Thursday, August 8, 2019

From Occupied-#Balochistan - A #Baloch sister’s open letter to #UN - @antonioguterres An open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

His Excellency Mr. António Guterres,
United Nations Secretary General,
United Nations Secretariat Building
405 E 42nd St, New York,
NY 10017, USA
Mr Secretary General,
You are the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, a position in the world’s most powerful organisation. The UN came into being after two horrific World Wars; the UN has played a great role in sustaining peace and playing a great role in the reconciliation of disputes across the globe. Since the establishment of the United Nations every persecuted, starved, and oppressed have been looking upon it for a remedy. When there is no hope left, and the paths are blocked then the last support has always been United Nations and as the head of this organization, I am presenting my statement before you.
Respected Secretary-General,
It is said that injustice with one person is a threat to the justice of the whole world. Therefore, the most historical and admirable work that United Nations did after its establishment, was the foundation and declaration of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and it’s very first article is that we all humans are equal in dignity and rights and have been born free. Thus, everyone should be treated equally.
Before I present my case in front of you, I would like to have the courage to remind you of something. The third and most important article of these thirty articles of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” declares that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” And the fifth article of this historical document states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The sixth important article is that “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” Respected nobleman, the ninth article of this human rights document states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” The tenth article declares that “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.” And the eleventh most significant article is that “everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.”
Respected Secretary-General,
The reason to write you this open letter and mention of the above articles of human rights declaration is purely that, I appeal to United Nations that my brother Rashid Hussain should be considered a human and shall be granted the rights endowed to him within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
My brother, Rashid Hussain is a political and human rights activist, who moved to the United Arab Emirates so that he does not become a victim of human rights violation, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of political activists in Balochistan. More than five innocent family members of mine were extra-judicially killed by the Pakistan Army.
My brother Rasheed Hussain was also not spared and on 26th December 2018, he was arrested and taken away by the personnel of the secret services of the United Arab Emirates while travelling from Sharjah to Dubai. He was deprived of all human rights and was a captive in the United Arab Emirates’ jail for more than six months. He was denied access to lawyers and right to a trial in open courts of the country. He was kept disappeared all this duration in the UAE and family members were not allowed to visit him. There were no charges against him in UAE and Pakistan. On 3rd of July 2019, we were informed via media that he was deported and handed over to Pakistan on 22nd June 2019 via a private jet.
Respected Secretary-General,
Rashid Hussain, who had left Pakistan for the sack of his life and went to Emirates, was arrested and handed over to the regime from whom he had escaped. We are very much positive that, he will be killed and thrown away and his family will continue to remember and wait for him as a missing person likewise to families of other thousands of Baloch missing persons for the rest of their lives.
Your Excellency, is it possible that the tyrant gives justice to the oppressed? I am sure your answer will be in no. Imagine, if Jews were handed over to Nazis in World War II to give them justice or expecting from ISIS that it will give justice and treat the Yazidis according to the laws of the civilised world.
Respected António Guterres,
I am concluding my letter with these words that, may God grant you wisdom, ingenuity and strength so that you fulfil the dream of universal peace and play your part in providing justice to oppressed all around the globe like Rashid Hussain.
I hope that my letter will attract your attention and you will play your due role.
A sister waiting for her brother,
Farida Baloch

Pakistan’s stocks drop sixth day in a row as ties with India sour

Pakistan's benchmark KSE-100 Index fell to 2.2% Wednesday, sliding to a new four-year low, a day after it downgraded ties with India.

Pakistan’s stocks dropped for a sixth straight day after the government suspended bilateral trade with India in a deepening spat over the disputed Kashmir region.
The benchmark KSE-100 Index of shares fell 2.2% as of 11:17 a.m. local time on Wednesday, sliding to a new four-year low.
“People are selling whatever they can,” said Bilal Khan, head of international sales at Arif Habib Ltd. in Karachi. “The risk of escalation has further dented already weak investor sentiment. Value buyers will continue to hold off given the heightened tensions.”
The souring relations between the two nuclear-armed nations add to a backdrop of worries that have made Pakistan’s stocks the world’s worst performers this year, falling more than 20%. The move to suspend trade followed India’s decision to revoke seven decades of autonomy for Kashmir, the disputed Muslim-majority region that straddles the two countries.
“There is fear that India, given the level of military presence now in Indian-occupied Kashmir, will try some misadventure at the border which could escalate pretty fast,” said Ovais Ahsan, chief executive officer at Optimus Capital Management Pvt. in Karachi. “It’s low probability for now, but it’s a dangerous flash point.”
Relations between the nations have been strained since February, when a suicide bombing in Kashmir killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops. There was an airspace violation by fighters jets crossing the border and exchange of strikes following that attack. – Bloomberg

Kashmir Banega Pakistan: A dream sold to brainwash us since childhood now lies in tatters

30 years on, Pakistan’s Kashmir policy has borne no fruits for regular Pakistanis, other than polarising society and instilling hate against India.

When the Narendra Modi government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and announced its decision to turn the state into a Union Territory Monday, it caught the thekedars of Kashmir in Pakistan off guard. The reactions from the Imran Khan government were anything but serious, that too for a piece of land they once called their own.
Honestly, losing cricket matches to India have had better reactions in Pakistan. But the bigger question is: can Imran Khan’s government run without a Kashmir cause, as the saying goes ‘hukoomat petrol se nahin, Kashmir cause se chalti hai’.
Everyone in the ruling elite sold the ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ chooran to the best of their benefit – those in the Pakistani military to keep themselves viable, the politicians to use it during elections, the religious cartel to fan anti-Hindu sentiments, and the ordinary Pakistani to just watch all of them make hay.

Brainwashing since childhood

‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ is what we were told as kids. ‘But how will it become a part of Pakistan when it is in India?’ We would ask. ‘Kashmir hamari shahrag hai (Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan)’. So how are we managing to survive without this vein? The questions, we were told, had no answers, so they better not be asked either.
Growing up in the 1990s, our daily dose of brainwashing involved a 20-minute programme on Kashmir after the 9pm news on Pakistan Television. With Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Iss duniya k gham jane kab hu gy kam playing in the background, we saw agonising images of Kashmir. It would eulogise Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other Kashmiri leaders – we were told that these men were the real heroes.
‘Our heart should bleed for Kashmir,’ was the loud and clear message. But how can the heart bleed for something that was only a state-imposed reality? We would think.
The rulers of Pakistan came and went but what remained unchanged was Pakistan’s Kashmir cause. A cause for which daring to be indifferent amounted to blasphemy of sorts.
Once a year, Pakistanis would get a day to free Kashmir. Every 5 February, they show solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren. School tableaux depict innocent Kashmiri girls singing folk songs and out of nowhere come Indian soldiers firing gunshots to arouse pathos in the audience.
The happenings of Kashmir Day always remained unclear – a national holiday which seemed just like any other off day. Kashmir Day would involve everything other than liberating Kashmir. Waking up late, watching Indian films, and hanging out with friends was our contribution to the cause of Kashmir.
And then there were the poster boys of Kashmir freedom movement. Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin or Ahmed Ludhianvi from banned militant outfits taking out processions, apprising the Pakistanis of the Kashmir issue. But why would you preach to the converted already?

What Pakistan’s Kashmir policy achieved

Now, nearly three decades later, Pakistan’s Kashmir policy has borne no fruits for regular Pakistanis, other than polarising the society on the basis of jihad and instilling hate against India. The government of Pakistan expects the inflation-battling awaam to reunite for the Kashmir cause. But why?
Whether or not your heart bleeds for your own ethnic (Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus) and religious minorities (Pashtuns, Baloch, Hazaras, Mohajir), your heart must bleed for the Kashmiris. It doesn’t matter whether the Kashmiris want it or not.
Prime minister Imran Khan, who recently concluded what we were told was a successful visit to the United States, now finds himself answerless in front of the roaring opposition in Parliament. While he had pleaded US President Donald Trump of mediating on Kashmir issue, he now doesn’t know what actually happened with him. Clueless as ever, in his streetfighter style, the premier told what Narendra Modi’s BJP has done wasn’t cool, and like an astrologer, he also told what could happen. But what was missing as usual was what his plan was. Being unable to do anything about India’s constitutional amendment is one thing; giving sermons about the past quite another.
Pushing the international community to raise the issue of Kashmir is a lost cause, as is evident from the last 70 years of UN General Assembly outings. Also, Pakistan’s recent foreign policy debacles don’t help the cause either. Imran Khan, who had called on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad for help, forgot how Mahathir had categorically said when he had visited Pakistan that he won’t take sides in the Kashmir conflict. Mahathir had also said that the reason for Malayisa’s success was that it isn’t in conflict with any of its neighbours.
During the Indian parliamentary election, Imran Khan had reiterated that Narendra Modi could solve the Kashmir issue. Like an astrologer, Khan got it right. The new measures from New Delhi signal towards etching the Line of Control into a permanent international boundary and like the Punjab and Bengal, Kashmir now too is partitioned.

#India - #Modi reaches out to youth, women & govt employees of J&K, Ladakh with promise of jobs, benefits

PM Modi assures people that those who believe in the Indian Constitution will have the right to a good life, but said there would be no rethink on Article 370.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a massive outreach to youth, women, government employees and other people in the new Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, seeking to drive home the message that the abrogation of Article 370 will bring them great opportunities in terms of employment, investment and infrastructure development.
This would go a long way in the making of a “new J&K” alongside “new India”, Modi said.
In his 38-minute televised address to the nation, the PM made it amply clear that there was no room for any rethink on his government’s decision, and that naysayers would not be indulged.
“Freedom from Article 370 is the truth… Those who believe in the Indian Constitution will have the right to a good life,” Modi said.
He said Article 370 was a hurdle for the development of Kashmir. “It gave only separatism, terrorism, nepotism and corruption to the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh could not develop like the rest of the country. But now, the future of the citizens here will improve,” he said, adding that Kashmir, which was known as paradise on earth, would again “attract the world”.
The PM also talked about timely elections in Jammu and Kashmir, while clarifying that Union Territory status for Jammu and Kashmir was “temporary”. However, Ladakh will continue to be a UT.

Outreach to the youth

Modi focussed on addressing the youth of J&K, in a clear effort to prevent a repeat of past instances of violence and stone-pelting. He said the youth of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will now get employment opportunities as more state-owned and private companies will be encouraged to set up shop, and vacant posts will be filled up.
“We will start the process to fill all vacant government posts, which will benefit the youth of Jammu and Kashmir,” Modi said.
“The Centre’s priority will be to ensure that government employees and the J&K Police get equal facilities as enjoyed by government employees and police of other states.”
The PM said this will mean that J&K government employees will get to enjoy facilities such as LTC, house rent allowance, education allowance and health schemes.
The Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme will be extended so that more youth can take advantage of it.
“Local youth will receive employment. Public sector units and big private sector companies will be encouraged to create jobs for the local youth in the state,” he said.
Besides this, Modi said the Army and paramilitary forces will also hold job rallies to recruit local youth.
“Sport training and scientific education will help the youth of J&K to showcase their talent across the world,” he said.
He also urged the Hindi, Telugu and Tamil film industries to shoot in J&K, and emphasised that his government would undertake reforms to make both J&K and Ladakh the biggest tourist destinations in the world. 

Political aspects

Addressing the political aspects of the move, Modi said it will result in the replacement of existing “dynasties”, and give opportunities to the youth to participate in the electoral process.
“During elections, SCs, STs and individuals from other backward communities in other regions would enjoy special benefits, but it didn’t happen in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“Democracy in our nation is really strong. But you would be surprised to know that in J&K, there are thousands of people who could not vote in elections or contest them.”
He reassured the people that “your representatives will come from amongst you”, and expressed confidence that the panchayats will do splendid work after the scrapping of Article 370.
“Panchayats are doing a good job in J&K. Thanks to them, development projects have been implemented speedily,” he said.

Pakistan used Article 370 as a weapon

Modi alleged that Pakistan had used Article 370 as a weapon.
“In the last three decades, almost 42,000 innocent people lost their lives. This figure would bring tears to anyone’s eyes. While they lost their lives, J&K and Ladakh didn’t see the development they should have,” he said.
The PM’s statement comes a day after Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India, asked high commissioner Ajay Bisaria to return to New Delhi, and suspend bilateral trade with India. India had withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation trade status from Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February.

Eid greetings

The PM also wished the people on the upcoming occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.
“I assure the people of J&K that slowly and surely, the situation will return to normal. Eid is close by and I congratulate the people on the occasion of Eid. The government is trying to ensure that the people of J&K face no difficulties in celebrating Eid,” he said.
“There are a few people who are trying to disrupt the situation, but our own brothers and sisters are giving them a befitting reply. Things will improve slowly and their problems will also be reduced.”

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