United Nations, Sep 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday exhorted the international community to stand united against ‘terrorism’, which he described as one of the “biggest challenges” not for any single country, but for the entire world.
Addressing the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Modi lamented the ‘lack of unanimity’ amongst the member states on the issue of ‘terrorism’, saying it dents those very principles that are the basis for the creation of the United Nations.
“We believe that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity,” Modi said while speaking in Hindi.
This was his second address to the General Debate at the UN, five years after his maiden speech as Indian Prime Minister in 2014.
Interestingly, PM Modi skipped mentioning Kashmir or Pakistan considering most of the people in the Valley were expecting that the addresses of both the premiers – Modi and Imran Khan – would circle around the ongoing clampdown in the region.
India had proposed a draft document in 1996 on the ”Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism” (CCIT) at the General Assembly but it remained a blueprint as the member states were unable to reach a consensus.
The CCIT intends to criminalise all forms of ‘terrorism’ and deny ‘terrorists’, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms and safe havens.
“The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism, dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the UN,” Prime Minister Modi rued.
Noting that India is a country, that has given the world, not war, but Buddha, Buddha”s message of peace, Modi said, “And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage.”
“And that is why, for the sake of humanity, I firmly believe, that it is absolutely imperative, that the world unites against terrorism, and that the world stands as one against terrorism,” he asserted.
Prime Minister Modi said the largest number of sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN peacekeeping missions is from India.
At least 160 Indian peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving with the United Nations.
Modi said the world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose message of truth and non-violence is “very relevant for us even today, for peace, development and progress in the world.”
He said India was one of the leading nations in the fight against climate change, though its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions was “very low” as he elaborated on the steps taken by his government to fight climate change.
“On one hand, we are working towards achieving the target of 450 Giga Watts of renewable energy, and on the other hand, we have also taken the initiative to create the International Solar Alliance,” he said.
Modi said one of the effects of Global Warming was the increasing number and severity of natural disasters, and at the same time “they are appearing in new areas and in new forms.”
“In view of this, India has initiated the formation of the ”Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure” (CDRI). This coalition will help build infrastructure which can withstand natural disasters,” Modi said.
He told the gathering that India was initiating a very large campaign to make the country a plastic-free nation.
India has been advocating for the elimination of single-use plastic for long and Modi has used several international platforms to emphasise on the product”s ban.
Modi also elaborated on the various welfare schemes like ”Clean India Mission”, ”Ayushman Bharat”, ”Aadhaar initiative”, ”PM Jan DhanYojana” etc, initiated by his government and said the experience from these projects could be beneficial to those nations, who like India, are striving for development.
“The very core of our approach is public welfare through public participation and this public welfare is not just for India but for the entire world,” Modi said.
“We draw inspiration from our motto: collective efforts, for growth of all, with everyone”s trust. Our endeavours, are neither an expression of pity, nor a pretence. They are inspired by a sense of duty, and duty alone.”
Noting that modern technology is bringing about sweeping changes in every sphere of life and a fragmented world is in the interest of none, he pressed the international community to give a new direction to multilateralism.
He said as the world is going through a new era, the countries do not have the option to confine themselves within their boundaries.
His remarks came at a time when tech billionaires like Elon Musk and Jack Ma have put artificial intelligence (AI) in the spotlight, cautioning that the modern technology will inevitably change the way people live and work in an unprecedented manner.
Modi also referred to Swami Vivekananda”s historic address at the convention of Parliament of Religions in Chicago and asserted that India”s message to the global community remained the message of harmony and peace which the spiritual guru gave in 1893.
“One hundred and twenty five years ago, the great spiritual guru Swami Vivekananda gave this message to the world during the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
“The message was harmony and peace. And not dissension. Today, the message from the world”s largest democracy, for the International community is still the same: harmony and peace,” he said.
Quoting the Tamil poet KaniyanPungundranar”s famous quotes “YaadhumOoreYaavarumKelir” which means ”We belong to all places, and to everyone, he said this sense of belonging beyond borders, is unique to India. (With inputs by PTI)
Phones to buzz again tomorrow
Govt announces restoration of postpaid services; internet shutdown to continue
Srinagar, Oct 12: Two days after lifting security advisory for tourists, Jammu and Kashmir government Saturday announced to restore postpaid mobile telephony in all the 10 districts of the valley from Monday noon.
However, internet services will continue to remain suspended though government has decided to restore the service at tourist places to facilitate the visitors.
“After reviewing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a decision was taken to restore mobile phone facilities in all the remaining areas of the state. More specifically, all post-paid mobile phones, irrespective of the telecom service provider, will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on October 14. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province,” Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary and J&K government spokesperson, told reporters here on Saturday.
Jammu and Kashmir government had imposed a communication blockade on August 5 when Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories.
“A number of restrictions were imposed on August 5 to prevent externally aided militants from disturbing peace and inflicting causalities on innocent citizens. It is a well-established fact that there have been sustained attempts from across the border, both in the past and more in the last two months to promote militancy in J&K in order to create a sense of fear among the people and keep the place in a disturbed condition,” said Kansal.
There are more than 70 lakh mobile phone subscribers in the valley of which 40 lakh alone are postpaid users. Kashmir is the only place in the country where postpaid phone subscribers outnumber prepaid subscribers.
The decision to restore postpaid mobile phone service in Kashmir comes two days after the government lifted August 2 travel advisory for tourists.
“With this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity. Students can be in touch with parents while attending schools, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients and contractors can be in touch with staff,” he said.
Kansal said travel advisory for tourists has been lifted and visitors are welcome to visit the state. “They will be facilitated for their visit. Internet facilities are being opened at tourist places to assist tourists wanting to access internet,” he said.
Government also urged businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors “not to be frightened by militant threats and separatists and go about their normal activities”.
“Credible inputs continue to be received of the likelihood of large scale damage of life and property but also create an atmosphere of fear and among the people. Banned organizations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Hizbul Mujahideen continue to make attempts to instill fear of J&K,” he said.
Kansal said there was no “unnecessary” loss of life because of measures of security forces and the people. “This is remarkable, given the history of events in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Some killings and injuries have been inflicted by militants including on a baby to prevent traders, businessmen and transporters from doing their normal business,” he said.
Principal Secretary noted since August 16, there has been a gradual removal of the restrictions that were imposed and by the first week of September most of the restrictions were removed.
“Barring 8-10 police stations, movement restrictions have been completely removed. Over 99% of the area of Jammu and Kashmir has no restrictions on movement. Landlines have been fully restored and are functioning for over six weeks. Besides, mobile phone facilities were restored in Jammu and Ladakh, and subsequently in Kupwara district”, he said.
Kansal emphasized that the media was facilitated through the Media Facilitation Centre equipped with all facilities. “Schools were gradually reopened since August and universities, colleges and secondary schools were reopened in the last 10 days. Examination schedules have been announced. Air services are operating normally and air booking has been facilitated in Srinagar with new counters in the city,” he said.
Principal Secretary said 25 Internet kiosks are operating in each district in the district development commissioner offices to help students, contractors, and government departments to carry out their functions. Students have been using this facility to apply for exams, download admission cards, he said.
To help apple growers, he stated that an ambitious Market Intervention Scheme has been launched by the Central Government through NAFED and the Horticulture department. “Prices for apples have been revised last week”, he said.
‘Detentions being reviewed’
Srinagar, Oct 12: Breaking silence, Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday said some people were detained as a preventive measures post August 5.
“There has been a lot of development post August 5 and that was required a certain kind of action including detentions. Decisions were taken at the local level by law enforcing agencies after taking all facts into consideration. All these detentions are being reviewed. Security situation is continuously being accessed. People continue to be released and this process will go on,” said Rohit Kansal, J&K government spokesperson.
Grenade blast in Srinagar market, 9 injured
Srinagar, Oct 12: At least nine people were injured in a grenade attack by suspected militants in a busy market area in summer capital Srinagar on Saturday, the 69th day of the ongoing situation in Kashmir.
Militants hurled a grenade in Hari Singh High Street market area, a police official said.
The grenade exploded on the roadside in the market, injuring nine people, he said, adding that the wounded were rushed to SMHS hospital here.
According to the official, the explosion also damaged windows of a vehicle parked nearby.
He said the shops in the market were shut but a few vendors had set up stalls in the area.
The grenade exploded with a bang when a large number of people were busy in buying items from road side vendors.
The area was immediately put under cordon and a search operation was underway at Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar following the grenade attack, the official added.
Police rushed to spot after the incident and shifted the injured to hospital. The injured have been identified as Farooq Ahmed Kadla of Lal Bazar, Basit Sheikh from Batamaloo, Muhammad Younis of Bemina, Shahid Ahmed of Padshahi Bagh, Sabah Malik of Zoonimar, Suhail Mir from Pampore, Bilal Ahmed of Uri, Saifullah of Zaldagar and Abdul Rahim Wani of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
The injured are in a stable condition, the police said in the tweet.
Meanwhile, the situation across Kashmir remained unchanged on the 69th day as well. Business, educational activities remained suspended while public transport continued to remain off the roads.
A lot of private vehicles were seen plying on the roads while scores of roadside vendors too were seen doing business at key city areas.
The ongoing turmoil was triggered on August 5 when the government of India abrogated Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories – J&K, and Ladakh (With inputs from KNT)
Govt kicks off process to vacate forces from schools, colleges
Srinagar, Oct 12: Jammu and Kashmir government has kicked off the process to vacate the security forces from educational institutes in the valley.
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been stationed in different schools and colleges of the valley since August 5 when the government of India revoked Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a press conference by government spokesman, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, SP Pani said the process of evacuating forces from educational institutes has begun.
Secretary Higher Education Department, Talat Parvez Rohella said: “The forces will be removed from all the educational institutes by the time classwork begins.”
Presently, paramilitary troops are deployed in SP Higher Secondary School, National Institute of Technology (NIT) and Government Polytechnic College, Gogjibagh. Besides, forces are deployed in educational institutions at Khan Sahab, Handwara and other areas.
“Schools have been gradually reopened since August. Also universities, colleges and higher secondary schools were reopened in the last ten days,” said Rohit Kansal, J&K government spokesman.
Earlier on August 19, authorities had ordered reopening of primary schools followed by middle schools from August 21. Later on October 3, the directives regarding the opening of high and higher secondary schools were announced, yet the students continued to stay away from educational institutes.