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Tag: lahore

For most film and ad shoots, it’s no JOY-PUR

It’s not for the first time that shooting of the movie has created controversy in the city. In past also either the historical monuments of the city or public sentiments there has been a damaged or hurt, as a repercussion the film units had to face the ire of the local people.On Thursday, a unit of film Dhadak starring Jhanvi Kapoor had to face the opposition of local people after a chajja was damaged in the 5000-year-old Ambikeshwar Mahadev mandir in Amber and people getting to know cooking of meat near the temple. Locals informed that the unit was not seen in the vicinity of the temple of Friday, however, it was learned that shooting was going on in other parts of Jaipur.Ad filmmakers in the month of April this year had to abort shooting after a group of activists and locals protested against the use of signage and hoardings with names of Pakistani cities, some of them written in the Urdu language.The crew had the permission to shoot in the city. But activists of ‘Dharohar Bachao Samiti’ pulled down the banners and signage with Welcome to Lahore, Karachi Sweets, Rawalpindi Chaiwala and other street fixtures fashioned to depict a Pakistani city in Jaipur, claiming the said unit didn’t spare temples inside Walled City to recreate Lahore.One cannot forget, when earlier this year, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was allegedly roughed up and the set of his under-production film Padmavati was vandalised, when the shooting was in progress at the Jaigarh Fort in January this year.While no one can forget when in 2009, Over a dozen people were injured when a 15-feet-long retaining wall in the Amber fort collapsed when people had come to watch the shooting of Veer, a Salman Khan-starrer period love story and days later shooting was stopped on orders of the court.Controversial pastIt’s not for the first time that shooting of the movie has created controversy in the city. One cannot forget, when earlier this year, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was allegedly roughed up and the set of his under-production film Padmavati was vandalised, when the shooting was in progress at the Jaigarh Fort in January this year.In 2009, Over a dozen people were injured when a 15-feet-long retaining wall in the Amber fort collapsed when people had come to watch the shooting of Veer, and days later shooting was stopped on orders of the court.

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Geeta does not recognise Bihar couple who claim to be parents

Geeta, a speech impaired girl who returned to India in 2015 after spending several years in Pakistan where she had landed accidentally as a child, today didn’t recognise a Muslim couple from Bihar who had claimed that she was their long-lost daughter.The authorities will now go for DNA testing of the couple to determine if they are her parents.In-charge district collector Ruchika Chauhan said that Geeta used sign language to convey that it was not her family.She said, “Geeta conveyed that she worshipped Hindu deities- Lord Shankar and Hanuman- and does not belong to a Muslim family.”Chauhan said that the family comprising Mohammed Isa, his wife Julekha Khatoon and other family members were allowed to meet Geeta as part of the initiative to re-unite Geeta with her parents.The family is from Mirajpur village in Bihar’s Saran district and had claimed that Geeta is their long-lost daughter Rubeida who went missing when she went out to watch a marriage procession.Chauhan, however, said that DNA samples of Mohammad Isa and his wife Julekha Khatoon have been collected for verification.The family members, meanwhile, have not lost hope with Mohammad Isa’s son Himtaj telling reporters that Geeta failed to recognize his father possibly because she had stayed away from the family for a long time.On being asked that Geeta termed herself as a follower of Hindu faith, Himtaj said that it could be because of the cultural harmony in his native village.”There are many temples along with a mosque around our house and Hindus and Muslims celebrate each other’s festivals together. We visit Hindu families during the festival of Chhath,” he said.”There may be the memories of worshipping deities in Hindu temples in her subconscious mind,” Himtaj added.”We hope that the DNA examination will clear the situation,” Himtaj said.District collector Chauhan informed that the DNA verification process would be the same even if Geeta recognises anyone as her parent.The official said that a family from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, which had also claimed that Geeta was their daughter, did not turn up for a scheduled meeting today.Earlier Geeta had met a family from Sokha Kishku village of Jamtara district of Jharkhand but she did not recognise them either, said Chauhan.The DNA samples of the couple have also been sent for verification, she added.Geeta was found by Pakistan Rangers on the Samjhauta Express at the Lahore railway station when she was around seven years old. Karachi-based Edhi Foundation looked after her while she was in Pakistan.After returning to India in October 2015, Geeta has been living at an institution for hearing impaired children run by an NGO here.

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New ‘Ajmal Kasab’ exposes Pakistan: Captured JuD terrorist says ISI officials supervise terror camps

In a chilling reminder of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s testimony, a recently captured Jamaat-ud-Dawa-linked terrorist has exposed Pakistan’s terror game.In a video accessed by WION, Mohamad Amir also known as Abu Hamas, confessed that he was trained by the JuD handlers.Amir also talked about how jobless youth were radicalised. The most startling fact that exposed by Amir was that ISI officials not only frequented the terror camps but they also oversaw the camps.The 18-year-old told the Indian interrogators that he was from Karachi and that his father was a retired policeman.Intelligence sources say that Amir is part of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s ’22 anti-India terrorist squads’.Amir reportedly underwent a fifteen-day training with Jamat at Nuriya Bad, near Karachi where fifteen young Pakistani men belonging to various parts of the country were trained, WION report said.The captured terrorist was interrogated by the Indian police and intelligence authorities at an undisclosed location. However, it is not the first time a Pakistani terrorist has been arrested, though it is very rare that a foreign militant is captured alive in Kashmir. On July 26, 2016, the Indian army arrested 22-year-old Bahadur Ali, alias Saifullah of Lahore on the Line of Control in Nougam sector of Kupwara district.Last year on June 21, Abu Ukasha, alias Hanzullah of Bhawalpur in Pakistan was arrested during a routine patrol in Lolaab area. The 19-year-old LeT terrorist was buying groceries when a police party grew suspicious of him.On May 14, 2016, the state police caught a top Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber in Baramulla. In February last year, the police arrested 17-year-old JeM terrorist Sidiq Gujjar, alias Shahid of Sialkot in Pakistan, along with three local ultras.LeT’s Mohammed Naveed, alias Usman of Faisalabad, Pakistan, was captured after he and his associate Noman attacked a BSF convoy near Narsoo Nallah in Udhampur on August 5, 2015.On August 27, 2015, Sajad Ahmad aka Javid Ahmad alias Abu Ubaidullah, a 22-year-old LeT operative from Muzaffargarh in south-west Pakistan, was captured after all his four associates were gunned down during a gunfight at two different locations in Baramulla district.Watch the full interrogation video here:
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Pakistani LeT militant captured alive in North Kashmir’s Handwara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan terror factory was again exposed on Friday when Army captured a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant alive in the Magam forests of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.“A Pakistan LeT terrorist apprehended in a joint operation by army and Jammu and Kashmir police in Magam forests today”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.The militant, sources said, was part of the same group which was neutralized by the security forces on November 21. Security forces had dealt a huge blow to the LeT on Tuesday when they killed three newly infiltrated Pakistani militants in an operation in Magam area of Handwara.The operation was launched after security forces received a tip off about the presence of militants in Khar Moholla area of Magam. Immediately, a joint operation was launched by the army, special operations group of J&K Police and CRPF in the area.However, during the follow up moping and sanitizing operation, security forces apprehended the Pakistan militant who was hiding in the jungles after his three associates were killed. The arrest of militant has come against the backdrop of the release of Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT founder Hafiz Mohommad Saeed from house arrest in Pakistan.Sources said the Pakistani militant has been taken away to an undisclosed location where he is being questioned. Sources said his questioning is expected to expose the terror syndicate in Pakistan. “We are questioning him and hopefully he will spill the beans about the plans and designs of the militants”, said an officer.Though it is not the first time that a Pakistani militant has been arrested, it is still rare that a foreign militant is captured alive in Kashmir. On July 26, 2016 Indian army had arrested 22 year old Bahadur Ali alias Saifullah of Lahore on the Line of Control in Nougam sector of Kupwara district. Last year on June 21, Abu Ukasha alias Hanzullah of Bahawalpur in Pakistan was arrested by the police during a routine patrol in Sogam market in Lolaab area. The 19-year-old LeT terrorist was buying groceries when a police party got suspicious about him.On May 14, 2016 Jammu and Kashmir police caught a top Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber alive from Baramulla. Earlier in February last year, the police arrested Pakistani JeM terrorist Sidiq Gujjar alias Shahid of Sialkot in Pakistan, along with three local militants from Baramulla.LeT militant Mohammed Naveed alias Usman of Faisalabad, Pakistan, was captured alive when he, along with his associate Noman, attacked a BSF convoy near Narsoo Nallah in Udhampur on August 5, 2015.On August 27, 2015, Sajad Ahmad aka Javid Ahmad alias Abu Ubadullah, a 22-year-old LeT operative of Muzaffargarh in south-west Pakistan, was captured alive after all his four associates were gunned down during a fierce gunfight at two different locations in Bijhama to Panzala forests of Baramulla district.

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.

Pakistan’s Punjab Chief Minister invites Amarinder Singh to fight smog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s Punjab province Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has invited his Indian counterpart Amarinder Singh to strike a “regional cooperation agreement” to tackle smog and pollution that has affected people on both sides of the border.In a letter written to Singh, Shehbaz said the people of both Pakistani and Indian Punjabs have been facing the problem of smog during the months of October and November.”It goes without saying that the smog has an adverse impact on health, especially on the old and the children; on agriculture in the form of delayed sowing of wheat and damage to potato and other crops and causes traffic accidents,” said Shehbaz in the letter dated November 19.Shehbaz, 66, the younger brother of ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, explained some of the causes of smog, including rice stubble burning.He also noted that the problem now affects Lahore, New Delhi and regions beyond the two cities in both countries.”I would like to invite you for entering into a regional cooperation arrangement to tackle the issue of smog as well as environmental pollution. Let us join hands for securing a prosperous future for the people of our two provinces,” Shehbaz said, amidst the chill in India-Pakistan ties after a series of terror attacks launched from Pakistani soil.”You will agree with me that is essentially scientific and economic and cannot be tackled through other means,” he said in the letter – a copy of which was posted on the official Twitter account of the Government of Punjab, Pakistan. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Singh were tagged in the tweet.Shehbaz said it is in the interest of people from both Punjabs that a collective effort be made towards identifying technologies and business methods that may eliminate the need to burn rice-stubble and help control smog formation.In reply, Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted “@Capt_amarinder is extremely concerned about the issue and is actively pursuing it with the Indian government. He expects early resolution of the matter. He is, however, yet to receive the letter from @CM Shehbaz @GovtOfPunjab and will reply to it at suitable time.”Recently, Kejriwal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had confabulations to tackle the problem of smog.Many cities in both sides of Punjab have been blanketed by thick smog in recent weeks, with pollution affecting normal life. Many flights have been cancelled or delayed in Lahore. A number of serious road accidents in Pakistan have been blamed on poor visibility due to smog.Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is a thick yellowish black fog which suspends in the air.

Over 2,300 Indian Sikh pilgrims leave from Pakistan via special trains to return to homeland

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 2,300 Sikh pilgrims on Saturday left for India from Pakistan by special trains after attending the 549th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev at his birthplace in Nankana Sahib in the Punjab province.Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq gave the pilgrims a warm send off at the Lahore railways station, an official said.”As many as 2,361 Indian Sikhs on Saturday returned to their homeland. Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Saddiqul Farooq gave them warm send off at the Lahore railways station,” ETPB spokesman Amir Hashmi told PTI.He said the pilgrims were brought to the railways station in high security.During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the pilgrims visited Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hasan Absal and Gurdwara Kartar Sahib Narowal.”We are establishing Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and Sikhs from all over the world are ready to fund it,” Farooq said, adding that the founder of the Sikh religion gave the message of peace.He said the board had also set up an online charity system for donation.Sardar Gurmeet Singh, a group leader of the pilgrims, said the Sikh devotees always bring

Panamagate: Former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif, sons fail to appear before special body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons today failed to appear before the top anti-graft body, which wanted to interrogate them over money laundering and corruption charges revealed by the Panama Papers.On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench disqualified Sharif from continuing in his office for possessing a work permit at the firm of his son in the UAE.The court also ordered the NAB to investigate money laundering and other corruption charges against Sharif, his children, son-in-law Safdar and federal finance minister Ishaq Dar, a relative of Sharif, in light of the report of the Joint Investigation Team.The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following a Supreme Court order had issued summons to Sharif and his sons – Hussain and Hasan – to interrogate them at its Lahore office over their offshore properties revealed last year by the Panama Papers leak.A 10-member NAB team had reached Lahore from Rawalpindi to record the statements of the Sharifs, but they did not turn up before the office closed at 3 pm local time, a NAB official told PTI.
ALSO READ Panamagate: Nawaz Sharif files three separate appeals in Pak Supreme Court to review verdict”Sharif and his sons were supposed to join the investigation today here in Lahore office but we are informed by the office of Sharif that he is not coming. No reason has been given to us,” the official said.He said the NAB would issue second summons to them in two weeks.A leader close to the Sharif family denied receiving any summons. “Nawaz Sharif and his sons had not yet received the NAB summons. Sharif will only decide whether or not to appear before the NAB after receiving the summons,” Senator Pervaiz Rashid told PTI.But another leader of the ruling PML-N party said Sharif has decided not to join the investigation. He said Sharif will join the probe only after the Supreme Court decides his review petition against the court’s verdict that disqualified him.The 67-year-old three-time prime minister has denied any wrongdoing. Last week, Sharif held a defiant roadshow with thousands of supporters from Islamabad to Lahore to project his political strength after the Supreme Court verdict.One of the three applications Sharif filed in the Supreme Court calls for staying “further implementation of the judgement till a decision on the review petition is taken”.The apex court is likely to take up Sharif’s review petition early next month after judges return from vacation.Sharif has expressed serious concerns on the NAB investigation, saying it was unprecedented for a Supreme Court judge to supervise NAB proceedings against him and his family members to get a “desired result”.”Sharif has also been advised by some of his party members to boycott the NAB investigations. He would not get any relief as it has already been decided to grill him,” the PML-N leader said on the condition of anonymity.The NAB said it will issue second summons to the Sharifs if they do not join the investigation after the first summons.The third and final summons will be issued next month if there is no compliance even after the second summons, it said.Sharif, his sons, daughter Maryam, son-in-law Safdar and relatives Ishaq Dar and Tariq Shafi – face several cases, including over the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, the Hill Metal Establishment and Hudabiya Papers Mills.

All you need is love: In return gesture, Pakistan students sing Indian national anthem as Independence Day gift

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Pakistan have had a turbulent relationship, and that’s an understatement. However, there are sections of society from both nations who have always spoken about peace between the two sides. Apart from borders, we’re all the same, is the argument they pose. It’s a pretty straightforward statement, one would think, but unfortunately terror outfits ensure that peace doesn’t exist.Yet, this didn’t deter the peace activists, as both nations celebrated Independence Day recently. First, an Indian A cappella group, as a gift to their neighbours, sang the Pakistan national anthem, which went viral on social media.As a return gift, students from the FC College University in Lahore sang the Indian national anthem.Check the video out here

Collecting ‘difficult memories’ from the birth of two nations

Shahzeb Jillani on two projects to record testimony from those who witnessed partition firsthand.

Opposition to move privilege motions against Sushma Swaraj in RS for ‘providing wrong information’

Thu, 3 Aug 2017-11:10pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties will on Friday move privilege motions against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha for allegedly misinforming the House on India’s foreign policy.According to sources, leaders of different political parties will move two privilege motions against Swaraj for allegedly “providing wrong information on the Bandung Asia Africa relations conference and about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lahore visit in 2015”. The sources said that while Swaraj claimed that she had not delivered any speech in the Bandung conference, the opposition parties have downloaded a purported speech and will attach it as proof.The second privilege is for allegedly “misinforming the House on Modi’s 2015 Lahore visit, claiming that there was no terror incident after that”. The opposition, however, seeks to differ saying the Pathankot terror attack happened immediately after Modi’s visit and there were five other incidents after that too. Incidentally, the issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha today with Congress leader Anand Sharma and Trinamool leader Derek O’ Brien saying that Swaraj had delivered her speech at Bandung despite claims to the contrary.

Pak fishes in J&K’s troubled water, but not creator of valley’s unrest Omar Abdullah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Stating that Pakistan fishes in the troubled waters of Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister of the state Omar Abdullah, on Saturday, denied them to be the creators of violent unrest in the Kashmir Valley. ?I know it is popular to blame Pakistan for everything that is happening in Jammu and Kashmir, but it is not true. While we know that Pakistan fishes in troubled waters, we also know that they are not the creators of the sort of agitations that we have seen in 2008, 2010 and 2016. So, there us a fair amount of blame to be shared across the board,? he said, while speaking at an event, organised by the Bureau of Research, on Industry and Economic Fundamentals titled ‘Understanding Kashmir,’ here. Further speaking about state and the Center?s involvement in the state?s unrest, he said, ?How can we absolve ourselves of the responsibility? It?s not just mainstream political players in Jammu and Kashmir that are responsible for what is happening. The Union of India is also responsible, whether it was the UPA Government or the NDA Government.” Adding, ?Who you want to blame, how much for, depends on which side of the line are you. The Centre would like to blame the states more. We sitting in the states hold the Centre responsible to higher degree. It depends which side you are sitting on.? During his speech, Abdullah also lashed out at present Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and said that it is not within the latter’s power to decide if India and Pakistan are going to engage with each other. “It is not within the scope of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister to decide if India and Pakistan are going to engage or not. But when one fights polls on that, they are settling themselves for defeat,” he said. Abdullah said, as a regional political player, he understands the limitations and said that the problem is in the “desire to attract votes,” adding that the political parties sell promises beyond their ability to deliver. Earlier, Mufti said, “I appeal the Centre to revive the Lahore Declaration so that we can live peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir.” She also asserted that trade routes with Pakistan shouldn’t be blocked, instead there should be crackdown on drugs and Cannabis which are smuggled from there. The Chief Minister’s statement came a day after she had warned the Central Government against diluting Article 370, which grants special status to the state. “Any changes in the Article 370 will not be acceptable. I won’t hesitate in saying that nobody will even hold the Tricolour in Kashmir if the article is scrapped,” she said at an event on Friday. The Lahore Declaration is a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan, which was signed in 1999 before the Kargil war.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Geelani-led Hurriyat warns of Syria-like situation in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti rejected third party intervention, Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani warned that “if the mediation of UN body or any third country is not solicited or accepted, the situation in Kashmir may become like Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan.”The Hurriyat spokesman noted that both India and Pakistan have failed to solve the Kashmir problem bilaterally. “Nor any tangible progress has been observed through agreements viz Shimla and Lahore Declaration. Besides India, Pakistan, and people of J&K, the UN constitutes as the fourth party to the disputed issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.The spokesman said despite 150 rounds of negotiations between India and Pakistan, there is no letup in bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir.“The present state of chaos and continuous bloodshed is the outcome of noncompliance of these agreements. There is nothing bad, nor does anyone need to feel displeased or annoyed if any of the influential and powerful countries offer their services to resolve this long-pending dispute,” he said.The Hurriyat spokesman maintained that the international community has always lauded and appreciated the intervention of third parties in the resolution of all conflicts. “Kashmir issue was raised in UNO by India, and hence admitted the importance of the status of a mediator. Delay in its resolution will give rise to more complex situations,” he said.The remarks come a day after Mehbooba Mufti rejected third party intervention from China or the US, and batted for bilateral talks between India and Pakistan under Lahore Declaration and Shimla Agreement to solve the Kashmir issue.“We have a roadmap. Even after a war, we (India and Pakistan) have to talk to each other. We have Vajpayee Ji’s Lahore Declaration. We have Shimla Agreement. We have to sit together and talk to each other. What will America, Englistan, and Turkistan do? They have made a mess of the issues confronting the world,” Mufti said.

US, China should mind their business: Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting any third party intervention from China or the US, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday batted for bilateral talks between India and Pakistan under the Lahore Declaration and Shimla Treaty to resolve the vexed Kashmir issue.”We have a roadmap,” Mehbooba told reporters. “Even after the war, we (India and Pakistan) have to talk to each other. We have Vajpayee-ji’s Lahore Declaration. We have the Shimla Agreement. We have to sit together and talk to each other. What will America, Englistan and Turkistan do? They have made a mess of the issues confronting the world.”Mehbooba’s remarks came against the backdrop of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s call for third party intervention urging New Delhi to seek help from China and US to mediate the Kashmir issue.”America and China should mind their own business,” continued Mehbooba. “Wherever America has intervened, they have made a mess of these countries. China is mired in its own issues in Tibet. Look at the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Does Farooq-sahab want us to suffer like these countries or he wants our state to prosper?”Invoking former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Chief Minister said they should look up to their leaders who have charted a road map for resolving the Kashmir issue. “We should take it the road map forward,” she said. “Every day, there is firing on the borders and our people and soldiers die. Common people on the other side also die. There should be permanent cure to this problem. It can only happen when we respect these agreements.”Earlier, Mehbooba had visited sensitive south Kashmir, which has been the epicenter of the 2016 unrest that affected development in that region, and inaugurated several developmental projects. “People were seen in large numbers enroute, eagerly awaiting the Chief Minister,” says a government spokesperson. “They projected their demands and sought resolution. They were seen struggling to have a word with their leader.”

Fighting for life, four-month-old Pakistani infant leaves India with love

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rohaan, a four-month-old infant from Pakistan – who was suffering from a heart problem – needed a medical visa to get his treatment from India. With Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s intervention, the infant received treatment at a private hospital in Noida where he made a full recovery before he left for Pakistan on Tuesday.A resident of Lahore, Rohaan had been suffering from a heart disease called “the D-transposition of great arteries with an abnormal origin of main arteries from opposite chambers with multiple VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) and severe Hypertension.” This is a coronary artery anomaly that causes a ‘hole’ in the heart.”The child had a hole in his heart and the ‘aorta’ that is on the left side of heart was coming from the right side and the pulmonary arteries were coming from the left, which is exactly opposite to the general structure of the body,” said Doctor Rajesh Sharma, Director, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Department, Jaypee Hospital.”Due to this, oxygen-less blood was flowing into his body and the body was turning blue. As a result, the pressure in his lungs would shoot up very quickly. From the very first month, Rohaan used to have heavy breathing, his weight was not increasing and he suffered from frequent pneumonia,” the doctor added.The infant was brought to the hospital on June 12, after his father, Kanwal Sadiq appealed to the Union Minister for help, and his surgery took place on June 14. In the five-hour-long surgery, the aorta and arteries were adjusted to their right places and an arterial switch with VSD closure method was applied.The baby was then shifted to ICU and was on ventilator support post the surgery. He was kept under critical observation.After a month of observation, the child was discharged on Tuesday after which he left for Pakistan with his parents. His father expressed his gratitude to the doctors and to Union Minister Sushma Swaraj.FIVE-HOUR SURGERYThe infant was brought to the hospital on June 12, after his father, Kanwal Sadiq appealed to the Union Minister for help, and his surgery took place on June 14.
In the five-hour-long surgery, the aorta and arteries were adjusted to their right places and an arterial switch with VSD closure method was applied

Amarnath attack: Punjab observes bandh;Indo-Pak buses diverted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day-long bandh called by various organisations in Punjab against the Amarnath attack evoked mixed response today. The strike passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state, police said. At a few places, the protesters raised slogans against Pakistan and terrorism, they said. The bandh was called by various Hindu organisations, including the Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena (Hindustan) and the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), in protest against the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims on July 10 in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. In Phagwara, the residents cutting across religions observed the bandh. They took out a rally from the Hanumangarhi Temple complex and marched through the city streets, police said. Most of shops were closed and vehicles remained off the road. A huge police force was deployed in the city to maintain peace. As a precautionary measure, authorities diverted ‘Sada- e-Sarhad’ buses plying between Delhi and Lahore, Phagwara Superintendent of Police P S Bhandal said. While the bus bound for Delhi from Lahore took the Kartarpur-Subhanpur-Kapurthala-Noormahal-Phillaur route, the Lahore-bound bus took the Phillaur-Noormahal-Nakodar- Kapurthala-Kartarpur route, he said. Addressing the rally in Phagwara, Gulam Sarvar Saba, a member of the Punjab Haj Committee, called the killing of Amarnath pilgrims an “anti-Islamic act”. “Islam teaches us to respect all religions and the killing of Amarnath pilgrims was an anti-Islamic and anti- mankind act,” he said. Shopkeepers observed complete bandh in Hoshiarpur, Mukerian, Talwara, Hajipur, Garhdiwala and Tanda. In Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab, there was a partial response to the bandh call. Except Chaura Bazar and its adjoining markets in the old city, all other markets, local transport, factories and banks functioned normally, police said. Scores of activists of various Hindu organisations took out a procession and raised slogans against Pakistan in Ludhiana, police said. Police said around 40 people, including Hindu outfit leaders Varun Mehta and Rav Inder Tondon, were detained in Ludhiana as a precautionary measure. Some Muslims also protested against terror attacks in Ludhiana, police said. Strongly condemning the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, Shahi Imam Habib-ur Rahman said that the terrorists had no religion. In Moga, all commercial establishments, banks and educational institutions remained closed, police said. A heavy police force was deployed at all government installations in Moga.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath attack: Phagwara observes bandh; Indo-Pak buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The residents of Phagwara cutting across religions observed a day-long bandh today in protest against the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims in a terrorist attack in Kashmir. Various Hindu outfits gave the bandh call, and Muslims extended their support to it. As a precautionary measure, authorities diverted ‘Sada- e-Sarhad’ buses plying between Delhi and Lahore, Phagwara Superintendent of Police P S Bhandal said. While the bus bound for Delhi from Lahore took the Kartarpur-Subhanpur-Kapurthala-Noormahal-Phillaur route, the Lahore-bound bus took the Phillaur-Noormahal-Nakodar- Kapurthala-Kartarpur route, he said. In Phagwara, the residents took out a rally from the Hanumangarhi Temple complex and marched through the city streets, police said. Most of shops were closed and vehicles remained off the road. A huge police force was deployed in the city to maintain peace. Addressing the rally, Gulam Sarvar Saba, a member of the Punjab Haj Committee, called the killing of Amarnath pilgrims an “anti-Islamic act”. “Islam teaches us to respect all religions and the killing of Amarnath pilgrims was an anti-Islamic and anti- mankind act,” he said. Leaders of various Hindu groups and the BJP also addressed the rally. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and several others injured in the terrorist attack in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on July 10.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmiri wooden table among 200 artifacts stolen from Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 200 valuable artifacts including a Kashmiri wooden table have been stolen from a Pakistani museum, officials said today. According to an audit report of the Director General (audit) Punjab, no responsibility has been fixed upon any official for the valuable antiques. The artifacts were stolen or missing from the Bahawalpur Museum, some 400 kms from Lahore, officials said. These artifacts include the Kashmiri wooden table, pitcher, clay ‘agarbatti’ (incense stick) stand, cotton hand- made article used for tying camel, a manuscript of Hamail Sharif, calligraphy, a necklace, a silver ring, rugs and some issues of the oldest ex-state period journal called ‘Muraqqa Jahan Numa’. Museum director Zubair Rabbani said the missing articles were not that of much historic importance. A probe has been launched into the matter in the light of the audit report to fix responsibility, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Punjab Police busts ISYF terror module, three militants nabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In yet another major breakthrough, the Punjab Police has arrested three terrorists and busted a terror module directly linked with Pakistan?s ISI-backed banned terror outfit, International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The arrested terrorists– Gurdial Singh, Jagroop Singh and Satwinder Singh had been trained and tasked by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to carry out terror attacks and target various ?anti-panthic and anti-Sikh forces/individuals? by Pakistan-based ISYF chief Lakhbir Rode, and Harmeet Singh alias Happy alias PHD. Preliminary investigations by the Punjab Police have also revealed that a part of the consignment of arms and ammunition seized by the Border Security Force (BSF) on May 21 this year close to the international border in Amritsar, was supplied by the ISYF. Two terrorists–Maan Singh and Sher Singh had been arrested by the BSF last month, while they were attempting to pick up the said consignment. According to a Punjab Police spokesperson, while Gurdial hails from Road Majara, Hoshiarpur, both Jagroop and Satiwinder are residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district. A .32 bore pistol, with one magazine and 10 cartridges and a .38 bore revolver, with 7 cartridges, were recovered from the suspects. While Gurdial and Jagroop were arrested from their native homes, Satwinder was apprehended at a Police Checkpoint close to his village in Pojewal Police station in Balachaur sub-division. The spokesperson said Gurdial Singh was the chief operative of this terror module and was introduced to Lakhbir Singh Rode, who is staying in an ISI provided safe house in Lahore cantonment, by Germany based Balvir Singh Sandhu. Gurdial had met Rode several times during his visits to Pakistan, as part of religious jathas, in the last six to seven years. During his last visit to Pakistan in November 2016, Gurdial had arranged a visa for Jagroop and he had travelled to Lahore. During the interrogation, the duo revealed that during his stay in Lahore (November 12-21, 2016), Jagroop met Rode and Harmeet through Balvir. Jagroop confessed that he was taken to the ISYF chief blindfolded at an undisclosed location and imparted a four-day training course by the ISI in handing AK-47 rifle and smaller weapons. He was also trained in techniques of sabotaging railway tracks by loosening the securing/fastening mechanisms of fish-plates, nuts and bolts. The spokesperson said that Satwinder was also an active member of this ‘action group’ and, along with Jagroop, he was directly in touch with his mentors in Pakistan and Germany. Both Gurdial and Balvir have terrorist backgrounds, with criminal cases registered against them in 1992 and 1988. A Thompson gun had been recovered from Gurdial in 1992. The terrorists were nabbed after a meticulous intelligence-led operation of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar District police. They have been booked under Sections 121,121A, 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act and Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Act. Further investigation is underway.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sushma Swaraj to the rescue again: Assures Pakistan man of medical visa for infant’s treatment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj came to the rescue of a Pakistani man who was unable to get a medical visa for the treatment of his infant.Swaraj assured the Pakistani national that the Indian authorities will assist him with the process after the man identified as a civil engineer living in Lahore according to his Twitter bio.In a tweet, the man questioned Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Sartaz Aziz that why his child had to suffer because of sour relations of the two nations.”Why my bud suffers for medical treatment!! Any answers Sir Sartaaj Azeez or Ma’am Sushma,” tweeted @KenSid2.To this, the Indian minister swung into action and replied with a tweet, “No. The child will not suffer. Pls contact Indian High Commission in Pakistan. We will give the medical visa..”

Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru on his 53rd death anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid his tribute to former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 53rd death anniversary. Remembering the first prime minister of India, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, ?Remembering Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. May the vision & the values he dedicated his life to always guide our conscience & our actions.? Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined the nation in paying tributes to Pandit Nehru. Pandit Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad. In 1919, he joined the Indian National Congress and joined Mahatma Gandhi in the independence movement. He became the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in September 1923. On August 29, 1928 he attended the All-Party Congress and was one of the signatories to the Nehru Report on Indian Constitutional Reform, named after his father Motilal Nehru. In 1929, Nehru was elected the president of the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress, where complete independence for the country was adopted as the goal. He was imprisoned several times during 1930-35 in connection with the Salt Satyagraha and other movements launched by the Congress. Nehru’s birthday is also celebrated as Children?s Day. He was sworn-in on August 15, 1947 as the first prime minister of India when the nation gained independence from the British empire. Serving until his death till May 27, 1964, Nehru remains India’s longest-serving prime minister.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM should dissolve Lok Sabha, hold polls simultaneously with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad today took a jibe at the BJP-led central government saying it should dissolve the current Lok Sabha and hold parliamentary polls simultaneously with the Assembly elections due this year. “The BJP had backed the Niti Aayog’s suggestion of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously to ensure political stability. Now, the Narendra Modi government should pay heed to it, call for dissolution of the current Lok Sabha and go for fresh polls simultaneously with the Assembly elections due this year,” he said at a press conference here. “You (Modi) will get to know about your strength and popularity,” added Prasad. The RJD chief had called the press meet to make his observations on the Modi government’s performance in the last three years public. Prasad claimed that the BJP would not return to power at the Centre in the 2019 general elections due to its government’s “failure on all fronts”. “The BJP won state elections and by-polls only where the opposition was divided. Wherever we (opposition) forged a unity, the BJP was defeated decisively,” he said. The former Bihar chief minister claimed that the Modi government had done “nothing, except making tall claims and hollow promises” in the last three years. “Only capitalists have benefited during Modi’s tenure so far,” he said. Prasad asked the Centre to explain to the people what happened to its promises of creating one crore jobs for the youth, minimum support price for farmers at the rate of input costs and 50 per cent profit, Digital India, Clean Ganga and its sanitation drive, besides its promise of putting Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizen after the recovery of black money stashed abroad. “BJP president Amit Shah himself had termed his party’s promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh to each citizen’s bank account as a ‘jumla’ (gimmick). My question is, how long will you run the country on jumla,” he said. As regards internal and external security, the RJD chief claimed that the country was “not in safe hands”. He blamed Modi for the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir as the prime minister had gone to Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in December, 2015. On the upcoming presidential polls, Prasad said he was yet to hold talks with the “like-minded” opposition parties. “(But) we will stand united,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Battleground Hague, India, Pakistan at ICJ, after 18 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was last a battleground for India and Pakistan nearly 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft. Tomorrow, the ICJ, which is the U.N.’s principal judicial organ, is holding a public hearing at the Great Hall of Justice housed in the Peace Palace at The Hague in Netherlands where the two countries will be asked to present their case over the contentious Jadhav issue. India on May 8 moved a petition before the U.N. body to seek justice for Kulbhushan Jadhav, 46, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan after its 16 requests for consular access to the former naval officer was consistently denied. A Pakistani military court awarded death sentence to Jadhav last month for alleged espionage and subversive activities. Pakistan has also not responded to the request for visas applied by Jadhav’s family. Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year. The previous case related to shooting down of Pakistan’s maritime reconnaissance aircraft Atlantique by the Indian Air Force(IAF) in the Kutch region on August 10, 1999, killing all 16 naval personnel on board. Pakistan claimed the plane was brought down in its air space and sought 60 million USD in damages from India for the incident. A 16-judge bench of the court on June 21, 2000 voted 14-2 to dismiss Pakistan’s claim. The decision was announced by bench president Gilbert Guillaume of France at a public sitting. The verdict was final and there was no appeal. The ICJ found that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by Pakistan on September 21, 1999. Public hearings in the case titled ‘Aerial incident of August 10, 1999 (Pakistan vs India)’ lasted four days ending April 6, 2000. Arguments centred on the court’s jurisdiction in the case which had to be determined before its merits could be considered by the 16 judges. The Atlantique case was ousted by the ICJ on the issue of jurisdiction and not on merits. Both parties had agreed that the question of jurisdiction would be decided first and only then would the issue of merits be taken up. Guillaume said the court would first have to decide whether it had the jurisdiction to go into the case as contended by New Delhi after the Indian delegation led by the then Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, raised preliminary objections to its jurisdiction. Pakistan opened the first round of oral arguments, India replying them, and then Pakistan following with its second round, with India making its response thereto. India argued that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, citing an exemption it had filed way back in 1974 to exclude disputes between India and other Commonwealth states, and disputes covered by multilateral treaties. Sorabjee told the court that Pakistan was “solely responsible” for the incident and Islamabad must “bear the consequences of its own acts.” Pakistan’s Attorney General Aziz Munshi had sought a speedy resolution, saying its application had to be concluded quickly so that it did not remain an irritant in Indo-Pak relations. Pakistan had also sought to politicise the case by referring to the Kashmir issue, the Kargil conflict, Indo-Pak relations and alleged motives for the shooting. Pakistan wanted the court to intervene while India was opposed to its assumption of jurisdiction on the basis of Islamabad’s application. It urged the court to “dismiss the objections raised by India and accept its jurisdiction.” India maintained that none of Pakistan’s arguments is ‘sound’ and does not provide a basis for invoking the court’s jurisdiction. Sorabjee expressed happiness with the court’s verdict. “We are very happy. The court has accepted all our contentions,” he had said. Former supreme court judge B P Jeevan Reddy and Pakistan’s former Attorney General Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada were co-opted into the bench as ad-hoc judges. As per ICJ rules, when it does not include a judge possessing the nationality of the state party to a case, the state may appoint a person to sit as a judge ad-hoc for the purpose of the case. The court also recalled that its lack of jurisdiction does not relieve States of their obligation to settle their disputes by peaceful means. The choice of those means admittedly rests with the parties under Article 33 of the UN Charter, it said, adding, they are nonetheless under an obligation to seek such a settlement, and to do so in good faith in accordance with the Charter. As regards India and Pakistan, that obligation was restated more particularly in the Simla Accord of July 2, 1972. Moreover, the Lahore Declaration of 21 February, 1999 reiterated “the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement,” it said. Accordingly, the court reminded the parties of their obligation to settle their disputes by peaceful means, and in particular the dispute arising out of the Atlantique incident in conformity with the obligations which they have undertaken. India’s External Affairs Ministry while hailing the verdict especially welcomed the court’s positive observations on the principles enunciated in the Simla agreement and Lahore Declaration as the basis for an Indo-Pak rapprochement. Through its comments, the court has vindicated India’s stand on these landmark agreements that are the very cornerstone of India-Pakistan relations, a ministry spokesman had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Only PM Narendra Modi can resolve Kashmir issue, says CM Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Battling unpopularity and alienation, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday heaped praises on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he is the only leader who can resolve the Kashmir problem and pull the valley out of the present quagmire.”I am saying it with full authority and I may be criticized for it also that if anyone can resolve Jammu and Kashmir problem, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has a strong mandate. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him,” said Mehbooba while addressing people after inaugurating a flyover in Jammu city.Mehbooba backed the Prime Minister’s decision to visit Lahore on December 25, 2015, saying it was sign of strength and not indication of weakness. “He has the mandate of the people. This is his biggest power. He went to Lahore and met the PM of that country. This is not a sign of weakness but an indication of strength and power,” she said.Without naming former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mehbooba whose PDP was an ally of Congress from 2002 to 2008 said he lacked courage to visit Pakistan. “A Prime Minister had also desired to go to Pakistan for over 10 years to see his home. He could have tried to end the confrontation between the two countries, and bring J&K out of this unfortunate situation. However he had no courage to do that”, Mehbooba said Crediting former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former chief minister Mufti Mohommad Sayeed for starting the “chapter of peace” in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, Mehbooba said they tried their best to bring Kashmir out of this unfortunate situation”There was ceasefire (along the borders) during Vajpayee’s rule. There were talks with former deputy prime minister LK Advani. There was beginning of the process of opening roads. Militancy declined during that period and there was peace on the borders. These were not small developments. But unfortunately Mufti was out of the government and Vajpayee ji left, and the process came to grinding halt,” she said Mehbooba alleged that the UPA regime at the centre and the state government did not carry forward the process thinking “everything is peaceful and there is no need to do anything further”.”There was a lava. It started to come out when the youths were out on the streets in 2008 and then 2009 and 2010. This lava has now spread to the streets and we are forced to face this situation. Our government is trying to improve the situation in Kashmir, there are some forces which do not want it”, she said.Complimenting people of Jammu for having maintained communal harmony and brotherhood despite provocations, Mehbooba said nobody would be allowed to disturb the peaceful atmosphere and mischief mongers would be dealt with sternly. “Whosoever takes law in own hands would be dealt with appropriately and cautioned people against nefarious designs of some negative elements who want to derail the developmental process in the province by creating an atmosphere of hate”, she said.The statement evoked sharp reaction from former chief minister Omar Abdullah whose party National Conference ran the government in alliance with Congress from 2008 to 2014. “Yes that’s why Mehbooba Mufti & her brother didn’t allow protestors to alter the schedule of the Anantnag by-poll. Such a strong leader!” he tweeted

Mehbooba Mufti takes dig at Manmohan Singh; says only PM Modi can solve Kashmir issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can resolve the Kashmir problem as he has a strong mandate and appealed to him to pull the valley out of morass. Mufti, whose government is battling spiralling protests in the valley, said the situation is the result of pent up anger due to failure of the UPA government to continue with the policy started by the previous NDA government in Jammu and Kashmir during her father Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed’s rule. “I say today with authority and I will be criticised for it also. If anyone can find a solution to Jammu and Kashmir problem, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”He (PM) has a strong mandate. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him,” said Mufti, whose party is running a government in coalition with the BJP.”If anyone can take us out of the sticky spot, it is Prime Minister Modi. The nation will support whatever he decides…it is may earnest appeal…,” she said. The CM was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a flyover here.
ALSO READ Despite ban on social media, video of Hizbul militants torturing youth in Kashmir goes viralHailing the Prime Minister’s decision to visit Lahore on December 25, 2015, she said that it was a sign of strength not weakness.”He has the mandate of the people. This is his biggest power. He went to Lahore and met the PM of that country. This is not a sign of weakness but an indication of strength and power,” she said.She took a dig at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he did not have the courage to visit Pakistan. “Before him (Modi), a Prime Minister had also desired to go to Pakistan for over ten years. He wanted to see his home there,” she said, with naming Singh.”He also would have tried to end the confrontation between the two countries, and bring J&K out of this unfortunate situation, but he had no courage to do that.” She gave credit to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former chief minister Mufti Sayeed for starting the “chapter of peace” in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002.”They tried their best to bring out Kashmir out of this unfortunate situation. He was successful to a large extent in shortest of period,” Mehbooba said. “There was ceasefire (along Indo-Pak border) during Vajpayee’s rule. There were talks with L K Advani (in Kashmir). There was beginning of the process of opening (cross -LoC) roads.”The chief minister said militancy declined during that period and there was peace on the borders.”These were not small developments. But unfortunately Mufti was out of the government and Vajpayee ji left, and the process came to grinding halt,” the PDP leader lamented.She alleged that the UPA regime at the centre and the state government did not carry forward the process thinking “everything is peaceful and there is no need to do anything further”.”There was pent-up lava. It started to come out when the youths were out on the streets in 2008 and then 2009 and 2010.This lava has now spread to the streets and we are forced to face this situation,” she said. The CM said while her government is trying to improve the situation in Kashmir, there are some forces which do not want it.”Mufti sahib, who had seen a dream, shook hands with the Prime Minister of our country Narendra Modi, who has got the mandate of the people,” she said.As the chief minister was speaking, former Minister and senior Congress leader Gulchain Singh Charak interrupted her speech and demanded setting up of two civil secretariat in Jammu and Srinagar capital cities.Charak, who later walked out of the hall in protest, was heckled by some workers after conclusion of the function. Deputy CM promises normalcy The Jammu and Kashmir government will take every step to ensure security and peace in the Valley, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said today.”Our focus (on the state) has not changed. Kashmir has been facing challenges not because of the coalition government. The situation in the Valley has been there for long,” he told reporters here.Singh was reacting to the Centre’s directive to the state government yesterday to confiscate the equipment of cable operators allegedly airing unauthorised Pakistani channels in the state and take action against them.According to reports, over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels besides Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV and others indulging in “anti-India” propaganda were allegedly running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.On being quizzed over a video showing two alleged Special Police Officers (SPOs) being tortured by militants, the deputy chief minister said, “Pakistan is playing a game in Kashmir.Terrorists are playing a game. Kashmiris are being terrorised.But the people of the state want peace and the tourism season to be normal.”The BJP leader said the government was doing its best for the development of the state. “The Rs 70 crore-flyover in Jammu is the biggest gift the state can receive. From parking lots to ring roads, the government is doing its best for the development of the state.Our main focus is to bring peace and security to the people of the state,” he said.

Pak refuses to probe 26/11 attack afresh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst reports that a non-official back channel has been activated to bring about a thaw in Indo-Pak relationship and to pave way for a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana in June, Pakistan is adamant on keeping the atmosphere vitiated.On Thursday, it rejected India’s demand for a reinvestigation of the 26/11 Mumbai attack case. Quoting official sources, PTI reported from Islamabad that the trial was “not possible” as it was at an advanced stage. Islamabad also demanded “concrete” evidence against Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the attack.Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that it was a matter of concern that even after eight years, the masterminds and planners of the attack continue to enjoy freedom in Pakistan.“It is the Pakistan government’s responsibility to bring to book all those involved in conspiring, executing and mounting the attack, in which 166 people were killed,” he said.Early last month, in reply to Pakistan’s request to send 24 Indian witnesses to record their statements, India had asked Pakistan to reinvestigate the attack and put on trial Jammat-ud-Dawa chief Saeed, who is currently under house arrest in Lahore.“We have received a reply from the Indian government in response to our letter regarding sending 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements. Instead of entertaining our request, India had sought the reinvestigation of the case and demanded trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba operation commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of the evidence it had provided to Pakistan,” a Pakistani Interior Ministry official said.The Pakistan government, on January 30, had put Saeed and the four leaders of JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat under house arrest in Lahore.On Thursday, Pakistani officials said that there was no question of reopening the trial. “All proceedings (in the case) have been finalised, except the recording of statements of 24 Indian witnesses. At this stage, reinvestigation is not possible. If India wants the case to conclude, it should send its witnesses to Pakistan,” they said. “India had only mentioned in its dossier that Ajmal Kasab (the lone terrorist captured alive) had once met Saeed. Thousands of people meet him (Saeed). That doesn’t prove anything. Pakistan is willing to try Saeed in the 26/11 case, provided India gives us solid evidence against him,” PTI said, quoting Pakistani officials.The trial has been pending for seven years and India has urged Pakistan to complete it at the earliest. It has said that enough evidence has been shared with Pakistan. But no proceeding in the case has been held on Wednesday — the day fixed for hearing – at the Adiala jail, Rawalpindi, by an anti-terrorism court.The trial court has already completed recording statements of all witnesses here and their cross-examination and other records have also been presented before it.Lakhvi and Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum face charges of abetment to murder, attempt to murder, and planning and executing the attack. Lakhvi was freed two years ago after he secured bail. The other six suspects are in Adiala jail.

Kulbhushan Jadhav cannot get justice in Pak-Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amidst the ongoing tussle between New Delhi and Islamabad following the death sentence to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Congress Party on Sunday stated it is impossible for him to get justice in Pakistan. Commenting on the present status of relations between both sides, Congress leader Ashwani Kumar told ANI it is impossible to have any constructive relations with Pakistan in the wake of the latest developments in Jadhav?s case. ?We all know it is impossible for Jadhav to get justice in Pakistan. The lawyers? body of Lahore and Pakistan has stated that any lawyer, who defends Jadhav, will lose his license to practice. In such a situation, there is no question of any justice for Jadhav,? he said. Lauding the government?s efforts in ensuring justice for Jadhav, Kumar stressed that all political parties must back the ruling dispensation in this regard. A military court in Pakistan had earlier this week found Jadhav guilty on two counts of espionage and sentenced him to death. He was arrested in March last year for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan, according to a statement released by the Pakistan armed forces. India has strongly objected to the sentencing, saying consular officials were denied access to Jadhav during his trial. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier issued a stern warning to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad should be wary of taking such an extreme step as it could result in damaging the bilateral relations between the already hostile neighbours and vowed to go out of the way to save Jadhav amid an outrage in India. Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Friday asked Pakistan to provide a copy of the chargesheet filed and the judgment given against Jadhav while strongly raising this issue. The Indian side also conveyed that it will appeal the order and is studying the Pakistan Army Act for the same.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kulbhushan Jadhav issue will sour Indo-Pak ties for some time to come

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after India demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet as well as the judgment in the death sentence of former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan made these documents public and asked New Delhi to provide legal assistance in verifying various documents.The demand was scoffed at by senior government officials here, stressing it only highlighted an extreme case of “miscarriage of justice,” whereby an innocent person was sentenced even before verification of documents.In a normal judicial process, seized documents from an arrested person, like passport, are sent to his country of origin through diplomatic channels for verification and to ascertain citizenship. This process has to be followed before the charges are put to judicial scrutiny.Sources in New Delhi said that apart from diplomatic options, India will explore legal remedies under Pakistan’s legal system. This can include Jadhav’s family appealing against the verdict. For such a remedy, a certified copy of the charge sheet and the judgment is a legal requirement.While all measures to save Jadhav are being contemplated, diplomatic sources agree that the Jadhav issue will remain a sore point in bilateral ties for a long time. Since more than substance, optics matters in India-Pakistan relations, the issue may be sorted out only after the top leadership engages itself. That is unlikely to happen anytime soon.The issue came at a crucial point, as on last Monday, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had sought an appointment with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to convey his country’s gratitude to the Indian Coast Guard for rescuing some Pakistani fishermen.Such a gesture could have built up goodwill and perhaps helped put relations between the two countries back on track. But instead, just an hour before the scheduled meeting, came the news of Jadhav’s death sentence. So instead of a “gesture”, Basit was summoned and handed a demarche.In fact, in the first-ever diplomatic contact between Islamabad and New Delhi after the sentencing of Jadhav, Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Saturday called on Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in Islamabad.Bambawale confirmed that India has once again requested for consular access to Jadhav. He said over the past one year, there had been no response to New Delhi’s previous 13 requests.Hours after this meeting, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and the government’s de facto foreign minister, shared the charge sheet with the media at a press conference in the headquarters of the Pakistan Foreign Office. He claimed that a letter of assistance, requesting specific information and access to certain key witnesses was shared with the Government of India on January, 23, 2017. “There has been no response from the Indian side so far,” Aziz revealed.”I would like to ask India why he Jadhav was using a fake identity and masquerading as a Muslim. Why would an innocent man possess two passports? — one with a Hindu name, and another with a Muslim name,” Aziz added.The charge sheet, which Aziz made public, accuses Jadhav of sponsoring and directing Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and grenade attacks in Gwadar and Turbat. It specifically indicts him for directing attacks on a radar station and civilian boats in the sea opposite the Jiwani Port and sponsoring explosions of gas pipelines and electric pylons in Sibi and Sui areas in Balochistan.It also held him responsible for IED explosions in Quetta in 2015, attacks on Hazaras in Quetta and Shias en route to and back from Iran. Incidentally, these attacks have been attributed to banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the past.Defending the trial process, Aziz said Jadhav’s confessional statement had been recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, whereas the proceedings had been conducted under the Law of Evidence.Aziz, however, clarified that Jadhav still has the right to appeal to an appellate court within 40 days. He may also lodge a mercy petition to the Army chief within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court. He can also file a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of COAS on the mercy petition.The Jadhav issue has taken a twist in Pakistan’s domestic politics as well. The alleged “espionage” and confession by suspected Lyari gangster Uzair Jan Baloch, linked with Jadhav, has names of many political leaders, members of parliament and senior officers in police and government services. They have been named either as partners of his criminal life or those who used his gang for their interests. In his statement, Uzair claimed to have executed a number of “jobs” for senior PPP leaders and police officers.”I helped Owais Muzaffar Tappi and Asif Ali Zardari to occupy 14 sugar mills, which they later bought on lower prices,” he stated. “On Zardari’s directives, I sent 15-20 men to Bilawal House. They were tasked to harass occupants of 30-40 bungalows around Bilawal House and vacate the place. All those bungalows were later bought by Zardari at very low prices,” the confession stated.LAHORE BAR ASSOCIATION NOT TO FIGHT JADHAV’S CASEThe Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) said on Friday that it will take action against any lawyer who extends services to Kulbhushan Jadhav. “The LHBA has unanimously decided to cancel the membership of any lawyer who offers his services to Jadhav,” LHCBA Secretary-General Amer Saeed Raan said.HOW THE TRIAL PROCEEDEDSartaj Aziz, Pakistan prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, shares the timeline of the proceedings against Jadhav so farMarch 25, 2016: Confessional video statement of Kulbushan JhadavApril 8, 2016: Initial FIR in Counter-Terrorism Department QuettaMay 2, 2016: Initial interrogationMay 22, 2016: Detailed interrogationJuly 12, 2016: Joint Investigation Team constitutedJuly 22, 2016:· Confessional statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure CodeSeptember 24, 2016: Recording of summary of evidenceSeptember 21, 2016: 1st proceedingOctober 19, 2016: 2nd proceedingNovember 29, 2016: 3rd proceedingFebruary 12, 2017: 4th proceedingApril 10, 2017: Death sentence endorsed

Jadhav’s execution | Put international pressure on Pakistan, urge experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj warned Pakistan to “consider the consequences” of executing former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, experts in India have stated that Delhi needs to use diplomatic leverage in world capitals to exert pressure on Islamabad.While senior Congress leader and former UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor argued for reaching out to the international community and particularly to those who are the “pay masters” of Pakistan in the West to save the life of Jadhav, former additional secretary at the External Affairs Ministry KC Singh called for conveying a message through back channels, rather than issuing open threats. “Great powers don’t issue open threats, nor do they beg for mercy, but send subtle messages to make the erring fall in line,” he said, adding that the next few days would be crucial to see just how India plays its cards.Tharoor, who at the request of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, is authoring a resolution to be adopted by both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday on the sentencing of Jadhav, said it was time to send a tough message to Pakistan. But both he and Singh asked the government why was the issue of Pakistan not allowing consular access to Jadhav raised, despite India making such a request at least 13 times.
ALSO READ DNA Edit: Justice? Jadhav’s death sentence is about revenge & retaliationTharoor added that the government didn’t have a concrete strategy to deal with Pakistan on this issue, and that the Pakistan military court’s decision had caught everybody by surprise. Denouncing Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s remarks, Tharoor said that his remarks were tragic and the act of sentencing Jadhav to death was in “violation of Vienna Convention and the Geneva Convention. We have to drum up support from the international community as it is an assault on the international law, too.”Asked as to how the judicial process in Pakistan will proceed with respect to the possible execution of Jadhav, former High Commissioner G Parthasarthy believed that the issue of Jadhav will linger on for some time. “It will go to the appellate court and then to the President of Pakistan and will continue to remain a diplomatic sore,” he said.
ALSO READ India warns Pakistan of consequences on Kulbhushan Jadhav; parties pledge to stand behind govtParthasarthy added that he feels the President of Pakistan, though a civilian ruler and working on the advice of the Prime Minister, will not ignore advice from the Army in this case.As far as Islamabad’s reaction was concerned, Singh said it was still not clear why Pakistan had precipitated this crisis. He believed that there must have been some tipping point which could have been the situation in the Kashmir Valley or the mysterious disappearance of their retired Pakistan Army officer from Nepal recently.
ALSO READ After Sarabjit, lawyer now bats for Kulbhushan JadhavThe officer, identified as retired Lt Col Mohammad Habib, has been untraceable since April 6 from Lumbini, a Nepalese town near the Indian border and a Buddhist pilgrimage site, soon after his arrival there. His family alleged that he may have been abducted by Indian spy agency RAW.Speaking about sending a subtle message, Singh also recalled that the late PM Indira Gandhi, who, in 1984 was frustrated at the frequent hijacking of Indian planes by Punjab militants to Lahore, sent foreign secretary MK Rasgotra to deliver a message to then Pakistan President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Between September 1981 to August 1984, four Indian planes had been hijacked and taken to Lahore.Rasgotra recalled that when he raised the issue, then Pakistan President had told him that security at Srinagar Airport was “inadequate”, thus attempting to push the blame on India. “At the insistence of Mrs Gandhi, I conveyed to him that security at Lahore and Karachi was also inadequate,” the former foreign secretary recalled, adding that the message of possible retaliation was understood and hijacking of planes abruptly stopped. Later, two Indian planes were hijacked in 1993 and the last infamous incident of IC 814 in 1999.

LHC bench hearing Saeed’s petition against detention dissolved

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A two-member bench of Lahore High Court hearing the petition filed by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and four others challenging their house arrest under the anti- terrorism act was today dissolved as one of the judges has been transferred. In today’s hearing, the bench comprising Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi and Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad said they would not be able to further hear the case since the new roster of judges has been issued for next week. The bench adjourned the hearing till April 12. “One of the judges of…the bench has been transferred therefore a new bench will be constituted next week by the chief justice,” a court official told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak court asks Punjab govt to explain detention of Hafiz Saeed ‘without a trial’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani court has asked the Punjab government to explain under what authority it has detained Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed “without a trial”. A Lahore High Court’s two-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Kazim Raza Shamsi yesterday was hearing a petition of Saeed, his aides – Prof Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid – who had challenged their detention under the anti-terrorism law. After hearing the arguments of advocate AK Dogar, counsel for Saeed, Justice Shamsi observed the government should tell about its powers to detain a citizen like Saeed without trial. Referring to an Indian movie wherein Saeed was portrayed as a villain, the judge said the government should see if there is any “international conspiracy” against Pakistani citizens. Dogar concluded his arguments saying the government had detained the JuD leaders without any justification. Dogar also questioned the powers of the provincial government to include any citizen in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). He said such powers were solely vested with the federal government. He said the government had detained him (Saeed) and others to please India and the US. He further argued that the UN resolution followed by the government action did not seek detention of any citizen. He said the detention of the JuD leaders is a case of mala fide intention and ulterior motive on part of the government. Dogar said the government had no evidence that the petitioners were a risk to security of Pakistan, and merely on the basis of UN resolutions their liberty could not be curtailed. The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders of JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country s anti-terrorism act. The court adjourned the hearing till April 4.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

On its National Day, Pakistan hopes of improving ties with India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan on Thursday asserted that Islamabad had always tried to maintain cordial relations with all of its neighbours and expressed hope that its ties with New Delhi would improve in the near future. Pakistan’s envoy to India Abdul Basit, while speaking at a ceremony to mark Pakistan’s National Day at the Pakistan High Commission on Thursday here, said he hoped of a speedy solution to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. “We hope that our relations will improve. We will resolve all of our issues peacefully, especially the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, which is the primary issue for Pakistan-India ties. We will resolve it according to the will of the Kashmiri people,” he said, as reported by the Dawn. “History is witness that freedom movements can be suppressed temporarily but they cannot be quashed permanently,” he added. Earlier, on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent greetings to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif via a letter. Sharif had sent a similar greeting to Prime Minister Modi in January this year on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. The Pakistan Day marks the historic event of 1940, when the Lahore Resolution was passed demanding a separate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shaheed Diwas 2017: This Bhagat Singh letter to his father shows he had no fear

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>March 23 is commemorated as Shaheed Diwas to mark the day martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged. The trio were hanged in Lahore jail on March 23, 1931. Bhagat Singh, who was 23-year-old at the time of his hanging, was born in Banga village of Faisalabad district (previously called Lyallpur) in the Punjab province (now in Pakistan) in 1907. When Bhagat Singh was being tried, his father Sardar Kishan Singh had written to the tribunal urging them to realise that there were many facts that showed his son was innocent and had nothing to do with Saunder’ s murder. Upon learning about this he wrote a sharp, critical letter to his own father. Oct. 4, 1930My dear father,
ALSO READ Shaheed Diwas 2017 | Why I am an atheist: Full text of Bhagat Singh’s legendary essay I was astounded to learn that you had submitted a petition to the members of the Special Tribunal in connection with my defence. This intelligence proved to be too severe a blow to be borne with equanimity. It has upset the whole equilibrium of my mind. I have not been able to understand how you could think it proper to submit such a petition at this stage and in these circumstances. Inspite of all the sentiments and feelings of a father, I don’t think you were at all entitled to make such a move on my behalf without even consulting me. You know that in the political field my views have always differed with those of yours. I have always been acting independently without having cared for your approval or disapproval. I hope you can recall to yourself that since the very beginning you have been trying to convince me to fight my case very seriously and to defend myself properly. But you also know that I was always opposed to it. I never had any desire to defend myself and never did I seriously think about it. Whether it was a mere vague ideology or that I had certain arguments to justify my position, is a different question and that cannot be discussed here. You know that we have been pursuing a definite policy in this trial. Every action of mine ought to have been consistent with that policy, my principle and my programme. At present the circumstances are altogether different, but had the situation been otherwise, even then I would have been the last man to offer defence.I had only one idea before me throughout the trial, i.e. to show complete indifference towards the trial inspite of serious nature of the charges against us. I have always been of opinion that all the political workers should be indifferent and should never bother about the legal fight in the law courts and should boldly bear the heaviest possible sentences inflicted upon them. They may defend themselves but always from purely political considerations and never from a personal point of view. Our policy in this trial has always been consistent with this principle; whether we were successful in that or not is not for me to judge. We have always been doing our duty quite disinterestedly. In the statement accompanying the text of Lahore Conspiracy Case Ordinance the Viceroy had stated that the accused in this case were trying to bring both law and justice into contempt. The situation afforded us an opportunity to show to the public whether we ere trying to bring law into contempt or whether others were doing so. People might disagree with us on this point. You might be one of them. But that never meant that such moves should be made on my behalf without my consent or even my knowledge. My life is not so precious, at least to me, as you may probably think it to be. It is not at all worth buying at the cost of my principles. There are other comrades of mine whose case is as serious as that of mine. We had adopted a common policy and we shall stand to the last, no matter how dearly we have to pay individually for it. Father, I am quite perplexed. I fear I might overlook the ordinary principle of etiquette and my language may become a little but harsh while criticising or rather censoring this move on your part. Let me be candid. I feel as though I have been stabbed at the back. Had any other person done it, I would have considered it to be nothing short of treachery. But in your case, let me say that it has been a weakness – a weakness of the worst type. This was the time where everybody’s mettle was being tested. Let me say, father, you have failed. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you have devoted your life to the cause of Indian independence, but why, at this moment, have you displayed such a weakness? I cannot understand. In the end, I would like to inform you and my other friends and all the people interested in my case, that I have not approved of your move. I am still not at all in favour of offering any defence. Even if the court had accepted that petition submitted by some of my co-accused regarding defence, etc., I would have not defended myself. My applications submitted to the Tribunal regarding my interview during the hunger strike, were misinterpreted and it was published in the press that I was going to offer defence, though in reality I was never willing to offer any defence. I still hold the same opinion as before. My friends in the Borstal Jail will be taking it as a treachery and betrayal on my part. I shall not even get an opportunity to clear my position before them. I want that public should know all the details about this complication, and, therefore, I request you to publish this letter.Your loving son Bhagat SinghSource: shahidbhagatsingh.org

Shaheed Diwas 2017 | Why I am an atheist: Full text of Bhagat Singh’s legendary essay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>March 23 is marked as Shaheed Diwas. It was an important day in Indian history. On this day, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and were hanged around 7:30 PM on 1931. Their execution proved a pivotal moment in India’s battle for freedom.What set Bhagat Singh apart from many of his peers was his clarity of thought, his steadfast beliefs and his ideas about freedom. He was also an atheist, unlike many in his time. When fellow inmate Randhir Singh suggested that his atheism was caused due to his vanity from his new-found fame Bhagat Singh replied with this gem which was originally written in Gurmukhi (Punjabi), converted to Urdu/Persian script by Maqsood Saqib This version was translated from Urdu to English by Hasan for marxists.org in 2006.CopyLeft: Creative Common (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2006.It is a matter of debate whether my lack of belief in the existence of an Omnipresent, Omniscient God is due to my arrogant pride and vanity. It never occurred to me that sometime in the future I would be involved in polemics of this kind. As a result of some discussions with my friends, (if my claim to friendship is not uncalled for) I have realised that after having known me for a little time only, some of them have reached a kind of hasty conclusion about me that my atheism is my foolishness and that it is the outcome of my vanity. Even then it is a serious problem. I do not boast of being above these human follies. I am, after all, a human being and nothing more. And no one can claim to be more than that. I have a weakness in my personality, for pride is one of the human traits that I do possess. I am known as a dictator among my friends. Sometimes I am called a boaster. Some have always been complaining that I am bossy and I force others to accept my opinion. Yes, it is true to some extent. I do not deny this charge. We can use the word ‘vainglory’ for it. As far as the contemptible, obsolete, rotten values of our society are concerned, I am an extreme sceptic.But this question does not concern my person alone. It is being proud of my ideas, my thoughts. It cannot be called empty pride. Pride, or you may use the word, vanity, both mean an exaggerated assessment of one’s personality. Is my atheism because of unnecessary pride, or have I ceased believing in God after thinking long and deep on the matter? I wish to put my ideas before you. First of all, let us differentiate between pride and vanity as these are two different things.I have never been able to understand how unfounded, baseless pride or empty vanity can hinder a person from believing in God. I may refuse to acknowledge the greatness of a really great person only when I have got fame without doing any serious efforts or when I lack the superior mental powers necessary to become great. It is easy to understand but how is it possible that a believer can turn into a non-believer because of his vanity? Only two things are possible: either a man deems himself to be in possession of Godly qualities, or he goes a step further and declares himself to be a god. In both these states of mind he cannot be an atheist in the true sense of the word. In the first case, it is not an outright rejection of God’s existence; in the other, he is affirming the existence of some kind of supernatural power responsible for the working of universe. It does not harm our argument whether he claims to be a god or considers God to be a reality in existence above his own being. The real point, however, is that in both cases he is a theist, a believer. He is not an atheist. I want to bring home this point to you. I am not one of these two creeds. I totally reject the existence of an Omnipresent, all powerful, all knowing God. Why so? I will discuss it later in the essay. Here I wish to emphasise that I am not an atheist for the reason that I am arrogant or proud or vain; nor am I a demi-god, nor a prophet; no, nor am I God myself. At least one thing is true that I have not evolved this thought because of vanity or pride. In order to answer this question I relate the truth.My friends say that after Delhi bombing and Lahore Conspiracy Case, I rocketed to fame and that this fact has turned my head. Let us discuss why this allegation is incorrect. I did not give up my belief in God after these incidents. I was an atheist even when I was an unknown figure. At least a college student cannot cherish any sort of exaggerated notion of himself that may lead him to atheism. It is true that I was a favourite with some college teachers, but others did not like me. I was never a hardworking or studious boy. I never got an opportunity to be proud. I was very careful in my behaviour and somewhat pessimistic about my future career. I was not completely atheistic in my beliefs. I was brought up under the care and protection of my father. He was a staunch Arya Samaji. An Arya Samaji can be anything but never an atheist. After my elementary education, I was sent to D. A. V College, Lahore. I lived in the boarding house for one year. Besides prayers early in the morning and at dusk time, I sat for hours and chanted religious Mantras. At that time, I was a staunch believer. Then I lived with my father.He was a tolerant man in his religious views. It is due to his teachings that I devoted my life for the cause of liberating my country. But he was not an atheist. His God was an all-pervading Entity. He advised me to offer my prayers every day. In this way I was brought up. In the Non-cooperation days, I got admission to the National College. During my stay in this college, I began thinking over all the religious polemics such that I grew sceptical about the existence of God. In spite of this fact I can say that my belief in God was firm and strong. I grew a beard and ‘Kais’ (long head of hair as a Sikh religious custom). In spite of this I could not convince myself of the efficacy of Sikh religion or any religion at all, for that matter. But I had an unswerving, unwavering belief in God.Then I joined the Revolutionary Party. The first leader I met had not the courage to openly declare himself an atheist. He was unable to reach any conclusion on this point. Whenever I asked him about the existence of God, he gave me this reply: “You may believe in him when you feel like it.” The second leader with whom I came in contact was a firm believer. I should mention his name. It was our respected Comrade Sachindara Nath Sanyal. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with Karachi conspiracy case. Right from the first page of his only book, ‘Bandi Jivan’ (Incarnated Life) he sings praises to the Glory of God. See the last page of the second part of this book and you find praises showered upon God in the way of a mystic. It is a clear reflection of his thoughts.According to the prosecution, the ‘Revolutionary Leaflet’ which was distributed throughout India was the outcome of Sachindara Nath Sanyal’s intellectual labour. So often it happens that in revolutionary activities a leader expresses his own ideas which may be very dear to him, but in spite of having differences, the other workers have to acquiesce in them.In that leaflet, one full paragraph was devoted to the praises of God and His doings which we, human beings, cannot understand. This is sheer mysticism. What I want to point out is that the idea of denying the existence of God did not even occur to the Revolutionary Party. The famous Kakory martyrs, all four of them, passed their last day in prayers. Ram Parshad Bismal was a staunch Arya Samaji. In spite of his vast studies in Socialism and Communism, Rajan Lahiri could not suppress his desire to recite hymns from Upanishads and Gita. There was but only one person among them who did not indulge in such activities. He used to say, “Religion is the outcome of human weakness or the limitation of human knowledge.” He is also in prison for life. But he also never dared to deny the existence of God.Till that time I was only a romantic revolutionary, just a follower of our leaders. Then came the time to shoulder the whole responsibility. For some time, a strong opposition put the very existence of the party into danger. Many leaders as well as many enthusiastic comrades began to uphold the party to ridicule. They jeered at us. I had an apprehension that some day I will also consider it a futile and hopeless task. It was a turning point in my revolutionary career. An incessant desire to study filled my heart. ‘Study more and more’, said I to myself so that I might be able to face the arguments of my opponents. ‘Study’ to support your point of view with convincing arguments. And I began to study in a serious manner. My previous beliefs and convictions underwent a radical change. The romance of militancy dominated our predecessors; now serious ideas ousted this way of thinking. No more mysticism! No more blind faith! Now realism was our mode of thinking. At times of terrible necessity, we can resort to extreme methods, but violence produces opposite results in mass movements. I have talked much about our methods. The most important thing was a clear conception of our ideology for which we were waging a long struggle. As there was no election activity going on, I got ample opportunity to study various ideas propounded by various writers. I studied Bakunin, the anarchist leader. I read a few books of Marx, the father of Communism. I also read Lenin and Trotsky and many other writers who successfully carried out revolutions in their countries. All of them were atheists. The ideas contained in Bakunin’s ‘God and State’ seem inconclusive, but it is an interesting book. After that I came across a book ‘Common Sense’ by Nirlamba Swami. His point of view was a sort of mystical atheism. I developed more interest in this subject. By the end of 1926, I was convinced that the belief in an Almighty, Supreme Being who created, guided and controlled the universe had no sound foundations. I began discussions on this subject with my friends. I had openly declared myself an atheist. What it meant will be discussed in the following lines.In May 1927, I was arrested in Lahore. This arrest came as a big surprise for me. I had not the least idea that I was wanted by the police. I was passing through a garden and all of a sudden the police surrounded me. To my own surprise, I was very calm at that time. I was in full control of myself. I was taken into police custody. The next day I was taken to the Railway Police lockup where I spent a whole month. After many days’ conversation with police personnel, I guessed that they had some information about my connection with the Kakori Party. I felt they had some intelligence of my other activities in the revolutionary movement. They told me that I was in Lucknow during the Kakori Party Trial so that I might devise a scheme to rescue the culprits. They also said that after the plan had been approved, we procured some bombs and by way of test, one of those bombs was thrown into a crowd on the occasion of Dussehra in 1926. They offered to release me on condition that I gave a statement on the activities of the Revolutionary Party. In this way I would be set free and even rewarded and I would not be produced as an approver in the court. I could not help laughing at their proposals. It was all humbug. People who have ideas like ours do not throw bombs at their own innocent people. One day, Mr. Newman, the then senior Superintendent of CID, came to me. After a long talk which was full of sympathetic words, he imparted to me what he considered to be sad news, that if I did not give any statement as demanded by them, they would be forced to send me up for trial for conspiracy to wage war in connection with Kakori Case and also for brutal killings in Dussehra gathering. After that he said that he had sufficient evidence to get me convicted and hanged.I was completely innocent, but I believed that the police had sufficient power to do it if they desired it to be so. The same day some police officers persuaded me to offer my prayers to God two times regularly. I was an atheist. I thought that I would settle it to myself whether I could brag only in days of peace and happiness that I was an atheist, or in those hard times I could be steadfast in my convictions. After a long debate with myself, I reached the conclusion that I could not even pretend to be a believer nor could I offer my prayers to God. No, I never did it. It was time of trial and I would come out of it successful. These were my thoughts. Never for a moment did I desire to save my life. So I was a true atheist then and I am an atheist now. It was not an easy task to face that ordeal. Beliefs make it easier to go through hardships, even make them pleasant. Man can find a strong support in God and an encouraging consolation in His Name. If you have no belief in Him, then there is no alternative but to depend upon yourself. It is not child’s play to stand firm on your feet amid storms and strong winds. In difficult times, vanity, if it remains, evaporates and man cannot find the courage to defy beliefs held in common esteem by the people. If he really revolts against such beliefs, we must conclude that it is not sheer vanity; he has some kind of extraordinary strength. This is exactly the situation now. First of all we all know what the judgement will be. It is to be pronounced in a week or so. I am going to sacrifice my life for a cause. What more consolation can there be! A God-believing Hindu may expect to be reborn a king; a Muslim or a Christian might dream of the luxuries he hopes to enjoy in paradise as a reward for his sufferings and sacrifices. What hope should I entertain? I know that will be the end when the rope is tightened round my neck and the rafters move from under my feet. To use more precise religious terminology, that will be the moment of utter annihilation. My soul will come to nothing. If I take the courage to take the matter in the light of ‘Reward’, I see that a short life of struggle with no such magnificent end shall itself be my ‘Reward.’ That is all. Without any selfish motive of getting any reward here or in the hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to the cause of freedom. I could not act otherwise. The day shall usher in a new era of liberty when a large number of men and women, taking courage from the idea of serving humanity and liberating them from sufferings and distress, decide that there is no alternative before them except devoting their lives for this cause. They will wage a war against their oppressors, tyrants or exploiters, not to become kings, or to gain any reward here or in the next birth or after death in paradise; but to cast off the yoke of slavery, to establish liberty and peace they will tread this perilous, but glorious path. Can the pride they take in their noble cause be called vanity? Who is there rash enough to call it so? To him I say either he is foolish or wicked. Leave such a fellow alone for he cannot realise the depth, the emotions, the sentiment and the noble feelings that surge in that heart. His heart is dead, a mere lump of flesh, devoid of feelings. His convictions are infirm, his emotions feeble. His selfish interests have made him incapable of seeing the truth. The epithet ‘vanity’ is always hurled at the strength we get from our convictions.You go against popular feelings; you criticise a hero, a great man who is generally believed to be above criticism. What happens? No one will answer your arguments in a rational way; rather you will be considered vainglorious. Its reason is mental insipidity. Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits of revolutionary thinking. As Mahatmaji is great, he is above criticism; as he has risen above, all that he says in the field of politics, religion, Ethics is right. You agree or not, it is binding upon you to take it as truth. This is not constructive thinking. We do not take a leap forward; we go many steps back.Our forefathers evolved faith in some kind of Supreme Being, therefore, one who ventures to challenge the validity of that faith or denies the existence of God, shall be called a Kafir (infidel), or a renegade. Even if his arguments are so strong that it is impossible to refute them, if his spirit is so strong that he cannot be bowed down by the threats of misfortune that may befall him through the wrath of the Almighty, he shall be decried as vainglorious. Then why should we waste our time in such discussions? This question has come before the people for the first time, hence the necessity and usefulness of such long discussions.As far as the first question is concerned, I think I have made it clear that I did not turn atheist because of vanity. Only my readers, not I, can decide whether my arguments carry weight. If I were a believer, I know in the present circumstances my life would have been easier; the burden lighter. My disbelief in God has turned all the circumstances too harsh and this situation can deteriorate further. Being a little mystical can give the circumstances a poetic turn. But I need no opiate to meet my end. I am a realistic man. I want to overpower this tendency in me with the help of Reason. I am not always successful in such attempts. But it is man’s duty to try and make efforts. Success depends on chance and circumstances.Now we come to the second question: if it is not vanity, there ought to be some sound reason for rejection of age-old belief in God. Yes, I come to this question. I think that any man who has some reasoning power always tries to understand the life and people around him with the help of this faculty. Where concrete proofs are lacking, mystical philosophy creeps in. As I have indicated, one of my revolutionary friends used to say that “philosophy is the outcome of human weakness.” Our ancestors had the leisure to solve the mysteries of the world, its past, its present and its future, its whys and its wherefores, but having been terribly short of direct proofs, every one of them tried to solve the problem in his own way. Hence we find wide differences in the fundamentals of various religious creeds. Sometimes they take very antagonistic and conflicting forms. We find differences in Oriental and Occidental philosophies. There are differences even amongst various schools of thoughts in each hemisphere. In Asian religions, the Muslim religion is completely incompatible with the Hindu faith. In India itself, Buddhism and Jainism are sometimes quite separate from Brahmanism. Then in Brahmanism itself, we find two conflicting sects: Aarya Samaj and Snatan Dheram. Charwak is yet another independent thinker of the past ages. He challenged the Authority of God. All these faiths differ on many fundamental questions, but each of them claims to be the only true religion. This is the root of the evil. Instead of developing the ideas and experiments of ancient thinkers, thus providing ourselves with the ideological weapon for the future struggle, – lethargic, idle, fanatical as we are – we cling to orthodox religion and in this way reduce human awakening to a stagnant pool.It is necessary for every person who stands for progress to criticise every tenet of old beliefs. Item by item he has to challenge the efficacy of old faith. He has to analyse and understand all the details. If after rigorous reasoning, one is led to believe in any theory of philosophy, his faith is appreciated. His reasoning may be mistaken and even fallacious. But there is chance that he will be corrected because Reason is the guiding principle of his life. But belief, I should say blind belief is disastrous. It deprives a man of his understanding power and makes him reactionary.Any person who claims to be a realist has to challenge the truth of old beliefs. If faith cannot withstand the onslaught of reason, it collapses. After that his task should be to do the groundwork for new philosophy. This is the negative side. After that comes in the positive work in which some material of the olden times can be used to construct the pillars of new philosophy. As far as I am concerned, I admit that I lack sufficient study in this field. I had a great desire to study the Oriental Philosophy, but I could get ample opportunity or sufficient time to do so. But so far as I reject the old time beliefs, it is not a matter of countering belief with belief, rather I can challenge the efficacy of old beliefs with sound arguments. We believe in nature and that human progress depends on the domination of man over nature. There is no conscious power behind it. This is our philosophy.Being atheist, I ask a few questions from theists:1. If, as you believe there is an Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient God, who created the earth or universe, please let me know, first of all, as to why he created this world. This world which is full of woe and grief, and countless miseries, where not even one person lives in peace.2. Pray, don’t say it is His law. If He is bound by any law, He is not Omnipotent. Don’t say it is His pleasure. Nero burnt one Rome. He killed a very limited number of people. He caused only a few tragedies, all for his morbid enjoyment. But what is his place in history? By what names do we remember him? All the disparaging epithets are hurled at him. Pages are blackened with invective diatribes condemning Nero: the tyrant, the heartless, the wicked.One Genghis Khan killed a few thousand people to seek pleasure in it and we hate the very name. Now, how will you justify your all powerful, eternal Nero, who every day, every moment continues his pastime of killing people? How can you support his doings which surpass those of Genghis Khan in cruelty and in misery inflicted upon people? I ask why the Almighty created this world which is nothing but a living hell, a place of constant and bitter unrest. Why did he create man when he had the power not to do so? Have you any answer to these questions? You will say that it is to reward the sufferer and punish the evildoer in the hereafter. Well, well, how far will you justify a man who first of all inflicts injuries on your body and then applies soft and soothing ointment on them? How far the supporters and organizers of Gladiator bouts were justified in throwing men before half starved lions, later to be cared for and looked after well if they escaped this horrible death. That is why I ask: Was the creation of man intended to derive this kind of pleasure?Open your eyes and see millions of people dying of hunger in slums and huts dirtier than the grim dungeons of prisons; just see the labourers patiently or say apathetically while the rich vampires suck their blood; bring to mind the wastage of human energy that will make a man with a little common sense shiver in horror. Just observe rich nations throwing their surplus produce into the sea instead of distributing it among the needy and deprived. There are palaces of kings built upon the foundations laid with human bones. Let them see all this and say “All is well in God’s Kingdom.” Why so? This is my question. You are silent. All right. I proceed to my next point.You, the Hindus, would say: Whosoever undergoes sufferings in this life, must have been a sinner in his previous birth. It is tantamount to saying that those who are oppressors now were Godly people then, in their previous births. For this reason alone they hold power in their hands. Let me say it plainly that your ancestors were shrewd people. They were always in search of petty hoaxes to play upon people and snatch from them the power of Reason. Let us analyse how much this argument carries weight!Those who are well versed in the philosophy of Jurisprudence relate three of four justifications for the punishment that is to be inflicted upon a wrong-doer. These are: revenge, reform, and deterrence. The Retribution Theory is now condemned by all the thinkers. Deterrent theory is on the anvil for its flaws. Reformative theory is now widely accepted and considered to be necessary for human progress. It aims at reforming the culprit and converting him into a peace-loving citizen. But what in essence is God’s Punishment even if it is inflicted on a person who has really done some harm? For the sake of argument we agree for a moment that a person committed some crime in his previous birth and God punished him by changing his shape into a cow, cat, tree, or any other animal. You may enumerate the number of these variations in Godly Punishment to be at least eighty-four lack. Tell me, has this tomfoolery, perpetrated in the name of punishment, any reformative effect on human man? How many of them have you met who were donkeys in their previous births for having committed any sin? Absolutely no one of this sort! The so called theory of ‘Puranas’ (transmigration) is nothing but a fairy-tale. I do not have any intention to bring this unutterable trash under discussion. Do you really know the most cursed sin in this world is to be poor? Yes, poverty is a sin; it is a punishment!Cursed be the theoretician, jurist or legislator who proposes such measures as push man into the quagmire of more heinous sins. Did it not occur to your All Knowing God or he could learn the truth only after millions had undergone untold sufferings and hardships? What, according to your theory, is the fate of a person who, by no sin of his own, has been born into a family of low caste people? He is poor so he cannot go to a school. It is his fate to be shunned and hated by those who are born into a high caste. His ignorance, his poverty, and the contempt he receives from others will harden his heart towards society. Supposing that he commits a sin, who shall bear the consequences? God, or he, or the learned people of that society? What is your view about those punishments inflicted on the people who were deliberately kept ignorant by selfish and proud Brahmans? If by chance these poor creatures heard a few words of your sacred books, Vedas, these Brahmans poured melted lead into their ears. If they committed any sin, who was to be held responsible? Who was to bear the brunt? My dear friends, these theories have been coined by the privileged classes. They try to justify the power they have usurped and the riches they have robbed with the help of such theories. Perhaps it was the writer Upton Sinclair who wrote (Bhagat Singh is referring to Sinclair’s pamphlet ‘Profits of Religion’ – MIA transcriber) somewhere “only make a man firm believer in the immortality of soul, then rob him of all that he possesses. He will willingly help you in the process.” The dirty alliance between religious preachers and possessors of power brought the boon of prisons, gallows, knouts and above all such theories for the mankind.I ask why your Omnipotent God does not hold a man back when he is about to commit a sin or offence. It is child’s play for God. Why did He not kill war lords? Why did He not obliterate the fury of war from their minds? In this way He could have saved humanity of many a great calamity and horror. Why does He not infuse humanistic sentiments into the minds of the Britishers so that they may willingly leave India? I ask why He does not fill the hearts of all capitalist classes with altruistic humanism that prompts them to give up personal possession of the means of production and this will free the whole labouring humanity from the shackles of money. You want to argue the practicability of Socialist theory, I leave it to your Almighty God to enforce it. Common people understand the merits of Socialist theory as far as general welfare is concerned but they oppose it under the pretext that it cannot be implemented. Let the Almighty step in and arrange things in a proper way. No more logic chopping! I tell you that the British rule is not there because God willed it but for the reason that we lack the will and courage to oppose it. Not that they are keeping us under subjugation with the consent of God, but it is with the force of guns and rifles, bombs and bullets, police and militia, and above all because of our apathy that they are successfully committing the most deplorable sin, that is, the exploitation of one nation by another. Where is God? What is He doing? Is He getting a diseased pleasure out of it? A Nero! A Genghis Khan! Down with Him!Now another piece of manufactured logic! You ask me how I will explain the origin of this world and origin of man. Charles Darwin has tried to throw some light on this subject. Study his book. Also, have a look at Sohan Swami’s “Commonsense.” You will get a satisfactory answer. This topic is concerned with Biology and Natural History. This is a phenomenon of nature. The accidental mixture of different substances in the form of Nebulae gave birth to this earth. When? Study history to know this. The same process caused the evolution of animals and in the long run that of man. Read Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species.’ All the later progress is due to man’s constant conflict with nature and his efforts to utilise nature for his own benefit. This is the briefest sketch of this phenomenon.Your next question will be why a child is born blind or lame even if he was not a sinner in his previous birth. This problem has been explained in a satisfactory manner by biologists as a mere biological phenomenon. According to them the whole burden rests upon the shoulders of parents whose conscious or unconscious deeds caused mutilation of the child prior to his birth.You may thrust yet another question at me, though it is merely childish. The question is: If God does not really exist, why do people come to believe in Him? Brief and concise my answer will be. As they come to believe in ghosts, and evil spirits, so they also evolve a kind of belief in God: the only difference being that God is almost a universal phenomenon and well developed theological philosophy. However, I do disagree with radical philosophy. It attributes His origin to the ingenuity of exploiters who wanted to keep the people under their subjugation by preaching the existence of a Supreme Being; thus claimed an authority and sanction from Him for their privileged position. I do not differ on the essential point that all religions, faiths, theological philosophies, and religious creeds and all other such institutions in the long run become supporters of the tyrannical and exploiting institutions, men and classes. Rebellion against any king has always been a sin in every religion.As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realized his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colours of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society. He was the cry of the distressed soul for he was believed to stand as father and mother, sister and brother, brother and friend when in time of distress a man was left alone and helpless. He was Almighty and could do anything. The idea of God is helpful to a man in distress.Society must fight against this belief in God as it fought against idol worship and other narrow conceptions of religion. In this way man will try to stand on his feet. Being realistic, he will have to throw his faith aside and face all adversaries with courage and valour. That is exactly my state of mind. My friends, it is not my vanity; it is my mode of thinking that has made me an atheist. I don’t think that by strengthening my belief in God and by offering prayers to Him every day, (this I consider to be the most degraded act on the part of man) I can bring improvement in my situation, nor can I further deteriorate it. I have read of many atheists facing all troubles boldly, so I am trying to stand like a man with the head high and erect to the last; even on the gallows.Let us see how steadfast I am. One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, “When your last days come, you will begin to believe.” I said, “No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralisation. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray.” Reader and friends, is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it.

Lahore HC directs police to provide security to those observing Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed police to provide security to those who want to observe martyrdom of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh at Shadman Chowk here on March 23. Pakistan?s Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation had filed a petition in the HC seeking security to mark the death anniversary of Bhagat Singh. Shadman Chowk is the place where India?s three bravehearts, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged on March 23, 1931 for revolting against the British colonial rule.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pakistan’s anti-Sufism feeling has increased Defence Experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Lambasting Pakistan over the missing of two Indian clerics, the Defence Experts on Tuesday said Islamabad?s anti-Sufism feeling has increased. Speaking to ANI, Defence Expert N.N. Jha said Sufism is not considered as Islam in Pakistan. ?The two Indian clerics often go to Karachi and this was not the first time that they went there. I think Pakistan?s anti-Sufism feeling has increased. It is good in a way because the Muslims in India will gradually understand the environment in Pakistan and how it behaves with the Muslims,? he added. Echoing similar sentiments, another Defence Expert Ranjeet Rai said there are people in Pakistan who disrespects Sufi, but Sufism gets respect in Lahore. ?Now that they have returned, Pakistan is saying may be they were RAW agents. One day it will get revealed what exactly happened there and why the Sufi clerics got kidnapped. The NIA will look into it. Something or the other will always happen in Pakistan due to terrorism,? he added. The two Indian Muslim clerics who went missing in Pakistan last week, forcing the Indian government to intervene, returned yesterday. Syed Asif Ali Nizami and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, both clerics of Delhi?s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, reached Delhi yesterday morning, spent time with their family and also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Syed Asif Nizami said they were not troubled and kept safely in a VIP room. “We went to the shrine of Baba Farid Ganj and Data Darbar to offer prayers. We were kept in VIP rooms and were not troubled. I was taken to a place quite far from Karachi, with my face covered. I was offered food and they prepared tea for me,” Asif Nizami told ANI. He further said that he was asked about the details regarding his identity. “They asked about my details and about Dargah too. The Station House Officer (SHO) took my details,” he added. Nazim Nizami said they went to Pakistan to spread the message of peace and love and will again visit there. “We went there spread the message of Nizammuddin Dargah of peace and love. There are people who disagree with this message of peace and love. They said they had gone to the interior province of Sindh. We did not. We don’t have the visa for that place. We are thankful to the Indian government because of whom, we are here. Negative people in Pakistan don’t want us to go there again but we will go there again to spread the message if peace,” Nazim Nizami told media here. The duo had travelled to Pakistan to visit their relatives in Karachi and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Lahore. They surfaced in Karachi and told that they had gone to meet their devotees in interior Sindh, where there was no phone connectivity. One of them went missing in Karachi and the other in Lahore, reports claimed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hearing on Saeed’s petition adjourned, govt lawyer seeks time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The hearing on the petition filed by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and four others challenging their house arrest under the anti-terrorism act was adjourned today after a government lawyer requested for more time to prepare for the case. “We could not get time to prepare the case as we were informed about today’s hearing in the nick of the time,” the government lawyer told a two-member Lahore High Court bench headed by Justice Syed Kazim Raza Shamsi. Accepting his request, the court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow. Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid have filed the petition in the Lahore High Court and challenged their detention through senior advocate A K Dogar. The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country’s anti- terrorism act. In their petition, Saeed and the four others had said the government in light of interior ministry’s order detained them for a period of 90 days, with effect from January 30, in exercise of powers under the Anti Terrorism Act. They requested the court to declare the government order malafide, without jurisdiction and one that voids the fundamental right to their life and liberty. The names of Saeed and 37 other JuD and FIF leaders had earlier also been placed on the Exit Control List, barring them from leaving the country. Saeed was also put under house arrest after the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, but he was freed by a court in 2009. Saeed also carries a reward of USD 10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak newspaper posed us as RAW agents, reveals cleric

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Giving hint towards Pakistan?s conspiracy to convict innocent Indians, one of the Sufi clerics, who had gone missing in Pakistan, on Monday revealed that one of the papers in the neighbouring country had printed false news of them being Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agents. Nazim Nizami, one of the two clerics, told the reporters that a newspaper ?Ummat? in Pakistan printed false statements of them being ?RAW spies?. ?There is a newspaper Ummat (in Pakistan) which has printed false statements (of the two clerics being RAW spies) and photos,? Nizami told the media here. The cleric thanked the Indian Government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for their efforts. The two clerics marked a safe arrival in India earlier today. The duo will be meeting Sushma Swaraj later in the day. The two clerics surfaced in Karachi and told that they had gone to meet their devotees in interior Sindh, where there was no phone connectivity. The clerics, identified as Syed Asif Ali Nizami and his friend Nazim Nizami, belong to Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. Syed Asif Ali Nizami is the head priest of the Dargah. The duo had travelled to Pakistan to visit their relatives in Karachi and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Lahore. One of them went missing in Karachi and the other in Lahore, reports claimed. The Indian authorities had raised the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Ministry seeking its help in tracing their missing citizens.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After arrival from Pak, Sufi clerics to meet Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two Sufi clerics of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, who are returning from Pakistan, will today meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.Amir Nizami, son of one of the clerics, said they will be picking them from the airport and will go to Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah to seek blessings of the Allah. They will then meet their family members.?I would like to thank the Indian Government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Sawarj and Rajnath Singh. We are very happy that our government made their efforts in helping them to return,? Nizami told ANI.Swaraj had yesterday stated that she spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami, one of the missing clerics, in Karachi and was assured they were safe and would be back to Delhi on Monday.”I just spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami in Karachi. He told me that they are safe and will be back in Delhi tomorrow,” Swaraj tweeted.The two clerics surfaced in Karachi and told that they had gone to meet their devotees in interior Sindh, where there was no phone connectivity.The clerics, identified as Syed Asif Ali Nizami and his friend Nazim Nizami, belong to Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah.Syed Asif Ali Nizami is the head priest of the Dargah.The duo had travelled to Pakistan to visit their relatives in Karachi and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Lahore.One of them went missing in Karachi and the other in Lahore, reports claimed.The Indian authorities had raised the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Ministry seeking its help in tracing their missing citizens.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak memorial seeks security to mark Bhagat Singh’s anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking security to mark the death anniversary of Indian freedom fighter, citing threats from “religious extremists”. The foundation’s chairman advocate Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi filed a writ petition yesterday contending that the organisers of the March 23 event should be provided with security. Qureshi said threats had been received from “religious extremists” for the event. “We had requested the provincial government and police high ups to ensure security for the function but they did not respond positively,” Qureshi said. He said the Punjab chief secretary, inspector general of police and DIG operations Lahore have been denying protection and security at public place which is a fundamental right of every citizen of the country. Advocate Qureshi requested the court to order the respondent authorities to take security measures for the upcoming event in order to protect the lives of the participants and public at large. Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh would take up the petition tomorrow. March 23 marks the death anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh who was hanged along with his comrades Raj Guru and Sukhdev in 1931 at Fawara Chowk in Shadman Lahore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian clerics are safe, will reach Delhi tomorrow: Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Indian clerics, including the head priest of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, who went missing in Pakistan, are safe and will be back in the city tomorrow, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today. “I just spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami in Karachi. He told me that they are safe and will be back in Delhi tomorrow,” she said in a tweet. The two clerics – Syed Asif Nizami, the head priest (Sajjadanashin) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, had gone to Lahore on March 8 and were to return to India on March 20. The main purpose of the visit of 80-year-old Asif to Pakistan was to see his sister in Karachi. Yesterday, Pakistan had conveyed to India that the clerics were traced and reached Karachi last evening. Swaraj had taken up the issue with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz yesterday and requested him to trace the missing clerics. According to Pakistani media reports, both clerics had been in “interior Sindh where there was no communication network” and that is why they could not inform their relatives about their whereabouts. Earlier, Pakistani sources had said the two clerics were in the custody of Pakistan’s intelligence agency over their alleged links with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). They were offloaded from Karachi-bound Shaheen Airlines on March 14 at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, the Pakistani sources had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Missing cleric’s son thanks Indian Govt. for their efforts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Expressing happiness over the news of return of the two Indian Sufi clerics of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah who went missing in Pakistan, Amir Nizami, son of one of the clerics thanked the Indian Government and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for their efforts in tracing the two. ?We got to know the news circulating in Pakistan media. We also got a call from the Indian government. We would like to thank the Indian government and Sushma Swaraj for their efforts. We would also thank Pakistan media,? Nizami told ANI. Nizami also informed that the phone of the clerics was now ringing, adding that they would be able to talk to them very soon. The two clerics are set to return to India on March 20, according to Pakistan media reports. According to Pakistan media reports, two Indian clerics surfaced in Karachi and told that they had gone to meet their devotees in interior Sindh, where there was no phone connectivity. The clerics identified as Asif Nizami and his friend Nazim Nizami, belong to Delhi?s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. The duo had travelled to Pakistan to visit their relatives in Karachi and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Lahore. One of them went missing in Karachi and the other in Lahore, reports claimed. The Indian authorities had raised the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Ministry seeking its help in tracing their missing citizens. Syed Asif Ali Nizami is the head priest of New Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. Meanwhile, a Dargah Committee meeting is underway in Delhi’s Nizamuddin regarding the disappearances. Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she has taken up the matter to Islamabad officials. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria also acknowledged that an Indian request seeking assistance for the recovery of two clerics had been received.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Parleys between India, Pak on Indus pact to be held in Lahore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parleys between India and Pakistan on various aspects of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) will be in Lahore on March 20 and March 21. The meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) will take place nearly six months after New Delhi decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits. The meeting is being held “as the IWT, 1960 makes it mandatory” to hold parleys under the accord at least once in a fiscal. India’s Indus water commissioner and MEA officials will be part of the Indian delegation for the annual meeting. The last meeting of the PIC was held in May 2015 here. India had on Friday downplayed its participation in the upcoming meeting in Pakistan to discuss various aspects relating to sharing of Indus river water, saying it does not amount to resumption of government-level Indo-Pak talks. The dialogue was stalled following the terror strikes by Pakistan-based terror groups. Declaring that “blood and water cannot flow together”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting in September to review the treaty in the backdrop of the terror strikes, including the Uri attack. After the meeting, officials had announced that the government has decided to suspend further talks and increase the utilisation of rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir to fully exercise India’s rights under the pact. The commission, which has officials from both the countries as its members, was set up under the treaty to discuss and resolve issues relating to its implementation. It is mandated to meet alternately in India and Pakistan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak acting as ‘crying wolf’ Defence experts on Permanent Indus Commission meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With India all set to attend the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission in Lahore, defence experts today said New Delhi will utilize the entire legitimate part of the rivers falling under the treaty and added that Pakistan, which has been acting as a crying wolf, should discuss the issue bilaterally. Defence Expert Major General (Retd.) P.K. Sehgal said the treaty allows India to use 19.8 percent water of the western rivers. ?Prime Minister Narendra Modi has categorically made a statement that we will use that water irrespective of whatever may be the consequences. Pakistan has been acting as a crying wolf and has been going to the United Nations and elsewhere to seek arbitration,? Major General (Retd.) Sehgal told ANI. ?India is giving a message loud and clear that we are keen to discuss everything that is part of the treaty and we do not want to do anything which is illegitimate and which is not indicated in the treaty,? he added. He emphasized that there are built in methods to deal with any dispute but Pakistan wants to go beyond that. ?We can bilaterally discuss it because we are going to use only what is the legitimate right of ours as per the treaty, which we have so far not used,? he added. Echoing similar sentiments, another defence expert Sunil Deshpande said India has realized that it should utilize the assigned amount of water of the Indus River and must take advantage of the liberty which the treaty has provided. ?This particular issue must be raised properly in the meeting and we must utilize the water which we are authorized to,? Deshpande said. Flying Officer Shivali Deshpande on her part said that India should take a firm decision and make an attempt to utilize the water which is in its share. ?India has not been so far using the authorized water, but now the government is planning to utilize the water which is on India?s side,? she asserted. India will be participating in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission held in Lahore later this month. Sources said Pakistan forwarded the invitation to India to resolve the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). As per the provisions in the treaty, India can use only 20 percent of the total water carried by the Indus River. The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict. The development comes after the relations between the two nuclear-armed nations plummeted following the Pathankot terror attack that took place in January last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Let’s see if Saeed’s arrest result of wise thinking: Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said it has to be seen whether terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest was the result of “real wise thinking” on the part of Pakistan or simply because things had started “burning under their feet”. Parrikar also rejected the concept of good and bad terrorism, insisting,”I can say when you grow cactus, the thorns prick everyone.” His comments followed Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaza Asif’s remarks that Saeed’s house arrest was in Islamabad’s “larger interest” as he could pose a “serious threat” to the country. Parrikar said any country supporting terror was bound to feel its impact on its own security situation. “I hope they understand it…what has been said. If this is part of this understanding, it is a good thing that is happening. “But we will have to wait till we find out whether it is only because things started burning under their feet or it is real wise thinking,” he told a TV channel. Asif’s remarks about the danger posed by the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed, came at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, on Sunday. Saeed was placed under house arrest under the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on January 30 in Lahore, provoking criticism from various outfits loyal to him and allies. Saeed’s inclusion in the list was seen as a tacit acknowledgement of his links with militant organisations. Saeed was earlier this month put on the Exit Control List, barring him from leaving the country. Saeed was also put under house arrest after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, but he was freed by a court in 2009. He carries a reward of USD 10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

"Little" progress in Sarabjit’s murder case: Pak judge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that there has been “little” progress in the high-profile murder case of Indian spy Sarabjit Singh, a Pakistani judge has admonished police for lack of cooperation with the court and ordered the arrest of a jail official. An additional district and sessions judge Lahore yesterday directed the Lahore police chief to ensure the appearance of Deputy Superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail on February 17. The judge said there had been “little” progress in Sarabjit’s case who was murdered about four years ago at the Kot Lakhpat central jail in Lahore. During the hearing, the judge admonished the jail authorities for not cooperating with the court and also issued bailable arrest warrant for the Deputy Superintendent who despite repeated summons had failed to appear before the court. Two Pakistani death row prisoners – Amir Tamba and Mudassar – had allegedly attacked Sarabjit in the Kot Lakhpat jail and killed him in May 2013. One-man judicial commission of Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi of Lahore high court had initially investigated Sarabjit’s murder case before the trial kicked off in the sessions court. Naqvi recorded the statements of some 40 witnesses in the murder of Sarabjit and submitted its report to the government which is yet to make its findings public. The one-man commission had also issued notices to Sarabjit’s relatives through the foreign ministry to record their statements and to produce any evidence they had regarding his death. However, Sarabjit’s family did not record their statements, the officials had said. Tamba and Mudassar, in their statements to the commission, had confessed to the crime and said they killed Sarabjit as they wanted to avenge the killing of people in Lahore and Faisalabad in bomb blasts allegedly carried out by the Indian national. Sarabjit had been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in 1990. Both Tamba and Mudassar have been indicted in the murder case in the court of additional district and sessions judge Lahore. The next hearing of the case will be held on February 17.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak army can give befitting response to any misadventure:Bajwa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today said his troops are fully prepared for a “befitting response” to “any misadventure” from across the border as he lauded the military for its response to alleged ceasefire violations by India. Bajwa’s comments came after he visited the Lahore Garrison on Friday where he spoke with troops and reiterated the Pakistan Army’s resolve to always “come up to the expectations of the people of Pakistan.” According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) branch of the Pakistan Army, Bajwa expressed satisfaction on the force’s readiness and “appreciated the Punjab Rangers’ response to ongoing ceasefire violations along the working boundary by Indian troops”. “Pakistan Army and Rangers are fully prepared for a befitting response to any misadventure from across the border,” Bajwa said. He said that India is trying to divert the world’s attention from “atrocities committed by the Indian forces against innocent Kashmiris”. He said the Pakistan Army and Punjab Rangers have played an important role for reduction in internal security threats as well as their response along the working boundary.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hafiz Saeed, 4 others put under house arrest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities have placed Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed under house arrest, reported Pakistan’s leading TV channel quoting sources within Punjab Home Department on Monday. Saeed has been placed under house arrest at Jamia Qadsia Chauburji in Lahore, sources told Geo News.Punjab government’s Home Department issued the detention order of Saeed and Lahore Police reached JuD headquarters in Chauburji to implement the order, JuD said. He “is at Masjid-e-Qadsia Chauburji and a heavy contingent of police has surrounded the JuD headquarters,” JuD official Ahmed Nadeem, who was present at the premises of the outfit, said. Ubaid, Iqbal, Abid and Niaz were also taken into preventive custody.

Hafiz Saeed: Pakistan detains 26/11 Mumbai attacks suspect

Hafiz Saeed is accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people.

Natural for two large neighbours to have differences: PM Modi plays down fractious Indo-China relationship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India alone cannot walk the path of peace with Pakistan and the neighbouring country must walk away from terrorism if it wants bilateral dialogue to resume, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said , amid continued chill in Indo-Pak ties. Referring to ties with China, the Prime Minister said it was not unnatural for two large neighbouring powers to have some differences but both sides should show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests.He was speaking at the inaugural session of the three- day-long Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship geo-political conference which is being attended by top foreign and security experts from across the world.On ties with Pakistan, Modi said the path of peace has to be Pakistan’s journey as well and that India’s stand in delinking terrorism from religion, and rejecting artificial distinction between good and bad terrorism, are now a global talking point.”My vision for our neighbourhood puts premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in.”For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India,” he said.In a veiled reference to Pakistan, he said those “in our neighbourhood who support violence, perpetrate hatred, and export terror stand isolated and ignored.” In his address, Modi gave a run down of India’s foreign policy priorities, security interests in the Indian Ocean and bilateral engagement with neighbouring countries, Gulf nations and major powers including the US, China and Russia.On Sino-India ties, he said both the countries have an unprecedented economic opportunities and that they can compliment each other in their march forward. “I see the rise of India & China as an unprecedented economic opportunity for our two countries, and for the whole world. At the same time, it is not unnatural for two large neighbouring powers to have some differences.”In the management of our relationship, and for the peace and progress in the region, both our countries need to show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests,” he said.Referring to India’s ties with the US, he said a certain amount of speed, substance and strength to the entire spectrum of economic, commercial and security engagements has been brought to the relationship through sustained engagement.”Over the past two-and-half years, we have given a strong momentum to our engagement with US, Russia, Japan and other major global powers,” he said, delving on India’s external engagement and geo-strategic interests.Modi said India’s economic and political rise represents a regional and global opportunity of great significance.

Pakistan must walk the talk on terror if it wants to have dialogue: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Modi highlighted some of salient points regarding India’s relationship with major world powers while speaking at inauguration of Second Raisina Dialogue. Modi said that India is keen on achieving a thriving well integrated neighbourhood. Referring to his surprise Lahore visit, Modi said that India alone can’t walk the path of peace. PM said that Pakistan has to walk the talk on terror if it wants to have dialogue. Earlier PM blamed non-state actors as significant challenges faced by India. PM said, ” We need to guard against any inclination that promotes exclusion, specially in Asia. The multi-polarity of the world, and an increasingly multi-polar Asia, is a dominant fact today. Security of our citizens is of paramount importance.Self interest alone is not in our culture or behaviour.” PM Modi said that his vision for India’s neighbourhood led him to invite all the SAARC countries for the swearing-in ceremony in 2014.

Pak terrorist Bahadur Ali fluent in map-reading and proficient with GPS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A nine alphabet code recovered from alleged Pakistan terrorist Bahadur Ali seemed to the clinching evidence the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recovered against him. The code, the NIA alleged in its chargesheet filed at Patiala House Court on Friday, revealed Grid References (GR), phone numbers of local handlers, names of Indian cities that could be potential targets for terror attacks and routes used by the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, to infiltrate across the border. “This clearly establishes that Ali is well conversant with the use of the map sheet and that he has received training in the subject,” the NIA said in its chargesheet that was filed on Friday. Bahadur Ali, who hails from Jia Bagga, village in Lahore’s Raiwind area was recruited by three people Bilal — a student of Superior University, Abdullah and Maulana Abdul Rehman, both from Lahore at “Abu Baqr” the local mosque. After being recruited, the three motivated Ali to join LeT who then trained him to infiltrate India and create havoc. The LeT devised intensive training schedules where Ali allegedly learnt how to use efficiently use arms and explosive devices. He was also taught how to read maps, use the GPS, matrix sheets and GR’s. The Let, the NIA claim, then provided Ali and two other suspected militants with material to infiltrate the Line of Control (LoC) from a launching pad a few kilometers from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Ali and two militants – armed with AK-47 assault rifles and supporting ammunition, maps, Night Vision Device (NVD), Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) food, clothing, medical supplies, were given eight GRs in the Indian territory to explore. Places in Jammu & Kashmir like Tangmarg, Rafiabad, Poonch, Kunzer, Jammu, Bundgam, among others including Delhi were recovered from a diary on Ali’s person when he was arrested six months ago. “The data retrieved from the GPS device contained coordinates of the Mandakuli “launching pad” of LeT,” the chargesheet said. During the interrogation, Ali has allegedly confessed that after his party crossed over, not only did they roam undetected for seven days, but they were also in constant touch with Alfa-3, their LeT handler across the border. When, Abu Saad and Abu Darda, were caught by the indian security forces in Wadar on the sixth of the eight GR, Ali was then directed to proceed directly to the final destination by himself. There he would receive new infiltrators who had made their way in the country. The NIA further allege, that, LeT directed Ali to participate in the unrest that ruled the valley after Burhaan Wani was killed by the Indian forces. Ali was allgedly instructed to mis with the stone-pelting protesters and lob hand grenades at the Indian forces.There was enough medical supplies and food to sustain Ali through a prolonged stand-off against military forces, the NIA said. At the time of Ali’s arrest, “one compass, one ICOM wireless set, one matrix sheet bearing codes, two Unicode sheets (handwritten pocket diary pages), bearing text written in coded form, Indian currency of Rs 23,000 (of which three notes were counterfeit), one GPS set and one map sheet” was recovered.Ali, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail has been charged under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Act, Arms Act and Foreigners Act, among other laws.

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