<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleged terrorist Mohd Mosiuddin was plotting ISIS-style chilling execution of foreigners, especially those from the US, Russia and the UK, visiting the Mother House in Kolkata as it would be a “heart pleasing” experience for him, the NIA has claimed. The NIA, in a charge sheet filed before a special court in Kolkata recently, claimed that Mosiuddin alias Musa was planning to stab and kill foreigners, a style frequently chosen by the ISIS to eliminate its targets. The Mother House in West Bengal capital is the headquarters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.In its charge sheet, the anti-terror probe agency has said Musa termed the militants operating in Kashmir as “Mujahids (holy warriors) with impure ideologies” who were fighting for Kashmiri land when they should have fought in support of Sharia, the Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna).The agency has provided Musa’s photographs in Kashmir to buttress its claim that the terrorist had visited the Valley.NIA alleged it had proof of his having bought a big knife to commit the terror crimes before fleeing away.He also allegedly procured pepper spray from Snapdeal, an online marketplace to facilitate his proposed criminal acts as the intended target would be rendered temporarily blinded by it.The charge sheet alleged that Musa discussed plans for conducting such attacks at the Mother House, which is frequented by foreigners from the US, Russia and the UK. Armed forces of these countries are locked in fierce battles with the ISIS in many nations.Musa had discussed with some others the exact location of the Mother House and was claimed to have told them that foreigners, particularly Russians, Britishers and Americans often visited the place. He wanted them killed as the governments of their countries had bombarded the ISIS in Syria and Libya, the charge sheet alleged.The NIA had taken over investigation in the case from Howrah police on July 22. During Musa’ arrest, a .38 bore six-chamber revolver, three rounds of ammunition, a knife, a Samsung mobile phone and other incriminating articles were seized. Subsequently, one Apple Macbook and a sword were seized from his residence at Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as India names Jaish-e-Mohammad chief in the charge sheet for master-minding attack on an Indian Airforce base in Pathankot earlier this year, Maulana Masood Azhar continues to freely run the terror group’s online publication and brazenly claim responsibility for last month’s attack on another military camp in Nagrota from Pakistan.Following an 11-month investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has named Azhar and his brother JeM’s deputy chief Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar both resident of Bahawalpur, Pakistan along with six other members of the terrorist group for planning and carrying an attack in Pathankot on January 2. This is the first time India has charge-sheeted Azhar on terror offence, following his release in exchange of victims of Kandahar hijack.Since the Pathankot attack, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz claimed that Azhar was under ‘protective custody’ since January 2014. But this has not restricted the head of the proscribed terror group to propagate jihad against India or own credit for the attacks by its cadres. Earlier this month, writing in the December 6 issue of al Qalam weekly—an online media arm of the JeM— Azhar talks about significance of Babri Masjid demolition and hanging of Afzal Guru in the continuance of jihad, demonetization not impacting funding of militancy and the Nagrota attack.”This week’s publication was delayed as the attack in Nagrota was still in action at the time of writing and communication failure (on details of the attack) from Kashmir,” Azhar wrote under his pen name Saadi. On November 29, three militants entered the army camp in Nagrota killing seven personnel. The militants left behind posters claiming the attack as a revenge for hanging of Afzal Guru.Elaborating on the attack in the ‘heart of the Northern Command of the Indian Army’, Azhar says the attack was carried by the Afzal Guru squad involving five militants and two of them managed to escape to safety. “There were three security cordons around the camp… it is not easy and inexpensive to gain entry and set the stage for the attack.” He indicates that the squad was helped by people with close knowledge on the geography of the camp and who are its frequent visitors, as any strange man walking a few steps could be caught and killed by the Army.Addressing an important aspect, on where did the money to buy equipment or prepare for the attack come from, Azhar says the demonetization of high currency denomination has not deterred the Kashmiri mujaheeds nor has impacted the funding for militancy. The money changers and industrialists, Azhar says were aware of demonetization before its public announcement by PM Narendra Modi. “The Kashmiri Mujahideen, Maoists and Khalistan fighters will not suffer any financial hardship. We are able to get the small currency by exchanging dollars, pounds and euro easily. The Nagrota attack is an evidence for this.”Invoking the demolition of Babri Masjid and Afzal Guru’s death, Azhar says these two events have shaped the narrative of `Ghazwa-e-Hind’ or the jihad against India. “India could’ve stopped the demolition of Babri Masjid, but it did not. It could have stopped the hanging of Guru, but it did not. There is now no power in India that can stop their revenge.”The Indian government is desperately trying to include Azhar on the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list and subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. JeM is already proscribed by the UNSC in 2001 for its terror activities and links to the al-Qaeda. China has so far vetoed India’s appeal to that would declare him as an international terrorist.THE JAISH HAND IN 2016January 2: 4 JeM militants attack Pathankot Air Force baseMay 20: 5 JeM militants killed in an encounter, KupwaraMay 23: 2 JeM cadres killed in Lal Chowk, SrinagarAugust 17: Three JeM militants ambush an Army convoy in Baramulla killing 2 army menSeptember 18: DGMO announces JeM militants attack Army camp in Uri (though NIA and other agencies claim Lashar-e-Taiba for the attack)November 29: Three militants entered Army camp in Nagrota dressed in Army fatigues.Posters claiming revenge for Afzal Guru recovered. Five army personnel killed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A month after demonetization of high-value currency notes, the Income-Tax (I-T) department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted nationwide raids to detect money-laundering and hawala transactions.I-T department officials continued raids on the premises of three Chennai-based businessmen for the second day on Friday. So far, the investigation wing has seized 127 kg of gold bars worth Rs 36.29 crore, fresh Rs 2,000 notes totalling Rs 9.63 crore, and demonetized currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 amounting to Rs 97 crore.They were seized from the residence of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) member Shekhar Reddy. Also known as Isuka (sand), Reddy runs a sand-mining ring in Tamil Nadu. Eight premises (six residential and two commercial) were searched. Tax authorities told DNA that strong evidence has emerged about the involvement of a senior political figure and some top bureaucrats of Tamil Nadu in the money-laundering ring.In Delhi, tax authorities stormed Axis Bank’s Chandni Chowk as soon as it opened. DNA learns that around 50 fake accounts were unearthed. I-T officials said that “Rs 500 crore have been deposited in the branch since the day the ban was announced… We are scrutinising the documents of depositors”.They confirmed that two PSU banks were also being raided. This is the second raid at Axis Bank. Last month, officials had apprehended two people with Rs 3.5 crore in new currency notes as they were coming out of the Kashmiri Gate branch of the bank. Axis Bank authorities did not respond to repeated calls and messages.Last week, I-T investigations at Mumbai unearthed a syndicate converting banned currency notes into legal tenders for a commission. When I-T officials sent a few decoy customers, the syndicate agreed to exchange the notes for a 35 per cent commission. The exchange was to take place at the mediator’s residence. The mediator was caught red-handed and new currency notes aggregating Rs 29.5 lakh were seized.Similarly, an investigation into the cash deposits in a bank account in Nagpur revealed that the account holder had no knowledge of the existence of Rs 3.29 crore, deposited after November 8, in her account. It later came to light that there were six more such accounts in her’s and her parents’ names.Meanwhile, CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra has asked all Principal Chief Commissioners to provide manpower from different wings to assist raiding and assessing teams.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mobile technology in Kashmir is witnessing innovative developments, courtesy Tariq Bhat, a young man who has come up with a mobile television station — Asia News Network for the region.Mobile services were started in the Kashmir Valley only in 2003.The app is available on Google Play Store and has been downloaded over 79,000 times.The mobile TV is currently being manned by a small team of eight members and has already made a name for itself in and outside Kashmir.The mobile TV station is being operated from Srinagar and transmits programs in Kashmiri, English, Hindi and Urdu.The network shows variety of multi-lingual programs and songs, including news, current affairs and entertainment programs.Bhat, holds a degree in mass communications. To his credit, Bhat also started the state’s first online radio app ‘City FM JK’ complete with a catch line ‘Panun Radio, Panun Style’ (Our Radio, Our style) which brought him accolades and won him the spot light in national and international media.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Blaming India for closing the doors on any bilateral engagement with it, Pakistan told top UN officials that the world body has a “moral responsibility” to play its role in resolution of the Kashmir issue and help in de-escalating tensions.Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, during his day-long visit to the city, met UN Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson and Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman.According to press release issued yesterday from the Pakistan s mission to the UN, Fatemi told the top UN leaders that Indian forces had stepped up ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary in order to divert international attention from the alleged human rights atrocities, particularly the targetting of civilians, in Kashmir.”India had also closed the doors on any bilateral engagement. In this situation, the UN had a moral responsibility to call for ending human rights violations” in Kashmir, “play its role in resolution of this long festering dispute and help in immediately de-escalating tensions”, he said, according to the release.Fatemi, accompanied by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, said, Islamabad expected the UN to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the South Asian region, especially in the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.He said while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had reached out to India and made efforts to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, the efforts were not being reciprocated by New Delhi.Fatemi also briefed the UN officials about alleged human rights violations by Indian forces on the Kashmiri people, saying efforts to quash a popular and indigenous uprising in Kashmir had led to the killing of over a hundred people and injuries to thousands.The release said that the UN leadership called for resumption of dialogue and de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan adding that Eliasson expressed concern at the regional situation and called for the lowering of tensions.On Afghanistan, Fatemi said Pakistan was ready to play its part for peace and stability in the country.
Srinagar: Separatist leaders, who have been spearheading the five-month-long unrest in Kashmir, in a surprise move, invited tourists and pilgrims to visit the Valley to enjoy the traditional hospitality of its people while promising them safety.
Leaders of the two factions of separatist group Hurriyat Conference issued a joint statement asking people from outside to visit the Valley, reminding them of the “exemplary hospitality” extended by the Kashmiris. “We have been taught hospitality, humanity and safeguarding the rights of guests,” the statement said.
“Tourists and pilgrims who intend to visit Kashmir are most welcome,” the statement issued by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, leader of the moderate moderate Hurriyat faction Mirwaiz Muhammad Umer Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said.
Extending wholehearted welcome to tourists and pilgrims, they said people of Kashmir have been taught “to be kind with our guests and serve them and safeguard their rights at every cost”. “This is also embedded in our Kashmiri culture and ethos and that is why our hospitality has been exemplary throughout the history,” they said.
Referring to the unrest of 2008, the statement said when there was an economic blockade and even baby food was scarce, people in the valley replied to that “tyranny with our exemplary hospitality”. “We not only safeguarded them and provided them shelter, but also served them and kept the doors of our homes and localities open for them,” they said, adding that the same practice was followed during 2014 devastating floods.
The Kashmir Valley is witnessing continued turmoil since the 8 July killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces which has thrown normal life into disarray, badly hitting the state’s economy.
First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 21:35 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday slammed National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah for his remarks that his party is not against separatist Hurriyat, saying it showed that the Opposition party was behind the violence in the Valley over last few months.She alleged that NC wants to keep the atmosphere charged in the Valley as it “can go to any extent for power”. “He (Abdullah) used to say that Hurriyat leaders should be thrown into river Jhelum. Today he is talking about something else. It again makes it clear that NC will play with the lives of anyone, including children and women, for power,” Mehbooba told reporters here. “The statement of Farooq telling his party workers to lend full support to Hurriyat makes clear one thing which we did not mention till now that NC can go to any extent for power,” she said.The chief minister said NC can play with the lives of anyone including children and women, for power. “In the last four-five months, the criminal element which entered into the situation here, who pelted stones on vehicles, burnt schools and attacked camps… this statement makes it clear that NC was involved in such activities in these months,” she charged. The Chief Minister said NC leadership has asked its party workers to not let the situation improve.
ALSO READ We are with Hurriyat till they are on right track: Farooq Abdullah”Now when the situation is improving, children are going to school and tourism is also picking up slowly, Farooq has once again asked his workers, giving them an order, to create that situation once again in which the atmosphere in J&K will remain charged,” she said. Abdullah, while addressing his party workers at a function to commemorate the 111th birth anniversary of his father and party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal yesterday, had said his party was not against the Hurriyat and supported the Kashmiri’s demand for their rights but it would not tread the “wrong path” for achieving these goals.He had also asked his party workers not to be away from “this struggle” because “We are a part of this struggle. We have fought regularly for the interests of this Valley.” Mehbooba said Abdullah is not concerned about the struggle because since 1947 till now, NC has only struggled for power. “Even today I feel that, by the statement yesterday, he has hinted at his workers to not let the situation improve because they want power at any cost,” she alleged.She noted that Abdullah’s son Omar has been a Minister (of state) for External Affairs in the BJP-led government and had said that Pakistan should be labelled as a terror state. Farooq Abdullah also regularly used to say that Pakistan should be bombed, Mehbooba said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah hit out at GQ India for posting a tweet which showed a ‘pellet effect’ as part of its ‘Kashmiriyat’ collection in a fashion show. Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter: “Are any part of the proceeds of the show or the “Kashmiriyat” collection going to help rehabilitate any of the victims of the pellets? These pellets have blinded scores, to have the injuries recreated for a fashion show is inexplicable even if collection called Kashmiriyat. And quietly deleting the tweet doesn’t make it any better @gqindia. Here’s a screen grab in case people wonder what my tweets are about.”The GQ India Twitter handle had posted: “”#Backstagepass @sonicsarwate creates a bullet pellet effect for Shantanu and Nikhil’s Kashmiriyat collection.” The collection was titled Kashmiriyat 1990 by fashion designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil which is reportedly inspired by ‘tribesmen of the valley’. The fashion show had a theme with a live performance to Kashmiri music and Sushant Singh Rajput walked the ramp for the duo.More than 90 people have been killed and around 13,000 people injured in four-month unrest that started after the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen poster boy Burhan Wani on July 7. It’s believed that over 1,100 people have suffered injuries in their eyes when security forces fired pellets to counter violent mobs across Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The video clip circulating via WhatsApp and Facebook begins with a Kashmiri child, estimated to be 6-8 years old, getting thrashed by two other children about the same age, although carrying guns. The armed children are playing Indian security forces and the unarmed child is the innocent Kashmiri in this make-believe.The children appear running around carrying toy guns, talking about the need to take on the Indian forces as the sound track plays in Urdu. A caption “how a terrorist is born” emerges on the screen as the children depict the filmmaker’s version of the interaction between the Indian security forces and the Kashmiri youth.The short film tries to justify terrorism as a righteous battle against injustice but fails at its attempt as it ends up leaving the viewer stunned with a deliberate communal propaganda. Even more shocking is the fact that “Kash Creations” the maker of this video uses children to make his or her point.Shared with the author by a senior member of the administration in Kashmir who says, “It is very popular on social media platforms in the valley. Such videos glorify terrorism and the gun. These are circulated rampantly. This is how Burhan Wani became a hero, kids liked him in a uniform flaunting a big gun. We can fight the terrorists coming from across the border, but how do we fight our children?”This and more propaganda videos on social media, the administrator says, have been the biggest tool for those disturbing peace in Kashmir. The protests across Kashmir this year have been led by stone-pelters, mostly children, some as young as 8-year-olds. It is not just the security personnel, even journalists and local people are targeted by stone-pelters. On October 7, as WION team travelled through Natipora in North Kashmir, in the middle of restive Sopore and Kupwara, a group of children ran towards our car and despite our appeal to them to stop, they smashed our car windows, it was a lucky escape for us.Why are children as young as eight pelting stones? The senior administrator shares some pictures to illustrate. One of the pictures shows children holding toy guns, pretending to be militants, posing in front of a huge gathering in the background. This perhaps best displays the social sanction militancy has in parts of the valley. Militants, as Kashmiris call them, or terrorists as Indian government does are seen by some sections as martyrs.“We can’t even arrest such young kids as it would impact them for the rest of their lives. Very few are sent to juvenile homes,” the administrator adds.At a police station in Central Srinagar, we meet three Kashmiri boys between 12 and 14 years of age. They were identified as stone-pelters, picked up and counselled by the J&K Police as trained counsellors and child rights activists that are in short supply. Why have they picked up stones? Waseem (name changed) says it is a group activity, “Sab karte hain, to maza aata hai, hum bhi karte hain” Everyone does it so we also do it, its fun] Akram name changed adds, “The CRPF beat up my brother so I pelt stones”. Author is WION’s Anchor & Bureau Chief
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Upping the ante, Pakistan warned India that its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression, with army chief General Raheel Sharif saying if ever Pakistan launched surgical strikes India would not be able to forget it for generations. “If Pakistan were to launch surgical strikes, India would not be able to forget it for generations to come,” General Sharif said just days before his scheduled retirement.”India would be teaching its children as part of syllabus what a surgical strike means if Pakistan launched such strikes,” he said.He also dismissed India’s assertion that it had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan army was capable of teaching Indian forces a lesson.Addressing tribal elders after inaugurating a cricket stadium named after flamboyant cricketer Shahid Afridi in Khyber tribal region, the General confirmed he will be retiring on November 29 after a three-year term, as scheduled.He said he would dedicate his life after retirement for the welfare of the families of martyrs of the armed forces. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will not tolerate “deliberate targeting” of civilians particularly children and women, ambulances and civilian transport. “Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite continuing ceasefire violations from Indian security forces along LoC,” he said at a cabinet meeting which reviewed the situation along the LoC. “We will not tolerate the deliberate attack on innocent civilians,” he said.According to a statement issued by his office, Sharif said Kashmir issue “is an unfinished agenda of the partition” and vowed to continue support to the people of Kashmir.”We will never abandon our Kashmiri brethren in their freedom struggle,” he said.The meeting re-affirmed Pakistan’s “political, diplomatic and moral support” to the people of Kashmir “in their just and legitimate struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions”, his office said. The meeting urged the international community to take note of the increasing number of civilian casualties. It also called upon the international community to play active role in diffusing the deteriorating security situation along the LoC.Air Force chief Marshal Sohail Aman also said Pakistan is not worried at all about any threat from India and its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression.”We are not worried about India at all,” he said, speaking at the 9th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi. He said it is better if India showed restraint and solved the Kashmir issue to prevent escalation of tension.”India should show restraint and instead solve the issue of Kashmir as that would be better for them,” he said. Aman said that Pakistan does not want war but cannot ignore this kind of pressure. “We are well capable of responding in the face of any aggression,” he asserted. He said Pakistan had “readied all of its (battle) plans following threats from India” after the Uri terror attack. Meanwhile, Pakistan naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah today termed as “unusual” the alleged effort by an Indian submarine to enter into its territorial waters and warned of retaliation if such effort was made again.”If India does something like this again, Pakistan Navy will respond to protect our sovereignty,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 9th International Defence Exhibition.Pakistan Navy last week claimed an Indian submarine was pushed back after being detected near its territorial waters. India, however, strongly dismissed the charge as “blatant lies”, saying the Indian Navy did not have any under water movement in the said waters as claimed by the Pakistani Navy. The remarks by top civil and military leadership came a day after Pakistan claimed that Indian forces targeted a passenger bus in PoK killing at least nine people.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has set up a high-level committee to formulate “a doable and sustainable” policy to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and is reaching out to Indians who are opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extremist policies”, according to a media report today.The move was announced by Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Senate on Tuesday, according to Dawn newspaper. The committee will consist of senior officials from the ministries of defence, interior and information, Military Operations Directorate, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). Speaking about the status of the implementation of policy guidelines, Aziz said the committee was headed by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and could co-opt other members if required.Aziz said that another committee, chaired by the information secretary, had been formed to prepare fact sheets “to counter India’s propaganda campaign and design a media strategy to continuously highlight the Kashmiri freedom struggle”. This committee also includes representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and information technology, as well as members of the Military Operations Directorate, ISI and IB.Aziz said that the Ministry of Information Technology had been asked to prepare a comprehensive strategy to highlight the Kashmir issue via social media.He said that “steps were being taken to highlight Indian interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs, as well as its support for subversive activities and human rights violations in held Kashmir”, the report said.Aziz said that steps were already being taken to reach out to segments of the Indian public that were opposed to Modi’s extremist policies. “Our missions abroad, including in New Delhi, are making outreach efforts to emphasise the extremist Indian policies,” he remarked.Talking about measures to counter India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan in the region, Aziz said Pakistan was doing its utmost to engage the international community, including regional partners.He said Pakistan was supportive of all initiatives for peace and stability in the region, adding that this commitment to regional peace and stability was evident from the decision to participate in the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, despite the postponement of SAARC summit in Islamabad because of India.Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, he said, was clearly spelt out and due restraint was being exercised. “Pakistan continues to exhibit maturity and statesmanship despite provocative statements by Indian leadership and the continued ceasefire violations across the LoC and working boundary having resulted in civilian casualties,” he said.He said there was a need for a positive response from India to move forward. He said that while Pakistan always conveyed a desire to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue, India had chosen to attach conditions to the talks.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz informed the Senate on Tuesday that a high-level committee consisting of senior officials from the ministries of defence, interior and information, the military operations directorate, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), has been formed to formulate ‘a doable and sustainable India-Kashmir policy.’Aziz said that Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry is heading the committee and could co-opt other members if required.He said that the committee would regularly brief the two committees which Senate had originally recommended including chairpersons of the defence and foreign affairs committees.The Dawn quoted Aziz as saying that a committee, chaired by the information secretary, and representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and information technology, as well as members of the Military Operations Directorate, ISI and IB had been formed to prepare fact sheets, counter India’s propaganda campaign and design a media strategy to continuously highlight the Kashmiri freedom struggle.Ministry of Information Technology had been asked by Aziz to prepare a comprehensive strategy to highlight the Jammu and Kashmir issue by means of social media.”This dossier has been shared with other key countries and international organisations. Another dossier on the activities of Kulbhushan Jadhav will also be finalised in the near future,” Aziz said while referring to the dossier on India’s interference in Pakistan, presented to the UN secretary general by the prime minister in September.Asserting that Pakistan was supportive of all initiatives for peace and stability in the region, he said that this commitment to regional peace and stability was evident from the decision to participate in the Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, despite the postponement of SAARC summit in Islamabad because of India.
An amount of Rs 12 lakh was looted from Charar-i-Sharif branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank by unidentified gunmen in Budgam district, according to a report by India Today.
Sources have said that the loot consisted mostly of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, according to The Indian Express. The bank officials alerted the police after the incident.
Further investigations are in progress. An investigation has been launched, and a case has been registered, according to The Kashmir Monitor.
The four masked men with guns who broke in and assumed to be terrorists, are also involved in another robbery in Malpora, says a report in The Financial Express. Footage from CCTV cameras are still to be acquired; the bank was uncertain as to whether they were in working condition.
These robberies come at a time when the entire country faces a cash crunch over the demonetisation of higher denomination notes, and banks and ATMs witness long queues.
Although, where the rest of the country seemed to be in turmoil following the move, an IANS report said that people in Kashmir had accepted the move without any panic. “No common Kashmiri keeps large amounts of cash at home because of the disturbed situation,” said Elizabeth Maryam, who teaches economics at Kashmir University.
“The salaried class gets monthly wages through bank accounts and they usually space out withdrawals to suit daily needs. The skilled and unskilled workers mostly earn as much as they spend on an average. Big industrialists and businessmen never keep large amounts of cash at home in a conflict area. That is the reason why the demonetisation has little impact in Kashmir,” Maryam added.
According to Nazir Qazi, an officer of the local Jammu and Kashmir Bank, all the ATMs of the bank are fully stocked (as of 17 November). “For the last eight days there has been no rush on either our branches or at our ATM outlets. Yes, people have been coming in for exchange of the demonetised currency notes or for deposit, but nobody was being hassled,” he added.
Intelligence officials, meanwhile, believe that using fake currency notes is part of the ongoing militancy and doing the same with the new currency notes would not take long.
With inputs from IANS
First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 12:39 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to rob a bank for some cash, suspected militants barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Central Kashmir’s Malpora village looting Rs12.45 lakh at gunpoint.The gunmen, however, suffered a massive faux paux when they discovered Rs11 lakh of the total looted money was old currency, that have been declared obsolete post the demonetization process.Police said four masked gunmen had entered into the Malpora branch at Charar-i-Sharief in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Budgam police have registered a case, “ and a manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits,” said a police spokesman.Located on the border of Budgam and Pulwama, the bank is located inside ‘hired shops’ and has never been given any proper security mechanism which police sources said might have been exploited by the gunmen for the heist. “This is a branch that has been operating from inside hired shops. There were no security cameras installed in the branch,” said Abdul Wahid Shah, Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam.Police sources said four masked gunmen on board a WagonR disembarked near the branch and walked right into the bank. One of them then slapped the cashier and asked him to hand over the cash. They later took the money and escaped in the same car.Police suspect militants in the heist a first in Jammu and Kashmir since the commencement of demonetization. There was no security guard posted in the bank and the gunmen were heavily armed. Police said the masked men spoke in Kashmiri and Urdu. “Investigations have been put on fast track to track down the militants responsible for the heist,” said a police officer.The heist comes at a time when ‘terror financers’ have been hit hard by demonetization. Sources said ‘terror finances’ have shown signs of drying up in the wake of demonetization.Intelligence sleuths and counter terrorism cops are working overtime to gauge the effect of the demonetization on the financing of terror and unrest in the militant hit Jammu and Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the valley of death, a teenager has brought smiles back on the sullen faces. An 18 -year -old Kashmiri girl has earned a rare honour by winning the prestigious Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE award for inventing the first of its kind `Namda Rolling Machine’.A popular Kashmiri woollen rug with embroidery works—Namda— has a huge demand in and outside the Kashmir valley. Along with the carpet, Namda is also exported to different countries as these exquisite woollen rugs are used as decoration pieces as well.A class XII student of Presentation Convent School Srinagar, Zufa Iqbal was one among 30 people shortlisted out of the 55,000 applicants from 458 districts of the country. The award was presented to her by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday. With the new machine on the block, Namda weaving will be less time consuming, which could help in cost effectiveness and capacity-building besides push the overall sales of this Kashmir artcraft.“There was no machine for Namda weaving. I gave this machine which will reduce time considerably. I am using the mechanism of variable tension which creates firmness. Plus in 15 minutes the embroidery and drawing will be incorporating in the same thing,” she said.“When you get ideas you do not know whether it is a hobby or an interest. I call it an interest because I like what I do. Since childhood, I was much aligned to all this stuff. And today, I have innovated this machine. I made three to four models before trying this successful one,” she shared. Daughter of a businessman dealing in exquisite Pashmina shawls, Zufa wants to be pursue either medicine or engineering. “My parents want me to become a doctor. I am also interested in becoming a doctor. But engineering is also a good option. I do not mind becoming an engineer,” she said. Since Namada rolling machine is the first of its kind, Zufa has formally filed for the patent of this innovation. “Kashmir University is my mentor. I did not apply for the award. They recommended me for IGNITE. I have filed an applictaion to get it patented,” she said.In demandA popular Kashmiri woollen rug with embroidery works—Namda— has a huge demand in and outside the Kashmir valley. Namda is exported to different countries as these exquisite woollen rugs are used as decoration pieces as well.With the new machine on the block, Namda weaving will be less time consuming, which will make it cost effective.
New Delhi: Journalists associations on Monday unanimously condemned the one-day ban on NDTV India news channel, terming it as a selective move by the government.
Journalists, who held a protest meet at the Press Club of India in New Delhi, passed a resolution criticising the government’s decision of singling out just one channel for the alleged breach of telecast norms.
The ban was imposed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for what it called a leak of strategic information of national importance by the Hindi channel in its coverage of the 2 January Pathankot terror attack on the Indian Air Force base. The government, however, on Monday put on hold the ban as the media group moved the Supreme Court to challenge the legality of the gag order.
Representatives of Editors Guild, Indian Journalists Union, Delhi Union of Journalists, Indian Womens Press Corps, Federation of Press Clubs were joined by a large number of well-known journalists.
“If only one channel is pulled off air then it’s a problem. There were several others who aired the coverage of the attack but no action was taken against them,” said media personality Rajdeep Sardesai.
“We need to challenge the audacity of these bureaucrats, how can they just take a decision to impose a ban among themselves? Media organisations are liable to respond to self regulatory bodies. It is precisely for these kind of circumstances that we find ourselves in that we had formed these bodies,” he added.
Caravan magazine’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal and Editors Guild Treasurer Seema Mustafa also condemned the ban.
“This is writing on the wall for the government, and it has become quite clear by the turnout here,” Mustafa said.
She said that this highhandedness was not infrequent these days and cited the police crackdown on reporters working in Maoist areas and the ban imposed on Kashmir Reader, a newspaper published from Jammu and Kashmir.
Bal took a jibe at Prime Minster Narendra Modi, calling him “not a great respecter of freedom of press”.
He thanked Akshaya Mukul, a journalist who refused to take the Ramnath Goenka award for journalism from Modi, where the latter was Chief Guest.
“Individual media voices are becoming rarer these days. There were hardly 20 people here (at Press Club) when the atrocities on Bastar journalists were discussed, nor were there many when the plight of Kashmiri journalists was discussed. I think that we are waking up to the problem very late,” Bal said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jammat-ud-Dawah chief and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has threatened India with a “surgical strike” by Kashmiri militants in Jammu and Kashmir that will long be remembered.”(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had done what he had to. Now it is the turn of Mujahideen to carry out a surgical strike in Kashmir,” Saeed threatened while addressing a rally on Sunday in Mirpur, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”The surgical strike Mujahideen are going to carry out will long be remembered. Such a strike will not be like that of India’s one which is not even acknowledged by the world,” Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, said in an aggressive tone amid chants of ‘jihad…jihad’ by his supporters. Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who carries a USD 10-million bounty on his head, last week criticised the Nawaz Sharif government for giving a “cool” response to India over alleged atrocities in Kashmir, saying people in the Valley need Pakistan’s “full practical support”.Soon after India’s surgical strikes Saeed had warned the Modi government to get ready to face a surgical strike from the Pakistan army. He was criticised here for issuing the statement on behalf of the army.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Equipped with the information that unprecedented terror turbulence can hit Jammu and Kashmir as the snow melts next year which may spiral the situation out of hand, the Centre has evolved a four-pronged action plan to restore normalcy.To be executed between winter months – from November to February – the execution of the action plan will be monitored directly by small team under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), highly placed sources said. There is a strong apprehension in the security establishment that lack of governance and absence of administration during long period of unrest has helped create situation that has potential to put the Kashmiri society on the path of Talibanisation. “Burning down of schools on a massive scale across the valley is one indication of what Pakistan supported terror groups are planning to do. This is an unprecedented development in Kashmir that has never happened before. In all over 120 government buildings have been burnt down or damaged of which at least 27 are school buildings,” added sources. According to the plan, the Army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police aided by central armed police forces (CAPFs) have been tasked to neutralise or apprehend all the 300 odd terrorists and militants present in the valley. Sources said, these terrorists aided by the prevailing confusion during unrest managed to find safe havens across several pockets and have been instrumental in abating and aiding further unrest.The next step of the plan includes action on a massive scale against over ground activists of resistance group who have aided, instigated and participated in “subversive” activities like stone throwing, burning down government properties and aiding terrorists and militants to hide, sneak in and escape. An important part of the plan is reclaiming back the so called liberated areas, especially in South Kashmir, from the violent agitators that also have strong presence of militants and over ground activists. Sources said this may prove to be long haul exercise as they want minimum collateral damage during action. At the same time, along with the tough approach, the government plans to launch programmes on massive scale for winning hearts and minds of Kashmiris, aimed especially at those who want peace to return to help their children study and business progress.Those involved in the plan believe that the Centre’s action will not find much resistance in Kashmir as majority of Kashmiri are fed up with the spiral of violence and unrest and want to lead normal life.
Diplomatic spat between India and Pakistan worsens amid border tensions | Reuters
By Syed Raza Hassan and Douglas Busvine
| ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI
ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI Pakistan may expel five Indian diplomats for espionage and has revealed their names, local media said on Wednesday, a move sure to exacerbate a rift between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours that has been widening for months.Pakistan declined to comment on the matter ahead of a planned news conference on Thursday, while India said the identity of eight of its diplomats had been revealed by Pakistani media.Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, declined to comment when asked whether the eight diplomats stationed in Islamabad would be withdrawn.Swarup also said six Pakistani diplomats had left the Indian capital on Wednesday but said they had not been expelled.Last week India ordered one employee of the Pakistani embassy, known as a High Commission, to leave the country on suspicion of espionage, triggering the expulsion of one of its own envoys by Islamabad.
The diplomatic spat comes after months of sharply deteriorating relations that began with civil unrest in Indian-controlled Kashmir and Pakistan’s global lobbying against New Delhi’s crackdown on the Kashmiri activists.In September a group of gunmen killed 19 Indian soldiers at an army camp in Kashmir, an attack India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
India said it had carried out “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan as retribution, but Islamabad denied they even took place and accused New Delhi of fabrication to distract attention from its crackdown on the protests in the part of Kashmir it controls.Artillery duels and skirmishing along the disputed frontier that runs through Kashmir have escalated in recent days, leading India to summon the Pakistani deputy high commissioner on Wednesday to express its “grave concern and strong protest”.In a statement, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs accused Pakistan of violations of a 2003 ceasefire that have caused several fatalities and injuries among its civilians and security forces.
New Delhi also protested against the alleged mutilation of the body of an Indian soldier by an attacker who escaped across the Line of Control after “committing this heinous crime”.Both sides typically refute the other’s version of events. On Wednesday the press wing of the Pakistani military said India had committed 178 ceasesfire violations this year, killing 19 civilians and injuring 80 more. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Gareth Jones)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Gowhar Geelani reports on schools in Indian-administered Kashmir that have been set on fire.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016-03:16pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Legendary Kashmiri singer and Padma Shri awardee Raj Begum died on Wednesday. She was 89. Raj Begum breathed her last at her daughter”s residence in Chanapora area of the city, officials said.She is survived by two sons and a daughter. Raj Begum was awarded Padma Shri in 2002 and Sangeet Akademi award in 2013. She was also bestowed with State award by Jammu and Kashmir government in 2009. Raj Begum”s captivating voice has ruled generations of Kashmiri music lovers. Starting off as wedding singer, she gradually rose to become one of the most powerful female voices of Kashmir.
New York: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah does not see an imminent war looming between India and Pakistan despite the heightened tensions along the LoC and believes the two countries are a “lot more careful” about the prospect of war than some of the news channels would like them to be.
“I don’t believe we are,” Abdullah said when asked whether India and Pakistan are at the brink of war.
“I am not one of those who sees imminent war looming in the sub-continent. I’d like to believe that both governments in New Delhi and Islamabad are a lot more careful about the prospect of war than perhaps some of our TV channels would like them to be,” he said at a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organized by the students of New York University on Friday.
Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf was also scheduled to speak at the conference but he cancelled his appearance at the last minute citing “security concerns”.
There were several moments of animated discussions, some heated arguments and loud cheers during Abdullah’s nearly hour-long discussion with the gathering, that included students from both India and Pakistan, on Kashmir, the surgical strikes by India, killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, tensions with Pakistan, plight of Kashmiri Pandits and Article 370.
Abdullah said while there is tension along the Line of Control (LoC) and the ceasefire is “under a bit more pressure” than it was at the same time last year, India and Pakistan are not at the brink of war.
Abdullah noted that the government of India has been very careful “in moderating how it has sold” to the rest of the world the surgical strikes conducted across the Line of Control.
“The government of India has been very careful in explaining what they have done post the Uri militant attack. They have told the world this (surgical strikes) was an anti-terror operation conducted in the vicinity of the LoC,” he said adding that the government has not gone into giving details of how far they went inside the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes.
“What that has allowed is for an opportunity for a sort of a more nuanced response on the part of Pakistan,” he said adding that there would have been “enormous pressure” on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to retaliate had the Indian government spoken of how far they went across the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes.
Abdullah said heightened tensions between India and Pakistan adds to the “mood of gloom” in the Valley because “no state more than Jammu and Kashmir suffers on account of a downturn in relations between India and Pakistan”.
The Kashmir Valley has been facing unrest and agitations for over 100 days now, in the wake of Wani’s killing and “unfortunately there is no end in sight to the current problem”.
Abdullah underscored that the situation in Kashmir is a “political problem” that needs a political solution.
“I firmly believe that internally within Jammu and Kashmir, we need a dialogue to resolve the problem. It’s a political problem, let nobody tell you that it’s an economic, job-related, education related problem because it isn’t,” he said, adding that while there are elements of joblessness, of radical Islam but those are the minority elements.
“Largely it is the product of the politics of Jammu and Kashmir…It is a political problem that requires a political solution which needs dialogue.
“Similarly, at some point in time one hopes that relations between India and Pakistan will to an extent normalize that will allow for a sustained dialogue and then we can start talking about the various problems that shadow our relationship. Jammu and Kashmir will of course be one of them,” he said.
When asked what is the short-term solution to the Kashmir problem, he said it is to recognise the problem and “admitting that we have a problem. Right now just the acceptance that a dialogue is necessary and a dialogue with all those stake holders who are willing to talk to you”.
“Unfortunately in various quarters we have decided that we want to deny that a problem exists. Even if we do accept the problem, we don’t want to accept that it is a political problem requiring political handling. We will talk about it in terms of a social or a law order problem,” he said.
Abdullah stressed that unless there is a long-term sustained dialogue, such uprising and agitations will keep taking place.
Abdullah said there was some optimism following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach after assuming power to invite Sharif to his swearing in as well as through his surprise visit to Lahore last December.
“That developed a lot of hope that we will be able to address this problem (Kashmir). It is a problem that needs addressing, resolution,” he said.
When questioned about the UN Security Resolutions on Kashmir, Abdullah emphatically said that the onus to create conditions for a plebiscite under UN auspices does not lie with India but with Pakistan.
“To this day I fail to understand why we in India feel so apologetic that this UN referendum never took place. The onus wasn’t on India to create the conditions for that referendum,” he said.
He explained that according to the UNSC resolution, for such a plebiscite to take place Pakistan has to, as a first step, vacate from all territories that it has come to occupy after August 1947 and remove regular and irregular forces from the territorial boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said subsequent to that, India has to scale down, not withdraw, to a manageable level its presence in Jammu and Kashmir and only then can the plebiscite take place.
“If Pakistan is unwilling to fulfill step one, how is it India’s responsibility to fulfill step 2. But for some reason for all these years we have allowed the world to believe that somehow the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been denied the right to choose because India chose to deny them that right, which is not true.
“So historically we have a stronger case for what happened in Jammu and Kashmir than Pakistan does,” he said.
Abdullah said he is not sure if a solution through a plebiscite can take place in the current circumstances “because the territory of Jammu and Kashmir no longer resembles what it did on the night of August 1947.
“In that respect the Government of India has been absolutely blameless. Our territorial boundaries have not changed. No government in New Delhi has tinkered with state boundaries. Pakistan cannot say the same, they have tinkered with the territorial boundaries.
“When the state of Jammu and Kashmir does not look like what it did in 1947, how are the UN Security Council resolutions applicable today. They are not,” he said.
He added that no government elected in India will ever have the mandate to redraw territorial lines.
“That is not going to happen so we understand that the solution to the problem of Jammu and Kashmir must lie within the constitution of India and the constitutional relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and India,” he said.
On whether the Line of Control should become the defacto border, Abdullah said “logically” that would make the most sense but “do we have governments in India and Pakistan who can take that decision?
“If you step away from the jingoism, logic would dictate that that is the only solution,” he said.
Abdullah said there is a “disaffected population” in Jammu and Kashmir that has to be brought into the mainstream.
“I am not suggesting that we have to open dialogue with all militant groups. That is not possible. But there are political elements within the valley that dont advocate the cause of violence, that are looking for a solution beyond the current status quo. Why not talk to them,” he said.
When asked about the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, Abdullah said Jammu and Kashmir is “incomplete” without them and “obviously a solution to Jammu and Kashmir will have to include the return of all those people who left”.
“Kashmiri Pandits did not leave of their own accord, they left because their sense of security was snatched away from them. They will not come back unless that sense of security is restored to them. No solution to the problem of Jammu and Kashmir will be complete unless we can bring these populations back,” he said, adding that it is the duty of the governments in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the Centre to work towards restoring that sense of security for them.
There was an animated exchange between Abdullah and a young woman, who said she hailed from Azad Kashmir where people are “happy”.
“Then that means the export of terror has been in one direction. The terror camps are not operating in my side of Kashmir sending them to your side. They are operating in your side of Kashmir coming across to my side,” Abdullah said.
“So please don’t tell me how happy you are. You are happy because we are not interfering in your day to day life,” he said adding that militants from 16 different nationalities, including Bosnians, Chechens and Sudanese, have come from across the Kashmir border.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman Sayeed Salahudeen has said that talks will not provide solution to the Kashmir dispute and urged the Pakistani military to support the Mujahideen in its cause.”The festering (Kashmir) issue is not going to resolve through talks or resolutions’ Pakistan should militarily support Kashmiris by providing resources to the Mujahideen”, the Dawn quoted Salahudeen as saying at a press conference.”If the Mujahideen get military support, not only Kashmir will clinch freedom but the map of the subcontinent will also undergo a change,” he said. He, however, declined to elaborate the kind of military support required by the cadres. “India invaded and occupied Kashmir at the strength of its military might and military occupation can hardly be brought to end through politics or diplomacy,” he said. “When the world is paying no heed to us, the only option left with us is the armed struggle,” Salahudeen said alleging that the Indian Government had also resorted to economic terrorism in Kashmir in a bid to pressure Kashmiris into surrendering their legitimate struggle. He also alleged that the Indian intelligence agencies and their ‘touts’ were trying to create disunity among the Hurriyat leadership as well as the Kashmiri public. He was of the view that the base camp of the freedom movement – a reference to Pakistani side of Kashmir – should not only send a strong message of solidarity across the divide but also adopt a forceful, rather aggressive, role in this regard. Salahudeen asked the police on the Indian side of Kashmir to stand by the unarmed public instead of being in the vanguard of the Indian Army or face the wrath of Kashmiri people. “The governments in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad should also raise the problems of Jammu-based Muslims at national and international forums,” he said. In India, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is a designated terrorist outfit and Salahudeen is National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) most wanted terrorist.
India must release Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez, U.N. experts say | Reuters
By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The Indian government must immediately release a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist arrested last month on charges of involvement in activities against the public order, a group of United Nations experts urged on Wednesday. Khurram Parvez, 39, coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCSS) has long campaigned against human rights violations committed by state forces in India’s volatile Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir.In a statement issued by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), four Special Rapporteurs said Parvez’s detention appeared to be an attempt by the government to stop his work. “Mr. Parvez is a well-known and outspoken human rights defender who has had a long-standing and positive engagement with the U.N. human rights mechanisms,” said the U.N. experts on arbitrary detention, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and enforced disappearances. “His continued detention following his arrest just a few days before his participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council, suggests a deliberate attempt to obstruct his legitimate human rights activism.” Government and police officials in Kashmir declined to comment on the statement by the U.N. Special Rapporteurs Michel Forst, Sètondji Adjovi, Maina Kiai and David Kaye.
The JKCCS has published research into the role of Indian security forces in containing a separatist insurgency in India’s Kashmir state that first flared a quarter of a century ago.At least 78 civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in more than two months of clashes between protesters and security forces, sparked by the killing of a leading separatist militant in a joint army and police operation on July 8.The unrest is the worst in the Muslim-majority region for six years, and critics have accused Indian forces of heavy-handedness as they struggle to contain the protests.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence in 1947. Both claim the territory in full but rule it in part.Parvez, who is also the chair of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), was stopped by authorities at New Delhi airport on Sept. 14 when he was on his way to Geneva to attend the U.N. Human Rights Council. He was detained on Sept 16, released four days later and then detained again the same day.
The experts said they were concerned Parvez was still in preventive detention under the highly controversial Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, which allows for people to held for up to two years without judicial intervention.India had so far provided no clear details on the exact nature of the charges against Parvez, and the government’s rationale relied “mainly on vague accusations of alleged ‘anti-India’ activities” to disturb public order, said the statement.”In a democratic society, the open criticism of Government is a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression of every person,” the experts said.”We are seriously concerned that the arrest of Mr. Parvez may represent a direct retaliation for his legitimate activities as a human rights defender and the exercise of his fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of expression and association.” (Reporting by Nita Bhalla. Additional reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar. Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has asked migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to flee the Valley in early 1990 after the eruption of militancy, to return to their homes, assuring protection to them, and also said it was planning to raise a group of Sikh youths.”We request Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. We take responsibility of their safety,” Zakir Rashid Bhat alias ‘Musa’, the self-styled commander of the militant outfit, said in a brief video message released yesterday.Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Valley after they were targeted by militant groups during the outbreak of militancy and have been living in Jammu and other parts of the country. “They should look at those Pandits who never left Kashmir. Who has harassed or killed them?” asked slain militant Burhan Wani’s ‘successor’.Dressed in military camouflage and fiddling with a grenade in the video, Bhat, who dropped out of engineering course from a Punjab college and joined Hizbul Mujahideen some years back, also gave a bizzare argument that Pandits were forced out of the Valley under a planned strategy to target Muslims. He claimed that the government was planning to take action in the Valley in an operation similar to ‘Operation Blue Star’ in Punjab.Bhat revealed in the 1.38 minute video that the militant was planning to raise an exclusive group of Sikh youths in the outfit.”Our Sikh brothers are requesting us to join Hizbul Mujahideen…We are with them on every front and God willing, we will try and make an exclusive group for Sikhs in the outfit,” he said. About the latest trend of weapon snatching in the Valley, especially in south Kashmir districts, he said, “Many youths have taken to Jihad, snatched the weapons and joined our ranks.”Two green banners with religious slogans and as many weapons on both sides behind him could also been seen in the video which was shot at an unknown location. South Kashmir witnessed a spurt in weapon snatching incidents over the past three months of unrest which was triggered by the killing of Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The unrest has so far claimed 84 lives and injured thousands of others.
Militants ambush security convoy in Kashmir, killing two | Reuters
By Fayaz Bukhari
| SRINAGAR, India
SRINAGAR, India Militants ambushed a convoy carrying paramilitary forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Friday, killing two security officers and wounding seven others, police said.The militants escaped after carrying out the attack on the outskirts of Srinagar, summer capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, a senior police officer told Reuters. Security forces were searching for the gunmen, he said, asking not to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media. The two dead included a paramilitary officer and a policeman who died in hospital.Militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir have carried out several attacks in recent weeks, the largest of which was a Sept. 18 raid on an Indian army base that killed 19 soldiers.
India blamed that attack on militants crossing over from the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan, quickly ratcheting up tensions between the two countries. Pakistan denies any involvement in the assault.New Delhi said in late September that its troops had crossed into Pakistan’s side of Kashmir and launched retaliatory “surgical strikes” to kill suspected militants, an operation Pakistan says never took place.
Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have been at odds over Kashmir ever since their independence nearly 70 years ago, fighting two of their three wars over the region that they each rule in part but claim in full.India accuses Pakistan of backing separatists and helping them sneak across the border. Pakistan denies this, saying it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their campaign for self-determination.
On Wednesday, gunmen shot dead a political party worker in Indian-ruled Kashmir, hours after two suspected militants were killed by armed forces following a 56-hour operation on the edge of Srinagar.The attacks on Indian security targets come amid three months of protests, spearheaded by local youth in the region, that erupted after Indian forces killed a Kashmiri separatist leader in early July. (Writing by Tommy Wilkes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
In the June of 2010, when the valley was seething with uncontrollable rage, 25 young boys from all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir regularly huddled in one of the classrooms at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI).
One of the students, Aijaz Ahmad Kachroo, son of a doctor, had been a frequent visitor to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital at a time when Kashmir was reeling under curfew and shutdown. Hospitals were also struggling to meet the demand of surgical equipment.
“The surgical equipment were usually supplied from the Jammu region. After the economic blockade, the hospitals were struggling to import it from outside the state,” Kachroo, 29, told Firstpost, at his residence in Kanikadel area of Srinagar.
Before the insurgency erupted in Kashmir, the business of supplying surgical equipment to all three regions of the state was the monopoly of Kashmiri Pandits. After the Pandits migrated from the valley, the business was transferred to Jammu temporarily, but it was never grew roots in Kashmir.
“I wanted to start the business of manufacturing surgical equipment but it required a lot of investment and I had no capital. Then I enrolled under the Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Program for Youth and received training for one month at the EDI,” Kachroo said.
Zareen Business Systems was born barely months after Kachroo completed his training. Today, the company not only supplies surgical equipment and other medical items to hospitals across the valley but to such facilities in Jammu and Ladakh region too.
The company employs more than 30 people and all this, Kachroo says, was a dream which he had thought would never come true. “But my life took a completely different turn after I finished my training at EDI,” he adds.
The Entrepreneurship Development Institute not just financed Kachroo but trained and handheld him till the project took off. “It was an idea to make the valley self-sufficient and not dependent on Jammu for such equipment. Thanks to the EDI, our company is moving in that direction,” he says.
When Kachroo learnt about the second attack on the EDI this year, he felt disgusted. The three-day gunfight that destroyed the hostel complex of the institute came as a “rude shock” for the young man. “It was very painful for me personally to see the institute going up in flames. I am what I am because of the support and mentorship I received there,” he says.
According to officials at the JKEDI, the institute has trained around 4000 youths so far in Jammu and Kashmir while many others are looking at the opportunities that the institute provides to enable them carve out their own future. The institute not only provides resources but it has also been a great motivator for the unemployed youths to polish their entrepreneurial skills and set up their own businesses.
To start a venture, the institute first trains budding entrepreneurs in different courses. The EDI offers short-term programmes on handicraft, boutiques, shawl making, embroidery, training for pharmaceutical stockists, timber shops, bee keeping and other courses.
Once the training is completed, the institute arranges capital from banks as well as the state and centrally sponsored schemes to fund the enterprise. The Jammu and Kashmir government runs a number of schemes under the flagship Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth for young startup entrepreneurs.
The institute also runs a youth startup programme and collaborates with the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation to provide loans to marginalised sections of society at six percent simple interest for setting up micro-level enterprises.
While the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the highest in the country and political turmoil of the last three decades has kept private investors out, the EDI became a game changer with hundreds of success stories to its credit since it started work in 2004.
Established in March 1997, the Jammu and Kashmir government mandated the EDI with developing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture in the state. The success of the EDI has been its generation-next workforce, most of whom are either in their early thirties or less. The institute is seen as the new engine for change given the successes stories it has churned out in a short span of time.
The attacks this year may have dampened the spirits of the staff and the alumni of the institute but it hasn’t stopped them from working altogether. For Haris Ahmad Dullo, who runs an Advertising company, City Sign Technology, in Srinagar, the siege at the EDI is an “attack on the symbol of economic freedom of Kashmiri youth.”
Dullo, 24, had prepared an advertising company project but he failed to secure loan from banks. The project needed an investment of Rs 20 lakhs. In August 2013, after receiving training for a month, the EDI provided him with non-refundable Rs 3 lakh capital and 17 lakhs were given by a bank in loan which he has paid back.
Today he has more than 40 people, directly and indirectly, working for his agency in the capital Srinagar. “They (EDI) helped me realise my dreams. If I chose entrepreneurship instead of a government job, unlike most Kashmiri youth, it was because of this institute that gave me hope and also made it possible,” Dullo says.
In a state where political class is known for its corrupt practices and bureaucracy for its lethargy, the institute is a one-window solution for young educated youths dreaming of setting up their own entrepreneurial ventures without getting caught in official red-tape.
“It is the only government institute in Kashmir valley which functions like a corporate house. No bureaucracy, no Chamchagiri. The attack on the institute is an attack on dreams and aspirations of those youth who want to do something in life without becoming a burden on the government,” Dullo says.
(Read a counter by David Devadas titled Pampore attack: Has Kashmir’s EDI actually promoted any entrepreneurship?)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has asked the Delhi Police to look into the recent incident at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) when students of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Nathuram Godse, Baba Ramdev and Asaram Bapu.The NSUI is the student wing of the Congress party.“We have received a verbal communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and will be sending the fact finding report regarding the incident,” said a senior police officer.The students at JNU had burnt a five foot effigy of the leaders. They pasted the pictures on one effigy and burnt it on Tuesday evening inside the JNU campus. The students also raised slogans against the leaders.“The effigy burning incident at JNU was brought to our notice. We are investigating the matter and examining all relevant information,” Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar tweeted on Thursday.JNU had been at the centre of a political row earlier this year when a group of students condemned death sentence given to Afzal Guru, who was convicted for the Parliament attack case, calling it a judicial killing. They also supported the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their democratic rights.The police slapped sedition charges against the organisers of the event leading to a political slugfest between the BJP and Congress. JNU registrar Pramod Kumar however clarified that showcause notices have been issued to “at least two students” on account of not taking permission from the administration before organising an event.“The administration is not bothered about if an effigy was burnt or whose effigy it was. The concern is organising without taking permission from the administration. The students are now required to give a deposition, and action may or may not be taken based on their response,” Kumar said.JNUSU issued a strong statement on Thursday, “requesting the student community to stand with JNU’s tradition of public meetings and protests, and reject a regime of permissions and surveillance on protests and public meetings.”Meanwhile, the NSUI said that effigy burning was a form of protest. “The union does not encourage the practice of effigy burning, however, it has been a recognised form of protest for some time now.”‘’The purpose of demonstration by the students was to protest against the imposition of RSS ideology upon students within education institutions,” the NSUI said in a statement.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Innocent Indian women have suffered for long due to the persistent terrorist acts perpetrated by “proxies of Pakistan”, India has said as it strongly rejecting references by Islamabad to conditions of women in Kashmir.Counsellor Mayank Joshi in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN here “completely” rejected the “baseless allegations” made by Pakistan about women in Jammu and Kashmir, saying “in fact” it is the innocent Indian women who have for “long suffered due to the persistent terrorist acts perpetrated by proxies of Pakistan.”Joshi exercised India’s Right of Reply after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Special Envoy on Kashmir Shezra Mansab Ali Khan referred to the conditions of women in Kashmir during an October 11 session on Advancement of Women in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on social and humanitarian issues.Khan said armed conflict and illegal occupation accentuates the plight of women.Citing the situation in Kashmir, she said “thousands of women have fallen victims to brutal oppression and occupation.Countless others have suffered rape and sexual abuse, the worst and most traumatic form of violence.” Joshi said it is “ironical” that a country that has “institutionalised the oppression” of women in its society including through “medieval draconian laws is making claims about the rights of women in a pluralistic democracy such as India.”He said Pakistan will be well served to “seriously examine” what ails its women and hampers their advancement.Pakistan has been constantly raising the Kashmir issue at various platforms in the UN, including in the General Assembly and its various committees that deal with diverse issues such as disarmament and decolonisation.Joshi asserted that India will not respond to the “lies and deceit” Pakistan has been resorting to at the world body to pursue a diplomacy of “hate”.”We are aware of Pakistan s cynical attempts to pursue diplomacy of hate through lies and deceit. We do not intend to further respond to such misguided and futile efforts,” he said.A Pakistani official however again took the floor to exercise the Right of Reply to Joshi s remarks, saying no amount of “obfuscation” could hide the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.He said Jammu and Kashmir was an “internationally recognised” dispute and Pakistan rejected “any insinuations to equate the legitimate struggles of the Kashmiri people with acts of terrorism.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An estimated 100 young men have gone missing from their homes in various parts of the Kashmir Valley over the last three months. According to a secret internal report by security agencies, following the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani in July this year, 80-100 youth are reportedly untraceable.Security agencies believe that these men may have been part of a mass recruitment drive by terrorist outfits. A review done by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) also indicated that the recruitment of local youth was likely to increase in the coming months.”We expect a big surge in local recruitment in the next few days. It’s difficult to give an accurate number as of now, but in the last three months, the numbers have gone up considerably,” a top security official told DNA.
ALSO READ Kashmir tense as Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani killedSources in the security establishment said with the local armed movement gathering momentum, security forces and particularly the Army have been asked to carry out area domination exercises in parts of the state considered especially prone to terrorist activity. Areas and neighbourhoods in south Kashmir have been identified as potential recruitment hubs which are now under watch.AT A GLANCEClashes between raging stone pelting protestors and security forces have killed more than 80 people and left thousands wounded in the Valley.Figures show just how alarming the situation in the Valley has become. Last year, security agencies estimated that 80 Kashmiri youth had joined the terror ranks.This year, till July, before Wani’s death, only 35 Kashmiri youth had been recruited.Post Wani’s death, agencies say the number of radicalised Kashmiri youth has risen to 90, out of the total number of 145 militants in the Valley.”Before Wani’s killing around 35 locals had taken up arms this year. We had expected the numbers to be low. But now everything has changed in the last three months and the number of militants are likely to go well over 100 this year,” said an official.
ALSO READ Latest video of new Hizbul Mujahideen commander emerges in KashmirOfficials privy to the situation say that it is no surprise then that Pakistan-based terror outfits are taking advantage of the situation and luring local men. Just like Wani who soon became the posterboy of indigenous militancy in the conflict hit state, another rung of young men are now being prepared to be showcased as local militants.The rise in local militants is alarming as it can help Pakistani-based terrorists to carry out attack on security forces with greater ease. “Not only do the local recruits gather support for an armed insurgency but also play a crucial role in assisting fidayeens who infiltrate from Pakistan to carry out terror strikes,” says a security official.
ALSO READ Who is Burhan Wani? All you need to know about the Hizbul Mujahideen poster boyIt’s not the first time that recent events have caused Kashmiri youth to pick up the gun. In 2013, the hanging of Afzal Guru, convicted for the Parliament attack of 2001, became a catalyst for local youth in the state to join terror groups.The Burhan Wani killing could well just be another catalyst for an even bigger indigenous militant movement against Indian security forces.
It would be a great mistake to ignore anger in the ranks of the army posted in Kashmir while focusing on the mechanics of how — or even whether — strikes were carried out across the Line of Control on 29 September.
The men and officers of the army must surely be livid in the wake of the terribly lethal attack on the army camp at Uri on 18 September. The hoo-ha over the who and how of that attack and the consequent ‘surgical strikes’ tends to ignore the fact that 19 soldiers were killed. A large number of them were charred. Six of those were
cookhouse workers — hired for their cooking skills more than their commando or sniping abilities.
One presumes that their deaths have scarred the psyche of their comrades-in-arms, the other soldiers, and officers in the field. There will be hell to pay if the restraint under which those soldiers and officers have operated in the Kashmir valley for the past three months were to snap.
The army is bound to come under increasing strain, given the surge in the infiltration of highly trained militants across the Line of Control over the past few months (to some extent, over the past couple of years). The level of the infiltrators’ training — similar to that of the 10 who attacked Mumbai in 2008 — became evident during an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar since Monday. They held out for more than 24 hours until the army brought down the building in which they were.
To exercise restraint when one is being stoned and abused (as over the past three months) is one thing. But the effect of such encounters, and of the horrific deaths of one’s comrades, can charge up the nerves of men trained to fight and win.
To commit the army for policing over these months of great unrest has been a risky move. One gets the impression that the brass has not adequately factored in the strategic risk involved. In fact, over the past five weeks, Operation Calm Down stepped up the army’s involvement in civil pacification in south Kashmir – just a fortnight before the Uri attack dramatically highlighted other dimensions of the challenge the army faces in Kashmir.
The army’s institutional insistence on remaining deployed across the Valley after the militancy that began in 1988 ended about a decade ago has additionally complicated the challenge it is likely to face in the foreseeable future.
Based on the presumption that ‘the situation is under control’ in Kashmir, the army kept a very low profile through the second half of the previous decade, so that it would not be forced to draw back deployment to cantonments. After the uprising of 2010, that strategy switched. Recalibrating its high spend Operation Sadbhavana (goodwill), the army deliberately presented a friendly face to the people in the first half of this decade.
That strategy remains in place. Although it worked as long as the situation was actually under control — indeed, there was no militancy — it is coming unstuck now that the ‘situation’ has changed dramatically – and unexpectedly. The worst part is that, as in 1989, there was no intelligence information about that dramatic worsening, and so no strategy to cope with it.
If operations such as the one at Uri do raise the pitch of anger in the ranks, the ingenuity of the brass will be challenged. For, to allow army wrath to turn against the Kashmiri people at large could exacerbate the external challenge they face.
I have pointed out since 2010 that it is of vital importance for the survival of a robustly multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious India that the causes of youth anger in Kashmir be addressed. Not only was that important for its own sake, it was also strategically vital. For, angry Kashmiri youth could become a vital ally and resource for strategic planners of antagonistic powers such as Pakistan and China.
It is of course too late now (has been for more than a year) to wean over the mass of teenagers. But India’s strategic planners and hyper-nationalistic media hawks must recognize that adding to youth anger would not only be wrong for a host of ethical and legal reasons, it would also be costly on a purely strategic level.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that Pakistan was the key element behind instigating violence in the Valley, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagawat on Tuesday sent a message to the hostile neighbour that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan.Addressing the RSS cadres who were sporting full pants, as the Sangh officially cast away its trademark khaki shorts, Bhagwat stated that the unrest in Kashmir is being induced from across the LoC and it is a fact not hidden from anyone and the whole world knows.”The country is growing. There are some countries in the world who don’t want to see India progress. They at times get support from people within. Kashmir is a serious concern. The commitment of our government is clear that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan,” he said in his annual Vijayadashami speech at the Reshimbagh Ground here.Emphasising that a large part of Kashmir is free of tension and violence, he called on the nation and the government to act against those indulging in this violenceCalling on ensuring that justice is delivered to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Bhagwat further said that forces across the border are encouraging separatist forces in Kashmir.Asserting that Gau rakshaks (Cow protectors) operate within the ambit of rule of law, Bhagwat said that ‘gau raksha’ is an integral part of the Constitution and added that there are some ‘divisive forces’ in the country who are bent on portraying the members of the community in a negative light.”Small farmers are dependent on cows and their progeny. There are cow protection laws in various states. Many communities like Jains are involved in Gau raksha. Gau rakshaks are good people but they should work under the law and Constitution,” he said while delivering his annual address on Vijayadashami.Bhagwat said that there is a need to identify real Gau rakshaks from the fake ones since an attempt is being made by some forces to mislead the entire nation. “We need to be careful against these divisive forces. We need to unite society so that such elements do not take advantage.”The RSS chief also heaped praises on the Indian Army for the recent surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, saying that India’s reputation in the world has gone up because of what our Army did and lauder the Centre and defence personnel.”The administrative leadership has done a commendable job. We must manage our borders very well. Some separatist forces create trouble in border states. But he way our government has dealt with the whole issue post Uri is a matter of great pride,” he said.However, he warned political parties not to cross limits while playing politics and said, “Make sure people are not pitted against each other.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday batted for grant of state citizenship rights to Hindu refugees in Jammu and Kashmir and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to leave the Valley due to militancy. He said the state government should work with the Centre to pursue one policy and move in one direction, noting that the nationalist forces should be strengthened and “undesirable” activities be rooted out. The situation in the state is a matter of concern, he said. “Many issues continue to hang fire. During the partition and subsequently many Hindu refugees were displaced from Pak-occupied Kashmir and arrived there. Sheikh Abdullah assured them that they will be given their rights. Their third generation is living there. They don’t have state citizenship rights. They don’t have ration cards and jobs. How long will they wait?” asked Bhagwat. “For decades, Kashmiri Pandits have been living outside. They should live where they used to and be sure of their protection as patriots and Hindus. Such circumstances should be created and they be given justice,” he said in his Dussehra address. Their dreams will have to be fulfilled, he said, adding that only then people will believe that they are being taken care of in the same way other states are working for their citizens. The issue of grant of citizenship rights to Hindu refugees in the state has been a controversial one there with parties like National Conference and PDP expressing reservation over it. The state government, which is headed by PDP in alliance with BJP, should see to it that a transparent and clean administration is there, Bhagwat said.Despite lot of money being pumped into the state, development work is not happening and people wonder where all the money is going, he said. Those creating trouble should be dealt firmly, he said, claiming that there is no trouble in entire regions of Jammu and Ladakh, besides a large part of Kashmir.
New Delhi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday batted for grant of state citizenship rights to Hindu refugees in Jammu and Kashmir and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to leave the Valley due to militancy.
He said the state government should work with the Centre to pursue one policy and move in one direction, noting that the nationalist forces should be strengthened and “undesirable” activities be rooted out.
The situation in the state is a matter of concern, he said.
“Many issues continue to hang fire. During the partition and subsequently many Hindu refugees were displaced from Pak-occupied Kashmir and arrived there. Sheikh Abdullah assured them that they will be given their rights. Their third generation is living there. They don’t have state citizenship rights. They don’t have ration cards and jobs. How long will they wait?” asked Bhagwat.
“For decades, Kashmiri Pandits have been living outside. They should live where they used to and be sure of their protection as patriots and Hindus. Such circumstances should be created and they be given justice,” he said in his Dussehra address.
Their dreams will have to be fulfilled, he said, adding that only then people will believe that they are being taken care of in the same way other states are working for their citizens.
The issue of grant of citizenship rights to Hindu refugees in the state has been a controversial one there with parties like National Conference and PDP expressing reservation over it.
The state government, which is headed by PDP in alliance with BJP, should see to it that a transparent and clean administration is there, Bhagwat said.
Despite lot of money being pumped into the state, development work is not happening and people wonder where all the money is going, he said.
Those creating trouble should be dealt firmly, he said, claiming that there is no trouble in entire regions of Jammu and Ladakh, besides a large part of Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Tuesday claimed that Turkey has reaffirmed its “traditional and strong support” on Kashmir and the need for “restraint” and use of peaceful means to resolve the issue.According to Foreign Office (FO) statement, on the first day of their visit to Turkey, Prime Minister’s special Kashmir envoys Muhammad Pervez Malik and Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha met a cross-section of the Turkish parliamentary leadership, media, civil society and think-tanks.”Turkey has reaffirmed its traditional and strong support for the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the FO said.The envoys apprised them of the “gross and systematic violations of human rights” by the security forces in Jammu & Kashmir.The Special Envoys called on the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Ismail Kahraman and briefed him in detail about the “atrocities being committed against the defenseless Kashmiri people” — demanding their legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination, the statement said.”They highlighted that the death of the young Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, had re-ignited an intense phase of the popular uprising in Jammu and Kashmir,” FO said.The envoys also briefed the speaker on the latest security situation in the region, including the “surgical strikes” on seven terror launch pads across the LoC.Speaker Ismail Kahraman reiterated support for Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and underlined that Pakistan and Turkey had always supported each other on their respective national causes, the Foreign Office said.”Turkey was concerned at the unresolved nature of the Kashmir dispute as it negatively impacted peace and stability in the region, besides undermining prospects for the well-being and development of its people. In the current phase, Turkey had called for restraint and use of peaceful means to resolve the Kashmir dispute,” FO quoted the Turkish speaker as saying.He underlined the unique relationship between Pakistan and Turkey. He thanked Pakistan and its people for their strong support and solidarity for Turkey against the attempted coup of July 15, the Foreign Office said in the statement.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Struggle of Kashmiris cannot be equNeedling India over Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said India will be “mistaken” if it equates the “freedom struggle” of Kashmiri people with terrorism.”India is mistaken if it considers that a freedom fight can be equated with terrorism,” Sharif said during a meeting of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s central working party .Sharif said Kashmiris were fighting for their right of self-determination and Pakistan would continue to support them.”Pakistan is committed to the Kashmir cause. No power in the world can stop us from supporting the freedom struggle of Kashmiris,” he said. Sharif’s comments came amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the September 18 Uri terror attack that prompted India to conduct surgical strike on terror launch pads along the LoC.Sharif in the past week chaired Cabinet meeting, addressed a joint session of the Parliament and attended National Security Committee’s meeting to discuss tensions with India. Today’s meeting came amidst wrangling with his party how to deal Imran Khan’s threat to shut down capital Islamabad on October 30 over alleged corruption by Sharif’s family.Sahrif warned Khan not to cross limits while protesting against the government. “In democracy people can protest but no one can be allowed to cross the limits,” he said. He said some people want to “paralyse” the country through politics of protests but they would not succeed. Sharif also said that economy has been strengthened because of effective policies as government was working to tackle all the challenges including terrorism and energy shortages.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former prime minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has announced plans to march towards the Line of Control (LoC) on November 24.Addressing a meet the Press event today, Khan said the participants would attempt to enter the Indian side of Kashmir by breaking ceasefire at three points in Poonch and Mirpur. Dunya News quoted Khan as saying that he would also take other Kashmiri political parties into confidence over the proposed rally. The former prime minister has urged youth to gather at the LoC and move towards Kashmir in order to inform the international community about the unrest in the Kashmir. Khan said that the Awami Tehreek has made the Kashmir issue a flash point. A public contact campaign would be launched on the 11th Muharram, he added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday hit out at militants for targeting the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), saying the ultras don’t want young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their feet.”All the EDI ever did was to train young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their own feet and not seek government jobs. Militants don’t like that!” Omar tweeted.The militants on Monday attacked the EDI building in Pampore for the second time this year with the first attack taking place in February.”No wonder for the 2nd time this year they have attacked the institute.They want young Kashmiris to be subservient and bitter not self-reliant,” Omar added.Two to three militants are believed to have entered into the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in the wee hours on Monday.Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.Two soldiers, including an officer, a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation that lasted 48 hours.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Kashmir is up in arms against New Delhi, a group of local Kashmiris risked their lives to rescue the army men who met with a fatal road accident at Pantha Chowk-Lasjan in the Srinagar outskirts on Sunday morning.An army vehicle with at least 12 soldiers on board skidded off the road and hit a gigantic tree causing injuries to some jawans. Some of the soldiers were stuck inside the truck. What complicated the matter was the low lying high tension wire overhead.As the soldiers were struggling to come out of the mangled truck, a group of locals rushed towards the site and started the rescue operation. Locals disconnected the high tension wire, pulled out the soldiers and shifted them to the hospital in a civilian truck.Indian Army was quick to acknowledge the gesture and thank the locals for their timely help in rescuing the soldiers in distress. “Army thanks the local youth for rescue of soldiers stuck in accident vehicle near Pantha Chowk Srinagar,” tweeted northern command of Indian Army.Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna that the army is thankful to the locals for this great humanitarian and heartwarming gesture. “It will further strengthen the bond of friendship between the awam (people) and the jawan (soldier),” he said.An amateur video shot apparently from the cell phones also went viral on the social networking sites despite the mobile internet blockade in Kashmir. The video has caught the rescue efforts of the locals live with civilian truck being used to help the injured soldiers.Main opposition party National Conference said the gesture by locals is an ideal example of the Kashmiryat (pluralistic culture). “Kashmiris always valued the Kashmiryat. And this gesture proves it once again. Kashmiris have always upheld human values,” said Nasir Aslam Wani, NC provincial president and former J&K minister of state of home.Wani said perception being created about Kashmiris is completely wrong and mistaken. “Kashmir has always maintained high human values. Even during partition Kashmir upheld this motive of humanity. However in the current unrest the government has waged war against its own people,” he said. This is however not the first time when locals have risked their lives to save others in the current unrest which has claimed over 87 lives so far.Amarnath yatris saved in pastOn July 13 a group of local Muslims defied curfew to rescue a group of Amarnath yatris, who met with a fatal road accident at Sangam on Srinagar-Jammu highway in the volatile Anantnag district. Two people including a Kashmiri driver and pilgrim died while 22 others sustained wounds when their bus had a head-on collision with a trawler on the highway in the dead of night.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmiri youth who on Sunday rescued a soldier who was trapped inside a mangled vehicle were praised by the Indian Army for their excellent gesture. A vehicle had met an accident on Srinagar Bypass road near Lasjan area of Srinagar, police said on Sunday. An army vehicle veered off the road after the driver lost control at Lasjan and hit a tree, a police official said. He said one soldier was trapped inside the badly damaged vehicle and efforts of other army men to evacuate him did not fructify.”Local Kashmiri youth rushed to the spot and managed to bring the injured army jawan out by placing a truck next to the damaged army vehicle,” the official said.Some passersby shot the entire incident on their mobile phones. The video of the incident has been widely shared on social networking sites. The incident comes amidst the ongoing unrest which has claimed 84 lives and thousands others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces. In July, local residents of Bijbehara in south Kashmir Anantnag district defied curfew to rescue over 20 Amarnath pilgrims whose vehicle had met an accident during the beginning of the current unrest.(With Agency Inputs)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Needling India on the Kashmir unrest, Pakistan on Sunday said the death of a 12-year-old Kashmiri boy due to pellet injuries was the “worst example of state terrorism”. Condoling the death of Junaid Akhoon, Foreign Office (FO) claimed the incident was part of “continued Indian atrocities” in Kashmir.”The cold-blooded murder is the worst example of state terrorism of the Indian government and is indeed deplorable,” it said in a press release. “The government and the people of Pakistan convey their deepest condolences on the death of Junaid to his bereaved family,” it added.The FO said the people of Kashmir are demanding their fundamental human rights, especially the right to self- determination, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. “The grave situation of human rights violations in Kashmir, growing atrocities and genocide of Kashmiris should be a matter of concern to the international community and the UN and warrants an immediate intervention to stop the bloodshed by India,” it said.The “culture of impunity” by Indian forces must come to an end, it said, adding there should be a “fair, independent and transparent inquiry into the grave human rights violations” of the Kashmiris.Junaid, who was hit by pellets in the head and chest, succumbed to his injuries on Friday, taking the death toll in the three-month-long unrest in Kashmir to 84. His death sparked fresh clashes between protesters and security forces at various places in Kashmir on Saturday even as curfew continued in interior areas of Srinagar.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raking up the Kashmir issue again, Pakistan has said the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in the Valley is the “most persistent” failure of the United Nations.”The decolonisation agenda of the United Nations will remain incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, among the oldest items on the UN’s agenda,” Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said at a debate on Friday of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee in the General Assembly. She said for over six decades UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented.”This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she said adding that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression. She asserted that Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be” an integral part of India but is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.Lodhi said the the United Nations has a moral responsibility towards people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation.”There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism. We hope that we will be able to achieve this shared goal sooner rather than later,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has strongly rejected Pakistan’s references on Kashmir at the UN, saying such remarks are a self-serving attempt by Islamabad to bring extraneous issues to the world body for its “territorial aggrandisement”.India, exercising the Right of Reply after Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi raised the Kashmir issue at the UN, said yesterday Pakistan had made references to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in a self-serving attempt to bring extraneous issues before the Committee. Such efforts were a flagrant misuse of the body for Pakistan’s own territorial aggrandizement, India said, recalling that the Special Committee on Decolonisation was concerned only with Non-Self-Governing Territories. It asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.Pakistan responded by saying that the United Nations recognised that all people under alien subjugation had a right to self-determination. Exercising its Right of Reply, Pakistan said India continued to perpetrate misinformation on the Kashmir issue year after year.Raking up the Kashmir issue again at the UN, Pakistan had said the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in Kashmir is the “most persistent” failure of the UN.”The decolonisation agenda of the United Nations will remain incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, among the oldest items on the UN’s agenda,” Lodhi had said yesterday at a debate of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee in the General Assembly. She said for over six decades UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented.”This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she said, adding generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression. She asserted that Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be” an integral part of India but is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.Lodhi said the UN has a moral responsibility towards people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation.”There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism. We hope that we will be able to achieve this shared goal sooner rather than later,” she said.
Jammu and Kashmir: Investigations by the Jammu and Kashmir police have revealed that a number of personnel deployed on duty with mainstream politicians, connived with militants to give up their weapons during the current unrest in the valley.
Over the last one month, more than six incidents have been reported during which militants managed to get away with the service rifles of on-duty personnel.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Kulgam, Shridhar Patil, said, “Some of the police personnel who were required to offer protection were in fact found to be negligent in their duties. We have registered cases of connivance with militants against our personnel and they have been dismissed from the service.”
The revelations have come at a time when militants are facing a shortage of weapons, and some of the surrendered militants including those who “infiltrated” militant ranks to pass on information, have switched sides, and fought against the police.
The findings surfaced during the investigation of a recent incident during which militants managed to get away the weapons from the police personnel deployed on security duty at the residence of ruling People’s Democratic Party’s Rajya Sabha member, Nazir Ahmad Laway. Over 20,000 people protested outside his house during which four of his personal security officers (PSOs) gave their arms to militants. Laway, who is under the Z protection security category, was not at his home but the police failed to protect his brother, sister-in-law and their child and fled from the place.
The police dismissed the four personnel including a head constable from service after a case of cowardice and negligence of duty was registered against them at the Kulgam police station. They have been charged conniving with the militants as well.
However, Laway said that it would have been “difficult for the PSOs to carry out their duty in the face of the protest by over 20,000 people”.
These incidents have occurred in areas in South Kashmir including Kulgam and Anantnag, which witnessed the worst protests in the current uprising. In areas of Bijbehara and Noorabad in the Southern part of Kashmir, people hit the streets in large numbers, and burnt police stations during their “pro-freedom” protests. The investigations in some of these incidents revealed that the on-duty “PSOs didn’t perform their duties satisfactorily”.
Following the increase in such incidents, the J&K police issued orders asking its on-duty personnel to deposit their weapons with their seniors before proceeding for leave. According to police officials, police security has also been withdrawn from some of the habitations of the minority communities in South Kashmir, following an increase in militancy-related incidents and people-led attacks on the police.
A police official said that the police guards were withdrawn from the habitations of the Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs at Noorpur and Medoora in Awantipora. “There were two police parties of five personnel each, which were withdrawn from the place,” added a police official.
In similar incidents, On 3 October, the J&K police dismissed five personnel after militants managed to take away their weapons from a minority post of Dogra-speaking Kashmiris in Damhal Hanji Pora. In the same area, a case of connivance with militants was registered against the personnel who were deployed on guard duty of a National Conference (NC) activist. The militants managed to decamp with the service rifles of the on-duty personnel. On 8 September, militants barged into the guardroom of NC leader, Abdul Rashid Khanday, at Begom village of Kulgam district and snatched four rifles. Over a week later on 19 September, militants snatched four more rifles from policemen guarding the house of district president of PDP in Anantag.
In less than six months from now, thirty years would have passed since the Kashmir elections were rigged. An incident which perpetuated three decades of violence bringing hell to the valley that has been described as heaven on earth.
An unfinished business of the partition of the subcontinent, Kashmir is one of the largest and most militarised territorial disputes between India and Pakistan. It’s also something the world should always worry about as it may trigger the next nuclear conflict on the planet.
A peaceful resolution of the conflict, which drains most of the resources of the two poor nations, should be a priority of the patriotic politicians on both sides. It is mind-boggling that the conflict has gone on for seven decades and no voices of reason have prevailed even though a large part of the population in India and Pakistan is under the yoke of poverty and disease.
By estimates of the World Bank, only 34 percent of Indians have access to a toilet. In Pakistan, only 48 percent of the population has access to ‘facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces’.
Yet this festering and dangerous conflict remained unresolved for the last 69 years, causing hostility, and over which India and Pakistan have fought more than one war. I cannot fathom the resources that these two neighbors have squandered on their respective war machines when the people in both countries grind under the burden of misery.
In the pursuit of a resurgent India vis-à-vis the Chinese behemoth, the West has largely ignored this flash point which by some estimates can bring the world to a nuclear doom. The possibility of nuclear winter is not far-fetched. The West would rather look for a counterweight to emerging China and forget about its moral sermons that are all too often delivered in its own interests.
Remember Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, and now Syria? Why should Kashmir be different?
Over the years, the voices of reason have periodically emerged exposing the sinister effect of the events in India-held Kashmir — mass graves, extrajudicial killings and innumerable human rights violations documented by none other than international organisations like Amnesty International, the UN, Human Rights Watch and others like Panjak Mishra and Gautam Navlakha.
The case of human rights lawyer Parvez Imroz who won the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize by Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, France, and the European Bar Human Rights Institute, is well known. This is the same prize that Nelson Mandela won in 1985. Not only Imroz was denied an Indian passport to receive the prize, but the security forces in Srinagar even tried to kill him and his family.
In spite of deployment of the Army with powers unbefitting a democracy, the Congress government had largely been successful in concealing the events in Kashmir, and thus, avoid discourse over this conflict. It also succeeded in placing in some form of obscurity with Western complicity.
How would the world know about the plight of Kashmiris when travel to Kashmir was impossible? But thanks to the advent of social media in the last 10 to 15 years, the world would come to know about what goes on in J&K.
Despite its ruthless suppression, Congress rule was successful in insulating the conflict from the international community, in which 100,000 people were killed. But the recent events by the BJP government have brought it out in the open. In its pursuit of nationalist agenda, the BJP government may have blundered by once again internationalising the issue which on the surface may have remained dormant. As late as July 2016, the leading intellectuals of the world have written a letter to the Indian government to stop its repression in the valley. Most notables among the more-than-850 who signed the letter were Noam Chomsky and Meena Kandasamy.
Interestingly, the hawkish media on both sides of the border is relentless in voicing claims, counter claims, denials and counter denials.
Personally, I don’t know what to make of all this rhetoric and hoopla that is damaging to the cause of peace. The media on both sides has become a propaganda machine of each other’s government, and frankly, it is useless to look for any objective analysis in a discourse full of insults, harangues, lies and half-truths. It has been almost two weeks since Uri. While there is non-stop and nonsensical coverage of Kashmir in the media both in India and Pakistan. I only find reasonable voices about the incident when I scour the world media including today’s Jerusalem Post, The New York Times, Le Monde, or any other major newspaper of the world that comes to my mind.
In the West’s ambivalence for whatever reasons aside, Pakistan and the Kashmiri people found an opportunity a fortnight ago to bring the issue to the fore in the international arena when India supposedly made a surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). Although the timing may have been carefully calculated by New Delhi since the Americans are busy in their presidential election, it doesn’t seem to have as much impact as India may have expected, or hoped, and without impunity.
The respective claims of Indian and the Pakistani governments aside, buttressed by the clamour on the media of both countries, the Indian surgical strike across the Line of Control for whatever aims, domestic or international, were albeit partially successful or even a failure. Nonetheless, it was something dangerous and irresponsible whether one believes the Indian or the Pakistani version of the incident.
While Modi government may have succeeded in satisfying the demands of the Hindu nationalist at home, with the deployment of more than 700,000 troops in the Kashmir valley (that amounts to one soldier for seventeen inhabitants), the Modi government may have miscalculated, and brought the Kashmir dispute, once again, into the international arena.
This gave a sound reason to Pakistan to internationalise the event while at the same time deny the incursion to begin with. Whatever may have happened, ironically, a segment of the extremists still lament the loss of a ‘window of opportunity’ soon after the attack on Uri, which in their wishful thinking, would have punished Pakistan.
What the nationalist didn’t do was entertain the possibility that rubbing the Pakistani nose could have surpassed the threshold which may have unleashed the Pakistani nuclear arsenal thus bringing havoc to the subcontinent and the world. In that case, India could not have sat back, and its retaliatory strike would have certainly caused the feared and awful mutual assured destruction.
Therefore, was the surgical strike worth taking the risk?
The conventional wisdom dictates that while the decision to carry out the surgical strike may have been made in New Delhi, the restraint that the Modi government displayed could have been due to orders coming from Washington, India’s newly found friend that still has enormous interests in Pakistan. Were the policy makers in New Delhi so euphoric in their love for the Americans, that they imagined that the US would ignore its assets in Afghanistan and beyond, just for the sake of returning a warm handshake? It was ironic that the hawkish Indian Prime Minister on 5 October admonished his sabre-rattling domestic allies to refrain from commenting on the incident unless they are cleared by the defense officials. It was a smart move, indeed.
How could the warming of relationship with Washington have been sacrificed by drumming up the significance of the strike in the first place?
The fact is that the Modi government finds itself precisely between a rock and a hard place. It is true that the nationalist Hindutva sentiment is a genie that is no longer in the bottle and no matter what Modi and his allies want to do with it, supporting the nationalist agenda is not sustainable. The BJP may have used this genie to succeed in elections and gain popularity on the domestic scene, but there is no end to the demands of the domestic nationalist, who seem to have started to meddle in the security of the Republic of India basing their actions on whimsical behaviour. With time it has become more difficult for the BJP to deliver to its constituency that is virulently anti-peace in the subcontinent. I might ask what will happen to India that is resurgent and moving ahead with a robust growth, in case a war breaks out with Pakistan? Delusions aside, after Bangladesh, Pakistan is not ready for a defeat or even a humiliation.
The talk of war is thus dangerous and mutually suicidal.
Moreover, and notwithstanding that Congress may have hailed the strikes albeit in much cooler terms, the party of Sonia Gandhi has paid only lip service to the incident and thus avoided alienating its Muslim vote bank in particular, and the voices of reason, in general. The time has come once again to peacefully resolve the Kashmir issue despite the previous, chronic and ossified intransigence.
Another earlier miscalculation by the hawks in New Delhi regarding the international opinion may have been due to the false belief that the events in Kashmir have remained concealed thus providing impunity. But that is also not true. The American election campaign in full swing coupled with the public relation spree by Modi has brought goodwill to India, but it has not been able to prevent the world’s reaction to what is going on in the valley.
Amnesty International issued a report regarding failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. A detailed report addresses rape among other atrocities against the civilian population can be read here.
In the wake of the horrible Mumbai attack, the former British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband wrote:
“The issue is not whether we need to attack the use of terror at its roots, with all the tools available. We must. The question is how.”
He further goes on to say that the terrorists are not an enemy that is united in a single army acting across borders and the war on terrorism therefore cannot be binary, between good and evil, between right and wrong.
Although terrorism is to be tackled at its root, by removing its weapons supply, by eliminating its finances and by emasculating its agenda. But you can turn blue in your face if the people you call ‘terrorists’ have a backer that is a state, and it has a legitimate claim recognised by the international community. Since one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, the problem of Kashmir can only be solved with trilateral participation of the Kashmiris, Pakistanis and the Indians, by sitting on the negotiating table. Only cooperation can work in this case.
Therefore, the blame game in which Pakistan is touted as the root cause of terrorism is not going to solve the conflict. And despite its public denial for the sake of the international decorum, why should Pakistan not deny whatever it does in the India-held-Kashmir? Just like what India does in Baluchistan. The fact remains that Kashmir is a dispute that needs to be resolved. And it must be resolved by peaceful means. Both Kashmiris and Pakistanis are part of the conflict and a triad that includes them and the Indians is the only way that a peaceful settlement can be achieved, and nothing else.
No amount of rhetoric, posturing or appeasement of the domestic constituencies is going to solve the issue and since all else has failed, the only way out of the morass is for cooler heads to prevail and negotiations to start. The sooner the better. The people in both countries have had enough of miserable existence.
The author is an American Physician of Pakistani decent.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Thursday said it will review the Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan by it based on the security and trade interests, asserting that terror cannot be the commodity exported. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that the speech by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailing Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in Parliament shows Pakistan’s complicity in terrorism directed against India and was “self implicating”. Sharif had hailed Wani as “son of the Kashmiri soil” while addressing the joint session on Wednesday.”Promoting shared prosperity with neighbours has been government’s priority but terror cannot be the commodity exported. We will undertake a review based on our security and trade interests,” he said when asked if India will review the MFN status given to Pakistan by India, unilaterally.Asked about the recent conversation between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan, he said the Prime Ministers of the two countries had in January agreed that their NSAs will remain in touch and the details should not be made public. “India remains committed not to make it public.”Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz was quoted as saying by Pakistani media that India has agreed to reduce tensions after their NSAs spoke over phone. This was first such contact after the Uri attack and India’s retaliatory surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.Swarup also refused to react to the reports in Pakistani media that Sharif has asked the powerful military not to shield banned militant groups and directed authorities to conclude the Pathankot terror attack probe and the 2008 Mumbai attack trials.On the reports that Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), a umbrella group of jihadi and Islamist outfits as Hafiz Saeed’s JeM, organising a rally in Pakistan on October 28, he said India has always voiced its concerns at the freedom available to such internationally designated terrorists in Pakistan to conduct and promote anti India activities openly.”It is up to the government of Pakistan to abide by its assurances that it will deny the use of its territory for such purposes,” he added. Swarup also described as “inflection point” the recent cancelling of SAARC Summit after several countries of the eight-nation grouping pulled out over the cross-border terrorism as till now some were only doing “lip-service” and not doing anything concrete. Asserting that Indian forces have carried out 20 successful interdictions along the LoC to foil infiltration attempts, Swarup said captured terrorists have confessed that a large number of terrorists are trained and ready to be launched in terrorists camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He added that since July 8, close to a dozen major terrorist attacks have taken place in J&K, supported and launched from across LOC or border, including today in Handwara.”I would also remind you of what DGMO said on September 29 that it is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region, but we can certainly not allow the terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack the citizens of our country,” he added.The Spokesperson also asserted that India has clearly conveyed to Pakistan High Commissioner to India when he was summoned after Uri attack that the government expects Pakistan to fulfill its assurances of 2004, reiterated at highest levels, not to allow territory under its control for terrorism against any country.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lauding the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for exposing Islamabad’s real face before the world, the Shiv Sena on Thursday urged the BJP-led NDA regime at the Centre to fully support the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).”It is a very big thing that the Pakistani Government claims that people in Pakistan occupied Kashmir are very happy in their region and they try to show the same picture again and again in the UN or to our Kashmiri people,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.”But the reality is that when the people residing there speak openly then the entire world will come to know that it is Pakistan which is violating the human rights there. And the manner in which Pakistan’s real face has been exposed before the world, it is the victory of India’s diplomacy,” he added.The Shiv Sena leader further said it is a very big achievement for India that the people living in Pakistan occupied Kashmir have rebelled against the government in Islamabad. “So, I think the Indian Government must extend its full support to the people there,” he added.The local people and leaders in various parts of PoK erupted in protest on Thursday voicing concerns against the mushrooming of terror camps that have made their lives miserable. Demanding that terrorism needs to be eliminated, they said that providing shelter to terrorists won’t solve the issue.The residents of Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Chinari, Mirpur, Gilgit, Diamer and Neelum Valley in PoK claim that their lives have been gravely affected by terror training camps operating in the area.Tensions escalated in PoK earlier on Sunday after residents took to the streets to express their anger against the alleged atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-month-old Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be expanded soon with the induction of two PDP MLAs as ministers. The issue came up for discussion when Mehbooba Mufti called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Immediately afterwards, BJP president Amit Shah met her and the two were also understood to have discussed the issue.As per the arrangement between the two parties, PDP would have 14 ministers, including the Chief Minister, while BJP would have 11, that would include the Deputy Chief Minister.According to sources in the know of the developments, PDP MLA from Amira Kadal constituency Altaf Bukhari is likely to stage a comeback. Bukhari, who was a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government, was not included in the cabinet when Mehbooba was sworn-in as the Chief Minister in April this year. Mehbooba was also likely to induct an MLA from the restive South Kashmir in the ministry.Besides Bukhari, Javid Mustafa Mir and two Ministers of State Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majeed Padroo, who were part of the previous government led by her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, had been dropped.The BJP was likely to drop one of its ministers and replace him with an MLA from the Kashmiri Pandit community, the sources said. The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers and its current strength is 23.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan can continue to deny India’s claim about ‘surgical strikes’ but a news report claims that a senior Pakistani police official admitted that the strikes did take place.A report on CNN-News 18 claimed that disclosures by Ghulam Akbar, SP of Mirpur range in PoK, admitted that surgical strikes took place in the early hours of September 29. Thinking that he was speaking to his superior IG Mushtaq, Ghulam Akbar, SP (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK, revealed details about the strike. The report further claimed that bodies of terrorists were also removed by the Pak military. The SP also said the Pakistani Army took away the dead bodies in ambulances, adding that they may have been buried in villages. Akbar also claimed that 5 Pak armymen had died which contradicts Pakistan’s claim that two soldiers had died in the cross-firing.Akbar told CNN-News 18, that the attack took place between 2am to 4 or 5am. They also said that there were attacks on ‘separate places’. Akbar’s revelation included the fact that Army facilitated jihadi movement in forward areas and arranged for their crossing over to India.So far Pakistan had denied that any surgical strike took place. Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hit back at his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying poverty cannot be eradicated by “driving tanks on farmlands” and once again needled India by calling Hizbul commander Burhan Wani a “son of the Kashmiri soil”.Responding to Modi’s speech last month challenging Pakistan to a contest over eradicating poverty and other social ills, Sharif said, “If they (Indian leaders) want us to fight them to end poverty, then they should realise that poverty cannot be eradicated by driving tanks on farmlands.” Sharif, while addressing a joint session of the Parliament convened to discuss the security situation in the wake of increasing Indo-Pak tensions, accused India of running away from dialogue and instead creating a war-like environment by blaming Pakistan for the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed last month. “We have done everything to make India come to the dialogue table, but India did not let it happen. Our efforts were thwarted over and over again,” Sharif claimed.”Without any investigation (into Uri incident), within a few hours, India blamed Pakistan for the attack,” he said. Sharif accused India of having some “motives” in blaming Pakistan for the Uri attack when it was “not even established” that who was involved in it. The Pakistan Prime Minister also accused India of violating the LoC ceasefire agreement and launching “aggression” against Pakistan.”India’s ceasefire violation resulted in the death of our two soldiers, when it attacked Pakistan. It was befittingly responded and was conveyed that Pakistan Army is fully capable to respond to any aggression,” he said.Sharif also expressed support for Kashmiris and said the issue should be resolved according to the wishes of people of Kashmir and the UN resolutions.”The Kashmiri youth have taken it upon themselves to carry on the movement of freedom against Indian aggression and atrocities,” Sharif said. He once again mentioned Wani in his speech. “The death of Burhan Wani, son of the Kashmiri soil, had reminded India to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination,” Sharif said.Raking up Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, Sharif had called Wani a “young leader”, evoking a strong reaction from India.Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, sparking off protests in the Valley. Lambasting Sharif’s “glorification” of Wani in his UNGA speech, India had said hailing a “self-advertised” terrorist at the forum is “self-incrimination” by the Pakistani leader. Sharif, in his address to the Parliament today, urged the international community to play a role in implementing the UN resolutions on Kashmir.He claimed that India wanted to deflect the world from its “acts of suppression” in Kashmir by leveling allegations against Pakistan. He asserted that Pakistan’s armed forces were fully prepared and ready to thwart any attack.All opposition parties attended the joint session except Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as the cricketer-turned politician had boycotted it, saying Sharif was not fit to lead the country and the session would only endorse his leadership. Sharif’s comments came after last month, while speaking at a public meeting in Kerala held on the sidelines of the BJP national council meet, Prime Minister Modi had said, “I accept this challenge. I want to tell you that India wants to fight with Pakistan. If you have the courage then why not fight to end poverty, unemployment, illiteracy. Let us see which country wins, India or Pakistan.”
The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged India and Pakistan to refrain from “inflammatory remarks” and said that the UN “stands ready” to support efforts for an urgent deescalation of the situation.
“The High Commissioner is seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the rising tensions between India and Pakistan,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“We urge India and Pakistan to engage in a dialogue and to deescalate the situation. The inflammatory remarks on both sides is only fuelling the tensions and could result in a further deterioration of the human rights situation,” Colville added.
The troubled region of the Kashmir Valley has burst into protests since the killing of a 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian security forces on 8 July. The clashes between the Army and the civilians have resulted in about 80 civilian deaths and thousands injuries among civilians as well as military troops.
India has alleged that the unrest has been fomented from across the borders.
The situation between the neighbours further escalated from 18 September onwards when four heavily-armed terrorists in a pre-dawn ambush attacked an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri near the Line of Control (LoC) killing 19 soldiers and severely injuring many.
This was one of the worst attacks on the Indian Army in decades.
The Indian government directly accused Pakistan calling it a “terrorist state”, and alleging that the suicide attackers were members of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a militant group with alleged links with the Pakistani government.
With mounting public pressure to avenge the deadly Uri attacks, the Modi government announced that it had launched “surgical strikes” against terrorist launchpads across the LoC. In the early hours of 29 September, India said that special operations forces had slipped into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and attacked terrorist camps that were due to infiltrate India.
Though there have been so-called surgical strikes in the past, the public announcement of this military incursion by the Indian government has broken new ground in the tense military narrative between the nuclear-armed neighbours. However, to avoid a risky escalation of the situation, the Indian Army avoided Pakistani military installations and spoke to the Pakistani Army about the attacks before the media was informed.
Pakistan has rejected India’s claims of surgical strikes and has said that there was cross-border firing across the LoC resulting in deaths of soldiers, but no surgical strikes.
Top Pakistani diplomat Sartaj Aziz has said that the India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua have spoken over the phone and agreed to reduce tensions along the LoC.
However, there was a terror attack again on adjoining army and Border Security Force (BSF) camps in Baramulla in north Kashmir, resulting in the death of an Indian security personnel on 3 October.
There are reports of ongoing Pakistani ceasefire violations in Gigriyal, Channi and Planwala areas of J&K’s Akhnoor sector.
Zeid’s office on Tuesday renewed the call for “unfettered and unconditional access to both Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir” to enable a human rights team to “independently and impartially” monitor the human rights situation.
“We stand ready to support efforts to de-escalate the situation,” Colville said.
Pakistan has said that it would allow a human rights team into PoK only if there is a similar mission in tandem in “Indian-occupied Kashmir”.
The UN has re-emerged as an active battleground for India and Pakistan’s historical dispute over Kashmir. With India raising the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan for the first time in the UN, accusatory exchanges between the countries have become more acrimonious. During the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), between 13-30 September, India accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and “training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours”, while Pakistan called Wani a “young Kashmiri leader”, and accused that the Kashmiri people were being “bludgeoned and brutalised” by an “occupying power”.
The fight carried on to the UN General Assembly (UNGA), where both Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj raked the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir and Balochistan.
The Uri attacks came in the first week of the UNHRC session and before Sharif’s address to the UNGA.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that India’s claim of carrying out a surgical strike across the LoC was false and insisted that the responsibility for the “escalating crisis rests entirely on India”.In her meeting with the UN chief, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told Ban that Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint but would respond forcefully to any acts of aggression and provocation.Lodhi said India’s “claim” of carrying out a surgical strike across the Line of Control was “false” but added that India had by its own admission “committed aggression” against Pakistan, according to a statement by the Pakistan mission here.She added that the responsibility for the “escalating crisis rests entirely on India”, the release said.Briefing him about the escalating situation, Lodhi said “India has, by its declarations and actions, created conditions that pose an imminent threat to regional and international peace and security.”She said India provoked the crisis to divert international attention away from the “Indigenous Kashmiri uprising” and asked the Secretary General to intervene in bringing an end to the alleged grave human rights in Kashmir.Lodhi further said the Secretary General is “bound by the UN Charter” to “intervene boldly and unequivocally” by calling on India to halt its “aggressive actions and provocations”, lest these lead to an even more dangerous situation.During a briefing, Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had said that Lodhi s meeting with Ban was held at her own request and added that Ban’s office does not give readouts of his meetings with Permanent Representatives.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s cabinet met on Friday to review the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) in the wake of surgical strikes by the Indian Army.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting, which is expected to put across the collective response of the nation to the challenge thrown by the latest events, Radio Pakistan reported.
The meeting comes in the wake of the surgical strikes that India carried out on terrorist launch pads across the LoC on Wednesday night. Pakistan has denied that no surgical strike took place and that there were only firing and artillery shelling between the two armies across the LoC that killed two of its soldiers.
In their remarks before the meeting, the cabinet members reiterated resolve of the government to defend the nation at all costs.
Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said support to the struggle of the Kashmiri people would remain Pakistan’s main priority.
He said India was “indulging in diversionary tactics in a bid to deflect attention of the international community from its brutalities against Kashmiris.”
He said Pakistan would confront India diplomatically but “our armed forces are also fully prepared to defend the country.”
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif reiterated that Pakistan does not want escalation of tension but it was ready to meet any eventuality.
He said Pakistan would respond befittingly to any firing across the LoC.
The Defence Minister said India was displaying irresponsible attitude and trying to playing with the galleries in a bid to hoodwink its public opinion. He said India cannot suppress legitimate aspirations of Kashmiri people.
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said India was creating artificial tension in its attempt to divert attention of the world from its atrocities against Kashmiris. He said Pakistan’s defence is in strong hands and the country would continue to raise voice for rights of Kashmiris.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir said the world pledged right to self-determination through UN resolutions decades back and now fifth generation of Kashmiris is protesting for this right. He said Indian policy of suppression of legitimate struggle of Kashmiris would neither benefit India nor the region.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Syed Riaz Hussain Pirzada regretted that instead of giving right of self-determination to Kashmiris, India was resorting to terrorism against Pakistan. He said the world community should take notice of India’s belligerence.
Secretary Foreign Affairs will brief the Cabinet on Kashmir issue and tensions between Pakistan and India.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a fresh rhetoric, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Kashmir was “unfinished agenda of partition” and Pakistan would continue to provide support to Kashmiris in their struggle for self-determination.”Jammu and Kashmir dispute is an unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub-continent,” Sharif said. “No power can deter us from supporting our Kashmiri brethren in their just and legitimate struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the UNSC relevant resolutions,” he said. Sharif condemned what he described as Indian violation of LoC and said Pakistan was capable of defending itself.”No external force has the capability or capacity to challenge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. We have the best armed forces in the world and we are proud of that,” he said. According to several statements by PMO, Sharif spent hectic day, consulting his aides on the security situation. Sharif was briefed regularly by the security institutions on the situation on the LOC.National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua submitted a comprehensive report on the LOC situation to the PM office. Sharif showed satisfaction on the level of preparedness of Pakistani armed forces. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan met Sharif and discussed the security situation.Sharif has convened a cabinet meeting tomorrow. He also called a meeting of National Security Committee on Tuesday with special invitation to all the Chief Ministers to deliberate at length the emerging scenario across the Line of Control and “brutal state oppression” in Kashmir Another statement said that he convened the joint session of the Parliament on Wednesday to reaffirm the national resolve for safeguarding the sovereignty and preserving the territorial integrity of the motherland against any kind of external or internal threat as well as reiterating the moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir.Sharif will take nation and Parliament into confidence, it added.
In a fresh rhetoric, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Kashmir was “unfinished agenda of partition” and Pakistan would continue to provide support to Kashmiris in their struggle for self-determination.
“Jammu and Kashmir dispute is an unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub-continent,” Sharif said.
“No power can deter us from supporting our Kashmiri brethren in their just and legitimate struggle for the
exercise of their right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the UNSC relevant resolutions,” he said.
Sharif condemned what he described as Indian violation of LoC and said Pakistan was capable of defending itself. “No external force has the capability or capacity to challenge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. We have the best armed forces in the world and we are proud of that,” he said.
According to several statements by PMO, Sharif spent the day consulting his aides on the security situation. Sharif was briefed regularly by the security institutions on the situation on the LoC.
National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua submitted a comprehensive report on the LoC situation to the PM office. Sharif showed satisfaction on the level of preparedness of Pakistani armed forces.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan met Sharif and discussed the security situation. Sharif has convened a cabinet meeting on Friday. He also called a meeting of National Security Committee on Tuesday with special invitation to all the chief ministers to deliberate at length the emerging scenario across the Line of Control and “brutal state oppression” in Kashmir.
Another statement said that he convened the joint session of the Parliament on Wednesday to reaffirm the national resolve for safeguarding the sovereignty and preserving the territorial integrity of the motherland against any kind of external or internal threat as well as reiterating the moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir.
Sharif will take nation and Parliament into confidence, it added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mustafa Kamal, a leader of the opposition National Conference party in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday said India has violated the sovereignty of Pakistan by allowing the army to conduct surgical strikes across the Line of Control. (LoC). ‘The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of our country has given a Press Conference in which he has said the Indian Army has carried out surgical strikes across the (Line of Control) LoC. Reportedly, on militant training camps along the LoC in which a large number of militants.. At the outset, this aggression, not to give it a sweeter word of saying ‘surgical strike’, they have violated the sovereignty of Pakistan, under whose administrative control the other side is, the PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is,’ Kamal said.Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) announced that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), in the wake of the infiltration bids by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC), including at Uri and Poonch earlier this month.Lt. Gen. Singh said that the operation of the Indian Army was basically focussed to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carry out destruction endangering the lives of citizens of the nation.’This has the potential of a full scale war between the two, which will be very unfortunate, not only for us here in Jammu and Kashmir, for the country India, and the country Pakistan. I am sure the countries of the world, especially the power blocks, they will definitely have something to say on this issue,’ Kamal added.Pondering on the genesis of militancy in Kashmir, Kamal said, ‘Unfortunately, this is the story that has been circulated that India is facing militant threats. Militancy was born in J&K in 1989-90 and it was entirely an effort on our side.”As borne out by a letter that has been written by two dozen prominent Kashmiri Pandits, dated 22nd of September, 1990, after the exodus took place, they have clearly said Jagmohan made Kashmiri Pandits scapegoats and apologised to Muslims of Kashmir for having left them in distress. This is the latest and the clearest proof that Pakistan has taken advantage of militancy that was created within the country and the Kashmiri Pandits have named Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Jagmohan and a few others who instigated their exodus, who brought militancy here,’ he said.’Countrymen deserve to know the truth. The world deserves to know the truth, and our working President, Omar Abdullah, he said in Parliament there should be a Truth Reconciliation Commission to go into the genesis of militancy. Why hasn’t the government constituted this commission” Kamal asked.He concluded by saying, ‘India is a peace loving country, as said repeatedly. This is the first time, we find, that instead of being the aggressed, they are the aggressors.’ President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N Vohra, Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti have been briefed on the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.However, denying the claims, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) earlier today said, ‘There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is an existential phenomenon’, reports Geo News. The ISPR however, confirmed that two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the crossfire. The statement came after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry in a joint statement announced that the Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes on various locations along the Line of Control late on Wednesday night.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Kashmiri students studying in Desh Bhagat University at Amloh campus in Punjab have alleged that they were harassed by some unidentified persons on September 25 night, a charge denied by the police and varsity authorities. The three are among the 100 students from Kashmir enrolled in the university under different courses through the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Programme for Jammu and Kashmir.Danish Ahmad, one of the three students, alleged that some people gathered outside their hostel rooms and abused them. “They knocked at the door and told us to come out while we were sleeping on Sunday night following which we informed the police and our parents in Kashmir,” he said.When contacted, Amloh SHO Dalbir Singh said after receiving information on Sunday night around 1 PM, a police team reached there and thoroughly investigated the matter but found it to be a rumour. “Police thoroughly investigated the matter and found that it was only a rumour,” he said.”We inquired from other students living in the hostel about the incident but they said nothing of this sort has happened in the university,” the SHO said. Amloh DSP Purshotam Singh Bal visited the university yesterday and reviewed security arrangements there. The SHO said they have asked the university authorities to install CCTV cameras at all places in the hostels and deploy additional guards.Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor Varinder Singh denied reports of the incident. Former IPS Simranjit Singh Mann led Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) demanded inquiry in the case.
Lucknow: The death toll from dengue has crossed the 100 mark and still the vector borne disease shows no signs of relenting in Uttar Pradesh.
In the past two days, more than 150 patients have tested positive for dengue and the humid weather continues to add to the spread of the disease.
Health Department officials while refusing to admit the high toll, said the situation was “serious and worrisome”.
The number of dengue patients here touched 1,356, including a large number of children and aged people.
After a literal epidemic in a locality Faizullaganj — more than 200 people are down with dengue. A large number of people have migrated to safer places.
Garbage dumps and water-logged roads, they said, were adding to the breeding of mosquitoes, endangering their lives further.
While fogging and sprinkling of anti-larva pesticides is being done at some places, these steps are apparently not enough.
The health wing of the municipal corporation is also short staffed with just 85-odd employees to tackle the menace.
The Lucknow Nagar Nigam (LNN) has declared 15 local wards as sensitive zones for dengue spread.
These include Faizaullaganj, Jankipuram, Chitraguptanagar, Sarojininagar, Shardanagar, Kashmiri Mohalla, New Haiderganj, Ismailganj and Kanhaiyya Madhopur, an official informed IANS.
Facilities for platelets and beds at hospitals are also not adequate, relatives of patients complained.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar are monitoring the situation personally, but Lucknow and other districts of the state are still far from safe.
United Nations: The message that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India should be “loud and clear” to Pakistan, India on Monday asserted and asked whether it can clarify how terror safe havens continue to flourish on its soil despite billions of dollars of anti-terrorism aid it gets.
In its ‘Right of Reply’, India also rejected the “fanciful and misleading” remarks by the Pakistani envoy to the UN.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi earlier exercised the Right of Reply to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s UNGA address, saying Swaraj’s remarks were a “litany of falsehoods” about Pakistan and a “travesty of facts and history”.
Lodhi said Jammu and Kashmir can never be an integral part of India and is a “disputed territory”, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Responding to Pakistan’s RoR, India reaffirmed that Kashmir is and always will be an integral part of India.
“…It appears that the distinguished representative of Pakistan did not hear clearly what our Minister of External Affairs stated during her address earlier today,” First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Eenam Gambhir said, exercising India’s Right of Reply to Lodhi’s remarks.
Quoting from Swaraj’s address, Gambhir said Jammu and Kashmir is India’s integral part and will always remain so.
“We hope that the message is loud and clear,” she said.
Gambhir said India rejects “entirely” Lodhi’s “sermons”, calling her remarks “the views of a dysfunctional state which builds atrocity upon atrocity on its own people, preaching about values of tolerance, democracy and human rights.”
Through the RoR, India slammed Pakistan for making a “fanciful and misleading” presentation on the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, saying Lodhi’s remarks aim to divert the attention from Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror and do not answer questions posed by the world community.
“Can the representative of Pakistan clarify how is it that terror sanctuaries and safe havens in her country continue to flourish despite the Pakistan army’s much-vaunted counter terrorism operations, and the billions of dollars of international counter terrorism aid it obtains?”
“Can the representative of Pakistan confirm that they do not use terrorist proxies and export terrorism as a matter of state policy?” Gambhir said, adding that can the Pakistani envoy deny that her country had assured in 2004 that it would not allow its territories, or territories under its control,to be used for terror attacks against India?
“And can the representative of Pakistan deny that it has failed to honour that assurance given at the highest level?” Gambhir said.
She also questioned whether the Pakistani representative will deny the armed forces of her country committed one of the most extensive and heinous genocides in human history in 1971.
“Will the representative of Pakistan deny that its armed forces have used airstrikes and artillery against its own people repeatedly? Will (she) explain why is it that Pakistan’s civil society is being silenced by the plethora of heavily armed militias that go by names such as ‘Jaish’ or Army, ‘Lashkar’ or Army, ‘Sipah’ or Soldiers and ‘Harkat’ or Armed movement?” Gambhir said.
In her Right of Reply, Lodhi said the Uri attacks were “staged” to “divert” attention from the situation in Kashmir.
“The attack on the Indian Army base in Uri, particularly its timing, has all the hallmarks of an operation designed to divert attention” from the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, she said.
She accused India of “utilising” the Uri incident to blame Pakistan for the current Kashmiri uprising.
“India’s government is delusional if it believes that it can ‘isolate’ any country. It is India itself, which because of its war crimes in Kashmir and elsewhere, and because of its warmongering, is likely to be isolated in the international community,” Lodhi said.
The Pakistani envoy said Swaraj’s statement reflects the “deceit and hostility” of the Indian government towards Pakistan.
In a Right of Reply exercised post Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UNGA, India had accused Islamabad of committing war crimes by using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
Lodhi in her Right of Reply said the call for “freedom” of the Kashmiri people has been met with “Indian brutality” and demanded an impartial investigation into the rights violations in Kashmir.
In response to Swaraj’s reference to Pakistani national Bahadur Ali, arrested in Kashmir, Lodhi said the recently captured “Indian spy, an intelligence officer” Kulbhushan Jadhav, has “confessed” to India’s support to such terrorist and subversive activities particularly in Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
“Indeed, it was Kulbhushan, who was financing, arming and supporting individuals and entities listed under the UN sanctions regime,” Lodhi said.
She said India’s “policy of interference” in Pakistan and attempt to destabilise Balochistan are now on record. “This is blatant violation of the principles of the UN Charter.”
Lodhi blamed India for suspending talks with Pakistan more than a year ago, saying New Delhi has refused to resume them despite repeated offers from Pakistan and advice from the international community.
“The latest offer was made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan from the rostrum of this very Assembly. But let us be clear, talks are no favour to Pakistan. They are in the interest of both India and Pakistan and the people of our two countries.
“Let me reiterate that Pakistan is ready and willing for serious and result-oriented talks with India, especially to resolve the longstanding core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, which is imperative for durable peace, stability and development in the region.”
In a second Right of Reply, Pakistan reiterated that Kashmir remains an internationally-recognised disputed territory.
Gambhir responded by saying that Pakistan has yet again “chosen to stay silent” on the tough questions.
“This is what we have come to expect from Pakistan – deception, deceit and denial. The world still waits their response,” Gambhir said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a clear message to the Kashmiri separatists, BJP President Amit Shah said the central government will not have talks with those who do not believe in the Indian Constitution but those who consider themselves Indians.Acknowledging that the situation in the valley has been worrisome for last few months, he said if anybody thinks that Kashmir could be separated from India, then it is nothing but a daydream which will never come true.In his inaugural address at the party’s National Council meeting here, he also invoked the party s garib kalyan agenda, saying the central government has been dedicated to the development of the poor since Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister. He said the next one year will be observed as ‘garib kalyan year’.With the Prime Minister and other senior leaders listening, Shah devoted most of his speech to the saffron party s ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay, whose 100th birth anniversary fell today, and his concepts of ‘antyodaya’ (uplift of the last man) and integral humanism.Touching upon the Kashmir unrest and Uri terror attack, the BJP chief asserted, “Kashmir is an unbreakable part of India and no force in the world can separate it from us.” The BJP-led government “is willing to discuss all paths to peace but the talks will be held with those who consider themselves Indians No talks will be held with anybody who does not believe in the Constitution, he said.This is a clear message to separatists who are insisting that talks cannot be held within the Indian Constitution.Referring to the Uri attack, Shah said BJP will not tolerate terrorism and the party and its government stand for “zero tolerance” to it.Heaping praise on Modi, he compared him with noted freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, saying he had infused hope and aspiration among masses with his Gujarat model during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and later with his work in the same way Tilak gave voice to the nation s discontent with the colonial rule with his call for swaraj (self-rule).BJP governments in 13 states besides the Centre are now working to unlift and empower the poor following the Upadhyay s concept and that is why its dispensations in many states have been re-elected on the basis of performance, he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at Session 2 of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s centenary celebrations in Kozhikode, Kerala, the PM asserted that the BJP had never comprised its values. He said: “A PM of this country was once asked for how long will you remain PM? He answered that the one who goes to Everest does not go there to reside but to make history. However, we are not part of such a journey. If we wld have entered politics for gains, we would have compromised on values at some level. A country such as ours – full of young people, should have youthful dreams and youthful pace.”He added; “BJP’s original character is based on principles of welfare of people. We have never compromised on our ideals. Other parties might have good people but we have more good people than them. All our senior leaders made us what we are today.”He added: “Deendayal Upadhyaya ji said, Muslims shouldn’t be treated as substance for votes or looked down upon, they should be considered equal. Deendayal Upadhyaya kehte the agar sabhi ko barabari me lana hai to upar ke logo ke jhukar ke apne haath vanchit logo tak badane chahiye. eendayal Upadhyaya has said, 50 years back, “Don’t reward Muslims, don’t rebuke Muslims, empower them. Our Govt is committed to the welfare of the last person in the society.” He said: “Today people discuss about global warming, but Deendayal Upadhyaya ji back then used to say that we should respect our resources. On Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary (Oct 2), we will ratify the decisions that were made during COP21. Our party was formed for poor section of society & all our initiatives today are focussing on down trodden people only. There is a need for a discussion to bring in change in the procedure for elections in our country.” In a clear message to the Kashmiri separatists, BJP President Amit Shah today said the central government will not have talks with those who do not believe in the Indian Constitution but those who consider themselves Indians. Acknowledging that the situation in the valley has been worrisome for last few months, he said if anybody thinks that Kashmir could be separated from India, then it is nothing but a daydream which will never come true. In his inaugural address at the party’s National Council meeting here, he also invoked the party s garib kalyan agenda, saying the central government has been dedicated to the development of the poor since Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister. He said the next one year will be observed as ‘garib kalyan year’. With the Prime Minister and other senior leaders listening, Shah devoted most of his speech to the saffron party s ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay, whose 100th birth anniversary fell today, and his concepts of ‘antyodaya’ (uplift of the last man) and integral humanism.Touching upon the Kashmir unrest and Uri terror attack, the BJP chief asserted, “Kashmir is an unbreakable part of India and no force in the world can separate it from us.” The BJP-led government “is willing to discuss all paths to peace but the talks will be held with those who consider themselves Indians No talks will be held with anybody who does not believe in the Constitution, he said. This is a clear message to separatists who are insisting that talks cannot be held within the Indian Constitution. Referring to the Uri attack, Shah said BJP will not tolerate terrorism and the party and its government stand for “zero tolerance” to it. Heaping praise on Modi, he compared him with noted freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, saying he had infused hope and aspiration among masses with his Gujarat model during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and later with his work in the same way Tilak gave voice to the nation s discontent with the colonial rule with his call for swaraj (self-rule). BJP governments in 13 states besides the Centre are now working to unlift and empower the poor following the Upadhyay s concept and that is why its dispensations in many states have been re-elected on the basis of performance, he said.