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India, Pak spar at UN over K-issue

Press Trust of India

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United Nations: India has slammed Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at a UN General Assembly session, saying it has become Islamabad’s habit to misuse any forum for “narrow political gains” and asserting that the right to self-determination cannot be abused to undermine a nation’s territorial integrity.

First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi was responding to Pakistani envoy Maleeha Lodhi’s remarks at the session that the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination has been suppressed for decades.

Lodhi said that the Kashmir issue will remain on “the UN agenda until the Kashmiri people are allowed to exercise their will, according to the agreed method prescribed by the Security Council – a plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.”

 

“We reject the unwarranted reference made by one delegation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India,” Tripathi said at a UNGA Third Committee session Tuesday on Elimination of racism, xenophobia and Right of people to self-determination.

She said that it has become Pakistan’s habit to misuse any forum for narrow political gains.

“In reality, it is the people of India as well as of our region and beyond, have to suffer most egregious violation of human rights inflicted by terrorism emanating from beyond our borders,” she said.

“The right to self-determination cannot be abused and misrepresented with the aim of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a Member State,” Tripathi said.

She said that self-determination has long been recognised as the right of peoples of non-self-governing colonies and trust territories to independence and self-government.

Pointing that there are still 17 non-self governing territories which are in various stages of decolonisation, Tripathi said the international community must step up efforts to reach the conclusion of this long-drawn process.

She described Palestine as the “unfinished task” in the realisation of the right of people to self-determination, saying India is committed to the cause of the people of Palestine and the country has substantially scaled up bilateral development partnerships and increased contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

On the issue of racism, Tripathi said despite efforts made in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, these pernicious ills continue to persist in different forms and manifestations.

“Rise of exclusionist ideologies inciting discrimination and violence threaten to subvert the globalised economic order and social cohesion,” she said stressing that there is need for comprehensive legal and administrative responses to counter emerging challenges.

She voiced India’s concern over the alarming rise in use of digital space for dissemination of racist and xenophobic material as well as for recruitment, networking and fundraising by groups espousing these ideologies.

“We must acknowledge that racial equality and freedom of expression need not be pursued in a zero-sum manner,” she said adding that private entities including conventional and social media and civil society need to develop and observe codes of conduct that embody commitment to racial equality and non-discrimination.

Immunities enjoyed by the social media platforms for contents by users, must be counterbalanced with responsible content moderation and norms for removing objectionable contents on voluntary basis, Tripathi said.

She further said that complementary domestic action and international cooperation is necessary to effectively implement the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action to realize inclusive growth envisaged in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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Time for talks over, world must act now: PM

Agencies

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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.”

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Cross LoC trade, bus service suspended

Bisma Bhat

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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.

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MBS conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan: Saudi vows to ‘de-escalate’ India-Pakistan tension

Agencies

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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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