Senate wants FO to lodge protest with India

Published September 25, 2014
.— AP file photo
.— AP file photo
.— AP file photo
.— AP file photo

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan has decided to lodge a formal protest with India through the Foreign Office over discrimination being meted out to the Muslims by authorities in India-held Kashmir (IHK) during flood relief operation.

The decision was made at a meeting of the committee, headed by Baz Mohammad Khan of the Awami National Party, here on Wednesday.

Also read: Hundreds of thousands marooned by floods in India-held Kashmir

The meeting was briefed on the “loss of human life and livestock and damage caused to property, roads and infrastructure due to recent heavy rains and floods in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), measures taken to prevent such losses and rescue and relief activities in the flood-stricken areas of AJK”.


Kashmiri Muslims facing discrimination in flood relief


Mr Khan told Dawn that AJK’s chief secretary told the meeting that Indian authorities had adopted a discriminatory attitude to flood-affected Muslims in IHK and were providing no assistance to them.

He said the committee members expressed concern over such reports and said there should be no discrimination with any segment of population in the wake of a natural disaster like flood and earthquake.

They said India, known as the world’s biggest secular democracy, should abandon its discriminatory attitude in providing relief to the flood-affected people of the IHK.

The committee’s chairman said they would write a letter to the Foreign Office and ask it to take up the matter with India. They plan to call the FO officials in the next meeting of the committee on the issue.

According to an official handout, the meeting was informed by the chief secretary that the losses in the region were mainly caused by landslides triggered by rains and flash floods.

The committee members expressed concerns over poor preventive and precautionary measures taken by the AJK administration. They suggested that iron gabions should be built to prevent landslides.

But the chief secretary said the mountain terrain in AJK had wet soil and the situation was uncontrollable after widespread rains. Moreover, the mountains have become weak after the 2005 earthquake and landslides have become a regular feature.

The committee was informed that about 3,000 people had been evacuated from Bagh, Poonch, Kotli and Mirpur.

Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Barjees Tahir proposed that chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, the director general of metrological department and the foreign secretary should also be called in the next meeting of the committee. The proposal was welcomed by the chairman.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2014

Opinion

Editorial

Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...
Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...