QBullet: No Pak in PM Modi’s UNGA Speech; Ajit Pawar Quits As MLA 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

1. PM Omits Mention of Pakistan and Kashmir in UNGA Speech

Asserting that India gave the world “Buddha not yuddha” (peace not war), Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the United Nations that for the “sake of humanity… it is absolutely imperative that the world unites against terrorism, and stands as one against terrorism.”

In a short address before the UN General Assembly, Modi did not once refer to Pakistan while making a broad appeal to fight the “evil” of terrorism.

“We believe that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity,” Modi told world leaders and UN delegates.


2. Pak PM Imran Khan Foresees ‘Bloodbath’ in J&K

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday contended there would be a “bloodbath” when India eases restrictions in Jammu & Kashmir, and warned the tensions between the two countries could escalate into a war.

Khan made the remarks while addressing the UN General Assembly about an hour after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who studiously avoided any mention of the Kashmir issue or Pakistan in his speech. Khan said he would speak on four urgent problems, but more than half his address of nearly 50 minutes, far more than the 15-minute limit for speeches at the General Assembly, dwelt on Kashmir and tensions with India.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. Why This Concern for Indian Muslims When You’re Not Worried About Those in China, US Asks Pak

Nudging New Delhi to take “rapid action” to restore normalcy in Kashmir, the United States on Thursday suggested the onus on resumption of talks between India and Pakistan rested on Islamabad acting on terrorism and dialing down its overheated rhetoric. Washington also implicitly rebuked Pakistan for its ‘anxiety’ over treatment of Muslims in India, wondering why there was not as much concern about the fate of Muslims in China.

Responding to questions on the Kashmir issue during a special briefing in Washington, Alice Wells, the State Department’s point person for the region, noted that after India revoked J&K's special status on 5 August, PM Modi had laid out a plan and objectives of returning Kashmir to normalcy, as well as engagement with a new generation of political leaders.

"I think we are interested in knowing the next steps in engagement and encouraging that political dialogue to begin... we hope to see rapid action in the lifting of the restrictions and in the release of those who have been detained," she said.


4. ‘Upset’ Over ED Case, NCP’s Ajit Pawar Quits as MLA

Upset over the Enforcement Directorate case lodged against him, Nationalist Congress Party leader and former two-time deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has quit as MLA from Baramati, party president Sharad Pawar said on Friday.

“I was not aware of his decision. He is a fighter and a blunt speaker who will not leave the battlefield. I learnt about it after speaking with his family,” Sharad Pawar said.

Maharashtra assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade confirmed that Ajit Pawar had submitted his resignation and it has been accepted.

5. Shiv Sena: Sharad Pawar a Leader of Standing, ED Has Made Bank Case Political

Coming out in defence of rival NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena’s parliamentary party leader Sanjay Raut, a BJP ally, Friday questioned the alleged money-laundering case against “a senior leader with a certain standing”, and said it has only given fresh lease of life to the NCP on the eve of the assembly elections in Maharashtra.

Raut said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case against Pawar is generating sympathy for him and galvanising the cadre of a party on the decline. The case, he said, had acquired political colour, and those familiar with Pawar’s capabilities and the politics of Maharashtra can figure how the matter is going to play out.

“I would say, for no reason, the investigating agency has made the case political,” Raut said.


6. 15 Senior Tax Officials Retired Compulsorily

Image used for representational purposes. 
Image used for representational purposes. 
(Photo: iStock)

The Union government on Friday forced 15 senior tax officials to retire from their jobs over allegations of corruption and professional and personal misconduct that included, in one case, bigamy, two finance ministry officials with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

One commissioner-rank official allegedly purchased a flat in Ashok Vihar, New Delhi, and handed it over to his estranged wife by way of alimony without furnishing any information on this to the department as required by conduct rules. “He allegedly married two women without any judicial separation from his first wife, thereby committing bigamy,” an official said.

The 15 tax officials are one principal commissioner, two commissioners, two joint commissioners, two additional commissioners, four deputy commissioners and four assistant commissioners.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. INX Media Net Widens: Ex-Niti CEO Among 4 to be Prosecuted

P Chidambaram being taken to CBI court on 21 August 2019. 
P Chidambaram being taken to CBI court on 21 August 2019. 
(Photo: PTI)

The CBI has been granted sanction by the government to prosecute four former officials of the Finance Ministry, including Sindhushree Khullar who went on to become CEO of Niti Aayog, in the INX Media case in which former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is already in judicial custody.

The sanction was granted a month after Khullar was confronted with Chidambaram who was then in CBI custody. A 1975-batch IAS officer from the Union Territory cadre, Khullar was Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry when developments related to the INX Media allegedly took place, CBI sources claimed. She was Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) between 2004 and 2008. In 2015, she was appointed Niti Aayog CEO.

Others to be prosecuted are Anup K Pujari, former Secretary of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Prabodh Saxena, former Director in the Finance Ministry; and, Rabindra Prasad, former Under Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs.


8. Seer’s Phone Was Tapped by Passing Him Off as Smuggler

The investigation into the alleged illegal tapping of phones of politicians, their aides, bureaucrats and other officials during the tenure of former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has revealed that police officers intercepted some numbers illegally by linking them to unrelated criminal investigations to escape detection during legal scrutiny.

Sources said one example that has come to the fore in the investigation handed over to the CBI by the BJP government in Karnataka is the alleged tapping of the phone of Nirmalananda Swami, an influential seer of the dominant Vokkaliga community.

Sources said the probe has found that the seer’s phone was intercepted by misrepresenting his identity. A police officer at the technical cell generated a report for the tapping of Nirmlananda Swami’s telephone by slipping in his name and number in a list of suspects in a red sanders smuggling ring.

9. Kerala Flat Owners to Get Rs 25 Lakh in Compensation

File photo of the Supreme Court. 
File photo of the Supreme Court. 
(Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court reaffirmed an order to the Kerala government on Friday to demolish an illegal multi-storey residential complex built in violation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms in Ernakulam district and directed the state to pay Rs 25 lakh each as interim compensation to around 350 apartment owners.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhat also directed the formation of a committee of former Kerala high court judges to determine the final compensation amount that should be paid to the owners, who purchased the flats at prices ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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