3rd meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Statistics held

Islamabad, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): 3rd meeting of the Standing Committee on Statistics was held today under the Chairmanship of Dr.Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, MNA.The meeting started with the recitation from the Holy Quran.Then, the Committee decided to proceed with the agenda.The Committee confirmed the minutes of its previous meeting held on 27th February, 2018.

The Federal Secretary, Ministry of Statistics, Ms. RukhsanaYasmeengave a briefing regarding the compliance report on the recommendations of the previous meeting the Standing Committee. It was told that the issues being faced by the Ministry in framing the Terms of References and hiring the services of a third party to conduct audit of the 6th Population Census of Pakistan shall be tabled before the Council of Common Interest in its upcoming meeting for obtaining a conclusive decision in that regard. The Committee appreciated the steps taken by the Ministry to reflect the activities of the Standing Committee on Statistics on its web sites.

The Ministry also gave a detailed briefing on the Primary Sources of Data. It was told that the Industrial and Agricultural Surveys of Pakistan were being conducted every 10 years. The Committee, while stressing the importance of the statistics in policy making and planning, recommended the Ministry to conduct both the said surveys at least every 5 years. It was further recommended to explore new avenues of collecting and preparing statistical data involving issues such as working women, use of internet, water resources and consumption, climate change etc.

The Committee also recommended that the Ministry should take appropriate measures to overcome the problem of non-provision of data by the provinces as it was primarily the responsibility of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to collect and maintain statistical data. The Ministry apprised the Committeeregarding its plan to engage via MOUs the Statistical Departments of various Universities and Colleges to develop and introduce a text book on statistics. The Committee also considered and disposed of, on the recommendation of the Ministry, “The General Statistics (Reorganization) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 referred to the Committee on 2nd Oct, 2017 by the Government.

The meeting was attended by the Honourable MNA/Members Dr. ShezraMansab Ali Khan Kharral, Ms. RominaKhurshidAlam, Ms. SabihaNazir, Dr. Nafeesa Shah, Mr. Lal Chand Malhi and Mr. AqibUllahKhanMNA and senior officers from the Ministry of Statistics and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

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APSCC demands fresh probe into Chittisinghpora massacre

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, a Sikh representative organization, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), has demanded a fresh probe into the Chittisinghpora massacre in the territory in which 35 Sikhs were killed by Indian troops in 2000. Thirty-five members of Sikh community were killed in disguise by Indian troops in Chattisinghpora area of Islamabad district on March 20 in 2000 on the eve of the then US President, Bill Clinton’s visit to India.

The APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina in a statement issued in Srinagar said that although 18 years had passed since the massacre, no headway had been made in the case. The delay in justice has led to disillusionment among the members of Sikh community, he added. He urged the Indian government and its puppet administration in occupied Kashmir to go for fresh probe into the Chittinsinghpora massacre.

He said since the locals countered the claims of the authorities that the Indian forces killed five persons involved in the killing of 35 Sikhs, it was imperative that the whole incident be probed so that culprits were brought to book and justice delivered to the affected families.

It is important to mention here that Indian troops had orchestrated the Chittisinghpora carnage and put the blame on the Kashmiri freedom-fighters to defame their freedom movement. The troops had killed five persons and burnt their bodies beyond recognition in Pathribal area of the district a few days later on March 25 claiming that the killed were involved in the Chittisinghpora incident. However, later the investigations proved that the slain persons were local civilians, who were picked up by the Indian Army from different areas and were killed in a fake encounter.

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LoC tension may bring South Asia to brink of disaster

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Hurriyat forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has expressed serious concern over the efforts being made by India to buy weaponry on a large scale, complicating the already complex Kashmir dispute which has consumed thousands of lives over the past 70 years. A meeting of the forum’s Executive Council and General Council was held in Srinagar and presided over by its Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the other day.

The representatives of all the constituents of the forum participated in the meeting, which observed that that enhancing the defence capabilities will not resolve the Kashmir issue but instead will further complicate it.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq urged India and Pakistan to shun the confrontational approach and start a sustained dialogue process to resolve the long-pending Kashmir dispute. “Military approach adopted by India and Pakistan is going to yield nothing as neither can prove their superiority or settle the dispute militarily as both are nuclear powers,” he added.

The participants discussed situation on ground with regard to the ongoing freedom movement. “They expressed serious concern over the growing escalation between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary and urged the two nations to shun the confrontational approach and instead start a sustained dialogue to resolve the root cause of the tension which is the Kashmir dispute,” Hurriyat forum spokesman said in a statement after the meeting.

“All that being achieved by repeated ceasefire violations is death and destruction and great suffering for the people of the region for the past 30 years,” the spokesman said. “These violations may take an ugly turn and bring the region to the brink of disaster, anytime,” he warned.

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IOK JI seeks UN intervention for Kashmir settlement

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has sought intervention of the United Nations to address the Kashmir dispute, which is the root cause of bloodshed in the territory and tension between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control and the working Boundary.

The JI spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the Kashmiri people had been demanding their right to self-determination since 1947 but their genuine voice was being muzzled by India by the dint of state power as a result the civilian population was suffering and the people had been deprived of all the basic freedoms available to all human beings.

He said that thousands of people had been killed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir, thousands maimed, thousands detained and even the people were not being allowed to live a peaceful and free life. The populated areas are cordoned off at any time during the day or night and kept under the siege, he deplored.

The JI spokesman maintained that the sanity demands that genuine voice of people should be heard patiently and their grievances justly be redressed by holding tripartite dialogue among the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the governments of India and Pakistan to find an amicable solution to the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Meanwhile, the President of Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Professor Ghulam Muhammad Butt Al-Madni, in a statement urged the Ulema to highlight the Indian atrocities in the occupied territory. He also appealed to the world human rights organizations to play their role in defusing border tension between Pakistan and India.

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India has left us with no option but to fight back: Gilani

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani has said that India has left the people of Jammu and Kashmir with no option but to fight back with more will and vigour for liberation of their motherland from its illegal occupation.

Syed Ali Gilani while addressing the members of Majlis-e-Shoora of his party, Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, in Srinagar said that entire pro-freedom camp especially Tehreek-e-Hurriyat was facing hard times at the hands of Indian occupational forces.

“Gagging the political environment, jailing the entire man force of the organization and judicial onslaught against our workers has left us with no option but to fight back with more will and vigour,” he added.

The APHC Chairman said that by the grace of Allah Almighty he stood his stand despite testing times of jails, interrogations, domestic hardships, physical and psychological onslaught, but continued house arrest and restrictions on the interactions with his party colleagues for the past eight years had dented the function of the organization.

“So, I willfully step down from the chairmanship and advise the Shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest.” He extended his fullest cooperation and sincere wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization. Later, in a unanimous decision taken in the extraordinary meeting of TeH Majlis-e-Shoora, the highest decision making body, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was appointed as interim Chairman of the organization, said a TeH spokesman in a statement after the meeting.

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Waza demands withdrawal of Indian troops from IOK

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League (JKPL), Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, has demanded of India to withdraw its troops from the territory and pave the way for settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The JKPL Chairman while addressing people in Bijbehara and Awantipora areas said that permanent solution of the Kashmir dispute under its historical perspective was imperative for peace in South Asia.

He expressed concern over the plight of Kashmiri detainees languishing in different jails of India and occupied Kashmir. The JKPL chairman said India is illegally occupying Jammu and Kashmir and committing the worst human rights violations to prolong its occupation over the territory.

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Yechury asks for solving Kashmir issue politically

Srinagar, March 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the General Secretary of Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) Sitaram Yechury has said that Modi-led Indian government is tackling the Kashmir dispute only through military means, and urged talks with all stakeholders including Pakistan to settle it.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Yechury said Kashmir is a political problem and till talks aren’t held with all the stakeholders, this issue can’t be resolved. The CPI-M leader called for withdrawal of draconian law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), as a confidence building measure. He said that the eroded provisions of Article 370 of Indian Constitution should also be restored.

“The PDP-BJP Government in J and K is a biggest contradiction. Ever since Modi government took over, Kashmir is being tackled through military means only. …the recommendations of the interlocutors were never implemented,” he added. The CPI-M General Secretary for occupied Kashmir, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, said the BJP regime has closed all the doors for Kashmiris. “When any young Kashmiri boy goes for studies outside, he is dragged out of hostel and mercilessly beaten,” he said.

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