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Imran to discuss Kashmir issue with leaders from 35 nations at UNGA

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Islamabad, Sep 2: In an effort to keep the focus on Kashmir, after being isolated on the issue by several world leaders, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will discuss the matter with leaders from 35 countries at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

According to a report published in the Pakistani media, Khan will lead the country”s delegation to the 74th UNGA. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Pakistani leaders will meet representatives of 35 countries, including the presidents of the US, Russia, China, France and the UK”s Prime Minister, to inform them about the “serious situation in Kashmir”.

 

Khan and Qureshi will also meet delegates of the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, representatives and leaders of Islamic countries and several other nations in New York.

While Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will share a roof for three days, there is very little probability of talks between the two. Similarly, Qureshi and his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar will be attending several meetings together but there is very little hope of direct interaction between them, the report said.

After returning from New York, Khan will visit Saudi Arabia to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it added. (IANS)


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European Parliament set to discuss Kashmir

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Brussels, Sep 17: The European Parliament is expected to hold discussions on the Kashmir issue on Tuesday, the media reported.

After India scrapped its Constitution”s Articles 370 and 35A, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and divided the state into two union territories, Islamabad has been crying foul over New Delhi”s move and continuously trying to highlight the issue on a global level.

However, Pakistan has failed to get the international community to censure India.

The report said that in early September, the European Parliament “had debated an urgent resolution for the horrible conditions, including human rights violations, in Indian-occupied Kashmir”.

The European Union”s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, delivered a detailed policy statement on the Kashmir situation on September 17, it said. (IANS)

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Neither single shot has been fired nor has anyone died in Kashmir: Amit Shah

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Allaying concerns over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that neither a single shot has been fired nor has anyone died there till now and asserted that there is peace in the valley.

“From August 5 till now, we did not have to fire a single shot and not even a single person has died. There is peace in Kashmir,” said he said at an event here. .

Last month, Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act, 2019, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it.

The BJP chief said that many people had called the surgical strikes in 2016, a “fluke”,but they now “certify” the country’s defence policies after it revoked the provisions of Article 370.

“Even though surgical and airstrikes give immense joy to the people, taking such decisions needs immense courage. The airstrikes changed the way the world looks at us now,’ Shah added.

Shah also took a dig at the erstwhile Congress government and said that during their tenure, there used to be news of corruption every day, borders were insecure, soldiers were beheaded, women felt unsafe and people protested on the roads every day.

“A government was running where every minister considered himself as Prime Minister but did not look at the actual Prime Minister as one,” he scoffed.

Shah said that unlike the erstwhile government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government never took any decision for “vote bank” but rather for the benefit of the people.

“Some governments work for 30 years and take one big decision, but our government worked for five years and took over 50 major decisions, including GST, demonetisation, airstrikes, etc. No one else dared take it during their tenure,” said the Union Minister.

Shah said that India is growing economically, adding that the agriculture sector and the per capita income are also increasing. “We are progressing towards becoming a $5 trillion economy and I am confident that it will happen before 2024,” he added.(ANI)

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Kartarpur corridor to be opened for Indian Sikh pilgrims on Nov 9: Pakistan official

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From November 9, Pakistan will allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Kartarpur Sahib, a senior official heading the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor project announced on September 16.

Project Director Atif Majid made the announcement during the maiden visit of Pakistani and foreign journalists to the proposed Kartarpur corridor in Narowal, some 125 km from Lahore, amidst fresh tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Majid said so far 86 percent of the work on the corridor has been completed and it will be opened to pilgrims on November 9.

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India.

Both countries have agreed that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day into the country through the corridor, which will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.

Majid said some 76 immigration counters have been set up to cater to 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from India every day. And for 10,000 pilgrims visiting here daily, 152 immigration counters will be set up. He said that initially 5,000 Sikhs from India will come daily and later the number will rise to 10,000.

Pakistan, however, repeatedly said that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor will not be hit by the current tension with India.

The visiting Indian Sikhs will have to bring their passports with them and they will be issued corridor pass. On return, they will receive their passports from immigration counter after returning the pass.

Airport-like facilities will be provided to the pilgrims who will come here by bus, he said. “Finger prints will be taken of every Indian and Pakistani Sikhs entering the Kartar Sahib,” he said.

The journalists were told that the visiting Sikh pilgrims will be provided free food and medicines by the Pakistan Gurdwara Sikh Parbhandik Committee.

The security of the corridor will be provided by provincial paramilitary forces Punjab Rangers.

During the last round of talks on the Kartarpur corridor held last week, Pakistan showed inflexibility and gave unfavourable responses on issues of charging a service fee, the number of pilgrims to be allowed on special occasions and allowing protocol officials to accompany them.

There were three issues on which the Indian side had asked Pakistan to show some flexibility — their insistence on charging USD 20 per pilgrim, allowing 10,000 pilgrims on special occasions and Indian protocol officer to accompany the delegation that visits Kartarpur everyday.

“We had hoped that all pending issues will be resolved. However we realised that Pakistan was quite inflexible during the talks,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.

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