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SOUTH ASIAN PULSE HEADLINES AUGUST 15TH 2016 

1. Speaking from red Ford on India’s 70th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the following points:
a. Be it the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or the World Economic Forum, they have all declared India to be the best destination for global capital.
b. GST is one such tax reform that will help us bring financial stability. One nation, one grid and one price is what we have worked on.
c. We are working with the RBI to bring inflation to the four per cent, plus-minus two per cent range. Under the previous government, the inflation level had crossed the 10 per cent mark, but we did not let it rise above 6 per cent.
d. The government had brought down the cost of IRs 350 LED bulb to IRs 50. We want to distribute 77 crore more LED bulbs.
e. Earlier village roads were constructed at the rate of 70-75 km per day. Now we construct 100 km in a day.
f. Public sector companies were always seen as ones that make losses. My government succeeded in bringing Air India back to a situation where it is logging operational profits. BSNL has also managed to report operational profit.
g. The impossible was made possible by adding 21 crore people in the Jan Dhan Yojana.
h. The government was trying to link all government schemes with Aadhaar to avoid leakage.
i. Post offices will be converted into payment banks. With the advent of technology post offices are becoming irrelevant and the government is focusing on keeping them relevant.
j. The government had decided to complete around 118 projects worth IRs 7.5 lakh crore of previous government which were pending for years.
k. Pension for our freedom fighters will be increased by 20 per cent. So those who are receiving IRs 25,000 will now get IRs 30,000.
l. It is my dream to double the income of farmers by 2022.
2. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also congratulated India on this occasion saying India and Canada enjoy strategic partnership. Various political leaders have also sent felicitation messages to India including PC leader Patrick Brown. Brown said he met Indian Prime Minister Modi when he came to Canada and then went to India and held a fruitful meeting with the Indian Prime Minister at his home.
3. In an accident that has taken place on Hwy 400 overpass, one person has died. Detailed investigation is being carried out on the cause of this accident. For a while the northbound and southbound road was closed but it has been opened.
4. In an accident on Main Street, north of Brampton downtown, a cyclist got seriously injured and was rushed to Toronto trauma centre when a car hit him. The cyclist, 26, has sustained life threatening injuries. After the accident the car driver stayed at scene and was questioned.
5. In USA, a Bangladesh Imam Maulana Akonjee and his assistant Thara Uddin were shot dead. A Muslim advocacy group has offered $10,000 reward money for any person who informs about the shooter. Maulana Akonjee’s son, Naeem, 21, has said his father spread the message of peace so why was he murdered.
6. Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has invited his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar to visit Islamabad for talks on Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan was called by Chaudhry and handed over an invitation addressed to Jaishankar, the Foreign Office said. Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz announced last week that the Foreign Secretary would write to his Indian counterpart to extend a formal invitation for the talks. He had said Pakistan would invite India for the Kashmir talks despite their stalled Composite Dialogue process. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of arming and training the militants fighting to end Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan says it gives only moral and diplomatic backing. India-Pakistan ties have become frosty after large scale violence broke out in Jammu and Kashmir following the killing of militant Burhan Wani on July 8.
7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s references to Balochistan and Pakistani Kashmir have been criticized by Pakistan. Modi in his Independence Day speech openly supported “freedom” of Balochistan and Pakistani controlled Kashmir. Modi also lashed out at Islamabad for supporting terrorism. Modi said Balochis across the globe are praising him for raising their issue and have asked him to take the issue at the international level.
8. PTI chief Imran Khan has said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of offering an extension and a promotion to Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif because he is afraid of the army. PML (N) has considered it a childish talk and said no clarification will be offered. Khan has lashed out on Sharif saying national institutions are being ruined while Sharif is busy saving his chair but has warned he would not be able to save it. He has also urged NAB chairman to hold detailed investigation in the Panama leaks corruption case.
9. In India, besides small skirmishes in Manipur and Kashmir, Independence Day was celebrated with fervour.
10. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was caught taking a nap on video during Prime Minister Modi’s speech. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodiya while defending Kejriwal’s act has said he slept because Modi’s address was boring. Another AAP leader making fun of Modi’s address has said he should get a gold medal for delivering a boring address.
11. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has urged people to take a pledge to shun nefarious designs of anti-social elements. He said Congress was responsible for Operation Blue Star of 1984 and AAP is a party of thugs. It has done nothing in Delhi and will not do anything for Punjab also.
12. In Amritsar Punjab Police arrested detained Akali leaders included Inderbir Singh Bolaria arrested but later released them.
13. Though Navjot Singh Sidhu had to join AAP on August 15 and even met Kejriwal for an hour earlier but no announcement still has been made. In an interview with Channel Y earlier even AAP leader Sanjay Singh has also informed that Sidhu will soon join AAP but Sidhu is still quiet on the issue. But his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu has said though her husband has an offer from the Congress camp also, but Sidhu’s heart is with AAP.
14. Over the weekend Pakistan won the fourth Test against England, thus leveling the series 2-2. Captain Misbah and his team are being commended for this feat. With this victory Pakistan remains on third position. Australia is the top Test team, India at number two and England on fourth position. In the Australia-Sri Lanka, matches the former is not doing well and the first two Tests have been won by Sri Lanka won and India has won against West Indies. Any upset can take India or Pakistan at the top.
15. Rio Olympics: In the 100m race Usain Bolt clinched gold for the third time and completed the distance in 9.81 seconds. Justin Gatlin of USA finished second with 9.89 seconds and got silver. Andre De Grasse got bronze with 9.91 seconds. Yohan Black was on fourth position.
16. In Hockey India’s dream ended to proceed ahead when Belgium defeated India 1-3 and has reached the semi-finals. In another quarter-finals Argentina won 1-2 from Spain; Holland won from Australia 0-4; Germany from Switzerland 2-3. The semi-finals tomorrow will be held between Belgium and Holland, and Argentina and Germany.
17. In Badminton Saina Nehwal has crashed out of the Olympics after losing to a junior player.
18. In Tennis, the Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna team could not even get a bronze medal and so are out of Olympics.
19. In Gymnastics Dipa Karmakar ended fourth and said she was sad as lost just by few points. Dip has informed she has already starting training for the next Olympics but it is an achievement as no Indian before her she reached that position.
20. Chinese diver He Zi who won a silver medal was proposed by her boy friend in a packed stadium going down on his knees. She accepted the proposal and got engaged.
21. Akshay Kumar’s Rustom is ahead of Mohenjo Daro as it has earned over IRs50 crores already and is expected to touch the IRs100 crore mark while Mohenjo Daro has garnered only IRs30 crores.

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