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PM Narendra Modi raising Balochistan issue is not interference in Pakistan’s affairs

People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days, said PM Modi

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Map of Pakistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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August 17, 2016: Sources said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan during his Independence Day speech cannot be seen as interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

“The Balochistan issue is nothing new as human rights abuses have been happening there,” the sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“It (Modi’s reference) is an expression of concern over what is happening there,” they said.

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Asked if it was not an interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs, they said that India has “spoken out on distressing human rights situations in other parts of the world as well”.

In a first for any Prime Minister in an August 15 address, Modi referred to human rights abuses in Balochistan and the part of Kashmir Pakistan controls.

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“The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them,” Modi said, referring to his comments last week on excesses in Pakistan’s largest province and in the Kashmir it holds.

He said the way people from these Pakistani regions “wished me well, gives me great joy”.

In thanking an Indian Prime Minister, “they have thanked the whole population of my country”, he said. “I want to offer my gratitude to these people”. (IANS)

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Madhya Pradesh Waives off $5.3Bn in Farm Debt

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year.

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India, farmers, farm
Farmers march towards the parliament house during a rally to protest soaring farm operating costs and plunging prices of their produce, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The new leader of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is to waive up to $5.3 billion of farm loans, becoming the latest area to offer relief ahead of a national election next year as farmers reel from losses caused by falling crop prices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party lost the central state to Congress last week dealing Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and boosting the opposition ahead of the vote next year.

Congress leader Kamal Nath, who became chief minister of the state on Monday, decided to write off farmers’ loans up to 200,000 rupees, according to a notification.

farmers, Bank
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Protests on the rise

Farmers’ protests have been rising in past months due to the fall in crop prices and a rise in the cost of diesel and fertilizer.

Nearly 3.4 million farmers will benefit from the loan waiver, which is likely to cost between 350 billion rupees ($4.9 billion) to 380 billion rupees ($5.3 billion), Rajesh Rajora, the state’s principal secretary for agriculture, told Reuters.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year. (VOA)