Syed Ali Shah Geelani must be a relieved man now. The Pakistan Senate passed a unanimous resolution on 27 June 2020 conferring on him that country’s highest civilian honour, Nishan-ePakistan. Additional proposals to name a university after him and including his life story in Pakistani school curricula, already up to the brim with venom against India, are also on the anvil. After years of shouting from the rooftops that “Kashmir Banega Pakistan” and “Pakistan se Kashmir ka rishta kya, la ilaha illallah”, slogans most Pakistani Army generals and sleuths have cried themselves to sleep to and taken to their graves without any visible progress, Geelani has been able to turn their dreams partly into reality. Kashmir obviously will never become Pakistan in terms of a decrepit economy or being a slave to a foreign country, but in terms of deaths due to terrorist violence, it has come quite close to the failed state. And Geelani, the man who’s now enjoying his time under the sun is the one who is responsible for turning Kashmir into his own people’s graveyard.
Born in Sopore in 1929, Geelani completed his education at Oriental College Lahore and has been besotted with Pakistan ever since. A hardcore pro Pakistani, he has given multiple calls for violence within the Valley and defended the heinous actions of terrorist groups. For him, any violence can be justified as long as it is against “Indian imperialism”. Unfortunately, the same is echoed by a number of pseudo-academics within India such as Arundhati Roy, Varavara Rao and others. It is no secret that Geelani was revered by militant groups, particularly the Hizbul Mujahideen. In March 1992, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) militants, then considered rivals to Hizbul, had to release Geelani just a couple of hours after they kidnapped him and were forced to issue an apology the next day. An ex member of Jamat e Islami Kashmir, he condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden by the Americans, holding a prayer for him in absentia. He also supported the 2001 attack on the Parliament as well as the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Leader of the Tehreek e Hurriyat, he has vehemently supported the erstwhile state’s absorption into Pakistan and propagated an extremely unsanitary and myopic view of Islam, poisoning the minds of entire generations.
Geelani never expressed regret for the massive Kashmiri loss of life through acts of terrorist violence, only focusing on the deaths of terrorists by security forces and branding them as innocent. His clarion call for violence in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s killing engulfed the valley in a spiral of savagery that resulted in a number of civilian fatalities, most by Pakistani sympathisers, camouflaged as Kashmiris. As uncovered by detailed investigations by several media houses, Geelani’s interjection into the Burhan Wani episode helped lift a flagging terrorist campaign, already on death row, by allowing Pakistani operatives to enter Kashmir and brainwash innocent civilians. In some cases, the Pakistanis instigated clashes with security forces from among a crowd of Kashmiri people and then slunk away for the civilian population to bear the aftermath.
Geelani has always been feted by the Pakistani establishment and most Pakistani dignitaries, in the heyday of cordial relations between the two South Asian neighbours, made it a point to visit him at least once, transgressing Indian hospitality time and again. However, in the recent years he fell out of favor with the current political dispensation in Pakistan. The visits stopped and so did the praises, the encomiums from across the fence. The watershed moment for him was when he successfully opposed the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula (to resolve the Kashmir issue), which he considered as a compromise, given Geelani has always advocated J&K merger with Pakistan. With Geelani opposing Musharraf, all other separatists who were opening up to the idea fell like a pack of cards.
In fact, there was a fear that the nonagenarian would be expelled from the very party that he had founded specifically with the help of the ISI. However, the shrewd old man pre-empted this move and instead announced his resignation in June 2020. Geelani’s choice to not criticise Pakistan in his resignation letter directly but to attack Pakistan-backed separatist outfits is being seen as a call to “level” the status quo in Kashmiri separatism, ensuring entries of new actors while disciplining those who he perceives as uncommitted to the separatist cause. His preferred successor Abdullah Geelani is no favorite of the Pakistani establishment. In fact, he was the first one to complain about a scandal regarding selling of medical college seats exclusively reserved for Kashmiri students in POK, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad by Ghulam Mohammed Safi, then convenor of the Muzaffarabad chapter of the APHC, in 2018.
Curiously, Geelani also leads a double life. Despite calling for secession and integration with Pakistan, he’s had seven surgeries in Delhi and Mumbai, accepts grants from the Indian and Kashmiri governments from time to time and has all his sons and daughters either studying or working in Indian cities. He also has a comfortable home in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar where he prefers to spend the coldest days of the winters, away from the kangri-infested harsh climate of his homeland. So much for being a revolutionary! India’s Enforcement Directorate raided his Delhi house and recovered millions of dollars worth property paid for by the ISI. The reality of a man, once known as the Omar Mukhtar of Kashmir, is not so inspiring and if told properly won’t even make it to the footnotes of the history chapters in the Pakistani academic curricula.
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Two Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists killed in the J&K encounter
Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), an Al-Qaeda-linked terror outfit in Kashmir, has suffered a major setback. In an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar, security forces killed two more AGH terrorists.
The AGH terrorists were apprehended after the army and police received specific information about their presence.
During the exchange of fire, forces killed two local Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists from AGH. Both terrorists are Pulwama residents who have been involved in a number of terrorist attacks.
According to police, the terrorists were also involved in an attack on a migrant worker in Pulwama.
N. Korea enacts law on preventive nuclear strikes, France calls “threat to peace”
France criticised North Korea’s adoption of a law announcing its preparedness to launch preventive nuclear strikes on Friday, calling it a “threat to international and regional peace and security.”
The announcement from the foreign ministry came after North Korean state media earlier on Friday reported that Pyongyang had enacted a law authorising preventative strikes, including in the event of conventional attacks.
“This new escalation on the part of the North Korean authorities represents a threat to international and regional peace and security,” said a ministry spokeswoman.
France “notes with great concern the increasingly aggressive declarations from North Korea,” she added.
The decision by Pyongyang practically puts an end to the possibility of denuclearization talks after leader Kim Jong Un said that the nation’s nuclear status is now “irreversible.”
The announcement comes at a time when the North and South are experiencing greater conflict.
In addition to conducting a record number of weapons tests this year, Pyongyang has blamed the COVID-19 outbreak in its territory on Seoul.
China has successfully tested its first solar-powered drone capable of acting as a satellite
A Chinese government official informed in a tweet that China has successfully tested its first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), named Qimingxing-50, which can fly for months and can function even as a satellite if required.
What is the significance of this test flight?
The Qimingxing-50, with a wingspan of 50 m, is a high-altitude long-endurance drone that is capable of high-altitude aerial reconnaissance, assessing forest fire and can also be used for communications.
This technology will bolster Chinese defences in space and at sea. It can be used in the fields of renewable energy, new materials, and aeronautical engineering. The Chinese official also asserted that this test flight is an important step towards sustainable development.
Use of the UAV as a satellite:
The UAV, whose name translates as “Morning Star-50” in English, is claimed to be capable of functioning uninterrupted for months. This capability of having a long-endurance flight gives it a use case of operating as a satellite.
Like satellites, it is fully electric-driven, powered by solar energy and can operate at 20 km above the Earth’s surface for an extended period of time continuously. It is also referred to as a “High Altitude Platform Station” or a “pseudo-satellite.”
It can be used when there is unavailability or disruption in satellite services. The report says that compared to the cost and complexity of installing a satellite in orbit, this UAV is much more cost-effective and easy to operate.
Strict security measures have been taken at the Central Vista ahead of the inauguration by PM Modi
As Prime Minister Nrendra Modi is going to inaugurate the newly revamped Central Vista on Thursday, over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for security over there.
A senior official of Delhi Police who is aware of the security arrangements said that the area has been divided into eight zones, which will be manned all day by eight deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) and additional deputy commissioners of police (ADCPs).
The officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “Besides 17 assistant commissioners of police (ACPs), 43 inspectors and nearly 1,200 upper and lower-rank staff of Delhi Police will be patrolling in the areas. While ten Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies will patrol the area during the day, two additional CAPF companies have been deployed for security arrangements during the evening shift.As many as five patrolling teams in 10 mobile patrolling vans (MPVs) will be keeping a constant watch on all the public movement in the area.”
Another officer said that, “The Multi Zone Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) have been installed at 90 points in 25 locations in the area. Apart from one anti-drone gun, one counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has also been installed in the area, to detect, track, and ultimately disrupt and destroy any suspicious aerial intrusion. While five teams of spotters will keep a strict vigil in the area, another five traffic decongestion teams have been deployed there to immediately remove any traffic bottlenecks in the area. As many as five SWAT teams have been deployed in the area to avert any emergency crisis.”
The official added that drones will not be permitted near Central Vista on Thursday.
Pakistani rangers opened fire on BSF patrolling party in J&K
As per the reports, Pakistani rangers opened fire on a Border Security Force (BSF) patrolling party in Jammu and Kashmir’s Arnia sector on Tuesday morning, prompting the BSF to respond appropriately to the “unprovoked firing”.
“Today morning the alert BSF Jammu troops gave a befitting reply to the unprovoked firing by Pak rangers on BSF patrolling party in Arnia Sector. No loss (of lives) or injury (reported) to the BSF troops,” a statement issued by a BSF spokesperson said.
On February 24, 2021, India and Pakistan agreed to strictly adhere to all agreements and understandings concerning cross-border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, among other sectors.
Other incidents of firing by Pakistani troops have occurred in the last year and a half, but Tuesday’s incident was “a major one” and occurred on a day when Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in India for talks, an officer anonymously said.
According to a second officer, the Indian Army and BSF respond immediately and effectively to unprovoked firings and ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and IB.
Before the agreement in 2021, there were 5,133 ceasefire violations in 2020, 3,479 in 2019, and 2,140 in 2018. However, this number dropped to around 700 last year. Statistics for 2022 are not yet available.
The Indian government has maintained that it is Pakistan’s responsibility to create a conducive environment by taking credible, verifiable, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for cross-border terrorism against India in any way.
India sends the body of Lashkar terror operative via LoC in Poonch
Pakistan accepted the body of Tabarak Hussain, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist operative via Chakan Da Bagh on the Line of Control in Poonch district on Monday.
“Officials of the Indian Army and civil administration took the body of slain terrorist in an ambulance to Chakan Da Bagh where it was handed over to Pakistani army officials,” said a senior official.
Tabarak Hussain, son of Mistri Malik of Sabzkote in PoK, was apprehended in an injured state by the army on August 21 in the Jhanger area of the Nowshera sector in Rajouri.
Tabarak was apprehended while allegedly infiltrating with a fidayeen terror group to attack Indian army posts along the LoC.
However, Indian army troops noticed the movement and opened fire on the intruding terror group, injuring Tabarak while other infiltrators fled to PoK.
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