Aug 13

India rejects Pakistan talk offer, seeks action against militants

india pak pakdefenceblogNEW DELHI: India on Tuesday refused to hold negotiations with arch-rival Pakistan until the issue of killing of Indian soldiers is resolved amicably, media reports.

Briefing the media, Spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said that Islamabad wants negotiations but New Delhi has rejected the talk offer.

“Talks can’t be held unless the issue of the killing of our soldiers is resolved,” he said.

However, he said that peace offer made by the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a ‘welcome sign.’

Responding to a question, the Indian foreign ministry official said that India takes responsibility for the safety of Pakistani nationals in India.

He said that New Delhi also wants resolve all outstanding issues with Islamabad but Pakistan first has to take action those who have killed Indian soldiers.

It may be mentioned that five Indian soldiers were killed on August 6 at the line of control in the disputed Kashmir region. India blamed Pakistan for the killings – a charge denied by Islamabad.

Feb 20

Husband, wife rape minor girl in India

India girl rapeNew Delhi: The Indian Police on Tuesday arrested a couple involved in the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Bauli Inderjit locality in Batala, a municipal council in Gurdaspur district of the India’s state of Punjab.

According to Indian media, Bhupinder Singh and his wife Raj Kaur who were absconding have been arrested, a police official said here.

Singh had allegedly abducted the minor girl and raped her in the presence of his wife Raj on the intervening night of February 16 and 17.

(Source thenewstribe)

Aug 02

India allows investments from Pakistan

India on Wednesday overturned its ban on foreign investment from neighbouring Pakistan.

The commerce ministry said, in a move designed to build goodwill amid a renewed push for a peace settlement.Pakistan in India

“The government of India has reviewed the policy and decided to permit a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan to make investments in India,” said a statement from the ministry.

A ban on investments in defence, space and atomic energy will remain and all propositions must be notified to the Indian government.
The decision to accept foreign direct investment from Pakistan was taken in April this year when the trade ministers of the two South Asian neighbours met in New Delhi.

They also discussed ways to ease visa curbs on business travel and the possibility of allowing banks from both countries to open cross-border branches.

The improved relations between them stem from Pakistan s decision to grant India “Most Favoured Nation (MFN)” status by year end, meaning Indian exports will be treated the same as those from other nations.

In further progress, the neighbours opened a second trading gate in April along their heavily militarised border, boosting the number of trucks able to cross daily to 600 from 150.

May 30

At India-Pakistan border, a visa-free 400 metres

NEW DELHI: In a significant move that could show the way for putting in place a liberal visa regime between them, India and Pakistan have agreed to do away with requirement of a visa to cross the border on both sides within a radius of 400 metres at the Attari-Wagah point in Punjab for Customs and other related border officials. Pakistan and india

It was agreed that officials monitoring and administrating trade would be issued “special permits” to work within the 400-metre radius. At present, such permits are issued to drivers and workers to drive in and out of the border carrying goods and unloading them.

Now this special facility will be extended to certain officials, including Customs, on both sides to enable proper scrutiny, inspection and early clearance of goods coming through trucks.

However, this limited access is unlikely to be available to the BSF or Pakistan Rangers.

With a new trade regime likely to be in place in the next few months amid indications of major activity taking place on the land routes, India and Pakistan have gone ahead and decided to do away with the requirement for Customs and other related officials to have a visa to cross over into each other’s territory at the Wagah border.

“The Customs Border Liaison Committee (CBLC) of India and Pakistan decided during a recent meeting that officers working on the border would no longer require to have visa to work in a radius of 400 metres of each other territory,” say Commerce Ministry officials.

Earlier, any person wishing to even take one step into each other’s territory was requirement to get a visa for the same.

“This has been primarily done to facilitate more coordination at the border for carrying out various activities related to trade. Now officials, especially Customs, will be able to inspect trucks on both sides of the border. For this purpose, they will be issued special permits,” a senior official said.

Sources in the Pakistan camp confirmed the development.

The development comes close on the heels of the failure of both nations to ink a liberal visa regime during the recent Home Secretary-level talks held in Islamabad on May 24 and 25.

Interestingly, in a step forward, Pakistan recently notified that big containers and 22-tyre trucks from India would be allowed to cross over into its territory.

This would help in facilitating movement of goods on a large scale, officials said.

Pakistan had enhanced the list of goods that could be traded through the Wagah border from 63 to 137 items.

“Both sides also decided to set up a special working group that would go into the issue of allowing all items that are not part of the negative list to be traded through the Wagah border in view of the demand from the trading communities on both sides and opening of a Integrated Check Post on the India side,” the official said.

In March, Pakistan notified its negative list for India. After this, barring 1,209 items, India can now export all products to its immediate neighbour. In fact, traders of Punjab have stated that of the 137 items allowed, a majority of the products are already exported through Wagah and want the list expanded liberally. The items include livestock, carcasses, meat, vegetables, pineapple, pepper, raw cane, cement and yarn. At present, India exports items valued at Rs.1,500 crore a year through the Attari-Wagah route.