Connect with us

International

Guterres backs UN refugee agency on concern over Rohingya repatriation

Agencies

Published

on

IST


United Nations:Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stands behind the UN refugee agency (UNRA)’s expression of concern over India repatriating seven Rohingyas to Myanmar, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said .After reading out an abbreviated version of a statement issued earlier in Geneva by the UNRA, he said at his daily briefing in answer to a question that Guterres stands behind the agency, which is the UN body dealing with refugees.
“The UN refugee agency is greatly concerned for the safety and security of seven Myanmar nationals who were returned from India to Myanmar on Thursday,” its spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said in Geneva.
The office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi requested Indian authorities for access to the seven Rohingyas detained in India since 2012, he said.
UNHCR “regrets that the agency did not receive a response to this request and was unable to secure access for a lawyer from a state legal service.”
“UNHCR continues to seek clarification from the authorities on the circumstances under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar,” he added.
The Supreme Court had earlier turned down an appeal by a prominent lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, to stop the deportation.
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the government had reconfirmed the seven Rohingyas’ “willingness to be repatriated” before arranging their return.
Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a statement: “Forcing any Rohingya back to Myanmar now puts them at grave risk of oppression and abuse.”
“The Indian government has disregarded its long tradition of protecting those seeking refuge within its borders,” she added.
According to HRW, 32 Rohingya refugees, including seven minors, are in detention in Assam.
“They are mostly believed to be from the Rakhine state in Myanmar and were apprehended in 2014 by the railway police,” it said.
The seven, who were deported on Thursday, had come to India before the outbreak of violence in August last year in Rakhine state that led to more that 700,000 Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh, where they now live in squalid camps.
Attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an organisation led by Pakistan-born Ataullah abu Ammar Jununi, on Myanmarese security posts sparked retaliatory attacks by security forces and civilian vigilantes.
Several thousands of Rohingyas were killed in the attacks and their villages destroyed leading to the exodus.
Guterres has called it a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing” and demanded punishment for those responsible.


Comments

International

Taliban resumes peace talks with US envoy in Qatar

Agencies

Published

on

Islamabad :The Taliban and the United States resumed talks in Doha, Qatar with an aim to end the stalemate over the participation of Afghan government in the negotiations for a political settlement of the conflict.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman in a statement said, “Following American acceptance of the agenda of ending invasion of Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the future, talks with American representatives took place today in Doha.”

Doha meeting happened as the Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan intelligence agency — National Directorate of Security — installation in Maidan Shahr, Kabul, killing and wounding dozens of security personnel.

 

The two sides — US and Taliban — had last met in December 2018 in Abu Dhabi in a meeting facilitated by Pakistan and observed by Saudi Arabia and UAE. It had been agreed at the meeting that the engagement process would be continued. But, arranging the next round of talks became difficult due to the Taliban’s inflexibility over negotiating with the Afghan government. The Taliban have, meanwhile, been insisting that US should instead withdraw its forces and release Taliban prisoners.

There was no word from the US side on the Taliban claim after the latest meeting in Doha that US had agreed to discuss withdrawal plans.

Recently, the Afghan Taliban while rejecting media reports of possible talks with the US in Islamabad and reiterated that they will not deal directly with the Afghan Government.

Continue Reading

International

11 die as ships with Indian, Turkish crews catch fire in Kerch Strait

Agencies

Published

on

Moscow:Two ships carrying Indian, Turkish and Libyan crew members had caught fire in the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from Russia, killing at least 11 people, media reports said on Tuesday.

The fire broke out off Russia’s territorial waters. Both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags. One of them was a liquefied natural gas carrier and the other a tanker. The fire broke out as the two ships were transferring fuel from one to the other.

One of the ships, the Candy, had a 17-member crew–nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals.

 

The other, the Maestro, had a 15-member crew–seven Turkish nationals, seven Indian citizens and an intern from Libya, Russian news agency Tass quoted maritime authority as saying.

At least 11 sailors had died, Russian Maritime Agency was quoted by RT news, a Russian television network.

“Presumably, an explosion occurred (on one of the vessels). Then the fire spread to another vessel. A rescue tug is en route,” said a spokesman for the Russian Maritime Agency.

Some three dozen sailors managed to escape the burning ships by jumping off the vessels.

Twelve people have so far been rescued from the sea. Nine sailors were still listed as missing, the spokesperson said.

Severe weather conditions at sea had prevented rescue ships from taking victims to the shore for medical treatment, the report added.

The Kerch Strait is a key waterway that holds strategic importance for both Russia and Ukraine.

It is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine that allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.

It’s also the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. A Russian-built bridge over the Kerch Strait opened in May last year. PTI

Continue Reading

International

Pak shares Kartarpur draft pact, calls India ‘urgently’ to finalise deal

Agencies

Published

on

Lahore/New Delhi: Pakistan said it has shared a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor with India and invited New Delhi to “urgently” send a delegation to Islamabad to “negotiate and finalise” the proposal.

The proposed agreement aims at facilitating travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Narowal, nearly 4 km away from Gurdaspur border on the Indian side.

“The draft agreement between the two governments has been shared with New Delhi through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said in a statement.

 

The move is in line with Pakistan’s policy of promoting inter-faith harmony and religious tolerance and Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, he added.

Pakistan has appointed Director-General (South Asia and SAARC) as the focal person on its side and requested India to designate its focal person soon.

Pakistan also invited India to “urgently send a delegation to Islamabad to negotiate and finalise the agreement”, Faisal said.

He also tweeted, “Continuing with PM Imran Khan’s initiative, Pakistan, today, shared the proposed draft agreement on Kartarpur Corridor with India. Indian delegation invited to visit Islamabad for an expedited conclusion of the agreement. Keeping promises – Work in progress on Kartarpur Corridor on Pakistan side.”

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district.

Two days later on November 28, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor at Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.

The decision to build the corridor – from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the international border – was taken by the Union Cabinet on November 22.

The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.

The corridor was a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. Pakistan had committed to open the corridor in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 980,511 other subscribers

Archives

January 2019
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
Advertisement