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Indo-Pak peace talks: Home Minister commits to diplomatic engagement, promises to hold fire

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source: chennaionline.com
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By Newsgram Staff writer

New Delhi: Addressing Pakistan Ranger chief Major General Umar Farooq Burki’s heightened concern over the prospects of a full-blown out war, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday told the visiting delegation that India will not fire the first bullet.

The home minister also stated India’s eagerness to engage in dialogues at different levels with Pakistan.

source: abplive.com
source: abplive.com

“India wants friendly relation with Pakistan and will never fire the first bullet,” the home minister told the Pakistan delegation, as per home ministry officials.

Maj.Gen. Burki, on the other hand, refused to commit on the issue saying that he was just the director-general of a force, and could only convey India’s concern to the Pakistani leadership.

Maj.Gen. Burki however affirmed that Pakistan also wanted to have good, cordial relations with India and will follow the decisions taken in the meeting.

“Your country is very big. It is a great nation. We also want to have very good relations with India,” the Rangers chief told Singh.

Talks at the director-general are currently on in New Delhi with the Pakistan Rangers delegation holding meetings with its Indian counterparts, the Border Security Force (BSF).

Speaking on cross-border terrorism, the home minister stressed on the need for united action between India and Pakistan and urged the Rangers to ensure that terrorists did not infiltrate into India from their territory.

source: theindianawaaz
source: theindianawaaz

Both countries are affected by terrorism and all countries have to cooperate to fight this evil,” Singh the Pakistan delegation.

Underscoring India’s urgency on diplomatic engagement, the home minister also said that the reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Russia’s Ufa was that India wanted to engage with Pakistan for dialogues at different levels.

“India always wanted good cordial relations with Pakistan and the government follows (former prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s policy of peace with neighbours as ‘friends can be changed but neighbours cannot be changed’.

“India always wanted the dialogue with Pakistan to continue, and Ufa meeting was a part of the same initiative. Unfortunately, the National Security Advisor level talks between the two nations could not be held,” Singh stated.

Further stressing on complimenting both border forces for having a meaningful interaction, Singh said that “forces or civilians should not be targeted on either side”.

“Nobody should fire towards uniformed personnel… If firing takes place for some reason, the other side must verify first before retaliating by using ‘elimination bomb’,” he said.

The home minister was also happy that the two forces agreed to use the faster fax and email as the new means of communication between their commanders instead of the conventional procedure of organising flag meetings.

Friday was the second day of the talks.

(With Inputs from IANS)

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These 10 Islands in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar chosen for Holistic Development by Government

The newly constituted Island Development Agency (IDA) has started the first phase of work regarding the holistic devolopment in 10 chosen islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar

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Andaman
Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Wikimedia
  • The government has chosen ten islands in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar for their holistic development
  • Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar while Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep are among those selected in the first IDA meeting
  • The IDA was set-up on June 1 following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting

New Delhi, July 24, 2017: The government has chosen ten islands in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar for their holistic development in the first phase of work being done by newly constituted Island Development Agency (IDA), it was announced on Monday.

Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar while Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep are among those selected in the first IDA meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here on Sunday after detailed consultations with key stakeholders, a Home Ministry statement said.

The IDA was set-up on June 1 following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting.

In the meeting, Rajnath Singh presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He also emphasised upon the need for sustainable development of islands with people’s participation.

ALSO READ: Top 5 Islands in India for a Memorable Escape to Bliss!

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant made a detailed presentation on the current status and the way forward for holistic development of identified islands.

He said that concept development plans and detailed master plans are being prepared for identified islands with principles of sustainability, people’s participation, eco-system preservation and determination of carrying capacity as the guiding principles.

“Such an exercise is being taken up for the first time in the country,” Amitabh Kant said.

IDA Chairman and former Navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi (retd.), suggested taking up suitable interventions for sustainable implementation of planned projects.

During the meeting, the progress being made for the formulation of integrated master plans and other matters concerning the islands development were reviewed, the statement said.

“It was also decided that Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands will be included as members of IDA,” the statement further said, adding with this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of islands of India received a major boost.

Other members of the IDA including the Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Environment Secretary, Tourism Secretary and Tribal Welfare Secretary also participated in the meeting. (IANS)