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Says Pak at Davos: ‘Kashmir, Rohingya causes of a fractured world’

Monitor News Bureau

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Davos, Jan 26: Pakistan has said Kashmir and Rohingya issues are among the “causes of a fractured world” being witnessed today and they also need to be discussed at the international level.
Addressing a press conference along with his several cabinet colleagues who are here for the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said his country expects relationships to remain strong with China as well as the US. He, however, acknowledged that the relationship with China has improved in recent past due to projects like Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In reply to a question, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said, “Kashmir and Rohingya are also among the causes of fractured world and they also need (to be) addressed at international level”. His comments were in reference to the theme of this year’s WEF annual meeting — ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world’.
Asked whether Pakistan was feeling the warmth of friendship from the East or the West, Abbasi said, “For our country warmth has been blowing from both East and from the West and we hope it continues to blow from both sides. We have excellent relationships with China and with the US also.”
He said the relationship with China has further strengthened with BRI and CPEC. Asif said these relationships have been there since the birth of the country. The Chinese initiatives in a region that is politically and otherwise fractured is something that shows and manifests China’s commitment to strive for a shared future, the foreign minister said. He also noted that Pakistan has praised China’s BRI and President Xi Jinping’s vision at every platform in Davos.
“We would like our friends to view their relationship with Pakistan as an independent relationship and not through the prism of a third country. I am referring to our relationship with the US and they have (been) in the last few years viewing the relationship through the prism of Afghanistan,” Asif said.
The prime minister and his cabinet colleagues also listed out various steps being taken to attract investments and how the government was trying to improve the country’s global image.
Abbasi said Pakistan is an open market and ready to do business as he invited global businesses to come and invest in the country. The decision to attend the WEF annual meeting was mainly driven by its theme, shared future in a fractured world, he said. “In Pakistan, we are carving out a shared future for everyone without leaving any one and we are doing this despite facing fractures internally and externally,” he noted. Pakistan is at the cusp of making history by making a peaceful transition by completing a decade of continued democracy, he said.
According to him, the country is playing a key role in connecting people of the region also by participating in the CPEC which is part of the BRI project of China. “Here at the WEF, we have engaged with leaders of various sectors and the platform has allowed us to present our potential,” Abbasi said. He also said BRI would benefit the region and the world at large for decades and millenniums to come.


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Shopian attack: Non-local apple trader battles for life at SMHS hospital

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar: The 25 year old non- local apple trader, who suffered critical wounds in a suspected militant attack in Shopian on Wednesday, is battling for life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of SHMS hospital here.
Suspected militants Wednesday killed an apple trader and serious injured his associate at Trenz village of Shopian district. The slain was identified as Chander Preet Singh while his injured associate was identified as Sanjeev Kumar of Ferozpur Punjab
Doctors attending on Kumar said he has suffered serious wounds in his vital organs.
“He hassuffered severe chest and abdominal injuries. He was admitted in the hospital in a very hypovolemic shock due to the excessive loss of blood. A surgery was later conducted, which lasted for five hours,” a doctor at SMHS hospital told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said Kumar had severe liver and diaphragm laceration (tear) and injuries in the soft tissues of shoulder and arms.“We had to remove his large intestines. His condition is still critical. He is being constantly monitored by a team of doctors. He is currently on ventilator,” the doctor said.
Lone son of his parents, Kumar has been associated with the apple trade for the last two years.His family members said that he arrived in Kashmir two weeks ago to ship applesto outside the state Mandis.
“He would spend three months in Kashmir for business. Some two weeks before he came to Kashmir,” Kumar’s brother-in-law Rishi Doda told The Kashmir Monitor.
Doda said that Kumar had never faced any problem in Kashmir. “He was all praise for Kashmir. Even some days back we called him to return. He,however,assured us that nothing was wrong with the non-locals here,” he added.

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No plan to resume prepaid services: Guv

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Srinagar, Oct 17: Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said the matter of the three civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir was of grave concern, and claimed Pakistan’s hand in the killings.
The Valley has seen several bloody attacks since post-paid services were restored, more than three months after the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Included in the list of casualties is two Punjab-based apple trader, a migrant worker from Chhattisgarh and a truck driver from Rajasthan.
“This is a matter of grave concern, poor people who are migrating to the state to earn a living are being killed like this,” Satya Pal sounded alarm bells. “This is happening on Pakistan’s directions to create disturbance in the state. We will not allow this to happen. We will not spare such people.”
The Governor said that there isn’t a plan to resume pre-paid mobile service since “Pakistani nationals would misuse this”. “We will start Internet services only when situation improves.”
Hours after the truck driver was shot and killed and his vehicle set ablaze, text messaging were blocked in Kashmir. According to reports, SMS service was halted to reduce the ability of militants to communicate.

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Lockdown fallout: Anxiety, depression cases surge in Kashmir

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Oct 15: Fifty-year-old Fatima (name changed) feels jitters when she recalls the night she saw an SOS from her younger brother flashing on the television news channel.

“Call me immediately,” flashed the message on the scroll of a TV channel. The world blackened out for Fatima when she read the message from her younger brother.

It was after four weeks post abrogation of state’s special status that she heard from her younger brother, who works in a private company in Middle East.

 

Crushed by apprehensions triggered by the sudden message on TV, Fatima developed frequent panic attacks, which landed her at the Government Psychiatric hospital, Rainawari.

 “My wife kept on saying that something bad has happened to him. Despite our reassurances, she was bogged down by negative thoughts which became the reason for the panic attacks,” lamented her husband.

Moreover, he was not able to contact his brother-in-law as there was no functional land-line in the neighborhood. “Going to DC office was out of question given the severe restrictions from our side at that time,” he said

 Similarly 45-year-old Tabassum (name changed) was hovered by the negative thoughts of her daughter’s bleak future which landed her in depression.

She hoped that her daughter will benefit from the 50 percent quota reserved for the female MBBS students.

After the abrogation of article 370, she apprehended that the Centre would do away with the quota, thus, crushing her daughter’s dreams of becoming a doctor.

 “She cried very easily. Her recurrent question would be: Will the government revoke the quota?” said her sister.

A senior consultant at the Psychiatric hospital termed the abrogation of Article 370 as “precipitating” and “perpetuating” factor to the conflict that is already 30 decades old.

“So many Kashmiris studying and working outside couldn’t contact their family members. Those living in Kashmir couldn’t contact their near and dear ones outside the valley, or for that matter inside the vale. This heightened the anxiety levels,” he said

The doctor noted that only 5-10 percent of patients reported at the hospital in August as the patient inflow was impeded by the lockdown.

“In the beginning phase of the communication lockdown, we couldn’t see many patients at the hospitals. They couldn’t reach here due to restrictions. Our essential services were also impacted,” he said.

The doctor asserted that the long terms effects of the ongoing crisis will be worse. “There will be more of depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and acute stress disorders,” he said.

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