Rohit Kumar's Views

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‘Impossible to practice politics without corruption’

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Said Kumaraswamy expressing his anguish, as his efforts to bring “corrupt practices” of the Yeddyurappa-led BJP government did not yield expected results

JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy, who has been levelling corruption charges against Yeddyurappa, said it was impossible to practice politics without corruption. “The two (politics and corruption) have become two sides of the same coin these days,” he said. Kumaraswamy said, he was trying his best to curb the “immoral” practice of corruption. He however admitted that he accepted donations from the people for the sake of his party.

Trying his best: Kumaraswamy said he was trying his best to curb corruption. He, however, admitted that he accepted donations from the
people for the sake of his party.

Reflecting upon today’s political scenario in the country, Kumaraswamy said, “If Mahatma Gandhi was alive today, he would have either fallen prey to corruption or would have shunned politics itself.” He asked people of the state to follow Anna Hazare as a role model and come forward to lead a movement against corruption. “There is a dire need for a person like Anna Hazare in Karnataka to fight against corruption.”

He expressed anguish that his efforts to bring “corrupt practices” of the B S Yeddyurappa-led BJP government to the fore had not yielded the expected results, despite producing records to substantiate his allegations.

Kumaraswamy claimed that JDS would emerge victorious in the bye-elections to the three assembly constituencies held on April 9 while BJP will be forced to eat humble pie.

Action sought over Indian rice patent bid

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THE Basmati Growers Association (BGA) has asked the federal government to take action against the local rice exporters who are not opposing illegal Indian bid to get premium quality of Basmati registered as sole patent.

Addressing a press conference here Sunday at the Lahore Press Club, BGA President Hamid Malhi said that under the TRIPS agreement each member country had to register origin related products according to their domestic laws. The BGA applied for the registration of Basmati with the Trade Marks Registry (TMR), Karachi, in December 2005. The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), the Agriculture Produce Export and Development Authority of India (APEDA), other rice exporters and millers of Pakistan filed oppositions against the application, which is regrettable act. The TMR decided the matter in May 2008 in BGA’s favour, against which apex body of Pakistani rice exporters, REAP and India official body APEDA, both filed appeals in the Karachi High Court. The BGA has also filed an appeal to rectify flaws in the decision. All the appeals are pending hearing with the High Court.

In the meantime, BGA President Hamid Malhi said, on November 26, 2008, the APEDA filed an application for the registration of Basmati in India with the Geographical Indication Registry in Chennai. The application was made public on May 31, 2010 after acceptance for further processing. The last extended date for filing opposition was September 30, 2010, he maintained. To protect the rights of the Basmati sector in Pakistan, Malhi said, the BGA had filed an opposition against this application on September 30, 2010. But, he lamented, unfortunately those Pakistanis who apposed the registration of Basmati in Pakistan kept quiet in the case of Indian registration of Basmati.

“Basmati farmers are unable to understand these double standards and ask why Basmati registration in Pakistan is not being allowed to finalise,” he said. “BGA demands that the federal government should take cognizance of the issue and unearth the elements in the country who on one side oppose the registration of Basmati in Pakistan but on the other hand allow the APEDA to register Basmati in India,” he maintained.

The BGA has compiled its opposition against the APEDA with the help of renowned legal experts. The application of the APEDA has been opposed on many grounds, the most important being the area claimed to be the Basmati growing area of India. The Basmati area has been negated through facts and figures of Indian experts and institutes. The APEDA while having full knowledge of Pakistani Basmati area has clearly avoided any specific detail of the area. The APEDA has also compromised the basic characters of the Basmati aroma and the photoperiod sensitivity, the BGA president explained.

Malhi was of the view that the so-called and fake Basmati exports from India had increased from 1.2 million tonnes to 2.3 million tonnes in the last three years whereas Basmati exports of Pakistan were hovering around one million tonnes in the same period. Production of Basmati, which is variety of Pakistan, is not an issue while the actual issue is the export of Basmati at a good price, which exporter should give priority.

“BGA has time and again requested the federal government that the Quality Review Committee (QRC) which certifies quality of all Basmati exports should be made independent of the control of REAP, so export of this rare aromatic variety could be increased,” he asserted.

During 2010-11 non-basmati exports are expected to reduce by 75 percent. To make up for the monetary loss it is suggested that a minimum export price (MEP) of 1000$ per tonne should be fixed to get maximum returns from the export of Basmati rice.

300 tons of explosives go missing in central India

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NEW DELHI: Some 61 trucks loaded with over 300 tons of explosives have gone missing in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, a senior police official said on Friday.

“The trucks were sent from a state-owned factory, Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Limited, in Dholpur to a private company called Ganesh Explosives in the state’s Sagar district. But it never reached there,” the official said.

A massive search is on to track down the trucks as fear is mounting that if the explosives, including detonators and gelatin sticks, reach the wrong hands, it could be devastating, he added.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Limited has claimed that it can’t be blamed for this disappearance as it sent explosives only in trucks authorised by the company.

We hand over the explosives to those who have the license. And they then dispatch it on their truck. Now, whatever happens to that explosive thereafter, we are not responsible for that,” YC Upadhyay of the company said.

Singh appeals for peace in Indian Kashmir

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NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed Tuesday to Kashmiris “to give peace a chance” after almost daily anti-India street protests that have claimed at least 50 lives since June.

Kashmiri men pray for those killed in police firings in the past two months of unrest, in Khunmow on …

“I am convinced the only way forward in Jammu and Kashmir is along the path of dialogue and reconciliation,” Singh said in a televised address to an all-party meeting called in New Delhi to discuss the restive region.

“I appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to give peace a chance.”

The appeal was the first from the Indian premier since violence brought life to a standstill in Kashmir’s towns and cities after a teenage student was killed by a police teargas shell on June 11.

At least 50 people — mostly young men or teenagers — have died in the violence, most of them as a result of police firing, in the deadliest spate of protests to shake the Muslim-majority region for two years.

The prime minister’s call came as Indian security forces continued to enforce a strict curfew in most parts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, to prevent protests against New Delhi’s rule.

India and Pakistan each hold part of Kashmir but claim it in full. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two wars over the region since independence in 1947.

Indian officials say Pakistan-backed hardline separatists are behind the latest unrest, but locals say it is the spontaneous result of years of pent-up frustration and alleged abuses by police and paramilitary forces.

The prime minister urged protesters to end the rolling series of protests and return to schools and colleges.

“I ask their parents: ‘what future is there for Kashmir if your children are not educated’?” Singh said, speaking in a mixture of Hindi and Urdu.

“The cycle of violence must now come to an end (and) we must ensure that no innocent life is lost again,” Singh said, but added that the government “cannot allow the turmoil to continue.”

Singh conceded that sweeping powers given to security forces in Kashmir was widely resented by local residents in the Muslim-majority region which borders Pakistan.

“We will help to accelerate the process of strengthening and expanding the Kashmir police so that they can function independently and effectively within the shortest possible time,” Singh added.

Decades of on-off dialogue about the status of the disputed territory has made no tangible progress and unemployment is running high, especially among young people.

Singh announced a high-level expert group led by former central bank governor C. Rangarajan to formulate a jobs plan for Jammu and Kashmir to improve the “employability” of youths there.

The group is due to report in three months.

Singh added he was “optimistic” about the future.

“If all sides show wisdom and restraint, I believe we can put the bitterness and pain of the recent past behind us and breathe new life in to the peace process,” he said.

Police kill seven protesters in Kashmir

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A third straight day of clashes between security forces and anti-India protesters in Kashmir has seen seven people killed, four of them in blasts triggered by an attack on a police station.

Despite strict curfews across the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley – including the main city of Srinagar – large numbers of demonstrators took to the streets in many districts, police said.

Indian Kashmir has been wracked by pro-independence protests since a 17-year-old student was killed by a police tear gas shell in early June. Sunday’s incidents took the overall death toll in the past two months to 30.

In the town of Pampore, around 13 kilometres south of Srinagar, police said they had opened fire on a large crowd of demonstrators after baton charges and tear gas rounds failed to disperse them.

Two young men and a 17-year-old woman were shot dead.

Police said the protesters had blocked a main highway and attacked the security forces. Local residents said the demonstration had been vocal but peaceful.

The fatal shootings fuelled further protests in the nearby village of Khrew, where a crowd attacked a police station, forcing the officers inside to flee.

They then set fire to the ransacked building. The flames set off a cache of explosives in a series of blasts that demolished most of the station house, a senior local police officer said.

At least four of the protesters were killed, the officer said, adding that more bodies might be buried under the rubble.

The recent unrest is the worst for two years in Indian Kashmir, where a 20-year separatist insurgency against Indian rule has claimed thousands of lives.

Twelve people have been killed in clashes with security forces in the past three days alone.

Doctors fake degrees score reaches 38

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By Jamila Achakzai

After finding degrees of 31 ‘doctors’ and ‘dentists’ to be fake during verification over last one month, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has tracked down seven more individuals, including a woman, practising medicine in the country with fake or forged registration certificates. Ironically, some of them are serving in government-run health facilities.

Having struck names of these fake or forged degree-holders off the list of registered medical practitioners, the council has recommended strict action, which may be fine, imprisonment or both under the PMDC Ordinance 1962, by the executive district officers concerned against them.

Since its foundation in 1962, the PMDC has a proper department where those wanting to practice medicine and dentistry in the country submit their degrees and certificates for verification. Once the degrees are verified, the council formally allows doctors and dentists to practice.

In September 2009, the PMDC moved beyond its role of verifying degrees on receipt. In a bid to ensure lawful practice of medicine and dentistry, it wrote to the heads of the country’s all public and private healthcare facilities to send copies of the degrees and PMDC registration certificates of the doctors and dentists working under them for free verification.

A special ‘Central Verification Unit’ was also put in place to check genuineness of the medical and dental practitioners’ credentials submitted. And as the degrees and registration certificates began coming in though very late, the unit got functional and commenced scrutiny of the documents received.

In the process, the unit found many degrees and PMDC registration certificates to be fake or forged, prompting cancellation of their holders’ registration.

On April 23, names of five fake doctors including Qamar Elahi (Punjab), Ashraf Javed (Punjab), Muhammad Sikandar Hayat (Punjab), Kareem Bukhsh (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) and Muhammad Aslam (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) were removed from the PMDC register, while on June 7, registration of 26 more individuals was cancelled for their being in possession of foreign medical and dental degrees, mostly from Kyrgyzstan. Among these were Syed Kamal Raza (fake MD degree from Russia), Noman Gul (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Nusrat Fatima (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Jahanzeb (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Navid Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Shanul Haq (fake MD degree from Philippines), Adnan Aurangzeb (fake MD degree from Kazakhstan), Gul Nawaz Khan (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Mumtaz Shaukat (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Farooq Saleem Khan (without certificates), Sajad Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Jamshed Sikandar (fake degree of sub course of medicine from Osh State University), Robina Anwar Shah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Omar Jalal (fake MD degree from Russia), Faisal Shah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Iftikhar Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Muhammad Zubair (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Abdullah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Muhammad Ishtiaq Saburi (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Noor Muhammad Khan (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Islam Khan (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Shagufta Ambreen (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Saghir Almas (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Rehan Israr (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Muhammad Awais (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan) and Muhammad Imran Aslam (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic).

There followed a request by the council to Federal Investigation Agency for investigation against these fake doctors and dentists, who claimed to have obtained degrees between 2000 and 2006.

And now during the verification of the degrees sent in by the government’s health facilities and EDOs, the PMDC has found seven individuals practising medicine at private and government facilities while using either fake registration certificates or those issued to legal medical practitioners.

Documents available with this scribe show that the PMDC registration certificates of the following individuals are fake or forged: Nasir Mahmood s/o Muhammad Siddique of Wazirabad (Gujrat) (No 18586-S) currently working in Narowal; Iqtidar Hussain s/o Imdad Hussain of Orangi Town, Karachi (No 17603-S) currently working at a private hospital; Bibi Hajira d/o Bahader Sher of Bagh-e-Aram, Mardan (7642-N) currently working at People’s Primary Health Care Initiative’s District Support Unit Mardan; Zulqarnain Jahangir s/o Muhammad Jahanagir Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Rahim Yar Khan, (No 52346-P) currently working at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan; Anjum Zia s/o Ziuddin Warraich of Golarchi, Badin, (No 68979-5) currently running a private clinic in Golarchi, and Aamir Ali Siddiqui (No 34487-S) and Tariq Zaheer (No 28944-S) both working at Punjab Rural Support Programme’s District Support Unit, Pakpattan Sharif. The council has asked the EDOs concerned for appropriate legal action against the fake doctors identified.

Besides these cases, 42 doctors and dentists with suspicious degrees and registration certificates have also been found out. They have been asked by the council to re-submit attested copies of their documents along with two pictures for verification.

Registration numbers of the said doctors and dentists, whose names are not available, are 14927-N, 15575-N, 15661-N, 15724-N, 15751-N, 15865-N, 15868-N, 15918-N, 15940-N, 15948-N, 15988-N, 15387-N, 15412-N, 15422-N, 15438-N, 15440-N, 15441-N, 15445-N, 15446-N, 15447-N, 15448-N, 15449-N, 15452-N, 15560-N, 15491-N, 15493-N, 9033-D, 13075-N, 13115-N, 13125-N, 13144-N, 13357-N, 13432-N, 13451-N, 13456-N, 13476-N, 12095-N, 12287-N, 12310-N, 12332-N, 12332-N and 52003-P.

It is also learnt that the PMDC has developed an online degree registration system, which, according to an official, will help people know if doctors or dentists they consult are genuine and licensed and thus, checking quackery.

Degrees of five more MPs declared fake

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ISLAMABAD: Degrees of five more parliamentarians were declared fake on Wednesday as the count keeps on growing.

The Peshawar University had received degrees of 105 parliamentarians for verification. While clearing 103, the university affirmed that it has no record of degrees of Akhunzada MNA from Bajaur and MPA Saima from Punjab. Both the parliamentarians belong to the Pakistan People’s Party.

The degree of Senator Akbar Magsi has also been pronounced fake by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai University, Khairpur. Whereas MPA Salman Mohsin Gilani of the PML-N and Wasim Afzal of the PPP have been found fake, claimed a private television channel Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Balochistan University has received at least 60degrees of assembly members for verification. The university administration has established a committee for verification of degrees of members of Balochistan Assembly. According to a private news channel, which quoted the university sources, examination branch has received total 60 degrees sent by Higher Education Commission for verification Wednesday.

Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, verified 47 degrees of the parliamentarians out of 50 degrees by identifying two suspected degrees that it has received from the Higher Education Commission.

Media reports stated Wednesday, the HEC had forwarded 50 degrees of the parliamentarians to the BZU for verification and the university administration, after completing its official procedure for degrees attestation, declared two degrees suspected and issue clearance certificates for 47-degrees.

Further, the university administration said the decision regarding the degree of MPA Tariq Majeed has not yet been made, as his case was being pursued in the court; however, two degrees, one of an MNA and the other an MPA, have been found suspected.

Meanwhile, MPA Samina Khawar Hayat of the PML-Q has claimed that her educational degree is genuine and people creating propaganda against her are the same, who are disgracing politicians for their nefarious aims.

She said the politicians served the country more than anyone and they were being targeted at every point, adding the politicians are always defamed in the country. She said her degree is authentic. Samina said she had struggled for democracy and is proud of it.

She asked the TV channels and newspapers to confirm news before publishing and broadcasting in the media.

Meanwhile, 86 new fake academic degrees cases have been revealed in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa’s education department. Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak said in order to make performance of the education department better, recruitments on merit are necessary, reported a private TV channel. He revealed confirmation of 86 workers for having fake degrees from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa education department. Serious action will be taken against them.

Indian Kashmir locked down in bid to stem deadly protests

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SRINAGAR, India – Thousands of Indian troops enforced a strict curfew in parts of Kashmir Wednesday in a bid to stem three weeks of deadly protests that have claimed 11 lives and led to soaring tensions.

Kashmiri muslims carry an injured man after he was shot by the Indian security forces in Anantnag

Six people have been killed in the last four days alone during demonstrations against the killing of Kashmiris by Indian security forces which began with the death of a schoolboy earlier this month.

Each killing has sparked a new cycle of violence and state chief minister Omar Abdullah appealed Tuesday for calm and for people to stay in their homes, adding that widespread curfews would allow tempers to cool.

Northern Sopore town was locked down for the fifth day running and neighbourhoods are also under curfew in the Kashmiri summer capital Srinagar and other towns in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Fatal shootings by security forces on Tuesday claimed the lives of three teenagers in southern Anantnag district, about 55 kilometres (34 miles) south of Srinagar, which is also under curfew.

Indian Kashmir has been wracked by street protests since June 11, when a 17-year-old student died after being hit by a tear-gas shell fired by police during a pro-independence demonstration in Srinagar.

Also Wednesday, extra forces were deployed to protect the start of an annual Hindu pilgrimage to the icy Amarnath shrine in the foothills of Himalayas. In the past, it has been the target of Islamic militant groups.

“Adequate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of yatra (pilgrimage) are in place,” Kashmir’s tourism minister Rigzin Jora told reporters, as he flagged off first batch of 1,274 pilgrims from Kashmiri winter capital, Jammu.

The pilgrims, including 400 ash-smeared saints, left Jammu in caravan of busus, cars and trucks protected by machine-gun wielding paramilitary forces.

The violence in Kashmir is seen as a major test for chief minister Abdullah, who came to power last year promising to improve human rights.

Even where curfews were not in place Wednesday, life came to standstill because of a general strike called for the second day running by separatists. Shops, schools and offices were closed.

India and Pakistan each hold Kashmir in part but claim it in full. They have fought two of their three wars over it.

Separatists have fought a decades-long battle against rule by New Delhi, favouring independence for the region or for it to join neighbour Muslim-majority Pakistan.

An anti-India insurgency, which New Delhi says is fuelled by Pakistan, has claimed an estimated 47,000 lives.

“There is a two-track struggle going on in the (Kashmir) valley,” wrote columnist Manoj Joshi in the Mail Today newspaper. “The first is a military conflict involving Pakistan-trained and armed militants…

“The second is a civil protest movement which is a melange of separatism, Islamism and alienation against misrule and lack of avenues for productive employment,” he said.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

July 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

Kasab to challenge death sentence

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The only surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, has requested a new lawyer in order to appeal his death sentence, an official said on Friday. Early last month, a special court gave Mohammed Ajmal Kasab multiple death sentences after he was convicted on charges including murder, waging war against India, conspiracy and terrorism. Kasab was purportedly provided with free legal aid – initially advocate Abbas Kazmi was his lawyer and then advocate KP Pawar – during his trial. He has the option of choosing senior lawyers from the HC panel to defend him in the high court, said an HC advocate. But Kasab is expected to receive the same kind of judicial treatment and “due process” that he has experienced at the hands of Judge M L Tahiliyani. Within a month of the verdict, Kasab has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge the death sentence awarded to him by a special court on May 6. But it is obvious that Kasab expects no justice, since it is the same judicial system.

Arthur Road jail authorities confirmed an appeal letter by Kasab along with a copy of the judgment running into over 1,500 pages was forwarded to the high court. The jail petition sent by Kasab has also requested that a lawyer from the legal aid panel be appointed to represent him in the high court. The government prosecutor in the trial Ujjwal Nikam said that Kasab had sent a letter to the Bombay High Court’s Legal Aid Cell on Wednesday asking to be given a new lawyer in order to help him prepare an appeal against his death sentence. It was not immediately clear when the court would reach a decision on the matter.

A photograph of Kasab, 22, striding through Mumbai’s main train station, an assault rifle in hand, became the iconic image of the three-day siege in November 2008 that claimed the lives of 166 people. Kasab was one of 10 young Pakistanis who attacked two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in Mumbai. Kasab’s sentence must be reviewed by the High Court. He can also appeal the decision and apply for clemency to the state and central governments. Death sentences — reserved in India for only the “rarest of rare” cases — by law have to be confirmed by the local high court after reviewing the evidence. Defendants have a right of appeal and can challenge the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court. A final plea for clemency can be made to the country’s president.

Senior state government officials in Maharashtra have said they want the verdict and sentence ratified swiftly, amid public calls for Kasab to be executed as soon as possible. But questions have been raised about how long Kasab will be kept on death row, as India has not carried out an execution since 2004 and only two since 1998, while dozens of final clemency appeals are still pending.

TTP leader surrenders in Sargodha

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LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hanif Gabol alias Maviya, has surrendered to Mianwali police, a private TV channel reported on Monday.

Gabol, who belongs to the Choti Zerine area of Dera Ghazi Khan, joined TTP (Hasan Group) and was appointed as the chief of the Saraiki Lashkar to carry out terror activities.

He claimed to be involved in several terrorist attacks in different parts of Punjab and also admitted that he was an expert in making suicide jackets, the channel reported.

He was the mastermind behind the attack on the Khosa House in Dera Ghazi Khan.