Singh, who died in a Pakistani hospital after being comatose for nearly a week, and assured them to make all efforts to bring back his body. "We are trying our best to get his body as soon as possible. The Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the Pakistan government," he told reporters after meeting Sarbajit's sister Dalbir Kaur and other family members here. The home minister said that once the body is received, the last rites will be performed as per the wishes of the family. "We are trying to get the body. But it will depend on Pakistan government. We will have to wait," he said. Shinde said India was talking to Pakistan till the very end to ensure better treatment for 49-year-old Sarabjit, who was brutally attacked in a high-security Lahore jail by fellow inmates on Friday, but could not succeed. The home minister said he has expressed to Sarabjit's sister the condolences of the whole country. "We are sad Sarabjit is no more with us. It is a very sad incident," he said. Shinde said India had raised the issue of Sarabjit with Pakistan in different forum and ...
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Sarabjit Singh case: No action taken against Lahore jail authorities

Lahore, Reports about the suspension of several Pakistani jail officials after the brutal assault on Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh last week have turned out to be an eyewash as authorities are yet to take action against anyone in Kot Lakhpat Jail. Immediately after the assault on Sarabjit by other prisoners on Friday, officials had told the media that three or four prison officials, including the assistant superintendent, had been suspended. However, official sources told PTI that not a single official of the prison has been suspended from service so far. The caretaker government of Punjab province has only issued notices to seven Kot Lakhpat Jail officials, including superintendent Mohsin Rafiq and additional superintendents Ishtiaq Ahmed Gill and Sawar Sumera, to explain why action should not be taken against them for failing to protect Sarabjit. To the surprise of many, an inquiry into the incident by deputy inspector general of police (prisons) Malik Mubashir pinpointed several security lapses but did not fix responsibility on any one. Punjab's caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi and his administration have been tight-lipped about the incident and no ...
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India to Pakistan: Release Sarabjit Singh, punish attackers

New Delhi, India on Monday appealed to Pakistan to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view of Sarabjit Singh's case and release him. India said that it is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to ensure safety and security of all Indian prisoners in their custody. The Indian government also demanded that the attack on Sarabjit Singh be thoroughly investigated and those responsible punished. Earlier, Pakistan on Monday said that the "best possible care" is being given to Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh - comatose in a Lahore hospital after a brutal assault - and that there are no plans to move him. They dismissed a report that a medical board was considering a proposal to send Sarabjit abroad. Sarabjit, 49, is being provided the best possible care in a Lahore hospital, and there are no plans to move him, information minister Arif Nizami said. Nizami, a key member of the caretaker government, told PTI that Sarabjit "would continue" to be treated at Jinnah hospital in Lahore and there are no plans to move him. "The best possible care is being provided to Sarabjit", he said on the sidelines of an official event in Islamabad. The caretaker govt ...
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Attack on Sarabjit Singh very sad: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the murderous attack on Indian death row prisoner in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh was "very sad". "Yes, it is very sad, some inmates attacked him in jail. I think that is a very sad development," Manmohan Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan here. Sarabjit Singh was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Lahore's Jinnah Hospital after the murderous attack on him by fellow prisoners on Friday afternoon. He reportedly suffered critical head injuries in the assault. He was attacked with bricks, sharp objects and plates. The reason behind the assault was not immediately known. Doctors are battling to save his life, said an official of India's external affairs ministry. The assault on Sarabjit Singh comes a few months after the death of Indian prisoner Chamel Singh in the same Kot Lakhpat jail after he was allegedly assaulted by the jail staffers. Sarabjit Singh has been on death row in Pakistan since 1990, after being convicted by Pakistani courts for bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan cities, which left 14 people dead. Sarabjit's family claims that he had inadvertently crossed ...
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