New Delhi, Nov 18: India-Pakistan relations are “chronically accident-prone”, says former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, who feels that the future lies in the past as the two countries carry too much baggage. He says Pakistan’s one-point programme is Kashmir but there is “Kashmir fatigue” in the world.
Singh, 87, also says that India made a fundamental mistake by going to the United Nations on the Kashmir issue and asserted there is no solution to it “as everything has been tried”.
“The fundamental mistake was to go to the UN on the Kashmir issue. (Prime Minister) Jawaharlal Nehru was pushed into it by (Governor General) Mountbatten. We went to the UN under Chapter 6, which is on disputes. We should have gone under chapter 7 which is on aggression,” Natwar Singh told IANS in an interview.
He said every Indian Prime minister and Foreign Minister thinks he can resolve the Kashmir issue and smoothen Indo-Pak relations.
“The fact is there is no solution for Kashmir, everything has been tried. The other fact is that Indo-Pak relations are chronically accident prone. The future of Indo-Pak relations lies in the past. Both countries carry too much baggage… I don’t see any change in our relationship. It is cheese and chalk… as simple as that. It’s a great pity,” he said.
India had in September this year called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of two countries on the sidelines of UN General Assembly after the killing of forces’ personnel in Jammu and Kashmir by militants.
India and Pakistan have not had a composite or sustained dialogue for the past 10 years to solve outstanding issues, including Kashmir, though there have been some interactions between their leaders.
India had called off the composite dialogue process within days of the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 and has repeatedly said that “terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil remains a hurdle to its resumption.”
In 2015, the two countries agreed to launch a “comprehensive dialogue” but it was junked following the attack on the Pathankot air base.
Natwar Singh said nothing significant should be expected from meetings between leaders of two countries.
“What could they talk? You can’t give an inch, they can’t give an inch. You meet and shake hands but there is nothing substantial. As I said, we have all tried. It is not realistic because if we really became very close friends, there will be question mark on the existence of the country.”
Natwar Singh said Pakistan’s one-point programme is Kashmir, but there is “Kashmir fatigue” in the world.
“You go to any part of Pakistan, this is a subject. You go to Chennai, nobody speaks of Kashmir. Their diplomats are really brilliant but they spend so much of their time on Kashmir. There is Kashmir fatigue in the world. We must accept the fact that it is the Army that calls the shots (in Pakistan).”
Asked about the way forward in India-Pakistan relations, Natwar Singh, whose last diplomatic posting was as India’s envoy to Pakistan and then Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that status quo would continue.
“If Indo-Pak relations genuinely improve, became cordial and friendly, then the people of Pakistan will ask why do we need such a large army? The army is not going to give up. And the retired officers have a foundation — Fauji Foundation — in which all have shares, they have land, property, industry and everything.”
He said the Army “was an industry” in Pakistan. “Since the assassination of Liauqat Ali Khan (Pakistan’s first Prime Minister) when there has been a civilian government, it is the army that has called the shots.”
“(Zulfikar Ali) Bhutto tried to challenge (this). He put Zia-ul-Haq (as Army chief) whom he thought was a non-entity. Zia hanged him,” Singh said.
Referring to the present Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, Natwar Singh said that the cricketer-turned-politician is a nice man and is popular.
“But the moment he tries to take an initiative, which is not acceptable to the army, he will be out. We have to accept what is, that’s all.
He said Modi made gestures towards Pakistan, halted there, went to the house of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but the bilateral relations are still accident prone.
“We would like to have good relations with them. We will like to have a stable and strong Pakistan but it is a very unstable country,” he said.
Natwar Singh, who was for long associated with the Congress and later was forced to quit following a UN report, said it was not possible to fundamentally depart from the framework of foreign policy laid by Nehru and the Modi government has not done so.
Recalling his meeting with Modi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Natwar Singh said he told him that the Prime Minister is ultimately the Foreign Minister.
“I said it is not possible for anybody, any Prime Minister in the future to fundamentally change the framework of foreign policy laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru. If it was possible to change it, it would have been changed. So, I don’t think fundamentally he (Modi) has departed from it.”
Asked if the Modi government was getting too close to the US, Natwar Singh said: “No, he has been quite clever. He has been to Russia, he has been to China.” However, he said the Modi government should have handled its relations better with Nepal.
Natwar’s Singh’s latest book, “Treasured Epistles”, a collection of letters from some noted personalities, including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was published earlier this year.
Asked how did he rate Indira Gandhi, Natwar Singh said he would put her second behind Nehru, her father.
Natwar Singh was a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government and External Affairs Minister in the first Congress-led UPA government. He resigned in the face of allegations, which he denied, after his name surfaced in the Volcker report that looked into the United Nations oil-for-food programme. (IANS)
Missing B’pora teacher found dead in Wular
Srinagar, May 20: Body of a government school teacher missing for the last one week was recovered from Wular Lake under mysterious conditions near Leharwalpora area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Monday.
The police have started proceedings under 174 CrPc into the nature of death.
Reports said that some locals spotted the body in the Lake near Leharwalpora Monday morning and accordingly informed the concerned police station.
A police team immediately reached the spot and retrieved the body from the lake, they said.
The deceased has been identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Lone (27) son of Abdul Rehman Lone of Gurez at present Sheikhpora Colony Mantrigam Bandipora.
Mushtaq, a teacher by profession had left to attend his duty at Government High Secondary School Chuntimulla on May 13 but did not return since then.
Confirming the incident, SSP Bandipora Rahul Malik said that an FSL team was rushed to the spot for medical examination.
“The medical team has been constituted for post-mortem including experts from GMC Srinagar in the presence of Magistrate,” he said.
Proper photography and videography is being done of entire proceedings. Rest all other medico legal formalities of the deceased are being done, he said.
We are awaiting FSL and medical report to come to ascertain the actual cause of death, he said.
“An enquiry under 174 CrPc has been initiated and further investigations have been taken up,” the officer added.
Pertinently, the family members and neighbors held a protest demonstration on May 18 and had urged administration for help in tracing their missing kin.
Kashmir University gets A+ NAAC accreditation
Srinagar, May 20: After bagging 53rd rank in NIRF 2019 and 51st in QS India University Rankings 2019, the University of Kashmir added yet another feather to its cap by scoring A+ grade in the recent reaccreditation cycle by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
According to the result issued by NAAC, the University of Kashmir is scoring an impressive 3.31 Institutional Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04 ahead of several other leading Universities in the country.
The University has scored 3.89 in Infrastructure and Learning Resources, 3.67 in Curricular Aspects, 3.18 in Teaching Learning and Evaluation, 3.05 in Research, Innovations and Extension, 3.61 in Institutional Values and Best Practices, 3.1 in Governance, Leadership and Management and 2.94 in Student Support and Progression.
The long-awaited accreditation was awarded to the University by peer NAAC team on Monday, May 20, 2019, which visited the varsity in the first week of May 2019 from 02-05-2019 to 04-05-2019.
It is in place to mention here that KU has earlier been accredited during its previous two cycles first in 2002 and then again in 2011 and on both these two occasions the University was awarded grade ‘A’ by NAAC.
Pertinently the Peer NAAC team comprising of six members during its visit to the University earlier this month applauded University for its research standards and stated that the varsity has made a quantum jump in its Infrastructure and Learning resources.
Being the chairperson of Monitoring and Steering Committee the Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad personally monitored the preparedness of the University for the Peer NAAC team visit.
While congratulating the staff, students, scholars and alumni on the occasion Prof Talat said “I congratulate both teaching and non-teaching faculty, students, scholars and alumni for this tremendous feat. It was a team effort and we succeeded in our efforts. However at the same time we must understand that we don’t have to be complacent and work harder to achieve much higher grade next time so that our University gets international recognition.”
Registrar KU Dr Nisar A Mir said “I congratulate all the stakeholders of the University and this particular grade will ensure better job placements for our students and will fetch more fellowships to our scholars. Moreover, it will help us to upgrade our infrastructure while we will succeed in securing better funds from different funding agencies governed by UGC and other bodies.”
Governor congratulates varsity:
Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, Monday congratulated Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of the University, his colleagues, staff and students for being awarded A+ Accreditation by peer NAAC Team.
Governor has expressed happiness on the impressive performance of the University by securing 3.31 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04. He has urged for making the University a leading Institute in teaching and research and wished it success in all its future academic endeavours.
Mirwaiz Farooq’s anniversary: Curbs in parts of downtown today
Srinagar, May 20: The Srinagar administration has decided to impose curbs in parts of downtown on Tuesday on the eve of Awami Action Committee (AAC) rally from Jamia Masjid to Martyrs’ graveyard Eidgah to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Moulana Muhammad Farooq.
An official that restrictions will be imposed on Tuesday in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Khanyar. “The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure,” the official said.
Meanwhile, authorities placed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest ahead of the Eidgah Chalo call announced by Hurriyat (M) to observe death anniversary of Mirwaiz Farooq.
A police official confirmed that Mirwaiz had been placed under house while as restrictions Will be imposed in various parts of Srinagar.
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