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PM Modi arrives in UAE, says Gulf region vital for India

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New Delhi: The importance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the first after Indira Gandhi’s in 1981, can be gauged from the Gulf nation’s place in India’s energy security as the sixth largest import-source of crude oil in 2014-15.

640x374xmodi15aug21.jpg.pagespeed.ic.OKMjims54e“The Gulf region is vital for India’s economic, energy and security interests,” Modi told the Khaleej Times in an interview.

Bilateral trade has grown significantly from a level of $180 million in the 1970s to around $60 billion per annum now, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2014-15 after China and the US.

Modi’s visit, external affairs ministry sources said, will focus on attracting investment by the United Arab Emirates'(UAE) massive oil-financed sovereign wealth fund that for Abu Dhabi is reported to be worth over $800 billion.

Meanwhile, plunging global crude oil prices that have again dropped below the psychological $50-a-barrel mark this year have forced the UAE government to cut down on subsidies and deregulate petrol and diesel prices last month, resulting in an increase by 24 percent in the price of petrol to $0.58 per litre.

The troubles from falling oil prices indicate that the six-member oil rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which the UAE is a member, is starting to feel the pinch, according to Amit Bhandari, a fellow at the Mumbai-based foreign policy think-tank Gateway House.

“The GCC accounts for just over 16 percent of India’s exports, including discretionary items such as gems and jewellery. Weak GCC economies can hurt Indian exporters and spell trouble for Indian banks,” Bhandari said.

He pointed out that during the 2008 economic crisis, activities such as construction came to a halt in Dubai, rendering thousands of Indian workers jobless.

(IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)