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Kashmiri youth ‘radicalised by online propaganda’: Army Chief

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 6: Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat Wednesday said that various militant outfits have been trying to “radicalise the youths in Kashmir valley by using different means including online propaganda”.

Rawat was addressing girl students from Jammu and Kashmir to work hard and compete for Army’s ‘Super 30’ coaching programme and build their career through good education.

He was interacting with 18 girl students from various schools in the Valley, at the South Block here. “There is no other place like Kashmir when it comes to scenic beauty and a sublime environment. But, militancy has vitiated the atmosphere,” he said.

 

“Unlike Kashmir, you do not see bunkers in Delhi or gun-toting security personnel everywhere. People roam here at night in peace. The Kashmir Valley also had peace and people in Srinagar even used to go for strolling in parks at night or for a movie, but it’s not there anymore,” he said.

The Chief of the Army Staff motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the nation-building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.

In his address, Gen Rawat reiterated that “infiltrators come from Pakistan to our side and create trouble”. “So, if you also want progress and development in the Valley, take this message from here, and tell the people there that guns are not good,” he said.

During the interaction, Gen Rawat asked the students as to what they wanted to become in life. Some replied saying they aspired to become civil servants or police officers or doctors, while only a single student said she wanted to be a teacher.

“Only way to do well in life is to work hard. Some people may be very sharp, but still (there is) no substitute for hard work. I want students like you to become engineers and doctors and teachers and then go back to your places and villages and serve the people there,” he said.

Rawat told them that the Army runs “Kashmir Super-30” — a free, special coaching programme for students to prepare them for entrance examinations for admission to IITs and NITs. “We are working with NGOs to have a similar programme for medical examination aspirants. So, work hard, compete for ‘Super 30’ for an engineering career, and for NEET exam too, once we have it in place,” he said.

The Army had earlier this year signed an MoU with a state-run firm and the National Integrity Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) for medical aspirants, under which selected students will be provided with free residential coaching for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The students, ranging from class 7-11 arrived here on Monday and have visited the Red Fort, Rajghat and Connaught Place market in Delhi, and will see the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and take a Metro ride before heading to Chandigarh, an official accompanying them said.


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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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