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Hindutva politics in India worries Kashmiri Muslims: Mehbooba

Lauds Imran, hits out at Centre over Ram Temple

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Srinagar, Feb 10: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said at a time Pakistan is making laws to safeguard temples in the country, the Indian Muslims are feeling insecure given the Hindutva politics dominating India’s secular fabric.

Talking to reporters at Harnipora Shehlal in Handwara, Mehbooba said that the atmosphere in India is becoming more of Hindutva politics and all the political parties are trying to fetch votes on this Hindutva politics.

“This kind of politics has a direct bearing in the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. Everyday there is politics about constructing Ram temple, renaming towns with muslim names and other related incidents that worries the Muslims across especially in Kashmir,” she said.

 

Mehbooba said that after these anti-Muslim and anti-minority tactics the Muslims especially in Kashmir are accused of radicalization which actually is not a case at all.

“India was created in the name of secularism while Pakistan was created in the name of religion. But today the opposite is happening. Pakistan is framing new laws to protect the holy places of minorities, while in India the Muslims are feeling threatened by the divisive Hindutva politics,” she said.

Hitting out at the ruling BJP government over Ayodhya dispute, former Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said that in the “top priority” of the Modi government now seems to rename historic cities and building Ram Mandir.

Mufti took to Twitter on Saturday to praise Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s initiative to name the Baloki forest reserve after Guru Nanak, the Sikh community’s holy figure.

“How times change. Centre’s top priority is seemingly renaming historic cities & building Ram Mandir. On the other hand, heartening to see that Pak PM has initiated steps to name Baloki forest reserve after Guru Nanak ji & create a university under his name,” Mufti said.

Ever since the split between Mufti’s PDP and the BJP, the former CM has on multiple occasions voiced against the ruling party. She also called her alliance with the BJP “suicidal”.

Mufti has called out the BJP for focusing time and energy into pushing the Ram Mandir agenda at the forefront of the upcoming elections, while also making changes to the names of cities and roads across the country.

Since it came to power, the BJP government has given consent to the renaming of at least 25 towns and villages across India.

Some of the approved name change proposals are: Rajahmundry as Rajamahendravaram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh; Outer Wheeler as A P J Abdul Kalam Island, situated in Bhadrak district of Odisha; Arikkod as Areekode in Malappuram district of Kerala; Pindari as Pandu-Pindara in Jind district of Haryana; and Samphur as Sanphure in Kiphire district of Nagaland.

Recently, Allahabad was renamed to Prayagraj and Faizabad district was renamed to Ayodhya district.

On the Ram Mandir issue, the BJP leadership has made its stand clear that the party is committed to building the temple at the disputed site.

Mehbooba Mufti’s comparison of the BJP’s “priority” in India to the Pak PM’s initiatives is a direct dig on the former’s camp.

India and Pakistan have initiated work on the Kartarpur Corridor project which links Baba Nanak village in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal in Pakistan. The corridor was a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

 

Kashmiri politicians sing song of Pakistan when out of power: Jitendra

Agencies

Srinagar, Feb 10: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday hit out at PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti by saying that the mainstream politicians of Kashmir ‘sing the song of Pakistan’ when they are out of power, but swear by India when in power.

Taking to Twitter, Singh, who is the Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), attacked former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for praising Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while criticising the governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.

“Indeed, how times change! Kashmir mainstream politicians sing the song of Pakistan when they are out of power, but swear by India when in power. Remember, #Farooqabdullah, as CM, frequently advocated the bombing of terror camps in Pak occupied Kashmir,” Singh tweeted.


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Lethpora attack: UN urges India, Pak to defuse tensions

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Geneva, Feb 20: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and offered to mediate in the face of rising tensions following the attack at Lethpora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers.

Guterres, through a spokesman, said that the UN is deeply concerned about the situation while offering to mediate if the two parties request it.

The head of the UN received on Wednesday the Pakistani ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, whose government has asked the organization to intervene in the current crisis, Efe reported.

 

For now, Guterres calls on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps” to defuse the tension, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

The historic tensions between the two nuclear nations skyrocketed in recent days after New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting the militant group that killed 49 CRPF troopers in a suicide bombing with a vehicle loaded with explosives on February 14, the deadliest attack in the region in 30 years.

In addition, nine people, including four army soldiers, a cop, and a civilian were killed in a gunfight again in Pulwama on February 18.

Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), said the UN was also saddened by the further loss of life reported from the gun battles in Pulwama on February 18.

“We hope escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours will not add further to the insecurity in the region” he said.

Colville said the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is also concerned about reports from India that some elements are using the Pulwama attack as justification for threats and potential acts of violence targeting Kashmiri and Muslim communities living in different parts of India.

“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” he stressed.

Following the February 14 attack, India announced that it will take all possible diplomatic measures to isolate Pakistan from the international community.

UN asks additional escorts for military observers:

After one of its vehicles was stopped by a group of protesters in Jammu, the UN has asked the Indian government for additional escorts for its military observers in Kashmir.

“The observer group reported on February 16 that a UN vehicle in the city of Jammu was surrounded by a group of protesters who placed a Pakistan flag in front of the vehicle. The vehicle attempted to bypass the flag but was unable to do so,” Dujarric told the media on Tuesday.

He said the circumstances of the incident was “regrettable and unavoidable” and that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had informed the governments of both countries.

“The Mission also requested India to provide additional escorts and will be conducting an investigation,” he added.
The 44-member UNMOGIP, now led by Uruguayan Major General Jose Eladio Alcain, began operations in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire in Kashmir following up a Security Council resolution the previous year.

India maintains that UNMOGIP has become redundant because under the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan’s then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue with no role for third parties. (With IANS inputs)

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Govt downgrades, withdraws ‘security’ of 18 separatists, 155 others

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Jammu, Feb. 20: In a major step on Wednesday, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir downgraded and withdrew the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders in the state.

According to the spokesperson of Home Department, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is “wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere”.

“Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat,” a government handout said.

 

This is in addition the 4 persons whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.

In addition, the handout said the security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn. This includes Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS and PDP member Waheed Parra.

“Through this, over 1000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work,” the handout said.

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Reservation to EWS: Guv welcomes central law’s extension to JK

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Jammu, Feb 20: Governor Satya Pal Malik has welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet regarding giving reservations in admission in educational institutions, for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens and giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

“The reservation to the economically weaker sections of the citizens will be in addition to existing reservation and subject to maximum of 10 percent of totals seats/posts,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

It is pertinent to mention that the Constitution (Seventy Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 provides for giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for giving reservations in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens.

 

“Both these amendments in the Constitution of India were not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the present form. The Union Cabinet’s approval to the extension of these amendments will enable providing of 10 % reservation in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of the economically weaker sections of the citizens,” the spokesperson said.

He added that the move will also give powers to the State for making provisions for reservation in the matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Governor, the spokesperson added, has described these decisions as having far reaching consequences in helping to ameliorate the lot of the weaker sections of society and in ensuring their economic progress and prosperity.

SAC to meet tomorrow

Srinagar, Feb 20: The J&K State Administrative Council (SAC) will meet under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan Jammu on 22 February.
This is likely going to be last SAC meeting before Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for General Elections-2019 comes into force.

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