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Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan, Pakistani foreign minister and delegate to the United Nations made it clear on January 16, 1948 during the 228th meeting of the Security Council that Gilgat-Baltistan is the part of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Here is the part of his eloquent speech: “The population of Kashmir is distributed communally as follows: In Kashmir proper, apart from Jammu, 93.5 percent are Muslims. Sixty-two percent of the population of Jammu are Muslims. Gilgat, which is the high mountain region is entirely Muslim. The total area of the state, which is largely composed of high mountains and barren hills, is 82,000 square miles.

Now, if it is true that Pakistan plans to elevate Gilgat-Baltistan (G-B) to a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights, it will unwittingly disturb the disputed nature of the State of the Jammu & Kashmir. It will be akin to the unilateral action taken by Narendra Modi on August 5, 2019 when Article 370 & 35 A were abrogated. Both these actions will be in violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions # 91 of 1951 and 122 and 126 of 1957.

These resolutions categorically state: “Affirming that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the ‘All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’ and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.”

So as bottom lines go, say what you want about Gilgat Baltistan.  Do as you wish.  It will not affect the status of what constitutes the whole of Jammu and Kashmir or its parts as a disputed territory. 

The plan was announced by Ali Amin Gandapur, Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgat – Baltistan on September 17, 2020. He further said that people of GB would be given representation in the Senate and the national Assembly of Pakistan.

Obviously, if Pakistan makes Gilgat Baltistan the province of Pakistan, then India has all the right, perhaps not legal but as a matter of principle, to justify her stand that Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India. And on what justification will Pakistan protest? As the saying goes, what is good for the goose may also be good for the gander.

Mr. Gandapur’s intentions are not questionable but his statement is. He is a seasoned politician, coming from a province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), which has historically made lot of sacrifices for the cause of Kashmir.

Pakistan has continually made Indian-occupied Kashmir an international issue and brought it frequently to the attention of the UN for human rights abuses, and rightly so. Just this week, on September 14, 2020, Ambassador Munir Akram said, "He (Imran Khan) is expected once again to project the just cause of the Kashmiri people and call for action by the international community to halt India’s massive violations of human rights, rescind the unilateral measures imposed in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir since 5 August 2019 and promote a solution in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people." 

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India’s Ambassador to the United Nations, T S Tirumurti  has asked the UN Security Council to take off  the "outdated agenda item" of the "India-Pakistan question'', from the Council.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram responded, “Indian representatives are either deluding themselves, or deluding their public, by asserting that they will remove Kashmir from the Security Council’s agenda.”

“Indian indulgence into coercive diplomacy has no future. It cannot override the express commitments of permanent and non-permanent members of UN Security Council.” Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, President, Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights.

Summary statement by Mr. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General of matters of which the Security Council is seized, was issued on January 2, 2020. 56 items have been considered by the Council at a formal meeting during the period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019, while, as 13 items were not. However, all 69 agenda items were identified “as matters of which Security Council was currently seized,”  including “The India-Pakistan Question.”

It is worth mentioning here that an item can be removed from the agenda only in accordance with the basic rules of procedure governing the function of the Security Council. The removal can take place if the conflict has been resolved or there is a consensus among all 15 members of the Security Council to remove a particular agenda item. In case of Kashmir, none of these conditions apply. As we know that the presence of  the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), in Srinagar (The Capitol City of Jammu & Kashmir), affirms that the Kashmir dispute is a matter seized by the Security Council.

India calls Kashmir dispute “Outdated agenda item.” Much is being made of the fact that seven decades have passed since the principled solution for Kashmir was formulated by the United Nations with almost universal support. Mere passage of time or the flight from realities cannot alter the fact that these resolutions remain unimplemented until today. The United Nations resolutions can never become outdated or obsolete, or over taken by events or changed circumstances. The passage of time cannot invalidate an enduring and irreplaceable principle – the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. If passage of time were allowed to extinguish solemn international agreements, then the United Nations Charter should  suffer the same fate as the resolutions on Kashmir. If non-implementation were to render an agreement defunct, then the Geneva Convention in twenty-first century in many countries is in no better state than these resolutions.

The UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir are not of a routine nature. Their text was meticulously negotiated between India and Pakistan and it is after each provision was accepted by the two governments concerned that they were adopted by the Security Council. The assent of the two Governments was conveyed in writing to the Security Council. They thus not only embody a solemn international  agreement, but have been endorsed repeatedly by the Security Council and by successive United Nations representatives.

They explicitly recognize the right of the people of  Kashmir to determine the future status of their homeland. This right remains unaffected by the non-performance by either side of the provisions of the resolutions.

The idea that the dispute over the status of Jammu and Kashmir can be settled only in accordance with the will of the people, which can be ascertained through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, was the stand taken by India. It was supported without any dissent by the United Nations Security Council and prominently championed by the United States, Britain and other democratic states.

India’s Ambassador to the UN, Sir Gopalaswamy Ayyangar while presenting his government's case to the Council on 15 January 1948, stated, "The question … whether she [Kashmir] should withdraw from her accession to India, and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent with a right to claim admission as a member of the United Nations - all this we have recognized to be a matter for unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir." 

Mahatma Gandhi is known for his statement that “The will of Kashmiris is the supreme law in Kashmir."

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the founding prime minister of India said, “We have declared the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.” November 2, 1947.

Ambassador Warren Austin of the United States stated during Security Council meeting # 235 on January 24, 1948, “…When India accepted the accession of Kashmir, it made its act stand for a great principle by stating as a part of the acceptance, that it was conditional on fair plebiscite being held to determine the will of the people of Kashmir with respect to accession. I think an example was made in history at that point.”

United States, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles stated on 5 February 1957 that: "We continue to believe that unless the parties are able to agree upon some other solution, the solution which was recommended by the Security Council should prevail, which is that there should be a plebiscite;

India, however, was soon undeceived of its delusions over Kashmir's political yearning.  Recognizing that its people would never freely vote accession to India, it contrived excuse after excuse to frustrate a plebiscite.  When the United Nations proposed arbitration, a reference to the World Court, or any other method of resolving minor demilitarization quarrels, India nixed them all.  After a few years, it dropped all pretense of acceding to a referendum by unilaterally proclaiming its annexation of Kashmir. And on August 5, 2019, in violation of all international agreements, India abrogated Article 370 and 35A. India's proclamation has never been accepted by the United Nations, which continues to list Kashmir as disputed territory and subject to the Security Council's self-determination resolutions.

The people of Jammu & Kashmir are thankful to Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN for stating the principled position that the Kashmir conflict should be resolved under the UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council resolutions. He has been consistent in urging both India and Pakistan to initiate a process leading to a resolution of Kashmir problem and to avail of his assistance towards that end. Until now, India has made no constructive response to this offer, instead India has cautioned the Secretary General not to interfere in her ‘internal matters.’

 The Secretary General is empowered by the Charter of the United Nations to bring a matter of this nature to the attention of the Security Council. We fully realize, however, that, in the present circumstances and, given the policies and attitudes of the permanent members, this right and power of the Secretary General might advisably be held in reserve. Short of invoking Article 99, the Secretary General could help turn the situation towards a cessation of human rights violations and beginning of a dialogue among the three parties – the people of Jammu & Kashmir, India and Pakistan – by sending a ‘Special Envoy’ to the region to explore all possible options to settle the Kashmir dispute to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. Such a mission could visit all parts of Jammu & Kashmir as well as the capitols of both India and Pakistan and verify the truth of allegations from either side. The matter is much too urgent to be relegated to the routine mechanism of the Human Rights Council and the various bodies established to monitor various conventions.

 The Secretary General should also alert the P5 that the existing confrontation between India and china, and constant hostilities between India and Pakistan – all nuclear powers and share borders with Kashmir – will lead the whole region to the nuclear catastrophe with immense consequences for the whole world if Kashmir conflict remains unresolved.

We trust that the world powers in general and the United Nations in particular will bring immense moral and political influence to bear on initiating a peace process which will lead to a speedy, just and honorable settlement of the dispute and restore to the people of Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination.

 Dr. Fai is the Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum

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Shariful Islam, a Bangladeshi national, was shot dead charging by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in Baliadangi Upazila of Thakurgaon on 10th September 2020 when he was fishing on the Nagor river.

This incident again is showing the reality of border killing occurrence by BSF. It's time to consider the promise of the Indian government not to kill any Bangladeshi people in the border what was just the talks.

Many reports have presented the previous border killing issue where Bangladeshi national killed by BSF in recent years are utmost high. Reports also have highlighted the torture of Bangladeshi nationals to death in the border area what is inhuman.

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) shows that 15 Bangladeshi people had been killed along the Indo-Bangla border in 2018. The number rose to 43 last year. In this year, to date, 29 people were killed.

According to rights defenders, since 2000, more than 1000 Bangladeshis have been killed in the border areas and described the Indo-Bangla border as killing fields.

The torture scenarios of the victims are such as to pour petrol into the victim's mouth and rectum and to pull out all fingernails of the victims.

 The annual border guard director general-level talks will hold upcoming from the September 13th to18th at the BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) Pilkhana headquarters.

BGB DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam will lead the Bangladesh side while DG of BSF Rakesh Asthana will lead his country at the meeting.

According to information, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will talk about the issue of Bangladeshi people killing in the border by BSF. BGB officials said border killings would be the primary topic of discussion at the meeting.

Jatiya Sangsad committee on foreign affairs has discussed the border killing issue. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said that India assured Bangladesh about the border killing issue, which would be discussed further.

Contributed by: Halima Akter, Department of International Relations, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

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Bangladesh and Pakistan both retain a closer and bilateral relationship with Palestine. Both country support Palestine in the context of the war of Israel. These countries have criticized the brutality of Israel towards the Palestinian people.

From the view of Bangladesh, during the war of independence in 1971, Palestine and its leaders, including Yaseer Arafat, had opposed it. That time Palestine was too against Bangladesh and had supported Pakistan by blaming Bengali as "terrorists."

Time had gone, and the relations had turned to affinity during the October War in 1973 when the Palestinian's fight against Israel happened. At that moment, Bangladesh assisted by sending a medical team and relief supplies for Palestinians. Bangladesh was opposed to Israel's occupation in Palestine, as well as its massacres. Bangladesh is one of the 137 countries to recognize Palestine as a State since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988. The most notably high-level meeting between the two countries took place in 1974 at the Second OIC summit, where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Yaseer Arafat were present. Then Yasser Arafat visited Bangladesh in 1981 and 1987. A relationship with PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) became established at that period for which Bangladesh allowed the opening of a PLO office in the capital, Dhaka. Besides, a report as per the US Library of Congress, the Bangladeshi government reported in 1987 that – 8,000 Bangladeshi youths had volunteered to fight for the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Embassy of the State of Palestine is in Dhaka, which represents the excellent relationship between Bangladesh and Palestine. Overall, In the context of Palestinians, Bangladesh is committed to supporting it. Bangladesh does not maintain a direct or indirect diplomatic relationship with Israel.

Moreover, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met Grand Mufti of Al Aqsa Mosque and State of Palestine Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed Hossain at her official residence Gonobhaban. She said,"Bangladesh will continue to support the cause of Palestine and always stand by its people."

Still, now, Bangladesh supports Palestinians after the fact of the UAE (United Arab Emirate) agreement with Israel.

It has been remarked that Palestine supports Pakistan during the War of Independence, and it can be easily guessed that their relations are strong and entrenched. Pakistan is always a side of  Palestine. Pakistan is against Israel’s injustice occupation.

Very recently, after the UAE agreement with Israel, Pakistani Prime Minister said, His country will not recognize Israel.”“Whatever any country does, our position is very clear. And our position was made clear by (Pakistan’s founder) Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948 that we cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights and there is no just settlement”. He also mentioned that If Pakistan consented Israel and denied the Palestinians, they will lose Kashmir. He also believes if Pakistan supports Israel, they have to be responsible for it to Allah.

So there is a good relationship between Bangladesh and Pakistan with Palestine undoubtedly. Both countries are devoted supporters toward Palestine.

Halima Akter, Department of International Relations, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

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In March 2020, US President Trump tweeted that the Coronavirus was not as perilous as the flu. He calculated the confirmed cases and deaths from Corona-virus. He said, “Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year and asked people to think about that. Animal rights groups fear that that if the actual causes of Corona-virus disease made public, the people around the world might kill whole of the pig population in the world. On 15th March, President Trump extended travel ban on UK and Ireland as World Health Organization declared Europe the center of the pandemic beside China. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, eating of pig’s flesh has been forbidden. Deuteronomy 14:8 says about pig, “It is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses”.

From August 2018, China increased meat imports from the United States, Europe and Brazil as half of its pigs died of swine flu. China also eased restrictions on US beef imports and in November 2018 lifted a ban on US poultry and other meat shipments. China stared receiving meat shipments in refrigerated containers from US and other above countries. Officials of USA Poultry and Egg Export Council disclosed on the condition of anonymity that US had fair idea of Swine fever in most of the pig population in American farms but these pigs were culled and exported to China in refrigerated containers.

On 26 September 2018, the European Parliament (PE624.115v01-00 B8-0398/2018) passed resolution that African swine fever only affects pigs and wild boar and it not possible to treat or vaccinate against this disease. The parliament recognized that European Union is the world’s second largest exporter of pork, after China and number of cases of African swine fever came to light in Europe in mid-September 2018. The European Parliament thus calls on the Member States to apply the precautionary principle.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report regarding assessment of risk associated with influenza A(H5N8) virus dated 17 November 2016 revealed that human infection with the A(H5N8) virus cannot be excluded, although the likelihood is low, based on the limited information obtained to date. It should be noted that human infection with A(H5N6) of related clad has already occurred. In its report dated 13 November 2018, WHO reveled that humans can be infected with avian, swine and other Zoonotic influenza viruses, such as avian influenza virus subtypes A(H5N1), A(H7N9), and A(H9N2) and swine influenza virus subtypes A(H1N1), A(H1N2) and A(H3N2).

It is important to recall that a decade back, extensive Media coverage of H1N1 contributed to creating deep public fears in Egypt and other countries. Egyptian parliament discussed a law to prohibit raising pigs and argued rising of pigs in Islamic country. Egypt's lower house of parliament on 28 April 2009 called for the pigs to be slaughtered to resolve the issue of viruses once for all. Accordingly, after the approval from parliament, President Hosni Mubarak ordered the immediate culling of the country's 250,000 to 300,000 pigs while each farmer was to be given compensation of about 600 pounds (105 dollars) per animal. Mass protests by Christians and international NGOs in Egypt put a lot of international pressure that later led to toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s government. Hosni Mubarak resigned and formally handed over power to the Army's supreme command.

In 2018:  259 million pigs were slaughtered in the European Union. Pork exports represented 59% European Union’s total meat exports, and were valued at EUR 7.2 billion EUR. African Swine Fever (ASF) was declared in China in August 2018. The European Commission implemented  Decision (EU) 2020/281 of 27 February 2020 amending the Annex to Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/47 on took protective measures in relation to highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 in certain Member States (notified under document C(2020) 1248). In January 2020, Italian Police in Padua destroyed some 10 tons of pork infected with Swine fever. Italy has banned the import of Chinese pork in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. In February 2020, Taiwan imposed a ban on alive pigs and pork product imports from Italy in response to the corona-virus outbreak and Taiwan's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine deleted Italy from the list of Swine Fever free country. 

Despite the fact that Judaism, Christianity and Islam orders followers that pigs and its flesh are unclean and forbidden to eat or touch but people are still hiding that the “pigs” are root cause of corona-virus as also proved above. The announcement, “Europe the center of the pandemic” by World Health Organization, which is authority on health matters, is being overlooked and despite large number of Corona-virus positive cases in US, Europe and China, media is only focusing of cases surfaced in Muslim countries in Asia and Africa, especially Middle East. One wonders the world organization and world powers eliminated millions of humans around the world in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, Kashmir and elsewhere only because they held fundamentalist views but the epicenter and root case of Coronavirus disease is being patronized.  

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17th March, 1920 was the birth date of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Hischildhood spent in the ever greenand peaceful nature of village which was full of beauty and purity. The seed of great leadership was planted in the early stage of his student life. The combination of excellence of leadership and purity of soul is the key what made Sheikh Mujib our ‘Bangabandhu’ and our father of nation. That was his liberalism and love which was convinced Fidel Castro to declare that he had never seen Himalayan but Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He taught the world how to love a nation and country people, how to remain at the core position of peoples’ heart. He became the power of the gravity for Bangali nation but never misused the power to achieve political power.

Every successful teacher has successful students. Bangabandhu’s home-tutor, Kazi Abdul Hamid was the real inspiration and enlightener for him. From his school life, he became a great lover politics and country people. And Hossain Shohid Shohorawardy was Sheikh Mujib’s political idol for the entire life. He was incomplete without his family’s support. His father advised him that if he could work with sincerity of purpose and honesty of purpose, he would never be defeated in life. His wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa was the mental support for him who played both the role of father and mother for their children, as Mujibur Rahman had to spend almost his entire life in imprisonment. Sometimes he had to face hardline situations financially also but he never stopped working for our nation.

Of course that was not the era of globalization and information but voiced against famine and political deprivation. So it is surprising that it is the issue of our present day masses but how every people from every class knew Sheikh Mujib. The rickshaw pullers, fishermen and boatmen, for everyone he was ‘Mujib Bhai’ all over the country. That was nothing but his love made it possible not any technology. And our people in return loved, love and will love him forever.

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The word ‘freedom’ to Bangali nation means nothing but the commemoration of the rhythm of Joy Bangla. As spell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and presently her Mujibur Rehman’s daughter,they are able to achieve, secure and preserve Bangla freedom. No one can deny Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s ‘patriotism’ and it was, indeed, the only ornament with which he had decorated his entire life. Whenever Bangladesh and Bangalis will gain real freedom and freedom in life only then the dream of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman will come true. To materialize this dream, the elder daughter of Bangabandhiu Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been transforming and decorating Bangladesh and its people in a new form. She is moving ahead with unmatchable bravery like her father.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the fortune-creator of Bangali nation. In pursuit to loving his country and people of the country, he faced life-long imprisonment. People of this country fought against every restriction and sacrificed themselves to win freedom. In the path to freedom, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, thought that the creation of Pakistan would be the only way to gain liberty. But he had to surrender before British imperialism and diplomacy. The map of ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Hindustan’ which were created by Lord Clive, breaking of ethical brotherhood, the unveiling of religious politics are the revenges of English towards the entire India. But the Bangalis could not realize the diplomacy and fought for the partition and independence of Pakistan. Unfortunately Pakistan appeared as the newly created prison for them. Ruling authorities were busy in occupying power in the name of governance. How many Bangalis died in the process was not headache of the government rather their headache was that how the remaining surviving population could be crushed.

At this juncture, Mujibur Rehman noticed that leaders and individuals who struggled for the freedom and attainment of Pakistan were changing to gain power, however, Mujibur Rehman never changed. He was imprisoned without any crime and was compelled to stay far away from loving family was his close friend. But he never gave up. During that period of political crisis he was successful in building up a powerful opposition party ‘Awami League’ but had to suffer in the conspiracy of ‘Jukto Front’. However, despite all odds, Bandabandhu was strongly determined to attain liberty. He inspired Bangalis and managed to turn the 26 March’s genocide into War of Liberation. At last, Bangladesh achieved freedom. It was great sorrow that Sheikh Mujibur Rehman had to surrender in front of death in the blackest day of Bangalis' history. He was killed but his dreams never died. Now his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working to make those dreams into a reality and is successful in her mission.

At least 19 attempts were made to kill her but all failed and she survived by the grace of Almighty Allah. All these attempts on her life made her stronger and unbeatable. She has been awarded ‘Deshrotno’ for her service to country and people of Bangladesh. As she has also contributed a lot for environment protection and the earth, she was awarded as ‘Champion of The Earth-2015’.She is considered ‘Mother of Humanity’ worldwide as she did not sacrifice her conscience in order to secure national interest. Today the majority of Bangladeshis are bounded into the chain of ‘information technology’. This new form of geopolitics has emerged in which Great powers are leading the whole world not by war or trade but by social media. It is neo-Imperialism. Whenever Bangali nation would win real freedom from the political chain and would be able to learn how to utilize any new innovations perfectly, on that day the dream of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman will come into reality and Bangali nation win real freedom.


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Addressing joint press conference at Brussels, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said,  Albania will not change its position on giving shelter to members of an Iranian opposition group. He said, “Albania is proud of granting asylum to thousands of people whose lives were threatened by the Iranian government".

Since 2018 Albania has expelled an Iranian ambassador and several diplomats for activities against the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and others. In middle January this year Albanian Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj declared two Iranian diplomats namely, Mohammad Ali Arzpeima Nemati and Ahmad Hosseini Alast, as persona non grata and asked to leave Albania. Albania is also promoting Sufism including Bektashi group that remained target of Iran.

Earlier, in a casual talk, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was talking about regime change in Iran. NATO countries including Albania are hosting the members of Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization. Besides US and UK, Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization has its members in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.  

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Lieutenant General Subrata Saha, Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Planning and Systems) who also served as General Officer Commanding 15 Corps, Srinagar, called on Governor N.N. Vohra in Jammu on 30 January 2017. He discussed with the governor about the strategy to shift freedom movement in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir from Islam to Azadi. If we recall,

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By Afshain Afzal

Sixteenth December is a dark day in the history, which Pakistani nation will never forget due to separation of Eastern wing of Pakistan from its Western wing.

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