New Delhi, Oct 1: While acknowledging that the change in Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status is an internal matter of India, Germany has said that it would like to see restrictions lifted and as well as a continuation in bilateral contact between India and Pakistan.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, German ambassador to India Walter Lindner emphasised that Germany considers the developments an “internal matter”. But, he added, these steps also have “regional consequences”.
On August 5, the Indian government scrapped Section 370 of the constitution which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status. It also broke the state down into two new union territories. Ahead of the move, India had detained hundreds of Kashmiri politicians and cut off the state from mobile and internet services.
After the Indian parliament approved the constitutional changes on August 5, the German foreign ministry spokesperson had said on August 6 that Berlin hoped that “all further steps of the (Indian) government will comply with India’s constitution”. She had also called on New Delhi to “hold dialogue with the population concerned about its plans, its intentions”.
Nearly two months later, Lindner said that Germany would like to see “early lifting of restrictions”. However, he also added that this easing of restrictions has to be “done in accordance with security issues”.
“But there should be no violations of human rights and trespassing of provisions,” said Lindner, adding that the “world would be closely watching”.
He also indicated that India and Pakistan should hold talks. “Germany would like to see continuation of bilateral contacts,” he stated.
In his speech at United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had also sought to make parallels between the situation in Kashmir and Hitler’s Nazi regime.
While Lindner refused to make a direct comment on Khan, he did note that “any such comparison is wrong”.
“Whoever talks of war is irresponsible,” he added.
I love Kashmir and its love for football: David Robertson
Srinagar: For those who label Kashmir as “dangerous place”, this should serve as an eye-opener.
Famed Scottish footballer and Real Kashmir FC coach David Robertson on Thursday said Kashmir is one of the safest places in world.
“I have been here for three years now and I enjoyed being with the people of Kashmir. People are great here.I love Kashmiris and their love for football,” he said.
Robertson said it was the secure atmosphere of the valley that prompted him to convince foreign players to play for Real Kashmir FC.
“I brought my family including my son, wife and daughter here. Even we have two coaches Jimmy and Jonathan now. If I feared for my safety then I wouldn’t havebrought them here. I lived here during strikes, internet shutdown. But I never feared for the safety of my life. This is lovely and great place,” he said.
Robertson poured his heart out at a time when Real Kashmir FC popularly known as snow leopards is bracing up for second season in prestigious I- League. The team, which has added new players to the squad, is practising hard in Srinagar to take up new challenges in the coming season.
Robertson said experienced players have signed-up for the squad this season.“Now there is more depth in our squad. Last season we had a good defensive side but we could score goals. We created chances but couldn’t utilise them effectively. Now we got some very experienced players including Kellam from England, Chesterpaul and Subhash Singh,” he said
Real Kashmir FC coach said the upcoming season will be equally challenging since all the teams have signed experienced players.
Asked about the atmosphere in the camp, Robertson said his team was fully prepared to take up the challenge.
“The players were fascinated during Kolkata, Mumbai, Jamshedpur and Goa tours. It is important that our players are robust. That is what makes us a strong team,” he said.
Ahead of I –league, the Snow Leopards displayed spectacular performances against Indian Super League teams in outside state tours.
Real Kashmir FC defeated Kerala blasters, held draw with Jamshedpur FC, Goa FC and Mumbai City FC.
This season, the team signed up ace English striker Kallum Michael Higgeinbotham, former Pune city winger ChesterpaulLyngdoh and former ShillongLajjong FC goalkeeper PhurbaTempalachenpa and others.
Road Accident Victim Fund created for accident cases
SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 17: Advisors to Governor, K Skandan and K Vijay Kumar, co-chaired the 6th State Road Safety Council meeting here today.
The meeting was attended by Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, Principal Secretary Transport Department, Transport Commissioner, Secretary Higher Education, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Inspector General Police of Traffic, J&K, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Director School Education Kashmir, Commissioner SMC, and representatives of Finance, Planning, Home, Housing and Urban Development Departments.
The meeting was also attended by all Deputy Commissioners besides other concerned officials via video conference.
The meeting was informed that Road Accident Victim Fund has been created for passengers and private vehicles with ex-gratia ranging from Rs 10000 to Rs 100000. It was also informed that the State Government approved an incentive of Rs 5 lakh per vehicle to replace 500 old buses of 15 years-of-age and above with new buses, besides 40 electric-buses in twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu and 36 new buses for Chenab Valley were procured by JKSRTC.
Principal Secretary Transport, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon presented a detailed overview of functioning of the Transport Department besides initiatives taken for the modernization of transport sector to cater to the changing needs. To arrest the trend of the frequent accidents, he said, that with the funding of the Central Government, work on various Inspection Certification Centres (ICC) is in progress.
It was given out that ICC and Institute of Driving and Training Research is coming up at Samba at a cost of Rs 14.40 crore and 17 crore respectively. Similarly, 50 kanals of land have been identified at Harwan in Srinagar for establishing ICC besides an IDTR would be established in Budgam at a cost of Rs 17.42 crore.
While reviewing road accidents data management system, the Advisors stressed on using the data for reducing accidents due to increasing policing and improving road construction management for reducing black spots.
The Principal Secretary informed the meeting that Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) provided funds for procurement of 136 ambulances. He told the meeting that 80 ambulances deployed are being used for Basic Life Support (BLS) both at Jammu and Kashmir division while 50 ambulances have kept for retrofitting and are being used for Advance Life Support (ALS) primarily designed to transport patients of critical care, trauma and accident victims.
It was also given out that 102/108 helpline service would be started very soon with 300 ordinary ambulances at disposal out of which 100 can be made critical care ambulances.
Regarding the establishing of Trauma centres, the Advisors were informed that Health and Medical Education Department has established 10 trauma centres out of which seven are functional while the rest would be made operational soon.
On Intelligent Transport System (ITS), the Advisors directed SMC and JMC to complete the process at the earliest. In Srinagar, out of 33 junctions, 20 junctions are working, while work on remaining junctions is in progress, the meeting was told.
On the occasion, Advisor Skandan directed the Deputy Commissioners to complete the district action plan within one month and asked for identification of accident prone areas in their district jurisdictions to reduce accidents.
Director School Education Kashmir informed the meeting that 855 Road Safety Clubs in higher secondary schools have been created with 280 in Kashmir division and 575 in Jammu division.
The Advisors directed the concerned officials to implement Ribbon Development Act at the earliest.
3 militants killed in Anantnag gunfight
SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.
The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area in Anantnag on a specific intelligence provided by the district police.