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Musharraf attacked by Pakistani ministers over Kashmir

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DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 24JAN08 - Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan gestures as he talks during the session 'The Quest for Peace and Stability' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Andy Mettler +++No resale, no archive+++
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Islamabad:The Kashmir issue would have been resolved by now had not then Pakistan army chief Pervez Musharraf ousted Nawaz Sharif in 1999, a minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 24JAN08 - Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan gestures as he talks during the session 'The Quest for Peace and Stability' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008.  Copyright by World Economic Forum    swiss-image.ch/Photo by Andy Mettler +++No resale, no archive+++

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid blamed Musharraf for harming the Jammu and Kashmir cause the most, the Dawn reported.

Speaking two days after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Russia, Rashid said everyone knew that Kashmir was “the real and major issue” between New Delhi and Islamabad.

He said the Kashmir issue would have been resolved by now and Pakistan would not be facing energy crisis and terrorism today if Musharraf had not overturned Sharif’s government in 1999.

After ousting Sharif, Musharraf became the president until he stepped down in 2008.

(IANS)

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Tea Body of Assam Slam ‘Chaiwala’ Modi

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said

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Assam tea body slam 'chaiwala' Modi,

The largest tea body of Assam on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refer to himself as a “chaiwala”, for not being considerate towards the state’s tea garden workers’ plight and urged him to implement the promised minimum wage of Rs 350 before the new year starts.

The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) General Secretary Rupesh Gowala said while Modi often refers to himself as a “chaiwala”, he is yet make good on his promises towards a million tea garden labourers in the state in the last four years.

“Before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Modi addressed several rallies in Assam and assured that the tea garden labourers would be paid a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day,” Gowala said.

“If this happens, the 10,00,000 tea garden labourers will lose Rs 30 each day for two months. Is it a “chaiwala” Prime Minister who is doing this to his own community?” said Gowala.

The tea garden workers in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam are presently drawing Rs 167 per day while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting Rs 145 per day.

“The existing wage agreement between the Assam government and the ACMS and other tea workers bodies expired on December 31, 2017.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

“The government had announced an interim hike of Rs 30 per day. The tea garden labourers are supposed to get this interim hike from January 1, 2018, but the government is saying the hike will apply from March 1, 2018.

“This would make them lose Rs 30 per day for two months,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam is yet to fix that minimum wage, Gowala said, urging Modi to announce the promised Rs 350 per day minimum wage before 2019.

Gowala said the condition of all those tea gardens run by the Assam government was far worse.

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“While the labourers in company-owned garden are receiving a wage of Rs. 167 per day now, the 26,000 workers under the 14 gardens of state-owned Assam Tea Company Limited (ATCL) are receiving a wage of Rs 115 only per day,” he said.

Assam has over 800 medium and large size tea gardens that produces over 50 per cent of the country’s total tea produce.

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said. (IANS)