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sit aths APD vi 112 de wed Valley. ls urfe la bad Kil C u a r m a f r f o a F LADAKH Profile of new z LAHDC t members 8-Poin Bomber In Mu J & K IN 2011: A FORECAST Commentary on Language, Education e d AFFAIRS Suici iers t ve Sold Schools i i s F i s v h t D a ar o visit 112 de Srinag lley. AP Back t utors a u V m d y. APD e m l c : 0974-5653a J&K'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE ISSN ls e So Curfew ormula Interlo 0 0 C r f o r J bad Kil ills Fiv a r K a f d F f 0 a a a t , b z u Rs 9 8-Poin zaffara dy ber In M m o B ay r In Mu ad rea f e e l e r s t e o w d R i h c g l i i a u H h S oil Mug ldiers 80 KM ' s p r e - t u r m o S e s v l i F R hoo Delhi ols JANUA k to Sc ar c N y g I a a a B S w n i D h I t r i g mu-S eelan NTRUSION B rd con cutors gar Hi G m a o a l a n r w i J a e r t S r a n I I mu r fo HIGH assing Padm ,000 C for Jam ady 9 s R rn mbarr re E ani l d e y a e te retu a d o G a a R t e i o y l r t i al o a c t d s w a r a High elers versy 's idea to f ts Chidambr l feele hal Ro e i Y g f o R u l A m M i r U o u t K ge Omar 80 KM rsy IN JAN -turm e e S v r D o I p r om Pa B t r s n ' f i o m s h c o l h r SION t e d f D ar s RY you ths ma aw Soldier left JANUA of you t r 7 N n I o 1 r p S i s u l p t n l D ng Pad i I u e y d a -ol ayS EteWr oSrt, C U R R E N TGeel A F ASIIORN BS, ward cSonOtroCverIsA Ls AvalanSchCe IKaEceN ilita 1-dE cN 1C TFRU : to N I H a to fa r p a s G g a th is stage HI up u m s D o o d h e y a 's f n P K m o o g t a & n n S assi p J etur dambr 't kee Embarr ldiers ilitate r n t d o c r g a a S a o f C e p 7 o d p t 1 t u s ea ng hei lef i d 's l i a d m 's l c r s a e Kills o r S r a s b e r : y m O pelt idam pelte -LoC trade l industria 11-da stone ers gets Ch i o a d t grace: K l a o e P S d g Cross a a 17 st r speci de rom o o s f s l t f h l f t i d e h K K l g n i & d a e ch -ol ep J Dem ing he 0 O Avalan 11-day lters ackage : e p e p e: Scal c d l d e i a : 9700 a a n r i t r W r o g t u t t s s i e s o 0 l g u D 0 l o oC t a d a 0 in y f tage , 32 Stone pecial i l i t a n c ows &K hos eights rphans J M h ll O p g e 0 n e d for s i 0 l k id dits Ki ca 70 e n't W S n 9 g a a a : C 0 : P k e t 0 c i d u 0 a r a o 32 ami ial p C tr y fall e 1 9 8 9 ours , industr oss-Lo 9 Kash s r c l 1 n a n C 2 i i a c S h e d p p nde d for s 00 Or t s K i l l e Roshni. Cont ases u t ' i n 0 c a d 7 9 n h 8 9 m a k 9 e : P a 's 1 D l t iri Pac . PM .38 llou der as h a m solved ncy fa Over 1 o f ' K a s h m i r R s . 1, ses un e a a r t c i 9 e l t i 8 h u 9 k M 's rs ce 1 1.38 la Baglihar disp idows C o n t o u resolved. PM lled Sin i W K 0 s i t 0 '. i n t 0 d h c e 32 ths J&K ri Pan r Ros mir Pa disput r J&K re ashami ee mon ps For s unde r K o e h s S 9 t o a 1 n inju F e n c 2 e i r s h o m p d r k y o e c a ' t r S l i t 00 nju cur Pac .38 ers ymen i shmir 000 se oreign Over 1 mir a 4 h 'K s a f t d K o e securit opened to f f s pened ths resolv o K ture o n s ontour e u o s & k t f C J k a u m a n e r p e s o p o p ey r di vey ps F akh se Ladakh oss-LoC surv ree oC sur Bagliha 00-crore So one el h L y t n s a s n i r o n r C 1,0 tha tC red First M's Rs. itymen inju PaK PM Solar End more P : an e d l v o e i h r r cu on s h m i r ved more th h om mg e r a e s F K s u r s 0 s e W 0 i ie n 40 ign mir 00 M I am gr hmir issue o , to fore t Kash d e 20,0 f t e s a o n h r t s e e e a n p r 2 n mo Ge Put K Generate 0 n futu eaks o o e p c y h n &K t o e k e v a d r i Lad oC su J&K to g y B y 2 0 2 0 20 in Res L 0 2 r s s e y t o i B r i r r y First C e else S o l a r E n e a r d e d w r i t e r d e d w ice to Geelan essing n a n o r w y a a n h a g w c ain not ir han re on Taing a rore IT noti aK PM K a s h m ieved more t rore IT P to failu C : e C d 7 l u . d 7 o d 1 nh Rs tion Rs 1. r e r u p t i o n I am gr issue o W From i ir erup r M a i i m d 0 m h n 0 h s I s 0 a Kashm gains: Arm K th 0, Ka i 2 t w u e t P t s a g e r my Gene rores nessin : J&K's fut ture b r C u o a f t 0 ins: Ar h e 's 5 K c 0 K 8 n & 2 J nd side y 20 e Rs nd: J& Deoba ergy B r i n R e ani age to mak r n e Deoba t E t K i r e r & a e J w l r l So 0% &K ded 's st tax: Gee Water ashmir S DOWN BY 3 g a w a r IT notice to n dia a t e r t a x : J n K o i a d e T r n i u l W fai beh akh ORT ore Faces due to u, Lad J&K im1.7 Cr RE EXP m n s U o R m i T t a L o p r J U C res behind Kas s, eru e l r b i u m HORTIC sk forces for o y a h r Kas Faces ULTURE E s: Arm spite t ith Indi ta n e i w l a D t a g i , s c Y e g e E b Sp HORTIC rores rnessin J&K's future Y SURV anking a C A h 0 D 5 O 8 T Rs d: o er INDIA Deoban : J&K to make treet rage 30% e c i a l t a s k f rmanc o f r s e e i p s t Sp tax ir's ersi proves odd jobs Water Kashm DOWN BY 30% te Univ anga Arbitra d a h n v i i 0 r h 0 p d e 0 TS ng er sb , La ak I A TO D AY R a v 43, e u O h o c s P m a i y X F K s E m r ve IND r Ja eads TURE K im Contro ebel H ces fo RTICUL r w O o h H f c les, J& S b k u s n o a e s r t h t t l Step xpor ite g Specia a. s for e i s e t i A f r i , D e s p e rankin 0 odd job l u f Y a o o E u C s V q t n r R i h o t o ti 43,00 versy rmanc Ladak AY S U basma ski res ports o D f u r p O e o m T t p m 7 Ja Contro INDIA proves for ex . mong a a m s i i s e g i r A f K i a l f & qua ts o s, J Gulm ties i resor asmati trouble k b s u p o m t 7 Jam g i g on ers s rankin arg am te Univ dd job

JAMMU & KASHMIR

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Epilogue Annual Review

2010 THE YEAR THAT WAS


1

Epilogue because there is more to know

CONTENT Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary

PROLOGUE

-3

Goodbye 2010

Publisher Yogesh Pandoh

COLUMN

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History

Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Manu Srivastsa

Epilogue

Research Officer Raman Sharma

Vol 4, Issue 12 December 2010

Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction of courts and competitive tribunals in Jammu only. RNI : JKENG/2007/26070 ISN : 00974-5653 Price : Rs 30

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EXCLUSIVE SERIES

ANNUAL REVIEW: 2010

• 112 deaths • Curfewed Valley • APD visit • 8-Point Formula • Back to Schools • Interlocutors • 80 KM Mughal Road ready • Delhi's pre-turmoil feelers

CHRONOLOGY

-55

Militancy in 2010

7 - 26

to Geelani • Embarrassing Padma award • controversy • Avalanche Kills 17 Soldiers • Stone Disgrace: 11-day-old left dead • Cross-LoC trade: Scaling heights • Demand for special industrial package • Over 1.38 lakh cases under Roshni • Contours of 'Kashmir Pact' • Baglihar dispute resolved • PM's Rs.1,000-crore Sops For J&K • 4000 securitymen injured in three months • Ladakh peaks opened to foreigners • First Cross-LoC survey on future of Kashmir

Vol. 4 Issus 12

Lahdc Elections Language Education

FORECAST: 2011

3-5

• Panchayat Elections • Problems of Jammu and Ladakh • The House of Elders • Mughal Road • Kashmir Resolution Plan • Dialogue • Headcount • Cross-LoC Connections • Transparency, Accountability • Jobs • New Administrative Chief

Epilogue, December 2010


3

PROLOGUE

Goodbye 2010 ZAFAR CHOUDHARY

W

e are at threshold of New Year, an occasion when people usually take stock of what happened in immediate past and how things could best shape up in future. In Jammu and Kashmir, looking back at 2010 is all a horrendous experience and therefore looking forward to 2011 does not give much of hope. When scenario is such dismal things are not left to the times alone. To hope for the best in the future one must look at the past for quick introspection and learning. 2010 was one of the most eventful years in Jammu and Kashmir, mostly for all the wrong reasons. 112 precious lives lost for nothing was a series of most traumatic events of the year. No one would want to die so cheap and no one would like to kill so freely. This cycle of protests and killings must stop and the only way of putting an end to this is opening dialogue with various shades of opinion and addressing genuine grievances of the youths who are clearly restless. After so much of deaths destructions the Government of India has opened a system of dialogue through interlocutors. This exercise must be taken to a logical conclusion on whatever cost it takes. Failure of this interlocution process is bound to inject further disappointment and more restlessness in future. In this yearend issue of Epilogue we have tried to bring a recap of the year for our readers. The review section is collection of important happenings of the year. There is also a section on selections from national and international press. Some of the opinions and analyses picked from the international press are not quite in sync with our editorial thinking but we thought of reproducing them in this issue so that readers get to know how world thinking about Jammu and Kashmir is shaping up.

JANUARU 2007

JANUARY 2008

JANUARY 2009

JANUARY 2010


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FORECAST J & K IN 2010

J&K in 2011: A Political Forecast EPILOGUE BUREAU

Jammu and Kashmir is going through bad times for last few years and 2010 was the worst of them all. As we step into the year, the past precedent does not offer much hope for 2011. However, some processes already set into motion are expected to bring in some change in the way we look at things and in the way we look at a future. Here is a glossary of some events and developments likely to take place in 2011.

Panchayat Elections

H

olding Panchayat elections at earliest possible occasion was a major point in the 2008 election manifesto of both National Conference and the Con gress, the parties which later formed the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir. Soon after formation of coalition government in January 2009, the state, with rest of the country, went to Lok Sabha elections. Later that year some complacency, some lack of will and some political reasons delayed the Panchayat elections. Much of 2009 was violent and politically unstable. One couldn't have thought of a democratic political exercise in 2010 even as Panchayat elections were briefly thought as a potential attention diverter for an escape route from Kashmir turmoil. At the face of it a serious exercise, involving overhaul of electoral rolls, is going on as part of preparations for Panchayat elections which are likely to be held somewhere between early to mid of 2011. Panchayat elections, if held fairly, can prove to be a major political game changer in troubled Jammu and Kashmir. Denial of democratic space and refusal to share power with the peoples at grassroots has often been described as one of the major reasons for unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the valley. Therefore, the critics of self rule proposal of the Peoples Democratic Party and autonomy model of the National Conference are not wrong enough when they say Panchayati Raj can be real empowerment of the people and answer to many protracted problems. The Assembly

elections of 2008 and Lok Sabha elections of 2009 saw huge and unprecedented participation of candidates trying their electoral fortunes. Political scientists are of the opinion that due to absence of opportunities at smaller level for giving vent to aspirations large number of people take part in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and lead of division of votes. Panchayat elections can really assimilate those aspirations and offer people platform to compete and play meaningful role in the democratic spaces. 2011 is the year expected to change the political landscape first time after 1970s. Panchayat elections were first held after a staggering gap of 23 years in 2001 but Panchayats were never empowered to play any role.

Problems of Jammu and Ladakh

The House of Elders

T

T

wo of the three geographical divisions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Ladakh have historically complained of developmental and political dis criminations. As a part of wider political engagements with various sections of peoples in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India constituted, on October 13, two Special Task Forces for studying development needs of Jammu and Ladakh regions. While Abhijit Sen, a Planning Commission member, leads a task force on Jammu, Narendra Jadhav, another Planning Commission member, is the chairperson of the team on Ladakh. The two task forces have been constituted keeping in view the immediate objectives to maintain peace and order and defuse the situation through confidence building measures. The decision on forming of three task forces was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 25. The terms and references of the two task forces would be to identify the special development needs of the region and suggest measures to address them and to examine allocations to the regions in terms of infrastructure needs. They will make suitable recommendations to overcome the deficiencies. The task forces have been given three months to submit their reports. Recommendations of these task forces are likely to be known by January or February 2011. This is for first time when the basis of grievances of Jammu and Ladakh will be known after a scientific study. Interestingly, the high profile State Finance Commission which submitted its report to the Chief Minister in December 2010, suggested that discrimination allegations in Jammu and Ladakh had no valid basis as some districts in Jammu were far more development than many districts of Kashmir.

he patterns of political repre sentation in the upper cham ber of legislature will change substantially as eight seats of the Legislative Council are falling vacant. The process to fill up eight vacancies shall take place in February-Match 2011. Notable among those who are retiring next is the Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council, Arvinder Singh Mickey. If Panchayat elections are held in early 2011, the coming year will throw up four more vacancies in the Legislative Council. The Upper House of the J&K Legislature has strength of 36 members while four seats to be filled by the members of the Panchayats have been perpetually vacant in absence of the elected Panchayats.


5

FORECAST J & K IN 2010

Mughal Road

C

hief Minister Omar Abdullah has already taken a trial and a car rally made a successful circuit. Kashmiris apples made way to Rajouri and Poonch markets in 2010 and passenger cabs ferried adventurous passengers across Pir Panjal mountain ranges. 2011 is likely to see formal commissioning of the Mughal Road which carries more political meanings to Jammu and Kashmir than the infrastructural development. Mughal Road, once taken by the Mughals to reach Kashmir, is the road between Bafliaz, a town in the Poonch district, to Shopian district in south of the Kashmir valley. The road is 84km long, it passes over Pir Panjal Mountain range, at altitude of 11,500 ft (3505 m), that is higher than Banihal pass (2832 m). The road brings the Poonch and Rajouri district closer to Srinagar in Kashmir valley. The distance between Srinagar and Poonch will be reduced from 588km to 126km. It makes for alternate road route to Kashmir valley from rest of India, other than over-crowded Jammu-Srinagar Highway through Banihal Tunnel (National Highway 1A). The road passes through Buffliaz,

Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian. The road was historically used by Moghul emperors to travel and conquer Kashmir during the sixteenth century. It was the route used by Akbar the Great to conquer Kashmir in 1586, and his son Emperor Jahangir died while returning from Kashmir on this road near Rajouri. The new road was proposed in the 1950s, with the intention of improving the economy of Poonch and Rajouri districts. Then Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah had taken up this project in 1979 and named it "Mughal Road", but it came to halt as militancy took over. Bafliaz Bridge on the road was blown up by the militants. The construction of the prestigious project was started in 2005 with a target of completion in March 2007 and an estimated cost of Rs 255 crores. The road cuts through Hirpora wildlife sanctuary. Initially, there was opposition to the construction of the road because it would fragment the wildlife and inhibit movement of animals, especially the endangered Markhor goat in the region. Also, opponents claimed the road will get early snowfall in winter and hence will not serve as an alternate route to existing Jammu-Srinagar highway. Finally Supreme Court gave conditional permission for the construction of the road. The construction work was almost completed in 2010 it is proposed to be open to traffic by summer of 2011.

Dialogue

Kashmir Resolution Plan

K

ashmir issue is such complicated and protracted that many leaders and statesmen could not come close to a formula which could have been acceptable to all. In search of a lasting solution the conflict has been lingering on for more than six decades. Ruthless killing of 112 persons during the street protests of summer 2010 is reflection of the danger that Kashmir issues poses to peace and security in the region. Following a unprecedented protests of 2010, the Government of India has deputed a team of three interlocutors to find out a solution to Kashmir issue. . To believe that they will be able to come up with a solution to Kashmir issue which is acceptable to all would be a little unrealistic. Had a lasting issue to such a protracted issue been so simple and easy, someone would long back have pocketed a Nobel Prize for peace. However, what they tell us about their understanding of Kashmir issues is something worth waiting for. After all, the Government of India has claimed that this is the most serious exercise in finding out Kashmir solution. Interlocutors are currently engaged with different shades of opinions in Jammu and Kashmir and their initial term of references is for one year. In October 2010 they are likely to unveil what they think of Kashmir issue and what they propose for resolution.

A

powerful track-II initiative between In dia and Pakistan in its recent meeting in Dubai strongly recommended for resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad to focus, among other issues, on Kashmir issue. Both countries have already indicated willingness to engage on the outstanding issues. A dialogue between New Delhi and Kashmiri separatists is also likely to be revived. Sources aware of the developments claim that the Government of India is likely to add a political heavyweight to the three-member panel of interlocutors to engage with the separatists. The recurring eruption in Kashmir is widely believed to be an outcome of an absence of institutional dialogue. Resumption of dialogue is expected to restore some confidence among the disappointed lot in Kashmir.

Headcount

A

long with rest of country, the decadal census operation in Jammu and Kashmir took off in early 2010 and the headcount is likely to be completed by early 2011. Provisional population statistics shall be known by March 2011 which would become a basis for fresh planning and, of course, add to the political debates on who is in what numbers. According to last census survey of 2001 the total population of Jammu and Kashmir was given at 10143700 which was 29.43 percent up of estimated census population of 1991. 24.81 percent of total population was urban. In 2001, Jammu and Kashmir's total population was calculated at 0.98 percent of total population of India.

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Vol. 4, Issue 11

Epilogue, November 2010


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FORECAST J & K IN 2010

Cross-LoC Connections

Transparency, Accountability

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I

n the separatist political mainland of Kashmir, the confidence build ing measures like trade and travel across the Line of Control are seen diversionary tactics to shift attention for the 'main issue'. This opinion notwithstanding, the Cross-LoC travel which came into operation in 2005 and the Cross-LoC trade, launched in 2008, are making enormous contribution in helping the divided families meet. Originally pushed by Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf, the Cross-LoC trade is believed to be an issue close to the heart of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has shown keen interest in its launch and promotion. If the

sources privy to some developments in New Delhi are to be believed, the Cross-LoC trade is expected to see a major push in 2011. On the list of hope could be revision of the list of tradable items, banking, enhanced communication, easy travel for registered traders and enhanced facilities at trade facilitation centres. In another initiative towards enhancing Cross-LoC connections, the University of Jammu has offered reserve 30 percent seats at its Poonch campus for students from Pakistan administered Kashmir. A proposal to this effect has been formally sent to the Prime Minister's Office and this is expected to be okayed somewhere in 2011.

Jobs

I

n July 2010 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a job package of 50,000 vacancies for the unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir. A month later, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced another matching package. A panel to recommend creation of jobs has already been constituted by the Prime Minister. The Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Policy for Youth, flagship programme of Omar Abdullah government is also taking off. Put together 2011 could be the year of jobs.

ransparency and accountability in public life has been a politi cal buzzword in Jammu and Kashmir since then beginning of present century when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of Peoples Democratic Party sought vote to end the alleged corrupt regime of National Conference headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah. Through his artistically drawn election campaign, Mufti made a majority of people to believe that corruption was the most serious problem in Jammu and Kashmir and the real Azadi could be achieved through a transparent and accountable system. Delivering towards his this commitment, he acted fast to enact legislations for an Accountability Commission and an Information Commission. While the Accountability Commission died an embarrassing death in little over a year after its birth, the Information Commission is yet to see the day of the light. Omar Abdullah is third Chief Minister after Mufti and on issues of transparency and accountability people expect more from him. He is apparently not too keen on Accountability Commission but State Information Commission seems to be an issue of prestige for Omar Abdullah. Three scheduled meetings for selecting a Chief Commissioner for the State Commission had to be put off at different times in 2010 for various reasons. It is expected that Jammu and Kashmir inches towards transparency in 2011 with State Information Commission formally coming to life.

New Administrative Chief

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he incumbent Chief Secretary SS Kapur is retiring by January 31. He had taken over the top administrative post from BR Kundal on June 9, 2008. The Omar Abdullah Government was reportedly keen about Parvez Dewan, an IAS officer of J&K cadre and Naveed Masud, an IAS officer of Union Territory cadre as possible successors of Kapur but none of the ideas is reported to have materialised. Dewan, a noted writer and chronicler, is presently Chairman of the India Tourism Development Corporation based at New Delhi. He was on a yearlong study leave abroad which ended on December 1. Sources claimed that Dewan is not 'too inclined' to take the assignment of Chief Secretary which is a pressing job. It is learnt that Naveed Masood, who was the next possible choice for the Omar Abdullah Government has not expressed any interest in taking assignment of the Chief Secretary. Next in seniority to Kapur is Samuel Varghese who is also retiring around same time. Next to Verghese is Madhav Lal, presently on central deputation and posted as Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner in the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises. Madhav is not being considered for the top bureaucratic post as he has a reputation of being too slow in decision making. At fourth number in seniority is Anil Goswani whose chances of taking over as next Chief Secretary appear very bright if Kapur is not granted extension, which is being talked about in political circles. Goswami is presently in central deputation and posted as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. His last assignment in Jammu and Kashmir was Principal Secretary in Industries and Commerce Department and earlier Home Department and before that he was Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

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Vol. 4, Issue 11

Epilogue, November 2010


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ANNUAL REVIEW J & K IN 2010

2010: In Review The Year That Was EPILOGUE BUREAU

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ammu and Kashmir is a land of surprises. No pre diction can hold true, particularly in case of po litical processes. In summer of 2008 the state appeared caught at a worst intersection of history. It was Amarnath temple land row. Separatist sentiment swept across the Kashmir Valley. All that happened was unprecedented and unpredicted; however, more unprecedented and unpredicted was what happened couple of months of later -a huge participation in assembly elections and next year the repeat of same in Lok Sabha elections. Some political observers concluded that voter participation was an indication of the waning separatist influence. In his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "with massive participation in elections people of Jammu and Kashmir have demonstrated that there was no space for separatist politics". Prime Minister's this statement had come when Kashmir was again in eruption -this time on alleged rape and murder of two women in south Kashmir village of Shopian. On first day of 2010, which happened to be Friday, the moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called on India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir in present year. Mirwaiz's statement indicated two things -a sense of fatigue in separatist camp after two years of meaningless violent

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protests and willingness to talk on the issues that mattered. In his Friday sermons at Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said, "we do not want that this New Year should be wasted in allowing instability and mistrust to dominate. We hope that this year marks the beginning of new friendship between India and Pakistan and all outstanding issues between the two countries including Kashmir are resolved". He said people of the State in general and Hurriyat Conference in particular will contribute their bit towards any initiative taken for resolution of Kashmir issue. Making a fervent appeal to put the past behind, the Hurriyat chairman said the Centre should give up its rigid attitude and resume the dialogue process with Pakistan for resolving Kashmir issue. Contrary to Mirwaiz's assertions, the year proved to be worst on all fronts. Peacemaking efforts went to tatters as incidents of human rights violations, some alleged and some clearly evidenced, triggered a chain of violence. Governance and course of normal came to a complete halt for nearly four months 112 persons -aged between 8 and 80 -fell to the bullets one after the other. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah admitted that situation pushed him to lowest of life but anyone at his place could have done hardly any different.

Vol. 4, Issue 12

Epilogue, December 2010


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ANNUAL REVIEW J & K IN 2010

112 deaths

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anuary was really a month of home and pragmatism when separatists talked about dialogue and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah talked about governance. The unending chain of violence and killings began in second week of June but the tone for unrest was set in motion in February and then in April bringing the Kashmir society in direct confrontation with security forces and local Police. It was on first day of February that after 14-yearold teenager, Wamiq Farooq of Rainawari was killed by a teargas shell fired allegedly by an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, who was placed under suspension. Authorities had imposed undeclared curfew in the old city and since then restrictions were put in place. In Brein, Nishat-where troopers killed another teenager, Zahid Farooq, on four days later youth staged protests against his killing demanding stern punish ment to the paramilitary troopers

who killed Zahid in "cold-blood." These two incidents caused emotional eruption in Srinagar and the town had to be put under curfew several times. In ending April three deaths were reported in north Kashmir's Kupwara district in an encounter with Army. Army said that the slain youths were the militants. However, in ending May locals alleged that three killed in Kupwara were the local youths who had been hired by the Army as porters. Their bodies were exhumed and allegations confirmed. This led to a chain of violent protests across different parts of Kashmir Valley which further intensified on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Srinagar visit on June 7. Before Prime Minister's arrival the Army instituted a Court of Inquiry and removed a Colonel from the formation in Kupwara but protests did not ebb. In continuation of protests against human rights violations, a school-boy succumbed to teargas shell on June 11 which resulted in an unending chain of violent protests taking toll of 112 lives in next four months.

Curfewed Valley For next four months death continued to be the only constant in the Valley and at several occasions situation completely slipped out of the hands of state and central authorities. Curfews became an order of the day and on September 11, it was first time in 11 years that entire Kashmir Valley -towns, townships and villages was brought under complete curfew.

P

rohibitory orders were imposed in all the 14 districts that constitute the Valley following violence on September 11, which saw 17 people die in police firing. However, protesters took to the streets at several places. Despite curfew being extended to all major towns in the Valley, defiant protesters took to the streets. Clashes between stone pelters and security forces went on despite curfew. Experts said the Valley faced a whopping loss of over

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Vol. 4, Issue 12

Rs. 12,000 crore in the four months as businesses were badly affected. Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir president Shakeel Qalander said: "This is the worst time for the business community. I do not think we can recover," he said. The prolonged unrest in the Kashmir Valley pinched hard the state's economy. Some 50,000 skilled and non-skilled workers have been reportedly retrenched by their employers during the days of turmoil. The four months of shutdowns and curfews took a heavy toll on the frail economy of the Kashmir Valley. According to estimates by the Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (FCIK), some 50,000 skilled and non-skilled workers were retrenched by their employers due to the unrest as they were 'unable to meet their idle wage bills'. Kashmir has 16,000 industrial units in the organised and unorganised sector providing direct employment to 1.6 lakh skilled and non-skilled workers. Ten to 15 percent of the skilled and non-skilled non-local workers fled to other places as they felt unsafe in the prevailing state of affairs. Production and marketing of goods came to a standstill and incomes nose-dived to naught, according to the FCIK.

Epilogue, December 2010


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ANNUAL REVIEW J & K IN 2010

APD visit

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n September 20, an All Party Del egation led by Home Minister P Chidambaram arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation in the state even as the separatists decided to stay away from the meeting. The visit by the all-party team, the first in two decades, tried to help break the deadlock in the Valley. The delegation's recommendations were considered by the Cabinet Committee on Security of Kashmir later same week. Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik decided to skip the meeting of all political parties and instead sent a joint memorandum to the delegation. Though the separatists boycotted the meeting, the members of the All Party Delegation broke into

8-Point Formula

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n follow-up to the visit of All Party Delegation to Jammu and Kashmir, the Central Government unveiled an eight-point formula, On September 25, for lessening tension in the state and building atmosphere for an all encompassing dialogue. As part of formula, the Centre announced to appoint a group of interlocutors, under the chairmanship of an eminent person, to begin the process of sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir with political parties, groups, students, civil society and other stakeholders. The decision to begin the process of sustained dialogue was part of an eight-point initiative taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) the meeting of

smaller groups and called on the prominent separatists at their residences. They met Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik Leader of opposition People's Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti, who decided not to attend the all-party meeting, sent PDP General Secretary Dilawar Meer accompanied by a 15-member team to meet the delegation. The separatists had earlier threatened to pull out if curfew was not lifted from the Valley. Mufti said there was no purpose in the visit of the all-party delegation if the members of the civil society and the common people were not allowed to meet it. The 38-member team spent spend two days in Srinagar and Jammu. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, DMK leader T R Baalu, LJP President Ram Vilas Paswan, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, Indian Union Muslim League President E Ahamed are part of the delegation

which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the decisions were based on the report submitted by him to the Prime Minister and the inputs of the all-party delegation that had visited Srinagar and Jammu on September 20 and 21. In a step aimed at reaching out to the people of the State, the Centre advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to release all students detained for stone-pelting and similar violations of law, and to withdraw all charges. The Centre also requested the State government to convene a meeting of the Unified Command to review deployment of security forces in the Kashmir Valley, especially in Srinagar, with particular reference to de-scaling those at bunkers and checkpoints in the city and other towns. He said the Unified Command would review

notifications issued for disturbed areas. The eight-point formula also included grant of an ex gratia of Rs. five lakh to the family of each of those killed in civil disturbances in Kashmir since June 11. Centre also advised the State government to review cases of all Public Safety Act (PSA) detenus and withdraw detention orders in appropriate cases. At that time there were 84 persons under judicial custody, 110 under police custody and 51 had been detained under the Public Safety Act since civil disturbances began in the Kashmir Valley in June. The Centre also requested the State government to take steps to immediately reopen all schools, colleges, and universities, hold special classes and ensure that examinations are conducted on schedule for the current academic year.

Suicide Bomber In Muzaffarabad Kills Five Soldiers

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n first incident of its kind, five soldiers died in a suicide attack in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and clashes with militants, even as troops pushed on with their search and clearance operations against the Taliban in the Swat valley and Waziristan tribal region, authorities said on January. A suicide bomber struck an army barracks at Tararkhal, over 90 km from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir capital

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Muzaffarabad. Fourteen soldiers were injured and four of them later succumbed to injuries. Part of the barracks was destroyed by the blast. This was the third suicide attack in PoK since June last year. Violence by pro-Taliban militants has spread to PoK in recent months. The region was largely unaffected by militant attacks over the years. A soldier was killed and two more were injured when Taliban militants fired several rockets at security forces at Tabai Sar in the Razmak sector of Waziristan, the military said. Troops conducted a search and clearance operation at Sherkai near Razmak and cleared more than 100 houses. Search and clearance operations were also conducted at Badar valley in the Shakai sector. In the Swat valley, security forces apprehended two suspected militants and seized a cache of arms and ammunition during search operations at several places.

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Back to Schools

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fter being shut for three months, schools in Kashmir partially reopened on September 27 even as Srinagar and other towns in the Valley remained under curfew. The state government on had directed staff of schools to be present in their institutes, a day after the Centre asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to reopen schools as part of the central government's eight-point peace package for the Valley. Transport was provided to teachers and students on 11 important routes in Srinagar. School uniforms treated as identity proof and school buses allowed passage in curfew. Exams for Class 10 and Class 12 were to start in the last week of October and first week of November, respectively. The hardline faction of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference, however, gave a call for a shutdown and appealed to students and parents not to cooperate with the government's directive. "Though education is important, the government can't use our children to suppress the agitation,'' said Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Geelani's appeal for boycotting schools drew him criticism in the Valley. It was a big day for kids in the Kashmir valley with schools reopening after a 100 days. The attendance was nowhere near 100 per cent perhaps because of hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani's call asking parents not to send children to schools. But at least the schools were all open.

There were three incidents of stone-pelting at school buses but more damage was done by rumours of firing - that schools have been attacked and set on fire. At Srinagar's prestigious Burn Hall, the Principal said 30 per cent children attended classes which the government says was the average for urban areas. In rural areas the attendance was better, almost 80 per cent. "In some places miscreants threw stones on students and tried to harass them. They tried to resist the opening of schools. Despite this students

came and schools were opened," J&K Education Minister Peerzad Mohammad Sayeed said. Home Minister P Chidambaram issued a stern warning to stone-pelters, after a few incidents of stone-pelting on school buses were reported. "There was a call by one of the Hurriyat leaders to parents asking them not to send their children. Happily, parents have disregarded that call. There were a few minor incidents of stone-pelting on school buses. How can any right thinking person pelt stones on school buses? The J&K government has assured that every effort is being made to ensure that all schools and colleges reopen, and security will be provided to students," the Home Ministry said in a statement. The Home Minister also said government was happy to learn that most schools and colleges have reopened in Jammu and Kashmir and most students have gone back to schools and colleges today. "I am confident that the few schools and colleges that remain closed today, presumably out of caution, will reopen tomorrow. I am also confident that the attendance will improve significantly tomorrow. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has assured us that every effort is being made to ensure that all schools and colleges reopen and function normally and that security will be provided to enable the students to attend schools and colleges. Both the Centre and the state government celebrated the reopening of schools, but Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was careful not to tomtom it as a victory over separatists. He reiterated his request to keep education out of the conflict. "It's nobody's victory and nobody's defeat, its only the victory of those children who have been able to come back to schools and been able to resume their education. We hope that more and more children come back to school," Omar said.

Both the Centre and the state government celebrated the reopening of schools, but Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was careful not to tomtom it as a victory over separatists.

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Interlocutors

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n October 13, the Government of India named three interlocu tors to carry forward dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir and make recommendations for resolution of issues within a period of one year. The panel of interlocutors -comprising eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist MM Ansari made their visit to Srinagar on October 23 after having elaborate meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Chidambram in Delhi. During their first visit to Srinagar and then Jammu, they had brief meetings with several political and social groups and made an assessment of situation by visiting civilian areas and jails. Team leader and journalist Padgaonkar said the team had come to find a solution to the political problem of Jammu and Kashmir. "Our mandate is to have dialogue with all shades of opinion to find comprehensive political settlement of Kashmir dispute. It is complex problem lingering on for 60 years, there has been lot of suffering in this State and we would try to find out a solution through political negotiations with every stake holder for political settlement. He said the focus of the panel is to address the political dimension of Kashmir dispute. There has been enough lectur-

ing and now we want to listen to people with open mind and big heart. We would like to focus on youth. When we met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, they told us to listen to them for future is youth, listen to the women of Kashmir, said Padgaonkar. He added, "If we pre-determine that we have some magic formula, it would not be good. We want to meet people, listen to them for what they want. There is different perception in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh". The interlocutors could not secure a meeting with any of the separatist leaders though they said that it was an ongoing process and eventually all sections of opinions will have to talk about their future. First Interim Report: On November 3, the interlocutors present their first interim assessment report to the Government of India. Speaking to reporters after submitting their first set of recommendations to Union home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi, Padgaonkar said he was "hopeful" of a solution to the J&K issue even though the panel did not have a "magic formula." The three-member group, during its meeting with Mr Chidambaram, briefed him in detail about their six-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. s "This was our first visit to state. We gave our set of recommendations," Mr Padgaonkar said but declined to give any details. "Let it (the recommendations) be between government and the interlocutors," he said, a day after Mr Chidambaram disapproved of the interlocutors giving a ball-byball commentary on the progress in the dialogue on J&K.

80 KM Rs 9,000 Cr for Jammu-Srinagar Highway Mughal Road

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he Centre approved, in January, Rs 9,000 crore for four lane Jammu-Srinagar national highway, to help smooth traffic movement, besides easing frequent jams on the highway. The preliminary work of the project, which includes acquisition of land and forest clearance was almost complete. The Jammu-Srinagar NH stretch has been divided into six phases- Qazigund-Banihal, Banihal-

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Ramban, Ramban-Nashri, NashriChinani, Chinani-Udhampur and Udhampur-Jammu. In all cases, 80 per cent of the land has been acquired. A 9-km Qazigund-Banihal long tunnel would be constructed at a cost of Rs 2,400 crore. Besides another 8.75-kms long tunnel would also be constructed at NashriChennai at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore which would reduce 60-km of travel distance on completion.

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ready

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he 80 km stretch of historical Mughal Road from Bafliaz to Shopian has been made double laned, besides macadamization of 37 km. The Rs. 639.85 crore project is expected to complete and thrown open for all type of vehicular traffic by September, 2011. More than 500 personnel, skilled and unskilled, are on job daily besides deployment of 340 heavy and medium machineries at different places of the road.

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Delhi's pre-turmoil feelers to Geelani

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n a significant move in the po litical initiatives on the Kash mir issue, the center, on January 14, made a behind-thescenes contact with the chairman of the Hurriyat G, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, through former point man, Wajahat Habibullah, to invite the veteran separatist for talks and a meeting with the union minister for home, P Chidambaram. Geelani, a trenchant opponent of any bilateral engagement with India, confirmed the one-hour meeting with Habibullah in New Delhi. The

meeting, an unexpected turn of events in New Delhi's moves on Jammu and Kashmir, comes in the wake of the union home minister's announcement of initiating quiet diplomacy in Kashmir to engage "all groups" in fruitful dialogue to resolve the 62-year-old Kashmir impasse. Habibullah, highly regarded across the political spectrum for his long innings in the valley, and a keen Kashmir watcher, turned up at Geelani's quarters in Delhi for a detailed meeting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The former bureaucrat extended a formal invitation to Geelani for talks with the center and a meeting with the union home minister.

HIGH INTRUSION BIDS IN JANUARY

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he first month of 2010 regis tered a sharp increase in infil tration bids from across the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB). There were 25 infiltration attempts along the LoC and IB in January alone. There were total of five ceasefire violations of the LoC in the state and one of IB in the Jammu region. There were about 85 incidents of infiltration in 2009,

which were higher than 50 in 2008. While the number of militancy-related incidents were coming down in the state, the casualty figures were still high. There were 485 incidents in 2009 that killed 85 civilians and 75 security personnel while there were 708 incidents killing 147 civilians and 85 security personnel in 2008. Nearly 238 militants were killed in 2009 and 340 in 2008. The highest number of 5,946 militancy-related incidents happened in 1995, the highest number of civilians, 1,424, were killed in 1996, the highest number of 485 security personnel were killed in 2000 and the highest number of 2,020 militants were killed in 2001. The year 2009 witnessed least numbers of militancy-related incidents (485), least civilians killing (85), least security personnel killing (75) and least number of militants killed (238).

Embarrassing Padma award controversy

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bitter and embarrassing politi cal controversy erupted in the Kashmir Valley on the eve of Republic Day when Government of India announced Padma Shri, one of the

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highest civilian awards, to an allegedly dreaded counter-insurgent Ghulam Mohammad Mir alias Momma Kana. Chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, washed his hands of the controversial recommendation, but his father and Union minister Farooq Abdullah unflinchingly declared he had proposed Mir's name. Distancing himself from the move, Omar said: "I enquired from senior officers. No recommendation from the state had gone for awarding (the) Padma to this person. I am not aware of any recommendation. Someone might have recommended on a personal level," Omar said after an uproar by Opposition PDP. The Union minister for new and renewable energy said Mir's "good work" had prompted him to make the recommendation. "I think he deserves it and people who suffer need to be recognised." Mir was conferred the award for public service. Police sources said he still faced an FIR for allegedly attempting to murder a civilian. He has been blamed by many in the past for committing atrocities. Counter-insurgents- gunmen who fight militants but are not officially paid by the government - are often blamed for unleashing atrocities on people, the reason no political party likes to see its name linked to them. However, Mir, who hails from central Kashmir's Magam town and is described as the Valley's first counter-insurgent, defended the move to award him and said his name was being unnecessarily dragged into controversy. "I have helped in arresting or eliminating 5,000 militants. I fought against them when nobody was coming forward and I have risked my life for the country," he said today.

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Omar's idea to facilitate return of youths from PaK gets Chidambram's support

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hief Minister Omar Abdullah's proposal of allowing safe pas sage and rehabilitating the Kashmiri youths who crossed over the Line of Control to Pakistan administered Kashmir over last two decades may have attracted criticism from the rightwing but the Center stood by him despite concerns flagged by a senior Congress Minister. Home Minister P Chidambaram, on February 11, threw his weight behind the J&K government's proposal to facilitate the return of

Kashmiris lured to PaK to join militancy, saying that that the Centre was ready to welcome Kashmiris willing to lead a peaceful life here. "The idea that any Indian who had crossed over to PoK and wishes to return to India is certainly welcome," Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi. "The idea must now be translated into a scheme... The return can be facilitated through a scheme which will entail identification, screening, travel, debriefing, rehabilitation and reintegration," he added. According to the home minister, the return-cum-rehabilitation of Kashmiri youth willing to give up militancy and return from PaK is among the recommendations made by one of working groups on Kashmir set up earlier by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Underlining that PaK is an Indian territory, Chidambaram said the government "should facilitate the return of those who had gone across the LoC for some reasons". He added all shades of opinion would be consulted while formulating the surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme for Kashmiri youth who had trained in militant camps across the border.

Avalanche Kills 17 Soldiers

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n a tragic incident on February 8, 17 soldiers, including one officer, training for high-altitude warfare were killed when a massive avalanche slammed into an Army training centre based on a high slope near north Kashmir ski resort of Gulmarg. The rolling snow swept away one of the barracks of the Army's High Altitude Warfare School, which houses around 450 soldiers in the Khilanmarg mountains close to Gulmarg, at around 11AM. Army spokesperson, Lt Col J S Brar said around 70 soldiers got trapped under the snow. 'The Gulmarg Development authority and our sister services assisted the Army in its rescue operations.' 'The avalanche

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hit the base during a training session and was one of the worst to hit the area in years. The injured were admitted and later discharged from a Srinagar base hospital.' Jammu & Kashmir's disaster management unit had earlier issued an avalanche alert and warned people against venturing out in high-altitude areas. The avalanche swept away one of four sub-camps used for training operations at the school, the Army's main mountain warfare training institute at an altitude of 2,730 metres. The school was first set up as a skiing training institute for a frontline infantry division in 1948. Earlier, authorities activated all resources and flew in rescuers from Srinagar and Baramulla to rescue the trapped soldiers. Incessant snow, rain,poor visibility and high winds hampered their operations. The met office said Gulmarg, a major draw for foreign tourists and adventure skiers, had received around 10-feet snow in two days. Frequent rain and heavy snowfall often trigger avalanches and landslides in Kashmir, blocking roads and cutting off tourist resorts like Gulmarg. Gulmarg is also close to the LoC. Last year in April, seven soldiers were killed and eight others injured when an avalanche hit an Army post at Gurez along the LoC in April last year.

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Stone Disgrace: 11-day-old left dead

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s stone throwing remained a key feature of 2010 Kashmir pro tests, an 11-day-old child died in the clashes between the police and protesters in Kashmir's Baramulla district on February 22. The police blamed stone pelters for the death and registered a case of murder. The infant, Irfan Ahmad, was travelling in a mini-bus with his family, when a group of people stopped the vehicle near Stadium Colony, 55 km from Srinagar, the police said. At 12.30 pm, protesters dragged the passengers out of the vehicle and beat them up. They were demanding the release of those youths arrested during demonstrations against alleged human rights violations in the state, police said. Irfan's father Nisar Ahmad Magray and mother Kulsuma had boarded the bus in Rafiabad. They were taking the baby to a hospital as he was suffering from blood infection. "When Kulsuma was being dragged out, she pressed her baby close to herself and he started

bleeding," said Shakeel Beigh, SSP Baramulla. He was rushed to the district hospital where he was declared dead. "Since the infant was already ailing, he could not be

saved." A four-year-old boy also sustained injuries during the attack. Irfan was the fifth and the youngest victim in Kashmir since stone throwing incidents began in January.

Can't keep J&K hostage to stone pelters

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ommenting on the trend of stone pelting, which later be came order of the day in Kashmir's summer of discontent, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told Legislative Assembly on February 25, that 600 to 800 stone pelters can't be allowed to hold one crore people of the State to ransom. Urging media to bring facts before the public, Abdullah noted that problem of stone pelting was confined only to five police stations of downtown and one police station each in Sopore and Baramulla. 'It is not right to say that entire Kashmir is burning or Valley has erupted in protests'. Claiming that his government was not harsh on Kashmir youths, Abdullah cited figures on imposition of Public Safety Act (PSA), civil killings, rapes and molestations etc to point out that they were very less during one year tenure of the coa-

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lition Government as compared to three years term of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led Government from 2002 to 2005. He said the PDP Government had imposed PSA on 1231 persons during its three year tenure while the

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NC Government used the Act on only 370 persons so far. He revealed that as against 2205 civilian deaths during Mufti Government, only 94 civilians were killed in one year of NC regime. In six year term of Farooq Abdullah Government (1996-2002), 11 cases of rape and five cases of molestation were reported while the number went up to 38 and 37 respectively during Mufti's term. Even, the number of rape and molestation cases was just 13 and seven respectively during Ghulam Nabi Azad's tenure, he pointed out. Asserting that 2009 witnessed lowest attacks and killings in last two decades, he, however, said that infiltration during 2009 has gone up as compared to 2008. Even in less than two months of current year, there had been many infiltration attempts with firing, shelling and fence cutting reported from the borders every third day.

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Cross-LoC trade: Scaling heights

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or the first time since launch of cross-LoC trade on PoonchRawlakote route in October 2008, the business from both sides on two days of the week crossed Rs 10 crore on March 10. Import-exports from Chakan-Da-Bagh cross-LoC point were valued at Rs 5.97 crore on first day of the week while on second day they stood at Rs 4.32 crore totaling Rs 10.29 crore. Cross-LoC trade is conducted every Tuesday and Wednesday. In February it was suspended for two weeks by the traders in support of their demands including lifting of ban on import of dal moong from Pakistan administered Kashmir. A jump in cross-LoC trade is being attributed to lifting of ban on import of dal moong by the traders of this part of divided State from PaK. Dal moong has a very high demand by the traders of this side due to huge variation of process in two parts of divided State. Traders in PaK were not in a position to meet the high demand of dal moong from the traders of this side as only 25 trucks are allowed to exchange sides from one part of divided State to the other in one day.

A jump in cross-LoC trade is being attributed to lifting of ban on import of dal moong by the traders of this part of divided State from PaK. Dal moong has a very high demand by the traders of this side due to huge variation of process in two parts of divided State.

Demand for special industrial package

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hief Minister, Omar Abdullah along with a delegation of busi ness leaders and top officials met the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on February 13 and presented case of J&K for extension of North-East Package-2007 to the State as well, apart from already operational package of 2002. He said it is the concern of entire country to bring out the State from all such industrial ailments which were caused as a result of two decade turmoil. The Chief Minister said it is the endeavor of his Government to ensure massive investment in the sectors of Industry and Commerce in the State so that better and respectable employment opportunities are created for the youth. He said as per 2002 package given to the State, hundred percent excise refund is provided and therefore the provisions are required to be implemented in letter and

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spirit and all such Income Tax claim cases are required to be withdrawn. While discussing scenario of the State, Abdullah said strength of the industrial sector, which had respectable position two decades ago on industrial map of the country, is required to be restored back so that the State ushered in a new era of prosperity and affluence. He said all activities in tourism, handicrafts, health, floriculture and horticulture sectors have to be given full patronage so that they are not only able to develop but play a key role in overall growth. Omar said with the extension of North-East package ''our hoteliers, service providing sectors and other key players in tourism and adventure tourism, industrial training including handicrafts, handlooms, bio-tech training, nursing training and different institutions and entrepreneurs associated with floriculture and horticulture will be benefited''. Mr

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Mukherjee appreciated the endeavours of Mr Abdullah for his concern to boost industrial scenario in J&K and give new confidence to the entrepreneurs. He assured him that all appropriate steps will be taken to develop all sectors associated with industries and commerce in the State. He said his Ministry is cautious of the fact that during last 20 years all the sectors could not keep pace in the State because of prevailing situation. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister for Industries and Commerce, S S Slathia, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Anil Goswami, Commissioner-Secretary, Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, president FCIK, Syed Shakeel Qalander, representative of KCCI, Rouf Punjabi, president JCCI, Y V Sharma, president CII, J&K, Sanjay Puri, president PHD Chamber of Commerce, J&K, Vikrant, Afaaq Qadri and other representatives of the Industry.

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Militancy fallout: 97000 Orphans, 32000 Widows

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(

tragic aspect of the situation is that the state has not adopted any specific social policy and programme in this regard. Their problems accumulate and intensify day-by-day," it reveals. On how can be condition of widows and orphans improved, the study suggests: "For the welfare of widows and orphans, a 3-tier effort system is necessary. Individuals, society-community and the state must share responsibilities in terms of coordination, organisation and effective implementation of relevant programmes."

(

study conducted by sociologist Prof Bashir Ahmed Dabla of the University of Kashmir has claimed that two decades of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has rendered more than 32000 women as widows and more than 97000 children as orphans. 'A Sociological Study of Widows and Orphans' claimed that the number of widows grew up from 16000 in 2000 to 32400 in 2008. It says sudden death of male members has shattered thousands of families leaving behind impoverished and emotionally traumatized widows and orphans. However, the study reveals that condition of widows and orphans of security forces was better as compared to those of militants or civilians. "The widows and orphans belonging to military, security and police forces have been taken care of properly by providing pension and other monetary benefits to widows and scholarships-fellowships and reservation for orphans by their respective organisations. But at the same time, dominant majority of widows and orphans belonging to exmilitants and common people suffer extremely." "Neither state nor NGOs have been able to help them in an organised and systematic manners. The

'A Sociological Study of Widows and Orphans' claimed that the number of widows grew up from 16000 in 2000 to 32400 in 2008.

219 Kashamiri Pandits Killed Over 1.38 Since 1989 lakh cases

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he Jammu and Kashmir govern ment told the Legislative As sembly on March 23 that 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by militants since 1989 while 24,202 families were among the total 38,119 families which migrated out of the Valley due to turmoil. Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla told the Assembly that "219 Pandits were killed in Kashmir from 1989 to 2004. From 2004, no killing of any person from the community [Kashmiri Pandits] took place till now," Bhalla said. A total number of 38,119 families comprising 1,42,042 Kashmiri migrants

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were registered with the Revenue and Relief Ministry till now. The Minister said the government had also paid an ex gratia of Rs.1 lakh for each death. "Besides, an amount of Rs. 39,64,91,838 has been paid as compensation to the Pandits on account of damage to their properties since the eruption of militancy," he said. An amount of Rs.71.95 crore was spent in providing relief and other facilities to the Kashmiri migrants living in Jammu and other parts in 2007-08, Rs.70.33 crore in 2008-09 and Rs.68.59 crore from 2009 up to January, 2010.

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under Roshni

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he state Government re ceived about 2,56,844 applications under Roshni Act for vesting of ownership rights. Of these, 1,38,962 applications have been disposed off whereas the pending cases are in progress.

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Contours of 'Kashmir Pact'

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ormer foreign minister of Paki stan Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri disclosed on April 27 in Lahore that the agreement on Kashmir, worked out through back-channel diplomacy, was an interim one, and was subject to review after 15 years. Talking to the Pakistani newspaper The News Khursheed Kasuri claimed the Pakistani and Indian sides at that time had the realisation that in view of the history of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, no solution that they could think of would be an ideal one. He termed that agreement on Kashmir the best possible under the circumstances. "We were aware of the fact that there would be an overwhelming support for this agreement; but we also realised that there would be criticism from some sections in Kashmir, Pakistan and India," he said, adding that it was impossible to offer a solution which could be acceptable to everyone. Kasuri said they decided that the arrangement they had arrived at would need a review after 15 years of its announcement. During this period, its implementation would be monitored by all par-

Kasuri said the basis of the agreement was the assumption that Pakistan and India had tried everything in their power to enforce their version of a Kashmir settlement. ties concerned and, in the light of the experience, this arrangement could further be improved. He said the water issue was not discussed as a crucial matter at that time; the agreement on Kashmir was being negotiated. However, the management of water was one of the issues included in the joint mechanism. He claimed that the joint mechanism was apart from the Indus Basin Treaty, which was the basis of water sharing arrangement between the two countries. Kasuri said the basis of the agreement was the assumption that Pakistan and India had tried everything in their power to enforce their version

of a Kashmir settlement. "They have fought five wars, including two minor ones in the Rann of Katch and Kargil. There have been various mobilisations of troops, including the largest one since First World War (Operation Parakram), in which one million soldiers remained eyeball-to-eyeball for almost a year," Kasuri claimed. He said the nuclear parity had been established in South Asia after the nuclear tests India and Pakistan conducted, making war between the two countries nearly impossible. Reacting to the criticism by Syed Ali Geelani of his statement on the reported Kashmir agreement, Kasuri claimed that he had great respect for Ali Geelani for his being a freedom fighter, but he disagreed with him that the solution that was envisaged for Kashmir would have led to further disturbances in the valley and that the people of the valley would never have acquiesced in a settlement that he described as one perpetuating the status quo. Giving reasons for his disagreement, he said the whole purpose of the disagreement was to improve the comfort level of the Kashmiris by the gradual demilitarisation.

Baglihar dispute resolved

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n a significant development, India and Pakistan announced on June 1 that they have resolved at the meeting of the Permanent Indus Water Commission in New Delhi the issue of water flows in the Chenab river being affected during the initial filling of the Baglihar dam in 2008. Pakistan has decided not to raise the matter further. However, the differences on the design of the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo hydel project on the Indus river in Leh district remained at the end of the third day of talks here on Tuesday. The matter will be discussed further in the next round of talks to be held in Pakistan this or the next month. "We have resolved the differences on the initial filling of the Baglihar dam (in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir) in 2008 in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill," Pakistan's Indus Commissioner Jamait Ali Shah, who heads the country's delegation, said in New Delhi. He said Pakistan felt the pro-

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cedures and parameters in the Indus Waters Treaty were not followed during the initial filling of the dam, resulting in reduction of flows in the Chenab near the Marala headworks. However, during the talks, "India gave the assurance that it will be careful in future and Pakistan has accepted that in spirit of cooperation and goodwill." Sources on the Indian side confirmed that the issue was resolved but asserted that the "filling of the Baglihar dam was in accordance with the treaty and the differences were on the manner in which the water flows were measured." Pakistan's objections had come after a World Bank appointed expert had adjudicated on the dispute between India and Pakistan on the design of the run of the river dam. On the Nimoo Bazgo project, Mr. Shah said his country had objections on six counts. "India said it would come back with requisite information after a week. We hope the matter is resolved amicably in the Commission.

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PM's Rs.1,000-crore Sops For J&K

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rime Minister Manmohan Singh, on June 8, announced a slew of sops amounting to over Rs. 1,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, assuring the State that the Centre would do all it could to support it. "Things have improved considerably, fund utilisation is better, but much more remains to be done," said Dr. Singh, winding up his two-day visit to the State during which he held discussions with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and interacted with leaders of various political parties. The Prime Minister ordered restoration of cuts amounting to Rs. 400 crore to the State plan outlay for 2009-10. He also announced that the Centre had decided to dispense with the cutback of Rs. 691 crore in this year's outlay in the reconstruction plan, the Prime Minister's Media Adviser said

in a statement. Dr. Singh expressed disappointment that a section of State government employees often responded to bandh calls by separatist groups and failed to discharge their duties in the service of the people, the statement said. The Prime Minister, who had a one-on-one meeting with the Chief Minister before leaving for Delhi, took note of complaints on human rights. Visiting the State amid allegations of fake encounters, Dr. Singh sent out a firm message to security forces, saying "the government policy is to protect human rights of the people even when dealing with terrorism. The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been strictly instructed to respect the rights of civilians. We will act to remove any deficiency in the implementation of these instructions." Noting that three Round-Table Conferences had been convened with participation from many in civil society and other political groups, the Prime Minister said the recommendations of these deliberations were being implemented in a step-wise manner. Making a fresh offer of talks with those groups which shunned violence, he said the process of talks could be extended. Dr. Singh, who reviewed development works with Mr. Abdullah, noted that Jammu and Kashmir was "doing well" on flagship programmes. Mr. Abdullah assured Dr. Singh that local bodies elections would be held in October-November this year. The Prime Minister said: "It is heartening to note that the State has gone in for tariff-based bids even for hydro projects." Dr. Singh assured Mr. Abdullah of financial support, including on account of difficulties in the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, the statement said.

4000 securitymen injured in three months

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n estimated 4,000 police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel and 504 civilians were injured in the violent clashes in the Kashmir Valley during four months of unrest. According to Polices spokesman 504 civilians suffered injuries when security forces were engaged in controlling scores of law and order situations. Of them, 156 were injured in Srinagar alone. In Kulgam district, four sustained injuries. At the same time, "in the hundreds of violent incidents of stone-pelting and arson resorted to by miscreants, 2660 police personnel suffered injuries, both grievous and other." Again, Srinagar district topped with injuries to policemen (640). It was followed by Baramulla (503) and Handwara (42). Similarly, 1351 CRPF personnel suffered serious and other injuries. "Besides, one policeman lost his life in mob violence. One SHO Pattan Fayaz Ahmed was injured when militants fired at a mob," the spokesman said. During this period, 78 pieces of built-up property, comprising 44 offices of various departments, 29 police stations,

and five police posts were set ablaze. "Mobs set on fire and damaged 31 government vehicles, including 22 police vehicles. Not only this, 23 houses of policemen were torched or damaged, and nine private vehicles of policemen set ablaze. However, in the S.K. Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) alone, 599 people were reported injured in first three months of unrest. It is the biggest tertiary hospital in Srinagar. Sources in the hospital said 599 people, who received firearms injury, were admitted to the hospital. Of them, 23 died of their injuries. The hospital is still treating 31people. During this period, 3080 surgeries were conducted and 5682 underwent CT scan and MRI tests. Figures show that 46 ambulances, including those of Sri Mahraja Hari Singh Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital and Directorate of Health Service were damaged in stone-pelting.

Ladakh peaks opened to foreigners

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n a landmark decision, the Govern ment of India approves throwing 100 high altitude Himalayan peaks in Ladakh to the foreign tourists, for the first time. The move by the government to allow foreign climbers follows a significant decline in militant violence. Before the start of the

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insurgency by separatists in 1989, hundreds of thousands of tourists flocked to the region to enjoy the glacier-fed streams flowing through the forests and grasslands or lounge on houseboats floating on Srinagar's Dal Lake. The government in Jammu-Kashmir declared 2010 a 'visit Kashmir year' following an improvement in the security situation. The decision has been taken at the highest level and nearly 100 peaks in Ladakh region are open for trekking and mountaineering. These peaks are situated at an altitude ranging from 3,000 metres to nearly 8,000 metres.

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First Cross-LoC survey on future of Kashmir The conversion of the LoC to a 'soft' border reportedly played a large part in the Musharraf government's back channel talks with India. The poll finding that across Kashmir around one quarter are strongly opposed to changing the LoC while a further half would accept it if it is liberalised gives a strong signal that this could be a fruitful area for further negotiation.

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survey gauging the public opinion in Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of Line of Control, results of which were announced on May 26, shows startling results. Conducted by Robert Bradnock - an associate fellow at the Chatham House think-tank in London claims that unemployment and other economic issues, for example, rank high across the whole of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of LoC. At first glance economic problems seem to be the top priority in the minds of many Kashmiris, and more important than solving the dispute itself. Yet when asked how important the dispute was to them personally, 80% overall said it was very important - 75% in Pakistanadministered Kashmir and 82% in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The search for a solution is thus urgently felt. On many other issues, however, opinions were sharply divided, notably by geographical distribution. The headline figures of 44% (in Pakistan-administered Kashmir) and 43% (in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir) opting for independence, for example, conceals wide regional disparities. While in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley in Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir, the proportion in favour of independence ranged from 74%-95%. But in the four districts of the predominantly Hindu Jammu, there was virtually no support for independence at all. In response to the question 'Will an end to militant violence help to end the conflict?' opinion ranged from 0% in Rajouri to 98% in Anantnag and Kathua, while in Pakistan-administered Kashmir it ranged from 27% in Kotli to 75% in Bagh. Resolution This was a professionally designed and implemented poll. It worked with Ipsos MORI (based in London) on the poll's design. FACTS Worldwide (Mumbai) and Aftab Associates Private Limited (Pakistan) used specially trained interviewers to carry out the face-to-face interviews in four languages. It was funded by a charitable organisation run by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Dr Gaddafi's foundation had already been funding development projects among Kashmiri refugees in Pakistan and India. Three quarters of all Kashmiris - on both sides of the LoC - believe that all sides of Kashmiri opinion should be consulted in negotiations over the future of Kashmir. An optimistic sign is the apparent sense of flexibility among many Kashmiris in seeking a solution. Only 27% of all Kashmiris are in favour of the LoC in its present form (22% in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and 29% in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.) All-or-nothing In three districts in Kashmir valley support for the present LoC falls to 1%, while in Kargil

it is 0%. However, if the movement across the LoC were to be fully liberalised, support for keeping the LoC rises dramatically to 85% overall. Even in the Kashmir valley it rises to over 80%, and in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to over 90%. It is perhaps the attitudes to the LoC that are most significant. Both Pakistan and India have been very reluctant to consider openly any question that the LoC might be made permanent. For Pakistan in particular the issue has been presented in all-or-nothing terms, and the possibility that the LoC might be made permanent has been taboo - as it is for some major Kashmiri groups. Yet there are many signs that the LoC has become a de facto part of life, and for some a vital part of their security. Indeed, only 8% said that they were not in favour of the LoC in any form. As the poll showed, while 8% of the total population claimed to have friends or family on the other side, less than 1% had visited the other side of the LoC in the last five years. In this light it is not surprising that in Poonch and Rajouri, two key border districts in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, more than 90% are in favour of keeping the LoC. The conversion of the LoC to a 'soft' border reportedly played a large part in the Musharraf government's back channel talks with India. The poll finding that across Kashmir around one quarter are strongly opposed to changing the LoC while a further half would accept it if it is liberalised gives a strong signal that this could be a fruitful area for further negotiation. And the poll shows that there is more room than many had anticipated in Kashmiri opinion itself for negotiation. The bigger question is whether the governments of India and Pakistan have the confidence, the power and the goodwill to meet the urgent aspirations of the Kashmiris for a peaceful and permanent settlement.

I am grieved more than anyone else

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hief Minister Omar Abdullah said, on September 30, he would not indulge in politicking over the death of youth killed during ongoing unrest in Kashmir valley but expressed hope that their sacrifices would benefit Jammu and Kashmir. 'I am not ready to do politics over 109

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deaths and I am not ready to change the condolence resolution into a political resolution, but me and my God know that I am saddened more than anybody else here about the loss of precious lives,' Omar said in Legislative Assembly. 'I feel like somebody has put a hand into my chest and pulled out 109 pieces from my heart. Somebody fired the bullets but I feel like the gun was on my chest, on my shoulder,' he said. 'If the State is benefitted by these sacrifices, I will feel it is much better than death penalty to the culprits. If the State benefits, I feel these sacrifices have not gone waste,' he said.

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Put Kashmir issue on hold: PaK PM

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n a major policy shift, the PAK Prime Minister advised, on July 6, Paki stan Government not to link ongoing negotiations with India to resolu tion of the Kashmir issue, saying this is not the right time as Islamabad's position is 'quite weak' due to 'internal vulnerabilities'. Raja Farooq Haider suggested that Pakistan should first resolve 'small irritants and controversial issues' before finally sorting out the 'core issue of Kashmir.' He said that Pakistan and India should maintain status quo on Kashmir for 'some time.' He said he believed that India and Pakistan 'should resolve other issues before taking up Kashmir.' It would be 'wiser for Pakistan to wait for the right time to restart negotiations' on the Kashmir issue, Haider said. He explained that he was giving this advice because he believed 'this was not the right time for Pakistan to press for a Kashmir settlement.' At the moment, Pakistan is facing a 'formidable security challenge from the militants' and is not in a position to effectively fight the case of Kashmir, he added. Haider said that his comments did not mean a 'reversal of Pakistan's traditional stand on Kashmir, as many emotional people might instantly try to infer.' 'What I am trying to suggest is that this is not the right time to negotiate Kashmir with the Indians as Islamabad's position is obviously

quite weak because of its internal vulnerabilities,' he said. Asked about former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's four-point proposal to resolve the Kashmir issue, Haider said no Kashmiri would have accepted it. Haider backed the proposal to give the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India and to allow the country to use Pakistani territory as a transit route for trade, including with Afghanistan. He also strongly backed India's inclusion in the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. However, he contended that the Pakistani media is not giving importance to the current protest in Jammu and Kashmir.

J&K to Generate 20,000 MW Taing awarded in From Solar Energy By 2020 writer Residence

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ammu and Kashmir will generate 20,000 megwatts (MW) from so lar energy by 2020, mostly in Ladakh region of the state, union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said. 'The use of solar energy will help maintain the balance of environment,' Abdullah said in a public meeting in Drass, on June 14. Drass is known as the gateway to Ladakh. Possibilities will also be explored to produce more power from water and wind energy to minimise the huge expenditure incurred on exploitation of conventional source of energy, he said. Abdullah said his ministry has sanctioned Rs.473 crore

to generate solar power in Ladakh where people have very little access to conventional electricity. He said that people interested in installing solar heating devices in their houses will be provided interest-free loans from the banks. Eleven hydro electric power projects are under execution in the area which on completion will produce about 12 MW of power, a press release said. The statement said the minister 'instructed the concerned officers to exploit the natural resources to harness the power potential available in the area and to make proper use of funds earmarked for the specific projects.'

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enowned writer of the J&K State, Mohammad Yousuf Taing was, October 7, conferred "writer in Residence" by Sahitya Academy, New Delhi on his literary works. Taing can write his critics at home for which the Sahitya Academy shall pay him the stipend for encouraging his literary capabilities. This award is conferred to the renowned writers in different languages of the country for which a committee of experts is constituted by the Academy. M Y Taing has been selected for this award by the committee in Kashmiri language for his contribution for the promotion of Kashmiri culture.

Rs 1.7 Crore IT notice to Geelani

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he Income Tax department, on October 27, asked hardliner separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to pay Rs 1.73 crore in tax dues over a period when he had not filed his returns after rejecting his appeal. The IT sleuths, who had swooped on residences of Geelani and his family members in 2002 and seized valuable items including a diamond-studded watch gifted by Pakistan Government, had raised a tax demand of over Rs 1.5 crore. Geelani challenged the demand and approached the Commissioner of Income Tax (appeals) for review of the case and also sought a waiver, saying he did not earn anything other than the pension from Government of Jammu and Kashmir and from agriculture land. The case dragged on for nearly three years and recently the appeal was dismissed after which he was asked to deposit Rs 1.73 crore as tax liabilities by the end of 2010. The department had raided Geelani's house and other places of his kin on June 9, 2002 and seized Rs 10.2 lakh and 10,000 US dollars in cash, vouchers showing purchase of substantial amount of jewellery, a diamond-encrusted watch inscribed with 'From Pakistan Government' besides documents pertaining to purchase of property and vehicles.

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Kashmir eruption due to failure on harnessing gains: Army

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espite allegation of accesses, the Army said that the basic reason be hind the flare up in the Kashmir Valley is the failure to build on the gains that had been made by the security forces in the troubled state. Army Chief General V K Singh said on July 11 that the Kashmir situation has been tense for quite some time and the reasons are many. The basic reason being that 'we have not been able to build on the gains that have been made'. Singh said the army had brought the situation under control to a certain level from where other steps should have been taken to carry forward the process and bring peace in the Valley. 'So far as the army is concerned, I think as security forces, a lot of work has been done. The situation has been brought to a particular level when other initiatives should have started to make way for betterment,' he said. Elaborating on the steps required to contain the volatile situation, he said: 'First of all, there has to be concerted efforts to identify

the miscreants behind the violent protests.' 'There are few. There are people who are passing instructions on phone. They have to be identified. There are people financing the protests. They must be identified,' Singh said. He said it was for the local administration and elected representatives to win the confidence of the common man and convince him to stay away from the protests. 'How do we connect with the common man and build confidence in him so that he can stay away from all this? This is both an administrative measure as well as it depends on the elected leaders out there at various levels,' the general said.

Deoband: J&K's future best with India

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he Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, the powerful body of Deobandi clerics, backed the demand to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and re move security forces and barricades from civilian areas in J&K on October 10. In a resolution adopted at its Kashmir Conference organized in Delhi, the JuH also demanded an independent inquiry commission to probe human rights violations and trace 'thousands of lost and missing youths', repeal the Public Safety Act, and ensure compensation to victims. It asked for the promise of a special economic package to be kept, and asked the Centre to take other steps to facilitate a settlement 'within the framework of the Constitution'. This is the first time JuH has taken up the Kashmir issue. The resolution stressed, 'We don't consider interests of the Kashmiri people to be separate from the interests of Indian Muslims.' It also called all like-minded people and organisations to campaign for peace and justice in Kashmir and 'thwart enemy forces bent upon disintegration of Kashmir'. When asked why were

they silent so long, All India Muslim Personal Law Board's Kamal Farooqui said, 'Muslims were not comfortable talking about Kashmir for fear of getting branded and harassment by police and intelligence agencies.' Asked about the prospect of resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said, 'The country is in a reconciliatory mood, be it on J&K or Ayodhya. So, reconciliation within the Indian Constitution is the way out. An overwhelming section of Kashmiris want it, too. Which stupid person would want to go with Pakistan?'

Water tax: J&K to make Rs 850 Crores

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he J&K government, October 9, passed a bill in the Legislative Assembly making it incumbent on all consumers to pay for using water. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Bill, 2010, everyone, including national hydropower projects and those who keep animals for commercial purposes, will be taxed. So far, only households have been paying water tax, but the amount levied is a pittance. The tax is expected to generate Rs 850 crore every year. The move is being seen as an innovative way to make the

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Centre pay for generating power through projects in the state and make up for the losses as a result of the Indus water treaty with Pakistan. The bill was moved by Taj Mohiuddin, the minister in charge of public health engineering, irrigation and flood control, and passed by voice vote in the Legislative Assembly. It will now be sent to the Legislative Council, for ratification. The legislation envisages that any power generation company, whether owned by the state, Centre or a private consortium, will have to pay for water used for generating electricity. "Our preliminary estimates reveal that we will generate Rs 850 crore annually even if only 2 paise per cubic ton of water is charged from the power companies," Taj said. It is seen that the Jammu and Kashmir government would benefit primarily from the NHPC-run projects which use the state's water resources for power generation but pay only 12 per cent royalty. What this means is that if a project run by the NHPC, a Government of India enterprise, generates 100MW, the state's share will be 12MW. Jammu and Kashmir has an estimated hydropower potential of 20,000MW, out of which 2,456MW have been harnessed so far in the state. Most of the power is generated by the NHPC.

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Faces behind Kashmir's street rage

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asarat Alam and Aasiya Andrabi are two well known faces in Kashmir's separatist political landscape but the prominence they assumed in 2010 was beyond anyone's imagination. Who controls Kashmir has always been subject to debate. When it comes to stirring the separatists sentiments, the separatist camp itself falls out at the first in staking claims over control of different areas. Throughout the violent summer of 2010, the hardliner separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani remained mostly in jails. In his absence, Masarat Alam, who also remained in hiding, called the shots while Aasiya Andrabi made most of stirs in the capital city of Srinagar. From his hideout, Masarat Alam, 38, issued "protest calendars" and occasionally videoclips to the media in which he asks security forces to leave the Valley. To avoid detection, Alam doesn't use a cellphone. Alam, known as an "event manager" for the hardline faction led by Geelani, is a militantturned-political leader. In the early days of militancy in the '90s, he was

a top commander of a pro-Pakistan militant outfit Hezbollah, a group that later faded away. A college graduate, Alam was arrested in October 1990 but released after 13 months. He was arrested again in 1993 and was in jail for four years. From 1997 to 2007, Alam was arrested and released several times. In 2003, when the Hurriyat split, Alam joined the hawks led by Geelani. He rose to prominence

in 2008 during the Amarnath land agitation. Alam was arrested by Police and booked under PSA only when 2010 agitation was almost over. Aasiya Andrabi, 47, founder and chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, isn't new to hardline politics but has acquired an active profile during the current protests, actively issuing statements endorsing the protesters. In 1985, she broke away from the Jamat-e-Islami and formed the Dukhtaran-e-Millat and in 1991 hit the headlines when she launched a campaign to enforce the veil in the Valley. She has been arrested several times under the PSA.

HORTICULTURE EXPORTS DOWN BY 30%

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xport of fresh fruit from the Kashmir Valley to other parts of the country got severely hit due to prolonged unrest, with consignments down by almost 30 per cent this year compared to last year. As many as 16,361 trucks loaded with fresh fruit were exported to other parts of the country from the Valley between April 1 to September 22 this year. The number of consignments dispatched by truck last year between April 1 and September 30, 2009, was 23,819. Only 51 truck loads of fruit were exported in April this year, as against 65 last year. However, the numbers rose from 207 in May last year to 233 in the same month this year and 793 to 964 in June of each respective year. Exports in July, 2010, also recorded an increase of 542 trucks over the 2,195 consignments

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However, the numbers rose from 207 in May last year to 233 in the same month this year and 793 to 964 in June of each respective year. Exports in July, 2010, also recorded an increase of 542 trucks over the 2,195 consignments exported in the same month last year, an equal decrease was registered in the month of August.

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exported in the same month last year, an equal decrease was registered in the month of August. The situation was even worse in September, with only 7,060 trucks exported so far, as against 14,665 trucks in the same month of the previous year. An official of the horticulture department, while admitting that the strife had affected transport of fruits to some extent, said the drop was also due to below par crop yield this year in view of the unusual weather throughout the early part of the summer. 'During this summer, we had day temperatures which were 10 to 15 degrees lesser than the optimum. It naturally affects the fruit production,' the official added. After tourism, the horticulture industry is the backbone of the Valley and the annual turnover is to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.

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Over Rs 20,000 Crore loss to economy

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he three-month long of shutdowns and curfews in the valley has dented the economy of Jammu and Kashmir by an estimated Rs 21,000-crore and all the sectors including tourism, handicrafts and the nascent industries have been affected by the unrest. Several established and upstarting manufacturing companies, hotels and restaurants laid off staff due to prolonged agitation. About the estimated losses suffered by the business community in Kashmir, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nazir Ahmed Dar said on an average the losses were to the tune of Rs 100 crore. 'Even on the limited days of normalcy we have had since June 11, there has been disturbance in some part or the other of the Valley. It will be safe to put the cumulated losses so far at Rs 8,000 crore,' he said. Dar said business in the state will flourish only after permanent peace is established, which was only possible when 'Government of India takes concrete steps to break the impasse'. Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, the leading hotelier of Kashmir, said he was incurring a recurring loss of Rs 30 lakh per month due to the unrest. 'My salary bill per month is close to Rs 15 lakh while another Rs 15 lakh are incurred on overheads like maintaining the hotel properties, electricity bills, etc,' he said. Chaya, who owns prime hotel properties in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam under the brand name of Grand Mumtaz, said the indications were that Kashmir will witness a bumper tourist season this year. 'Most of hotels were running up to 80-90 per cent occupancy during the early days of the season but that came crashing to 30 per cent by the end of June and now we are

without business for two months exactly,' he said. The hotelier said as per the estimates, his 300 rooms would have fetched him at least a revenue of Rs 1 crore per month even in a lean season. The strikes, curfews and restrictions also cost the state government very dearly as they stand to lose Rs 161 crore for every day of shutdown in terms of sales tax, income tax and other levies. 'We can broadly calculate the loss to economy per day on pay bill; General State Domestic Product is Rs 35,000 crore per annum and trading and bank credit Rs 17,000 crore per annum. The figure approximately works up to Rs 161 crore per day,' an official of the finance department said. During the current year, the valley has witnessed either a shut down or curfew for nearly 85 days which translates into loss of over Rs 13,000-crore so far.

SC dismisses New drug policy SLP on T delimitation case

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he Supreme Court on November 9, 2010 dismissed the Special Leave Petition (SLP Š No:2224/2009 filed by J&K National Panthers Party challenging the judgement of the Division Bench of the J&K High Court dated February 6, 2009 whereby the constitutional validity of 29th J&K Constitution (Amendment) Act was challenged by virtue of which amendment was made in Section 47 and 49 of the J&K Constitution to the effect that there will be no increase in the seats of State Assembly till census is made after 2026 in the State, nor any delimitation of the Assembly seats will take place till then. Further, Proviso was added top Section 3 of the J&K peoples Representation Act whereby the constitution of the delimitation Commission was frozen till the census which would take place after the year 2026. The 29th Constitution amendment was made in February 2002 by 2/3rd majority of the J&K Assembly which is in parameters of similar amendment of the Constitution of India. In article 81 and 170 whereby the increase in the Parliament seats as well as in the State Assembly(other than the J&K) were frozen till census takes place after 2026. The State was represented by Mr. M.I. Qadri learned Advocate General along with Gaurov Pachananda Senior Addl, Advocate General Supreme Court and Mr. Sunil Fernednes Advocate-on-Record and the Central Government was represented in the Supreme Court by Gopal Subramaniam Solicitor General of India.

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he state government has worked out a new draft drug policy which among other things provide for the process of procurement and supply of essential medicines as defined by the World Health Organization taking care of the health needs of the people. It also provides for an essential drug list, quality assurance, prompt accessibility and availability of drugs at affordable prices, safety and efficiency of medicines, selection of essential medicines, procurement of generic drugs, setting up of Jan Asudhi Drug stores, management of materials and inventory control, sales and storage, quality assurance and regularization, monitoring for rational use of drugs, promoting rational use of drugs, creation of drug information centers, Pharmaco-vigilance at hospital levels, human resources development, monitoring and evaluation. The health department under the new drug policy intends to open four drug stores in the State where generic drugs would be provided to the people on reasonable and affordable costs. These stores have been proposed at SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, Government Hospital, Gandhi Nagar and one each at Leh and Kargil in the beginning while in all the districts subsequently. Under the new drug policy drug information centres in the Government Medical College, Srinagar and Jammu have also been envisaged besides annual publication of a State level formulary in line with the World Health Organization and National norms. This publication would be distributed to all qualified prescribers free of cost or on subsidized rates.

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Special task forces for Jammu, Ladakh

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he Government of India, on Oc tober 13, constituted two spe cial task forces for Jammu and Ladakh regions to examine the allocations in terms of infrastructure needs and make suitable recommendations to overcome the deficiencies. While Abhijit Sen, a Planning Commission member, leads a task force on Jammu, Narendra Jadhav, another Planning Commission member, is the chairperson of the team on Ladakh. The two task forces have been constituted keeping in view the immediate objectives to maintain peace and order and defuse the situation through confidence building measures. The decision on forming of three task forces was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 25. The terms and references of the two task forces would be to identify the special development needs of the region and suggest measures to address them and to examine alloca-

The decision on forming of three task forces was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 25. The terms and references of the two task forces would be to identify the special development needs of the region and suggest measures to address them and to examine allocations to the regions in terms of infrastructure needs. tions to the regions in terms of infrastructure needs. They will make suitable recommendations to overcome the deficiencies. The task forces have been given three months to submit their reports. Besides Sen, the other members for Jammu task force are Joint Secretary, (Plan Finance-I), Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Divisional Commissioner (Jammu), Dr Najeeb Jung, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia University and Dr Amaresh Dubey, Prof of Economics, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, JNU. Joint Secretary (Kashmir), Ministry of Home Affairs will be the Convenor. Besides Jhadav, the task force on Ladakh comprises Joint Secretary, (Plan Finance-II), Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Prof Akhtar Majeed, Director, Centre for Federal Studies and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hamdard University, Dr Navnita Chadha Behera, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi as members and Director (Kashmir), Ministry of Home Affairs as Convener.

INDIA TODAY SURVEY

Despite troubles, J&K improves performance ranking

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survey conducted by the newsmagazine India Today has indicated that the Jammu and Kashmir State has shown remarkable improvement in the governance during last two years. As against rank 16 in 2008, Jammu and Kashmir jumped to rank 10 in 2010 while it stood at rank 11 in 2009. This is viewed as an important breakthrough achievement of Omar Abdullah led government in view of the law and order situation during 2009 in the Valley and long drawn disturbances for over five months in Kashmir during the current year. The Jammu and Kashmir State has been adjudged the best State in the Country for successful implementation of schemes in Primary Health Care sector and Mahatama Gandhi

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National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The State has also been ranked third in Micro Economy, fourth in Primary Education and Investment Environment while it stands at rank sixth in Consumer Markets sector. The awards for the achievements were received by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah from the Vice President, Mr. Hamid Ansari at the State of States Conclave at Delhi on November 19. The survey for ranking various states in governance and implementation of development schemes in different sectors was conducted by the India Today Group of Publications. Giving top ranking to the Jammu and Kashmir State in Primary Health Care sector and MGNREGA implementa-

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tion, the report issued at the Conclave says that in 2010 the State has targeted an expenditure of Rs. 600 crore under MGNREGA almost three times the last year's. The Government has been able to generate more than 7.9 lakh mandays for about 2.5 lakh households and spent nearly Rs. 140 crore. The parameters of ranking good health in the State has been captured by the infant morality rate, the percentage of births assisted by the trained personnel, the number of registered doctors, access to water, good hygiene, removal of biases against women and girl child and per capita expenditure on health and family welfare. The survey report also indicated improvement in the infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir while it also recognized improvement in the State in the field of agriculture. In composite ranking J&K has also shown improvement and its position from rank 11 in 2008 has jumped to rank 8 in 2010.

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J & K IN 2010

43,000 odd jobs

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he State Cabinet, on October 14, approved engagement of 43,000 casual or seasonal labours in the departments of Power Development, PHE, Irrigation, Flood Control, Public Works, Rural Development, Floriculture, School Education and Forests. In case of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, the Cabinet decided that the department will examine its proposal for engagement of 7,000 causal/seasonal labours, in greater detail for further consideration and order of the Cabinet. The Cabinet also approved the guidelines for engagement of the above said persons

and directed for strict adherence of these while making the engagements. It also authorized the above said departments for making the engagement for which the notification will be issued by the Finance Department. Of the 43,000 engagements as many as 20,500 will be made in Jammu division and the same number in Kashmir division while 2,000 engagements will be made in Ladakh region. An expenditure of Rs. 143 crores on the scheme would be met as per the arrangement which envisages loading of Rs. 23 crores on the cost of new projects under implementation, enhancing the existing provisions in the nonplan maintenance budget of the respective departments to the tune of Rs. 40 crores and Rs. 80 crores as maintenance provisions in the Annual Plan 2010-11 in different sectors. Earlier, on October 1, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah informed Legislative Council that as against the reference of 1888 gazetted posts to the PSC for making selection, the Commission has made selections for 3275 posts clearing the backlog also. Similarly, the Service Selection Board has made 14611 selections as against the 10993 posts referred to the Board for making selections thus also clearing the backlogs.

Controversy over private Universities

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he State Legislative Council re ferred to the a Joint Select Com mittee of both Houses three Private Members Bills on establishment of three new Universities in private sector. Some members of the Council had raised objections to the setting of these Universities as all were being funded by religious organisations. Earlier the Legislative Assembly had passed private member bills to this effect on October 9. These included establishment of a university in the State to offer Islamic, scientific, technical and other education as also to usefully utilize the surplus finance

of the Karwan-i-Islamia J&K and its associated trusts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Another Bill for the establishment of a residential and technical University in J&K to offer Islamic, scientific, technical and other education as also to usefully utilize the surplus finance of the Jamiat-e-AhliHadith and its associated trusts as Salfia Muslim Educational and Research Trust and Wakaf Tanzeem Trust and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. A Bill to establish and incorporate and open university sponsored by Hemkunt Foundation, a registered

trust at Jammu for the introduction and promotion of open university and distance education system on the educational pattern of the country and for the co-ordination and determination of standards in such systems.

Some members of the Council had raised objections to the setting of these Universities as all were being funded by religious organisations.

Stephen Schwebel Heads Kishanganga Arbitration Court

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udge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the Inter national Court of Justice, was named on October 29 to head the Court of Arbitration being constituted to resolve the Kishanganga hydroelectric project dispute between India and Pakistan. Judge Schwebel is an expert on international law and dispute settlement. The Rector of the Imperial College London will appoint an engineer and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales will appoint a legal member as the sixth

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and seventh members of the court. As per the provisions under the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 under the aegis of the World Bank, the arbitration court has to have seven members, including the chairman. Already India and Pakistan have named two international experts each to represent them. The dispute is over India's 330 Mw hydroelectric project on Kishanganga, a tributary of the Jhelum in Jammu and Kashmir. According to India, the treaty

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allows it to divert Kishanganga waters to the Bonar Madmati Nallah, another tributary of the Jhelum, which falls into the Wullar lake before joining the Jhelum again. Pakistan has objected to this saying India's plans to divert waters will obstruct the flow of the river affecting its Neelam-Jhelum project downstream. The matter could not be resolved during the Permanent Indus Water Commission-level bilateral talks and Pakistan decided to take the issue to a court of arbitration.

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ANNUAL REVIEW J & K IN 2010

Jammu basmati qualifies for exports

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ollowing the revision of the stan dards by the Ministry of Com merce Government of India, the Basmati growers of Jammu will be now able to export their produce both outside the state and in the international market. The Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hussan Mir, said on October 28 that with the fixing of new export standards for the uncooked Basmati at 6.61 mm length and 3.5 mm width against the earlier stipulated standards of minimum length of 7mm, the growers of Jammu will now be able to sell their produce in national and international markets. The Basmati Rice of R.S. Pura is widely known for its taste and aroma. However, its export outside the country was not so far possible

because the standard fixed for export by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, stipulated a minimum length of uncooked Basmati Rice to be 7 mm, where as the locally grown Basmati-370 and Ranbir Basmati types are slightly smaller in length. Despite the fact that the varieties here possess all other parameters and attributes of Basmati rice as described by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture Government of India, Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) and other concerned international organizations, Jammu basmati was not permissible for export has it fall short of the earlier length parameters. In fact the taste and aroma of above mentioned varieties of Bsmati is comparable with the best in the world and is unmatched by many of the long grained basmati rice varieties presently being exported. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry Government of India has notified fresh export standards. As per new standards for export it shall be more than 6.6 mm of length and ratio of length to breadth of the grain to be more than 3.5. This implies that Basmati-370 and Rranbir basmati varieties grown in Jammu region now qualify for export. This breakthrough, he said will make basmati cultivation in the region more profitable and go a long way in increasing the area, production, productivity and quality of basmati rice mainly cultivated in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts of the region.

Gulmarg among 7 top ski resorts of Asia

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mong the best tourist destina tions in the country, the famous health resort of Gulmarg has pushed its way into the top 10 ski destinations in Asia. Placed 7th in the coveted list, Gulmarg has been recommended by CNN International as one of the best ski destinations for downhill thrills, which attracts visitors from across the globle. Appi Kogen, Tohoku, Japan, tops the list as the best ski resort in Asia, followed by Niseko, Hokkaido, also in Japan. The other

resorts to find their way in the shortlist are Rusutsu Ski Resort, Hokkaido, Japan, Alpensia Resort, Yongpyong, Gangwon-do and Jisan Forest Resort, Icheon, all in South Korea, Alshan Alpine, in Mongolia, Yabuli, Ski resort, in Heilongjian and Nanshan Ski village, in Beijing, both in China. CNN International writes that in the 19th Century, Gulmarg was a hill station for British colonies to escape the summer heat. 'These days, it is a world class ski resort blanketed

Tragedy in Leh

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t least 179 people were killed (115 instantly while other bodies were recovered in later days) and 350 injured and a few hundred more feared washed away in flash floods triggered by a massive cloudburst that hit Leh town of Ladakh region, washing away several government buildings and houses on the intervening night of August 6 and 7. The cloudburst occurred at Choglamsar village, which is situated above Leh. Flash floods and mudslides followed the cloudbursts, unleashing the tragedy on the town. The unprecedented massive cloudbursts triggered flash floods and mudslides in Leh town around midnight, washing away concrete structures including government offices, paramilitary camps and residential homes in the town. The headquarters of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam limited (BSNL), a government polytechnic, the ITBP camp, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp, some government offices, main transmitter of All India Radio in the town and residential homes were extensively damaged by the flash floods. "Since the tragedy occurred during the night there has been substantial loss of precious human lives. Damage to property and disruption of communication and services have also been widely reported. A full assessment is under-

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with fresh light powder from the Himalayas, attracting ski bums tired of Alpine lift queues and fondues," writes the CNN report. CNN International further reports that the resort's claim to fame is the Gulmarg Gandola, the highest ski lift in the world, at a dizzying 3,979 metres. At the top station, skiers can take on challenging runs with Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest peak, in the backdrop. Around 400,000 intrepid skiers took gondola ride last year, the report adds. way," Home Minister P Chidambram informed the Parliament on August 16. "As per the Government of J&K's latest assessment, 179 people including six foreign nationals have lost their lives and approximately 400 people have been injured and treated in various Army and other medical facilities," he added. Chidambaram said there had been extensive damage to public utilities like the BSNL exchange, civil hospital, airport, drinking water supply works, national highways connecting Leh-Manali, Leh-Kargil and also to private properties. Over 6,000 personnel of the Army, Air Force, Border Roads Organisation, NDRF and ITBP were deployed along with rescue equipment to assist the civil administration in relief operations.

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Does India Have an Endgame in Kashmir? JYOTI THOTTAM / TIME MAGAZINE / SEPTEMBER, 24, 2010

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eaders from every major Indian political party flew to Srinagar this week to demonstrate India's seriousness about resolving the political crisis that has seen months of protests bloodily suppressed in Kashmir. But the three-day meeting ended with little sign that India is willing to try a new strategy, despite the obvious failings of the current one. For India's political establishment, the best-case scenario would be a return to the relative calm that prevailed from 2004 to 2008. Although India and Pakistan had made little progress in resolving their competing claims over the territory, the "Line of Control" (LOC) established in 1971 between Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir had assumed the status of a de facto border. New Delhi was pouring development funds into its side of that armistice line, armed militancy by local separatists had been suppressed, and Pakistan seemed to have yielded to U.S. pressure to stop sending over its deadly jihadist proxy forces. That period is remembered in Srinagar even among some separatist leaders - as a time when the intractable conflict seemed to be fading away. The older generation was tired of fighting, and young people couldn't be bothered. "Up until 2007, I was of the view that maybe the next generation is not really willing to take this forward," says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, leader of the moderate wing of the Hurriyat Conference. "You were looking at [Indian cricketer Sachin] Tendulkar and [actor] Shah Rukh Khan and, you know, the corporate India. And everybody was talking about IT and corporates and all that." Two episodes in 2008 shattered the calm: in June, peaceful mass protests in Srinagar against a

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controversial decision to allocate land to a Hindu pilgrimage group showed that Kashmiri resentment toward India was as strong as ever; and the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai showed that Pakistan-based militant networks had only been dormant, not dismantled. The Mumbai massacre prompted India to suspend its ongoing dialogue with Pakistan, and the U.S. and other Western governments joined New Delhi in condemning Pakistan's support for jihadist groups. New Delhi also dug in its heels on Kashmir, refusing to discuss the issue with Pakistan absent a demonstrable reversal of its support for jihadists fighting against India. The renewed hard line on Pakistan resulted in neglect of Kashmir's issues, leaving the popular anger displayed in the 2008 protests to simmer. It was to those demonstrations that today's stone throwers date their movement's origins. "Millions of protesters were out in the streets," one of them tells TIME. "They forced us to pelt stones. We didn't have any other options." The result has been this summer's alarming death toll: more than 100 people have died since June, as police and paramilitary outfits continue to use deadly force against stone-throwing protesters. Ashok K. Behuria, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses in New Delhi, says the nature of the recent protests has taken Indian authorities by surprise. Compared with the armed militancy of the 1990s, this is a

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largely peaceful uprising, with wide popular support. "The armed forces do not know what to do," he says. Absent clear guidelines, the troops simply do what they have always done - use whatever force they think is necessary to suppress a protest, with little fear of prosecution thanks to the legal protection of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). But widespread criticism of the use of force against unarmed protesters, particularly when it results in the deaths of children as young as 8, has shown New Delhi that it cannot completely ignore the popular anger of Kashmiris. Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who is considered a security hawk, has expressed support for modifying the AFSPA so that it can be lifted in some areas of Kashmir, but he has faced stiff opposition from the army. The political impact of the latest demonstrations has been to restore the relevance of the Kashmiri separatist movement. Those leaders realize that mass protest actions against the Indian state are far more effective than terrorism is in bringing political pressure. The young stone throwers insist that their movement has no leader, but established separatist figures have co-opted their cause. In an interview last month, hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani claimed the mantle of leadership. Geelani has been issuing a weekly "protest calendar" for shutdowns, protests and days off, but on the street he has no control over spontaneous demonstrations. The stone pelters respect Geelani, but they have already demonstrated the limit of his influence. After several incidents in which protesters burned government vehicles, Geelani on Aug. 4 called for a halt and a return to peaceful protest:

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INTERNATIONAL PRESS "By indulging in acts of arson, we are harming our own cause." Almost immediately, he faced a backlash both on the Web and from a crowd at a funeral procession, who accused him of playing politics, and was forced to backtrack. The question of who leads the stone throwers is an important one. The more prominent the roles of Geelani and other hard-line separatists, the easier it is for Indian hawks to assert that this summer's protests aren't a peaceful mass movement at all but rather yet another iteration of Pakistansponsored troublemaking in Kashmir. This week's visit by lawmakers did, however, bring Indian politicians face to face with the very real anger of young Kashmiris. In an emotional meeting in the town of Tangmarg, Kashmiris expressed their frustration that India insists Kashmir is a part of India but suspects Kashmiris of being Pakistani agents and uses that suspicion as justification for its security

tactics. "Why don't you feel our pain if we are a part of your body?" one asked. Even the Hindu nationalists in the delegation seem to have gotten the message. Arun Jaitley, a leader of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, told reporters after the trip that Kashmiris' "biggest source of anxiety springs from being told on a daily basis that they are acting at the behest of Pakistan." But even as India's political class and Kashmir's local leaders took that first step toward understanding each other, Pakistan has stepped into the picture. On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, called for international intervention in Kashmir, prompting his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, to demand on Thursday that Pakistan remove its presence from certain parts of the region before presuming to tell India what to do. Both of them are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, and

their sharp words have further complicated the already strained negotiation process between the two countries. There is, however, still room for New Delhi to make a dramatic gesture toward peace. On Wednesday, the Hindustan Times reported that the Kashmir state government is considering the release of 300 activists who have been arrested in recent months - one of the demands made by the protesters. The repeal of AFSPA, too, is still on the table. But as the Indian government deliberates, this year's bloody summer in Kashmir is already becoming a recruiting tool for jihadists. The group claiming responsibility for the Sept. 19 attack at Delhi's largest mosque mentioned this summer's violence in Kashmir as one of its motivations. If India fails to defuse the stone throwers' anger, it may be only a matter of time before one of the groups operating in the region finds a way to ignite it.

Kashmir: India's intifada EDITORIAL / ECONOMIST / SEPTEMBER 16, 2010

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T HAS been a dreadful week in Kashmir, the bloodiest yet in two decades of uprisings against Indian rule. The violence began with demonstrations against reports that Korans had been or would be desecrated by a small group of Christians in the United States. They quickly turned, as protests tend to in the Muslim-majority valley, to angrier cries for independence. On September 13th protesters set fire to a Christian missionary school and 18 people were killed, most of them by police bullets. A curfew announced via loudspeakers mounted on police vehicles seemed to have little effect. Angry youths across the region gathered to hurl rocks and chant "Azadi!" (freedom!). Four more demonstrators were killed on September 15th.

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As a sign of its growing alarm, the Indian government summoned an all-party emergency meeting that day in Delhi to discuss ways of ending the spiralling violence in the region. It has previously been accused of failing to take seriously the protests that have flared in Kashmir throughout the summer. Though the militancy that characterised the insurgency in the 1980s has been mostly suppressed, anti-government feeling is now expressed in street protests that are growing bloodier. In

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the past three months, police have killed at least 87 protesters, most of them teenage boys. The most significant proposal raised at the government meeting was to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a tough and deeply unpopular law that allows soldiers to search houses without warrants and shoot anyone suspected of being a separatist. The 20-year-old law, alongside the heavy presence of soldiers in India-administered Kashmir has fuelled a sense of injustice in the region's restive population. Lifting it is viewed by many as a necessary condition for peace. And yet it is uncertain whether a repeal of the law would do anything to calm separatist leaders and their followers. A new poll, published at the weekend, found that most Kashmiris want full independence from India.

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Ignore the Kashmir Hawks Singh can make peace in the valley JEREMY KAHN / NEWSWEEK /JULY 17, 2010

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he Kashmir valley has been convulsed by a series of violent protests since June. Demonstrations that began over alleged extrajudicial killings by Indian security forces quickly spiraled out of control, claiming at least 15 civilian lives-with each new death leading to another round of protest marches and more deaths as paramilitary police met rock-hurling demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition. To break the cycle, the Indian Army has been deployed on the streets of Srinagar, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, for the first time in 15 years. Officials imposed a 24-hour curfew in parts of the city and in several smaller towns where demonstrations took place, and banned public gatherings of more than four people. The civil unrest threatens the gains that have been made in Kashmir. Over the last few years, the insurgency that sought to wrest Kashmir from Indian control appeared to be petering out. Pakistani-based terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) continued to send militants across the border to attack Indian troops in Kashmir, but increasingly they were killed before inflicting much damage. Fewer and fewer local Kashmiris joined the fight. The number of violent incidents dropped below 500 in 2009, the lowest level in the history of the conflict, according to Indian government statistics. Tourists returned to the region in record numbers. And in June, New Delhi resumed peace talks with Islamabad, raising hopes that their dispute over Kashmir might soon be settled. For Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the spate of violence presents a difficult challenge. He needs to resist hawks in his government, like his home minister, P. Chidambaram, who justify the heavy-handed tactics of the security forces by conflating the recent protests with the longrunning insurgency and accusing, without much evidence, Pakistan and LeT of orchestrating the demonstrations. Instead, Singh should recognize this protest movement for what

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it is: an expression of pent-up anger and frustration by young Kashmiris who feel alienated from the rest of India. They are frustrated with the lack of economic opportunity in the state, and they are fed up with living like an occupied people: hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers and police are stationed in Kashmir, their presence visible throughout the valley. These security forces have been granted legal immunity, a situation that has only invited abuses. What's more, Kashmiris fret they are being treated as pawns by both New Delhi and Islamabad, which have negotiated over Kashmir's fate without any substantive input from the Kashmiris themselves. Young men participating in the demonstrations say they want an independent Kashmir. But this is largely because, in their experience, the Indian state has offered little but repression. It is up to New Delhi to change this perception. With a few important gestures, Singh could defuse some of the anger on the streets and buy important support for a lasting peace with Pakistan. First, Singh should repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the law that gives Indian troops in Kashmir carte blanche to use deadly force and make warrantless arrests and searches. New Delhi should also move to prosecute members of the security forces implicated in extraju-

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dicial killings. Singh has repeatedly promised "zero tolerance for humanrights abuses." But that pledge has yet to be backed by concrete action. Singh should also reach out again to the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the umbrella group of Kashmiri separatists. The Hurriyat, bowing to its hardline faction, has rejected Singh's previous offers of dialogue for two reasons: the continued extension of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to Kashmir and the separatists' insistence that they have a seat at the table in negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad on Kashmir's final status. Lifting the act, however, might provide enough political cover for moderates, such as Hurriyat leader Omar Farooq, to enter into talks. In 2007 India and Pakistan were reportedly close to reaching a deal that would have frozen Kashmir's borders but allowed people and goods to flow freely across the Kashmir Valley. The teetering political authority of then-Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, followed by the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, scuttled that possibility. The two sides may now be groping their way back toward a resolution. But unless Singh addresses the concerns of disaffected Kashmiris about human rights, economic development, and political autonomy, he may find he has brokered a historic peace without bringing peace to the valley.

The number of violent incidents dropped below 500 in 2009, the lowest level in the history of the conflict, according to Indian government statistics. Tourists returned to the region in record numbers. And in June, New Delhi resumed peace talks with Islamabad, raising hopes that their dispute over Kashmir might soon be settled.

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What are Chinese troops doing in Kashmir? RANDEEP RAMESH / GUARDIAN / SEPTEMBER 04, 2010

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The Himalayan state is a piece of real estate whose sovereignty has long been contested. With its demography as varied as its topography, its various peoples have long been imbued with a stubborn streak of independence. So it may be unsurprising that when heavy rains washed away villages in the Pakistan's "Northern Areas" and Islamabad's response was to sit on its hands, the simmering revolt against Pakistani rule flared again. In response Pakistan, so the claim goes, turned to its allweather friend China, which was more than happy to send boots flying. All this is dismissed in Beijing but only after referring to Gilgit as a "northern part of Pakistan", which simply angered Delhi further. While Pakistan's problem in its part of Kashmir has been of too little government action, India's rule in its portion of the state has been heavy-handed and selfdefeating. Faced with a largely nonviolent revolt which began in 2008, the Indian authorities have provoked a much larger crisis with a regime of curfews and the killings of teenagers shot dead with nothing but slogans in their mouths and rocks in their hands. It is time for India to admit that its political and military strategy has failed to stabilise Kashmir. The actions of both Pakistan and India vitiate claims that somehow either could keep the entire state happy. China has little sympathy with separatist claims - and holds sway over large chunks of the former Kashmiri

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kingdom. The only way out of this mess is for Islamabad and Delhi to start rebuilding a peace process that will eventually lead to selfgovernance on both sides of the de facto border and a withdrawal of substantial numbers of Indian, Pakistani and, yes, even Chinese troops from Kashmir.

,,

All of this troubles Delhi, which has long asked for China to keep its nose out of Kashmiri affairs. However, the rise of the Middle Kingdom and its need to secure passage through its own troublesome provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet through to Pakistan make this unlikely. But India suspects, too, that China is intent on becoming the hegemon of much of the eastern hemisphere - able to dictate to smaller powers the rules of the game.

,,

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he claim that more than 7,000 Chinese troops have been handed "de facto control" of Gilgit-Baltistan, a northern part of Kashmir, by Islamabad, has set alarm bells ringing in Delhi. India which, like its nuclear-armed rival Pakistan, claims the entire state has long been worried that the People's Liberation Army was working on roads and railway projects in the Karakoram mountains. What is true is that China plans a massive highway linking western China to the port it is building at Gwadar, Pakistan, on the shore of the Arabian Sea. The benefits are obvious: the journey time from factory gate in, say, China's wild west, to container ships bound for the Gulf will be cut from weeks to a few days. Eventually it may even become a key energy supply route. All of this troubles Delhi, which has long asked for China to keep its nose out of Kashmiri affairs. However, the rise of the Middle Kingdom and its need to secure passage through its own troublesome provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet through to Pakistan make this unlikely. But India suspects, too, that China is intent on becoming the hegemon of much of the eastern hemisphere - able to dictate to smaller powers the rules of the game. In Kashmir this had led to a round of tit-for-tat diplomatic incidents. So when India refuses to allow a Chinese diplomat to visit its troubled north-eastern state of Manipur for a talk, China responds by blocking the visa of a top Indian general because it appears his command includes Kashmir.

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Kashmir: Worse Than Afghanistan BRUCE RIEDEL / THE DAILY BEAST / SEPTEMBER 25, 2010

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ust as the war in Afghanistan is getting bloodier and Paki stan is drowning in floods, a new (yet old) battlefield is heating up in Kashmir. President Barack Obama's strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan always needed a Kashmir component to succeed; that need is becoming more urgent and obvious now. His trip to India in November will be a key to addressing it. An independent Kashmir is not in the offing. Neither India nor Pakistan would ever accept that outcome. Pakistan has been trying to annex Kashmir since the hour it was born in 1947 and has long and established ties to many terrorist groups operating in the province like Lashkar e Tayyiba, the group that attacked Mumbai in 2008. India is determined to hold on to the part of Kashmir it won in the 1947-48 war at all costs. This summer, after several years of relative quiet, the Muslim majority in the Vale of Kashmir, the heart of the province, began protesting against Indian occupation. Young Kashmiris began protesting against what they allege are Indian occupation forces' humanrights abuses. Up to 700,000 Indian army and police garrison the province with a very heavy hand. Stone-throwing produced clashes with the Indian army. Over a hundred have died in what is becoming a Kashmiri version of the first Palestinian intifada of the late 1980s. Polling shows the majority of the Muslim population wants independence. There is a solution, however, to the problem. The cease-fire line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the line of control, would become the agreed

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international border between the two countries. At the same time, it would become a permeable border for Kashmiris, who could move back and forth easily. Both countries' currencies would be valid on both sides of the line. The two parts of Kashmir, Pakistani Azad Kashmir and Indian Kashmir and Jammu, would handle local issues like tourism, sports, and the environment in joint shared institutions along the lines of how Ireland and Ulster work together now on all Northern Ireland issues. The broad outlines of this deal were worked out by then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in secret backchannel talks four years ago. Musharraf told me that while a deal was not consummated, they were very close when his domestic political problems shut down the exercise. Lashkar e Tayyiba's Mumbai attack was designed to kill it for good. The new uprising in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar makes it imperative to get back to the back channel and finish the talks. Pakistani President Asif Zardari probably would embrace them eagerly, but he is too weak

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to go alone. He needs the Pakistani army on board, and it is unclear if the army chief, General Kayani, Musharraf's intelligence chief during the old talks, is on board. It will take strong and brave leadership to get a deal, but it is critical to defeating the jihadist Frankenstein that now terrorizes Pakistan itself. If left to itself, the Pakistani army will be tempted to intervene in Kashmir again to help the until now largely indigenous revolt, running the risk of another IndoPakistani confrontation. Singh undoubtedly wishes he had seized the pending deal with Musharraf when it was there. India cannot become a global power with a prosperous economy if its neighbor is a constant source of terror armed with the bomb. A sick Pakistan is not a good neighbor. For the U.S., reducing and resolving the India-Pakistan Cold War before it goes hot is critical to stability in South Asia, isolating the jihadi extremists and preventing a war in South Asia that could go nuclear. But India is understandably averse to American meddling in its internal affairs. President Obama learned that in the transition, when he briefly floated the idea of an American special envoy for Kashmir and he got a firestorm of Indian resistance. Obama's challenge is to quietly help Islamabad and New Delhi work behind the scenes to get back to the deal Musharraf and Singh negotiated. He will have a chance to work this subtly when he visits India in November. The new Kashmiri intifada has put the issue back on the front burner. A deal is good for America, India, Pakistan, and especially the Kashmiris, who have suffered enough.

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Children of the tehreek SANJAY KAK / HIMAL MAGAZINE / AUGUST 2010

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hen columns of the Indian Army drove through Srinagar on 7 July, rifles pointed out at the city, it was meant as a show of force; to tell its 'mutinous' population - and those watching elsewhere - just who was really in charge. Disconcertingly for the Indian government, it has had the opposite effect. Alarm bells have been sounding off: the situation in Kashmir is again explosive; the lid looks ready to blow off. Although the army has for years virtually controlled rural Kashmir, images of grim-faced soldiers on a 'flag-march' in Srinagar carried a different symbolism. For Srinagar has been the exception - the showpiece of 'normalcy', of a possible return to the bosom of India's accommodating heart. Typically, the well-publicised entry of the soldiers was followed by a flurry of obtuse clarifications: the army was not taking over Srinagar; this was not a flag-march, only a 'movement of a convoy'; yes, it was a flag-march, but only in the city's 'periphery'. The contradictions seemed to stem from a reluctance to deal with the elephant in the room: after more than 15 years, the army had once again been called out to stem civil unrest in Srinagar. When the Indian Army was deployed in Kashmir during the 1990s, the rebellion seemed to be fast spinning out of India's control. Twenty years later, what has changed? There is now a massive investment in a 'security grid', built with more than 500,000 security personnel and shored up by a formidable intelligence network, said to involve some 100,000 people. The armed militancy, too, has officially been contained. Meanwhile, the exercise of 'free and fair' elections has been carried out to persuade the world that democracy has indeed returned to Kashmir. (Elections certainly delivered the young and telegenic Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister; but about democracy, Kashmiris will be less sanguine. They will recognise it the day the military columns and camps are gone from the valley.)

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Yet July was haunted by echoes of the early years of the tehreek, the movement for self-determination. As a brutally imposed lockdown curfew entered its fourth day, there was no safe passage past the paramilitary checkpoints - not for ambulances, not for journalists. For those four days, Srinagar's newspapers were not published; local cable channels were restricted to just 10 minutes a day, and still had to make time for official views. SMS services remained blocked the entire month; in some troubled towns, cell-phone services were completely discontinued. But Srinagar still reverberated with slogans every night, amplified from neighbourhood mosques: 'Hum kya chahte? Azadi!' (What do we want? Freedom!) and 'Go back, India! Go back!' War of perception The real barometer of the panic in the Indian establishment, though, was not the army's flag march. It was the frantic speed (and dismal quality) of the attempts to obscure the crisis. In place of politics, it was once again left to disinformation to staunch the haemorrhage. At first, the Home Ministry began with the improbable charge that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba was organising and funding stonethrowing on the streets of Srinagar. This was a rather tame accusation for a militant group whose real signature is the ferocity of its attacks, as displayed clearly in the Mumbai strikes of November 2008. The only people who appeared to swallow this line were the loyal television anchors on the 'national' media; but with no real evidence to go on, even they let the mess quietly slide off the table. Evidence arrived soon enough, when the Home Ministry made available a taped phone conversa-

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tion between two men described as 'hardliner' separatists. As the audio crackled and hissed, television channels provided translations: 'There must be some more deaths'; '10-15 people must be martyred'; 'You are getting money but not doing enough'. Despite the comicbook directness, it sounded like serious business. In the context of such 'evidence', mainstream television channels began parachuting their star power into Srinagar, and the empty, silent city became the backdrop against which they could stage their own spectacle. The CNN-IBN correspondent, happily embedded inside an army truck as it made its way through Srinagar, was extolling the impact of the flag march (even as an official was busy denying that there had been any such thing). NDTV provided its usual high-wire balancing act, with Barkha Dutt dredging up the 'pain on both sides'. The grief of the mourning father of 17year-old Tufail Mattoo, killed when his skull was taken apart by a teargas shell, was weighed against a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant ruing the damage to his truck's bulletproof windscreen. But such expedient journalism paled before far more damaging hubris. While these 'national' reporters had the run of curfew-bound Srinagar, they omitted to mention that their Srinagarbased colleagues - local, national and even international journalists had been locked in their homes and offices for three days. While the spin generated by New Delhi probably has an impact on the middle-class viewer of the mainstream Indian media, it has little effect on people in Kashmir. On the ground, they continue to make sense of their own reality. The inability, or refusal, to comprehend this has become endemic to all arms of the Indian state. An exaggerated, even fluid, notion of reality takes its place, in which perception is everything. This was underlined forcefully in June when the chiefs of the army, navy and air force announced the new 'Doctrine on Military Psychological Opera-

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INTERNATIONAL PRESS tions', a policy document that aims to create a 'conducive environment' for the armed forces operating in 'sub-conventional' operations such as Kashmir and the Northeast. The doctrine reportedly provides guidelines for 'activities related to perception management'. Manipulating the output of a few dozen newspapers and television channels is certainly hard work, but nothing compared with the much harder task of understanding - perhaps even accommodating - the aspirations of Kashmiris. Out of touch The intensity of the crisis did help in one way, though: it forced some candour out of the familiar faces of Kashmiri politics. (These are the visible ones, called up in times of crisis to represent Kashmir on television. The invisible ones were, as usual, already in detention.) Mehbooba Mufti of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) admitted on television that mainstream (or pro-India) political parties have lost all credibility, and now have no role to play in stemming the anger in the streets. When asked why politicians were not taking out 'peace marches', former separatist and now 'mainstream' leader Sajjad Lone bluntly said that all of them ran the risk of being lynched by the people. Meanwhile, all the oxygen was taken up by discussion of the survival of Omar Abdullah's government, something that mattered little to protestors. Amidst the baying chorus of TV panellists outraged by the gall of 'stone-pelters', many have forgotten that in 1991 it was precisely such public demonstrations - and civilian casualties at the hands of the CRPF - that finally triggered a full-fledged armed militancy. In recent weeks, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's language has shown how out of touch he is, joining the talk of 'miscreants' with his comments about 'frayed tempers' and waiting for 'tempers to cool down'. Across the board, this disconnect with the structures of electoral politics helped to put the elections of two years ago in some perspective. In 2007, I finished a documentary film on Kashmir, which had tried to pull back from the quagmire of everyday events to understand the inchoate 'sentiment' for azadi. Quite by coincidence, the film arrived at the very moment that the constructed 'normalcy' of Kashmir was about ready to be shown off: tourists were flowing in,

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more than 400,000 people had taken part in the pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine, and elections were being discussed. Screenings of the documentary in India were often met with raised eyebrows, with people incredulous that such sentiments could survive the weight of the cast-iron security grid - and, of course, the passage of 20 years. Yet things can change in a day, and so they did. In early summer 2008, isolated protests broke out over the acquisition of land for the Amarnath Shrine Board. This eventually turned into the most formidable upsurge of the past decade, with peaceful demonstrations of up to 20,000 people at a time. The cascading protests carried on for several months before being curbed, but not before more than 60 people lost their lives to the bullets of the security forces. In the summer of 2009, Shopian district was shaken by the rape and murder of two young women; once again, mostly peaceful protests paralysed the valley, and Shopian town was shut down for an unprecedented 47 days. The cycle of street violence in 2010 too began several months ago, with the uncovering of the Machil killings, where soldiers of the Indian Army (including a colonel and a major) were charged with the murder of three civilians, presenting them as militants for the reward money (see accompanying story by Dilnaz Boga). Protests led to the killing of protesters, which has led to more protests, and more killings. New front What do Kashmiris want? Most of all, even before azadi, they want justice. As they watched the Indian Army columns moving through Srinagar last month, Kashmiris would have been reminded that the protests this summer started with the Army in the killing fields of Machil. But like the Shopian incident, Machil too has begun to be edged off the burner, and forgotten, as have the hundreds of such killings that civil-society groups have painstakingly tried to resurrect. So, just as elections cannot be confused with democracy in Kashmir, an elected government is no substitute for a working justice system. Meanwhile, the prolonged use of the Public Safety Act, and the dangerous license of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, is slowly wearing thin for the young. This July, as the numbing news of young Kashmiris being shot in

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street protests started pouring in, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, told the press that 'the baton of the freedom struggle has now been passed on to the next generation'. He could have added that, over twenty years, the baton might also have moved from the armed militancy and the 'separatists', straight onto the street. As the taped phone conversation provided by the Home Ministry was being celebrated on TV, in only a few hours a more accurate translation of what was actually an innocuous conversation was burning through the Internet. This phone 'evidence' evaporated under the heat of scrutiny, its effects felt even in Delhi newsrooms. Such a speedy deconstruction of a suspect claim is only the latest in the deeply political use of the Internet by young Kashmiris. These are children of the tehreek, born and brought up in the turmoil of the last two decades. They have not, and probably will not, become armed mujahideen. But thousands are out on the streets, throwing stones, occasionally drawing blood, often taking hits, but in any case successfully paralysing the increasingly bewildered security forces. What armed militant could achieve more? So will the Internet be the next threat for the Home Ministry? Will they accuse the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen of supporting the Facebook chatter about the 'intifada' in Kashmir? And after that? Already, young Kashmiris on social-networking sites are reporting phone calls from belligerent police officers, threatening them with serious charges including 'waging war against the state'. Reports said that Qazi Rashid, the young mirwaiz of south Kashmir, has been accused of 'instigating violence and justifying stonepelting' - through Facebook.

When the Indian Army was deployed in Kashmir during the 1990s, the rebellion seemed to be fast spinning out of India's control. Twenty years later, what has changed? There is now a massive investment in a 'security grid', built with more than 500,000 security personnel and shored up by a formidable intelligence network, said to involve some 100,000 people. The armed militancy, too, has officially been contained.

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The politics of policing Kashmir JEFFREY STERN / FOREIGN POLICY / AUGUST 03, 2010

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ast summer, I sat by a pool at an old hotel in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. Mock stucco and wood paneling vaguely recalled the architecture of the Tudor era; this building looked like one of the characteristic Kashmiri houseboats had sprouted roots and grown widthwise as well, except that the houseboats float on Kashmir's glass-still Dal Lake; the Broadway Hotel is moored to the earth, while Kashmir moves on around it. This is the kind of place where British bluebloods and the privileged Indian castes came on holiday to socialize amidst the Himalayas, but the life of the freelance journalist is a more solitary enterprise, an exercise in incidental contacts and friends of sort-of-friends, depended on for life and livelihood. And so I sat in a relic of the Raj years, kept company by 22 ounces of lager and a pad of neatly scripted names, belonging mostly to separatist leaders. Distance and liquor make for easy acquaintance and I soon found myself talking with the two afternoon patrons with whom I shared an otherwise empty poolside bar; these two, travelers as well, sort of -- Indian soldiers in plainclothes, both speaking of Kashmir as if it were a foreign detachment, though it's a place India calls India. They were both officers, but came off as accomplices in their own satire, the colonel wearing a beard and a khaki baseball cap, offering that he was Sikh by faith, but observant only enough for an exemption to the military's shaving rule. Still smiling, he explained that they had the day off because they were supposed to be appraising market prices, though by the end of the afternoon, they hadn't appraised much more than the going rate for oversized bottles of Kingfisher beer. And so there they were, and there was I, granting the opening

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argument in my own little adjudication of the Kashmir conflict to the Indian government. The two advocates: an, immensely likeable colonel with a casual air, attentively refreshing our rounds, and his sidekick, a squirrelly little major, quiet but choleric, darkbrowed and brooding. "We did learn one thing from Uncle Sam," the small one says, defensive almost instantly. "Indians learned not to break down doors. From you in Vietnam. And what about Iraq?" (A year later, when I reached an Indian army public relations officer on the phone, he said before we even exchanged introductions, "What is there to ask? We don't use helicopter gunships like you guys do." Such is the pressure on the Indian soldier in Kashmir that he often defaults to defensive, as if a question about the Indian military is necessarily an indictment of it.) The colonel elaborated: "If we know a militant is hiding out in a house, maybe now we will let him go. What do we get from killing two people with AK-47s? It's better to lose one or two militants than to go into a house and maybe make four or five more." This soldier saw a cycle of violence in which an army helps its enemy grow--militants bait them,

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civilians suffer when the state shoots back, and resentment is felt more profoundly for those who open fire than it is for those who draw it. It is historical motif that body counts tend to favor the resistance, which means violence does too, and it's why, perhaps, there are so many Indian troops in Kashmir: violence doesn't need to be suppressed if it's effectively discouraged. But the Indian military is an animal calibrated for fighting Pakistan; policing Kashmir is a contortion of sorts. You dispatch a soldier to his own country, give him a gun but tell him not to fire it, send him out to control a crowd as though he were a municipal cop assigned to parade detail. The United States has put its soldiers in a similar position -- trained them how to shoot and then tried to train them how not to, because a country's military doctrine evolves faster than its soldier does. But American soldiers at least have whatever absolution is afforded by being someplace else. In Kashmir, when a frightened soldier reacts, he is firing on his own countrymen. *** For this reason and others, "The army is leaving the law and order work to the [Jammu & Kashmir] police," my colonel friend said, because it's hard to make a soldier and a man he chaperones feel they're sharing a mother country. Still, Indian soldiers are ubiquitous in Kashmir, and as this summer's seasonal violence ebbs into its second month, there remains the inescapable fact that it was, in typical fashion, catalyzed by Indian security forces' lethal use of nonlethal force. Already, 30 people have been killed this summer. So as people take to the streets to make spectacle of their resentment for India, they ask more ardently: why is the military here? Why are they in the capital? Are there terrorists

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INTERNATIONAL PRESS here? Few would dispute that India has suffered dearly from terrorists who have some association with the region of Kashmir, whether raised or having trained there, most notably the attacks on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and the siege on the city of Mumbai in 2008. In the latter incident, the attackers trained in Pakistanadministered Kashmir, the scenario that distresses India the most: militants trained in Pakistan and pushed across the Line of Control into India. It's the recurring nightmare, and variants of it are cited as justification for the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops keeping an eye on Kashmir. As we talked that afternoon, the colonel shared his own adaptation. Speaking like a profiler might, he described 'the enemy' as "someone who leaves his home where he's nothing and comes here, gets paid more, he's a living martyr." The colonel's demeanor changed: "You know, it's very hard for us. We have a hard time protecting our sources. The militants, they will maybe kill or torture someone they know is talking to us." He draws from his mug, ashes a cigarette. "How do we make them feel safe? It's harder and harder to get information." His description portraits an enemy that the Indian soldier carries with him like part of his equipment, to help him feel he's on the right side of things; that he is not stationed in Kashmir to control Kashmiris, but to insulate them from violent-minded intruders here to poison the population. It's a description however, that is wrong. Or at best, it's unproductive. Because right now, the troublemakers in Kashmir are not trained militants with guns and bombs torturing people to keep them quiet. They're kids throwing stones. *** When New Delhi sent 3,000 more troops to Kashmir on July 7 to quell the violence, journalists reported that even within the military there was resentment of the decision. Writing as a guest columnist for a Kashmiri publication, Seema Mustafa, who served as editor of Asian Age newspaper and Covert Magazine, said that "reluctant generals had no choice but to obey the political directive, although they privately fumed against the decision, describing it as dangerous and short sighted."

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Though her sources weren't revealed, her article suggested the generals seem to understand something politicians seemed not to: that the more Indian troops there are in Kashmir, the easier it is for kids to believe the least sympathetic appraisals of India -that India doesn't care about Kashmiris, doesn't trust them, doesn't believe they're deserving of the rights the rest of Indians enjoy. It almost doesn't matter whether these things are true: for those inclined to believe that they are, every Indian soldier serves as proof. "The troops rolled into the state capital," Mustafa wrote, "sealing the anger and the hostility in the Valley." And here is one of the punch lines in the tragicomedy of Kashmir: by deploying hundreds of thousands of troops to prevent the radicalization of Kashmir, India may be expediting it. The same day the troops marched into Srinagar, the government made another self-defeating move, canceling "curfew passes" for Kashmiri journalists. It restored them two days later, but during the blackout, while journalists complained that they were being gagged and the presses fell silent, the people did not. Without newspapers rumors rule, sometimes inspired by political and religious leaders but rarely restrained by them, and the protests grew more violent. When legitimate reporting stops, an illegitimate kind begins, which for India is far worse. Omar Abdullah, Kashmir's chief minister, caught on to the phenomenon quickly but his solution was to try and prevent this kind of reporting too, by blocking text messages. Even more than before people talked, stories flourished and formed the disparate fictions observers compile when trying to decide who's right. Whenever Kashmiris become especially agitated, Delhi looks west, assigning responsibility for the violence to Pakistan or militants hosted there, because it's easier to blame a foreign and specific interest than it is to implicate an entire population. Accordingly, when violence swelled this summer, India released audio recordings of a conversation it said proved Pakistani militants had a hand in the violence. Few found the tapes convincing, and right now, Pakistan's role should be almost a secondary concern. Pakistani

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influence or not, pretty much everyone in Kashmir seems angry, most feel humiliated by the troops, and every day, it gets harder to control the young men. India's Kashmir crisis is revealing itself to be less a political problem than a demographic one: if there are indeed militants in Kashmir, the ones coming from outside should be of far less concern to India than the ones coming of age. While Indian soldiers do their best to discharge their duties, the rest of India has other things to worry about most of the time. A friend in Delhi pointed to "intellectual fatigue" as a factor (Here in the U.S., the public is weary of the Afghan conflict, long, by Americans standards, at not-quite nine years. India has had trouble in Kashmir since partition in 1947-in other words, India has been struggling with Kashmir for as long as India has been). Separatists, conversely, are energetic and eager to speak; they respond quickly to interview requests, they send information to journalists before journalists even know to ask for it, they form committees with impressivesounding members and list-serves populated by anyone who will listen. They recognize the press as a weapon, so it follows that the military sometimes treats questions as hostile fire. And anyway, the military has protocols and restrictions, wherein certain people are authorized to speak and others aren't, and information needs to be verified, at least approved, before it's released. It's not a phenomenon unique to India, nor one for which India bares special responsibility. A state will always appear to have less time for you than the people resisting it. That afternoon at the Broadway, both soldiers understood this phenomenon even before I did. As a foreign journalist, they were certain, I would soon go out and hear horrible things about their comrades in the army. Likely, that's why I was there; to report on gang rapes and mass graves, all the illustrative trespasses Kashmiri separatists cite on their long list of grievances with the Indian military. The young major resented me for it before I even began reporting, instilled, as he was, with all the vigor of a young man told he's fighting for a righteous cause on behalf of an ungracious people. He was an Indian military man, after all, and I a journalist. Regardless of what I felt or feel, to him, my presence in Kashmir was my disapproval of his.

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American Diplomacy, Kashmir And Obama IFTIKHAR GILANI / TEHELKA / NOVEMBER, 04, 2010

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ew Delhi: Although US Presi dent Barack Obama is un likely to ruffle feathers by mentioning Kashmir during his India visit, Kashmiri separatists have planned their own strategy to gain attention. The hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, currently leading the agitation, has called for fresh demonstrations, describing the next 10 days as "crucial and significant." On its part, the moderate section has launched a campaign to collect signatures on a memorandum to be handed over to Obama, urging him to press India to resolve the Kashmir issue. Unlike its stand in Palestine, the West has been inclined to support the Muslim majority view in Kashmir since 1947. American diplomat and author Howard B Schaffer divides American engagement in the state into three phases: Washington's deep engagements to bring about a settlement (1948-63); American diplomatic quiescence arising out of the failure of the 1963 negotiations; and focus on crisis management from 1990, coinciding with the onset of militancy. However, it is evident that due to a host of factors culminating in 9-11, the US has been losing interest, even in crisis management. In recent years, the international community's standard position for maintenance of stability has been to discourage the redrawing of boundaries and thwart secessionist movements. But with Afghanistan pushing the international community to the limits of its patience and al Qaeda on the offensive, the West has focused on preventing Islamic flashpoints from getting out of hand. A Carnegie Endowment paper recently mentioned Kashmir as a challenge for the US, which it can neither avoid nor resolve. George

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Perkovich, award-winning author and director of nuclear policy programme at the think tank, believes that successive American administrations have recognised that India has the power to rebuff unwelcome US involvement. Most American scholars also suggest that while the Obama administration should ask Pakistan's military to prevent infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) and shut jihadi centres, it should also ask New Delhi to remedy misgovernance and redress human rights abuses. They maintain Obama cannot avoid disappointing either Pakistan or India, or both. Afghanistan, therefore, underscores the limits of US partnership with India and Pakistan. In the past, the US had actively supported Kashmir as a struggle for the right to self-determination, much to India's annoyance. In September 1993, India was offended by then US President Bill Clinton referring to Kashmir as a major trouble spot in his address to the UN General Assembly. He had also said his country shared Pakistan's concern about human rights abuses in Kashmir. The previous year, in his speech to the General Assembly, Clinton had referred to Kashmir in the same breath as Bosnia. US ambassadors in New Delhi, too, had frequently visited Srinagar and met separatist leaders. Former American envoys Frank Wisner, Richard Celeste and Robert Blake met Hurriyat leaders. Former President George Bush senior (when out of office) had a long meeting

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with Shabir Ahmed Shah in Delhi, whom both India and the West wanted to project as a leader at one time. Similarly, then US Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel had said during a one-day visit to Mumbai in October 1994 that she was not convinced with the credibility of the elections in Jammu and Kashmir. In November 1994, she met then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and reportedly offered full US support for reverting to the pre-1952 situation. Abdullah has himself gone on record saying that the US backed his party's demand for greater autonomy and conversion of the LoC into a "soft border" between India and Pakistan. Raphel had also hinted during her meetings in Delhi that a political package must be made known to Kashmiris. She had earlier earned the ire of Indians by questioning the state's accession to India. In fact, soon after top separatist leaders were released from jail in 1993, US diplomats in Delhi and Washington played a major part in banding them under the banner of the Hurriyat Conference. Even before the alliance took shape in Srinagar, much to the chagrin of various leaders, Abdul Gani Lone announced its formation in Washington. In 1995, then Indian Home Minister SB Chavan had accused the US of harbouring "evil designs," hampering the political process in Kashmir and seeking to gain a "foothold" there. The American response was to term the charge as "nonsense," saying their policy on Kashmir was to encourage an end to the violence and a resolution of the dispute through negotiations between India and Pakistan. Another US official in Washington was harsher. "Chavan pops off like that once a month or so. He is an embarrassment to his colleagues

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in the government," the official had said. But in May 1995, then US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said India's willingness to hold elections in Kashmir was an important step towards resolution of the conflict, and that certain steps taken by New Delhi were encouraging. In July 1999, a Congressional panel overwhelmingly rejected plebiscite as a

possible solution. By a vote of 20 to 8, the House International Relations Committee defeated an amendment sought by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabachar. The amendment wanted the US to urge India and Pakistan to hold a plebiscite as per the UN Security Council Resolution of 1948. Almost 25 years later, it is not

surprising President Obama has dropped the "K" word from his vocabulary after taking office, though he had raised the issue two days before election. American diplomats still assert - in private - that Washington guides India and Pakistan's strategic dialogue from behind the scenes, trying to keep the two in line.

Is this for what 112 Kashmiris died? Arun Joshi / Hindustan Times / November 09, 2010

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his question is being asked in Jammu and Kashmir after Kashmiri separatists went gaga over the US President Barack Obama terming Kashmir as a " long standing dispute between India and Pakistan" and read in it a recognition of the " sacrifices" made by 112 people. A sense of deep surprise and shock has emerged in the state after the separatists rolled over the remarks of the US president . The people demanded to know whether they sacrificed so many of lives and suffered economic loss running into thousands of crores just fr this statement, which is nothing but a repeat of what the US had been saying all along. First of all, there is nothing new in what Obama said. That has been the stated position of the United States . It has always maintained that Kashmir characterized tensions between two countries much before India and Pakistan became nuclear power in 1998. That time the then US president Bill Clinton had described Kashmir as a " nuclear flash point" This time, Obama said : "With respect to Kashmir, obviously this is a longstanding dispute between India and Pakistan," he said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday , and added : "I believe that

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both Pakistan and India have an interest in reducing tensions between the two countries. The United States cannot impose a solution to these problems, but I've indicated to Prime Minister Singh that we are happy to play any role that the parties think is appropriate in reducing these tensions," Obama said and reduction of tensions has been read as a substitute for the resolution of Kashmir crisis. What has been left unread by the separatists is what Obama said about the starting point about the dialogue between India and Pakistan : "So my hope is that conversations will be taking place between the two countries. They may not start on that particular flashpoint. There may be confidence-building measures that need to take place.". It is an echo of what India has said throughout that let all issues be discussed. Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said that Prime Minister has made it clear again on Monday, as he referred to his statement at the press conference. Manmohan Singh had said : " We are committed to engage Pakistan. We are committed to resolve all outstanding issues between our two

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countries, including the word "K" -we're not afraid of that. But it is our request that you cannot simultaneously be talking and at the same time the terror machine is as active as ever before. Once Pakistan moves away from this terror-induced coercion, we will be very happy to engage productively with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues." And those who remember Prime Minister's speech at the end of the second round table conference on Kashmir in Srinagar in May 2006 know it that he had underlined two dimensions- internal and external, the latter being with Pakistan. The hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani said on Monday after the joint press conference was over that Obama has endorsed our stand on Kashmir. He has not made the statement in isolation. It is the result of martyrdom of 112 youth and teenagers and unflinching sacrifices rendered by people of Kashmir particularly during the peaceful movement of the past five months." All parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik also spoke on the similar lines. If that's the case, it is being argued, then what about more than 50,000, and according to separatists double the number, who were killed in the past over 20 years. The separatists have offered no answers to these questions in their statements.

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Kashmir's faultlines GEN SK SINHA / ASIAN AGE / SEPTEMBER 29, 2010

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he Kashmir Valley has been burning for three months. Over 100 stone-pelting youth have got killed. Thanks to a governance deficit, both in Srinagar and Delhi, the situation appears out of control. Zia-ul-Haq Islamised Pakistan and this spread to Kashmir. In 1990 there was ethnic cleansing of over three lakh Kashmiri Pandits and several dozen Hindu temples were destroyed, but the plight of Kashmiri Pandits was glossed over and there was a virtual blackout of information about the vandalising of dozens of temples. In 2007, to appease the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the government took the bizarre decision of providing money for the families of terrorists killed in encounters with security forces. This does not happen elsewhere in India or anywhere else in the world. To appease the National Conference (NC), the government is now considering its demand for autonomy - the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General would not have any jurisdiction in Kashmir, there would be an elected governor from the state and no Central services, like IAS and IPS. The PDP, under the garb of selfrule, wants dual currency and a joint state legislature with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Kashmir. Perhaps then the "misguided" young boys in terrorist camps in PoK would also be allowed to return. All this will severly undermine India's sovereignty in Kashmir. Pakistan launched repeated conventional wars to grab Kashmir but failed each time. It also failed to do so through terrorism. Since 2008, religious frenzy has been aroused and mass upsurges organised on the basis of manufactured lies. In 2008, a 100-acre of barren land at Baltal, traditionally used as a base camp

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for Amarnath pilgrims, was diverted to the Shrine Board for `2.2 crore. Since ownership remained with the state, the board could put up only prefabricated shelters. This land is unapproachable and uninhabitable for eight months in a year due to snow and yet a canard was spread that Hindus were being brought to settle in Baltal and change the demography of the Valley, like Israel had done in Palestine. A mass movement of gigantic dimensions erupted. To appease the agitators, the government cancelled the land diversion order and ordered the virtual disbandment of the Shrine Board. After three months of counter-agitation in Jammu, status quo ante was restored. In 2009, two women drowned in a river at Shopian. A mass movement was started on the basis of diabolical concoction of facts about the women being raped and killed by security personnel. Fraudulent medical reports were prepared and false witnesses produced. The Valley was held to ransom for two months. Ultimately the Central Bureau of Investigation unravelled the truth. Having tested the waters in 2008 and 2009, the emotive issue of azadi was exploited for a mass movement in 2010. The agitation took the "peaceful" form of stone-pelting. Sympathy was aroused through portraying "young, innocent" boys being brutally killed by the police. Over 2,000 security force personnel have been injured due to stonepelting. This is hardly known, nor is the fact that some 1,000 Baluchis have been killed by the Pakistan Army in the last one year. The religious card was used to extend the agitation outside the Valley. Protests were

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organised against an American pastor's threat to burn the Quran, which did not happen. Nowhere else in the Muslim world did violence occur on this score. The Kashmir problem has been communalised in the state, and by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference internationally. Hitherto Indian Muslims outside Kashmir had kept themselves aloof from the issue. But now the Jamiat-Ulema-Hind has announced a convention of 10,000 Muslims of all sects at Deoband on October 4 to express solidarity with Kashmiri Muslims. This can hold the most dangerous consequences in Muslim majority districts in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Kerala. Delhi sent a parliamentary delegation to Kashmir after three months. Some members called on secessionist leaders who had refused to meet the delegation. One of them, a former Cabinet minister who had campaigned in the election with an Osama bin Laden lookalike by his side, declared that the ongoing movement in Kashmir has no Pakistani connection. The Army is being constantly demonised for human rights violations when its record is far superior to that of the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Pakistan Army in Baluchistan and Waziristan. Unlike them, we have never used airstrikes or artillery against militants in Kashmir. The Army has been prompt in action against human rights violators. Over the years, 1,514 cases against the Army were reported of which 1,470 were found to be false. Action was taken against 70 individuals, dismissing them from service and awarding imprisonment from two to 14 years. India has also been humane in dealing with secessionist leaders. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the veteran secessionist leader, suffering from cancer, was refused a visa by the US for medical treatment because of his

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NATIONAL PRESS terrorist connections. He went to Mumbai where Dr Sameer Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit, operated on him, treating him with competence. On return to Srinagar, Mr Geelani said India is in illegal occupation of Kashmir and the international community should impose economic sanctions against her. Gen. Musharraf ordered airstrikes in Baluchistan on the hideout of the veteran leader Akbar Bugti, who was

killed. In Kashmir, instead of tough action, periodic troop withdrawals have taken place. Now there is talk of amending or scrapping the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This brings to mind what Winston Churchill said: "An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last." The writ of the state must run in the Valley forthwith and further communalisation checked. With-

out curbing the freedom of the press, we should ensure that the media does not act as the mouthpiece of the secessionists. The law on sedition must be enforced. Among Kashmiri Muslims, not all are secessionists, but those who are need to be politically isolated from the rest. A political solution acceptable to all should be evolved through dialogue but this must be strictly within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

Neither Azad Nor Kashmir LUV PURI / TIMES OF INDIA / NOVEMBER 24, 2010

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hile emphasising the in volvement of Pakistan in any initiative on Jammu & Kashmir, Centre-appointed interlocutors recently expressed a desire to involve the people and leadership of Pakistan-administered J&K (PAJK) in the resolution process. It is an idea that has remained integral to several official as well as civil society initiatives between India and Pakistan. While the Indian side of J&K has hogged international attention for the recent youth unrest, there seems to be a paucity of scholarship and information about the political, ethnic and economic aspects of PAJK. The region known as 'Azad Kashmir' in Pakistan has a population of more than three million and comprises one-third of the erstwhile princely state of J&K. At the world stage, the region has come into focus during the 2005 earthquake or as one of the bases of militant outfits like the Lashkar. However, the region's impact on South Asian politics and even outside has remained a less studied subject of contemporary scholarship, though it has one of the largest South Asian diasporas living in Britain which has played a central role in internationalising the Kashmir issue since the early 1990s. Some sections of the Pakistani and pro-Pakistan PAJK elite have often marketed PAJK as an independent state. PAJK, officially known as "Azad (independent) Jammu and Kashmir" in Pakistan,

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has its own Supreme Court, high court, flag and legislative assembly comprising 49 members, of whom 41 are directly elected and eight are nominated by the government. The head of the government in PAJK is known as prime minister and the head of the state is designated as president. In January 2006, Sardar Abdul Qayuum Khan, the former president of PAJK and father of the region's current prime minister, Attique Khan, told me at Muzaffarabad that the struggle of his party, the Muslim Conference, would continue till the Indian side of J&K gets the same degree of political freedom as he enjoyed in his own region. Some of the basic myths about PAJK need to be demolished before discussing the politics of the region. The region is quite distinct from the Kashmir valley and the majority of the people are Pothwari-speaking, which on the Indian side is referred to as Pahari. Except religion, linguistically and ethnically there is hardly anything in common between the Kashmir valley and PAJK. In January 2009, Sardar Attique

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Khan, the then prime minister of PAJK, blamed the loss of his majority in the legislative assembly on the Pakistani state and remarked that democracy has been slaughtered. More than a year later, Attique Khan is back again as the prime minister of the region. Farooq Haider, the deposed prime minister, accused the Pakistan Peoples Party-led federal government of uniting with his political rivals in the state, which resulted in his resignation. This is the third time in the last four years that the sitting prime minister has lost his majority in the assembly. An objective study will better explain the patron-client relationship between the ruling Pakistani elite and the PAJK political elite. In 1949, the Muslim Conference, one of the political outfits in J&K, was recognised as the permanent representative of PAJK, with powers to strike agreements with the sovereign country of Pakistan. It was seen as a political reward for the Muslim Conference, a political outfit that supported J&K's accession to Pakistan in its July 1947 executive body session at Srinagar. In the political system that existed from 1947 to 1960, the person at the helm of the Muslim Conference was nominated as the president of PAJK. The major constitutional change came in 1970 when adult franchise was introduced to elect the president. In 1974, the parliamentary system was introduced in PAJK. The democratic leadership of Pakistan continued the tradition of

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NATIONAL PRESS military dispensation to bring arbitrary executive changes in the region. In 1990, PAJK prime minister Mumtaz Rathore was 'escorted' to Islamabad in a helicopter and forced to sign a letter of resignation by the Nawaz Sharif government. Moreover, there are visible contradictions between the Pakistani and PAJK constitutions. For instance, Article 257 of the Pakistani constitution holds that the "people of Jammu and Kashmir will define their relationship with Pakistan after obtaining freedom".

However, under section 5(2)(vii) of the PAJK Legislative Assembly Election Ordinance 1970, "a person will be disqualified for propagating any opinion or action in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, the ideology of state's accession to Pakistan or the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan". The Islamabad-based "Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council" is headed by the prime minister of Pakistan. This key institutional body shapes the economic policy of the region. The post-1990 phase has opened up space for new political players in

the region with demands for democratisation and respect for autonomy of the region's institutions by the federal government. Any developments in this respect will impact Pakistan's Kashmir policy, which has defined the country's overall strategic and tactical calculations since its creation. The understanding of various aspects relating to PAJK, a less studied subject, and other factors in Pakistan is a prerequisite for any constructive and resultoriented dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir yesterday and today GAUTAM ADHIKARI / TIMES OF INDIA / OCT 27, 2010

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rundhati Roy is right. And she is wrong. She said the state of Jammu & Kashmir was "historically" not a part of India. But nor was India, as we know it. The geopolitical entity we now call the Republic of India simply did not exist till the midnight hour of August 14/15, 1947. So, all its constituent parts technically did not constitute a whole we could legitimately call India until that hour. There was a British Indian empire, there was a civilisation that we might call Indic and which encompassed a huge swathe of South Asia, but formally there was no nation of India. Historically, Kashmir was very much a part of that wider civilisation. Roy needs to read up that bit of Indian history. The kingdom of Kashmir was also a part, loosely, of British India, as were several other princely states. The states opted to join one of the two independent nations after that midnight hour in 1947. Jammu & Kashmir formally opted for India when Maharaja Hari Singh, under attack from Pakistani army irregulars, signed India's Instrument of Accession Act on October 26, 1947. So if Kashmir is not a legitimate part of India, and we should accordingly give it up to Pakistan, then much of India including, say, Baroda or Mysore, is illegitimate. We hope that is not what Roy implied when she said Kashmir was not an inte-

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gral part of India. Fortunately, she has the right to say what she wants, even when she knows less than she ought to about a subject, because India's democratic Constitution allows her that freedom. She must not be prosecuted for sedition or for being naive. Nor should Dileep Padgaonkar, now heading a committee entrusted with the job of exploring possible solutions for the Kashmir problem, be harassed for suggesting that Pakistan would have to be part of any move to resolve this dispute. Kashmir would not be a problem for India if Pakistan did not question the legitimacy of the state's accession to the Indian Union. To insist that the status of Kashmir is not a 'dispute' between India and Pakistan is nothing but silly, ultra-nationalist posturing. In fact, the dispute is exclusively between the two nations over who should possess the state. It is not about 'independence' for the Kashmiri people. That is not to say that a section of Kashmiris in the Valley would not like independence; the contest between India and Pakistan, however, is about

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settling a Partition-era dispute. As India prepares to receive President Barack Obama, several administration officials in this town have clarified publicly that the US does not see a role for itself mediating the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan unless it is invited to do so by both sides. That amounts to telling Pakistan, which has been asking for American intervention, that the US will not intervene if India doesn't want it. The Indian position is that all differences between the two countries, including over Kashmir, should be reconciled bilaterally. That was what the two nations had signed up to in 1972 after negotiating the Shimla Agreement, which remains legally binding. The problem is one of perception, internationally as well as, it seems from the pronouncements of Roy and friends, with a section of Indian opinion. Pakistan has successfully sold a lemon to the world that it is fighting for Kashmir's independence. It adds to the deceit by qualifying the portion of Kashmir it has taken over as 'Azad' or independent Kashmir. Which, of course, is nonsense. Pakistan's north-west frontier areas enjoy a greater degree of effective independence from Islamabad. The fact is that neither India nor Pakistan is ready to offer

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NATIONAL PRESS independence to any part of Jammu & Kashmir, certainly not under those oft-cited UN resolutions asking for a plebiscite in J&K to assess how much popular support each country enjoys in the state. No plebiscite has taken place but several credible opinion polls in recent years have offered a glimpse of public opinion in Kashmir. One by the respected Chatham House of London showed barely 2 per cent support among people in the Valley for joining Pakistan. A majority in the Valley wanted independence but that's not on offer from either

Pakistan or India. That is to say nothing of China, which occupies 20 per cent of the state's territory, and no one in the world dares ask it to vacate. Independence, if it is to be at all considered, becomes a complicated issue when we try to visualise it. Will it be independence just for the Muslim majority Valley? Or will it be also for Jammu, with a predominantly Hindu population, and Buddhist Ladakh, neither of which is particularly anxious to break with India? And who will protect that independence from the likely

possibility that Pakistani army irregulars will pounce to merge it with the part it now controls and call it all Azad Kashmir? Some will argue that an international force can be created, perhaps under UN auspices, and stationed in a truncated Kashmir to guarantee its independence. Yes, of course, like an international force is today guaranteeing protection for Afghanistan from marauding bands of ISI-directed Taliban and alQaida jihadis operating out of shelters in Pakistan, right? Come on, get real.

The unislamic Mirwaiz NAJEEB JUNG / INDIA TODAY

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rom time to time, the Govern ment of Jammu and Kashmir restrains Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from leading the Friday prayers. In one of his more intemperate statements of recent times, the Mirwaiz has said that he will protest against this to the ambassadors of different Islamic countries. In his efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, the Mirwaiz is giving it a communal colour.First, let us be clear about the mandate of a Mirwaiz or Imam at any Muslim place of worship. The Imam, as an institution, is expected to give the call for azaan, or call the faithful to prayer. Before any major prayer, the Imam makes a short speech called the khutba. While there are instances of the khutba being used for political ends, as Sheikh Abdullah did time and again, the contents of the khutba are expected to be religious and, at times, can also be an objective narration of the prevailing sociopolitical environment. But the Quran or the Sharia does not permit misuse of the pulpit for speeches that would disturb civic society. The Quran, in fact, specifically prohibits attempts to create any form of mischief. Sura Al-Baqarah 2:191 states: "Wal fitnato ashaddo minal qatl" (mischief is worse than killing). And again Sura Al-Baqarah 2:217 states: "Wal fitnato akbaro minal qatl" (mischief is a greater evil than killing). Therefore, the Government of Omar Abdullah is well within its rights - in fact, it is obligated - to restrain

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the Mirwaiz from addressing the Friday congregation when there is a realistic fear that his address may have potential law and order implications. Now to his declaration that he shall appeal to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) ambassadors. The Mirwaiz is a well-spoken and an obviously educated man. Yet in his efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, he is now, for political considerations, giving it a communal colour. The Mirwaiz fully understands that while Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and there are enough reasons for the people of the Valley to be dissatisfied with the policies, and indeed with the administrative tactics of the Central and the state Governments, the issue is a regional one within the context of the Union of India. The Muslims of India are sensitive and sympathetic to their Kashmiri brethren. Most do not approve of the rough, callous and high-handed treatment meted out to Kashmiris. But they do not see it as a communalissue. In fact, the Dar-ulUloom Deoband and the Jamiat-

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Ulama-i-Hind organised large meetings and clarified that while they empathise with the difficult times that the Muslims in the Valley are going through, and do not endorse the tactics often used by the Government apparatus, they maintain that Kashmir remains a regional issue and a problem that has to be handled within India. It would also be good for the Mirwaiz to reflect that till date there has been no act of terror involving an Indian Muslim in Kashmir. The terror in the Valley was and remains an imported entity. The local support that terrorists sometimes receive is either because of the fear of the Mujahids or from those families who bear scars from heavy-handed police and army tactics. It's an irony that the Hurriyat has been granted observer status at the OIC and by campaigning through the it, the Mirwaiz is communalising the Kashmir issue. He has to be clear in his mind whether his notion of selfdetermination is meant for all Kashmiris or only for Kashmiri Muslims. Further, he has to make his stand clear on Kashmiri Pandits. Mere assurances to them to return to the Valley will not rehabilitate them. The more he goes to the oic, the less confidence it creates in the Hindu minority of Kashmir. The Mirwaiz is better advised to think through the circumstances. I believe that if blood be the price for gaining political power and prominence, then Kashmir has overpaid.

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RSS voice seeks separate Kashmir state SANKARSHAN THAKUR / TELEGRAPH /OCTOBER, 02 2010

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leading RSS ideologue has turned the stated position of the Sangh and the BJP on Kashmir on its head by floating radical corrective proposals that could trigger a new debate on the way forward in the troubled Valley. In what's a plunge against the tide, former RSS spokesperson M.G. Vaidya has recommended that Kashmir be cleaved from Jammu and Ladakh and granted pre-1953 levels of autonomy with a prime minister (Wazir-e-Azam) as head of government with powers over all subjects other than defence, currency, foreign affairs and telecommunications. But unlike the pre-1953 status, there should be no separate president (Sadr-e-Riyasat) for the state because "we have only one President for the whole country". Insisting that the office of the governor appointed by the Centre be retained, Vaidya says: "During the British regime, there were many princely states that enjoyed complete autonomy on internal matters. But a British Resident used to be there to look after the interests of the empire and the geographic unity and integrity of the state was not damaged. So will it happen in the case of the new state. Our governor, like the British Resident, will have to be vigilant about the whole nation's interest." He has also suggested that powers to impose governor's rule under Article 356 should be retained in the interests of national integrity. Jammu, according to the Vaidya plan, should become a separate state and Ladakh a Union territory in accordance with its distinct "geographical, religious, linguistic and cultural" identity. In addition, he has said that in order to contain Kashmir's drift towards separatism, Article 370, which grants special status to the state, be strengthened by making it a permanent feature of the Constitution rather than the "temporary and tran-

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sitory" status it currently has. He has suggested that once Kashmir becomes a separate state, it should also be allowed to enact a separate criminal law. The Centre should call a roundtable conference comprising all shades of opinion in the Valley to put in place the minutiae of the new framework to ensure that Kashmir remains an integral part of India, Vaidya has suggested. Among the other issues the conference should discuss are the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission over Kashmir as well as census operations and the appointment of IAS and IPS officers in the state. He also believes that Kashmiri opinion should be sought on whether Parliament should continue to make laws for the state in accordance with Article 249 of the Constitution and whether central rules of excise, customs, civil aviation and post and telegraph should continue to apply to the new state of Kashmir. The RSS senior has attached a few critical caveats, though. All Kashmiri Pandits forced into exile by a militant insurgency in the early 1990s should be rehabilitated in the Valley and elements that seek a merger with Pakistan should have no role in consultations over the new arrangement. Vaidya's sweeping and contentious reforms are part of a paper he circulated to scant notice following an allparty delegation's visit to Jammu and Kashmir last month. His prescription not merely represents a drastic departure from the Sangh's position, it also vastly exceeds what parties like the Congress are willing to concede at the moment. The BJP rejects outright the tri-

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furcation of Jammu and Kashmir on regional lines, rejects autonomy, and remains theoretically committed to the abrogation of Article 370. The Congress, which has been more accepting of Kashmiri demands than the BJP, too has pointedly ignored the autonomy resolution f the Assembly which is being foregrounded as a key demand by chief minister Omar Abdullah. The autonomy proposals, Vaidya says, should not be "imposed" on the people of Jammu or Ladakh. Speaking to The Telegraph from Nagpur, the 88-year-old Vaidya was keen to stress that the views were personal and did not represent the "official position" of the RSS. But that he has gone public with his note suggests that he is seeking a cleanslate debate on Kashmir within and outside the Sangh parivar. The BJP, unsurprisingly, rejected the Vaidya remedy out of hand. "The BJP has a clear, well-meditated position on Jammu and Kashmir," chief party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, reacting to the points made by Vaidya. "Anything that becomes a facade for separatism or independence is totally unacceptable. Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India." Without engaging with the spec i f i c s o f Va i d y a ' s s u g g e s t i o n s , Prasad said: "We must reach out to the people of the Valley, provide them relief and confidence and differentiate between them and separatists who only become important when there is violence. The current cycle of violence is the consequence of Omar Abdullah's misrule; we believe his removal has to be the starting point of turning the Valley around." Another senior BJP leader sounded more dismissive of Vaidya and his Kashmir proposals. "Vaidya has always been a bit of a freelancer," he said. "Often, even within the RSS and the Sangh parivar, his views are not taken se-

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NATIONAL PRESS riously." Vaidya sounded unperturbed by either criticism or indifference from colleagues. "Of course, these are ideas that many will find difficult to accept or even

discuss," he said. "Many of my friends have told me that the medicine I am prescribing is more dangerous than the disease. But I believe this should be debated‌. In muddon

par charcha honi chahiye kyonki Kashmir bahut mahatvapurna maamla hai (there should be a discussion on these matters because Kashmir is a very important issue)."

Change for whose sake? JAGMOHAN/ HINDUSTAN TIMES / SEPTEMBER 09, 2010

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n the course of a debate in the Lok Sabha on Kashmir recently, some MPs pleaded for autonomy for the state as if it was a panacea for all the ills that have been plaguing the Valley. To a large extent, the current turmoil in the Valley owes its origin to the vested interests in J&K that want to exploit the issue of autonomy to build a power-base for themselves. More often than not, these interests have erased the line between autonomy and azadi. After the execution of the Instrument of Accession in 1947 and adoption of the Constitution in 1950, J&K was brought under the jurisdiction of India. Article 370 provided for special relationship but it was temporary. The sum and substance of this Article 370 is that, in addition to the items included in the Instrument of Accession, the Parliament can make laws with regard to the subjects of the Union and Concurrent Lists, but only with the concurrence of the state. To define these constitutional legal, financial and administrative relations, the Delhi Agreement was signed in 1952. Soon thereafter, unfortunately, Sheikh Abdullah started changing colours. Whatever provisions of the Agreement suited him, he got them implemented. But with regard to items that related to the linkages between the Union and the State, he adopted an obstructionist attitude. Those who accuse the Centre of 'breach of promises' will do well to ponder over the events of 1953. If they do so, they would discover that the real breach occurred at that time and it was caused by the excessive ambition of Sheikh Abdullah and his proclivity to hob-nob with foreign powers.

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It was only after the coming into being of the new state government, headed by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, that the process of implementation of the Agreement began. Apart from establishing financial links between the Union and the State, the jurisdictions of the Comptroller and AuditorGeneral, the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India were extended to the State; Articles 356 and 357 were also made applicable. With these 'extensions' and 'applications', the nomenclature, status, functions and mode of appointment of 'Sadar-e-Riyasat' and the Prime Minister of J&K became anachronistic. It was, therefore, considered necessary to change the nomenclature and mode of appointment of 'Sadar-e-Riyasat' and also the nomenclature of the PM and the necessary changes were made in 1966. In the changed circumstances arising out of India's triumph in the Bangladesh War, Sheikh Abdullah threw hints for returning to the mainstream and an agreement, known as the 'Kashmir Accord', was signed in 1975. The only concession made by Indira Gandhi was to review any specific proposal, if received, in respect of 'extensions of the Indian Constitution made to the State with adaptations and modifications'. But neither the governments of Sheikh Abdullah nor that of Farooq Abdullah could send any proposal for 15 years, primarily because the changes made earlier were necessitated by practical

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considerations. Those who are now asking for the 1952-53 status are forgetting this fact. Nor do they explain how, if only defence, foreign affairs and communication remain with the Centre, the financial needs of the State would be met. At present, it is the Union finances that provide funds for the State's Five-Year Plans and also for a substantial part of the non-Plan expenditure. In fact, while the State's share of India's population is 1 per cent, it has been receiving about 11 per cent of all grants disbursed by the Centre. Further, the proponents of autonomy do not care to address certain questions. Do the Kashmiris not have all the fundamental rights that are available to individuals in modern liberal democracies? Has their identity, culture, religion or language been undermined by the constitutional arrangements that have been in existence for the last several years? How would the common Kashmiri be benefited by changing the nomenclature of Governor to Sadar-e-Riyasat and of chief minister to prime minister? How would requirements of national security be met and how would certain other contingencies be dealt with if Article 356 is not applicable? If all issues concerning Kashmir autonomy are subjected to considerations, it would be found that no material change in the existing arrangements is warranted. The nation is already paying a heavy price for the mistakes made in the past under pressure. Let us not add another one to them by falling into a trap of those who, for their own narrow ends, are out to exploit the constitutional illiteracy of the masses on the subject of autonomy.

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COLUMN

HISTORY

Kishtwar in History PROF. JIGAR MOHAMMED

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he Himalyan region of the Indian sub-continent has influenced several historical regions in terms of the geo-political and economic life. Though modern social scientists are more interested in the study of the regions facing either "political crisis" or "religious fanaticism", the historical studies find constructions on larger scale than destructions in a given region. Kishtwar has been one of the most active areas of the Himalayas. The first reference to Kishtwar is found in Kalhan's Rajatarangini in terms of its history. Kalhan's Rajatarangini mentions Kishtwar as Kashthavata. According to a modern research of the history of Kishtwar, the Kashthavata term is derived from two elements; first from the Kishta, which is a hill term used in Kishtwar, meaning dried apricot. And Kishtwar means "a place of dried apricot." It is also understood that it is derived from the term Kasht, which means "trouble" or "misery." The modern historians J. Hutchison and J.Ph. Vogel quote the following local rhyme: Kashtwar, kasht ka banda, Din ko bhukha, rat ko thanda, Jo ki ae jab wuh jae, Wuh hai gosain ka jhanda. The meaning of above mentioned rhyme is: Kashtwar is the servant of adversity, Hungry by day and cold by night, Whoever comes, when he departs,Is as thin as a garden's flag-staff. According to Hutchison and Vogel, the above mentioned rhyme "is from the lips of Kashmiris, and may be only a play upon the name. The name Kashthavata is a Sanskritized rather than a true Sanskrit word, and if taken literally can only mean a "garden of wood"; the second member of the word vata-var, meaning "enclosure" or "garden". (J. Hutchison and J. Ph. Vogel, History of the Punjab Hill States, Vol. II, p. 643). However, the term Kashtwar or Kishtwar is very much highlighted by the Persian chronicles of the Mughal period or from 16th century onwards. Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari, Farishta's Tarikh-i-Farishta (Eng. Tr. By Briggs in History of the Muham-

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madan Power in India), Jahangir's Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, and Inayat Khan's Shahjahan Nama etc. depict Kishtwar as an autonomous state of the Himalayas. In the 19th century Shivji Dhar produced an exclusive work on the history of Kishtwar entitled Tarikh-i-Kishtwar in Persian language. According to the Memoirs of the Mughal emperor Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir "Kishtwar is to the south of Kashmir. From the city of Kashmir (Srinagar) to the city of Alka, which is the capital of Kishtwar, the distance is 50 koss by measurement." (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, Vol. II, Eng. Tr. p. 135). It is important to mention that Jahangir was the first Mughal emperor whose army conquered Kishtwar and made it as a tributary of the Mughal empire. Since Jahangir was very much interested in recording the historical heritage of the places of the Mughal empire, he incorporated some important aspects of the history of Kishtwar pertaining to historical geography, agricultural productions, horticulture, local ruling family and its army etc in his Memoirs. According to Jahangir, "In Kishtwar there are produced much wheat, lentils, millet and pulse. Differing from Kashmir, it produces little rice. Its saffron (Zafran) is finer than that of Kashmir. About a hundred hawks and falcons are caught here (annually). Oranges, Citrons, and water-melons of the finest kind are obtained. Its melons are of the same kind as those of Kashmir, and other fruits, such as grapes, apricots, peaches, and soar pears, are grown. If they are cultivated, it is possible they would improve. A coin of the name of Sanhasi is a relic of the old rulers of Kashmir, one and a half of which equal rupee. In their business transactions they reckon fifteen sanhasi, or ten rupees, as one padshahi muhar (gold coin). They call two seers of Hindustani weight a man (maund). It is not the custom for the Raja to take revenue from cultivation; he takes annually six sanhasi-that is, four rupees-from each house. All the saffron is assigned, as pay, to a body of Rajputs and to 700 musketeers (tupchi) who are old retainers. When the saffron is sold, four rupees per maund, or two seers, are taken from the purchaser. The whole income of Raja

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consists of fines, and for a small offence he takes a heavy sum. From whomsoever is wealthy and in comfortable circumstances the Raja, on some pretext, clears out all that he has. From all sources his income is about Rs. 100,000. In time of war 6,000 or 7,000 men on foot collect together; there are but few horses among them. The Raja (of Kishtwar) and the chief men have about fifty between." (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, Vol.II, pp. 138-39). The Mughal emperor Jahangir rated Kunwar Singh, the king of Kishtwar, a ruler conscious of his prestige and royalty. It is important to mention that Jahangir's army under the command of Dilawar Khan had defeated Raja Kunwar Singh of Kishtwar in 1620; but the Mughal emperor appreciated the qualities of the king of Kashmir in terms of the latter's power and prestige. According to Jahangir, "He (the Raja of Kishtwar) is not wanting in dignity. His dress is after the Indian fashion, and he knows both the Hindi and the Kashmiri languages. Contrary to other Zamindars (local kings) of these regions, he looked like the inhabitant of a town." (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, Vol. II, pp.139-40). Jahangir's mentions not only attest the political and socio-economic significance of Kishtwar in the Himalayas during the medieval period, but more importantly his narratives of Kishtwar also show that the systems developed by the Kishtwaris attracted the attention of others and Kishtwar as a state had potentialities of sharing huge power in the Himalayas. From administrative point of view, Kishtwar was divided into several administrative units. The modern historians generally divide Kishtwar into ten administrative units. Hutchison and Vogel find the following administrative divisions of Kishtwar from medieval period onwards: (History of Hill States, Vol.II, p.638) 1. Kishtwar proper-including the plateau and neighbouring country on the left bank of the Chinab (river). 2. Nagsun-the main valley of the Chandrabhaga between Kishtwar and Padar, as far as

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COLUMN

HISTORY the Lidrari Nala which was the boundary with Padar in Chamba (district of modern Himachal Pradesh). 3. Sarthali or Shatli- a small valley on the left bank of the Chandrabhaga to the south of Kishtwar. 4. Surur-a small valley to the south of Sartali 5. Bhonjwah- the valley of the Bhonjwah Nala south of Surur, bordering with Bhalesa in Bhadrawah. 6. Dachin and Maru-Wardwancomprising the whole of the Maru-Wardwan Valley. 7. Udil- the country to the north-west of Kishtwar in the valley the Kasher Khol, a tributary of the MaruWardwan river. 8. Kontwara-the territory on the right bank of the Chandrabhaga between Udil and Doda-Saraj. 9. Doda-Saraj-on the right bank of the Chandrabhaga from Sihghat to Doda. The former name was Mahbul 10. Banihal-from Doda to Ramban. Some of the abovementioned administrative divisions of Kishtwar are mentioned by the historical sources of the Mughal empire. For instance, Abul Fazl in his Ain-i-Akbari mentions both Maru-Adwin (Wardwan) and Dachchhinparah (Dachin) as bordering areas of Kashmir and well connected with Ladakh or Great Tibet or Tibet-i-Kalan in Persian.(Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. II, Eng. Tr. pp. 359-60. ) The two tribes, known as Rotar and Ganai are understood to be the earliest inhabitants of Kishtwar. According to Hutchison and Vogel, "The earliest reference in the vernacular history to an invasion of the plateau on which the town Kishtwar is situated, by two tribes, probably from the neighbouring hills-called Rotar and Ganai. The Rotar founded the village of Ziora, and Ganai settled near the centre of the plateau, where the town now stands. Both of these tribes are still represented in the population and rank as the sub-divisions of the Thakkar caste, which is the chief agricultural community in the hills. The name of Rotar may possibly be abbreviation of "Ranotar" = Ranaputra, and, if so, we may infer that Ranas ruled the valleys to the north and east of Kishtwar. It is probable, that the Rathi and Thakkur caste is indicated, that these petty chiefs continued to rule till after the foundation of the State, possibly under the nominal suzerainty of Kash-

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mir." (History of the Punjab Hill States, Vol.II, pp. 641-642). A tribe named Panjsasi is also associated with the early history of Kishtwar. It is understood that the Punjsasi tribe was a trading community of Punjab, which made trade with Kishtwar. The major items of their trade were medicines and other products of Kishtwar. The dried apricots were the major item of Kishtwar for trading purpose. With the passage of time a Panjsasi colony sprang up in Kishtwar. Though for some times the Punjsasi lived with the local population of Kishtwar peacefully, when their position was stabilized they overpowered the Rotar and Ganai. Consequently, rivalries between Panjsasi and lacal tribes became a source of the political instability in Kishtwar. According to Hutchison and Vogel, "Panjsasi lived near the southern end of this plateau in the vicinity of the Hoderi spring, and being constantly in dread of an attack they did not lay aside their arms even when engaged in field labour." However, one Kahn Sen is understood to be the founder of Kishtwar state. It is known that Kahn Sen belonged to Gaur in Bengal. He came to Kishtwar, defeated the Panjsasi , and occupied Kishtwar's major areas such as Chandrabhaga valley, Kadani, Kontwara, Bhandarkot and Maru-Wardwan etc. He also built a palace and fort. (History of the Punjab Hill States, pp. 643-44). Though Kahn Sen dynasty ruled for quite long time, the chronology and policies of his successor are very little known. It is only known that Kahn Sen was succeeded by his son Gandharbh Sen who ruled for fourteen years. After him Maha Sen, Ram Sen, Kam Sen, Madan Sen, Brahm Sen, Udhat Dev, Mata Dev, Ganga Dev, Sang Dev, Rakh Dev, Indra Dev, Avtar Dev and Bhag Dev ruled Kishtwar in succession. Although till early sixteenth century the period of an individual king of Kishtwar state is not known, from 1540s onwards, the life and times of the kings of Kishtwar find mention in the Persian chronicles of the Mughals. For instance, the kings of Kishtwar such as Rai Singh(154750), Viraj Singh (1550-70), Bahadur Singh (1570-88), Pratap Singh or Bhup Singh (1588-1610), Kunwar Singh or Gur Singh (1618-29), Jagat Singh (1629-42), Bhagwan Singh (1642-61), Maha Singh (1661-74), Jai Singh or Bakhtiyar Khan (1674-81)‌Tegh Singh (1789-1820) are very much known for their territorial expansion and relations with neighbouring states and

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later on with the Mughal emperors. It is known that the ruler of Kishtwar started to use title of Singh from the early fifteenth century and Raja Jai Singh accepted Islam under the influence of the Qadiri Sufi Sayyid Muhammad Fariduddin. From Jai Singh onwards the rulers of Kishtwar used both the titles Singh and Khan. For instance Jai Singh bore the title of Bakhtiyar Khan, Kirat Singh Dindar Khan, Mihr Singh Sadmand Khan, Inayatullah Singh and Muhammad Tegh Singh or Saifullah Khan. Kishtwar is also known as a great centre of the Shaktism and Sufism. The Ashtadashbhuja Devi is the most famous and popular goddess of Kishtwar. She is also known as the Sarthal Mata and a Sarthal Mata temple is situated in Kishtwar. It is known that one sufi Sayyid Muhammad Fariduddin Qadiri came to Kishtwar form Baghdad during the reign of Raja Jai Singh. Since the Qadiri Sufi Silsila or Order believed followed the concept of the Wahadatul Wajud or Unity of Being, Fariduddin Qadiri is said to have received huge social support in Kishtwar. After his death his and his son Israruddin shrines became the centre of social gatherings in Kishtwar. Kishtwar was linked to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh through well established routes. The ruling family of Kishtwar had established matrimonial alliance with the ruling family of Jammu at least from sixteenth century onwards. There are some instances that at time of some political or economic crisis some of the Kashmiris migrated to Kishtwar for their betterment during the medieval period. Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari shows that both Dachin and MaruWardan were linked to Ladakh through land routes. The Kishtwaris were experts in making of rope bridge, known as Zampa, which was very effective for defense purpose against the external invaders. The Mughal emperor Jahangir was very much impressed from the expertise of the Kishwaris in the making of the rope bridge. s Thus Kishtwar have one of the active participants in the processes of the making of the history and culture of the Himalayas through out the ages. Its local products both Saffron and apricots extended cultural relations of the Himalayas with the plains of the north India. Its strategic location attracted the attention of the Mughal emperors to retain it as an autonomous and tributary state of their empire. The Shakti cult and Sufism have become sources of inter-regional contacts.

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EXCLUSIVE SERIES NEW RESEARCH ON KASHMIR

The Storm before the Lull: NovemberDecember 1947 RAKESH ANKIT

T

he Kashmir conflict remained a Commonwealth issue till India decided to take it to the United Nations on the very last day of 1947. Once there, it, inevitably, became a 'plaything of power-politics' as Josef Korbel was to reflect later. Korbel knew what he was talking about - after all, he was a member of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan on Kashmir (UNCIP). The coming of April and August resolutions, the negotiations at New York, Paris, Geneva and Brussels and the final push for ceasefire towards the end of 1948 are part of a long, technical and at times tiresome story. They have been best chronicled by, among earlier writers, Jyoti Bhushan Das Gupta, Michael Brecher, Korbel himself and Sisir Gupta and, among recent writings, by Alastair Lamb, Victoria Schoefeld and Navnita Chadha-Behera. This little essay attempts a prologue to the stage set at the UN by the Indian approach. It looks at the two months leading up to the strong, if questionable, advice that Louis Mountbatten gave to Jawaharlal Nehru to refer the conflict to the UN. It attempts to answer not so much the 'why' of the advice as the 'how' of it. Once the deed of invasion and accession had been done in the dramatic last week of October 1947, it was time for two simultaneous processes to start: the military and the diplomatic engagements. Both inexorably widened the canvass of the affair and led to its evolution from a crisis locally fought to a conflict globally felt. Mehr Chand Mahajan kicked off the proceedings in the period under our review by making a public broadcast on 1 November in which he refuted Pakistan's allegations while explaining the reasons of accession. This was followed by Jawaharlal Nehru taking to the microphone. On 2 November, the Indian Prime Minister, an eloquent

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man when under duress, made a broadcast which was rated "first class" by his admirers and critics among the British - alike. Both Terence Shone, UK High-Commissioner in Delhi, a fan of Nehru and a friend of India and Philip Noel-Baker, Nehru's and India's bete noire on Kashmir, heralded the speech as "statesmanlike". Apart from explaining the immediate past, the speech also set out India's position as to the immediate future - withdrawal of raiders and conduct of plebiscite. Liaquat Ali Khan responded two days later. Meanwhile, Auchinleck and Mountbatten had already been to Pakistan - to meet Jinnah. While the former had gone to dissuade Jinnah from ordering General Gracey to send regular Pakistan troops into Kashmir and succeeded in doing so, the latter went in place of an unwell Nehru to represent the Government of India in the first of the face-to-face talks since the invasion and the accession. The meeting was unproductive. While Jinnah wanted simultaneous withdrawal of Indian troops and claimed that then "all he had to do was to order tribals to withdraw or send large forces to down their lines of communications", Mountbatten held to India's stated position and also expressed his inability to make any commitments as he was the Head of the State while the executive powers resided with the Prime Minister. A supreme Jinnah was not impressed at this show of constitutional propriety which he felt was a technical red herring. He also minced no words about the airlift of Indian troops and the signing of the Instrument of accession and referred to a "deep-seated Indian plan". Mountbatten had anticipated this and was armed with a "timetable" of events in Delhi from 24 October to 27 October bearing signatures of the

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General Lockhart, Air Marshall Elmhirst and Admiral Hall - the three Indian Chiefs. At this early stage, a first, feeble attempt was made at a "solution" by two very different personalities which if successful could have the changed everything. On 3 November, a farsighted Auchinleck thought aloud about "partition" in a letter to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), London. Wary of being able to control British officers serving on both sides and sceptical of the slow UN, Auchinleck proposed giving Mirpur-Poonch to Pakistan and Jammu to India. Of course, this left out the crux of the competing claims - the Srinagar Valley - but the "Auk" perhaps was not yet willing to stick out his neck on an area where heavy fighting was going on and no one quite knew which way the outcome would go. The raiders had occupied Bhimber, Rajouri, and Rawalkot and were threatening Kotli, Poonch and Naoshera. But Auchinleck's plan had a taker at the CRO in the form of the minister himself, Philip NoelBaker. He wrote to his High-Commissioner at Karachi and Delhi on 6 November that 'as there was not much different between Nehru's views and Pakistan's regarding withdrawal and plebiscite, would not partition be a "most helpful course" with Jammu to India and rest to Pakistan?', plainly wanting them to test the idea with their Pakistani and Indian interlocuters. British foreheads were increasingly creased with worry lines because first partition and now Kashmir were understood as culminations of the follies of British Raj. London was being informed by Karachi that in Pakistan "public opinion was equating 10 Downing Street as pro-Nehru and anti-Jinnah" and by Delhi that "public opinion was crediting vast majority of British, as pro-Pakistan, not

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EXCLUSIVE SERIES NEW RESEARCH ON KASHMIR

appreciative of the reasons for their [India's] actions". The CRO was in a tight spot and knew it. While the knowledge that it was London's intention to withdraw all British officers and men from both armies in the event of the outbreak of a direct, declared war between the two dominions was encouraging to India, the British proposals for a neutral, international commission led by UK under the auspices of the UN to undertake plebiscite was music to Pakistan's ears and its attempts to get rid of Sheikh Abdullah's emergency, provisional administration. As the Indian troops entered Baramulla on 8 November, India and Pakistan engraved in stone their first of the many differences with India insisting on removal of raiders first, then conduct of plebiscite under Sheikh Abdullah and Pakistan standing its ground on a simultaneous withdrawal of raiders and Indian troops from Kashmir followed by plebiscite under international and neutral eyes. Even when the next day, Delhi gave a first hint of coming around to partition, Pakistan - confident of a favourable result in the event of a free and fair plebiscite rejected the approach. V. P. Menon and Mohammad Ali met and got stuck on a draft on three issues: simultaneous withdrawal; plebiscite with international supervision and no partition. By now, the fears and desires of all three contending sides were out in the open. The British did not want the UN to be involved for the fear of the "Slav bloc" in any neutral commission appointed to determine the will of the people and wanted to conduct plebiscite or partition on their own watch; the Indians buoyed by their early military successes did not want any outside involvement at all feeling confident of their twin abilities - to throw the raiders out and reclaim the entire territory and to conduct a plebiscite to morally and democratically legitimize Sheikh Abdullah's provisional government; the Pakistanis did not want partition and any plebiscite under Abdullah while at the same time widening the scope of international intervention by bringing in the issues of Junagadh and Hyderabad to be covered in any settlement alongside Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Indian troops had freed Uri on 14 November, re-occupied Jhangar three days later and pushed raiders out of Naoshera the next day. Liaquat spoke favourably of the UN

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as a forum to discuss the crisis on 16 November. Actually, he was belatedly responding to Nehru's suggestion of holding the plebiscite "under the auspices of the UN" made during the 2 November speech. As the next two weeks had seen a succession of victories for the Indian troops, the Indian stand had stiffened and UN had receded into the background. Now with Liaquat bringing the UN back to the fore, the British moved quickly to re-gain the initiative. On 20 November, the CRO sent a message to both India and Pakistan to take the case to the International Court of Justice; a suggestion which was rejected out of hand by both. In his message to Attlee on 23 November, Nehru affirmed India's resolve to repel the raiders as well as India's commitment "to conduct the plebiscite under the auspices of the UN". Simultaneously, Zafrullah Khan re-affirmed the favoured Pakistani sequence of simultaneous withdrawalneutral administration-plebiscite. There was a succession of four singularly important days now. On 25 November, a raider's counter-offensive saw them take Mirpur and signaled to the Indian army that this was not going to be a walk in the park for them. Next day, even as Indian troops entered Kotli, the Joint Planning Staff (JPS) of Indian Army in Delhi submitted a paper contemplating a longer affair than previously expected and dashing hopes of a quick and resounding victory which early successes had raised. On 27 November, finally, a month to the day since the instrument of accession was signed and India troops had engaged the raiders outside Srinagar, the two Prime Ministers met in Delhi. It was a grim Nehru and a resolute Liaquat. Next day, the Defence Committee met to discuss the changing contours of the battle as outlined by the JPS' paper and a week later urged the use of "air action" to assist the soldiers on ground. Things now moved quickly. Liaquat and Nehru met again, this time in Lahore, on 8 December, in the meeting of the Joint-Defence Council but with no forward movement. The very next day, Mountbatten advised Nehru to take the case to UN in the form a formal complaint against Pakistan. What was the complain to contain? To begin with, as Pakistan gave raiders facilities so it must withdraw them. Once that happens, India will pull its troops back - but not before it is satisfied that all raiders have

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left what was after all Indian territory now. Sheikh Abdullah's administration was a valid arrangement because he was the popular leader of Kashmir and represented the people. In any case, India and Abdullah would gladly test this claim in a plebiscite to be organised under the emergency administration once peace returns. This crystallization of views took place on 10 December, the same day that Indian military plans for the winter were finalised, namely, relief of Poonch; advance on Bhimber and control of Jhelum valley "as far West as possible". Ten days later, Nehru informed his Cabinet of the decision to lodge a formal complaint at the UN. On 22 December, India formally submitted to Pakistan its complaints along the above-mentioned lines to elicit a final response before its approach to the UN. Pakistan's response was clear and combative. It denied facilitating the raid and expressed inability to control the tribes "until an impartial administration was in place" in Srinagar which would instill confidence among the tribes that their Muslim brethren in Kashmir would not get a raw deal under India or Indiaappointed agents. It insisted on the conduct of plebiscite under the neutral administration and international supervision. It wanted firm promises along these lines to be made by India before it could appeal the tribes and attempt to make them leave Kashmir. Slowly but surely the "what and why" of invasion of Kashmir was being replaced by the "when and how" of plebiscite in the diplomatic exchanges the cart was to be put behind the horse at the UN and by the time India would wake up, it would be too late. Then Nehru would feel bitter that his original complaint against Pakistan was over shadowed at the UN as the focus shifted to bringing ceasefire and conducting the plebiscite but fault lay not in the UN or in Pakistan's defence - mounted superbly by Sir Zafrullah Khan - or in India's stars but in the personalities and policies of the men who were handling it for India, vain-glorious Louis Mountbatten, emotional Nehru, legalistic Gopalaswami Ayengar and bombastic Sheikh Abdullah. But all that is a story for another occasion. For now, raiders re-captured Jhangar on 24 December and, within a week, with its army stymied in the winter; India opened another front at the UN Security Council and, arguably, exposed its flanks. The rest is history!

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LADAKH A F F A I R S

LAHDC ELECTIONS DORJAY MOTUP Dorjay Motup is elected to the LAHDC for the 3rd time. He is elected from Kyungyam Constituency for the second time in consecutive but this on BJP ticket. In the previous LUTF run LAHDC he held the post of an Executive Councillor for Health for about three years.

GYURMET DORJAY Gyurmet Dorjay won the Korzok constituency of Changthang on Congress mandate. He was elected from the same constituency in 2000 also. He represents a constituency that constitutes of mostly nomadic population. Gyurmet is now the Executive Councillor for Tourism.

TSERING ANGCHUK Tsering Angchuk is elected for the second time in consecutive from Panamik Constituency on Congress ticket. A former government employee in the medical department, Angchuk stepped into politics with the 3rd LAHDC General Council in 2005. He is one of the councilors to have left LUTF and joined the Indian National Congress.

THUPSTAN ANGCHUK Thupstan Angchuk has been elected from Nyoma constituency on Congress ticket. He is a new face in politics. Angchuk is the youngest among the all the councilors. Demchok area which had been news last year also comes under his constituency.

ABDUL ALI

NEW LAHDC, LEH In November 2010, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council went to elections in which the Congress returned to a landslide victory. Here is a brief profile of all the Councillors of newly elected Council which has taken charge under the leadership of Rigzin Spalbar ALL PHOTOS BY T. Namgyal Tsaskan

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Abdul Ali won the Turtuk Constituency on Congress mandate. He has the experience of serving as the village Sarpanch in Bogdang for one term. On October 16th late evening when polling was just over, his forehead was hit with a stone pelted by an unidentified person. Subsequently he was hospitalized for a few days.

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LADAKH A F F A I R S

LAHDC ELECTIONS RIGZIN WANGDUS

SONAM DORJAY

Rigzin Wangdus won the Tegar Constituency on Congress ticket. This is his first time in active politics. Before stepping into politics he had worked with TATA-LAHDC project.

DR. SONAM WANGCHUK

NAMGYAL PHUNTSOG

Dr. Sonam Wangchuk won Hunder Constituency on Congress ticket. Doctor Wangchuk is a child specialist. He retired from government service few years ago. Doctor Wangchuk is now the Executive Councillor for Health.

Namgyal Phuntsog has been elected from Chushul constituency on Congress ticket. Prior to this he was the Nambarder of the village Chushul. He represents an area that is situated on the Indo-Chinese border. The famous Pangong Lake is in his constituency.

GYAL WANGYAL

ADVOCATE SONAM DORJAY

Gyal Wangyal won Sakti constituency on BJP ticket. He won this constituency for the second consecutive term. He is one of the sons of the former Minister late Sonam Wangyal.

Advocate Sonam Dorjay was elected uncontested from Tingmosgang constituency on Congress ticket. He was the councilor from Lower-Leh in the previous LAHDC. Sonam Dorjay is now the Executive Councillor for Agriculture.

TSERING SONAM

GHULAM ABASS ABIDI

Tsering Sonam was the Congress candidate from Phyang constituency who defeated the former Chief Executive Councilor, Mr. Chering Dorje by a margin of 1039 votes. Sonam is a retired lecturer from the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies Leh but he is a new face in politics.

TSEWANG RIGZIN Tsewang Rigzin won the Disket seat from Nubra on Congress ticket. He won the seat for the second time consecutively. Rigzin was an executive councilor in the LUTF-run LAHDC but he revolted against the party and left it to join the Congress party about two and half years ago. Rigzin is also a researcher and a freelance journalist.

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Sonam Dorjay won the Lingshed constituency on Congress ticket defeating the BJP candidate, renowned singer PadmaShree Morup Namgyal. Sonam Dorjay was elected to LAHDC from this constituency for the second time consecutively. He is one of the councilors who left LUTF and joined the Indian National Congress. It still takes days to reach some of the villages of his constituency because of lack of proper road connectivity.

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Ghulam Abass Abidi is elected to the LAHDC for the 2nd time consecutively from Chushot constituency on Congress ticket. In the 2nd LAHDC he was a nominated councilor and latter he was inducted into the executive council. Abass Abidi is again an Executive Councilor, representing the principal religious minority. His portfolio is Consumer Affairs and Public Distributions.

TSETAN NAMGYAL Tsetan Namgyal won the Khaltsi constituency on Congress ticket. He is new in politics. He had been an active member of the merchant association Leh for many years and prior to joining politics, Namgyal was the general secretary of the merchant association.

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LADAKH A F F A I R S

LAHDC ELECTIONS TUNDUP SPALZANG

NAMGYAL DORJAY Namgyal Dorjay has been elected from Tangtse Constituency on Congress ticket. He was one of the founders and the president of the All Ladakh Unemployed Youth Association (ALUYA) in Leh.

Tundup Spalzang is the only Councilor to have won independently without having affiliation to any political party. With this election he has won the Thiksay constituency for the 3rd time consecutively. In the previous LAHDC, Spalzang was an LUTF Councilor. With the coming of the recent LAHDC elections when LUTF finally closed its door forever with most of its councilors joining BJP and some Congress, Spalzang didn't join either of the parties.

VENERABLE LOBZANG Venerable Lobzang Nyantak is a Buddhist monk who has been an active political worker of the LUTF. He won the Upper-Leh constituency on BPJ ticket. Upper-Leh is the largest constituency of all and it covers the main Leh town also.

PHUNTSOG ANGCHUK

DAWA TSERING

TSERING NORBOO

Dawa Tsering has been elected on Congress ticket from Skurbuchan constituency. He had already served a term in the LAHDC from 2000 to 2005 representing the same constituency. Dha and Hanu villages which are a settlement of Dards population that comes under his constituency.

Phuntsog Angchuk, the retired SSB personnel, won from Martselang constituency on BJP ticket. He is a new face in politics but has served at the village level in different capacities.

Tsering Norboo won the Basgo constituency on Congress ticket. Earlier he had been a Councillor from same constituency after Nawang Rigzin Jora got elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2002 because Rigzin Jora, who was then an Executive Councillor in the LAHDC, represented this Constituency. Norboo has also been the General Secretary at the DCC office Leh.

RIGZIN SPALBAR, TSERING ANGCHUK Tsering Angchuk has been elected on Congress ticket from Lamayuru constituency. He is a new face in Politics. Angchuk was a government employee in the fisheries department. He joined politics after retiring from government service.

RINCHEN TUNDUP Rinchen Tundup is the new councilor of Saspol constituency. He had already served two terms in the LAHDC. Tundup is a retired government employee of the animal husbandry department. He has served in different capacities at grassroots.

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Vol. 4, Issue 12

Rigzin Spalbar, the newly nominated chairman/chief executive councilor, has been elected from two constituencies. The District Congress Committee president Mr. Rigzin Spalbar won the Lower-Leh seat defeating the BJP Candidate Mr. Nawang Samstan by 2092 votes. Mr. Spalbar had already won the Sku-Markha constituency uncontested. He had been the chairman/chief executive councilor for a year and a half in the 3rd LAHDC also. Spalbar has been elected to the LAHDC continuously since the formation of the Hill Council in 1995.

TASHI NORBOO Tashi Norboo won Egoo Constituency on Congress ticket. He had served a term in the LAHDC from the same constituency from 2000 to 2005. Besides his political experience, Norboo has worked in a NGO for a decade.

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LADAKH A F F A I R S

LANGUAGE

Grammar is made of human language, Human language not made of grammar Khanpo Konchok Phanday

"When bombastic sentences are made simpler, it is criticised. When simple ones are made more complicated, the writer is considered a great master. Such a tradition is a sign of degradation, but what to do?" VEN. GESHE GEDUN CHOPHEL A prominent scholar of Tibet

H

uman language cannot exist without grammar, whether it is written in the shape of a book or not. Therefore to say that the Ladakhi language has no grammar is not true. Language written with grammar that doesn't match the grammar of speech may be misunderstood by the readers, whereas any language which matches the written grammar to the spoken language will be clearly understood. Some people mistake grammar for religion and treat it as a precious holy object. Grammar is just a vessel for any kind of knowledge. This article is written with the intention to clear up this misconception. If it is read, one will see different ideas. Whether new or old, checking well is wise. Unpopular things should not be considered bad automatically but should be checked well. Senior and Junior scholars, who have been studying in Tibetan refugee monasteries for a long time, please recall your childhoods, when it took days for you to learn each letter. Even if you no longer live in your villages, it is unwise to hate newspapers written in mother tongue for the people who still reside in their own villages. Please remember that countless great scholars have learnt several languages, staring from their mother tongue. If people begin by reading their mother tongue and then progress to reading the Classical language, holy books and philosophy, it will facilitate the development of spiritual as well as worldly knowledge. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, I just want to show my idea that writing

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Ladakhi language for beginners will never harm anything but will help to develop knowledge as well as being the foundation for learning Tibetan too. A tree grows into several branches from its root. Similarly the language of people living in the vast region from Skardo in the west to Amdo in the east developed from the root of the Tibetan language. However, different words and grammatical endings developed in the different regions due to time and distance, and they became so different that people of different regions cannot understand one another today. Some thinkers in Tibet in the 1990s tried to choose a general spoken language that could be understood and used in all regions of Tibet. For this purpose forty-seven scholars wrote essays which were compiled and published as a 700-page book at Beijing by the Nationalities Publishing House in China in 1999. I went through it and found that the scholars could not create any consensus for their purpose. If even those top scholars in Tibet could not find a consensus on one general spoken language within all regions of Tibet, how could we hope to find one common language understood in all other neighbouring regions as well? People cannot modify a language much intentionally, but it changes itself in the course of time. As per my knowledge there is no record in the world where men succeeded in changing the spoken language of a particular region. Some Ladakhi scholars have an

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idea that Ladakhi spoken language is included in Tibetan general spoken language. This is not realistic: most Ladakhis do not understand Tibetan. However, these scholars strongly objected to Ladakhi language being written, because they thought that any language written in the Tibetan script must be Tibetan language. It seems that some people even confuse the language and the script. Actually, language and script are distinct. Several languages can be written in the same script. For example, English, German, French, Danish, Italian and even African Swahili, are all written in the same Roman script although they are totally different languages. We write Ladakhi in the Tibetan script, but it is not Tibetan language. In Bhutan they write Dzongkha in the Tibetan script but it is not Tibetan language. Newspapers, magazines, children's books, advertisements, etc. should be written in Ladakhi language for beginners. The style can be shifted gradually from Ladakhi to classical for those who want to study more. Maybe those who object to writing Ladakhi language have no idea about language development. That is why a few years ago, objections by a few people to the Ladakhi language written in Ladags Melong magazine contributed to the stopping of Ladakh's only locally edited print media. Our students have to study English, Science, Maths, Hindi, Urdu, Bhoti, and Social Studies in school. We cannot expect everyone to become Geshes and Khanpos. The ma-

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jority of Ladakhis can sound out the Tibetan script but they cannot understand things written in Tibetan language. Keeping in view the standard of the readers, to write newspapers, magazines, and children's books in Ladakhi is not harmful but highly beneficial for them. Not only that, but it is respect for our language, and some of the readers may go on to learn the Classical Tibetan language. Lord Buddha turned the wheel of Dharma at different levels Hinayana, Mahayana, and Tantrayana - to benefit the different capacities of different sentient beings. In ancient times it is said the Bodhisattva sailors used to create islands in the ocean for the tired traders to take rest for some time before continuing to their destinations. The great Nagarjuna stated, "Heaven is not far away from human reach through right behaviour; and then by advancing step by step, liberation is even reachable." Similarly, the high-standard poems, philosophical texts and holy books are not far from Ladakhi language but we have to reach them step by step. Traditionally holy books, recitations and religious teachings start with this stanza: "I am preaching the Dharma in the languages of gods, nagas, dulboom (spirits), all languages of humans and every language of beings." When the Buddha himself gave his teachings in all languages to suit his different audiences and said that the teachings should be given in all languages, then should be no problem writing newspapers, magazines, children's books, etc. in Ladakhi language. It is not bad, and in fact the benefits are many. The great scholar saint Rdza Dpalsprul Rinpoche wrote, "The holy books of exalted ones for the benefit of readers and explaining the practices are not in high standard language and poetry. Showing the perfect path through the common people's languages is the speciality of holy persons." Some scholars say, "You can write Ladakhi language, but it should conform to the rules of Tibetan grammar." Yes, but even if we try to do so, is it possible? The problem is, there are countless special Ladakhi words and endings which are not found in Tibetan dictionaries. How can you conform to something that you cannot find? Some people try to write Ladakhi language with Tibetan grammar. The style becomes like a gentleman in lady's dress. Not only that but even when they try to write like this, the Tibetan

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grammar is incorrect. Saying that writing should conform to Thonmi's grammar is a thoughtless statement. Those who say that they know Thonmi's grammar book, but they have not understood it well or studied it critically. If we examine carefully, we can even find many sentences in the Kangyur and Tangyur that do not follow the rules of Thonmi's grammar. Grammar is made of human language. Human language is not made of grammar. Similarly ornaments are made of Gold. Gold is not made of ornament. On one side we say that we should study the phonetics of each letter to produce the correct sound. On the other side, some people say our spoken language should not be written. We have to write something other than what we actually say. Does it make sense? When we write Ladakhi language, some say Tibetan grammar is distorted. This makes no sense: we write according to Tibetan grammar as much as we can, but there are words and endings of Ladakhi language that can not be found in Tibetan grammar and dictionaries. How can we say they are distorted? They are simply different. When one writes in German, how can one say that the English grammar is distorted? When one writes in Hindi, can we say the Sanskrit grammar is distorted? The best way to spread Bhoti literacy in Ladakh is to write newspapers, magazines, advertisements and first and second class schoolbooks in Ladakhi language. Then from the 3rd class onward the language should move towards classical in higher and higher standards. This method would help students learn easily without confusion; otherwise it will take them a long time to learn, or they will find the classical language so difficult that they do not even try to read it. This is what we see happening today - students read classical Tibetan in their Bodyig classes at school but they don't understand it and never choose to read it except for their exams. Some people say, "If you read and write Ladakhi language, you will never learn the meaning of Kangyur and Tangyur." This is like saying a person can never learn a new word in his life after his first language at the age of seven. Because if he has learnt to read and write Ladakhi in childhood, why can't he learn new words and Tibetan grammar? If he can learn new words he can learn Kangyur and Tangyur in the course of time. Those who cannot differentiate between a few Ladakhi endings and

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a few Tibetan endings are not thinking clearly. Some people object, "If you want to compose a Ladakhi grammar, which language will it be based on? Central Ladakh, Lower, Zangskar, Nubra or Changthang? You cannot choose one form." And yet these same people say, "You should use grammar that can be understood by all the people from Skardo in the west to Amdo in the east." Is it not a strange thought? Some people say that those who want to destroy Ladakhi culture, destroy the language first. If we go round the world for many years looking for a person who wants to destroy Ladakhi culture, we will not find even one all over the world. Several tousands of tourists have visited Ladakh in the last forty years from all over the world and every one of them advises us to preserve our culture and helped with financial assistance to preserve and protect our culture, for example LEDeG and the Women's Alliance, etc. Many of us Ladakhis have spent our lives working to promote Ladakhi language and culture. In reality the destroyers of our culture are perhaps those who hate our own language and even try to stop us from writing our own language. Some people say, "Ladakhi language is an inferior or common language, and it should not be written." Languages cannot be divided into inferior and superior - we do not have separate languages for kings and common people. However, it can be both spoken and written. The two should not be so different that people cannot understand the written language, though the standard of the written language can go higher and higher according to the subject matter. That is also keeping in view the readers and the purpose. It is not good to write in the same style from children's books to holy books. The newspapers, children's' books, advertisements etc written in Ladakhi language for Ladakhi people are more beneficial and also respect our own language. To write newspapers using bombastic words found only in dictionaries is not beneficial to anyone. Ladakh was a small sovereign nation until 1834, and the language was a national language. A man who says the language of his own land should not be written - that man is ashamed of his own language and culture. People all over the world wish to spread their own languages to other regions. Nobody anywhere says that their national language should be hidden from the world. But in Ladakh, a few people say that the Ladakhi lan-

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LANGUAGE guage should not be written, as if they are ashamed of it. Recently in the assembly of Maharashtra, a newly elected minister took his oath in Hindi. Some other members got angry and slapped him because they wanted him to take the oath in their own language, Marathi. But in Ladakh we have quite the opposite. How strange! Once I told a linguistic researcher from America, "Some scholars in Ladakh say that Ladakhi language does not have grammar." She laughed and answered, "Then how can Ladakhis speak to each other, if you do not have grammar? I have been studying spoken Ladakhi grammar for years and it is very interesting and complicated." We must know to whom we are writing or speaking. Tibetan to Tibetans, English to English speakers,

and Ladakhi to Ladakhis. Otherwise our meaning will not get across. I am Ladakhi and my mother-tongue is Ladakhi and I am proud of it. Speaking and writing one's mother tongue is not bad. I write Ladakhi language for Ladakhis, Tibetan for Tibetans, and English for English speakers. I respect all languages. The grammar, the structure of the sentences, the vocabulary, are all used for the purpose of conveying the concept to the reader. If the reader cannot understand clearly, what is the point? Some people say we should write differently from how we speak, and then study it at great length in order to get the meaning. But why? Children's books, newspapers and magazines for communicating with Ladakhi people are useful only in Ladakhi language. However, the prayer books, reli-

gious liturgy books etc. should remain in the same style as they have been written for more than a thousand years. Even different words of the same meaning should not be used in them, because they are mostly read in chorus. But the books that are meant to express knowledge and ideas to common people can be written in any language necessary for easy understanding of the reader. I conclude my article here with the following quote of Mr. Rekha Lobsang Tenzin, a prominent member of the Tibetan school text book committee. He stated in 1980, "Writing with complicated sentences and words found in the thesaurus, and personal letters ornamented with euphonic words are not for the purpose of the readers' understanding, but only to show off the writer's high knowledge."

Operation New Hope: Education policy and its fate CHOSDAN TUNDUP,

E

ducation has always been a key concern for Ladakhis since the advent of Independence of India, 1947. Under the aegis of His Holiness Bakula Rinpoche, the highest educated personality of Ladakh in classical language and Buddhists philosophy of that period, various movements were started to generate awareness among the illiterate masses of Ladakh about the importance of education. The focus then was on enrolment. Since then many movements were initiated to address various facets of education. Operation New Hope (ONH) was one among them. It was a tripartite partnership among the Government (the Hill Council), Community and NGOs. In 1996 the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh adopted ONH as its official policy on education. The yardstick for measuring its success has always been the Secondary School Examination (10th class). Since its inception the results have shown an upward trend and it has not been abysmal. The program received appreciations from different educa-

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tionists worldwide including Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the then President of India. Though there might have been other loopholes which need to be plugged to achieve the target set in Ladakh Model of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - the second phase of ONH inaugurated by H.E. President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2006 at Leh. One of the multipronged strategy to uplift the quality of education was contextualization of textbook envisaged in the national curriculum framework 2005 released by NCERT in 2005 to demarcate the broad guidelines of national curriculum framework within which alternative textbook relating the immediate environment of the child be written. The textbook especially the EVS for primary classes are neither a replication of success story elsewhere nor out of box imitation but implementation of the National Curriculum framework of 2005 in its true spirit. Of course, the books especially the E.V.S. for primary classes have not only been lauded by the teachers in the field but also been appreciated

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at state and national level. It conforms to the national standard set by NCERT and is backed up by researches from NCERT to get feed back since it was a follow up action of a national strategy. The textbook of E.V.S. published by J&K Board of School Education for the whole state is nothing new but implementation of NCF 2005 in 2010. Whereas the ONH books are the implementation of NCF 2005 in the year 2005 itself.ONH books relates to the particular perspective of Ladakh but the J&K Board of School Education books relates to the broader perspective of whole of J&K. The ONH books were not prepared by fringe idiots or a single man but national level experts were engaged for preparation of the said books by paying heavy fees by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh. Faculty from NCERT, scientists of DIHAR(defense institute of high altitude research), local physicians (Amchis), scholars of Ladakh in particular and teachers in the field in general,were consulted. Field-testing

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EDUCATION of the textbooks, which is crucial for incorporating feedbacks, were carried out. It was only then the books were published. There are preconceptions among some blockhead that these books might have been prepared by the local teachers deputed for the same; Of course, they have also contributed a tremendous input. Such preconceptions cannot see the real things of the book. ONH books cater to the challenges of modern ages of globalization, liberalization and universalization through localization, the very essence of NCF 2005. Scientific theories and dictums are made to understand by taking examples from the local environment. Take the example of food chain or food web. Food chain of a Black Necked Crane eating fish, a fish in turn eating insects and insects in turn eating grass have been shown. Food web of various animals of Ladakh like the snowleopard, magpie, redstart, rosefinch, pika, marmot, bharal, kestrel, Ibex etc have been shown to let the children know about these animals to make them aware of the fragile ecosystem of Ladakh. Children of Ladakh have been taught through these books about various wild plants and animals of Ladakh. They have been prepared to face the challenges of life when they grow up. They have been taught how to construct a warm house instead of teaching them various types of houses as stated in the broad guidelines of NCF. The very principle of teaching learning process of going from known to unknown, going from simple to complex and local to periphery have been followed. In 5th class social science textbook, the neighboring countries of India, and then continents and countries of the world have been incorporated to link with the other books prepared by the NCERT. Inspirational icons like late Padmashree Sonam Norboo, a renowned engineer -turned- leader of Ladakh of the second half of the 20th century, Kacho Sikandar Khan, a famous scholar from Kargil, national leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Kiran Bedi to inspire the girl students and Bismillah Khan to inspire about classical music have been included. Localization does not means that the books are only about local environment but has gradually been extended towards the state, the country, the world and then the universe. A marginal section is for the ret-

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rospection of the educational overhaul of Ladakh. Retrospection is not at all altogether throwing away of what has been achieved due to considerable labour put in by the stakeholders during the last two decades and financial investment made by the council but weeding out what has gone wrong .Of course, to err is human and that can be revisited, corrected and rewritten rather than throwing away of the whole programme. Unfortunately for some unknown reasons the ONH books which were Ladakh appropriate were replaced by the books published by J&K Board of School Education for the whole State. Of course, the 'Tulip books' for English are in a series from 1st to 10th will be beneficial which requires less immediate environment. However, the ONH English books can be kept as supplementary reader. But the EVS books of ONH are indispensable to match with the environment of Ladakh. Besides, removing the ONH books also goes against spirit of the Ladakh Vision Document- 2025 wherein claims for preparing region wise appropriate curriculum have been suggested. It has even talked of setting up of "Ladakh Board of School Education". Then, Are we going forward or backward? Since education has been a joint venture between the department and the NGOs, every facet of education, may it be pedagogy, curriculum, teaching aids and ideas are interlinked & intertwined with NGOs.Whenever a teacher speaks and suggests about something to make things right or to bring improvement in educational field, it is stated that s/he has spoken in favour of NGOs and next day s/he is bound to face action for having spoken in favour of NGOs; for violating the circular from Chief Education Officer, Leh to suspend links with NGOs in Ladakh, issued in 2007. This circular has in a way suspended the right to freedom of Speech, the fundamental right enshrined in the Indian Constitution for every citizen. Why don't repeal such barbaric decree?. After all NGOs are also our Ladakhi brethren and sisters working for the amelioration of the society in one way or the other. The NCF 2005 assigns the role of development of text books, academic support and research to NGOs. It is not the time to blame one another for things that have not gone

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A marginal section is for the retrospection of the educational overhaul of Ladakh. Retrospection is not at all altogether throwing away of what has been achieved due to considerable labour put in by the stakeholders during the last two decades and financial investment made by the council but weeding out what has gone wrong .Of course, to err is human and that can be revisited, corrected and rewritten rather than throwing away of the whole programme. well. Rise above pity selfish ends and work jointly for the common cause of uplifting the quality of education and to save the education department, one of the largest employer in the government sector. The author (Senior Headmaster, Government High School Domkhar, Leh) has been associated with Operation New Hope, especially in the preparation of Ladakh relevant textbooks under ONH. He was deputed as a member in the textbooks framing committee by the chief education officer Leh on the instruction of the then executive councilor for education, LAHDC, Leh in the year 20002001. He, along with the textbooks framing committee, visited many educational institutions in India including Rishi Valley Education Centre, National Council for Educational Research & Training (NCERT) to gain broader experience and knowledge in making textbooks for children up to primary standard.

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Calendar of Militancy related incidents in 2010 NOVEMBER 25: Army and Police killed three Paki stani militants of LeT after a three day long operation at Marha in upper reaches of Sailan in Surankote tehsil (revenueunit) of Poonch Dis trict. Official sources said all three militants were killed after daylong heavy exchange of fir ing with troops. The militants were being searched since evening of November 23. The slain militants included Abu Ujefa, a 'divisional commander' of LeT, Abu Ali, the outfit's incharge for twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri, who was operating for last 15 years and was the longest surviving militant in the two Districts and Abu Ikramat. All three slain militants were Pakistanis affiliated with the LeT outfit, official sources said, adding Abu Ujefa was 'commanding' them after his predecessor, Abu Osama was killed. Sources said with the killing of these three militants the strength of LeT, especially in the border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch, has come down to 15. Only 25 to 30 militants were now active in the two Districts. OCTOBER 23: Three militants were killed as Army foiled an infiltration bid near the LoC in Uri sec tor of Baramulla District. OCTOBER 21: The Security Forces shot dead three militants of the JeM who were on a mission to target the Army Headquarters of 15 Corps at Badamibagh cantonment and another camp at Haft Chinar in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. This is the first militant attack in Srinagar since January 6 suicide at tack by militants in Lal Chowk area of the City. OCTOBER 14: Three HM militants, including a self styled 'battalion commander' of the Pir Panjal regiment, were killed in an encounter with the SFs in the Shopian District. OCTOBER 1: Eight militants and a Policeman were killed in separate encounters in the State. Army foiled an infiltration bid at Maidan Behak in the Machhil sector near the LoC in Kupwara District and killed five militants. In addition, three militants and one Special Opera tion Group (SOG) personnel were killed in an encounter in the Chak-e-Akhal area of Kangan in Ganderbal District. Two other security force personnel and a civilian were injured in the gun fight which was going on till reports last came in. SEPTEMBER 29: A group of three to four LeT mili tants ambushed an Army patrol at Islampura between Dera Ki Gali (DKG) and Thanna Mandi in Rajouri District in which an Army soldier was injured. In the resultant encounter, all three militants were shot dead by Army and Police. SEPTEMBER 19: Two militants and a trooper were killed in an encounter at Dardpora near Paner in the Bandipora District. A civilian was also killed

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in the exchange of firing between the two sides, official sources said. One militant was killed in the same District on an unspecified date. The identity and group affiliation of the slain mili tants could not be ascertained immediately as the operation was still going on. SEPTEMBER 16: Army killed seven militants in two separate gun battles in Pulwama and Bandipora Districts. Five militants were killed in a fierce encounter with SFs in the Dudkalan forests of Tral area in Pulwama District, Defence Spokesman Lt. Colonel J S Brar told reporters. In addition, two more militants were shot near the LoC in the Gurez sector of Bandipora District. The militants were killed in the operation that has been going on since September 5. Although initially Army de nied that it had suffered any casualty in the op eration, sources on September 16 admitted that two troopers were also killed on the first day of the gun battle. Army has shot dead 30 militants in Kashmir Valley since the beginning of Septem ber, sources said, adding, "This includes 15 ter rorists killed on the Line of Control and 15 in the hinterland." SEPTEMBER 13: Three militants, believed to be part of a major group of infiltrators, were killed in an encounter with Army in the Bandipora District. SEPTEMBER 8: Army killed seven militants in the ongoing operation in the Gurez sector of Bandipora District near the LoC, taking death toll in the four-day operation to 12. SEPTEMBER 5: Army killed seven militants in two sepa rate operations in areas close to the LoC in Kupwara and Bandipora Districts. One Army trooper was also killed in the operation while another was injured. While four militants were killed in Baktoor area of Gurez sector in Bandipora District, Army troops eliminated three militants in the Hafruda forest area at Vilgam in the Handwara area of Kupwara District. Two Army troopers were injured in initial firing by the mili tants in Bandipora. One of the injured troopers, Havaldar J B Thapa, later succumbed to injuries. According to intelligence reports, a group of over 20 militants had sneaked into the Valley from Gurez sector last week and SFs have launched massive operations in the forest area of Bandipora District to track them down. AUGUST 30: Army killed three more militants in the failed infiltration bid near the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector of Baramulla District, raising the death toll in the ongoing operation to nine. AUGUST 29: Six militants were killed as Army foiled an infiltration bid near the Line of Control in Uri sector of Baramulla District. Sources said dead bodies of six militants could be seen lying on the ground where the gun battle was in progress, adding, number of the militants in the infiltrat

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ing group was around 15. AUGUST 15: Two LeT militants and an Army trooper were killed while an Army Major was injured along with a SPO and a civilian in an encounter at Sheru forests in the Saran Wali area, about four kilometres atop Shahdara Sharief, of Rajouri Dis trict. One or two other militants, including Abu Zarar alias Doctor, continued to fight till the re ports last came in. Bodies of the two militants killed in the operation were recovered from the forests. An intercept revealed their identity as Sajid Kashmiri and Abu Qamran. Sajid Kashmiri was believed to be a local while Qamran appeared to be a Pakistani. Though, exact identity of both slain militants is yet to be ascertained, sources confirmed that they were part of the LeT outfit which had attacked Army vehicles on August 11. AUGUST 12: Three heavily armed militants were shot dead in an encounter with the Army in the forest area of Bandipora District. Official sources said though identification of the militants would take some time but they were believed to be affili ated with LeT, which has a strong presence in the area. AUGUST 10: Militants attacked a Police post guarding Mohammad Abdullah, a leader of Democratic Party Nationalist, in the Sopore town of Baramulla Dis trict, killing all three Policemen on duty. The mili tants attacked the post at around 11pm (IST) by opening indiscriminate firing on the Police per sonnel at Yaseen Colony in the Armpora area of Sopore killing all the Policemen on the spot. Though a search operation was launched soon af ter, the militants managed to escape from the incident site. No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. JULY 20: One militant each of the LeT and HuM were believed to be killed in a gun battle with the SFs at Parray-Mohalla in the Hygam area of Sopore town in the Baramulla District. An Army trooper was also killed in the incident. JULY 2-3: Four militants were killed as Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Nowgam sec tor of Srinagar, a defence spokesperson said on July 3. Troops observed a group of heavily-armed militants along the LoC late in the night of July 2. The intruders were challenged and in the sub sequent gun battle, which continued through the night, four militants were killed, the spokesper son added. JUNE 28: Six armed foreign militants and three Army soldiers were killed in a gun battle that broke out along the LoC in the Kupwara. MAY 19: Three HM militants, including self-styled 'divisional commander' and 'district commander' were killed in an encounter with SFs in the Lassi Daban village of Rajpora in Pulwama District. The slain militants were identified as Latief Tedwa, self styled 'divisional commander' for South Kash mir and 'district commander' of Pulwama Mohammad Rafiq Bhat. Both the slain militants were locals and residents of nearby Keller area in Shopian District. The identity of the third mili tant was being ascertained and preliminary re ports said he was also a resident of Keller area and was known as Farooq Ahmad Khanday. MAY 11: Three HM militants and a trooper were killed in a gun battle between the SFs and the militants in the Ganie Mohalla area of Sanzipora village, 20 kilometres from Handwara town in Kupwara. www.epilogue.in

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MAY 7: Seven LeT militants and two Army personnel were killed in an over 24-hour gunfight, ending in the evening in the Shiekhpora forested area of Rafiabad in the Baramulla District, Police said. APRIL 2: Four more Pakistani militants of the LeT and an Army trooper were killed in another en counter with Army and Police at Sadda Darkeri forests in the Kalakote area of Rajouri District during day long gun battle. With this ended the nearly seven-day-long battle between LeT militants and SF in Rajouri District. In all, 16 militants, militants, 15 of them Paki stanis, and five SF personnel died. APRIL 1: The Security Forces shot dead six top LeT militants, including five Pakistanis and a local, after an exchange of fire at Khabra forests near village Raa Bagla in the Taryath area of Rajouri District. MARCH 30 : Five militants, including four of LeT outfit, and four SF personnel were killed in two separate encounters in the Rajouri District. MARCH 27 : Army shot dead five militants, who were part of the infiltrating bid, near Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara District. MARCH 26 : A militant was killed in a gun battle with the Army near Hanuman post along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of Kupwara District in Kashmir valley, taking death toll of the mili tants in the ongoing operation to three. MARCH 16 : Three civilians and three SF personnel were killed and eight others, including three SF personnel, injured by militants in the Srinagar and Baramulla Districts . MARCH 4: Four top HM militants and an Army of ficer, Captain Deepak Sharma, were killed dur ing an encounter that lasted over 30 hours in the Dadsara village near Tral in Pulwama District. FEBRUARY 23: Five top militants and three SF per sonnel, including an Army officer, were killed and three soldiers injured in a fierce 18-hour gun battle between the SFs and militants in the Sopore town of Baramulla District. FEBRUARY 4: SFs shot dead three top 'commanders' of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) militant outfit, identified as Feroz Ahmed Mengnu (code name Dawood), a 'supreme commander' of HuJI and his two 'deputy commanders' Nazir Ahmed (code name Abu Furqan) and Mohammad Ishaq, in an encounter in Chichha hills in Kishtwar Dis trict. An Army trooper, Ravi Kant of 11 Rashtriya Rifles, was also killed in the encounter while a woman, identified as Haneefa Begum alias Babli, reportedly married to Dawood and actively work ing for HuJI outfit, was arrested. JANUARY 14: Two self-styled 'commanders' of the HM outfit active in Reasi, Rajouri and South Kash mir, and an Army trooper were killed during a 15 hour long encounter in Kulgam District. The mili tants were identified as Adil Pathan and Khalid Hussain alias Tahir Inquilabi, both residents of Rajouri. JANUARY 6-7: Suicide attack by LeT militants at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 6. The target was a CRPF camp but militants took refuge in Punjab hotel across the road when retaliated by SFs. Both the holed up militants were killed in a 22- hour gun battle. A Policeman and a civilian were also killed and at least 12 persons including three CRPF personnel and a photo-journalist were injured in the incident. While one terrorist was identified as Qari, a Pakistani national, the other one was named as Usman from Sopore.

Epilogue, December 2010


EPILOGUE DECEMBER 2010  

Jammu and Kashmir Annual Review 2010

EPILOGUE DECEMBER 2010  

Jammu and Kashmir Annual Review 2010

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