SRINAGAR: Terming National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) charge-sheet against Kashmiris and Army Chief’s recent statement as “threats”, the Joint Hurriyat Leadership on Thursday said the Government of India’s “military power” will not cow down them from carrying forward the “ongoing freedom struggle”.
Joint Hurriyat, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik, addressed a press conference hours after the NIA filed a charge-sheet against 12 persons, for “conspiring to wage war” against the government by carrying out “secessionist activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Joint Hurriyat termed it a “kidnapping” by government of India.
In his telephonic address, Geelani, who was under house arrest, termed the recent India Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement by linking “Kashmir political struggle with extremism far from truth”.
“He wants to link it with extremism and kill Kashmiris. We will continue our peaceful struggle till gets freedom,” he said.
Indian Army Chief’s had said that people in Kashmir have realised that it is “very difficult to secede from India” and they are also getting tired of militancy.
He laid emphasis on the campaign to bring back the “radicalised Kashmiri youth into the mainstream”. “This will put an end to the menace of militancy in the state,” General Rawat had said.
While Geelani said that Kashmiris were fighting a “political struggle” for right to self determination. “We will never be part of India. We are fighting against the India occupation,” the octogenarian Hurriyat leader said.
Terming “freedom as Kashmiris right”, he said that accession with India was “temporary”.
“India took the Kashmir issue to the UN. Eighteen resolutions have been passed and signed both India and Pakistan recognizing the status of the state as disputed,” he said.
He said that Kashmiris were not taking any part of India. “We are not part of India although we wish for its betterment.”
He claimed that NIA booked Kashmiris on “fabricated” charges. “They did no crime. Nothing has been proved against them,” the Hurriyat leader said, demanding releasing of all political prisoners.
He appealed people to observe shutdown on January 26 against the “Indian occupation in Kashmir”.
He said statement given by leaders in India were an indication they want to turn India and JK into a “Hindu country”. We should follow teachings of Islam and Quran,” he added.
Mirwaiz, who addressed the presser at his Nigeen residence along with Malik, said that there was a “persistent campaign” on part of GOI and national media to align Kashmir “struggle with terrorism”. “Our struggle is political, peaceful and humane,” he said.
Referring to Army Chief statement, he said that government of India wanted to link “Kashmiris peaceful struggle with terrorism” to mislead people.
“General Rawat statement is a submission what people of JK want and majority wants Azaadi,” Mirwaiz said.
He claimed that New Delhi has handed over Kashmir to Army. “Kashmiris won’t be cowed down by his statements and by NIA arrests. GOI is pursuing military policy to silence voices of Kashmiris,” the Hurriyat leader said, while calling Kashmir an “internationally accepted dispute and indigenous in nature”.
“Militancy is one aspect of the struggle. But efforts are being made to mislead people. General Rawat wants to link our political struggle with terrorism to mislead people,” he said.
Mirwaiz said they won’t be “scared” and “cowed down” through “intimations” of New Delhi. “That is why charge sheet has been kept open,” the Hurriyat leader, said.
He said that New Delhi’s “suppressive” policy was forcing Kashmiri youth to pick up guns.
He said that NIA has mentioned Jamat-d-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed’s name in charge sheet to sensationalize the issue.
The JKLF Chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said that General Rawat wants his soldiers to “beat up Kashmiris”. “He wants to scare us and kill us,” he said, while calling “struggle as religion” for Kashmiris.
He said that NIA has filed chargesheet that Pakistan sponsored 2016 unrest.
“The 2016 unrest began after Burhan Wani was martyred. Did Pakistan kill him?”Malik asked.
He said that when people were getting killed then JRL issued protest calendars. “NIA arrested these people for fuelling 2016 unrest. Protest calendars were issued by Geelani, Mirwaiz, and me. Then we three are main culprits and should have been arrested,” he asked.
He said the arrested ones had no role in agitation. “Most of them were in jails,” he said. “It is purely a political kidnapping. It is a blackmailing and threatening us that we should talk to GOI’s interlocutor. You started operation all out in 1995 but failed and repeating same but won’t succeed,” he claimed.
He said it was for the first time since 1931 that Jamia Masjid Srinagar was locked so many times in the last two years.
“We want democratic rights but India gave us graveyards. India remembers Jallianwala Bagh massacre but so many massacres have taken place in a small part (Kashmir),” he added.
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.