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UNMOGIP ‘valuable’ in frozen conflict: UN official

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United Nations, May 03: A senior UN peacekeeping official has rejected assertion that missions such as the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) are doing nothing, saying they are valuable and performing on the basis of ground realities in “frozen conflict” areas.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita was asked during a press briefing here about “frozen conflicts” where peacekeeping missions stay forever.
She was asked about missions such as UNMOGIP, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golaan Heights and that these missions are “sitting there doing nothing”.
India maintains that UNMOGIP has “outlived its relevance” after the Simla Agreement was signed by India and Pakistan in July 1972 and the consequent establishment of the LoC.
Keita was asked how these frozen conflicts can be addressed and mandates reactivated to achieve results.
The question that should be asked is “if they were not there, what would happen,” Keita said.
She said the “rhetoric that because there is no peace process moving then they are doing nothing, I would say that we would need to reframe this because all the reduction of violence, which can escalate actually, they are dealt with by the peacekeepers, by the mission.”
Keita said all these UN peacekeeping missions have their value and they are “rendering and performing on the basis of what is going on there.”
She stressed that the missions are “frozen because of the dynamics that are going on at the local, regional, sub-regional (levels), which have to do with politics and the mission is a tool at one point to support the political process.”
Keita underscored that ways would have to be found to right the underlying causes of the conflict and “not what I will call sometime using the mission as a scapegoat because it is a shared responsibility so the performance of the mission has to be looked at with the performance of all the stakeholders.”
The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan. According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, UNMOGIP observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.
UNMOGIP was established in January 1949, while UNFICYP was founded in 1964, UNIFIL in 1978 and UNDOF in 1974.
As of March this year, a total of 113 personnel are deployed with UNMOGIP, including 71 civilians and 42 experts on mission.


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Investigation started in Jammu cable car incident: DRIL

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Jan 22: The investigation regarding the death of two labourers during the mock-drill of car cable accident in Jammu is underway while as the reports added that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were not followed during the mock-drill.

Two labourers died while four others sustained injuries on Sunday evening after a rescue trolley had fallen during the mock drill near the Mahamaya temple.

Talking to a local news gathering agency, Executive Vice President of Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited (DRIL) said that the investigation into the incident is going on. “Police is investigating the matter. We cannot say anything in this regard until the investigation is completed,” he added.

 

However, reports informed that the SOPs were not followed while conducting the mock-drill ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for its inauguration.

It added that as per the SOPs, while performing the mock drills, the executing agency needed to inform all other agencies concerned.

“The rescue trolley involved in the incident was meant for a maximum of four people, but there were six in it. Also, all people performing the mock drill should have worn headgear and had to be hooked to the rope,” reports quoting sources said, adding that no safety guidelines were followed during the mock drill, otherwise precious lives could have been saved.

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Mufti-Jagmohan camaraderie proved detrimental for Kashmir: Sagar

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday paid tributes to the victims of Gawkadal massacre saying that people have not forgotten the massacre let loose on the civilians on that day.

In a statement issued here, addressing a gathering of party functionaries, and workers of Srinagar District at party headquarter Nawa –e-Subha Srinagar, party’s General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar said, “Those who are passing the blame and shedding crocodile tears now on the plight of Kashmiris are the one who actually traded the miseries of the people for grabbing power,” adding that Mufti as home minister trusted Jagmohan on kashmir, what followed is history.

Sagar in the statement said that Mufti through his nominated Governor unleashed havoc in Kashmir and that as home minister of India Mufti presided over 18 massacres in Kashmir including Mashali Mohalla massacre, Islamia college massacre, Chara- e- Sharief massacre, Shopian massacre, Pulwama, Kulgam massacre and Habbak massacre.

 

“Mufti-Jagmohan camaraderie proved detrimental for Kashmir, it is this camaraderie that is credited with unleashing Operation Catch and Kill, crackdowns and other human rights violations. Not just that Mufti extended draconian laws like AFSPA to Kashmir and besides that Ikhwan was also a brain child of Late Mufti Syed,” he said adding, “Continuing with their legacy of political bankruptcy Mufti’s entered into a trade policy with BJP with a sole design to destroy the respect and dignity of kashmiris.”

Sagar maintained what was left of our special status; Mufti a former lieutenant of G M Sadiq took it upon himself to destroy it. “The BJP-PDP coalition opened flood gates for all such forces as are contriving hard to harm our state’s special status.”

He said that Dr Farooq Abdullah owing to communal disposition of late Jagmohan insisted on then government at the centre not to appoint him as state’s governor. “It was late Mufti who nominated him and was instrumental in thrusting him on the state. No sooner did he become Governor, Dr. Farooq resigned as a mark of protest. What followed is written in bold red letters in the annals of history,” he said.

The meet was attended by District president Srinagar Peer Afaq, JKNC Women’s wing president Shameema Firdous, Ali Muhammad Dar, Irfan shah and others.

Sagar maintained that Mehbooba trailing her father path traded the very dignity of chief minister’s post by bald-facedly presiding over the large scale maiming, killings, blinding, nepotism, corruption, human rights violation during her stint as chief minister. “It was for the first time that people were not allowed to pray at Jamia Masid for many months altogether,” he said.

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Tourism deptt organsies first road show of winter in Pune

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Pune: Tourism Department in collaboration with Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) held an impressive Travel Show in Pune on Monday seeking the cooperation of the travel associations and the media from the city for the promotion of J&K tourism.

Over 150 leading tour operators from the city attended show who also interacted with the members from the KHAROF.

Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh who attended the show said Kashmir has immense tourism potential and people are most peaceful and loving in nature.

 

“Everyone should visit J&K State and see the nature’s beauty. The beauty also lies in the hospitality of the people who are very warm and welcoming,” he said.

Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak shared her experience of visiting Kashmir.

She said she found it safest place for travellers especially for woman.

“Even if we travel in auto at late evening, we are safe as people of the Kashmir are very good in nature and they take care of the tourists very well,” she said.

She urged the travel agents from Pune to promote J&K in a big way so that the travellers from Maharashtra will also visit paradise on Earth.

Earlier, Deputy Director Tourism Kashmir Riyaz Shah gave a detailed presentation on the tourism products which Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh has to offer.

The seminar is a part of series of road shows the department is organizing to promote J&K for the travellers within and outside the country.

Shah said J&K state is diverse in every aspect – be it leisure, adventure, culture, handicraft, cuisine, landscape, religion, architecture.

“Whatever you name it, we have it. J&K is a complete package. For a traveller, he has everything to see in one state,” he said, adding, “We are home to many famous gardens and heritage sites like Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat fort, Burzuhama ruins over 3000 years old, Mubrak Mandi, Shankar Acharya temple (250 B.C.), one of the biggest sun temples in India Martand Sun temple which was built in the 8th century, the Nara Nag temple ruins, and also famous sufi Shrines like Char-i-Sharief, Mukhdoom Sahaib, Ashmukam, Khankah Mohallah and many more.”

Riyaz Shah said that lot of filmmakers from Bollywood and even South India are shooting in Kashmir and the department is facilitating their shooting permission through single window system.

“Even now Malaysian and Thai films are being shot in Kashmir,” he said.

He also invited corporate houses for conventions and meetings to J&K saying the state has finest properties to hold such events.

President KHAROF Abdul Wahid Malik in his welcome address offered discounted packages for the travellers from Maharashtra.

He said Kashmir has over 60000 bed capacity and KHAROF is one of the largest hotel associations catering to over 24000 bed capacity from budget to star category hotels.

He invited the travellers to visit Kashmir saying the place is not only most beautiful place on the Earth but safest also.

KHAROF also released its annual directory during the show.

Earlier, the Tourism Department and KHAROF addressed media in a separate press conference.

Former KHAROF President Javed Bashir Burza briefed the media about the overall tourism infrastructure development in Kashmir.

Sanjay Nahar, the founder of Sarhad, a social organization dedicated to work in border areas, was also present in the press conference who informed them about the safety of the travellers in Kashmir.

Dr Vishwas Kelkar, president, Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) also spoke on the occasion.

Senior Vice President Syed Masood Ahmad Shah, Secretary General KHAROF Maqsood Misri among other office bearers also participated in the event.

Chairman Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum Nasir Shah moderated the show. Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance Manzoor Pakhtoon, Patron Association of Kashmir Tour Operators Nazir A Mir also participated in the show.

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