Pranab to skip SAARC meet, Ahamed to go instead
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has decided to skip the SAARC Foreign Ministerial meeting in Colombo on Friday and in his absence his deputy E Ahamed would represent India at the meet.
Mukherjee was to attend the meeting but he called off the visit due to some pressing engagements in New Delhi, sources said.
Ahamed will travel to Colombo on Thursday to attend the ministerial meeting of the eight-nation grouping, they said.
Ahamed will be attending such a meeting of SAARC for the second time. Earlier, he had represented India at SAARC Council of Ministers in Dhaka in 2006.
The ministerial meet of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan will be preceded by official level and Foreign Secretary-level talks.
At the meeting, India is expected to press for concrete and sincere cooperation by Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism under the SAARC convention .
A proposal to set up a task force at regional level to fight terrorism is also expected to figure in the meetings.
India is not too enthusiastic about such a task force, maintaining that such mechanisms will have no utility until member-countries are sincere in cooperating in concrete manner, an apparent reference to Pakistan.
The meetings will also deliberate on other issues, including connectivity and food and energy security.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said his government has prepared a plan to promote natural farming on 50,000 acres of land. He said that farmers having land below 2.5 acres will be provided 50% subsidy for buying indigenous cows if they voluntarily adopt natural farming. Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal said that 700 agriculture development officers will be recruited soon to provide better assistance to the farmers.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday launched state narcotics control bureau's 'Mission Drug Free Haryana' on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking. He said that to keep youths away from drugs, 1,100 sport nurseries will be set up in the state and Haryana will soon emerge as a sports hub of the country with 1,000 coaches and yoga teachers.
One person was killed and Sandeep Kumar's mother got injured in an accident that led to a pileup in Fatehabad on Sunday, said police. The accident took place when Sandeep Kumar along with his mother Maya Devi was going to Fatehabad.
Reiterating its demand to revoke Agnipath scheme, the Congress on Sunday said the new recruitment policy was yet another ill-conceived disruption by the Centre that will create new problems for India's national security. “This government acts first, and then starts thinking. Many amendments have already been made in the last few days, but the youth of the country are demanding its complete rollback,” said Ranjeet Ranjan, Congress' Rajya Sabha MP, in a news conference here.
Nearly a year after farmers of Punjab and Haryana unitedly led an agitation against the three contentious farm laws, a war of rhythm and notes on SYL canal waters has taken the two states by storm, bringing the issue back in focus and evoking a huge response from both sides. Haryanvi singer Masoom Sharma has released a song titled 'SYL-Haryanvi', which talks about Haryana's 50% share in the SYL water.