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Sushma Swaraj to meet abducted Indians’ kin next week


New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet next week with the relatives of Indian nationals who were abducted by suspected Taliban cadres in Baghlan province of Afghanistan. Currently, she is in South Africa, attending the meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers and IBSA.  Addressing the weekly media briefing here on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We are in touch with the Afghan side and also with other stakeholders. … The External Affairs Minister had offered to meet with them next week; right now she is in South Africa to attend BRICS and IBSA meeting. She has given them time next week and I’m sure when she will come back she will meet them. We are working out the day and time for the meeting.” Last month, a group of six Indian nationals employed in an electricity project were abducted in Afghanistan. Those abducted were the employees of an Indian company, KEC, and were on their way to work in Bagh-e-Shamal village of the Pul-e-Khumre, capital of Baghlan. On extradition of fugitive religious preacher Zakir Naik, Mr Kumar said, “India and Malaysia have an extradition treaty and we have made a extradition request to Malaysia, we are waiting for their response in this matter.” In March, the government had sought extradition of the controversial Islamic preacher accusing him of inciting youth to take up jihad, from Malyasia. On liquor-baron Vijay Malaya extradition from London, the spokesperson added, “We had made extradition request in February 2017 and since then hearing is on. The closing submissions have already been done. We are waiting for the verdict. We have left no stone unturned in convincing the court to extradite Malaya.” On continuous ceasefire violations made by the Pakistan army, Mr Kumar said, “There have been more than 1000 unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan. It is used as a cover to infiltrate terrorists into our territory.” Recently, the Maldives government has asked India to take back their two naval helicopters gifted for use by the military to transport critical patients and conduct search and rescue operations. Reacting on the report, the spokesperson added, “As we all are aware that our defence relations with Maldives were very strong. On the issue of helicopters, we are in constant touch with the Maldives administration.” On proposed meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong on June 12, he said, “We have welcomed the proposed meeting. We are supportive to the peaceful resolution of Korean peninsula issues. We are hopeful that the meeting between two leaders (Trump and Kim Jong) would be fruitful.”

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