Saghar Lauds HRCP for Championing Kashmiri Rights

Islamabad, APHC AJK convener Mehmood Ahmad Saghar praised the Human Rights Council of Pakistan (HRCP) for its persistent efforts to bring international attention to the Kashmir dispute. He highlighted the council’s role in advocating for the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination amidst increasing tensions in the region.

According to Kashmir Media Service, during a meeting in Islamabad with a delegation from the HRCP led by Chairman Jamshed Hussain, Saghar acknowledged the council’s significant contributions to raising global awareness of the Kashmir issue. The discussion, which also included APHC-AJK leaders such as Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Imtiaz Wani, and Syed Ijaz Rahmani, focused on the ongoing challenges faced by the Kashmiri people under the current Indian administration. They compared the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the tactics employed by Israel, underscoring the severe impact on local populations.

Jamshed Hussain responded by commending the fortitude of the Kashmiri people against oppressive measures. He strongly criticized the violent suppression of the Kashmiri freedom movement by India, including widespread arrests and harsh restrictions. Imtiaz Wani, APHC-AJK’s Secretary of Information, stressed the importance of continuing to advocate for Kashmir at all levels to ensure their plight is recognized and addressed internationally.

Two Kashmiri Employees Suspended in Ganderbal Under Indian Occupation Regime

Srinagar, The Indian occupation authorities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir have recently suspended two employees, intensifying concerns over employment security for Kashmiris under current administrative practices.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the BJP-led government, with cooperation from the judiciary, is reportedly utilizing various departments to dismiss Kashmiri employees on unfounded allegations. This action is part of a larger strategy aimed at cleansing government departments of Kashmiri personnel to propagate its Hindutva ideology within the region. The individuals affected, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Shabir Ahmad Rather, served as Contingent Paid Workers in the Education Department of Ganderbal district. They were removed from their positions immediately following directives from the Nodal Officer MCC Ganderbal, with accusations of engaging in local political campaigns.

This incident adds to a growing list of over 160 government employees who have been discharged from their roles since 2019, under the BJP’s administration in the territory, highlighting a pattern of targeted dismissals among Kashmiri Muslim staff.

Pakistan Marks Inaugural International Day of the Markhor

Islamabad, Today, Pakistan celebrates the first ‘International Day of the Markhor,’ honoring its national animal and highlighting the species’ ecological importance. This special day was officially proclaimed by the United Nations on May 2nd, following a resolution sponsored by Pakistan and eight other countries, emphasizing the need to preserve the Markhor and its habitat.

According to United Nations Pakistan, the resolution acknowledges the Markhor, which was categorized as “near threatened” in 2014, as not only a national symbol of Pakistan but also a vital part of the global ecosystem. Mr. Mohamed Yahya, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, praised the Markhor’s significant ecological and economic roles. He linked its conservation to potential benefits such as bolstering the economy and promoting sustainable tourism, which aligns with the Government’s ‘Living Indus’ initiative.

Over the past decade, Pakistan’s targeted conservation efforts and community engagement have helped increase the Markhor population to between 3,500 and 5,000. However, the global population remains under 6,000 mature individuals due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and climate change.

The ‘International Day of the Markhor’ invites global participation in celebrating and conserving this unique species, known for its distinctive corkscrew-shaped horns and ability to navigate steep mountain terrains. This observance also supports the broader ‘Living Indus’ initiative, recognized by the UN Environment Programme as a ‘World Restoration Flagship’ project, focusing on environmental protection and restoration in the region.

Property of Hurriyat Activist Seized in Shopian by BJP Government

Srinagar, In a continued crackdown on Hurriyat activists, the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has confiscated property in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. The property, comprising 1 kanal and 10 marlas of land, belonged to activist Abid Ramzan Sheikh, located in the Chotipora area.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the government action is part of a broader campaign against individuals involved in activities demanding independence from Indian governance. Sheikh has been specifically accused of participating in movements advocating for the region’s freedom.

In a related security operation, Indian forces conducted a search in the Dardnar forest area of Kupwara district, where they reported finding RPG rounds, hand grenades, a pistol, and other ammunition.

State Tensions Outweigh Religious Divide as India’s Greatest Threat, Report Finds

Srinagar, As India concludes its sprawling electoral process, regional tensions between states are emerging as a more significant threat to national unity than the religious divides, as per a recent report. With the final 164 of 543 constituencies set to cast their votes by June 1, it is the discord among states, not just the Hindu-Muslim split, that could influence India’s stability.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the end of the electoral season may intensify regional rifts. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal are identified as critical due to their large voter bases and the phased nature of elections intended to curb political violence. The report highlights that regional disputes are sharpening, with accusations of external interference in West Bengal and the Trinamool Congress accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of inciting violence by involving “outsiders.”

The scenario is similar in southern India, where regional parties strongly oppose the BJP, framing their resistance as a fight against northern dominance and threats to state autonomy. Economic disparities and demographic shifts further contribute to the tensions, with southern states contributing more to the federal budget than they receive, and northern states poised for increased parliamentary representation due to population growth.

The current election campaign has shown that India faces a challenging road ahead in managing these regional tensions. The BJP’s confrontational stance towards regional opposition and the federal use of power against local leaders are exacerbating conflicts, risking a severe internal crisis that could undermine India’s democratic framework.

IG Punjab Orders Swift Justice in Gujranwala Torture Case

Gujranwala, Inspector General of Police Punjab, Dr. Usman Anwar, has ordered an immediate investigation into the brutal torture of a citizen within the jurisdiction of the Ahmad Nagar police station in Gujranwala. The incident, which has drawn sharp criticism and concern, prompted the IG to demand a thorough report from the Chief Police Officer (CPO) of Gujranwala and the swift arrest of those responsible.

According to Punjab Police, IG Punjab has directed the formation of special police teams under the supervision of SP Civil Line to ensure the rapid apprehension of the accused. Dr. Anwar emphasized that violence, abuse, and harassment against citizens cross a “red line” set by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, underscoring the urgency of bringing the suspects to justice and restoring the victim’s rights.

The CPO Gujranwala has responded by assembling response teams tasked with implementing the IG’s directives to address and rectify the severe breach of law and order, aiming to deliver swift justice to the victim.

FBR Chairman Inaugurates Advanced Regional Tax Office in Islamabad

Islamabad, In a significant move to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Chairman of the FBR inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art building for the Regional Tax Office (RTO) in Islamabad. This development is part of broader efforts to modernize the FBR and foster a culture of tax compliance and trust within the country.

According to Federal Board of Revenue, the new RTO building is equipped with the latest technology to improve taxpayer services and streamline tax collection processes. During the inauguration ceremony, the Chairman highlighted the facility’s role in boosting the organization’s capacity to manage tax affairs more effectively, especially during challenging economic times.

The Chairman stressed the importance of integrity and professional commitment among tax officers, urging them to adhere to the highest standards as they undertake their duties. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Member Administration/HR and Chief Commissioner RTO Islamabad, Ms. Sadia Sadaf Gilani, and Chief Projects Mr. Shahid Soomro, who provided a detailed presentation on the planning and design of the facility during the event.

Further, the Chairman expressed gratitude towards Pak PWD and other stakeholders whose continuous support was crucial in the successful completion of this project, marking a milestone in the FBR’s ongoing initiatives to enhance its operational capabilities.