Tuesday February 20, 2018
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86 Indians walk back to home from Pakistan

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Lahore: Eighty-six passengers of the Samjhauta Express made their way home by crossing the Wagah border on foot on Monday after the train was refused entry into India due to a farmers’ agitation in Punjab, media report said.

According to Pakistan Railways, the Samjhauta Express left the Lahore railway station as scheduled with 86 passengers, including 25 women and 10 children, but was refused entry by the Indian railway authorities.

“After the Indian authorities did not accept the train into their territory, it returned to Lahore on October 8 and since then, these passengers have either stayed at the railway station or at nearby hotels,” Pakistan Railways’ Lahore Divisional Transportation Officer Shujat Hussain said.

He said since the train scheduled for departure to India from Lahore only left on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM, passengers started arriving at the station early on Monday morning.

“But when we contacted the Indian authorities, they refused to accept the train due to the deteriorating law and order situation there,” he added.

Hussain said officials from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had contacted Pakistan Railways through the ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday about the status of their nationals.

He claimed that officials from the high commission, after reaching Lahore, informed the railways that the train might not enter India on Monday due to the law and order situation in Punjab.

“In the meantime, we arranged transport to shift all passengers and their luggage to Wagah from where they entered their country by crossing the border on foot,” he explained.

(IANS)

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Sushma Swaraj meets with Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. 

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Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
A day after their meeting across a glass panel with Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, the mother and wife of the Indian national on death row in Pakistan, met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday.
According to reports, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar accompanied Jadhav’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul during the meeting at Sushma Swaraj’s residence.
In a meeting described as a “humanitarian gesture” by the Pakistan government on the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jadhav came face to face with his mother and wife after a gap of 22 months at the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday.
Separated by a glass partition in the heavily-guarded building, they spoke through an intercom watched by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh who escorted them to the meeting.
Jadhav’s family was later taken to the Indian High Commission before their return to India late on Monday night via Oman.
The two women did not speak to the media in Islamabad.
Pakistan has said that the meeting does not mean any change in Pakistan’s stance regarding Jadhav.
Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May.
India has said that Jadhav is innocent and has maintained that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for handling his businesses after superannuation from the Indian Navy.
Despite the death verdict, Pakistan last week reiterated that he was not under threat of an immediate execution as his mercy petitions were still pending. IANS

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