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Structured Indo-Pak engagement key to build edifice of durable peace: Pak envoy

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Apr 14: Pakistan has said it was hoping for “re-engagement” with India after the Lok Sabha polls, noting that structured dialogue would enable the two countries to understand mutual concerns, resolve outstanding disputes and build the edifice of durable peace and security in the region.

In an interview to PTI, Pakistan’s outgoing High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood said diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable to improve ties between the two neighbours.
“We hope for re-engagement after the elections in India. Diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable,” he said.

Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack and both the countries were almost on the brink of a war after India’s military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 and Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.

 

Mahmood, who has been appointed as Pakistan’s next Foreign Secretary said dialogue between India and Pakistan was the only option to understand mutual concerns and ensure peace, prosperity and security in the region.

“Sustained engagement and structured dialogue would enable the two countries to understand mutual concerns and differences resolve outstanding disputes and build the edifice of durable peace, security and prosperity in the region,” Mahmood said.

He also said there was a need to review the narrative about Pakistan in India. “A narrative is needed that captures the reality in Pakistan objectively and more fully. A narrative that also helps recognise opportunities for peaceful, cooperative and good neighbourly relations,” he said.

“We must strive for stable peace, equal security and shared prosperity for ourselves and the region,” the envoy added.

In signs of easing tensions, Pakistan around two weeks ago announced that it was releasing 360 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen as a “goodwill gesture”.

The initiative was followed by Pakistan High Commission here granting visas to 2,200 Sikh pilgrims from India to facilitate their participation in the annual Baisakhi celebrations in Pakistan.
Over two weeks after the Balakot strike, India and Pakistan held talks to finalise the modalities for setting up a corridor linking the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab.

Asked about the Kartarpur corridor project, the Pakistani High Commissioner said Islamabad was committed to completing the physical infrastructure on its side.
“The government of Pakistan is proceeding in full measures to complete the physical infrastructure on its side and it is hopeful that the modalities will be mutually agreed between the two sides in good time before November 2019,” he said.

Last November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib—the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev—to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
The relations between India and Pakistan remained tense since 2016. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to Delhi to attend Modi’s oath-taking ceremony and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a stopover in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday.

However, the ties nose-dived following a string of cross-border terror attacks in 2016 and India’s subsequent surgical strikes. The sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to death by a military court in April 2017 further deteriorated bilateral ties.


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16 dead in Doda road mishap

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 12: Sixteen people, including five women and three children, were killed on Tuesday when a passenger vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, police said.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Doda, Mumtaz Ahmad said one more person was rescued from the accident site near Marmat area of the hilly district in a critical condition and admitted to hospital for treatment.

Twelve people were killed on the spot after the accident and four more succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment, the SSP told PTI.

 

Officials said the SUV was headed for Gowa village of Marmat from Kleeni when its driver lost control while negotiating a blind curve and the vehicle fell into the 700-metre-deep gorge around 3.25 pm.

The condition of the only survivor, who was initially treated at a local hospital and later shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital Jammu, is critical, they said.

Meanwhile, a minor boy was crushed to death by a speedy truck near Miran Sahib in the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday.

Sumit Kumar, a Class 7 student, was crossing the road outside his house when he was hit by the truck, a police official said, adding that the erring driver was arrested and the vehicle seized.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Sanjeev Verma expressed grief and shock over loss of lives in Doda road mishap.

The Divisional Commissioner said that the accident is heart-wrenching. “We mourn all those who lost their lives and express deep condolences to the bereaved families” he said. He prayed for fast recovery of the survivor.

The administration has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the reasons for the tragic mishap.

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LG reviews situation post snowfall: ‘Provide relief for damaged structures, death and injuries’

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Nov 12: Lt. Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu reviewed the situation arising due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir and issued directions to the concerned officers for prompt action to alleviate miseries of people due to heavy snowfall in the Valley.

BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to Lt. Governor; Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary PDD;  Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Secretary PHE; Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Secretary PWD; Sh. Pandurang Pole, Secretary  Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Alok Kumar, IGP Traffic, J&K participated in the meeting.

Through video conferencing, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, briefed Lt. Governor about the status of the restoration of power supply, clearance of snow from the roads, adequacy of food items, fuel, water supply, availability of medicines and other basic amenities in areas of heavy snowfall in Kashmir.

 

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir informed that machines have been put in place for snow clearance, Centres for relief facilities have been set up in 3 places on the National Highway with sufficient stocking of essential commodities including dry ration, heaters, blankets, and provision of water and toilet facilities. He added that these Centres have the capacity to accommodate 1500 people at a time.

It was informed that 602 winter dumping stations have been established in inaccessible areas of Kashmir with all the basic necessities stocked for 6 months, these areas are mostly situated in the districts of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag and a few areas in Budgam district.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir informed that winter control rooms have been established at district and sub divisional level and their telephone numbers have been widely publicized. All officers/officials have been asked not to leave stations without proper permission. Besides officers are touring extensively in areas of their jurisdiction to oversee public facilities.

Khan informed that snow clearance from roads and restoration of electricity supply has been done in record time and train services in the Valley have again started working from today. It was informed that 100 % major roads and more than 95 % internal roads in every district of Kashmir have been cleared for traffic movement. 95 % of the electricity supply in Srinagar district, 78% in Pulwama, 73 % in Kulgam and 70% each in Shopian and Ganderbal has been restored. Provision of alternate electricity supply for Baramulla and Kupwara districts has been made from Lower Jhelum, Kishenganga and Dilena sub-station. This interim arrangement has been made till electric lines are restored in these districts.

As regarding water supply, Divisional Commissioner informed that 680 out of 859 water schemes are fully functional with 100 % water supply restoration in Srinagar, Anantnag, Bandipora, Kulgam and Ganderbal  and more than 90 % in other districts. He informed that 80 stationary and 105 vehicle mounted pumps have been pre-positioned at vulnerable places to avoid inundation of low lying areas.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir further informed that 64,700 candidates appeared for 10th class examination today and adequate heating and lighting facilities were available at all the examination centres. He said that teams have also been constituted to check overcharging and hoarding of essential items by the traders.

Chief Secretary informed that Rs. 20 crore for Kashmir and Rs. 10 crore for Jammu have been provided and asked both the Divisional Commissioners to utilize the funds sanctioned under the SDRF.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir told that the SDRF teams have also been kept ready for carrying out rescue operations in upper reaches in case of landslides.

While reviewing the traffic management, Lt. Governor suggested for setting up kiosks wherever the space for traffic boy is not available. He directed deployment of adequate traffic personnel with provision of uninterrupted communication channels for smooth flow of traffic particularly along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. He advised the PDD to ensure well designed towers for future including laying out of underground cables to protect the supply and directed the PHE Department for providing more vehicle mounted pumps.

Lt. Governor directed Divisional Commissioner Jammu to identify land for facilitating passengers who get stranded due to landslides on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway and create facilities for provision of food, water, toilets, tents and medicines.

Lt. Governor directed the administration to put in added efforts in mitigating the difficulties of the people and meeting their requirements. He advised constant monitoring and all out efforts for ensuring public convenience. He directed for providing immediate relief for damaged structures and in cases of death and those injured.

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JK still a state for different govt depts

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 12: For different government departments, Jammu and Kashmir is still a state with its own flag.

Sample this: Satya Pal Malik is still shown as Governor on the official website of Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir.

Malik was recently appointed as Governor of Goa while Girish Chandra Murmu took over as Lieutenant Governor of J&K on October 31.   

 

On August 5, Centre abrogated Article 370 and from November 1, the state was officially bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. 

A picture displayed on the General Administration Department website shows erstwhile J&K’s state flag on the civil secretariat Srinagar.  The state that was governed through its own constitution has lost legal status and the state flag.

The websites of the Jammu Kashmir Power Development Department and State Electricity Regularly Commission have neither been updated and nor its old information has been removed.

In fact websites of most of the departments are either not updated or defunct.

Take for instance the website of Legal Metrology Department has not been updated for months. Similarly, departments like Social Welfare Department, Forest, Health, Medical Education, Industries and Commerce have not been updated for months neither the outdated information has been removed from the websites.

Jammu and Kashmir Government Spokesperson Rohit Kansal said he will take up the issue with concerned departments for updating official websites.  

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