Pranab embarks on week-long four-nation tour
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday embarks on a week-long four-nations tour, including Cyprus and Germany, during which he is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mohammad Kasuri.
The Mukherjee-Kasuri meeting is expected to take place in Germany on the sidelines of Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), a 45-nation grouping in which India and Pakistan were admitted last year.
For the first time India will have an interaction with European and Asian Foreign Ministers at the ASEM, an informal dialogue process initiated in 1996 for greater interaction between leaders from the two continents.
Mukherjee's first stop would be Cyprus, where he will have the maiden ministerial level meeting in two decades with his counterpart Yiorgos Lillikas.
India and Cyprus will sign an agreement on combating terrorism and illegal trafficking of drugs and organised crime and a pact on abolition of visa Requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
"We have excellent relations with Cyprus over the years and in all international fora we share a common perception," Mukherjee said before embarking on the visit.
He noted that Cyprus had supported India's candidature for a permanent membership at the UNSC.
After a three-day stay in Cyprus, Mukherjee will travel to Libya to hold talks with his counterpart Shalgem. He will also meet the top Libyan leadership.
Mukherjee will also travel to Brussels to chair a meeting of Indian Ambassadors in Europe.
Prior to his return home on May 31, he will visit Berlin for the Troika meeting of India, Germany and Portugal.
A LeT 'commander' from Pakistan succumbed to his injuries and a constable injured when the former snatched rifle from the latter and fired at a police party during the recovery of hidden weapons along the Indo-Pak international border in the Arnia sector of Jammu district late Wednesday, said officials. The deceased terrorist was a commander of terror group LeT, alias Qasim, alias Jehangir of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Hussain.
Five members of a family and their employer were found dead in two houses in Tawi Vihar locality in Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city late on Tuesday, police officials said on Wednesday, adding that they suspect the deaths to have been caused by poisoning. The police received a call from the sister of one of the deceased, who said that her brother was not responding to calls, Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli said.
A day after Congress appointed former two-time legislator Vikar Rasool Wani its J&K chief, there is indignation within the party as many leaders have termed the decision unfortunate. The Congress on Tuesday appointed Wani as its Jammu and Kashmir chief and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad the head of the campaign committee. However, Azad who is the senior-most member of the party, refused to be a part of the campaign committee.
The top Kashmiri political leaders on Wednesday said that allowing non-locals to vote in the upcoming elections in J&K will be disastrous and will tilt the balance in favour of the BJP. Peoples Conference chairman and former minister Sajjad Lone said that allowing non-locals to vote in assembly elections will be as disastrous as 1987 rigging. The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” MupDP president Mehbooba Muftiweeted.
The government medical college in Amritsar, which is one of the oldest secondary and tertiary medical care institutes of the country, seems to have failed in meeting the expectations of thousands of patients of north India, especially of the Majha region comprising Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Pathankot districts, due to several shortcomings, including the acute shortage of super specialist doctors and support staff.