Najla Said reads of her teenage visit to Gaza

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Najla Said, reads from her play, of her life changing visit to Gaza as a teenager, with her Palestinian activist father, the late Edward Said, after he learned he had leukemia.

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Why a True Pakistani Loves Pakistan?

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If you are a Pakistani Parent, a Pakistani Teacher or Professor or anyone else who has a responsibility to guide the future generations of Pakistan, then i beg you to transmit the message of this video to our younger generations as much as you can. There is a need to convey the importance and the value of this great gift of Pakistan which is given to us by our elders after crossing an ocean of Fire and sword. Nobody had given us this Pakistan on a plate, our forefathers had snatched the blessings of liberty from the jaws of slavery for us.

Today it looks very easy to sit in an Air conditioned room and point out the problems of Pakistan one by one without doing an effort to solve them out. In my opinion just taking birth in Pakistan is not good enough reason to entitle yourself as a Pakistani. This is not just a nationality, this is the name of a title, honor and respect which could only be achieved after deserving it.

Our elders left their everything to call themselves a Pakistani, what we have done till now???? Think please !!!

ہم لاۓ ہیں طوفاں سے کشتی نکال کے
اس مُلک کو رکھنا میرے بچو سمبھال کے

پاکستان زندہ باد
Long Live Pakistan

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Legality of Indian Claim on Kashmir

Following the World War-II, there has been an unremitting resistance by the people of Subcontinent against the ruling British colonial power. Under the swelling pressure of the people of subcontinent, the British Government finally had to announce the partition of the Subcontinent on June 3, 1947. However, the British Parliament formally passed “The Indian Independence Act-1947” on July 17, 1947. As per provision of Article-I of the Independence Act, India was to be partitioned into two Dominions namely “India” and “Pakistan” from 15th day of August 1947.

However, Article 7 of the Indian Independence Act very clearly states that from 15th August 1947, “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian states lapse and with it lapses all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian states”. Consequent upon this, all powers and functions, which were exercisable by the British Government in relation to the Princely States, also ceased.

All agreements of British governments with either rulers or states also lapsed on 15th of August 1947. Since the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State with a special autonomous status, therefore, it can be very conveniently said that on 15th day of August 1947, the Maharaja Sir Hari Singh was not the permissible ruler of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as all his treaties with British India lapsed on that day. Once he was not a ruler of the state, he had no right to sign the instrument of accession (if at all he signed that) with the new Indian dominion. This title to the state was granted to him by the British Government (East India Company) under the Treaty of Amritsar (Kashmir Sale deed) signed on 16 March 1846 and lapsed on the appointed day of 15th August 1947.

Besides, on July 25, 1947 in his address to special full meetings of the Chamber of Princes held in New Delhi, Lord Mountbatten categorically told all princes of Princely States that they were practically free to join any one of dominions; India or Pakistan. He however clarified that, while acceding to any dominion they could take into account geographical contiguity and wishes of the people. In case of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, either of the above factors was favouring state’s accession to Pakistan, but Maharaja Hari Singh did not accept this basic precondition of accession.

Indian claim that its forces landed Srinagar Airport on October 27, 1947, only after signatures on Instrument of Accession by Maharaja and the Indian government is also fallacious. Indeed, a heavy contingent of Patiala State was involved in fighting against the Kashmiri rebellions in Uri Sector on 18 October 1947, which means that they were very much inside the State`s territory much earlier than October 27, 1947.

On 24 October 1947, Kashmiris formally declared their independence from Dogra Raj and established their own government with the name of Azad (Free) Kashmir Government. Following this Maharaja Hari Singh sent his deputy Prime Minister Mr. R.L. Batra to New Delhi for Indian military assistance to his Government against those revolted and tribal from NWFP who joined their brethrens against a tyrant rule. He (Batra) met the Indian Prime Minster and other prominent Indian leaders and requested for assistance without making any mention or promise of state’s accession to the Indian Union. The Indian government instead sent Mr. V.P Menon (Indian Secretary of State) to Kashmir to assess the situation on the spot by himself on 25 October 1947.

After assessing, the situation in Kashmir Mr. V.P Menon flew back to New Delhi on 26 October 1947, together with Kashmiri Prime Minster Mr. Mahajan, who met top Indian leadership, seeking military assistance. He was refused to get that until state’s formal accession with India. On this Kashmiri Premier threatened the Indian leadership that if immediate military assistance was not granted, he would go to Lahore for negotiations with Pakistani leadership over the future status of the state. In a parallel development, Sheikh Abdullah met Indian Premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, on the same day, October 26, 1947, who agreed to despatch military assistance to the Kashmir government.

As stated by Mahajan, the Kashmiri Prime Minister, that V.P. Menon accompanied him to convince Hari Singh for accession of the State with India on 27 October 1947. Under the compulsion, Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession on the same day i.e. 27 October 1947, which was later taken to Lord Mountbatten (Indian Governor General), who also signed that on the same day (27 October), which was practically difficult. V.P. Menon, however, states that all these formalities of signatures were completed on 26 October 1947, which is impracticable. This version, however, seems concocted as even contradicted by pro Indian Kashmiri Premier. Both however are unanimous on one point that Indian state forces landed at Srinagar airfield in the morning of 27 October 1947 and a battalion of Patiala State received them there, which was already there. Read more of this post

Crackdown against youth in Indian Occupied Kashmir, dozens arrested

ISLAMABAD : Indian police and paramilitary personnel have arrested dozens of youth from occupied Srinagar, Pattan, Sopore and other areas during the house raids in the past several days in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

According to Kashmir Media Service, the residents of Nowhatta, Hawal and Gojwara in Srinagar staged protest demonstrations against the arrests. They demanded removal of the bunkers of the paramilitary CRPF troopers from the areas.

Residents of Srinagar, Palhalan, Sopore and other areas said that police and paramilitary CRPF troopers during peaceful demonstrations barge into residential houses, beat up inmates and smash their windowpanes without any rhyme and reasons.

“The troopers and police want to crush the voice of the people by atrocities and harassments, which made the life of people unsafe and insecure,” they said.

The residents demanding removal of the bunkers said, “This is not the case in isolation. Every time there are protests in the areas, CRPF personnel from the nearby camps and bunkers damage houses and beat up locals.” APP

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Indian troops martyr two innocent youth in Indian Occupied Kashmir

ISLAMABAD : Indian troops, in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred two innocent Kashmiri youth in Rajouri district of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

According to Kashmir Media Service personnel of 48-Rashtriya Rifles during siege and search operations killed Mohammad Aslam and Saddam Hussain Bakerwal in Kandi Kalar area of the district.

On the other hand, at least a dozen persons were injured when Indian police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers resorted to baton charge and fired numerous tear smoke canisters to disperse protesters at Nowhatta, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Brein-Nishat, Palhalan and Sopore areas.

“The CRPF personnel hurled stones and smashed windowpanes of several residential houses, which created panic among the residents,” said residents of Nowhatta and Palhalan.

Meanwhile, a constable of BSF 68th battalion, Lakhvinder Kumar, involved in the killing of 16-year-old, Zahid Farooq on February 5 at Brain-Nishat, said before the police that he was forced by his senior to shot at the teenager.

“The BSF Commandant, R K Birdi forced Lakhvinder Kumar to shoot thrice at Zahid. The constable has disclosed before the police that he was forced by his senior to shoot the teenager. -APP

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Support to Palestinian statehood reaffirmed

Al-Quds to be capital ; Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories emphasised


Tanvir Siddiqi/ Sharafat Kazmi

Islamabad—Visiting Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas had meetings with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani here Friday.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan will continue to steadfastly support the total withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Arab territories.

Speaking dinner hosted in honour of Palestinian President Mehmood Abbas by him, he appreciated the Palestinians who have been subjected to decades of occupation and the worst of atrocities but have fought on.

He said seldom have a people kept the spirit of freedom alive and the flame of hope burning in the face of such great adversity.

The Palestinian struggle for statehood and for the right to self determination finds resonance in Pakistan, he added.

He said that our brothers in Kashmir face a similar occupation and are also struggling to realize their right to self-determination. Read more of this post

Two Pakistani Officials Fired For Promoting Indian Propaganda

You will not believe this. But this happened in Pakistan. And two junior government officials might lose their jobs over this. But with a pro-US government in power in Islamabad, and former employees of Voice of America allowed to steer the nation’s media policy, it shouldn’t be surprising to see a Pakistani mouthpiece promoting Indian spin.

India’s Central Reserve Police Force, used by India’s government to suppress the Kashmiri struggle for freedom, killed a 16-year-old Kashmiri boy the other day.

Nothing new in that. Indians have done worse, like mass graves and genocide. What was unusual here is that Makhdoom Babar Sultan woke up one morning this week in his home in Islamabad to read a clarification in a major Pakistani newspaper issued by the chief of the Indian CRPF assuring readers that Indian occupation police in Kashmir had nothing to do with murdering the 16-year-old, who was last seen throwing stones at Indian soldiers.

Mr. Babar scrathced his head.  He was shocked to see who hen he tried to see who wrote the story. It was APP, or the Associated Press of Pakistan, the official news agency.

‘Wait a second’, he said to himself, ‘What is APP doing promoting the viewpoint of Indian occupation forces in Kashmir?’

Pakistanis already know that their government in Islamabad was basically tailored by the Americans and the Brits. No secret in that. The Am-Brits expect this government to push their agenda, which these days includes urgently patching up with India so that the Pakistani people and their military can be convinced to allow Indian soldiers into Afghanistan to help the Americans with their failed occupation there.

But peddling Indian propaganda? That’s going too far.

Unlike the rest of us, Makhdoom Babar is lucky to own a newspaper. So he rushed to his office in the morning to write a story on this, titled ‘APP Starts Promoting Indian Govt’s Kashmir Propaganda’.

Two APP journalists have been suspended and a probe is underway that might lead to some more job losses.

Earlier, two journalists from the state-run PTV were suspended for visiting the US embassywithout permission. Read more of this post

Road to Kabul ‘runs through Kashmir’

Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, Newsweek magazine reports in its latest edition, quoting unnamed US and Indian sources.

The countries last held such talks under Gen Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when the military ruler was ousted in August 2008.

Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now – open talks are also being discussed -would represent a huge development for the region.

And not just there. The payoff would stretch all the way to Washington. Peace between India and Pakistan could unlock another conflict with even higher stakes for the US: Afghanistan.

“Indeed,” says the journal, “a growing chorus of experts has begun arguing that the road to Kabul runs through Kashmir, that the US will never stabilise the former without peace in the latter. Suddenly, bringing India and Pakistan together seems to be very much in America’s interest, which makes the Obama administration’s determination to avoid the issue increasingly hard to fathom.”

To understand why Kashmir is central to Afghanistan, start with the fact that the US can’t defeat the Afghan insurgency without Pakistan’s help.

Pakistan midwifed the Taliban and continues to allegedly provide it with shelter. And that won’t change until Pakistan resolves its rivalry with India, says Newsweek.

“Pakistan’s entire Afghan strategy is based on the idea that it needs a pliant regime to its West to give it ‘strategic depth’: room to retreat in case of an Indian invasion. Fear of India also keeps Pakistan from putting enough troops on its 2,250km-long Afghan border, which the Taliban cross at will,” the report says.

As Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton’s envoy, says, “The Pakistani military is so obsessed with India that it hinders their ability to deal with other real threats.”
The only thing that might ease that obsession is peace with New Delhi.

Given this, you’d expect the Obama team to be pushing the peace process forward. Instead, it has studiously avoided the issue. On one level that makes sense: US has its hands full, and India, thanks to its bad experience with past mediation and America’s Cold War tilt toward Pakistan, erupts with rage whenever the US hints it might get involved; in 2008, when Obama said he might include India in the mandate of his Af-Pak team, New Delhi raised such hell that the matter was dropped. Thus Richard Holbrooke, the US Af-Pak envoy, refuses to consider US involvement today.

Yet even he concedes that Kashmir makes Afghanistan “more difficult to resolve,” and Washington simply can’t afford to avoid it if it hopes to leave the region any time soon.

Now it may not have to. The possible resumption of India-Pakistan talks suggests there may be a growing constituency for peace. India, preoccupied with its economic boom, is especially eager to make the issue go away. A hard push from Washington could make the difference -especially if handled in a way that assuages India’s fears.

Obama has been much cooler toward New Delhi than Bush was.

“Were he to symbolically elevate the US-India relationship now to the level of the US-China dialogue, it could give Washington greater leeway on Kashmir. So would pressing Pakistan to be more co-operative on the Mumbai terrorists and helping New Delhi secure prizes it desperately covets, such as entry into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,” Newsweek says.

As Sumit Ganguly of Indiana University puts it, “If that were to happen, India would roll over on any issue. (Gulf Times)

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Srinagar Under Siege, Senior Leaders Detained Police, Protesters Clashes Continue

Srinagar—Indian authorities deployed thousands of police and detained top leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on Thursday to halt protests over the death of a Muslim boy.

The 14-year-old child was struck by a teargas shell fired by police on Sunday during a demonstration and his death sparked angry protests against New Delhi’s rule over the region.

About 100 protesters and policemen have been injured in clashes. Security forces on Thursday enforced restrictions in most parts of Srinagar, to prevent further rallies. Read more of this post

The ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ is being observed today across the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir

LAHORE : The ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ is being observed on Friday (February 5) across the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir for expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir waging a struggle for their right of self-determination for the last six decades. The day has dawn with special prayers for the liberation of Kashmir, in all principal mosques throughout the country.

Prayers will also be offered for victims of Kashmir freedom struggle. One-minute silence will be observed throughout the country with sounding of sirens at 10 am and the traffic will be brought to a halt. Newspapers will also publish special editions on the occasion, while TV channels and radio centres will air special programmes, highlighting the freedom struggle of Kashmiris.

On this day, Pakistani nation renew its pledge that it would continue to extend unflinching moral and political support to their Kashmiri brethren in their heroic struggle for their right to self-determination. The day is also an occasion to salute the courage and bravery of the freedom loving people of Kashmir who have remained steadfast and resolute in their quest to attain their inalienable right of self-determination.

Political parties and people hailing from different walks of life will join hands to express complete solidarity and unity with their Kashmiri brethren on February 5, in their just struggle. To mark the day, seminars, public gatherings, rallies and other events have been planned in a bid to highlight the plight of Kashmiris besides expressing solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren.

Speakers through their speeches will press the peace loving nations all over the world to exert pressure on India to stop its aggressive policies and allow the Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination. The government has already declared public holiday for February 5 and all the government offices, as well as educational institutions will remain closed. Shops, markets and business centres will also remain closed on this occasion.

There is complete consensus among the ranks and file of political leadership in the country that Kashmir issue is a threat to peace and stability of this region while peaceful and durable solution to the dispute, in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir is the only solution.

In Lahore, processions and rallies will be taken out from different areas to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren and condemn atrocities against innocent people of the held valley. It may be mentioned that Pakistan has always emphasised the necessity of a meaningful and constructive dialogue to resolve the Kashmiri dispute.

Kashmiri leaders were of the view that the Kashmir Solidarity Day has assumed special significance in the changed geo-political environment of the region, where the Kashmir dispute is widely believed as a flash-point, drawing international attention for its resolution, according to the United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris. Mohammad Saleem

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