23:31 Pak continuously keeping sinister eye on J&K:
India carried out Balakot strikes across the border to destroy terror launch pads before Pulwama-like attack could be planned by Pakistan, which has been continuously keeping a 'sinister eye' on Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
In a message to the armed forces on the eve of the Independence Day, Singh also said that government was working 'tirelessly' to achieve synergy and 'jointness' among the three services.
"Our neighbouring country is continuously keeping a sinister eye on J&K. It sends terrorists into our territory and disturbs peace in the Valley," he said.
"On February 14, 40 brave jawans of CRPF were martyred in Pulwama in a suicide attack.Our Armed Forces hit back by destroying the terror launch pads with air strikes across the border in Pakistan before it could plan another Pulwama-like attack," he said.
Nearly two weeks after the Pulwama attack, IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.
The defence minister said in new and emerging world, the battlefield is not going to be limited to land, air and sea but will also spread to space and cyber space.
"Keeping this in mind, we successfully conducted an anti-satellite missile test 'Mission Shakti' on March 27 this year...With this, India joined a select group of nations, like USA, Russia and China which possess such a capability," Singh said.
At the same time, he reiterated that India's defence policy is for peace and stability at regional, continental and global level.
"Since the Armed Forces are at the forefront of our nation's defence, I assure you that the government will do all that is necessary to keep your morale high and to meet your functional requirements," he said.
"Under the able leadership of the Prime Minister, the armed forces are being rapidly modernised. We are working tirelessly to achieve his vision of 'jointness' among the three wings of the armed forces," Singh said.
In military terms, jointness is used to define cooperation and coordination between different wings of the military with tri-Service execution.
The defence minister also mentioned about the Army carrying out summer trials of third generation anti-tank guided missile NAG.
He said this third-generation 'fire and forget class' missile has been developed to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in all weather conditions with day and night capabilities.
Singh also talked about the IAF successfully test firing the BrahMos air version missile from its frontline Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft in May. -- PTI
22:47 No exchange of sweets between BSF, Pak Rangers:
Amid its country's anger over revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status by India, Pakistan Rangers on Wednesday gave a miss to its customary, Independence Day practice of exchanging sweets with India's Border Security Force at Attari-Wagah border.
Pakistani Rangers traditionally used to offer sweets to their Indian counterpart BSF on August 14, the Pakistan's Independence day.
The gesture is reciprocated by the BSF a day later on August 15, the Indian Independence Day.
Two days ago on Eid-ul-Adha, Pakistani Rangers on the border declined to accept sweets from the BSF personnel.
Both BSF and Pak Rangers have been following the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on festivals like Diwali and Eid, as well as on their respective independence days.
Indian soldiers also offer sweets to Pak Rangers on the Republic Day. -- PTI
22:02 Admin busy in I-Day prep: J-K Guv on Rahul visit:
In a continued war of words between him and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said the Jammu-Kashmir administration is occupied with arrangements for Independence Day celebrations and will get in touch with the MP at a 'convenient time' over his visit to the state.
The governor's reaction came after Gandhi in a tweet on Wednesday repeated his demand to visit Jammu and Kashmir and asked Malik when he could come.
"At present, the entire state administration is pre-occupied with making arrangements for the celebration of Independence Day", Malik said in a statement.
The governor said he has already referred the matter to the local administration which will get in touch with Gandhi at a convenient time and added that he has no further statement to make on the issue.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Gandhi said, 'Dear Maalik (sic) ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?'
On remarks by Gandhi that there have been reports of violence in Kashmir, Malik said, "Rahul Gandhi has taken four days to respond on an issue, which already stands clarified and settled by various Indian news channels which have reported the correct position."
On Tuesday, Malik had lashed out at Gandhi for putting 'pre-conditions' for a visit to the Kashmir Valley and alleged he was trying to 'create unrest' by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders.
Following the Kashmir remarks by Gandhi, Malik had said on Monday he will send him an aircraft to visit the Valley and observe the ground situation.
Gandhi has put forth many conditions for the visit, including meeting mainstream leaders under detention, the governor had said in a statement.
Hitting back at the governor for 'taking a U-turn' on his offer, the Congress said he should stand by his word. -- PTI
21:10 Woman booked for 2-yr-old deleted post on beef:
Assam Police on Wednesday registered a suo motu case against a woman, a research scholar of the Gauhati University, for a two-year-old Facebook post on beef eating, which was claimed to have been deleted long ago.
The police also arrested another person from Kokrajhar district on the charge of posting objectionable pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on social media.
A senior official of the Guwahati Police said they came to know about the post of the research scholar, Rehna Sultana, after a local news portal published it on Wednesday, and registered a case against her under the Information Technology Act.
"I do not know why the news portal published the news now. The portal claimed that Sultana posted it during the Eid on Monday. But that is wrong, it is an old post," the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
He said Sultana is unlikely to be arrested and only a routine investigation will be carried out as cognisance cannot be taken for such an old incident.
The original post was published in June, 2017 and it was related to eating beef.
When contacted, Sultana said, "It was posted on the day of India-Pakistan cricket match in June 2017. Virat Kohli was out for zero on that day. I am a cricket fan and was very sad. I had uploaded the post out of frustration on the performance of Indian team.
"However, I accept that I should not have given that post. That is why I had deleted the post within minutes of uploading it," she said.
Sultana said she suspects that the issue was dug up since she helps people of the minority community in their work related to the National Registration of Citizens (NRC).
"I work for the genuine people for their inclusion in the NRC. Recently I helped them during hearing. I suspect this issue has been raked up to demoralise me for my stand in NRC," she claimed.
Meanwhile, the police arrested one person from Kokrajhar district on Tuesday night for allegedly posting objectionable and derogatory pictures of the prime Minister and the Union home minister.
Kokrajhar Superintendent of Police Rajen Singh said he was arrested from Singimari village under Fakiragram police station limits.
Police seized one mobile phone and two SIM cards from his possession. -- PTI
20:41 Advani not to hoist flag at his home on I Day:
Viral fever has forced veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani to break his decades-long practice of hoisting national flag at his residence on Independence Day.
A statement from his office said on Wednesday that the 91-year-old former deputy prime minister is down with viral fever and will not be able to unfurl the national flag on Thursday.
"This is to inform you that Shri LK Advaniji has been running viral fever for the last 5 days, as such there will be no flag hoisting programme this year on August 15, 2019 at his residence 30, Prithviraj Road," his office said in a statement. -- PTI
19:51 Raj govt to appeal against Pehlu case verdict:
JUST IN: Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Rajeeva Swarup says that the state government has decided to appeal against the judgment in 2017 Pehlu Khan lynching case.
Earlier, the court had acquitted all six accused in the case giving them 'benefit of doubt'.
More details awaited. -- ANI
19:27 J-K people will now enjoy same rights as other Indians: President:
President Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of Independence Day:
"They (the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir & Ladakh) will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.
"These include progressive, egalitarian laws and provisions related to Right to Education; accessing public info through Right to Information; reservations in education and employment and other facilities for deprived communities; and justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant triple talaq."
19:15 Changes made in J-K will benefit people: Prez:
President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of 73rd Independence Day:
"We complete 72 years as a free nation at a very special juncture.
"In few weeks from now, on October 2, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation Mahatma Gandhi, the guiding light of our successful effort to liberate our nation.
"This year also marks the 550th birth anniversary of one of the greatest, wisest and most influential Indians of all time Guru Nanak Dev ji. He was the founder of Sikhism but the reverence and respect he commands go far beyond just our Sikh brothers and sisters," he said.
Speaking on the revocation of special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the President said, "I'm confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions.
"They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country."
18:59 Pak summons India's deputy high commissioner:
Pakistan on Wednesday summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the alleged 'unprovoked ceasefire violations' by Indian troops across the Line of Control which killed a civilian.
Mohammad Faisal, Director General (South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson, summoned Ahluwalia to condemn 'the unprovoked ceasefire violations' by the Indian forces on August 13 in Hot Spring Sector in which a 38-year-old man of Laychayal village was killed, the Foreign Office said.
"The Indian forces along the LoC and Working boundary have continuously been targeting civilian-populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars, and automatic weapons, which still continues," Faisal said.
He said this unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India had been continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations.
He said the deliberate targeting of civilian-populated areas was deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws, the Foreign Office (FO) said.
Faisal said the ceasefire violations by India were a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.
He said the Indian side should permit United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions. India has maintained that the UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control (LoC).
Faisal asked the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement, investigate these and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary, the FO said. -- PTI
18:52 Situation calm, but there'll be restrictions: J-K principal secy:
There will be some restrictions in Kashmir Valley on the Independence Day even as general assessment is that the situation has been calm, Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said on Wednesday.
"There have been no major report of any untoward incident. All civil supplies continue to be normal. Any detention or arrest is based on local assessment," he said.
Kansal said sometimes reasonable restrictions are necessary.
"There will be some restrictions for tomorrow. General view is that the situation has been calm. Relaxations will be based on local assessment," he added. -- PTI
18:20 Bright spot in July: Exports rise 2.25%: Just In:
India's exports grow by 2.25 per cent to USD 26.33 billion in July; while the trade deficit narrowed to USD 13.43 billion, says government data.
18:10 Neeraj Shekhar files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha bypoll from UP:
Neeraj Shekhar, son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, on Wednesday filed his nomination papers as the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypoll from Uttar Pradesh.
Neeraj Shekhar, who had recently quit the Samajwadi Party and resigned from the Rajya Sabha seat, filed his papers in the presence of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP state unit Swatantra Dev Singh and other senior party leaders.
Interestingly, senior SP leaders, including MLC Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu, were also present as Neeraj Shekhar submitted his nomination papers.
He is all set to get elected from the seat unopposed. The term of the seat is up to November 25, 2020.
Wednesday is the last day of filing of papers for the Rajya Sabha bypoll and scrutiny will be done on August 16. -- PTI
17:55 UP bans namaaz, arti on roads:
Uttar Pradesh police has issued directives barring any "spill-over" of religious activities, like offering of namaaz and arti, on roads in the state, citing hindrance to movement of traffic.
Earlier, similar directives were issued in Aligarh after Hindu organisations had given a call for holding 'Hanuman Chalisa' recital on roads. They were protesting the offering of Friday namaaz on roads by Muslim congregations near mosques.
"Directives have been issued to ensure that the spill-over of activities like namaaz or arti do not come on the roads hindering movement of vehicular traffic and this will be implemented all over the state," Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh said on Wednesday.
The DGP said that verbal orders have also been issued to organise peace committee meetings to see that this directive is enforced in a harmonious manner.
Referring to similar directives which are already in place in Aligarh and Meerut districts, he said these will be extended to all cities and towns in the state and expressed the hope that it will have a good impact.
Objecting to offering of Friday prayers on roads, Hindu organisations had announced that they too will hold 'Hanuman Chalisa' recital on roads following which the Aligarh district administration had taken a tough stand and banned all such practices on roads to ensure peace and order.
17:48 Kerala rain fury: Toll rises to 102; 59 missing:
As Kerala continues to battle monsoon fury, the death toll on Wednesday afternoon mounted to 102, according to a data of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
KSDMA has released a district-wise data between August 8 and August 14 till 3 pm in which it stated that 59 people were still missing across the rain-ravaged state while 35 injured due to flood-related incidents.
Malappuram remained the most affected district where 42 people have lost their lives.Among 14 affected-districts, 17 deaths in Kozhikode, 9 in Wayanad, and 2 in Kannur were reported.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of people who lost their lives due to floods in the state.
IMD has predicted 'heavy rainfall' at isolated parts over Kerala this week.
The meteorological department also advised fishermen not to venture into those areas. -- ANI
IMAGE: A flood-affected boy carries his dog as he and others are moved to a safer place in Paravur in Ernakulam district. Photograph: Sivaram V/Reuters
17:08 Chopper deal: Delhi HC grants interim protection from arrest to Ratul Puri:
The Delhi high court on Wednesday granted interim protection from arrest to Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, till August 20 in a money laundering case linked to the AgustaWestland Chopper scam.
Justice Sunil Gaur said the Enforcement Directorate is at liberty to ask Puri to join the investigation.
The court granted the interim protection till next Tuesday, when it would further hear Puri's plea challenging a trial court's order denying him anticipatory bail.
Prui's counsel submitted that he be given interim protection till the next date of hearing as he apprehends arrest.
ED vehemently opposed the plea. ED's counsel said no relief should be given to him as a non-bailable warrant was issued against Puri on August 9 and he was absconding and not joining the investigation in the case.
Earlier in the day, the court asked the ED to file a status report apprising its about the development in the money laundering case linked to the now scrapped, Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland Chopper deal after Puri was denied anticipatory bail last week.
The court said the status report should explain 'the exact role of petitioner (Puri) in (alleged) money laundering which is detected so far'.
The court also asked the ED the reason for seeking his custodial interrogation. -- PTI
16:56 If war breaks out world will be responsible: Imran:
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday vowed to become the voice of Kashmir and raise the issue at every global forum, including the United Nations, as he questioned the silence of the international community on the situation in the region.
Addressing a special session of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir's legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad, Khan said that if war breaks out between Pakistan and India, the world community will be responsible.
"The world's eye is on Kashmir and on Pakistan...I will be the ambassador who raises Kashmir's voice at every international forum," he said.
Khan, who was in Muzaffarabad to observe Pakistan's Independence Day, said Prime Minister Modi has "committed a strategic blunder, he has played his last card. It will cost a lot to Modi and the BJP. Because they have internationalised the issue of Kashmir."
"Whatever was done during the curfew by India, we will tell the international community that you are responsible. Whichever forum we get, I will be the ambassador and bring up Kashmir at every forum," Khan said.
Khan also said that Pakistan will respond with full force if India launches any aggression against his country.
"The Pakistan Army has full knowledge...India has made a plan to take action" in PoK, he said. "You take action and this is my message: every brick will be countered with a stone," Khan said.
"We will respond to whatever you do, we will go till the end."
"Our message to international organisations that were formed to prevent wars is that if this war takes place, you will be responsible," Khan said.
He claimed that the whole world, including the entire Muslim population in the world, was looking towards the United Nations.
"You will see the numbers in which the public will come out during the United Nations General Assembly in September," he said, referring to the upcoming annual session of the world body.
16:53 Names of illegal Bangladeshis included in NRC, alleges ABVP:
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has alleged that names of scores of Bangladeshis living illegally in Assam have been included and indigenous people left out in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The students wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh held NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela responsible for the faults in the document, the final version of which is scheduled to be published on August 31.
"If the NRC is published in this form, lakhs of indigenous people will be left out. It is being deliberately done by Hajela. We fear that a faulty NRC will be published," ABVP Assam pradesh secretary Rakesh Das said at a press conference in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Demanding 100 per cent re-verification of the applications, Das said people have waited for 30 years for the NRC and there should not be any problem if it gets delayed for a few more months for the sake of a correct document.
In its order passed on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the ongoing NRC exercise, which is being monitored by the apex court, cannot be ordered to be reopened on the basis of certain legal challenges raised before it.
On July 23, the top court had extended the deadline for publication of the final NRC in Assam by a month to August 31, while rejecting the pleas seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification.
The Centre and the Assam government had sought permission for sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions, especially in districts bordering Bangladesh, and exclusions of persons in the NRC.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th Century, is the only state having an NRC that was first prepared in 1951. -- PTI
16:46 Rahul writes to RBI Guv, seeks relief for flood-hit Kerala farmers:
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written to Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das, urging that the moratorium on repayment of crop loans be extended to December 31 for farmers in Kerala in the wake of floods in the state.
The death toll in the Kerala floods is 95, as per government figures, and over 1.89 lakh people displaced by the deluge since August 8 have taken refuge in 1,118 camps, some of which were visited by Gandhi, the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad, on Monday.
In a letter to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Gandhi said Kerala has witnessed the worst floods in over a century and the devastating impact of the deluge is further compounded by the inability of farmers to repay agriculture loans on account of widespread crop loss, and extensive damage to other productive assets.
External factors such as the sharp fall in global commodity price of cash crops has also adversely affected the ability of farmers to bounce back, he said.
"Kerala has witnessed a tragic spate of farmer suicides in the aftermath of banks initiating recovery proceedings against helpless farmers under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act)," the Congress leader claimed.
"Despite the demand from the state government and opposition parties to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans to December 31, 2019; the state level banker's committee has refused to consider the demand.
"I request the RBI to take measures to extend the moratorium on repayment to December 31, 2019," he said in his letter to Das.
The Congress leader on Monday had visited flood-affected areas in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, including worst-hit Puthumala, and assured all help to those hit by the calamity to rebuild their lives.
As per the official data, 1,057 houses have been completely damaged and 11,159 partially destroyed in the deluge. -- PTI
16:15 Modi set to deliver his 6th I-Day speech:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver on Thursday his sixth straight Independence Day speech and is expected to touch on a host of issues, ranging from his government's landmark decision on Jammu and Kashmir to the state of economy.
This will also be his first August 15 address after coming back to power with a huge mandate.
Modi has used the annual event to announce his government's showpiece programmes like 'Swachh Bharat', 'Ayushman Bharat' and India's first manned space mission, and also to present a report card on its performance to highlight how the country has grown on his watch.
The BJP's remarkable win in the recent general election followed by its success in getting Parliament's nod to its contentious but core agenda of revoking Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370, has already set the tempo of his speech, party leaders believe.
In his address to the nation last week, he had assured people of the Valley development and peace, as he sought to assuage concerns following his government's decision to scrap the state's special status and dividing it into two Union Territories.
The situation in Kashmir remains far from normal amid a security clampdown and communication restrictions.
This will be Modi's sixth August 15 speech, a number equal to the addresses from the ramparts of the Red Fort by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the first and only other prime minister from the BJP. Vajpayee had given six straight speeches between 1998-2003.
With a dispirited opposition unable to pose any serious challenge to the BJP's hegemony and Modi's return to power with a majority even bigger than his landslide win in 2014, many believe he may use the occasion to announce reforms or make concessions to different sections of the society.
There is also a view that Modi may seek to address concerns over the economic slowdown. -- PTI
15:50 Actor Soumitra Chatterjee in hospital for respiratory tract infection :
Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday after he complained of breathing problems.
Chatterjee was admitted to the hospital around 9.30 am with respiratory tract infection, a statement issued by the south Kolkata hospital said.
Our doctors are monitoring him from time to time. At the moment, Mr Chatterjee is out of danger and we are keeping a close watch on him, a hospital source said.
"He is being treated in ICU under close supervision," the statement said.
Initial tests said \the actor was suffering from some age-related health issues such as potassium and sodium imbalance.
The 84-year old actor's daughter Poulami Basu told PTI that his present condition was stable.
"There is no threat to his life," his daughter said.
The Apur Sansar actor, who has six-decade long illustrious film career, had attended shootings till Monday, apart from gracing events, industry sources said.
Chatterjee was bestowed with the Legion of Honour from the French government in 2018, and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2011.
15:27 'Friends' is hitting theatres for its 25th anniversary:
Friends is coming back.
There's no reunion or a movie but the six fan favourites -- Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross -- are coming together for a re-run of the beloved sitcom on account of its 25th anniversary.
According to Entertainment Weekly, 12 iconic episodes of the popular NBC series will be specially screened over three nights of September 23, September 28 and October 2.
Over 1,000 theatres across the US will feature four episodes per night that have been newly re-mastered in 4K format from the original 35mm camera negative.
Each screening will feature exclusive interviews and never-before-seen content.
The night of September 23 will showcase the pilot ReDo, followed by The One With The Black Out, The One With The Birth and The One Where Ross Finds Out.
Next night will see The One With The Prom Video, The One Where No One's Ready, The One With The Morning After and The One With The Embryos.
On October 2, episodes The One With Chandler In A Box, The One With Ross' Wedding - Part 2, The One Where Everyone Finds Out and The One Where Ross Got High will be screened.
Lisa Gregorian, Warner Bros Television Group President & Chief Marketing Officer, said the team wanted people across ages, along with the loyal fans, to enjoy the show in a new way.
"The cultural impact that 'Friends' continues to have, 25 years after its premiere, is astounding, a true testament to the genius of Marta Kauffman, David Crane, Kevin Bright, and the incredibly talented cast," Gregorian added.
The series, which enjoys cult following, starred Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. -- PTI
15:24 Kashmiris and Pakistanis are one, says Pak Prez Alvi on I-Day:
Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Wednesday said "Kashmiris and Pakistanis are one" people and the country will continue to stand with the people of Kashmir.
Addressing the main function in Islamabad to mark the 73rd Independence Day, he reiterated Pakistan government's stand against India's move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and said Islamabad will move the United Nations Security Council against New Delhi's decision.
He said by changing the special status of Kashmir, India not only violated the UN resolution but also the Simla agreement.
India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
Alvi in his speech reaffirmed Pakistan's support to the people of Kashmir.
"We will not leave them alone at any stage. Kashmiris and Pakistanis are one. Our grief is common as their tears move our hearts. We were with them; we are standing with them and will continue to do so," the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported quoting Alvi as saying.
He said India has been violating the ceasefire agreements by firing and shelling on civilian populations along the Line of Control.
"Pakistan is a peace-loving country and wants to resolve the Kashmir dispute through negotiations and dialogue. India, however, should not misunderstand our policy of peace as our weakness," he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistanis across the country celebrated the Independence Day, media reports said.
The day dawned with the usual official functions and ceremonies, a 31-gun salute in the capital and 21-gun salutes in the four provincial capitals as well as a major event in Islamabad in which top government functionaries and armed forces' officials took part.
Special prayers were offered at the mosques for peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
Pakistan has decided to observe the Independence Day as 'Kashmir Solidarity Day' and August 15 (India's Independence Day) as 'Black Day' to protest India's move to scrap the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories. -- PTI
15:20 Govt loves Kashmir but not its people: Owaisi:
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi accused him of lacking political wisdom while claiming that the Central government led by him only 'loves Kashmir but not its people'.
Owaisi, who has been a critical of Centre's decision to scrap Article 370, termed the step as a violation of the Constitutional agreement and said, "Prime Minister Modi doesn't have political wisdom like Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru had. When they took a decision on Kashmir, they did so in the interest of the nation. He is claiming that they are following Syama Prasad, but they don't know he had acknowledged Article 370."
Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also served as its first President and had died while being in detention in Kashmir.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen parliamentarian from Hyderabad also raised questions over the state of Kashmiris and said: "If they are all happy as being claimed by the government, then why are they locked inside houses and why are phone lines not working? I know this government loves Kashmir, but not Kashmiris. I know it has a love for the land but no love for those who live there. It loves power but not justice. They only want to retain power. But I shall remind that no one lives or rules for eternity."
Asserting that the BJP has scrapped the Article 370 only because they have strength, Owaisi also claimed that it was inappropriate to present a 50-page bill within a day in the Parliament and expect everyone to read it.
Citing a recent remark of actor Rajinikanth, he also questioned former's intention behind comparing Prime Minister Modi and his cabinet colleague Amit Shah as 'Krishna' and 'Arjun'.
"A Tamil Nadu actor (Rajinikanth) called PM Modi and Amit Shah "Krishna and Arjun" for abrogating Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Then who are Pandavas and Kauravas in this situation? Do you want another 'Mahabharat' in the country", he said. -- ANI
15:09 Hope to deepen efforts in promoting regional stability: Pompeo to Pak:
Greeting the people of Pakistan on the eve of their Independence Day, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hoped to "build on the commitments" made by Prime Minister Imran Khan to deepen efforts in promoting regional stability and peace.
During his visit to Washington DC last month, Khan had met US President Donald Trump and in the White House and assured him about Pakistan's significant role in supporting the Afghan peace process and
"Over the years, the United States and Pakistan have achieved much when we have worked together in partnership," Pompeo said on Tuesday in a statement issued on the eve of the Pakistani Independence Day.
"In the coming years, we hope to build on the important commitments made during the recent visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan and senior leaders of the Government of Pakistan, and deepen our vital efforts to
promote regional stability and peace," he said.
During his three-day official visit to the US in July, the Pakistani prime minister had said that it is in the interest of his nation that "we do not allow any armed militant groups to operate in our country".
"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I would like to offer my warmest greetings to the people of Pakistan as they mark their Independence Day," the US Secretary of State said.
"We also hope to tap into the enormous potential of the US-Pakistan trade relationship, delivering greater prosperity to both our countries and further strengthening the bonds between our peoples," Pompeo
added. -- PTI
15:08 Shah Faesal stopped at Delhi airport, detained in Srinagar:
Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS topper who quit the civil services for politics, was detained by authorities at the Delhi airport on Wednesday and sent back to Kashmir, officials said.
Faesal was again detained under the Public Safety Act on his arrival in Srinagar, they said.
He was bound for Istanbul, the officials added. -- PTI
14:35 Govt launches Swachh Survekshan Grameen:
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday launched the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2019, which will be three times bigger in scale than the previous edition of the survey.
Around 700 districts and 17,475 villages will be covered under the survey to be conducted in 34 states and union territories.
In 2018, around 6,000 villages were covered under it.
Shekhawat also launched an app through which people can give feedback on the survey.
The intent of the exercise is to stimulate stakeholders' behavioural change towards improved sanitation, Shekhawat said.
The field survey, to rank states and districts based on sanitation level, will be held for 45 days at over 87,000 public places. Five public places in each village will be surveyed under the exercise that will conclude on September 30. -- PTI
14:05 Abrogation of Art 370 was need of the hour: VP:
Terming the abrogation of Article 370 the need of the hour for the unity and integrity of the nation, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that the move is not "communal" but is a matter of the country's security.
"The scrapping of Article 370 was the need of the hour for the unity and integrity of the country. Article 370 was only a temporary provision. We will not allow anyone to interfere in the internal affairs of India," a tweet on the vice president's official Twitter account read.
The Hindi tweets were quoting Naidu's speech at the first Balramji Dass Tandon Memorial Lecture, at Panjab University, in Chandigarh.
He said that the whole country is happy with the repeal of Article 370.
"It is a matter of unity, integrity, and security of the country. The matter is not communal... Some sections of Western media are spreading misleading propaganda on Section 370," the vice president said.
He continued, "On the occasion of the Independence Day, we should take a resolution to free the country and society from social disorders like caste, gender discrimination, poverty, illiteracy with our common efforts."
Naidu said that former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had termed Article 370 as a "temporary provision" and asserted that it is not a permanent part of the Constitution.
"On 27 November 1963, while replying on the issue of repealing Section 370, then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru himself said that Article 370 is just a temporary provision. It is not a permanent part of the Constitution," the vice president said.
The government had withdrawn special status to Jammu and Kashmir and passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act 2019, reorganizing it into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it. -- ANI
13:59 Won't let India, China take 'advantage' from WTO: Trump:
United States President Donald Trump has said that India and China are no longer "developing nations" and were "taking advantage" of the tag from the World Trade Organisation and asserted that he will not let it happen anymore.
Trump, championing his 'America First' policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying "tremendously high" duties on US products and has described the country as a "tariff king".
The US and China are currently engaged in a bruising trade war after Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.
Earlier in July, Trump asked the World Trade Organisation to define how it designates developing-country status, a move apparently aimed at singling out countries like China, Turkey and India which are getting lenient treatment under the global trade rules.
In a memorandum, Trump had empowered the US Trade Representative to start taking punitive actions if any advanced economies are inappropriately taking benefits of the WTO loopholes.
Addressing a gathering at Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump said India and China -- the two economic giants from Asia -- are no longer developing nations and as such they cannot taken the benefit from the WTO.
However, they are taking the advantage of a developing nation tag from the WTO, putting the US to disadvantage, he said.
"They (India and China) were taking advantage of us for years and years," Trump said.
The Geneva-based WTO is an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade between nations.
Under the global trade rules, developing countries claim entitlement to longer timeframe for the imposition of safeguards, generous transition periods, softer tariff cuts, procedural advantages for WTO disputes and the ability to avail themselves of certain export subsidies.
Trump expressed hope that the WTO will treat the US "fairly".
13:51 Press Club in Delhi tells activists not to show videos on Kashmir:
Activists have charged the Press Club of India, New Delhi, with not granting them permission to shows videos shot as part of their presentation on the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370.
Kavita Krishnan, Jean Dreze and and Maimoona Mollah, who have returned after a five-day trip to Kashmir, were scheduled to address the media at the Press Club of India at noon today, but were reportedly told by the PCI not to show any videos and presentations on the ground situation there.
13:03 'Curbs lifted in Jammu, to continue in Kashmir':
Restrictions imposed in Jammu have been completely lifted but curbs will continue in some places in Kashmir for a while longer, a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said on Wednesday and emphasised that the situation is totally under control.
There have been no major injuries to anyone, additional director general Munir Khan said.
He added that there a few pellet injuries in the Valley but those have been treated.
"Restrictions imposed in Jammu have been completely removed. They will continue in some places of Kashmir for sometime," he told reporters.
According to Khan, there were localised incidents in various parts of Srinagar and other districts in the Valley. But these were contained and dealt with locally.
"Our biggest endeavour is to ensure there is no civilian casualty," he said.
Asked about the number of people detained, Khan said he would not talk about individuals.
"In a law and order situation like this, there are different kinds of detention... preventive detention to ensure the established miscreants do not vitiate the peaceful atmosphere... so you have to take preventive steps," he said. -- PTI
Image: A view of a deserted street during restrictions at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. Photograph: S. Irfan/PTI Photo
12:46 Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna joins Pak Congressional Caucus:
Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus as said that he would continue to pursue the American objectives of a strong US-India relationship and peace, and stability in the region.
The two-term Democratic Congressman representing Silicon Valley is the first Indian-American lawmaker to join the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, which is co-chaired by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Le (Democratic) and Congressman Jim Banks (Republican).
Both Jackson Lee and Khanna (42) are also members of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, which is the largest country-specific caucus in the House of Representatives.
Khanna, who in the last two years has made a mark in the House of Representatives on foreign policy and national security issues, joined the Pakistani Caucus after the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran
Khan to the US last month.
"I am a proud member of the US-India Caucus and have supported legislation condemning the terrorist bombing in Kashmir and promoting stronger defense ties between the US and India," Khanna told PTI.
"At the same time, I believe it's critical to engage all regional players, including India and Pakistan, to stabilize Afghanistan so that the US can withdraw troops. I will continue to pursue the American objectives of
a strong US-India relationship and peace and stability in the region," he said in response to a question.
It was in May this year that Lee and Banks announced the formation of Congressional Pakistan Caucus for the current Congress. Lee is founding member of the Caucus.
The Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Asad M Khan, thanked Khanna for joining the Pakistani Caucus.
"Had a wonderful meeting with Congressman Ro Khanna. We discussed the prime Minister's (Imran Khan) recent visit to the US and ways to promote Pakistan-US relations. Congressman Khanna took keen
interest in promoting peace in South Asia. Thanked him for joining the Pakistan Caucus," Asad M Khan wrote on Twitter. -- PTI
12:41 Case against man for posting objectionable remarks against HM:
A case has been filed against a man for allegedly posting objectionable remarks against home minister Amit Shah on Facebook, police said on Wednesday.
Sambhal Kotwali in-charge, Dharampal Singh, said the case has been filed against Zarif Ahmed on the complaint of district unit secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Anuj Kumar Sharma.
Sharma had alleged that Ahmed posted a picture of Shah with objectionable remarks on Facebook.
The case has been filed under the IT Act and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the IPC. -- PTI
12:16 When can I come to J-K: Rahul to Malik:
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday repeated his demand to visit Jammu and Kashmir and asked governor Satya Pal Malik when he could come.
He said he had accepted Malik's invitation to visit J&K and meet people without any conditions and termed the governor's reply "feeble".
"Dear Maalik (sic) ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet.
"I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?" he said.
On Tuesday, Malik had lashed out at Gandhi for putting "pre-conditions" for a visit to Kashmir Valley and alleged he was trying to "create unrest" by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders.
Following remarks by Gandhi that there have been reports of violence in Kashmir, Malik had said on Monday he will send him an aircraft to visit the Valley and observe the ground situation.
Gandhi has put forth many conditions for the visit, including meeting mainstream leaders under detention, the governor said in a statement.
Hitting back at the governor for "taking a U-turn" on his offer, the Congress said he should stand by his word.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said Malik's invitation to Rahul Gandhi to visit the state was a "tool of propaganda" and never sincere.
He said alleging that Rahul Gandhi has put conditions is rubbish, as he only asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers.
"J&K Governor's invitation to Rahul Gandhi was never a sincere invitation. It was a tool of propaganda.To say that Rahul Gandhi put conditions is rubbish. Rahul Gandhi asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers. How is that putting conditions?," he asked on Twitter.
"Can a visitor not ask for freedom to meet different sections of the people and to enquire about the welfare of the soldiers?," he further asked.
12:08 'Fun and frolic' in Corbett won't solve economic crisis: Yechury:
Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Wednesday the "fun and frolic" in Jim Corbett National Park will not solve the problems faced by the economy, in an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he appeared on Discovery Channel's Man vs Wild.
The episode, telecast on Monday night, was shot in the national park.
"The fun and frolic in Corbett will not provide the solution to this grave economic crisis, created by the government since 2014. We have not heard any coherent plan from the govt except same rabid, divisive spiel meant to cause social disharmony.
"This is no longer some anecdotal evidence. Hard data every single day is driving home the gravity of the economic crisis which engulfs all sectors. The writing is on the wall and those responsible for managing the economy are missing or distracting from the real issue," Yechury tweeted. -- PTI
11:53 Court shouldn't see rationality: Ram lalla to SC:
It is the belief of Hindus that Ayodhya is Lord Ram's birthplace and the court should not go beyond to see how rational it is, said deity Ram Lalla Virajman's counsel on Wednesday before the Supreme Court which is hearing the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case for the sixth day.
Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, advanced arguments before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
"It was the belief of Hindus to say Lord Ram's birthplace is Ayodhya and the court should not go beyond to see how rational," said Vaidyanath to the bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
11:13 India contributes $1 million to UN fund:
India has contributed $1 million to the United Nations Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System.
The Special Purpose Trust Fund is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way, according to the UN information.
"Tangible contribution. India is happy to tangibly contribute to reform of the @UN Development system," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on Tuesday.
The SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund.
Funding sources include voluntary contributions from the Member States, the doubling of cost-sharing amounts from the UN entities who are members of the United Nations development system and a one per
cent levy applied to contributions for UN development-related activities earmarked to a single agency, single programme or project. -- PTI
10:51 Abhinandan to be awarded Vir Chakra on I-Day:
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the pilot captured by Pakistan, to be awarded gallantry medal Vir Chakra on Independence Day for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight over the Line of Control on February 27.
Varthaman, then 35, scripted military aviation history by downing an F-16, seconds before his own MiG-21 Bison was hit by a missile forcing him to eject.
Experts hailed it as the first ever kill of an F-16 by a MiG-21 Bison, fighter jets of two different generations.
Varthaman was captured after he bailed out of his aircraft, but Pakistan returned him to India on March 1 after holding him captive for almost 60 hours.
The February 27 dogfight took place a day after the Mirage-2000s struck targets in Balakot in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed on February 14.
Vir Chakra is Indias third-highest wartime gallantry award, after the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra.
10:25 Respect each other's concerns: India to China:
India and China should find stronger convergences, respect each other's core concerns and manage differences, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said as he underlined that the relationship between the two Asian giants has become "so big" that it has acquired a "global dimension".
Jaishankar, who concluded his three-day visit to Beijing on Monday, held extensive and in-depth talks with his counterpart Wang Yi on the entire gamut of the India-China ties.
During his visit, he also met Chinese vice president Wang Qishan, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping.
As the two largest developing countries and emerging economies, cooperation between India and China is of great importance to the world, Jaishankar told state-run Xinhua news agency in an interview on Sunday.
"Our relationship is so big that it is no longer a bilateral relationship. It has global dimensions," the report quoted Jaishankar as saying.
Describing the world as "more multi-polar" with changing global order, he said India and China need to enhance communication and coordination to contribute to world peace, stability and development.
The two countries should find stronger areas of convergence, respect each other's core concerns, find ways of managing differences and keep a strategic view of the direction of bilateral ties, he said.
The minister said the two neighbours have a long history that goes back to thousands of years and the two countries' civilisations are among the oldest that represent two pillars of the civilisation of the East.
"A lot of people, including young people of both countries, really don't have a good understanding of how much our two cultures of civilisations have affected each other," Jaishankar said, underlining that "promoting a greater awareness of that history" through more cultural exchanges is an important task for the two countries.
India and China have agreed to establish a high-level people-to-people exchanges mechanism in April last year and the first meeting was held in New Delhi in December. -- PTI
Image: China's foreign affairs minister Wang Yi shakes hand with external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Photograph: @EOIBeijing/Twitter
10:03 CBI does a good job in non political cases: CJI:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation should be given statutory status equivalent to that provided to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
"Efforts must be made to delink with the crucial aspects of the CBI from the overall administrative control of the government. CBI should be given statutory status through legislation equivalent to that provided to the Comptroller and Auditor General," Justice Gogoi said.
The CJI was delivering the 18th DP Kohli memorial lecture on the role of police in strengthening justice delivery in New Delhi.
"Why is it that whenever there are no political overtones to a case, the CBI does a good job?" he said.
"The current challenge is about how to make the CBI functional as an efficient and impartial investigation agency fully motivated and guided by the objective of service to the public at large upholding the constitutional rights and liberty of the people and capable of performing in an increasingly complex environment and times," Gogoi said adding that the historical trajectory of a nation is determined by the quality of its public institutions.
He also said that the government has accepted most of the recommendations of the judiciary on the improvement of police.
"However, in a number of high profile and political cases, the agency has not been able to meet the standards of judicial scrutiny. Such instances reflect systemic issues and indicate a deep mismatch between the institutional aspiration, work culture and governing politics," Gogoi said.
He said that the public perception of the CBI and the police must be of the highest degree.
"Any gap between public perception and institutional performance will adversely impact the governance of the nation. It has been a constant judicial endeavour to preserve, maintain and further the integrity and independence of the CBI," he added.
He also said that the Supreme Court has also, time and time again, interfered so the investigation agency can perform its job as the premier judicial agency. -- ANI
09:16 Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth's orbit, moving towards moon:
India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' left the earth's orbit early on Wednesday, 23 days after being launched, and is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said it has carried out a manoeuvre called 'Trans Lunar Insertion' at 2:21 am on Wednesday, following which the spacecraft has successfully entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 and land on lunar surface on September 7.
"Today (August 14, 2019) after the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver operation, #Chandrayaan2 will depart from Earth's orbit and move towards the Moon (sic)," the ISRO tweeted.
"During the final orbit raising of the spacecraft around the earth, the liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory," the space agency said.
Earlier, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times between July 23 and August 6.
The health of the spacecraft is being "continuously monitored" from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru, it said.
"Since its launch on July 22 all systems onboard Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normally," the ISRO said.
The spacecraft will approach the moon on August 20 and then the spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert it into lunar orbit, the ISRO said.
"Following this, there will be four orbit maneuvers to make the spacecraft enter its final orbit, passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon's surface," it said.
In a giant leap for the country's ambitious low-cost space programme, ISRO's most powerful three-stage rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 had launched the spacecraft into the orbit of the Earth on July 22 from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
According to ISRO, after 13 days of Moon-bound orbit phase, the lander 'Vikram' carrying rover 'Pragyan' will separate and after another few days of orbiting will soft land on September 7 in the South Pole region of the Moon, where no country has gone so far, according to the ISRO. -- PTI
08:57 Hong Kong airport resumes flights after protests:
The Hong Kong International Airport returned to normal operations on Wednesday, following clashes between police and protestors.
According to CNN, more flights appeared to be running on a schedule based on one of the departure boards at the airport.
Moreover, the airport was cleaned up and graffiti was covered up with white sheets of paper.
As scores of protestors blocked departure areas at the airport, flights from Hong Kong were cancelled or delayed for two days.
Hong Kong Police on Wednesday arrested five people for "possession of offensive weapons and assaulting officers".
"Police have arrested five persons for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, assaulting police officers and breaching of the peace," news agency Sputnik quoted the police's statement.
The Hong Kong government condemned the recent demonstrations of protesters at the airport which resulted in violence and attacks on police.
"The government severely condemns these violent acts, which are outrageous and have overstepped the bottom line of a civilised society. The Police will take relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice," the statement said.
Amidst the chaos, protesters detained a reporter for Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times and zip-tied him to a luggage cart.
Hong Kong has been in the throes of protests since early June. The demonstrations were triggered by a now-suspended bill which would allow suspects to be extradited to China to face trial.
08:40 Pak seeks emergency meeting of UNSC over Kashmir:
Pakistan has formally called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss India's move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday.
In video message, Qureshi said that he sent a formal letter to the president of the UNSC through Permanent Representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting.
Qureshi said that the letter will also be shared with all members of the UNSC.
"I have requested in the letter that a special meeting of the Security Council should be called to discuss those actions of India which we consider as illegal and against the UN resolutions," he said.
India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to "accept the reality".
Qureshi said that the decision to call for the UNSC meeting was taken in the meeting of high-profile National Security Committee meeting held last week.
Qureshi said Pakistan considered India's actions in Kashmir as a threat to the regional peace.
"It is a mistake on part of India if it thought that it could crush the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir," he said.
Qureshi said whole Pakistan will express solidary with Kashmiris on Wednesday.
Qureshi said that Kashmiris must remember that Pakistan stands with them and is ready to go to any extent for them. -- PTI