Monday December 17, 2018
Home Politics AFSPA to stay...

AFSPA to stay for longer time in Valley, says Home Minister Rajnath Singh

0
//
Republish
Reprint

Revoke_AFSPA_

By Newsgram Staff Writer

Making Modi-government’s stand clear on AFSPA, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the time was not conducive to withdraw the special powers given to armed forces in the areas of conflict.

“AFSPA ko samapta karne ke abhi halaat nahin hai (The situation is not conducive to end AFSPA),” Rajnath Singh said while addressing media on Sunday evening, at the Attari joint check post (JCP) along the India-Pakistan international border.

The home minister also questioned Pakistan on why it was turning green fields red by supporting terrorism. He said it was high time for Pakistan to introspect its actions in supporting terrorism.

He said India was capable of protecting its borders completely from any attempt of infiltration from the Pakistan side. “Our security forces have given a befitting reply to every ceasefire violation and infiltration bid from Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. We will continue to do that,” he further added.

On being asked about the recent attacks on churches in various parts of the country, the home minister said all minority communities were secure in India.

“Whether it is an attack on a temple, mosque or any other religious place, whatever action is required, we will take that strongly,” he told while addressing the media on the sidelines of a function in Attari, Punjab.

There is no need to create a sense of fear among the minority communities; instead, all efforts should be made to “instill confidence in them”.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

U.S. Welcomes Pakistan’s Actions Towards Peace in Afghanistan

Pakistani officials say their influence over the Taliban has significantly declined over the years because the insurgents have gained control over large areas of Afghanistan

0
Imran Khan, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Pakistan"s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China, VOA

The United States said Saturday it welcomes actions Pakistan is taking to promote a negotiated solution to the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

The acknowledgement came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his country has arranged another round of Washington’s peace talks with the Afghan Taliban scheduled for Monday.

“The United States welcomes any actions by the Pakistani government to promote greater cooperation, including fostering negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans,” a U.S. embassy spokesperson in Kabul told VOA.

US negotiator

U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has met, and will continue to meet, with all interested parties, including the Taliban, to support a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, the spokesperson added.

Neither Khan nor the U.S. spokesperson have disclosed the possible venue for the upcoming meeting with Taliban officials.

Some Afghan sources say Monday’s meeting will take place in Islamabad, but no official confirmation is available.

USA, afghanistan
U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, talks with local reporters at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 18, 2018. VOA

Khalilzad, who is visiting regional countries to gather support for Afghan peace talks, is to lead the U.S. delegation in talks with insurgent representatives. This will not be the first time Khalilzad has met with the Taliban.

Since taking office in September, the special U.S. envoy has held two publicly known rounds of preliminary discussions with insurgent negotiators in Qatar, where the Taliban runs its so-called political office. The talks have been for the sake of talks, according to insurgent and other sources aware of the meetings.

Trump’s letter to Khan

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month wrote a formal letter to Khan asking for his help to bring the Taliban to the table for negotiations. A day later, Khalilzad visited Islamabad where he met with Khan and his military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to follow-up on Trump’s request, Pakistani officials say.

Speaking in northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, Khan said the U.S. has changed its tune by requesting help instead of saying Islamabad is not doing enough, as U.S. officials have previously insisted.

“By the grace of Allah, the dialogue is now happening inshallah [God willing] on the 17th [Khan did not mention the month] and Pakistan has facilitated the talks between America and the Taliban,” Khan said. He did not share further details.

taliban, afghanistan
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, right, head of the Taliban’s political council in Qatar, takes part in the multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, Nov. 9, 2018. VOA

Khan recounted Friday that critics used to mock him as “Taliban Khan” for saying the Afghan war could not be ended without political negotiations but now all key stakeholders are jointly working to pursue a political settlement to end the violence in Afghanistan.

“If peace were achieved, God willing, Peshawar will change and become a hub of commerce and tourism, as things around the 2,500 years old living city are likely to change,” Khan said Friday.

Ambassador Khalilzad is 13 days into an 18-day visit to the region. He has traveled to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belgium and plans to visit the U.A.E. and Qatar.

Withdrawal an issue

Pakistani officials privy to the U.S. interaction with the Taliban have told VOA that until now no progress has been achieved because the insurgents adamantly demand “a date or timeframe” for all foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan before the Taliban decides to participate in an intra-Afghan peace process.

Also Read: What to Make of Taliban’s Continued Rare Silence on Ghani’s Peace Offer? 

U.S. officials have long maintained Taliban leaders are sheltering in Pakistan with covert support from the country’s intelligence agency. Washington has been urging Islamabad to use its influence to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table.

Pakistani officials say their influence over the Taliban has significantly declined over the years because the insurgents have gained control over large areas of Afghanistan and continue to pose serious battlefield challenges for U.S.-backed Afghan security forces. (VOA)