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7

Srinagar, Feb 9 (KMW): Saddened over the killing of a woman in unprovoked shelling by Pakistani troops in Poonch in Jammu region on Thursday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said opening of dialogue between India and Pakistan would stop loss of lives on the borders.

Taking to micro-blogging site twitter she said “Saddened to hear of a 45 year old woman losing her life in the crossfire along the LoC in Poonch. We must open a dialogue to avoid further casualties”.

A woman was killed Thursday when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked shelling from across the border in Poonch.

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Srinagar, Feb 9(KMW): Kashmir Valley observed a shutdown to remember Muhammad Afzal Guroo on his fifth hanging anniversary.

Guroo was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013 after his ‘conviction’ in Indian Parliament attack. Though there were insufficient evidences against him which could prove his role in the attack, but the Supreme Court ordered “he to be hanged till death for the collective conscience of society’.

In wake of the anniversary, Police had detained or confined to houses most of the pro- freedom leaders and launched a crackdown to arrest youth across Valley. Guru was secretly hanged and buried inside the Tihar Jail complex on 9 February 2013, triggering massive protests across Kashmir and Chenab Valley. About half a dozen people were killed during the protests while hundreds others injured. After Guru’s hanging, the central government did not hand over his body to his family members and buried it inside the jail complex. Even the family of Guru had written to Government of India to hand over the body. The plea was however turned down.

Joint Resistance Leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had called for complete shutdown on his anniversary seeking his mortal remains back from New Delhi. Malik has been lodged in Srinagar Central Jail while Geelani and Mirwaiz are under house arrest.

All the shops and business establishments, Coaching Institutes, Petrol Pumps remained shut while public transport did not ply on the roads. Stringent restrictions paralyzed normal life in old Srinagar City where government forces were deployed in large numbers to thwart possible protests. Large contingent of police and Para-military troopers were also deployed in almost all the district headquarters and towns to bar people from protesting.

Strict restrictions were imposed in Sopore while the roads leading to Afzal Guroo’s native village were sealed. However, despite restrictions, a large number of people visited the family of Guroo.

A police official said that overall situation remained peaceful across Kashmir.

Reports said that stone-pelting incidents were reported from Chotta Bazar Sopore, Meemandar Shopian, HMT and Braripora Nawakadal area of Srinagar city. Government forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters at a couple of places.

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New Delhi, February 09(KMW):The Vice President of India, M. Venkiaha Naidu has said that the biggest challenge before all of us is environment and that vehicular pollution is a major concern. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 10th Auto Summit being organized by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, here today.

The Vice President said that time has come to promote e-mobility through electric vehicles as an important alternative mode of transport and make necessary changes in auto sector to make it environment friendly. He further said that transformation in every sense is required and manufacturers, suppliers or dealers must follow ethical standards. It is the time that automobile industry, its dealers, environmentalists, scientists and the common man to join hands and adopt drastic measures to reduce vehicular pollution, he added.

The Vice President said that India is keen to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the thrust being given to e-vehicles is expected to lower vehicular emissions. He further said that there is a huge potential for use of environmental-friendly electric vehicles, including hybrid technologies in the country. Usage of e-vehicles reduces operating costs, gives greater efficiency than gasoline engines and reduction in the dependency on fossil energy by using locally produced renewable energy, he added.

The Vice President said that major thrust needs to be given for vehicle-charging infrastructure and the creation of the right eco-system for promotion of e-vehicles. He further said that the demand for EV batteries manufacturing domestically will also create several jobs within the country and create consumer acceptance of the new technologies by providing the required information. The Indian automotive industry and organizations like FADA must gear up to meet the future requirements by adopting newer, cleaner technologies that are innovative and environmentally sustainable, he added.

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JAMMU, FEBRUARY 08(KMW): The Special Representative for Jammu & Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu province, called on Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti here today.

During the meeting, Mr. Sharma informed the Chief Minister about his visit to the winter capital. During the meeting both discussed the emerging geopolitical developments in the region since the latter’s last visit to the State.

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President of Kashmir European Alliance Sardar Pervez Mehmood has cautioned against the intensive militarism in Sub-continent. Sardar said that the heavy expenditures on military force in Sub-continent has created the danger of war in South Asia. It is time for the voices of reason and responsibility to caution against militarism and demand strict adherence by both states India and Pakistan to the UN Charter’s central principle: the prohibition of the use or threat of use of force in international relations.

India has deployed its strike forces in forward positions, in accordance with its Cold Start doctrine, which contemplates a massive surprise attack against Pakistan. In response, Pakistan has adopted the doctrine of ‘full-spectrum deterrence’ under which Pakistan could utilise short-range nuclear missiles to break up large attacking Indian formations. America’s new alliance with India has emboldened the Modi government to adopt a more aggressive posture towards Pakistan. Under the American umbrella, New Delhi is engaged in the brutal suppression of the latest Kashmiri revolt and ceasefire violations along the LoC.

The modern India has no respect for international law, UN resolutions or international agreements. India prides itself on being a culture and civilisation that developed and embodied the age of enlightenment, norms and obligations. But India is no longer holding its promises despite all the fine talk about the imperative of democracy, human rights and freedom. India must not forget that the basic norms and obligations of international conduct which are enshrined in the UN Charter need to be universally practised.

Since the start of the armed rebellion in Kashmir, no soldier or officer found guilty by the courts has been prosecuted because of the protection they enjoy under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Under AFSPA , a soldier can shoot at anybody even on mere suspicion. Human Rights defenders say the sole aim of this law has been to institutionalise violence in order to instill fear among the people to suppress the prevailing political sentiment. Indian puppet regime explains that if the government starts giving justice to the victims, it will demoralise the forces and complicate their efforts to execute the job of holding “territory through use of overwhelming force” in the name of the national interest.

Solution to dangerous issue og Kashmir can only emerge from an international consensus in support of an overriding and enforceable commitment to uphold human dignity and human rights without exception. A UN-centred new world order including an amended UN Charter is the 21st-century imperative, Sardar maintained.

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Rajouri, Feb. 1 (KMW): Troops of India and Pakistan Thursday exchanged heavy fire and targeted each other’s positions on Line of Control (LoC), dividing Kashmir, officials said.
The two sides exchanged fire in Nowshera sector of frontier Rajouri district, about 222 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Kashmir.
“Heavy shelling reported in Kampla, Pukherni, Lam, Anwas Bhandar, Rattal Basali of Nowshera is going on,” a senior local government official Shahid Choudhary said. “Measures are being taken for safety of people.”
Choudhary said they have closed 71 schools in the wake of heavy shelling in the affected areas.
Reports said the firing started in the morning and was going on intermittently until last reports poured in.
Officials said so far no reports of damage or casualty were received from Indian or Pakistani side.
Last month also several cease-fire violations were reported on LoC and International Border (IB) in Kashmir. The skirmishes led to killings of troops as well as civilians on both sides, besides triggering migrations of civilian population living close to frontier.
Both India and Pakistan accuse each other of resorting to unprovoked firings and violating cease-fire agreements. And both sides maintain that their troops gave befitting reply.

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Srinagar, February 1 (KMW): A 10-year-old boy who was critically injured at the encounter site in Chaigund village of district Shopian district last week has succumbed to injuries on Thursday morning.

The boy identified as Musharaf Fayaz son of Fayaz Ahmad Najar suffered critical injuries in his head and face on Jan 25 after a shell exploded at the encounter site when a group of people were clearing the debris of the house which was razed to ground by the government forces during encounter.

The minor succumbed to injuries on Thursday morning after battling for life for nearly six days at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura.

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Srinagar, January 31 (KMW): Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprised of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Muhammad Yasin Malik Wednesday called for “Shopian Challo” on Friday to protest against the recent civilian killings and express solidarity with the bereaved families.

Three youth were shot dead in army firing in Ganowpora village of the south Kashmir district on January 27.

The JRL said in a joint statement that Friday prayers will be offered in Jamia Masjid Shopian. They called upon people to assemble in the town on Friday.

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Srinagar, January 31 (KMW): The Jama’at Islami Jammu and Kashmir party on Wednesday has condemned the civilian killing, killed in Ganawpora area of district Shopian on Saturday.

A 19-year-old youth Rayees Ahmad Ganaie of Narpora, Shopian, was injured on Saturday after government forces fired on civilians. However, Rayees succumbed to his injuries in SKIMS on Wednesday morning.

The spokesman said how long this injustice will be done with people of Kashmir, the time will decide? The international community is not playing its expected role and has become a mute spectator.

Jama’at expresses its sorrow upon this attitude and vehemently condemns the killings by government forces.

Jama’at also condemns the role played by the policies of Delhi Darbar which has turned the life of civilians into a hell, adding that the life and dignity of Kashmiri’s are always at stake. Hundreds of innocent people are languishing in the jails in and outside Jammu and Kashmir under false charges and the judiciary has never bothered about it.

Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir have appealed the people living on this globe to raise their voice against the civilian killings in Kashmir and support the genuine cause of their right to self-determination.

6

Washington, January 31 (KMW): President Trump sketched out an ominous view of America’s international role on Tuesday, emphasizing adversaries over allies, threats over opportunities, and a world to be pacified rather than elevated.

Be it Iran or the Islamic State, Mr. Trump promised that the United States would vanquish rivals and stand up for those who fight for freedom. He took credit for the military campaign against the Islamic State, which he said had liberated “almost 100 percent of the territory once held by the killers in Iraq and Syria.”

Vowing to rebuild the nation’s nuclear arsenal, Mr. Trump said, “perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.”

“Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly,” he said in his State of the Union address, his first.

But the president saved his longest foreign policy passage, and strongest words, for North Korea, whose “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said, “could very soon threaten our homeland.”

“We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening,” he said. “Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.”

Mr. Trump did not, as he has before, issue specific threats of a military strike on the North. But he outlined an unrelenting case for what he called the North Korean government’s “depraved character,” echoing a speech he delivered to the South Korean National Assembly in Seoul in November.

The president drew on the stories of two victims of North Korean cruelty: an American college student, Otto F. Warmbier, who fell into an irreversible coma while in detention in Pyongyang, the capital, and later died; and a North Korean man who lost his leg while searching for food for his starving family. He later defected.

Gesturing to Mr. Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy, who watched from the visitors’ gallery in the House, their eyes wet with tears, Mr. Trump said, “You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all.”

The defector, Ji Seong-ho, was also in the gallery and held up his wooden crutches in triumph when Mr. Trump hailed him.

Hours before the speech, the president’s Korea policy was buffeted by the administration’s decision to abandon a long-delayed plan to nominate a prominent Korea scholar, Victor D. Cha, as its ambassador to Seoul.

Mr. Cha, 57, had voiced opposition to the administration’s threat to carry out a preventive military strike against North Korea, said two people with knowledge of the decision. He had already undergone an extensive vetting process, and his name had been submitted for approval to the South Korean government — normally an indication that the background check was complete.

Officials in Seoul had already signed off on the ambassadorship; Mr. Cha is a Republican who identifies as a hawk on North Korea. But friends said he told Pentagon and other administration officials his concerns about ordering a pre-emptive, or preventive, military strike on North Korea before it had the capacity to fire a nuclear-armed missile at the United States.

Administration officials, particularly the White House national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, have raised the prospect of such a strike — sometimes called the “bloody nose” strategy — though they emphasize they would prefer to solve the confrontation with Pyongyang through diplomacy.

Mr. Cha has also publicly voiced the high cost to both Washington and Seoul of ripping up the Korea Free Trade Agreement, as Mr. Trump has threatened to do, unless the South Koreans agree to renegotiate the deal.

The White House declined to comment Tuesday on the reasons for its decision, though a senior official played down policy disagreements as the cause. The administration had not formally submitted Mr. Cha’s name to the Senate, even after he had undergone months of vetting.

The White House had initially hoped to have a new ambassador in place in time for the Winter Games, which begin in 10 days in the South Korean town of Pyeongchang. But as the deadline approached, Mr. Cha told friends he had heard nothing from the White House or the State Department about the status of his nomination. The Washington Post first reported that the White House was not moving forward with his nomination.

Michael J. Green, a colleague of Mr. Cha, said the dropped ambassadorship was “discouraging in terms of what it says about the administration’s North Korea policy, but also their ability to attract qualified people to come into these kinds of jobs.”

In his speech, Mr. Trump made no mention of the Winter Olympic Games. Nor did he mention a budding détente between North and South Korea, which have agreed to march their teams into the opening ceremony under a single flag and to field a unified women’s ice hockey team.

For the president, cataloging the horrors inflicted by North Korea was part of an exercise that he called “restoring clarity about our adversaries.” He said he had stood up for antigovernment demonstrators in Iran and asked Congress to fix the flaws in the “terrible” nuclear deal that world powers brokered with the country in 2015.

The president also said the United States had imposed sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela, though he made no mention of new penalties against Russia, which lawmakers had passed in a lopsided majority but which the administration has so far declined to impose.

Mr. Trump said much less about America’s role in alliances like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And he barely mentioned China or Russia, two countries his own administration identified as the nation’s greatest geopolitical adversaries in the recent National Security Strategy.

While he mentioned his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Mr. Trump said nothing about his administration’s effort to broker a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians. That effort seemed more elusive than ever, given Palestinian outrage over Jerusalem.

Rather than talk about peace, Mr. Trump emphasized his determination to punish countries that split with the United States over what he called “America’s sovereign right to make this recognition.”

“That is why, tonight, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to help insure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends,” he said. (Courtesy: The New York Times)

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