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Modi-Sharif meeting augurs well for foreign secretary level talks

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New Delhi: The Modi-Sharif meeting definitely augurs well for the foreign secretaries’ level talks scheduled in January in Islamabad.

The meeting between the two prime ministers was welcomed by politicians in both India and Pakistan, while the UN, the US, China and other countries have termed it a positive development which would have a far-reaching impact on the regional peace, The Nation reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: “Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia.”

He said the improvement in relations between the two countries was significant to regional peace, stability and development.

The US State Department said Modi’s overture towards Pakistan would “benefit the entire region”.

“We welcome the December 25 talks between PM Modi and PM Sharif in Lahore. As we have long said, improved relations among neighbours will benefit the entire region,” spokesperson John Kirby said on Saturday.

Foreign affairs adviser to Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz said that Modi’s brief stopover in Lahore was unplanned.

Aziz, special assistant on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi and National Security Adviser Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua could not join Sharif in the meeting at his Jati Umra residence.

However, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif attended the meeting, Aziz said.

The news of the stopover was announced by Modi on Twitter: “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.”

Within minutes, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “That’s like a statesman. Padosi se aise hi rishte hone chahiyen (One should have such relations with neighbours).”

Pakistan’s other political parties such as Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Awami National Party and Qaumi Watan Party welcomed the move and hoped it would go well in normalising the relations between the two countries.

After seeing off Modi at the Lahore airport, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said Nawaz and Modi met in a cordial atmosphere, and it was agreed upon in the meeting that people-to-people contact should be enhanced and other confidence-building measures should be taken to improve the relations between the two sides.

This was the second meeting between the two prime ministers in less than a month, after their interaction on the sidelines of the climate change talks in Paris on November 30.(IANS) 

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Modi must speak up on violence against women, children: Rahul

During the protest, Gandhi slammed the Prime Minister over the repeated incidents of violence, rape and murder of women in the country

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Rahul Gandhi (Twitter)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” over the rape incidents in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao was “unacceptable”. He prodded him to speak.

He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party governments in these states of “protecting rapists”. “Mr Prime Minister, your silence is unacceptable. What do you think about the growing violence against women and children? Why are accused rapists and murderers protected by the state? India is waiting. Speak up,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Rahul Gandhi becomes president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi steps down
Rahul Gandhi attacks Modi again on his inability to secure women and children. Wikipedia

In another tweet earlier, Gandhi thanked people who had taken part in the midnight protest in Delhi against the “slumber” that the Modi government was in and sought justice for the victims.

“Thousands of men and women stood up to be counted in the battle for justice and to protest the rising acts of violence against girls and women.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Points at PM Modi to Vacate the Seat over Gas price Hike

“I thank each and everyone of you for your support. It shall not be in vain,” Gandhi said while attaching pictures of people who participated in the protest. Gandhi, who had led the protest Thursday night, was joined by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra, hundreds of party workers and senior party leaders.

During the protest, Gandhi slammed the Prime Minister over the repeated incidents of violence, rape and murder of women in the country. “We want the government to take action. Today, women are feeling insecure to move out of their houses. Somewhere a child, a woman is raped, killed and we want that the government should resolve this. The women of the country should feel safe,” he had said. IANS

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