Srinagar, Sep 13: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah Thursday presided over a meeting of prominent politicians from various political parties of the state at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar.
In the meeting NC vice President Omar Abdullah, General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Senior leader Ab Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri, senior Congress leader Taj Mohiuddin, CPIM leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, DPN President Gh Hassan Mir were present.
Talking to media on the sidelines of the meeting, NC Vice President Omar Abdullah said, “In the meeting threadbare discussions were held on the states current political and security scenario. Dr Farooq Abdullah apprised the leadership from other political parties about NC’s stand on Art 35 A, ULB and Panchayat polls and its decision of staying away from these elections. They also spoke at length about issues confronting the state and gave their valuable feedback to our party President”.
“Two important issues were raised in the meeting and were subsequently agreed upon by all. Most important was the issue of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, employed by the state to defend Art 35 A in the SC. It was unanimously resolved that the ASG, who was supposed to represent state government, exceeded his brief while defending Art 35 A in the SC and violated the trust reposed on him. He was not representing any political party nor was he the representative of Government of India. He was supposed to confine his arguments as per the directions from the state government which he clearly violated. Thereby we dont trust the ASG anymore and the leaders in the meeting resolved that the state government immediately asks him to stand down. The state government, therefore, must handover the case to the councils who will put forth the arguments of the state and not of any individual or party to defend Article 35 A in the SC, the party vice president said.
Asking government of India to clear its stand on Art 35A in and outside the courts, Omar said, Its not only NC which is asking for GoIs clarification on Art 35 A, others are also demanding it. But till date nothing is coming out from the government. Under such circumstances we would request the central government to defer the hearing on Art 35 A on January 09 2019 till a democratically elected government is in place in the state. Its their job then to protect and safeguard Art 35 A in the SC.
Responding to a question on partys decision of not participating in ULB and Panchayat elections because of Art 35 A, Omar said, Its the government which connected the two by putting up an argument in the SC wherein it asked for deferment of the case on Art 35 A citing the upcoming ULB and panchayat polls, adding, We have never said to boycott elections neither are we running an election boycott campaign. The NC core group has decided that our party will not participate in these elections unless and until Government of India and the state government clears its position on Art 35 A and take effective steps for its protection in and outside the Courts.
If the state government wants to go ahead with the election, its their decision. We cannot stop them. The fact that two major regional political parties, with three former chief ministers, are not participating in these elections and if GoI thinks they can go ahead with elections then they are free to do it. If anyone wants to contest they are free to do so, Omar said.
CANCELLATION OF TALKS: Imran ‘disappointed’ with India’s ‘arrogant’ response
Islamabad, Sep 22: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday took to Twitter to respond to India’s cancellation of the meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), calling New Delhi’s response “arrogant and negative”.
“Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” Khan tweeted adding: “However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government on Friday had called off the meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers — just a day after confirming the development.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had announced the cancellation in a strongly worded statement, saying: “It is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office,” he said. “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.”
However, the reasons cited by India for cancelling the talks have raised questions as they are not recent developments. The MEA spokesperson referred to the “killing of Indian security forces” allegedly by “Pakistani entities” and Islamabad’s decision to release stamps allegedly “glorifying terrorists” as the reasons behind the cancellation of talks.
The Pakistan Foreign Office, in a statement on Friday night, pointed out that the killing of a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.
“When the allegations of Pakistan’s involvement first appeared, the Pakistan Rangers clearly conveyed to BSF through official channels that Pakistan had nothing to do with it. Pakistan Rangers also extended help in efforts to locate the soldier’s body,” the Pakistan FO statement issued on Friday night.
“These facts were known to the Indian authorities and a part of the Indian media also reported that Pakistan had refuted its involvement. Yet, this motivated and malicious propaganda continued.”
Islamabad also raised the point that the postage stamps mentioned in the Indian statement were issued before the July 25 elections, following which Imran Khan assumed office as PM.
“It is unfortunate that India has not given a positive response. Indian has once again wasted an opportunity for peace,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had told the media on Friday.
“The refusal of India shows that Indian government is facing internal pressure,” he said. “It seems that India is already preparing for its elections due in the country next year,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
He said Pakistan sincerely wants resolution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India through negotiations. Pakistan has always extended an olive branch to India for the resolution of problems and enhancing bilateral ties in an amicable manner, but New Delhi does not come out of its “internal politics”, state-run Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying.
The minister said Pakistan can only wish India to come to the negotiating table, but “we can neither pressurise anybody nor will accept the same for this purpose.” Qureshi said the world wants connectivity and promote regional trade, but India is creating problems.
He said India’s “stubbornness” is also adversely affecting future of the SAARC countries, the Radio Pakistan report said. But, Qureshi reiterated that dialogue is the only way to come to the resolution of any issue.
“We said that we want dialogue – but in a dignified manner,” he added.
Time to pay back Pak in same coin: Army Chief
New Delhi, Sep 22: Army Chief, Bipin Rawat Saturday threatened Pakistan of retaliation over the latter’s alleged involvement in the killing of a BSF soldier and policemen in Kashmir last week.
The remarks come a day after New Delhi called off a meeting scheduled for next week between its foreign minister with the Pakistani counterpart.
“We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that ‘terrorists’ and the Pakistan Army have been carrying out,” news agency ANI reported General Rawat saying.
“Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain.”
Reacting to the General Rawat, Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan will continue to strive for peace, and added that the world is watching as to who wants peace and who wants war.
“We reject war mongering by ruling elite of India everyone know Indian Govt strategy is to use hate mongering against Pak basically to bail Pm Modi from call for resignation post French jets Rafael deal and divert attention of Indian public from this mega corruption scandal,” he tweeted.
Pakistan army chief spokesman Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor too reacted to Gen Rawat’s remarks saying that India was trying to divert attention from domestic problem by calling off talks with Pakistan and resorting to baseless propaganda.
“Pakistan army is a professional institution. It is part of army’s professional code of conduct. No Pakistani troop was involved in mutilation of Indian soldier,” Ghafoor was quoted saying by Pakistan media.
To a question, DG ISPR said that India “should not get into war mongering as a ruse to deflect international challenges.”
“We need to maintain peace in the region and it should not be misconstrued as our weakness. India should not retort to war mongering,” he said.
Massive cordon-and-search ops in Pulwama
Srinagar, Sep 22: Government forces Saturday launched a massive cordon and search operation in about a dozen villages in Pulwama.
The operation was carried out by 55-Rashtriya Rifles, 53 RR, 23 Para, Special Operation Group (SOG) and CRPF’s 182, 183 battalions.
Launched during wee hours, the CASO saw forces conducting house to house searches in the villages, reports said.
The search operations were conducted in villages Lassipora, Armula, Alaipora, Batnoor, Garbug, Naupora Paeen, Hajdar Pora, Acchan and many others.
It was not immediately known if the operation launched to flush out any militants or whether it was purely an ‘area domination’ exercise.
Meanwhile, the residents of a village in Shopian district on Saturday clashed with the government forces after they launched a cordon-and-search-operation in the area.
Reports said that the government forces laid a siege around the Shirmal village early Saturday morning.
As the forces started door-to-door searches, scores of residents came out of their homes and pelted them with stones to disrupt the operation.
The forces, according to reports, fired tear gas to quell the protests.
Saturday’s CASOs was launched a day after suspected militants abducted and killed three cops in Shopian.
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