India asks Pakistan for concrete crackdown on terror groups

Raveesh Kumar said Saturday that a reported Pakistani crackdown this week on seminaries, mosques and hospitals belonging to outlawed groups and arrest of dozens of people was not enough. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 March 2019
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India asks Pakistan for concrete crackdown on terror groups

  • New Delhi’s retaliatory strike in the northwest Pakistan town of Balakot last month, sent tensions spiraling
  • Fawad Chaudhry said Khan has invited India to take part in a joint investigation and negotiations, but there had been no response from the Indian side

NEW DELHI: India on Saturday demanded that Pakistan take concrete steps against terrorists operating from its territory, while at the same time returning its top diplomat to Islamabad amid an easing of tensions between the nuclear rivals.
Pakistan announced earlier this week that its high commissioner to India was returning to New Delhi, weeks after the two countries recalled their top diplomats for consultations as tensions flared after suicide attack on a convoy of Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian-held Kashmir that killed 40 soldiers.
India blamed that attack on a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and launched a retaliatory airstrike inside Pakistan.
Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Saturday that a reported Pakistani crackdown this week on seminaries, mosques and hospitals belonging to outlawed groups and arrest of dozens of people was not enough.
He said Pakistan should take concrete steps “against terrorists and terror infrastructure” on its territory.
Kumar said a recent United Nations statement also called for “perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to be held accountable and brought to justice.”
He accused Pakistan of failing to take any credible action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terrorist organizations, which he said continued to operate with impunity from Pakistan.
“The widespread presence of terrorist camps in Pakistan is a public knowledge within and outside Pakistan,” he said.
Pakistan says it has arrested 44 people, including the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar who was apparently named in a dossier given to Islamabad by New Delhi. It also says shut a number of facilities and frozen assets of several outlawed organizations.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Saturday that his country was acting against the banned militant outfits and it would not allow anyone to “use the Pakistani land for terrorism against any country.”
He also said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked India to send evidence it has against anybody.
“India hasn’t shared yet any actionable information and proof against anybody,” he added.
Chaudhry also said Khan has invited India to take part in a joint investigation and negotiations, but there had been no response from the Indian side.
New Delhi’s retaliatory strike in the northwest Pakistan town of Balakot last month, sent tensions spiraling.
India said its air force hit a terrorist training camp and killed “a very large number” of militants. Pakistan said the strike only damaged three trees in a forest.
Islamabad responded by shooting down two Indian warplanes and capturing a pilot, who was later returned to India as a peace gesture. India said it lost only one aircraft.
Since then, the two sides have exercised restraint amid calls from the international community to avoid war.


India’s Supreme Court chief justice denies sexually harassing assistant

Updated 20 April 2019
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India’s Supreme Court chief justice denies sexually harassing assistant

  • “This is unbelievable,” Gogoi, India’s most powerful judge said
  • The allegations, dating from October, were carried in full by a number of major Indian online publications

MUMBAI: The chief justice of India’s Supreme Court, Ranjan Gogoi, on Saturday denied allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward a junior court assistant who worked in an office at his home and that she was subsequently victimized.
“This is unbelievable,” Gogoi, India’s most powerful judge, told a special hearing of the court he called on Saturday so that the allegations could be addressed. “I should not stoop low even in denying it.”
Gogoi said the events showed that India’s judiciary was under “serious threat” and was being destabilized by a larger conspiracy, without elaborating.
“There is some bigger force behind the woman,” he said.
The allegations, dating from October, were carried in full by a number of major Indian online publications on Saturday.
The 35-year-old woman, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, wrote a letter to all 22 of the Supreme Court judges along with an affidavit detailing her allegations on Friday.
Those included a series of allegations that the woman and her family were victimized by a series of related actions by the authorities, including the termination of her employment, and the suspension of her husband and his brother, who worked in the Delhi police force.
She also says another brother of her husband’s had his Supreme Court job terminated and she also faced a “false and frivolous” bribery complaint, leading to her arrest and subsequent bail.
“Me and my family’s victimization is a consequence of my not agreeing to the sexual advances made by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Rangan Gogoi,” she said in the letter to the judges.
Justice Arun Mishra, who joined Gogoi on the bench for the special hearing, said the allegations were “wild and baseless.”
The court asked the media to show restraint in covering the case to avoid undermining the reputation and independence of the judiciary, though it decided not to issue a gag order.