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A parliamentary panel while condemning Indian threats to Pakistan following Pulwama incident has said that India will get befitting response from Pakistan for any misadventure. The Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Professor Sajid Mir, unanimously passed a resolution on Indian threats to Pakistan following the Pulwama incident.
The committee strongly condemned the Indian government's threatening statements and warmongering against Pakistan even before an initial inquiry was conducted.
The resolution presented by Senator Rehman Malik and adopted by the committee said, "We strongly recommend implementation of the report of United Nations (UN) High Commissioner on Human Rights dated June, 2018 regarding Indian atrocities being committed in occupied Kashmir. An international fact-finding mission as recommended in the report should immediately be sent to occupied Kashmir to find out the plight of Kashmiris demanding implementation of UN resolutions on rights of self-determination. Besides, Armed Forces Special Power Act be abolished as recommended in the report."
Senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum (retd) asserted that a surgical attack on Pakistan would be tantamount to an act of war, saying that Pakistan would respond strongly.
He said that the military observers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should be permitted to visit sites of incidents to investigate human rights violations being committed on the Indian side of Line of Control also.
Atrocities being committed in occupied Kashmir and elsewhere in India after the Pulwama incident must stop forthwith. Amnesty International should be allowed access to affected areas in the Valley to find out the facts on ground.
The committee warned India not to take any adventure across the Line of Control (LoC) or international borders, as any such step of Indian government will be taken as an act of war with serious consequences for which Indian government will be held responsible.
After the meeting, Federal Minister for Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Ali Amin Gundapur refused to comment on Indian threats to Pakistan following Pulwama attack.
Ali Amin is a special minister to focus on Kashmir, but he refused to respond journalists' questions, saying it was not his domain and Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan can comment on the matter.
Senator Rehman Malik said that the government and opposition stand on one page on Kashmir issue. He presented a set of 21 questions to the Indian government, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights and Interpol. Malik said that the Indian claim of Pakistan's involvement within five minutes of the attack showed that it had malafide intentions.
While taking up the set agenda of the meeting regarding budgetary cuts for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Higher Education Commission (HEC) scholarship for the students of AJ&K and GB, the committee directed the government to provide full support to the students of the AJ&K and GB in getting higher education.
While discussing budgetary cuts in the annual budgets of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit-Baltistan, it was revealed that a total budgetary rationalisation of Rs 3.52 billion and Rs 3.79 billion had been enforced respectively. The original 2018-19 allocation for AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan was Rs 29.87 billion and Rs 21.32 billion respectively. The committee showed displeasure regarding these cuts.
Deliberating over budget utilisation in AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan, the committee was informed that out of a total of Rs 25.86 billion in AJ&K, Rs 8.69 billion have been released of which Rs 8.26 billion have been utilised. In GB, total allocation was Rs 17.53 billion of which Rs 3.01 billion have been released. Total utilised funds stand at Rs 2.83 billion.
While discussing details of scholarships awarded to students in AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan, the committee recommended that the ministry must provide increase in the amount and a minimum of Rs 10,000 must be awarded to each student. Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Ali Amin Gandapur assured the committee that the ministry is looking at increasing the number of awarded scholarships and stipend rates.
The meeting was attended by Senator Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi (retd), Senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum (retd), Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Senator Dr Shehzad Waseem, Senator A Rehman Malik, Senator Nighat Mirza and senior officers of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, government of Gilgit-Baltistan, government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Division and Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019