202

Deadlock In Talks In Brussels May Lead To Another Defeat For Prime Minister Theresa May

New Delhi: A deadlock in talks in Brussels on a key provision in the EU withdrawal agreement is expected to lead to another defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May when the motion on her Plan B is introduced in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The agreement was resoundingly voted down in January due to the so-called ‘backstop’ for Ireland-Northern Ireland, which is a fallback option to avoid a hard border between the two if formal trade talks do not result in a deal between the UK and EU.

MPs across the political spectrum believe the ‘backstop’ does not have an end-date and will thus tie the UK indefinitely to EU rules, defeating the result of the 2016 referendum. May promised to secure the required changes and re-introduce the agreement in parliament.

172

Pakistan Asks, FATF To Remove India As Co-Chair Of Its Asia-Pacific Joint Group

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry said that Pakistan asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international terror financing watchdog, to remove India as co-chair of its Asia-Pacific Joint Group.

Currently placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the Paris-based FATF, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy.

142

Theresa May Strives To Gain Parliamentary Support For The EU Withdrawal Agreement

New Delhi:  UK Prime Minister Theresa May warned rebel MPs and critics that “no-one knows what will happen” if the agreement is again voted down on March 12. She is striving to gain parliamentary support for the EU withdrawal agreement.

The agreement stitched by May’s team after prolonged talks with Brussels since the 2016 EU referendum was resoundingly rejected in the House of Commons in January. A revised version is to be put to vote on March 12, as the due departure date of March 29 draws near.

Speaking in Grimbsy in north England that voted to leave the EU, May said: “Next week, Members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice. Whether to back the Brexit deal – or to reject it. Back it and the UK will leave the European Union”.

122

UN Rejects A Petition By Hafiz Saeed To Be Removed From A List Of Sanctioned Terrorists

New Delhi: The UN has rejected a petition by Hafiz Saeed to be removed from a list of sanctioned terrorists, with authorities concluding that he wasn’t able to prove he did not pose a threat to other countries. Hafiz Saeed is the founder of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The move comes days before the March 13 deadline for objections to a fresh move by France, the US and Britain to sanction Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, another Pakistan-based terrorist, at the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

The UN has already designated JeM a terrorist organisation. Saeed, who currently heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) that was banned by Pakistan on Tuesday, petitioned the UN in 2017. He was listed on December 10, 2008 by the UN Security Council after a terror attack in Mumbai by a group of LeT operatives claimed 166 lives.

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United States Claims, It Had Played An Essential Role In De-Escalating Tensions Between India And Pakistan

New Delhi: The United States said Tuesday it had played an “essential role” in de-escalating tensions on the sub-continent and that it continues to follow “very closely” reports that Pakistan used American-made military hardware — F-16s and missiles — in a retaliatory strike against India.

Phone calls by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Indian and Pakistani leaders last week “played an essential role in de-escalating tensions between the two sides”, state department spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters in response to a question at the daily briefing.

While in Hanoi, Vietnam for the second US-North Korean summit, Pompeo had spoken to India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and NSA Ajit Doval and Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.