|Modi arrives in Uzbekistan for SCO Summit|
|UZBEKISTAN, June 23 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here today to a warm welcome as he kicked off a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the SCO with an aim to expand India's engagement with the China-dominated grouping in areas of security, defence and energy.
In a special gesture, Modi was received at the Tashkent international airport by his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoev.
In the two-day summit that begins today, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will start the process of India's accession to the grouping as a full-fledged member along with Pakistan.
However, the spotlight is on Modi's bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day during which the Prime Minister is expected to seek China's support for India'...|
|Missile test a success, threat to US: Kim Jong-Un|
|NORTH KOREA, June 23 (Agencies): North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has hailed the successful test of a powerful new medium-range missile, saying it poses a direct threat to US military bases in the Pacific, state media reported today.
Kim, who personally monitored yesterday's Musudan missile test, said it was a "great event" that significantly bolstered the North's pre-emptive nuclear attack capability, the official KCNA news agency reported.
"We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theatre," Kim was quoted as saying.
The Musudan - also known as the Hwasong-10 - has a theoretical range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres. The lower estimate covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range woul...|
|Any NSG exception to disturb regional stability: Pak|
|KARACHI, June 23 (Agencies): Any 'exception' in granting membership to the NSG will "disturb" strategic stability in South Asia, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain today told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Making a strong case for Pakistan's bid to join the 48-member NSG, Hussain said that his country had made notable efforts over the years to strengthen its export controls, command and control and nuclear safety and security.
Hussain met Xi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan and discussed Pakistan's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Foreign Office said in a statement.
"The President also said that any exception given for NSG membership could disturb strategic stability in South Asia," the statement, apparently refe...|
|'India's NSG bid to be discussed at a special meeting'|
|SEOUL, June 23 (Agencies): 'India's bid for NSG membership will come up tonight at a special post-dinner meeting of the 48-nation grouping's plenary, whose two-day deliberations began here today.
Although admission of members like India which are not signatories to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is not on the agenda, Japan and some other countries are understood to have raised the matter in the opening session.
Thereafter, it was agreed to consider a number of unscheduled items including India's application at a special session after dinner, informed sources said.
It was not immediately clear that whether the discussion on India's membership, which is strongly opposed by China, and few other countries will come up informally or in a more formal way.
Indian diplomats, led b...|
|Lankan Navy damages TN fishermen' gear|
|SRI LANKA, June 23 (Agencies): Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly entered Indian waters and damaged fishing equipment of a group of fishermen from here near Fifth sand dune in the Palk Strait today.
Lankan Naval personnel also detained a boat belonging to the fishermen for about an hour at the fifth sand dune, which is part of Indian sea territory, Vercode Fishermen Association President Sagayam told reporters and police here.
He alleged that they crossed the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) and damaged fishing equipment and GPS devices of the fishermen when they were fishing near Aathupalam.
He said the Lankan navy had lined up its patrol boats near Katchateevu to prevent Indian fishermen from crossing the IMBL.
After entering Indian waters, they also threatened one Subram...|
|Foreign secretary leaves for Seoul to push for India's NSG membership|
|SEOUL, June 22 (Agencies): Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today arrived in the South Korean capital ahead of the crucial NSG Plenary from tomorrow, where India is hoping to clinch membership which is being strongly opposed by China and some other countries.
Jaishankar, who was closely monitoring the goings-on during the official-level meet of the 48-nation grouping which started on Monday, arrived in Seoul this afternoon to lobby with members to boost India's prospects of getting membership.
"While it is true that Foreign Secretary has flown to Seoul, the NSG plenary hasn't even begun yet.... This is a delicate and complex process. At this point, let us not speculate," a government source in New Delhi said.
Senior External Affairs Ministry Official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of 'Di...|
|US support for India's NSG bid part of greater design: Pak NSA|
|ISLAMABAD, June 22 (Agencies): Pakistan's National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua has alleged that America's efforts to include India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was part of a "greater design" to contain China and prevent the resurgence of Russia.
"It's [part of] a greater design," Janjua said at a seminar on 'Pakistan's case for NSA membership' yesterday.
Janjua said the current move by the US to induct India into the 48-nation exclusive nuclear club should be seen in the context of 'global power politics trends'.
He then listed "contain China, prevent the resurgence of Russia and keep the Muslim world in a controlled chaos" as some of the leading trends in the current global power politics, The Express Tribune reported.
The paper reported that it is unprecedented that a top...|
|Indian National arrested in Zimbabwe absolved of 'rape' charges|
|ZIMBABWE, June 22 (Agencies): The Indian national who was arrested for alleged rape in Zimbabwe, has been absolved of all charges and released with immediate effect by the High Court there, his company claimed today.
The second-string Indian cricket team's tour of Zimbabwe was struck by a controversy last Sunday after it emerged that two men have been arrested on charges of rape even as the officials confirmed that none of the Indian cricketer was involved in the incident.
One of the two arrested persons is an official associated with one of the sponsors of the series.
"The High Court Judge at Harare Justice Mawadze, Zimbabwe, after considering merits of the case found no reason to continue to hold the Consultant of ITeamWorks, in custody for an alleged crime, and released him with imm...|
|Syria's Assad names new Prime Minister|
|SYRIA, June 22 (Agencies): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today named electricity minister Imad Khamis as the new prime minister of the war-ravaged country.
Assad tasked Khamis with forming a new government, the official news agency SANA reported.
He is to submit his proposal for new ministerial appointments in the coming days.
The 54-year-old engineer replaces Wael al-Halqi who had held the post since August 2012.
The changes come two months after Assad's Baath party and its allies won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections dismissed internationally as a sham.
Khamis had served as Syria's minister of electricity since 2011 and is an electrical engineer by trade.
Since March 2012, he has been sanctioned by the European Union, which accuses him of sharing "responsibility fo...|
|Renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri shot dead in Pakistan|
|KARACHI, June 22 (Agencies): Renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-borne gunmen today in Pakistan's port city of Karachi.
Sabri, 45, and an associate were travelling in a car in Karachi's Liquatabad 10 area when unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle, critically injuring them.
The two were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed hospital, where Sabri succumbed to his injuries.
"Three people including Amjad Sabri have been killed in a targeted attack on his car in Liaquatabad 10 area this afternoon," a senior police official said.
"He was shot in the chest and head and he was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed hospital immediately, where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver and associate have been killed in the targeted attack," the official said.
Additional police surg...|
|Hindu extremist groups biggest hurdle to normalising Indo-Pak|
|ISLAMABAD, June 20 (Agencies): Pakistan's Interior Minister today alleged that Hindu "extremist groups" like RSS and Shiv Sena are the "biggest hurdle" to normalisation of Indo-Pak ties as he asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to name the "forces" which she said are against good bilateral relations.
"If the Indian foreign minister is serious and determined for (good) ties with Pakistan, then she should not talk through riddles or try for political point scoring. In fact, she should clarify and point out which forces in her opinion were against good ties between Pakistan and India," Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said.
Khan was reacting to Swaraj's remarks that there are forces which do not want good relations between the Prime Ministers of the two countries and better ties ...|
|India's NSG bid receives setback|
|China: Issue not on agenda in Seoul meet|
|BEIJING/NEW DELHI, June 20 (Agencies): India's hopes of making progress towards NSG membership at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping which began in Seoul on Monday received a setback with China saying that this was not even on the agenda of the meeting.
Nuclear Suppliers Group remains divided over non-NPT countries like India becoming its members, China's Foreign Ministry said less than 24 hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had exuded hope that "we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG." Even as the 5-day annual NSG Plenary began in the South Korean capital, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing said that India's admission into NSG was not on the agenda.
"We understand that non-NPT countries are concerned abou...|
|China not opposing India's NSG membership bid: Swaraj|
|CHINA, June 19 (Agencies): As India makes a determined bid to get NSG membership, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that China was not opposing its entry even as Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar made an unannounced visit to Beijing on June 16-17 to secure its support.
Stating that China is talking only about the criteria and procedures to be adopted for membership of the elite 48-nation atomic trading bloc, Swaraj said India was hopeful that it will be able to convince China to give its backing. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India can scuttle its bid.
Swaraj also said that India was confident of getting membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) this year.
"China is not opposing membership of India in NSG, it is on...|
|31 dead, 19 missing in Indonesian floods, landslides: Official|
|INDONESIA, June 19 (Agencies): The death toll from flash floods and landslides in Indonesia has risen to 31, an official said today, as search crews scour devastated villages in the hope of finding survivors.
Nineteen people remain missing following torrential rain and widespread flooding in Central Java, where thousands of homes have been swamped in water.
Areas prone to landslides in the densely-populated province have been worst hit, with drivers swept off roads and dozens of homes completely destroyed by fast-moving walls of mud, rock and water.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the number of victims rose after seven people believed missing were found dead.
"So far we've recovered 31 bodies. Nineteen people are still missing," Sutopo told agencies in a text messa...|
|Avoid Jihad, Sharia, Ummah in counter-terror discourse'|
|USA, June 19 (Agencies): US government agencies should avoid using religiously-charged terms like 'jihad', 'sharia', 'umma' and instead employ "plain-meaning" American English in their counter-terrorism discourse, a report by the Department of Homeland Security has recommended.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council report also recommended that the department focus on American milliennials by allocating up to USD 100 million in new funding.
It also urged greater private sector cooperation, including with Muslim communities, to counter what is described as a "new generation of threats to the Homeland related to the threat of violent extremism."
The funds would be used for hiring experts and new social media programmes and technology to influence young people not to join terror groups, T...|
|Pregnant woman, husband killed for 'honour' in Pakistan|
|PAKISTAN, June 19 (Agencies): A heavily pregnant woman and her husband have been shot dead by her brother in Punjab province for marrying a man without the family's consent, the latest incident of "honour killing" in Pakistan days after another pregnant woman was killed by her mother.
Muhammad Shakil, 30, and his wife Aqsa, 26, were killed for "honour" by Aqsa's brother who recently returned from Saudi Arabia, police said.
The couple were married for four years, and lived in Thikriwala village in the province.
Four days ago Aqsa's brother along with their mother, maternal uncle and another accomplice barged into the couple's home and beat them mercilessly. Then they took the couple to an unidentified location and shot them, the Express Tribune reported.
The bodies were recovered from ...|