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Pakistan won’t abandon peace efforts despite India’s reluctance: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan won't abandon peace efforts despite India's reluctance: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that despite India's reluctance, Islamabad would not close doors on its efforts to promote peace in the region.

"India is reluctant, we will not close our doors," the Minister said while addressing a news conference at the Pakistan Embassy here on Sunday.

"Hiding away from issues will not make them disappear. It will not improve the situation in Kashmir," Dawn online quoted Qureshi as saying.

The Minister said he was unable to understand India's refusal to participate in peace talks with Pakistan.

"Engagement, no-engagement. Coming, not coming. We desired talks as we believe the sensible way is to meet and talk. They agreed, and then disagreed."

He pointed out that India's response to Pakistan's peace offer was harsh and non-diplomatic.

"We did not use a non-diplomatic language in our rejoinder. Our response was matured and measured. They adopted a new approach, and moved back."

Qureshi said that Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's "language and tone was unbecoming of a foreign minister", Dawn online reported.

Asked if tensions between India and Pakistan could lead to a war between the two countries, the Minister said: "Who is talking of war? Not us. We want peace, stability, employment and improving lives. You identify where is the reluctance."

Qureshi said that Pakistan's desire for peace should not be mistaken for a sign of weakness.

"We want peace. It does not mean, we cannot defend ourselves against aggression. We can but we do not have an aggressive mindset," he said.

The Minister also reiterated Pakistan's offer to open the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor for allowing devotees to visit the historic gurdwara on the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.

Qureshi's statement comes after India on Friday cancelled his and Sushma Swaraj's meeting that was scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session this week.

New Delhi blamed Pakistan for the killing of security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and accusing it of glorifying terrorism, in terms of releasing a postage stamp featuring Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani who was killed by Indian security forces last year.

India announced its decision just 24 hours after Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in his media briefing on Thursday that New Delhi has accepted Islamabad's request for a meeting between the two foreign ministers.

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Rains affect life in Punjab, Haryana; damage paddy, cotton crop

Pakistan won't abandon peace efforts despite India's reluctance: Foreign Minister

Moderate to heavy rainfall continued in most parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for the third day on Monday affecting normal life.

With the standing paddy and cotton crop almost ready-to-harvest, farmers said their crop was damaged due to the unseasonal rain.

In Punjab, districts downstream of rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi and in Haryana districts downstream of river Yamuna were put on alert on Monday due to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Amritsar received over 145 mm of rain on Sunday. The maximum temperature in the city dropped to 23 degrees, 11 degrees below normal. A road there caved-in due to heavy rain on Sunday.

Water accumulated in the heritage walking area near the Golden Temple complex, causing problems for devotees and other visitors. Traffic was affected in various parts of both states.

In Chandigarh, traffic was affected as water accumulated at many places in the city. Complaints of water-logging were also received by authorities in the adjoining towns of Panchkula in Haryana and Mohali in Punjab.

Two persons were killed in a roof collapse in Nawanshahr district in Punjab, around 90 km from here, on Sunday.

Due to the incessant rainfall, the maximum temperature dropped at all places in both states. The maximum temperature was six to 11 degrees below normal.

Farmers in both Punjab and Haryana said the rain during this period was not good as the harvesting of the paddy crop was on. Paddy procurement was to officially begin on October 1.

They are worried that the moisture content in the paddy grains would be higher this time due to the rainfall. Officials of the Food and Supplies Departments in both states were expecting a bumper paddy crop.

An official spokesperson said elaborate arrangements have been made to procure the expected 200 lakh tonne of paddy in Punjab alone this season.

Cotton farmers said that there was damage to their crop also.

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Pakistan’s one-trick pony act on Kashmir doesn’t resonate at UN: Syed Akbaruddin

Pakistan's one-trick pony act on Kashmir doesn't resonate at UN: Syed Akbaruddin

India will be focusing on a multilateral agenda at the high-level UN General Assembly (UNGA) session that begins on Tuesday and let Pakistan be a "one-trick pony" on Kashmir if it wants to, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin has said.

The UN works best on the basis of multilateralism and "India's positions based on partnerships get a great resonance", he said on Sunday at a news conference while replying to a reporter's query about the possibility of Pakistan raising Kashmir at the UNGA.

He said: "If somebody else would like to be a one-trick pony, it is for them to regurgitate that act. We've handled this act many times in the past and are confident we'll do so again."

"Solo players in a multilateral context have neither a past nor a future" and get "no resonance in such matters", he added.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Islamabad would bring up Kashmir at the UNGA and give "unequivocal support to the cause", Radio Pakistan has reported.

Pakistan has been raising Kashmir at all UN forums, regardless of the topic of the meetings, but no other country has joined it in making it an issue or even talking about it.

During the 2017 UNGA meeting, Pakistani zeal produced a major embarrassment when its Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi was caught out trying to pass off a picture of a wounded Palestinian girl as a Kashmiri.

Akbaruddin said that even when India talks about terrorism, it does not treat it as just a bilateral issue but deals with it in the international context of havoc it wreaks around the world, for example the Boko Haram in Africa, and terrorist groups elsewhere.

Led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the UN session, India will focus on five topics: reformed multilateralism, climate change action, health, development and peacekeeping, he said.

Fresh from India's launch of the world's biggest public health insurance programme, Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda will be joining the Indian delegation to represent the country at a high-level event on Ending Tuberculosis and on Non-Communicable Diseases.

Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to address the UNGA on Saturday at the morning session scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Listed as the fifth speaker, she will likely speak around 7.15 p.m. (India time).

Qureshi's speech is set for Saturday's afternoon session, which will give him an opportunity to react to Sushma Swaraj's address.

If he raises issues relating to India, the nation would have a right of reply which could take place towards the end of that session or Monday's session.

Customarily a junior diplomat exercises the right of reply at the UNGA high-level meeting.

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Madhya Pradesh: Energy Minister Paras Jain threatens engineer of suspension

MP: Energy Minister Paras Jain threatens the engineer of suspension

Madhya Pradesh minister of Energy and New and Renewable Energy Paras Chandra Jain lost his cool and threatened to suspend the Housing Board engineer on Sunday. Jain was participating in Ayushman Bharat Scheme program in Ujjain.

On Sunday energy minister Jain reached the district hospital to participate in the Ayushman Bharat Yojna and he found that hospital floor tiles are broken. He became angry at this and called for the construction company engineer of the housing board.

A day earlier the same engineer has done the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ of Rs 8 crore project, without inviting any public representative. This adds to his fury and he lost his cool. The minister was angry at the laid-back response of the engineer for not inviting him for the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ in a poll-bound state where the election is due.

Jain threatened the engineer to his lungs and warned him of a possible suspension.

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Manohar Parrikar cabinet drops two Ministers in Goa

Manohar Parrikar cabinet drops two Ministers in Goa

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar cabinet drops two ministers informed the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) on Monday morning. BJP’s Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar are not in good health and are receiving treatment in hospitals. Coincidentally, the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is also undergoing treatment for pancreatic ailment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

Francis D’Souza was an Urban Development Minister while Pandurang Madkaikar was holding powers of Power Ministry. However, D’Souza is receiving treatment at a hospital in the USA and Madkaikar has been admitted at a Mumbai based hospital. Madkaikar had suffered brain stroke in June this year.

Also Read: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to fly to US for treatment

However, other BJP leaders Nilesh Cabral and Milind Naik are expected to replace the two ailing Ministers in Goa, said the CMO. Naik will be sworn in as the Power Minister whereas, Cabral will be given the responsibilities of Urban Development Department.

Naik has earlier held the responsibilities of the Power Ministry in Laxmikant Parsekar-led cabinet. BJP President Amit Shah has assured that Parrikar would remain to be the Chief Minister of Goa on Sunday.