NEW DELHI: Heads of rival factions of Kashmir’s All Parties Hurriyat Conference made a rare appearance together in Srinagar on Tuesday, discussing the 125-day-old standoff with the government, reports said.
They said the resistance leaders held a meeting in Srinagar with traders and other organisations to chalk out their future course of action.
Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik and Hurriyat faction head Syed Ali Geelani were present at the meeting to which all the forums — including educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organisations, and bar association — were called.
Discuss future plans with traders, other stakeholders
According to the reports, various issues regarding the ongoing uprising and other issues like education and conduct of examinations came up during the talks.
The meeting came after the government allowed the trio to meet on Sunday for the first time in the past four months since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8, which threw the entire held Valley into turmoil.
On November 2, the authorities did not allow a similar meeting, by barring the leaders from entering the residence of Mr Geelani.
Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been in the eye of almost every political storm to engulf the country in recent times. The Panama Papers, detailing offshore accounts and their beneficiaries, brought the party back onto the streets and in direct conflict with the ruling government in a dramatic – and anticlimactic – showdown. It is this state of constant agitation, among numerous other beguiling intricacies, that is forging a new identity for the PTI.
To find meaning in the ideology behind Khan’s enigmatic politics, the Heraldmet up with him at his residence in Bani Gala on a cool October day, as the PTI was preparing for its ‘lockdown’ of the federal capital — which later turned into a ‘celebration’. The following are excerpts from the conversation:
Herald. If seeking justice is the goal, why does the PTI still feel the need to bring its protest to the streets, when the Supreme Court has begun proceedings on the Panama leaks? Do you not think it will add to your image of having a lack of faith in the judiciary — or that of self-righteousness, where you speak highly of the courts if a decision is given in your favour and completely discredit it otherwise?
Imran Khan. Do people trust the democratic institutions in Pakistan? The answer is no. Nobody has faith in them. A recent survey at the World Economic Forum revealed that our state institutions have deteriorated further since the time of General Pervez Musharraf and, most alarmingly, that the independence of the judiciary has gone down. Imagine a military dictator having better functioning institutions than eight years of democracy under Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari.
Karachi is often termed as a dull city, sometimes even dangerous. In a city of 20 odd million, there is a dearth of public spaces and limited avenues for cultural activities.
The much praised diversity has also come under scrutiny, with minorities migrating to greener pastures abroad and those staying back choosing to remain discreet.
The uncertain security situation restricts religious festivities of non-Muslims as well as the nurturing of our communities' collective imagination. Festivals come and go but they don’t manage to make headlines for the right reasons.
But anyone who has lived in Karachi for some time would know that the city opens up to its denizen gradually. There are pockets across the city that light up annually with festivities, religious and cultural, showing a fascinating side of the place that doesn't make the news.
Last week, my friend visiting from London asked me if I had any plans for Diwali.
I suggested we visit the Shri Swaminarayan temple, the biggest remaining Hindu temple in Karachi.
I have never pelted stones or fought with the police. As a Peoples Partyjiyalain my youth, I was an active political worker.
I addressed hundreds of rallies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, organised meetings, participated in and led marches, and was at the receiving end of police batons dozens of times.
But I never threw a stone or a punch.
In my youth, we struggled against General Ziaul Haq’s martial law. The educated and well-off youth were not part of our struggle.
Today, it is different: the educated youth have been mobilised on a large scale and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) deserves the credit for this.
I am though concerned about how this political activism is manifesting. The teargas in the air and the containers on the roads repeat the story of violent protests. Pakistanis are, justifiably, expressing their discontent at the state of affairs.
But unlike the semi-literate, lower middle-class youth with whom I protested, I see the upper and middle-class youth active on the streets today. However, their activism doesn’t reflect the maturity of their privilege and education.
What I see are seemingly educated youth who are ignorant of how to be active in the political sphere.
I see PTI supporters throwing stones at the police and some even wrestling with law enforcement officers in Islamabad.
I see PTI-supporting lawyers in Lahore attacking cars and assaulting parents transporting children on motorbikes.
This is no way to be an enlightened political activist.
Our youth need mentoring. There is a way to be a jiyala or cheetah, and it does not involve throwing stones or punches.
Republican Donald Trump scored a series of surprising wins in battleground states including Florida and Ohio on Tuesday, opening a path to the White House for the political outsider and rattling world markets counting on a win by Democrat Hillary Clinton.
With investors worried a Trump victory could cause economic and global uncertainty, the US dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse in wild Asian trading. Opinion polls before Election Day had given Clinton a slim lead.
Mexico's peso plunged to its lowest-ever levels as Trump's chances of winning the presidency increased.
Concerns of a Trump victory have weighed heavily on the peso for months because of his threats to rip up a free trade agreement with Mexico and tax money sent home by migrants to pay to build a wall on the southern US border.
Trump won in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
With voting completed in 49 of the 50 US states, he also narrowly led in Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, giving him a clear advantage in the state-by-state fight for 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.
Both candidates still had ways to reach 270, but Clinton would have to sweep most of the remaining battlegrounds including Pennsylvania, Michigan and either Nevada or New Hampshire.
Trump captured conservative states in the South and Midwest, while Clinton swept several states on the East Coast and Illinois in the Midwest.
After running close throughout the night in Virginia, Clinton pulled out the swing state that is home to her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.
At 8:55pm EST (0155 GMT on Wednesday), Clinton acknowledged a battle that was unexpectedly tight given her edge in opinion polls going into Election Day.
She tweeted: “This team has so much to be proud of. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything.”
As of 11:10pm EST (0410 GMT on Wednesday), Trump had 215 electoral votes to Clinton's 209, with US television networks projecting the winner in 38 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Before Tuesday's election, Clinton led Trump, 44 per cent to 39pc in the last Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll. A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll gave her a 90pc chance of defeating Trump and becoming the first woman elected US president.
Also at stake on Tuesday was control of Congress. Television networks projected Republicans would retain control of the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats were up for grabs.
In the Senate, where Republicans were defending a slim four-seat majority, Democrats scored their first breakthrough in Illinois when Republican Senator Mark Kirk lost re-election. But Republicans Rob Portman in Ohio and Marco Rubio in Florida won high-profile Senate re-election fights.
In a presidential campaign that focused more on the character of the candidates than on policy, Clinton, 69, a former US secretary of state, and Trump, 70, accused each other of being fundamentally unfit to lead the country.
Trump again raised the possibility on Tuesday of not accepting the election's outcome, saying he had seen reports of voting irregularities.
He gave few details and Reuters could not immediately verify the existence of such problems.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll gives Clinton a 90pc chance of defeating Trump.
Americans on Nov 8 began voting for the 45th president of the United States. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump face voters on Tuesday as millions of Americans turn out on Election Day to pick the next US president and end a bruising campaign that polls said favored Clinton.
In a battle centered largely on the character of the candidates, Clinton, 69, a former secretary of state and first lady, and Trump, 70, a New York businessman, made their final, fervent appeals to supporters late on Monday to turn out the vote.
If she wins, Hillary Clinton could become America's first female commander in chief. A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll gave Clinton a 90 per cent chance of defeating Trump and said she was on track to win 303 electoral college votes out of 270 needed, to Trump's 235.
World markets braced for the outcome of one of the most contentious US presidential elections in history, with stocks up slightly on cautious expectations of a Clinton win. The dollar and bond yields slipped, while gold inched up.
Republican Donald Trump extends a strong lead over Democratic Hillary Clinton in a historic clash for the White House on Wednesday as results from the United States presidential election pour in.
As both candidates go head to head, the world waits anxiously for a final announcement on who the winner of a prolonged and bitter campaign for the presidency will be.
Clinton has 215 Electoral College votes; Trump has won 244 votes, according to a New York Times count. It takes 270 votes to win.
A deeply divided electorate of about 200 million Americans were asked to make a momentous choice between electing the nation's first woman president, or handing the reins of power to a billionaire populist who has upended US politics with his improbable outsider campaign.
Republicans retain control of Senate
Republicans retained control of the United States Senate, with 29 out of 34 results called by major TV networks, including one pickup by the Democrats in Illinois.
A handful of extremely tight Senate races were too close to call, while the networks declared that Republicans, as expected, retained their majority in the House of Representatives.
The outcomes in both chambers will help determine how hard it will be for either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump to get things done as president.
The following are facts on the stakes and races to watch:
US Senate, 100 seats. Senators serve six-year terms.
A third of the Senate is up for re-election every two years.
Procedural rules in the Senate mean 60 votes are needed to advance major initiatives.
Republicans entered the election with 54 seats, led by Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, versus the Democrats' 44 seats and two independent seats.
Dueling Manhattan parties
At the venue where Trump will hold his planned victory party in New York and in the bar at Trump Tower, his home and headquarters, supporters were upbeat, expressing confidence that he would stage a major political upset.
Cheers erupted when one network update showed Trump slightly ahead in Florida.
"This is like a football game. I'm going to have a heart attack," said 76-year-old Mike Garcia, a Republican from Pennsylvania.
Across town at the huge conference center where Clinton hopes to hold her victory rally, supporters were just as giddy.
"Hillary's going to win and we're going to unite America," declared Jade Wiederholt, a 43-year-old marketing consultant from New York.
Clinton tweeted: "This team has so much to be proud of. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything."
She and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, huddled in a hotel near the venue to prepare a victory ─ or concession ─ speech.
'I'll do the very best I can'
Earlier, the Clintons voted near their home in Chappaqua, before emerging to shake hands and chat with the crowd.
"So many people are counting on the outcome of this election, what it means for our country," the 69-year-old former secretary of state said. "And I'll do the very best I can if I'm fortunate enough to win today."
An exit poll by CNN however found that only four in 10 voters were optimistic that Obama's successor would do any better than he has during his two terms in office.
Trump, 70, cast his ballot alongside his wife Melania in a Manhattan school gymnasium.
"Right now it's looking very good," he told reporters ─ paying no heed to protesters who welcomed him with chants of "New York hates you!"
The 2016 race was the most bruising in modern memory.
Obama's election eight years ago as the nation's first black president had raised hopes of uniting Americans, but the current contest has only highlighted the country's divisions ─ and the fact that voters are not necessarily happy with their options.
Exit polls by ABC News and NBC News found that both Clinton and Trump are seen as untrustworthy by majorities of voters, while most find Trump's temperament unpresidential.
Most voters told ABC that the economy was the most important issue or them, but were evenly divided on which candidate would handle it better, so the final result may come down to turnout.
The exit polls, and reports coming in from polling stations around the country, suggested that Latino turnout was high and that this would favor Clinton over the anti-immigration candidate, Trump.
Trump's campaign spooked world markets seeking stability after the recent global slowdown, but stocks rose for a second straight day Tuesday on the expectation that Clinton will prevail.
At the closing bell, the S&P 500 closed up 0.4 per cent. But Asian markets were open as polls closed and the situation was much less clear cut, with equities falling after initial gains.
Early voting has shown particular enthusiasm among Hispanic voters, an increasingly influential voting bloc whose strong turnout could shape the results.
Clinton has urged citizens to vote for a more "big-hearted" America, while Trump has vowed to tear up US trade deals, control immigration, restore manufacturing jobs that moved abroad and to: "Make America great again."