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Farooq Abdullah pitches for opening all traditional routes along LoC

Firdous Hassan

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Baramulla, Dec 2: National Conference Patron, Farooq Abdullah Sunday said that “Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) should be left for Pakistan to rule.”

While addressing media in Baramulla, Farooq said the friendly relations between Indian and Pakistan were imperative for the peace within the state.

“NC always supported friendly relations between India and Pakistan as it is much needed for Kashmir. The day these two countries become true friends, Kashmir issue would automatically get resolved,” he said during a gathering at Dewan Bagh here.

 

“I still say that Kashmir is a part of India and Azad Kashmir (PaK) should be left to them (Pakistan),” he said.

Prior to it, the NC patron, while addressing the party workers, urged the India and Pakistan to open all the routes along LoC and international border “that have become vestigial post partition”

“Both should imitate the spirit of Kartarpur Corridor in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by opening all the routes along LoC and international border that have become vestigial post partition,” he said.

He said the J&K’s topography afforded the state a geographical dividend that ceased to persist post 1947.

“This initiative will not only help boost the economic activities on both sides of the border besides, it will also help rekindle the flame of friendship between India and Pakistan. The increased people to people contact and other CBMs can go a long way in doing away with the mistrust,” he said.

Farooq also advocated the opening of the Sharada Peeth temple in PaK for Kashmiri Pandits on the pattern of Kartarpur Corridor.

Asked whether the National Conference would have some different proposal than the demand for internal autonomy if it comes to power in Jammu and Kashmir, he said “the autonomy is his party’s only proposal to improve Centre-state relationship.”

Speaking on the Centre’s stand on the party’s demand for autonomy he said, “The Centre cannot reject that demand as the people of the state have absolute power to raise it under the constitution,” he asserted.

Referring to the alteration in the structure and working of various institutions in the state, he said, “At a time when a popularly elected government is not in place it is highly unbecoming of the state governor administration to fiddle with our institutions. The recent onslaught of SAC on the prime financial institution of our state is a point in case.”

“I urge the incumbent administration to roll back the SAC decision of converting JK Bank into a PSU, it will prove detrimental to working of the bank,” Farooq added.


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Time for talks over, world must act now: PM

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New Delhi, Feb 18: The Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of 49 CRPF men shows that the time to hold talks on “terrorism” is over and there is an urgent need to unite against such elements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

The Prime Minister, who was holding talks with Argentina President Mauricio Macri, said dithering to take action against militants and their supporters will be like encouraging militancy.

“Brutal attack in Pulwama proves that time for talks have passed. Now the entire world needs to unite against ‘terrorism’ and its supporters and take strong actions,” PM said.

 

President of Argentina Mauricio Macri said, “I would like to convey my condolences to the victims of the cruel attack (Pulwama) perpetrated just a few days ago. We condemn every kind of terrorist attack. I am truly pleased to be able to working together to fight this scourge on mankind.”

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Cross LoC trade, bus service suspended

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Feb 18: The cross-LoC trade between India and Pakistan via Poonch has been suspended in backdrop of the Pulwama suicide attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed last Thursday.
“Since the incident, no truck was allowed to cross the Line of control hence affecting the trade,” an official said.
He added that Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC bus service too has been suspended till further orders.
President, Cross LoC trade Union, Pawan Anand told The Kashmir Monitor that 60 trucks are stranded at trade centre (Chakan Da Bagh).
“We got orders to suspend the trade,” he said.
Pawan said that at least they have endured more than 4 crore of losses due to the trade suspension.
He added that most of the trucks are loaded with grapes, tomato, banana, tamarind and ser (zeera).
Besides Poonch, the cross-LoC trade also takes place through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in Uri.
However, DC Baramulla, Nasir Ahmad Naqash, confirmed that Uri has not received any order for trade suspension yet.

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MBS conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan: Saudi vows to ‘de-escalate’ India-Pakistan tension

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Islamabad, Feb 18: Saudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad Monday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to travel from Islamabad to New Delhi.
The kingdom’s foreign minister spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as Pakistan recalled its envoy from Delhi for “consultations”, the latest development in a fresh diplomatic crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Delhi has vowed to retaliate after a suicide blast which killed over 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir on Thursday, the deadliest attack in Kashmir in recent decade.
The attack has sparked widespread calls in India for action against Pakistan.
“Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighboring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
The pledge came as the crown prince, widely known as “MBS”, prepared to head for India later Monday, at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Pakistan.
India is garnering diplomatic support after the attack and has vowed to “isolate” Pakistan diplomatically in the international community, saying it has “incontrovertible evidence” of Islamabad’s role.
Pakistan has rejected the allegations.
Meanwhile, Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday conferred the country’s highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on Saudi Crown Prince.
Mohammad bin Salman was honoured due to his “outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship”, Dawn reported.
Following the Pakistan president’s speech, the Saudi crown prince, as per Dawn, addressed the audience. “I was honoured to meet the president of Pakistan. I thank you for honouring me with Pakistan’s highest award.
“The brotherly relationship between the kingdom and Pakistan focus on the principle of Islamic solidarity. It is a model to be emulated by other nations. Our [countries’ relationship] go back 67 years that witnessed continuous development that rendered itself beneficial for both countries.
“The founding fathers for both countries established these relations on the principles of truthfulness, common understanding and mutual respect that go back to the first days of the establishment of Pakistan, post-World War 2.
“Our Pakistani brothers participated truthfully and effectively in the great development project that Saudi Arabia witnessed, especially the enlargement project of Masjid-e-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabwi. More than 2 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia and are contributing to the development of both the countries.
“I wish all the best to the president and the prime minister in the service of this country and its people.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Saudi crown prince said his goodbyes to the Pakistan president and members of the federal cabinet before leaving for Nur Khan Airbase. As was the case when he had arrived, Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan personally drove the car carrying the Saudi crown prince.
On Sunday, MBS signed $20 billion in investment deals with cash-strapped Islamabad and vowed to free thousands of Pakistani prisoners in Saudi custody.

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