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WASHINGTON, D.C: “Kashmir is the longest running dispute on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. The cause of the people of Jammu & Kashmir is sacred and the people of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan will never let the people of Kashmir down,” this was stated by Sardar Qayyum Niazi, former minister of Azad Kashmir and the chief guest of the occasion that was attended by friends of Kashmir. Mr. Niazi said that India and Pakistan must accept the solution of the dispute according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. He quoted Daniel S. Markey of Council of Foreign Relatiosn who said “There is little doubt that normalized relations between India and Pakistan, including a regionally acceptable settlement on Kashmir, would offer tremendous benefits to the United States.”

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the session and the Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness said “At the heart of the Obama Administration which engenders fresh hopes for the strengthening of world peace and the lessening of human misery, we expect renewed attention of our Administration to the 67-year old Kashmir dispute to which India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir are parties. Fai said that no one knows better than Presidnet obama the implications for American strategy of conflict in a region involving India, Pakistan and Afghanistan -- and of the delicate relationship that need to be safeguarded from violent disruption. Fai emphasized that India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir and the potential for a more devastating third can hardly be said to have been removed, especially in view of the nonviolent and popular uprising in Kashmir.  Despite the heavy cost, the people of Kashmir are not likely to give up their resistance to alien occupation.” 

Altaf Hussain Wani, representative of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, who was the guest of honor updated the audience about his activities at the United Nations in Geneva. He said there is an interest about Kashmir at the international scene and there is an engagement of the world powers with both India and Pakistan. The world powers are concerned, particularly after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. They would like to see a tension free region of South Asia which is not possible without tangible progress on the Kashmir conflict that has remained  the bone of contention of tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad for the last 67 years. Mr. Wani said that his delegation has met with the United Nations experts in Geneva and demanded an immediate humanitarian intervention on Kashmir

Sardar Affan Attique Khan while expressing his support to the right of self-determination criticized the double standards of the world powers. He expressed his concern about the detention of unarmed people in Jammu & Kashmir. He said the Kashmir conflict must be resolved through democratic method of free, fair and impartial plebiscite which was guaranteed under the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. He appealed the United Nations to persuade both India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir dispute peacefully and amicably.

Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said the news from Kashmir is always about devastation, killings, torture and detention of innocent people. He quoted ‘Associaiton fo Parents of Disappeared Persons’ who said that there are 8000 to 10,000 people who have disappeared in Kashmir since 1991 and no one knows whether they are dead or alive.

Sardar Zubair Khan welcomed the participants to this important gathering and thanked them for their continued support to the Kashmir cause. Sardar Gulfaraz Inqilabi, the ‘Master of Ceremony’ said that our main objective as Kashmiri Americans should be to invite and re-invite the attention of the US Administration to help resolve the Kashmir conflict through peaceful negotions between Governments of India & Pakistan and the leadership of the people of Kashmir.

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KATHUA: Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, an IAS officer of 2009 batch has been selected for country’s highest Civil Services honour, the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration. The award carrying Rs 5 Lakh Cash, Gold Medal, Scroll and a Citation will be conferred upon the officer by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21st April at New Delhi during the celebrations of Civil Services Day. This year 10 officers / initiatives across the country will be getting the highest civil services honour for their exceptional and extraordinary contribution towards public service and administration. 

 

Ten initiatives from states of J&K, U.P., Gujarat, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Karnatka and Maharashtra have been selected for this honour. The award is given for contribution of highest order towards public service and exceptional achievements in various fields. Dr Shahid earlier received the National Award for Best Electoral conduct from Election Commission of India and National Award for e-Governance presented by Ministry of Personnel, Government of India.

The 34 year old Veterinary Surgeon-turned- IAS officer, is youngest officer to receive the most prestigious Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration; and first individual officer from state to receive this award. Earlier, J&K received this award in 2005 and 2010 for Earthquake Response & Reconstruction and Conduct of Panchayat Elections after 30 years respectively.

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JAMMU:  The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) is a regional political party of India. It is one of the prominent political parties in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The founder of the JKNPP is Prof. Bhim Singh, who was initially a member of the Congress and represented the party as an MLA in the J&K State Legislative Assembly. However due to political differences between the state Congress and Singh, over protecting the economic, social and political interests of the people of the state. Singh resigned from the Congress and formed his own party.

 

In March 1982, a historic meeting was held in the Jammu Gulab Bhawan, being chaired by Bhim Singh and attended by some of the prominent individuals such as distinguished scholar Ghulam Nabi Goni, Faqir Nath, Mool Raj, Janak Singh, Javed Quadri, Jay Mala, Sudarshan Sambyal, Father Aziz William and many others. The meeting unanimously supported Bhim Singh's call to establish a strong opposition to the Sheikh Abdullah-led Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), and form a party with a differenceThe party was officially formed on 23rd March 1982. The 23rd March was chosen as it was an auspicious day of martyrdom of the revolutionary freedom fighters Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh. The party upheld a secular-nationalist-democratic manifesto, such that it could represent the political identities of the three regions of the state, namely, Ladakh, Jammu Pradesh and Kashmir.

 

The name of the party is significant. It was originally registered as the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party. Its name was changed to the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party in 1996, as approved by the Election Commission of India. Bhim Singh believes that the inclusion of the name of an animal 'panther' was significant, as the JKNPP was formed to combat the misdoings of one animal, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah of the JKNC by another animal, the panthers.

 

Presently, the JKNPP is the main opposition to the ruling JKNC, having had a remarkable electoral performance in the 2009 state elections. The present President of the JKNPP is Balwant Singh Mankotia.

 

Election Symbol and its significance

 

The Election Symbol of the JKNPP, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the "Bicycle". This symbol is significant as it represents the true spirit of the party. The JKNPP has its political lineage from the revolutionary ideals of Baba Saheb Ambedkar's ideology of standing up for the rights and privileges of the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society. His movement, called the Dalit Panthers, was directed to fight against fascist, anarchist, communal and authoritarian tendencies prevailing in the country at that time. In the same spirit, the JKNPP is resolved to unite in protest for the maintenance of peace and security, as well as prosperity for the three regions of the state of J&K. The JKNPP proved its mettle when, led by Bhim Singh, it fiercely revolted against the Resettlement Act which the JKNC wanted to implement in the state. The Election Symbol of the JKNPP is thus significant, as it symbolizes the march of the JKNPP, towards overall progress and development of the various communities of the state. Like a bicycle which is used as a vehicle to reach a destination, the JKNPP ensures that reaches its destination of achieving justice through rebellion. More importantly, the JKNPP has as its ultimate objective, the establishment of "a real democracy through ultimate revolution".

 

Leaders of JKNPP

 

The leaders of the JKNPP, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:

 

Prof. Bhim Singh, Founder and Chief Patron of JKNPP

 

He is a two-time MLA in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. He is a Human Rights activist and lawyer by profession, practising in the Supreme Court of India. Bhim Singh has remained a two-time member of the National Integration Council, nominated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in 1991 and by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2008, respectively. He remained the Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party from its inception till 1996, though he continued till 2012. Currently, he is the Chief Patron of the JKNPP.

 

Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman of JKNPP

 

A lawyer by profession and was an Education Minister in the Congress-PDP government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, headed by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was adjusted as best legislator in the history of J&K legislature (1996-2002).   He was a three-time MLA in the J&K Legislative Assembly, represented the Ramnagar constituency.

 

Balwant Singh Mankotia, President of JKNPP (two times MLA from Udhampur)

 

He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, representing the Udhampur constituency. Although he took over as President of the JKNPP in 2010, he was elected in 2013 by a majority of the members of the party.

 

 The Office bearers of J&K National Panthers Party

 

As on 23rd March, 2015

 

Chief Patron

 

Prof. Bhim Singh, the Founder of JKNPP.

 

Chairman, Shri Harsh Dev Singh, Vice Chairman, Shri B.B.Kotwal,Advocate, President, Shri Balwant Singh Mankotia.

 

Vice Presidents, Shri Navin Bakshi, Mohd. Iqbal Chowdhary, Shri P.K. Ganjoo, Shri Sudarshan Singh Jamwal & Masood Andrabi

 

 

General Secretaries,  Ms. Anita Thakur, Shri Yashpal Kundal (two times MLA from Samba) Shri H.C. Jalmeria, Adv., Shri G.M. Shan, Adv., Shri Shanti Swaroop Basotra & Shri Manjoor Naik.

 

State Secretaries, Shri Basharat Ali, Shri Sukhdev Singh, Shri R.S. Manjoo, Mehboob Illahi, Shri Jagdev Singh, Shri Balwan Singh, Shri Maqbool Malik, Shri Kuldip Sharma.