Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has written to the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council highlighting Pakistan’s legal case on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. The Foreign Office said in a statement on Wednesday that the letter, alongwith a detailed factsheet and comprehensive annexures highlighted the “illegal, unilateral, coercive” Indian actions of August 5. The Indian government revoked the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric. Qureshi, in his letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres and UNSC President Vasily Nebenzya, said Indian action aimed at bringing about a demographic change” in Kashmir. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests He said India wanted to preempt the UN-administered plebiscite” envisaged under numerous UN Security Council Resolutions to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people to join Pakistan or India. The FO said that the letter not only builds on Pakistan’s efforts to sensitise the international community about the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir but also presents its comprehensive position on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. It also contained the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, bilateral agreements and letters to the UN in a sequential manner, laying out the international law and Pakistan’s legal case on the issue. In line with the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to the Kashmiri people, the Foreign Minister’s letter is part of Pakistan’s ongoing diplomatic efforts to sensitise the international community to the plight of innocent Kashmiris, the FO said. It said that India’s actions in Kashmir were a threat to regional peace and stability and hold hostage peace and development on South Asia. Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people, the statement said, ahead of Khan’s address to the UN General Assembly on Friday.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it clear on Tuesday that Talla Bridge, which is the prime gateway to enter Kolkata from North 24-Parganas, will remain closed for buses and heavy vehicles during the Pujas, thereby accepting the recommendations of RITES.”We will sit for another meeting on October 12 with concerned state government officials and the expert team to decide on the fate of the bridge,” Banerjee told reporters after holding a meeting at Nabanna. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to Banerjee, RITES has informed that the condition of Talla Bridge is unfit for vehicles over 3 tonnes to ply over it. “We have decided not to take any risk considering the safety of the people, which should be given more priority than movement of vehicles,” Banerjee said. The state government has decided to consult experts in bridge maintenance, before taking a final decision on the fate of the bridge. Civil engineering expert V K Raina is expected to reach the city on October 3 and examine the Talla Bridge. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA senior official of the state government said that they were considering to allow buses on the bridge during the Pujas, taking into account the huge rush of people and traffic. However, the expert body responsible for determining the health of the bridge (RITES) reiterated that allowing vehicles beyond 3 tonnes on the bridge will be an extremely risky affair. Banerjee further informed reporters that the Majerhat Bridge – which is another major gateway to the city from South 24-Parganas, is expected to be thrown open by December. “The bridge would have been completed by now but railways took a lot of time to give permission,” she added. Banerjee was critical of the railways for the poor maintenance of the ROBs (Rail Over Bridges) and said that in the case of Majerhat Bridge, it was the part that was under the maintenance of railways that had caved in. “There are some portions that are maintained by the state government and the portions over the railway tracks are looked after by the railways. In most of the cases, these ROBs are in bad condition. I think that the railways should sign an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the state government so that there is joint inspection, monitoring and maintenance regularly,” Banerjee said, stressing upon coordination on the part of railways with the state government.