The Indian government revoked the special status accorded to Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.
A presidential decree issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders.
The move has worsened the already-heightened tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, which downgraded its diplomatic relations with India.
India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory. A rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir has been ongoing for 30 years.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, September 28
Besieged Kashmiris hail Imran Khan’s UN speech
Firecrackers were burst and slogans shouted in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir, immediately after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ended his belligerent speech at the United Nations on Friday.
In his UN General Assembly address to the world leaders, the Pakistani leader said he feared there could be a “bloodbath” in Kashmir when the security lockdown in place since early last month is lifted.
Read more here.Â
Indian security forces kill 4 rebelsÂ
Security forces have killed four rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir. Three fighters were killed in the Batote market area of Jammu where, according to officials, they had taken a local civilian hostage inside his house. The hostage was recued unharmed, a spokesman for the central reserve police force said.
Another rebel was killed in an encounter in Kangan in the north of the region, Dilbagh Singh, director general of Jammu and Kashmir police told AFP news agency. Singh also said the rebels had thrown a grenade in the Safakadal area of Srinagar city but that no one was injured in the incident.
Security forces had tightened restrictions in Kashmir and the Hindu-majority Jammu region on Friday, fearing protests ahead of speeches at the UN by the leaders of India and Pakistan.
Friday, September 27
Imran Khan: What will Modi do when Kashmir curfew is lifted?
Pakistan’s Khan warns ofÂ ‘bloodbath’ in Kashmir
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned the United Nations General Assembly ofÂ a “bloodbath” in Indian-administered Kashmir, whichÂ has been under lockdown since New Delhi scrapped its semi-autonomous status in early August.
Khan said armed forces there would turn on the population after the curfew was lifted.Â “There are 900,000 troops there, they haven’t come to, as Narendra Modi says – for the prosperity of Kashmir… These 900,000 troops, what are they going to do? When they come out? There will be a bloodbath,” he said.
Read more here.
LIVE: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the 74th session of the #UNGA.
Follow latest updates: https://t.co/2Y0TL05w9nhttps://t.co/AWwAtA5rUr
â€” Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) September 27, 2019
Kashmiris shout slogans at a protest site after Friday prayers in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Demonstrators at a ‘Stand with Kashmir’ protest in solidarity with the people of Kashmir outside the UN headquarters in New York [Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]
Kashmir lockdown limits people’s access to mental healthcare
India’s Modi dodges mention of Kashmir in UN speech
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broadly denounced “terrorism” at the United Nations but avoided any direct mention of Kashmir, where 7 million people have been put under an unprecedented security lockdown since August 5.
Modi told world leaders gathered at the annual UN General Assembly that India’s “voice against terrorism … rings with seriousness and outrage”.
“We belong to a country that has given the world, not war, but Buddha’s message of peace,” said Modi. “And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage.”
India’s Modi addresses UNGA amid Kashmir lockdown
Thursday, September 26
US wants Kashmir restrictions lifted
The US has said it wants India to quickly ease restrictions imposed in Kashmir, a senior official said after President Donald Trump met the leaders of both India and PakistanÂ on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
“We hope to see rapid action – the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained,” Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia, told reporters.
She also said that Trump was “willing to mediate if asked by both parties” – although she noted that India has long rejected any outside role.
“The United States is concerned by widespread detentions, including those of politicians and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.”Â
“We look forward to the Indian government’s resumption of political engagement with local leaders and the scheduling of the promised elections at the earliest opportunity,” she added.
Opinion: Ruins of British empire on fire
Continued mayhem in Palestine, increasing bloodshed in Kashmir, mass protest in Hong Kong – how do we connect these dots? Are they related?
Well, of course: The sun never set on the Union Jack! In the sunset of that empire – as is inevitable for all empires – chaos and turmoil were destined to follow.
“The world is reaping the chaos the British Empire sowed,” Amy Hawkins recently wrote in Foreign Policy, “locals are still paying for the mess the British left behind in Hong Kong and Kashmir.”
Read more here.
A masked Kashmiri man takes part in a protest during restrictions in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Itâ€™s been 52 days since a brutal lockdown was imposed in Kashmir. Hope world leaders in UNGA speak up. @jacindaardern @JustinTrudeau @unhrcpr @BernieSanders @AOC @IlhanMN @RashidaTlaib @RepJayapal @RoKhanna @jeremycorbyn @RCorbettMEP @davidakaye @CharlesMichel @trpresidency pic.twitter.com/2wpLZxEhyg
â€” Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 26, 2019
Wednesday, September 25
Crackdown on lawyers narrows road to justice in Kashmir
For nearly a month, Shafia Ganai, a softly-spoken 19-year-old undergraduate student of sociology in northern Kashmir’s Bandipora, has visited the police station every day.
“The security forces took my brother Mohsin, a quarry worker, in a raid on our neighbourhood on August 16,” she said. “When I go to the station, the police ask me to come the next day, that they will release him in one or two days. But 27 days have gone past like this.
Read the full story here.
Kashmir teens taken away and tortured: Report
A team of five Indian women visited Indian-administered Kashmir from September 17 until 21 to put together a fact-finding report about the situation in the region. The group, made up of members of various NGOs, visited 17 villages across Kashmir to witness the realities on the ground after India’s decision to strip the state of its autonomous status, a press release said.
“Abrogation has united the people of Kashmir, and every one of them feel that this is the last blow on them,” said Annie Raja from the group.Â “Every woman we met had a sorry story to tell. Their boys are being picked up by the army,” she said.
“[They have been] waiting and waiting for their 14, 15, 17, 19-year-old sons. Their last glimpse is embedded in each heart, they dare not give up hope, but they know it will be a long wait before they see their tortured bodies or their corpses.”
Tuesday, September 24
Trump reiterates offer to mediate Kashmir crisis
US President Donald Trump has reiterated an offer to mediate between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir, a flashpoint of recent tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours, but says he will only do so if both countries accede to the offer.
Trump met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, a day after accompanying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a political event in Houston.
Read more here.
Erdogan says dialogue ‘imperative’ for solution in Kashmir
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for dialogue to resolve the row between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
“In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision,” Erdogan said in his address at the UN General Assembly session in New York.
Erdogan criticised the international community for failing to pay attention to the conflict, and said that the stability and prosperity of South Asia could not be separated from the Kashmir issue.
Monday, September 23
Kashmir in focus at Muslim Day Parade in New York
The 35th annual Muslim Day Parade marched down New York’s Madison Avenue on Sunday afternoon, with a strong focus on Kashmir and Muslim unity.
Organisers estimated that nearly 3,000 people attended the parade, which celebrated Muslim Americans of different heritage.
Read more here.
Kashmir unrest prevents students from returning to school
Sunday, September 22
Ironic that a move ostensibly taken to secure â€œspecial interestsâ€ of J&K gets cheered on everywhere except in the state thatâ€™s it meant to benefit. While people in Kashmir have been gagged , mass hysteria is orchestrated elsewhere to justify this decision. https://t.co/Z3cr3BkqDr
â€” Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 22, 2019
In Pictures: Night raids, arrests amid Kashmir lockdown
In the weeks since Kashmir’s lockdown, hundreds of elected politicians, activists and trade unionists have been imprisoned or put under “house arrest”. Thousands of young men – including minors – have been arrested in night raids by the police, with many transported to jails outside the state.
Despite criticism from human rights organisations, India says its actions are legal under the strict emergency laws in place in Kashmir since an armed rebellion began there in 1989.
The photos hereÂ show the effects of the forced disappearances of young men on their families and how the communities in Kashmir are responding to – and resisting – the crackdown.
Why has the Indian government militarized Kashmir, and what does Israel have to do with it? pic.twitter.com/K0g5c05dro
â€” AJ (@ajplus) September 22, 2019
Counter-demonstrators at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ rally outside NRG Stadium in Houston [Jonathan Bachman/Reuters]
The Kashmir blackout is over 40 days old. 8 million people are under lockdown. In the worldâ€™s most militarised zone. pic.twitter.com/wzOsmMeCCz
â€” Amnesty International (@amnesty) September 22, 2019
Saturday, September 21
Kashmiris struggle to meet loved ones in Indian jails
Hameeda Begum described her arduous journey from the Himalayan region of Indian-administered Kashmir to the hot and humid room in Agra Central Jail in northern Uttar Pradesh state, where the exhausted 70-year-old was waiting to see her son.
A man in his early twenties offered her a bottle of water, saying, “Don’t lose hope. You are not alone.” Hameeda drew a long sigh, placed her hand on the man’s hand and spoke in a barely audible voice: “May God give us patience.”
Read the full story here.
Friday, September 20
Kashmiris shout slogans during a protest after Friday prayers in Srinagar [Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters]
We abrogated Article 370 and 35A as these were amongst the principal reasons that Kashmir was almost cut off from India when it comes to economic development and growth: @PiyushGoyal pic.twitter.com/vEVoufcGNA
â€” Piyush Goyal Office (@PiyushGoyalOffc) September 20, 2019
Thursday, September 19
Abdullah’s arrest leaves India with few allies in Kashmir
The detention of pro-India politicians and the crackdown against their party members in Indian-administered Kashmir indicate a further shrinking of New Delhi’s allies in the region. For most of the past five decades, the National Conference (NC) party headed by the influential Abdullah family has been synonymous with the Indian politics in the Jammu and Kashmir state.
But things changed on Monday – the 42nd day of the ongoing Kashmir lockdown – when the family’s patriarch and NC president Farooq Abdullah was arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a law that allows detention without trial for two years.
Read more here.
Apples rot as lockdown puts Kashmir economy in tailspin
It is harvest time, but the market in the northern Kashmiri town of Sopore – usually packed with people, trucks and produce at this time of year – is empty, while in orchards across India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, unpicked apples rot on the branch.
A market in Sopore, a town known locally as “Little London” for its lush orchards, big houses and relative affluence, was deserted, its gates locked. “Everyone is scared,” a lone trader, rushing to an adjoining mosque for morning prayers, told Reuters news agency. “No one will come.”
Apples are the lifeblood of Kashmir’s economy, involving 3.5 million people, around half the population of the state. Read the full story here.
A Kashmiri woman looks out from a window of a mosque at a protest site after Friday prayers in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Wednesday, September 18
Khan warns Pakistanis against joining anti-India fight in Kashmir
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned citizens against joining the fight in Kashmir, saying the Indian authorities were waiting for “any excuse” to crack down on the residents in the Himalayan territory.
“If someone from Pakistan goes to India and he thinks he will fight in Kashmir… the first person he will be inflicting cruelty on is the Kashmiris. He will have acted as an enemy of the Kashmiris.” Khan said during a speech in Torkham on the border with Afghanistan.
Read the full story here.
Pakistan denies Modi permission to fly across its airspace
The Pakistan government has said it will not grant India’s request for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his September 20 flight to Germany.
“Keeping in mind the situation in occupied Kashmir, India’s attitude, and the ongoing oppression, tyranny and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a video statement.
Pakistan condemns India over ‘jingoistic rhetoric’
Hours after Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a news conference that the Pakistani-controlled Kashmir is “part of India and we expect one day that we will have the… physical jurisdiction over it”, Islamabad fired back at New Delhi’s “jingoistic rhetoric”.
“We strongly condemn and reject the inflammatory and irresponsible remarks made by the Indian external affairs minister,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said. “Such irresponsible and belligerent statements have the potential to further escalate tensions and seriously jeopardise peace and security in the region.”Â
Monday, September 16
Malala’s tweets on Kashmir face India backlash
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai’s call to the world leaders attending the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York to help children in Indian-administered Kashmir to “go safely back to school” has faced a backlash in India.
I am asking leaders, at #UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school.
â€” Malala (@Malala) September 14, 2019
The ruling BJP party’s legislator Shobha Karandlaje asked the 22-year-old Pakistani activist to “spend some time speaking with the minorities” in her country on their “forceful conversion and persecution”.
Sincere request to the Nobel winner, to spend some time speaking with the minorities of Pakistan.
To speak against the forceful conversation & persecution taking place on the minority girls in her own country!
Developmental agendas got extended to Kashmir, nothing suppressed! https://t.co/Um3BmGuJwi
â€” Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) September 15, 2019
Indian journalist Barkha Dutt said she was “disappointed” Yousafzai had waded into a “cliched Pakistan state narrative”.
Disappointing to see @Malala wade into cliched Pakistan state narrative about #Kashmir when the hard truth is that she can never even return to her own country because she was shot for the rights of girls to go to school.
â€” barkha dutt (@BDUTT) September 15, 2019
Kashmir crackdown: Restore normal life, says India’s top court
Restore normal life in Kashmir: Supreme Court
India’s top court said the federal government should restore normal life in Kashmir as soon as possible, as a partial shutdown of the disputed region entered its 42nd day.
Some of those curbs have been relaxed, but mobile communications in the Kashmir Valley are largely still blocked, and more than a thousand people are likely to still be arrested, according to official data.
“We direct Jammu and Kashmir to make the very best endeavour to make sure normal life returns,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said after a panel of three judges heard several petitions relating to Kashmir.
India arrests senior Kashmir leader
Pro-India Kashmiri politicianÂ Farooq Abdullah, 82, has beenÂ arrested under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial. “We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be,” said Muneer Khan, a top police official.
The three-times chief minister ofÂ the Muslim-majority state wasÂ arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA), under which rights activists say more than 20,000 other Kashmiris have also been held in the last 20 years.
Amnesty International has called the PSA a “lawless law”, accusing India of using the law to stifle dissent and circumvent the criminal justice system.
Read more here.
Sunday, September 15
’20 protests a day’ in Kashmir despite lockdown
Kashmir has seen an average of nearly 20 protests a day against Indian rule over the last six weeks despite a security lockdown to quell unrest, a senior government source told AFP news agency.
Altogether there have been 722 protests since August 5, with the main city of Srinagar, Baramulla district in the northwest and Pulwama in the south being the biggest hotspots, the source said. Nearly 200 civilians and 415 security forces have been wounded, according to the source.
So far, more than 4,100 people – including 170 political leaders – have been detained across the valley, with 3,000 released in the past two weeks, the official said.
Kashmiris shout slogans at a protest held in Srinagar on Friday [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Saturday, September 14
#WATCH Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik: When I came to take charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister told me that make J&K shine so much that people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) wish to cross border, come here, and say ‘this is our Kashmir’. pic.twitter.com/uvfPx5XdRB
â€” ANI (@ANI) September 14, 2019
Pakistan says India fire kills soldier, woman in Kashmir
India and Pakistan have traded fire along their highly militarised frontier in the disputed Kashmir region, Pakistani officials said, leaving a Pakistani soldier and a woman killed. The two nations regularly exchange fire along the so-called Line of Control, which splits Kashmir between them.
Pakistani local administrator Raja Tariq said shelling hit villages in the Nakyal area, killing the woman and wounding six others. Police and local officials said Indian fire in other sectors of Pakistan-administered Kashmir also destroyed a house, partly damaged a school, and hit a shed for cows and goats resulting in the animals’ deaths. Pakistan’s military also said Indian troops opened fire “unprovoked” in the Hajipir sector, killing a soldier.
Imran Khan on ‘genocide’ in Kashmir and possible war with India | Talk to Al Jazeera
Friday, September 13
Pakistan PM holds Kashmir solidarity rally
At a rally in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan said India’s crackdown in Kashmir cannot continue and it mayÂ drive more of the world’s Muslims into “extremism”.
“When atrocities get to their peak, people would prefer that death is better than this insulting life,” Khan said in Muzaffarabad. “I want to tell India that, by detaining thousands of people, you are pushing people into extremism,” he said.
Khan said he would raise the issue at the UN General Assembly and “every international platform”.
Read the full story here.
India: Kashmir tensions affect Nagaland peace talks
Gates Foundation criticised over award to India’s Modi
A decision by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to honour Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his campaign to improve sanitation in India has come under fire from activists and members of the civil society, who have urged the philanthropic body to withdraw the award.
The award comes in recognition of the Hindu nationalist leader’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) programme under which millions of toilets have been built. But activists sayÂ hygiene and cleanliness cannot compensate for rights abuses against the minorities in Kashmir and other parts of India.
Read the full story here.
End Kashmir blockade: US legislators in letter to Pompeo
In a letter dated September 11 and tagged in a tweet,Â CongresswomanÂ Pramila JayapalÂ in the House of Representatives and Congressman James P McGovernÂ have asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press the Indian government to immediately end the communications blackout in Kashmir.
The letter says international media and independent human rights observers must be allowed into Jammu and Kashmir “to investigate reports of abuse”.Â The legislators also expressed concern over the surge in “attacks against religious minorities throughout India” in the letter.
“Multiple reports indicate that over 3,000 people have been indefinitely detained by Indian authorities without any charges, some as young as 11 years old,” the letter said.
Thursday, September 12
Opinion: India’s actions have made Kashmir separatism mainstream
“On June 11, 2010, I came face to face with the sad and violent reality of my homeland, Kashmir, for the first time in my life. I was leaving my tuition centre in the downtown area of the capital Srinagar when I heard shots. Within minutes, panic took over the street and hundreds of students started running in all directions to find cover.
As I looked for somewhere to hide, I saw the body of a young man lying motionless on the ground. He was covered in blood and his eyes were firmly shut. I knew he was dead.”
Read the full article here.
Thousands arrested in Kashmir crackdown: Official data
Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested nearly 4,000 people since the scrapping of its special status last month, government data shows, the most clear evidence yet of the scale of one of the disputed region’s biggest crackdowns.
A government report dated September 6 and seen by the Reuters news agency, said more than 3,800 people were arrested, though about 2,600 have since been released.
It was not clear on what basis most of the people were being held, but an Indian official said some were held under the Public Safety Act, a law in Jammu and Kashmir state that allows for detention for up to two years without charge.
Why Saudi, UAE don’t condemn India over Kashmir
Last week, the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) travelled to Islamabad in a symbolic show of solidarity with Pakistan after New Delhi stripped the Indian-administered Kashmir of its autonomy.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir held meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, powerful military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi but stayed away from issuing strong words against India.
Read the full story here.
Indian PM Narendra Modi receives a medal during his induction to the Order of Zayed from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) in Abu Dhabi on August 24 [WAM via AP]
Indian police intercept weapons ‘headed for Kashmir’
Three men suspected of belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad group have beenÂ arrested while transporting weapons and ammunition towards Indian Kashmir, police said. Four AK-56 assault rifles, two AK-47s, 6 magazines and 180 rounds were seized, said police official Shridhar Patil.
“The truck was coming from [Indian state of] Punjab and was on its way to Kashmir. We are investigating where exactly they picked up the ammunition from,” Patil told a news conference.
Pakistan’s president asks India to lift Kashmir curbs
Pakistan’s President Arif AlviÂ has called on India to immediately lift all restrictions on people inÂ Indian-administered Kashmir. During aÂ speech in parliament, he also condemned continued human rights violations in the disputed region.
Alvi’s speech came a day before Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to address a rally in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to express solidarity with the people in the Indian part of Kashmir.
Wednesday, September 11
Opinion: Pakistan is no friend of Kashmir, either
“In a recent opinion piece penned for the New York Times, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the world to wake up to the conflict in Kashmir because if it does not, there is a risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. Like previous Pakistani premiers, he sought to present Pakistan as a champion of the Kashmiri cause.
While the world indeed needs to take action on ongoing crackdown and rights abuses in India, it should not overlook the role Pakistan has played in the Kashmiri tragedy. Over the past decades, it has shown little commitment to Kashmiri self-determination.”
Pakistan sees risk of ‘accidental war’ over Kashmir
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir risks sparking an “accidental war”, and urged the UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit the troubled region.
“If the situation persists… then anything is possible,” Qureshi saidÂ on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, even as heÂ ruled out the possibility of bilateral talks to resolve the tensions.
Pakistan wants a multilateral forum or a third-party mediator to discuss Kashmir, while India insists it is an internal Indian affair.
Suspected rebel behind attack on trader’s family killed
Security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir shot dead Asif Maqbool Bhatt, a suspected member of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group, accused of attacking the family of a fruit trader, the state police chief Dilbagh Singh told Reuters news agency.
Last week, rebels attacked the home of a fruit trader in Sopore, the region’s main fruit-growing area, for carrying on with his business despite widespread protest boycotts, wounding his son, granddaughter and another family member, Indian authorities said.
Authorities said hundreds of apple trucks have been moving out of Sopore, 45 kilometres from the main city of Srinagar, to deliver their produce to the rest of the country in what they call a “sign of normalcy”.
In this August 26, 2019 photo, Kashmiri baker Sonaullah Sofi lifts the shirt from his son’s back to show torture marks allegedly caused by Indian army soldiers in the southern village of Parigam [Aijaz Hussain/AP]
Tuesday, September 10
Pakistan FM warns of accidental war
Pakistan’s foreign minister has warned thatÂ India’s “illegal occupation” of Muslim-majority Kashmir region could drive the two nuclear-armed countries “into an accidental war”, while also accusing New Delhi of turningÂ KashmirÂ “into the largest prison on this planet”.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking to reporters at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, accusedÂ India of “acting irresponsibly” and “being belligerent”.Â
“If there is a false flag operation, which we fear, and they use it as a pretext and carry out some misadventure against Pakistan, we will respond and we will respond with force,” he said.Â
Kashmiris allege abuse by India army
Residents in a dozen villages have accused Indian soldiers of multiple human rights abuses – including beatings and electric shocks, forcing them to eat dirt or drink filthy water, poisoning their food supplies andÂ threatening to take away and marry their female relatives.
An Indian army spokesman in the main city Srinagar, dismissed the accounts as “completely baseless”.
Read more here.
‘Less heated’ tension between India, Pakistan
US President Donald Trump said the tension between India and Pakistan was “less heated”Â now compared to two weeks ago. He reiterated his offer to help if the two countries approached him.
“India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think [it] is a little bit less heated right now than [what] was two weeks ago,”Â Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
“I get along with both countries very well. I am willing to help them if they want. They know that the [offer] is out there,” he said.
During a meeting with the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered mediation on the Kashmir issue. But India has refused mediation by a third party.
Monday, September 9
UN rights chief ‘deeply concerned’ over India actions in Kashmir
The United NationsÂ human rights chief on Monday voiced alarm over the situation in Kashmir, pointing among other things to “restrictionsÂ on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists”.
“I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris,” Michelle Bachelet said in her opening statement to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva.
Bachelet said she had urged both the countries to ensure that rights in the region were respected and protected.Â But she said she had “appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews, to ensure people’s access to basic services, and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed Bachelet’s comments in a series of tweets on Monday, and called on the UNHCR to form an independent commission to investigate human rights atrocities in Indian-administered Kashmir.Â
I welcome the growing concern & demands by the int community, global ldrs, UNSG & UNHCHR, for India to lift its 6-week long siege of IOJK. The Int community must not remain indifferent to the massive human rights abuses by Occupation Indian forces under cover of a brutal siege
â€” Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 9, 2019
Pakistan arrests protesters after pro-independence Kashmir rally
Police have arrested at least 22 people at a pro-independence protest in Pakistan-administeredÂ KashmirÂ after clashes broke out between authorities and demonstrators, according to police and activists.
The clashes took place on Saturday near the village of Tatrinote, about 80km south of the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, and close to the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistan-administered portions of the disputed territory.
Read more here.
Sunday, September 8
India tightens lockdown over Muharram processions
Indian authorities have tightened the month-long security lockdown in the main city of Srinagar after breaking up the Muharram processions by mostly Shia Muslims who defied a ban.
Police drove around the city from early Sunday, asking the residents “not to venture out of their homes”. TheÂ AFP news agency reported at least two processions with eight to 10 mourners, who were detained and taken away by police, who were also seen hitting the mourners with bamboo sticks.
Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar which started on September 1 this year, marks the anniversary of the death of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Most such processions have been banned in Indian-administered Kashmir since an armed rebellion against New Delhi’s rule began in 1989.
Kashmiri Shia Muslims raise are detained by Indian police while trying to participate in a Muharram procession in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Saturday, September 7
India: Lifting of Kashmir curbs ‘depends on Pakistan’
The lifting of communications restrictions in Indian-administered Kashmir depends on Pakistan stopping deploying “terrorists” and fomenting unrest there, India’s national security adviser (NSA) has said.
NSAÂ Ajit Doval said that “100 percent” of landlines are now working but that a further easing depends on Pakistan, which he said has sent 230 armed fighters into the region.
“Lifting the [restrictions on]Â communications depends on how Pakistan behaves,” Doval told reporters. “We are determined to protect the lives of Kashmiris from Pakistani terrorists even if we have to impose restrictions.”
India president’s request to use Pakistani airspace denied
Pakistan says it has refused a request by India’s President Ram Nath Kovind to fly through its airspace due to New Delhi’s recent “behaviour”.
“The Indian president had sought permission to use Pakistan’s airspace to travel to Iceland but we decided not to permit him,”Â Pakistani Foreign MinisterÂ Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement,Â without giving further details. There was no immediate comment by India.
Read more here.
Friday, September 6
Landline phones back, but calls ‘don’t go through’
The administration in Indian-administered Kashmir said landline telephone service has been restored. But people lined up at offices or homes that have landline telephones to try to contact family and friends after the long wait, but many were unable to get through after repeated attempts.
“Our landlines have been restored but we are still unable to talk to people. It is frustrating. I have been trying to call people since morning, but I am not getting through,” said Syed Musahid in Srinagar.
Many Kashmiris living outside the region also said they were having trouble getting in touch with their families in Kashmir. “I kept trying a hundred times to reach my family in Kashmir, and only then did my call go through,” said Bint-e-Ali, a Kashmiri in the Indian city of Bengaluru.
06 Sep, 2019
Statement on FIR against me filed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police
I have learnt from media reports that the Special Cell of the Delhi Police has filed an FIR against me for speaking out on the clampdown in Kashmir and the denial of basic rights to Kashmiris. pic.twitter.com/8GjJzCYo04
â€” Shehla Rashid Ø´ÛÙ„Ø§ Ø±Ø´ÛŒØ¯ (@Shehla_Rashid) September 6, 2019
Chaos and crisis in Kashmir hospitals
For the past two weeks, Mohamad Shafi has been at the bedside of his 13-year-old son Rafi, who has been admitted to the nephrology ward of a state-run hospital in Indian-administered Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar.
Shafi is tired and has hardly had much sleep, but the 54-year-old is prepared to stay at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital for as long as it takes.
Read the full story here.
India throttling Kashmir media, report says
India’s government is muzzling Kashmir’s media as part of the lockdown it imposed on the disputed region a month ago, according to a new report by the Network of Women in Media, India and the Free Speech Collective.
The study said reporters were being subjected to surveillance, informal investigations and harassment for publishing reports considered adverse to the government or security forces.
Titled “News Behind The Barbed Wire”, its findings reveal “a grim and despairing picture of the media in Kashmir, fighting for survival against the most incredible of odds”.
Pakistan army accuses India of ‘state terrorism’
Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed BajwaÂ has accused India of being responsible for “state terrorism” in Indian-administered Kashmir.
HeÂ said the Pakistani military is ready for “every sacrifice” and “will never abandon” the people of Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination in line with UN resolutions.
Bajwa spoke as Pakistan marked the 54th anniversary of the start of the second of the two wars it has fought with India over Kashmir.
Thursday, September 5
Anger, defiance mark a month of Kashmir siege
Haleema had to begin her journey at dawn, travelling through deserted roads from her home in southern Kashmir’s Shopian district to wait at a park outside the central jail in Srinagar, the main city in the Muslim-majority region.
Two hours past noon, Haleema was still waiting and uncertain if she would be allowed to meet her husband, Bashir Ahmad. “He was picked 20 days ago,” she said, “like they pick everyone else.”
Read the full story here.
Kashmiri teen dies of pellet, tear gas shell wounds
When the body of 16-year-old Asrar Khan reached his home in Indian-administered Kashmir at about 2:30am on Wednesday (2100 GMT on Tuesday), wails of his grieving parents shattered the tense silence of the night.
Khan, a student of Class 11, was injured in the head by a tear gas shell and pellets on August 6 outside his home in the main city of Srinagar’s Ellahi Bagh area, according to his family and medical records.
Read the full story here.
Amnesty launches campaign to end Kashmir blackout
The draconian communications blackout in Kashmir is an outrageous protracted assault on the civil liberties of the people of Kashmir,Â Amnesty International IndiaÂ said,Â as it launched a global campaign today in a bid to highlight the human cost of the lockdown.
“The blackout has now been a month old and cannot be prolonged any further by the Indian Government as it has grossly impacted the daily lives of Kashmiri people, their emotional and mental wellbeing, medical care, as well as their access to basic necessities and emergency services. It is tearing families apart,” said Aakar Patel, head of Amnesty International India.
Wednesday, September 4
Victims of torture, arbitrary arrests recount ordeal
In a village in southern Kashmir, a 22-year-old man said he was picked up in a midnight raid and tortured for more than an hour along with a dozen other Kashmiris.
“I was beaten with sticks, rifle butts and they kept asking me why I went for a protest march. I kept telling them that I didn’t, but they didn’t stop. After I fainted, they used electric shocks to revive me,” he told Al Jazeera, on condition of anonymity.
Read the full story here.
A Kashmiri man tortured by security forces shows a photo of his injuries on his mobile phone [Akash Bisht/Al Jazeera]
Saudi, UAE diplomats in Pakistan to discuss Kashmir
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have sent their top diplomats to Pakistan to help Islamabad defuse tensions with India over the disputed Kashmir region. Gulf Arab countries have kept mostly silent on the issue, underpinned by more than $100bn in annual trade with India that makes it one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most prized economic partners.
In a rare move, a single aircraft carried the two Arab diplomats – Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan – to Islamabad in what Pakistani authorities said was a symbolic show of unity.Â The two diplomats held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
India names leaders of Pakistan-based groups ‘terrorists’
India has officially declared Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as “terrorists” under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.
Azhar’s name has already been placed by the United Nations on a sanctions blacklist after his group claimed responsibility for a February suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed 40 Indian soldiers and brought India and Pakistan close to war. The UN in May imposed a travel ban and freeze on Azhar’s assets as well as an arms embargo.
Saeed, an anti-India scholar, runs a charity in Pakistan known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The charity is widely believed to serve as a front for LeT, the group blamed for attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.
India sowing seeds of war: Pakistan army
The Pakistani army has warned that India is sowing the seeds of war with its action in the Kashmir region.
“The situation in Kashmir has become a big danger in the region … The Indian action in Kashmir is sowing seeds of war,” Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told a news conference in Islamabad.
Kashmiris run for cover as Indian security forces (unseen) fire tear gas shells during clashes in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Tuesday, September 3
PM Khan: Will not initiate military conflict with India
Pakistan’s Prime MinisterÂ Imran KhanÂ has asserted that his country would not initiate a military conflict withÂ India, warning of the risk to the world of nuclear war breaking out between the South Asian neighbours, as tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir remain high.
“We are two nuclear-armed countries, if tensions rise then there is a danger to the world from this,” Khan said at theÂ International Sikh Convention in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Monday.
Read the full story here.
A month since the lockdown, if the Indian govt is convinced that everything is NORMAL in Kashmir, why are non Indian, foreign journalists not allowed access to the valley. Why are they denied permit to report from Kashmir ?
â€” Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) September 3, 2019
Sunday, September 1
Thousands take part in anti-India rally in Karachi
Thousands of Pakistani protesters took part in an anti-India rally for a fourth consecutive week following India’s move in downgrading Muslim-majority Kashmir’s autonomy. Protesters held signs, chanted slogans and displayed a large Kashmiri flag during the rally in Karachi, organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami party.
“We demand that the peace mission of the United Nations should visit Srinagar, like how they go to Uganda, East Timor, Djibouti and other countries of Africa,” said Siraj ul Haq, Jamaat-e-Islami party chief, calling onÂ other nations to “take active measures to give Kashmiris the right to freedom”.
Reporting Kashmir amid lockdown, harassment
As the crippling lockdown in Indian-administered Kashmir nears a month, journalists in the region complain of harassment by authorities, with many accusing security forces of deleting their camera footage and a pressure to report “normalcy”.
“This is a unique situation. None of us had seen anything like this in the past. Even in the worst of times in Kashmir, we were able to file our stories,” said Muzaffar Raina as he waited to access his email at a media centre in the main city of Srinagar.
Read the full story here.
Saturday, August 31
Friday, August 30
Khan: ‘World can’t ignore Kashmir, we’re all in danger’
Prime Minister Imran Khan, inÂ an opinion piece forÂ The New York Times, said talks between India and Pakistan could only begin if New Delhi reversed its “illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to theÂ barracks”.
Khan’s piece was published as Pakistan came to a standstill on Friday as tens of thousands poured onto streets in a government-led demonstration of solidarity with the disputed region of Kashmir, after India revoked its autonomy this month.
“I wanted to normalise relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, the foremost impediment to the normalisation of relations between us,” Khan said.
Imran Khan leads Kashmir solidarity rallies in Pakistan
Pakistan’s prime minister promised to raise the issue of rights violations allegedly perpetrated by India in the disputed region of Kashmir at the United Nations next month, as tens of thousands held protests across the country expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris.
“The whole world should have stood with Kashmir,” Imran Khan told a rally of thousands outside his office in the capital Islamabad on Friday.
Read the full story here.
Thousands protest outside Pakistan’s parliament in Islamabad to express solidarity with Kashmir [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]
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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen collapses in Denmark v Finland match
DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland. The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen. Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline…
DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen.
Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline late in the first half and was immediately surrounded by medical staff. His distraught teammates formed a ring around him as medics pumped his chest.
The Group B clash was suspended.
More to follow.
UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die?
Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets. In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to…
Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets.
In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to be an owner of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in 2020.
But unlike ‘fiat currency’ such as the dollar or the dirham, which can be easily passed on, exchanged, or used for transactions, we are yet to gin an understanding of what will happen to digital currency their owner dies. We know of instances where assets have been lost forever- in 2019, a crypto exchange lost $145 million after its CEO suddenly died and no one had access to the password of the digital wallet.
Safekeeping of passwords is important and equally important is letting your loved ones know about them. “It’s a question that has been bothering me for some time. I have investments worth $100,000 in various crytocurrencies. I have bought these through a broker and not directly from the exchange, which allows me to nominate a beneficiary. So, I am guessing if my wife wants to have access to it when I am gone, she should be able to. But I am not sure of the procedure. I am yet to safekeep my cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet; they are just lying in my account for now, which I know can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. I plan to explore more and make my cryptos more safe and secure and also let my better half know,” says Bawa K., who has been investing in digital currency since 2017.
How are cryptos bought?
Cryptocurrencies can be bought ‘peer to peer’ from people, directly from organisations ‘over the counter’ who offer their own tokens for sale, or from public exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bithumb, Huobi, etc.
“These are the channels for most of the people to get and sell cryptocurrencies. And there are many other ways to get digital assets, for example, C2C(customer to customer) transferring, which are usually not used much,” says Ola Lind, Director, SoBitX.
How are they stored?
The cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and stored in a so-called wallet. Each wallet corresponds to a pair of keys, a public key and a private key. The public key is used as an address to receive coins and the private key is used to identify the owner.
“Each owner should keep the private key safe. Anyone with this private key can access the assets in this wallet,” says Lind.
“In terms of storage, cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets. An individual has a range of choices in that regard, which include holding their digital assets in wallets on exchange, in software wallets such as metamask, or in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. In all cases, the individual must make their own judgment in terms of security and accessibility,” says Blaise Carroz, Vice President, Global Acquisition, Idoneus.
UAE law on digital currencies and wills
“While legally, the answer is yes, dependents can seek to claim digital assets, similar to any other type of asset, if your passwords, passphrases, and key locations die with you that probably won’t happen. Without those things your crypto assets will be inaccessible,” says Carroz, when asked if families could inherit their loved ones’ cryptocurrencies after they died.
Under the UAE Federal laws, the status of crypto is currently not sufficiently clear to be certain about adding crypto to one’s will. “However, a UAE resident can use a DIFC Will so that it covers all his worldwide assets, include crypto assets. This is possible since DIFC applies the laws of England and Wales, which recognises crypto assets as property. DIFC Wills also have a provision for including a ‘sealed’ document so that potentially one may leave a private key for the beneficiary to receive and use to retrieve the crypto,” advises Carroz.
“As with all things of this nature it is best to consult a professional law firm for advice for drafting wills with crypto elements due to the complexities involved,” adds Carroz.
When including digitally held assets in an estate planning instrument, Century Maxim recommends the following to be outlined in an estate planning instrument:
a. A clear list of the digitally held assets
b. Information of the digital wallet(s)
c. A memorandum of including the passwords and PINs
d. A step-by-step guide explaining how the beneficiaries can access those assets upon the execution of the estate planning instrument
“Without access to the identifiers to access the exchange or wallet, it would be near impossible to access the assets irrespective if it is briefly mentioned under an estate planning instrument. In such a case, it is more likely than not that the digitally held assets are under a highly secure and encrypted network — a feature for which investors of currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or recently the Dogecoin opt for because it is so difficult to intercept,” says Farhat Ali Khan, Managing Partner, Century Maxim International, a legal consultancy firm licensed based in Abu Dhabi.
Suneeti Ahuja Kohli
Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.
Pakistan Budget 2021-22: Imran Khan chairs cabinet meeting
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday. The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers:…
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday.
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.
Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers: Farrukh Habib
The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the government was presenting an excellent, balanced and people-friendly budget for financial year 2021-22. In budget 2021-22, maximum funds will be allocated for the welfare projects for the poor segments of society, labour and working class, he said while talking to a private news channel.
Farrukh Habib said that the budget would be austerity-oriented and public-friendly and efforts would be made to put minimum burden on the common man. The resources generated through financial discipline, transparency and good governance were also being spent on the welfare of the people, he added.
The minister said besides big cities, balanced development of villages is also being ensured so that all facilities should be available to the youth and farmers living in rural areas. He said underprivileged segments of the society were most affected by Covid-19 difficulties and the government would not put any further burden of direct taxes and would facilitate the common man.
He said PTI is pro-labour party and Prime Minister Imran Khan has always been supportive for the rights of the workers, adding that the pays for labours including painters, unskilled labour, plumber, electricians was increased.
The minister said with the prudent policies of the government, over 13 per cent export has increased, adding the per capita income was also increased which is another historic achievement of the present government.
He said the country has better days ahead where common man will get full benefit from the prudent policies of the present government.
He mentioned that to make major changes in the Kamyab Jawan Programme (KJP), planning to increase the loan facility for youth, which would prove as an engine for jobs creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth in the country.
He said like KPK province, the Health Card project would be further expanded to other provinces of the country to facilitate working and poor class. He said the present government was constructing dams to provide 10 thousand megawatts electricity at cheap rate. Habib also assured that the government would control the inflation and common man would get relief on priority.
Pakistan heading towards economic stability: Fawad
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan was heading towards economic stability after a long time.
In a tweet, he said all economic indicators were positive and such political and economic stability was only possible due to confidence of people and institutions in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 11, 2021
He urged the opposition to cooperate with the government on electoral and judicial reforms.