Terrorism is the biggest danger to human rights: M J Akbar

 

71st Session of UNGA
UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants

Newsroom24x7 Staff

M J Akbar
M J Akbar

New York: Addressing the 71st Session of UNGA, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar said on Monday that Terrorism is the biggest danger to human rights. Terrorism is an existential threat. Hypocrisy towards this crisis will not do. There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism and if we do not know answer to this question, all you have to do is to ask the refugees if they consider any terrorism to be good or bad.

To put the issue of refugees in perspective, Akbar said the number of people on the move globally is estimated at close to 250 million – one in every thirty persons. Refugees are currently estimated to be around 20 million – one of every twelve persons on the move. Three fourths of the refugees come from just 11 countries. Seven countries host more than half of all refugees. Almost 90% of all refugees are hosted in emerging countries! That may not be a widespread impression, but it is the truth.

Terrorism is the biggest danger to human rights Akbar observed adding ultimately, large movements of people across borders serve as reminders that our world become a global village. We can only prosper or perish together. It is best that we learn to live in peace, prosperity and amity.

Akbar further stated:

“There is a long history of large communities seeking refuge in India. When our neighbour Bangladesh was fighting for independence, more than 1.2 million people took refuge in India from the genocide they were faced with. We have long experience of this and We have developed situation specific responses in each such instance.

People seeking shelter in our country have never been turned back. Our record in this context is actually unique. There is a point I want to make however. It is assumed that only host nations do not want refugees, I ask, do refugees also want to become refugees. They don’t. We must understand this and underline it and therefore find out what drives them towards seeking refuge. Prevention is better than cure, or perhaps prevention is the only cure.

Preventing armed conflicts, countering terrorism, building and sustaining peace through facilitating sustainable development and governance will help prevent people being forced to leave their homelands.

India engages regularly with the UNHCR. India also has partnered the UN Relief and Works Agency UNRWA for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East since long in the significant work being done by them.

In a way, all of us are migrants for one reason or the other, but perhaps principally economic, human race having originated from Africa.

More recently most of our nation states and societies have been built upon waves of migration of various ethnic groups of the past centuries. This has been in many ways a positive development. Migration has continued to expand, now aided by the integrated economies over the last few decades.

Nationalism is the contemporary architecture of stability, and we understand its importance. The intersection of human needs in refugee crisis and national imperatives make this a complex issue. India has been both the destination and a transit country for the large number of migrants. Our own historical memories recall great migrations in the 19th century because of haman and because of colonial powers of the time wanted
another form of labour after they abolished slavery called indentured labour. Co-incidentaly this year 2016 will mark a 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s seminal contribution to this crisis when he rescued the problem of refugees and indentured labors in South Africa and abolished this practice all together. In fact, in many senses India’s liberation and freedom movement begins with the elimination of indentured labour.

Our Indian civilization has witnessed ebb and flow which has been built on successive waves of migration throughout history comprising traders, soldiers, missionaries, communities escaping persecution, artists and academics and artisans seeking better opportunities. Indian traders and missionaries have also settled on distant shores along the spice routes. In more recent times, Indian migrants, including a broad cross section of professionals, small entrepreneurs, skilled and less skilled workers have migrated to various countries around the world and offered a positive contribution to the diaspora.

Our government focuses on the entire range of issues relating to Indian emigrants, especially those with lesser skills.

India engages actively for the facilitation of the mobility of professionals under WTO’s GATS mode IV and issues relating to equivalence of educational and professional qualifications to taxation.

We look forward to engaging with all partners beginning next year in developing a Global Compact on ensuring a safe, orderly and regular migration that is in the interest of all. But it is important to stress that today the geopolitics of the crisis points and proves that terrorism is the principal cause of refugee movements. Can we ignore this fact? We cannot. We do so at our peril.”

Cross-border terrorism promoted by Pakistan is the fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir

Newsroom24x7 Staff

unhr-33-sessionGeneva (Swizerland): During the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council¹, India focussed global attention on Pakistan and its role in spreading terror by stating that the fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is cross-border terrorism promoted by Pakistan which is so ruthless that it doesn’t shy away from using civilians and even children by putting them in harm’s way, at the forefront of violent mobs instigated and supported by their handlers from across the border.

India, speaking in a right of reply on 19 September, stated that Pakistan continued to fabricate facts and figures over the situation in Kashmir.  Pakistan’s illegal occupation of 78,000 square kilometres of the Indian territory continued.  The human rights violations in the whole of Pakistan cried out for the world’s attention.  Religious and ethnic minorities continued to face discrimination and targeted attacks in Pakistan, and blasphemy laws remained in place.  Pakistan was well advised to bring its own house in order and combat terrorism.

India said, it has been a long-suffering victim of terrorism emanating from our neighbourhood, India has stated and underscored that the acts of terrorism are the most egregious violations of human rights as they rob their victims of the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life. This should be clear to any impartial observer of the issue.

Further the Statement goes on to add:

“The fact that known terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin have been able to hold huge rallies in Pakistan’s main cities is a reflection of the state of affairs and can mean only one thing: active support for such personalities and the designated organizations they lead in blatant disregard of rule of law is the new normal in Pakistan. Rather than internationalizing issues with India, Pakistan should cleanse itself of its terrorists.

India firmly believes that a policy of zero tolerance to terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to our own people. We call upon this Council to urge Pakistan to put an end to cross-border infiltration; dismantle the terrorism infrastructure; and stop acting as an epicentre of terrorism. It is time that moral and material support provided by Pakistan to the perpetrators of this continuing heinous violence on the Indian soil should attract this Council’s attention.

The blatant abuse and violation of human rights in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and in other parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan, are adversely impacting the stability of the entire region. Pakistan’s continued mistreatment of large parts of its own population has created a cauldron of tumult that has begun to jeopardize the safety and security of its neighbouring countries.

The time has come, when the international community needs to address the plethora of human rights concerns in Pakistan because its impact has moved beyond the county’s domestic problem and has begun to affect the region and the world at large. We urge this Council to take a holistic view of this threat and not permit the use of terrorism as state policy to be masqueraded as advocacy of human rights.”


¹ The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife gives wildlife Clearance for Ken-Betwa Link Project

­Lalit Shastri

Ken-Betwa Link Project
Ken-Betwa Link Project

The Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) at its 39th meeting held on 23 August in Delhi has given the wildlife clearance to the proposal for the ambitious ₹ 2,00,000 million Ken-Betwa Link Project- Phase I (Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh) proposed to be taken up primarily to address the issue of drought in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

This is a significant development prior to the mandatory Environment and forest clearances that area required from the Union Ministry of Environment, forest and Climate Change before launching the first phase of the Ken-Betwa Link Project.

For this project, to be implemented by Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA), the project proponent will pay for the Net Present Value (NPV) of forest that would come under submergence. Since this is a national project, 90% money will be born by Centre and 10% by concerned States. According to estimates, ₹ 2700 million are to be spent on Catchment area protection plan, ₹ 6000 million on compensatory forestation besides the cost for rehabilitation of 10 villages which will be submerged and 6 villages falling in the core area and other money required for mitigation measures for using park area for submergence.

Before the Standing Committee of NBWL met for its 39th Meeting, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had to examine the proposal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act and Standing Committee of NBWL also discussed the proposal and was of the opinion that the project site must be visited to understand the proposal. Hence a combined site inspection was undertaken by NTCA, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and two members of the Standing Committee of NBWL.

The observations of the combined inspection team were discussed in the 38th meeting. At this meeting, while agreeing in principle, it was decided that in view of the differing opinions on the height of the water impounding structures and resulting impacts, including hydrological implications of the project, the matter should be discussed further with irrigation and engineering experts.

Hence, deliberations were organised and after the meeting of the group with experts, a report was prepared incorporating the views of the Hydrology expert on height of the dam, vilability of the project and planning concerns, the project relevance with respect to climate change, phases of the project, impact on cave and cliff dwelling species, i.e., vultures, and consolidation of the Greater Panna Landscape for ensuring viability of the tiger population. NTCA was then requested to present their views to the Committee on the combined report.

According to the minutes of the 39th Meeting of the Standing Committee of NBWL, the Director WII, while presentng the findings, indicated that the group was convinced that lowering the dam height by 10 meters will result in non-availibility of water for linking because due to the nature of the valley, water storage will be available only in top few meters, as there would be a reduction of 32% in water storage.

The minutes of the meeting place on record the pointer that effective submergence in upstream of the dam will be only during the period July end to October, the habitat and corridors across the river will be available most of the time. Similar would be the case in 3% of the area of the identified vulture habitat. WII went on to clarify that phase II of the Project does not have any component impacting wildlife and connecting systems of both the rivers -Ken and Betwa – would ensure water availability away from the dam site for wildlife.

At the crucial meeting of NBWL, NTCA presented the major concers of Tiger Habitat, focusing on management issues and recommendations of NTCA, as examined under Section 38 (O) (b) of WLPA. There was special emphasis on major concerns of direct loss of tiger habitat of 105 sq kms, loss of vulture nesting sites and other sisturbances. NTCA particularly recommended that Nauradehi WLS, Rani Durgawati WLS and Ranipur WLS in Uttar Pradesh should be integrated with the Panna Tiger Reserve and people affecetd by this should be rehabilitated at the cost to the user agency.

It was agreed at this meeting that the areas of Chhatarpur and South Panna Division shall be notified as the buffer of the Panna Tiger Reserve due to their historical tiger presence. It was underscored at the meeting that management should be based on a landscape level plan that would include delineation of tiger dispersal routes, and a vulture recovery programme based on a tripartite MoU between the State of MP, NTCA and the Ministry of Water Resources to safeguard the landscape.

It was also emphasised that no new mining leases shall be allowed in the delineated tiger dispersal routes and existing mining leases shall only be extended if concretely justified following due process of law.

Members agreed that recent data of dispersal route could be used for the Plan. While inclusion of the proposed areas for integration could be feasible and may be attempted as it would require inter-state and public deliberations Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh Suggested that as the main objective is addressing drought in Bundelkhand region, any installation of power generation within the tiger reserve should not be permitted. Further, the reservoir would not be opened to commercial fisheries as it to be located in the middle of the critical tiger habitat.’

The representative of user agency Special Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, on behalf of his ministry, gave consent to the conditions as prescribed by site inspection team in the combined report. In response to the Committee’s query on the need for Hydro Power generation, he explained that all the power generating facilities shall be established outside the Tiger Reserve. He also assured that no fishing will be allowed at the dam site.

After discussions, the Standing Committee agreed to recommend the proposal with the conditions prescribed by the Site Inspection Team and NTCA, as agreed by Ministry of Water Resource and that the resultatnt reservoir area shall be retained as core area with minimum activities for management purpose under close consultation with the Tiger Reserve management. The landscape based plan for the area will be finalised with NTCA in lead, assisted by WII, State Forest department and project proponents.

The effort to integrate the three wildlife sanctuaries within the Panna Tiger Reserve will be undertaken simultaneously and the management objective of these areas will be in context of treatment of the area as a part of the tiger landscape.

 

Uri attack: India reserves the right to respond to any act of the adversary at a time and place of own choosing

Newsroom24x7 Staff

director-general-of-military-operations-dgmo-lt-gen-ranbir-singh
Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh

New Delhi: After the Army operations were called off on conducting a detailed search of the area in and around the military complex at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, which was the target of a terrorist attack on Sunday morning, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has stated that infiltration attempts by terrorists have shown a marked increase.

In 2016, there have been 17 infiltration bids eliminated by the Indian Army along the Line of Control. Of a total of 110 terrorists eliminated in Jammu and Kashmir, 31 have been killed while they were attempting to cross the LoC.

DGMO said that the total recoveries from the terrorists killed in Uri is four AK 47 rifles, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers, 39 Under Barrel Grenade Launcher grenades, five hand grenades, two radio sets, two GPSs, two Map Sheets, two Matrix Sheets, one Mobile Phone and a large number of food and medicine packets having Pakistani markings.

According to Lt Gen Ranbir Singh the terrorist attack on the Army base at Uri and J&K actually indicates a desperate attempt from across the Line of Control to infiltrate more terrorists into Kashmir with a view to create disturbance and foment unrest in our area. The last two infiltration attempts on 11 September in Poonch and on 18 September at Uri have been successfully thwarted by the Indian Army by killing four terrorists in each of the operations.

The DGMO said Indian Army has displayed considerable restraint while handling the terrorist situation both along the Line of Control and in hinterland. However, we have the desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate by us. We reserve the right to respond to any act of the adversary at a time and place of own choosing.

martyred-at-uri2

 

S/No Name Unit State Photo
1. Havildar Nimb Singh Rawat 6 BIHAR Rajasthan  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4271070l hav NIMB SINGH RAWAT.JPG
2. Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh 6 BIHAR Bihar  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4271150h HAV ASHOK KUMAR SINGH.JPG
3. Naik Sunil Kumar Vidharthi 6 BIHAR Bihar  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4277113l NK SUNIL KUMAR VIDYARTHI.JPG
4. Sepoy Ganesh Shankar 6 BIHAR Uttar Pradesh  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4283274k SEP GANESH SHANKAR.JPG
5. Sepoy Rajesh Kumar Singh 6 BIHAR Uttar Pradesh  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4284283X SEP RAJESH KUMAR SINGH.jpg
6. Sepoy Naiman Kujur 6 BIHAR Jharkhand  sepoy-naiman-kujur
7. Sepoy Harinder Yadav 6 BIHAR Uttar Pradesh  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4286798W SEP HARENDRA YADAV.JPG
8. Sepoy Uike Janrao 6 BIHAR Maharashtra  sepoy-uike-janrao
9. Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai 6 BIHAR West Bengal  sepoy-biswajit-ghorai
10. Sepoy Gangadhar Dalai 6 BIHAR West Bengal  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\4294828x SEP GANGADHAR DALUI.JPG
11. Sepoy Rakesh Singh 6 BIHAR Bihar  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease1urimartyrs\13628173L SEP RAKESH SINGH.JPG
12. Lance Naik Rajesh Kumar Yadav 6 BIHAR Uttar Pradesh  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\4283188Y SEP RAJESH KUMAR YADAV.jpg
13. Lance Naik G Shankar 6 BIHAR Maharashtra  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\4284256N LNk Chef G C K Shankar.jpg
14. Sepoy Javra Munda 6 BIHAR Jharkhand  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\4284574X SEP JAWRA MUNDA.jpg
15. Sepoy T S Somnath 6 BIHAR Maharashtra  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\4294134X SepM Chef T S Somanath.jpg
16. Havildar Ravi Paul 10 DOGRA Jammu  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\HAV RAVI PAUL.jpg
17. Subedar Karnail Singh 10 DOGRA Jammu  C:\Users\APRO\Desktop\Martyred\photorelease2urimartyrs\SUB KARNAIL SINGH.jpg