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No Indian engagement with Pakistan till end of 2019 general elections

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India, Pakistan, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha polls, General elections, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan, Cross border terrorism, National news

New Delhi: After Pakistan was kept out of the radar of India’s Neighbourhood First Policy throughout 2018 because of its continued support to cross-border terrorism, it is now learned that New Delhi will not at all engage with Islamabad at least till the conclusion of the 2019 general elections in India.

“Until the elections are complete, don’t expect any major initiative from our (India) side,” a source here said on Thursday.

“We will not have any political dialogue whatsoever,” the source made it clear.

Bilateral ties have remained frosty with Islamabad not having taken any action against terrorists and terror groups operating out of Pakistan’s soil.

 

India, Pakistan, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha polls, General elections, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan, Cross border terrorism, National news

 

After Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf won the general elections in July, there was much speculation about changes in India-Pakistan ties.

On September 20, India also accepted an invitation from Pakistan for a bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and new Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later that month.

But within 24 hours of accepting the invitation, New Delhi axed the meeting following two disturbing developments during that period.

In the first incident, terrorists abducted and gunned down three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir, marking a sharp escalation in militancy in the state which India says is backed by Pakistan.

Also, Islamabad issued postage stamps in memory of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen leader who was shot dead by Indian security forces in July 2016.

 

India not to do any engagement with Pakistan till end of 2019 Lok Sabha polls:

 

Late in November, Pakistan opened the Kartarpur corridor on its side of the border for Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, where Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev, spent the last 18 years of his life.

Though Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri crossed over to Pakistan for the ground breaking ceremony of the project performed by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sushma Swaraj reiterated India’s position that talks and terror cannot go together.

Qureshi’s remarks that Imran Khan had bowled a “googly” by taking the initiative to open the Kartarpur border also did not help matters.

 

India, Pakistan, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha polls, General elections, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan, Cross border terrorism, National news

 

Sushma Swaraj said Qureshi’s remartks exposed that Pakistan had no respect for the Sikh sentiments and it was doing it all for politics.

Stating that the Kartarpur event should be seen as purely a religious affairs and there was nothing diplomatic about it, sources here said it is now for India to work on the modalities on its side of the border.

India also did not respond to an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Islamabad.

The Saarc summit has not be held since India and other member countries of the bloc boycotted the last summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in 2016 in the wake of the cross-border terror attack at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in which 19 army personnel were killed.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit carried out the attack, the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades.

 

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Nasa finds Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram with help of Indian engineer

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New York: NASA has found the crash site and debris of India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram moon lander following a tip from an Indian space enthusiast who examined pictures of the area of the moon taken by a US orbiting camera.

The site was located by Shanmuga Subramanian, who on his own scoured the pictures taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital Camera (LROC), NASA and Arizona State University announced on Monday confirming the find.

The first mosaic image of the likely crash site made from pictures taken by the LROC on September 17 was downloaded by several people to look for signs of the Vikram, NASA said.

One of them, Subramanian, contacted the LROC project with a positive identification of debris, it said.

Arizona State University (ASU), where the LROC project is located, said: “After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.”

When the images for the first mosaic were acquired on September 17, the impact point was poorly illuminated and could not easily be identified, it said.

But two image sequences were acquired on October 14 and 15, and on November 11 were better.

The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field. The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one pixel shadow.

The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and casts a one pixel shadow.

The university said that based on Subramanian’s tip, the LROC team scoured the surrounding area in the new mosaics and found the impact site and the debris field.

The impact site is located at 70.8810 degree S, 22.7840 degrees E, at an elevation of 834 metres, it said.

“The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 metres northwest of the main crash site,” ASU said.

Vikram lost contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) following its launch from Chandraayan-2 moon orbiter on September 6 when it tried to make a softlanding near the moon’s south pole.

In a statement NASA said: “Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement.”

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