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Srinagar, 17 August(KMW): While paying rich tributes to Shri Atal Bihari, Bhat said that he was the dynamic leader of the people of India and an ideal for many people. He was the wellwisher of needy and poor people. Bhat said Vajpayee Ji’s contribution to strengthen democracy and good governance has been stupendous. He successfully ran a coalition of 23 parties with his rare persuasive charm and competence.

Bhat added Atal ji emerged as a popular national leader who believed that power is a means of service and led a spotless political life without compromising on national interest and that’s why the people across political and social boundaries showered him with love and respect. He said Atalji was a rare politician, brilliant speaker, poet and patriot, his demise is a loss for the entire country.

Bhat said Atalji was India’s first prime minister to address a public meeting in Jammu and Kashmir since the voilence broke out in 1989 and He held out the ‘hand of friendship’ to Pakistan, significantly, from Kashmiri soil. He offered a dialogue between the Centre and different currents of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir, which was appreciable and can never be forgotten. He said Atal ji has many achievements to his credit, but one of them was starting the famous Delhi-Lahore bus service to foster better relationships between India and Pakistan, including allowing families that lived on either side of the border to meet each other which is itself a history and a commendable policy.

Bhat said If Atalji’s overture is followed up with wise and purposive moves, we could see some real progress in resolving one of the most troubled, complex and bloody disputes in the world i,e Kashmir. He said Insaniyat (Humanism), Jamhooriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Kashmir’s age-old legacy of Hindu-Muslim amity) ideology of Atal ji is the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Bhat also said that the mission of Atalji will be continued to take forward in order to maintain peace and prosperity in the country. He said he left us but his guidance, love, care, faithfulness can never be forgotten.

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Srinagar, Aug 15( KMW): Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra said on Wednesday that he hoped that the new government in Pakistan will realize the futility of continuing the agenda of terrorism in the state.

Addressing the main Independence Day function at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here, Vohra said: “I hope the new leadership in Islamabad will realize the futility of continuing with the terrorist agenda in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our Prime Minister has tried many times during the last four years to extend the hand of friendship to Pakistan but there had been no positive response so far.”

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is set to take oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan after he led his party PTI to victory in general elections.

Vohra alleged that Pakistan attempted to infiltrate an unusually large number of trained terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our Army and police forces carried out effective operations and neutralized perhaps the largest number of terrorists in the past many years.

“At the same time, we also suffered loss of security personnel and civilian lives.”

The Governor expressed concern that Kashmiri youths, even some pursuing professional courses, were joining the militant ranks.

“I appeal to teachers, parents, religious and social leaders to use their influence to ensure that these youths return home.

“At the same time, it is encouraging that some of them have returned to their homes.

Vohra said the policy of confrontation would help nobody and it was only through dialogue and deliberation that problems can be addressed.

He said ever since he took over the reins of power after the imposition of Governor’s Rule in the state, he had been trying to ensure that the administration worked with accountability, speed and transparency.

“The establishment of basic democratic institutions is the top priority of my administration,” he said adding that urban local body elections and those to the Panchayats in the state would be held before the year-end.

Contingents of police, paramilitary forces, school children and NCC marched passed the podium where the Governor took salute after unfurling the national flag.

Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti attended the event as did the high court judges as well as senior civil and police officers.

A thick blanket of security was thrown around the venue where entry was regulated.

Separatists called for a protest shutdown on Wednesday.

The protest adversely affected life across the Kashmir Valley as shops were shut and public transport was suspended.

But officially-sponsored flag hoisting functions and parades were held at all district headquarters in the Kashmir Valley.

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Srinagar: August 15(KMW): The Indian State authorities today have put the People’s Political Party (PPP) Chairman and senior leader All Parties Hurriyat Conference (M), Engineer Hilal Ahmad War under house detention at War House Maisuma. “On Wednesday early in the morning around 5 a.m. Police officials informed the Mr. War about his house detention”, the spokesman said.

A party spokesperson condemned the house detention party Chairman and other resistance leaders in strongest possible words saying it tantamounts to State oppression and a denial of right to expression. “This highhandedness of the Indian State authorities shows the times we are living in. If one is not even allowed to register protest peacefully, it leaves a big void for violent demonstrations,” said the PPP Spokesman.

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New Delhi, August 14 (KMW): The 72nd Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated with national spirit and enthusiasm at the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, today.

The Pakistan flag was raised by High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood at an elegant and impressive flag-hoisting ceremony held on the Chancery’s lawns.

High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood extended warm felicitations on Eid-e-Azaadi and lauded the zeal with which the broader Pakistan High Commission family, and Pakistani students and nationals in India, were participating in the festivities. Recalling the freedom struggle, the High Commissioner said the sacred day of 14th August 1947 dawned primarily due to the unflinching resolve, unprecedented struggle, and countless sacrifices of our forefathers. The whole nation, therefore, rightfully paid tributes on this day to the courageous and visionary leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other founding fathers.

The High Commissioner underlined that Quaid-e-Azam envisioned a democratic, modern, moderate, economically-strong, Islamic welfare state. Each successive generation had contributed to the realization of the Quaid’s vision, he said.

High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood noted that this Independence Day coincided with another milestone on Pakistan’s democratic journey. Another democratically-elected government had completed its constitutional term. Another peaceful transfer of power to another elected government was on the anvil.

He added that, along with deepening of democracy in Pakistan, impressive strides were being made in the fight against the scourge of terrorism. In this context, the nation deeply respected the sacrifices of the people of Pakistan and the personnel of armed forces and other law-enforcing agencies.
High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood noted that peaceful relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbors, including India, were accorded high priority in the foreign policy vision outlined by the incoming leadership in Pakistan. He added that the phone call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chairman PTI Mr. Imran Khan was another positive development. It was being hoped that such steps on both sides would create the space for betterment of ties between India and Pakistan.

The High Commissioner pointed out that the peculiar trajectory of India-Pakistan relations over the past 71 years had often led to political and military tensions and prevented the two countries from realizing their optimal potential in socio-economic development. “Our next generations deserve a better future – one marked by peace and opportunities for progress and prosperity,” he said. He hoped that South Asia would turn a corner and would be known in the world, not for confrontation, but for cooperation.

Students of the Pakistan High Commission School presented national songs and tableau on the occasion. Mrs. Mahwish Sohail gave away prizes and gifts to the teachers and students from the school.

Earlier, Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah read out the Independence Day messages from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.PAK

Separately, a drawing/painting competition on the theme of ‘World Environment Day’ was organized among the students of Pakistan School. High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood distributed prizes to the winners and lauded the efforts of all participants of the painting competition.

An “Independence Cup” Volleyball Tournament was also organized among the officers and staff of the Pakistan High Commission as part of the celebrations. The Red team won the tournament and lifted the “Independence Cup.”

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Srinagar, Aug 13(KMW): Jammu & Kashmir may have a new governor later this month, when incumbent N.N. Vohra exits office after a 10-year term, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav confided in an interview with The Print.

“I assume there will be a new governor soon,” Madhav said.

Names of Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, a committed activist of the RSS for several decades, and Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) and former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi are being touted as possible successors to Vohra.

According to ThePrint there had been differences of opinion between Vohra and the BJP leadership, especially around the restoration of the assembly and Article 35A, which outlines the special privileges residents of Jammu & Kashmir are entitled to.

“Right now we prefer to continue governor’s rule in J&K. We are in favour of continuing the state of suspended animation of the assembly. But we will have to see how politics happens,” said Madhav.

“What if the National Conference and Congress and PDP come together? They have the numbers… But we are in favour of continuing governor’s rule, and after that, perhaps, President’s rule for another six months,” he added.

In the 87-member J&K assembly, the BJP is currently the single-largest party with 28 MLAs, followed by the BJP (25), the National Conference (15) and the Congress (12).

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Islamabad, Aug 13 (KMW): The Government of Pakistan has decided to release 30 Indian prisoners, including 27 fishermen on 13 August 2018.This is a humanitarian gesture to mark Pakistan’s Independence day on 14 August.This is in line with Pakistan’s consistent policy of not politicizing humanitarian issues. It is our hope that the Indian side will also reciprocate in a similar manner.

 

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Kulgam, August 9(KMW): Continuing with his public outreach programme and efforts to speed up all developmental works, Governor NN Vohra visited Kulgam today and made a first-hand appraisal of the security environment and the pace of development work in the district.

While interacting with MLAs and MPs from the area, Governor sought their feedback regarding development issues of the district, particularly those relating to youth engagement, health, education, power and PHE sectors. The Legislators raised a number of problems relating to their respective Constituencies and called for speedy execution for the completion of long-lingering projects and pending works in the district.

Governor called upon all the Legislators to enlarge awareness about the vital importance of the forthcoming elections to Municipalities and Panchayats which would promote the establishment of grass-root democracy.

In his meeting with the State, Divisional and District heads of all major Departments Governor was briefed by Deputy Commissioner Shameem Ahmed on the progress of various developmental works in the district. Governor was informed about the scope of development of horticulture, dairy, fisheries, sheep husbandry and industry in the district and their potential for creating employment opportunities. Governor asked Chief Secretary to explore and evolve a tangible concrete action plan for the rapid expansion of these sectors along with the required measures for establishing market connectivity. Chief Secretary stated that efforts would be made to induce a culture of Farmer Producer Organisation ( FPO) in the State.

While reviewing the Health sector Governor directed Director General Health Services, Kashmir to immediately start a Dialysis Centre at District Hospital Kulgam, under the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme.

In view of the importance of Kailamgund Ashmuji Bridge, Governor ordered immediate release of ₹2crore with the direction to make the bridge functional before end November. Governor also released ₹4 lac for running a Counselling and Coaching Centre for IAS/KAS and other such examinations.

A discretionary grant of ₹1 crore was also released for the discretionary utilisation of Deputy Commissioner Kulgam, as an untied grant for developmental purposes.

To address the challenges posed by unforeseen circumstances and to plug critical infrastructural gaps, Governor announced a Special Development Plan of ₹2crore each for the four districts of South Kashmir i.e. Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.

Governor impressed upon all the Divisional and District officers to translate Government’s policies into action and to timely prepare for the upcoming Panchayat and Municipal elections. He directed the District and Block level officers to reach out to the people at the grass root level and visit each village to address the day to day problems of the people. He emphasised upon the officials to put in coordinated efforts to address various bottlenecks and execute the works within the fixed timelines.

Advisor B. B Vyas, Advisor Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, accompanied the Governor on his visit.

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SRINAGAR, AUGUST 08(KMW): Secretary PHE, I&FC, Farooq Ahmad Shah today made a surprise visit to the offices of the Chief Engineer PHE, Chief Engineer Irrigation, and Flood Control Rajbagh Srinagar and took stock of the working of these offices.

He stressed the officers/officials to work with dedication and take efforts to help people. He directed the officials to dispose-off all pending files in the department and all matters should be disposed off in quickest possible time.

The Secretary took strong notice of a fire incident happening in PHE office Rajbagh yesterday. He directed an inquiry into the fire incident and also placed under suspension concerned employee until the completion of the inquiry. He directed the Chief Engineer to act against those employees who are habitual late comers.

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Srinagar, Aug 9(KMW): Extending its support further to student well-being in the state, J&K Bank under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program provided an ambulance to the Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu.

Chairman Parvez Ahmed handed over the keys of Ambulance to the Director IIT Jammu Dr. Manoj Gaur in presence of Vice Chancellor, Central University, Jammu, Prof. Ashok Aima, IIT faculty and senior officers of the Bank.

The Bank provided the ambulance for on-campus assistance and well-being of student fraternity in the upcoming campus of IIT, Jammu at Jagti Nagrota.

Speaking on the bank’s recent CSR initiatives towards students’ welfare, J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmed said, “J&K Bank is an important stakeholder in the development of state and creating opportunities where industry and academia align to create meaningful solutions for the society is the best way of giving back to people.” While hailing the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) as globally renowned for contributing revolutionary technological knowledge for the welfare of people. the chairman stated that the bank wants to create a bridge between society and knowledge.

He urged the IIT faculty to understand the challenges unique to J&K and harness the strong sectors through innovative breakthroughs catalyzing the socio-economic development of the region.

“The vast pool of technological expertise available with IIT Jammu will surely help J&K state in creating positive solutions for the society. The Bank is particularly focused on joining hands with such institutions to support innovation in local resource endowments of J&K, which can augment income and employment generation in the region and create a knowledge-based society”, he said.

Notably, since the inception of Jammu wing of IIT, the bank has continuously been taking student welfare measures in the institute. In the recent past, the bank sponsored economically disadvantaged bright students of the institute to pursue overseas internship in France.

It’s also worth mentioning that the bank instituted Gold Medals for the academic toppers of IIT Jammu.

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Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

Kashmir is one of the most idyllic setting in the world. A picturesque valley located between Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, China and with a small strip of 27 miles with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Kashmir is a natural paradise.

The history of the freedom of Kashmir dates back 1931 when the people of Kashmir, both Hindus and Muslims initiated a freedom movement against the then Maharaja (Ruler) to have their own indigenous rule in Kashmir. The resentment of the people led to the ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign against the Maharaja in 1946. Faced with the insurgency of his people, the Maharaja fled the capitol, Srinagar, on October 25, 1947 and arranged that India send its army to help him crush the rebellion. India, coveting the territory, set the condition that Maharaja must sign an ‘Instrument of Accession’ to India. At the same time, India had to attach another condition that accession was made subject to ‘reference to the people.’ On India’s showing, therefore, the accession has a provisional character.

Then India brought the dispute to the United Nations where the Security Council discussed the question exhaustively from January to April 1948. It was agreed upon by the Governments of India and Pakistan and approved by the international community that the dispute over the status of Jammu & Kashmir can be settled only in accordance with the will of the people which can be ascertained through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite

By adopting a number of resolutions from 1948 to 1962 reaffirming the principle of free choice for the people of Kashmir, the Security Council – and, therefore the United Nations – has assumed a moral responsibility to ensure that conditions in Kashmir will permit the exercise of that choice. To disown that responsibility would expose the world organization to the charge of making hollow promises and, indeed, deceiving a population which is larger than that of many Members of the United Nations individually.

The people of Kashmir never lost hope either in the United Nations as the custodian of human rights, or in their demand to exercise the right of self-determination. The scale of the popular backing of the uprising in Kashmir can be judged from the established fact, that on many occasions during the month of July-August 2018, virtually the entire population of Srinagar and major towns in the Valley came out on the streets in an unparalleled demonstrations to protest the attempt by the Government of India to scrap the Article 35 A of the Indian constitution which gives the special rights and privileges to the state subject of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 35 A also bars foreigners to buy the land or to acquire immovable property, etc. in the State. The Joint Resistance Leadership and other legal, religious and business fraternities believe that the abrogation of this constitutional provision is a conspiracy to change the demographic composition of the state. However, the Supreme Court of India adjourned the hearting of Article 35-A till August 27, 2018.
In response to the peaceful and massive demonstrations, much inhumanity, continuous violations of basic rights, frequent massacres, constant fear, hunger and misery – these are the gifts of Indian occupation to the people of Kashmir. For the populous South Asian subcontinent, the Kashmir situation entails recurrent possibility of disaster and nuclear war. There is a way to bring these atrocities to an end. The way is that the Secretary General of the United Nations uses its moral and legal authority to reinvoke peaceful dialogue between the Governments of India & Pakistan along with the legitimate representatives of the people of Kashmir for the final settlement of the dispute.

The Charter of the United Nations empowers the Secretary General of the United Nations to bring any matter which may threaten the maintenance of internal peace and security to the attention of the Security Council. In consistence with the universally accepted principle that no situation should be allowed to escalate to a point of no return and that the United Nations should not remain passive in the face of human wrongs being committed on a vast scale, the people of Kashmir expect the Secretary General will not hesitate to exercise his discretion and put the Kashmir issue on the active international agenda.

Should the Secretary General feel that the factual data at his disposal does not justify the use of his power under Article 99 of the UN Charter, we respectfully propose that the Secretary General urgently dispatch a special representative of high international standing to India and Pakistan who should visit both parts of Kashmir and report back to the Security Council the facts of the situation. In fact, ‘United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights’ has also recommended to send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir to assess the situation there. If India feels that it has nothing to hide, it should welcome such action.

We feel confident that the Secretary General of the United Nations will not encourage any party to an international dispute which has been taken cognizance of by the United Nations to circumvent and rebuff the world organization. It should be one thing for the United Nations to remain inactive if an alternative and credible peace process were in motion. It is another when not even the beginning of an effort towards arriving at a settlement bilaterally between the parties or through mediation by friendly governments is visible. To put it plainly, the present situation is that the United Nations is allowing its resolutions to be dishonored and the people of Kashmir to be condemned to systematic destruction. The people of Kashmir deserve better.

Dr. Fai is the Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum and can be reached at : 1-202-607-6435 or gnfai2003@yahoo.com

EDITORTIAL