QBullet: Imran Khan’s Message for India; PM Modi at BRICS Summit
1. Victorious Imran Sends Peace Overture to India
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief Imran Khan, who looks set to become the next prime minister, on Thursday pledged to match every step India takes towards Pakistan with two, in his first speech after declaring victory, “thanks to God,” in a divisive general election marking only the second civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country.
“We want to improve our relations with India, if their leadership also wants it. This blame game that whatever goes wrong in Pakistan is because of India and vice versa brings us back to square one,” 65-year-old cricketer-turned -politician Khan said late on Thursday afternoon after his party emerged as the single largest in the National Assembly according to local media.
2. PM Modi Talks Trade at BRICS Summit, Meets Xi on Sidelines
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reaffirmed India’s commitment to multilateralism, international trade and a rules-based world order as he participated in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in South Africa.
Modi, who arrived in Johannesburg on the last leg of his Africa tour, presented the country statement of India at the BRICS leaders’ closed session.
“At the session with fellow BRICS leaders, I shared my thoughts on various global issues, the importance of technology, skill development and how effective multilateral cooperation creates a better world,” Modi tweeted.
3. Unlike Last Year, Jaish, Lashkar Not Named in BRICS Statement
A year after India claimed credit for the naming of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in the BRICS declaration at Xiamen in China, the grouping’s declaration in Johannesburg Thursday did not contain any reference to these terrorist groups.
The latest declaration was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met all BRICS leaders, and was in the process of meeting at least three of them separately.
Sources, however, told The Indian Express that once a formulation has found mention in a declaration, “it is already a part of record”. They also pointed to the “very strong” paragraphs on terrorism in the Johannesburg declaration.
4. Slight Decline in Karunanidhi’s Health, Say Doctors
The condition of ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi, 94, “slightly declined” on Thursday, according to a statement of the hospital which is providing him care at his Chennai residence.
Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and some other AIADMK ministers visited Karunanidhi’s residence to inquire about his health. “He (Karunanidhi) recognised us. We are sure he will recover soon,” D Jayakumar, a minister, told reporters.
5. Mehul Choksi on the Move Again, Probe Agencies Say He Left Antigua
Fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, who was learnt to have escaped to Antigua and taken citizenship, has left the Caribbean country. Agencies investigating the Rs 13,600 crore PNB scam, where Choksi is among the key accused with nephew Nirav Modi, have learnt that he recently left Antigua for another country that is yet to be determined.
“We are trying to ascertain where he is. But we are certain he is not in Antigua anymore,” an officer involved in the probe said. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing the PNB fraud case and have secured got notices against Modi and Choksi through Interpol.
On Wednesday, the CBI had written to concerned authorities in Antigua to provide details of Choksi’s whereabouts after Antiguan authorities officially released a statement about Choksi getting a citizenship in January this year, just before the PNB scam was made public.
6. CBI to Probe if Cambridge Analytica Got Data of Indians Illegally
In a decision with political implications, the government has ordered a CBI investigation into the suspected involvement of Cambridge Analytica in illegally obtaining data of Indians – a charge that can resurrect BJP’s allegations that the controversial firm worked for Congress.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, IT and law minister R S Prasad said Cambridge Analytica did not respond to government notices beyond saying the data of Indians had not been breached, but this was found to be not in conformity with what Facebook had reported.
7. Setback for Mallya: Can’t Appeal Against London HC Verdict
In yet another setback to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, the second-highest court of the United Kingdom – the Court of Appeal in England – has denied him permission to appeal against a high court judgment in favour of 13 Indian banks, saying his grounds for the plea “were totally without merit”.
Mallya had sought permission to appeal against the 8 May judgment of the London HC which paved the way for the recovery of the Rs 9,990 crore he owes the 13 banks. The HC judge had also dismissed his application to have the worldwide freeze order on his assets discharged. The HC verdict had set a legal precedent: it marked the first recorded case of a judgment of a Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in India being registered by the HC.
Mallya’s counsel had argued that the DRT Bengaluru judgment was “not permitted to be enforced in the UK”.
8. Nitish Kumar Seeks CBI Probe Into Alleged Sex Abuse at Muzaffarpur Shelter Home
The Bihar government on Thursday recommended a CBI probe into the alleged sexual exploitation of inmates at the short stay home for girls, run by NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, in Muzaffarpur.
Raising the issue in the Assembly, the Opposition demanded the resignation of Social Welfare Department Minister Manju Verma, following allegations that her husband was also involved. Verma told the Legislative Council that if her husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, a former legislator, was found to be involved, she would “request the court to hang him”. “As I hail from a backward community and am the only woman minister, I am being targeted,” she said
9. Mumbai Psychiatrist, Ladakhi Education Reformer Win Magsaysay
Mumbai-based psychiatrist Bharat Vatwani, who cares for mentally ill destitutes, and Ladakhi engineer turned educationist Sonam Wangchuk, who inspired Aamir Khan’s character in “Three Idiots”, were named on Thursday among winners of this year’s Magsaysay Awards, widely regarded as Asia’s Nobel prize.
Vatwani (60), who lives in Borivli, and wife Smitha have in the last three decades treated and reunited 7,000 destitute schizophrenics with their families — at times in neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal.
“We have always been moved by the plight of patients with schizophrenia,” Vatwani told The Times of India over the phone while travelling from his rehabilitation shelter in Karjat to his home in Borivli.