Reduce Dil ki doori, Dilli ki doori will reduce: Mehbooba


PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said, on Sunday, the dialogue process initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream leadership can gain credibility by ending what she called an “era of oppression and suppression” in the Union territory and understanding that a dissenting voice is not a criminal act. Excerpts...

“Give the people right to breathe and rest will follow later.” “When I say allow people to breathe, I mean that today any dissenting note from any side has to cool his or her heels in the prison. Recently, a man was jailed for expressing his sentiments that he had lots of hope from a Kashmiri advisor. The concerned deputy commissioner ensured that he was in jail for a few days despite being granted bail by the court.”

So, when the PM says he wants to eradicate ‘Dil ki doori’, such kind of suppression has to come to an end immediately. At the landmark meeting, Prime Minister Modi had said he wants to remove “Dilli ki doori” as well as “Dil ki doori” in an effort to bring Delhi closer to the people of J&K.

“Dil ki doori has to be decreased with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for that all the draconian orders passed have to stop. The jobs and land rights have to be protected,” the PDP president said. “First and foremost, the era of suppression and oppression has to come to an end and the government has to understand that a dissenting voice is not a criminal act. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, and I will refer to it only as a state, has become a jail.”

“I have made it clear many times that I would not contest any elections under the UT, but at the same time my party is also aware of the fact that we will not yield political space to anyone. We contested the District Development Council elections held last year,”


Azad optimistic, hails PM’s stand


Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday expressed optimism that the Centre would not reject the demand of the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir for restoration of statehood before the polls, adding the union territory status of the erstwhile state was "not acceptable" to anyone.

Azad, who was part of a 14-member delegation from J&K that had a key meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Thursday, said the dialogue process "was only a beginning" and now it was up to the Centre to build trust and confidence in the erstwhile state.

"One thing was there that everybody was asked to speak frankly. I think all the leaders spoke very frankly and the important thing is there was no ill will towards anyone," Azad, a former chief minister, told PTI in an interview.

"So, we have made our point clear. The only thing that we wanted was that first statehood should be restored and then elections should be held. Of course, they (Centre) have not responded but a joint stand of all the political parties was that first statehood should be granted, full-fledged statehood, and then it should be followed by elections," Azad said.

"And I think things have changed now. The amount of time the prime minister gave, the words he used that forget the past now. And the meeting gave a great opportunity to understand concerns and issues," he added.

Azad said the PM made it clear that he would like the politics to be run by all those political parties who were present and that he would extend cooperation.

“I don’t think the Prime Minister will do or the home minister will do anything contrary to that which is not acceptable to them (politicians from J&K).”



Rajnath begins Ladakh visit

Leh: The dedication of Indian soldiers and veterans towards the country is an "exemplary example", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday soon after arriving in Ladakh on a three-day visit aimed at taking stock of India's military preparedness in the region in the face of a prolonged border row with China.

In Leh, Singh interacted with senior elected representatives of Kargil, Leh and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council with a focus on the overall development of the regions, officials said.

The defence minister, accompanied by Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, also met a number of armed forces veterans and discussed issues relating to their welfare as well as national security.

"The dedication of our soldiers and veterans towards the country is an exemplary example. I express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart to all," Singh said on the occasion.

"Our aim is that all of you should be taken care of in the same way you had taken care of the country's security. Despite this, if you have any problems somewhere, then a helpline has been arranged for to address them," his office quoted him as saying.

The defence minister is scheduled to visit various key formations and high-altitude bases in the region to assess the ground realities as well as to boost the morale of the troops guarding the Line of Actual Control in a hostile environment.

At a virtual meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs on Friday, India and China agreed to hold the next round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement in remaining friction points.


-- India on Thursday blamed China for the standoff saying its amassing of a large number of troops close to the border and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC last year were responsible for seriously disturbing peace and tranquillity in the region.

-- India and China were locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year.

Quick recap

-- It is Rajnath’s first visit to eastern Ladakh after the Indian and Chinese militaries pulled back troops, tanks, infantry and other equipment from the Pangong lake areas in February as part of an agreement.

-- His visit to the sensitive region comes two days after India and China held a fresh round of diplomatic talks to resolve the prolonged military standoff that began in early May last year.

-- The disengagement process in the remaining friction points including Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang is deadlocked as China is reluctant to withdraw its troops from these areas.


How’s the josh?

The Shatrujeet Brigade of the Indian Army conducted an airborne exercise to validate the brigade's rapid response capability in the desert sector in Rajasthan.

The exercise held on Saturday was preceded by a series of intense preparation involving joint planning and integration between the Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

"The exercise entailed para drop of paratroopers and combat heavy loads including vehicle-mounted anti-tank and air defence missiles detachments over a designated target area from C-130 and AN 32 aircrafts," the Army officials said.

The exercise validated 72 hours of intense integrated battle drills involving mechanised forces demonstrating clockwise precision and seamless integration between airborne, mechanised, and Air Force.

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