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Transcript of Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (June 16, 2017)

June 19, 2017

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Namashkar Mitron! Aap sabka swagat hai. Good afternoon to everyone and a very warm welcome to all of you. Aap sabka swagat hai.

I have few announcements to make in the beginning and then we will come to Questions and answers.

My first announcement is about the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to Portugal which will take place on 24th June, 2017. This will be a working visit, while the Prime Minister will be in Lisbon on 24th June, he will hold official talks with the Prime Minister of Portugal His Excellency, Dr. Antonio Costa. We are working on several documents to strengthen India-Portugal Economic, Scientific and Cultural engagement and we expect to finalize and sign these documents essentially which are in the nature of Memorandum of Understanding.

As you know India and Portugal enjoy warm and friendly relations. The two countries share historic and common cultural ties with strong people to people connect. The visit of the Prime Minister Costa to India in January 2017 had imparted a new momentum to the relationship. During the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to Portugal we look forward to continuing that momentum and you would also recall that Prime Minister Costa had been the Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas where he was awarded the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman, this was in the context of his family roots in Goa.

We look forward to a very action filled, useful, productive, successful visit of the Prime Minister to Portugal on 24th June. You already know about Prime Minister’s visit to the United States which he had announced a few days earlier.

From Portugal, the Prime Minister will travel to the United States and from United States he will travel to the Netherlands, which is my second announcement today.

The Prime Minister will be visiting Netherlands on 27th June, 2017. The visit assumes significance as India and Netherlands are celebrating 70 years of establishment of democratic relations this year. This will also be a working visit. While in the Hague, the Prime Minister will meet with the Dutch Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Mark Rutte and hold official talks with him. He is also expected to call on the king of the Netherlands.

Relations between India and Netherlands are warm and friendly. Economic relations form the core of these relations. The Netherlands is a leading foreign investor in India and a large number of Dutch companies are active in the Indian market. Similarly a significant number of Indian companies are based in the Netherlands. So we look forward to boosting economic cooperation and relations, bilateral trade and investment and of course cooperation in other areas of our bilateral relationship through this visit of the Prime Minister to the Netherlands on 27th June.

My third announcement is essentially a sentence which is about raising of Indian flag at the SCO Secretariat at Beijing. You all are aware that India had gained formal entry as a full member in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the 9th of June when the Prime Minister had visited Astana. This has followed endorsement of India’s full membership and a decision to that effect which was signed at Astana. Yesterday, India’s flag has been raised at the SCO’s Secretariat. This marks an important event of India’s growing engagement in terms of cooperation on connectivity, security and other areas of mutual interest in the region.

Today, the External Affairs Minister met the Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Korea. As you know there have been elections in the republic of South Korea and a new government under a new President Mr. Moon Jae-in has taken charge and we are very happy. We look at this visit of Special Envoy of the President of South Korea as indicating the importance which South Korea attaches to the relations with India and also the importance which India attaches to this relationship.

The Special Envoy Mr. Dong Chi Chung is a veteran. He has been a close associate of former President and also the current President in his earlier capacities. He himself was a Member of Parliament and his discussions with the External Affairs Minister today covered a broad range of bilateral relations. You know that there is a very strong economic partnership between Republic of Korea and India. There is a strategic convergence.

There is convergence of views on security, non-proliferation, terrorism, freedom of navigation in the seas etc. A number of thoughts and views were exchanged in these areas. Both sides agreed that under the new regime in South Korea, the momentum will continue and in fact a thrust will be given and the visit of the Special Envoy itself is an indication of the priority which the new government and the new leadership of South Korea attaches to its relationship with India.

They have agreed that the momentum will be carried forward in the remaining part of this year through high level exchanges. In particular the possibility of holding the India-South Korea Joint Commission Meeting was discussed and it was agreed that the two sides will strive to hold that meeting.

My last announcement today is about an event which is likely to occur in next couple of days. Normally I don’t make predictions but I do sometimes, give you important information on important events.

You would recall that when President of Afghanistan Mr. Ashraf Ghani had visited India last year, there was discussion about establishing Air-Freight Corridor between the two countries. We are very happy to mention to you today that the first flight is likely to operate in the next couple of days. We are working out the details. The flight will take Indian products to Afghanistan and will bring products of Afghanistan to India. It will operate between Delhi and Kabul.

As I mentioned we are still in the process finalizing details of the timings but it is likely that this may take place either over the weekend itself or very early next week. At the moment it looks like it could take place over the weekend, we will issue a media advisory. A warm reception will be accorded to this flight which brings Afghan products to Delhi. As you know these products including dry fruits are very popular in India. Whatever the time and venue, we will let you know. My idea was to share with you at this stage the information at the first air freight corridor flight between Afghanistan and Delhi is now on the verge of becoming a reality.

So with that I would stop here having concluded few announcements that I needed to make. Floor is now open for questions.

Question: Will this Air Freight Corridor have flights every day or what it is going to be, any idea?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: At the moment, I don’t think the idea is to operate the flight every day. It has to cater to the current volume of goods. The idea of establishing a dedicated air freight corridor that is essentially to operate a dedicated freight flight between India and Afghanistan was taken in view of the difficulties that we have on the ground in terms of connectivity between the two countries and the trade is essentially in the goods which Afghanistan is strong and the products in which India is strong. At the moment the idea is to try and see if the frequency of flight within a month or every fortnight. This is the first flight and we will see its viability as at the end of the day it is a commercial venture which is supported very heavily, very strongly and very purposefully by both the governments.

There were discussions held about which will be the operator, as far as I understand it is the Afghan airline, Ariana which is operating this one but there could be others also later down the line. I am not aware of those details but this one is Ariana.

Question: Will it fly over Pakistan airspace or it will come by other route?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: My understanding is that it will overfly the Pakistan airspace. It is a commercial flight and there are a lot of commercial flights which originate in India and which originate elsewhere also and they come to India also and they fly over Pakistan.

Question Contd.: But for that I understand that we have to give information to Pakistan what things are being taken by that flight.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: These are standard operating procedures. Commercial flights, freight flights, cargo flights have very clearly stipulated procedures and I am sure the concerned flight operator or the companies which operate these flights are looking into it.

Question: Sir Agar aap bataa sakein ki Kulbhushan Jadhav ko lekar international court mein kuch update hua hai kya? Pakistan media ke kuch section mein ye bataya ja raha hai ki Bharat ko jyada time dene ki jo mohlat thi wo nahi di gai hai aur Pakistan ko kaha gaya hai ki wo case jaldi shuru kar sakte hain.

Question: The news also says that Pakistan is going to speed up the process.

Question: Some dates have also been given that the case will start in January 2018, can you clarify on that?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As you all are aware that the Kulbhushan Jadhav matter which is with the International Court of Justice in the Hague. There was a development on June 8, 2017. Essentially on that day i.e. 8th of June, the President of International Court of Justice met the representatives of both India and Pakistan. As we had said earlier, it was not a full sitting of the court like in the previous month when the court had stayed the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Now what transpired in that meeting is that these timelines were discussed and as a result of these discussions where we submitted to the court for an early and expeditious proceedings in the matter and we also pointed out the precedence of the Aveena case where four months had been given to one of the parties to submit its pleadings which is called the ‘memorial’ in the terminology used.

After our and Pakistan’s submission with regards to the timelines the court has directed India to submit the memorial, in am using the word used in the context of the court proceedings, by 13th September 2017 and they have asked Pakistan to do the same i.e. counter-memorial by 13th December 2017. So this is the factual situation. I don’t think that the report that you quoted accurately reflects either the submission of India or the decision of the Court and certainly the interpretation that we had wanted a certain timeline which has not been contained in the court’s directive, I don’t think that impression is correct.

As I mentioned we ourselves have pointed out four months and essentially that is the time which the court has granted us for filing our memorial. After that what happens that will be up to the court to decide. So first it will be India’s memorial which court will receive in September then Pakistan’s counter-memorial in December and then the court will see if there is a requirement for further submissions and counter-submissions and then it will decide to hold the hearings.

Whether the hearing will be held, as you had asked, in January 2018 or not, that is a decision which the court will take after assessing both the memorial and the counter-memorial and whether there is need for further documents to be filed with it. SO at this stage it is premature to say when this hearing will take place. I hope that clarifies the matter sufficiently.

Question: What is memorial?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Memorial is basically what you submit to the court in support of your case.

Question: My question is related to the constitution amendment in Nepal. In the recent months there have been several reports that there is shift in India’s position since the promulgation of constitution in Nepal, India was pressing to amend the constitution to address the Madhesi’s part but there are reports that Indian Embassy based in Nepal also pressed Madhesh based parties to go for elections putting amendment on hold. Is it true that there is shift in India’s position regarding constitution amendment in Nepal? I am Kamaldeep Bhattarai and I represent Kathmandu Post.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: I would disagree with you on certain points. I don’t agree with you first of all on depiction of India’s position in this matter which is India put pressure either on the Government of Nepal or on the Madheshi groups. As you know, not from now but from many years and I go back to 2005 and 2006 when the Nepali people brought the changes in Nepal through the Jan Andolan – Second.

India’s positions has been very clear, it is up to the people of Nepal. They are the ones who drive the process, they are the ones who choose what they choose through a democratic process. All that India has supported and we continue to support now is the effort so that the aspirations of the Nepali people are fulfilled.

Concretely what it means, it means that we support the aspiration to have an inclusive political order, inclusive constitution and consultations to arrive at such provisions which satisfies everyone. Consultations through which every party, every political segment, every view is taken onboard, we support the efforts in that regard. Whether these efforts by the government of Nepal, by other political parties which are not part of government of Nepal or by other groups which are agitating or which are demanding their inclusion or inclusion of the segments of the Nepali society in that process and in the reflection of their aspirations in the constitution of Nepal.

So India’s position is very clear, India’s position has never been to put pressure or to be prescriptive. We have never followed prescriptive position.

Hamne sirf Nepali logon ki aakankshaon ko dhyaan mein rakhte hue, unki jo bhi aspirations hain unke mutaabik, kaisa samaveshi sanvidhan bane, uske liye humne kaha hai ki sab se baat kariye, sab logon ko onboard leejiye, saare concerned political segments se baat kariye. Consultation, inclusiveness, samaveshikaran, ye hamari position ke mool aadhaar hain, mool stambh hain.

To think that we have put pressure is where I beg to differ with you and also to say that Indian Ambassador has told the Nepali people or the Madheshi people that they should join the process, or they should contest the election, I don’t think that is a correct characterization of our situation in anyway. We have been of course talking to all concerned in Nepal, we always talk to all the political segments and the Indian embassy and the Indian Ambassador are basically the presence on the ground. They do talk to, they remain engaged with and when asked they advise along the lines that I have mentioned to you just now, which is India’s position.

So we have basically been supportive of the efforts of the Government of Nepal to take forward the constitutional implementation process through dialogue and consultation and taking all sections of Nepali society onboard. As far as the current situation is concerned, we wish that the people and government of Nepal, every success in their national efforts to achieve peace, stability and socio-economic transformation. We would continue to partner the government and people of Nepal in the common endeavor for better living standards for our people. I think this detailed answer would satisfy your question.

Question: Saudi Arab mein kuch din pehle ek Bhartiya naagrik ki hatya kar di gai, aarop hai ki kuchh Pakistanki yuvakon ne Bharatiya naagrik ko maara. Is sambandh mein koi details aapke paas hain?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Is sambandh mein hamare pass kuch prathmik jaankaari aai thi lekin vistaar se poori jaankaari mere pass nahi hai. Main aapse ye prarthanaa karunga ki aap apna number humko de dein, jo bhi jaankaari mere pass vistaar mein aayegi main avashya hi aapse us jaankaari ko share karunga.

Question: Sir could you give us some details about the Prime Minister’s US visit. Is he only going to go to the Washington and about some about a bit business deals that could be signed during that time?

Question: Will there also be an attempt probably to request the US side to revive the strategic and commercial dialogue because there are reports that probably that will not be continued during the Trump’s era?

Question: Will Prime Minister be addressing any community event there in this US visit?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay:
First of all let me say that we are aware of the huge interest in this visit and we think it is certainly commensurate with the significance of this visit. You all are very familiar with the strong fundamentals of the India-US partnership, it is a multi-dimensional partnership, it is a global partnership, it is in the interest of not only India and United States but also global peace, security and prosperity. This visit has its own significance because it will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to engage with the new President after the elections last year and both sides look forward to that.

You would have seen the statement issued by us and also the statement issue in the United States so I am not going to repeat that but just point out that all areas of bilateral cooperation and also concerning the region, the global situation, security, terrorism, stability, all these things will be discussed.

We look forward to this particular visit and the discussions of the Prime Minister with the President Trump providing a further impetus, and not only an impetus but further direction under the new leadership of the United States to this relationship through the consultations and discussions and conversations with Prime Minister Modi and President Trump.

So we very much look forward to this relationship not only strengthen but getting a new direction, priorities and also consolidating the gains that have been achieved over the past several years in this relationship.

Now coming to the specific questions of whether he is visiting only Washington DC, as of now Washington DC is the place which the Prime Minister will visit. However, I might say that the program is still evolving as is not uncommon in case of bilateral visits and specially such visits. There will be occasion to interact with the business. There will be occasion when the Prime Minister will be interacting with the business leaders, again the details of the program are evolving and we may be able to share more information with you a little later.

As for the community event, I can tell you because there has been some speculation in the media regarding this, let me mention to you that in principle the decision has been that Prime Minister would interact or would have some sort of an interaction with the Indian community in the United States. As you know when the Prime Minister visits, in several of his visits he has had community interactions and in some of them he hasn’t had the community interactions. For example in the recent visits to Russia or Germany he did not. So there is also the overall time calendar and the time factor which guides where he would go, what types of program he would have.

So I can share with you that we indeed looked at a few options in terms of possibility of visit to another city, but I have just announced today the visit to Portugal before the US visit and also the visit to Netherlands after the US visit. So as you can see we are following a calendar, we are following a time schedule and within the time schedule this time we do not have the flexibility to arrange visit to another city. So in Washington DC the Prime Minister will have sort of a community interaction but the details will emerge in course of time.

I was surprised by your question and I should have answered that first because you used the term revived, what do you mean by that because to my knowledge and correct me if I am wrong, the last edition of strategic dialogue took place in August 2016 so it’s not even an year and as you know it is an annual thing. Now with new administration, as you know, the Foreign Secretary has visited United States and he has had very good interactions with the widest spectrum of Senior Officials.

The US National Security Advisor has visited India and he has met his counterpart, he had called on Prime Minister Modi, so the two countries have had the engagement obviously on the important aspects of not only their own security but also cooperation in security matters and also fighting the menaces like terrorism and extremism not only in our region but globally. So I think to characterize the situation as if things are at a standstill and they now need to be revived, as if a motor car have been parked for a long time in a garage and you need to check the tyre pressure and fill in the fuel.

So what will happen is, as I mentioned to you, the conversation between the Prime Minister and the President itself will give the new direction and will set the priorities and perhaps it will be logical to think of further discussions and further dialogues on strategic matters and other bilateral matters of importance following from and flowing from that broad direction which the two leaders give. But I might emphasize again that it is perhaps incorrect to think of this dialogue as something which needs to be revived.

Question: ISIS ke khatre ko lekar hum hamesha discuss karte rahe hain aur India mein uska kya network hai aur kis tarah ka uska impact hai usko bhi discuss karte rahe hain. Russian Military ke dawa hai ki ISIS ka chief Baghdadi maar giraya gaya hai aur Syria ne bhi iska khandan nahi kiya hai. Hamare pass kya soochna hai, aur agar ye ghatna sahi hoti hai to uske further impact ko hum kaise analyse karenge?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Prashn aapka bahut achha hai lekin mere pass iska jyada jawaab isliye nahi hai kyonki aane ke kuchh der pahle hi maine iske baare mein soochna dekhi thi aur hamare pass swatantra roop se is ghatna ki pushti karne ka koi jariya abhi hamare pass hai ya nahi hai, isliye abhi mujhe iski jaankaari nahi hai. Lekin Russia ne ye kaha hai aur aatankwaad ke khilaaf jo ladai hai wo poore vishwa ki ladai hai, poori maanavta ki ladaai hai.

Bharat har us taakat se sahyog karta hai aur karne ke liye taiyaar hai jo bina kisi bhedbhav ke, saare aatankwaadiyon ke saath mukaabla karta hai. ISIS ek taakat hai jo ki duniya aur poori maanavta ko khatra paida karti hai to hum uske khilaaf aur anya aatankwaadi taakaton ke khilaaf jo bhi kadam uthaye ja sakte hain hum unka samarthan karte hain par is sambandh mein mujhe koi bhi specific jaankaari is waqt nahi hai. Main koshish karunga ki jaankaari haasil kar sakoon.

Question: My question is on PM’s visit to US. How do you describe the visit, is it a State visit, Official visit or a Working visit?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: I think the answer was contained in our press release earlier this week.

Question: Vijay Mallya ko wapas laane ke liye bahut saare initiative liye gaye hain. To abhi ismein kya dikkat ho rahi hai kyonki wo jahan bhi jaata hai log usko ‘Chor-Chor’ bol ke log pukarta hai. It is a very embarrassing situation?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Aapke sawaal ke jawaab mein main apne aapko kewal us tak seemit rakhunga jo ki vastu-sthiti hai. Jo haalaat hain wo ye hain ki hamne Britain ki Sarkar se ye guzarish kari thi ki Vijay Mallya ka extradition kiya jaaye aur uske liye humne unko kaagzaat diye hain aur wo British Foreign Office ne apne Home Office ko de diye they. Uske baad wahan par jo bhi administrative aur judicial prakriya hai wo chal rahi hai. Jaisa ki aapko pata hai ki us prakriya ke tahat pichhale mahine unko ek baar giraftaar kiya gaya tha fir bail de di gai thi aur case ki agali sunwaai abhi haal hi mein is hafte hui hai.

Ye ek kanooni karyawaahi hai, ye Britain ke court mein sub-judice hai aur ye maamle wahan ka court sun raha hai. Uske liye jo bhi jaroori kaagzaat hain wo hamne British adhikariyon ko de diye hain. In tarah ke cases mein jo kaagzaat hote hain wo bahut saare hote hain aur unko Britain ke sambandhit court mein pahunchaya ja raha hai. Jab wo court mein pahunchenge, mujhe jaankaari nahi hai ki is kshan jab hum baat kar rahe hain to wo kaagzaat court tak pahunche hain ki nahi pahunche, jab wo pahunchenge to fir prakriya aage chalegi.

Question: Will be there Indian community events in Lisbon and the Hague during the Prime Minister’s visit and what is the size of Indian community in both these countries?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As far as I am aware there are no plans for any community events in Portugal and Netherlands. I am afraid I do not have the answer to the question what is the size of the Indian community in Portugal and in Netherlands, but about Netherlands I do know that there are tens of thousands people of Indian origin associated with different walks of life but I need to check those figures for both countries and I’ll come back to you.

Question: As far as extradition of Mallya is concerned about which you have spoken but there are about nine or ten other people which India also wants extradited from Britain. One of them is a terrorist, Tiger Hanif and there are several others. What is the state of those cases?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: You are right, there are certain extradition requests which India has made to the United Kingdom and the case you mentioned, as far as I remember, this is one of them, I think there are about nine or ten cases in all. I don’t have individual details for these specific cases but I will try and obtain this information and get back to you.

Question Contd.: Some are very old which India asked perhaps seven or eight years back but there has been absolute silence from the British side.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As I said unfortunately I do not have, at the moment, the details in this regard. I need to obtain that information and whatever information I will have, I’ll be happy to share with you.

Question: Sir ek vishay jo pehle baar baar aaya karta tha. Pichhale dino Videsh Mantri ne mulakaat ki hai, Mosul mein jo fasein hue Bharatiya hain, unke baare mein koi fresh jaankaari hai jo aap humse share karna chahenge?

Question: I was told that one of the relatives who came to meet the minister last week was told by the External Affairs Minister that India has sent an official to Iraq because there are reports that authorities in Iraq have detected a group of Indians who are at present trapped in Mosul, is that correct, can you substantiate it?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: You know that the External Affairs Minister had met the families and representatives last week, I think it was on 8th of June when she had a meeting.

Us mulaaqaat ke dauraan is par charcha hui thi aur ab jaante hain ki hum un sabhi deshon se sampark banaye hue hain jo is maamle mein hamari madad kar rahe hain aur kar sakte hain. Ismein specifically kya kadam liye gaye hain wo information thodi sensitive hai isliye main is baare mein yahan par bolna nahi chahta hoon. Lekin main aapko ye vishwas dilana chahta hoon ki har sambhav koshish Bharat Sarkar kar rahi hai aur jaisa ki pahle bhi hum is tarah ke occasions pe baat kar chuke hain, hamaari jaankari yahi hai ki ye log zinda hain kyonki hamare pass koi jaankaari aisi nahi hai jo ye saabit kar sake ki wo zinda nahi hain, is hisaab se hum aagey chal rahe hain.

Humne sabhi taaktaon se sampark banaya hua hai, jismein soochna ka aadaan-pradaan bhi hai baat-cheet bhi hai aas-paas ke deshon se, jinse bhi hum baat kar sakte hain.

But I am afraid I may not be able to share with you the specific details related to this matter.

Question: Recently India pulled out of Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore. Will it cast any clouds on bilateral relationship particularly when the ministers are coming in future?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As far as Shangri-La dialogue is concerned, I don’t think that we attend every dialogue everywhere in the world or we attend or every edition of everything. So I don’t attach any significance to India not participating in this year’s edition of Shangri-La dialogue. We remain engaged with many think-tanks, many such forums over the world. So I don’t see that there is a huge something which can be read of this absence. Sometimes we are unable to attend something, I don’t read any significance in it. There are a lot of dialogues which take place all over the world, some we can attend, some we can’t attend but the relationship with Singapore, as you know, is very strong, it’s a wholesome relationship, it’s a very multi-dimensional relationship and we are very happy that relationship is growing is very fast and the leadership of both the countries are greatly invested in strengthening that relationship.

Question: My question is on Zakir Naik’s passport. There was report that NIA has moved to revoke the passport. Can you give us the current status and also he is trying to seek citizenship of other countries, I would not like to name the countries. Are you in touch with the governments of those countries in an effort to stop that?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: On passport and NIA investigation I would request you to direct your question to Ministry of Home Affairs or other departments of Government of India. This ministry does not deals with those matters.

As far as citizenship of other countries is concerned, I am not aware, I don’t have the details of which countries you are referring to. If I have those details I would be happy to share with you.

Question: Just one clarification on Vijay Mallya case, the papers that were submitted by India, did the British authorities ask for the papers, when did this happen, could you share some details, are these additional papers and what kind of details were sought?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: These papers were required in connection with the hearing in the extradition matter which is sub-judice in the court in London and these papers were handed over to the British High Commission last week. As I said this is a huge bunch of papers and that is the normal diplomatic channel to be used for passing on. Either we can send it to our high commission but considering the bulk of papers and considering the urgency it was best to hand them over right here. Soft copies were also send through electronic means to our High Commission. This is basically we use the diplomatic channel to pass on these papers and that is what was done last week, around this time.

Now I think I would end this press conference but with a brief announcement.

The announcement is about a special event which the External Affairs Minister is going to chair tomorrow. It will take place at about 11 O’clock tomorrow, i.e. Saturday. This will be an event in which the External Affairs Minister will launch a special portal for diaspora. You know that the Ministry of External Affairs which now has merged the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with it, has been running a program for the diaspora to know India well and to learn about the rich Indian heritage.

So the External Affairs Minister will be launching a portal tomorrow at 11 O’clock here at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan. Also the Minister will be making some important announcements about the Post Office Passport Seva Kendras. As you know we have announced the first phase earlier this year under which 86 POPSKs were to be opened. 52 have already been opened, now the time is there to go to the next phase and expansion. So the External Affairs Minister will be making this announcement and we expect also the presence of the Minister of the State (Independent Charge) of Posts, who have also been requested to attend this event tomorrow. So I request all of you, all of you are cordially invited to attend that event which will be presided over by the External Affairs Minister.

Thank you very much for your time today afternoon.


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