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Modi govt’s timely reminder to Imran Khan as terror blacklist looms for Pakistan



India on Saturday reminded Pakistan of what it must do to avoid being cast away to Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) black list. Modi government’s reminder to Pakistan PM Imran Khan can be considered timely as Islamabad was warned of the possibility by FATF – the Paris-based global body working to curb terror financing- as recently as Friday.

Highlighting Pakistan’s continued failure to complete the anti-terror measures listed in FATF’s action plan items, the Ministry of External Affairs reminded Islamabad that global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from its soil must be addressed before FATF’s September 2019 deadline.

“We expect Pakistan to take all necessary steps to effectively implement the FATF Action Plan fully within the remaining time frame i.e. by September 2019 in accordance with its political commitment to the FATF and take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control,” said Ravish Kumar, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.

FATF, the Paris-based global body, is working to curb terrorism financing and money laundering and has expressed disappointment with Pakistan’s failure to implement a 27-point action plan to curb terror financing and money laundering in order to effectively disable banned terrorist outfits, LeT, JeM, in the country.

Pakistan is currently on FATF’s ‘Grey list’ of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing but the global body indicated Friday that Pakistan’s continued failure on anti-terror front may lead to the FATF taking the ‘next step’- widely seen as relegation to the ‘Black list’ of nations.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of its plenary meeting in Orlando, Florida, the FATF expressed concern “that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadline; it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019”.

The FATF “strongly” urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan when the last set of action plan items are set to expire.

“Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress,” the international financial body said leaving a strong warning to Pakistan.

The multilateral watchdog had placed Pakistan on its “grey list” in June last year for failing to counter fund-raising by groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

During an assessment in February this year, FATF said Pakistan had made “limited progress” in curbing terror financing and failed to show proper understanding of risks posed by banned groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Experts who conducted ground inspections concluded that while Pakistan had done a lot to align its domestic laws with international counter-terror obligations, it had failed to do enough on the ground to curb fund-raising or freeze assets of eight terror groups, including LeT, JeM, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Haqqani Network and the Taliban. The experts also said that Islamabad “does not demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF (terror-financing) risk”.

Islamabad must demonstrate to FATF by October this year that the remedial actions and sanctions it is putting in place are actually applied in cases of terror financing violations, and that these actions have an effect on compliance by financial institution.

In essence, Imran Khan’s government will have to present ample evidence that it has effectively chocked the internationally designated terrorists like JeM’s Masood Azhar, LeT’s Hafiz Saeed of all financial and operational resources.

Pakistan repeated on Friday that it was committed to taking measures needed to implement the action plan agreed with the FATF in order to come out of the grey list, India’s statement today is likely to remind Islamabad that it still has a long way to go.



Justice Served: UP Gangster Atiq Ahmed and 2 Others, Sentenced to Life Term for Kidnapping



Photo : PTI

In a recent development, a court in Prayagraj has sentenced Atiq Ahmed, a well-known gangster turned politician, along with two others, to rigorous life imprisonment. The verdict was pronounced after they were found guilty of the 2007 kidnapping case of Umesh Pal. Pal was an eyewitness in the murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal. The court has also acquitted seven others, including Atiq’s brother Ashraf.

The sentencing of Atiq Ahmed and his accomplices comes after a long-drawn legal battle. They were found guilty of abducting Umesh Pal, who was a crucial witness in the murder case of Raju Pal. The court’s decision to award rigorous life imprisonment to the three accused has been welcomed by many, who see it as a step towards justice for the victim and his family.

In another development, earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Ahmed’s plea seeking protection in connection with the case. The apex court directed Ahmed’s lawyer to approach the High Court with his grievances instead. This decision has come as a setback for Ahmed, who was seeking protection from possible harm in jail.

The verdict in the case is being seen as a significant victory for the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies, who have been working tirelessly to bring the accused to justice. It sends a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with heinous crimes like kidnapping and murder. The case has also highlighted the need to protect witnesses in such cases, who play a crucial role in ensuring justice is served.

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Covid cases increasing in Delhi, more than 150 cases in 24 hours, infection rate also increased.



Representational Image | Photo by Firosnv. Photography on Unsplash

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delhi has been on the rise again in recent days. The capital has seen a continuous surge in the number of cases, with 152 new infections reported in the last 24 hours alone. The infection rate has also risen to 6.66%. This represents a significant increase from the 117 cases reported on Thursday, indicating that the situation is worsening rapidly.

Experts have suggested that the rise in COVID-19 cases may be linked to the increasing number of cases of H3N2 flu in the city. As more people have been getting tested for H3N2, some have been found to be positive for COVID-19 as well. The trend is reflected in the figures from the past few days, with 84 cases reported on Wednesday and 83 on Tuesday, before the sudden spike on Friday.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has issued several recommendations to hospitals in the city to help tackle the situation. Hospitals have been advised to screen patients with fever and maintain an adequate supply of essential medicines. They have also been instructed to ensure that ventilators and other equipment are in good working order.

The Corporation has urged hospitals to promote the booster vaccine dose to their employees and patients and to follow all government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A nodal officer has been appointed to ensure that hospitals maintain cleanliness, prevent the spread of infection, and manage biomedical waste effectively.

The situation is not limited to Delhi, as cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly in other parts of India as well. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka are all areas of concern, and the central government has held a meeting to discuss the matter. The focus remains on testing, tracing, and treatment, as authorities work to contain the spread of the virus.

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Traffic chaos in Delhi as marshals struggle to control heavy vehicles on Ashram flyover



Representational Image | Image Courtesy : Paramjit Dhillon @Paramjitdhillon (Twitter)

Delhi, India – Chaos ensues as the Ashram Flyover becomes a traffic nightmare for commuters in the city. But fear not, as a group of marshals has been deployed to restore order and bring some sense to the madness.

The Ashram Flyover, a major artery in the bustling metropolis of Delhi, has been a headache for commuters for quite some time now. The flyover, which connects the city’s south and central areas, sees heavy traffic congestion during peak hours, causing long delays and frayed nerves.

But things have taken a spicy turn as marshals have been brought in to keep things under control. These marshals, donning bright green jackets, have been tasked with managing the traffic flow, ensuring that vehicles move smoothly and without incident.

The marshals have their work cut out for them, as the chaos on the flyover seems to have no end in sight. The heavy traffic, coupled with the city’s notorious lack of lane discipline, has resulted in a free-for-all on the flyover, with vehicles jostling for space and tempers flaring.

But the marshals are undeterred. Armed with whistles and hand signals, they are determined to bring some order to the chaos. And their efforts seem to be paying off, as traffic has started moving more smoothly, and the honking and shouting have reduced considerably.

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