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After Mirwaiz, Pak FM calls Geelani to discuss Kashmir situation

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Srinagar, Feb 3: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and discussed the Kashmir issue, the Foreign Office said here on Sunday, days after he made a similar phone call to a separatist leader that angered India.
The Foreign Office in a statement said that Qureshi and Geelani discussed about an international conference to be held in London to “express solidarity with the Kashmiri people”.
“Foreign Minister Qureshi spoke to the senior leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on telephone before his departure for London to attend international activities to be held there in connection with the Kashmir Day,” the statement said.
Qureshi on Tuesday telephoned Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and discussed with him Islamabad’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue.
India Wednesday summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood and categorically told him that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz was a “brazen attempt” to subvert India’s unity and violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
India said that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with a separatist leader reflected the duplicity in Pakistani leadership’s approach on ties with India.
The Pakistan Foreign Office on Sunday said Qureshi exchanged views with Geelani about the programmes to be held in London.
Qureshi said that Pakistan has no intention to interfere in the internal matters of India, but New Delhi should also stop blaming Islamabad for its problems.
“We want to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue but India is making undue hue and cry,” Qureshi said.
“Issues are emerging in India but Pakistan has no role in that,” he said.
Qureshi said that he would highlight Pakistan’s view point on Kashmir issue at an event in the House of Common in London this week.
The Foreign Office also issued Qureshi’s statement before his departure to London in which he was quoted as saying that Kashmir is an “important pillar” of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“Pakistan will continue its support for the oppressed Kashmiris on political, moral and foreign levels and want resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolution,” he said.
“India gets annoyed if the Kashmir issue is highlighted despite the fact that it is a resolvable issue. The real face of India would be exposed by presenting Pakistan’s point of view on the issue in the international conference being held on Kashmir in London at the House of Commons,” he said.
He said regardless of the political party winning the next election in India, Pakistan would reciprocate to the new government’s good gesture in New Delhi.
India has made it clear to Pakistan that talks and terrorism cannot go together.

‘Kashmir cornerstone of Pakistan`s foreign policy’
Agencies
Islamabad, Feb 3: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said Kashmir was a “cornerstone” of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
According to Radio Pakistan, Qureshi in a telephonic talk with senior Kashmiri leadership said: “Pakistan will raise strong voice to highlight Indian persecution and brutalities being perpetrated in Kashmir.”
“Pakistan will continue to extend its political, moral and diplomatic support for the struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions,” the Radio report quoted Qureshi as having said.
Qureshi on Sunday left for London where he will attend international events to mark ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’.
The Foreign Minister will address International Kashmir Conference tomorrow in the British Parliament. He will attend an exhibition on Kashmir in Park Lane, London on Tuesday.

 
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Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India

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New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”

“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.

“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.

 

“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.

In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.

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GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA

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New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.

Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.

The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.

 

Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.

The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.

Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.

Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.

A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.

“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.

As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.

The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.

Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.

As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.

The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.

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Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar

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Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.

The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.

The incident comes to the fore      days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.

 

Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.

“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.

There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.

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