309

Porters, Labourers And Truck Drivers Go Jobless As Import From Pakistan Stops Due To Duty Hike

New Delhi: Thousands of porters, labourers and truck drivers have been suffering to make their ends meet as import from Pakistan through integrated check post (ICP) Attari, which facilitates the trade of India with Pakistan and Afghanistan, has come to a halt post duty hike by India.

Government of India has hiked the duty on imports from Pakistan to 200 per cent from 5 per cent on all items on February 17 in response to the Pulwama terror attack. Since then, not a single truck importing goods from Pakistan has entered India, as local traders are unwilling to pay the hiked duty.

There are around 3000 truck drivers and conductors and 2866 porters and helpers, who earn their livelihood working at the ICP.

308

Jaitley Exudes Confidence That People Will Make Right Choice In Forthcoming Elections By Electing BJP

New Delhi: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley exuded confidence that people will make the right choice in the forthcoming general elections by electing a stable government rather than ‘mahamilawat gathbandhan’, which is being envisaged as a road to disaster. The mahamilawat gathbandhan, which has leaders and political parties of different ideologies, can only promise political instability, said Jaitley in his seventh blog on ‘Agenda 2019’.

“At the cusp of history, India and Indians have a choice to make. Are they electing a six month Government or a five year Government? Are they choosing between a tried, tested and a performing leader or a chaotic crowd of non-leaders? “Is India looking at a Government which accelerates growth, development and poverty alleviation or is it looking for a Government made by persons who excel only at self-enrichment? I am confident that aspirational people of an evolving society will make the right choice,” said Jaitley who is also the head of the publicity wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

287

Despite China Block, India Continues With Efforts To Get Massod Azhar Labelled As Global Terrorist

New Delhi: India continued to work with the UN Security Council sanctions committee on the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist and will show patience on the issue, official sources said on Saturday, days after China blocked a proposal at the world body to ban the JeM chief. They also said steps taken by Pakistan in the last few days, against terror groups were cosmetic in nature

"India continues to work with the UNSC's sanction committee on listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist," official sources said. India believes "terrorism is a major issue for China. They know a number of terror groups are based in Pakistan", sources added.

On China blocking Azhar's listing as a global terrorist, sources said India will show patience as long as it takes.

286

Following Christchurch Shootout, Arden Promises Tougher Gun Laws in New Zealand

New Delhi: New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to toughen the country's gun laws after revealing the alleged shooter behind Christchurch's mosque attacks had legally bought the five weapons, including two semi-automatic rifles, used in the massacre. The nation's firearms laws are lax compared to neighbouring Australia, which enacted a strict gun control regime in the wake of a similar massacre in 1996.

Ardern said on Saturday that 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant obtained a "Category A" gun licence in November 2017 which allowed him to purchase the weapons used to mow down worshippers in two Christchurch mosques. Some of the guns appear to have been modified to make them more deadly, she said, adding that a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.

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Indian Air Force Sergeant Gets Death Sentence, wife Five Years in Jail for Murdering Corporal

New Delhi: A local court here has sentenced a former Indian Air Force sergeant to death for the murder of a 27-year-old corporal in February 2017. Additional District and Sessions Judge Kanwaljeet Singh Bajwa sentenced Sailesh Kumar to death for the murder of Vipin Shukla of Uttar Pradesh when both were posted at Bhisiana Air Force Station. The verdict was pronounced on Friday, officials said.

The court also sentenced Kumar's wife to five years rigorous imprisonment for destruction of evidence. The corporal had gone missing in February 2017. After thirteen days, his body was found chopped and packed in polythene bags, as per the police's investigation.

The sessions judge observed the accused, a member of the armed forces, should have shown courage in some other field, "in place of butchery". He said, "It would be a mockery of justice and the conscience of society would be shocked, if death penalty was not awarded to him as his act was abhorrent and dastardly.