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US calls for restraint on n-arms, NSA to visit Pakistan

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Washington: As tensions between India and Pakistan continue to escalate, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice is expected to arrive in Pakistan on Sunday, media reported on Saturday. The US, earlier, called for restraint in developing nuclear weapons and expressed concern over recent developments as well as rising tensions between the neighboring countries. During the visit, Rice is also expected to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and her counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Rice is also expected to meet Pakistan’s political and military leadership over bilateral relations and the regional security situation, Dawn reported. A top military source also confirmed a separate meeting with the army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, where the regional security situation is likely to be discussed.

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Earlier, the US warned that speculation about the potential use of such weapons will not help reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, media reported. At a news briefing, US State Department spokesman John Kirby on Friday stressed the need for exercising restraint in developing nuclear weapons. “Obviously, we continue to urge all nuclear-capable states, including Pakistan, to exercise restraint regarding furthering their nuclear capabilities,” he said. He refused to get dragged into a media debate, claiming that some Pakistani officials had threatened to use the nuclear option if the current situation in South Asia led to an armed conflict with India. “I haven’t seen those comments, so I’d be loath to specifically address them,” Kirby said, “what we want to see are the tensions decrease”.
Asked if the US was working with Pakistan to bring it into the mainstream on the nuclear issue, Kirby said: “Obviously, these kinds of matters are matters we discuss with Pakistani leaders on a routine basis. “The nuclear issue, he said, was something that the US would continue to focus on, as it was consistent with President Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons. Kirby said the US regularly held discussions with Pakistani officials on the country’s nuclear program but he refused to comment on a US think-tank report that Pakistan would have the third-largest nuclear stockpiles after the US and Russia in a decade. “I’m not going to have anything substantive to offer on the report’s findings,” he said.

The think tank report released on Thursday said that Pakistan should have the rights and obligations of a nuclear-weapon state recognized by the NPT. Countries recognized as nuclear-weapon states by the members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are allowed to keep their weapons in return for meeting certain obligations.”It is in Pakistan’s national security interests and the interests of the international community to find ways in which Pakistan can enjoy the rights and follow the obligations of other nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT,” says the paper released by two think tanks, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Centre.

(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.

Donald Trump, India
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)