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Gilgit-Baltistan issue of great significance: Madhav

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New Delhi, Oct 26: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav has asserted that India attaches great significance to the issue of Gilgit Baltistan and the country’s claim to the region is stronger than Pakistan’s.

“Our case, as far as Gilgit Baltistan goes, is, even more, stronger for the important reason that when Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, technically Gilgit Baltistan was an integral part of the then state of Kashmir and Jammu, under Maharaja Hari Singh and it was not annexed through any army encroachment,” Madhav said at a launch of a book ‘Gilgit-Baltistan and its saga of unending human rights violations’ in Delhi on Thursday.

“However, this strategically important region of Jammu and Kashmir was handed over to the then Pakistani rulers by two deceitful British officers. It was taken over without resistance and in an illegal manner. This area is of great significance to us as it acts as a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia” he added.

Madhav also pointed out that the international communities should take cognisance of the atrocities committed by the Pakistani establishment in the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and Gilgit Baltistan and that the propaganda machinery rolled out by the Pakistan government to incite violence in Jammu and Kashmir through sponsoring militants and proxies.

“A propaganda is being long unleashed by Pakistan and their proxies about Jammu and Kashmir by whitewashing the human rights violence committed by them in the PaK and Gilgit Baltistan. It is important for us to understand the real nature of the Pakistan administration. There has also been a concerted effort over the last 50 years to change the demography of Gilgit Baltistan. These are matters for the world at large to know,” Madhav stated.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and has been under the control of Pakistan since 1947.


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Unemployment compels doctors, engineers apply for banking-like jobs

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Nov 21: Junaid completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from Himachal Institute of Dental Sciences some years ago with a cost of around Rs 12 lakh.

After unsuccessfully looking for a job in the valley-based hospitals for over three years, he began preparations for the Banking Associate exam.

Danish Farooq suffered similar problems after doing B Tech from Chennai’s SRM College of Engineering, where he managed admission by taking Rs 15 lakh education loan.

“After an eight-month job hunt, I joined a coaching center to prepare for the bank exams,” said Danish.

Danish blames the systemic failure in various government departments, claiming “corruption and complacency” have allowed standards to fall resulting in unemployable graduates.

Aadil Ahmad (name changed) possesses a rare distinction in his village, a quiet hamlet in the higher reaches of north Kashmir.

He did his bachelors and masters in Arts and B. Ed, unlike his friends who dropped out of school.

He belongs to a poor family for whom higher education was once a pipe dream. But all his education hasn’t helped him attain his ultimate goal—become a government teacher.

Despite possessing the prerequisite skills and qualities that a specific job demands, and being technically proficient, the youth in the valley find themselves in a fix due to lack of job opportunities. As a result, the youth seek employment in other areas of work.

According to statistics, Jammu and Kashmir has 88,040 unemployed youth registered with various district employment and counseling centers in the state.

Adding fuel to the fire, various surveys reveal, more than 70 per cent of engineering graduates are not employable.

To make the matters worse, the problem of employability in Kashmir is rampant in both blue and white-collar jobs.

At 12.13 per cent, J&K had the highest unemployment rate in India in 2017, says the data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy in collaboration with Bombay Stock Exchange.

Educationist, Professor B A Dar said the state doesn’t have any manpower planning.

“To say that the number of jobs is decreasing here is not true. There are huge vacancies in the private sector but we don’t opt for such jobs. We are getting the degrees, but not the competence that should come with them,” said Dar.

“If you the competence and expertise, why should you settle for something less?”

However, he said, there is no harm in applying for banking exams and low designation jobs.

“Getting the coveted government job is not always possible. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong in appearing for these exams,” said Dar.

 

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Nearly 400 paramilitary personnel killed in action in 2015-17: MHA

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Nov 21:Nearly 400 paramilitary personnel were killed due to firing  from across the Indo-Pak border, and nilitant and insurgency violence in the country in the last three years, officials said Wednesday.

The highest number of personnel killed in action were from the Border Security Force (BSF).

The force lost 167 personnel between 2015 and 2017, and a majority of them were killed while guarding the highly sensitive border.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has lost 103 personnel in the last three years, mostly while fighting Naxals and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, a Home Ministry official said.

While the BSF lost 62 personnel in action in 2015, 58 in 2016 and 47 in 2017, the CRPF lost nine personnel in action in 2015, 42 in 2016 and 52 in 2017.

As many as 48 personnel of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) were killed in action in the last three years of whom 16 were killed in 2015, 15 in 2016 and 17 in 2017, the official said.

The SSB guards the Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Nepal border. The troops of the force is also deployed in internal security duties.

A total of 40 personnel belonging to the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the Sino-Indian border, were killed in action between 2015 and 2017. Among them, 15 personnel were killed in 2015, 10 in 2016 and 15 in 2017.

Altogether 35 personnel of the Assam Rifles, which guards the Indo-Myanmar border and fights militants in the northeast, were killed in action in the last three years.

Eighteen personnel of the Assam Rifles were killed in 2015, nine in 2016 and eight in 2017.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has lost two personnel in action in the last three years — one each in 2016 and 2017.

There were no casualties in 2015 from the CISF, which guards, airports, nuclear installations, metro services and other sensitive locations, another official said.

 

 

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US suspends 1.66 bn dollar security aid to Pakistan: Pentagon

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Washington, Nov 21:The US has suspended USD 1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after President Donald Trump’s directive, the Pentagon has said, in what experts believe is a strong signal of American frustration.

The Pentagon’s statement came days after President Trump said Pakistan did not do “a damn thing” for the US, alleging that its government had helped al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.

“USD 1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended,” Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defence, told reporters in an e-mail response to questions on Tuesday.

No further breakdown of the suspended security assistance to Pakistan was provided.

According to David Sedney, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia during the previous Obama administration, the blocking of military assistance to Pakistan, which began in January this year, is a strong signal of American frustration.

“But, so far Pakistan has taken no serious steps to address the core US concern–that Pakistan tolerates and often encourages groups which use violence against Pakistan’s neighbours,” Sedney told PTI.

“Pakistan’s leaders have promised cooperation, but beyond words, serious cooperation has not happened, therefore President Trump is frustrated and so are most Americans,” he said in response to a question.

“This frustration does not ignore the suffering that Pakistani people have undergone. It just asks Pakistan to recognise that it should act to help stop the suffering of others,” said the Senior Associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.

Previously, Sedney was at the Department of State and the National Security Council, as well as Acting President of American University of Afghanistan. He was part of the Pentagon when Laden was killed in a raid by US commandoes in Pakistan’s Abbottabad.

Over the last few days, Trump has said that people in Pakistan knew about the presence of Laden.

“I agree with the views of Carlotta Gall of the New York Times who reported in her book ‘The Wrong Enemy’ that a very small group of very senior Pakistani military leaders knew about Laden’s presence in Pakistan. I have not seen any evidence that his presence in Abbottabad was widely known by many in Pakistan,” Sedney told PTI in an interview.

While Pakistan has suffered terribly from terrorism by Islamic extremists, Islamabad has also enabled extremist groups that attack its neighbours, he observed.

After years of dithering, in recent years, Pakistan’s security forces have moved strongly against the extremists that threaten the Pakistani state, Sedney said.

“What the US seeks, what President Trump is asking for, is for Pakistan to take the same kind of measures against the Taliban, Lashkhar-e-Taiba and against all groups in Pakistan that threaten Pakistan’s neighbours,” he said.

“But, we still see the Taliban moving weapons, fighters and money through Pakistan. We still see Taliban commanders taking refuge in Pakistan, keeping their families in Pakistan, holding meetings and conducting training in Pakistan and shipping explosives from Pakistan into Afghanistan,” Sedney alleged, adding that leaders of sanctioned organisations were acting freely in Pakistan and speaking publicly in favour of violence.

If Pakistan took some strong measures against the Taliban, peace would come to Afghanistan quickly, he said.

 

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