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Spying Allegations by Pakistan against Indian High Commission Officials in Islamabad are Crude Attempts to Tarnish India’s Image: Sushma Swaraj

Pakistan named eight officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and alleged they were working for the Research and Analysis Wing or the Indian Intelligence Bureau

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Sushma Swaraj , Pakistan
Sushma Swaraj Speaks Out On India-Pak Relations, Asks Pakistan to Stop Promoting Terror. Wikimedia
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New Delhi, November 23, 2016: Spying allegations levelled by Pakistan against Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad were a “crude attempt” by the neighbouring country to tarnish India’s image, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has informed the Lok Sabha.

In a written reply, the minister also said that the naming of officials in the media, was a violation of the Vienna Convention.

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Pakistan earlier in November named eight officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and alleged they were working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or the Indian Intelligence Bureau.

Pakistan’s move came on the heels of India apprehending an official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi for allegedly indulging in anti-India activities.

[bctt tweet=”Indian government has taken a “number of initiatives” to normalise India-Pakistan relations.” username=””]

“The allegations against Indian officials represent an afterthought on the part of Government of Pakistan and constitutes a crude attempt to tarnish the image of India,” Sushma Swaraj said in the written reply.

“The manner in which their names and photographs were prominently published in Pakistani media along with baseless allegation reiterated without any corroboration by Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is against the Vienna Convention and also violates the norms of established diplomatic practice and courtesies,” she said.

The minister said the officials and their family members were brought back to India in three batches on November 8, 10 and 12.

She also said that the Indian government has taken a “number of initiatives” to normalise India-Pakistan relations.

“Government had taken a number of initiatives to normalise India-Pakistan relations, peacefully and bilaterally, in an environment free from terrorism and violence.

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“At the same time, Government is also resolutely committed to take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the nation and the safety of our citizens,” she said.

In October, Pakistan High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar was apprehended by Indian authorities for allegedly indulging in anti-India activities. He was declared persona non grata on October 28.

The Indian government had summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner on the same day and registered strong protest about the activities of Akhtar, who left India on October 29 along with his family.

On October 28, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry declared Surjeet Singh, Assistant Public Welfare Officer in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, as persona non grata without providing any justification, “except for the baseless and unsubstantiated allegation that his activities were not in keeping with diplomatic norms”. Surjeet Singh subsequently returned to India on October 29.

On November 2, Pakistan government withdrew six Pakistan High Commission officials, whose names had reportedly appeared in media as a result of the interrogation of Akhtar.

“It was Government of Pakistan’s own decision to withdraw these six officials without any prior communication to the Government of India regarding the same. They left India on November 2, along with 25 family members,” the minister said in her reply.

Pakistan withdrew another two officials on November 16.

On November 2, Pakistani media prominently carried names of eight Indian officials of the High Commission of India, Islamabad Counsellor R.K. Agnihotri, First Secretary Balbir Singh, First Secreatary (Trade) Anurag Singh, Attache Amandeep Singh Bhatti, APWO J. Senthil, and Assistants D. Sodhi, V.K. Verma and M. Nandakumar, along with their photographs.

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The Pakistan media reports alleged that these officials were involved in subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan.

On November 3, in the weekly media briefing Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially released their names and official designations.

“The litany of baseless charges against them was repeated,” she said. (IANS)

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Facts About Parliament Of India You Didn’t Know Before

Parliament of India is the supreme legislative authority in India

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Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Parliament of India is the supreme legislative authority in India
  • Indian Parliament is divided into two houses – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
  • Indian Parliament is one of the biggest and has a very intricate architecture

Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. It controls and creates all the bills and laws in the country. Parliament of India is bicameral. It is divided into two parts namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha is called the Lower House and Rajya Sabha is referred to as the Upper House.

Parliament of India is the largest legislative authority in India.
Parliament of India is the largest legislative authority in India.

Rajya Sabha has 238 members wheres the Lok Sabha seats are 545 is number. The term of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are 6 years and 5 years respectively. The head of the Parliament of India is the Indian President. The proceedings in Lok Sabha is controlled by the speaker of Lok Sabha whereas, in Rajya Sabha, there is a chairman.

Apart from these basic facts, here are some other interesting Indian Parliament facts you may not have known before:

  • Parliament of India is called the Sansad or Bhartiya Sansad
  • The Parliament of India is circular in shape which represents the “Continuity.” The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha halls are constructed in the shape of a horseshoe.

    The carpet colours of the halls of Lok sabha and Rajya sabha also hold significance. KPN
    The carpet colours of the halls of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also hold significance. KPN
  • The carpets in the halls of the Parliament of India are also very significant. Lok Sabha’s hall’s carpet is green in colour which represents the people that are elected from grass root level. The hall of Rajya Sabha is adorned with red carpet which denotes royalty and is a constant remembrance of the struggle faced by our freedom fighters.

Also Read: Lok Sabha passes the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017

  • The library in the Parliament House is the second largest library of India after the National Library in Kolkata.
  • Indian Parliament has a canteen, and it is the cheapest canteen in the country with a 3-course veg meal available for Rs. 61 only.

    Parliament of india is circular in shape which denotes continuity.
     Indian Parliament is circular in shape which denotes continuity.
  • Rishang Keishing is the oldest members who served the Parliament of India. He was a member of Rajya Sabha twice and retired at the age of 92.
  • The first female speaker of Parliament of India was Meira Kumar.
  • According to rules between two sessions of parliament, there should not be a gap of more than 6 months.

Also Read: Reservation Quota for Women in Parliament finds support at Kumaon Literature Festival

  • In Parliament of India, as per common practice, Question Hour starts at 11 a.m. where MPs put forward their questions. The Zero Hour starts at 12 noon where MPs can discuss general questions.
  • The office of President in the Parliament is in the room no. 13, which is considered inauspicious by many.