Flash floods kill 22 in Azad Kashmir

People collect their belongings from their house that collapsed due to flooding in Neelum Valley of Pakistani controlled Kashmir, Monday, July 15, 2019. Pakistan says many people are missing and feared dead after heavy rains triggered flash floods in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Ahmed Raza Qadri, the Pakistani minister for disaster management in the disputed territory, says the flooding late on Sunday also caused much destruction and damage in the village of Lesswa in Neelum Valley. (AP Photo)
Updated 16 July 2019

Flash floods kill 22 in Azad Kashmir

  • Heavy rains damaged dozens of houses in the area
  • Pakistan army partakes in rescue operations

ISLAMABAD: Heavy rains and flash floods killed at least 22 people in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, an official from the State Disaster Management Authority of Azad Kashmir told Arab News on Tuesday.
Flash floods caused by a heavy cloud burst adversely impacted Leswa Village in the Neelum Valley on Monday night, with more than 150 houses, shops and mosques impacted in the area, Ahmed Raza Qadri, Minister for State Disaster Management Authority of Azad Kashmir said.
Rescue teams comprising officials of district administration, disaster management authority and local police are conducting search and rescue operations in the area, Qadri added. 
According to the Azad Kashmir government’s media wing, the missing persons include two Frontier Works Organization (FWO) personnel, nine locals and 11 others who were visiting the area preaching in the mosques.
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has expressed deep concern and grief over the loss of precious lives and property due to the flooding.
“On ground rescue and relief operations headed by the Deputy Commissioner Neelum are underway in which teams from the State Disaster Management Authority and AJK-Red Crescent have been mobilized to assist the local administration,” Khan said.
He added that the district administration is also working closely with teams from the Pakistan army to assist in the rescue operations. 
Neelam Valley is a popular tourist destination located near the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border that splits Kashmir between Pakistan and India.


'A dispute left over from history,' Kashmir needs peaceful resolution — China

Updated 17 January 2020

'A dispute left over from history,' Kashmir needs peaceful resolution — China

  • China believes UN Security Council’s review of the Kashmir issue ‘will help ease the situation’
  • It is a dispute ‘left over from history’ and should be resolved in accordance with international law, says Chinese Foreign Ministry

ISLAMABAD: India should give serious consideration and positive response to the request of the United Nations Security Council, which called “for observance of the UN Charter and international law” with regard to New Delhi’s ongoing lockdown of Kashmir, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said during a press briefing on Friday.
At the request of Pakistan, which was backed by China, the Security Council reviewed the issue of Kashmir on Wednesday.
“Members of the Security Council are concerned about the current situation in Kashmir, and call for observance of the UN Charter and international law, and peaceful resolution of disputes through political dialogue. They believe relevant parties should remain restrained and deescalate the tension,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, according to a statement published on the ministry’s website.
He said Beijing’s position on the issue of Kashmir remains unchanged, as the Chinese government sees it as “a dispute left over from history,” which should be resolved “properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.” 
However, according to Shuang, the council should pay attention to the region “in light of new developments” and its review “will help ease the situation in the region.”
As one of the Security Council’s five permanent members, “China will continue to play a constructive role in upholding regional peace and stability,” Shuang said, adding that Beijing has been calling on India and Pakistan to “exercise restraint, step up dialogue and enhance mutual trust to deescalate the situation as soon as possible.”