United Nations: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s phone call to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres centered on Kashmir, according to a UN spokesperson, who said that it was “only normal” for Guterres to speak to heads of government,.
“I can confirm to you that the phone call did happen and it centered on the issue of Kashmir as brought up by the prime minister,” Guterres’s Spokesperson Stephane Guterres told reporters here on Friday.
He did not provide any details of their conversation that took place.
Asked by a reporter to react to Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar’s reported remark that Pakistan should mind its own business and Kashmir is a part of India, Dujarric said, “Our position on Kashmir has been reiterated, there is an observer group as mandated by the Security Council.”
The 113-member UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) established by the security council monitors the cease-fire in between the two neighbours in Kashmir.
Dujarric added, “The prime minister called, wanted to speak to the secretary-general. It is only normal that the secretary-general speak to heads of government and heads of state, and, as I said, I can confirm that the call took place and that the prime minister raised the issue of Kashmir.”
Radio Pakistan reported that Khan asked Guterres to send a commission of inquiry to investigate the human rights situation in Kashmir as recommended by former UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein earlier this year.
Although Guterres has backed Zeid’s call for the investigation and the current Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has endorsed it, neither the Human Rights Council nor other UN bodies have acted on it.
India has said that Zeid’s report on human rights violations in Kashmir and the proposal for an investigation were “clearly biased”.
UNMOGIP continues to operate under the security council mandate that grew out of a 1948 resolution that set up its predecessor organisation following the fighting that started in 1947 when Pakistani troops disguised a tribesmen invaded Kashmir soon after Independence.
India maintains that the UNMOGIP has no role because of the 1971 Simla agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stipulating that Kashmir was a bilateral issue with no role for third parties.
Metropolitan Project: Over 94 lakh kanals identified in JK
Srinagar, Jul 18: Over 94 lakh kanals of land has been identified across Jammu and Kashmir for developing the state under the ambitious Metropolitan Region Development Authorities (MRDA) project.
Under the project, two Metropolitan Region Development Authorities will reduce the deficit on infrastructure – water supply, roads, sewage, drainage, light rails, e-buses and other amenities.
“The authorities will also develop satellite townships in Greater Jammu and Greater Srinagar. Million square feet IT parks will also be developed in these townships,” the document reads.
Governor Satya Pal Malik-led administration recently announced creation of Jammu Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority — to provide an integrative framework for the purpose of planned development of these regions.
As per the details, the government has identified 94,22,465 kanals of land in 2559 villages of 14 districts in the state.
In Kashmir, 1452 villages comprising of 4989304 kanals of land would be covered under MRDA.
In Srinagar district, 124 villages comprising 514116 kanals of land would be covered. In Pulwama, 922715 kanals of land in 240 villages have been identified for implementation of project under MRDA.
Similarly, 331799, 1049195, 451400, 142461 kanals of land would be covered in Kulgam, Baramulla, Shopian, and Bandipora districts respectively.
Around 44,33,161 kanals of land would be covered in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur under MRDA.
The MRDAs, as per the document, have been selected on the principles of regional planning and development.
An official of Housing and Urban Development Department said a process has begun for acquisition of land for the project.
“All types of land are being covered under MRDAs. Besides government land, we have also identified private land which ought to be acquired. But some land owners are not willing to provide land saying that government is not paying them commensurate to market value,” the official said.
He said the land owners want promulgation of an ordinance to replace old law “which will enable them fair compensation during acquisition”.
Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta said that all types of land were being covered under MRDAs. “We will acquire private land wherever needed,” Gupta added.
India to Pak: Release, repatriate Jadhav immediately
New Delhi, Jul 18: Describing the detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan as “illegal” and under “fabricated” charges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.
Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, he said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.
The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.
A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.
The bench also ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest.
Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, the judges had said.
Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, Judge Yusuf had ruled.
Jadhav guilty of crimes against people: Imran
Islamabad, Jul 18: Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan Thursday said that he appreciated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to “not to acquit, release & return” Kulbhushan Jadhav, day after the world court in The Hague directed Pakistan to review the death penalty given to the former Indian Navy commander.
Holding Jadhav responsible for “crime against” Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law.
“Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release & return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law,” Imran tweeted.
On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav.
The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav “without further delay”, in a verdict that was hailed in India as a “big victory” for the country. It agreed with India’s stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying access.
In a reprieve for Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017, a 16-member bench by a 15:1 vote continued the stay on the execution.
A Chinese judge was part of the majority verdict while the ad hoc judge from Pakistan on the bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia gave a dissenting opinion.
Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.
The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the verdict, saying “truth and justice” have prevailed while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj described it as a “big victory” for India.
Despite the order backing India, Pakistan claimed victory. The country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: “Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.” Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan on 3 March, 2016, by Pakistani security agencies and was convicted of being a spy. In April 2017, Pakistan had announced that Jadhav was given death sentence by a military court.