Friday, November 30, 2018 FRONT PAGE

Skip Navigation Links
 
link
 
link
SUPPLEMENT
Visitor Login










Election preparation marred by nationwide pandemonium

Shahid Islam

All bets are off when misfortune strikes. Bangladesh has galloped into such a ‘zone of misfortune,’ as was feared. Here is why. Grimaced faces, burning tires, threat to refund money taken for approving nominations, and, fleeing of party leaders from the spots are some of the symptoms of an election preparation gone awry.
Add to it the decision of the European Union (EU) not to send observers to monitor the December 30 polling, as well as the EU’s decision not even to make any comment about it. Let’s call it a pandemonium that may end up with anything and everything unpredictable.

Full Story

Shahid Islam

All bets are off when misfortune strikes. Bangladesh has galloped into such a ‘zone of misfortune,’ as was feared. Here is why. Grimaced faces, burning tires, threat to refund money taken for approving nominations, and, fleeing of party leaders from the spots are some of the symptoms of an election preparation gone awry.
Add to it the decision of the European Union (EU) not to send observers to monitor the December 30 polling, as well as the EU’s decision not even to make any comment about it. Let’s call it a pandemonium that may end up with anything and everything unpredictable.

Landside desertions
Don’t like such an assessment of what’s happening in the political horizon? Hang on; we have much more to tell. In 24 hours in the week past, two former distinguished cabinet ministers of the incumbent AL—AVM Khondoker and professor Abu Sayed—-had joined the Dr. Kamal-led United National Front (UNF). Many other lesser-known luminaries, including former AL-MP and talk show icon Golam Moula Roni, too have already joined or are in the process of joining the UNF. That aside, nomination-deprived, aggrieved AL leaders have let loose a nationwide movement by blocking roads, burning tires and making telephone threats to senior party leaders of consequences for not nominating them.
In the Ershad-led JP, threats have been made in front of party office to pay back money taken in advance from aspiring candidates to offer nominations while Ershad himself fell sick and remains under treatment. Meanwhile, over half a dozen JP leaders have joined the UNF, making a UNF leader to flash a long-lost green and comment: “So many from the AL and the JP are on the line up to join the UNF that nominating them is quite impossible at this moment.” Journalists covering the nation-wide mayhems and the revolt within the AL and the JP tout the events as a ‘massive meltdown’ of the people in power.

Little secret
What the ongoing, fast-moving incidents also indicate is that the government’s blue print of making the JP an official opposition, like the last time, had hit a seemingly insurmountable bump. No sooner the JP decided to contest the poll in all 300 seats to become the king maker — by joining a coalition with either of the other two likely wining blocks, the UNF or the AL-led 14 party alliance, based on the bargain it can strike at the end—then the government lost its cool. And, like in the past, the government decided to ‘blackmail’ the ageing former army chief and president, HM Ershad, by not letting him off the loop in which he found himself fettered over the last 10 years.
Sources say, an offer to give the JP 45 or so seats, and the indecision to allow JP candidates to use the boat or the plough symbol until the nomination paper submission deadline on November 28, had led to Ershad’s sudden illness.  Other un-verified reports claim, Ershad and his helpless wife are on their way out of the country. 

Strategic mistake
All of the above are indicative of one more thing: the AL doesn’t have a new plan to cling onto power by winning the election. If it did have one, the JP would have been allowed to contest in all 300 seats so that the JP’s support could lead to the formation of a coalition government in the instance the AL ended up with less than expected seats in a fairly-held electoral battle. Or, is it the prescience and the ‘gathered information’ of the incumbent regime that it’s losing the election is a certainty, and, dealing with the JP the way it was dealt with in the past was the better option?
Be that whatever, the ‘battle plan’ of the AL seems to be the same as the one used last time: take the electoral harvest home by hook or crook, and make the JP an official opposition. This time around, the fallacy in such a stratagem is that the UNF will be the main opposition even if the AL ‘robs’ a victory, and, a movement to have re-election held amidst plausible vote rigging — in the absence of international observers and judicially-empowered military supervision — will blow off the government’s strategy into scattered pieces within days of the election’s conclusion.

Output before the action
Yet, one of the government’s policy makers told this scribe that the “AL’s winning the election is a certainty.” Asked on what basis such a confidence-smeared assertion is made, he said ‘wait and see.’
Well, no one has the patience to wait and see at a time when the ranks and files of the UNF are swelling and surging like flood waters; the JP is jacked; the Jamat is out of the race with its vote bank franchised to the UNF; the Jukto Front of Badruddoza Chowdhury is already rendered insignificant; the trinomul BNP leader Nazmul Huda is ‘begging’ to re-join the BNP; and, in one large village in Cumilla with nearly 5,000 votes, not even 100 voters are supportive of the ruling AL, as this scribe learnt from asking people cross-section.
The ground reality is hence indicative of a landslide victory for the UNF, if the polls are held fairly and voters are allowed to vote for their chosen candidates. Having said that, one must be mindful that there are fixed votes for the AL in the greater Faridpur and adjacent districts, as there are fixed votes for the Jamat -– call it UNF for now due to Jamat’s  judicial incapacitation to join the poll—in all the bordering districts.
The BNP, on the other hand, has become ubiquitously popular for reasons, among which the incarceration of — and the court-verdict-inferred disqualification to contest the poll — Khaleda Zia is a major factor; along with the formation of the UNF under venerated national leaders like Dr. Kamal Hossain. Based on such analyses, the electoral outcome is well known to the people before the action, i.e. the physical voting: a UNF victory.

A little advice
The government should relapse into senses based on this ground reality for a number of reasons. Hypothetically speaking, what really will happen if the government facilitates a fair election, as did the worst dictator of history, Gen. Yahya Khan, in 1970; knowing well the AL would snatch the victory and may try to pull East Pakistan out of the Union.  Our rulers must not dare to pale Yahya Khan in honouring the constitution and other electoral laws.
Let’s be realistic for a ted second: If our observation and the understanding of Bangladesh politics are not too much off the mark, following a fair election, the AL will form the opposition in the next parliament; many of its leaders will face interrogation, imprisonment and other forms of prosecution and persecution; and things will go the way it customarily go in Bangladesh’s political culture. In the end, the lost credibility of the AL will be restored, democracy will be leased a new life, and the nation will be spared from a major upheaval stemming from the ramifications of a rigged election.
Most importantly, elections in the future can occur under the incumbent regime; marking a major shift to the ongoing bickering and the internecine fighting about the modalities of changing government through fair elections. In our opinion, the quest for becoming a developed nation is less important than the complacency of settling down how elections in the future will be held. The former is an evolutionary mechanism; the latter is instantly required and, indispensible.
Before we conclude, the readers must be reminded that a recently filed writ petition on the validity of the EC’s composition is awaiting dispensation. If the court finds the writ-maker’s complaint of the EC having been ‘constituted with partisan people of dubious public service background’ — as opposed to neutral personalities mandated by the constitution and the Representation of Public Order (RPO)—the election, by necessity, will have to be deferred until the EC is reconstituted. We shall wait for the rolling of this and other electoral dices until the next issue of our publication. Stay tuned.


Login to post comments


(0)



Bargain and chaos overshow alliances nominations for election

Faruque Ahmed

Selection of candidates for the 11th parliamentary election scheduled for December 30 is facing critical challenges in the two major political alliances with dozens of affiliated smaller parties with them.
While BNP led Jatiya Oikyafront is relatively at peace for fewer candidates flocking around as most of its prospective leaders and workers are in jail Awami League led grand alliance is facing rebellions and also defections at many places for selectin of wrong or controversial candidates at many places.

Full Story

Faruque Ahmed

Selection of candidates for the 11th parliamentary election scheduled for December 30 is facing critical challenges in the two major political alliances with dozens of affiliated smaller parties with them.
While BNP led Jatiya Oikyafront is relatively at peace for fewer candidates flocking around as most of its prospective leaders and workers are in jail Awami League led grand alliance is facing rebellions and also defections at many places for selectin of wrong or controversial candidates at many places.

Such nominations are opposed at those paces for allocating seats to Jatiya Party or other smaller components of the alliance against their will. They are not ready to accept such horse trading against their will.
The party’s internal crisis came to the fore with recent joining of Reza Kibria, son of former finance Minister ASM KIbria of Awami League government to Gonoforum and his preparation to contest election from his father’s seat in Habigonj with sheaf of paddy – the BNP symbol.
The joining of Prof Abu Sayed—a long time party leader and former Awami League minister from Pubna to BNP is yet another case. Similarly the switching of Azizus Samad Azad, son of former Awami League stalwart and foreign minister Abdus Samad Azad to BNP and his preparation for election with sheaf of paddy from his father’s Sunamgonj seat suggests how deeper the change of direction is at work within Awami league.
Golam Maula Roi’s joining to BNP and his preparation for election with sheaf of paddy also suggest how old time Awami League families and younger ones are moving out of the party fold while other party men, wealthy people, people with muscle power and even killer are replacing their places.
New Oikyafront leaders like Sultan Mohammad Mansur, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Qader Siddiqui were prominent Awami League leaders now outshining BNP’s image. ASM Rab was also closer to Awami League than any others. They have justified their switch to anti-Awami League front to restore democracy now being falling hostage to a system of authoritarian regime.
Many believe big political parties are increasingly behaving like corporate business houses where money dominates decision making and profiteering dictates selection of nominations and others in leadership posts. Wealthy people are out to grab control of parliament, swindlers are out to control the wealth of the nation. Good people are failing to hold the ground.
The trend is clear. A father this time got nomination in the place of his convicted son on charge of murders and wife of another MP replaced her husband who is known nationwide as leader of drug trafficking syndicate. Increasingly big parties are losing moral ground to claim they represent the people.
Media report said Jatiya Party had issued had 200 letters to nomination aspirants while the list of candidates projected 111 names at a time when Awami League is prepared to give the party at best 30 to 35 seats.
Several party men shouted in the party office at Banani last week demanding refund of money that they paid to some leaders for nomination. The amount varies from sixty lakhs to over crore in many cases. Senior party leaders are keeping absent from office to let the time for filing nomination over. Gen. Ershad is at CMH taking treatment. This is how nomination business has overtaken honest credible election.
In tackling nomination chaos, Awami League as a huge party has no choice but to accommodate alliance partners in an election alliance to win. The biggest consideration is to win the election.
The situation is almost opposite in BNP led Jatiya Oikyafront chaired by Gonoforum president Dr Kamal Hussain. The party was almost on the brink and weighing whether or not to take part in election although it has nationwide mass support until the Oikyafront made the debut in October. As most BNP leaders and worker are in jail or on the run the party is facing problems to field strong candidates. New faces are replacing them at most paces.
Three smaller parties including Gonoforum, JSD (Rab) and Nagorikoikya have few candidates although it has reinvigorated BNP overnight from trailing with the 20-party alliance without much clout to make any showdown.
The OIkyafront candidates feel vulnerable to be disqualified by returning officers in a situation without a level plain field. So it has fielded two candidates at many places to overcome unforeseen screening.
BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia is in jail since early this year and latest court orders shows she can’t take part in election. The court also disqualified over a dozen BNP leaders recently, the latest being last week while in similar situation Awami League leader Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir took part in election with their appeal against conviction pending.
There is no answer to such discrimination at the moment but BNP and OIkyafront claim they are taking part in election as part of their movement to save democracy calling people to protect their right to vote. They are hoping for a miracle.


Login to post comments


(0)



The missing level playing field

F R Chowdhury

When Bangladesh  Awami League (BAL) won the general election by 2/3 majority in the parliament in 2008, the party knew very well about their priority – change the constitution and remove the provision of election under non-political care-taker government so that they can never be removed from power. In this respect their second action was to get rid of civil servants who do not have their line of “chetona”. Hundreds of civil servants were retired or made OSDs.

Full Story

F R Chowdhury

When Bangladesh  Awami League (BAL) won the general election by 2/3 majority in the parliament in 2008, the party knew very well about their priority – change the constitution and remove the provision of election under non-political care-taker government so that they can never be removed from power. In this respect their second action was to get rid of civil servants who do not have their line of “chetona”. Hundreds of civil servants were retired or made OSDs.

New recruitments were made checking carefully their Chatra-league background. Since then their success in training and promotion were dependent on their degree of loyalty to the party. Their understanding is confined to the idea that government is party and party is government. They virtually lost their power of thinking beyond that. They consider criticism of the government as anti-state activity. This is why we come across news item of people being jailed for making cartoon or mockery of prime minister whereas this should be considered as a normal expression of democratic feeling. Ten years later it is simply not possible to think that the same civil servants can play impartial role as returning officers in any poll. The civil servants are not only worried but rather terrorised as to what would happen if the party (BAL) loses election. They do not understand that civil servants are not part of government. The services of the civil servants are automatically placed at the disposal of the government, no matter whichever party is in power. Civil servants are also citizens of the country and they have the liberty to vote any party they like but what they cannot do is to express their support publicly in favour of any party, whether in power or in opposition. The nation expects them (civil servants) to work independent of any party-politics.
The present government has in a systematic way destroyed the structure of the civil service. It has created new post of senior secretaries to reward the ultra-loyal senior civil servants. The police have successfully kept the opposition under control. The prime minister recently announced their reward. In addition to IGP, five more senior police officers shall enjoy the rank and status of secretary to the government.
Any independent and sovereign country is supposed be proud of its armed forces. The president of the republic who is in no way associate with any political party is the supreme commander of the armed forces. The present prime minister takes every opportunity to appear in military ceremonies and functions. Sometimes she wears the uniform of a five star general/ admiral. Over 55 officers of our army were killed when the prime minister was busy negotiating with the rebel leaders. Following this incident, some more officers including the “sword of honour” winner were retired. Now their support is being re-gained through newer cantonments, DOHS and golf courses. It is not desirable to discuss about armed forces but the activities of the present government lead to such discussion.
From the days of British rule and thereafter Pakistan period we always found judiciary above politics. That is no more the case. Just because the verdict did not suit the government, we saw how the chief justice had to leave his job and then finally to save his life, he had to leave the country.The prime minister claims that she never interferes with judiciary. Then whyKhaleda Zia is still in jail and Sheikh Hasina is the prime minister? Sheikh Hasina had more cases against her. Where have they gone? Mofazza lHussain Maya’s court conviction disappeared and he is still a minister. The presidential pardon was granted to a criminal to allow him to leave the country. These are all careful manipulation. We are waiting to see many more.
Finally because of the general election, there has been general promotion in civil service. People are promoted to levels that do not exist. There has been increase in salary. Even the pensioners got extra benefit. The attitude is – give everything now and make sure the party (BAL) wins. This is the biggest example of bribe and the ACC is silent!
There has been one case of street violence in front of BNP office in NayaPaltan since the election schedule was announced. We heard on the TV the police bosses saying that those responsible would be arrested on the basis of video recording. However, nobody said anything about the action of the police. The officer in-charge has to explain why he could not resolve matter peacefully. He also got to explain why the police vehicles were left abandoned.
The prime minister uses the official residence “gono-bhavan” for political meetings but does not provide one for the opposition. The ministers use their office for giving political statements to press. The Returning Officers were called by the PM after they were duly briefed by the EC. At district level police are keen to establish prior contact with ROs.In order to disrupt BNP communication, people are often deprived of internet and skype facilities. These are clear evidence as to how the civil servants are not only eager but in fact competing with each other to help the party in power (BAL). Others are fearful of any reprisal after election and they are also trying to do their bit for BAL. Even the Government appointed so-called mentors in each of 64 districts. However, this appointment of mentors was later cancelled. There is no way that level playing field can be made available to all parties.Free and fair election is unthinkable.
I shall conclude my article by paying my tributes to BNP who decided to participate in the election as part of their struggle for restoring democracy. In the words of Dr. Kamal Hossain it is a last ditch effort to liberate democracy. It is an effort to give the country back to people. It is time to stand for democracy. We must not fail. As Dr. Kamal said if people are united, neither the police nor military can do anything. Let us respond to the call of unity and win the decisive battle. Let us get back our freedom so that we can laugh and cry as we want. Let us celebrate the New Year. Let not anybody dictate what we can or cannot do. They tried it in Romania but failed. They shall fail here aswell.
London, 21-November-2018


Login to post comments


(1)

Comments: I wish one and all freedom loving Bangladeshis more so the young generation go through this precious article- a lesson for all. The reverend writer probably overlooked about the trump card held by sk hasina even after she fails to win this time that by recalling otherwise the dead parliament she can retain her ongoing tyrannical power for indefinite period.The whole state machinery is standing by to accomplish her all the dreams needless to say in exchange of our freedom and sovereignty. SHe has the last say. What a dirty policy she has been persuading to fool the nation by blaming opposition for her misdeeds and turning black into white day and night. How can she remain in power after the BDR tragedy? 21St august grenade attack committed by ULFA so successfully politicised to crash the innocents.Should we not learn from our mistakes that in the context of B.DESH the President of the country should be a nonpolitical towering personality with full integrity and patriotism?EX president SHAHABUDDIN DID TEACH HER SOME LESSON. May ALLAH bless Bangladesh. AMEN
Commented by : Bashar , SURREY U.K.



Environment created for participatory polls: CEC

Special Correspndent

Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday said a competitive and participatory election environment has been created for all the parties ahead of the next parliamentary polls, reports.
“We had expected a competitive and participatory election, and our desire has been fulfilled. A congenial environment has been created which is visible through the submission of nomination papers,” he said.

Full Story

Special Correspndent

Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday said a competitive and participatory election environment has been created for all the parties ahead of the next parliamentary polls, reports.
“We had expected a competitive and participatory election, and our desire has been fulfilled. A congenial environment has been created which is visible through the submission of nomination papers,” he said.

The CEC said this while speaking at the inaugural programme of a workshop arranged for government officials at Nirbachan Bhaban.
“All, including influential persons and independent candidates, submitted their nomination papers to their respective returning officers in a disciplinary way and no one violated the electoral code of conduct. No one was accompanied by more than 5-7 people during nomination paper submissions,” he said.
Huda went on saying, “We want to believe that those who are doing politics and contesting the election will abide by the electoral code of conduct during their electioneering.”

BNP can’t run without Jamaat: Quader
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday said BNP cannot run without Jamaat-e-Islami which is the big patron of communalism.
Qauder made the remark at a press briefing at the office of Awami League chief’s Dhanmondi office.
As journalists drew his attention to Jamaat candidates’ nomination submission with BNP’s ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ symbol, he said, “There’s nothing new, BNP couldn’t run without Jamaat. They’re working together, carrying out terrorist activities and doing politics together. BNP has given nominations to militants.”
Quader alleged that violence that had taken place over the 2014 election was also carried out by BNP along with Jamaat.
“BNP-Jamaat are two flowers of the same stalk …BNP cannot sever ties with it,” said the AL leader. 
“Barrister Shakila Farzana, who’s she? Is she not involved in militancy financing? The matter also went to court. If Shakila Farzana is not a militant, then who is militant? We know they’ve nominated many such militants. These are nothing new to them,” said Quader.
There is a mess in BNP and the party’s condition is out of the control of Mirza Fakhrul, said Quader.
He also said Awami League is not giving nomination to senior leaders of the party not because of incompetence but because of the election plan.

BNP not to allow war criminals to contest polls
However, BNP on Thursday said it will not allow any war criminal to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the party’s electoral symbol.
“I can assure you no war criminal will be allowed to use our electoral symbol Sheaf of Paddy,“ said BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan.
He came up with the remarks at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
As his attention was drawn that some Jamaat leaders submitted their nomination forms to contest the polls with BNP symbol, Nazrul said, “Where is the problem to use our symbol by those who are not criminal criminals.”

He also claimed that there are some freedom fighters even in Jamaat-e-Islami. Jamaat sources said its 24 leaders submitted their nomination papers to the returning officers in different districts to contest the national election with BNP’s election symbol.
Some Jmaaat leaders also filed their nominations to contest the election from different seats as independent candidates.
Replying to a query how many seats they are sharing with Jamaat, he diplomatically said they did not share any seat with Jamaat as the party nominated its candidates to contest the election with their symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.


Login to post comments


(0)



Kashmir only issue between India and Pakistan: Imran Khan

Online Agencies

While laying the foundation of the Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that Kashmir was the only issue between India and Pakistan.
“The only issue between us is Kashmir, all it needs is just two capable leaderships to resolve this issue. Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get strong,” said Khan, according to news agency ANI.

Earlier, Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu, who described the Kartarpur Corridor as a major opportunity to open the hearts of the people in the two neighbouring countries, said that violence must be stopped and peace should be restored between India and Pakistan.

Full Story

Online Agencies

While laying the foundation of the Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that Kashmir was the only issue between India and Pakistan.
“The only issue between us is Kashmir, all it needs is just two capable leaderships to resolve this issue. Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get strong,” said Khan, according to news agency ANI.

Earlier, Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu, who described the Kartarpur Corridor as a major opportunity to open the hearts of the people in the two neighbouring countries, said that violence must be stopped and peace should be restored between India and Pakistan.

Sidhu, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on the Pakistani side, said both the government should realise that they have to move forward.
To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak ‘- to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

PAK ARMY AND GOVT ON THE SAME PAGE
Khan said the army and the government of his country are on the same page and called for a “civilized relationship” with India.

“Whenever I travelled to India, people would tell me the Pakistan army was not interested in peace... I am telling you that I the PM, our party, other political parties, our army - we are all on the same page and we want to move ahead with India. We want to have a civilised relationship,” Imran Khan said, after holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the corridor to Kartarpur Sahib, one of the holiest shrines of Sikhs.
“For 70 years, we have been fighting with each other... India points fingers at Pakistan, and Pakistan points fingers at India. There have been mistakes on both sides, but how long must we keep play this blame-game? Every time we take one step ahead, we slide two steps behind.” Bringing up the Kashmir dispute between the two countries, the Pakistan PM said it can be resolved with “humanity”.
“We have a common aim, resolving the Kashmir dispute. Can’t we, as human beings, fix that? I guarantee that it can happen, we just need the will and a dream. How much advantage both the sides will have through peace... We have to bury our differences to make peace and open our borders to each other,” he added.
Khan cited the example of France and Germany, which were on opposite sides of the battleground during the Second World War, to push his demand for peace.
“If France and Germany managed to come together after waging such a big war in which so many people on both sides died, why can’t we do the same? They have an open border now, and fruitful business ties. When they could break their chains of hatred, why can’t we? We also killed each other in the years past, but we did not try an honest hand at peace,” he said.

‘IF SIDHU CONTESTS IN PAK HE WILL WIN’
Khan also took umbrage at the criticism Sidhu was facing back in India.
“I don’t know why was Sidhu criticised (in India). He was just talking about peace. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan, he’ll win. I hope we don’t have to wait for Sidhu to become Indian PM for everlasting friendship between our nations,” Khan said.

NO TALKS, NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN SAARC UNLESS PAK STOPS TERROR:  SWARAJ
Hyderabad: Hours before Khan was to lay foundation of Kartarpur Corridor, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj declared there will be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it desists from “terrorist activities against India”, in a rebuff to Pakistan a day after Islamabad said it would invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the SAARC summit.

CORRIDOR NOT LINKED TO DIALOGUE
She also said the Kartarpur corridor initiative was not linked to the dialogue process with Pakistan.
“That invitation has already been given. But, we are not responding to it positively. Because, as I said, that unless and until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in SAARC,” Swaraj told a press conference.
She said Pakistan “promoting terror activities in India” came in the way of resumption of talks.
“I already visited Pakistan and this was me only who started the comprehensive bilateral dialogue. But what happened after that? Pathankot, after that Uri. So, we have to take a big picture.”
Maintaining she was happy that Pakistan had responded positively to the Kartarpur corridor for the first time, Swaraj said that did not mean “the bilateral dialogue will start only on this”. “Terror and talks cannot go together,” she asserted.
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal had said on Tuesday that prime minister Modi will be invited to that country for the SAARC summit.
India had pulled out of the 19th SAARC summit that was to be held in Islamabad after militants attacked an army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September that year.
The summit had to be called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to attend. Maldives and Sri Lanka are the other two members of the regional grouping.
No summit meeting of SAARC has happened ever since.
Swaraj, who is campaigning here ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, said, “The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor.”
She declined to comment on Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visiting Pakistan for the event.
On Sidhu giving credit to Imran Khan for the corridor initiative and the latter saying it happened due to efforts of the cricketer-turned-politician, Swaraj said the Government of India, whichever government was in power, sought Kartarpur corridor.
“It happens G (government) to G (government). Any one individual can’t take decision with any government. They were also telling to him that you write. You speak. Such decisions happen government to government. Not through any one individual,” she said, calling attempts to claim credit for the corridor “one upmanship”.
On reports about Sidhu going to Pakistan against the advice of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh following the recent grenade attack in Amritsar that claimed three lives, Swaraj said the CM said he was told by the minister that it was a private visit.
She said details related to Kartarpur corridor, including whether it would be visa-free, among others, are yet to be decided.


Login to post comments


(0)



KASHMIR WEEK
More pro-freedom youths being killed in encounters

Online Agencies

More youths are being killed in Kashmir as Indian forces intensifies its operation to encounter pro-freedom militancy in the state.
At least nine youths have bee killed and several others injured in encounters during last week.
The violence-torn state also witnessed angry protests by the citizens . Also there were huge gathering of mourners in the funerals of the slain youths. Police, however, treated them with teargas and metal pellets fired from shotguns.

Full Story

Online Agencies

More youths are being killed in Kashmir as Indian forces intensifies its operation to encounter pro-freedom militancy in the state.
At least nine youths have bee killed and several others injured in encounters during last week.
The violence-torn state also witnessed angry protests by the citizens . Also there were huge gathering of mourners in the funerals of the slain youths. Police, however, treated them with teargas and metal pellets fired from shotguns.

In the latest round of encounter, two militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Khrew area of Awantipora in south Kashmir on Thursday morning.
A the police and special forces jointl by lunched a cordon and search operation before dawn following “credible” inputs about the presence of militants in Sharshali area of Khrew.”As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated, leading to a gunfight,” police claimed
In the ensuing gunfight two militants were killed. The youths- Adnan Lone and Adil Bhat were affiliated with Hizb ul Mujahideen, police said.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” said the spokesman. However, multiple rounds of funeral prayers were held for Adnan Ahmad Lone alias Uqaab whom was killed in an encounter in Khrew area of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.
Witnesses said that three rounds of funeral prayers were held for Adnan Lone and four rounds for Adil Bhat.
They said that thousands of people took part in the funeral prayers held at their native villages.
Earlier, police said that both the slain militants were close associates of top Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo.

Tear gas on mourners
Meanhwile government forces on Thursday fired tear gas on the mourners during the funeral prayers of slain militant Mehraj-ud-Din in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Din was killed in a gunfight with the forces in Chattergam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Top Lashkar commander Naveed Jatt was also killed in the firefight on Tuesday morning.
The funeral prayers of Din were being held at Iqbal market in Sopore when the forces resorted to tear gas shelling.
Several tear gas shells were fired at the mourners as the prayers were about to conclude.

Six killed
At least six militants including three district commanders and an army soldier were killed during a gunfight in Shopian district on Sunday, even as a teenager was gunned down and as many as 68 civilians wounded when forces used live ammunition to break up protests that erupted near the encounter site and elsewhere.
The Shopian gunfight took place two days after three commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba and HizbulMujahideen were among six militants killed in a gunfight with forces in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on Friday.
A according to police, the combined forces of army, special operations group of J&K police and Central Reserve Force cordoned off Batgund-Kapran village in Shopian late on Saturday night following “specific inputs” about presence of militants, belonging to both HizbulMujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba outfits, in the area.
“As the searching of suspected residential houses began, militants hiding in a house opened fire on forces,” the official said, adding that the forces immediately “returned the fire, triggering a gunfight that lasted for nearly eight hours”.
An army man was injured in the initial exchange of firing while another was killed when the operation was in its last stage, he said, identifying the slain soldier as Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Ashmiuji area in Kulgam district.
The official said the gunfight ended with the killing of six militants.
As the word about the killing of militants and a civilian spread, people in Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts took to streets and threw stones and bricks on forces amid a complete shutdown. The forces responded by firing pellets and teargas shells to chase away the protesters.
In Shopian, according to a witness, police set on fire five motorcycles belonging to families and relatives of slain militants, outside the district police lines.
“We were called by the police for identification of bodies. As we entered the DPL, policemen set our bikes parked outside on fire,” alleged a relative of a slain militant.
In an official handout, a police spokesman said: “From the material evidence collected, one of the killed militants is learnt to be a foreigner from Pakistan”.
“Around the encounter site, one injured individual identified as Nouman Ashraf Bhat of BolousKulgam referred to hospital has succumbed. Four others injured in the incident are reportedly stable. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter. Huge quantity of arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases,” the spokesman said.

Three killed on SDunday
Three militants including the district commander of Zakir Musa led Ansar-ul-Gazwat-ul-Hind and an army man were killed and two CRPF men injured in two separate encounters in south Kashmir on Sunbday.
The slain militants were identified as Ajaz Ahmad Makroo of Arwani of Redwani and Waris Ahmad Malik of Moman Arwani village of Bijbehara. The slain, according to police were associated with LeT outfit.

PANCHAYAT GHAR SET ON FIRE IN VICINITY
A panchayat building in Heepora-Batgund, barely few meters away from the encounter site, was set on fire Sunday, the police said. The structure was completely gutted in the fire.
Violent clashes between government forces and locals killed a civilian while several others suffered injuries near the site of an encounter in Kashmir which left six militants, including two top commanders, and an Army soldier dead on Sunday morning.
Local sources said Noman Ashraf Bhat, a resident of Bolsoo village of Kulgam district, was hit by a bullet when forces fired at protesters near the site of a gunfight in Batgund village of Kapran.
“At least seven protesters suffered firearm injuries, including pellet injuries and one of them has been referred to Srinagar for advanced treatment,” a doctor at a medical facility in Kulgam, where the injured were brought for treatment, said.
Kashmir observers fear that the civilian killing will further heighten tensions in the restive Valley where more than 400 people, including militants, civilians and security forces, have been killed, making 2018 one of the deadliest year in the three decade old insurgency.


Login to post comments


(0)



METROPOLITAN
EDITORIAL
INTERNATIONAL
COMMENTS
BUSINESS
INFOTECH
CULTURE
MISCELLANY
AVIATOUR
LETTERS
LAST WORD
FOUNDING EDITOR: ENAYETULLAH KHAN; EDITOR: SAYED KAMALUDDIN
Contents Copyrighted © by Holiday Publication Limited
Mailing address 30, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh.
Phone 880-2-8170462, 8170463, 8170464 Fax 880-2-9127927 Email weeklyholiday65@gmail.com
Site Managed By: Southtech Group
Southtech Group does not take any responsibility for any news content of this site