Islamabad, July 7 (IANS) Pakistan has "continued to stall on trying to punish" the Mumbai terror attack suspects, increasing Indian frustration, said a leading Pakistani daily following foreign secretaries' talks in New Delhi. An editorial in the Dawn Saturday said that the only outcome of the talks in New Delhi is that "there is no outcome". "Matters remain where they were before (Pakistan Foreign Secretary) Jalil Abbas Jilani and (Indian Foreign Secretary) Ranjan Mathai met. For two days, they put their heads together and then came out with a joint statement that might as well not have been there, notwithstanding the familiar 'they agreed' refrain on issues ranging from visa liberalisation and cultural contacts to Kashmir and nuclear CBMs," it said. Jilani refuted Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram's charge that the evidence gathered after Zabihuddin Ansari's arrest confirmed Pakistani 'state actors' were involved in the Mumbai carnage. "Sadly, once again on the eve of talks, prospects of peace dimmed following the arrest of the suspected terrorist in circumstances that remain a mystery. "And judging by its reaction, India has still not emerged from the shadows of the Mumbai attack. At the same time, Pakistan has continued to stall on trying to punish the Mumbai suspects, increasing Indian frustration," the daily added. Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 was carried out by 10 Pakistanis that left 166 people, including many foreigners, dead. The editorial went on to say that beginning with their meeting in Bhutan in 2010, then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh met several times and pledged to push the peace process forward in a manner that appeared genuine. The two prime ministers met again in the Maldives and South Korea, "but without achieving a breakthrough even on less contentious issues". The editorial said that the Most Favoured Nation issue is bogged down by Islamabad's insistence on the removal of non-tariff barriers and in May this year, the interior secretaries spoke of an agreement on a liberal visa regime "at an early date", and in June the defence secretaries reported failure on Siachen. "This is a record the two sides should be ashamed of," said the daily. "The only consolation for the people of South Asia is that the two governments continue to talk. There is no breakdown of communication, and this perhaps is the only sop," it added.
New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai Friday said tourism should be part of the political agenda for its huge potential for economic development. "Tourism especially provides jobs in the rural sector while it employs 70 percent of the youth and women," Sahai said, addressing the first conclave of tour operators from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries here. "Tourism should become a political agenda," he added. About 45 leading tour operators from India, Maldives, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan are participating in the conclave which is focusing on various strategies to promote tourist destinations and products in the SAARC region. "We are from the same region and know each other culturally and historically but unfortunately when it comes to tourism, we have not done what Europe has done long back," said Sahai. The conclave is a follow-up to the declaration made by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the 17th SAARC summit held November, 2011 in the Maldives that India will host a conclave of the top tour operators from SAARC region to boost tourism. Participants made country-specific presentations showing the opportunities in tourism sector in their respective countries. Exclusive B2B (business-to-business) sessions were also being held during the meet to enable the operators to explore business possibilities.
Male, April 18 (IANS) The Maldivian government Wednesday proposed a presidential election in July 2013, three months prior to the earlier schedule.
Male, March 19 (IANS) The Maldives President Mohamed Waheed addressed his country's parliament Monday amid street protests by opposition supporters, a media report said. Former president Mohamed Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters were protesting against Waheed who assumed office last month.
Male, March 6 (IANS) The Maldives' former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom returned to the country from Malaysia Tuesday for the first time after the new government was formed following a controversial power transfer. Gayoom, who is criticised as Asia's longest-ruling autocratic leader with allegations of corruption, was welcomed by his party supporters under tight security provided by Maldives National Defence Force, Xinhua reported citing Maldivian media
Male, March 2 (IANS) Maldives President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Friday announced a probe into the recent political unrest that swept the country. The president called for restoring peace in the country
Male, March 2 (IANS) The 54-member Commonwealth of Nations Friday appointed Donald McKinnon as its special envoy to the Maldives. McKinnon will "encourage inclusive agreement among political leaders, promote consolidation of democratic culture and institutions and Commonwealth values", Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said
Male, March 2 (IANS) Former Maldivian foreign minister Fathuhullah Jameel passed away in Singapore at the age of 69, a media report said.
Male, Feb 20 (IANS) Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has said the days of iron fist rule in the country had long gone and today one cannot seize control of a government simply by arresting or assassinating the leader. He said the notion of taking over the state's arsenal to take control of a government was a 'long lost tradition' and that his government was toppled by the security forces in a 'coup'.
Male, Feb 17 (IANS) The Maldivian opposition led by former president Mohamed Nasheed, who stepped down Feb 7, has hailed India's intervention in the ongoing political crisis. Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on international affairs, Friday thanked visiting India's Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai for intervention to solve the ongoing political deadlock where former president Nasheed has demanded an early election and his successor has refused.