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July 22

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Capital defies APCC sponsored bandh, Congress-BJP squabble

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: The 12-hour Capital Complex bandh called by the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Friday saw a mixed response in the early hours of the day, with the Capital Administration and police gradually setting daily routine into motion.

Reports came in that suspected bandh activists burnt tyres at around 5 AM near Rama Krishna Mission Hospital and between the Itanagar to Naharlagun road.

The Capital unit police informed that two cases have been registered against the protestors but arrests could not be made as the suspected activists immediately fled from the scene after they set the tyres on fire.

Further, the Itanagar Market Welfare Association members were seen asking all the shopkeepers to open their shops, or face cancellation of their trading licenses for a month or pay a penalty of Rs 50, 000.

Explaining to business owners and shopkeepers that they had nothing to do with party politics, the IMWA members said that that it was their loss if they do not open shop for business.

Most local vegetable and meat vendors were seen selling their produce, but many non-local shopkeepers were reluctant and opened their shops after much pursuance.

There were no untoward incidents reported from Naharlagun or Nirjuli.

Bandh was partially effective in Naharlagun as few vehicles were seen plying on the road since early morning with most of the shops remaining closed. Later, members of the Bazaar Welfare Committee, along with police personnel forced the shopkeepers to open their shops.

Police personnel were also deployed in various sectors and along the highway. However, around mid-day traffic gradually increased and most of the shops opened up for business.

Many banks were also closed on the pretext of the bandh.

Meanwhile, Government Spokesperson Bamang Felix termed today's bandh by the APCC as a "complete failure", and thanked the people of Arunachal, especially the Capital Complex dwellers for defying the bandh call.  

On the demand of the APCC to relieve Chief Secretary in-charge Satya Gopal as directed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 29 last, the Government Spokesperson said that he would be released as and when a reliever is appointed in his place.

He also informed that despite being busy with the restoration works, the government had organised a meeting of the INC party executives and exhausted all means to try and convince them not to be anti-Arunachal or anti-development on a "non-issue".

"Congress has today no valid issue to take up so they just randomly picked up a non-issue which is unbecoming of the country's oldest national party", Felix said.

Terming the bandh illegal in nature as defined by the court, Felix said that there are better forms of democratic protests without hampering the economy of the people.

Though several schools and government offices reportedly witnessed thin attendance, Felix claimed that the attendance in government offices was 100 percent, while schools and markets had no impact at all. Transportation was also normal, while the deployment of force and district administration was excellent, he said.

However, in a communiqué, the APCC asserted that it would continue to take up the matter, followed by phase wise agitation till the release of "tainted" officer Satya Gopal.

Citing the "provocative" circular issued by state BJP President Tapir Gao, the APCC claimed that the BJP dug its own grave by issuing direction to its karyakarta (workers) to counteract the peaceful bandh by taking law and order in their hands, and that the Pema Khandu-led Government and Tapir Gao are solely responsible for any untoward incident that occurred during the bandh called by the APCC.

"The provocative circular issued by Gao exposes that the state government is not transparent and accountable as the government is functioning under his dictatorship and his workers", it said.

Claiming that the Pema-led Government failed to understand the meaning of "peaceful" bandh, it went on to allege that thousands of para-military forces were deployed to implant fear among the common masses and barefacedly took support from the BJP to make the situation tense. The amount could have been used for development work and disbursement of scholarships to the students, it added.

Further, the APCC demanded that the Pema-led Government divulge the reason of reluctance to release Satya Gopal even after his transfer order came from the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 29, 2017, and after his alleged indulgence in misguiding the ECI had been proven.

 

 

 

Ering demands repeal of AFSPA

NEW DELHI, Jul 21: A demand was made in the Lok Sabha on Saturday by MP Ninong Ering for repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from north eastern states.

Ering also took a dig at the government for its "agreement" with NSCN(I-M) militant outfit reached about two years back, saying its details were shrouded in secrecy.

"There were two big secrets - Why Kattappa killed Baahubali and what was the agreement between the central government and NSCN (I-M). We got the answer why Kattappa killed Baahubali but nobody knows about that agreement...I asked about that but nobody replied," he said while speaking on a private member bill.

"You signed an agreement. It is good but then what is the need for AFSPA now in states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal is a peace loving state... When you have resolved the issues, then AFSPA should be repealed particularly from the north eastern states," Ering said.

AFSPA gives sweeping powers to the armed forces.

Speaking on the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015, he talked about the plight of schedule castes in the states and said those people are living in bad condition as they do not have proper infrastructure like schools for children.

Supporting the bill which relates to tribals' welfare, he said amendment is required to promote the overall development of this area. (PTI)

 

 

 

Society demands arrest of Jt Commissioner

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: The Anggong Society demanded the arrest of Tax & Excise Joint Commissioner, Tani Jongkey within 10 days for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl.

In a meeting of the Society on July 20, members of the Anggong Society demanded that the police arrest the alleged culprit, who has reportedly been using his power and position to evade arrest for weeks now.  

While appreciating the initiatives of the state Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the state Commission for Women, the Anggong Society expressed its dismay at the failure of authorities concerned in arresting Jonkey, against whom an FIR was registered on July 5 last at the Women Police Station in Itanagar by the mother of the victim.

Reportedly, Jongkey has been applying for anticipatory bail through his legal counsel.  

The case has been registered under section 341 and 354 of Indian Penal Code 1860 and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Further, the Society demanded immediate suspension of the alleged accused from the state Department of Tax and Excise.

Claiming that the accused is trying to influence the case by sending some of his well-placed relatives to the victim's family for negotiations, the Anggong Society said that "Such a person does not deserve to hold a responsible position in any government department".

The Anggong Society also appealed to the women wing of the Adi Baane Kebang to take up the matter as the alleged crime has been committed against a child from the community.

 

 

 

J&K Govt. provides support to Hangpan Dada’s family

KHONSA, Jul 21: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has provided ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the wife of martyr Hangpan Dada.

The cheque bearing the amount was handed over to Chasen Lowang Dada, wife of Martyr Dada by the Commander of 117 Mountain Brigade at 22 Punjab Military Station, Khonsa on Saturday.

Interacting with Chasen, the Commander assured her of any help from the Indian Army's side.

The Commander also informed her that he had met her son at Rama Krishna Mission School, Narottam Nagar to know his well being and also requested the Secretary Maharaj and Principal to take proper care of the child and his studies.

Tirap Deputy Commissioner, Techu Aran, who was also present on the occasion, informed that land allotment for residential building of Chasen was under process and will be settled as and when NOC is received from the Forest Department. The DC also assured her that the district administration is always there to help her in every possible way.

Tirap Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Kumar Meena, family members of late Hangpan Dada, civil and military officials were present on the occasion. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

 

Unidentified man sets fire to scooter

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: A large fire broke out near the Yupia tri-junction after an unidentified miscreant set fire to a scooter at around 2 AM.

Reportedly, fire from the scooter spread to an autorickshaw and a motorbike, which were parked close to it.

The Fire Service Department was alerted, who managed to douse the fire and stopped it from spreading further.

On inquiry, the scooter owner claimed that he had no clue on who could resort to such an act as he did not have any rivalry with anyone. He also failed to identify the individual who was caught setting the scooter to fire on the CCTV camera.

Consequently, a case has been registered at the Naharlagun Police Station and the case is under investigation.

 

 

 

 

Police arrest car lifter, recover 3 stolen cars

AALO, Jul 21: One Monya Ori (alias Gamnya Ori) allegedly involved in auto theft and burglary cases was arrested by the Aalo district unit police.

Three stolen Maruti 800 cars, three scooters, 17 DSLR (Nikon) cameras, household items and cash amount of Rs 17,930 were recovered from his possession by the police.

A case has been registered against the alleged accused at Aalo Police Station, under section 379 IPC.

The accused, who had earlier escaped from the jail in Itanagar, is also wanted in two separate cases in Itanagar.

Earlier, the accused had tried to escape with a stolen Maruti 800 car on July 4 and was intercepted by Dumporijo unit police and brought to Aalo Police Station for detailed interrogation in connection with series of theft cases at Aalo.

The police could recover and seize all the stolen items from his possession after the accused divulged everything before the police during rigorous interrogation. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Mechukha reeling under darkness

MECHUKHA, Jul 21: Mechukha Township has been reeling under darkness for the last five consecutive days, causing innumerable hardships to the public.

According to sources, the main transformer in the town was burnt down on the night of July 16 last, resulting in serious power failure in the picturesque town.

Meanwhile,  Mechukha Sub-Division Youth Welfare Association (AMSDYWA), in a representation to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Mechukha, has demanded immediate restoration of power supply.

Coming down heavily on the department concerned for failing to restore the power supply, the Association alleged that the department is not initiating any measure to restore the power as most of the officials and staff members are out of town for the last five to six months.

Further, expressing strong resentment over the erratic BSNL services at Mechukha for the last couple of weeks owing to which the tourist hotspot is cut off from the rest of the world, the Association requested the ADC to take up the matter with the BSNL authority.

The Association claimed that at present the entire BSNL office in the town is manned by a mason. It questioned why a non technical person was assigned to operate the BSNL setup.

Further, the Association urged the ADC to direct the Bharti Airtel Telecommunications Company to immediately activate Airtel services at Mechukha. It claimed that Airtel tower was installed at Mechukha town a year ago, but till date, the company has not started the services, causing several problems to the public.

The Association fervently requested the ADC to take up the matter with all concerned and address the grievances of the public at the earliest, failing which it threatened to launch democratic movement in the town.

 

 

 

Sona visits Tezu to oversee tourism projects

TEZU, Jul 21: Tourism Parliamentary Secretary, P D Sona arrived at Tezu to inspect and take stock of the ongoing tourism projects in the district and oversee tourism development prospects in Lohit district.

Sona visited Tezu Airport, Tezu Tourist Lodge, tourist complex and tourist lodge at Parshuramkund, and the wayside amenities at Wakro.

District Tourism Officer (DTO), Dibroo Catherine Boo informed that during Sona's inspection of the Tezu Airport, he expressed his satisfaction over the advanced stage of preparedness. He also assured to provide necessary fund for renovation of Tezu Tourist Lodge

The Parliamentary Secretary also asked the DTO to submit detail reports of the ongoing tourism projects in the district as early as possible.

Minister Art & Culture and local MLA, Dr Mohesh Chai also highlighted on various scopes of tourism development in the area, particularly of the development of Lohit View Point (Hawa Camp) at Tohan-ggam.

Deputy Commissioner Danish Ashraf also submitted a memorandum to the Parliamentary Secretary in respect of tourism development of the district, especially of Parshuramkund. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Arunachal emerges overall champion

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: The Arunachal Shito-Ryu Karate team emerged overall champion in the just concluded 5th ISKF National Open Karate Championship in Guwahati, Assam.

Manipur and host Assam secured the second and third positions.

Arunachal's Ache Yun was declared as the best fighter in junior boys section, informed ASKA President, Dr Marli Ette.

 

 

 

Badminton Asia Junior Championships

India face China in opener

JAKARTA, Jul 21: India will open their Badminton Asia Junior Championships- 2017 campaign with a team match against China on Saturday.

India and China have been clubbed together in group 'A' along with Korea and Uzbekistan in the nine days tournament, which begins on July 22 in Jakarta, Indonesia, informed Team Manager Bamang Tago.

In all, 18 countries, including traditional badminton powerhouses, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei are taking part in the championship.

India has the highest number of 22 participants, besides seven officials.

The participating countries have been divided into four groups based on overall team strength and as per BWF ranking.

Group-B comprises Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Macau China and Myanmar, while Thailand, Japan, Kazakhistan, Mongolia and Philippines are in group C. Indoneisa, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China and Nepal have been placed in group D.

 

 

 

Police contribute to landslide hit family

YUPIA, Jul 21: In an humanitarian gesture, the Papum Pare (Rural) district unit police, under the initiative of SP Tumme Amo contributed Rs 20,000 to one Gichik Taha, whose dwelling house at Sujo Colony in Papu Nallah was washed away in a landslide.

Taha is presently working as W/C at SP office, Yupia. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Parl Secy dedicates X-ray machine to CHC

ZIRO, Jul 21: Bringing health care facilities to people's doorstep, Parliamentary Secretary of Food and Civil Supplies, Tage Taki on Saturday dedicated a new X-ray machine to Community Health Centre, Old Ziro

Installation of the X-ray machine in the CHC will reduce the hardship of the patients, who, otherwise, had to go to Gyati Takka General Hospital, Hapoli to avail the facility, said the Parliamentary Secretary.

He appealed to the people to avail the numerous facilities provided by the Government of India under various health schemes, such as Indradanush, Janani Suraksha Yojana and Jan Aushadhi store.

EAC Mokar Riba, DMO Dr Tage Kano and MO in-charge of Old Ziro CHC, Dr Hage Nobin were present on the occasion. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Drug awareness campaign begins

LONGDING, Jul 21: A drug awareness campaign began in Longding from Government Higher Secondary School, Longding, with screenings of Kaani-a film on opium, in the Longding Government Higher Secondary School and Upper Primary School.

As part of the initiative of the Longding District Administration, the film was translated in the Wancho dialect, so that it could be screened in all the villages.An interactive session was also held where students brainstormed on ways to eradicate opium in Longding.

Further, Longding DC Himanshu Gupta suggested teachers to hold interactive sessions with students on social issues every fortnightly through screening of films of social importance.

More such sessions are expected to be held in all schools of the district.

 

 

 

Vocational Training for dropout girls concludes

Miao, Jul 21: Seva Kendra Arunachal East (SKAE), the social service wing of the Diocese of Miao, concluded its six-month vocational training and awareness programme for dropout girls and women on July 20 at its training centre in Namphai-I of Changlang district.

On the occasion, successful trainees were given certification, while some of the best trainees were awarded tailoring machines.

Addressing trainees on the last day, President of SKAE, Bishop George advised them to use the training to make a living for them and their families.

All the 30 girls who received training for the last six months are from Tirap and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh, which has had the second lowest literacy rate in the state with 52.19 percent.

Director of SKAE, Rincy S H and her team have a singular aim of helping these dropout girls and women to learn to make a living.

The Director thanked Chief Programme Coordinator Pushpa C M and all other staff members who made the training programme a success.

 

 

 

Photography competition

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: Entries are invited for the 6th Indian Himalayan Photography Competition and the 1st Young Mountain Filmmakers Competition as part of the 6th edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) at Aizawl from September 20 to 22 next.

The competition is being hosted by the Mizoram Sustainable Development Foundation (MSDF) at Mizoram University in Aizawl, Mizoram.

Interested people can contact [email protected] for further information.

 

 

 

Scientific intervention for improving livestock farming

DIRANG, Jul 21: The 10 days ICAR sponsored short course on "Upliftment of the Socio-economic Status and Nutritional Security in Highlander through Implementation of Scientific Intervention in Animal Husbandry Practices" was inaugurated on Friday at the ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang

Inaugurating the programme, Dr S V Ngachan, Director of ICAR-Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Umium, Meghalaya, emphasized on the need for different branches of agriculture and allied sectors, along with social scientists to work together in a convergent manner through integrated farming system for enhancement of productivity and development of socio-economic status of the highlanders.

Dr S M Deb highlighted the importance of livestock husbandry in providing nutritional and livelihood security under hill ecosystem. He also stressed on the need for strengthening the marketing of farm produce to provide opportunities to the farmers for better returns.

In all, 20 participants from five states of India are taking part in the short course. The course coordinators are Dr D Medhi and Dr S Deori.

 

 

 

Need to strengthen grievances redressal mechanism of RKS: DC

AALO, Jul 21:  A governing body meeting of Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS) of General Hospital, Aalo was held recently at the conference hall of the Deputy Commissioner, wherein Deputy Commissioner Gamli Padu stressed on the need for strengthening grievances redressal mechanism of RKS and evolving feedback system.

The Deputy Commissioner, who also is the Chairman of the governing body of the RKS, also emphasised the need for holding meeting of the RKS in every two months.

Former Minister Doi Ado also attended the meeting and assured his all cooperation in improving the hospital, while former Minister Kento Ete suggested some measures to improve the RKS.

District Medical Officer, Dr Nyage Geyi briefed about the General Hospital Aalo and functioning of RKS, while Medical Superintendent cum Member Secretary RKS, Dr Linya Lollen presented working of the hospital through PowerPoint presentation. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Over 163 benefit from health camp

ZIRO, Jul 21: Over 163 people have benefitted from a medical camp conducted by the mobile medical unit of District Health Society of Lower Subansiri at Pei village under Yazali circle on July 20.

Besides general health checkups, tests to determine blood group, diagnose of Hepatitis-B, immunization, etc were conducted during the daylong camp by a team of doctors, which included DFWO Dr Derin Likar, Child Specialist Dr Nani Tago, Medical Officer (Yachuli) DrTana That and paramedical staff.

A baby show competition was also organized for infants under one year, to create awareness on antenatal care and the importance of institutional delivery and breastfeeding, immunization of children, etc. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

District committee on SBA formed

YINGKIONG, Jul 21: A District Level Committee for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) was formed after a meeting in the DC's Conference Hall on Friday.

The strategic action plan and activities to be taken up in the district under Swach Bharat Abhiyan were also finalized.

Branch Ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Upper Siang, Sange Tsering Khamba-a retired APCS officer, also attended the meeting.

Further, an awareness campaign on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin, organized by the PHED, was held at Community Centre, Komkar village in Upper Siang district on Friday.

Katan PHED AE, Gebuk Burang emphasized on the need to maintain cleanness and sanitation as an integral part of living for a disease-free life. He sought co-operation from the beneficiaries for successful implementation of the Individual House Hold Latrines (IHHL) under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin.

Geku EAC, D Lama advised the people to have compulsory toilets in every household to live a hygienic life. He also advised everyone to boil drinking water to do away with water-borne diseases.

Dr G Romin also gave tips on maintaining health care to the gaon burahs, PRI members and villagers that attended the programme. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

Workshop on GST

PASIGHAT, Jul 21: The Indian Oil Corporation in collaboration with the Tax & Excise Department (GoAP), organized a full-day training workshop on GST in Pasighat on Friday.

The objective of the workshop was to offer detailed insight into GST framework and its implementation challenges in Arunachal Pradesh in particular and India as a whole.

The workshop was designed to enable the participants to understand the features of GST and was formally inaugurated by East Siang Tax & Excise Superintendent, Kingman Komut.

Komut gave a brief overview and the philosophy behind the tax structure and clarified all doubts raised by the participants, including procedures to be followed on registration, migration, refund, credit for duty paid on stock, etc.

"New tax regime would be more convenient and beneficial, slashing high rate of taxation in future", asserted Komut.

Officers from IOC also spoke and shared their views and expressed satisfaction over the response of the local marketeers. (DIPRO)

 

 

 

8 teams in fray for Kargil Vijay Diwas football tourney

AALO, Jul 21: SFS College will play against Jummi Combat Bene in the opening match of the football tournament organized by the Aalo Military Station to mark the Kargil Vijay Diwas at general football ground in Aalo.

The second match of the day will be played between LYFC and Tarsu Mobuk in the afternoon session.

The other teams in the fray are G-XI FC, Darka FC, AVFC and the Indian Army.

The tournament will be played on knock-out basis. (DIPRO)

---- Editorial ----

 

 

 

The dream of digital Arunachal

The Arunachal Pradesh Civil Secretariat became the first Secretariat in the country to be entirely under wireless coverage with the launch of Wi-Fi Local Area Network, furthering the much fancied Digital India campaign, launched by the centre.

It remains to be seen whether the government transactions will actually become paperless. But as of now, it seems unlikely.

Most central schemes have gone above the heads of normal thinking citizens. But the weirdest is pretending to implement Digital India scheme in Arunachal. Arunachal will nowhere be near anything digital for the next five decades.  Most offices do not have any facility to implement e-governance and many are yet to learn how to operate a computer in government offices.

Let us not go further. How effective has been the Aadhar enrolment in the state? People are forced to walk for hours together to have a card because it is mandatory to have one and those responsible for enrolment are too lazy to walk that extra 50 kilometers on foot.  

Digital this and that and now Smart classes in a state where classrooms are crowded, where there are no power supply, forget about fans in this scorching heat even in capital town. School buildings are falling apart; there are not enough school rooms, desks and benches for students. Forget about toilets.

Under these circumstances, how smart is introduction of smart classes or digital Arunachal?

 

 

 

___________________

 

 

---- Readers Forum ----

 

 

 

Travel to scintillating Shillong this summer

Dear Editor,

The July is summer vacation for schools. It’s time to escape from the heat of the day. But it is summer rush everywhere. Parents are hijacked by their children for a holiday. It is time to meet relatives. Most importantly, the idea is to have fun while exploring new places, interact with locals, eat and enjoy culture. But the real difficulty is to choose a right destination. When it comes to holidays, people from North East have inclined view of going outside. Rich people have natural tendency to plan for aboard. But North East has plenty of lesser known unexplored destinations. National Highways have opened up dimension for tourist inflow. Assam being the gateway, has failed to catch it up the momentum. Nagaland has contributed significantly through Hornbill. The other geographically isolated NE states are facing difficulties to attract visitors. Tourists rarely find history amid natural beauty of Arunachal to their checklist. Mizoram and Tripura are largely inaccessible through road. Manipur has been crippled by economic blockade of Naga. But neighbouring Meghalaya capitalised the opportunity for their tourism industry. So does Sikkim, she proved travellers’ expectation.

We set off the silence of early morning, curving through some of the most magical moments. It is beautiful Shillong, the most preferred destination as it is easily accessible through incredible road from Guwahati. A generous menu for breakfast at Jiva felt very pampered and refreshed for the day. After crossing pretty reservoir Umiam Lake, it was painstakingly slow while entering city, we found serpentine queue. Kudos to ShillongTraffic that put the road discipline in order. Nearby Eastern Air Command peeping through the pine that stands tall as an epitome of India’s defence establishment. Its golf circuits are one of the oldest and natural in the world. The entire valley is dotted with thick vegetation. There are old churches embracing Catholicism. Visitors are mesmerised by the steep hills, glittering waterfalls and stunning green canyons at Cherrapunji border. Meghalaya houses many unexplored natural cave that still waiting to be discovered. It was treasured hunt inside Mawjymbuin cave there. Visiting Rooth Bridge, Wards Lake, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak are just a short picturesque drive away.

Despite heavy down pour, it is sparkling bright at Saturday night hangout. The old buildings still hold the legacy of the bygone era. The famous shopping haunt at Police Bazaar is crowded and found no way moving even at late night. The Hotels including Home stay are all booked out during summer. People here are really passionate about their music. There is no dearth of local talent and Tipriti Kharbangar of Soulmate, Lou Majow is from this Rock capital of India. We come across good drink and entertainment at Polo Towers at dinner. Surely it was inspiring and memorable quick trip that could inspire everyone to visit again to this spectacular view of Khasi hills. Can train route be introduced to this pristine valley for treasured hunt to witness whistling, steam-clacking on the misty, foggy track like Nilgiri. Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) may be fully operational for Air Traffic in the future. Meghalaya may provide ready accommodations at fairly affordable prices that could open up new vistas for tourism. It is summer rush in Scintillating Shillong! It’s truly amazing!

Yours,

Kamal Baruah,  Guwahati

 

 

 

 

Why is Pakistan occupied Kashmir important for India?

Dear Editor,

Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is a self-governing administrative unit of Pakistan which is passing through the worst phase of turmoil along with that in Gilgit-Baltistan too - a part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir - due to its possible conversion into Pakistan’s fifth province. And that has gained traction due to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative launched by China. While grim situations have had occurred earlier too in the Kashmir valley but the ongoing chaos being witnessed here are as serious as the one that actually happened after the arrest of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953, which have already taken the toll of around 9000 injured and 100 dead. Though the restlessness among misguided youths of the state is not a new phenomenon as most of them are used to violence and terror, they very often take recourse to lawlessness and anarchy, like stone-pelting or attacking police, security forces and military in their illegal-immoral bid to protect terrorists and anti-national elements.

In fact PoK, or Azad Kashmir, is a part of the greater Kashmir region which unfortunately continues to remain a highly contentious issue between India and Pakistan. The territory of PoK is situated to the west of India’s state of Jammu and Kashmir which was earlier a part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. But that ceased to exist as a result of the 1947 India - Pakistan war on Kashmir. Again the territory shares a border with Gilgit-Baltistan, together with which it is referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as "Pakistan-administered Kashmir." The territory also borders with Punjab province of Pakistan in the south and Khyber Pakhtunkwhala province in the west. And Azad Kashmir, in the east, is separated from the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of control - the de-facto border between India and Pakistan.

Considering the sensitive geopolitical nature of Gilgit-Baltistan with respect to its own security and stability, India is bitterly contesting Pakistan’s gamble of granting provincial status to this region, thereby aggravating bitterness to the much thorny India-Pakistan relations. In fact, the region is a crucial land link connecting CPEC from Kashgar to Gwadar and also to the project. Hence the issue of Gilgit-Baltistan as a province is of particular concern for India. While integrating Gilgit-Baltistan as its province by Pakistan may look a win-win game for both Beijing and Islamabad but it may result into severing Islamabad’s link with Kashmir. It is believed that Pakistan acquiring a part of PoK may “set a steady precedent” for India and bestow a “viable fall back option” if it decides to think in terms of the full integration of the state of J&K. Further, Gilgit-Baltistan’s integration into Pakistan is bound to consolidate the supporters within India advocating J&K’s full integration into the Union of India because Kashmir continues to be the lifeblood of Pakistan’s anti-India project.

After asserting its total control over PoK, Pakistan began fomenting all vicious and heinous troubles and that continues still today. Until and unless there is pressure on Pakistan in PoK, including Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad is unlikely to mend its ongoing ways in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian leaders and diplomats must forge close contacts with prominent leaders of the different regions in the PoK, including Gilgit-Baltistan, who are living in exile because of Pakistan’s brute and horrific policies; highlight the cases of blatant violations of human rights in the region; expose Pakistan’s double standards with respect to the PoK; and extend all out moral support to the local leaders and people at large in their fight against Pakistani occupation. Fortunately, with a predominant Muslim population, the region was once highly critical of the plebiscite demand repeatedly harped by Pakistan. Unfortunately today the region stands as a tool for protecting and advancing Islamabad’s strategic goals. Being handed transient structures of governance for decades, the region later became a commodity of tussle between ‘AJK’ and Pakistan.

Although the incorporation of Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan’s territory may considerably undermine India’s claim on the region but it cannot altogether remove it, because irrespective of the unlawful incorporation India will continue to uphold its claim more vociferously on both parts of PoK as it has been doing since 1947. Though on the domestic front India’s policy on PoK has been dismissed as being inert and least assertive since the very beginning but that has been changed by PM Modi. While boldly raising issues concerning PoK, he (Modi) appears to have redrawn the rules of engagement. Lately, Gilgit-Baltistan has significantly been elevated into India’s strategic calculations due to the Chinese foray into the region.

Undoubtedly, the Indian government should consider the complex issue in a holistic manner by learning from the past mistakes and take innovative and bold measures to solve this vexed issue. As an option Prime Minister Modi’s initiative of practicing a muscular foreign policy not only as regards PoK - as was seen during the surgical strike in the PoK - may prove to be a milestone towards opening for more such actions to follow towards resolving all such pending complex issues towards their positive and lasting solution. But, at the same time, the eternal moral values like, peace, truth, love and justice etc. have no substitutes to invoke upon and use for progress and welfare of humanity in the world. In fact, no issue, howsoever complex or difficult it may be, is beyond any feasible solution because everybody wants peace, love, equality and justice. As there is no dearth of saner minds in the world, sincere and honest efforts must go on till the final solution emerges because nothing is beyond human endeavour.

Yours,

Dr. SudhanshuTripathi

Allahabad

 

 

 

Insincere and inept polity

Dear Editor,

This refers to your editorial "Time to wake up" (July 11). The issue of Kashmir is a chronic one, and has festered nearly three quarters of a century. Those familiar with Kashmir’s history would be aware that violence in Jammu and Kashmir generally tends to come in “waves”. The centre and state governments have been deliberately silent till the situation boil and burst. Problems are due to the insincere and inept polity. Unrest in Kashmir reveals the failures of the ruling People’s Democratic Party. To be fair to the security forces, they have faced exceptional ferocity from groups of young people. Slogans are becoming the main instigators of violence even though sloganeering has been a part of long cherished history of the world. The security forces do not appear to be following standard operating procedure. Whenever there is a riot, there are plenty of ways in which the situation can be dealt with. The country needs a tough law to curb the misuse of information technology. India always thought that Peace can be made by sincerely addressing to grievances. India must take its cue from those instances and solve the Kashmiri conundrum once and for all. Tourism is main business of Jammu & Kashmir , which gives employment & business to lacs and crores of local people. This business can only flourish if there is peace and tranquility.

Countries across the world must unite to fight terror so that the innocent people of Kashmir can leave alone in peace and not in pieces. It should also be the responsibility of every citizen to cooperate government as well as our armed force in the way of making terror free and peaceful Jammu & Kashmir. Good governance and good policy will address the problem to a very large extent.

Yours,

Vinod C. Dixit,

Ahmedabad

 

 

 

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