New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday functioned briefly when Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave a statement on the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. But, it was then adjourned till 2 p.m.
The house was adjourned following repeated disruptions by the opposition members, demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their links with former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
Rajnath Singh gave a statement on Wednesday’s Udhampur terrorist attack where one Pakistani terrorist has been nabbed alive.
Soon after the statement, opposition members were on their feet again. They shouted slogans and demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Lalit Modi issue and the Vyapam scam.
The first adjournment came shortly after 11 a.m. and the house was adjourned till noon.
When the house met again, the scene was no different as Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium.
Chairman M. Hamid Ansari then adjourned the house till 2 p.m.
New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : India on Friday issued a medical visa to another Pakistani national following a promise made by the Ministry of External Affairs on Independence Day.
“Amna – We have approved medical visa for your father Mr Shamim Ahmed,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in response to a request from one Amna Shamim through the Twitter handle of Karachi’s Muhammad Talha.
Shamim also posted a reference letter dated October 9 from a doctor in Sri Ganga Ram Hospital who stated that the patient was being considered for a liver transplant.
On Independence Day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had announced that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.
The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.
However, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for liver tumour, was given a visa on July 18.
Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.
Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas. (IANS)
Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India on Sunday said Rohingya refugees who have poured into Bangladesh must be taken back by Myanmar from where they have been displaced.
“Normalcy will only be restored with the return of the displaced persons to Rakhine state,” Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a media meet also attended by her Bangladeshi counterpart Abula Hassan Mahmood Ali.
This followed the fourth India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meeting.
Sushma Swaraj did not use the word Rohingya to refer to the thousands who have taken shelter in Bangladesh and instead referred to them as displaced persons from Rakhine state, bdnews24.com reported.
She said India was “deeply concerned at the spate of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar”.
According to latest figures from the UN office in Bangladesh, over 600,000 refugees have entered the country since August 25 after the Myanmar Army cracked down on the Rohingyas after a series of attacks on security personnel in Rakhine.
Bangladesh Minister Ali said India was urged to contribute towards exerting sustained pressure on Myanmar to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, including return of Rohingyas to their homeland. (IANS)
Madrid, October 22, 2017 : Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has outlined plans to remove Catalonia’s leaders and take control of the separatist region.
Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, Rajoy stopped short of dissolving the region’s parliament but put forward plans for elections, BBC reported.
The measures must now be approved by Spain’s Senate in the next few days.
Large crowds have gathered in Barcelona to protest against direct rule from Madrid. It comes almost three weeks after Catalonia held a disputed independence referendum.
Spain’s Supreme Court had declared the vote illegal and said it violated the constitution, which describes the country as indivisible.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has ignored pleas from the national government to abandon moves towards independence.
Rajoy said the the Catalan government’s actions were “contrary to the law and seeking confrontation”. He said it was “not our wish, it was not our intention” to impose direct rule.
This will be via Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, which allows it to impose direct rule in a crisis on any of the country’s semi-autonomous regions.
Spanish law dictates that elections must be held within six months of Article 155 being triggered, but Rajoy said it was imperative that the vote be held much sooner.
Reports say that Spain’s interior ministry is preparing take control of Catalonia’s Mossos police force and remove its commander Josep Lluís Trapero, who is already facing sedition charges.
The government is also considering taking control of Catalonia’s public broadcaster TV3, El País newspaper reported.
Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras said Rajoy and his allies had “not just suspended autonomy. They have suspended democracy”.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said it was a “serious attack on the rights and freedoms of all, both here and elsewhere” and called for demonstrations.
The president of Barcelona football club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said the club gave its “absolute support for the democratic institutions of Catalonia chosen by its people”.
But he called for any reaction to be “civil and peaceful” and said dialogue was the only way to a solution.
Eduard Rivas Mateo, spokesman for the Catalan Socialist party — which supports the Spanish government’s stance but also wants constitutional reform — said he could not accept a “harsh application” of Article 155.
But Ines Arrimadas, head of the centrist Ciudadanos party in Catalonia, which is against independence, said holding fresh elections would “restore goodwill and democracy” in the region.
Rajoy’s use of Article 155 had been widely anticipated, but his announcement when it came still had a huge impact. The article has never been invoked before, so there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding its potential reach and meaning.
Although Rajoy insisted that Catalonia’s self-government is not being suspended, many will disagree. The removal from office of Carles Puigdemont and all the members of his cabinet, to allow ministers in Madrid to take on their duties, amounts to a major reining in of Catalonia’s devolved powers.
The Spanish Prime Minister said one of his aims is to restore peaceful co-existence to Catalonia with these measures.
Many Catalans who want to remain in Spain will approve of this strident action. But those who want independence for their region are likely to see this as a provocation rather than a solution. (IANS)