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‘Upcoming Panchayat polls in J&K on the insistence of BJP leadership’

The BJP, which is sharing power with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, today claimed the upcoming panchayat and Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls were being held in the state due to the insistence of its leadership.”The polls are being held due to the insistence of BJP leadership which continued to raise the issue of early elections at different forums,” BJP state spokesperson Anil Gupta said in a statement here.He appealed to the people to ignore the boycott called given by separatists and said that total integration with the democratic institutions of India was in the best interest of all Kashmiris.The conduct of the elections will be a big challenge for the state election authorities and I have full confidence in them that they would surmount all challenges, he said.Welcoming the statement by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that the panchayat polls from February 15 would be followed by ULB elections, Gupta said these elections would lead to real decentralisation of power.The BJP-PDP government is committed to the devolution of democratic powers and financial resources to the panchayats and ULBs for realising its promise of holistic development, he said.”The sincerity of the BJP-PDP alliance in financial empowerment of the panchayats can be gauged from the fact that separate budgetary allocation for them is being made by the finance minister, a clear and welcome departure from the past,” he said.As far as the ULB elections are concerned, he said these were long overdue.The elections have not been held since 2005 where in (former Chief Ministers) Ghulam Nabi Azad and Omar Abdullah led coalition governments did not dare to hold polls due to political considerations depriving the state huge amount of funds from the Centre, he said.

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The Tibetan Muslims who have made Kashmir their home

In a region where being seen as outsiders can be dangerous, the community keeps a low profile.

Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed walks free; vows to fight for ‘Kashmir cause

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai attack mastermind and banned JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday walked free from house arrest and said he would gather people across Pakistan for the “cause of Kashmir” and try to help Kashmiris get their “destination of freedom”.The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty for his role in terror activities, was freed after the government decided against detaining him further in any case. He was under detention since January. “I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir,” Saeed told his supporters gathered outside his residence to celebrate his release.“I fight for the cause of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir and we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom,” he said upon his release.Punjab province’s Judicial Review Board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday unanimously ordered Saeed’s release on the completion of his 30-day house arrest which expired last night.Saeed said that he was detained when he announced a month of solidarity for Kashmiris in January.Using the release order to buttress his claim of “innocence”, Saeed said: “I am very happy that none of the allegations against me were proved as three judges of the LHC ordered my release… India had levelled baseless allegations against me. The LHC’s review board decision has proved that I am innocent”.The JuD chief said that the US, on India’s request, pressured Pakistan to detain him. “I was detained on the pressure of the US on the Pakistani government. The US did so on the request of India,” he claimed.Several JuD supporters, gathered outside Saeed’s house in Lahore’s Jauhar town to celebrate his release, shouted anti- India slogans and described their leader as “a hope for the Kashmiri people”.“We are happy to see our leader free. Hafiz sahib received his release order from the jail officials. Now he is a free man,” JuD spokesman Ahmad Nadim said.“Saeed has been freed as the Punjab government decided not to detain him further in any other case,” a top government official told PTI.He said that after a long deliberation, it has been decided to follow the review board’s decision.Saeed’s release would invite strong criticism from India and the US, official sources said. “It remains to be seen as how would the PML-N government handle the foreign pressure to again detain Saeed,” they said.Punjab Assistant Advocate General Sattar Sahil said the government law officer had presented “some important evidence” to justify Saeed’s detention, but all three members of the board unanimously rejected it and ordered his release.On January 31, Saeed and his four aides Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997. The last two extensions were made on the ‘public safety law’The board refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeed’s aides. They were set free last month.According to the rules, the government could detain a person for up to three months under different charges, but for an extension, it needs approval from a judicial review board.The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.Saeed was put under house arrest after the Mumbai attack in November 2008 but he was freed by a court in 2009.India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and demanded the trial of Saeed and LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of the evidence it had provided to Islamabad.Ten LeT militants had killed 166 people and wounded dozens in Mumbai in November 2008. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and executed after a court found him guilty. Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the US and the UN after the Mumbai attack.A day after a Lahore High Court judicial review board ordered 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s release from house arrest, India on Thursday expressed “outrage”, saying Pakistan has exposed its true face by attempting to “mainstream” UN-proscribed terrorists.

Rajnath Singh faces heat on Twitter for praising Jawaharlal Nehru

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many top political leaders took to Twitter on Tuesday to pay their tribute to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 128th birth anniversary. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Pandit Nehru. “On his 128th birth anniversary, my homage to Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister,” President Kovind said on twitter.”Wish the nation on the occasion of birth anniversary of first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, today,” Naidu tweeted. Modi, who is in Manila to attend the India-ASEAN summit, also paid tributes to Nehru. “Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary,” he wrote on Twitter.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is campaigning in Gujarat, also tweeted, “Today we remember a brilliant compassionate man. He reminds us: ‘there is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action’ – Jawaharlal Nehru.” Former president Pranab Mukherjee and former prime minister Manmohan Singh paid floral tributes at Nehru’s memorial at Shanti Van early in the morning.However it was Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh who faced the flak for praising Nehru. He tweeted: Now the second line didn’t go down well with many Nehru baiters, who are presumably on the other side of the political divide.This is how they reacted: This is not the first time Rajnath Singh has faced fire from presumably BJP supporters on Twitter. Earlier he had rebutted a troll saying not all Kashmiris are terrorists, which generated considerable controversy but also earned him praise from a larger section of Twitterverse. With agency inputs

J&K was never seen to be more anxious for talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AS Dulat, former chief of Research & Analysis Wing, who also served in Intelligence Bureau tracking Kashmir, speaks to DNA on the dialogue process.How do you see the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma?It’s a good, modest beginning. This is how these things start. Engagement is the key to Kashmir. We must never stop talking to all players across the board.Do you think Hurriyat is a stumbling block?I am certain with Mr Sharma there, dialogue with Hurriyat will happen. I see absolutely no reason for Hurriyat not to talk. Without Hurriyat the talks are meaningless. In the last three years, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who is among the moderate separatist leaders has shown his inclination to talk.How can Sharma bring Hurriyat on board?He should not wait for anyone to approach him. He should feel free to go to them. Just like he met Omar Abdullah, maybe in his next visit, he should just drive to Mirwaiz’s home or maybe even SAS Geelani’s. If Delhi wants to talk, Hurriyat will talk.Do you think Sharma being an IB man will not be trusted?Absolutely not. His IB past will not come in the way of talks. I was in IB, serving in Kashmir for so many years and never faced this problem. He seems to be relaxed and there is no negativity.How can he be different from other interlocutors?It’s difficult to say but the problem is that we have stopped talking, yet Kashmiris have never been more anxious to talk than now. He can be a facilitator for a political dialogue. You have to give Kashmiris an alternative; even those involved in militancy will get a ray of hope. Talks also put pressure on militants to come on board.Will a surrender policy be of any help at this juncture?Surrenders have been happening since the mid-1990s. But nobody gave importance to it. A proper rehabilitation policy would encourage more boys to shun militancy.

The peacemakers of the valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has had a series of interlocutors before Dineshwar Sharma to lead talks and usher in peace in the restive state of Jammu & Kashmir. But the former Intelligence Bureau chief’s appointment is significant because it indicates a departure in the current government’s strategy that dealt with insurgency in the Valley with an iron fist. Insiders in the government say there was no option but to send a message that Delhi was ready to talk. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment in August that Kashmir’s problems can be solved only by embracing Kashmiris was a clear signal.There was a view that Sharma, 63, was appointed hurriedly. “He could have been allowed some time to carry out ground work and prepare a strategy,” says a government official privy to the developments. But the government did not want to be seen as not willing to start a dialogue process, at a time when there were no signs of a breakthrough in the latest spiral of violence triggered by local poster boy and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s encounter killing on July 8, 2016. Women, young boys and girls in large numbers were part of raging mobs that protested and pelted stones at security forces. Many more young men turned to terror as groups targeted them, taking advantage of a situation that was ripe for mass recruitment.This was followed by an aggressive counter-terror tactic aimed at eliminating terrorists. Over 180 terrorists, up from 150 in 2016, have already been gunned down this year. They include some top commanders. But normalcy did not return.”In fact, recent reviews indicate that the killings have led to an increase in violence,” says another official.Right timingSharma’s appointment on October 23 followed suggestions from the top levels of the security establishment that because terrorist outfits have faced several setbacks, the time is right to start dialogue. One in two local terror recruits in Kashmir is gunned down within 100 days of picking up arms. But this has also led to an unending cycle of violence. Major General BS Raju, who heads the Army’s Victor Force carrying out counter-terror operations in the Valley, recently said that out of 115 terrorists active in South Kashmir, 99 were locals. Now, a strategy to get terrorists to surrender is also being explored.”Killing terrorists is not really a measure of success in Kashmir. It does not mean it will translate into peace,” says Lt Gen (retd) DS Hooda, who headed the Udhampur-based Northern Command before retiring in November last year. Hooda says killing locals stirs up more sentiments leading to more stone pelting and locals trying to hamper anti-terror operations. “A surrender and rehabilitation policy is the need to wean out youngsters from the clutches terror groups,” he says.Hurriyat big challengeIt is felt if Sharma can initiate a dialogue process with political leaders and civil society focusing on the youth, many of the local boys who have joined terror ranks may lay down arms. It’s in this context that Sharma’s appointment as a special representative for talks with all stakeholders in Kashmir becomes more significant. Kashmir observers feel the appointment is a positive step that should be used to facilitate talks ultimately at a political level and not be viewed as a means to solve the Kashmir problem.AS Dulat, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, says that hardline separatist group, the Hurriyat Conference, will not talk is an old story. “If Delhi wants Hurriyat to talk, they will talk. You have to convince them,” says Dulat, who spent considerable time in Kashmir serving the Intelligence Bureau. He says Sharma should approach Hurriyat, instead of waiting for it to make a move. “Just like he visited (National Conference leader) Omar Abdullah’s house, he should feel free to go to the homes of Hurriyat leaders. The Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) said, he (Sharma) can talk to whoever he wants, but he should also have the freedom to decide how he wants to talk.” Dulat says without talking to the Hurriyat the exercise will be meaningless.Hooda feels getting Hurriyat on-board will be one the biggest challenges for Sharma. “They have taken a strong stand and how he manages to convince other stakeholders to get to them is going to be the key,” says the retired officer who earlier also commanded the Nagrota based 16 Corps in Kashmir with his vast experience of serving there. He says that in 2010, there was pressure exerted from traders and other groups on Hurriyat. “It is important what message the government sends out through him,” he says.MM Ansari, part of three interlocutors appointed in 2010, has welcomed the decision of the government but is sceptical of a positive outcome. Ansari and his team had in their 176-page report to the government in 2012 recommended the setting up of a constitutional committee to review all Central Acts and Articles of the Constitution of India applicable in J&K after the signing of the 1952 Agreement made on the basis of then Maharaja Hari Singh’s instrument of accession to India in 1947 and the recommendations of J&K’s Constituent Assembly. They also recommended the word “temporary” be deleted from the heading of Article 370 that recognises special status to the state. The report is still gathering dust.Belling the catSharma’s choice as an interlocutor is intriguing and this is what makes the situation different from the past. Many feel a former head of the country’s domestic spy agency might not be the best option for the job as Kashmiris may not trust him. But the Kerala cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch tilted the scale in his favour because he has tracked terror networks in Kashmir and India’s Northeast for decades. He is known to have compassionate views on the sufferings of the conflict-hit state.Sharma on his first visit to the state since his appointment knows he has a herculean task cut out for him. He met nearly six delegations in his three-day stay in Srinagar but Hurriyat has already ruled out any talks. Sharma has said he is very satisfied with his first visit. He met former Chief Minster Omar Abdullah and sought his suggestions on taking forward the dialogue process. The advice he got was that sitting in a guest house waiting for people to approach him will not work. Instead, he will have to take the initiative and talk to whoever he wants. He needs to make the right moves to facilitate a dialogue with the people who matter — the separatists.EXPERT’S TAKE’Govt didn’t take note, our report is gathering dust’MM Ansari, part of three interlocutors appointed in 2010, has welcomed the decision of the government but is sceptical of a positive outcome. “Our report was exhaustive and touched upon various aspects in Kashmir but it’s gathering dust as the government has failed to follow the recommendations. We had consensus from all political parties and also had the BJP and the RSS on board. A total of 19 political parties including Hurriyat Conference were consulted,” he says. Because Sharma is a former intelligence officer he will see things from the prism of security, whereas political and social points of view are a must in any dialogue process, Ansari says. He says a dialogue at any stage is welcome but, going by past experiences, there will be no headway unless there is a dialogue at the political level, and that Kashmir’s problem should not be viewed only from a security point of view.

Rajasthan burns in Padmavati’s jauhar, may lose charm of Bollywood

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During 90s, Kashmir was burning. Army was deployed everywhere in the state. Exotic locales of ‘Paradise on land’- once a regular feature in Bollywood movies in those days – were under the shadow of guns. Movies – which had to be shot in snow clad locations what Kashmir would offer – found its new destinations. Switzerland for big budgets and Manali for others. Bollywood easily found alternative. But Kashmiris could not get an alternatives source of revenue, which a film shoot would generate right from a taxi driver to exchequer. Ultimately who was at loss – Bollywood or Kashmir?This could happen to Rajasthan as well. The state may not be passing through such extremism, but confidence of film makers have shaken after incidents of some violent protests in Rajasthan. In 2008, when Hrithik-Aishwarya-starer Jodha Akbar was shot at various locations in Rajasthan, there was not much opposition over the shoot. But when movie was getting released, social groups in the state created vandalism and banned the movie in Rajasthan. It was not enough. In January this year, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was assaulted on the sets of his movie Padmavati at Jaigarh Fort near Jaipur. The attack on the National Award-winning filmmaker by members of the caste-based organisation had forced the crew to cancel the shoot and return to Mumbai. Now with Padmavati in for release, again social groups are getting into action – protesting vigorously and demanding a complete ban on release of the movie in Rajasthan.Filmmakers flock to Rajasthan state for its beauty, heritage sites, colourful music, dance and craft traditions, and ease of acquiring shooting permissions. “If Bollywood faces such kind of protests in Rajasthan, it may find an alternative in Gujarat for forts and palaces and Dubai for desert. People of the state will only suffer,” said Srinivas Rammurthy, a production manager.The state government, which envisages a film city in Rajasthan, should come forward to negotiate such situations. The law and order situation should not be compromised letting an impression that Rajasthan is not the place for film shooting.“Protests will only complex the situation. Films are the best way to promote tourism. If shootings stop happening in Rajasthan, it will hamper tourism and ultimately revenues for one and all including the government,” said a tourism department official.Boycotting a movie will have more impact than staging violent protests. The epical movie Jodha Akbar could not hit screens in Rajasthan, but it created waves across the globe. Violent protests against the content of movie had very little impact on its fate. “Protests will help in promotion of movie. It will become hit. People will go to watch objectionable content. But Rajasthan will lose. Not only its face but also revenue and trust of Bollywood,” said Rajendra Singh, a volunteer of social group.Filmmakers flock to rajFilmmakers flock to Rajasthan state for its beauty, heritage sites, colourful music, dance and craft traditions, and ease of acquiring shooting permissions. “If Bollywood faces such kind of protests in Rajasthan, it may find an alternative in Gujarat for forts and palaces and Dubai for desert.

The mysterious ‘braid choppers’ terrorising Kashmir

At least 40 women have reported being attacked and having their hair chopped off.

Pakistan opposes supply of US armed drones to India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan today opposed supply of armed drones by the US to India, warning that it could increase the chances of ‘military misadventures’ leading to a conflict in the region.The remarks by the Foreign Office spokesman came days after a senior Trump administration official said that the US was “considering” India’s request for armed drones for its air force’s modernisation drive.”Use of armed drones can lower the threshold for conflict, since it can encourage military misadventures, especially in the backdrop of irresponsible discourse about limited military operations below the strategic threshold,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told reporters here.Zakaria said that Pakistan has consistently maintained that preserving regional stability should be the fundamental consideration in any international arms transfer.He said “extra-regional powers” should be mindful of such actions, which can undermine strategic stability in South Asia.He demanded that any transfer of armed drones should also be closely examined in the context of the guidelines of the multilateral export control regimes, including the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which place certain limitations on such transfers.Zakaria said that even if such transfers are below the prescribed thresholds, they definitely violate the spirit of the control regimes, which are aimed at controlling the proliferation of destabilising weapon systems, which can threaten regional peace and stability.”We hope that the members of MTCR and other export control regimes fully understand their responsibility in not letting any country s membership of such groupings constitute a carte blanche for proliferation of destabilising weapon systems,” he said.Talking about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent visit to Islamabad, he claimed that the US side admitted that Pakistan had two troubled borders and the South Asia Strategy would address these issues.To a question about “Indo-US coziness”, the spokesman said Pakistan was not against any bilateral relationship between them but “it should not be based on agenda of containing China or threatening Pakistan.””We are concerned with the role US is giving to India in the region. It will only aggravate the situation and endanger the peace and stability in this part of the world,” he said.”…Indian actions and policies, as you are aware, have been a cause of serious concern for many of its neighbours over several issues. We believe that countries should resolve their issues through engagement and dialogue,” he said.When asked whether the Pakistani leaders raised the issue of India’s alleged interference in Pakistan during their talks with Tillerson, Zakaria responded by saying that Pakistan side “did raise the issue of Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan, and also mentioned the subversive activities carried out by RAW using terrorists based in Afghanistan.” “We also raised the issue of ceasefire violations by theIndian forces along the Line of Control and Working Boundary…We also highlighted plight of Kashmiris,” he said, adding that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause.”We call for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC Resolutions,” he added.Zakaria also announced that Dr. Muhammad Faisal has been nominated as the new spokesperson of the Foreign Office.Faisal has been working as head of South Asia and SAARC affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs.He has repeatedly summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to the Foreign Office in recent months.

Dialogue futile without participation of Hurriyat: Pak on India appointing interlocutor for J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan on Tuesday dismissed as unrealistic India’s move to appoint an interlocutor to understand the legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir, saying no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight without the participation of the Hurriyat Conference.India yesterday appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its special representative for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, in a fresh move aimed at bringing peace to the troubled state. Responding to a question on Sharma’s appointment, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the measure did not appear to be sincere and realistic. He said that, if anything, the Indian Government s announcement illustrated a recognition — once again — of the futility of the use of force and of the indispensability of dialogue.”However, for any dialogue process to be meaningful and result-oriented, it has to include the three main parties India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris. In that context, without the participation of the Hurriyat leadership, no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight or meaning,” he said. The spokesperson said that the designated interlocutor had been entrusted with the task of understanding the “legitimate aspirations” of the Kashmiri people.He said that the need of the hour was to have dialogue for peacefully resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”This was imperative for ensuring durable and sustainable peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan hoped that the international community would play its rightful role in facilitating such an outcome,” he said.

India calls Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UN speech row

India uses a right of reply to make an angry statement after Pakistani PM’s Kashmir comments.

India strongly objects to Pakistan’s statement on Kashmir in United Nations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Friday out rightly rejected the statement and references by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) relating to Jammu and Kashmir and said that “OIC has no locus standi on India’s internal affairs”.Exercising India’s right to reply, Dr Sumit Seth, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to UN, said,” President, I’m taking this floor to exercise India’s right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation.””India notes with utmost regret that the OIC in its statement contains factually incorrect and misleading references to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inseparable part of India,” said Seth.Seth further added, “India outrightly rejects all such references. The OIC has no locus standi on India’s internal affairs. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.”Speaking on behalf of OIC, Pakistan had blamed India for human rights violations Jammu and Kashmir and accused it in denying the right of self-determination to Kashmiris.

Pakistan should stop infiltrating terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir: HM Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after reviewing the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a high-level meeting, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asked Pakistan to stop infiltrating terrorists into the Valley.”Pakistan should stop infiltrating terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir,” reported PTI quoting the Home Minister.”We wish to resolve the problems facing Kashmir. I am ready to make all the efforts in this endeavour The situation is improving in Kashmir valley. We wish to see smiles on the face of Kashmiri people,” the Union minister, who is on a four-day visit to the state said while addressing media.”The terrorists have destroyed many generations of Kashmiris. We will not allow another generation to go waste in Kashmir. The worst affected groups in Kashmir are the youth, businessmen, workers and the poor,” he said.Rajnath Singh also said that the government will not go against sentiments of people on Article 35A. “There are no issues left that are why such issues are being raised,” he said.The Home Minister also said that the Centre will run a special tourism drive for Kashmir to promote tourism in the state.The Home Minister also spoke about the permanent solution to Kashmir problem. He says his outreach is based on Five Cs. “The Five Cs of HM’s Kashmir outreach are 1-Compassion 2- Communication 3- Coexistence 4-Confidence Building & 5- Consistency,” Singh said.

India should resolve Kashmir issue through ‘political and diplomatic means’: Pak army chief Bajwa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India should resolve the Kashmir issue through “political and diplomatic” means rather than “abusing” Pakistan, army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said.Bajwa, while addressing a Defence Day gathering in Rawalpindi last night, said people of South Asia need peace for prosperity. Accusing India of “killing” innocent people on the LoC, he said the country should give peace a chance. “It is in interest of India that for a durable solution to the issues (in Kashmir), it should prefer political and diplomatic process instead of abusing Pakistan and using bullets against Kashmiris,” the Chief of Army Staff said.Bajwa said Pakistan wants to address the Kashmir issue through dialogue.”Welfare of millions of people of these two countries is linked with permanent peace. But for it to happen, it is necessary that innocent and unarmed people on the LoC are not targeted through a planned way,” he said. Pakistan will continue to extend “political, moral, and diplomatic support” to Kashmiris for their right to self- determination in line with the UN Security Council resolutions, he said. He accused India of trying to destabilise Pakistan through “militancy and usurping its share of water”.The army chief also claimed that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state. “Our nuclear programme is just a deterrent against the enemy that introduced this unconventional war in the region,” he said. Bajwa said that Pakistan was against terrorism. “We are against war and terrorism. We want relationship with all countries based on mutual respect and equality,” he said. Pakistan celebrates the Defence Day to mark the 1965 war with India.

JuD chief warns of intensified jihad against India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Central government has drawn up a tough strategy to deal with the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and has already killed more than 140 terrorists this year, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) announces to intensify terror attacks in India.JuD chief Abdul Rehman Makki pledged to intensify ‘jihad’ against India in the Valley. Makki also confirmed the formation of a new political outfit Milli Muslim League (MML). He is the brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attack in 2008. Makki was given the charge to head JuD after Saeed was placed under house arrest by Pakistan government in January.Sources in intelligence agencies stated that the influence of Makki and Saeed in the Valley are losing ground as Pakistan-based terror outfits members are being killed. “This is worrisome for them who trap the innocent and unemployed Kashmiri youth to carry out terror attacks in lieu of money,” a senior intelligence bureau officer said.Makki also hailed the terrorists who were killed by security forces in Kashmir.He also lashed out at the United States to label JuD cadres as extremists, jihadis, fundamentalists and terrorists, and declaring the outfit as dangerous for peace in the region. Makki said that JuD’s basic aim is to consolidate Pakistan and “to free Kashmiris from the yoke of Hindu forces”. He also blamed the Indian government to declare Hafiz Saeed a terrorist and having him placed under house arrest.”The Pakistan leadership needs to be taught to work for the supremacy of Islam, liberation of Kashmir, and to stop being friends with New Delhi,”he said. On former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Makki said, “Allah punished people for stopping others from following the path of Jihad.”

US move to blacklist Hizbul Mujahideen ‘unjustified’, says Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan was “disappointed” with the US decision to designate the Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and the move was “unjustified,” the Foreign Office said today. The US yesterday designated the Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist group, nearly two months after declaring its Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. “Declaring organisations or groups supporting freedom struggle in Kashmir as terrorist outfits is completely unjustified,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during his weekly press conference here. He said the US decision did not take into account “the 70-year struggle of Kashmiris.” “We are disappointed (with the US decision) in view of the fact that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute,” he said. He reiterated Pakistan’s “moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiri people’s struggle”. Formed in 1989, Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena takes dig at PM’s I-Day address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address, the Shiv Sena today dared the Centre to abolish the Article 370 of the Constitution so that people from across the nation can “visit Kashmir and embrace its people.” Modi, in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red fort yesterday, said, “Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem cannot be resolved by either bullets or by abuses. It can be resolved by embracing Kashmiris).” Reacting to it in a sarcasting tone, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ today said, “Why nobody got this great thought before is very surprising.” “Now to bring this thought into practice, abolish Article 370 of the Constitution so that hoards of people from across the country can go there (Kashmir) and embrace its people,” the editorial said. The Sena also said that violence in “the name of faith is prevalent in the country”, which frightens not only Muslims but the Hindus as well. “Some segments of the Hindu community have become violent and extremists in the name of cow protection. Merely warning them will not be enough,” said the party, which is part of the BJP-led alliance governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra. The Sena further questioned why the government was not as strict against those who refuse to sing ‘Vande Mataram’ as the way it implemented demonetisation and GST. The prime minister had promised to bring back black money from foreign banks and deposit Rs 15 lakh in each person’s account, it said, adding, “We believe this will be done in the next two years.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No national anthem: Some madrasas in UP defy Yogi Adityanath’s Independence Day diktat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defying Yogi Adityanath government’s order, some madrasas in Uttar Pradesh refused to sing national anthem and videograph the Independence Day celebrations.The Uttar Pradesh government had directed all madrassas (Islamic schools) to hold celebrations on Independence Day and videograph the event, and even warned of action against madrassas which do not follow the order.The directive was also questioned by All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli.Stating that they didn’t want to give proof of their patriotism, students madrasas in Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly sang Saare Jahan Se Achha, a 20th century patriotic song penned by the poet Mohammad Iqbal, reported Hindustan Times. ALSO READ Independence day speech: PM reaches out to Kashmiris, lists out economic achievements of govt The Sunni Ulema Council convener Haji Mohd Saleeh said, “Students hoisted the flag and celebrated the occasion with traditional fervour. The government order is an attempt to test our patriotism which is wrong.”The report also said that the students in Bareilly’s Manzar-e-Islam hoisted the Tricolour but didn’t sing the national anthem. The madrasa authorities also refrained from videography.“Traditionally, we do not sing the national anthem during Independence Day or Republic Day celebrations. We only followed convention this time,” a senior cleric told the daily.However, amidst mix reactions, Lucknow’s Firangi Mahal madrasa unfurled the tricolor. Agra’s Afzal Ul Uloom Madrasa also celebrated the day of independence.

Triple talaq to federalism, clear path is laid out

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after coming to power, the political leitmotif of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was to take India into the 21st century. He used his first Independence Day address in 1985 unleashing promises and a vision for 21st century India. Thirty-two years later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined his own vision to build a New India by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence. An India that is secure, prosperous, strong, also provides equal opportunity to all and where science and technology play an important part.Modi also silenced those who were demanding that he apologises for the deaths of children in Gorakhpur, saying 125 crore countrymen stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the families of the departed souls. Since the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency, so far represented by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, will be going to polls at some point in time, the Prime Minister chose his words well.Armed with some 13,000 ideas he had received from members of the public through his MyGov portal, the Independence Day speech ranged defence and environment to security of women and education.In the context of women’s empowerment, PM Modi raised the issue of ‘triple talaq’ and vowed to support Muslim women. Having been the chief minister of Gujarat for a decade and being at loggerheads with a UPA-led Centre, Modi realised the need for cooperative federalism. On Tuesday he qualified it further, by calling for a system of “competitive cooperative federalism”. The competitive aspect of the slogan would make states compete with each other to attract investors and entrepreneurs and thereby create more jobs.Though, unlike his past three speeches there was no announcement on Tuesday, PM Modi’s comments on Jammu and Kashmir went beyond rhetoric and politics — reminding one of the April 18, 2003 public address of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who talked of “Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat”. The Prime Minister said: “We have to work for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir… problems cannot be sorted through abuses or bullets… Kashmir’s problems can only be solved by embracing Kashmiris.”After 70 years of failed policies, three wars with Pakistan, and more than 50,000 dead in the Valley, it is fair to say the conventional wisdom has not worked. Vajpayee had proposed moving away from a hawkish bureaucratic mindset that views Kashmir as a mere law and order problem. Like the fomer PM’s initiatives brought new hope (though its fruits were not consolidated), the current PM’s words and its true delivery will augur well in Kashmir.Modi was, however, firm on terrorism. He said the global community is supporting India with critical information on terror money, and that the world had to recognise the strength of India and her clout post the surgical strike. The fourth Independence Day speech of Modi was an assertion of confidence – in India and its 125 million people.

Shortest speech, strongest message

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the nation from the iconic and historic citadel, Red Fort, on Tuesday, in a 57 minute-long speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about various issues, ranging from GST to terrorism. Urging his countrymen to win the hearts of Kashmiris to find a solution to the problems in the conflict-hit state, Modi underlined that his government will, however, not go soft on terrorism.”Neither bullets nor abuse, the Kashmir problem can be only be solved by embracing the people of the conflict-hit state,” The PM said in his 71st Independence Day address.In an effort to reach out to the people of the troubled state, Modi said a handful of separatists in Kashmir were trying to create a rift and that the government was committed to restore the Valley to its past glory and make it a paradise again.The state has been on the boil over the last one year, ever since local Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) member Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, 2016.”We have been asking the extremists to join the mainstream. Democracy provides equal opportunity and rights for all,” the PM said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.Mentioning the ongoing standoff with China and frequent skirmishes on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, Modi said India was capable of combating any security challenges, be it the seas or the borders.He also referred to last year’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC, and without naming China or Pakistan, said the world has realised the strength of India’s security forces.The PM also also greeted people on the occasion of Janmashtami, while condemning violence in the name of religion, stating that casteism and communalism were a poison for the country.He said India’s security was his topmost priority and that the country had the global community’s support to ensure this. With political clamour over communalism raging, the Modi said it was time to replace the 1942 ‘Bharat Chhodo’ slogan with ‘Bharat Jodo’.”This is the land of Buddha and Gandhi. We can only move forward by taking everyone along. This is part of our country’s tradition and culture,” he said.The Prime Minister also focussed on economic reforms brought in by his government, including demonetisation, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and a crackdown on black money. “Those who have looted the nation and the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” he said.The PM further said that demonetization in November last year helped him bring over Rs 3 lakh crore unaccounted wealth into the banking system. Over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks since the note ban, and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny, Modi said. Referring to recent natural calamities in various parts of the country and the death of several children at a state-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh, he said sympathies of the entire nation were with the affected families.The PM’s speech, which had references to Hindu scriptures, also stressed that government schemes were gaining momentum. Asking the countrymen to be a driving force for change, he said there was a need to shed the ‘chalta hai’ (everything goes) attitude and replace it with a more proactive approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (can be changed).Underlining his vision for 2022, when the country will celebrate 75 years of Independence, he said in “new India”, people’s voice will be supreme and the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity. Farmers would be free from worry and would earn twice of what they earn today, and youths and women will get ample opportunities to fulfill their dreams, the PM said.”Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people would be the driving force behind the establishment rather than the other way around), and democracy will not been confined to the ballots,” the Prime Minister said.

Independence day speech: Congress targets PM Modi for comparing Gorakhpur tragedy to natural calamities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech today drew flak from the opposition, with the Congress describing it as “most disappointing” and the Left downplaying it as “nothing spectacular”.Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said Modi had not shown “sensitivity” to the Gorakhpur tragedy — the death of infants in a UP hospital — by comparing it with natural calamities and said the PM should have given an account of the “failure” of his government.”The Prime Minister’s Independence Day address has been most disappointing. After three years, it was time for him to give an account of the failure of his government in fulfilling its promises to the people, especially the youth, farmers and weaker sections,” he told reporters here. On Modi’s call for embracing strife-hit Kashmiris, Sharma said, “We have never stopped him from embracing Kashmiris. He should talk to all sections and create a national consensus as well as in Kashmir.”
ALSO READ At 57 minutes, it was PM Narendra Modi’s shortest Independence Day speech CPI national secretary D Raja said there was “nothing spectacular” in Modi’s speech and alleged he lacked conviction when he talked about embracing Kashmiris.”They (the government) believe in a military solution to the dispute but he talks about embracing Kashmiris. There is no conviction in what he said,” Raja said.National Conference working president Omar Abdullah in a Tweet alluded to Modi’s remark that the Kashmir issue would not be resolved by abuse and bullets. “I guess that covers both sides – terrorists and security forces,” he said. While referring to the Gorakhpur deaths, Sharma said Modi did not reflect the gravity of the situation.
ALSO READ Independence Day: From Kashmir to demonetization, here are highlights of PM Modi’s speech”He has in a very trivial manner equated the Gorakhpur tragedy to national calamities,” the Congress leader said.On demonetization, Abdullah tweeted, “This is welcome news”. But he took a dig at the government with, “It also means RBI has finished counting demonetised notes to arrive at this firm figure of 3 lakh crores. Excellent.” Referring to Modi’s assertion that violence in the name of faith was “not acceptable”, Raja said the PM should first ask RSS-BJP cadres to “stop engaging in communal attacks”. “What the prime minister said should be taken seriously by the RSS-BJP themselves,” the CPI leader said.Sharma wondered what had stopped the prime minister or home minister from acting against those who had “created an atmosphere of fear and violence due to which people are feeling insecure”. “Why has action not been taken against such individuals or organisations, when they have their government in the Centre and states? Why have they not been arrested,” he asked.Raja also hit out Modi for not talking about jobs generated for the country’s youth. Sharma said Modi had promised to create 2 crore jobs every year but was not talking about employment any more. He said while the prime minister was taking the credit for GST and the fight against black money, he should have shown “some grace and humility” to acknowledge the “constructive cooperation” of the opposition in ushering in the new tax regime.”We did not expect the prime minister while addressing the country to completely ignore and then expect cooperation and endorsement from the opposition. His fight against black money was a sham and remains a sham,” he said, accusing the government of promoting crony capitalism. “Why has this government not given an account of how much black money there is in the money that has come back to the RBI vaults,” he asked.Referring to the fight against corruption, he said, “The country and we have to ask the prime minister why in three years the Lokpal has not been appointed.” “If he believes in his words, then he has to be accountable for the non-appointment of the lokpal, for the dilution of anti-corruption laws and the RTI,” he said. The prime minister has “true to his characteristic style” been “disrespectful” to the memory of his predecessors, he said.”Modi did not mention those who fought for and gave freedom to this country, who built the foundations of modern and self-reliant India,” Sharma said.

Modi’s I-day speech disappointing, nothing spectacular: Oppn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech today drew flak from the opposition, with the Congress describing it as “most disappointing” and the Left downplaying it as “nothing spectacular”. Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said Modi had not shown “sensitivity” to the Gorakhpur tragedy — the death of infants in a UP hospital — by comparing it with natural calamities and said the PM should have given an account of the “failure” of his government. “The Prime Minister’s Independence Day address has been most disappointing. After three years, it was time for him to give an account of the failure of his government in fulfilling its promises to the people, especially the youth, farmers and weaker sections,” he told reporters here. On Modi’s call for embracing strife-hit Kashmiris, Sharma said, “We have never stopped him from embracing Kashmiris. He should talk to all sections and create a national consensus as well as in Kashmir.” CPI national secretary D Raja said there was “nothing spectacular” in Modi’s speech and alleged he lacked conviction when he talked about embracing Kashmiris. “They (the government) believe in a military solution to the dispute but he talks about embracing Kashmiris. There is no conviction in what he said,” Raja said. National Conference working president Omar Abdullah in a Tweet alluded to Modi’s remark that the Kashmir issue would not be resolved by abuse and bullets. “I guess that covers both sides – terrorists and security forces,” he said. While referring to the Gorakhpur deaths, Sharma said Modi did not reflect the gravity of the situation. “He has in a very trivial manner equated the Gorakhpur tragedy to national calamities,” the Congress leader said. On demonetisation, Abdullah tweeted, “This is welcome news”. But he took a dig at the government with, “It also means RBI has finished counting demonetised notes to arrive at this firm figure of 3 lakh crores. Excellent.” Referring to Modi’s assertion that violence in the name of faith was “not acceptable”, Raja said the PM should first ask RSS-BJP cadres to “stop engaging in communal attacks”. “What the prime minister said should be taken seriously by the RSS-BJP themselves,” the CPI leader said. Sharma wondered what had stopped the prime minister or home minister from acting against those who had “created an atmosphere of fear and violence due to which people are feeling insecure”. “Why has action not been taken against such individuals or organisations, when they have their government in the Centre and states? Why have they not been arrested,” he asked. Raja also hit out Modi for not talking about jobs generated for the country’s youth. Sharma said Modi had promised to create 2 crore jobs every year but was not talking about employment any more. He said while the prime minister was taking the credit for GST and the fight against black money, he should have shown “some grace and humility” to acknowledge the “constructive cooperation” of the opposition in ushering in the new tax regime. “We did not expect the prime minister while addressing the country to completely ignore and then expect cooperation and endorsement from the opposition. His fight against black money was a sham and remains a sham,” he said, accusing the government of promoting crony capitalism. “Why has this government not given an account of how much black money there is in the money that has come back to the RBI vaults,” he asked. Referring to the fight against corruption, he said, “The country and we have to ask the prime minister why in three years the Lokpal has not been appointed.” “If he believes in his words, then he has to be accountable for the non-appointment of the lokpal, for the dilution of anti-corruption laws and the RTI,” he said. The prime minister has “true to his characteristic style” been “disrespectful” to the memory of his predecessors, he said. “Modi did not mention those who fought for and gave freedom to this country, who built the foundations of modern and self-reliant India,” Sharma said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why is Kashmir’s ‘special status’ under threat in India?

A property law unique to Indian-administered Kashmir is being challenged in India’s Supreme Court.

Bullets or abuses won’t help address problems of Kashmir: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reaching out to strife-hit Kashmiris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said bullets or abuses will not help resolve their problems and a change can take place by embracing all Kashmiris. In his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, he also slammed violence in the name of faith, saying it was “not acceptable” and that communalism and casteism were a “poison” that would do no good to the country. During his hour-long speech, Modi also asserted that India is capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it the sea or borders, a remark that assumes significance in view of the standoff with China in Doklam. Attired in his trademark half-sleeve ‘kurta’, churidar pajama and Rajasthani headgear, Modi started his speech with a reference to casualties caused by natural calamities in different parts of the country and deaths of children in a state-run hospital in Gorakhopur, saying sympathies of the entire nation are with the affected families. Addressing the nation for the fourth time from the Red Fort, he also spoke about his three-year-old government’s achievements and the major decisions taken, particularly referring to the GST rollout and demonetisation. He said national security is a priority for the government and there will be no soft approach towards terrorists or terrorism. Referring to Kashmir where the situation has been uneasy since last year, the prime minister said, “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (problems of Kashmir cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses. The change can come by embracing all Kashmiris).” He said only a handful of separatists were resorting to different tactics to create problems in the state but the government is committed to making Kashmir a paradise once again. Modi said not only the Jammu and Kashmir government but the entire country is with the people of the state in helping them realise their dreams of development. He said the government is committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and again make it the ‘heaven on earth’. Modi referred to last year’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) and said the world has realised the mettle of India’s security forces. He said India’s stature in the world is rising and several countries are cooperating with India in fighting the menace of terrorism. “It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling every security challenge,” he said amidst the standoff with China in Doklam, which he did not refer to directly. “Our army, our bravehearts, every personnel in uniform and not only the Army, Navy, the IAF, have shown their capability and grit whenever there was a situation. Our heroes never shied away from sacrifices,” he said. India stands for peace, unity, and harmony, he said, adding “poison” of casteism and communalism will not help the nation. “Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said while invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha. “Bharat Jodo” (connect India) should be the slogan like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle, he said. He also referred to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, saying he paid regards to the women who had to lead a pitiable life because of it and had started a movement which has created an environment in the country against the practice. Talking about rollout of GST on July 1, he said it was a key illustration of cooperative federalism. He said abolition of inter-state check posts after the implementation of GST has reduced time for movement of goods by 30 per cent and saved thousands of crores of rupees. Mentioning his resolve to curb black money, he said demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November had helped bring over Rs 3 lakh crore of hereto unaccounted wealth into the banking system. He said over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks post note-ban and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny. “Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” the prime minister said, vowing to continue the crackdown on black money. Modi also asked the countrymen to shed ‘chalta hai’ attitude and instead adopt an approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (can change) for positive change. Invoking Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s slogan of swaraj (self- rule), he said now their motto should be ‘suraj’ (good governance) as he underlined his vision for a ‘new India’ by 2022. In ‘new India’, he said, “Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people would be the driving force behind the establishment rather than the other way around).” He lamented that democracy has been confined to ballots. The nation had shown its collective strength between 1942 and 1947 culminating in India s Independence, he said, asking people to show the same resolve to create a ‘new India’ by 2022. He emphasised that everyone is equal in the nation and together they can bring about a qualitative transformation. Highlighting the problems in work culture, he said while the nation had the capability of sending ‘mangalyaan’ (Mars mission) in nine months, on the other hand, a rail track project had been pending for over four decades, leading to disappointment among the people over the situation. He said his government has put the decision- making on the fast-track. Concluding his speech, he called for a ‘new India’ where the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity; where farmers would be free from worry and would earn twice of what they earn today; youth and women would get ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams. Also an India which will be free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism and an India which is clean and healthy, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Omar Abdullah snubs PM Modi over ‘Kashmir remark’ in I-Day address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his statement on resolving the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, which according to the latter can be possible by embracing the natives, rather than bullets and abuses. ?Actually he said the Kashmir issue will not be resolved by abuse and bullets. I guess that covers both sides – terrorists and security forces,? he tweeted in response to Prime Minister Modi. Further, countering the revelations made on the amount of black money recovered during the demonetisation phase, Abdullah satirically remarked that the availability of figures highlights that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) completed the counting of demonetised currency notes. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day, Prime Minister Modi opined that the situation in the Valley cannot be solved by bullets or abuses, but by embracing Kashmiris. Strongly condemning the rise of terrorism, Prime Minister Modi assured that while national security remains the top priority of the Centre, no leeway will be given to terrorists. ?We are not alone in our fight against terrorism; many countries are actively supporting us. There will be no type of softness against terrorism,? he said, adding, “We are committed to restoring Kashmir’s status of heaven on earth.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India Independence Day: Modi criticises Kashmir separatists

Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticises separatists as India marks 70 years of independence.

Bullets or abuses won’t help resolve Kashmir: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said bullets or abuses will not resolve the Kashmir issue and that it can be addressed by embracing every Kashmiri. Addressing the nation on the 71st Independence Day from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, he asserted that his government is committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and its status as ‘heaven on earth’. “Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir probem cannot be resolved by either bullets or by abuses. It can be resolved by embracing all Kashmiris),” Modi said in his fourth Independence Day speech. He said only a “handful of separatists” were resorting to different tactics to create problems in the state and asserted that there will be no soft approach towards terrorism. The government is committed to make Kashmir a paradise once again, the prime minister asserted. Not only the J&K government but the entire country is with the people of the state in helping them realise their dreams of development, Modi said. During his hour-long address, the prime minister also declared that that violence in the name of faith was not acceptable and termed casteism and communalism as poison. Referring to recent incidents of natural calamities in various parts of the country as also death of children at a state-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh, he said sympathies of the entire nation are with the affected families. “Many parts of the country faced natural calamities in the recent past. Children died at a hospital. The entire nation is with them,” Modi said. Noting that natural calamities become a big challenge, he said while good rains contribute to prosperity of the country, climate change creates problems. Talking about national security, he said it is a priority and the country is capable of defending itself in all spheres. India is capable of tackling any challenge in any frontier — land, sea or the cyber space, the prime minister said against the backdrop of border standoff with China in Doklam.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘I won’t surrender, do what you want to’: LeT Commander Abu Dujana told Armyman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana, a Pakistani national who was killed in encounter with security forces refused to surrender minutes before getting killed.Dujana, category ‘A’ militant who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head was also wanted in many militancy-related attacks on security forces and political workers in south Kashmir.In a phone call with an Army officer, Dujana refused to surrender and admitted that he had left behind his parents in Gilgit-Baltistan for jihad, reported Times of India.Report said that Dujana also asked the officer ‘how he was’, after speaking to Kashmiri civilian who was commissioned to begin the conversation.When asked why he was not surrendering, Dujana told the officer that he had left home for martyrdom. “Sometimes we are ahead, sometimes you—today you caught me. Congratulations. Now do what you have to,” Dujana said.
ALSO READ How security forces took inspiration from operation against Osama bin Laden to neutralise Abu DujanaThe slain militant also said that his parents were dead for him since the day he left them behind. He also refused to show any concern for them.The officer repeatedly made appeal to save Kashmiris and not recruit youth for terror. However, Dujana ended the conversation.
ALSO READ After neutralising Abu Dujana, security forces to target six high-profile terrorists in Jammu and KashmirDujana, believed to be in his late 20s, was killed in a well-planned operation by a joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army and CRPF in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.The inmates of the house where he was holed up had told police that he claimed to be from Karachi.
ALSO READ Who was LeT commander Abu Dujana and how he was trapped and killed by security forces?Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir police is going to approach the Pakistan High Commission via the Union home ministry to take the body of Abu Dujana, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander gunned down in south Kashmir.It will be the first time that the Pakistan High Commission is asked to claim the body of a militant killed in Kashmir Valley.

Outgoing Pak envoy Abdul Basit says dialogue key to resolving issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Saturday emphasised on a continuous dialogue between the two nations for resolving disputes. ?Engagement is imperative to both countries. Both the countries had decided that they would separate talks from terrorism, because there would be forces in both nations, which cannot accept the normalisation of any relationship,” he said at an event here. He said that there should be a dialogue in place to address the perceptions or misconceptions on each side. Further talking about Pakistan?s support to Kashmiris, he said, ?Perceptions and misconceptions in India about Pakistan?s support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not limited to moral, diplomatic or political support. They are beyond that.? ?The people of Jammu and Kashmir should not be allowed to suffer because of what Pakistan or India did or did not do. Kashmiris have the right to self determination as was committed to them by both countries ,? he added. His comments come a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti talked about the state in a seminar where she discussed issues like Article 35-A under Article 370, which gives special status to the state. The outgoing envoy said that Pakistan does not shy away from discussing issues like terrorism as the country too has concerns when it comes to this. ?Once we start talking to each other there would be other issues like terrorism. So, engagement is the key and we should not take it as a favour from one country to another. It?s a prerequisite; it?s a necessity if we are to resolve our problems,? he said. The India-Pakistan relations have been strained ever since a death sentence was awarded to former Indian Naval officer Jadhav. India even moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek justice for Jadhav that stayed the death sentence till its final decision. When asked about the future of the downhill relations, the outgoing envoy said, “Never give up. Keep trying; things will get better.” The Pakistan government had earlier accepted the request of Abdul Basit to resign from the foreign service after he was passed over for the post of foreign secretary earlier this year. Basit was to retire in April 2018, but he opted for an early retirement and sent his resignation letter to former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba Mufti says PDP will not allow closure of cross-LoC trade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said the PDP would not allow the closure of cross-LoC trade and continue to work towards opening more routes across the Line of Control with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Addressing a large rally on the 18th foundation day of the People’s Democratic Party here, Mehbooba also pitched for nominating members to the legislative assembly from the other side of LoC so that joint meetings could be held once in a year.”There are many difficulties through the Wagah border, charas and ganja comes from there but no one talks about closing it. Just because a mistake happens on the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road, we should not talk about closing it. We will not allow that to happen,” the chief minister said.On July 21, police seized 66.5 kg of heroin and brown sugar worth Rs 300 crore from a truck coming from PoK.There have also been reports that the NIA, which is probing terror funding in Kashmir, may recommend closure of trade along cross-LoC routes.”We are in favour of opening more routes. There should be facilities like banking there (at crossing points). There should be (full) body scanners (for trucks) so that we know what is coming in and what is going out from here,” she said.”What we in PDP have achieved since 2002 needs to be taken forward,” Mehbooba added.Discussing the idea of a joint legislature for undivided Jammu and Kashmir, she said, “There are seats reserved in our assembly for that Kashmir. We should decide together to make nominations for those seats. We should decide that this assembly meets once in this Kashmir and once in that Kashmir every year so that we can talk about tourism, travel and opening of Sharda Peeth.”The PDP president also spoke about student exchanges.”I appeal to people on the other side of Kashmir. Come and send your children on a 15-day tour here and we will send our children there. They will see how we live here and our children will see how they live there.”The chief minister appealed to all mainstream parties, including coalition parter BJP and the opposition National Conference and Congress, to put their heads together and find a way to end bloodshed in Kashmir.”I appeal to all parties — be it National Conference, Congress, BJP, Communists or any other party — let us sit together and find a solution to the problems of Jammu and Kashmir. We are one, we are the same. (When) anyone is killed, it is a Kashmiri, be it a policeman or an innocent pedestrian.”She said she appealed to Farooq Abdullah (NC), Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) and the leadership of the BJP to help “heal the pain of Kashmiris”.The state was facing an ideological challenge, she said.”You cannot imprison an idea, you cannot kill an idea.” Referring to her father and PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she said he would often say Kashmir is besieged and should be should be set free by the opening of roads like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkot and Leh-Xinjiang.The chief minister sought the support of the people and her party workers in helping the state out of its present state of uncertainty.The PDP was founded on July 28, 1999 but the party decided to defer the foundation day celebrations by a day in deference to the Friday prayers.

RS passes Bill empowering Centre to collect statistical data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bill empowering the Centre to collect statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir was passed by the Rajya Sabha today even as various Opposition parties said the move was not proper in view of Article 370 which grants special status to the state. Members of a number of Opposition parties urged the government to take the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly into confidence before getting The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed. Responding to the issues raised by various members regarding the special status of J&K, Statistics Minister D V Sadanand Gowda said the provisions of the bill do not infringe upon the rights of Kashmiris and the Centre was not overriding Article 370 or encroaching upon the powers of the state government. The bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in April this year, will facilitate in organising data collection under the provisions of the principal act throughout the country including Jammu and Kashmir. While moving the amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha for passage, said it had been brought to address the “legislative vacuum” as collection of statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir was not possible. He noted that the statistical data and information is an important element for planning as well as implementation of various projects. “…In the large interest of the country and the state, is it not fair on our part to go ahead,” the Minister asked. Earlier, participating in the debate on the bill, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who hails from J&K, said the question was not of merit of the legislation but of the Constitution which accords special status to the state. Referring to a statement by his colleague in the Congress party Jairam Ramesh, Azad said the party is not opposed to the bill but everyone knows that Jammu and Kashmior has special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. He said the Centre should understand the implications as the situation is Kashmir is really bad since the last 30 years. Azad alleged that the Centre had not consulted the state government or the Opposition in the matter. “Neither the ruling party in Kashmir (PDP) nor the Opposition here is with you. The (bill’s) provisions are fine but it should not be imposed without the consent of the state government,” he said. Azad alleged that the BJP had differing views on the Article 370 and wanted to abolish it. He said young girls were being tutored for spreading misinformation through WhatsApp regarding the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. He appealed to the government to understand the sensitivity of the matter, warning that otherwise it will have to face the consequences. Jairam Ramesh wanted to know what exactly was the legislative vacuum and what were the difficulties in getting data. He said the state government had not been consulted by the Centre before bringing this Bill. Responding to him, the minister asked, “If I get more statisitical data from the state, is it not possible for the Centre to assist the state more?” He added, “When it does not infringe upon the rights of Kashmiris, when we are not overriding Article 370 or we are not encroaching upon the powers of the state government, and in the large interest if the country and the state, is it not fair on our part to go ahead?” Gowda said the Centre had written to the state government in 2009 after the earlier bill, in which J&K had been kept out, was passed here. Inspite of that, in 2010, the state enacted its own law where certain areas they can’t enter and “we are also restrained from entering certain areas.” He said there are so many statistical data not available regarding Kashmir “which hurts the development of the nation and Kashmir”. After the Minister finished his reply, Azad shot back, saying: “We have warned you, cautioned you. Inspite of the Opposition requesting you, the ruling party has gone ahead. So it will be squarely responsible if anything goes wrong.” According to the statement of objects and reason of the bill, “the amendments proposed in the bill, inter alia, seek to extend the Statistics Act 2008, to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in so far as it relates to any Statistical survey relating to any matter falling under any of the entries specified in List I (Union List) or List III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution as applicable to that state”. It will empower the central government and each state government to designate one of its nodal officers as nodal officer to coordinate and supervise the statistical activities and to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be made by the rules. Ramesh said the Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir was not aware about this bill till it was passed by the Lok Sabha. Noting that J&K enjoys special status under the Constitution, Ramesh said the atomosphere and environment in Kashmir was “sensitive”. The sensitivities need to be understood, he said, adding Parliament should not be seen doing this unilaterally. Ram Kumar Verma of BJP said J&K is an important part of the country and asked why the state was excluded when this law was passed in 2009. He said the amendement bill has been brought to remove the deficiencies in the earlier law. AIADMK member S R Balasubramaniam said it is not proper to pass this bill without the concurrence of J&K government. Harivansh of JD (U) also said this bill should have been passed after taking concurrence of the state government. C P Narayanan of CPI (M) stressed that data and statistics should be dealt scientifically. Sarojini Hembram (BJD) agreed with the doubts raised by Jairam Ramesh and said it would not be good to pass this bill without taking concurrence of the state government. She also asked the government to ensure data security so that the same is not misused. Vijaysai Reddy (YSR Congress) expressed concern over possibility of misuse of data and information by parties in power at the Centre and States. He spoke about the need to ensure privacy of data. D Raja (CPI) asked the government whether there was any engagement with the J&K government in this whole exercise. He said the amendment bill should be in accordance with Article 370 of the Constitution. K Rahman Khan (Cong) said the consent of J&K government is necessary and it was not right to meddle with Article 370. He said power to make rule under this bill can be misused. He also said the power of nodal officers should be defined under this Bill. Vikas Mahatme (BJP) said the situation in J&K could be improved through data and statistics.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

We will not tolerate anything against Kashmiriyat: Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Forces that are holding the Valley hostage and spreading fear need to be confronted head on to realise the dream of a khushhaal Jammu and Kashmir,” J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a hardening of stand after Monday’s terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims.Her remarks on Thursday came as separatists called for ending bloodshed. Mehbooba invoked the memory of 21 Kashmiris, killed during the 1931 uprising, to call people to fight those spreading fear.There has been nationwide outrage after the Amarnath attack. The Centre is likely to address the Opposition today about the attack.”The best way to remember the sacrifices of these martyrs is that the people of the state work together in strengthening the democratic, secular and tolerant system set up after struggles by our forefathers,” Mehbooba said.The 21 Kashmiris were killed by the army of Maharaja Hari Singh when J&K was a princely state. July 13 is the only day when both the ruling and the separatist groups are “on the same page”. While mainstream parties believe the martyrs’s mission was achieved when the monarchy ended, separatists claim that the struggle continues since Kashmir remains an unresolved issue.Mehbooba hoped that the clouds of uncertainty and violence would soon give way to reconciliation, peace and mutual trust. “It was satisfying that the people of the state, cutting across ideological divides, were unequivocal in condemning the dastardly act of violence against the Amarnath Yatris. We have sent a message to the entire world that Kashmiriyat is alive. And people will not tolerate anything that is against the ethos of Kashmiriyat,” she said.Earlier, the separatists called for an end to bloodshed, apparently realising that growing radicalisation is turning some Kashmiri youths towards a fight for “Caliphate and Shari’a”.”Bloodshed on all sides is uncalled for, unfortunate and painful… and should stop… that can happen only when the reality of Kashmir is accepted, and the ways and means of resolving the dispute are addressed by the Indian State,” said the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).

Manhunt launched for Amarnath attack mastermind; highest alert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces have launched a massive hunt for Pakistani national and Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail who has emerged as the mastermind of the deadly terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, a senior police official said here today. The government has also sounded the “highest alert” across Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of Monday’s attack in Anantnag district of Kashmir in which seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed. Officials in Delhi, quoting intelligence inputs, said four terrorists, two of them Pakistanis, are suspected to have been involved in the attack. Ismail was the mastermind of the attack and he was assisted by another Pakistani and two local militants, they said. Ismail has been active in Valley for several years and had moved base to south Kashmir more than a year ago, the police official said in Srinagar. Proactive operations have been launched, mainly in south Kashmir, to track down Ismail as investigations including communication intercepts have pointed to his involvement in the attack on the pilgrims, he said. The official said the attack in Anantnag appears to be reprisal for killing of several LeT terrorists including top commander Bashir Lashkari in an encounter with security forces earlier this month. “The terrorists are frustrated at the back-to-back losses suffered by them during counter-insurgency operations over the past month or so and have now resorted to attacking civilians and tourists,” he said. A home ministry offical indicated in New Delhi that the anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir would be intensified as he said the security agencies have been told to implement security plans with full vigour. The Anantnag attack on the pilgrims came on the same day when police announced arrest of a module of LeT including a Hindu terrorist hailing from Muzaffaranagar in Uttar Pradesh. Targeting of the pilgrims has led to a massive outrage in Kashmir, with people of the Valley saying that such incidents go against the concept of composite culture and Kashmiriyat. Meanwhile, as the annual pilgrimage continues, the central government issued the “highest alert” in Jammu and Kashmir. The alert was issued after a central ministerial team comprising Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh and Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir visited Kashmir and held extensive discussions with the top brass of the security establishment, Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the prevailing situation. “Considering the unfortunate loss of life and injuries suffered by the yatris (pilgrims) in the recent terror attack, the entire security apparatus has been put on the highest alert by the ministers,” a home ministry statement said. The ministers visited Srinagar following a directive from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. They discussed the security situation in detail with the chief minister and the governor, before holding an in-depth security review with the local army commander, the chief secretary, the police chief and senior officers of the state government, the DG of the CRPF, and senior officers of BSF and other security agencies, the statement said. The central ministers stressed that the entire country was with the Kashmiris and the pilgrims and that all arrangements for a safe and secure pilgrimage would continue with renewed vigour. So far, more than 1.5 lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine located in the mountainous region of south Kashmir. The 40-day long pilgrimage will conclude on August 7. The home minister yesterday took stock of the situation in Kashmir Valley, particularly on the routes to the shrine located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet, during an hour-long meeting. As many as 21,000 paramilitary personnel in addition to state police forces have been deployed for security of the pilgrimage routes. The number of paramilitary personnel deployed this year is 9,500 more than last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shutdown in Pahalgam market over Amarnath terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The market in Pahalgam near the Nunwan base camp of the Amarnath yatra today observed a shutdown to protest against the terror attack on pilgrims. The yatra, which passes through the Pahalgam market along the traditional route to the cave shrine, was, however, going on smoothly. “The shops and other business establishments in Pahalgam tourist resort observed a complete shutdown today in protests against the attack on Amarnath pilgrims,” a police official said. Several trade bodies including the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, travel and tourism players; and civil society groups yesterday held silent protest against the attack on Amarnath pilgrims. Separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have also condemned the attacks on the pilgrims saying those behind the incident were not friends of Kashmiris. Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 21 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening. The attack took place when they were returning to Jammu from Srinagar, after visiting the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Proud of my home minister: Twitter praises Rajnath Singh for reminding a troll ‘not all Kashmiris are terrorists’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an unusual rebuttal to an online troll, Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that all Kashmiris were not terrorists and said it was his job to ensure peace and tranquillity in all parts of the country. The assertion by the home minister came in response to a tweet from an “Editor of Make My Trip”, a travel portal, which raised questions on his comment that the people of Kashmir had strongly condemned the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims and that it showed the spirit of Kashmiriyat was very much alive.Replying to the home minister, Suchi Singh Kalra, who by using a derogatory word, told Singh that no one cared about whether Kashmiriyat was alive or not in Jammu and Kashmir but needed strong action from him against the terrorists responsible for yesterday’s attack. Singh responded: “Ms Kalra I certainly do. It is absolutely my job to ensure peace and tranquillity in all parts of the country. All Kashmiris are not terrorists.”In the Twitter profile, Kalra claimed to be an editor of the “Make My Trip”. However, soon Kalra deleted the twitter account. Earlier, the home minister said he saluted the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had condemned the attack on Amarnath pilgrims and kept the spirit of Kashmiriyat alive. The attack on Amarnath pilgrims in which seven people were killed was a “cowardly act of terror” but it was heartening to see the whole nation stand united against terrorism, the minister said. “I am pained at the loss of lives of Amarnath pilgrims.
ALSO READ Amarnath attack | All Kashmiris are not terrorists: When Rajnath Singh shut down troll on TwitterBut I salute the people of Kashmir as all sections of society have condemned the attack,” he told reporters here. Singh also tweeted: “It shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive.” Singh described the attack on Amarnath pilgrims as very “unfortunate and painful”. Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The home minister today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and ordered enhanced security for pilgrims visiting Amarnath cave shrine. In the meeting, sources said, Singh directed that those terrorists responsible for the attack should be hunt down soon. The pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet, started on June 29 and will conclude on August 7. Read the reactions below:
ALSO READ Amarnath Attack: #YesInOurName, Crush Terror NowSome however, were criticial of the Home Minister’s statement.

Protests in Srinagar against attack on Amarnath pilgrims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of civil society, trade and tour organisations today staged demonstrations across Srinagar against the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag and sought an impartial probe into the terror attack. Representatives from the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), Centre for Research and Development Policy (CRDP) and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) assembled at Pratap Park near the city centre, Lal Chowk, to raise their voice against last night’s “barbaric” and “gruesome” killings. Khurram Parvez, coordinator of JKCSS, condemned the killings and sought an impartial probe by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into the attack. He alleged that the country’s probe agencies have failed to establish the truth in such killings in the past. “Kashmiris have always condemned such killings. The UNHRC should be allowed to probe all mysterious killings that occurred in Kashmir, including at Nadimarg and Chhatisinghpora,” Khurram told reporters. The protest was joined by various trade and tourism organisations, journalists and separatists. Earlier, traders, tour operators, houseboat owners and hoteliers assembled in the press enclave here holding placards demanding an “independent probe” into the “brutal killings” and condemning the “barbaric attack”. Travel agencies, hotels and allied agencies will suspend their business tomorrow as a mark of protest and out of respect for the pilgrims. “Since we heard this bad news, we stand united with them (Amarnath yatris). Those who died and suffered injuries, we went to see them,” the protestors said. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) also took out a rally from their office near Polo View here and condemned the attack. The KCCI demanded a judicial probe by a retired Supreme Court judge. KCCI member Ibrahim Shadad told reporters, “It is a very sad occasion for us. We have always welcomed pilgrims. We Kashmiris have always cooperated with them and will continue to.” Meanwhile, a human rights group today filed a petition in the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) here, demanding an investigation into yesterday’s attack on the pilgrims. “We have filed a petition before SHRC demanding it to investigate the attack on the Amarnath pilgrims,” Chairman International Forum for Justice and Protection for Human Rights Mohammad Ahsan Antoo told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over Amarnath attack: Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag is a “blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris”.While visiting the injured in a hospital in Anantnag, she said the head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over the incident.”Pilgrims come to Kashmir every year for the yatra despite all difficulties. And seven people died today. I have no words to condemn it. I hope the security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police arrest the perpetrators forthwith and take stern action against them,” the chief minister told reporters.”This incident is a blot on all Kashmiris and Muslims. We will not keep quite till we bring the culprits to book,” Mehbooba said.She said efforts will be made to ensure that quick action is taken against the culprits and justice is done.The chief minister said seven people, including six women, were killed in the dastardly attack.Those killed and injured in the attack were on a bus carrying pilgrims from Valsad district of Gujarat.The bus came under terrorists’ fire near Khanabal in Anantnag district.

Head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over attack: Mehbooba

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag is a “blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris”. While visiting the injured in a hospital in Anantnag, she said the head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over today’s incident. “Pilgrims come to Kashmir every year for the yatra despite all the difficulties. And seven people died today. I have no words to condemn it. I hope the security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police arrest the perpetrators forthwith and take stern action against them,” the chief minister said. “This incident is a blot on all Kashmiris and Muslims. We will not keep quite till we bring the culprits to book,” Mehbooba said. She said efforts will be aimed at ensuring that quick action is taken against the culprits and justice is done. The chief minister said seven people, including six women, were killed in the dastardly attack that took place around 8:20 pm. Those killed and injured in the attack were on a bus carrying pilgrims from Valsad district of Gujarat. The bus came under terrorists’ fire near Khanabal in Anantnag district around 8.20 pm, over one hour after the patrolling by the security forces on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway wound up.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Anger and defiance on Kashmir militant death anniversary

The increasing violence could mark a turning point in the long conflict, the BBC’s Sanjoy majumder reports.

Pak PM, Army chief pay tribute to Wani on death anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today paid tributes to militant commander Burhan Wani, saying his death “infused a new spirit in the struggle for freedom” in the Kashmir Valley. Sharif in a message on the first anniversary of Wani’s death said that India cannot suppress the voice of the people of Kashmir through brute force. Wani was the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, responsible for several attacks against security personnel in Kashmir. “The blood rendered by Burhan Muzaffar Wani has infused a new spirit in the freedom movement. The Kashmiri people are steadfast to take their movement to logical conclusion,” Sharif said. He reiterated Pakistan’s political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris for their right to self-determination. He also emphasised the need for implementing the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and asked India to accept their right of self-determination of Kashmiris. Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also praised the militant commander. “Sacrifices of #BurhanWani & generations against Indian atrocities are a testimony of their resolve,” Pakistan Army spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor quoted Gen Bajwa as saying on Twitter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP hits back at Congress, says anyone who instigates terror would be killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After Congress leader Saifuddin Soz said he would have kept Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani alive if he was in power, the state home minister Hansraj Ahir on Friday said that anyone who instigates terror would be killed. Ahir told ANI, ?The government is striving hard to restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Anyone who disrupts the peace and instigates terror would be killed. The security officials have full right to kill them.? The Congress leader on Friday said spoke against the killing of Burhan Wani. ?If it was in my power I would have not let Burhan Wani die. I wanted to hold a dialogue with him. I would have made him understand that a bridge of friendship between Pakistan, Kashmir and India can be built and he could also be useful in that. But now he has died. We should understand the pain of Kashmiris,? Saifuddin Soz said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pakistan will not accept any talks with India that exclude Kashmir: Sartaj Aziz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan will not enter into any dialogue with India that excludes Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said, asserting that Islamabad wants to settle all contentious issues through “result-oriented” talks.”Indian belligerent posturing and their desire to conduct dialogue on their own terms ie without Kashmir, will never be acceptable,” said Aziz briefing a 20-member delegation of ‘Kashmir Journalist Forum’ from PoK at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.He said UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed his concern over tension between India and Pakistan, called for a dialogue and offered to play role to help resolve Kashmir issue.Aziz said India’s refusal to accept the role of the UN or good offices of the other leaders for reducing tension between India and Pakistan by resolving the Kashmir issue reflects “Indian desperation to hide its crimes against humanity” in the valley.”Pakistan wants to settle all contentious issues, particularly the Kashmir dispute with India through a sustained and result-oriented dialogue,” he said.He asked the UN, OIC and Human Rights Organisations to step up efforts to stop the “bloodshed of Kashmiris” and ensure early implementation of UNSC Resolutions.Aziz said that protest in Kashmir has now entered a “critical phase” and the “Indian propaganda of down-playing” the Kashmir issue is also being defeated.”If there is nothing wrong then why there are over 700,000 fully armed Indian forces stationed? Why the entire media has been blocked? he said.He said despite “the gravity of the situation on ground and persistent international pressure” on India to resume dialogue with Pakistan with particular focus on Kashmir issue, Indian government has been trying to “divert global attention” from the situation in the Valley by “heating up” Line of Control and Working Boundary.

Pak-not-bound-by-U.S.?-move-designating-Salahuddin-a-global-terrorist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said on Monday that Islamabad was not bound to follow the decision of the United States to designate Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist as it was not a United Nations (UN) declaration. He told a delegation from the Kashmir Journalists Forum that the move was an attempt by the American administration to appease India, reports the Dawn, Aziz also said that India is using U.S. to pressurize China. He claimed that Pakistan is only providing political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris. He further said that Pakistan was willing for a dialogue on all issues with neighbouring countries, but a dialogue with India without Kashmir on the agenda was out of the question. Washington declared Hizbul Mujahideen leader Salahuddin , a ?global terrorist? hours before visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with President Donald Trump in on June 26. Earlier, Pakistan accused United States of singing to India’s tune over Salahuddin being designated a global terrorist.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Use social media to counter negative publicity against

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jammu and Kashmir minister has appealed to former chief minister Omar Abdullah to leverage his fan following on social media to counter “negative publicity by a section of national electronic media” against Kashmir and help promote tourism in the Valley. The appeal was made by Minster for Public Works Naeem Akhtar, who is also a government spokesman, yesterday while speaking as a chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony of the 7th J-K Golfers Association Tournament at Pahalgam Golf Course in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Describing Omar as a social media leader, Akhtar said the former chief minister has a huge fan following on social media, especially Twitter, and he should lead by way of engaging and encouraging the younger generation on social media for creating a positive perception about the Valley. “We have immense tourism potential which has remained untapped due to many reasons, including the way in which a section of national electronic media is portraying Kashmir. But we can counter that through social media,” he said. “Nowadays, people are using social media heavily and we should capitalise this for our benefit and all of us must join this campaign against defaming Kashmir,” the minister said. He said Kashmiris have to win the war of perception by making tourists believe that people here are tourist-friendly, hospitable and the place is also safe. “It is our collective responsibility to win the war of perception. I congratulate you for participating in the golf tournament and keeping the tourism alive in your own way. We have to organise more such programmes to attract not only golfers but other tourists too,” he said. Akhtar said the state is blessed with stunning golf courses in Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Jammu and Ladakh which need to be vigorously promoted. The minister said the government was making all out efforts to build tourism infrastructure across the state. “Now reaching Anantnag from Srinagar will take less than one hour as the national highway with all its bye-passes will be ready by September. We will be building and upgrading requisite infrastructure for public and which will also help the tourism sector,” he said. Akhtar said road upgradation has been started from Seer to Pahalgam and Seer to Ashmuqam via Hapatnar. “The execution will facilitate the locals and help tourism sector grow,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amid unrest, Kashmir to host world film festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the current unrest in Kashmir, the valley is all set to host a film festival next month that is expected to bring about a bouquet of quality films to the valley for Kashmiris, especially the youth. Ironically, for nearly three decades, Kashmir doesn’t have a single movie hall.A first-of-its-kind initiative in the valley — which ironically was once a top shooting destination for Bollywood filmmakers, local NGO Actors’ Creative Theatre will organise a Kashmir World Film Festival in Srinagar between July 1 and 5.Around 40 films and documentaries spanning various categories will be screened at the festival at Srinagar’s Tagore Hall. The organisers have received 60 entries so far. A preference will be given to those made by Kashmiri filmmakers, organisers said. Some of the Kashmiri films which will be screened are Partav, Kashmir Daily, Gul, Saaz, Ocean of Tears, among others.Talking to DNA, festival director Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan who was visiting Delhi recently, said Kashmir has no dearth of talented filmmakers and theatre artistes, but there is no platform to showcase their talent.”The Kashmir World Film Festival is aimed at giving them a platform, and to encourage them to continue making films. Ever since people got to know about this, entries have been pouring. Several amature Kashmiri filmmakers as well as Kashmiri students of media and mass communication have also sent their entries, most of which are of non-fiction genre. Even on Eid, we received so many entries from Kashmir,” Khan, also chairman of ACT, said.Khan said the idea of organising a film festival first came to his mind when recently Kashmiri filmmaker Hussain Khan’s film Kashmir Daily — based on a journalist’s life — got a huge response when it was screened in Srinagar.The festival will also procure some films from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), and some iconic films like Do Bigha Zamin and Kabuliwala for the restrospectives/special packages section.Most of the films which will be screened have already secured a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification. And for the others, all necessary government clearances will be taken before screening them, Khan said.Information and Broadcasting ministry officials remained unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts.Militant outfit Allah Tigers banned cinema halls and threatened to set them on fire in 1989, after which every cinema hall in the Valley was shut down. Years later, attempts were made to reopen two cinema halls which were again shut down within months.In such a situation, isn’t a full-fledged film festival a dangerous proposition for the Valley?”This is not something I have plunged into. I have been acting since I was 13, and since then been closely associated with filmmaking. I have directed serials and documentaries for Doordarshan and plays for AIR. So, organising a film fest is only natural for me,” Khan said.BEHIND THE SCREENACT, the organiser of the film festival, has been working in the field of art, culture and literature for over 40 years now.
The organisation currently has 25 students, most of whom are below 30. “Kashmiris love Bollywood and most of them want to be part of the industry, and not local programmes,” Khan said, who has been busy meeting sponsors for a month.

UN has a ‘responsibility’ to resolve Kashmir issue: Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan said today that the UN has a “responsibility” to resolve the Kashmir issue, days after UN chief Antonio Guterres stated that he is engaged in bringing about an Indo-Pak dialogue to resolve the matter. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, at his weekly briefing, said Kashmir is an “internationally recognised” dispute and is outstanding on the UN Security Council agenda. “UN has a responsibility by virtue of these UN Security Council Resolutions to resolve the issue and call upon India to immediately stop bloodshed of Kashmiris,” he said. Zakaria lamented that the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, which promise Kashmiris their right to self-determination in accordance with their wishes and aspirations, remain unimplemented. Zakaria also stated that UN Secretary-General Guterres had offered mediation to resolve outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India soon after assumption of the office, which had been welcomed by Pakistan. “A similar offer was made in March this year by his Office,” he said. Zakaria’s remarks come after Guterres said on Tuesday that he is engaged in bringing about a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue through his meetings with the prime ministers of the two countries. “Why do you think I met three times the Prime Minister of Pakistan and two times the Prime Minister of India,” Guterres said while responding to a question during a press briefing on whether he is engaged in bringing about a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Following Guterres’ remarks, India affirmed that bilateral issues between India and Pakistan will have to be decided “bilaterally”. “I have seen the reply which has been reported in the media. Essentially the secretary general asked a question in response to a question… Bilateral issues have to be decided bilaterally and the UN secretary general has been made aware of that position,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in New Delhi today. Zakaria claimed that the regional countries have also raised concerns over regional security situation due to the “intransigence and belligerent posturing” by India. He condemned the violence in Kashmir and urged that world human rights organisations to send fact-finding missions in Kashmir. Zakaria claimed that the Kashmiris celebrating Pakistan’s victory in the final of ICC Championship were “beaten up” by the Indian forces. Commenting on the arrest of Muslims in India for celebrating Pakistan’s cricket victory, he said, “It reflects a sad state of affairs in India.” Zakaria said Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has written letters to the UN chief, President UNSC, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary general to update them on alleged human rights violations by India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP says it needs no certificate from Cong on Kashmir issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today hit back at the Congress over its criticism of the government’s Kashmir policy, saying it does not need a certificate from a party “which described India as having occupied Kashmir”. Referring to the Congress releasing a booklet in Lucknow with an incorrect map of the country, labelling the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as “India occupied Kashmir”, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said people would never forgive the party for such a “mindset”. “Is it for this that hundreds of our brave soldiers have given up their lives over the years defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity?” he said in Hyderbad and asked if the final solution that the Congress had in mind was to give Kashmir to Pakistan. Asserting that the government has a very strong Kashmir policy, party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said it is making a distiction and treating differently the common Kashmiris, terrorists and separatists and “this policy is bearing fruits”. The government and the security forces are on the same page and they are working to root out Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, he said in Delhi. The Congress, Hussain recalled, had even raised questions on the surgical strikes carried out by the Army across the line of control. The BJP’s reaction came after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today blamed the Centre for mishandling the Kashmir issue. Dubbing the BJP-PDP “incompetent”, Rahul charged that the Centre was making empty reassurances about peace in the Valley. In a major gaffe, the Congress yesterday released a booklet with an incorrect map of the country. Page 12 of the 16-page booklet titled ‘Rashtriya Suraksha par Aanch’, which was distributed by the Congress, showed the entire state labelled as “Indian Occupied Kashmir” in the context of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The incident occurred during a conference of the opposition party in Lucknow to highlight the shortcomings of the Narendra Modi government during its three years of rule. “While the people of the country were celebrating three years of a new India in the making, the Congress party came out with an official publication that described India as having occupied Kashmir and thereby conceding Kashmir to Pakistan,” Naidu told reporters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre should probe role of officials of previous govts: Panun

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An organisation of Kashmiri pandits, Panun Kashmir, today said the Centre should probe if top officials in the previous governments at New Delhi and in the state had any role in allowing the “internal subversion” of Jammu and Kashmir. “The present dispensation at the centre needs to seriously think in terms of moving in concerted directions so that the people responsible for internal subversion in Jammu and Kashmir are duly exposed and booked under the law,” Panun Kashmir President Ashwani Chrungoo said. “In case a thorough probe is initiated against these important higher-ups of earlier dispensations also, there is all likelihood that many skeletons in the cupboards will come out,” he said. Chrungoo said recent NIA raids against the Hurriyat and other seperatist leaders have invited attention of many who have been watching their activities for long. He said they have been continuing with their nefarious financial bungling and infamous funds connections since the early days of insurgency during 1980s and 1990s when a large number of young Kashmiris crossed the LOC and carried enough money with them which was handed over to them by the handlers in the Valley. “Later on these handlers managed funds from various quarters, both legal and illegal, right under the nose of the governments in Delhi and Srinagar”, he added. Chrungoo said questions have been raised as to what senior administrative authorities including the politicians in charge of the governments in Delhi and Srinagar were doing all these years. “Revelations were made earlier as well by many in the civil society and also from the intelligence sources. Should not the Secretary, Finance and the Economic Affairs of the previous regimes be booked for dereliction of their duties and asked as to what stopped them from taking actions against these offenders”, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India ‘bombs Pakistan army posts’ in Kashmir

India says the strikes are to stop Pakistan’s army from helping militants cross the Kashmir border.

Indian army officer awarded amid ‘abuse’ inquiry

The officer reportedly tied a man to his jeep in Kashmir to stop protesters from pelting stones.

Geelani flays HM, other BJP leaders for statements on Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani today criticised Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders for their statements on the Kashmir issue, alleging that their “narratives” reflect “negative and egoistic approach”. The separatist leader said the Kashmir issue is serious and cannot be resolved through rhetoric or provocative statements. “Their (BJP leaders) narratives about Jammu and Kashmir illustrate their negative and egoistic approach,” Geelani said, reacting to the statements of Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and the state’s deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh. Addressing the home minister, the Hurriyat chief said, “You may raise false hopes but you can never ignore the established facts about the Kashmir issue.” His reaction came a day after Rajnath Singh said, “Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours.” The home minister had also asserted that the Modi-led central government will find the “permanent solution” to the Kashmir problem. The Hurriyat hawk said repeated assertions by Delhi-based leaders and all former prime ministers about Kashmir being an integral part of India could not change the ground realities. “With each passing day, the situation turns from bad to worse and even Singh is aware of this fact and situation prevailing in state,” Geelani said. The separatist leader said the home minister had made similar statements last year but, “since then, the situation has not changed in their (government’s) favour, and despite putting their full military might, the situation has turned tense and appalling”. Geelani added that “despite (the government) utilizing all its resources and military might during the last 70 years, the issue is there and not an iota of change seems (to have happened) on the ground.” Commenting on the BJP president’s reported statement that Kashmir is a problem of three-and-a-half districts, Geelani said, “if they are confident and sure about their claim, then it is best to hold a referendum in J&K and ascertain the people’s verdict to prove their claim. “We will accept whatever verdict people give. Let people express their verdict and let the world see what people’s aspirations are.” Geelani also criticised Nirmal Singh for his “misleading” statement that stone pelting incidents are being promoted through payments. Describing these allegations as “baseless and ridiculous”, the separatist leader said, “Nobody will sacrifice his precious life or eye sight for such a meagre amount. It is a negative, false and misleading propaganda..Neither Hurriyat nor Pakistan has any role in stone pelting”. He added, “Stone is a weapon of resistance for suppressed nations all over the world. Stone pelting is not a new trend in resistance movement.” Geelani accused the BJP leadership of creating “war euphoria” and said, “No sensible politician will like to talk like this”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cannot take Rajnath’s assurance on Kashmir seriously- Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Criticising the Centre for failing in countering the ?adventurism? of the Pakistan Army along the border, the Congress Party on Monday said Home Minister Rajnath Singh?s assurance of a closure to the Kashmir issue ?cannot be taken seriously?. ?The law and order situation in Kashmir is declining every day. The BJP-PDP alliance governing the state is helpless, and the Centre too has failed in tackling the adventurism of Pakistan Army in the border. At such a stage, the Home Minister?s statement cannot be taken seriously,? Congress leader P.C. Chacko told ANI here. Stressing on the importance of collectively channelising efforts towards solving the ongoing tension in the border areas, Congress leader P.L. Punia said any deliberation being made should involve the state government as well. ?Kashmir is India?s responsibility. All initiatives taken should be discussed in the presence of state government officials as well, since opposing the state government would only increase the conflict,? he said. Assuring complete closure of the Kashmir issue on behalf of the government, Rajnath Singh on Sunday made a strong statement that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat belong to India. “We understand that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat are ours. I assure you that we will come up with a permanent solution to end the issue,” he said while addressing a gathering in Pelling, Sikkim. In the hope of resolving the ongoing friction between India and Pakistan regarding territorial disputes in Kashmir, the Union Home Minister said it is time for Islamabad to mend its ways and come to a consensus on the issue, rather than prolonging the same. “Pakistan continues to carry out acts of violence in the name of Kashmir, just to destabilise us. It is time for Pakistan to end these and look into resolving the matter and extending cooperation,” said Rajnath. Developing on the importance of easing tensions along the border, Rajnath while drawing upon the reduction of border transgression with China, said Pakistan was invited to maintain friendly relations and not just bilateral ties. “There might be perceptional differences, but the border friction with China has declined now. Pakistan Prime Minister was invited to the oath-taking ceremony not just to join hands, but to be cordial hereafter,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Serious efforts being made by govt. to resolve Kashmir issue BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Standing by the statement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that a serious effort is being carried out by the Government of India in resolving the issue. BJP leader S. Prakash said the separatist elements and forces from across the border, which are fomenting trouble and creating an atmosphere of disturbance, must be put to an end. ?Many efforts are underway to restore normalcy and urge people of the Valley to maintain peace and order which is currently under threat. A serious effort is being carried by the Government of India which the Home Minister has himself confirmed. The peaceful Kashmir Valley will be realised very soon,? Prakash told ANI. Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain submitted the same, saying that Singh only clarified that one should not live in the misconception that they can separate us from Kashmir. ?Our government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have always shown concern for Jammu and Kashmir. The entire nation is united on the opinion that Kashmir is only ours. The same Rajnath Singh has said that they are ready to take out a solution for this problem,? Hussain told ANI. Assuring complete closure of the Kashmir issue on behalf of the government, Rajnath Singh yesterday made a strong statement that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat belong to India. “We understand that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat are ours. I assure you that we will come up with a permanent solution to end the issue,” he said while addressing a gathering in Pelling, Sikkim. In the hope of resolving the ongoing friction between India and Pakistan regarding territorial disputes in Kashmir, the Union Home Minister said it is time for Islamabad to mend its ways and come to a consensus on the issue, rather than prolonging the same. “Pakistan continues to carry out acts of violence in the name of Kashmir, just to de-stabilise us. It is time for Pakistan to end these and look into resolving the matter and extending cooperation,” said Rajnath. Developing on the importance of easing tensions along the border, Rajnath while drawing upon the reduction of border transgression with China, said Pakistan was invited to maintain friendly relations and not just bilateral ties. “There might be perceptional differences, but the border friction with China has declined now. Pakistan Prime Minister was invited to the oath-taking ceremony not just to join hands, but to be cordial hereafter,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Will find a solution to Kashmir’ is BJP’s pet dialogue, mocks Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> While taking a dig at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh?s remark on Kashmir, the Congress Party on Monday said that it is the pet dialogue of the ruling dispensation, adding that until it changes its ?Hindu rashtra? mindset, the incumbent government would not be able to succeed at finding a solution to Kashmir. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar slammed the Centre for being unable to do anything for solving the ?Kashmir? problem in the past three years. ?I hope they do but I just cannot believe that they will be able to succeed because until fundamentally they change their mindset and not attempt to establish a ?Hindu rashtra? by fair means or fowl, they cannot find a solution to Kashmir,? Aiyar told ANI. ?Certainly, nothing that they have done in the last three years gives any indication that they have any idea at all as to how to solve the problem. They certainly know how to aggravate it,? he added. Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar also spoke on the same lines, mocking the government for only speaking but being unable to show the same in their actions. Babbar further said that the Centre?s foreign policy, security policy and policy towards Pakistan is a complete ?failure?. ?They have two pet dialogues. One, this is age-old problem. They say this regarding everything, be it law and order, border policy, foreign policy etc. Second, this is condemnable and a befitting reply will be given soon. But, they have been unable to do anything in the past three years. At the time of demonetisation also, they said terrorism will end now. But gradually, terror activities started again,? Babbar told ANI. Assuring complete closure of the Kashmir issue on behalf of the government, Rajnath Singh yesterday made a strong statement that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat belong to India. “We understand that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat are ours. I assure you that we will come up with a permanent solution to end the issue,” he said while addressing a gathering in Pelling, Sikkim. In the hope of resolving the ongoing friction between India and Pakistan regarding territorial disputes in Kashmir, the Union Home Minister said it is time for Islamabad to mend its ways and come to a consensus on the issue, rather than prolonging the same. “Pakistan continues to carry out acts of violence in the name of Kashmir, just to destabilise us. It is time for Pakistan to end these and look into resolving the matter and extending cooperation,” said Rajnath. Developing on the importance of easing tensions along the border, Rajnath while drawing upon the reduction of border transgression with China, said Pakistan was invited to maintain friendly relations and not just bilateral ties. “There might be perceptional differences, but the border friction with China has declined now. Pakistan Prime Minister was invited to the oath-taking ceremony not just to join hands, but to be cordial hereafter,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Red-faced after sting op, Syed Ali Shah Geelani ‘suspends’ Naaem Khan from Hurriyat Conference

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, Hurriyat Conference’s Syed Ali Shah Geelani ‘suspended’ separatist leader Naeem Khan from Hurriyat Conference, in the wake of a sting operation. Naeem Khan was suspended after he was caught on camera admitting that he had received funding from Pakistan to stoke unrest in Kashmir.Earlier, Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid said the separatists should take a moral high ground and come out clean on the sting operation by a Delhi-based television channel which showed them allegedly being involved in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir, Independent MLA said today.His remarks came in the wake of the sting operation on separatists Nayeem Khan and Farooq Dar alias Bitta Karate wherein they confessed to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups.”I humbly request Hurriyat (Conference) friends as citizens of the state and as well wishers of the mass resistance…you are representing the sentiment and you should take a moral high ground as people have a right to know the truth behind these attempts to defame Kashmiris,” he told reporters here.The legislator said the Hurriyat had nothing to hide.”Money is needed everywhere. People will continue to offer money, but their means should be good and it is better if everything is transparent. I am sure Hurriyat has nothing to hide because they are representing the sentiment,” he said.The Independent MLA also asked the media to follow journalistic ethics while reporting on Kashmir. “There should not be a race for TRPs by defaming or insulting Kashmiris,” he said.Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has named Nayeem Khan and Farooq Dar alias Bitta Karate along with Naeem Khan in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against the alleged role of separatists in carrying out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting security forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments. The enquiry alleged that the leaders were receiving funds from LeT chief Hafeez Saeed to carry out subversive activities in the Valley, including pelting security forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.Kashmir has seen widespread violence since July last year when the killing of a militant commander, Burhan Wani, sparked months-long protests that left nearly hundred people dead.Earlier, the NIA has investigated the alleged funds transaction through ‘Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Fund Trust’ in Kashmir. In August last year, the NIA had summoned and quizzed some separatist leaders in Kashmir. Earlier this year, the NIA had also questioned several cross Line of Control (LoC) traders in Kashmir who were suspected of money laundering.

India has been diverting nuclear materials to make weapons:Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has accused India of diverting nuclear materials it had obtained for peaceful purposes under the NSG waiver to make weapons. Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria yesterday told reporters that Pakistan has been underscoring for decades the risks of diversion by India of imported nuclear fuel, equipment and technology, received pursuant to civil nuclear cooperation agreements and the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver. “The concerns over diversion are neither new nor unfounded. India enjoys the rare distinction of diverting nuclear material, obtained on its peaceful use commitment, to its nuclear weapons programme,” he said. “The past and potential misuse of nuclear materials by India entails not only serious issues of nuclear proliferation but also carry grave implications for strategic stability in South Asia and national security of Pakistan.” He said media reports and papers substantiate an otherwise largely “ignored fact” that India’s nuclear weapons programme is the fastest growing in the world. Talking about a paper recently released by Harvard Kennedy School, he said that this paper and other several reports corroborate growing concerns related to the use of nuclear material acquired by India from abroad in its existing and future unsafeguarded nuclear reactors, plants and facilities for development of nuclear weapons. “The recent Belfer paper inter alia concludes that India has accumulated nuclear material for over 2600 nuclear weapons,” he said. He said that NSG states have a responsibility to take into account these well-founded concerns while considering transfer of nuclear material to India and its NSG membership bid. He claimed that many international nuclear experts, think tanks and media reports in the past years have consistently raised concerns over the lack of transparency, absence of international safeguards, and the potential for diversion of unsafeguarded nuclear material for nuclear weapons in India. Zakaria also said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was establishing units in Kashmir, which were managed by non-Kashmiri activists. “Their increasing presence in (Kashmir)is to terrorise Kashmiris and deter them from participating in the self- determination movement,” he alleged. Zakaria called on the the international community to take notice of the situation in Kashmir and condemned the ban on social media and TV channels in the valley. He said Pakistan extends full cooperation to United Nations Military Observers in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in monitoring situation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. Talking about the issue of medical visas by India, he said most patients who were travelling to India from Pakistan have serious ailments requiring urgent medical attention. “Despite paying for their treatment themselves, these patients are being deprived of their basic right to health, due to political consideration on the part of India,” he said. “While granting or denying a visa is a sovereign right of any country, this Indian move is unprecedented in inter-state relations,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pakistan army chief visits LoC amid border tension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid border tension, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today toured some areas along the Line of Control, two weeks after a similar visit which was followed by the beheading of two Indian soldiers. Bajwa visited troops deployed along the LoC in Nikial sector, Pakistan Army’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. He was briefed about the ground situation by a commander. “He (Bajwa) appreciated high state of operational readiness, effective response to Indian cease fire violations and high morale of troops,” the ISPR said. Bajwa was accompanied by commander Rawalpindi Corps Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza. The LoC has been witnessing exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops for the last several weeks. On May 1, two Indian security personnel were beheaded, a day after Bajwa visited some areas along the LoC and promised support to the Kashmiris. The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22 Sikh Infantry and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th Battalion of BSF.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ensure comfortable environment for Kashmiris: HM to states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today advised all the Chief Ministers to ensure “comfortable environment” for Kashmiri students and workers in their states as there have been incidents of their harassment at some places. Singh’s advice came at a meeting of Northern Zonal Council of the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan, National Capital territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh here. “He (Rajnath Singh) has advised all the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries who were here today that they should take care that the youth of Kashmir, wherever they are studying, should be treated well and they should be made feel that they are welcomed,” Secretary of the Inter-state Council Secretariat Sanjeevani Kutty told reporters. Singh also told the Chief Ministers that the Kashmiris “should be provided comfortable environment wherever they are. They may be working or studying, they should be extended warmth. This was an important message he gave to all the CMs,” according to Kutty. The home minister said, “a lot of Kashmiris study outside the state of Kashmir, especially in the northern region. There have been some incidents which the central government was very concerned about and sought the support of CMs on this issue,” according to Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh. Last month, six Kashmiris studying at Mewar University in Rajasthan’s Chhittorgarh district were allegedly thrashed by a group of unidentified locals. The accused were arrested a few days later. Besides Rajnath Singh, others who attended the meeting included Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, who is also UT Chandigarh’s Administrator, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Himachal’s Health Minister Thakur Kaul Singh and Rajasthan’s Minister for Water Resources Ram Pratap.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

You pelt stones and then come here for treatment: Chandigarh doctor slams Kashmiri patient

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A doctor in Chandigarh’s PGIMER allegedly verbally attacked a Kashmiri woman and her son over the behaviour of Kashmiri locals who pelt stones at armed forces.According to a report in Hindustan Times, Nareena Malik (55), a native of Srinagar who suffered from intracranial aneurysm had gone to PGI for consultation about surgery. The incident reportedly happened on Thursday, last day. Nasreena’s son Javaid Malik told HT that nameplate outside the doctor’s room read ‘Dr Manoj Tiwari’.He said: “As we entered the cabin, he talked to us in a civilised way and started his check up. Then he asked for the case history of the patient. The moment I showed him previous documents from Srinagar’s SKIMS Hospital and he got to know that we are Kashmiris, his attitude changed. He just got angry and threw away the documents and said that ‘Vaha Kashmir me humara jawano ko patthar mar te ho aur phir yahan ilaj ke liye aate ho’ (“you people pelt stones on security personnel in Kashmir and come here for treatment”).”The doctor also told them the surgery would cost RS 15 lakh, when it just cost Rs 80,000.The institute however has denied that such an incident took place. Dr Jagat Ram, director PGIMER told HT: “Everyday hundreds of people from Kashmir visit PGIMER for treatment and we provide best quality treatment to everyone. We haven’t received any complaint but we will look into the matter, if anything like that has happened. Though it is very unlikely, as such an incident has never been reported.”

Hurriyat says Kashmir issue ‘explosive’, wants dialogue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The moderate Hurriyat Conference today pressed the central government to initiate a “meaningful dialogue” to find a lasting solution to the “explosive” Kashmir issue, which it said had become a “nuclear flash point”. The conglomerate of various separatist groups, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, held a meeting here to discuss the prevailing situation and the way forward. “Time has come when the government of India and its alliance partners should take into account the explosive Kashmir situation and look for ways and means to find a lasting solution to the issue rather than using its muscle power to crush the rightful struggle of the people,” it said in a statement. “The government of India’s negative and rigid attitude has the potential to push the region into devastating war as Kashmir has attained the status of being the nuclear flash- point, the solution of which cannot be delayed for long,” said the statement issued after the Hurriyat executive meeting. The separatist conglomerate said it is imperative to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir to secure the future of the people of the entire sub-continent. “Dialogue for the sake of dialogue cannot be helpful in solving Kashmir. The issue could be resolved only by involving all the three parties – India, Pakistan and Kashmiris – in a meaningful process of dialogue,” it said. The statement said political and economic stability in the south Asian region was linked to the resolution of Kashmir. “The aggressive political posturing by India has the potential to put the future of this region at stake. There is a need to start a meaningful exercise to resolve the issue instead of supressing the genuine struggle of the people of Kashmir by force,” it said. The Hurriyat said the meeting was held after the release of Mirwaiz from a prolonged house arrest and was attended by the executive members including Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulvi Masroor Abbas Ansari, Musadiq Adil, Mukhtar Waza and legal advisor Abdul Majeed Banday.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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