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UN panel removes 'sahib' from Hafiz Saeed's name, regrets mistake

United Nations: A UN Security Council panel has issued a "revised" letter removing the term 'sahib' from the name of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, saying it regrets the mistake after India objected to the use of the salutation.

The chair of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee issued a revised letter on Sunday in which it has "regretted the mistake" in the previous letter dated December 17. The committee's chair is Gary Quinlan, who is the Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN.

Quinlan had made the reference to Saeed in the communication on information regarding banned terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Saeed, the founder of LeT. The new letter clearly mentions the correct primary name of the Pakistani terrorist as Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.

The United Nations had declared Jamaat-ud-Dawah a terrorist organization in December 2008. Saeed himself is a UN-designated terrorist. The resolution entails freezing of funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities, and prevention of entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals.

The United States had slapped a USD 10 million bounty on Saeed and his brother-in-law in April 2003. But Saeed roams free in Pakistan and often addresses public rallies in which he routinely makes inflammatory statements. Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had in September said "Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national so he is free to roam around", triggering a sharp response from India.
  • Published in World

At UN, India warns of nuclear terrorism threats; Pakistan says it's increasing security

United Nations: Warning that nuclear terrorism threats is a pressing challenge to the global community, India has called for stronger national and international action to prevent terrorists getting hold for nuclear material. "The threat of nuclear terrorism is one of the pressing challenges facing the international community," Abhishek Singh, a first secretary in India's UN Mission, told the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Monday.

"Responsible national action and effective international cooperation are therefore required for strengthening nuclear security to prevent vulnerable nuclear material falling into hands of non-state actors." A vital amendment to an international convention on protecting nuclear materials coming into force would strengthen global efforts for nuclear safety, Singh said. The amendment introduced in 2005 to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) would make it legally binding on nations to protect nuclear facilities and material while being used, stored or transported.

It would also expand international cooperation to recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material. The amendment, which requires the acceptance of two-thirds of the 151 nations that are parties to the convention, has been has been languishing with approvals by only 81 countries. Singh asked the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) "to continue its efforts to promote early entry into force of the amendment." Participating in the NGA discussion on the IAEA, Pakistan, which has not yet accepted the amendment, sought to give assurances about safeguarding its nuclear facilities and materials. Khalil Hashmi, a minister in Pakistan's UN Mission, said, it has "deployed radiation detection mechanisms at several exit and entry points to prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials."

"Pakistan attaches highest importance to nuclear security because it is directly linked to our national security," he asserted listing what he said were the "five pillars" of Islamabad's nuclear security: "A strong command and control system led by the National Command Authority; an integrated intelligence system; a rigorous regulatory regime; comprehensive export control regime and active international cooperation." These appeared to be aimed at assuaging the main international fears about Pakistan's nuclear program and arsenal.

Abdul Qadeer Khan, it's top atomic scientist, ran a network that provided nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea. And, on the security front, at least three cases of terrorists attacking nuclear weapons-related facilities in Pakistan have been documented. Harvard University's Belford Center said in a 2010 report, Pakistan "faces a greater threat from Islamic extremists seeking nuclear weapons than any other nuclear stockpile on earth".

  • Published in World

India reelected to UN Economic and Social Council

United Nations: India was reelected by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Wednesday to a three-year term on the Economic and Social Council (EcoSoc). India's reelection to the EcoSoc comes a week after its reelection to the UN Human Rights Council, a powerful body of the UN.

 The UN Charter gives the EcoSoc a broad mandate covering human rights and economic, social, cultural, educational and health matters. The 54-member body is empowered to make recommendations on these subjects to the UNGA and member states and convene conferences. It also cooperates with non-governmental social, cultural, developmental and religious organisations and gives selected ones a consultative status. Pakistan was also among the 18 countries elected to the EcoSoc Wednesday.

  • Published in World
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