News Notes

Geelani, Panchayat And AMERICA

Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has denounced the killing of a National Conference Sarpnach from Haygam, saying no one should be killed for his political ideology.

“It is our long standing policy that we have always condemned innocent killings,” Geelani said while addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence.

He also said that he welcomed the US citizens visiting the valley. There was no need for American citizens to leave the valley. The statement has come in response to Mufti Azam, Mufti Muhammad Bashir-ud-din’s diktat to the US nationals to leave the valley in the wake of blasphemous movie against the holy Prophet.

The octogenarian separatist leader also called for release of senior Tehreek-e-Hurriyat worker from Pattan, Nasir Abdullah. Who according to police has been found “involved in abetment and criminal conspiracy of the murder of Sarpanch Ghulam Muhammad Yatoo.”

Geelani said Abdullah is an innocent man and the case should be withdrawn against him and he should be released.

On September 10, suspected militants shot dead Yatoo, belonging to ruling National Conference (NC). The killing forced many Sarpanchs and Panchs in North Kashmir to issue resignations.

Accusing police of framing Hurriyat worker on false charges, Geelani challenged the state Government to prove the “false charges” leveled against Abdullah.

Later nominated Mufti Azam, Mufti Nasirul Islam, also joined veteran separatist leader over the latter’s statement that there was no need for the Americans to leave the valley.

According to Mufti Nasirul Sialm there are elements in our society who are trying to exploit this situation and trying to redress this whole situation for their political gains and for the sake of aggrandizement.

Mufti said not all Americans were bad and those who insulted our beloved Prophet were a select few.

The Science CONGRESS

Vice President of India Hamid Ansari
Vice President of India Hamid Ansari

While addressing a gathering of researchers and scientists in a three-day Science Congress at the university of Kashmir, J&K Chief Minster Omar Abdullah said the number of PhDs that USA and China produce in a year is so huge that India lacks a match. He told the researchers, who had assembled from all over India, that there has to be a substantial hike in India’s Research & Development investment.

“At the global stage India’s academic institutions don’t even figure in the first 300 they don’t even figure in the 250 list of BRICS.” Omar told the eighth science congress that Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari inaugurated.

The kind of investment that is being made on research in India is insignificant when it is being compared with the countries like China and USA. Against USA’s 368 billion dollars and China’s 104 billion dollar, he said, India is spending only $ 24 billion. This is why, he said, US produces 9000 PhDs a year and India produces only 200.

Governor N N Vohra while agreeing with Omar said India’s self sufficiency in food is a major achievement and a rare fiat, unlike many nations. Vohra argued that the culture of research needs to be encouraged so that the society hunts solutions to the problems it is facing.

While concluding the debate Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari suggested lowering the barriers to research and increasing the funding for scientific pursuits, which will lead to overall betterment.

For the threeday Congress the authroties at the university of Kashmir had fortified the campus and suspended class work for incident free show. The security personnel had been dispatched in plain cloths and teachers were not even allowed to carry a pen or cell phone to the venue. Despite all these efforts, a number of students skipped standing when the national anthem was played. Ten young scientists from across J&K were honoured at the inaugural function.

Probe, Slightly LATER

The state government has constituted a committee for a formal enquiry into an air crash of state owned helicopter nine years ago. The committee would look into every aspect of the crash, which happened on August 5, 2003, some people had lost their lives in fatal accident.

Atul Dullo, the Commissioner Secretary Tourism and Culture Department would be its chairman while as Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, Secretary, General Administration Department and Ravi Magotra, Director General, Accounts and Treasuries are its members, according to an order issued by the General Administration Department. Sufi Mohammad Yousaf, Special Secretary in Chief Minister’s Secretariat is the Member Secretary of the Committee.

The enquiry will take a cue from a report submitted by then Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and by the Director General, Civil Aviation as the basis of their work, the order said, adding the inquiry committee will cover particularly the issues highlighted in the judgment of the State Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission delivered on September 26, 2011.

The Committee will also see whether the sale proceeds of air tickets were accounted for and if the same were misappropriated whether any action was initiated against the erring officers under law besides recovering the Government money. The Committee will also cover the aspects like who was responsible for allowing the misuse of the aircraft to carry the passengers against the terms and conditions of the insurance policy by using it for commercial purposes.

It will also ascertain the number of passengers flying in the chopper at the time of crash and what was the permissible number for flying. The committee has also been authorized to extend the contours of its inquiry/ recommendation even beyond the stated aspects and will submit a comprehensive report within a period of 90 days.

For The Sake Of VOTES

Western Pakistani Refugees
Western Pakistani Refugees

The Ministry of Home Affairs has requested the government of Jammu and Kashmir that it should address a long pending problems of West Pakistani refugees, who have been denied state subject rights here under view of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. The non state subjects can’t own any property, apply for state government jobs or vote in the elections excepting Parliament polls.

The supreme court of India in its judgment had suggested that the government may amend the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of people Act (RPA) to enable the West Pakistan refugees to qualify for inclusion in electoral rolls of the State Assembly and Panchayats. The missive sent by MHA to state government has been suitably advised in the matter (regarding grant of voting rights to West Pakistan refugees in Assembly and Panchayats and allow them to contest these elections) and had been requested to intimate the action taken in this regard.

The government has been advised that these refugees can set up Small Scale Industries either from their own financial resources or by availing loans from banks without collateral security or third party guarantee under the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme. The official letter said the West Pakistan refugees can also apply for the Central Government jobs with age relaxation, which was applicable to residents of Jammu and Kashmir till December 31, 2013. The Union Home Ministry has said 46,466 kanals of State/ Evacuee Property land has been retained by the refugees.

Pointing out that 5764 families of West Pakistan refugees of 1947 had landed in Jammu province after partition of the country in 1947, the government of India said the Supreme Court of India has already maintained that executive orders could be issued by the State government for making eligible the children/grand children of the West Pakistan refugees for admission in educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir and for this purpose there was no need to enact any legislation.

The Other SIDE

The demand for complete provincial statues for Gilgit-Baltistan has been out rightly rejected by the political parties in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. The decision came after the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly tried to demand for the provincial status for the region by annexing it to Pakistan.

Various political groups, which advocate for the complete reunification of all the parts of divided state of Jammu and Kashmir, opposed the development. They said it was an attempt to sabotage Kashmir cause.  They vowed to foil any such attempts aimed at permanent division of their homeland. According to them Gilgit-Baltistan was an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir and its future has to ben decided by the United Nations resolutions.  The decision, according to these political parties, would give a precedence to India for annexing Kashmir which is under India’s control.

Dr. Toqeer Gillani, spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), said legislators should play their role to protect citizens of GB “who have been ruthlessly killed in sectarian violence”. “GB assembly is diverting the attention from real issues by traditional tactics of promoting politics of non-issues. The legislators should recognise that GB is a disputed territory so a puppet assembly cannot decide about the future of people of the unresolved region,” he said.

The Gilgit-Baltistan house had earlier approved the resolution calling for granting of constitutional provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan region like other Pakistani provinces. Nawaz Khan Naji, a lawmaker from Balawaristan National Front (BNF)- only nationalist group in GB assembly, opposed the bill, asserting that the assembly has no right to pass such resolution as the future of GB is connected with resolution of Kashmir conflict, which is yet to be decided through UN plebiscite.

It is pertinent to mention here that recently the nationalist parties of Pakistani administrated Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan had joined hands to ‘struggle for the rights and independence of the disputed region’ by forming a new allaince, the Jammu Kashmir Revolutionary Movement (JKRM).

Power PROBLEMS

Finance Department has expressed its inability to release adequate funds to Power Development Department (PDD) to clear the liquidation of Rs 473.59 crore towards outstanding Unscheduled Interchanges (UI) charges.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has warned to impose personal penalty on the officers in case PDD fails to clear the outstanding amount by September 25, 2012.

According to sources, due to drawl of energy beyond the fixed schedule and non-clearance of Unscheduled Interchanges (UI) during the period between 2002 and 2011, an amount of Rs 500 crore including interest got accumulated for the same.

PDD is said to have made request for liquidation of outstanding UI charges in instalment after the matter was listed before CERC for hearing in July this year.

However, the CERC vide its order dated July 23, 2012 observed, “The request for payment in instalments will result in accumulation of interest and put additional burden on the State,” sources said. Earlier CERC has issued directions to PDD for filing of an affidavit regarding the payment plan to liquidate the outstanding UI dues along with the interest for which the counsel for PDD had sought three weeks time to file the payment plan. CERC allowed the plan and the matter was fixed for hearing on September 6, 2012. However during the course of hearing the counsel for PDD submitted that the matter was under discussion with the Finance Department. He further sought four weeks time to file the payment plan to liquidate the outstanding UI dues along with interest.

During the hearing, the CERC came to know from the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC) that as on September 3, 2012, the PDD made a payment of only Rs 29.50 crore and an amount of Rs 473.59 crore is still outstanding against the state.

The CERC has directed top brass of PDD to ensure payment of outstanding dues by September 25, 2012 failing which they would be liable for personal penalty for non-compliance of the Commission’s order.

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