Srinagar, June 12: Prominent film celebrities will be attending the 3rd Edition of Kashmir World Film Festival (KWFF) commencing from 19th -25th June at Tagore Hall here, said a statement issued by the organizers.
The celebrities who have been locked for the festival include Tanishaa Mukerji, Rajit Kapur, Imran Khan, Raj Bhansal, Komal Nahta, Gauhar Raza, Mir Sarwar and others. The delegates are coming from the places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Jammu and others.
Festival Director, Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan said that the preparations for the festival are going on in full swing. “All the people connected with the Kashmir World Film Festival are working day and night to complete the preparation for its 3rd edition on time,” he said.
However, the films celebrities have expressed high spirits for organizing this film festival. “I have been associated with this festival since the first edition and I will always be there. To make this festival a huge success, we need the support from so many quarters. I am very positive about the future of the festival and it has to go a long way. I see a bright future for KWFF,” said Rajit Kapur, an actor and a director.
Komal Nahta, a Bollywood trade analyst who will be visiting the valley for the first time says, “I’m excited for two main reasons – one, anything that is Films catches my fancy, and this is an entire film festival; secondly, the venue is Kashmir which, when I used to study in school, used to be referred to as ‘swarg ka kona’ ! I’ve never been to Kashmir and this festival gives me an opportunity to be there. I’m sure, festival director Mr. Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan and his team must be putting together a fantastic festival”
“It is very courageous step taken by the organizers. This film festival and the similar other festivals are the need of an hour in Kashmir. I wish this festival such a success where the international filmmakers would aspire to join it,” said Gauhar Raza, a poet and filmmaker.
“KWFF is one unique film festival, which truly gives the opportunity to the youth of Kashmir to showcase their talent and culture through art and cinema. Kashmir has abundance of raw talent which hasn’t been explored yet and I sincerely hope that our joint effort in association with KWFF gives Kashmir the global exposure and the platform to help the youth to bring out their hidden talent. I feel very privileged to be a part of this festival,” said Raj Bansal, a leading film distributor from Jaipur.
Ashok Kaul, a filmmaker from Mumbai said, “I have full faith that the KWFF will unleash the enormous talent of our youth across all the regions of our state. I congratulate the team KWFF who has worked very hard to create a beautiful horizon and hope for all the talented youth of our state through this festival”.
Bollywood actor of Kashmiri origin, Mir Sarwar said, “KWFF is a wonderful platform for the budding filmmakers of Kashmir. The best thing about the festival is that the audience and students get to see some rare films, especially world class cinema which is not easily available to us. I have great hopes from this festival”
Khan said so far they have received more than hundred films for the screening. “But we will be screening only around 45 films in the seven day film festival,” he said.
The organizers have received the films from different countries that include Italy, USA, Iran, Korea, Poland, Turkey, Japan and Nepal. The films are of different languages as well that include English, Italian, Hindi, Kashmiri, Persian, Korean, Assamese, Punjabi, Nepali, Turkish, Marathi, Japanese, Malayalam and Sindhi.
Khan said that he wants to take this festival to top ten festivals of the world. “We want to make this festival a success and want it be recognized internationally,” he said adding that “the film celebrities will be interacting with the students and film freaks during the festival and will provide them a platform to understand the cinematic culture and how the Bollywood works”
He said that he is thankful to all those who have made this festival a success for the last one year that include students, film lovers and Bollywood celebrities.
“I express my heartiest gratitude to few prominent citizens of the valley who have been kind enough to accept our request to be the part of governing council of the film festival. Those prominent citizens are Mushtaq Chaya, Zahoor Tramboo, Tariq Rasheed Ghani, Riyaz Shahdad and MLA Rafiabad Yawar Mir and few others who are not leaving any stone unturned to take this festival to the new heights,” he said.
Festival director also praised the members of the organizing committee that include Idrees Bukhtiyar, Zubair Farooq, Faisal Chaku, Pardeep Singh Dardi, Imran Bhat and Tahir Najar for working day and night for the festival.
India rejects report, calls it ‘fallacious’
New Delhi, Jun 14: India Thursday rejected a UN report alleging human rights violations in Kashmir as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”.
In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the report is “overtly prejudiced” and seeks to build a “false narrative”.
It violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it said.
In the report released today, the UN talked about alleged human rights violations in both “Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir” and sought an international inquiry into these abuses.
“India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report,” the MEA said.
It added that the report is a selective compilation of largely unverified information.
“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression,” the MEA said.
Pak welcomes report on JK, remains silent on PaK observations
Srinagar, Jun 14: Hours after the United Nations released a first of its kind report on human rights violation in Kashmir, Pakistan on Thursday said that it welcomed the international investigation into the issue, as proposed by the UN. India, earlier in the day, quashed the report calling it mischievous and misleading.
In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that the proposal for an international investigation was consistent with its calls to this effect since 2016, “even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for probe into gross and systematic violations, including pellet guns excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detentions as well as continued sexual violence as part of overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces”.
On Pakistan, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that there was rampant misuse of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism Act against young activists and that there was violation of land rights, restrictions on freedom of religion and belief.
The report also said that the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 imposes similar restrictions on freedom of expression and association of people under its jurisdiction.
The report also called for federal and local authorities to amend the constitutions of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to end the criminalization of the Ahmadiyya Muslims and to allow to them to freely and safely exercise their freedom of religion or belief.
Further, OHCHR recommended abolishing blasphemy provisions in Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to facilitate the enjoyment of freedom of religion and belief by all people.
“The report by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHCR) clearly stipulates that its main focus is on the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The contents, scale and the narrative of killings, maiming, abuse and impunity articulated in the report is a reaffirmation of what Pakistan has long highlighted for the international community,” the statement by Pakistan FO said, adding that references to human rights concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan should in no way be construed to create a false sense of equivalence with the gross and systematic human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan further said that the lasting solution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is an essential imperative for peace, security and stability of South Asia and beyond.
“India’s continued denial of this imperative, its unwillingness to engage in a dialogue process with Pakistan and suppression of Kashmiri aspirations for freedom continue to endanger regional and international peace and security,” it said, adding that the UN had a clear role to play in the resolution of the dispute.
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