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Nation wants to know: Why Times Now was denied Pakistan visa

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New Delhi: The reporters of Mumbai-based Indian news channel Times Now were allegedly denied a visa for Pakistan to cover the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for a conference on Afghanistan.

Known in the Islamic Republic for its alleged ‘anti-Pakistan’ stance and ‘unfavourable’ coverage, Times Now has reacted angrily to the development.

Following Pakistan’s decision in this regard, the channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami slammed the Islamic Republic, saying that Times Now was being punished for asking ‘tough and uncomfortable questions’.

The channel rued that Pakistani government granted the visa to other Indian channels, singling out Times Now for this ‘discriminatory treatment’.

India and Pakistan are set to hold the third bilateral engagement at the top level in less than 10 days with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaching Islamabad on Tuesday for a conference on Afghanistan.

While speaking to reporters in the Pakistani capital, Swaraj said that it was necessary and appropriate for her to hold talks with PM Nawaz Sharif and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Following an impromptu meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the margins of a global climate change conference on November 30, the national security advisers of the two sides met in Bangkok on December 6 and discussed all major issues, including Kashmir.

Swaraj is expected to take this process forward during her likely meetings with Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on the margins of what is called the 5th Ministerial Conference on Heart of Asia Istanbul Process.

This is also the first ministerial visit from India to its South Asian neighbor since the then external affairs minister S M Krishna went to Pakistan in 2012.

(With inputs from agencies)

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India Gets Its Sex Offender Registry

The latest statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau show the number of sexual crimes rose 12 percent between 2015 and 2016.

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People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India
People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India. VOA

India has launched a sex offender registry. The establishment of the database comes as the country is experiencing a daily wave of sexual crimes.

The information in the registry, however, will only be available to law enforcement officials. In contrast, in the United States, the public has access to information in sex offender registries.

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Indian women participate in a candle light vigil at a bus stop where the victim of a deadly gang rape in a moving bus had boarded the bus two years ago, in New Delhi, India. VOA

A home ministry statement said the 440,000 names in the Indian database includes people convicted of rape, gang rape, child sex crimes and sexual harassment. The registry also includes photos of the offenders, plus their addresses and fingerprints.

The latest statistics from India’s National Crime Records Bureau show the number of sexual crimes rose 12 percent between 2015 and 2016. The figures for 2016 show there were more than 100 reported rape cases in India every day. (VOA)

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