To defuse tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, US pressing India, Pak for dialogue

The US is quietly nudging Pakistan and India to re-engage as the Trump administration seeks to defuse tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, according to a media report. Americas objective to normalise ties between the two South Asian rivals is part of its efforts to have a more focused approach on the Afghan endgame. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took up the issue with the leadership of both Pakistan and India during his recent visit to the two countries, the Express Tribune quoting government officials and diplomatic sources as saying.…

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Post 132 days rollout, GST cut on over 210 items, 180 of them in top 28% slab

Making the biggest change in the four-month-old goods and services tax regime, the GST Council on Friday moved 80 per cent of items in the top 28 per cent tax bracket to lower rates. Starting November 15, eating out could cost up to 13 per cent less than before (GST rate cut from 18 per cent to 5 per cent) and a whole host of consumer products like shampoo, deodorant, chocolates, fans, furniture and sanitary fittings should get cheaper by up to 10 per cent or more. Only 50 products,…

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Dineshwar Sharma arrives on Mission Kashmir, meets nine delegations, all want peace

Begins five-day visit to state; to also meet Governor, CM Dineshwar Sharma, Centre’s representative for sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir, arrived in Srinagar today and started the process of talks and reconciliation in the volatile Valley which has been reeling under bloodletting and uncertainty for the past three decades. His search for peace and dialogue started from the Hari Niwas Palace where several delegations came to meet him. According to sources, the delegations said their prime interest was in peace in Kashmir and needed hand-holding. They hoped that the…

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Today interlocutor arriving in Srinagar, Resistance Group keep doors Shut

Separatists reject dialogue offer, refuse to meet Sharma or participate in ‘futile’ exercise New Delhi’s representative for sustained dialogue Dineshwar Sharma is set to begin his visit to Kashmir on Monday as the region awaits some early progress in the latest talk process. Sharma, who will arrive in Srinagar tomorrow, has already expressed readiness to talk to anyone “willing to talk to him” – that includes the possibility of talking to separatists. A former chief of Intelligence Bureau, Sharma was named the representative for talks by Home Minister Rajnath Singh…

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2 Soldiers, Militant killed in Samboora gunfight, 6 CRPF men injured in Anantnag ambush

A militant and two army soldiers were killed in a gunfight in Samboora village of Pulwama district on Thursday, even as two other militants are believed to have escaped from the encounter site. A senior police official said that following a “specific input” about presence of militants in Samboora, a joint team of army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force and J&K police cordoned off the area and started searches. The militants, hiding in a residential house, resorted to “indiscriminate” firing on the forces which was retaliated to, triggering…

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Be ready for agitation if Article 35A removed: Joint Resistance leadership

With the Supreme Court set to hear pleas against Article 35-A on Monday, the joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Sunday warned of “mass agitation” if the apex court “delivers a verdict against the interests and aspirations of people of the state.” The leadership also said that any move to tinker with the state subject law will lead to a “Palestine-like situation” in the state. The pleas against Article 35-A that confers special rights and privileges on J&K’s permanent residents are…

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Mehbooba Mufti, Rajnath Singh focus on Interlocutor, Security

After hour-long discussion, Mehbooba says Central funds, development on track Noting that violence has come down in the state, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said funds from the Prime Minister’s package are now getting released and many developmental works, including that of an AIIMS campus, are going on in full swing. After holding an hour-long meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here along with senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government, Mehbooba told reporters: “Situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved as…

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Resistance Camp in Wait-and-Watch mode on dialogue offer

Trio Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik yet to respond to Centre’s initiative A day after New Delhi appointed an interlocutor to carry forward the dialogue process, all eyes are on the separatist trio, who are silent on the development. Though a “positive exuberance” is visible within the separatist camps here following the announcement by the Centre about the initiation of a sustained dialogue, all indications are that the trio is going to play wait-and-watch before the “full contours” of the Centre’s dialogue offer are made public. “We are for dialogue. First…

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Center opens door for dialogue on Kashmir

Appoints former IB director Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor Special representative to hold talks with all sections of people and organisations He will initiate sustained dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people In a fresh move for peace in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India (GoI) Monday announced a “sustained dialogue” process with all stakeholders in the Valley and appointed a former Intelligence Bureau director as its special representative. Dineshwar Sharma would hold talks with all sections of people and organisations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a hurriedly…

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Three attacks in 24 hours, Woman shot dead, another hurt in militant attack in Tral

Police officer’s house ransacked Gunmen kill woman, injure another in Seer village   CRPF man wounded in grenade attack on NC leader’s house Unidentified gunmen killed a woman and injured another in Seer village of Tral area in Pulwama district on Sunday, even as a CRPF man was injured when suspected militants hurled a grenade towards the residence of a National Conference leader in the township. In another attack in Tral, the house of a police officer was ransacked last night. An official said that Yasmeena, daughter of Ghulam Rasool…

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