By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani
Srinagar, Apr 02: Governor N N Vohra, who is also the Chancellor of Kashmir University (KU), on Monday, had to face pro-freedom slogans, on his arrival to the varsity.
He was there to attend the 13th session of J&K Science Congress.
Vohra, who arrived at the University at around 11:15 AM had to make his entry through the VIP gate as the main gate was closed because of the protests, carried out by the students against the Shopian killings.
“The protests were going on near administrative block. Around 300 to 400 hundred students were protesting, among them were female students as well. The VIP gate was thrown open for the entry. At the varsity, besides pro freedom slogans, governor also came across the funeral prayers, offered in absentia by the students for those killed in Shopian,” an eyewitness said.
He said that the slogans reverberated for a long time.
“Throughout the proceedings, the slogans reverberated. Usually around 1000 faculty members attend the congress session. But only 200 were present. The students were stopped by the Police from entering the convocation hall. The presence was thin from student’s side as well as from the faculty side. The governor left the varsity at 12:30PM,” the eyewitness added
The M A K hostel authorities had told the students on Sunday that the hostel has been closed for two days but students spent whole night in a local mosque, just to take part in the protests.
“The students started arriving at 07:00AM.They started protests raised slogans. The female students along with the male students were stopped from entering the convocation hall by the Police,” a source in the varsity said.
A University official on condition of anonymity said three Cabinet Ministers Imran Raza Ansari, Sajad Lone and Syed Altaf Bukhari skipped the function. “Like these Ministers, 70 per cent of invitees didn’t turn up,” he added.
Well-placed sources said that Vice Chancellor Kashmir University faced big embarrassment due to student protest. Sources added that police had requested VC Kashmir University to shift the ‘Function’ to SKICC, however, the incumbent VC had assured them that all measures were at place to ensure smooth conduct of 13th Science Congress-2018.
Meanwhile, during the convocation Governor, as per an attendant, had made a scathing attack to the university authorities saying that the varsity “had gone back 60 years”.
Time for talks over, world must act now: PM
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.”
Cross LoC trade, bus service suspended
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.
MBS conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan: Saudi vows to ‘de-escalate’ India-Pakistan tension
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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