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France to provide over 2 billion euros for ‘Smart Cities’

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New Delhi: The French Development Agency (AFD) on Friday said that it is committed to providing over 2 billion euros in next three years for India’s ‘Smart Cities’ project.

“AFD’s commitment is to provide 2 billion euros over the next 3 years of loans to support smart cities and sustainable development in India,” its chief Pascal Pacaut told media here after it and the Indian finance ministry’s department for economic affairs held their 6th annual negotiation meeting on Thursday regarding the implementation of India’s ‘smart cities’ project.

France has extended its support in investing in building ‘smart cities’ here, Ambassador to India Francois Richier told media.

“It is our priority to support green and inclusive growth in India,” he said.

He said the focus will be on the three cities of Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry, while there is an investment of 200 million euros for the extension of Bangalore metro.

“Our priority is also to create energy efficiency in municipal street lighting with EESL (Energy Efficiency Service Ltd) at (an outlay of) 50 million euros,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited France in April and France had committed 600 million euros for ‘Smart Cities’ and projects related to sustainability, including in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Richier had also visited Puducherry himself to review the implementation of the project. He will also visit Chandigarh for the same purpose.

 

 (IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)