COLOMBO: Sri Lanka announced Wednesday it would start hanging drug dealers, ending a near-half century moratorium on capital punishment as officials promised to “replicate the success” of the Philippines drug war.
President Maithripala Sirisena had told the cabinet he “was ready to sign the death warrants” of repeat drug offenders, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said Wednesday. “From now on, we will hang drug offenders without commuting their death sentences,” he said.
Sri Lanka has commuted death sentences for serious crimes to life in prison since 1976 when the last execution took place. Senaratne said there were 19 drug offenders whose death sentences had been commuted to life.
It was not clear if they would be hanged under the government’s policy shift. But authorities say a tougher approach is needed to combat what they say is an increase in drug-related crime. Senaratne cited a case this week where a convicted drug dealer, whose death sentence was commuted to life, had arranged the import of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of heroin from behind bars.
Plagued Modi trying to hide behind anti-Pak rhetoric
ISLAMABAD: After being exposed by the French government for influencing 36 Rafale fighter planes deal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has charged his cannons to fire obsolete anti-Pakistan rhetoric to mock fanatic Indians.
The Rafale scandal has been a burning question since the opposition blew the whistle of hefty corruption when Modi announced to purchase the French fighter jets on his visit to Paris. The opposition party ‘Congress’ has accused the government for choosing Reliance Defence over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to benefit the private firm though it did not have any experience in the aerospace sector.
The Congress also demanded the Modi government to elucidate the thrice increase in the prices of the jets which was a mere eyewash that erupted a huge corruption scandal narrating unprecedented plundering of public money.
Interestingly, prior to the Modi government, the deal to purchase the Rafale aircraft was also done during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government where its largest member party is the Indian National Congress.
According to the Congress, the cost of an aircraft at that time was Indian Rs 5900 million, while the deal was finalized by the Modi government three times the price.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also boiled a hot war on the social media portal Twitter slamming PM Modi for betraying the country. Rahul said, “The Prime Minister spoke privately about Rafael Deal behind the closed door and made a change in it. He has betrayed the country and insulted our martyrs”.
The former French President Francois Hollande according to a French media report clarified: “The Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice”.
According to reports in Indian media, the French government claimed to have no involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the Rafale fighter jet deal, insisting that French companies have full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract.
Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, had chosen Reliance Defence as its partner to fulfill offset obligations of the deal. The government has been maintaining it did not have any role in selection of the offset partner by Dassault.
In a statement, Dassault Aviation said it decided to partner with Reliance Defence in accordance with the policy of ‘Made in India’.
In the recent escalating crisis over the controversy, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has alleged that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a multi-billion ‘surgical strike’ on the defense forces.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had termed that deal as oxygen for Indian Defence but allegations of corruption on PM Modi has raised many questions about the transparency of the deal.
After a plethora of allegations against Modi, the Indian Prime Minister opted for anti-Pakistan rhetoric to hoodwink his masses no matter that Indian opposition parties themselves exposed the real face of Modi’s BJP not before the Indian citizens but also the world democracies.
The PM Modi’s narrative against Pakistan was not well taken by Indians themselves as the mega corruption charges in an important defense project raises questions on his own commitment to safeguarding his motherland and the opposition called him ‘the plunderer instead of protector of national assets.’
Modi has now entered into a blind alley and retaliates through outmaneuvering repeated trivial narrative with greater lucidity to pacify the lurking public outrage. His people, the neighboring countries as well as world democracies have ample substance to understand as to why he denied dialogue with Pakistan.
China set up power projects under PPA: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that 35 billion dollar energy projects had been set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Speaking in the National Assembly he said, “We have not taken even a single penny loan to set up power projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor as all the projects had been established by the private sector of China in line with the PPA.”
Under the agreement, he said, the generated electricity will be added to the national grid as per rate determined by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
“We should be grateful to China for making such a huge investment in Pakistan when other countries and local investors are shying to invest ten dollars”.
He appreciated the Chinese government for helping Pakistan in difficult times to end load-shedding from the country.
WB to resolve the dispute over Kishan Ganga project!
UNITED NATIONS: The World Bank is finalizing a fresh initiative to resolve the dispute over the Indian construction of the Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects, saying the multilateral lender would soon contact Pakistan and India, the bank chief, Jim Young Kim, has said.
Kim said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, after the Pakistani leader presented his government’s position on these projects in “a forceful and emphatic manner”, according to an official statement.
The focus of the meeting was the World Bank’s role in the implementation of the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan as its Administrator. The Foreign Minister said Indian construction of the Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects represented a violation of the 1960 Treaty, which gave Pakistan exclusive rights to western rivers. He emphasized that the procedural delay on Pakistan’s request to the World Bank to empanel the Court of Arbitration had resulted in the completion of the Kishan Ganga Projects while construction work on Ratle was in progress.
Qureshi said that the new government viewed this as a humanitarian issue with lives and livelihood of millions at stake, adding that It was not interested in politicizing the issue. The President of the World Bank said that while he understood Pakistan’s position on the Treaty, he expressed the Bank’s desire to play a constructive role in resolving this important matter at the earliest.
In this context, he remarked that, with the ongoing challenge of climate change, water issues were likely to be more prominent on the international agenda. “He indicated that the World Bank was in the process of finalizing a fresh initiative and would soon be approaching Pakistan and India with details.” the statement added. The meeting was conducted in a cordial and frank setting. Both sides resolved to maintain regular contacts at various levels to seek an early and amicable settlement to the issue.