<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday described Lt General Praveen Bakshi’s meeting with defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday as a “courtesy call”, but sources in army headquarters claimed it was the minster who sought a meeting with the Eastern Army Commander. Following the seniority principle Bakshi should have been appointed army chief, but the government selected Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, currently the vice chief.It was not just Lt Gen Bakshi but Southern Army commander Lt Gen PM Hariz was also superseded.The contrary claims led to speculation about the fate of Lt Gen Bakshi. While there was talk of his offering in his resignation, there was also buzz about the possibility of the officer being accommodated.”A top rated army commander cannot be wasted like this,” said an army officer in South Block.Sources said one of the options was to appoint him as the Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee. Currently, the senior most among the service chiefs holds the post and there is no provision for a permanent chairman.There is also talk of Lt Gen Bakshi being sent as Ambassador. The proposed Chief of Defence Staff is also an option, but sources say there is little time for creating the position.Lt Gen Bakshi was Lt Gen Rawat’s immediate boss until recently in the Eastern Command. The decision has triggered a controversy among officers, fearing this could set a new trend of politicising the forces.Justifying the decision, the government came out with an explanation that Rawat was chosen over the other two, keeping in mind his experience in operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Analysing the volatile situation in Kashmir after a series of terror strikes, a candidate with sound knowledge of operations there was thought to be the right choice, sources said.Lt General Bakshi has commanded the 9 Corps in Yol, Himachal Pradesh, commanded an armoured brigade in the Western sector, a division in the deserts, and a corps in the plains sector of Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff-designate, became the top contender for the post when he took over as the Vice Chief three months ago, government sources said. Chances of Lt General Praveen Bakshi, who is senior to Rawat, to helm the Indian Army, were substantially reduced once Rawat took charge as Vice Chief on August 31, 2016.Ironically, Rawat was working under Bakshi in the Eastern Command when he headed the Dimapur-based 3 Corps in the Eastern Sector sometime back.Rawat, played a significant role as the Corps Commander in an operation last year when the Indian Army crossed over to Myanmar targeting the militant group NSCN (K). The strike was planned soon after the army lost 18 men in an attack by the outfit.Rawat’s appointment has triggered a controversy as he has superseded the two officers. Other than Bakshi, Southern Army Commander PM Hariz was also overlooked for the top job. This was the first time since 1983 when an army chief superseded his seniors. In 2014, Admiral RK Dhowan superseded SK Sinha to become the navy chief.Sources said Rawat was chosen over the other two generals keeping in mind his experience in operations in Jammu and Kashmir. In view of the volatile situation in Kashmir after a series of terror strikes, a candidate with sound knowledge of operations there was thought to be the right choice, sources said.”The selection is purely based on merit, irrespective of the corps to which the officer belongs,” said a defence ministry official.Following the appointment of Rawat as the army chief, there is a buzz in the government circles that Bakshi would be suitabley accommodated. The government could appoint him as the Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee. Currently, the senior most among the service chiefs holds the post, and there is no provision for a permanent Chairman. However, officials said no decision has been taken yet.The proposed Chief of Defence Staff is also an option but sources say there is little time for creating the position.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has firmly stated that it will not accept any alterations or changes to the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) after India had said that it is ready to engage in further consultations with Islamabad on the matter of resolving current differences over the Kishenganga and Ralte projects under the Indus Water Treaty.”Pakistan will not accept any modifications or changes to the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty. Our position is based on the principles enshrined in the treaty. And the treaty must be honoured in…letter and spirit,” the Dawn quoted Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Fatemi, as saying.Islamabad has argued that India was buying time to complete its two disputed water projects and then insisting that since the project was already complete, it could not be modified.Pakistan is raising its objection to building of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants by India saying that it violates the provisions of the treaty.Tensions increased over the water dispute when Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month threatened to block the flow of water into Pakistan. World Bank had earlier asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960. The World Bank had said that it was temporarily halting the appointment of a neutral expert as requested by India, and the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration, as requested by Pakistan, to resolve issues regarding two hydroelectric power plants under construction by India along the Indus Rivers system.The treaty which was signed in 1960 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ayub Khan gives India control over the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan has the three western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum. As per the provisions in the treaty, India can use only 20% of the total water carried by the Indus River.The Indus Water Treaty 1960 is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict. The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers, known as the Permanent Indus Commission which includes a commissioner from each of the two countries. It also sets out a process for resolving so-called “questions”, “differences” and “disputes” that may arise between the parties.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has said it will contribute $500,000 to the United Nations’s emergency response fund for the year 2016-17 as it stressed that the international response is falling significantly short of the challenges posed by humanitarian crises across the world.Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Anjani Kumar said at the high-level Pledging Conference that the Government of India would be contributing $500,000 to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the year 2016-17. India’s cumulative contribution to the fund so far has been $6 million. “Despite our own resource constraints, India has always been forthcoming within our ability and national circumstance in offering humanitarian assistance as per the needs and requests of our friends and partners,” Kumar said.Kumar added that the scale and instances of humanitarian crises around the world has been on the rise and the need for assistance to meet the challenges these crises pose has been unparalleled. Kumar said the number of people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance worldwide has quadrupled over the past 10 years and the international humanitarian response is falling significantly short of the challenges posed. “Addressing these needs require immediate attention. Any delay in providing assistance can have long term consequences. There is a need for coordination and partnership to meet these challenges,” Kumar said.Kumar said India has assisted in relief efforts in countries such as Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Yemen in a number of situations of natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and cyclone. CERF pools contributions from donors mainly governments, but also, foundations, companies, charities and individuals into a single fund with a $450 million annual target. This money is set aside for immediate use at the onset of emergencies, in rapidly deteriorating situations and in protracted crises that fail to attract sufficient resources.In an average year, CERF allocates approximately $450 million to humanitarian operations in some 50 different countries. Since 2006, more than $3.7 billion has been allocated to help millions of people in 92 countries and territories across the world.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has said that dialogue is the only viable option for a durable and comprehensive peaceful solution of the Palestinian issue, as it voiced concern over the deteriorating security situation in the region. “Regrettably, the security situation continues to deteriorate. The imperative need is of restraint and moderation,” India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Tanmaya Lal said here on Wednesday at the General Assembly annual debate on the ‘Question of Palestine’.Lal said India firmly believes that dialogue is the only viable option in the search for a just, durable and comprehensive peaceful solution of the Palestinian issue. “We hope that both sides will demonstrate the necessary political will to return to the negotiations,” he said, adding that New Delhi is hopeful of the early resumption of a peaceful dialogue between the two sides. He cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in which he reiterated India’s support for the cause of Palestine and solidarity with the Palestinian people for their struggle for a sovereign, independent state living side by side and at peace with Israel. Lal said Modi reaffirmed India s continued support to the development and nation-building efforts of Palestine by extending technical and financial assistance.India recently enhanced its contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to $1.25 million. India also contributed $4 million to the National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza, with the Indian government helping set up two vocational training centers in Yatta and Hebron.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alarmed by the escalation of tension with India along the LoC, Pakistan on Thursday asked the UN to act before the situation snowballs into a “full-fledged crisis”.Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi met the Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson and the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary General Edmond Mulet during which she alleged that the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) posed a “grave threat to international peace and security”.Lodhi, according to a statement issued by the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN, in her meeting with UN officials alleged that escalating tensions on the LoC “was a deliberate attempt” by India to “divert the attention of the international community from the gross human right violations being committed” by it in Kashmir.Alleging that the attack on an ambulance trying to evacuate the injured was a particularly “abhorrent act” that was a breach of the most fundamental legal and humanitarian laws, Lodhi urged the UN to act before the escalating tensions snowball into a full-fledged crisis.The UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations was separately asked to mobilise United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to effectively monitor the LoC and the Working Boundary as a step to help deescalate tensions between India and Pakistan, a statement said.Pakistan Army yesterday said seven persons, including three of its soldiers, were killed in an exchange of fire with Indian troops on the LoC.The clash occurred a day after India warned of retribution after losing three soldiers in Pakistan firing and after Pakistan yesterday rejected as “false” and “baseless” the charges that the body of an Indian soldier was mutilated by Pakistani soldiers in a cross LoC-attack.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A top Indian diplomat will be re-appointed to the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system following his endorsement as the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group.Ambassador A Gopinathan is to be re-appointed to the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations by the General Assembly, the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide. Gopinath’s re-appointment follows his nomination by India and endorsement as the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group. He will serve from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2022. Gopinathan was first appointed to the UN body for a term from January 2013 to December 2017. At that election, he had secured 106 votes out of 183 votes and had defeated Ambassador Zhang Yan of China, India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Joint Inspection Unit.India also won elections to key UN organs during the past few days. First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar was elected last week by acclamation to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The committee plays a crucial role in helping the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which deals with administrative and budgetary issues, examine the organisation’s budget and numerous management initiatives.The Investments Committee appointed eight members to serve three-year terms of office, beginning January 2017.The eight members included India’s Madhav Dhar, Japan’s Masakazu Arikawa, China’s Simon Jiang and Germany’s Achim Kassow among others. Kumar’s election came just a day after 33-year-old Indian lawyer Aniruddha Rajput won a hotly-contested election in the UN General Assembly for membership to the International Law Commission, the United Nations organ tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification. Rajput got 160 votes, topping the Asia Pacific group in voting that was held by way of secret ballot.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan will be part of the four-member delegation which will represent India at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.The young parliamentarian, who is son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, will present India’s views on “Permanent Mission of India to UN”, a statement from the party said.Chirag Paswan will also attend meetings and functions organised by Indian High Commission during his visit.LJP said it is thankful to the government for nominating Paswan, who also heads its Central Parliamentary Board, in the four-member Indian delegation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has strongly criticised the Security Council for taking months to consider sanctioning leaders of groups it has itself designated as terror entities, in an obvious reference to the “technical hold” on India’s bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.Asserting that the Security Council is stuck in its own “time warp and politics”, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin on Monday slammed the Council’s inability to sanction the leaders of terrorist organisations.”While our collective conscience is ravaged everyday by terrorists in some region or another, the Security Council gives itself 9 months to consider whether to sanction leaders of organisations it has itself designated as terrorist entities,” Akbaruddin said at a session on equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council here.Earlier this year, China had extended the “technical hold” on India’s move to get Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN. The six-month validity of the technical hold lapsed in late September and China sought another three-month extension on India’s bid.He lamented that the snail-paced and “never-ending carousel of discussions” on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms, saying “it is time to break the impasse” to urgently reform the body that is “unresponsive” to the current global situation.The inability to respond to humanitarian situations, terrorist threats and peacekeeping vulnerabilities during this year itself are part of the price that is being paid for the international community’s lack of progress on the critical matter, he noted.”On issues pivotal to international security such as Syria, there is inaction, and on other situations like dealing with the peacekeeping crisis in South Sudan we see fragmented action which is not implemented even months after being agreed upon,” Akbaruddin said.”The Security Council, stuck in its own time warp and politics, can only be described as working randomly on the basis of a mix of ad-hocism, scrambling and political paralysis. Need one say more about the urgency of the need for reform of this relic which has long been unresponsive to the needs of our time,” he said.Akbaruddin said the never-ending carousel of discussions on UNSC reforms leaves many in the international community perplexed as the crucial reform of the Security Council has been delayed despite both its importance and its urgency.He pointed out that the Council’s global governance structure does not cease to surprise the international community with its persistent inability to even effectively engage with the tasks at hand.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hitting back strongly at Pakistan, India today said its citizens have faced repeated “inhuman” terror attacks by “proxies” of Pakistan, which continues to abuse the concept of self-determination to bolster territorial aggrandisement against it.”Pakistan, whose own people have been deprived of their democratic rights for most of its history and which continues to illegally occupy a part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and rules it as a virtual colony, repeatedly indulges in the abuse of the concept of self-determination to bolster its agenda of territorial aggrandisement through terrorism against India,” Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Mayank Joshi said at a General Assembly session here on the ‘Right of people to self-determination’.Strongly rejecting Pakistan’s “ritual propaganda” on the right to self-determination and the “baseless allegations” made by it, Joshi said India is the world’s largest democracy and free and fair elections are held regularly in Jammu and Kashmir meeting the aspiration of its people. “The truth is that thousands of innocent citizens of India, including women and children, continue to fall victim to the repeated inhuman terrorist attacks committed by proxies of the State of Pakistan in our region,” Joshi said.He stressed that India has repeatedly pointed out that Pakistan would serve its people better if only it could introspect about the challenges faced by its society “instead of setting sights on territories of their neighbours in flagrant violation of all international norms of behaviour”. “By now the international community has seen through these misleading attempts by Pakistan. We therefore do not intend to engage any further on this issue,” he said.Joshi asserted that the right to self-determination has been recognised for long as applicable to the peoples of non- self-governing colonies and trust territories.”This concept cannot become an instrument to promote subversion and erode the political cohesion or territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Member states of the UN,” Joshi said.He emphasised that Palestine remains the “unfinished task” in the realisation of the right of peoples to self- determination and reiterated India’s “unwavering solidarity” for the people of Palestine to attain their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination.”My delegation has reiterated its full support for the Peace Process and the Qaurtet Roadmap which would realise the dream of the peoples of both Palestine and Israel to live in peace, side by side within recognised and secure borders,” he said. He said escalation of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance continues to lead to gross violations of human rights of national, ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, and of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.Earlier raising the issue of Kashmir, Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without “urgent” solution to the Kashmir dispute.
United Nations: Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body’s imposing headquarters lit up especially on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights.
The facade of the UN headquarters was lit in bright hues and the words ‘Happy Diwali’, along with the image of a traditional ‘diya’, projected onto the building.
“Lighting up. @UN lights up for #Diwali for 1st time,” India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.
“Happy Diwali! @UN celebrates Diwali for 1st time. Thank you @UN_PGA for this initiative,” Akbaruddin said in another tweet, thanking General Assembly President Peter Thomson for the initiative.
He also tweeted a picture of passers-by clicking photographs of the building as well as being themselves clicked against the illuminated UN headquarters in the background.
Thomson also tweeted a picture of the UN building lit up in bright blue for Diwali and said “Light over darkness, hope over despair, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil – the UN lights up. Happy Diwali!”
The UN Secretariat building will be lit up for Diwali from 29-31 October.
It is for the first time that the Indian festival of lights is celebrated at the world body after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December, 2014 that acknowledged the “significance of Diwali”.
Noting that the festival is observed in many UN member states, the resolution had called on UN bodies to avoid holding meetings on Diwali, declaring it a no-meeting day.
From 2016 onwards, Diwali was made an optional holiday for the UN, India’s Permanent Mission to the world body said in a special video message.
Earlier in June, the UN building was lit up on the occasion of the International Yoga Day, with images of Yoga postures projected on the imposing headquarters.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body’s imposing headquarters here lit up especially on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights. The facade of the UN headquarters was lit in bright hues and the words ‘Happy Diwali’, along with the image of a traditional ‘diya’, projected onto the building.”Lighting up. @UN lights up for #Diwali for 1st time,” India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin tweeted. “Happy Diwali! @UN celebrates Diwali for 1st time. Thank you @UN_PGA for this initiative,” Akbaruddin said in another tweet, thanking General Assembly President Peter Thomson for the initiative.He also tweeted a picture of passers-by clicking photographs of the building as well as being themselves clicked against the illuminated UN headquarters in the background.Thomson also tweeted a picture of the UN building lit up in bright blue for Diwali and said “Light over darkness, hope over despair, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil – the UN lights up. Happy Diwali!”The UN Secretariat building will be lit up for Diwali from October 29-31. It is for the first time that the Indian festival of lights is celebrated at the world body after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December, 2014 that acknowledged the “significance of Diwali”.Noting that the festival is observed in many UN member states, the resolution had called on UN bodies to avoid holding meetings on Diwali, declaring it a no-meeting day.From 2016 onwards, Diwali was made an optional holiday for the UN, India’s Permanent Mission to the world body said in a special video message. Earlier in June, the UN building was lit up on the occasion of the International Yoga Day, with images of Yoga postures projected on the imposing headquarters.
Swedish Academy says up to Dylan if he wants to come to receive Nobel Prize | Reuters
STOCKHOLM The committee that awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan said on Saturday it was up to the American singer-songwriter whether to attend the prize-giving ceremony later this year or not.The notoriously media-shy Dylan has not yet made any comment on the 8 million crown ($900,000) prize, despite repeated attempts by award-givers the Swedish Academy to contact him since it named him as the winner on Oct. 13.On Saturday, Swedish media reported that Academy member Per Wastberg had said that if Dylan remained silent, it would be “rude and arrogant”. The Academy, however said Wastberg’s comments did not reflect their view.”The author awarded the Noble Prize makes up his or her own mind regarding the ceremonies involved in the presentation of the prize,” Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Academy, said in a statement.”The Swedish Academy has never held a view on a prize winners decision in this context, neither will it now, regardless of the decision reached.”
The Academy gave 75-year-old Dylan the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. It was a controversial choice.Dylan revolutionized American popular song with numbers such as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Yet some have questioned whether his work qualifies as literature. Others have complained that the Swedish Academy missed an opportunity to bring attention to lesser-known artists.
The award ceremony takes place each year on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, when the King of Sweden hands each laureate a diploma and a medal, followed by a lavish banquet at Stockholm’s City Hall for about 1,300 people. If Dylan maintains his silence, he would be the first to simply ignore the Academy’s decision.Some Nobel laureates have been too ill to travel to the ceremony. French writer Jean-Paul Satre refused the 1964 prize. The Academy said his refusal did not affect the validity of the award, but they would not be able to give it to him.
($1 = 8.9181 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Simon Johnson)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
New York: Several members of the Sikh community held a protest outside the UN headquarters in New York to raise their concerns over the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and its impact on the lives of the people in Punjab.
The ‘Save Punjab Rally’, organised on Tuesday by rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) in collaboration with civil rights groups and management committees of the Sikh temples across North America, also demanded a referendum in Punjab.
During the rally, held across the street from the UN headquarters, the demonstrators, including several pro-Khalistan Sikhs, carried placards that read ‘Boycott India’s Jingoistic War’ and ‘Support Punjab Referendum.’
SFJ also submitted a communiqué to officials from Uruguay’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Uruguay is one of the 15 members of the Security Council and is due to hold the Presidency of the Council in January.
The communiqué alleged that the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan is forcing thousands of Sikh farmers in Punjab to evacuate their homes, “turning them into refugees.”
SFJ Legal Advisor said war is not a solution, adding that a referendum should be conducted in Punjab.
Panic gripped the residents of villages in many border districts of Punjab after reports of escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan spread, following a surgical strike by the army on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 28.
Authorities have also begun evacuating people residing in the villages falling within 10 kilometres of international border. Heads of local gurdwaras, temples with the help of Sarpanches have asked the people to evacuate at the earliest in the light of escalating situation.
Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan. It has six districts which lie close to the international border. There are some 135 villages which lie very close to the IB.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Needling India, Pakistan has told the UN that South Asia’s security environment was “blighted” by India’s insistence on “hegemonic policies”, as it asserted that regional peace was not possible without resolution of underlying disputes, especially Kashmir. The pursuit of “hegemonic policies” in South Asia by India and its efforts for “military domination” are creating instability both at the global and regional levels, Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and the Conference on Disarmament told UN’ International Security Committee.”Alluding to its recent aggression and the display of irresponsible behaviour by India, Ambassador Janjua highlighted that South Asia’s security environment was blighted by India’s insistence on hegemonic policies, engaging in a relentless arms build-up, and a myopic refusal to engage in any meaningful dialogue on security issues,” a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said today about Janjua’s briefing to the committee.Pakistan’s security was fundamentally challenged by the introduction of nuclear weapons in its neighbourhood, the statement said.Janjua, while breifing the 192-member UN Committee that addresses disarmament and international security matters, referred to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UN General Assembly last month in which he underscored Pakistan’s resolve to maintain strategic stability in South Asia.”The committee was reminded of Pakistan’s proposal of our readiness to agree on a bilateral arrangement between Pakistan and India on a nuclear test ban that awaited a response from Indian side,” the Foreign Office statement said.Ambassador Janjua said “peace and stability in South Asia would not be possible without resolving underlying disputes especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute; agreeing on measures for nuclear and missile restraint, and instituting conventional forces balance,” according to the statement. Pakistan’s proposal for a strategic restraint regime, based on these three inter-locking elements, remained on the table, the statement said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Baloch Republican Party (BRP) founder Brahumdagh Bugti’s asylum request to New Delhi, another Baloch nationalist leader of Free Balochistan Movement Hyrbyair Marri may seek asylum in India. “If he does not feel safe in the United Kingdom or if the UK plans to deport him back to Pakistan, Hyrbyair Marri may seek asylum in India,” said Balochwarna News editor Faiz M Baluch.According a report published on the BBC Urdu website last year, Hyrbyair Marri, who is the fifth son of nationalist leader Khair Bakhsh Marri who lives in London, had last year said “The Baloch people are not in favour of seeking help from India to gain freedom,” reported the Dawn under the heading “Will never seek help from India: Hyrbyair Marri” on October 10, 2015.Marri said that he was not seeking assistance from India for his movement: “I have never sought help from them, nor will I in the future.” He also rejected reports that he travelled to India to start the Free Balochistan Movement. Hyrbyair Marri, who has been living in self-exile in London since 2000, is alleged to have been leading the banned BLA.In June last year, an anti-terrorism court in Quetta had indicted Marri and 32 others in the Ziarat Residency bombing case. This development comes after Bugti last week announced that he would appeal for a political asylum in India.Earlier, Bugti approached the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva for filing asylum paper. He was reportedly asked by the Permanent Mission of India to approach the Indian High Commission in Bern, in Switzerland, for the same.According to reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs received Bugti’s application on September 22, which was being “examined”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ndia has welcomed the selection of Portugal’s former premier Antonio Guterres as the next UN Secretary General to replace Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of next year.”Congratulations & Best wishes. India welcomes Antonio Manuel de Olivera Guterres as next Secretary General of @UN,” India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.Akbaruddin’s tweet was accompanied with a picture of Guterres shaking hands with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Guterres had met Swaraj during his visit to New Delhi in July this year.Guterres, the 67-year-old former head of UN’s refugee organisation for 10 years, emerged as a leading candidate in all of the Security Council’s straw polls.The 15-nation Council conducted a sixth straw poll yesterday in which Guterres received 13 encourage votes and two no opinion votes. None of the five veto-wielding permanent members voted against him, clearing the way for Guterres to become the 9th Secretary General of the UN.”Today after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favourite and his name is Antonio Guterres,” Russia’s envoy to the UN and President of the Council for October Vitaly Churkin told reporters after the straw poll.Flanked by the Permanent Representatives of the 14 Council members, Churkin said the Council will meet again to take a formal vote, which is expected to pass by acclamation.That decision would then be formally submitted to the General Assembly for its consideration.”We wish Guterres well in discharging his duties as the Secretary General of the UN for the next five years,” Churkin said.Churkin also informed President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson that Guterres had emerged as the unanimous choice after the sixth informal and first colour-coded straw poll for the position of Secretary-General.”The President thanked him for the information and said he was ready to further progress the process of appointing the next Secretary-General in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,” Thomson’s office said.Ban’s Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at the daily press briefing that the Secretary-General, who is currently in Rome, is aware of the latest developments and will await the official action by the General Assembly on his successor’s formal selection.Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and then served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.After the UNSC formal vote, Guterres’s name will be forwarded to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation.Ban is the 8th Secretary-General in the organisation’s 70-year history. He took office in January 2007 and will be ending his 10-year tenure on December 31, 2016.Guterres’s selection for the post of the world’s top diplomat slashed hopes for a woman to succeed Ban Ki-moon.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reiterating India’s stand on Jammu and Kashmir, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin on Wednesday said India’s response to Pakistan is consistent, ‘abandon your futile quest, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain so.’Recalling that just less than 10 days ago, the General Assembly Hall witnessed a high-level debate and it also witnessed ‘a singular lack of support for the representative of Pakistan’s baseless claims’, India’sPermanent Representative said: “Need one say more, our response to Pakistan is consistent, ‘abandon your futile quest the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain so’.”Noting that the ‘sell-buy date of Pakistan’s anachronistic approach is long over’, India’s Permanent Representative said, ‘No amount of misuse of international platforms by Pakistan will change that reality.”Asserting that ‘We look away as some amongst us stall our collective efforts, as they use terrorists as proxies in their territorial quests,’ Akbaruddin added: “We have heard one such lone voice short while ago, making claims to an integral part of India. This comes from a country, which has established itself as a global epicentre of terrorism. Such claims find no resonance among the international community.”
United Nations: 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.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has said Pakistan approaching the UN over the issue of surgical strikes in PoK has not found any resonance in the world body and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire “has not directly observed” any firing along the LoC.India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin dismissed remarks made by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents”, a reference to the surgical strikes conducted by India on September 29 targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Akbaruddin told reporters at the Indian Permanent Mission that the facts on the ground do not change whether somebody has “observed” it or not.”I have nothing to say because what (Dujarric) said was ‘directly observed’. It’s a call that they have to take. I cannot place myself in their boots and directly observe something,” the Indian envoy said when asked to comment on Dujarric’s remarks.Akbaruddin said the “facts on the ground do not change whether somebody acknowledges or not. Facts are facts, we presented the facts and that’s where we stand.” India on Thursday carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.When pressed at the daily press briefing to explain how UNMOGIP can say it did not observe any firing even as India said it has conducted the surgical strikes, Dujarric repeated that UNMOGIP has not “directly observed” any of the firing.”They are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities,” he had said.Akbaruddin said while Pakistan has reached out to the UN Chief and the 15-nation Council over the issues of the surgical strike and Kashmir, it’s call for intervention by the world body has not found any resonance as there was no further discussion on the matter.”Yesterday there was some action. You are also aware of the reaction,” Akbaruddin said referring to Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi meeting New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, president of the Council for the month of September, and raising in the UNSC the issue of the action by India.”Yesterday the Pakistan ambassador did approach New Zealand. What they didn’t tell you after that was what happened. Did anyone raise anything after what was explained to in the UN Security Council. The answer that I know of is that there was no further discussion of this (surgical strike and Kashmir matter),” Akbaruddin said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India asked the global community to urgently adopt a long-pending global treaty on terrorism as well as implement the UN Security Council reform, saying the world needs a more contemporary approach to combating terrorism and a Council that is less outdated.Highlighting the two pending tasks of General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said despite the passage of two decades, the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which was proposed by India in 1996, is yet to be implemented.”…we will be judged by our action and equally by our inaction. What goals have we achieved and what objectives remain unfulfilled?,” she said.”As a result, we are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. Therefore it is my appeal that this General Assembly acts with fresh resolve and urgency to adopt this critical Convention,” she said.On Security Council reform, Swaraj said just as the world needs a more contemporary approach to combating terrorism, there is also need for a Security Council that is less outdated and that continues to reflect the world order of an earlier era.”The vast majority of nations share the belief that the UN should not remain frozen in 1945, just to serve the interests of a few. Whether it is institutions or issues, we must come to terms with present day realities and the challenges that confront us,” she said.Swaraj added that an expansion in the Permanent and non-Permanent membership of the Council to reflect contemporary realities is an urgent necessity.”We must move forward substantively towards text-based negotiations. If both these long pending issues are addressed during your Presidency, the success of this Session will be ensured,” she said.”The 21st century has begun in the shadow of turmoil, but we can turn this into a golden age in the history of civilisation through united and concerted efforts. But what happens tomorrow will depend on what we do today,” she said. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, one of BJP’s most vocal critics led the praise for Swaraj. Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday reiterate that Kashmir was, is and will be an integral part of India at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Here is the full text of Swaraj’s speech at the UNGA:
On behalf of India and on my own behalf, I congratulate you on your election as President of the 71st United Nations General Assembly. Let me also take this opportunity to thank Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his services to the United Nations, history’s largest peace movement.
A year has passed since I stood here at this hallowed podium to address the members of the international community. Since then, much has changed in the world around us – some for the better, some for the worse and much which has been cause of great concern. There can be no better platform to ponder our actions and our achievements over the last year. We must remember that we will be defined not just by our actions, but equally, by our inaction.
A number of issues have been debated in this august Assembly – from the necessity of global partnerships in sharing new vaccines and promoting access to affordable drugs to counter anti-microbial resistance, to the need for faster implementation of the Sendai Framework to mitigate the risk of natural disasters. From the challenge of ensuring well-ordered mobility of productive human resources, to the necessity of adequate consultations with Troop Contributing Countries before framing mandates for UN Peacekeeping Operations. But my time is limited. I would therefore, focus only on some of the most pressing issues facing the international community.
The true challenge of our time is to end the curse of harsh poverty that still lurks in so many corners of our world; to ensure that the fruits of growing prosperity reach those who need it most; to take forward the mission of gender equality and protect women where there is gender regression; and to ensure peace across boundaries, not least because there can be no prosperity without peace.
I congratulate you for the priority you have given to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by making them the theme for the 71st UNGA. I am happy that the 17 goals adopted by this Assembly are matched by the development vision of my Government, which is geared towards the achievement of these same objectives. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Campaign), more than 400,000 toilets have been constructed in schools. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Educate the Girl Child, Save the Girl Child) programme has become a nation-wide mission. The Make in India brand is receiving international acclaim. Almost 250 million bank accounts have been opened for the poor under the Jan Dhan Yojana, the largest financial inclusion programme the world has ever seen. Digital India is transforming the country. Under the Skill India initiative, a number of programmes are underway to enable youth to reap the demographic dividend. These initiatives have added a new dimension to India’s growth story, making it the fastest growing major economy in the world at a time of slow global growth.
We are all aware that 1/6th of humanity lives in India. Therefore global success in realizing SDGs depends on the success achieved in India. We are committed to the wholehearted implementation of the Agenda 2030 as a national effort. We have decided to dedicate one day in each session of our Parliament for discussions only on SDGs. This will enable us to constantly monitor their progress and this will give us good results.
However, in a globalised world, national effort needs to be supplemented by international cooperation for the successful implementation of Agenda 2030.
Climate change is yet another serious challenge confronting us. There are enough resources on this planet to fulfil everyone’s needs, but not enough to fulfil anyone’s greed, for greed is limitless. In this context PM Modi has championed a new concept – Climate Justice. If we respect nature, nature will respect and nurture us and future generations. But, if we exploit nature mindlessly, then we must be mindful that nature will unleash its fury upon us. In different parts of the world, we have already seen nature drift towards the unnatural – from torrential rain to excessive heat, from tsunamis to storms and cloudbursts.
We must curb reckless consumption, and adopt lifestyles in harmony with nature. Yoga, the storehouse of India’s ancient wisdom, epitomises a sustainable lifestyle. Let me record our gratitude for the unprecedented global response to the International Day of Yoga.
In the Paris Agreement, the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ and ‘Respective Capabilities’ has been acknowledged and accepted. This makes clear that while our responsibility is common, obligations are different. Developed nations must discharge their responsibility in the search for the common good, with finance and technology transfer.
India has launched an ambitious domestic effort to transform our energy mix to achieve 40% energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. The massive investments required entail a predictable and stable environment towards which we are working actively. Apart from this, our path-breaking initiative for an International Solar Alliance is intended to make efficient solar technology available for all.
I assure this Assembly that India will continue to play a leading role in combating climate change. We have decided to submit our Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised a lifestyle with the smallest carbon footprint.
Let me now turn to a subject of the most critical importance, one which deeply concerns every member of this Assembly. This month we marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city. Tragically, less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city. We, who have suffered in Uri recently, understand the pain inflicted by the same forces. The world has been battling this scourge for long. However, despite the blood and tears of innocent victims, attacks this year alone in Kabul and Dhaka, Istanbul and Mogadishu, Brussels and Bangkok, Paris, Pathankot and Uri as well as daily barbaric tragedies in Syria and Iraq, remind us that these malevolent forces are yet to be defeated.
We must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights. It targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately. Terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations – it is a crime against humanity itself. But it is important to ask – who is behind this and who benefits from it? Terrorists do not own banks or weapons factories, so let us ask the real question: who finances these terrorists, who arms them and provides sanctuaries? We heard similar questions being asked by Afghanistan from this podium.
History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies, reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world. We will not be able to win against terrorism by making specious distinctions between your problems and mine, between terrorists who attack you and those who attack me. For we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next.
Therefore if we want to defeat terrorism, there is only one way – that we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response. We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. This is not an impossible task provided we have the will. We can do it, we must do it. Otherwise our future generations will forever hold us to account. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it.
In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.
On 21st September, the Prime Minister of Pakistan used this podium to make baseless allegations about human rights violations in my country. I can only say that those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see what egregious abuses they are perpetrating in their own country, including in Balochistan. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of State oppression.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan also said that India has placed pre-conditions for talks which are not acceptable to him. What pre-conditions? Did we impose any pre-condition before extending an invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of our Government? Did we impose any pre-condition when I went to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference and agreed to begin the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue? Did we impose any pre-condition when Prime Minister Modi travelled from Kabul to Lahore? What pre-conditions? We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship! We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is without precedent. We conveyed Eid greetings to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, wished success to his cricket team, extended good wishes for his health and well being. Did all this come with pre-conditions attached?
And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets. My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.
As I said at the very beginning, we will be judged by our action and equally by our inaction. What goals have we achieved and what objectives remain unfulfilled? I would like to highlight two such pending tasks of this Assembly.
The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996. In 2016, despite the passage of two decades, we are yet to come to a conclusion. As a result, we are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. Therefore it is my appeal that this General Assembly acts with fresh resolve and urgency to adopt this critical Convention.
Just as we need a more contemporary approach to combating terrorism, we also need a less outdated Security Council that continues to reflect the world order of an earlier era. The vast majority of nations share the belief that the UN should not remain frozen in 1945, just to serve the interests of a few. Whether it is institutions or issues, we must come to terms with present day realities and the challenges that confront us. An expansion in the Permanent and non-Permanent membership of the Council to reflect contemporary realities is therefore, an urgent necessity. We must move forward substantively towards text-based negotiations.
If both these long pending issues are addressed during your Presidency, the success of this Session will be ensured.
The 21st century has begun in the shadow of turmoil, but we can turn this into a golden age in the history of civilization through united and concerted efforts. But what happens tomorrow will depend on what we do today.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The community of West Pakistan refugees, who migrated to India following hostilities during the Partition, have demanded citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir, including the right to vote and contest for the state elections.Besides, they have also demanded special rehabilitation package, allotment of land, special recruitment and issuance of SC/ OBC certificates and appointment of a Relief Commissioner to look into and redress their grievances.The West Pakistani refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary elections. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and thus do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.A delegation of WP refugees led by their President Labha Ram Gandhi received favourable overtures from union home minister Rajnath Singh when it to submitted him a charter of demands. Appreciating their sentiments, Rajnath Singh assured the delegation that he would look into the matter and take necessary action.The 5,764 families that migrated in 1947 from West Pakistan and have steadily grown into substantive numbers do not have the rights of permanent citizens like those of who got displaced in areas falling within Jammu and Kashmir region in 1947, 1965 and 1971.While PDP, the senior partner in the state government, is not interested in giving them permanent citizenship, the BJP state unit and the Central government are keen, as it could bolster their electoral prospects in the state to some degrees.Moreover, the recommendations made by a Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its 183rd report on “Problems being faced by refugees and displaced persons in J&K” also strongly recommended granting of Permanent Resident Status to the West Pakistani refugees.Until the time their permanent state residency matter remains unsolved, Rajnath assured them of working out a suitable provision to overcome the problems faced in terms of non-issuance of SC/ST/ OBC certificates by the state government.The conferment of Permanent Resident Status to the West Pakistani refugees settled in J&K falls within the purview of J&K Constitution, which will enable them for jobs under the state government, for admission into the State Technical/ Professional institutions and the right to purchase/ acquire land/ immovable properties in the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After giving an assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack in which 18 army soldiers were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping. According to sources, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies.The Indian Permanent Mission is to issue a statement taking on Islamabad soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in Uri attack i.e. GPS tracker movements that go back to starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources add.India is set to raise Uri attack at the 71st UNGA and highlight Pakistan’s involvement into the deadly terror strike. Sources state that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26. This development comes after the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials were present in the meeting. Pakistan has, however, flatly refused New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that it has become India?s traditional tendency to point fingers on them after each terrorist attack.”Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying.”In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Director General of Military operation Lt. Ranbir Singh yesterday said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
The Supreme Court on Thursday said an Italian marine under investigation for the killing of two fishermen is free to go home while international arbitration into the case goes on.Salvatore Girone, who has been living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi, was one of two marines arrested in 2012 on suspicion of killing the fishermen during an anti-piracy mission on an Italian oil tanker. The other marine is already back in Italy after suffering health problems.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court ruled that Girone can return to Italy while an international tribunal decides on a jurisdictional issue between India and Italy.The marine must surrender his passport when he arrives in Italy and will be required to return to India within a month of an order from the tribunal, the court said in its order.Italy’s foreign ministry said it was “satisfied” with the court’s decision. “Salvatore Girone will be able to return home in just a few days’ time,” the ministry said.The dispute has strained relations between India and Italy and its European Union partners.In an effort to end four years of legal wrangling, both countries last year agreed to move their dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.Italy argues that the case should not be heard in India because the incident occurred in international waters. India has said it remains confident the tribunal will decide in its favour.
New Delhi: On Tuesday India reacted strongly to Pakistan seeking UN intervention on the Indian draft bill on map, saying it was an “entirely internal legislative matter” and Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi on it.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India “firmly rejects” repeated and increasing attempts by Pakistan to impose on the international community matters that it has always been open to address bilaterally with it.
“The proposed Bill is an entirely internal legislative matter of India, since the whole of the state of J&K is an integral part of India. Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi in the matter.
“The Government firmly rejects Pakistan’s repeated and increasing attempts to impose on the international community matters that India has always been open to address bilaterally with Pakistan,” Swarup said in response to a question on Pakistan Foreign Office press release on India’s Geospatial Bill.
Earlier, in Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) issued a statement saying it has expressed “serious concern” to the UN over a draft bill in the Indian Parliament over the map of Kashmir and has asked the world body to uphold its resolutions and urge India to stop such acts which are in “violation of international law”.
“Pakistan has expressed serious concern to the United Nations Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council, through letters by our Permanent Representative in New York, with regard to the Indian government’s efforts to introduce a controversial ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill’ in the Indian Parliament,” it said.
It further said that “in violation of UNSC resolutions, the official map of India has been depicting the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India which is factually incorrect and legally untenable”.
Wrong depiction of the map of India could land the violators in jail with a maximum term of seven years and impose a fine up to Rs 100 crore, according to the draft ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016’.
United Nations: India has criticised the “disaggregated” counter-terrorism infrastructure of the UN, saying the world community has failed to address the menace of terror and there is a need to have a seamless structure in the world body to tackle the global scourge.
“Terrorism does not fit into the conventional paradigm of threats to peace and security. Yet, today it affects us all, across continents, whether we are from developing or developed world,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said at a high-level UN General Assembly thematic debate on peace and security.
He expressed concern that terror thrives on and is sustained by its trans-boundary networks for ideology, recruitment, propaganda, funding, arms training and sanctuary.
“However, the global community has failed to address this menace effectively. Here at the United Nations there is a disaggregated counter terrorism infrastructure with no effort to tie them together in a seamless weave under a high level functionary. We need to address this,” Akbaruddin said.
India has been pressing for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), a long-pending legal framework which would make it binding for all countries to deny funds and safe haven to terror groups.
With the objective of providing a comprehensive legal framework to combat terrorism, India took the initiative to pilot a draft CCIT in 1996 but the convention has not yet been adopted as nations have “entangled” themselves on the issue of definition of terrorism.
The Indian envoy also lamented the “endless” process of trying to reform the Security Council even as the world grapples with challenges more diverse in nature than they were when the world body was created 70 years ago.
He emphasised that the structures of global governance have to be made representative to deal with current threats and challenges or else the UN risks becoming “irrelevant”.
“On the one hand we find a growing tendency where issues much broader than the conventional peace and security context are being considered as germane.
“Issues related to the international system of criminal justice, large scale human rights violations, and monitoring compliance with disarmament arrangements are brought onto the agenda of international peace and security stretching the canvas of collective action by the Security Council. At the same time, we are faced with efforts to spin issues of Reform of the Security Council in an endless manner,” he said.
Akbaruddin said while technology, social media and instantaneous transfers of funds have unprecedented benefits, these very same inter-linkages are now also being used for the spread of radical propaganda, extremist ideologies, recruitment of followers beyond national boundaries and spread of terrorist networks.
Describing the challenge posed by the growing terror threat as ‘daunting’, India has called on the UN to do more to combat the scourge and emphasised that ‘genuine and effective’ global cooperation is essential for achieving zero tolerance towards terrorism.”The scale of challenge facing all our countries is daunting. No state is immune to this threat as continuing terrorist attacks across the world, many of them with links beyond the borders of the affected state, continue to demonstrate,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said on Monday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a meeting of the Advisory Board of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), he said no single country, however rich or powerful, would be able to defeat the menace of terrorism acting alone.Having been a victim of terrorism for the past several decades, India is not only cognizant of the nature of the menace but also of the critical need for a collective international effort to counter terrorism, he said.”Genuine and effective international cooperation is absolutely essential to meeting this challenge and is in our collective interest,” he said.Akbaruddin said while the United Nations is providing a “useful avenue” for such international cooperation to fight terrorism, the world body “requires to do more”.”We look forward to the UNCCT playing a useful part in contributing to the collective quest of ‘zero tolerance for terrorism’,” he said, adding that India attaches high importance to working towards strengthening of international cooperation in countering terrorism.He emphasised that growth of the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters poses increasing threats and challenges and needs to be effectively countered.Akbaruddin said tackling financing of terrorism is crucial in the fight against terrorism.With foreign terrorist fighters originating from more than 100 countries, Akbaruddin said UNCCT’s work needs to take into account this “widespread malaise” and requires to be expanded to cover all affected regions.He reiterated that strengthening the legal capacities of member states to counter terrorism is “very important” in the fight to ensure the rule of law.”The UNCCT working in unison with other UN agencies can be of assistance in strengthening the capacity of national legal systems to effectively prosecute and punish acts of terrorism,” Akbaruddin said.India, a member of UNCCT’s Advisory Board, supports its work in contributing to the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTF) of the United Nations through the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), he said.
A UN arbitration court has ruled that India should release an Italian marine, who has been detained in Delhi for more than four years, and allow him to return home, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.India arrested in 2012 two Italian marines on suspicion they killed two fishermen that they had mistaken for pirates while they had been escorting an oil tanker.One of the pair returned to Italy with health problems, but India has refused to let the other man, Salvatore Girone, leave the country.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case has soured relations between India and Italy, but the two countries agreed last year to move the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and abide by its decisions.The Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that in an initial ruling, the court had decided that Girone should be allowed home. It said it would be in immediate contact with India to try to make sure he would return as soon as possible. The court will continue to review the merits of the case against the two marines.
United Nations: Lack of funds and inadequate coordination among UN organisations is limiting peace-building efforts crucial to meet the challenges of conflicts in an inter-linked world, India has said.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Tanmaya Lal, on Wednesday called for “genuine political willingness” among those who can contribute to overcoming the challenges to effective peace-building.
Participating in a debate on the Peace-Building Commission and the fund, he noted that peace-building efforts could help avert conflicts and said: “The funds available for peace-building continue to be a fraction of what is available for peacekeeping activities and are even declining.”
“Only more predictable and sustainable financing will help Peace Building Commission be more effective,” he added.
Both the Security Council and the Assembly adopted resolutions asking all countries and other organisations to make voluntary contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund. They also asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to work with organisations like the World Bank to help the economic recovery in conflict-affected areas.
Lal also spoke of the success achieved in some areas through peace-building efforts. These included helping implement election reforms and building institutions. He noted that the campaign to control Ebola outbreak was a new area for the peace-building efforts.
In its resolution, the Council salso uggested better policy coherence and strategic planning across the UN for peace-building efforts.
Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said the similar resolutions adopted by the Assembly and the Council showed “important developments in our common understanding of how best to approach peace building and conflict prevention”. He added that the resolutions encouraged national ownership of peace-building programs and creating partnerships and to reduce fragmentation of UN efforts.
This year, life-threatening temperature levels arrive rather earlier and more widely than normal across India.
United Nations: The birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution and Dalit rights activist, would be observed at the United Nations for the first time with focus on combating inequalities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
The Permanent Mission of India to the UN in association with the Kalpana Saroj Foundation and Foundation For Human Horizon will commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar on 13 April at the UN headquarters in New York, a day before his birthday.
On the occasion, a panel discussion will be organised on ‘Combating inequalities for the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)’.
“Babasaheb’s birth anniversary to be observed at UN for 1st time with focus on combating inequalities to achieve SDGs,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.
A note circulated by the Indian mission said that as India celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of the “national icon”, Babasaheb remains an inspiration for millions of Indians and proponents of equality and social justice across the globe.
“Fittingly, although it’s a matter of coincidence, one can see the trace of Babasaheb’s radiant vision in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly to eliminate poverty, hunger and socio-economic inequality by 2030,” it said.
Ambedkar was born on 14 April, 1891. He died in 1956 and was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1990.
Clinging to its pro-Pakistan stance, China has asserted that JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar does not qualify to be nailed as a “terrorist” to face UN sanctions as his case “did not meet” the Security Council’s requirements.”Any listing would have to meet the requirements” for blacklisting, Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN Liu Jieyi told reporters yesterday in response to questions over China’s decision to place a ‘technical hold’ on designating Azhar in the UN Sanctions Committee.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, however, gave no further details. Liu’s comments came on a day when China, one of the five permanent members of the 15-nation Council, assumed the rotating presidency of the UNSC for April. India has reacted strongly to China’s blocking of its bid at the UN to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, saying that the sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism.In Beijing, also yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei defended China’s decision, saying that it acts on such issues based on facts and rules in an “objective and just manner”. “We always deal with the listing issue (banning militant groups and their leaders) under the UN Security Council committee established under resolution 1267 based on facts and relevant rules of procedures in an objective and just manner. “The Chinese side has always been in communication with relevant parties on the listing issue,” he said, hinting that China is also in touch with India on the issue.India yesterday said it is disappointed that a “technical hold” has been put on its application to include Azhar in the UN sanctions list, terming the move “incomprehensible” that this is despite the JeM being listed in the UN Security Council Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda.This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN. The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts for a ban on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying that its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness” with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.
THE HAGUE India blamed Italy for delaying the repatriation of an Italian marine who has been detained in Delhi for four years as Prime Minister Narenda Modi arrived at a summit with the EU in Brussels hoping to defuse the long-running row.
In 2012, India arrested two Italian marines who were escorting an oil tanker on suspicion of shooting dead two fishermen they mistook for pirates. Though they were not charged, the pair were barred from leaving India.
Massimiliano Latorre was allowed to return home last year for medical treatment. But Salvatore Girone has been confined to Delhi, where he lives at the Italian ambassador’s residence and reports regularly to police.
Italy says Girone’s human rights are being violated and has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to order India to send him home.
But India’s lawyers say the delays are the result of Italy’s 2012 decision to escalate the affair to international courts rather than letting Indian courts to handle it.
“The trial has not commenced due to an obstructive course of action by India,” said Neeru Chadha, India’s lead lawyer. “Italy is now trying to shift the blame onto India.”
Italy maintains both marines were immune to prosecution since they were serving on a U.N.-backed anti-piracy mission, and because the tanker was in international waters when it fired on the fishermen.
Italy has paid $190,000 in compensation to each victim’s family.
India hopes the Brussels summit will bring a thaw in ties with the European Union and persuade Italy to refrain from blocking India’s membership of a key global group on missile technology. Rome single-handedly scuppered India’s bid to join last year.
As part of a broad agenda, the EU plans to raise the issue of the marines with Modi, according to an internal EU council note seen by Reuters.
(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
THE HAGUE/BRUSSELS The European Union and India failed on Wednesday to defuse a long-running row over two Italian marines accused of murder and the case moved to an international tribunal after four years of diplomatic squabbles.
At a joint summit in Brussels, held after delays imposed by Italy, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EU leaders maintained their positions over the case.
In 2012, India arrested two Italian marines who were escorting an oil tanker on suspicion of shooting dead two fishermen they mistook for pirates. Though they were not charged, the pair were barred from leaving India.
Massimiliano Latorre was allowed to return home last year for medical treatment but Salvatore Girone has been confined to New Delhi, where he lives at the Italian ambassador’s residence and reports regularly to police.
“The EU shares Italy’s concerns to find an expeditious solution for the prolonged restriction of liberty of the two Marines,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.
“India stressed the need for rendering due justice for the families of the Indian fishermen who were killed,” the document added.
Italy says Girone’s human rights are being violated and has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to order India to send him home.
But India’s lawyers in the Hague say the delays resulted from Italy’s 2012 move to escalate the affair to international courts rather than letting Indian courts handle it.
“The trial has not commenced due to an obstructive course of action by India,” said Neeru Chadha, India’s lead lawyer. “Italy is now trying to shift the blame onto India.”
Italy maintains both marines were immune to prosecution since they were serving on a U.N.-backed anti-piracy mission and the oil tanker they were escorting was in international waters when it fired on the fishermen.
Italy has paid $190,000 in compensation to each victim’s family.
India hoped the Brussels summit would bring a thaw in ties with the European Union and persuade Italy to refrain from blocking India’s membership in a key global group on missile technology. Rome single-handedly scuppered India’s bid to join last year.
At the summit, the EU and India committed to continue talks for a trade and investment deal, and shared common positions on foreign affairs and security issues.
The European Investment Bank, the financial arm of the EU, agreed its biggest loan to India to develop a metro line in the Indian city of Lucknow with 450 million euros of EU money.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt in the Hague and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
United Nations: The right to peaceful protests cannot be taken away from people but any protest or demonstration should also not be allowed to paralyse the life of civilised society, India has told the UN human rights body.
“The ability to protest peacefully is an essential enabler for other rights and freedoms. Peaceful assembly is a crucial tool of public participation,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ajit Kumar said in India’s Explanation of Vote at the adoption of draft resolution on ‘Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests’ on Thursday.
He said as the largest democracy in the world, India is committed to rule of law and the Indian Constitution guarantees all fundamental rights, the freedom of speech and expression as well as freedom to peaceful assembly including peaceful protests.
Asserting that no person can be divested of these rights, which cannot be taken away or abridged, Kumar however stressed that every right has a corresponding duty and in the name of legitimate exercise of one’s right to protest, the fundamental right of others cannot be “scuttled.”
“Enjoyment of rights always entails a degree of responsibility. Our Constitution clearly recognises these inherent, reasonable restrictions, clearly related to the purpose enshrined under the right.
“In a democratic polity the fundamental right of each citizen is sacrosanct. However, the collective cannot undermine the same. The persons or the organisations should always be cognisant that in the name of demonstration or protest, the life of a civilised society cannot be allowed to be paralysed,” he said.
He added that the joint compilation of the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations could certainly generate interest in acknowledging the core objective of upholding freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
“However, these recommendations are highly imbalanced, and, do not recognise, in ample measure, the degree of responsibility of the participants in the assemblies,” he said.
He pointed out that India believes that the draft resolution is “short” on giving due recognition to relevant provisions of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and also on the responsibility of protesters to operate peacefully within the national legal framework.
India has reaffirmed that new permanent members in a reformed Security Council must get veto power but suggested that its use be deferred to a review conference as “a willingness for compromise”.”Our own national position has been and remains that the veto should as long as it exists be extended to new permanent members,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said here on Wednesday. “As a measure of flexibility and willingness for compromise, the use of the veto can be deferred till the Review Conference. The African Union (and this is understandable) does not wish to defer use. The difference, we see, as one of a degree than one of a kind,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A review conference is a platform provided by the UN Charter for the member states to discuss changes to any reforms achieved in the near-term, and for revisiting negotiables that cannot be agreed upon. India has in the past also said that it would consider deferring the use of the veto until a future scheduled review conference. Given the hard lines among member states on the use of the veto and differences among them over the issue, Akbaruddin asserted that the issue of veto cannot be allowed to block the process of Security Council reform itself.”The issue of veto is important but then we cannot also allow the veto to have a veto over the process of Council reform itself,” he said during the informal plenary meeting of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on ‘Question of Veto’. Akbaruddin appealed to the chair of the IGN to consolidate the negotiating text on the basis of convergence reached on issues so far while also delineating the divergence and the contrarian view of some. He stressed that that chair should ask member states to build further on the consolidated and shortened text.Historical perspectiveGiving an elaborate historical perspective on the use of the veto in the 70-year history of the UN, Akbaruddin said from the time the Security Council was created in 1946 till today, 317 vetoes have been cast and as result 230 draft resolutions or parts thereof have been vetoed in total. In effect, 10 per cent of the 2271 resolutions adopted till date have been vetoed.He further underscored that apart from the use of the veto within the Security Council, there have been expansion of the veto to the Council’s subsidiary bodies such as the Sanctions Committees.He said in these bodies, the veto has been extended to all 15 members of the Committees who can block, or object or place on hold any request of a Member State, thereby in effect killing the proposal on grounds that consensus is required.Reaction to ChinaAkbaruddin remarks come against the backdrop of China, a permanent UNSC member with veto power, blocking India’s move last year in the UN for action against Pakistan for the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi from jail. “As the well-known idiom goes, ‘if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a duck.’ Yes… we have by a procedural stratagem expanded the veto to all members of the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council far from restraining its use,” he said.He stressed that given the history of the use of veto, it is not surprising that a significant number of member states call for abolition of the veto or to limit and curtail its use to the extent possible. Several other member states also support voluntary restrictions on the use of veto in situations such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and gross human rights violations.While some member states belong to the school of thought that restrictions should be placed on the use of the veto, there are others who want no restrictions to be placed on the veto, Akbaruddin said. “For them, history stopped in 1945. To them, all subsequent changes: the vast expansion in membership, the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid triumphs, the march of freedom; the growth of equality; all have not happened and should not be taken into account. Multilateralism means nothing; plurilateralism is the order of the day. The majority may not like it; so much the worse for the majority,” he said.Aligning India’s position with the L.69 group of developing countries, as well as with the G-4, Akbaruddin said the two largest groups of Africa and L.69 are of the view that the veto should be abolished but as long as it exists, it should be extended to all members of the permanent category of the Security Council, who “must enjoy all prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership in the permanent category including the right of the veto”.
Aiming for faster issuance of passports, the government has said that police verification can now be done after travel document has been issued, provided certain government-issued identity documents are submitted at the time of filing the application.”If you submit application with copies of Aadhar, Voter ID and PAN Card with an affidavit of no criminal case, we will issue the Passport. The Police verification will be done later,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a tweet.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj further added, “You can choose any appointment date from the earliest five available dates for Passport related services.”A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs has said, “… henceforth normal passport applications of all first time applicants furnishing Aadhaar, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), Permanent Account Number (PAN) and an affidavit will be processed on post-police verification basis, enabling faster issue of passport, without payment of any additional fees”.While the statement clearly says that a new passport for first-timers will be issued subject to the successful online validation of Aadhaar number. EPIC and PAN card, the phrase “pose-police verification” creates ambiguity. For speedy submission of police verification report, the External Affairs Ministry has also launched an ‘mPassport Police Application’.”With the launch of this App, the need to download and print the physical Personal Particulars Form and questionnaire would no longer be required resulting in paperless end-to-end digital flow of the PV process, further reducing the time required for completion of PVR, within the desired time limit of 21 days,” the release said.