President Stresses Making Credibility A Hallmark of ‘Made-In-Pakistan’ Brand

(September 29, 2020)

ISLAMABAD (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said as global platform opened for marketing and exports, it was time for Pakistani products to make impact with high-quality standards coupled with credible and trusted business dealings at international level. “Turn the ‘Made-in-Pakistan’ label into a symbol of repute before the world,” the President said in his address at the award ceremony of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FCCI), here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

President Alvi emphasized on conforming to the noble ethics of Islam such as honesty by shunning deception, while undertaking business transactions. He also called upon the businessmen to focus on value-addition and proper branding of their products to compete with international market. He said adopting business mechanisms based on information technology could help the local traders address the challenges of contemporary financial world.

President Alvi expressed satisfaction that FCCI as a dynamic organization was contributing to the economy of country and termed the traders and businessmen the genuine stakeholders that needed to be taken onboard by the governments in decision-making. The President lauded the government for holding consultations with relevant stakeholders while remaining accessible to business community to listen to their grievances.

Dr Alvi said Pakistan effectively countered the challenge of coronavirus pandemic with Allah Almighty’s blessings, the government’s prudent smart lockdown strategy and the nation’s will. He termed the COVID-19 experience a success that could be proudly shared with the world. Punjab Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal said giving confidence to industrial units was important to boost the country’s economy. He mentioned that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was the only political party which promoted Special Economic Zones to facilitate traders.

He announced setting up a SEZ on Information Technology and 23 new cement plants to boost trade activity. President FCCI Rana Muhammad Sikandar-e-Azam said Faisalabad’s share in the country’s textiles comprised 60 percent, while the industrial city made 20 percent of the overall Gross Domestic Province (GDP). He lauded the government’s strategy to effectively address economic challenges in the wake of COVID-19, that helped traders gain momentum in difficult times. Earlier, the President gave away awards among the incumbent and former office-bearers of FCCI, and other members of business community in recognition to their services for promoting trade and business.

 UN Chief Urges end to fresh Armenia-Azerbaijan Fighting in Disputed Region

(September 28, 2020)

UNITED NATIONS (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he is “extremely concerned” over renewed hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh disputed region that erupted on Sunday. According to news reports, at least 18 people have been killed along the line of contact in the worst fighting between the two former Soviet Republics in four years. “He condemns the use of force and regrets the loss of life and the toll on the civilian population”, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

This latest skirmish between the two countries, which fought a war in the 1990s as the Soviet Union was dissolving, has heightened fears of instability in the South Caucasus, a region that provides crucial transit routes for gas and oil to world markets. Both States have declared martial law and Armenia ordered the total mobilization of its military, according to media reports. “The Secretary-General strongly calls on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay”, Dujarric said, adding that the UN chief would be speaking to both the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of carrying out early morning air and artillery attacks on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The two fought a six-year war over the region until a 1994 truce, but over the years, both countries have blamed the other for ceasefire violations in the enclave and along the border, including in July. In recent months, more than a dozen soldiers and civilians have been killed in the struggle.  Dujarric , the UN spokesman, underscored that the Secretary-General reiterated his “full support” for the important role of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs and urged the sides to “work closely with them for an urgent resumption of dialogue without preconditions”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has thrown its weight behind Azerbaijan following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in Upper Karabakh. “Pakistan stands with the brotherly nation of Azerbaijan and supports its right of self-defence,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.“We support Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is in line with several unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions,” it added.

 Pakistani Students Take Online Chinese Proficiency Test to Pursue Research Dreams

(September 26, 2020)

BEIJING (APP): Sichuan Normal University (SICNU), China has held the first online Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) or Chinese Proficiency Test amid the COVID-19 outbreak for international students to pursue their research dreams. As per Liu Tianhao, a Pakistani student from SICNU, the Chinese Proficiency Test empowered him to explore China, according to China Economic Net (CEN) on Saturday.

He said, “Mastering local languages will enrich your experience in foreign countries. “Each language is beautiful with its history and content, so are Urdu and Chinese,” he added. According to SICNU, while doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control, they spare no efforts in the normalization of HSK. “We take HSK as an opportunity to vigorously develop international students’ education at all levels, so as to create a new landscape in international Chinese education,” said an official from SICNU.

The candidates of this online HSK are from Pakistan, Austria, Russia, South Korea, Laos, the United States, Japan, Singapore and some other countries, SICNU noted. Most of the examinees are from colleges and universities in Sichuan, China; a small number of social examinees are from the Consulate General of Singapore in Chengdu, a well-known foreign enterprise, etc.

HSK, translated as the Chinese Proficiency Test used in China, is the standardized test of Standard Chinese (a type of Mandarin Chinese) language proficiency of China for non-native speakers such as foreign students and overseas Chinese. The test is administered by Hanban, an agency of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.

PM Asks UN Security Council to Protect Kashmiris from “Impending Indian Genocide”

(September 25, 2020)

ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday urged the UN Security Council to protect the Kashmiris from “an impending genocide by India” and warned that there would be no durable peace and stability in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was resolved on the basis of international legitimacy. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Imran Khan said India in an attempt to divert the world’s attention from its actions in Jammu and Kashmir was upping the military ante against Pakistan.

“I want to make it clear that any attempt by the fascist totalitarian RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)-led Indian government to aggress against Pakistan will be met by a nation that will fight for its freedom to the end.” “I want to make it clear that any attempt by the fascist totalitarian RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)-led Indian government to aggress against Pakistan will be met by a nation that will fight for its freedom to the end”. Building upon his last year’s address where he spoke about the gross human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said Kashmir had been rightly described as a “nuclear flash point”.

“The Security Council must prevent a disastrous conflict and secure the implementation of its own resolutions as it did in the case of East Timor,” Imran Khan told the 193-member world body. He said the Security Council had considered the situation in Jammu and Kashmir three times in the past year. “It must take appropriate enforcement actions. It must also take steps to protect the Kashmiris from an impending genocide by India.” In a rare virtual address to the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly being held in New York, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke at length about the “smart lockdown” policy of Pakistan that won international acclaim, creation of a 500 billion US dollars fund for the developing world, climate change, India’s state sponsorship of Islamophobia and global framework to stem the illicit financial flows.

The prime minister told the world body that India was playing a dangerous game of upping the military ante against Pakistan in a nuclearized environment, to divert the world’s attention from its illegal actions and atrocities in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. “Despite constant Indian provocations and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary targeting innocent civilians, Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint. “We have consistently sensitized the world community about a ‘false flag’ operation and another ill-conceived misadventure by India”. “We have consistently sensitized the world community about a ‘false flag’ operation and another ill-conceived misadventure by India.” Imran Khan said his parents were born in colonial India and he was the first generation that grew up in an independent Pakistan, and warned. “The fascist totalitarian RSS-led Indian government to aggress against Pakistan”. The Pakistani nation would fight for its freedom to the end, he added.


The prime minister said Pakistan had always called for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute. He, however, pointed out that to achieve that end “India must rescind the measures it has instituted since 5th August 2019, end its military siege and other gross human rights violations, and agree to resolve the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and of course the wishes of the Kashmiri people.” Imran Khan, in his speech a major portion of which dealt with the Kashmir cause, said for over 72 years, India had illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and in blatant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council and indeed its own commitments to the people of Kashmir.

“India must rescind the measures it has instituted since 5th August 2019, end its military siege and other gross human rights violations on 5th August last year, India illegally and unilaterally sought to change the status of the occupied territories and deployed additional troops, bringing the total number to 900,000, to impose a military siege on 8 million Kashmiris.” He mentioned that all the Kashmiri political leaders were incarcerated; about 13,000 Kashmiri youth were abducted and thousands tortured; a complete curfew was imposed, accompanied by a total communications blackout. He said the Indian occupation forces used brute force, including pellet guns against peaceful protestors; imposed collective punishments, including the destruction of entire neighbourhoods, and extra-judicially murdered hundreds of innocent young Kashmiris in fake “encounters”, refusing even to hand over their bodies for burial.

“The Kashmiri media, and those daring to raise their voice, are being systematically harassed and intimidated through the use of draconian laws,” Imran Khan said. All of that had been well documented in the reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, communications from the Special Rapporteurs of Human Rights Council, and statements from human rights and civil society organizations, he added. “The international community must investigate the grave violations and prosecute the Indian civil and military personnel involved in state terrorism and serious crimes against humanity, being perpetrated, I am sad to say, with complete impunity.” The objective of the brutal campaign, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, was to impose what the RSS-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) regime had itself called the ‘Final Solution’ for Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the military siege was being followed by moves to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. “This”, the prime minister termed, was an attempt to “obliterate the distinct Kashmiri identity in order to affect the outcome of a plebiscite envisaged in the UN Security Council resolutions”. “This action is in violation of the UN Charter, Council resolutions and international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention. Changing demographic structure of occupied territory is a war crime,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said. Prime Minister Imran Khan said the brave Kashmiri people would never submit to the Indian occupation and oppression. brave Kashmiri people would never submit to the Indian occupation and oppression. “Their struggle is indigenous … They are fighting for a just cause and generation after generation have laid down their lives to rid themselves of Indian occupation.” Imran Khan said, “The government and people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination.”


He said India was the only country in the world, which sponsored Islamophobia. “The one country in the world today where, I am sad to say, the state sponsors Islamophobia, is India.” Dwelling at length about India’s extremist ideology, Imran Khan said it was being ruled by the RSS whose founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy. “While the Nazis’ hate was directed at the Jews, the RSS directs it towards the Muslims and to a lesser extent towards the Christians,” he added. The RSS, he said, believed that India was exclusively for Hindus while the rest of its citizens were not equal citizens. “The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra by subjugating, even cleansing India’s 200 million Muslims and other minorities.”

He recalled that in 1992, the RSS destroyed Babri Mosque; in 2002, some 2,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Gujarat, under the watch of Chief Minister Modi; and in 2007, over 50 Muslims were burnt alive by the RSS arsonists aboard the Samjhota Express Train.
In Assam, Imran Khan said, around two million Muslims faced the prospects of being arbitrarily stripped of their nationality through the adoption of discriminatory laws. He mentioned reports of large concentration camps being filled with by the Indian Muslim citizens. He said the Muslims were falsely blamed, vilified and victimized for spreading the coronavirus. They were denied medical attention on many occasions, their businesses were boycotted. “The Hindutva ideology is set to marginalize almost 300 million human beings – Muslims, Christians and Sikhs”

“Cow vigilantes attack and kill Muslims with impunity. Last February, Muslims faced targeted killings, with police complicity in New Delhi,” he added. The prime minister said mass registrations in the past had often been a precursor to genocide, and cited the examples of the Nuremburg Laws in Germany in 1935 and then in 1982 in Myanmar. “The Hindutva ideology is set to marginalize almost 300 million human beings – Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.” “This is unprecedented in history and does not augur well for the future of India as we all know that marginalization of human beings leads to their radicalization,” Imran Khan warned.


The prime minister said as Palestine remained a ‘festering wound’, a just and lasting settlement was indispensable, for the Middle East and actually the world. “Illegal annexations of Palestinian territory, the building of illegal settlements and the imposition of inhuman living conditions on the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, cannot bring peace to a troubled region,” he added. “Illegal annexations of Palestinian territory, building of illegal settlements and imposition of inhuman living conditions on the Palestinian people, cannot bring peace to a troubled region”. Imran Khan said, “Pakistan continues to support a two-state solution – in line with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, within the internationally agreed parameters, and they are; pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state.”


The prime minister said Pakistan’s desire for peace in their region was also manifested in their efforts to promote a political solution in Afghanistan. “I have consistently maintained over the past two decades that there is no military solution to the decades-old conflict in Afghanistan. The only way forward was and is a political settlement, which involves the full spectrum of Afghanistan’s political actors,” he added. He mentioned Pakistan’s full facilitation to the process that culminated in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement on February 29, 2020. “Pakistan is deeply gratified that it has fulfilled its part of the responsibility,” he added. He said the Afghan leaders must now seize the historic opportunity to achieve reconciliation and restore peace in their war-torn country.

The prime minister said through the Intra-Afghan Negotiations that commenced on September 12, they must work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. He, however, maintained that the process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and without any interference or outside influence. Imran Khan said early return of the Afghan refugees must be a part of the political solution. “After almost two decades of war, it is imperative not to allow “spoilers” – within and outside Afghanistan – to subvert the peace process,” he added. He was confident that peace and stability in Afghanistan would open new opportunities for development and regional connectivity. The prime minister said the United Nations remained the best legitimate avenue for collective action – managing international conflicts, fostering peace and security, promoting equitable development, and addressing global problems.

He urged the Secretary-General to take the lead in preventing global conflicts, and convene summit-level meetings to address regional hotspots and resolve the outstanding disputes. “The United Nations should be made fully responsive to the challenges of our times. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, is essential to promote greater democracy, accountability, transparency and efficiency,” he added. The prime minister assured that Pakistan would continue to participate actively in the process and endeavour, with other member states, to build a world where conflict was outlawed and equitable prosperity for all pursued in conditions of peace and security. Imran Khan congratulated Volkan Bozkir on his election as the President of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.

“We also appreciate the skilful leadership of the outgoing President, His Excellency Tijani Muhammad-Bande, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” he added. The prime minister also commended the leadership of Secretary General in the extremely turbulent times.


Imran Khan referred to his address to the General Assembly last year, in which he highlighted the tremendous damage that illicit financial flows from developing countries to rich countries and to offshore tax havens cause. “This leads to the impoverishment of the developing nations. Money that could be used towards human development is siphoned off by corrupt elites. The loss of foreign exchange causes currency depreciation that in turn leads to inflation and poverty,” he added. The prime minister said the quest for getting back those stolen resources was nearly impossible, given the cumbersome procedures. “Moreover, the powerful money launderers have access to the best lawyers. And sadly, because they are the beneficiaries, there is a lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity”, he added.

The prime minister said if that phenomena was unaddressed, it would continue to accentuate the inequality between the rich and the poor nations, and eventually would spark off a far bigger global crisis than the present migration issue posed. “The rich states cannot hold forth on human rights and justice when they provide sanctuary to money launderers and their looted wealth,” he remarked. The prime minister referred to the existing robust anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes, and called upon the UN General Assembly to take the lead in efforts to build a global framework to stem the illicit financial flows and ensure speedy repatriation of stolen wealth. “It is important to realize that the aid that flows from rich countries to the developing world is miniscule compared to the massive out-flows by our corrupt elites,” he stressed.


The prime minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had illustrated the oneness of humanity and in their interconnected world no one was safe unless everyone was safe. He said locking down to control the pandemic had triggered the worst recession since the Great Recession in the last century. “This has hit the poorest countries the hardest as well as the poor in all the countries,” he added. In Pakistan, Imran Khan said, they realized very early on that if they imposed a strict lockdown like that of several affluent countries, they would have more people dying of hunger than the virus. “Therefore, we adopted a policy of ‘smart lockdown.’ While concentrating on the virus hot-spots we opened up our agricultural sector immediately and then followed it up by the construction sector, which employed most of the people,” he added.

The prime minister said at the same time, and it was despite financial constraints, that his government deployed an unprecedented US$ 8 billion for health services; plus supported the poorest and most vulnerable households with direct cash payments through the Ehsaas Programme; and then subsidies to small businesses. “Even though our ‘smart lockdown’ was heavily criticized in the beginning, but thanks to Almighty Allah’s Grace, we have not only managed to control the virus, stabilize our economy, but most importantly, we have been able to protect the poorest segment of the society from the worst fallout of the lockdown,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said today Pakistan’s response was cited among the success stories in controlling and responding to the pandemic. “However, we are still not out of the woods, like no country is out of the woods today,” he added.


The prime minister said it was obvious from the outset that the developing countries would need a fiscal space to respond to, and recover from, the COVID crisis. “Debt relief is one of the best ways to create that fiscal space for developing countries. Therefore, in early April, I called for a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’,” he stressed. Imran Khan appreciated the G-20’s official debt suspension initiative, and the emergency and rapid financing offered by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and UN agencies. “This, however, is not going to be enough,” he said, adding the IMF had estimated that the developing countries would need over US$ 2.5 trillion to respond and recover from the crisis.

The prime minister said the official debt suspension would need to be extended and expanded. “Additional debt relief measures will also be needed. The development banks should ensure adequate financial inflows,” he added. He said the rich countries had generated over 10 trillion dollars to finance their own response and recovery. “They should support the creation of at least US$500 billion in new Special Drawing Rights for the developing world, “he added.


The prime minister said since his government assumed office, their consistent effort had been to fundamentally transform Pakistan. “We envisage ‘Naya Pakistan’ to be modeled on the principles of the State of Madina, established by our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). A just and humane society where all government policies are directed at lifting our citizens out of poverty and creating a just and equitable dispensation,” he maintained. Imran Khan, however, stressed that to achieve that goal, they needed to have peace and stability. “Thus our foreign policy aims to have peace with our neighbors and settle disputes through dialogue,” he added. He said the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations was an extremely important milestone, as that was the only body in the world that could help them achieve their goals of peace and stability in their neighborhood.

“This is also a time for us to reflect whether as the United Nations we have been able to realize the promise we collectively made to our peoples,” he added. The prime minister said, “Today, the foundations of ‘world order’ – non-use of or threat of unilateral force, self-determination of peoples, the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, international cooperation – all these ideals are being systematically eroded.” He said, “International agreements are being flouted and set aside. Renewed great-power rivalries are leading to a new arms race. Conflicts are proliferating and intensifying. Military occupation and illegal annexations are suppressing the right of human beings to self-determination.”

The prime minister quoted the respected Professor Noam Chomsky as saying that “mankind is at even a greater risk than it was before the 1st and 2nd World Wars in the last century”. It was because of the increased threat of nuclear war, climate change, and sadly the rise of authoritarian regimes. “We must come together to prevent such a catastrophe,” he maintained. Imran Khan said Pakistan believed that the driving force in international relations must be cooperation, in accordance with principles of international law, and not confrontation and force. “We all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism,” he added.


Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the threat posed to mankind due to climate change, mentioning the unprecedented fires in Australia, Siberia, California and Brazil; unprecedented flooding in various parts of the world; and record temperatures even in the Arctic Circle. “This should make us all worried for our future generations,” he said and added that commitments made through the Paris Agreement must be fulfilled, in particular the  commitment to mobilize US$ 100 billion annually as climate finance. The prime minister said Pakistan’s contribution to carbon emissions was minimal, but it was one of those countries most affected by climate change. “Yet, we have decided to take the lead as we consider addressing climate change a universal responsibility”, he said and mentioned that Pakistan had launched an extremely ambitious programme to plant 10 billion trees in next three years as their contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change. 

Committee discusses Constitution Amendment Bill

(September 24, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice in its meeting on Wednesday discussed ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020” (Amendment of Article 140) introduced by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi.  The meeting was presided over by Chairman of the Committee Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi at the Parliament House.

Senator Farooq H. Naek and Senator Musadik Masood Malik highlighted some important aspects of the Bill and said that the Bill requires thorough consideration and in this regard the response of the relevant ministry needs to be sought at the earliest. Chairman of the Committee directed the ministry concerned to provide details of appointment procedures of the Advocate General Islamabad and the summary be presented on which the appointment was made.

The Committee observed that the committee would like to see all the legal and constitutional aspects before deciding the fate of the legislation under consideration. It also directed that views of the ministry of Interior should also be solicited at the earliest. The committee deferred further consideration on the Bill. Another important Bill moved by Senator Farooq H. Naek “The Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was also taken into consideration. The Bill, Senator Farooq H. Naek, said, seeks to codify and clarify existing case law and afford protection to mothers in relation to the custody of their children.

He said that the Bill further purports to codify the hierarchy of preference in relation to custody.  The Committee deferred the Bill till next meeting wherein Senator Farooq H. Naek will present amended bill in view of discussions by the committee for conclusive discussion.

WAPDA Opens Jobs for Locals in Gilgit-Baltistan

(September 21, 2020)

MIRPUR: As the construction activities on strategically important Diamer Bash Dam Project are picking up pace, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has started the process for providing thousands of jobs to the people of Gilgit -Baltistan (GB) for poverty alleviation in the area and socio-economic uplift of the local people. WAPDA has advertised as many as 124 vacancies ranging from Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 6 to 16, against which only the people belonging to District Diamer, Gilgit Baltistan will be recruited.

Earlier, WAPDA also advertised 179 vacancies of BPS 14 to 20 and some 317 vacancies for security personnel, an official statement issued by WAPDA to media on Sunday said . The eligible candidates hailing from the project area and Gilgit Baltistan will be given priority against these vacancies. Besides providing employment to the locals on priority, a sum of Rs 78.5 billion is also being spent for resettlement and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) leading towards socio-economic development in the area.

As many as 44 development schemes for improving the existing water supply, irrigation, health and education infrastructures have been started. Construction of Chilas Cadet College under the CBMs is nearing completion which will help provide quality education to the local students. In addition, Thak Hydropower Project of 3 MW is also about to be completed to meet the electricity requirements of the area. It is worth mentioning here that Diamer Basha Dam, a vital project for water, food and energy security of Pakistan, is being constructed on River Indus, 315 Kilometer (Km) upstream of Tarbela Dam, 180 Km downstream of Gilgit, and 40 Km downstream of Chilas town.

Diamer Basha Dam with gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) and power generation capacity of 4500 Mega Watt (MW) will go a long way in stabilizing the economy. The project will also prove to be instrumental in developing the human resources and creating employment opportunities in the country. As many as 16,500 job opportunities of engineers and other staff will be made available at the national and local levels.

Opposition Announces Pakistan Democratic Movement Against “Selected” PTI Government

(September 20, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s opposition parties on Sunday announced to form a new alliance to overthrow the incumbent government of Imran Khan-led Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). A gathering of 12 parties and all opposition leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, agreed on a 26-point charter of demands in the PPP-hosted multiparty conference in the federal capital. According to Sunday’s resolution, the forum is named Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — an "alliance structure which will lead and guide nationwide protests against the anti-public and anti-nation government in a disciplined and integrated manner".

After hours of discussion over ways to oust the "selected" government, opposition parties demanded the "immediate" resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting declared that the "incumbent selected government has been granted artificial stability by the establishment that has imposed it on the people through rigged elections", said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman. The forum also demanded that elections be held again in a transparent manner and that electoral reforms should be made in order to ensure free and fair polls.

Terming the Parliament, a "rubber stamp", the PDM declared that the opposition will not cooperate with the government in the legislative process. The APC expressed grave concerns over the "complete failure" of the government's policy regarding Afghanistan. It also condemned "unprecedented" gags on the media and censorship, demanding that media tycoon Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman be released along with other media persons. It also demanded that a new law of accountability be passed in the country that is in accordance with the Supreme Court's verdict and recommendations from Human Rights Watch and Council of Islamic Ideology and would hold everyone accountable, including bureaucrats, lawmakers, judicial and army officials.

PDM also agreed upon a six-point action plan to depose the incumbent government, which would be implemented in phases. In the first phase that starts in October, opposition parties will hold joint rallies in all four provinces. The second phase will begin in December of this year, during which the opposition will hold "huge public demonstrations" across the country. In January next year, the opposition will set out on a "decisive long march" towards Islamabad.

The opposition will also enlist lawyers, traders, farmers, students, media as well as members of the civil society in its movement. In order to oust the government, opposition parties will use "every legal and constitutional option in and out of parliament, which include moving no-confidence motions and collective resignations from assemblies at an appropriate time," the resolution states.The forum also demanded transparent elections in the country and calls for electoral reforms. According to the declaration, due to the "non- implementation" of the National Action Plan there has been "a surge in terrorism". The opposition has also called for elections in Gilgit-Baltistan to be held on time and "without intervention".

PM’s UN Address On 25th Will Focus on Kashmir Issue

(September 19, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept 25 would focus on Kashmir dispute, the Foreign Office said. “Due to restrictions imposed by the local government in New York, there will be no in-person high-level participation from outside. Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the General Assembly on Friday, 25th September,” FO Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at the weekly media briefing.

The general debate, which is the centerpiece of any UN General Assembly session, starts from Tuesday (Sept 22). The current session, which is the 75th session, is unique in the world body’s history with leaders not attending in person and other meetings being held online. World leaders will send recorded video statements, which would be introduced by the respective country’s envoy, and then played in the UNGA Hall “as live”. FO rejects India’s request for appointment of foreign lawyer in Jadhav case. However, the world leaders can still attend in person.

Spokesman Chaudhri said: “... Jammu and Kashmir dispute will certainly be an important component of the Prime Minister’s UNGA address. Let me reiterate that Jammu and Kashmir dispute continues to remain a Foreign Policy priority for Pakistan”. In his speech at the 74th UNGA session last year, PM Khan had highlighted sufferings of Kashmiris and the Indian action of annexing the occupied territory. Alongside the UNGA session, there would be a series of special high-level sessions, including an event to commemorate the UN’s 75th anniversary; a summit on biodiversity; and a meeting to commemorate, and promote, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Mr Chaudhri said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would participate virtually in the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. He will also participate in other high-level engagements, he added. The spokesman reiterated concerns about India’s military buildup saying Delhi was amassing military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirements. “Pakistan has been consistently highlighting the risk of massive Indian arms buildup as well as their offensive security doctrine and force postures, which are adversely affecting strategic stability in South Asia,” the spokesman said.

He was reacting to the formal induction of the first five of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sept 10. The aircraft is being celebrated as a ‘game changer’ by IAF for significantly upgrading its capability. Mr Chaudhri regretted that this arms buildup by India is being aided and abetted by the West through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests. “The world community must dissuade India from its disproportionate arms buildup which could lead to an arms race in South Asia,” he said, reminding the world of India’s bellicose and irresponsible rhetoric in pursuit of a revisionist agenda in the neighbourhood.

Mr Chaudhri once again said that India would not be allowed to appoint a foreign lawyer for representing spy Kulbhushan Jadhav during the review proceedings in the Islamabad High Court. “India has been consistently making the unrealistic demand of allowing a lawyer from outside Pakistan to represent Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he said. “We have informed India that only those lawyers are allowed to appear in Pakistani courts who have a licence to practice law in Pakistan. This is in line with international legal practice. There can be no change in this position,” he added.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs suggested appointment of a Queen’s counsel to represent Jhadav. Pakistan government-initiated review and reconsideration of Jhadav case to implement last year’s ICJ verdict, which asked Pakistan to allow Indian consular officers’ access to him, and arrange effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav. Jadhav, who was arrested in 2016 in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military court in 2017 after being convicted of espionage.

Pakistan’s National Assembly Passes Bill to Curb Terror Financing 

(September 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the “Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Bill, 2020” which aims at addressing the issue of terror financing through latest techniques. The bill was tabled by Faheem Khan in the lower house of the parliament. The bill has been introduced in order to implement demands made by FATF regarding curbing terror financing in the country. 

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was also introduced in the House., proposing amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, penalizing the intentional ridiculing and defaming of the armed forces of Pakistan or any of its member. A person guilty of such offence will be punished with imprisonment for a term up to two years or fined for up to five hundred thousand rupees.

The purpose of this amendment is to prevent hatred and disrespectful behavior against the armed forces. The House was also informed that the National Disaster Management Authority has been carrying out relief and rescue operation in the rain hit areas across the country. Responding to a calling attention notice, Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan said currently Chairman NDMA, Lt. General Muhammad Afzal, along with teams of experts, is visiting Sindh to personally monitor the relief efforts.

He said food packages and tents have also been distributed among the rain affected people across Pakistan. Later, the House resumed discussion on the situation arising out of unfortunate crime of gang rape against a woman on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway.Taking part in the discussion, Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain stressed the need to reform the justice system in Pakistan to increase conviction rate in rape cases to prevent such inhuman acts in the society.

He said a rape victim should be treated as victim of violence and women investigation officer should be appointed to handle these cases.

Pakistan's Peace Quest Not Be Mistaken as Weakness: PM Imran 

(September 6, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan's desire for peace must not be misconstrued as its weakness. In his message to nation on Defence Day of Pakistan today, the premier said that "We need to work together for peace and securing a brighter future for our coming generations.".

He said the resilient nation and the battle-hardened armed forces of Pakistan had time and again proved that they were fully capable of defending the country and were fully prepared to meet any kind of eventuality.

He said September 6 was a day in Pakistan's glorious history that was commemorated as a symbol of courage, strong will and unmatched spirit of sacrifice by its gallant armed forces.

He said together with the brave nation, Pakistan's officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen proved to the world 55 year ago on September 6, that they were ever ready to defend every inch of the motherland no matter whatever the cost.The prime minister said that with the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, India had not only violated the UN Charter but has

also unleashed reign of terror on innocent Kashmiris, the APP reported.Indians are also showing aggressive posture on the Line of Control and such provocations were aimed at diverting the world attention from Indian atrocities in IIOJK, he added.

He urged the countrymen to pay homage to its martyrs and Ghazis, and pledge anew to defend Pakistan, safeguard its security and sovereignty at all costs with the same spirit, undaunted courage, unconquerable and indomitable spirit as had been displayed by the martyrs and Ghazis (veterans) of 1965 war.

PM Imran Summons Meeting of Senators to Discuss FATF Legislation

(September 4, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: In order to discuss legislation on Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a meeting of the Senators from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and other coalition parties.

According to the details, the meeting will be held at 4:30 pm today where the prime minister would also issue directives to the Senators on legislation pertaining to FATF and other matters.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Imran Khan while meeting with an adviser to Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan in the federal capital Islamabad, said FATF rules will be passed in any case. Opposition to the FATF law is opposition to national goals, he said.

Plot Allotment Case: AC Issues Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant Against Nawaz Sharif 

(September 3, 2020)

LAHORE: An accountability court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a plot allotment case.

According to media details, during the hearing, judge Asad Ali has directed foreign ministry to contact Pakistan High Commission in London for implementation on the warrant issued in the reference pertaining to a 34-year-old land allotment case.

Meanwhile, Inspector Bashir Ahmed submitted a report in the court, stating Nawaz Sharif was not present at his Model Town and Raiwind residences as he was in London for medical treatment.

Subsequently, the court, while extending judicial remand of veteran journalist Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, has adjourned the hearing.

NAB spokesperson Nawazish Ali said media tycoon’s arrest had been in a case pertaining to the clandestine allotment of a 54-kanal piece of land in 1986, from the then government of chief minister Nawaz Sharif.

IHC tells Nawaz to Surrender Before Court on Sept 10

(September 1, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif should surrender and "appear before the court" at the next hearing, scheduled for September 10.

A two-member special bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the petitions against the sentences of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia Steel Mills references.

Nawaz Sharif's lawyer, Khawaja Harris, appeared before the court whereas Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana and Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi appeared before the court on behalf of NAB.

“We are not passing the final verdict as of yet,” the court said. “We are giving you [Nawaz] last chance to surrender before the next hearing. Nawaz Sharif should appear before the court in any case.”

To this, Harris prayed before the court that a verdict has been passed then because the court has said that Nawaz should surrender in any case. The court is not even giving an opportunity to explain the reasons for not appearing in court, Nawaz’s counsel added. "Don't give a surrender date today, have a hearing next week and then announce it.".

“Let us know if you fear any arrest at the airport,” Justice Kayani replied. “We will pass a written order in this regard. The court would also issue appropriate order on Nawaz Sharif's request for exemption from attendance.”

The court also barred Maryam from appearing in court for the next hearing and said the federal government should also present its position on the matter.

Further hearing of the case was adjourned till September 10 whereas appeals of Maryam and Captain Safdar in Avenfield reference would be heard on September 23.

During today's proceedings, Nawaz’s counsel prayed before the court that the former premier was not medically fit to return to Pakistan and that a writ petition in this regard is pending in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

In the Avenfield reference, bail was granted on merit, lawyer Harris prayed, adding that the status of Nawaz Sharif's bail today is that he is not on bail.

To this, Justice Amir Farooq inquired if Nawaz was surrendering if he was not on bail. “Punjab government rejected Nawaz Sharif's bail plea,” Khawaja Harris replied. Shouldn't Nawaz Sharif have surrendered to court after his bail had expired, the court inquired.

“Nawaz Sharif's case is unique, I will give detailed information on the condition of non-surrender to court,” the counsel replied. "The Punjab government formed a medical board which had said that Nawaz Sharif could not be treated here.”

Nawaz’s counsel added that his client was undergoing treatment abroad when his bail extension application was rejected. LHC was approached to remove Nawaz’s name from ECL, the lawyer stated; to which, Justice Farooq replied that LHC’s order cannot supersede Nawaz’ sentence suspension.

“Nawaz Sharif's bail was conditional or Punjab government would extend his bail,” the court stated. “If the Lahore High Court orders to remove the name from the ECL, then Al-Azizia sentence is over?”

To this, counsel Harris remarked that the sworn statement said that after recovery, if doctors give permission, Nawaz Sharif would return to Pakistan. “Today's position is that Nawaz Sharif does not have bail in the Al-Azizia reference,” Justice Amir Farooq.

“I admit that Nawaz Sharif has no guarantee at the moment,” Nawaz’s counsel replied. Justice Amir Farooq inquired how the court would know about Nawaz’s medical condition. “You filed the last report on June 26,” the judge said. To this, the counsel replied that he would submit a fresh medical report.

“There is nothing on record now that shows Nawaz Sharif is hospitalised or can travel. If you do not appear during the appeal proceedings, you will be sentenced to three years imprisonment. Did you challenge the order passed by the Punjab government?”

Nawaz Sharif did not challenge the order and the reason is written in the petition, the counsel replied.NAB opposed Nawaz Sharif's request for exemption from appearance. "Both the pleas for an exemption for Nawaz 

If bail was not conditional in the Al-Azizia reference, what would be the status of exemption of applications today, the court inquired.

Nawaz Sharif is a fugitive, the NAB prosecutor said as the former premier is not attending the court proceedings. "In case of absconding, a lawyer cannot appear in the appeal on behalf of Nawaz,” NAB prosecutor said.

Can Nawaz Sharif pursue appeals through a representative? Justice Amir Farooq asked “If Nawaz Sharif absconds, the court can appoint a representative,” NAB stated. Earlier while talking to the media, Maryam said that the former premier was anxious to return to Pakistan.

She added that the former premier is undergoing treatment in London which was delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus. “I will be remain stubborn and say that Nawaz Sharif should not come back till his treatment is completed,” Maryam said. “Nawaz Sharif is very anxious to return home.”

Maryam added that she does not think that Nawaz would bar the party from attending the all parties conference (APC). She added that people would now have to think about Pakistan instead of themselves whereas the APC would find out if everyone is on the same page or not.

“It takes time for all parties to come together on one page for the country,” she said. Earlier, Nawaz assured the IHC that he would return to Pakistan as soon as he recuperates and maintained that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his treatment in London had been subjected to delay.

The PML-N supremo on August 31, filed an application in the IHC seeking exemption from appearance in the hearing of his appeal against his conviction in the Avenfield reference. In the Al-Azizia reference, Sharif requested the court to adjourn the hearing of the case or carry out the proceedings in the presence of his representative.

Sharif’s daughter Maryam and his son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar's counsel Amjad Pervaiz also moved two separate petitions to adjourn the hearing of appeals in Avenfield property reference. Pervaiz stated that he was on leave until September 5 and prayed the court to fix the hearing of the case after the ending of his vacations.

In his two separate applications, Nawaz Sharif responded to the questions regarding his recuperation and return to the country. The PML-N chief, in his application, seeking exemption from appearance in the hearing, adopted the stance that the matter regarding his departure for treatment abroad was already pending before the Lahore High Court.

He said the Punjab government despite being aware of this fact had neglected his medical reports and rejected his application for extension in bail. Assuring the IHC of his return to Pakistan after recuperation, Sharif noted that his treatment in London was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He stated that the physicians had advised him to stay at home due to the lockdown. He noted that the doctors had still not allowed him to travel to Pakistan and added that after being recovered, if permitted, he would travel back to his country on the first flight.

Sharif recalled that when his wife was critically ill, he had surrendered after going back to Pakistan and observed that he wanted to face the law in future too. The PML-N supremo noted that he could not challenge the Punjab government’s decision on his extension of bail as he was out of the country.

Clarifying his position on the matter, Sharif said his counsel had suggested that the Punjab government’s decision should not be challenged from abroad and that the initiative could not be taken without appearing personally before the court.

The former prime minister said that he had submitted his documents for extension in bail to the Punjab government but the authorities had deliberately rejected his application. Sharif further stated that he had sent his latest medical reports, which would be brought on record as soon as they are received by his counsel.

On Ashura, President Urges Countrymen to Strive for National Development, Shun Differences

(August 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD(APP): President Dr Arif Alvi urged countrymen to strive for national progress and prosperity while shunning mutual differences, sectarian biases, and faith-based hate, in light of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A)’s teachings.

In his message on the occasion of Ashura, the president said that since the beginning, Allah bestowed special status to the 10th of Moharram-ul-Haram. Many of the remarkable historic incidents had taken place on this day, be it the acceptance of Holy Prophet Adam’s apology, safe arrival of Hazrat Noah’s ark at Mount Jodi, turning of Namrood’s fire into coolness for Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) and the martyrdom of Hazrat Umar (R.A).

The president said that the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) and his companions had eternally enriched the significance of 10th of Moharram in the Islamic history. The sacrifice of Imam Hussain gave Muslims a lesson that one should not evade even sacrificing his life while fighting against the evil forces.

He said the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (R.A) was in fact the victory of truth, and symbol of steadfastness against oppression and a glorious example of sacrifice. He said Moharram-ul-Haram instilled a passion which made the followers cope with any ordeal.

The president said the Pakistani nation had shown exemplary discipline during its fights against coronavirus. As the pandemic is not yet over, we must still show further precaution, he advised. He hoped that the people

On Ashura, President urges countrymen to strive for national development, shun differences

would adhere to anti-COVID 19 SOPs during the Ashura rituals in light of the guidelines issued after consultation with the religious scholars.

The president urged the countrymen to make a pledge to take every step for victory of truth, promotion of justice, adherence to Islamic values, and for national progress and prosperity. He prayed to Allah Almighty to turn the new Islamic year as year of development and prosperity for Pakistan.

Kashmiris Should be Inspired by Karbala to Fight Indian Tyranny: PM

(August 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday said that the brave Kashmiris who were fighting against the worst form of military oppression and tyranny should be inspired by Karbala to stay steadfast in their courage.

“The brave Kashmiris who are fighting against the worst form of military oppression & tyranny should be inspired by Karbala to stay steadfast in their courage because their struggle against tyranny & injustice will succeed as the martyrs of Karbala showed us,” the prime minister said on Twitter.

He said the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A.S), his family and followers gave three messages for the Muslims.

Firstly, he said the immortality was earned by those who gave the supreme sacrifice of their lives to stand against tyranny and injustice. “It is not earned simply by being rich, powerful or educated,” he remarked.

He said throughout history, many great Muslims had been inspired by Karbala and sacrificed their lives to stand against oppression, colonial rule and injustice.

The prime minister said that today, the struggle continued against oppression of occupation and injustice in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan to Decide About Reopening of Schools on Sept 7, 2020

(August 28, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood has said that the government will take the final decision regarding the reopening of educational institutions with consensus on the 7th of next month.

While speaking at a meeting of National Command and Operation Center in Islamabad (Thursday), it was emphasized that the educational institutions must ensure compliance to all Covid protocols and prepare accordingly before the final decision.

The forum suggested a strategy about reopening of educational institutions. It said that the institutions be opened on top to bottom approach starting from the Universities to the High Schools on rotation

basis. The NCOC proposed that timings of various institutions be staggered with suspending various activities which involve contraction and mass gatherings including co-curricular activities.

Development of Construction Sector Key to Economic Stability, Growth: PM Imran

(August 28, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said the development of the construction sector is the key to the stability and growth of the country's economy. 

While chairing a weekly meeting of National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development in Islamabad, he said the promotion of this sector and providing facilities for investors, builders and developers associated with this sector is top priority of the government.

The Prime Minister directed all the Chief Secretaries to expedite the process of approval of pending applications for construction and to ensure that decisions on all applications are completed within the stipulated time, the Radio Pakistan reported.

The Chairman of CDA apprised the Prime Minister of the concessions

given in the construction sector in the Federal Capital Territory, the approvals given so far for commercial, residential construction, projects to be started in the near future, Park Enclave III project and Blue Area.

Peshawar BRT bus catches fire near Hayatabad

(August 26, 2020)

PESHAWAR – A bus of the recently launched public transport project, Bust Rapid Transit (BRT), caught fire on Wednesday near Hayatabad in Peshawar. 

All the passengers have been safely moved out of the station while the fire has been extinguished. No any loss of life has been reported. BRT spokesperson said that an investigation has been launched to know the reason behind the incident. This is for the fourth time that BRT system faced a

Last week, a bus of the BRT fleet developed a fault in Gulbahar area, causing suspension of the service for several hours. The bus was tow-chained to a crane and taken to the depot for repair.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated the BRT on August 13 and the very next day passengers stormed the corridor of a station after exit machines suffered technical glitches. 

US embassy warns citizens about travel on Pakistani airlines

(August 25, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: In latest Travel Alert for its citizens, the US Embassy in Islamabad has asked them to monitor local media for updates before travelling on Pakistani air carriers and enroll themselves in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). 

The alert has been issued in the light of US Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to downgrade Pakistan to Category 2 ranking over its failure to comply with certain International Civil Aviation Organisation safety standards. 

A statement issued by the embassy said, "According to the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment programme, air carriers from countries with Category 2 ratings are not allowed to initiate new service to the United States, are restricted to current levels of existing service to the United States, and are not permitted to carry the code of US carriers on any flights".

US citizens have been asked to "Monitor local media for updates on travel to, from, and within Pakistan on Pakistani air carriers" and "enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel and security updates".

“U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Pakistan are advised that U.S. Embassy and Mission personnel are precluded from traveling on any Pakistani airline without prior authorization,” read the statement.

Pakistan’s ranking was dropped by the US authorities after fake pilots’ licenses issued surfaced earlier this year. 

Pakistan Rejects Indian “Charge Sheet”

(August 24, 2020)

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has categorically rejected the so-called "charge sheet" by India's National Investigation Agency which mischievously attempts to implicate Pakistan in the Pulwama attack in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir last year.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the fabrications in the reported "charge sheet" are patently designed to further the BJP's anti-Pakistan rhetoric and its narrow domestic political interests.

He said at the outset, Pakistan had rejected India's baseless allegations and expressed readiness to extend cooperation on the basis of any actionable information. India failed to provide any credible evidence for its invective and has instead been using the attack for its malicious propaganda campaign against Pakistan.

The Spokesperson said the timing of the Pulwama attack, just two months before the Lok Sabha elections in India, and the fact that explosives used in the attack were collected from inside the IIOJK, and the key accused persons in the attack have already been killed by Indian forces, raise too many questions. The world knows well as to who benefited the most from Pulwama attack and drew electoral dividends.

He said it would be recalled that Indian military aircraft engaged in belligerent action against Pakistan on 26th February 2019. The Indian misadventure was effectively countered by the Pakistan Air Force, which resulted in the downing of two Indian warplanes and capture of an Indian pilot. Despite India's provocations, the Indian pilot was released by Pakistan as a peace gesture.

He said in response to a paper shared by the Indian Government following the Pulwama attack, Pakistan constituted a high-level investigation team to examine its contents. As the information provided by India was incomplete, patchy and unsubstantiated, Pakistan shared two Aides-memoir, seeking further information and supporting evidence from India. India has been unable to provide any corroboration of its unfounded allegations.

The Spokesperson said India cannot mislead the world community with its motivated propaganda. Indian allegations against Pakistan seek to divert attention from India's state-terrorism in IIOJK, grave human rights violations of the Kashmiri people under Indian occupation, and the RSS-BJP regime's mishandling of domestic issues.

He said Pakistan has been forewarning the international community about India's use of "false flag" operation and possible ill-conceived misadventure. With the approaching state elections in India, the RSS-BJP ploy of raising the Pakistan bogey again for making electoral gains is palpable.

I made Imran Khan PM PK: Miandad

(AUGUST 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Legendary cricketer Javed Miandad says he was the driving force for Imran Khan in cricket.

In an interview on his YouTube channel Tuesday, the former Pakistan captain said actually he was the captain of Imran Khan. He said he will join politics and tell people what is real politics? He explained that after joining politics he will call a spade a spade.

Javed Miandad, a member of the World Cup winning team in 1992, said he made Imran Khan the prime minister, but it seems he has lost his way. He said Imran Khan is not running the country properly and the appointments in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are also questionable.

He said Imran Khan has deprived players of their jobs. He said the people of Pakistan are very capable, and there is no need to run the Affairs of Pakistan cricket by bringing people from abroad. He alleged that ignorant people are running the affairs of PCB. He said who will

catch the foreigners if they escaped after doing corruption in the PCB.Javed Miandad also said that the treatment of former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was not right. He praised the Pakistan Army for keeping the country united.

President Sardar Masood Khan Pays Tributes to IIOJK People for Resisting Colonialism, Foreign Occupation           Fri 31st July 2020 | 10:34 PM

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Friday paid tributes to the valiant people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) for their resilience to face India's barbaric scorched-earth policy, and their resolve to resist colonialism and foreign occupation

"We are with our brothers and sisters in IIOJK until together we repulse the Indian invasion and wrestle down the monster of Hindutva which is feeding on Kashmiri lives and rights," Masood said in a video message to the Kashmiri people in connection with the Youm-e-Istehsal (August 5) marking the first anniversary of last year's unilateral illegal Indian action of abrogating the special constitutional status of IIOJK and its military siege.

He said the day (August 5) had gone down as the blackest day in the history of Kashmir as on that day last year 900,000 Indian occupation forces invaded the IIOJK and re-occupied it. Ever since they had been brutalizing the people and colonizing the territory. The occupation army, he said, had killed hundreds of young men, incarcerated thousands of boys and children, and forcibly disappeared Kashmiris. All freedom leaders were under illegal detention. Concentration camps had been set up in the occupied territory in order to force political activists to discard their quest for liberty.

Sardar Masood pointed out that late last year, India bifurcated the disputed territory illicitly into two parts and declared that they would be ruled by Delhi, without the consent of the people. "In another sinister move this year, India has launched massive import and transfer of Hindus from India to settle them in the occupied territory in order to change the demographic composition of the state. This is a flagrant violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and international law." He observed that the scale at which the atrocities were being committed had been rightly termed genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

"Kashmiris are being exterminated; they are being made aliens in their own land, homeless in their homeland. The full-fledged aggression against Kashmiris is driven by the Neo-Fascist Hindutva doctrine and settler colonialism. We see a replication of the Nazi policies in the occupied territory," he asserted. The AJK president said Indian rulers and armed forces, through their warmongering, ceasefire violations, and threats to attack Azad Kashmir and disintegrate Pakistan, were pushing the region to the brink of war. In fact, they had declared multiple wars against all their neighbouring and even against their own population.

Expressing gratitude to the international media, world parliaments, international civil society and human rights organisations for calling out India's revolting and despicable crimes against humanity and for speaking up for the oppressed and besieged Kashmiris, Sardar Masood regretted that with the exception of China, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran and West European countries, the response of the most powerful nations had been disappointing and faltering.

He also thanked the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for its strong solidarity with the Kashmiris; and the periodic statements issued by the United Nations leadership. "But this is not enough. We demand action." President Masood appealed to the international community, especially the United Nations, to step forward and help liberate the people of IIOJK, or, otherwise, it would be too late. An entire people would be disenfranchised, dispossessed, displaced and destroyed altogether.

In another video message, the AJK president paid great homage to Ghazi-e-Millat Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, and said undoubtedly he was a hero of the liberation movement and a popular Kashmiri leader, who had got a resolution of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan passed at his residence in Srinagar on July 19, 1947, and was also instrumental in declaring war against Maharaja Hari Singh's forces and liberating of one-third part of Kashmir.

He said if India had not landed its troops in Srinagar on October 27, 1947, the whole Jammu and Kashmir would have formed Pakistan today. Terming late Ghazi-e- Millat an honest, upright and most clean politician of his time, Sardar Masood said the best tribute to the founder leader was to dedicate all abilities for strengthening and reinforcing Kashmir liberation struggle while adhering to his principles and thoughts.

He urged the youth of AJK to follow the footsteps of late Ghazi-e- Millat to achieve the desired goals in life. In a special message on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, the AJK president expressed the confidence that the day was not far off when the Kashmiri people would celebrate the Eid and observe the Sunnah-e-Ibrahimi in an environment of liberty by virtue of the unprecedented sacrifices they had offered for their supreme cause of freedom from the usurper.

He said on the Eid ul Azha, on the one hand the people of occupied Kashmiri, who were faced with the worst siege of their homeland by India, were fighting the novel coronavirus while on the other the Indian rulers and the occupation army had tied them like animals, and dozens of youth were being martyred on daily basis. While extending Eid greetings to the IIOJK people, the AJK president assured that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir stood shoulder to shoulder with them, and would continue supporting their freedom struggle till the occupied territory was liberated.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir dwelling both sides of the line of control are all set to celebrate Eidul Adha with traditional religious zeal and fervor on August 1st, 2020      (July 31, 2020)

MIRPUR: The people of Jammu and Kashmir dwelling both sides of the line of control are all set to celebrate Eidul Adha with traditional religious zeal and fervor on August 1st. The day will begin with special prayers in the mosques for the stability, integrity, unity and solidarity of the Muslim Ummah, progress and prosperity of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the liberation of Indian Illegally occupied Jammu Kashmir.

The Indian Illegal occupational forces have locked all mosques and other sites of worships to resist Muslim population attending Eid congregations to offer the Eid prayers. As such People of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, besieged in the curfew-clamped bleeding valley were being deprived of celebrating the sanctified day, because of the total siege of the internationally-acknowledged disputed Indian Illegally occupied Jammu Kashmir state by over 1.50 million other Indian occupying armed forces in follow up of the August 5, 2919 Indian abortive attempt of revocation of special status of the Internationally acknowledged disputed Himalayan state.

Valiant Kashmiri Muslims in the occupied state, are, however, reportedly determined to celebrate Eidul Adha with full religious zeal and fervor despite the exceptional restrictions imposed by the occupational Indian forces, with renewal of the pledge to continue the liberation struggle, a report reaching from across the line of control here Saturday said.

As Diplomatic Relations Worsen, India Increases Shelling Across LOC   (July 31, 2020)

MUZAFFARABAD: The Pakistan Army said that there has been an escalation in firing and shelling across the Line of Control (LoC), at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Major-General Amer Ahsan Nawaz, the commander of Pakistani troops in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), said that the Indian military is trying to distract attention from unrest in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

“If you compare it to the past years, there is a definite increase in this year,” he told reporters on Wednesday near the LoC, across which the two sides’ militaries have faced off for decades. According to the Pakistan Army, in 2019, when ceasefire violations hit a more than decade-high peak, there were just over 3,500 incidents. Already in 2020 there have been almost 1,800 violations, The surge during the more volatile summer season since June has been more pronounced than in previous years, they added.

Tensions were exacerbated last year when India revoked the autonomous status of IOJ&K. In the recent months, the diplomatic relationship has worsened further as New Delhi and Islamabad each ejected half of its neighbour’s diplomats. In AJK, which is relatively heavily populated close to the LoC, locals said that shelling or firing was becoming a near-daily occurrence. “It can start any time day or night,” said Malik Mohammad Ayub, a local deputy commissioner, who said around four civilians were martyred and 13 wounded in his district since he took the job four months ago.

Faiza Shabbir, 12, said she and her sisters had been afraid when shelling began in their area earlier this month. “Firing was going on, so we hid in our house, then a shell hit our roof. Three of us sisters and our grandmother were injured,” she said, adding that had spent four days in hospital being treated for shrapnel wounds.

AJK President Urges UK Councillors to Lobby for Kashmir Issue Settlement (July 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has called upon the British government to fulfil its responsibility to resolve the Kashmir issue according to the aspirations of the people of the valley and urged the Kashmiri community of the UK to use their leverage for the solution of the problem.

Addressing a National Councillors' Conference organised by Faheem Kiyani, President Tahreek-e-Kashmir UK on the topic of “Brutal Lockdown and Demographic Changes in Kashmir”, he said the UK being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and forbearer of human rights has the responsibility to brief the others, permanent members of the council about the irredentism in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) and mounting humanitarian crisis in the region.

The event, first of its kind, participated besides others by elected members of over fifty members of different City Councils and Boroughs from across the UK was moderated by Uzma Rasool and also addressed by prominent Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmed Bhatt and Raja Faheem Kiani. Speaking as chief guest of the event, Masood Khan urged the Kashmiri leaders to accelerate their efforts and mobilise British Parliamentarians through cohesive efforts to raise the issue.

“I appeal to you to mobilise public opinion in the UK and beyond by relating that in the last century it was a crime to be a Jew in Nazi Germany and now Muslims in India and Occupied Kashmir are facing the same persecution at the hands of BJP-RSS fascist regime,” Masood said.

The president exhorted the diaspora community leaders to play their due role in raising the Kashmir issue effectively in the British Parliament, civil society and the media and approve resolutions in their respective councils in favour of Kashmiris peoples’ inalienable right to self-determination and against Indian atrocities and monstrosities in IOJ&K.

Masood noted that many electoral constituencies in the UK have a strong Kashmiri population and the constituents can persuade their elected MPs in the British Parliament to help push the Kashmir issue forward for its peaceful resolution as the conflict has posed a serious threat to peace and security of the region. “Your outreach within your councils and constituencies is very significant. It's time to work at the grass-root level to draw global attention towards the horrendous human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and stem the genocide taking place in the occupied territory,” he added.

Urging the elected representatives of the diaspora community to communicate with their lawmakers and write to FCO and 10 Downing Street, the president asserted that the UK government should be more firm when it comes to situation in IOJ&K and they should not hide behind the frivolous argument that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Referring to the history of Kashmir freedom, Masood said Kashmiris have been fighting for the freedom and liberty for past 200 years but their plight became more complex after India's occupation of Kashmir in 1947.

“Kashmiris have been facing massacres and mayhem in the hands of the occupying army since India occupied the territory 73 years ago. A holocaust took place in 1947 leading to the brutal murder of 237,000 Muslim Kashmiris that resulted in a major demographic change in Jammu region of the occupied state, he said. Now India, AJK president said, under the garb of double lockdown is transforming the demography in Kashmir valley. After the occupational lockdown the 700,000 troops present in IOJ&K were beefed up to 900,000 and there has been an incessant communication blockade across the occupied territory.

The reaction to the August 05 move of Indian government came from world parliaments, civil society and media, questioning the legitimacy of Indian action to colonise Kashmir and even United Nations called the communication blockades imposed by New Delhi in Occupied Kashmir as a tool to curb expression and other fundamental rights of the people.

But unfortunately, the reaction lasted only for three months partly because of Brexit in the UK, President’s Trump’s impeachment and later due to outbreak of Covid-19. However, he expressed his deep gratitude to the UK’s public opinion leader parliamentarians and the diaspora community for mobilising support for the oppressed Kashmiris by organising massive rallies and calling out human right crimes committed by India in IOJ&K.

Others who spoke on the occasion were, Cllr Zafar Islam Dudley, Cllr Sajid Mehmood from Nottingham, Cllr Khatejah Malik from Luton, Cllr Altaf Hussain from Oxford. Cllr Kashif Ch from Luton, Cllr Naveed Raja from Luton, Cllr Maqsood from Waltham Forest, Muhammad Hanif Raja from Glasgow, Qaiser Chaudhry from Chesham, Mehboob Hussain Bhatti from Wycombe,

Cllr Muhammad Ayun from Bolton, Liaqat Ali MBE from Waltham Forest, Cllr Nyer Nazir from Redditch, Cllr Aasim Rashid from Rochdale, Cllr, Shoukat Ali from Manchester, Cllr Aslam Khan from Loton, Cllr Shahida Mehrban from Hounslow, Cllr Munsif Dad from Hyndburn, Cllr Salma Mumtaz from Nottingham, Cllr Shazia Bashir from Peterborough, Cllr Khalid Hussain from Bury, Cllr Muhammad Idrees from Birmingham, Cllr Javeria Hussain from Luton, Cllr Jamila Azad from Oxford,

Cllr Mushtaq Ahmed from Red Bridge, Cllr Akhtar Hussain from Black Burn, Cllr Iram Ali from Newcastle, Cllr Asif Khan from Watford, Cllr Nighat Khan from Nottingham, Cllr Muhammad Saghir from Nottingham, Cllr Shakil Ahmed from Rochdale, Cllr Muhammad Iqbal from Bolton, Cllr Sehrish Loan from Burnley, Cllr Mushtaq Mughal from Newham, Cllr Fiaz Matloob from Slough, Cllr Hather Ali from Waltham Forest, Cllr Afrasiab Anwar from Burnley, Cllr M. Yaseen Hussain from Sandwell, Cllr M. Shahzad from Leeds and Cllr Sabina Dita from Wallsal.

British Airways Starts Direct Flights to Pakistan...(July 30, 2020) 

LONDON: British Airways on Thursday announced to resume flight operations for Pakistan. Direct flights will be operated between Islamabad and Heathrow Airport London three times a week, with first British Airways flight landing in the country on August 14 amid extra precautionary measures for the safety of its crew and passenger.

The airline today said it would start direct flights three times a week to and from Heathrow Airport and Islamabad. The first flight will land in Islamabad on 14 August, and will be taking extra precautionary measures for the safety of its crew and passengers.

Today’s announcement is another important step in reconnecting the trade ties and people-to-people ties between the UK and Pakistan. Wearing masks during the flights will be mandatory for the passengers traveling to and from Islamabad International Airport.

The United Kingdom (UK) government website shared details of the flight operations saying that from London Heathrow the flights will be on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, departing at 20:30 and arriving in Islamabad at 04:20. From Islamabad, flights will be on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, departing at 06:15 and arriving in London at 15:00.

The British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner CMG, said this was an important moment for UK-Pakistan links.“The resumption of British Airways direct flights is a big boost for the hundreds of thousands of travellers who travel regularly between our two great nations, many who have had their travel plans disrupted by the pandemic,” the high commissioner said.

He expressed gratitude towards the government of Pakistan, British Airways and his team in Pakistan who worked hard to achieve the results. The airline’s direct flights restarted in June 2019 after a break of 10 years. The carrier first flew to Islamabad in 1976.

Sardar Masood Khan is currently serving as the 27th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, a position he assumed on 25th August 2016. Immediately before becoming the President he was the Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.

Prior to getting elected as the President of AJK, Sardar Masood Khan Khan had a long diplomatic career with the Foreign Service of Pakistan. Most notably, he served as the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2005; Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2005 to 2008; Pakistan's Ambassador to China from 2008 to 2012; and Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 2012 to 2015.

In his earlier diplomatic career, he held important diplomatic positions in China, The Netherlands, United Nations (New York) and the USA (Washington D.C).

Over the years, he has also held leadership positions in the international community which include President of the Conference on Disarmament, President of the Biological Weapons Review Conference 2006, President of the Governmental Group of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Chairman of the ILO Reform Committee, Chairman of the Council of the International Organization for Migration, Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Geneva and Chairman of the Group of 77 and China.

In New York, Sardar Masood Khan represented Pakistan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2012 to 2013 and became the President of the Security Council in January 2013. While in New York, he was also the Vice President of the Economic and Social Council, Vice President of the UN General Assembly and President of the Executive Board of UNICEF.

Sardar Masood Khan also remained Pakistan's Chief Negotiator at the Nuclear Security Summit from 2009 to 2015.

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has served as Director General United Nations, Director General Nuclear Disarmament, Director General Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Director General East Asia and Pacific. Earlier, he was Director Secretary General’s Office and Director International Conferences.

His areas of specialization include nuclear diplomacy, Kashmir, South Asia, Pak-China relations, Pak-US relations, e-governance, multilateral diplomacy and international humanitarian law, among others.

Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan ,was elected Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister and leader of the House by AJK Legislative Assembly on 31st July, 2016 by a vast majority. Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan belongs to a well known political family & inherited the career from his family, his father Raja Muhammad Haider Khan (Late) led the Muslim Conference being the President of Muslim Conference two times i.e. in 1960 & 1963. His mother Mohterma Saeeda Khan (late) holds the honor to be the first female Member of AJ&K Legislative Assembly in the history of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. His uncle Raja Muhammad Latif Khan was elected as a Member of AJ&K Legislative Assembly in 1970. His sister Miss Naureen Haider also remained a Member of AJ&K Legislative Assembly from 1991 to 1996.

The honourable, Prime Minister of Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider talking to the media representatives in the Tulip garden at Muzaffarabad.The Tulip garden is established under the administration of the Dr. Muhammad Bashir Butt, Director General, Agriculture, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Muzaffarabad and Tariq Masood Khan, Secretary, Agriculture, Irrigation and Animal Husbandry Affairs, Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

ISLAMABAD: Kashmiri leaders across the Line of Control (LoC) have urged the governments of Pakistan and India to resume dialogue aimed at bringing sustainable peace and security in South Asia.

These views were expressed by speakers at a conference titled “Kashmir Freedom Struggle and Challenges”, jointly organised by Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) and Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK) United Kingdom (UK) at the Kashmir House in Islamabad on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan stressed upon the need to approach the overseas Kashmiris for the projection of Kashmir cause and exposing India’s state terrorism in the occupied valley.

“The third generation of Pakistanis and Kashmiris settled in the UK and Europe must be approached for highlighting the Kashmir cause at international level,” he said.  Khan added the Kashmir conflict has now become an issue for Indian Muslims and Pakistan as well due to Modi government’s anti-Muslim agenda.

JKSM chairman Altaf Bhat said that harassment of the families of political workers and other social activists at the hands of Indian forces is unfortunate. He also deplored travel restrictions on Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yaseen Malik and Zafar Akbar Bhat.

Bhat demanded an end to censorship imposed on media by the Indian government, including frequent shut downs of internet services to stop people from taking to social media.

A resolution was also passed by the summit, extending solidarity with the family members of political workers who were either martyred or sent to jail by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Through the resolution it was also demanded that all political leaders including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Dr Qasim Fakhtu and Mussarat Alam among others are released at the earliest.

The resolution demanded an end to the ban imposed on Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami (JKJI) , Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and an immediate release of JKJI chief Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz, JKLF chief Yaseen Malik and others.

“World community and human rights organisations must take notice of the youngest pellet-gun victim Hibba Nisar, an 18-month infant who was injured by the pellets fired by the Indian troops on her face.

“This conference also denounces continued ceasefire violations on the Line of Control by the Indian forces, targeting civilians and unarmed people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. We appeal to the world community to put pressure on New Delhi to stop the targetted killing of civilians,” the resolution further read.

Dr. Muhammad Bashir Butt                                                                              Director General Agriculture                                                                           Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir                                                     Agriculture Complex, Shaukat Lines, Gojra, Muzaffarabad,                            +92(582)-2920563    +92(582)-5822920563   +92(333)-5308935       

مظفر آباد (لائلپورپوسٹ)-آزاد کشمیر میں دو ہفتوں کے لیے مکمل لاک ڈاؤن کا فیصلہ، اطلاق آج رات بارہ بجے سے ہوگا۔ وزیر اعظم آزاد کشمیر راجہ محمد فاروق خان نے نرمی کا فیصلہ واپس لیتے ہوئے آزاد کشمیر میں لاک ڈاؤن مزید سخت کرنے کا حکم دے دیا۔

آزاد کشمیر میں رات 12 بجے سے مکمل لاک ڈاؤن بحال کر دیا جائے گا۔ وزیراعظم آزاد کشمیر کا کہنا ہے کہ لاک ڈاؤن کے دوران اشیاء ضروریہ میڈیکل اسٹور طے شدہ اوقات کار کے مطابق کھلے رہیں گے۔ راجہ فاروق حیدر نے کہا کہ فیصلہ کورونا کے بڑھتے ہوئے کیسز کو مدنظر رکھ کر کیا گیا، عوام سے تعاون کی اپیل ہے۔

وزیر اعظم آزاد کشمیر نے کہا کہ یہ احتیاطی اور حفاظتی اقدامات ہیں، جو عوام کو محفوظ بنانے کے لیے اٹھائے گئے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ حالات عید کی شاپنگ کرنے کے متقاضی نہیں ہیں، عید سادگی سے منائیں۔ فاروق حیدر خان نے کہا کہ عید تک ٹرانسپورٹ بھی معطل رہےگی، عوام غیر ضروری طور پر گھروں سے نہ نکلیں۔ وزیراعظم آزاد کشمیر نے کہا کہ لاک ڈاؤن کے احکامات کا اطلاق 18 مئی سے دو ہفتوں کےلیے ہو گا۔

Mr. Mathar Niaz Rana has assumed the charge of 48th Chief Secretary Azad Government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir on 12th February 2019.

He is graduate of UET Lahore, Imperial College, Business School London, London School of Economics and NDU Islamabad.

He has served on important positions in Islamabad Capital Terrority, Administration, Federal Government and Governments of Punjab and Balochistan.

ISLAMABAD. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri raised the Kashmir cause at the Sustainable Deve­lopment Goals summit and apprised its participants about unconstitutional steps and atrocities being committed by Indian government against innocent people of held Kashmir.

Members of the Indian delegation at the summit led by the Lok Sabha speaker tried to interrupt Mr Suri. However, their attempt went unheeded and the deputy speaker continued his speech and apprised the participants about the volatile situation in India-held Kashmir.

The entire occupied valley had been converted into a heavily militarized zone and people were being stopped from performing their religious rites, Mr Suri said, according to a message received here from Maldives.

The deputy speaker stressed upon the South Asian countries to support Kashmiris for their right to self-determination under the auspicious of United Nations.
He said means of communication had been disconnected in the occupied valley aggravating the agony of its people, and that the international community must raise the Kashmir issue at appropriate level by asserting pressure on India for its resolution in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspiration of Kashmiri people.

He reiterated Pakistan’s stance for morally and diplomatically supporting Kashmiris, saying that the attitude of India towards Kashmir issue was putting South Asia peace and development at stake.

NEW DELHI: Indian government said it was 'unacceptable' over the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) reference to Jammu and Kashmir in a communiqué adopted at its summit meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah last week.

In a strong reaction, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar slammed the OIC saying it should refrain from making such "unwarranted references."

In its final communique at the Makkah summit, the OIC reiterated its support for the legitimate rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and also appointed a special envoy for the state. The OIC is an international organisation consisting of 57 member states, 53 of them Muslim-majority nations.

In his statement Kumar said: "We categorically reject yet another unacceptable reference to matters internal to India in the Final Communiqué adopted at the conclusion of the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states held at Makkah on 31 May 31."

"The OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. It is reiterated that OIC should refrain from making such unwarranted references," Kumar said.

Pakistan is suspected to have played a major part in finalising the communiqué, according to people familiar with the developments in New Delhi – one of the possible key reasons Kashmir having figured so prominently in the OIC communiqué.

The OIC move comes within months of the grouping inviting India as a “guest of honour" to address a foreign ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi. On 1 March, former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers– becoming the first Indian minister to address an OIC meeting.

India's participation happened despite Pakistan's strong demand to withdraw the invitation to Swaraj. Pakistan's request was turned down by host UAE, resulting in Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotting the plenary.

2020. All Rights Reserved. Layalpur Post.Pakistan.