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India confirms Pakistan invite for Afghan conference

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New Delhi: An Indian diplomat has reportedly confirmed that New Delhi has received an invite from Pakistan for an Afghan conference, but no decision has been taken on the External Affairs Minister’s participation in the conference.

In a bid to restore stability in the militancy-ravaged Afghanistan, Pakistan has invited Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference to be held in Islamabad on 7th and 8th December. The Afghan conference aims at addressing the unstable condition of Afghanistan.

Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE are certain to attend the conference.

“A formal invitation has been sent to India and 25 other countries for the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting on Afghanistan to be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior Foreign Office official was quoted by Pakistan news daily – Express Tribune.

The diplomat further said India is likely to send a high-level delegation headed by the minister, given the importance of the conference.

The meet would provide an opportunity for the two countries to develop a procedure for further discussion between the two countries after the latest glitches in their relations.

Post cancellation of the NSA-level talks and differences over the meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, India and Pakistan would be able to benefit from such a meet.

If such steps have been taken by Pakistan, India should respond in a positive manner and attended the conference to mend their international relations with the country.

There are no official confirmations given by the Indian Government to any such invite and neither has the External Affairs Minister clarified on the request.

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Government Prepares Comprehensive Plan For Revival of BSNL

It also noted that a Coordination Committee comprising senior officers of the DoT, BSNL management, and representatives of AUAB is already working in this regard

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BSNL is providing mobile services in Kashmir. Image Source: www.freejobsinfo.in

The government is making all efforts to make state-run BSNL robust and financially viable again and has prepared a comprehensive plan for its revival, an official said on Sunday, on the eve of a nationwide strike called by the employees unions over their demands.

BSNL employees and officers have given a three-day country-wide strike call from February 18 to highlight their long-pending issues, including allotment of 4G spectrum to the telecom major and wage revision for the workforce.

“All efforts are being made, and will continue to be made, to make BSNL robust and financially viable,” a Communications Ministry statement said.

“The main demands of the All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (AUAB) include benefits to executives under the 3rd Pay Revision Committee (PRC) with 15 per cent fitment and to non-executives as per the 8th wage negotiations w.e.f. 1.1.2017, allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, revision of pension for BSNL retirees w.e.f. 1.1.2017 and delinking of same with pay revision for PRC implementation, and deduction of payment of pension contribution by BSNL on actual basic pay instead of on the highest level of the pay scale.

“Government wishes to re-emphasize that it will continue to engage with the BSNL management and representatives of the unions and associations, to support their reasonable demands, and to guide the organization towards a revival,” it said.

The SIM will now be available for employees of Patanjali only.
Comprehensive plan prepared for BSNL’s revival: Government.

Noting that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is taking “positive steps” regarding each of these demands, the ministry said the issue of alloting 4G spectrum to BSNL is being referred to telecom regulator TRAI “to recommend on the issue of administrative allocation, quantum, price and appropriate frequency band”.

“Further action will be taken on receipt of the said recommendation. In parallel, a comprehensive proposal for revival of BSNL has been prepared, which will be taken up for consideration by competent authorities very soon.”

It also noted that a Coordination Committee comprising senior officers of the DoT, BSNL management, and representatives of AUAB is already working in this regard.

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“Representatives of AUAB have also held meetings with the DOT Additional Secretary in which they have been duly apprised of the progress being made in relation to their demands,” the statement said.

It pointed out that the BSNL management has appealed to its employees not to resort to any agitation at this critical juncture when the organization is engaged in “sincere and serious efforts” to protect and enhance the company’s market share, “and when any disruption in services can only adversely impact the interests of BSNL and its customers, employees and other stakeholders.” (IANS)