Washington: The US on Wednesday issued a new travel advisory for countries including India, which its officials said is “user friendly” as it is based on ready-to-understand level of advice ranging from one to four.
India has been ranked Level 2 (exercise increased caution) while Pakistan has been places in Level 3 (reconsider travel).
Level 1 advises travellers to exercise normal precaution, while Level 4, which has countries like Afghanistan, recommends “Do Not Travel”.
Now every country has a travel advisory based on this system, which has replaced all the previous such advisories.
“These improvements will provide US citizens with clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide,” the State Department said.
Placing India on Level 2, the State Department identified “crime and terrorism” for Americans to exercise increased caution. However, it asks Americans not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir, except for eastern Ladakh and Leh and not to venture within 10 miles of the India-Pakistan border due to the “potential for armed conflict”.
The State Department explained that while it will issue an overall travel advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country.
“Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations,” the new India travel advisory said.
Terrorists or armed groups are active in east-central India, primarily in rural areas, it added.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities,” it said.
Ranking Pakistan on Level 3, the State Department asked Americans to reconsider travel to this country due to terrorism.
It advises Americans not to travel to travel to Balochistan province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) due to terrorism.
Americans are also advised not to travel to Pakistan administered Kashmir due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.
“Over the past six months, there have been at least 40 significant terrorist attacks across Pakistan, resulting in over 225 deaths and 475 wounded, most of which occurred in Balochistan, KPK, and the FATA. In the past, there have been large-scale terrorist attacks resulting in hundreds of casualties,” it said.
Govt all set to revamp loss making PSUs in JK
Srinagar, Oct 16: Jammu and Kashmir government is all set to revamp the functioning of loss making public sector undertakings (PSUs) in a bid to make them profit earning corporations.
Most of the public sector undertakings (corporations) in Jammu and Kashmir are running in losses and have become a major burden on the state exchequer.
Centre has now told Jammu Kashmir government to take measures for making the PSUs into profit making corporations.
“Under a new proposal, all the public sector undertakings will work under the Industrial Development Corporation which will be headed by Chief Managing Director, who shall be an IAS level officer. Each corporation will be headed by Executive Director,” said a Managing Director of one of the corporations.
According to him, Centre has also told the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide details of employees, assets, and liabilities of corporations.
“Once the details are finalised, the government may merge few of the corporations and take measures for making them profit earning corporations,” he added.
As per an official document, the Centre has also told the J&K government to provide details about board of directors in corporations.
“The government will appoint new board of directors in several corporations like it did recently in JK Bank. There will be further changes in corporations in coming weeks,” a source said.
The government has already directed the corporations not to make any recruitment or initiate works without the concurrence of the Finance Department.
“No new posts shall be created by the PSUs, autonomous bodies, without the prior concurrence of Finance department. No recruitment shall be made by public sector undertakings, without following a transparent and due process including advertisements inviting applications from eligible candidates irrespective of class of the posts,” an order reads, issued earlier.
As per the directives, no procurement of goods and services shall be made by the public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, societies aided by state government without following a transparent bidding process.
“Further, PSU, autonomous bodies, societies are instructed to undertake the changes as may be required in their bye-laws, regulations with the approval of competent authority,” the order adds.
Separatism must be uprooted from JK: Modi
Haryana, Oct 15:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that his government will stop water flowing to Pakistan and divert it to Haryana as it rightfully belongs to the country and the farmers of the state.
“For 70 years, water that belonged to Haryana’s farmers and to us flowed to Pakistan…But this Modi will stop that water and bring it to your house. I have already started working on it. The water belongs to India and farmers of Haryana…That is why Modi is fighting this for you,” he said at an election rally here.
Referring to J&K, the PM said that “separatism must be uprooted” from the state.
He made the statement while hitting out at the rival Congress party over Article 370, while addressing an election campaign here.
“They (Congress) are creating hullabaloo over Article 370 across the world. Politics continues, elections come and go, victory and loss happen. But national security remains the top priority. Till when terrorism and separatism will prevail in J&K? Till when brave soldiers will be martyred?” he said.
“Today, we are taking tough and big public interest decisions regarding humanity. The phase of separatism must end, the lives of young people should not be destroyed, mothers should not be bereaved of her son,” he added.
In August, the government revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also divided the state into two union territories- J&K and Ladakh.
The Prime Minister continued: “We see a mother from Kashmir performing ‘namaaz’ 5 times a day & bowing her head before ‘Allah’, to call back her son from joining militancy. I want to ask Congress leaders, should not such mothers get their sons back?”
He said that irrespective of the Congress’ stand on Article 370, the government will take decisions in the national interest without a second thought.
Modi reiterated that the abrogation of Article 370 led to the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country, saying the region would now see fast-paced development and prosperity.
Modi said that the central government is making all arrangement so that people can celebrate Prakash Parv of Guru Govind Singh.
“I am happy that the Kartarpur Corridor project is about to be completed. We are fortunate that we have got the chance to fix the political & strategic failure that happened seven decades ago, to some extent,” he added.
Taking at dig previous Congress, the Prime Minister said that state governments before 2014, used to keep an eye on the vote of the farmers of Haryana and their land.
“This is the first time in the last 5 years that meaningful steps have been taken to protect the interests of the farmers of Haryana. The BJP government here has made ended scam related to the purchase of land. License for change of land use is now decided to be given through open auction,” he said.
Haryana, where 90 Assembly seats are at stake, will go to polls on October 21. The counting of votes will take place on October 24.
Lauding women for proving their mettle in various fields, Modi said that this year’s Diwali in Haryana should be dedicated to “our daughters and celebrate their achievements”.
“ We will have two types of Diwali this time. A ‘diya’ (earthen lamp) Diwali, and a ‘kamal’ (lotus) Diwali. We should dedicate this Diwali to our daughters and celebrate their achievements,” the Prime Minister said.
Urging the people to re-elect the BJP again in the ensuing Assembly elections, Modi said that the state is witnessing progress due to “double engine” of development.
“The double engine of Modi in Delhi and Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana has resulted in unprecedented development of the state,” he added.
The Prime Minister is currently in Haryana and is addressing rallies as part of BJP’s electioneering ahead of the Assembly polls.
The state will head for elections on October 21 in a single phase. Counting of votes will take place on October 24.
Reorganisation of J&K into UTs : Countdown begins, Amit Shah to attend function
Srinagar, Oct 15: Preparations are in full swing to celebrate the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories on October 31.
Several union ministers including Amit Shah is likely to attend a function on October 31, when Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will be officially declared union territories.
“Union Home Minister Amit Shah, his cabinet colleagues including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Jitendra Singh are also likely to attend the function, which will be held at Civil Secretariat Srinagar. Guard of honour will be presented to new Lieutenant Governor (LG),” said a source at the Civil Secretariat.
So far no decision has been taken whether Satya Pal Malik will be the LG of new Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Government has already directed the administrative secretaries to remain available at Srinagar on October 31. Earlier, government had removed Jammu and Kashmir’s flag that was flying next to the national flag on the Civil Secretariat.
Prior to August 5, Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution by virtue of its special status. Every legislation except in the matters related to defence, external affairs, and communications began with an exception clause that the law will apply to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
Post abrogation of Article 370, 164 state laws have ceased to exist in J&K. Similarly 106 central laws will be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir when it officially becomes Union Territory from November 1.