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Modi to become first PM to visit all five Central Asian countries in one go during his upcoming tour

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New Delhi: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi leaves on Monday on an eight-day tour that will take him to the five Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and to Ufa in Russia where he will attend the BRICS and SCO back-to-back summits.

Modi will he the first Indian prime minister in recent times to visit all five Central Asian countries at one go.

Trade with the resource-rich region, in which China has made major inroads, stands at a paltry $1.6 billion.

Connectivity, especially through the proposed North-South Transport Corridor, will be on top of the talks agenda between Modi and the Central Asian leaders.

India will seek to boost energy cooperation and trade with the five nations, which were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

In Ufa, the summit of the five BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — come as the board of governors of the BRICS bank, called the New Development Bank, which will hold its first meet in on Tuesday. The bank’s president is India’s M.V. Kamath.

Writing about the visit on his Facebook page, Modi said his first stop will be Uzbekistan, where he will hold talks with President Islam Karimov and both sides would ink key agreements to strengthen cooperation.

Modi said he would be interacting with Indologists, students learning Hindi and members of the Indian community.

“It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, who ignited our nation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. I will be paying my tributes to this proud son of India during the visit,” Modi said.

In Kazakhstan, his next stop which he will visit on July 7-8, Modi said he will hold talks with President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Prime Minister, Karim Massimov.

“There will be delegation level talks with President Nazarbayev followed by the signing of documents and a joint press statement,” he said.

Modi said he looks forward to interacting with the youth of Kazakhstan at the Nazarbayev University.

He will also inaugurate the India-Kazakhstan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology at the L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University and also join a wreath-laying ceremony and planting of sapling at the Monument of Defenders of Motherland.

Modi will then visit Ufa for the 7th BRICS Summit and SCO Summit.

He expressed hope that the BRICS summit would build on the ground covered during the last summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

“I expect positive outcomes in economic cooperation and cultural ties among the BRICS nations.”

Modi said he will be meeting the leaders – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma – individually too, apart from at Ufa, and also will be meeting business leaders.

At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, India is an observer but is hoping to be included as a permanent member.

He flies to Turkmenistan on July 11 — in the first visit by an Indian prime minister since P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1995.

Modi said he will hold talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which would be followed by signing of agreements and a meeting with the press.

Areas for boosting ties include tourism, fertilizers, space, science and technology and defence.

“Our bilateral trade is way below its potential and I am confident we can improve it,” Modi said.

He will also inaugurate a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and a Traditional Medicine and Yoga Centre and also lay wreath at the mausoleum of the first president.

His next visit on July 12 would be to Kyrgyzstan, in the first prime ministerial visit in the last 20 years.

Modi would hold talks with President Almazbek Atambaye and also meet Prime Minister Semir Tariyev and Speaker of the Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov.

India is gifting medical equipment to Kyrgyz Field Hospital.

Modi will inaugurate tele-medicine links, which shall promote medical tourism from Kyrgyzstan to India. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will also be unveiled.

“I will have the opportunity to visit the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre and join the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Victory Monument in Bishkek,” he said.

On Tajikistan, his last stop, Modi said the last prime ministerial visit from India was by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in November 2003.

He said India and Tajikistan have a strategic partnership and very strong defence cooperation, but economic cooperation has been limited and the scope of growth was immense. Bilateral trade has huge potential.

“My visit will build on the existing strong diplomatic and defence ties and script a fresh chapter in our economic ties. I look forward to meeting President Emomali Rahmon. Key agreements will also be signed after our meeting. I will gifting medicines for the India-Tajikistan Friendship Hospital,” he said.

A statue of Rabindranath Tagore will also be unveiled in Dushanbe. (IANS)

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Is Supporting the TRUTH a Crime?

Is this the age of hypocrisy? Yes, it quite seems like. Hypocrisy and double-dealing are what characterize the social and intellectual nuances of present India. Nothing could be so disgusting than the fact that when you speak the truth and follow the truthful people then you are accused of being a follower of Saffron party. ‘Bhakta’, ‘Sangi’ are two terms much going around which are coined by those extra smart class of Indians

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Is it a crime in India now to admire those who really deserve?

By Salil Gewali

Just a few days back I was incisively criticized by one of such smarts – Mr. Sekular. He put forth very weak reasons to undermine my article on PM Modi as if it is outrageous to praise PM Modi’s dedication and activities. My article was intended to bring to the limelight a few of the rare achievements of the present government and how it brought about the overall development in the country and the appreciations PM Modi received from the countries abroad. Is it a crime in India now to admire those who really deserve? Here follow how I rebut that write-up by Mr. Sekular.

  • I am not a follower of any political parties. Nor am I associated with any organizations, so I do not have an allegiance to a specific political party. Nevertheless, I do support, and do not hold back to uphold the truth and do not shy away from admiring those who are genuinely truthful and putting themselves in the service of the nation. The nation belongs to me, my family, my village; and as a result, me, my family, my society, my culture, my language and my identity are inseparable from this land.   Well, even if I am a supporter of the Saffron party of PM Modi, what is the big deal about it? Does one commit a sin by supporting and encouraging persons who truly love the country and who want to do something substantial for the nation?
truth, crime
Why do Mr. Sekular and his kind hold the contrary ideas about the safety and security of this sovereign country?
  • Here my pointed question to that Mr. Sekular is, on the other hand, why does he support those parties and those “forces” whose “integrity” is very doubtful. Why do Mr. Sekular and his kind hold the contrary ideas about the safety and security of this sovereign country? Why do they discreetly, even openly, invite Bangladeshi infiltrators, and thereby put the peaceful Indians to great hardship? On the other hand, don’t they vehemently oppose CAB bill? Why so opposing views, conflicting perspectives?  Well, if trusting and espousing the “truth” and human “values”, and loving the country and its language and its culture will be equated with supporting the saffron party of India then I will never mind even if the whole world calling me as a leader of that party, lol. Why should one deviate from the “pathway of truth” lest somebody would label him as a certain thing or other?

 

  • Please watch out, if the same principle is applied, the leaders and country heads of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Palestine, South Korea, Japan are fast becoming the followers of the saffron party. They all have applauded the activities of the Supreme head of the saffron party – Mr. Narendra Modi and awarded him with the states’ highest honors. What is too disquieting here is that the president of Russia – Mr. Vladimir Putin also has jumped on the bandwagon. His government has recently announced to honor Shri Narendra Modi with the country’s highest award – Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. According to Mr. Sekular, I guess, it is objectionable. Well, barring a few, all world leaders have established the personal relationship with the saffron head.  Is Mr. Sekular aware that Tulsi Gabbard, who is now running for the President of America, is a passionate follower of Narendra Modi? One wonders what Mr. Sekular and his ilk will do if the US Congress’ leaders cry at the top their lungs – “America Mata Jai” in case Ms. Tulsi wins the election in 2020? Her name itself is Indian and so off-putting, isn’t it?
truth, crime
One wonders what Mr. Sekular and his ilk will do if the US Congress’ leaders cry at the top their lungs – “America Mata Jai” in case Ms. Tulsi wins the election in 2020? Her name itself is Indian and so off-putting, isn’t it?
  • Further, I guess, Mr. Sekular must not have completely read my articles and viewpoints, and therefore he is conveniently misinterpreting it to create confusion among other readers. His intention is seemingly not very clear. Almost all my l articles, starting from 1990, frankly speaking, invariably seek to bring about the harmony, peace, and co-existence among all peoples and the welfare of the whole humanity in the world. I personally have never compromised on the misconceived ideas and principles against human values and against the country, nor have I knowingly ever set out to cause a division, hostility, acrimony, hatred, among anyone through my write-ups.  And, despite that, if anyone draws the negative meanings from my writings then I am totally helpless. Of course, people usually understand a subject which is based on their already programmed and conditioned minds. The acquired information and impressions in the past only help them form ideas and conclusion. We usually become victims of wrong propaganda and misinformation and start to believe them as being right. One has to be extra alert in this age of digital media as there are many SECULAR propagandists around.

ALSO READ: First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

Lastly, Mr. Sekular should note that my two eyes still clearly differentiate between right and wrong, and virtue and evil. Hence, I am deeply suspicious of those intellectuals who glorify “aluminum”, not “gold”, heap praise upon the terror-manufacturing countries, not upon where they have taken birth in, hate the native culture but eulogize and adopt the culture from the far-off lands. We must caution ourselves of these hypocrites who trifle with the country, its ethos, its sanctity and thus mislead the masses with wrong narratives.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali