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Window for India-Pak talks should remain open

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According to a Pakistan daily here in Islamabad on Tuesday, India and Pakistan ought to keep the window open with the foreign secretaries meeting this month according to the new schedule so that “peace can win over terrorism”.

The editorial of a News International said that it was a “well-established reality that there are elements on both sides of the Indo-Pak border that will go to any length to prevent peace between the two countries”.

“It is essential these elements not be permitted to succeed, and this can happen only if the leaders of the South Asian neighbors refuse to allow their tactics to work,” it said.

“It is unfortunate then to see that the Pathankot attack has once more led to a crisis of trust, with New Delhi reverting quickly to some of the hostility and acrimonies we have seen in the past.”

The historic suspect among the two countries appeared to ease only after the separate visit of Sushma Swaraj, External affairs minister of India and then by the brief visit of prime minister Narendra Modi over the past few weeks.

“But it appears now that the bridges built are creaking again. While Pakistan had appeared to act on evidence from India by arresting the leader of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, blamed by New Delhi for the attacks, along with 20 other activists, it seems more is required.”

“These measures may, to some degree, have salvaged matters. But they have not completely blocked a new wave of hostility,” it added.

It said that the acrimony directed across the border by India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is unsettling.

“Parrikar, responsible last year too for some highly offensive comments, has warned the ‘consequences will be seen’ in a year if Pakistan does not show action.”

“Permission has also been denied to the Pakistan SIT team to visit Pathankot, leaving it to ponder the option of visiting New Delhi, the line favoured by India, or else seek more evidence to be dispatched to it.”

It also said that India has denied travel documents to Hurriyat leaders and social activists who had hoped to visit Pakistan this week for a Kashmir Conference – which has now been cancelled.

“New laser fences, which act like radars, are also to be installed by the Indian BSF.

“But for now, windows should remain open. They must be kept ajar, with the foreign secretaries meeting this month as per a new schedule so that peace can win over terrorism,” it added.(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)