24022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/24/2018 1:18 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday, february 24, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 54 | 26 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd India, Canada agree to neutralise terror threats Elections to 58 RS seats on March 23 New Delhi, February 23 The Election Commission (EC) today announced the schedule for the biennial polls to 58 Rajya Sabha seats from 16 states. The elections to the seats falling vacant between April 2 and 3, if required, will be held on March 23, with March 12 being the last day for filing nominations, an EC release said. Jagat Prakash Nadda from Himachal Pradesh and Shadi Lal Batra from Haryana will be among those whose terms are ending. Other ministers whose terms are expiring include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Modi talks tough on separatism, Trudeau keeps focus on trade Smita Sharma tribune news service JP Nadda and Shadi Lal Batra among those whose terms will expire The EC also notified the bypoll from Kerala, which was necessitated after Union Minister MP Veerendra Kumar resigned in December last, protesting the JDU’s decision to take support from the BJP to form the government in Bihar. Kumar’s term was to end in April 2022. Following the controversy during the RS election in Haryana, the EC has said for marking preference(s) on the ballot paper, only integrated violet colour sketch pen(s) of pre-fixed specification, provided by the Returning Officer, shall be used. No other pen shall be used. — TNS /thetribunechd Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau during the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday. PTI New Delhi, February 23 On the last leg of his first state visit to India, Justin Trudeau held formal talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. The Canadian PM was received by Modi with a hug and accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan earlier. Talks between the two focused on security partnership, economic cooperation and regional and international situations — Afghanistan, North Korea, Myanmar and the Maldives included. Amid growing Indian concerns on Trudeau and his government sympathising with Khalistani supporters, terrorism and violent extremism formed an important subject during the formal discussions. “There should not be space for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. We will not tolerate those who challenge the unity and integrity of our countries,” said Narendra Modi, with Trudeau standing next to him. The two sides agreed on a “Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism” pursuant to talks between the National Security Advisers (NSAs). The leaders agreed to institutionalise NSA-level dialogue and to regularly TIED TO ‘ECONOMIC TIES’ ‘WE WILL NOT TOLERATE...’ should not is a trusted ❝ Indiaas governments, ❝ Therethose who be space for friend... we have a responsibility to set right parameters of economic relationships to flourish in a way that benefits everyone, not just the wealthiest few misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. We will not tolerate those who challenge the unity and integrity of our countries Justin Trudeau, CANADIAN PM Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER convene a Foreign Ministerlevel strategic dialogue. Naming terror groups, including the Babbar Khalsa, the document reads: “They committed to work together to neutralise the threats emanating from terrorist groups such as Al Qaida, ISIS, the Haqqani Network, LeT, JeM, Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation. “They recognised the urgent imperative to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-spon- sored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalisation to violence.” However, Trudeau’s press statement did not mention terrorism. Instead, he focused on trade and diaspora ties, calling India a “natural partner and trusted friend” in commercial cooperation. The joint statement issued after the talks seeks to step up negotiations to finalise a “Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” and a “Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement”. The countries will work closely together to finalise an arrangement within this year to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols. Alluding to China, the joint statement calls for “responsible debt financing practices while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity” in the Indo-Pacific. Six cooperation agreements and MoUs, including in areas of civil-nuclear science, higher education, and intellectual property, were exchanged. Edit: Sorry finale more on back page ‘Wanted’ gangster Romi Pak to be grey-listed arrested in Hong Kong for financing terror Intense scrutiny by global watchdog FATF Aman Sood Tribune News Service Patiala, February 23 With Nabha jailbreak mastermind Ramanjit Singh Romi, 29, being arrested in Hong Kong for his “role in a robbery,” the Punjab Government will send a formal request for his deportation through diplomatic channels. The “international criminal”, who allegedly raised an empire in Hong Kong through nefarious activities, already faces a Red Corner Notice. Punjab Police were informed about his arrest by the Interpol. Hailing from Bathinda’s Bangi Kalan village, he had been residing at Kowloon, Hong Kong. Romi, it is believed, was the point man for coordination between Punjab gangsters and terrorists. After gang- Ramanjit Singh Romi ABOUT HIS ESCAPE ■ Romi was arrested in Patiala in June 2016. While in Nabha jail, he was introduced to KLF’s Harminder Singh Mintoo by Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, his old associate. ■ Romi came out on bail in August 2016, jumped the bail and escaped to Hong Kong after allegedly bribing three police officers, who returned his passport. sters Vicky Gounder and Prema Lahoria were killed in an encounter recently, Punjab DGP Suresh Arora had said that Romi had helped Gounder procure an assault rifle and that he had masterminded the Nabha jailbreak by funding gangsters active in Punjab's Majha, Malwa and Doaba regions. Senior officials said Romi was the “communication link” between Punjab gangsters and ISI-backed Pakistan-based terrorists. He was working through WhatsApp and VoIP platforms. Romi had acted as a mediator between gangsters Dharmender Singh Gugni and Gounder, who were at loggerheads, transferred funds for terror activities and had a hand in targeted killings and kidnappings. continued on page 7 Smita Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 23 In a significant move, Pakistan will be placed on the grey list by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) plenary. The six-day meeting in Paris ended today with consensus on the motion nominated by the US, the UK, Germany and France. Sources said as per the procedures, a formal announcement will be made at the next plenary in June with the compliance action plan prepared by then. This will place Pakistan and its State Bank under immense scrutiny of the global watchdog that sets regulatory and legal mechanisms to counter terrorfinancing. Sources said the consensus at the plenary was arrived at after a long set of interventions by multiple countries that supported the nomination. The Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering plenary meets every 90 days. “Eventually, all countries kept silent when the Argentinian President asked if there were any objections to the nomination,” said a source privy to the negotiations. This included China, which had backed Pakistan at the last plenary at Buenos Aires. At the ICRG (International Cooperation Review Group) deliberations earlier in the week, China was joined by Saudi Arabia and Turkey in defending Pakistan. Based on ICRG discussions Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif took to Twitter continued on page 7 New Delhi, February 23 Former President Pranab Mukhejree today found the idea of having simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies “very difficult”, citing practical problems in implementing the plan. At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP are pushing hard for a debate on the issue on the grounds that it would save cost and help in governance, Pranab felt the Constitution could be amended to provide for the course to be adopted if governments are unable to complete their terms. “Simultaneous elections are very difficult... there are many flaws that will need to be adequately addressed if the pre- MUKESH AGGARWAL Simultaneous elections ‘very difficult’: Pranab Pranab Mukherjee and J&K Governor NN Vohra share a point. 1967 electoral arrangements of simultaneous elections have to be effected,” he said delivering the 15th DT Lakdawala Memorial Lecture on “Parliamentary democracy and its challenges today” at Jawharlal Nehru Memorial Library here. It was organised by the Institute of Social Science and presided over by Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra. Pranab also identified four challenges that needed to be addressed. These include increasing the number of sittings of Parliament and state Assemblies; eschewing the habit of disruptions that allow the government to get away from being held accountable; lesser parliamentary scrutiny of budgets and allocation of grants without debates; and decline in standards and violation of rules framed by the Houses. In his presidential speech, Governor Vohra touched upon the growing criticism about the functioning of Parliament, dissatisfaction relating to disorderly conduct, and day-to-day disruptions that cost 600-hour loss in the 15th Lok Sabha. “Criticism has also been made that instead of contributing to meaningful debates on serious problems facing the nation, parliamentarians representing certain parties make speeches that disturb harmony and promote divisiveness,” he said. He also underlined the growing concern that unless the functioning of the parliamentary system becomes far more responsive and accountable, a situation may arise in which the citizenry begins to lose faith in the political process. He said there was a need to introduce transparency in funding of parties and legal steps to ensure internal elections in all parties. — TNS Today’s issue consists of 26 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends. Police personnel with the seized hard disk outside Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Friday. PTI Cops at Kejri’s house, CM at L-G’s; no bail for AAP MLAs New Delhi, February 23 A Delhi Police team today swooped down on the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and seized a hard disk containing CCTV footage in connection with the Chief Secretary “assault” case, even as the CM knocked at the Lt Governor’s door to ensure that the government work was not hit due to a boycott by bureaucrats. In all, 21 CCTV cameras and a hard disk were examined by the police. The possibility of “tampering” with the hard disk could be ascertained only after forensic examination, Additional DCP (North) Harendra Singh said. A city court, meanwhile, refused to grant bail to AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal in the assault case, observing that the circumstances prima facie pointed to a “premeditated criminal conspiracy”. Miffed by police raids, Kejriwal hit out at the Central Government daring it if a similar raid would be conducted at BJP president Amit Shah’s house in Judge BH Loya’s death case The AAP accused the Delhi Police of acting like a bully at the behest of the Centre by entering the CM’s house “illegally” and said the action was aimed at “insulting and humiliating” him. Without taking the name of BJP and its leaders, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said it is “unfortunate” that some “dictators” and people with a mentality of “hooligans” have captured power, be it Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh. “The dadagiri by the Delhi Police at Kejriwal’s residence is being done at the behest of the BJP The Delhi Police are . a mere puppet,” he said. The police claimed its action (of dispatching a posse to Kejriwal’s house to collect evidence) came after its request for CCTV footage from the CM’s residence “was not met”. CM Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met Anil Baijal and said the Lt Governor assured them that he would take all steps to ensure officers start functioning normally. Bureaucrats of the Delhi government had earlier decided to boycott all meetings called by ministers. “Officers not attending meetings for last three days. Governance suffering. I m v concerned. LG assured he will take all steps to ensure officers started functioning normally. Council of ministers assured him all cooperation (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted. However, the L-G sent out a strong statement after the meeting. “The Lt Governor strongly condemned the incidents and termed them as most unfortunate. The Lt Governor noted that no government can fulfil its promises to the people if the employees feel demoralised and insecure.” — PTI
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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