Pak is ‘arsonist’ disguising as ‘fire-fighter’: India at UNGA

News Network
September 25, 2021

United Nations, Sep 25: Pakistan, where terrorists enjoy free pass, is an "arsonist" disguising itself as a "fire-fighter", and the entire world has suffered because of its policies as the country nurtures terrorists in its backyard, India has said in a blistering retort after Prime Minister Imran Khan raked up the issue of Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly.

"We exercise our Right of Reply to one more attempt by the leader of Pakistan to tarnish the image of this august Forum by bringing in matters internal to my country, and going so far as to spew falsehoods on the world stage,” First Secretary Sneha Dubey said in the UN General Assembly on Friday.

"While such statements deserve our collective contempt and sympathy for the mindset of the person who utters falsehood repeatedly, I am taking the floor to set the record straight,” the young Indian diplomat said, slamming the Pakistani leader for raking up the Kashmir issue in his address to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

"We keep hearing that Pakistan is a 'victim of terrorism'. This is the country that is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter. Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror," Dubey said.

Khan in his address had spoken about the August 5, 2019 decision of the Indian government on the abrogation of Article 370 as well as the death of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

In the Right of Reply, Dubey strongly reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh "were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. This includes the areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”

Khan and other Pakistani leaders and diplomats have consistently raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and other internal matters of India in their addresses to the UN General Assembly and other forums of the world organisation.

Pakistan’s attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue have gained no traction from the international community and the Member States, who maintain that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between the two countries.

Dubey said it is regrettable that this is not the first time the leader of Pakistan has "misused" platforms provided by the UN to "propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country, and seeking in vain to divert the world’s attention from the sad state of his country where terrorists enjoy free pass while the lives of ordinary people, especially those belonging to the minority communities, are turned upside down."

With the international community marking this month the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary of the “dastardly” 9/11 terror attacks, Dubey said the world has not forgotten that the "mastermind behind that dastardly event, Osama Bin Laden, got shelter in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan leadership glorify him as a 'martyr'."

"Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world."

Categorically emphasising India’s position, Dubey said New Delhi desires normal relations "with all our neighbours, including Pakistan." However, it is for Islamabad to work sincerely towards creating a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism against India in any manner.

Asserting that the Member States are aware that Pakistan has an established history and policy of harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists, Dubey said the country has been globally recognised as one openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of State policy. "It holds the ignoble record of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the UN Security Council."

"This is also the country that still holds the despicable record in our region of having executed a religious and cultural genocide against the people of what is now Bangladesh. As we mark the 50th anniversary this year of that horrid event in history, there is not even an acknowledgement, much less accountability,” the Indian diplomat said.

Highlighting that minorities in Pakistan - the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians - live in constant fear and state-sponsored suppression of their rights, he said, "this is a regime where anti-Semitism is normalised by its leadership and even justified.

"Dissenting voices are muzzled daily, and enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings are well documented."

Dubey said that, unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold the highest offices in the country including as President, Prime Minister, Chief Justices and Chiefs of Army Staff. India is also a country with free media and an independent judiciary that keeps a watch and protects our Constitution.

"Pluralism is a concept which is very difficult to understand for Pakistan which constitutionally prohibits its minorities from aspiring for high offices of the State. The least they could do is introspect before exposing themselves to ridicule on the world stage," the Indian diplomat said.

In his nearly 25-minute long address to the UN General Debate on Friday, Khan said sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

He said Pakistan desires "peace" with India, as with all its neighbours. "But sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir" issue, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, he said.

He also called on the UN General Assembly to "demand" that Geelani’s mortal remains be allowed to be buried in the "cemetery of martyrs" with the appropriate Islamic rites.

On Afghanistan, Khan said, "for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe.

"From this platform, I want them all to know, the country that suffered the most, apart from Afghanistan, was Pakistan, when we joined the US War on Terror after 9/11."

"The only reason we suffered so much was because we became an ally of the US - of the Coalition - in the war in Afghanistan. There were attacks being conducted from the Afghan soil into Pakistan. At least there should have been a word of appreciation. But rather than appreciation, imagine how we feel when we are blamed for the turn of events in Afghanistan,” he said.

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News Network
October 19,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 19: Two separate incidents of stabbing have been reported from Ullal and Konaje areas of Mangaluru taluk in last 24 hours. 

A youth was stabbed near Chota Mangaluru road in Ullal today (October 19).

The injured, identified as Harish, proprietor of a gas repair shop, was rushed to a hospital in Thokottu after the attack.

It is suspected that Vishal, a resident of Uliya in Ullal, committed the offence over personal reasons. Police have launched manhunt to nab the suspect.

In a separate incident, BJP activist was attacked by some miscreants at Konaje last night.

It is said that three persons riding a motorbike attacked Prakash Shetty (38), former member of Konaje gram panchayat. 

Prakash Shetty was returning home along with a friend, Manjunath, by a motorbike when the miscreants who came on their bike, swung a sabre at Prakash, it is learnt. He suffered minor injuries on his hand. 

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News Network
October 17,2021

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An elderly woman could be seen running from one person to another screaming through the rain swept roads in this high range hamlet, located at the foothills of Western Ghats mountain ranges, on Sunday morning. "I have lost everything...everything in my life...where should I go?...who will give me a shelter?" the woman, clad in a tattered saree, asked aloud crying and running here and there.

The unexpected torrential rain, which pounded the village on Saturday, washed away every penny of her life time earnings and made her homeless all of a sudden. 

At least 15 people have been killed in Kerala as heavy rain triggered landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts. Lord Ayyappa devotees have been asked to avoid visiting Sabarimala Temple today and tomorrow. The rescue ops are underway.

"I begged our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sir to give me two cents of land to construct a 'koora' (hut). I have nowhere to go. My daughters' houses are also submerged. Now I am going to the church to see whether I will get a place there," she told the journalists gathered at the place.

It was the story of many hapless families in Koottickal, located in Kottayam district of Kerala which suffered severe destruction and human casualty due to a series of landslips triggered by heavy rains yesterday.

When the extreme rains showed a slight dip this morning, a large number of people in this village could be seen as displaced and became the inmates of the rehabilitation campus. Many elderly villagers said it was for the first time in their decades-old life that they were seeing and experiencing such severe rainfall. A local shop owner here pointed to his new car, which can be seen as destroyed and partially hanging with its back wheels stuck on a broken wall in his house compound.

"It was my new car parked in front of the house. I was not at home when the flood water suddenly gushed inside the house compound Saturday afternoon. My wife and children somehow managed to run to the neighbour's house," the middle-aged man said. He turned a bit emotional showing the 'mundu' (dhoti) which he was wearing, saying that it was borrowed from the neighbour. Only life was saved and everything else was lost, he said adding that not even in the 2018 floods had he faced such a terrible situation.

The situation was not different in Kokkayar, a hilly hamlet in Idukki district as well, which also witnessed a series of landslips and human casualties on Saturday in incessant rains. A shocked Rajamma, a woman villager, was yet to believe that a four-member family including children, who were seen engaged in some construction activities near her home on the foothills of the hill, swept away by floodwaters in front of her eyes.

The elderly woman said she advised the family to move away from the place when water was seen coming down from the hilltops on a small scale. "But, they continued their work. Suddenly a portion of the hill, where they were standing, caved in... huge boulders started rolling down accompanied by a massive flood of water... I do not remember anything else," the teary-eyed woman said.

George, a middle-aged man engaged in rescue operations, said it was everything fine and calm in the village till 11 PM on Saturday. "But, the situation worsened after that. Around 10 big bridges and the same number of wooden bridges were washed away and the village became isolated soon," he added.

The Army, NDRF, police and the Fire Force along with the locals began rescue operations on Sunday morning at Koottickal and Kokkayar panchayats where over a dozen people are listed to be missing due to numerous landslides accompanied by heavy downpour since Saturday.

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News Network
October 12,2021

Kalaburagi, Oct 12: Two mild earthquakes of 3.5 and 2.8 magnitudes were reported from Chincholi taluk in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka within 10 minutes today. 

This is the seventh tremor people have witnessed in the region in a week. While two had occurred in Basavakalyan on October 1 and 5, four were recorded in Kalaburagi on October 9, 11 and 12. 

Panic-stricken people spent the night outdoors in Gadikeshwar and Kupnoor following the tremors. The walls of over 10 houses have collapsed and hundreds of houses developed cracks. In the absence of private vehicles, people are moving out of the village on their motorbikes. Around 100 families have left surrounding villages.

The Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority commissioner Manoj Rajan said that he has convened a meeting of the geologists to understand the phenomena. He added that the disaster management teams in the north Karnataka region has been put on alert. They have also been briefed about the do's and don'ts in the event of any major earthquake.

The KSNDMC said in a statement that the intensity observed on Monday night was "little higher than low intensity". "The earthquake might be felt up to a radial distance of 50 to 60 km or even more. These types of earthquakes do not create any harm or damage to the local community, although there will be vibrations felt up to a distance of 50 to 60 kms based on the local geology," it said. 

The earthquakes assume significance as the epicentres are in close proximity to Latur and Killari in Maharashtra, which had witnessed a massive earthquake in September 1993 killing a large number of people. 

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