Modi PoK-es Pak in the eye at all-party meet­ing SRK de­tained at US air­port again AT LOS AN­GE­LES AIR­PORT

UNREST PM says will reach out to Kash­miris; par­ties back ex­pose-Pak­istan move

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Saub­hadra Chat­terji and Au­rangzeb Naqsh­bandi let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ Yash­want Raj yash­want.raj@hin­dus­tan­

The time has come to ex­pose Pak­istan’s bru­tal­i­ties in Balochis­tan and Pak-oc­cu­pied Kashmir (PoK), Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said on Fri­day, blam­ing cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism for a vi­o­lent phase in Kashmir that has left nearly 60 peo­ple dead since July.

Modi asked the ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry to con­tact ex­pats from PoK to gather in­for­ma­tion about the “pitiable con­di­tions” in the re­gion and ap­prise the global com­mu­nity.

The PM’s com­ments at an all-party meet­ing to dis­cuss the volatile sit­u­a­tion in Kashmir are be­ing seen as an es­ca­la­tion of rhetor­i­cal hos­til­i­ties be­tween the two coun­tries over the vi­o­lence in the Val­ley.

“Pak­istan has for­got­ten that it bom­bards its own cit­i­zens from fighter planes,” Modi said in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to Is­lam­abad’s al­le­ga­tion of ex­cesses by In­dian se­cu­rity forces bat­tling vi­o­lent mobs in Kashmir since the killing of a Hizbul com­man­der on July 8.

A sec­tion in the In­dian es­tab­lish­ment favours a counter-of­fen­sive by New Delhi over hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in PoK and Balochis­tan, where Pak­istan’s se­cu­rity forces are ac­cused of PM Naren­dra Modi with for­mer PM Man­mo­han Singh and home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh along with oth­ers at the all-party meet­ing in New Delhi on Fri­day.

ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings in a crack­down on groups seek­ing greater au­ton­omy for the re­source-rich prov­ince.

Modi said the govern­ment will reach out to the Val­ley but added that Jammu, Ladakh and PoK should also be talked about in the same breath when dis­cussing Kashmir, un­der­lin­ing the govern­ment’s ap­proach of tak­ing care of the en­tire state and not just one re­gion.

While Modi said the govern­ment

was ready to “talk to all” in Kashmir, fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley told re­porters later that a de­ci­sion to en­gage with the sep­a­ratist Hur­riyat will be taken “keep­ing in view the pre­vail­ing cir­cum­stance.”

Home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh told the meet­ing that an all-party del­e­ga­tion to the Kashmir will be con­sid­ered “af­ter grounds were pre­pared in con­sul­ta­tion with chief min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti”.

All the par­ties bar­ring the Shiv Sena favoured a ban on the use of pel­let guns, which have in­jured a large num­ber of civil­ians in­clud­ing chil­dren. Many of them have lost par­tial or full eye­sight. CPI (M) leader Si­taram Yechury and some oth­ers sought lift­ing the Armed Forces (Spe­cial Pow­ers) Act, which gives un­fet­tered pow­ers to se­cu­rity forces, from civil­ian ar­eas in the Val­ley.

Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Shah Rukh Khan was briefly de­tained at the Los An­ge­les air­port on Thurs­day, the third time in re­cent years, pos­si­bly for a close match with an en­try on the United States ter­ror watch­list.

An ex­as­per­ated Khantweeted that the de­ten­tion “re­ally re­ally sucks”, draw­ing an apol­ogy from a US state Depart­ment of­fi­cial. In a sec­ond tweet, Khan said he played Poke­mon while await­ing his clear­ance. The ac­tor, whose 2010 film My Name is Khan dealt with racial pro­fil­ing in the United States, was even­tu­ally al­lowed to go.

“I fully un­der­stand & re­spect se­cu­rity with the way the world is, but to be de­tained at US im­mi­gra­tion ev­ery damn time re­ally re­ally sucks,” the ac­tor tweeted.

As the news quickly cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia, US am­bas­sador Richard Verma apol­o­gised to SRK on Twit­ter for his de­ten­tion at the air­port. “Sorry for the trou­ble at LAX @iamsrk. We are work­ing to en­sure it doesn’t hap­pen again. Your work in­spires mil­lions, in­clud­ing in the US,” Verma tweeted.

Nisha Biswal, US state depart­ment’s as­sis­tant sec­re­tary on south and cen­tral Asian Af­fairs, also tweeted to Khan that she was “sorry for the has­sle”, ad­ding that US diplo­mats too faced such sit­u­a­tions. Shah Rukh thanked both of them for their “con­cern” and said he didn’t ex­pect to be above pro­to­col.


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