Nitin Jain, Vikas Sharma Appointed Hon. Consuls of Seborga
By Deepak Arora
GURGAON, March 15: Gurgaon based businessman Nitin Jain, Managing Director (Operations), Marvel Group, and Vikas Sharma have been appointed as Representative of the Principality of Seborga.
Nitin Jain and Vikas Sharma will represent Seborga in India. Prince Marcello Menegatto and Hon. Princess Nina Menegatto of the Principality of Seborga, presented them each two passports, including the prestigious passport of Club Diplomat.
Nitin Jain and Vikas Sharma have been appointed as Honorary Consuls in India by the Seborga Government on the advice of the Director of the Crown for Foreign Affairs.
Their role is to promote and raise awareness of government and citizens of other nations in the fight for independence of seborga, in addition to providing assistance to Seborgans residing in India or visiting to India.
The swearing-in ceremony of the two Honorary Consuls in India for the Principality of Seborga, Itlay, was held in presence of Prince and Princess along with many ministers of seborga government and prestigious Indian businessmen and government officers.
R.C. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Marvel Group, along with their family members were also present at the swearing-in ceremony at the prestigious DLF Golf Club, Gurgaon.
Nitin Jain has done his MBA from Cardiff University, (U.K.) in Marketing and Finance, Presently he is fully involved in family business and is holding a position of Managing Director (Operations) in Marvel Group. He is a young, energetic and educated businessman.
His father R.C. Jain had started their business from a small village of Haryana with a small outfit. His hard work and fair business practice has made a big empire called as Marvel Group. The group is in the business of FMCG, Tours & Travels and Real Estate.
HSH Marcello I of Seborga, Marcello Menegatto, was born in Lecco May 12, 1978. In November 2000 he was awarded by HSH Rainier III of Monaco, the Gold Medal for Physical Education and Sports. From 2002 to 2004 he was involved in diplomatic experience, becoming Honorary Consul of the Republic of Panama with the Principality of Monaco.
Following the death of Prince Giorgio I of Seborga, Marcello Menegatto bid to become the successor. On March 27, 2010, the Council of Priors announced the acceptance of the application. On April 25, 2010, he was elected as the Prince of Seborga with open ballot, taking the name of Marcello I.
On 22 May 2010 he received the official investiture as Prince of Seborga.
The Principality of Seborga is a micronation or a fantasy state, that claims a 14 km stretch of area located in the north western Italian Province of Imperia in Liguria, near the French border; and about 35 km (23 mi) from Monaco.
Seborga become a independent state in year 945 and became the principality in year 1079. Seborga has its own currency, flag emblem, anthem etc. At present seborga Marcello I is the prince of seborga, Itlay (Europe).
Over 70 killed, 250 injured in suicide blast at Lahore park
LAHORE, March 27: A suicide bomber killed at least 70 people and injured more than 280 others, mostly women and children, at a public park in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday, striking at the heart of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s political base of Punjab. The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a few feet (metres) away from children’s swings.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which occurred in a busy residential area during the Easter holiday weekend. Police said it was not clear whether the attack had deliberately targeted mainly Muslim Pakistan’s small Christian minority.
Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 190 million people, is plagued by a Taliban insurgency, criminal gangs and sectarian violence. Punjab is its biggest and wealthiest province.
Eyewitnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast.
“When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air,” said Hasan Imran, 30, a resident who had come to the park for a walk.
Salman Rafique, a health adviser for the Punjab provincial government, put the death toll at at least 60 people.
“There are more than 280 injured people,” Rafique said. “Many are in operation theatres now being treated and we fear that the death toll may climb considerably.”
Mustansar Feroz, police superintendent for the area in which the park is located, said most of the injured and dead were women and children.
Media footage showed children and women standing in pools of blood outside the park, crying and screaming and rescue officials, police and bystanders carrying injured people to ambulances and private cars.
Dozens of women and children were seen being wheeled into hospitals, covered in blood. Many of the injured were transported to hospitals on taxis and auto-rickshaws due to a shortage of ambulances. Hundreds of citizens arrived outside hospitals to donate blood.
Local television channels reported that many of the dead bodies were being kept in hospital wards as morgues were overcrowded.
“We were just here to have a nice evening and enjoy the weather,” Nasreen Bibi said at the Services Hospital, crying as she waited for doctors to update her on the condition of her two-year-old injured daughter.
“May God shower his wrath upon these attackers. What kind of people target little children in a park?”
Soon after the attack, the Punjab government ordered all public parks to be closed and announced three days of mourning in the province. The main shopping areas were shut down and many of the city’s main roads were deserted.
The army was called in to control crowds outside the park. Some distraught, sobbing relatives clashed with police and rescue officials.
Punjab has traditionally been more peaceful than other parts of Pakistan. Sharif’s opponents have accused him of tolerating militancy in return for peace in his province, a charge he strongly denies.
Last year, a bomb killed a popular Pakistani provincial minister and at least eight others when it destroyed the minister’s home in Punjab.
Putin congratulates Assad on retaking Palmyra
MOSCOW, March 27: Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, congratulating him on his forces retaking Palmyra, the Kremlin said.
The recapture of the ancient city represents a major victory over the Islamic State group, whose fighters had destroyed many monuments at the UNESCO world heritage site since they overran it in May last year.
“In a conversation with the Syrian president, Vladimir Putin congratulated his colleague on Syrian forces liberating the city of Palmyra from terrorists,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, quoted by RIA Novosti state news agency.
“Despite the withdrawal of the main part of Russia’s military contingent from Syria, the Russian armed forces will continue to help the Syrian authorities to fight terrorism and rid their land of extremist groups,” Putin was quoted as saying.
Assad in turn “praised the help given by the Russian space and air forces” and said “successes such as the liberation of Palmyra would be impossible without Russia’s support,” Peskov said.
Backed by a barrage of Russian air strikes, Syrian troops and allied militia launched a major offensive to retake the desert city earlier this month.
Assad told Putin that the conflict in Syria, now in its sixth year, was a “struggle for oil”, adding: “There is a lot of oil everywhere but there is only one Palmyra”, Peskov said.
Putin also spoke by telephone with UNESCO chief Irina Bokova about the fate of Palmyra, the Kremlin spokesperson said.
Putin had told Assad of “the importance of preserving this unique historic city for world culture,” Peskov added.
Holi celebrated for the first time at Canada’s Parliament
TORONTO, March 25: A splash of colour doused the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa as it witnessed the first ever celebration of Holi at the seat of the country’s government.
The festival of colours arrived at the parliament complex on Thursday the initiative of Chandra Arya, the Liberal Party MP from Nepean, an Ottawa riding (as constituencies are called in Canada), with the involvement of the Indian high commission.
More than 300 people participated in the celebration as attendees were adorned with ‘gulal’.
In a message, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “This happy holiday is an opportunity to renew friendships and celebrate peace, but it is also a time to reflect on traditional notions of good and evil, and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness.”
He added, “As friends and families come together for this joyous occasion, we must take a moment to recognise the tremendous contributions Canadians of Hindu faith have made to our country.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength. On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those marking this occasion a fun, happy and colourful Holi.”
There was also a dance-drama on the origin of Holi by the Darpan Performing Arts group.
mong those present at the event were Canadian heritage minister Melanie Joly and India’s high commissioner Vishnu Prakash.
Terror Strikes Brussels; 34 killed, 200 injured
BRUSSELS, March 22: over 34 people were killed and over 200 injured as Brussels came under terrorist attack on Tuesday. Two explosions rocked the airport and one at a metro station in the city. Belgian authorities published surveillance camera images of three suspects in the attack on Brussels airport on Tuesday, Belga news agency reported.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital which killed more than 34 people, a news agency affiliated to the group said.
The grainy picture, which Belga said was released by Belgian police at the request of the federal prosecutor, shows three men pushing trollies with suitcases past the check-in area. Two have dark hair and one is wearing a hat.
The fact that extremists were able to hit high-profile targets in Brussels, Europe’s symbolic capital, just months after IS group militants killed 130 people in Paris, will raise fresh questions about the continent’s ability to cope with the terror threat.
More than 200 people were wounded in Tuesday’s bloodshed, which came just four days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam -- the prime suspect in the Paris attacks -- after four months on the run.
There are fears more suspects could still be at large in Brussels, home to the headquarters of both NATO and the European Union, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders warned.
The Amaq agency said suicide bombers from IS, strapped into explosive belts, staged both attacks. Belgian media said police were hunting one attacker who had survived.
The coordinated assault triggered security alerts across Europe and drew global expressions of support, four days after Brussels police had captured the prime surviving suspect in Islamic State’s attacks on Paris last November.
A witness said he heard shouts in Arabic and shots shortly before two blasts struck a packed airport departure lounge at Brussels airport.
Amaq carried the claim of responsibility several hours after the morning attacks.
“Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station,” it said.
All public transport in Brussels was shut down, as it was in London during 2005 Islamist militant attacks there that killed 52.
Authorities appealed to citizens not to use overloaded telephone networks, extra troops were sent into the city and the Belgian Crisis Centre, clearly wary of a further incident, appealed to the population: “Stay where you are”.
Brussels airport will remain closed on Wednesday, its chief executive Arnaud Feist told reporters.
Public broadcaster VRT said police had found a Kalashnikov assault rifle next to the body of an attacker at the airport.
Such weapons have become a trademark of Islamic State-inspired attacks in Europe, notably in Belgium and France, including on November 13 in Paris.
An unused explosive belt was also found in the area, the public broadcaster said.
Police were continuing to scour the airport for any further bombs or attackers.
“We are at war and we have been subjected to acts of war in Europe for the last few months,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.
Brussels airport said it had cancelled all flights until at least 6am (0500 GMT) on Wednesday and the complex had been evacuated and trains to the airport had been stopped. Passengers were taken to coaches from the terminal that would remove them to a secure area.
All three main long-distance rail stations in Brussels were closed and train services on the cross-channel tunnel from London to Brussels were suspended.
Security services have been on a high state of alert across western Europe for fear of militant attacks backed by Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attack.
While most European airports are known for stringent screening procedures of passengers and their baggage, that typically takes place only once passengers have checked in and are heading to the departure gates.
Although there may be discreet surveillance, there is nothing to prevent members of the public walking in to the departure hall at Zaventem airport with heavy baggage.
Following an attempted ramraid attack at Glasgow Airport in 2007, several airports stepped up security at entrances by altering the pick-up and drop-off zones to prevent private cars getting too close to terminal buildings.
European stocks fell after the explosions, particularly travel sector stocks including airlines and hotels, pulling the broader indices down from multi-week highs. Safe-haven assets, gold and government bonds rose in price.
Belgium’s interior minister, Jan Jambon, said on Monday the country was on high alert for a revenge attack in the wake of Abdeslam arrest.
It was not clear what failings if any allowed the plan for Tuesday’s operation to go ahead and whether the double attack was planned in advance or put together at short notice.
“We know that stopping one cell can ... push others into action. We are aware of it in this case,” Jambon said.
Leaders across Europe reacted with outrage to the attack on the EU’s institutional capital, urging closer counter-terror cooperation on a continent that has been on high alert for months.
“The whole of Europe has been hit,” said French President Francois Hollande, whose country is still reeling from November’s Paris attacks.
British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the “very real” terrorist threat faced by countries across Europe, declaring: “We will never left these terrorists win.”
US President Barack Obama said Washington stood with Belgium in the face of the “outrageous” attacks. “We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible, and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite,” Obama said.
Belgium says captured Paris suspect Adeslam may have planned more attacks
BRUSSELS, March 21: The officials said that according to Abdeslam's first statement, it is suggested that there might have been further attacks planned.
The prime surviving suspect in the Paris attacks may have been plotting more operations with the help of a weapons cache and a network of associates, Belgium's foreign minister said on Sunday.
Didier Reynders, speaking two days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, said the suspect's first statement to a magistrate in Brussels suggested further attacks were planned.
"He was ready to restart something from Brussels," Reynders told a think-tank event. "That is maybe the reality, because we have found a lot of heavy weapons and we have seen a new network around him."
Reynders said Belgium and France had so far found around 30 people involved in the gun and bomb attacks that killed 130 people on Nov. 13 in bars, a sports stadium and a concert hall in the French capital.
Capturing Abdeslam alive marks a breakthrough for authorities investigating the deadliest militant strikes in Europe since 2004. Islamic State has claimed responsibility, and the United States warned on Sunday that it would try to repeat such atrocities.
The 26-year-old French national told a Belgian magistrate on Saturday he had planned to take part in the stadium attack. The admission was disclosed to reporters by the lead French investigator, Francois Molins.
At a Paris news conference on Saturday, Molins read from Abdeslam's statement, saying: "He wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and, I quote, backed out." Abdeslam's lawyer Sven Mary said on Sunday he would sue Molins for making the comment public, calling it a violation of judicial confidentiality. "I cannot let this pass," Mary told Belgian state broadcaster RTBF. Mary's office was not available for comment, but RTBF said he would start legal proceedings on Monday.
Abdeslam, who was shot in the leg and caught by police in Brussels after an intense four-month manhunt, spent his first night in a high security prison in the northwestern Belgian city of Bruges. He is due to appear before a judge in Brussels on Wednesday.
"Our investigation must show how he managed to hide from police and security forces," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told European broadcaster RTL.
Belgium's federal prosecutor has said the fugitive relied on a network of friends and relatives involved in drug dealing and petty crime.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the United States was working closely with European authorities to ensure they had the necessary training and intelligence to be able to prevent another Paris-style attack.
"They say they intend to do this again, so we take that very seriously, and we are trying to draw lessons from what happened on that terrible night in Paris," McDonough told the Fox News Sunday television program.
Belgian prosecutors have charged Abdeslam and a man arrested with him with "participation in terrorist murder". Abdeslam's lawyer said his client admitted being in Paris during the attacks but would fight extradition to France. His elder brother Brahim, with whom he used to run a bar, was among the suicide bombers.
Authorities hope the arrest may help disrupt other militant cells that Michel said were at large. "There is a real threat. There are many, many people in Europe who have been radicalised, who are both from Syrian war zones and those who have grown up among us. There is a colossal amount of intelligence work to do," Michel said.
Vijay Jolly Advocates Free Trade, Liberal Visas Between India, Pakistan
By Deepak Arora
ISLAMABAD, March 15: A prominent BJP leader and President of Delhi Study Group Vijay Jolly has welcomed resumption of T-20 Cricket ties between India and Pakistan.
Addressing newsmen at the National Pakistan Press Club here, Vijay Jolly said Liberalising visa regime, free trade and end to terrorism between India and Pakistan are few gateways to end tensions in the region.
Vijay Jolly, leader of the visiting delegation and ex-BJP MLA reiterated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to combat terrorism and foster peace on Indian peninsula.
The Indian delegation was in Pakistan to attend ICAPP Workshop on Human Trafficking. The delegation also met Chairman of Pakistan People's Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, famous test Cricketer and President Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Party Imran Khan, President PML-Q Chaudhry Shujaahat Hussain and Senators Mushahid Hussain, Nuzhat Sayeed, Fartullah Babar and Samina Abid and others.
A separate meeting with Pakistan Hindu Council Chairman and Senator Dr Ramesh Kumar also took place in Islamabad.
Indian Ambassador in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale hosted the Indian Leaders over tea and delicious Pakistani snacks at his residence in Islamabad besides a short briefing on the current scenario between India and Pakistan.
Besides Jolly, the other delegates included Vijay Mehta, merchant banker and FICCI member and Urdu Journalist Ms. Lubna Asif.
BJP delegation meets Bilawal
ISLAMABAD, March 13: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called for increasing people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan to improve ties.
The call was made by the PPP leader during a meeting with a three-member delegation of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which met him at the Zardari House here on Saturday.
Vijay Jolly, a member of the BJP’s national executive committee and ex-convener of the party’s foreign cell, led the delegation. Vijay Mehta and Lubna Asif are other members of the delegation.
The BJP delegation is in Islamabad to participate in the two-day workshop on “Human Trafficking” organised by the International Conference of Asian Political Parties which began on Saturday.
PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said talks between Mr Bilawal and the BJP delegation were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere.
Fiji Honours BJP Leader Vijay Jolly
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI, March 5: Fiji Government of Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Rtd) Frank Bainimarama has honoured BJP leader Vijay Jolly with "Certificate of Appreciation". Fiji has a big population of Indian Origin.
The High Commissioner of The Republic of Fiji Yogesh J. Karan presented the Certificate of Honour dated February 24 to Vijay Jolly for Promoting Friendship between Fiji and India. Yogesh J. Karan has left India and joined Fiji PMO in Suva.
The Government of Fiji has awarded this certificate in appreciation of BJP leader Vijay Jolly's outstanding support, active participation and for demonstrating high excellence of work in promoting economic and bilateral relations between Fiji and India.
The First Indian Prime Minister to visit Fiji in the last 31 years (after Indira Gandhi visit in 1983) Narendra Modi was accorded a tumultuous welcome in Suva on November 18, 2014. PM Modi then had also met the Head of States of 13 other pacific Island nations in Fiji.
India, led by Prime Minister Modi, has further cemented its economic and bilateral relations with Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Niue, Marshal Islands, Palau besides New Zealand and Australia in South Pacific, acknowledged BJP leader Vijay Jolly.
Kim Jong-Un orders nuclear arsenal on standby following UN sanctions
SEOUL, March 5: Leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered North Korea’s nuclear arsenal readied for pre-emptive use at anytime, in an expected ramping up of rhetoric following the UN Security Council’s adoption of tough new sanctions on Pyongyang.
The North’s nuclear warheads must be deployed “on standby so as to be fired at any moment,” Kim was quoted as saying by the North’s official KCNA news agency on Friday.
He also warned that the situation on the divided Korean peninsula had become so dangerous that the North needed to shift its military strategy to one of “pre-emptive attack”.
Such bellicose rhetoric is almost routine for North Korea at times of elevated tensions.
While the North is known to have a small stockpile of nuclear warheads, experts are divided about its ability to mount them on a working missile delivery system.
Washington downplayed Kim’s threat as posturing. “We have not seen North Korea test or demonstrate the ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile),” a US defence official said.
Still, the official added, “our forces are ready to counter-eliminate strikes if necessary.”
According to KCNA, Kim made his comments while monitoring the test firing of a new, high-calibre multiple rocket launcher on Thursday, just hours after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the US-drafted resolution penalising the North for its fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch last month.
South Korea’s defence ministry said the North had fired half a dozen rockets about 100-150 kilometres (60-90 miles) into the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday.
In a clear threat to neighbouring South Korea, Kim said the new rocket launcher should be “promptly deployed” along with other “recently-developed” weaponry.
In the wake of the “gangster-like” UN resolution pushed by the United States and its South Korean ally, North Koreans are now “waiting for an order of combat to annihilate the enemy with their surging wrath,” he added.
The Security Council resolution adopted late Wednesday laid out the toughest sanctions imposed on Pyongyang to date over its nuclear weapons programme and will, if implemented effectively, apply significant economic pressure to Kim’s regime.
It breaks new ground by sanctioning specific sectors key to the North Korean economy -- such as mineral exports -- and seeking to undermine the North’s use of and access to international transport systems.
Kim said the resolution had opened a “very dangerous phase”, coming just days before the US and South Korea kick off annual joint military drills that Pyongyang views as provocative rehearsals for invasion.
The exercises involving tens of thousands of troops are scheduled to begin next Monday.
The Security Council resolution ushered in the fifth set of UN sanctions to hit North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006, and was the result of arduous negotiations between the US and China, Pyongyang’s sole major ally.
China had been reluctant to endorse harsh sanctions out of concern that too much pressure would trigger the collapse of the pariah regime, creating chaos on its border.
The measures Beijing finally signed off on are extremely tough on paper, but experts have warned that some of the language is vague enough to allow varying levels of enforcement.
China’s commitment could depend on the outcome of formal talks opening Friday between Seoul and Washington on the possible deployment of an advanced US missile defence system in South Korea.
The THAAD system fires anti-ballistic missiles to smash into enemy missiles either inside or outside the Earth’s atmosphere during their final flight phase.
Its deployment is strongly opposed by China and Russia, with Beijing saying it would undermine its own nuclear deterrent and has the potential to “destroy” relations with Seoul.
Friday’s talks are a direct response to Pyongyang’s long-range rocket launch on February 7, which was seen by the US and its allies as a covert ballistic missile test.
Analysts at a US think-tank said recent satellite images of the North’s space launch centre showed activity suggesting preparations for a new rocket engine test.
Taliban is a threat to India: Ex-Afghan official
NEW DELHI, March 3: Afghanistan's former head of the National Directorate of Security on Thursday said that Taliban is as much a threat to India as it is to the war-torn nation and has killed more South Asians than the ISIS.
Lashing out at Pakistan for "playing a proxy war" in Afghanistan through Taliban, Amrullah Saleh said it was crucial for India to stand with its South Asian "ally" in its war against terrorism.
His comments came a day after terrorists attacked the Indian consulate in Jalalabad in Afghanistan.
"Taliban has killed more Americans, Afghans and more South Asians. They have inflicted more pain on India than ISIS has done. Taliban attacks are more lethal and destroyed more vehicles every month than ISIS," Saleh said.
He was speaking at the Raisina Dialouge organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
In the fourth attack since 2007, heavily-armed terrorists, including suicide bombers, struck the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad city, killing nine persons including an Afghan security personnel and causing damage to the chancery.
Saleh said the proxy war in Afghanistan was not only an international issue but also a regional issue, which also requires assistance from India.
"How India assists Afghanistan to resist the proxy war. God forbids if we fail, we (India) lose a very formidable ally in the region. So, we are fighting a war for a cause which is very humane and the whole world including India is benefiting from the sacrifice through the sacrifice our security forces make," Saleh said.
He also questioned the need to engage Taliban in a dialouge as the move will send a negative message that they are stronger.
"Why is there is an olive branch of reconciliation extended to Taliban?...Because they have offices in Karachi, bases in Quetta, they have bases in Peshawar.
"My message to India is (that) Taliban for you and for us is as much as a threat as ISIS is for the Arab world. So, we should not lose sight and be careful, regardless of what type of context we propose to Taliban for reconciliation," he said. "The moment they get space to legimitise themselves, it will further boost their standing, morale and passion for killing...More because at the end of the debate, they will say we did not get through non-violence, but violence.
"So, by bringing in that type of group into the system, which has so much of barbarism, means we are inviting violence and terror," Saleh said.
He said Pakistan has been "harbouring" Taliban insurgents and their families.
"The argument will be they (Taliban) are strong (because) Pakistan has influence over them...Because the family members of Taliban are living in Pakistan for medical reason, medical treatment for 15 years.
"They are state-sponsored political groups, they are brainwashing people," Saleh said.