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Government blames Pakistan for Kashmir situation, denies use of excessive force

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury also blamed the government for using excessive force

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The Indian Parliament building in New Delhi. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
  • As the monsoon session of the Parliament ensued today, it saw a lot of blame game tactics being played over the Kashmir issue
  • Opposition parties blamed the Government for using force against the commoners in Kashmir
  • Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister of Indian Government, clarified and said that the military had been instructed to use as less force as possible and blamed Pakistan for the issue

New Delhi– The Union government on Monday, July 18, blamed Pakistan for the violence in the Kashmir valley since the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and refuted the charges of use of excessive force on protesting civilians.

A short duration discussion on the issue in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the first day of the Monsoon Session, saw opposition parties blaming the government for “mishandling the situation”.

Home Minster Rajnath Singh at a rally. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Home Minster Rajnath Singh at a rally. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

As the government was blamed for using too much force, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh insisted that, on the contrary, security forces had been asked to use maximum restraint and the least force.

Singh, as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, blamed Pakistan for the situation and said Islamabad has never reconciled to Jammu and Kashmir being part of India.

The Home Minister, responding to a nearly four-hour-long discussion, said he particularly instructed the chiefs of security forces, including the CRPF and BSF, to “use as little force as possible”.

While asserting that the government had sensitivity towards the people, the Home Minister said: “If someone celebrates after security force personnel are killed, will that be called humanity?”

“We will be tough on militants and have sensitivity towards the people,” he said.

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Singh clearly blamed Pakistan for the situation that has claimed several civilian lives and injured over a thousand.

“Whatever is happening is being done by Pakistan. It is called Pakistan but its actions are impure. They are interfering in our internal matters,” he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A similar pitch was made by Jaitley, who said: “Pakistan never reconciled to the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.”

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As Leader of Opposition in the house Ghulam Nabi Azad lashed out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), calling the party as a “misfit” for Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said Pakistan, and not the ruling PDP-BJP alliance, was to be blamed for the situation.

Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Ghulam Nabi Azad. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

“After fighting conventional wars with India, Pakistan realised that it was impossible to defeat it through these, so it adopted the strategy of terrorism,” Jaitley said.

Azad, however, blamed the ruling PDP-BJP alliance in Kashmir for the situation.

“It took us (the Congress government) and other governments, 70 years to try and bring peace to Kashmir. We had a healing touch policy towards people but this government makes no difference between treating common people and militants,” he said.

“Government should look at people as they look at their own children..but the situation in the hospitals which are full of injured people narrate it all.”

“Everyone says Kashmir is ours, no one says Kashmiris are ours. No one says we want Kashmir with Kashmiris,” he said.

Irrespective of party affiliations, Rajya Sabha members, however, stressed upon the need to find a solution to the situation and expressed regret over the deaths of and injuries to civilians.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury also blamed the government for using excessive force.

“Our sympathy is with the youth who were killed. The number of deaths shows excessive force was used. There are many who have lost sight. Use of pellets is totally wrong. You are sending more companies, but they need doctors, heath care,” he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien also blamed the government for mishandling the situation.

“I think the most appropriate expression we want to use is the Union Government mishandled the situation,” he said.

Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav urged the government to find a political solution to the situation, while AIADMK member Vijila Satyanand said Kashmir was an integral part of India and government needs to instill confidence in the people.

The July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani triggered a wave of violence and clashes across the valley that has left over 40 dead. (IANS)

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US Designates Hizbul Mujahideen as Foreign Terrorist Organization

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Hizbul Mujahideen, terrorist-organization
The Hizbul Mujahideen has been referred as a terrorist-organization by the U.S. Department of State. Twitter
  • Hizbul Mujahideen, formed in the year 1989, is one of the oldest as well as the largest militant groups that is operating actively in Kashmir
  • The militant group of Hizbul Mujahideen is known to have claimed the responsibility for multiple attacks

Washington D.C. [United States], Aug 16, 2017: The Hizbul Mujahideen has been referred as a terrorist-organization by the U.S. Department of State, under the Immigration and Nationality Act of section 219.

A statement by U.S. State Department reports that “these designations seek to deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of HM’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group,” ANI reports stated.

ALSO READ: ‘Blood Stained Hands’ Plan to Take Over Pakistan’s Political Reigns as Terrorist Organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Prepares to Enter Politics

It further added that “today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that HM is a terrorist organization. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”

According to ANI reports, Hizbul Mujahideen, formed in the year 1989, is one of the oldest as well as the largest militant groups that are operating actively in Kashmir.

The infamous militant group is led by Mohammad Yusuf Shah, the Specially Designated Global Terrorist, who is also referred as Syed Salahuddin. He was named as Global Terrorist by the US a couple of months back.

Reportedly, the militant group of Hizbul Mujahideen is known to have claimed the responsibility for multiple attacks which includes the explosive attack in Jammu and Kashmir that left 17 people severely injured, in the month of April of 2014.

Salahuddin had vowed in the month of September 2016, to bar any sort of peaceful conclusion of the conflict regarding Kashmir. He further gave threats to train many more suicide bombers in Kashmir, and that he would turn the valley into a complete graveyard for the Indian Forces.

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PM Narendra Modi Condemns Religious Violence on 71st Indian Independence Day, Warns “Will Not Accept Violence In The Name Of Faith”

PM Modi pitched in the slogan of "Bharat Jodo" (Unite India) this Independence Day.

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Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. VOA
  • India celebrates 71st Independence Day
  • Indian PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort
  • “We cannot accept violence in the name of faith,” said PM Modi in his address to the countrymen

New Delhi, August 15, 2017: As India celebrates its 71st Independence Day, the countrymen alike waited for the dynamic Indian Prime Minister’s address to the nation. Pitching for harmony and peace in his address today, the Indian Prime Minister condemned violence in the name of astha (faith).

Following the unfurling of the national flag at Red Fort, Prime Minister Modi began his address to fellow Indians with the aspiration of building a ‘new India’, emphasizing that the country dwells upon concepts of equality and no distinctions should be made amongst people.

Throughout his address, the Indian Prime Minister touched upon issues that have been relevant in the Indian Diaspora in the last couple of months including the turmoil in Kashmir, Gorakhpur tragedy, demonetization, and triple talaq.

Referring to the persisting unrest in Kashmir, PM Modi spoke about the gali (abuse) and goli (bullet) association, asserting that these will not help resolve the issue. He emphasized on the need to embrace all Kashmiris.

Talking about violence, he also added that the country will show no mercy to terrorists, however they are free to enter the mainstream and have their issues addressed. PM Modi further stressed about countering the ill plaguing the world today saying that with India’s rising stature, it is supported in its stand to fight the menace of terrorism by the entire world.

ALSO READ: India Celebrates its 71st Independence Day: What People Want Freedom From?

In his nationwide address from the Red Fort, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asserted that violence in the name of astha (faith) will not be accepted, calling casteism and communalism “poison” for the country.

This comes in a context where an increasing number of mob lynching cases have taken place, witnessing outrage in the country.

Touching upon the issue of casteism and religion, the PM asserted that India is a country of “shanti, ekta and sadbhavna” (peace, unity and goodwill) and that distinction on caste, community or religion, will not help us in our entirety.

As part of religious violence, religion acts either as the subject or the object of violent behavior. It is either motivated by, or is a reaction to religious beliefs, texts or doctrines. Contrary to popular notion, religious violence does not only refer to acts committed by religious groups, but also include attacks on religious groups. In the last few months, there have been significant such cases reported in India, including cases of mob lynching and attacks by cow vigilantes.

“There is no place for intolerance in today’s India; this is the land of Gandhi and Buddha” said PM Modi underlying that it is in the culture of the nation to walk collectively and peacefully on the path to development.

In his address, the Indian Prime Minister also asserted that the country had previously operated on the lines of “Bharat Chhodo” (Quit India) but now, that has transformed to “Bharat Jodo” (Unite India).

 


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India-UK free trade agreement to be signed once it exits the European Union in 2 years Time

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European Union. Pixabay

New Delhi, March 28, 2017: With Britain set to launch the formal process of its exit from the EU on Wednesday, a prominent British entrepreneur has said that a joint working group of officials from both countries is working on an India-UK free trade agreement to be signed once it exits the EU in two years time.

“One of the very important steps forward of Theresa May’s (India) visit last November was that we now have a government-to-government working group with the Commerce Secretary and the International Trade Secretary in charge that is looking at the totality of the relationship,” Patricia Hewitt, Chair UK-India Business Council, told BTVi in an interview.

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“What I found since the referendum is the great enthusiasm on the part of India’s political and business leaders as well as Britain’s political and business leaders, for…it may be a free trade agreement…perhaps more accurately a comprehensive economic partnership. This was discussed further during Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s very successful visit to London recently,” she said.

“And the aim there is not only to identify things that both governments could act on immediately even before Brexit actually happens, but also to lay the groundwork for a more formal agreement..a bilateral agreement that could happen once the UK actually leaves the European Union,” she added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 – the step that starts the process of negotiations for Britain’s formal exit from the EU – on Wednesday.

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There is consequent uncertainty over what will happen once Britain leaves the EU because it needs to make new trade agreements with the rest of the world.

Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced this joint working group last year following talks here with UK’s then Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox after Britain voted in a referendum to exit the EU.

Sitharaman said formal talks on a bilateral free trade agreement could only begin once the UK formally exited the EU.

Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $14 billion in 2015-16, as compared to $14.33 billion in 2014-15. (IANS)