Category Archives: Entertainment

Rohingya Refugees in India Rattled After First-Ever Deportations

The Rohingya camps in India’s Haryana state, adjoining the capital, New Delhi, lie far from the country’s northeast from where Indian authorities deported seven Rohingya men to Myanmar earlier this month. But the first-ever deportations have caused deep worries here of more repatriations of the Muslim minority that fled persecution and violence in Myanmar.

As it takes a tougher stand on illegal immigrants, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has said it plans to send back the estimated 40,000 Rohingyas living in the country.

They are scattered throughout India, living in dreary camps like the one lying off a dusty road in Haryana’s most underdeveloped district, Mewat.

No complaints in camp

At one such camp, 45 families living in cramped shelters share one water pipe, the children study in a makeshift school and the men sustain their families by working as laborers on construction sites whenever they can find work.

However, nobody complains. The residents say they are willing to cope with the squalor and lack of steady work in these camps that have provided a safe shelter for the last six years from the constant fear they faced in their homeland.

Nobody harasses us in India. If we do some work, we can fend for our food. There is no problem, said Fatima Hatu, who fled Myanmar with her husband in 2012.

Can they stay?

But the Rohingyas now worry about how long they can call this home. Ali Zohar, who is the informal head of the settlement, fears the deportation of the seven Rohingyas in India’s northeast has cleared the way for more to be sent back.

Zohar, who says he was once a relatively prosperous landowner, is alarmed.

My life has been ruined, he said. But what do I do about the future of my children? Will they have to return back? My mind is tired thinking.

Hopes pinned on UN card

Residents in these camps are hoping that refugee cards given by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will protect them from a second displacement; about half the Rohingyas in India are registered with the U.N.

The seven Rohingyas who were deported did not have U.N. cards and had been detained as illegal immigrants.

That is why at an adjoining camp, Sultan Amin, keeps his U.N. card, his most prized possession, locked away. Like many of the Rohingyas living in India, he came from Bangladesh in search of better opportunities and so far the card has given him the freedom to move around and work.

He says his two brothers and mother, who could not leave Myanmar, tell him that they still face harassment, and Amin believes that his life could be at risk if he is repatriated.

I escaped here to save myself, he said. How can I go back to be killed?

Called security threat

India has said, however, that it does not recognize the U.N. refugee cards. Officials say all those who have entered the country without valid permits are illegal immigrants and state authorities have been told to start collecting the biometrics of Rohingyas so that they can be sent back.

New Delhi calls them a security threat and has told the Supreme Court, where the planned repatriations have been challenged, that some Rohingyas could be linked with Pakistan-based terror organizations and similar organizations operating in other countries.

So far no member of the Rohingya community has been charged with militant links, according to security experts although they say there are apprehensions that they could be targets for radicalization.

Election plays a role

Political observers say Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist government’s plan to deport the Rohingya Muslims represents a U-turn on India’s traditionally tolerant policy towards refugees. For example, India is home to tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees.

An independent political analyst in New Delhi, Neerja Chowdhury, links the tougher posture to general elections scheduled in 2019. There have been loud calls from Hindu groups linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party to send back the Rohingyas.

Certainly if the discourse can be polarized on Hindu-Muslim lines, it is advantage BJP, Chowdhury said.

The refugees say all they want is a patch of land where they can have shelter and where they can eke out a living.

All my relatives and family there (in Myanmar) have been killed. When our country is safe like India and Bangladesh, we will go back, said 30-year-old Noor Begum at a camp in Mewat.

Such voices are supported by the United Nations refugee agency, which has criticized the deportation of the Rohingyas and said refugees should not be sent back to countries where they fear persecution.

Source: Voice of America

Govt spending huge amount on roads network: AJK PM

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider says government is spending huge amount on network of roads to promote tourism and provide better traveling facilities to the local population.

He was addressing different public gatherings at Hajeera in Rawalakot on Sunday.

He said work on 542 km long main roads and 580 km link roads is underway besides reconditioning of 455 km roads across the state.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Women play vital role in improving image of police: Buzdar

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar has said that women have played an important role in improving image of police among the people.

Addressing a passing out parade of Women Police Officers in Lahore this morning, he said PTI government in Punjab has provided opportunities for women in all departments. He said that PTI government has for the first time appointed women as District Police Officers.

He urged the Punjab police to become people friendly.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister inspected the guard of honor and the passing out parade of 424 women police officers out of which 315 will be deputed in different districts, while the rest will be deputed on highways.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Women play vital role in improving image of police: Buzdar

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar has said that women have played an important role in improving image of police among the people.

Addressing a passing out parade of Women Police Officers in Lahore this morning, he said PTI government in Punjab has provided opportunities for women in all departments. He said that PTI government has for the first time appointed women as District Police Officers.

He urged the Punjab police to become people friendly.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister inspected the guard of honor and the passing out parade of 424 women police officers out of which 315 will be deputed in different districts, while the rest will be deputed on highways.

Source: Radio Pakistan

President appoints Justice (R) Amanullah Khan as Governor Balochistan

President Dr Arif Alvi has appointed Justice (r) Amanullah Khan as Governor Balochistan.

The appointment has been made at the advice of Prime Minsiter Imran Khan.

Source: Radio Pakistan

U.S. Signs Agreement To Prevent Unregulated Commercial Fishing on the High Seas of the Central Arctic Ocean

The United States is pleased to be a signatory of the agreement to prevent unregulated commercial fishing on the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean. This is the first multilateral agreement of its kind to take a legally binding, precautionary approach to protect an area from commercial fishing before that fishing has begun. The signing ceremony will take place October 3 in Ilulissat, Greenland. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries William Gibbons-Fly will head the U.S. delegation from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Ice has traditionally covered the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean year-round. Recently, the melting of Arctic sea ice has left large areas of the high seas uncovered for much of the year. As a result, commercial fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean may become viable in areas where such activity was previously not possible. Prior to this agreement, no legally binding international agreement existed to manage potential fishing in the high seas of this region.

In 2009, the United States closed the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) north of Alaska to commercial fishing until such time as domestic fisheries managers have sufficient information about the ecosystem to allow fishing to proceed on a well-regulated basis. U.S. stakeholders, including the Alaska-based fishing industry, have been concerned foreign fishing vessels could begin fishing here in the foreseeable future. At a time when U.S. vessels cannot fish within the U.S. EEZ, the United States has negotiated this new fisheries agreement for the central Arctic Ocean that reduces the chance that foreign vessels will fish just beyond the U.S. EEZ.

Initial negotiations among the five coastal parties of the central Arctic Ocean�Canada, Denmark (for Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Norway, Russia, and the United States�resulted in the non-legally binding Oslo Declaration signed on July 16, 2015. The Oslo Declaration recognized other governments may have an interest in potential Arctic fisheries. In December 2015 ten parties, including the five Oslo Declaration signatories, as well as China, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union, entered into negotiations towards a legally-binding agreement. The negotiations toward this legally binding agreement concluded November 30, 2017.

Source: U.S. Department of State