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India-Pak Tensions: Balochistan likely to inform international community about Indian interference

After Modi's remark on the issue of Balochistan, mixed reactions from the concerned sides, the situation still looks questionable.

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Baloch people. Wikimedia Commons
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Sept 12, 2016: Earlier, welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Balochistan in his Independence Day address, several Baloch activists claimed that the people of the region support him and he should take up the Baloch issue with the international community at the United Nations.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri on Sunday declared in the State capital Quetta that parliamentarians from the province would visit ‘friendly countries’ to notify them and the international community about the interference of the neighboring countries regarding the issues of Balochistan.

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A Quetta datelined report carried by the Pakistan state-run news agency- Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) on Monday quoted the Balochistan Chief Minister as saying that an open letter would also be sent to the United Nations Secretary-General on the subject.

Islamabad has been dynamically and continuously protesting against New Delhi on the issue of Balochistan ever since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi intertwined into his Independence Day speech the issues of Pak-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit in Pak and the professed human rights violations as well as insensitive killings of ordinary citizens by the Pakistani forces in the Balochistan Province.

Before this, no Indian Prime Minister had ever spoken on the issues related to Gilgit and Balochistan during the Independence Day Speech or during any public appearance.

“When you look at things from the scale of human values and humanity when innocent school children were massacred in Peshawar, Indian Parliament wept, every school in India shed tears at this tragedy. On the other hand, we have a situation where some people glorify terrorists in our country,” the Prime Minister had commented.

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APP quoted Mr. Zehri as saying that some rebellious ones had been using the Baloch youth as the “fuel for their so-called freedom fight”.

 “Several misguided youths had joined the national mainstream after leaving mountains. However, some elements were sill talking about the so-called freedom in order to mint money”, he added.

No one would be allowed to enforce his stance and philosophy on gunpoint. The security situation had already been improved to the satisfactory level in Balochistan”, the APP reported.

Balochistan Chief Minister said, “ We are not afraid of India” while stating the statement of Prime Minister Modi had cleared the situation that as to who was behind the disturbances in Balochistan.

“We are not afraid of India. All the nefarious designs of enemies will be foiled at any cost,” the APP reported.

It quoted the CM as saying that a significant development had been witnessed in law and order situation, he said, adding that according to police record some 40 to 50 persons were reported to be missing, most of them were living in Afghanistan and Dubai.

“With the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and making Gwadar Port completely functional would boost the local and national economy, besides bringing an economic revolution in the region”, the agency reported.

 “We will also make it clear to India that it was India that approached the UN several decades back on Kashmir dispute but now it is not fulfilling its promise,” said Nawaz Sharif.

On the move of Mr. Sharif to send his parliamentarians, the External Affairs Spokesperson had said, “Sending out 22 envoys is not going to make untenable claims legal. They should have sent just one envoy with the right message to the right country of putting an end to cross-border terrorism”.

The spokesperson also said that a part of J&K was illegitimately occupied by Pakistan and was a concern for India.

“The ground reality is that part of J&K is under illegal occupation of Pakistan. Any third party collaboration will be our concern,” Vikas Swarup said.

In its petition to the U.N. Secretary-General, Islamabad had termed Mr. Modi’s remarks on Balochistan and PoK as ‘unwarranted and in complete contravention’ of the U.N. Charter and reasoned that the remarks were aimed at diverting the world attention from the ongoing atrocities in the Kashmir Valley.

Where on one side, Baloch activists are happy that the world’s attention has moved towards the atrocities faced by Baloch civilians but the, on the other hand, Modi’s intervention is criticized heavily.

– prepared by NewsGram Team

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)