Washington: US President Donald Trump is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir only if asked by both the countries, a senior administration official said on Thursday reiterating that the onus for peace talks lies on Islamabad by taking sustained and irreversible actions against terrorist groups.
President Trump obviously has expressed his concern over the level of tension between India and Pakistan. And he discussed Kashmir directly in his meetings with Prime Ministers Modi and Imran Khan, a senior State Department official said.
“He (Trump) certainly is prepared to play a mediation role, if both the countries ask. It has been India’s position not to seek outside mediation,” said the official in response to a question.
Requesting anonymity, the official said the US will continue to encourage an atmosphere that will allow for constructive dialogue, that also includes important steps that Pakistan will need to take to show there are irreversible and sustainable actions as one precludes the cross border terrorism that has hijacked earlier efforts at constructive bilateral dialogue between the two countries.
If the president is asked to mediate by both countries, he has expressed his willingness and his interests to help facilitate a solution, the official told a group of reporters when pressed further. India has been quite clear in Prime Minister Modi’s office saying that they are not seeking mediation, the official said.
That doesn’t mean that the US is not actively encouraging that a dialogue take place and that an atmosphere for constructive dialogue between the two countries be established, the official said.
The official termed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Kartarpur Corridor a welcome confidence building measure between India and Pakistan which will help increase people-to-people contact.
“While it’s a small step, we need more like this to also create the will, the goodwill and the environment for constructive dialogue,” the official said.
Asked if the US supports India’s position that “talks and terror cannot go together”, the official said it is important that Pakistan take “sustainable and irreversible steps against terrorism”. It is also possible to have a dialogue and the United States encourages the countries to engage as two nuclear powers living side by side, the official said.
When you have two nuclear powers that have fought to military conflict under a nuclear umbrella, it is important that your all avenues be explored to increase contact and communication between the two sides, the official said, adding that President Trump is engaged with leaders of both the countries.
Referring to the Howdy Modi event in Houston in September, the official said this demonstrated the very close partnership and friendship that the US has with India.
“The India-US strategic partnership has been growing over the last two and a half years. It is obviously part of a longer bipartisan two decade’s of effort to improve relations with India that has now reached a stage of confidence and maturity,” the official said.
Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU
Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.
“I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.
Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.
An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry.
“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.
“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said.
Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.
Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply. Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.
CB produces charge sheet against Revenue officials involved in land fraud
Srinagar, Nov 05: According to a statement issued by the Crime Branch Kashmir here the other day, a charge sheet against Revenue officials of Thesil Phalgam involved in land fraud case has been filed.
The accused include then Patwari Laripora now Tehsildar Saller Phalgam, Ghulam Mohammad Itoo, Girdawar Abdul Gani Rather and Abdul Rashid Sheikh, Abdul Razak Sheikh, Ali Mohammad Sheikh and Sakeena.
The accused are involved in case registered under FIR No. 1o/2010 P/S Crime Branch, for commission of offences punishable under section 420, 468, 471, 120-B, 201 RPC read with 5 (2) PC Act. The case has been produced before the Court of Additional Special Judge Anti-Corruption Anantnag.
The statement reads that the case was registered in police station Crime Branch Kashmir on a written complaint received from Abdul Khaliq Sheikh and others from Frislan Phalgam.
The investigation conducted in to the matter has revealed that the officials of Revenue Department in league with the accused has attested mutation fraudulently in respect of land measuring six kanals and nine marlas situated at Estate Firslan Phalgam Anantnag.
During the course of investigation, it was established that the afore-said false and fabricated entry of mutation was attested in favour of the accused on the basis of oral gift when no such gift was made by the actual owner of the land.
The land was sold to Ajaz Ahamd Mir and Showkat Ahmad Shah from Srinagar and the real owners were deprived of the ownership.
JK High Court dismisses petition challenging detention
Srinagar, Nov 05: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir today dismissed a petition challenging alleged restraints and house detention of Muzzaffar Shah, Begum Khalida Shah and Dr. Mustafa Kamal.
Justice Ali Mohammed Magray observed that the petition is not maintainable and is unnecessary after communication submitted by SSP Srinagar stated that petitioners have neither been put under house arrest at 10, Moulana Azad Road nor their liberty has been curbed.