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Defense contractor to tackle Washington’s parking meter woes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The cash-strapped nation’s capital turned to the country’s largest defense contractor Wednesday to combat parking meter vandalism.

Mayor Marion Barry announced that the city had signed a seven-year contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. to install, maintain and manage at least 15,500 digital parking meters throughout the District of Columbia.

The district government has been losing millions of dollars annually in recent years to hacksaw vandals who target parking meters. And local officials have been unable to come up with money to replace the destroyed devices.

This year alone, city officials estimate parking revenues will drop from to $6.7 million, from an annual average of $11 million.

“We needed to do something about it,” said City Administrator Michael Rogers. He predicted that the revenues will shoot past $13 million a year once the Lockheed Martin contract is implemented.

If approved by the city council and a congressionally established financial control board overseeing the district government, the contract could take effect by the end of July.

It requires the company to replace all existing meters within 12 months with new models that accept both coin and electronic card payment. At least 97 percent of the new meters must be in working order at all times. If not, Lockheed Martin will face financial penalties, Rogers said.

Motorists now pay as much as 25 cents to park for 15 minutes at meters in prime downtown spaces. Many, however, have been paying nothing to park at beheaded meters that have become a common sight on the streets of Washington.

Barry says the digital meters are sturdier and more difficult to break into than the current, glass-covered models.

Lockheed-Martin, headquartered in the adjacent suburb of Bethesda, Md., won the contract after a controversial four-month selection process. Two women, Delphine Shepard and Norma Mapp, were removed from the six-member selection panel appointed by Rogers after questions arose about their associations with two bidders.

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Life threatening for Sikhs in Pakistan .. | Sikhs fear for Pakistani lives Individual society tyranny human …

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Jatin Desai

If an individual or community in a country is being harassed, it is not an internal matter of that country. The international community must speak out against those human rights abuses. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has condemned the killing of Sikhs in Pakistan, but politics in Pakistan is doing well.

The killing of Sikhs in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has not stopped. Sikhs and other minorities in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, find it very difficult to survive. On May 15, two Sikh youths were killed in Peshawar. There are about 45,000 Sikhs in Pakistan and most of them live in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. There are about 15,000 Sikhs in Peshawar. The province is ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a coalition government of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. The PTI policy towards the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an active terrorist organization in the region, has always been somewhat volatile.

Naturally, a strong reaction to the killing of Sikhs was seen in India and especially in Punjab. The assassination was strongly condemned by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has requested External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to tell Pakistan to provide security to the Hindu and Sikh minorities in Pakistan. Former Chief Minister Amirdar Singh and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parabandhak Samiti also condemned the killing.

Sikhs in Pakistan are not rich. Most of these are small shops. They mainly trade in spices and groceries. The Sikh community had earlier spread to the rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. But the constant killings by terrorists forced a large number of Sikhs from rural areas to leave their homes and businesses and move to Peshawar. The Nankana Sahib area in the Punjab province of Pakistan also has a large Sikh population. Guru Nanak was born here.

Ranjit Singh (42) and Kuljit Singh (38), both shot dead by two thugs on a two-wheeler in Peshawar, live in the Tiraha Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He has been living in Peshawar since 2009 for fear of terrorists. The two have no enmity with either. He was killed by thugs while in his shop. Islamic State (Khorasan) has claimed responsibility for the killings. Satwant Singh, a doctor, was killed by militants in Peshawar last September. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

The issue of Sikh survival in Pakistan is not just a matter for Pakistan, it is true not only for its followers in Afghanistan, but also for the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, which has links with Afghan terrorist groups. Although Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani was originally from Afghanistan, he and his father Jalaluddin moved to the North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after 2001, where they expanded their influence with the help of terrorism and ISI. This is the Haqqani Network. Sirajuddin has been given an important post by the ISI as the Home Minister of Afghanistan. More than 2,000 TTP militants have been released from Afghan prisons since the Taliban came to power. The TTP created havoc after the terrorists escaped and fled to Pakistan. In 2020, 25 Sikhs were killed in a joint attack by the Haqqani Network and the Islamic State (Khorasan) on a shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan. The TTP and the Taliban have close ties, but the Haqqani network is a key component of the Taliban. Islamic State influence in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.

The distance between Jalalabad and Peshawar, the capital of Nandgarhar province in Afghanistan, is about 130 km. Relations between the Taliban and the Islamic State are not good. Islamic State has frequently carried out suicide attacks since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. However, in the past, the two have been involved in frequent attacks together. The TTP is believed to have aided the killing of two Sikhs in Peshawar. Former ISI chief Faiz Hamid is reported to have gathered in TTP Kabul after the attack.

The percentage of minorities in Pakistan is lower than in many other countries. According to the 2017 census, Hindus make up 1.73 per cent and Christians 1.27 per cent. Muslims make up 96.47 percent of the population. The percentage of minorities in Pakistan is steadily declining. Naturally, this is due to the persecution of minorities. Ravindra Singh, a 25-year-old Sikh youth, was killed in January 2020. Earlier in 2016, Sikh leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former minister in the province Soran Singh was assassinated by terrorists. With this massacre a terrible atmosphere prevailed among the Sikhs.

Terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Saheba have mainly killed Shiites. The way minorities and women are treated in the country shows how far the country has come. If an individual or society in a country is oppressed, it is not an internal matter of that country. The international community must speak out against those human rights abuses. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs condemned the killing and demanded that Pakistan conduct an honest investigation into the killings and punish the culprits.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto have also condemned the killing of Sikhs. The assassination marked the beginning of big politics in Pakistan. The Shahbaz Sharif-led government of Pakistan has criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan (Union) Home Minister Rana Sanaullah said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had failed to provide a safe environment for minorities. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has accused the conspiracy of disrupting religious harmony in Peshawar.

According to a report by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, terrorist attacks in Pakistan increased by 57% between 2020 and 2021. The then Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan welcomed the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The TTP has close ties to the Taliban. The report also confirmed that large-scale attacks by TTP militants liberated from Afghanistan, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to the report, there is an agreement between the Haqqani Network and the Islamic State (although there is clear competition) and these measures are being taken to create terror among the Sikh and Shia communities in line with that agreement. The massacre caused great panic among the Sikhs.

Under such circumstances the government of Pakistan should conduct a proper investigation and catch the killers. In fact, Pakistan must take action to eradicate all terrorist organizations, including the Haqqani network. Only then will minority communities have real security. It is not easy for Shahbaz Sharif to take action against the Haqqani network as it has the support of the ISI and the Pakistani military as an alternative. No matter what the government is to bring the minority communities into confidence and provide security for them .. the Shahbaz Sharif government of Pakistan should not forget this just for the sake of politics.

jatindesai123@gmail.com



2022-05-21 18:32:00

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Cultured politics! , Cultured Politicians App Hussain Dalwai Death Family Socio-Political …

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Abdul Qadir Mukadam

It is ten o’clock at night. I read after lunch as usual. Meanwhile, the news of Hussain Dalwai’s death came on WhatsApp. This news was supposed to come someday. This year would have been a hundred years old. Even at the age of ninety he did not have a serious illness. But with age comes some limitations and they naturally grow. But he breathed his last after leading a successful and prosperous life in the family and social / political spheres. But because of his cultured personality, this last moment in his life disturbed everyone.

My friendship with him dates back almost half a century. From this long love affair, I often experienced their greedy nature. Tried to stay away from sixers despite being in politics. It was through such efforts that his cultured personality developed. That is why his popularity has not diminished since he retired from politics.

I still remember his first meeting with me. This is the year 1972 or 73. I joined the revolution in the Muslim community started by the late Hamid Dalwai. So my meeting with Hamid was even better. If in Mumbai, people would come to the fort. The David Sassoon Library near the museum is our meeting place. This library is the mosque of the aristocratic Makalya Fakirs who love literature. When we met one day, Hamid Bhai said, “Let’s go to Hussain Dalwai today.” They live near the Oval Grounds here. They have no reason to say no. But there was a kind of oppression in the mind. He is a Congress MLA. As such, Hamidbhai’s colleague is a progressive! There was a sense of welcome. I do not know what their ideological role is. But when Hamidbhai introduced me, he welcomed me with open arms. Not only that, he said people read my articles too!

On the first visit, he and I agreed. Naturally, this official visit turned out to be a long friendship. Because ‘Rashtra Seva Dal’ rites are the common link between the two of us. Depending on his qualifications, he should be a lawyer. He also practiced law in the Mumbai High Court for some time. But fate dictated a different path for them. Social awareness is an important part of his personality. It is with this understanding that he must have chosen the political arena. Why not something; But no one can deny that he succeeded in this consciously accepted field. But in achieving this, he has always shunned the rudeness of politics.

In 1967, he contested and won the Assembly elections from Khed (Ratnagiri) Assembly constituency on a Congress ticket. This is the first election after coming into politics! Elected MLA till 1978. Vasant Dada Patil also became the Minister of Justice in the Cabinet. He has since been elected to the Rajya Sabha twice.

He had a natural passion for social service. That is why he developed affiliations with social organizations like Bharat Sevak Samaj, Nav Konkan Shikshan Samaj, Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan. What is remarkable is that his commitment in the social sphere is reflected in his work in the political sphere as well. He is in constant consultation with his constituency. Therefore, those who came to visit him were constantly at home. Sofas and couches hit three walls in his room. And Hussainbhai himself sat in front. This is a normal scene. That is why he is called ‘Durbar’. This ‘Darbara’ was open to all. There was another chair next to Hussein’s chair. Call everyone in the front row and hear their views, requests or complaints. This is a feature of court work.

However the court has been closed for the past few years. This ever-bustling ‘Diwane Aam’ had an anonymous charm. He is 99 years old. In fact, he lived the life given to him by fate with strength and prosperity. This building has become an integral part of his life and hence he is expressing his depression with an invisible sigh.



2022-05-21 18:32:00

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From Chandni Chowk: Who was first?

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Delhiwala

Elections for president and vice president will be held by July 24. That is why the political exercise has now begun. Dharmendra Pradhan’s visit to Bihar last month is said to be for testing. The BJP is trying to divert the votes of regional parties that do not want to join the Congress. Though Janata Dal (S) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is with the BJP, his dissatisfaction has been growing in recent times. He called on Prime Minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the presidential election to bridge the gap between the two parties and wager for votes. The BJP has focused on non-NDM parties like TRS, YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal, BSP and Northeast. The debate began in the opposition as well. How else the Congress initiative will benefit! However, it is learned that the Congress is currently in informal talks with non-BJP regional parties. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Venkaiah Naidu is ready to clash with the BJP. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan is reportedly interested in becoming the Vice President. Who is interested in the opposition? Opposing candidates are less likely to win.

On the occasion of Udaipur ..

Congress spent three days trying to reform its own organization. You get what you want from it. It is not known why he had to go to Udaipur in the south of Rajasthan. There are two reasons for this. Congress has only two states. The idea should not happen in Delhi. It would be better to go to Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan i.e. ‘our’ state than to summon about 500 office bearers and discuss in the capital. Rajasthan is better than Chhattisgarh. It is always good to hold a meditation camp in a big state where Congress is in power. Elections will be held in Gujarat later this year. After that in Rajasthan. Rajasthan has also proved to be a conducive environment for the Congress. If you want to think in Rajasthan, do it in Jaipur. However, the Congress chose Udaipur. Udaipur falls in the Mewar region. It is said that Rajasthan will come to power if it dominates Mewar. Mewar must win the hearts of voters again if Congress is to stay in power. He says it will be difficult for the Congress to retain power if elections are held now. The issue of controversies and unemployment came to the notice of the people during the Congress regime! The second point is that Udaipur is near Gujarat. It is said that the Congress gave an indirect message to the Gujarat voters by holding a meditation camp there. Rahul Gandhi also held meetings in tribal areas. Of course, just texting means nothing!

What happened to Pike?

Political supremacist Prashant Kishore alias PK has slammed the Congress supremacy for his ambition. PK is befriending many senior Congress leaders. PK, a leader of the Congress is reported to be mediating. It is learned that at all the meetings held under the auspices of the Congress, PK himself expressed his desire to join the Congress. PK has reportedly made it clear at least three times that he wants to join Congress. If leaders like former finance ministers are conversing with PK, who will be responsible for PK coming into Congress? PK has been holding official talks with the Congress for ten days. He held four days of talks with the Congress leadership, leaders and the Chief Minister. It shows PK slides on 50 out of 500 strategies, as well as a large number of Congress leaders. So far so good. Pinky’s business acumen in Telangana and the clash of political aspirations in the Congress may have happened after that. PK I-Pack agreement with Telangana National Committee (TRS). You have nothing to do with it, but they may say that the company listens to you. How can Congress accept this contradiction? Issues such as ownership and liability are often raised.

In it, PK wants Congress to ally with the TRS. Since the Congress is the rival to the TRS in Telangana, how can there be an alliance? PK must be loyal to his company, to the TRS or to Congress. At the same time there may also be an argument about how to be obedient to everyone. Negotiations are said to be in full swing. But, that is the role of Congress. Instead of being obedient ‘let’s go alone’ said PK!

Leaders with laptops

If you are listening to the stories of Narasimha Rao period, a prominent journalist covering the Congress beat, then spokesperson Vithal Rao told about Gadgil. He was then at the Congress headquarters. Leaders-office staff and commoners used to come and go to the headquarters. Journalists also say that a round trip to headquarters all day brings two or four headlines. Vithal Rao Gadgil spoke informally with reporters who arranged the official press conference. He laid down the rules for not writing or publishing developments in the central government and in Congress. Any journalist is more interested in informal communication than formal communication. That is why the talk show with the Congress spokesperson was only ten minutes long.

Now the picture is reversed at the Congress headquarters. Rahul Gandhi admitted at the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur that the Congress media was much weaker than the BJP. This section is full of their loyalists, this section is different! There is no big debriefing from the delegates of this department and if there is, it does not make much sense. The time has come for a senior Congress leader to ‘explain’. Two days before the Chintan camp, a senior Congress leader called ten to fifteen selected journalists for ‘debriefing’.

‘Debriefing’ means unauthorized gossip. The reason for calling journalists is to inform them of the main points of the meditation camp. But there are so many things in this chat. For the first time in two years, a Congress leader spoke to reporters. As one of Sonia Gandhi’s loyalist debriefing leaders, her information is important. Due to the new rules in the thinking camp, no office bearer should hold the same position for more than five years. If this rule is strictly adhered to, changes will have to be made in the Congress media department as well. Those who like Rahul Gandhi will not leave this branch so easily. But if the same happens the party media section is likely to be run by depressing leaders. Discussions about his potential new responsibilities began before the meditation camp. The leader’s six-year term in the Rajya Sabha has also come to an end. Becoming the head of the media department can be seen holding a press conference with a laptop. Two-and-a-half years ago, the Mahavikas Aghadi government was in the process of being formed in the state. There, as Sonia Gandhi’s envoy, these senior leaders were seen taking notes with laptops. After the meeting, go straight to ‘Daha Janpath’ and give a briefing .. not to journalists, but to the party president!

2022-05-21 18:32:00

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