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Friday, October 28, 2016

English News

We are facing a very unfortunate situation , Senator Abdul Qayyum

Dubai (special Report) Statement given by Senator Lt Gen r Abdul Qayyum Chairman Senate standing committee on Defence production while talking to Pakistani delegates in Dubai. “We are facing a very unfortunate situation back home in which a democratically elected leader threatens to remove a democratically elected govt through undemocratic illegal and unconstitutional way. When bypassing parliament, judiciaries and election commission one person wants to himself become complainant advocate judge and even executor , he is surely taking the entire nation for a ride and pushing Pakistan into a dark corner. The point is if we are convinced that democratic dispensation can not solve our issues then we should surely paralyse Islamabad because this course is the right and quick recipe for a suicidal attack on Pakistan’s image and our national security. Enemies of Pakistan will surely be quick to do clapping. We must remember that no one is indispensable. People come and go. Patience and statesmanship are key words . Shortcut to power will surely be the longest route to prosperity .A minority party after dislodging a majority party can not stay in power and those who fill the vacuum are never in a hurry to hand over power to public representatives . Posterity will not forgive us if we bid farewell to accommodation and tolerance . A food for thought”.

Special Envoys on Kashmir visited the Amnesty International office in UK

Special Envoys on Kashmir visited the Amnesty International office in UK, highlighted the human rights abuses in Kashmir


Special Envoys of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum and Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh MNA visited the Amnesty International Secretariat London today and met with Senior Adviser Savio Carvalho and Research Fellow Nadia Rahman.

During the meeting, the Envoys highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed by the occupied forces in Kashmir. They stressed that the organization should send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir particularly in view of the recent escalation of violence and crisis in the region. The Amnesty International officials were also given a presentation, including pictorial depiction of the injured wounded persons by Senator Abdul Qayyum. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh MNA stressed the need for highlighting the plight of Kashmiris, who were living under curfew for the last 3 months.

The Amnesty Senior Advisor responded by saying that irrespective of the nature of the dispute and the parties involved in any conflict, Amnesty International concentrates on human rights violations as well as violations of the international law. He added that the organization was already aware of the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and agreed to obtain latest information on the deteriorating situation in the troubled valley of Srinagar.

Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum speaks at “The In and Out” Naval and Military Club London


“The In and Out” Naval and Military Club London extended a special invitation to Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum to attend the Defence and Security Forum Dinner on 17 October 2016. Lord Lothian was the guest of honour at the occasion. The speakers and subject specialists dealing with conflict resolution spoke on “Lessons learnt on Middle East crisis”.


Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production, visiting UK as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Kashmir, highlighted following points:
•       In a globalized world regional conflicts cannot be viewed in isolation.
•       World peace is being threatened by several flash points including Kashmir
involving two nuclear neighbors which should worry the world.
•       United Nations may be doing a good job in health, education and climate change
issues but it has miserably failed in performing its primarily role of conflict
resolution and maintaining world peace.
•       About 70 years old Kashmir dispute has not been resolved, not because it has
no merit, but because it has fallen prey to big powers strategic and economic
•       Regime change policies are immoral and illegal. This has brought miseries to
the entire world and the institution of United Nations follows the dictates of
influential powers.
•       Selective implementation of UN resolutions speaks volumes about our dual
•       Thousands Kashmiris have been killed, maimed and blinded. Where are their
fundamental human rights, the victims ask the UN.

The Forum appreciated Senator Abdul Qayyum candid views and sympathised with the Kashmiri people.

Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir briefing the Pakistani origin Mayors and Councillors

Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir Senator Lt. Gen. (R), Abdul Qayyum, and Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, MNA, briefing the Pakistani origin Mayors and Councillors at Pakistan High Commission, London on 20.10.2016. H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, is also present on the occasion.


Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir briefing the media on Kashmir


Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir Senator Lt. Gen. (R), Abdul Qayyum,and Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh MNA, briefing the media on Kashmir at Pakistan High Commission, London on 20.10.2016. H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, is also present on the occasion.

Special Envoys on Kashmir meet British Shadow Foreign Secretary


Special Envoys on Kashmir meet British Shadow Foreign Secretary; highlight gross human rights violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Special Envoys of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Kashmir Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum and Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh MNA met the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, yesterday at the British Parliament.

The two Envoys briefed the Shadow Foreign Secretary on the blatant and gross human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). They reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to resolve the issue peacefully. The Envoys also urged the Shadow Foreign Secretary to raise the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir in the House of Commons and impress upon the UK government to send a fact-finding mission of British parliamentarians to IOK.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary expressed concerns on the serious violations of human rights in Kashmir. The use of pellet guns by Indian forces, she added, was against the international human rights norms and standards. She also expressed disappointment on India’s reluctance to send a UN fact-finding mission to IOK.

In her opinion, the only solution to the conflict was through peaceful dialogue and in line with the aspiration of Kashmiri people. She also praised the role of the Kashmiri diaspora for highlighting the just cause of Kashmir in the UK.

Emily Thornberry was fully briefed about blatant violations of human rights in Kashmir


LONDON…Labour shadow Foreign secretary Emily Thornberry  was fully briefed about blatant violations of human rights in Kashmir. She was shocked to know the state. She said UK will make all efforts to help India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir because conflict in South Asia was even against UK interest. Millions of Indian and Pakistani people serving in UK will seriously get affected if two nuclear neighbour clashed because of there families back home. Besides war on terror will get affected if Pakistan shifted it’s troops from western border were moved to eastern border.

Media can play a pivotal role in making are breaking the image of country, Senator Abdul Qayyum


London ::: Media can play a pivotal role in making are breaking the image of country. Your reporting should be realistic based on verified facts and  projected with desired honesty and fair play. Fabricated stories fed by vested interests are not only damaging for the the person or institution reported upon but also destroy the credibility of the reporting journalist. Said senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum retired Chairman Senate Standing Committee for Defence Production while addressing journalist in Pakistan press club in London. He requested  journalists and representatives of all most all parties to remain united abroad and project Pakistan’s soft image. We all owe this to our beloved motherland. Protests are our constitutional rights but no one can deny the constitutional rights of free movement to others by closing a small village or town not to speak of the capital of a country said gen Qayyum responding to a question. He is on trip to UK as PM’s special envoy on Kashmir .

‘We cannot celebrate our festivals or cremate our dead’

Suraj Prakash’s mud house. The other picture is of Akash and his father Suraj at the shop where they both work. — Dawn
Suraj Prakash’s mud house. The other picture is of Akash and his father Suraj at the shop where they both work. — Dawn

KHEWRA: It is a hot, summer weekend and the narrow road passing through the hilly town of Khewra is lined with cars, their owners busy exploring the Khewra Salt Mines, which were discovered 2,342 years ago by the men of Alexander the Great.

Weekends are peak times for souvenir shops and guides in the mines and 16-year-old Akash is busy catering to customers in a small souvenir shop which also sells decoration pieces made of salt.

“It would have been better if you had come on a weekday, there are not that many customers and I would have been able to talk at leisure,” he says in between orders.

Three Hindu families in Khewra face alienation, poverty

Akash studies at the Al Beruni College in Pind Dadan Khan and in order to fund his studies and help with the family’s expenses, works part time in the souvenir shop, where his 63-year-old father, Suraj Prakash, also works. However, because the shop is a small one and only sells low-priced products, Akash is only able to make Rs5,000 each month.

Akash belongs to a Hindu tribe which decided to stay in Pakistan after the partition in 1947. His ancestor, Roop Lal worked as a washerman (dhobi) in Sambhar Salt Lake, located in the north-western state of Rajasthan in India. He came to Khewra with his British employers in the early 1870s, as it was common for British officers to take their servants with them.

“My grandfather was a dhobi and came here in 1872 when the British started developing the Khewra Salt Mines,” said Suraj Prakash.

He said that Roop Lal continued working as a washerman for his British bosses till his death, after which his son Ram Chand was given the same job by the British government. It was Ram Chand who decided to stay in Khewra instead of migrating to India at the time of partition.

Half the population of Khewra was Hindu before the partition and the expansive houses left behind by wealthy Hindus when they left for India still stand, though they are in dilapidated condition. However, only three Hindu families remain in Khewra today, all siblings of Roop Lal’s and Akash belongs to one of these households, all of which are low income families and struggle with their daily expenses.

“Till a few decades ago, life was simpler and affordable. We could provide for our families by washing clothes,” Suraj Prakash said.

He explained that due to the scarcity of water in Khewra and the advent of modern techniques for washing clothes, the trend for hiring washermen has died out in Khewra. He said that those who could afford to have also opened dhobi shops, making working as washer men all the more difficult.

“We do not own property here and after living here for 150 years, my family does not own a small shop. We only have a small mud house to our name,” he said.

The Hindus of Khewra are also faced with alienation and loneliness.

“We feel like aliens here. The Muslims do not mix with us. They do not attend our weddings, nor do they invite us to theirs,” he said.

The 35 students in his class do not include him in their circle, Akash said.

“I feel alone in college because I am the only non-Muslim in the college. I watch as the rest of the class play together,” he said.

The teenager dreams of becoming a civil officer one day and is worried he will have to give up his studies due to financial problems.

There is not even a cremation ground in Khewra and Hindus of the town have to bury their loves ones instead of burning them according to their religion.

Mr Prakash said the temples of Khewra were also ransacked by rioters after the Babri Masjid incident.

“We worship in our homes and bury our loved ones,” he said, adding that their forefather’s decision to stay was wrong. “Our lives would have been different were we living among other Hindus. We could have celebrated Holi, Diwali and other festivals with others instead of just observing them in our homes,” Mr Prakash said,

Talking to Dawn, the patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who also represents Hindus in the National Assembly said: “Cremation is our basic right. There was a cremation ground in Khewra before partition and there are many temples there. But properties belonging to Hindus were occupied with the state’s support.”

“We do not know how much of land that belongs to Hindus is illegally occupied and I recently raised this question on the floor of the assembly as well,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2016

Courtesy DAWN