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Chidambaram questions BJP’s ‘muscular’ policy for Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 07: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram took a dig at ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for “failing” to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that “militaristic and muscular” policy has failed to achieve anything in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chidambaram said that there is an “issue” concerning Jammu and Kashmir and there are frequent reminders to indicate it.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Chidambaram said: “It was claimed that the hard, muscular, militaristic approach will put an end to infiltration and militancy. Has it?.
In another tweet, he said: “If you are one of those who had thought that the hard, muscular, militaristic approach of the government should be given a chance, please look at the table once again. You may change your view.”
Saying that there is an “issue” concerning the Jammu and Kashmir and, there are frequent reminders given about it, he wrote: “From time to time we are rudely reminded that there is an issue concerning the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The last reminder came on the night of 30-31 December 2017, when militants attacked the CRPF Training Centre at Lethpora in Pulwama district killing five CRPF personnel and injuring three”.
Terming Center’s recent appointment of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma to the Valley as a ploy to garner votes for BJP ahead of Gujarat elections, he said: “ On the eve of the election in Gujarat, the government appointed Mr Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative (SR), but his mandate was not clear. Subsequently, it was indicated that the SR will talk to anyone who was willing to meet him, and therein lies the catch,” he tweeted.
Asking Center to shun its aggressive approach on Kashmir and instead adopt the policy on the lines of former prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh, he wrote: “Wisdom lies in actively working to find a political solution to the issue of J&K. Both Mr A B Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh will be remembered for their diligent efforts to find a solution to the issue”.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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