IOK reels under lockdown on 167th consecutive day

Srinagar, January 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, people belonging to different walks of life have taken strong exception to former Indian Army Chief and incumbent Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat’s recent statement wherein he hinted at setting up Nazi type concentration camps for the Kashmiri youth.

General Bipin Rawat while addressing a conference in New Delhi said that young Kashmiri children are being radicalized and they need to be identified and put in de-radicalization camps.

Rights activists and Kashmiri intellectuals talking to The New York Times said that General Rawat’s words revealed how the highest levels of the Indian military viewed Kashmiri people and that his comments could presage another disturbing turn of events. Noted Kashmiri historian, Siddiq Wahid, said that it was shocking the General would even suggest this. A professor of political science at Central University of Kashmir, Noor Ahmad Baba, said that India might now try to crush all political dissent in occupied Kashmir. He said, Kashmir is a political issue that needs a political solution, not de-radicalization camps. Mumbai-based civil rights activist, Saket Gokhale, said that this was the first time he had ever heard of deradicalisation camps inside India. »

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Jammu, January 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, an Indian soldier committed suicide in Udhampur district of Jammu region.

A soldier, Sepoy Prince Kumar, a resident of Hoshiarpur in Indian state of Punjab, ended his life by shooting himself with his service rifle in a military camp in Rehmbal area of Udhampur. He was posted in 112 Territorial Army and was on guard duty when he shot himself with his service weapon. »

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New York, January 18 (KMS): Rights activists and Kashmiri intellectuals are deeply unsettled over Indian chief of defence staff, General Bipin Rawat’s statement that Kashmiris could be shipped off to ‘deradicalization camps’, The New York Times reports.

A report published in the American newspaper quoted the rights activists and Kashmiri intellectuals as saying that the General’s words revealed how the highest levels of the Indian military viewed Kashmiri people and that his comments could presage another disturbing turn of events.

The newspaper quoted Siddiq Wahid, a Kashmiri historian, as having said that it was shocking the General would even suggest this. He said, he doesn’t think the General realises the insanity of what he is talking about. He further said that he was concerned about Rawat’s use of the word ‘camps’. “Are we talking about summer camps or one-year camps where you strip people of their identity and rebuild them?” he asked. »

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New York, January 18 (KMS): The world rights body, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that India is failing on Kashmiri human rights.

HRW’s South Asia Director, Meenakshi Ganguly in a statement posted on the website of the organization said that occupied Kashmir had been under a lockdown for five months. She said fearing that Kashmiris might protest the revocation of special status provided to Jammu and Kashmir under India’s constitution, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi clamped down. “Since the restrictions in August, the government has taken slow, reluctant steps to ease some of them, but is still falling far short in upholding Kashmiri rights,” she said.

Meenakshi Ganguli said that many of the thousands arbitrarily arrested – lawyers, shop owners, traders, students, rights activists – had now been released, but reportedly only after promising not to criticize the government. Some senior Kashmiri political leaders, including former chief ministers, remain in custody, she added. Police admitted at least 144 children had been detained, and now the chief of defense staff (General Bipin Rawat) has spoken of putting children in “deradicalization camps, she deplored. »

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Islamabad, January 18 (KMS): The Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Movement, Imtiaz Wani, has said that India is pursuing a brutal policy of suppressing the Kashmiris’ just voice after imposing military siege and lockdown that entered 167th day, today.

Imtiaz Wani in a statement issued in Islamabad said that the Indian military siege remained enforced in the occupied territory for the past over five months and the Kashmiris were facing severe problems due to the restrictions. He said that Indian troops had stepped up the killing spree in occupied Kashmir.

Imtiaz Wani said that participation of thousands of Kashmiris in the funerals of three youth martyred by Indian troops in Pulwama district and one in Doda district showed that the Kashmiri people had great love for the youth who were rendering their lives for the sacred cause of freedom from Indian bondage. He paid rich tributes to the martyred youth and expressed solidarity with their families. »

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Srinagar, January 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the announcement of the restoration of Internet in parts of the Jammu region and setting up of 400 broadband kiosks in the Kashmir Valley is yet to be reflected on the ground.

Following the directive of the Indian Supreme Court on January 11 asking the authorities of occupied Kashmir to review the ban on the Internet and terming the internet as a fundamental right, the administration of the territory on Wednesday announced that there would be partial restoration of the Internet with immediate effect.

However, no site can be accessed, except banking, travel and some government websites.

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Islamabad, January 18 (KMS): Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to address a public gathering in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Kashmir Solidarity Day to be observed on February 5.

The decision came during PM Imran Khan’s meeting with the former prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mahmood, who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief organiser Saifullah Niazi has been instructed to make necessary arrangements in this regard. »

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Washington, January 18 (KMS)Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions is vital for brining permanent peace and stability to the South Asian region.
Foreign Minister Qureshi met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington. The two leaders exchanged views on matters pertaining to Pak-US bilateral cooperation, regional security situation, Afghan peace process, and ongoing massive human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir. He expressed regrets that the BJP-led Indian government has besieged millions of Kashmiris by imposing ruthless curfew and other restrictions in the occupied valley. He said the Indian government has imposed ban on media in the region to hide facts from the world.

Qureshi said Pakistan is committed to play its due role in de-escalating prevailing tensions and promote peace in the Middle Eastern region. He further said that Pakistan will continue its efforts for political solution to lingering Afghan conflict. He also briefed the US secretary on his meetings with various leaders during his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia. »

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Islamabad, January 18(KMS) Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Friday unanimously passed a resolution strongly condemning the statement of Indian General Bipin Rawat that “young Kashmiris should be kept into de-radicalization camps.”

The committee that met under the chair of Senator Rehman A Malik strongly condemned the ongoing brutalities of Indian forces in the Occupied Kashmir and the anti-Muslim mindset of the Indian government.

The chairman committee said that Indian army officer and leader of BJP Maj General (R) SP Sinha had earlier justified the rapes of Kashmiri women in IOK and now the Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was justifying crimes against innocent Kashmiri children. »

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Islamabad, January 18 (KMS)President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday appreciated China’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir issue saying China has always stood by Pakistan on issues of core national interest.

Describing the existing cooperation between Pakistan and China on CPEC projects as exemplary, the President said this mega project will play an important role in further cementing bilateral relations between the two countries.

The President expressed his optimism that the CPEC, a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, will help Pakistan to tap its full potential in the domains of energy, industry and infrastructure. »

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