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News18 Daybreak | Indo-Pakistan Delegations to Meet Over Kartarpur Corridor Today and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:March 14, 2019, 9:29 AM IST
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What to Watch Out For

Indo-Pakistan delegations to meet over Kartarpur corridor today

India and Pakistan officials are slated to meet on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on Thursday to decide on the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor, three months after the two countries agreed on the project.

The corridor, essentially a border crossing, links Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.

Details of the meeting: According to PTI quoted sources, New Delhi will press for the hassle-free travel of Indian pilgrims to the Pakistani side besides asking Islamabad to insulate them from any propaganda by Khalistani separatists

The Indian delegation will comprise representatives from Union Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, BSF, National Highways Authority of India and Punjab government, they said.

This is the first time these officials between the officials of the 2 countries to decide on the details such as alignment of the corridor.

A second meeting on the Pakistan side will, however, be scheduled depending on the outcome of today’s meeting.

Bearing on conflict: The meeting comes against the backdrop of tensions between the two countries over the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent IAF strikes. The Centre on Saturday, however, said that today’s meeting is not in any way a resumption of the bilateral dialogue.

"It is related to the emotions of Indian citizens of Sikh faith,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said adding ,”So you have to understand the objective of the meeting. This has nothing to do with any kind of resumption of bilateral talks.”

Following the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, questions were raised about whether the two countries will go ahead with the Kartarpur corridor.

Among the many concerned voices was Congress MLA from Punjab Navjot Singh Sidhu’s who had said that “Sikhs' Kartarpur corridor cannot stop. Do you want the decision taken by the two PMs to be scuttled? Then you will encourage them.... Nobody can bend the country before terrorism and it is very clear.”

But these fears were laid to rest after the both sides confirmed that they would be meeting on Thursday over the corridor.

SC hearing on Rafale Deal continues day after Centre allowed to file affidavit against the use of news report

The second hearing of the Supreme Court in the Rafale fighter jets deal case will take place on Thursday. On Wednesday, the top court allowed the Centre to file an affidavit saying leakage of documents through photocopying amounted to theft. According to the government, documents attached in review petitions are sensitive to national security.

"This puts the national security in jeopardy. Without consent, permission or acquiescence of the Central Government, those who have conspired in making the photocopy of these sensitive documents and annexing it to the review petition/ miscellaneous application and thereby committing theft by unauthorized photocopying of such documents...have adversely affected the sovereignty, security and friendly relations with the foreign countries," the affidavit said.

In the hearing last week, the Centre citing the Hindu report on the Rafale deal, in which the English daily pointed out major anomalies in the deal, had accused the paper of stealing confidential government documents.

What You May Have Missed

China again blocks move to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as Global Terrorist by UN, govt expresses disappointment

India’s bid to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" by the UN Security Council was once again blocked by China for the fourth time as it placed a “technical” hold on the resolution on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Beijing had hinted that they would refuse the designation and confirmed this an hour before the deadline.

New Delhi expressed its disappointment in a released by the Ministry of External Affairs. “This (technical hold) has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019,” the statement read. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after the Pulwama terror attack carried out by a suicide bomber belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Masood Asghar

News18 Election Tracker: Congress-JDS’ Karnataka alliance, Congress releases second list in UP and Bihar oppn grand alliance

Congress, JD(S) finalise 20-8 seat sharing deal for Karnataka ahead of Lok Sabha polls

The Congress and the JD(S) on Wednesday finally thrashed out a 20-8 seat sharing arrangement in Karnataka for the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11. The seat sharing was hammered out at a meeting between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali at Kochi in Kerala on Wednesday evening, party sources said. JD(S) has already announced Gowda's grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna as candidates from the party bastions of Mandya and Hassan respectively.

Turncoats, former MPs who can hurt SP-BSP alliance find place in Congress’ second list for UP

The Congress on Wednesday released its second list of 21 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding former parliamentarians from its ranks and three turncoats who can damage the prospects of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The second list has names of 16 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of candidates announced by the party for the electorally crucial state, where it was overlooked for an alliance, to 27. The list also includes five candidates from Maharashtra.

Congress likely to contest from 11 seats, deal 'almost' sealed in Bihar Grand Alliance

The seat-sharing deal between grand alliance members in Bihar has been "almost finalised" and the Congress is likely to contest from 11 seats in the state, PTI quoted sources said. Intensive negotiations were held among grand alliance constituents in Delhi on Wednesday as top leaders of the formation sought to settle the issue of seat-sharing for the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Lalu Yadav-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is expected to get the lion's share of seats (about 20) and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party is likely to get four. The Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and Vikasshil Insan Party (VIP) would get one seat each, according to sources in grand alliance.

JD(S) general secretary Danish Ali with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Kochi on March 13, 2014.

News18 Elections Lab: Mayawati’s Lok Sabha bid and a look at the suspension of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft

Zero seats in Lok Sabha, 19 in UP Assembly: Can Mayawati resurrect BSP in 2019 battle?

The 2014 general election was not good hunting for Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). It failed to win a single seat in the Lok Sabha, down from a record high of 21 seats the party had won in 2009. This drubbing came despite the party having the third highest vote share across the country (4.2%). Contrary to popular perception, the party has been on a decline even in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, from a high of 206 seats in 2007 to just 19 seats in the 2017 elections — a drop of almost 90%. Read Fazil Khan’s analysis here.

A look at all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes that are being suspended across the world

The global commercial airline sector has witnessed two major tragedies in the last five months, which resulted in the death of 346 people. The first incident happened on October 29, 2018 when a Lion Airlines Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea within 12 minutes of takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 on board were killed. Similar tragedy struck again after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to Nairobi crashed on Sunday instantly after the takeoff, killing all 157 on board. Ashwathej Purushothaman analyses here.

On Reel

India is set to conduct the world’s largest democratic exercise in just over 30 days from now as the Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, on Sunday announced the polling schedule for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. News18 looks at how this ‘festival of democracy’ has grown in enormity since the first general elections in 1951-52.

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