New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah Friday blamed former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the political problems and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, as he asserted in the Lok Sabha that Article 370 of the Constitution granting special status to the state is “temporary in nature” and “not permanent”.As the Lok Sabha gave its nod to extend President’s Rule in J and K for another six months beginning July 3 by approving a statutory resolution, Shah also said Assembly polls in the border state will be held in a free, fair and democratic manner once the Election Commission announces the schedule. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN referencesThe Lok Sabha also cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to replace an ordinance issued by the previous government. The approval for the resolution and the amendment bill was given by voice vote amid protests from the Congress and some opposition parties. The Bill was the first to be piloted by Shah as Home Minister. Replying to the debate on the statutory resolution seeking an extension of President’s Rule in the state, and the amendment bill, Shah asserted that the Modi government has ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and its ideology is to ensure the protection of borders and make the country free of terrorism. Also Read – Rajnath Singh arrives for Rafale handover ceremony in FranceLaunching a blistering attack on Nehru and the Congress in his maiden speech as Home Minister in the lower house, Shah alleged that the policies of previous Congress governments widened the wedge between the people of the state and the country. “Today one-third of Kashmir is not with us. Who announced ceasefire when Pakistan encroached in Kashmir after independence and occupied one-third of its territory? The Congress members reacted sharply to this and Shah responded saying he would not take Nehru’s name but referred to him only as the first prime minister. The Home Minister said the present government adopted “zero tolerance” towards terrorism and people who try to divide the country have fear in their hearts, which will increase in the coming times. Shah took on the Congress after its member Manish Tewari alleged that the sense of alienation among the people of J&K has increased under the BJP government.
Nearly 40,000 people have fled the capital Mogadishu in recent weeks, bringing the total number of those displaced by the ongoing fighting since the end of last October to over 294,000, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).Some 1,600 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who left their homes in the 1990s have been given 24 hours to vacate a compound of the Mogadishu polytechnical college where they have been living, but have not been provided with an alternative place to settle.The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners have supplied monthly food rations to nearly 200,000 people along the corridor between Mogadishu and the near-by town of Afgooye, where many people have fled.The agency’s programme in the capital is now fully operational, providing 50,000 meals a day through its 10 kitchens to vulnerable people trapped in Mogadishu.Clashes between the Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces on one side and anti-Government elements on the other – both in Mogadishu and in other regions of the country – are contributing to a worsening of the security condition.In the capital, fighting erupted in areas where Ethiopian troops were conducting a house-to-house weapons search, while elsewhere, more than one dozen civilians lost their lives when a security operation was held in an area where thousands of IDPs sought refuge.The UN is particularly concerned about the rising number of incidents targeting humanitarian organizations, such as the kidnappings of staff, invasions and looting of non-governmental organization (NGO) facilities and warehouses.On his recent two-day mission to the Puntland region, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia has stressed that safety guarantees are crucial for humanitarian workers, underscoring the key role of local authorities and communities in ensuring their safety.Last month, the Security Council called on all sides in Somalia to use peaceful means to consolidate peace in the country. In a statement, the 15-member body urged “all Somali parties to reject violence and… to enter into substantial dialogue aimed at achieving a full and all-inclusive national reconciliation.” 11 January 2008The United Nations is stepping up its efforts to help Somalis forced to flee their homes due to the violence engulfing the Horn of Africa nation, where security continues to deteriorate.