Delhi Think-Tank Urges India To Claim PoK Before China Does
India should be assertive and proactive to claim the strategically vital parts of Kashmir “illegally” occupied by Pakistan where China has increased its footprints leading to fears that Beijing may take over the territory by 2020, according to a report. The report by New Delhi think tank Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis says China’s growing footprint in the region had added another strategic dimension to the discourse on the territory that includes Northern Areas, also called Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. “These realities are certain to impinge on India’s long-term security interests and therefore it is incumbent upon Indian policy makers to adopt a pro-active approach towards PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which is an integral part of India,” it says.
The report alleges that the Karakoram Highway (KKH) connecting Pakistan with China through Pakistani Kashmir has been used for the clandestine transfer of nuclear material from Beijing to Islamabad. “That this has multiple strategic implications for regional security, especially that of India, has been underscored,” it states. The 1,280-km-long highway connects Havelian rail-head near Abbottabad in Pakistan with Kashgar in Xinjiang region of China. It was built in 1978 with Chinese assistance. Detailing Chinese developmental projects in Pakistani Kashmir, the report says Chinese companies were working on a number of hydel projects, including Neelum-Jhelum, Gomal Zam and the reconstruction of Mangla dam.
The report citing Pakistan media alleges that the joint power projects signed between China and Pakistan during President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit in 2009 were “not transparent” as “often Chinese companies were awarded contracts without open bidding. “Therefore, it is difficult to have a clear idea of the nature and extent of Chinese involvement in PoK.” It says that people of the region were fearing that if the “current pace of Chinese penetration is sustained, then China may completely take over Gilgit Baltistan by the year 2020”.
“This is not an alarmist proposition and such prospects have been hinted at in a New York Times article (that) states that at least 7,000-11,000 Chinese troops have been stationed in the Gilgit Baltistan region.” It “highlights the harsh realities of misrule and neglect in the region” and observes that “popular resentment against Pakistan is increasing day by day”.
Reminding the Indian government of the 1994 parliamentary resolution declaring entire Jammu and Kashmir territory as an integral part of India, the report recommends that the government “should openly claim its rightful position on PoK in international fora and denounce Pakistan’s illegal occupation. “India should not only rethink its approach but also try and mobilise international opinion against bad governance and (the) unlawful occupation since 1947,” it says.
It recommends that the Indian government should send a “clear and explicit message” to Pakistan and China, “which is seeking to fulfil its strategic objectives by involving itself in developmental projects”.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.