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PM Narendra Modi criticises Pakistan of its 15-year terror bill of $118 Billion

The reports revealed that as many as 141 terrorists and 64 civilians were killed across the state between 2013 and July 10, 2016

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • The reports revealed that as many as 141 terrorists and 64 civilians were killed across the state between 2013 and July 10, 2016
  • A staggering 23,061 terrorists, 1,431 civilians, and 6,220 security personnel have died in J&K over 28 years to August 7, 2016, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal
  • Terrorism has cost Pakistan $118 billion over the last 15 years in direct and indirect costs, according to Pakistan’s Economic Survey 2015-16

NEW DELHI, August 16, 2016: According to a government reply to parliament during its just-concluded monsoon session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Pakistan (without naming the country) for supporting terror groups that included 671 infiltration incidents, and 738 terrorist attacks that were reported in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three years.

The reports revealed that as many as 141 terrorists and 64 civilians were killed across the state between 2013 and July 10, 2016.

A staggering 23,061 terrorists, 1,431 civilians, and 6,220 security personnel have died in J&K over 28 years to August 7, 2016, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

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Map of Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Map of Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

About 34,000 AK-47 rifles, 5,000 grenade launchers, 90 light machine guns, 12,000 revolvers, three anti-tank guns, four anti-aircraft guns, 350 missile launchers and 63,000 kg of explosives, including RDX, and more than 100,000 grenades were seized by security forces from terrorists in J&K over the last 25 years, Modi said on August 12, 2016, at an all-party meeting on J&K.

“During this period, more than 5,000 foreign terrorists were killed, which is almost equal to the strength of five battalions (of the Indian Army),” said Modi.

Terrorism has cost Pakistan $118 billion over the last 15 years in direct and indirect costs, according to Pakistan’s Economic Survey 2015-16.

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“Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Baluchistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Modi said on August 12.

As many as 351 incidents of violence were reported against minorities in Pakistan between 2012 and 2015, according to the 2016 report State Of Religious Freedom In Pakistan by Jinnah Institute, a public policy advocacy in Pakistan.

“Sindh and Balochistan, in particular, witnessed persistent targeted killings and bomb attacks against members of the Shia community. In Balochistan, anti-Shia messaging in public spaces and in the press continued with impunity,” the report said.

People in Balochistan had thanked him for standing by them, according to Modi.

In 2015, 247 civilians were killed in Balochistan, of which 114 were attributed to militant outfits and 143 were considered the work of the state apparatus and its surrogates, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Since 2004, till April 17, 2016, at least 922 civilian killings were reported by militant outfits. In addition, 463 people went missing and 157 bodies were found mutilated in Balochistan in 2015.

(16.08.2016. In an arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform, with which Chaitanya Mallapur is an analyst. The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend. The author can be reached at respond@indiaspend.org).  (IANS)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)