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Omar Abdullah meet Prez, says Pak is not only responsible for Kashmir unrest

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Delegations of Jammu and Kashmir opposition parties led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday, requesting him to urge upon the ruling government to find a solution to the current Kashmir unrest politically rather than administratively.

After an hour-long meeting with the President, Omar Abdullah told media that the failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation.

“From last 25 years Pakistan was behind the clashes in Jammu and Kashmir but if you ask me that after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani the unrest arose in state was because of Pakistan than i have to say no but it is a result of our own mistakes, former J&K CM said.

He added that Pakistan may have incited the fire lit by the Indian government’s faulty handling of the situation but the fault primarily lies with the Jammu and Kashmir government.”

The former Chief Minister, who was flanked by Congress MLAs led by state PCC Chief G A Mir, CPM MLA M Y Tarigami and Independent legislator Hakim Yaseen, said, “The fire that has been raging in Kashmir Valley for last 42 days has already started spreading across Peer Panjal and Chenab Valley in Jammu region and Kargil area.”

“I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave,” he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to “crush the agitation by using administrative measures” like stopping sale of petrol and other essential commodities.

Launching an attack on Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, he said “total administrative failure” and a state of complete “anarchy” is what is responsible for the situation in the valley. He compared the present crisis and the situation in 2010 violence during his tenure. He said that the crisis did not spiral out of control back then because the political leadership accepted its fault and took fire-fighting measures. The Mufti government, he said is denying responsibility.

“This is a political problem and that is about it. We cannot escape the fact by blaming Pakistan,” he said.

Accusing the BJP-PDP coalition of inaction, Abdullah also said that it is the first time in history that initiatives that should have been taken up by the government,are being taken by opposition parties.

He also bemoaned the lack of political will to resume dialogue stating, “It’s sad that the statements expected from political leadership are coming from the Army leadership. The Army had said that dialogue is the way forward.”

“It was opposition parties which pressurised the government for holding a debate in Parliament and it is again the opposition parties which are pushing the state government to find a political solution to the problem,” he said.

Omar warned that a “continued delay to engage with the people of the state through a comprehensive and sustained political initiative will further deepen the sense of alienation in the Valley and cast a shadow of uncertainty on its future generation”.

Wefornews Bureau

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BJP Minister caught urinating in public near campaign poster, Calls it ‘Old-age Tradition’

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Ajmer, Oct 8: A picture of Bhartiya Janata Party minister urinating near a wall, next to a campaign poster featuring chief minister Vasundhara Raje is making rounds on social media.

The minister, Shambhu Singh Khatesar, justified himself by saying that urinating publicly was “an age-old tradition” and he had done nothing wrong.

Speaking to media Khatesar said, “There was a wall and some posters stuck at some distance on it. I hadn’t paid attention. It isn’t right to urinate in open but it’s a natural call. Urinating in a crowded area, is wrong”.

On the Narendra Modi government cleanness drive the minister stated “As far as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is concerned, urination alone doesn’t contribute to uncleanliness. That place did not have urinals for kilometers at a stretch”.

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IMD issues cyclone alert for Odisha

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Bhubneshwar, Oct 8:  The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said a depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours.

Under its impact, several parts of Odisha will receive heavy rainfall starting from October 9.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into deep sea areas of the Bay of Bengal from October 9 to 12 as the sea condition would be rough.

While rainfall at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places over south coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Tuesday, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Wednesday.

It further predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy downpours at a few places and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over coastal and adjoining interior Odisha on Thursday.

The IMD said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph are very likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coasts from October 9.

It is very likely to increase gradually, reaching 70-80 kmph to 90 kmph from October 10 evening onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts, said H.R. Biswas, Bhubaneswar Met centre Director.

IANS

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Russia, Pakistan sign MoU on gas pipeline from Iran

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Moscow, Sep 28 (IANS) Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on implementing a project to build an underwater gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“The memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organisations through which the project will be supported, including during the development of a feasibility study, identification of the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline,” the statement said, Xinhua reported.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy Additional Secretary Sher Afgan Khan signed the document in Moscow.

Now Russia will have to inform Iran and India about the signing, after which it expects to sign a similar document with India, Yanovsky said in the statement.

The project was frozen in 2013 due to the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but its revival started in 2017. In November 2017, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum that envisaged Russian support for gas supplies from Iran to India.

In March, a Russian-Iranian working group on the implementation of the project had its first meeting.

According to Yanovsky, Russia and Pakistan were holding consultations on another project of building the 1,100 kilometer North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) between Pakistan’s Karachi and Lahore to transport 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The implementation of an agreement signed in October last year between Russia and Pakistan on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies “can become a promising direction of cooperation,” he said.

The governments of the two countries were also considering signing an agreement on Russian oil products supplies to Pakistan, Yanovsky said.

In addition, Russian electric power industry has shown interest in the Pakistani market, he said.

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