Monday, September 28, 2020

Silence of world community on Balochistan gave impunity to Pakistan

Waja Siddique Azad, Secretary-General Baloch Peoples Congress.


Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): The silence of the world community on the large scale human rights violations in the region of Balochistan has given impunity to Pakistan, according to Waja Siddique Azad, the Secretary-General Baloch Peoples Congress (BPC)

"The silence of the world community on the large scale human rights violations in the region has given impunity to Pakistan to commit all kinds of crimes without being held responsible. The surge in unlawful killings of Baloch people has taken brutality to an unprecedented level," Azad said at a side event on the occasion of the 45th UN Human Rights Council Session here.

"The main victims of this violence are the people of Balochistan who are being systematically targeted by para-military forces sponsored by Pakistan. Thousands of people have gone missing from the region since early 2000," he added.

The BPC General Secretary further said that the disappeared Baloch persons would later be found dead on the roadside which would also include women and children.

Further elaborating on the atrocities inflicted by the Pakistan military forces, he said that the people are taken in by the military and kept into isolation "for weeks" and in some cases, "for months".

"The actual number of disappearances might be actually higher. The people never get their missing relatives back or find their discovered bodies. No doubt enforced disappearances have been a dark stain on Pakistan's human rights record despite the pledges of the government but nothing has been done," he added.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) had hit out at Pakistan's Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIED), saying it has failed to hold perpetrators responsible for the crime in the last several years.

In 2011, the COIED was formed to trace the whereabouts of missing persons and fix the responsibility of individuals or organisations responsible for the enforced disappearances.

According to a briefing paper titled 'Entrenching Impunity, Denying Redress: The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan', the ICJ noted that although the COIED had traced the whereabouts of the missing persons in a number of cases, there was no effort to fix the responsibility for the crime. (ANI)

COVID-19 is a serious global challenge and multilateral cooperation will help tackle the pandemic.: Denmark PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at India-Denmark virtual summit


Copenhagen [Denmark], September 28 (ANI): Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Monday said COVID-19 is a serious global challenge and multilateral cooperation will help tackle the pandemic.

In her remarks at the virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she also expressed her condolences over the lives lost due in India to COVID-19.

"I think we have seen great leadership in India. We recognise and know that this is a very difficult time for you. I would like to express my condolences. This pandemic is a serious global challenge for all of us, it affects all of us. Cooperation is so important not only bilaterally but also at the multilateral level," she said.

She said India and Denmark cooperation will help tackle the situation created by COVID-19 as also challenges like climate change.

During the summit, the two Prime Ministers agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a Green Strategic Partnership.

She said it was an honour for Denmark to be a part of the First Green Strategic Partnership.

According to a joint statement issued after the summit between the two leaders, the Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities with a focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The two countries will cooperate through relevant ministries, institutions and stakeholders under the Green Strategic Partnership. (ANI)

iPhone users will soon be able to stream and play Xbox games

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Washington [US], September 28 (ANI): Microsoft is about to release a new update to the Xbox App on iOS which will let the users stream and play Xbox One games on the iPhone.

According to Mashable, this obviously isn't the same as cloud gaming and is something that's only probably useful to owners of Xbox One consoles. The new feature which includes remote play will let the user stream Xbox games directly from his/her own console over WiFi or mobile internet.

To make use of this, users will have to log in to their Xbox accounts and make sure the console's got access to power. While making use of remote play, the console won't start with a sound or show that it's powered on with the light at the front.

The new iOS update isn't available for all users yet though as Microsoft is only testing it with TestFlight members. But since the Android-counterpart of the application has been rolled out already, the application should soon be publicly available on iOS too.

As reported by Mashable, apart from letting the user stream Xbox games, the application also will also let them manage console space and delete games. The player can also download and share game clips from your gaming sessions via the application. (ANI)

Anti-China protests by students union intensify in Kathmandu

Anti-China protests outside the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu


Kathmandu [Nepal], September 28 (ANI): Members of the Nepal Students union on Monday held a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu over Chinese construction in the northern Nepal district of Humla.

Protestors were seen wearing masks and shields in keeping with Covid-19 restrictions and these masks and shields had slogans condemning the construction by the Chinese authorities in the Humla district.

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The protestors were seen carrying posters with slogans that said that the encroached area by the Chinese belonged to Nepal.

"Return back to your own boundary, China!" read one of the banners carried by the protestors.

Nepali Congress slammed the government for making comments over the issue of land encroachment by China before a team of government officials visited the area and filed a field report on the developments.

Issuing a press release on Thursday, the opposition criticized the government for not waiting for the field report from the concerned Chief District Officer of Humla who had been to the site for 3 days.

"Before the field report about whether there has been an encroachment (by the Chinese) or not, the announcement was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that "there has been no encroachment by China," Nepali Congress said in a statement.

Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday evening had denied reports of land encroachment by China in the Humla district of Nepal in contrary to claims made by locals of the district.

"The Department of Survey, Government of Nepal, based on the official records, reports of the joint field inspection and boundary maps, has verified and confirmed that the said buildings are not located within the Nepali territory," MoFA said in the release where it has mentioned its attention has been drawn over the issue.

The release from the Ministry further claimed that the same sort of issue was raised in 2016 which turned down the earlier claims.

Local media and since last week been carrying reports of land encroachment by China, which had illegally constructing 9 buildings in the Lapcha Bagar area of Humla District which is only accessible by the airway. (ANI)

UKPNP chief urges UNHRC to put pressure on Pakistan to release Gilgit Baltistan activists

PoK leader Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri


Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): Exiled Chairman United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri at the 45th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council urged the council to put pressure on Pakistan for the immediate and unconditional release of all activists and journalists protesting against Islamabad's human rights violations against activists in the Gilgit Baltistan region.

"Kashmiri nationalists, journalists are harassed, kidnapped, abducted, tortured and in some cases eliminated by secret agencies and armed forces," he said.

"At the behest of Pakistan, the local administration has brutally beaten, arrested, and jailed him. In Gilgit Baltistan peaceful political activists Baba Jan Iftikhar Hussain and their colleagues were tried under Anti-Terrorist Act and were awarded 40 to 90 years imprisonment. We urge the Human Rights Council to put pressure on Islamabad for the immediate and unconditional release of all activists," he added.

The UKPNP chairman added that the authorities intensified their crackdown on the right to freedom of expression. He further pointed out that political activists and journalists "are targeted and charged" under draconian laws, including the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), the Anti-Terrorism Act, and sections of the penal code on sedition and defamation.

"The government curtailed media freedoms and media workers reported that they were experiencing a growing culture of censorship, coercion and harassment by the authorities," the exiled PoK leader said.

Kashmiri told the council that enforced disappearances remained pervasive with no one held accountable for them. The government failed to uphold its commitments to legislate against torture and enforced disappearances. "The victims of enforced disappearances included political activists, students, journalists, human rights defenders," he said.

Last week, Pakistan President Arif Alvi had announced that the polls will be conducted on November 15.

This move to change Gilgit Baltistan's status and turn it into a province by giving it representation on all constitutional bodies is being seen as a "belated response" to India's moves to nullify Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).

In response to Pakistan's decision to usurp Gilgit Baltistan, India had responded strongly saying that "any action by Pakistan to alter the status of the militarily occupied so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan' has no legal basis whatsoever and is totally void ab-initio. Our position has always been clear and consistent." (ANI)

ICMR launched a dedicated vaccine portal and national clinical registry of COVID-19

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): The India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday launched a dedicated vaccine portal and national clinical registry of COVID-19 to address queries of the people on vaccine development and unveiled the historical timeline of ICMR since its inception in 1911.

The National Clinical Registry for COVID-19 will collect systematic data on clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory investigations, management protocols, clinical course of COVID-19 disease, disease spectrum and outcomes of patients. The data will serve as an invaluable tool for formulating appropriate patient management strategies, predicting disease severity, patient outcomes etc.

While inaugurating the web portal of the apex medical research body, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said: "To disseminate the vaccine-related information the exclusive portal will be helpful in creating awareness among the masses. The portal provides useful and important information related to vaccine development, ongoing clinical trials and progress made in this area locally and globally at regular intervals."

"The portal on National Clinical Registry for COVID-19 developed by ICMR will be immensely useful. The registry will aim at collecting good quality real-time clinical data to inform evidence-based clinical practice, research, formulating guidelines and policymaking."

Dr Vardhan also launched the Mobile Stroke Unit. He said, "In view of the large burden of stroke and absence of stroke care facilities in Assam, this initiative will go a long way in addressing the needs of the people. The mobile unit, through teleconsultation ensures timely and appropriate treatment to people."

"The vaccine portal consists of all the information regarding the Indian efforts towards vaccine development against various diseases including the most recent COVID-19. Interested people can visit the website on https://vaccine.icmr.org.in to get the latest information on vaccine development," said Dr Lokesh Sharma, scientist at ICMR.

On India's fight against COVID-19, Vardhan said, "India's continuously rising Recovery Rate and progressively falling Case Fatality Rate have proven the success of the Covid-19 containment strategy followed by all States and UTs. From having one lab to over 1,800 labs today, we have come a long way in strengthening our capabilities. We have successfully ramped up our testing capacity which has touched 15 lakh daily tests."

So far, total Covid-19 in India has crossed 60 lakh mark with 95,542 fatalities. (ANI)

Shehbaz preferred prison over standing against his brother: Maryam Nawaz

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz.


Lahore [Pakistan], September 28 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz on Monday said that opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif was arrested only because he refused to "play into the hands of those who wanted to use him against his brother" former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"Make no mistake. Shehbaz Sharif has been arrested ONLY because he REFUSED to play in the hands of those who wanted to use him against his brother," the PML-N leader said in a tweet.

"He preferred standing behind prison bars to standing against his brother. Shahbaz Sharif, aap ko SALAM!," she added.

Further at a press conference, she said that the movement "will not suffer any setback" due to Shahbaz's arrest.

"He [Shehbaz Sharif] not only stood with his brother but his loyalty to his brother's cause and the party remained unwavering. His wife is made an absconder, his son, my brother Hamza, has been sent to jail and no case has been proven against him," Maryam was quoted by Geo TV.

"During the last week, Shehbaz gave two to three statements saying that if they want to arrest him, they can but [the party] will implement 100% [the directives] given in Nawaz Sharif's APC speech," she added.

The leader further said that Shehbaz was not arrested on any allegations, questioning the accountability of the justice system that exists in the country.

"If there is any semblance of justice in Pakistan, then instead of Shehbaz Sharif, Asim Saleem Bajwa should be arrested. Shehbaz Sharif does not own 99 companies nor hundreds of franchises. Shehbaz Sharif hails from a business family and his father was a well-known businessman," she added.

She even referred to Prime Minister Imran Khan as a coward who was afraid that Shehbaz would one day replace him as a prime Minister.

"In the eyes of the people, especially in the eyes of the people of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif is the only choice... To the institutions that are standing beside Imran Khan, they should know that a man with no experience has been imposed on the people, she said.

Calling Khan a foolish friend", she said that the Prime Minister has given a bad name to institutions. "Hence, everyone will have to think about this that the PML-N is the representative of millions in Punjab and outside," she said. "If Imran Khan will be supported like this, then things will get out of even the PML-N's hands," she warned.

Earlier today, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif was arrested in a money laundering case on Monday from the Lahore High Court, according to Gulf News.

According to Gulf News, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials took him into custody from the premises after his bail plea was rejected on account of alleged money-laundering and maintaining assets beyond known sources of income. (ANI)

India, Denmark decided to elevate bilateral relations to Green Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen at the Virtual summit on Monday


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): India and Denmark on Monday decided to elevate their relations to Green Strategic Partnership and reaffirmed their determination to strengthen cooperation and contribute for comprehensive reforms of the WTO.

According to a joint statement issued after a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen, the two countries expressed their commitment for working towards an "ambitious, fair, and mutually beneficial" Trade and Investment Agreement between EU and India to further strengthen and deepen the EU-India ties.

They also agreed to examine the possibilities for labour mobility, as well as to consider ease of travel between the two countries to facilitate greater people-to-people interaction.

"Given the shared desire to remain trusted partners, the two Prime Ministers agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a Green Strategic Partnership. This partnership would build on and consolidate the existing agreement establishing a Joint Commission for Cooperation (signed 6 February 2009) between India and Denmark which envisaged cooperation within the political field, economic and commercial field, science and technology, environment, energy, education and culture," the statement said.

In addition, the partnership builds on and complements the existing Joint Working Groups on renewable energy, urban development, environment, agriculture and animal husbandry, food processing, science, technology and innovation, shipping, labour mobility and digitization.

The two leaders expressed their conviction that a decision of the two countries to establish Green Strategic "has opened a new chapter in the friendly and cooperative relations between them".

"Ambitious goals and actions will be identified within the areas and outlined in an Action Plan that will be worked out and endorsed as soon as possible," the statement said.

It said the Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities with a focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The two countries agreed to be at the forefront in the global fight against climate change. "Both countries have set very ambitious national targets on climate and energy that will contribute to an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. Together, the two countries will show the world that delivering on ambitious climate and sustainable energy goals is possible," the statement said.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen existing City-to-City cooperation between Udaipur and Aarhus and Tumakuru and Aalborg.

The two leaders noted that Danish companies are contributing to designing infrastructure projects in India and welcomed the greater engagement of the Danish side in all fields of sustainable urban development.

Both leaders appreciated the deep cooperation on maritime affairs and noted the potential for enhancing cooperation in shipbuilding and design, maritime services and Green shipping, as well as port development.

India and Denmark confirmed the emerging cooperation in Intellectual Property Rights, which will help to modernize and strengthen their national intellectual property systems to promote innovation, creativity and technological advancement.

The two leaders confirmed their interest in expanding dialogue and sharing best practices on health policy issues, including on epidemics and vaccines, especially to combat Covid-19 and future pandemics. They agreed to work on expanding commercial opportunities for businesses by creating more favourable environments for the life science sector, including research collaborations.

The two Prime Ministers agree to join efforts and initiatives to support and promote a rule-based multilateral system.

This includes strong multilateral cooperation to face the urgency to step up global efforts to combat the global challenges on energy and climate change and a common commitment to the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the International Solar Alliance.

Both sides supported the need for cooperation on promotion of an open, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system under the WTO at its core to promote global growth and sustainable development.

"Both sides expressed their support for the ongoing discussions to reform the WTO. Both sides reaffirmed their determination to strengthen cooperation and contribute for comprehensive reforms of the WTO. Both sides agreed that the reforms need to be inclusive and to be carried out in a transparent manner, high priority being the restoration of a full-strength Appellate Body as part of the two-tiered Dispute Settlement System of the WTO," the statement said. (ANI)

Amit Shah holds lockdown review meeting with senior officials of MHA

Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday held a review meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Several important matters and key issues were discussed in the meeting.

On Saturday, public representatives from Ladakh met Home Minister 
Amit Shah and Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy and Kiren Rijiju.

A three-member delegation of Ladakhi veteran leaders comprising former MPs Thiksay Rinpoche, Thupstan Chhewang and Chhering Dorje Lakrook, former Minister in the PDP-BJP government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, on behalf of the people of Leh, Ladakh, met with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday. (ANI)

Construction project of mega drainage system funded by World Bank underway in Sringar

Construction of a new drainage system underway in Srinagar


Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 28 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir government has started work on a new drainage project in Srinagar funded by the World Bank to strengthen urban flood management infrastructure in various flood-prone areas of the city.

The project, which has been sanctioned Rs 134 crore, was assigned to the J-K ERA (Economic Reconstruction Agency) and is based on scientific inputs given by concerned stakeholders for the construction of a comprehensive stormwater drainage project.

According to Syed Abid Rasheed, Chief Executive Officer of the J-K ERA in Kashmir, the scheme was brought about to prevent flooding in low-lying areas of Srinagar.

"We have been facing a drainage problem for several years. In 2014, there were massive flood-like situations in low-lying areas of Srinagar and many people were badly affected. This advanced drainage system will prevent such problems from happening again," Rasheed said.

The project includes the construction of four large drainage schemes spread out across Srinagar over 80 kilometres.

Locals from the area expressed gratitude and relief at the construction of the project saying that many have faced problems during the rainy season due to the lack of a drainage system.

"Whenever it rains, the whole road gets covered with water as we do not have a drainage system and it used to become very difficult to move around. Rainwater would pool and enter peoples' houses. This is a great initiative by the government and people who live in the area are very grateful," Abdul Ahad Bhat, a local told ANI. (ANI)

NCB not in hurry to summon others, focussed on bail hearings of Rhea, 5 accused tomorrow: Sources

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 28 (ANI): Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is not in hurry to summon any other celebrity, and is currently focusing on the bail hearing of Rhea Chakraborty and other five accused in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, sources said today.


"NCB is not in hurry to su
mmon any other celebrity right now. NCB is focusing on tomorrow's bail hearing of all six accused in Bombay High Court," NCB sources told ANI.

They said that all the statements of witnesses and accused will he looked into and analysed and if NCB finds something incriminating then it will decide on summoning others, as and when needed.

"Seized phones will also be scanned and if anything incriminating is found then NCB will go ahead with the probe based on the new findings. But, NCB has time to look in the phone scanning thing, as it still has almost six months left to file a charge sheet in the Bollywood related drug case," they added.

Earlier on September 11, the court had rejected the bail plea of Rhea, her brother Showik Chakraborty, and others observing that if she is released on bail she may alert other accused and they may destroy the evidence in the matter.

On September 27, NCB seized mobile phones of actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and others,

NCB recorded the statements of Karishma Prakash, Sara Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor on September 26.

"The statements of Karishma Prakash, Sara Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor have been recorded. Kshitij Prasad has been placed under arrested after questioning. No fresh summon has been issued today. We have arrested more than 18 people," Mutha Ashok Jain, Deputy DG, South-Western Region of NCB said on Saturday.

The NCB had launched an investigation into the drugs case after it received official communication from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was investigating the money trail related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case. In the investigation, many revelations surfaced including various chats related to drug consumption, procurement, usage and transportation.

The ED had on July 31 registered an Enforcement Case Information Report in the late actor's death case after an FIR was filed by Rajput's father KK Singh against Rhea Chakraborty in Bihar on July 28. Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai residence on June 14. (ANI)

It is risky to have global supply chains excessively dependent on any single source: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at India-Denmark virtual summit.


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said COVID-19 has shown it is risky to have global supply chains excessively dependent on any single source and India is working with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during a virtual summit with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and said other like-minded countries can also join in these efforts towards supply chain diversification.

"COVID-19 has shown that it is risky to rely excessively on any single source of global supply chains. We are working together with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience. Other like-minded countries can also join this effort," he said.

COVID-19 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and many global companies are planning to shift their manufacturing bases from China.

The Prime Minister said India and Denmark share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic value-system.

Referring to the crisis created by COVID-19, he said the events of the past few months have made it clear how important it is for like-minded countries to work together.

"The events of the past few months have made it clear that how important it is for like-minded countries, who share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic value-system, to work together," the Prime Minister said.

He said that the virtual summit will not only be useful for bilateral relations between India and Denmark but also in contributing to a shared approach to global challenges.

Noting that he had a "very productive meeting with Denmark's Prime Minister a few months back, the Prime Minister said they talked on increasing cooperation between the two countries in several areas.

"It is a matter of happiness that we are giving new direction and speed to these intentions through the virtual summit," he said.

India hosted the virtual bilateral summit.

The Prime Minister said that cooperation between like-minded countries in vaccine-development will help deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

"Collaboration between like-minded countries in vaccine development will also help deal with the pandemic," he said.

The Prime Minister said that India's pharma capabilities have been helpful for the world during the crisis created by COVID-19 and a similar effort is being made in the direction of the vaccine.

He also mentioned the reforms done by the government concerning labour laws and agriculture.

"The effort of Atmanirbhar India is also that India's capabilities increase in key areas and they are useful to the world. We are laying emphasis on all-round reforms under the initiative. The regulatory and tax reforms will help companies working in India. The process of reforms is on in other areas. Recently important reforms were done in labour and agriculture," he said.

The Prime Minister also greeted Mette Frederiksen on her wedding and hoped that she will be able to visit the country at the earliest after situation created by COVID-19 improves.

"I congratulate you on your wedding recently and convey my good wishes. I hope that soon after the COVID-19 situation improves, we will get a chance to welcome you and your family in India. I am sure your daughter would be eager to visit India again," he said.

The Danish Prime Minister conveyed her thanks to the Prime Minister during her speech for his greetings.

"Thank you so much for the greetings to my family. My daughter will love to visit India once again and the same goes for my family," she said.

Bilateral trade in goods and services between India and Denmark has grown by 30.49 per cent, from US$ 2.82 billion in 2016 to US$ 3.68 billion in 2019.

Around 200 Danish companies have invested in India in sectors such as shipping, renewable energy, environment, agriculture, food processing and smart urban development.

Pakistan, China Constructing dams in PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan illegally, says activist in UN

Nasir Aziz Khan, Central spokesperson of United Kashmir People's National Party.


Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): A political activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir lambasted Pakistan and China, at the 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, for constructing mega-dams in the occupied territories.

Nasir Aziz Khan, Central spokesperson of United Kashmir People's National Party said in his intervention: "Plundering of natural resources in disputed areas of so-called Azad Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and Gilgit Baltistan deprived people of their own natural wealth. Kashmiris are owners of rivers and water but Islamabad is constructing mega dams without consulting local population. Pakistan and China signed agreements to construct Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower Projects which will be built on Jhelum River in so-called Azad Kashmir".

He added, "Neelum Jhelum Hydropower is already built. Our natural resources are being exploited, instead of giving ownership and paying royalty, Islamabad is receiving hefty surcharge from local consumers through monthly electricity bills in the name of these projects".

Nasir Aziz said that according to Article 257 of the Pakistani constitution, the State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory. In the international arena, Pakistan is a self-proclaimed advocate and pretends as a champion of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,but her actions are contrary to its claims.

"Recently Islamabad unveiled its new political map showing Jammu, Kashmir, so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan as its territories. It shows that she has no love for Kashmiris but wants to take full control of our areas which do not belong to it", he told the United Nations.

"We are ruled through the draconian interim act of AJK 1974 which bans political parties that do not endorse State of Jammu & Kashmir accession to Pakistan, applying for a government job or to take part in elections one must declare loyalty to the cause of accession. Similar rules prevail in Gilgit Baltistan", said Nasir Aziz.

"Those who oppose discriminatory rule are also subject to surveillance, harassment, imprisonment and even killed. Pakistan is violating several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and wants to impose more restrictions on nationalist political parties and groups through the 14th amendment in AJK act 1974 (Act 2020)", he said.

Nasir also said that the amendment of Article 4 to form an association or union, form or be a member of a political party will be linked with the interest of the sovereignty & integrity of Pakistan. No person or political party in so-called Azad Jammu and Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State accession to Pakistan.

"Therefore, I' urge this august council to take serious note and ask Pakistan to repeal all discriminatory laws and stop imposing new draconian laws and medieval practices in disputed areas of State of Jammu Kashmir", he added. (ANI)

Collaboration between like-minded countries in vaccine development will help deal with COVID-19, PM Modi tells Danish PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at India-Denmark virtual summit.


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen that cooperation between like-minded countries in vaccine-development will help deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

In his opening remarks during the India - Denmark virtual bilateral summit, the Prime Minister also greeted Mette Frederiksen on her wedding and hoped that she will be able to visit the country at the earliest after situation created by COVID-19 improves.

"I congratulate you on your wedding recently and convey my good wishes. I hope that soon after the COVID-19 situation improves, we will get a chance to welcome you and your family in India. I am sure your daughter would be eager to visit India again," he said.

The Danish Prime Minister conveyed her thanks to the Prime Minister during her speech for his greetings.

"Thank you so much for the greetings to my family. My daughter will love to visit India once again and the same goes for my family," she said.

The Prime Minister said the events of the past few months have made it clear that how important it is for like-minded countries, who share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic value-system, to work together.

"Collaboration between like-minded countries in vaccine development will also help deal with the pandemic," he said.

The Prime Minister said that India's pharma capabilities have been helpful for the world during the crisis created by COVID-19 and similar effort is being made in the direction of vaccine.

He also mentioned the reforms done by the government concerning labour laws and agriculture.

"The effort of Atmanirbhar India is also that India's capabilities increase in key areas and they are useful to the world. We are laying emphasis on all-round reforms under the initiative. The regulatory and taxation reforms will help companies working in India. The process of reforms is on in other areas. Recently important reforms were done in labour and agriculture," he said.

Recalling the "very productive" telephonic them a few months back, he said they had discussed ways to expand the India-Denmark relations in several areas.

"It is a matter of happiness that we are giving new direction and speed to these intentions through the virtual summit," he said.

The Prime Minister said COVID-19 has shown that it is risky to have global supply chains dependent on a single source.

He said India is working with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience and other like-minded countries can also join in this effort.

COVID-19 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and many companies are planning to shift their manufacturing bases from China. (ANI)

AXA XL in India to plant 30,000 trees and create a biodiversity park in Delhi

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New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI/NewsVoir): AXA XL in India has partnered with charity, Give Me Trees Trust, to embark on an ambitious three-year project to plant 30,000 trees and create a biodiversity park in Jaunapur, Chhatarpur, New Delhi.

A healthy biodiversity helps to breakdown and absorb pollution and provide resilience to climate change.The new park in Delhi is expected to release 2,400,000 Kgs of Oxygen per year, with the fledgling forest becoming self-sufficient after two years. Additionally, a healthy biodiversity helps with the management of ground water levels, preventing flash flooding and enriches the quality of the soil.

Preserving biodiversity is a key element of AXA's corporate responsibility strategy. AXA XL will play its part in delivering on this through this project, by helping to develop and monitor the land with the Give Me Trees Trust and also by assisting with fundraising for raw materials like seeds, soil and gardening equipment.

Project Aranya, which launched in April, has already facilitated the planting of 5,000 trees, with socially-distanced site visits for AXA XL employees planned in the coming weeks. A key aim of the project is to engage the local community and increase awareness of sustainability, therefore the charity will be hosting several webinars which will be open to the public.

"Delhi has a significant issue with air pollution and unsanitary water and this initiative will help to keep ecosystems healthy, creating a protected space where nature can thrive," says Derek Nazareth, Head of Global Operations and Country Head, AXA XL in India. "Conservation and sustainable development strategies are integral in preserving biodiversity, and this project, which has been driven by our Think Green Team in India, is a great example of the positive local actions we can take to deliver our global corporate responsibility goals."

"I would personally like to thank all our AXA XL colleagues who have, despite COVID-19 restriction, continued to find ways to support this initiative from home by growing saplings for the charity," added Nazareth.

"AXA XL is working alongside us as our corporate partner to develop not just a biodiversity park but to create a whole new 'sustainable' experience for its employees. The Company's fundraising campaign, volunteer involvement, workshops and community engagement activities will have a long-lasting impact on this urban forest," said Swami Prem Parivartan also known as Peepal Baba, Founder, Give Me Trees Trust.

Give Me Trees Trust was registered as a Charitable Trust in 2011 and is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in India working for sustainable forestry development. It has more than 11,500 volunteers and since its establishment, has planted over 20 million trees across the country in collaboration with the Indian Army, Air Force, Government agencies, schools, universities, corporates, and villages, etc.

AXA XL[1], the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. We partner with those who move the world forward.

[1]AXA XL is a division of AXA Group providing products and services through three business groups: AXA XL Insurance, AXA XL Reinsurance and AXA XL Risk Consulting.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

United Kingdom to create 4-month stockpiles of personal protective equipment for health and social care workers

Representative Image


London [UK], September 28 (Sputnik): The United Kingdom will establish four-month stockpiles of personal protective equipment for use by health and social care workers from November as part of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Monday.

"Four-month stockpiles of items such as face masks, visors and gowns will be in place from November to provide a continuous flow to the frontline, helping to ensure staff always have the equipment they need," the department said in a press release.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock added that three-quarters of the demand for personal protective equipment will be met by domestic manufacturers, adding that the supplies will allow workers to continue to provide vital care amid the ongoing pandemic.

"As we take every step to combat this virus we are setting out this plan to reassure our health and social care workers that they will have the PPE they need to carry out their tireless work," Hancock was quoted as saying.

In April, the UK government faced criticism for having failed to create stockpiles of vital medical equipment, including gowns and respirator masks, ahead of the onset of the coronavirus disease. At that time, National Health Service staff said that they were at risk due to equipment shortages.

The United Kingdom is in the midst of a second COVID-19 wave, and 5,693 new positive tests were registered by the Department of Health and Social Care on Sunday. The country's case total currently sits at 434,969 and 41,988 people have died due to complications from the disease within 28 days of a positive test, according to government data.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week announced the introduction of pub and bar curfews from 22:00 [21:00 GMT] as part of renewed efforts to curb the spread of the disease. (ANI/Sputnik)

India working with Japan, Australia for global supply-chain diversification, PM Modi tells Denmark PM during virtual summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at India-Denmark virtual summit


New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): India and Denmark share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic value-system and the events of past few months have made it clear how important it is for like-minded countries to work together, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

The Prime Minister, who took part in a virtual summit with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, did not name any country and said COVID-19 has shown that it is risky to have global supply chains dependent on a single source.

He said India is working with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience and other like-minded countries can also join in this effort.

COVID-19 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and many companies are planning to shift their manufacturing bases from China.

"The events of the past few months have made it clear that how important it is for like-minded countries, who share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic value-system, to work together," the Prime Minister said.

"COVID-19 has shown that it is risky to rely excessively on any single source of global supply chains. We are working together with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience. Other like-minded countries can also join this effort," he added.

The Prime Minister said that the virtual summit will not only be useful for bilateral relations between India and Denmark but also in contributing to a shared approach to global challenges.

Noting that he had a "very productive meeting with Denmark's Prime Minister a few months back, the Prime Minister said they talked on increasing cooperation between the two countries in several areas.

"It is a matter of happiness that we are giving new direction and speed to these intentions through the virtual summit," he said.

India hosted the virtual bilateral summit.

Bilateral trade in goods and services between India and Denmark has grown by 30.49 per cent, from US$ 2.82 billion in 2016 to US$ 3.68 billion in 2019.

Around 200 Danish companies have invested in India in sectors such as shipping, renewable energy, environment, agriculture, food processing and smart urban development. (ANI)

Tibetan election commission announces electoral calendar

Chief Election Commissioner Wangdu Tsering with two newly elected additional commissioners. (Representative Image)


Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], September 28 (ANI): The Chief Election Commission of Central Tibetan Administration on Monday announced the electoral calendar for the 2021 Sikyong and 17th Tibetan parliamentary elections as per the Charter of Tibetans-in-Exile and the Tibetan electoral rules and regulations.

The 2021 general election will elect the fifth directly elected Sikyong (earlier Kalon Tripa/ PM in-exile) and the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Wangdu Tsering Pesur accompanied by Delek Wangmo and Sonam Gyaltsen, the two additional election commissioners made the announcements here in Dharamshala during the press conference.

The CEC also announced guidelines for the shortlist of Sikyong candidates for the final election.

However, if there are two candidates who have obtained equal votes in the preliminary round, three candidates shall be shortlisted for the final Sikyong election."If the first and second candidates have the equal highest votes in the final election, the two candidates will be finalised and an announcement will be made accordingly," he added.

"The preliminary election for Sikyong and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament is slated for January 3, 2021 and the final election would be held on April 11 2021," he added.

Earlier in late August, the Tibetan Election Commission in-exile has officially announced the commencement of the electoral process of the 2021 General Elections of 'Sikyong' (political leader/ president) of central Tibetan administration and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

Chief Election Commissioner Wangdue Tsering told ANI earlier in August that the registration process of the Tibetan voters will start from September 1 and it may continue till the end of October 2020.

"The registration process for voters was supposed to be done by April but now all registrations should start from September 1, which may continue till October. We have also started voter education programmes where we are introducing posters, animation films and short films as well," Tsering said. (ANI)

Issue of illegal arrest, torture of activist for removing Pakistani flag in PoK raised at UN

Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, the chairman of the United Kashmir People's National Party.


Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): Exiled political leaders from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have raised the issue of abduction, torture, and harassment of activists and journalists by Pakistani agencies at the illegally occupied region during the ongoing 45th Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, the chairman of the United Kashmir People's National Party during his intervention raised the issue of British Kashmiri Journalist Tanveer Ahmed, who was arrested and tortured by Pakistani agencies for protesting against hoisting the Pakistani flag in PoK.

"At the behest of Pakistan, the local administration brutally beaten, arrested and jailed him. In Gilgit Baltistan peaceful political activists Baba Jan Iftikhar Hussain and their colleagues were trailed under Anti-Terrorist Act and were awarded 40 to 90 years imprisonment. We urge upon UNHRC to put pressure on Islamabad for the immediate and unconditional release of all activists", said Shaukat Ali Kashmiri.

He added, "The authorities intensified their crackdown on the right to freedom of expression. Political activists and journalists are targeted and charged under draconian laws, including the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), the Anti-Terrorism Act, and sections of the penal code on sedition and defamation. The government curtailed media freedoms and media workers reported that they were experiencing a growing culture of censorship, coercion and harassment by the authorities".

Sajid Hussain, Secretary Information, UKPNP (Europe Zone) said in his intervention at the UNHRC, "Freedom of expression is compromised in Pakistan and PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). Raising voice for basic human and fundamental rights, demanding for ownership of natural resources and self-governance, criticism on wrongdoings of establishment and subservient judiciary become almost blasphemous".

He also raised the issue of Tanveer Ahmed saying that the Pakistani security agencies have brutally beaten, arrested and jailed British Kashmiri Journalist Tanveer Ahmed after he removed the Pakistani flag in Dadyal in a disputed area in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. We urge HRC to ask Pakistan for his immediate release.

He added, "Peaceful Human rights activist Jamil Maqsood who is based in Brussels, Belgium has been regularly participating in HRC sessions and raising human rights issues. Due to his active role, Pakistan has confiscated his passport now he is unable to travel and access to the UN. Freedom of movement is a fundamental right we urge upon HRC to put pressure on Pakistan to issue him passport".

Sajid told the UN, "The voices of the Kashmiri people to free themselves from Pakistani rule has resulted in the state taking repressive action. This has resulted in regular instances of human rights abuses including forced disappearances, torture to political repression and electoral rigging and suppression of freedom of speech".

"Pakistan should take effective measures to control activities of those who promote extremism, violence and intolerance in the region", said the human rights activist by demanding Pakistan to take immediate action against security forces, those groups and agencies who kidnap citizens of Pakistan and PoK; and make arrangements for the immediate release of all those who have involuntarily disappeared. (ANI)

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