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FATF gives Islamabad stern warning to comply with terror finance action by June
Pakistan has been retained on the ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for another four months, with a stern warning from the global watchdog that met in Paris (February 19-21) to complete the 27-point action plan it has been given by June 2020 or face being put on the ‘black list’.
“All deadlines in the action plan have expired. While noting recent and notable improvements, the FATF again expresses concern, given Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the terror financing risks emanating from the jurisdiction,” said a statement issued by the FATF’s plenary session on Friday.
According to the FATF summary report released in the evening, Pakistan needs to continue to work on eight specific areas, including demonstrating it is “identifying and investigating” all terror-financing activities in the country, freezing the funds of all designated terrorists and its prosecutions result in “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions” against all terror entities.
Pakistan was given a September 2019 deadline to complete the tasks that included shutting down all access to funding of United Nations Security Council-designated terrorist groups, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed and prosecuting their leadership for any access to finance, as well as tightening laws and banking security norms.
In November last, after Pakistan was judged to have complied with only four points of the plan, the FATF extended the deadline to February, where its statement noted it had been cleared of 14 points. The FATF urged Pakistan to “swiftly complete” the remainder of the list.
The celebrations include a tour of places where he lived and visited
A poster titled Bayaad-e-Ghalib.
Almost 190 years after Mirza Ghalib visited Kolkata to find out about his pension, the city is offering rich tributes to the poet in a week-long celebrations from Friday, titled Bayaad-e-Ghalib (Remembering Ghalib), on the International Mother Language Day.
The events organised by the West Bengal Urdu Academy include a tour of places where Ghalib lived and visited, including Shimla Bazar and Kathal Bagan in central Kolkata; and release of a commemorative stamp to mark the poet’s visit. The celebrations include five plays with Ghalib as the central theme.
“I do not remember if Kolkata has ever given tributes to Mirza Ghalib. From the land of Tagore, we are offering rich tributes to one of greatest Urdu poets of all time,” said Md. Nadimul Haque, chairperson of West Bengal Urdu Academy.
Mr. Haque, also a Rajya Sabha MP from the ruling Trinamool Congress, said that an international seminar on Mirza Ghalib will be held.
The five plays also includes Ghalib Aur Kolkata Mushaira, recreating the poetic congregation that was held at Calcutta Madrasah in 1828.
Dabir Ahmed, professor of Urdu at Kolkata’s Maulana Azad College, said that Mirza Ghalib’s visit to Kolkata remains a little known aspect of his life. “Ghalib arrived in Kolkata on February 20, 1828, and left the city on October 1, 1829. During his stay, he visited a number of places and even read at three poetic symposiums (mushiaras) where the Calcutta Madarsah is located,” Prof. Ahmed said. He said that the poet wrote a prose, known as Qate Burhan which is on the literary differences he had with other poets.
Experts like Prof. Ahmed said that Ghalib visited important landmarks ,including the Governor’s House, the Writer’s Building, and also National Library that used to be the residence of senior British officials.
Other events include a recitation of Bengali translation of Charagh-e Dair written by Ghalib in Benaras and eight short story writers of Urdu and Bengali presenting their fictionalised version of Ghalib life in form of short stories.
Syed Md. Shahabuddin Haider, vice-chairman of the West Bengal’s Urdu Academy, said that a grand tribute to Ghalib by the people of city was due for a long time. “The celebrations will involve people from all walks of life, from academicians to students and common people. This is the least we can offer him,” he said.
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was born in Agra on December 27, 1797, and died in Delhi on February 15, 1869.
Reflecting on the Ghalib’s love for the city, Mr. Haider quoted the famous lines of the poet about the city. “Kalkatte ka jo zikr kiya tu ne hum nasheen, Ik teer mere seenay mein mara kay haye haye (Ah me, my friend! The mention of Calcutta’s name, Has loosed a shaft that pierces my heart.”
Home Ministers discuss security, law enforcement issues
Common goals: Home Minister Amit Shah with his Maldivian counterpart Sheikh Imran Abdulla in New Delhi on Friday.PTI-
Union Home Minister Amit Shah met his Maldivian counterpart on Friday and discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation, among other things.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said Mr. Shah and the Home Minister of Maldives, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, discussed issues of mutual interest in the area of security and law enforcement cooperation.
“Welcoming the strengthening of India-Maldives Partnership, the Ministers welcomed the expansion of bilateral cooperation between India and Maldives in diverse fields, including policing and law enforcement, counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation, organised crime, drug trafficking and capacity building,” the statement said.
The meeting was also attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and other senior officers from both sides. The delegation also met chiefs of the National Investigation Agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate. “Prior to arriving in Delhi, the delegation also visited the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad, and the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU), Gandhinagar,” the statement said.
Kiosk set up at Anand Vihar railway station to promote ‘Fit India’ campaign
Thirty squats in front of a machine can now get passengers at the Anand Vihar railway station here a free platform ticket. They can also avoid long queues.
In a first-of-its-kind scheme aimed at promoting the ‘Fit India’ campaign, the Railways has set up a ‘Fit India Squat Kiosk’ near the entry point of the station.
The machine will generate a free platform ticket after a passenger performs 30 squats.
“It aims to engage, excite and enable people towards their health and well-being,” said the official release.
The Railways has also opened a ‘Dawa Dost’ store at the station, which will offer generic medicines for passengers at up to 80% discount, according to an official release.
“‘Dawa Dost’ aims to make it easier for Indians to take care of their health and help them make substantial savings on their health bills by providing high-quality affordable medicines. The firm has 10 stores in Rajasthan and Delhi, and plans to expand rapidly,” the release said.
Additionally, a pulse health machine which can measure health and wellness parameters, such as body composition and blood pressure, has also been placed at the station.
It will, in minutes, generate a detailed report on indications of a potential lifestyle disease, with personalised recommendations for improving one’s health and wellness.
“The most advanced body massage chairs, which have 3D massage rollers with longer massage track line giving the maximum massage coverage, are also available in the concourse area of the station,” the statement said.
The Railways said there would be an ‘Eat Right Station’ with certification mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
To be implemented with Hindustan Unilever Limited, the project aims to help passengers make healthy food choices.
The station is the first ‘Eat Right Station’ in Northern Railway.