SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Geelani likely to meet Pak Foreign Secy
Jammu, November 6
Indications are that senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, will accept an invitation for a meeting from Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Riaz Ahmed Khan, who is scheduled to reach Delhi on November 14 for a meeting with his counterpart in India.

Bandh over ‘bias’ against Jammu
Jammu, November 6
A near-complete bandh was observed here in protest against "discrimination" with regard to the Jammu region as the secretariat and other government offices reopened today. The offices had closed in Srinagar last month for their move here.


Policemen arrest an agitator during a bandh called by the bjp and the Refugee United Front against the state government, in Jammu on Monday. — PTI
Policemen arrest an agitator during a bandh called by the bjp and the Refugee United Front against the state government, in Jammu on Monday.

Taxation Dept to be linked to national grid
Jammu, November 6
To plug loopholes and check pilferage of various commercial taxes, the Taxation Department of Jammu and Kashmir is being linked to the national grid.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu



EARLIER STORIES

 



Justice Ahmad heads Kashmir Working Group
Jammu, November 6
Justice Sagir Ahmad, a former judge of the Supreme Court, has been appointed Chairman of the Kashmir Working Group (KWG) on Centre-State relations.

Govt to retrieve encroached land from mafia
Jammu, November 6
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad trained his guns on the land mafia here today by announcing that more than 13 lakh kanals of the government land under their illegal occupation would be retrieved in the next few months.




Top








 

Geelani likely to meet Pak Foreign Secy
Our Correspondent

Jammu, November 6
Indications are that senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, will accept an invitation for a meeting from Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Riaz Ahmed Khan, who is scheduled to reach Delhi on November 14 for a meeting with his counterpart in India.

Reports said that a number of Kashmiri separatists have been invited by Mr Riaz Ahmed Khan and it was after over a year Mr Geelani would be accepting an invitation from a senior Pakistani bureaucrat. Soon after confidence building measures and peace process were initiated by Delhi and Islamabad Mr Geelani started criticising Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf, for having sidelined the Kashmir issue by giving weightage to trade and traffic between the two countries.

On three occasions Mr Geelani had turned down the invitation to Iftaar party hosted by the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi when prior to the peace process he used to be the first Kashmiri separatist leader to accept such invitations.

A couple of meetings between leaders of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference with President Gen Musharraf, in Islamabad had not been relished by Mr Geelani who continued to target the Pakistani establishment for having “compromised” on the Kashmir issue. Sources said that Mr Geelani had realized that by criticising Islamabad and rejecting invitation to iftaar parties hosted in the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi he had invited for himself nothing but isolation. As a result of this realisation he has decided to visit Delhi and meet the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan to convey a message to his detractors in the separatist camp that he had not been disowned by the establishment in Pakistan.

It is not yet known whether Mr Khan’s meeting with Kashmiri separatists will take place on the sidelines of the foreign secretary level conference or after the end of the meeting. On the other hand APHC leaders, who too have been invited, plan to convey to Mr Khan the need for accelerating the pace of Kashmir-centric talks so that the stage was set for involving them in the talks for ensuring a settlement of the dispute to the satisfaction of people of Kashmir. The APHC leaders, besides the Chief of the Tehrik Hurriyat Conference, have made it clear that neither self-rule nor the restoration of greater autonomy could resolve the Kashmir issue.

Top

 

Bandh over ‘bias’ against Jammu
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 6
A near-complete bandh was observed here in protest against "discrimination" with regard to the Jammu region as the secretariat and other government offices reopened today. The offices had closed in Srinagar last month for their move here.

The call for bandh was given by the BJP and the Refugees United Front in support of their demands.

Normal life was paralysed as shopkeepers pulled down shutters and commercial transport went off the road. The bandh passed off peacefully.

However, Vaishno Devi pilgrims and tourists faced problems as they had to walk from the railway station to the city with their luggage. Most of the colleges and schools remained closed.

Refugees took out a procession and burnt effigies of ministers on the Tawi bridge. Elaborate security arrangements were made around the secretariat and other parts of the city and armed policemen patrolled the streets.

The Chairman of the front, Mr Rajiv Chuni, said the refugees had organised the bandh against the failure of successive governments to permanently settle those displaced from PoK in 1947, 1965 and 1971.

The government had also not granted citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees who settled here in 1947.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told mediapersons that the resettlement issue could not be solved until all political parties reached a consensus. He suggested that the issue should be taken to the working group so that it could be discussed by all parties.

Meanwhile, activists of the Panthers Party organised a demonstration against the death sentence to Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq.

Mr Bhim Singh, Chairman of the party, said the court was “illegally”instituted against Saddam by US President George Bush. He described it as mock trial.

Top

 

Taxation Dept to be linked to national grid
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 6
To plug loopholes and check pilferage of various commercial taxes, the Taxation Department of Jammu and Kashmir is being linked to the national grid.

The Finance and Planning Minister, Mr Tariq Hameed Qarra, said here today that he expected that by September next, infrastructure would be created for the linkage that would help check pilferage of commercial taxes.

The system would provide information about the value of goods dispatched to the state from any part of the country.

Mr Qarra said a separate package was being installed for in-house e-governance of finances within the secretariat so that the position could be viewed at the click of a mouse. The system would be introduced within the next few months.

He said to remove complaints of red tape in clearance of bills by the treasuries, e-clearance of bills of government departments would be introduced shortly.

The Finance Minister said he had asked the Railways to surrender 60 kanals of the surplus land at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir, for construction of a high-tech toll plaza that would remove congestion of the national highway.

Top

 

Justice Ahmad heads Kashmir Working Group
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 6
Justice Sagir Ahmad, a former judge of the Supreme Court, has been appointed Chairman of the Kashmir Working Group (KWG) on Centre-State relations.

His appointment comes in place of Mr Ahmadi, a former Chief Justice of India, who had declined the offer.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the first meeting of the KWG would be held this month which would be followed by the third roundtable conference of all parties under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

He was confident that the National Conference would not act irresponsibly by withdrawing from the five working groups that had been constituted by the Centre to hammer out a solution to the Kashmir problem.

Mr Azad said that the National Conference (NC) being one of the oldest political parties, Dr Abdullah or his son, Mr Omar Abdullah, would not withdraw from the KWG.

Top

 

Govt to retrieve encroached land from mafia
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 6
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad trained his guns on the land mafia here today by announcing that more than 13 lakh kanals of the government land under their illegal occupation would be retrieved in the next few months.

He was talking to mediapersons on the reopening of the secretariat in the winter capital of the state here. He said the government would come down with an iron hand on those who had grabbed the land of the Revenue Department. Those indulging in land-grabbing under the garb of politics or media would also not be spared, he added.

He said he had retained the revenue portfolio with an aim to get the government land under the occupation of mafia identified.

He said while the Kashmir valley faced terrorism, the land mafia flourished in the Jammu region during the past 17 years. He did not rule out connivance of government functionaries with the mafia. There would be no compromise on the issue and those who had grabbed the government land, whether belonging to the ruling Congress, the PDP or the opposition National Conference, would be penalised and the land retrieved.

The Chief Minister said the government might think of launching a scheme to raise funds by disposing off the land after retrieving it from the encroachers.

He said the government had succeeded in bringing down custodial deaths and custodial disappearances to zero level.

He said the appointment of Deputy Commissioners besides other arrangements for the eight newly created districts would be made by March so that they could start functioning from the new financial year.

The priority would be to rebuild the infrastructure that was destroyed during militancy. About 1,000 junior engineers had been appointed for the construction activity. They would work in two shifts.

He said being a responsible political party, the National Conference could not disassociate itself from the five working groups that had been set up to find a solution to the Kashmir problem.

He said Justice Sagir Ahmed, a former judge of the Supreme Court, had been appointed chairman of the working group on the Centre-state relations in place of Mr Justice Ahmedi, who had turned down the offer. The meeting of the group was likely be held this month.

He ruled out the setting up of special economic zones in the state as he did not want to benefit the industry at the cost of the poor.

Replying to a question regarding party’s coalition partner PDP raising the issue of self-rule on public platforms, he said the point should be discussed in the particular working group so that a consensus could be arrived at. The NC should also discuss its autonomy plan in the working group. Raising such issues in the public would make it difficult to reach a consensus, he added.

 

Top

 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |