News Note

Stalled TRADE

LOC-TRADEPakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) government has accused India of “conspiring” to wind up intra Kashmir trade. It however, did not came clear about the Brown Sugar which was seized from one of its Trucks in Uri.

Alleging that India was “conspiring to roll back trade”, PaK minister however said, “Pakistan had taken up the issue with the Indian government and within a day or two all stumbling blocks to its resumption would be removed.”

“We are not averse to the intra-Kashmir trade. In fact the bus service and trade are paving way for resolution of the core issue of Kashmir,” PaK Finance Minister, Chaudhry Latif Akbar reportedly said during a visit to the Chakothi Trade and Travel Facilitation Centre, on the other side of LoC.

Akbar, who is also secretary general of the ruling People’s Party in PaK, met the 27 drivers from this side of Kashmir who have been stranded following a standoff since Jan 17 when Police claimed a seizure of 114 packets of Brown Sugar from a truck of PaK and arrested the driver concerned.

Since then, 49 trucks and their drivers are stuck on both the sides of LoC. Tans-LoC travel is also suspended ever since.

PaK minister said he believed that trans-LoC trade would economically strengthen the Kashmiris on both sides of the dividing line.

 “Unfortunately, India always comes up with excuses to disrupt relations with Pakistan… It has frustrated the spirit of the peace process, either by resorting to shelling along the LoC or hurling baseless accusations vis-à-vis travel and trade,” he said adding “But, time had come to remove misgivings and distances.”

Pertinently, a huge howl of Brown Sugar was seized from a Truck which had come with Almonds.

Syndicate Sympathy

SSTShaheen syndicate social trust, a Srinagar based trust; today distributed blankets, pressure cookers, food items, clothes among lepper patients of Kusht Ashram, Bhagwati Nagar Jammu.

On the occasion, chairman of the trust Showkat Ahmad Khanyari threw light on the aims and objectives of the SSST. He said that the organisation is working for the betterment of lepper patients and under privileged sections of the society.

Khanyari, informed the gathering that 30th January is celebrated as world’s laparoscopic day and it is our duty to help the lepper persons on this historic day. Lepper colony is based in Jammu as well as in Srinagar and we feel that it is our duty to help and to sponsor both the lepper colonies of JK.

The chairman on the occasion thanked Chairman JK Bank Mr Mushtaq Ahmad for his kindness towards lepper patients.

JK Bank’s central zone head, Jammu MR Arvind Gupta was chief guest. Mr Raman Koushal Asst General Manager, JK bank, Mr Zahoor Khan vice president JK Bank officers association and Mr Farooq Ahmad Matto General Secretary SSST were also present.

Mr Arvind Gupta appreciated the work of Shaheen Syndicate towards social and sports activity they have been taking up. He also announced a cash assistance of Rs 50,000 among the lepper patients of the Ashmram on behalf of JK Bank and also ensured to help these people time to time.

Vote of thanks was presented by Shaheen Syndicate General Secretary Mr. Farooq Ahmad Matto.

Separate LAWMAKER

Awami-Itehaad-ProtestsIndependent lawmaker, and Awami Ittihad Party (AIP) President, Er Rashid on Tuesday, held a protest against army for the closure of Pathribal case and alleged the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi that it was after their consent that army closed the case.

Marching from TRC crossing up to the Press colony in Lal Chowk, Er Rashid along with his considerable number of followers raised anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru Slogans all the way.

To the utter surprise of even police officials, Rashid raised slogans like, “Tum Kitnay Afzal Maro Gay, Har Ghar Say Afzal Niklay Ga.” (How many Afzal’s will you kill, Afzals will born in every house of Kashmir)

Rashid and his followers did not stop at this but continued resembling themselves with the separatists saying, “Bharat Teray Hathon Maen Who Lakeer Nahin Hay, Kashmir Teray Bap Ki Jagir Nahin Hay.”

Talking to media persons Rashid said, “Indian forces are killing Kashmiris and they are not being even asked about it and this is all because they (forces) are enjoying unlimited powers under AFSPA.”

He further said, “Today’s protest is against the closure of Pathribal case by army with the consent of the ruling National Conference and Congress.”

Rashid and his followers tried to march up to Ghanta Ghar, but a large contingent of police stopped them from moving forward. After a brief sit in, police swung into action and arrested Rashid along with his dozens of followers.

Fast CAMPAIGN

Fasting-Campaign-APDPAs a part of the ongoing global campaign, “Return our martyrs’ remains” Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) observed a one day fast on Tuesday. The fast was also observed by five half-widows including Tahira Begum, Haleema Begum, Raja Begum, Muneera Begum and Halima Begum.

Programme Coordinator, Khuram Parvez said that there are more than 8000 cases of enforced disappearances, and 1500 above half-widows in Jammu and Kashmir. “Some half-widows believe that their disappeared husbands may still be incarcerated in secretive detention centres in India,” he said adding that the fast was observed at different places of Kashmir Valley.

Khuram said that the present global campaign by Kashmir activists demanding the return of the mortal remains of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohamamd Afzal Guru who are buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail, includes APDP’s ongoing demand for the investigations into all the unmarked graves and their relationship to those who have disappeared in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

APDP reiterated its demand for an impartial and independent inquiry and investigation into the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. APDP also appeals to the international community to call upon the Government of India to release all political prisoners of Jammu and Kashmir who have been languishing in different jails of India for many years now. Moreover, bodies such as the ICRC must be allowed to play a greater role in investigating and examining secretive detention centres used by the Indian State, in and outside of Jammu and Kashmir.

“APDP re-affirms that the struggle will continue, to both ascertain the whereabouts of the disappeared and for the end of impunity for the Indian State and the individual perpetrators of crimes in Jammu and Kashmir.”

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