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Luxury finds home in rugged Himalayan haven of Ladakh

A centre of spiritual enrichment that unites hearts and minds across LoC

J&K'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

ISSN : 0974-5653

Epilogue Jammu, June 01,2011 / Vol 5 / Issue 06 Price Rs.30 II Postal Regd.No.JK-350.2009-11 II www.epilogue.in

NEWS, CURRENT

A F F A I R S,

S O C IAL

SCIENCES

Jammu and Kashmir

Exploring Opportunities For Cross-Line of Control

EDUCATIONAL FRAMEWORK First Joint Analysis of Need and Potential by Amb ARIF KAMAL & Prof SIDDIQ WAHID Supported by Conciliation Resources


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Epilogue because there is more to know

CONTENT Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary

PROLOGUE

The CBMs we need

Publisher Yogesh Pandoh

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Manu Srivastsa Associate Editors Irm Amin Baig Tsewang Rigzin Zorawar Singh Jamwal General Manager Kartavya Pandoh Research Officer Raman Sharma Phones & email Office : +91 191 2493136 Editorial: +91 94191 80762 Administration: +91 94191 82518 editor@epilogue.in subscription@epilogue.in

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EU: It is for people of region to resolve Kashmir

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Gillani kick-starts poll campaign

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Cross-LoC trade Formal transactions through banking soon, assures FM

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STRATEGIC THINKING

Epilogue VOL 5, ISSUE 06 JUNE 2011

CROSS-LOC EDUCATION Towards Cross-LoC Educational Framework by Arif Kamal Siddiq Wahid

Life After Osama How will this Affect India?

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Full Marks to President Obama!

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Is Pakistan's Army on a Tighter Rope?

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COLUMN

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19th Century Persian Sources Kashmir State: Rajdarshani, Gulabnama and Tarikh-e-Kishtwar

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Interview Prof Varun Sahni Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Jammu 38

Interview Prof Habib-ur-Rehman Vice Chancellor, AJK University, Muzaffarabad

SPECIAL FEATURE 49 Darbar Lar Sharief A centre of spiritual enrichment that unites hearts and minds across LoC LADAKH AFFAIRS

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The official stand on Education in Ladakh

SPECIAL ARTICLE

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Military Expenditure v/s Economic Development: Indian Perspective V.S. SAINTHIL KUMAR 61


PROLOGUE

NOTE FROM EDITOR

The CBMs we need

ZAFAR CHOUDHARY Building confidence between India and Pakistan is not a difficult task if people the drivers of the process. It becomes all the easier in case of Jammu and Kashmir where one people have been sought to be divided into two by an artificial line but still the people remain one. If most of problems of today's India and Pakistan are traced in some historical realities of Jammu and Kashmir then it must be understood that Jammu and Kashmir alone could be the uniting factor. A simple reason to this claim is that despite six-decade long of divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir refuse to stay divided. Every day there is a call for blurring the line of divide, if its repeal not an easier option. It is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are strongly opposed to animosity between India and Pakistan and who are strongest votaries of friendly relations between both countries. Peoples of Jammu and Kashmir have already proved that they have the capacity and will to make any confidence building measure successful despite any difficulty. Cross-LoC travel, launched in 2005 and Cross-LoC trade launched in 2008 are two examples of success sustained by people, almost at their own. Despite a slew of procedural measures put in place, more than 15,000 residents of Jammu and Kashmir, from both sides, have taken the Cross-LoC bus in last six years. The Cross-LoC trade offers more inspiration: In complete absence of banking, communication and infrastructural facilities, there is weekly trade of the order of around INR 80 to 100 million. Isn't it a miracle? And this miracle is sustained by will of the people who want to be one despite the line that divides them. In a very limited way, the CrossLoC travel and trade has offered huge relief to the divided families and had made all of us to believe in need of more creative options for rendering the Line of Control a mere imaginary line. This is also in tune with vision Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraff conceived and in following years Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yusuf Raza Gillani continued with. The next big thing to cross the Line of Control could be education. This is an area which benefits all and harms none. And then we have strong argument to make: if not these measures then what is the way forward? The modest success of travel and trade offers a strong case to swiftly move towards educational linkages between two parts of the divided state. The present issue of Epilogue brings to the public domain first ever joint Cross-LoC survey on education scenario and the recommendations made by two luminary authors -Amb Arif Kamal and Prof Siddiq Wahid -are worth taking. It is time for the stakeholders to pick up the ideas. We owe gratitude to Conciliation Resources for endowing this report for publication in present issue of Epilogue.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

EU: It is for people of region to resolve Kashmir

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ven as the European Parlia ment is all set to discuss Kash mir sometimes soon, a European Union delegation, that spent almost a week on an assessment tour in the state, said that 'Kashmir issue has to be resolved by the "people living in the region'. Much to the delight of State authorities and chagrin of separatists, the delegation leaders hinted that EU will not interfere in the Kashmir issue. "We are not coming here with a particular mandate (to solve the issue). What is happening in this part of the country has to be solved by the people who are living in the region," EU Ambassador to India Daniele Smadja said after meeting moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Asked whether the EU considers Kashmir as a "disputed territory", Smadja said, "There are some issues which you have to settle by yourselves". "We have been coming every year like we travel in other parts of the country because this is our task as an ambassador to reach out to all parts of the country," she said. The delegation comprising Smadja, Irish Ambassador Kenneth Thompson, Belgian Ambassador Pierre Vaesan, EU delegation's First Secretary Philipp Gross and delegation's attache Anne VaugierChatterjee met Mirwaiz, former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Ahmad Lone at Mirwaiz's Nigeen residence. They also met the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and many other mainstream political leaders as also the members of the local intelligentsia. "There is an internal dimension to

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the Kashmir issue as well as external dimension because there have been international commitments which have not been fulfilled. And if the international community cannot mediate, they can facilitate the solution," Mirwaiz said soon after meeting the delegation. The moderate Hurriyat leader said the people of Kashmir would contribute if there is any positive development between India and Pakistan. "They told us that behind the scene European Union is trying to encourage both the countries to solve the issues through dialogue," Mirwaiz said. Earlier, the EU delegation met the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik, who appealed to the EU to use its influence with India and Pakistan to take solid and constructive measures to address the Kashmir issue. "The European Union has friendly ties with both India and Pakistan and our sincere appeal is to use the influence to make the two countries agree to demonstrate sincerity to resolve Kashmir issue," Malik told the delegation. "The two countries need to take solid and constructive steps to address this long standing and dangerous issue, rather than sticking to the past exercise of cosmetic measures," Malik said. The JKLF chief said that New Delhi and Islamabad should accept that Kashmir is not a border dispute between India and Pakistan but an issue concerning the future of crores of Kashmiris. "Kashmir is not only a political is-

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sue but a human issue as well," he said, urging the European Union to play its role in resolution of the issue. Terming Kashmiris as a basic party to the dispute, Malik said the involvement of the people of Kashmir in the talks and decision making is imperative to find an everlasting solution to the problem. Malik briefed the delegation about the genesis of Kashmir problem, its transition from violence to non-violence and alleged human rights violations. During meeting with the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah briefed the delegation of the measures taken by the State Government to ensure equitable and all round development in the State with special reference to the backward and remote areas. He also talked about the new initiatives introduced by his Government for skills development and enhancing employability of youth. The Chief Minister also dwelt in detail of the economic measures put in place to give impetus to the process of growth and development in the State. He mentioned government efforts in the sectors of power, education, healthcare, road communication, water supply, agriculture, horticulture, industries and tourism. Harnessing of State's rich hydro electric potential and bio-diversity for economic gains and welfare of the State were also discussed in the meeting. Omar Abdullah detailed the measures in place for the infrastructure development in tourism sector. He also gave resume of the initiatives taken to diversify the tourism sector showcasing new areas of interest including adventure, sports and pilgrim tourism.

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Snub to Geelani for leading Osama prayers

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nterestingly, in an apparent fall out of holding funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden, the visiting European Union delegation snubbed hardliner Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani by cancelling a scheduled meeting with him. "A meeting was initially planned for the May 14 with Syed Ali Shah Geelani, but given the lates t events, the EU delegation considers it inopportune to hold the meeting," a statement from the delegation said. Although the EU delegation, which has met a cross section of leaders during their four day stay in Kashmir, did not given any reason for the cancellation of the meeting, it is widely believed that the funeral prayers held by Geelani on May 6 for bin Laden had put off the plans of the visitors. It also called off a

meeting with members of the Kashmir Bar Association. The funeral prayers for the Al Qaeda chief, who was killed in a

No position on Kashmir issue: Arab League Close on the heels of European Union delegation distancing itself from the resolution of Kashmir issue, the Arab League said on May 16 that it has "no position" vis-a-vis the issue. "League of Arab States has no position on the specific question of Jammu and Kashmir...we look forward for peaceful coexistence, tolerance and dialogue among different civilisations," Arab League Ambassador to India Ahmed Salem al Wahishi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here. Wahishi refused to elaborate on his statement. The Arab League Ambassador's statement came three days after a European Union delegation led by the Union's Ambassador to India Danielle Smajda said the Kashmir issue has to be resolved by the people living in the region themselves. Wahishi said the Arab League wanted peace in West Asia and the entire continent

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operation by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan on May 2, evoked a muted response but Geelani and Bar Association were the only groups which organised and participated in it. Reacting to the delegations decision, the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat said "by staying away, they have dishonoured the will of majority of Kashmiris". "We have made it clear that we can have difference with the ways of Osama, but disrespecting his body was a grave human rights violation. We were expecting that EU which claims to be a champion of human rights would also raise its voice against this shameful incident," Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said. An office bearer of the Bar Association said the meeting with EU delegation was cancelled by the visitors at the last moment. "The members of the visiting delegation are supposed to be on fact finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir but either the delegation members are not being allowed to meet the relevant and concerned sections of the society or they do not want to know the truth about the ground situation here," General Secretary of the Association Ghulam Nabi Shaheen said. The Bar Association has dispatched memorandum to European Union High Representative and vice president of its delegation to India to convey their displeasure over calling off their meet and to seek their intervention in resolution of Kashmir issue.

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JK Bank Q4 profit up by 15%

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ammu & Kashmir Bank has posted 15 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 138.5 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2011. The lender had a net profit of Rs 120 crore in the same period last year, Jammu & Kashmir Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Total income of the bank increased to Rs 1,132.8 crore in the January-March quarter from Rs

875.1 crore in the same period previous year. The bank has proposed a dividend of Rs 26 (260 per cent) per share of face value of Rs 10 for the year 2010-11. For the year ended March 31, 2011, the bank''s net profit grew by by 20 per cent to Rs 615.2 crore, against Rs 512.3 crore in the previous fiscal. At the same time, total income of the bank increased to Rs 4,077.8 crore in 201011, compared to Rs 3,473.1 crore in the previous fiscal.

Across LoC

Gillani kick-starts poll campaign

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s the election fever grips Pakistan administered Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had kicked off election cam paign of the local unit of his People's Party, calling upon the Kashmiris to elect his nominees in order to get their problems resolved at his hands. "I have come at a time when general election is round the corner. I promise to hold free, fair and transparent election because we respect the mandate of people. I hope the way you will support the PPP candidates. You elect them and (in return) I will resolve your issues in my capacity as AJK Council chairman and prime minister of Pakistan," he said. Gilani spoke at a convention of PPAJK workers who had been drawn from different constituencies by their leaders, aspiring for party ticket for the upcoming general election, most likely to be held in the last week of June. His brief visit was aimed at reinvigorating the party's rank and file before the announcement of election schedule which might debar him and other public office holders from attending election rallies. "We are democrats and have come to power not through backdoor but with the support of the people. People's Party will also succeed in AJK with the power of people and its office bearers and workers," he said. Prior to Mr Gilani's speech, federal ministers Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, former AJK premiers Barrister Sultan Mahmood, Sardar Yaqoob Khan and PPAJK president Chaudhry Abdul Majeed also spoke on the occasion. "We want to strengthen democracy, the system and institutions," Gilani said, adding, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also sacrificed their lives to strengthen their countrymen. "The way people of Kashmir have been offering sacrifices for their freedom, Pakistan and the PPP makes us duty-bound to take care of your de-

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velopment and prosperity," Mr Gilani said. Assuring completion of all developmental projects, he said although Pakistan was in the grip of reces-

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sion but, nevertheless, there will not be any cut on AJK's budget. However, Mr Gilani stopped short of making any categorical announcement notwithstanding some demands made earlier by Mr Majeed. As the convention also saw some unruly scenes with some group of activists chanting slogans against local leadership, Mr Gilani twice urged the PP workers in his speech to shun their "petty personal differences." While reaffirming Pakistans political, moral and diplomatic support to the struggling Kashmiris, he added: "We will support you as much as possible for settlement of your longstanding issue." "I am sure the sacrifices you have rendered will not go in vain. The day of freedom will definitely dawn in Kashmir," he said, pointing out that Pakistan and Kashmir had a deep rooted and spiritual bondage which will remain in place for good. Regarding the war on terror, he said Pakistan was a responsible country fighting terrorism to ensure law and order and peace for its people. "The

sacrifices by the people, political leadership and security forces of Pakistan during the war against terrorism are without parallel. Our sacrifices are greater than the collective sacrifices offered by the rest of the world." Stating that the PPP was the largest party with its government in Centre, Sindh, Balochistan and GilgitBaltistan, he added: "As far as Punjab is concerned, we respect the mandate of people and have no intentions, whatsoever, to dislodge any government." -Tariq Naqash

Cross-LoC trade

Formal transactions through banking soon, assures FM

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fter prolonged strikes and protests against imposition of taxes and lack of basic facilities, the Cross-LoC traders have knocked the doors of Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather. Cross-LoC trade despite being a zero duty trade is being slapped with sales taxes and VAT by the local authorities. The Finance Minister has assured to get the matter redressed at earliest, even as confusion over taxation regime continues to prevail. In a meeting with Cross-LoC traders, the Finance Minister has reaffirmed Governments resolve to promote cross LOC trade as a sustainable business activity besides a positive Confidence Building Measures (CBM) between the two neighboring Countries of India and Pakistan in general and particularly people living in two parts of the State. The Minister said that the State Government is very keen to give a

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big boost to cross LOC trade, for which all the required measures are being taken. In this context, he referred to Government initiatives taken for establishing of Bank transaction facilities for the conduct of cross LOC trade through banking transactions. RBI has already framed a comprehensive scheme which is under consideration of the Governments of India and Pakistan. Once the scheme gets the nod, the Banking facilities would be put in place as per the urges and aspirations of the traders. Infact, the traders from other side of the LOC are also keen to have the cross LOC trade through Bank transaction, Mr. Rather said adding that the facility would take over the place of existing bartering system of trade, which has various inherent problems concerning the traders community. The Jammu and Kashmir Bank is ideally suited on this side of the LOC, for promoting trade. The Minister hoped that respecting the

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aspirations and expectations of traders in POK, Government of Pakistan will also take all facilitating steps for promoting this bilateral trade. The Minister said that the State Government has been interacting regularly with the center for including more items in the existing trade itinerary wherein only 21 items have been notified for transaction from Jammu and Kashmir State. These items include fresh & Dry fruits, vegetables, aromatic and herbal plants and flowers produced in the State. Responding to the pleas of the traders, the Minister clarified that legally and constitutionally the cross LOC trade is an intra-State trade, and assured that the Finance Department within the scope of existing taxation regime in the State would take a holistic view of their peculiar problem to find solution to them so as to promote the cross LOC trade on large scale, which, he said

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has touched an all time high figure of Rs. 116.69 crore including Rs. 52 crore from Kashmir Division and Rs. 64.69 crore from Jammu Division upto January 2010. He assured that the interests of cross LOC traders would be safeguarded. The traders represented that the cross LOC trade which has been a bold CBM, is being run mostly by youth of the State and it has picked up satisfactorily despite some heavy odds mainly due to the enthusiasm and emotional aspect attached to this business activity. They expressed their satisfaction over the initiatives of the Government for building trade infrastructure at Salamabad Trade Center and sought to include more goods items in the trade besides providing some tax relief to them.

Border Darshan

BJP's another yatra headed for Kashmir

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hrough one way or the other, in this season or that -some spice of Kashmir is must for keeping BJP's national political agenda alive. Four months after its tiranga yatra (tricolour pilgrimage) earned a nationwide condemnation for politicising the issue of national flag hoisting in Srinagar, the BJP has now come up with another yatra border darshan -which will culminate in Kashmir. "Border Darshan is an effort to focus attention on the areas which have been in the forefront of the country's defence. Border areas like Kashmir and Northeast need special care and we have to ensure our defence preparedness to face challenges emerging from various factors across the border," Mr Advani said on May 14 as he flagged off the tour. First of the 15,700 km-Border Darshan will be started from Munsiyari in Uttarakhand. The BJP will observe 110th birth anniversary of Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as a year of 'Border Darshan'.

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It will be visiting inaccessible border areas of the country in all the four directions commencing from May 14 to April 17, 2012. Speaking about the Darshan yatra, Advani said the BJP was a product of the sacrifice of the Jana Sangh founder who laid down his life for the sake of integrating Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Union. Protesting against the prevailing permit system for Indians even to visit for tourism purposes, he walked into Jammu and Kahmir from Punjab but returned dead under mysterious circumstances in 1953. It was after this supreme sacrifice, things changed in J and K and the President, Supreme Court and Election Commission could get to exercise their powers in the state. BJP Rajya Sabha MP and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukerjee Research Foundation Director Tarun Vijay said the yatra would touch border areas like Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal, Nathu La Pass in Sikkim, Bara Hoti in Uttarakhand in the areas bordering China.

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In the west the yatra would touch Okha, Gujarat, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, and Moirang in the eastern state of Manipur. The yatra would touch Lakshadweep and Andaman Nicobar islands on the eastern and western coasts of India. He said for the participants of the yatra the unanimous resolutions adopted by Parliament after the Chinese aggression in 1962 and on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in February 1994 would be the guidelines and the nation would be apprised about the resolutions passed in the regimes headed by Jawaharlal Nehru and P V Narasimha Rao on two separate occasions. During the yatra, the participants will meet the ITBP/BSF jawans, pay tributes to the martyred soldiers and understand the difficulties they face in their day to day life and their perception of the challenges from across the border. The BJP will also prepare a Border Status Report through the Border Darshan yatra.

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Tulbul Project

Some navigation in sight after 25 years

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ndia is making a bid to revive the Tulbul Navigation Project that has been stalled for the past 25 years. New Delhi will give Islamabad techni cal details of the project within a month, and Pakistan will respond by September 15. The decision was taken during the two-day secretary level talks held between the two neighbours last week. Indian officials said this is the first time when discussions have gone beyond whether the project is legitimate under the Indus Water Treaty. "This time we decided to move beyond the treaty and the project's legalities because only a court can decide on this. The talks centred on whether the project is detrimental for Pakistan for which Islamabad has to analyze technical details. We will give Pakistan all the updated data like water flow and other details, and await their response," said Dhruv Vijai Singh, secretary of water resources, who led the Indian side. Officials said the project is stuck because of varying interpretations of two clauses in the Indus Treaty. Pakistan claims that it is illegal since the treaty says India cannot construct any storage facility on Jhelum. New Delhi, though, maintains that the constructions are allowed for non-consumptive usage, or use of water other drinking, irrigation etc.

"This is a navigation project. Hence, there is no problem under the treaty," explained an official. However, both sides are learnt to have stressed the need to go beyond the debate over its legality to resolve the deadlock. The talks were held after a gap of two years. The Tulbul Navigation Project was conceived in 1980 following demands from the people Jammu and Kashmir to regulate the flow of the Wullar Lake during winter. Besides Singh, the chairman of Central Water Commission, the commissioner Indus, officials of the ministry of external affairs and an official from Jammu and Kashmir were part of the Indian delegation.

Crossing LoC

J&K clears returns of 20 youths

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etting in motion the new sur render policy, Jammu and Kash mir Government has sent a list of 20 youths, currently in Pakistanoccupied-Kashmir, to the Centre seeking their return to the state and their rehabilitation. "We have cleared cases of 20 persons. The names have been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for further follow up," Jammu and Kashmir Home Commissioner B R Sharma said. "The committee has recommended that they should be given benefit of the (surrender and rehabilitation) policy," he said. The list would be cleared by the Union Home Ministry and sent to External Affairs Ministry

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which would in turn inform the Indian Mission in Islamabad to provide Emergency Certificate or temporary passport to the people. The names were cleared by a highlevel panel comprising Financial Commissioner (Home) and DGP, ADGP (CID), Principal Secretary Law, Zonal IGPs and representative from the Centre, at a meeting held recently in Srinagar. The state government had on November 23 last year announced its surrender and rehabilitation policy intended to facilitate the return of its men who had sneaked to PoK for getting training in militancy but had later given up it due to change of heart and are willing to return to the state. Chief Minister Omar

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Abdullah had on Monday said the government has received nearly 700 applications from local militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who want to renounce violence and join the mainstream. The high-level group would be meeting within a fortnight again to give clearance to other youths, whose families have approached the local administration. An estimated 1,300 youths from various parts of the state are in PoK and most of them and are willing to return, officials said. "Those who have gone to PoK/Pakistan between 1.1.1989 and 31.12.2009 and their dependents will be eligible for consideration under the policy," says the policy.

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STRATEGIC THINKING LIFE AFTER OSAMA

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How will this Affect India? RADHA VINOD RAJU

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he US has finally succeeded in neutralizing Osama bin Laden, deep inside Pakistan and not in the badlands of Waziristan on the Af-Pak border. Indian security experts have long maintained that Osama would be found inside Pakistan, and have now been proved correct. How does this significant event impact India? Osama was well known to the Pakistani and Saudi intelligence agencies when the jihad against the Soviet Union was being carried out in Afghanistan. Popularly known as the Sheikh, Osama had contributed millions towards the jihad in Afghanistan, and had become a cult figure among the jihadis. It was the involvement of the US in the Gulf war of 1990-91 that set bin Laden against them and the rulers of his own motherland, Saudi Arabia over their cooperation with the US administration. He became their implacable enemy, and soon declared a jihad against the US. His activities in Saudi Arabia drew the ire of the government, which led to his moving to Sudan and setting up base there. When Osama bin Laden finally shifted base to Afghanistan in 1996, after he was compelled to relocate from Sudan under intense pressure from the US, he found that the Taliban had captured most of Afghanistan. The Taliban at that stage were the ISI's boys, and soon a close nexus grew between the ISI, the Taliban and the al Qaeda. The al Qaeda agreed to allow the use of their training facility to train Kashmiri terrorists which would greatly help the Pakistanis deny their own involvement in this nefarious activity, which partially explains why Pakistan desires strate-

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gic depth in Afghanistan. The United States at this stage brought a lot of pressure on Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to deliver Osama so he could be presented before the law, but the Pakistanis could not, or would not, deliver. Osama bin Laden then mounted a few major attacks on US targets, including the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the US Navy's warship USS Cole, killing hundreds of innocent people, including dozens of US citizens. This drew a swift response from the US, with cruise missile strikes targeting Osama bin Laden in his known camps in Afghanistan. The Khost training camps also came under attack. According to the deputy chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen in Srinagar, of the terrorists killed in the missile attacks, 24 were Kashmiris. This confirmed the nexus between the ISI, the Taliban and the al Qaeda and their role in the jihad in Kashmir. While there is no proof of any al Qaeda plans to target India, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, al Qaeda's operational commander who masterminded the 9/11 attacks, has reportedly admitted that of the several operations that he had planned or executed, one was the planned attack on the Israeli embassy in India which did not take place as he was apprehended before the attack could take place. Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, have also issued statements off and on, alleging a nexus between the Americans, Israelis and 'Hindu India' to target Muslims, and warning the Pakistanis to be careful of this nexus. Mustafa Abu Yasid, al Qaeda's military commander in Afghanistan, threatened India with

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more attacks and humiliation if it attacked Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, known as India's 26/11. This clearly established a connection between the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba which carried out the Mumbai carnage, and the al Qaeda. Thus India had started figuring prominently in the radar of the al Qaeda, though the organization had not yet taken any tangible step to attack India. It is clear from the Headley investigations that in addition to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Ilyas Kashmiri, known to be closely linked with the al Qaeda, has also been planning attacks on Indian targets. Kashmiri was earlier associated with the Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami, but has now set up his own unit called 513 Brigade. The Lashkars, 513 Brigade and Jaish-e-Mohammad are all part of the International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders set up by Osama bin Laden in 1998. While the elimination of Osama bin Laden is a great counterterrorism achievement, and its significance cannot be underestimated, al Qaeda has gone through a kind of metastasis into smaller groups spread across the continents, with a capacity to mount terrorist attacks. Following Osama's killing, according to a jihadist, "A million new bin Ladens will be born. The flag of jihad will be raised." According to another, "We were not fighting for Osama, we were fighting for Allah. The jihad will continue, even if the Amir is Shaheed." Thus neither the US nor India can afford to lower their guard against terrorism. The war on terrorism has to go on relentlessly, till all threats are eliminated. IPCS

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Full Marks to President Obama! ASHOK BHAN

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he death of Osama bin Laden in a surgical operation carried out by the US Special Forces will be a subject of discussion among political and security analysts the world over for many weeks to come. However, the events leading to this success story, that have unfolded within 12 hours of the operation, is a case study imparting a number of important lessons in political courage and professional finesse not only during the operation but the post-incident handling and needs to be captured now. Debates and post-mortems sometime tend to cloud this first impression. President Obama deserves full marks for risking his political career by signing off, on April 29, on orders that authorized the operation. A task of this magnitude, an action in an alien territory based on intelligence reports about the presence of the world's most wanted fugitive, who had once been declared dead by no less a person than the former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, would have been difficult to accomplish without a necessary amount of risk. Lesser mortals may have preferred verbal orders to allow an escape route in the event of failure. The US President showed faith in his advisors, confidence in the capabilities of those who were to carry out the orders and created a moral obligation from his team towards himself. And indeed they did not let him down. Within 8 hours of the operation President Obama, with confidence and poise, announced the death of the mastermind of 9/11. Remember, the operation was carried out

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during the night in Pakistan. Yet the US agencies had arrangements at hand (without any visible support from the host nation) to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that they had killed Osama. And the President was able to utilize this opportunity to send across the important message that America's war was against terrorism and not Islam. Had it taken longer to prove Osama's identity, there would have been no Presidential statement until the next morning, spawning many versions of and speculations about the event. The impact would have been lost. An emotionally choked young lady, who had served and was injured in Afghanistan, joined the celebrations in Washington DC, and claimed she could see a new White House, one over which the clouds of 9/11 had finally dissipated. The crowds were chanting 'USA, USA' and a second term for Obama. Obama has thus given a new meaning to the responsibilities of a Chief Executive, US capabilities and its resolve against terrorism. The master stroke in the entire operation was to remove the body of Laden from Pakistan before the native authorities got a whiff of it. All hell would have been let loose if the body had been seized by Pakistani authorities. All kinds of legal wrangling and pressure on the already fragile security situation could arise. World focus would have shifted to live coverage of the dead body and radicals could have exploited this situation. However, within 12 hours, the body is learnt to have been buried with religious rites in the Arabian Sea. The operation itself, the removal of the dead

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body and the last rites speak volumes about the precision with which the plan was made and executed. The operation's secrecy was the biggest asset that led to this success. It is clear that for fear of leakage, no Pakistani authority was kept in the loop. Sharing of information would have been suicidal. It is highly unlikely that the Pakistani Army was unaware of the presence of Laden in the mansion built in 2005, with walls 12-18 feet high, topped off with barbed wire, and less than a kilometre away from the Military Academy. What surprises is the complacency that had set in among those privy to his presence that no one could reach Osama. As the initial reactions show, even the NATO allies were informed after the operation was over. As for the operation itself, how did the choppers avoid Pakistani radars? Even after one helicopter crashed, a contingency plan was in place. It is immaterial whether it was accidental or was fired at. What is important is that it did not impair the operation and the US troops were even able to explode the crashed copter so as to not leave any remains. The loss of a helicopter could have led to chaos in a less professional team. In 40 minutes, despite the helicopter accident, a precise and successful surgical operation was carried out. Subesequently, one is likely to hear and read volumes about the execution of this immaculately planned operation. However, important lessons from the expert handling of the situation in the first 12 hours post Osama's death have already emerged. IPCS

Epilogue June 2011


STRATEGIC THINKING LIFE AFTER OSAMA

13

Is Pakistan's Army on a Tighter Rope? ALI AHMED

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hat a military operation by the US in the vicinity of military barracks has occurred to such effect as elimination of the world's most wanted terrorist indicates either that the Pakistan Army was caught napping or was on board. If the former, then it was either unaware of the illegal presence or, if aware, was not informed of impending US action. If it was on board, then this is as per its policy of looking the other way even as the US goes about eliminating the al Qaeda by drone attacks and at times, by Special Forces ground action. Its intelligence wing, the ISI, has earlier participated in rendition of terror suspects and had been paid for its pains. Whether Pakistan was on board or not is material because the answer will determine the nature of backlash that can now be expected to unfold over time. Pakistan is apprehensive of the fallout and understandably therefore would like to distance itself from the action. Its foreign office statement demonstrates this: "This operation was conducted by the US forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama Bin Ladin will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world." Obama sensibly acknowledges very little in his speech, merely highlighting the counter-terrorism cooperation that "helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound he was hiding in." He informs of Zardari's reaction to the news that it was a "good and historic day." Without going into specifics, a statement from Pakistan's foreign office claims, "Pakistan has played a significant role in efforts to eliminate terrorism." It can be conceded that

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this was a unilateral action by the US on Pakistani territory as per a tacit agreement between the two states. While earlier such military action was closer to the Durand line, this time it was in the heartland due to the nature of the quarry. That the US would not have liked to compromise such a significant operation by informing Pakistan can be expected. At this moment it makes for prudence to allow the Army plausible deniability. It is unlikely that the Army will acknowledge any role it may have played, even if air space management, critical to the operation, was under its control. It is likely that it was kept in the dark by the US, especially since it would more likely than not have known of bin Laden's presence. It is to the credit of the tenacity of US intelligence that a highly professional raid by a SEAL strike team eliminated bin Laden. This would preserve Pakistan and its Army from the worst of the backlash, though not prevent it from occurring. The bargain with Osama would likely have been along the lines that while he had shelter, it would not be possible for Pakistan to keep the US off his trail. This dĂŠnouement has a ring of inevitability to it. The US in tidying up its Af-Pak endgame in the run up to elections needed to eliminate the head of al Qaeda for several reasons. Handling the aftermath sensibly is as important as the decision itself. In this Pakistan remains centre-stage. The backlash may take the form of assassination. Earlier, Musharraf's U-turn in favour of the GWOT had led to assassination attempts on his life in late 2003. The Salman Taseer case indicates the inroads of radi-

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calism. Since the Pakistan Army is central to stability in Pakistan, it would be necessary for it to stay on even keel. While in his speech Obama required Pakistan to continue on board, it is very likely that Pakistan will be less than forthcoming. Relations have been down hill over the year. This can prove to be an opportunity for Pakistan to ask the US to wind down, as some of its politicians have been demanding. The suggestion here is that the US could itself choose to do so since its campaign has culminated. Chancing its luck further in staying on in Pakistan in face of increasing antiAmericanism would make subsequent disengagement problematic. Strategic prudence suggests that exit is best when on top or when the going is good. The announcement of a renewed spring offensive by the Taliban last week suggests that this summer's campaign would indeed be as critical as expected. The Pakistani Army would be wary of instability spreading into its heartland; into Karachi and into its corporate cohesion were it to do so. The exit strategy framed the 'surge' will prove suboptimal. Since the road ahead is one of diminishing returns, the political prong opened up by the KarzaiGilani combine needs to be pushed along with the promise of a Marshall Plan for Af-Pak. This alone can preserve Pakistan from serving over the long-term as sanctuary as Osama's presence indicates. The death of bin Laden heralds the departure of the US, even if over an extended duration, also because it intended to do so. The question is whether this would be as neat as the SEAL operation. IPCS

Epilogue June 2011


STRATEGIC THINKING LIFE AFTER OSAMA

14

Emulate Operation Abbottabad?: VIEW: Yes India Can GURMEET KANWAL

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he killing of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in Abbottabad, a Pakistan military cantonment that houses the Pakistan Military Academy and the Baloch Regiment Centre, is undoubtedly a significant achievement in the annals of counter-terrorism. About 70 US troops, largely Navy SEALs, were involved in the heliborne operation launched from Jalalabad, Afghanistan. While one helicopter had to be destroyed, there were no American casualties. Operation Geronimo was a classic textbook military operation that will be studied for many years by military planners. It was boldly conceived, meticulously planned and methodically executed. It is completely in keeping with the Pakistani army and the ISI's perfidious character that Osama was found in a Pakistani cantonment. CIA chief Leon Panetta said after the strike, "It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission. They might alert the targets." John Brennan, counter-terrorism adviser to President Obama has said, "It was inconceivable that Osama bin Laden did not have a support system in Pakistan that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time." Also, only a week ago leaked US embassy cables had described the ISI as a terrorist organization. Hard questions are now being asked and several US Senators and members of Congress have called for the suspension of all aid to Pakistan. The death of bin Laden will not mark the end of al Qaeda's terrorist strikes. It will be only a temporary

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setback for the organization as it has a cellular structure and is not hierarchical. Leaders heading various cells have always operated fairly autonomously and will continue to do so. The al Qaeda has developed linkages and coordinates its operations with many international affiliates, including the LeT, JeM and HuJI. Its peculiar brand of Jihad will go on. In fact, in the short term, some reprisal attacks may be expected against western targets and those in India. A spectacular attack with a 'dirty nuke' - a high explosive bomb filled with radioactive material - also cannot be ruled out. Since the ISI knew about Osama's presence at Abbottabad for five years and even provided support to him, it has been proved beyond an iota of doubt that it is a rogue intelligence agency that must be dismantled. The Pakistan army and the ISI are part of the problem and cannot, therefore, be part of the solution in the socalled 'global War on Terror'. Pakistan is in danger of collapsing from the centrifugal forces generated by internal instability and accentuated by creeping Talibanization, and its inner contradictions as a state ruled for long by the army. If the probability of collapse reaches the tipping point as it soon might, Pakistan's nuclear warheads must be taken out or destroyed in order to avoid a nuclear holocaust on the Indian subcontinent. Such an international effort will invariably have to be led by the Americans. As the most directly affected party, India must provide all the help and assistance that the US might ask for, including direct military participation.

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The main lesson for India from the spectacular military operation conducted by the CIA and the US Special Forces is that nations that are too moralistic and legalistic in dealing with the complex challenge of statesponsored terrorism usually end up as hapless victims. Only pro-active covert operations conducted by counter-terrorism agencies and Special Forces can raise the cost for the adversary sufficiently enough to deter him from launching terror strikes. There is no reason why terrorist-criminals like Hafiz Sayeed, Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim should be walking freely, planning future terrorist strikes and delivering inflammatory anti-Indian speeches from Pakistani soil. They can and must be brought to justice through covert operations launched by Indian counter-terrorism agencies in concert with armed forces personnel of the Special Forces. The US and Israel have repeatedly demonstrated their determination to eliminate non-state actors who plan terror strikes against them. In the interest of national security, India too must follow the same lead. The major requirements for pro-active operations are political will, meticulous intelligence acquisition and the requisite counter-terrorism and military capabilities. The government must permit the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) to re-establish covert operations capabilities that were dismantled under a prime minister's orders around 1997. Air assault capabilities exist with the armed forces, but these need to be modernized and qualitatively upgraded. IPCS

Epilogue June 2011


STRATEGIC THINKING LIFE AFTER OSAMA

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Emulate Operation Abbottabad?: COUNTERVIEW: No India Can't ABHIJIT IYER-MITRA

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mere three days after the elimination of Osama bin Laden, two of India's service chiefs made statements to the effect that India's armed forces were both 'competent' and 'had the capability' to carry out a similar operation. This seems to be at variance with the facts and also ignores much deeper operational and doctrinal issues, added to the military's seeming inability to grasp geopolitical reality. Beginning with capability - photos of the crashed chopper from the Abbottabad compound indicate a heavily stealthy version of the Blackhawk, a version never seen before - and probably one that would have never been seen had it not crashed. That India could manufacture a covert-ops stealth helicopter, given that it is still struggling to indigenize the ostentatiously 'indigenous' Dhruv, stretches credibility to the limit. The live link to the White House which enabled the joint special operations command (JSOC) to give critical directions at critical turns is heavily dependent on advanced satellite communications facilities of which India has no demonstrated capability and is excluded from, due to the refusal to sign the communications interoperability agreement (CISMOA) with the US. One also needs to remember that unlike the West, India has no significant heliborne combat rescue capability or experience - a prerequisite for covert insertions of this kind. Since after 1991, the West has successfully rescued every one of its downed pilots, even in the face of overwhelming odds. Contrast this with Kargil in 1999, where Indian aviators were downed owing to lack of counter-measures on their aircraft. In addition, those that did eject on the wrong side of the border did

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not have the training to evade capture nor the Air Force a credible extraction capability. Moreover the Mi8/17's (the backbone of India's helicopter fleet) crudeness should be contrasted with the sophistication of Pakistan's latest F-16 fighters mated to advanced air-to-air missiles and the Aspide surface to air missiles. The Mi-8 incidentally is the same machine that was shot down by 80s era Stinger missiles in Kargil, indicating that the Air Force had not factored it in as threat even a full decade later. The creation of a joint chief of the armed forces was torpedoed by both the Navy and the Air Force fearing Army domination of any such institution - effectively ruling out any synergistic effort on the lines of JSOC. Political interference in military matters for its part has made a joke of operational secrecy. This was demonstrated during Kargil when Defence Minister Fernandez' absolution of Nawaz Sharif was criticized, proved by the release of recorded conversations that blew the cover off one of India's highest value intelligence assets - the surveillance system that had enabled these recordings of the deliberations of the Pakistan military to be made. The DRDO too is notorious for thoughtlessly trumpeting new weapons systems unmindful of the consequences, the latest being the Ballistic Missile Defence programme that drove Pakistan's recent expansion of its nuclear arsenal. This is a heavy price to pay given that most DRDO programmes are proven failures. As for RAW evidently the Indian media is able to locate wanted fugitives with greater accuracy than a 'professional' organization as India Today's exposĂŠ on Dawood Ibrahim's hiding place in Karachi proved. Geopolitically an operation like this

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would be a disaster since Pakistan could then justify shooting down Western planes claiming ignorance of their origin - crippling the latter's targeted elimination operations in the FATA - a significant own goal the Americans would not take kindly to. Also one must remember that Pakistan's eastern border is guarded by twenty strong divisions, all on high alert, while the western border merits a mere five weak divisions, trained to treat air incursions as both routine and authorized. While India may be able to launch some haphazard strike - whether it can militarily or diplomatically contain the fallout remains doubtful. The option of targeted assassinations has long existed - but raises questions as to why the military never presented it as an option before - settling instead for the dangerous delusion of 'Cold Start'. In fact the drones that India could use for such an operation have high radar visibility optimized for Israeli operations where the opposition has no credible air defence as opposed to the Indian scenario where the opposition has mauled the Indian Air Force repeatedly. Given that the then Army Chief's lack of knowledge of ammunition stocks led to stalemate instead of victory in 1965, given that the Army initially tried to hush up Kargil, given that the official war histories of 1965 and 1971 are off-limits - even to those studying in the defence academy, given that 'Cold Start' is proving itself an unusable liability, given that the military takes decades to gauge and respond to new threats (if at all), the question begs asking - Is not the political leadership's distrust of the military legitimate? One can only hope that the advice given to the Prime Minster in private is of better quality than the wild hyperbole fed to the public. IPCS Epilogue June 2011


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What will be the al Qaeda's Game Plan? D SUBA CHANDRAN

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hat will be the game plan of the al Qaeda now? The primary issue is not who will take over the reins of the al Qaeda, now that Osama is dead, but how they will seek to respond. Succession is unlikely to be an issue. There appears a hierarchy within the al Qaeda, and Zawahiri will probably become the next leader until such time as a drone attack that will take his life or a special operation, as it happened in Abbotobad. He is also likely to be in Pakistan, and possibly be eliminated soon. Rhetorically, the al Qaeda may have already announced that there will be dire consequences. These threats are undoubtedly significant, but their target may not be focused on mainland US alone. Rather, the al Qaeda will focus on soft targets all over the world, as happened in Madrid, Jakarta and Bali. Symbols of the US and of western presence are likely to be the primary targets in the near future. Many countries in Europe and in the Muslim world are considered to pro-US, and worse, American stooges. From Spain to Australia, there are numerous countries where security measures against terrorism are still in a nascent stage. The remnants of al Qaeda will find it easier to target these countries and warn the US (and the rest of the international community) that their war is not over. Such attacks will remain random and sporadic, and will only reflect the decline of the al Qaeda as a major terrorist organization. But what will happen to the al

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Qaeda as an organization? Will it disappear, as the LTTE did after the killing of Prabhakaran? Or will 'the base' get re-organized into multiple cells and operate from different places? The second proposition is likely to happen, given the nature of the al Qaeda's existence so far. It cannot afford to have a unified headquarters and work from a single place and will have to divide itself. Thus the al Qaeda is unlikely to disintegrate; instead, it will divide into smaller groups and cells. The primary threat will emanate from countries that al Qaeda franchisees maintain a strong presence in. In the last few years, true to its name, the al Qaeda has actually become a 'base' for different radical groups and terrorist organzsations in select countries. While the al Qaeda became the spiritual base and a source of inspiration, the real reasons and problems for many groups that owed allegiance to Osama were actually local and national. Al Qaeda for them became a brand name. Radical groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines have their own internal issues and support, in addition to either actual or ideological links with the al Qaeda. Those from the West are likely to be targeted in the above countries. Bombings, as witnessed in Jakarta and Bali, will become the primary means for al Qaeda remnants and franchisees to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden. Though the remnants would prefer to repeat the horror of 9/11 or the 7/7 London attacks, given the nature of in-

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telligence network in countries such as the US and UK, the likelihood of re-witnessing these spectacular attacks that re-defined the nature and reach of terrorism is less. Instead, the focus of al Qaeda remnants are will possibly be on soft targets - tourists, infrastructure and markets. Besides, there could also be multiple lone attacks, as happened with Shahzad in the New York Times Square bombing attempt. In developed countries in particular, a section of the Muslim youth is yet to be integrated with the mainstream, for various reasons. The bombers of the London attack and Shahzad reflect the sentiments of this group of radicalized youth that feels victimized both as individuals and a collective. More importantly, this section also feels that their religion is under attack, and it is their religious duty to wage a jihad. Osama bin Laden is dead, but his cause is not. There are two major groups - one, a set of individuals, mostly youth, not necessarily interlinked, and the second, terrorist organizations and radical groups in select countries, which are better organized and perhaps interlinked. For both, Osama has been an inspiration. The al Qaeda will become an expression of these two groups, rather than being a monolithic organization with a hierarchy. The post 9/11 history of al Qaeda, its franchisees and those who were inspired by it, will support this thesis. IPCS

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Exploring Opportunities for Cross-LoC

Educational Linkages In Jammu and Kashmir by Amb Arif Kamal & Prof Siddiq Wahid Note from Editor The Editors of Epilogue seek to place on record very sincere gratitude to Conciliation Resources, UK, for supporting this initiative. Personal thanks are due to Jonathan Cohen, CR's Director of Programmes and Tahir Aziz, Programme Manager, India-Pakistan, for their keen interesting in helping the professionals and stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir see a friendly and peaceful future for themselves. On Cross-LoC peace-building this is second major publication supported by CR. The earlier one was on Cross-LoC trade -first ever native account on economic and peace dividends of trade. Note from Authors Any undertaking that has to do with confidence building measures in a conflicted zone requires dialogue, trust and patience. This is true also of a Report of the present nature and the authors would like to acknowledge the constant support of Conciliation Resources in both inculcating and expanding on all these ingredients. The participants of the Istanbul Conclave from both sides of the LoC divide also went a long way in infusing these important components of peacebuilding and we would like to thank all of that unique assemblage for their inputs. Needless to say, many of their valuable suggestions have not found their way into the Report due to reasons of space and context; but it would be fair to say that they are included in its implications. The study required many hours of interviews and the authors are grateful for the time and support given by all those who lent their time and ideas to the study. In LoC East, we would like to acknowledge, in particular, the help of Syed Suhail at Srinagar, who was instrumental in helping us to sift through a lot of information gathered in the official reports. In LoC West, we equally benefitted from the methodical support extended by Raja M. Khursheed at Muzaffarabad and Naved Athar Zaman at Gilgit. The views contained in the publication are those of the authors, of course, and do not necessarily reflect the view of either Conciliation Resources or Epilogue of others who have helped to make the study possible.

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Epilogue June 2011


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Towards Cross-LoC Educational Framework

AMB ARIF KAMAL & PROF SIDDIQ WAHID

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he 60-year conflict over Kashmir has reached an impasse. This has precipitated the idea of 'making borders irrelevant' without officially abandoning India and Pakistan's positions, and also allowed a greater role for the people of Kashmir. This augurs well for conflict transforma tion approaches seeking to harness local potential across the divide in Kashmir and view the region as a connector, rather than a barrier in the peace process. Communication in the academic domain can be a major tool for confidence building in this context. Levels of education, particularly literacy levels, and assets achieved or promised in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir are distinct compared with other regions in South Asia. They could serve as 'opportunity structures' and as an engine for development to create sympathetic constituencies across the Line of Control (LoC) and thus forge enduring ties that can bridge gaps for long-term conflict resolution. Interaction on education could serve as a catalyst for stabilisation in Kashmir, and for moving forward normalisation between India and Pakistan. This study is a comprehensive survey of educational achievements on both sides of the LoC divide in Kashmir, identifying commonalities and the potential for supplementing growth. It gives a broad outline of what is already available in terms of infrastructure and resources, and what could be shared to aid confidence building and help develop an agenda for educational cooperation across the divide. The authors argue that exploring and nurturing cross-LoC institutional links in the education field would help give substance to people-to-people contacts and credence to the irrelevance of borders. It would also inject faith in 'peace dividends' against a backdrop of recurring violence. Political realities and decades of tension, they note however, are likely to make the pace of achievement and change incremental. To help stimulate ideas and opportunities for building educational links across the LoC, this study presents some initial recommendations based on the important observation that room already exists for improving relations within the current relationship between both sides of the LoC. To allow for the necessary steps, the authors urge these be implemented before the more complex aspects are tackled, setting them out as short and medium-term 'doables' and longer-term targets. Such an approach would allow for incremental steps and building confidence, which is what cross-LoC educational cooperation seeks to promote.

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Epilogue June 2011


BRIDGING DIVIDES CROSS-LOC EDUCATION

Prelude

J

ammu and Kashmir has proved to be one of the most intractable conflicts in the world. The unresolved status has not only affected the organic unity of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir but also served as a critical barrier in normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. The quest to unknot this dilemma over the decades has been defied by the entrenched policy perspectives in New Delhi and Islamabad that aimed at solutions of each competitor's own choice. The region thus experienced recurring wars and the phenomenon of militancy that brought no conclusions. The consequent impasse has in turn introduced a twofold trend: it has gradually pushed the political elite on both sides to show more flexibility in their traditional positions on Kashmir, without officially abandoning them. The attempt to pursue 'out of the box' thinking is indeed an index of this growing reality. Similarly, the notions of 'making borders irrelevant' - soften borders instead of redefining or removing them - holds the promise of a creative and pragmatic approach to the conflict. Concurrently, recent years have witnessed a resurgence of trans-Line of Control identity and a greater play of the native factor in the triangle involving India and Pakistan.

The Line of Control (LoC) and the regions

T

he LoC in Jammu and Kashmir is successor to the 1949 UN-mandated ceasefire line between India and Pakistan, reflecting adjustments as pronounced in the 1972 Simla Agreement. This zigzags across all the pre-1947 politicoadministrative units of the

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erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh. The terms LoC West and LoC East are used in this study to identify the two sides of the divide. The LoC West includes Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistani side), while LoC East refers to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Indian side). The use of these terms is not intended to contest the respective positions of India or Pakistan or substitute any other expression used by stakeholders.

Context and framework

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itizens across the divide are dis tinct for their literacy profile that presents an interesting comparison with the related national averages of India and Pakistan. (LoC West: AJK4 65 percent, GilgitBaltistan 53 percent compared with Pakistan's 55 percent. Similarly, LoC East: 55 percent compared with India's 66 percent). This brings education to the fore as a viable instrument to gradually disentangle the prevailing gridlock. Mapping the opportunities for educational development across the LoC in Kashmir, sponsored by Conciliation Resources, a British non-governmental organisation, is the first meaningful endeavour in this direction. Communication in the academic domain ought to be seen as a confidence building measure. In the case of Kashmir it should imply confidence building across the LoC divide as well as between people of the State and with New Delhi and Islamabad. It should then provide a stimulant for greater momentum in the normalization process between India and Pakistan. It is critically important to keep in view that the State's sociopolitical landscape has already witnessed a circular curve of con-

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flict swinging from 'passive resistance' to violence, and now from there to an expectant posture seeking resolution through peace dividends. The latter trend ought to be groomed and sustained for the common good of the larger region. The levels of educational attainment and assets unfolded or promised in the process ought to serve as 'opportunity structures' and a development engine to create sympathetic constituencies across the LoC and thus forge enduring ties to bridge gaps for long-term conflict resolution. The interaction in the educational domain should rekindle common stakes in consonance with the local people's sense of identity and mutual engagement; serve as catalyst for stabilisation in the regions across the LoC; and for advancing the normalization process between India and Pakistan. It is in this framework that the survey brings home a review of the prevailing educational environment and an assessment of the possibilities of cross- LoC institutional links and exchanges in the educational domain. The study is essentially based on consultative engagements with a variety of stakeholders and 'focus groups': academia and educational administrators, public intellectuals influencing opinionmaking processes, policy-relevant bureaucracy and political elite. It also takes into account the readily available quantitative data relevant to analyzing the existing and anticipated patterns. The sections of the study dealing with perspectives on educational infrastructure and its management; and policy formulation process and direction on either side are contributed separate ly and run in tandem. The subsequent assessment of the potential carried in the last section is a joint product highlighting actionable ideas.

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Educational Infrastructure and Environment: a perspective from LoC West This section aims at providing an overview of the educational environment in LoC West in the backdrop of lit eracy level, quality of education and perceptible relationship between educational infrastructure and opportunities that relate to higher education as well as employment. The review while touching upon school-level education will provide a fuller discussion of the college and university education (undergraduate and graduate level) in the public and private sectors. The regions in the West The LoC West denotes regions in the State of Jammu and Kashmir that fall under ultimate Pakistani responsibility, subsequent to the 1949 UN-mandated armistice and the 1972 adjustments between India and Pakistan pronounced as the Line of Control. LoC West in politico-administrative terms refers to (a) Azad Jammu and Kashmir that carries a constitution and autonomous institutions based in Muzaffarabad, and (b) Gilgit- Baltistan, described as 'Northern Areas' until 2009, where Islamabad's writ is more pronounced. The two regions in the West have been placed on the rails of separate political development over the past six decades and therefore do not form one administrative unit.10 Moreover, the regions continue to carry 'affiliate' status rather than 'constituent' statuswith the larger Pakistani whole. The geoeconomic make-up of the regions in the West carries a significant impact on the

Literacy profile The literacy rate of AJK is estimated at 65 percent which is slightly higher than the national average of Pakistan of 55 percent. The literacy in gender terms is 77 percent for males and 53 percent for females. Varying figures on literacy have emanated from some independent sources though invariably reconfirming the region's standing above the Pakistani national average. The subregional review indicates that Poonch division has the highest literacy compared with other divisions while its key pockets such as the Pearl Valley (Rawalakot) have achieved spectacular growth in

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educational environment as evolved through the past decades. The current population of AJK is estimated to be around 3.7 million over 13,297 km, with a population density of 284 people per sq km.11 This is among the highest density recorded in mountain regions worldwide. On the other hand, Gilgit-Balt stan is sparsely populated: about one million over 72,496 sq km. Secondly, nearly 88 per cent of the population in the two regions is ruralbased, dependent on small landholdings and facing deficient means of production locally in the wake of population growth. This makes them susceptible to migratory trends in search of job opportunities.13 A sizeable population has traditionally been employed by the military since the World Wars (Poonch division of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan), a connectivity with the job market in Britain (Mirpur division), and to the Middle East at large, besides urban centres in Pakistan. The primary education or equivalent skills have thus emerged as key to mobility and operation in the job marketplace. The regions have achieved significantly high levels of literacy and an impressive expansion in the pre-university educational infrastructure. However, the expansion in quantitative terms has come about without an equal attention to quality or focus relevant to the job market. The regions have made a late start in higher education that runs in tandem at the expanded degree college network and newly founded universities.

The regions in the West The LoC West denotes regions in the State of Jammu and Kashmir that fall under ultimate Pakistani responsibility, subsequent to the 1949 UN-mandated armistice and the 1972 adjustments between India and Pakistan pronounced as the Line of Control. LoC West in politico-administrative terms refers to (a) Azad Jammu and Kashmir that carries a constitution and autonomous institutions based in Muzaffarabad, and (b) GilgitBaltistan, described as 'Northern Areas' until 2009, where Islamabad's writ is more pronounced. women's literacy. The gross enrolment rate at primary level (between age groups of 5-9 years) is 95 percent cent for boys and 88 per

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cent for girls. However, this ought to be interpreted with caution in view of a significant dropout rate at subsequent levels as only 33 per-

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cent of boys and 19 per cent of girls attend high school. The adult literacy rate in Gilgit-Baltistan at present is estimated at 53 percent overall (male 64 per cent, female 41 per cent),18 up from 38 percent recorded in late 1990s and proximate to Pakistan's national average. The gross enrolment rate at primary level is 75 percent. More than twothirds (67 per cent) of girls in that age group now attend primary school as compared to only 29 per cent in 1994. The gender parity index (ratio of girls to boys) for primary at 0.73 percent is in line with Pakistani national average, though still low by international standards. The literacy rate and the current enrolment at the primary level in the two regions suggest a very robust engagement of the natives with the educational process. The attainment rests upon, first of all, traditional factors: greater mobility and exposure that run in tandem

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with competitiveness. Second, social development in the regions has come about in the absence of feudal structures, which are otherwise seen as impediments in the process. Third, the governmental role has been a catalyst in the process. In the AJK, 27 per cent of the total recurring governmental budget alongside 10 per cent of the total development budget is allocated to education. Similarly, expenditure on education in Gilgit-Baltistan accounts for 11-13 percent of the administration's budget. In a nutshell, the regions are endeavouring to move towards universal compulsory primary education.

Infrastructure: a broad-brush view AJK The existing educational infrastructure in AJK encompasses a gross number of 7779 institutions from

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primary to higher secondary or intermediate college in the public and private sectors. This data does not account for the privately run Madaris and special purpose schools (eg cadet college, vocational training). The higher educational facilities relate to a sum total of 68 degree colleges or equivalents and four universities, two each in the public and private sectors. The quantitative upturn of educational institutions over the past decades has been spectacular. There are nearly 8000 institutions (over 6000 public sector and over 2000 private sector) at present as compared with 291 in 1947, 2085 in 1977 and 4567 in 1988. The upturn in the public sector educational institutions is graphically explained in the available data.22 The public institutions from primary to higher secondary or intermediate college levels have a cumulative strength of 6018 (3262

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male and 2756 female) compared with 290 (285 male and female) in 1947. There are now governmentrun degree colleges (29 male and 26 female) from a zero start six decades back. The process is enforced by two public sector universities. Besides the public sector, there has been an impressive increase in private sector educational institutions in the past seven to 10 years. To recap the accumulated growth, there are 1761 private institutions from primary to inter-collegeand higher secondary level, alongside 48 vocational training institutions and 473 Madaris equivalent to middle or high school levels. Moreover, the private sector upturn in the higher education is reflected in 13 degree colleges and two Universities, one of them catering for the first ever medical college in the region.

Gilgit-Baltistan The region has about 2200 educational institutions of various categories in terms of ownership and levels. The government operates about 76 per cent of the institutions (with 68 per cent of total enrolment) while the private sector has a 24 per cent share (with 32 percent enrolment). The expansion of school education in the region has been significant when compared with the status in 1947 and low population density in these vast lands. In 1947, the entire north-west of the state had only 80 primary schools, three middle schools and hardly a regular high school facility. Understandably, there was no teaching facility for degree programmes. The upturn comes with dedicated efforts from the administration and recent contribution by the private sector, especially NGOs dedicated to development. Institutions from primary to higher secondary/intermediate college levels in the region are currently: 1687 including 781 for male, 325 for female and 577 co-educa-

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tional. There are 16 degree colleges, and a public sector university catering for the region.

Patterns in schooling The participation scale at school levels (primary to tenth class) is indeed revealing viz. the evolving patterns in the region's educational environment. In AJK, at present time, 351,190 and 210,310 students attend public and private schools respectively. This also entails entails overall gender strength: 263,377 female and 298,983 male. In Gilgit-Baltistan, the student enrolment up to secondary level is estimated at 157,741 (91,885 male and 65,856 female). The data on student streams indicates a negligible gender gap in AJK and a narrowing graph in the Gilgit-Baltistan arena. The literacy attainment in AJK is also shaped in part, by the Mosque Schools (1352 approximately), alongside registered Madaris of good standing (473). Interestingly, 282 out of 473 Madaris provide for concurrent male and female education. (However, there are no authoritative figures on the annual

turnout of students from the Madaris system.) Concurrently, the narrowing gender gap in GilgitBaltistan is the outcome of a growing educational activity generated by NGOs, especially the Agha Khan Foundation over the past decade or so. The expansion from primary school to high secondary level has not ipso facto injected diversity of subjects or skills commensurate with the job market. The curriculum continues to be overwhelmed by social sciences and arts rather than natural sciences and commerce. Diversification will be contingent upon availability of teachers' cadre and related training facilities that are not in place. The openings for vocational and technical education within the existing school system are extremely narrow. At present, there is just one government run polytechnic and a number of private vocational institutes of uncertain standing. The expansion in educational facilities at the grass-roots level and the quantitative growth in educational institutions can also be taken as a sign of vibrant development in

The literacy rate and the current enrolment at the primary level in the two regions suggest a very robust engagement of the natives with the educational process. The attainment rests upon, first of all, traditional factors: greater mobility and exposure that run in tandem with competitiveness. Second, social development in the regions has come about in the absence of feudal structures, which are otherwise seen as impediments in the process. Third, the governmental role has been a catalyst in the process.

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many ways. First it shows that ingredients for universal education are very much present. This growth has come about without longawaited legislation for universal or compulsory education. Second, the school-level expansion offers a potential for evolving the higher education assets if the process is not narrowed-down by resource constraints and an uncertain domestic job market. Third, the expansion in quantitative terms is overstretched in cases and carried at the cost of quality and the right focus. The regions have not developed indigenous productivity commensurate with the growth of educational infrastructure. In the case of AJK, the unemployment rate is between 35 and 50 percent of the economically active population. (The lowest figure for unemployment is 25.5 percent in Mirpur with the highest at 52.3 percent in Sudhonoti). The region is also heavily dependent on remittances from abroad, about 13.2 percent of the income, which means the poverty levels fluctuate without a steady income for those families. Migratory trends in search of jobs in the neighbourhood or at overseas destinations remain a recurring phenomenon. A very large skilled and

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semi-skilled workforce has found ways to urban centres in Pakistan, the Gulf and Britain. About seven per cent of th Pakistan Army traditionally comes from one division of AJK and from Gilgit- Baltistan. The capacity of the region to absorb graduates from higher educational institutions also remains limited in the absence of a vibrant productive and commercial activity.

Higher education Higher education is a relatively new phenomenon in LoC West. It is carried in a two-track institutional arrangement: the colleges running typical degree programmes and now the emerging universities holding the promise of a qualitative upturn in the environment. The indigenous development to date is however deficient in professional education and therefore a good number of students find their way to institutions in the neighbouring provinces of Pakistan. The facilities in AJK relate to educational streams at 56 degree colleges or equivalents, and four universities, two each in the public and private sectors, chartered in the region. This entails participation of about 36,165 students in degree

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programmes run at colleges and over 5000 students at University campuses. Concurrently, the process in Gilgit-Baltistan is characterised by 16 degree colleges and a newly established university. The student strength is in the range of 2600 including approximately 1700 at the university campus. Besides the established institutions, a good number are benefiting from distanc education. The available data does ot cover a significantly high outflow of students from regions in LoC West to educational institutions across Pakistan and abroad.

The scale and complexion The contemporary graph of higher education in various types of institutions with reference to gender make-up ought to be revisited to appreciate aspects of advancement in the domain. Gender participation at degree colleges in AJK public and private sector colleges is now almost equal (16,000 plus each). The university campus as viewed in a broadbrush picture, suggests women are lagging behind (40-60 per cent). However, the two genders run close to each other if the exclusive 'men-specific' facilities

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(eg geology, agriculture) are condoned. In contrast the gender gap in the northern areas, though narrowing, is more pronounced. The degree college network essentially caters for two-year BA and BSc degree programmes. The facilities though quantitatively enlarged, continue to have an emphasis on the humanities and arts compared with the sciences and commerce. The first among four universitie in AJK was established in 1981 while the sole university in northern areas is still in its infancy. The university level caters for degree programmes in BSc (Hons), MA and MSc and beyond. The development plans for universities to date suggest selective and incremental focus on sciences rather than humanities and introduction of subjects that may have greater relevance to the job market. The opportunities for solid professional education however remain deficient and, therefore, explain the existing dependency relationship with the larger system in Pakistan.

Public sector universities There are two public sector universities in AJK region of LoC West: University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad (1981), and Mirpur University of Science and Technology-MUST (2009). The former remains the mainstay of university education in the territory and mother to the latter, which has greater focus in the technological domain. The AJK University offers an impressive combination of basic sciences and humanities at its main campus in Muzaffarabad while specialised facilities located at district headquarters relate to Faculty of Agriculture (Rawalakote) and Faculty of Administrative Sciences

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(Kotli). The main campus at Muzaffarabad offers science related studies in Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Zoology, and the Institute of Geology. Its Humanities Group entails studies at the Institute of Economics, Departments of English, Law, Arts and Design. It also houses a Kashmir Information Resource Centre. The university is now in the process of developing a Masters of Education (MEd) degree among other programmes for human resource development. The Faculty of Agriculture (Rawalakote) offers degrees in agriculture, eastern medicine and surgery and animal sciences: veterinary medicine. The Faculty of Administrative Sciences (Kotli) offers specialisation in Public Administration, Business Administration and Commerce. Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST), chartered in 2009, has a special fo-

cus on engineering. It offers degree programmes in Electric Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer System Engineering, besides basic sciences. It also has inherited Mirpur-based facilities in Islamic Studies, English Language, Fine Arts and Home Economics. The student intake at MUST is around 1677 including over 1100 students dedicated to engineering and technology. The education at public universities is generally at MA and MSc level or above. However, studies in six disciplines: geology, computer science (CS) and information technology (IT), art a d design, law, administrative sciences and home economics is offered at th BA and BSc level. The intake for MPhil programmes is on the rise. Twenty-four PhD candidates (including three women) are admitted in the domains of chemistry, botany, agriculture and engineering at the two public sector universities. At the university in Muzaffarabad,

the process in Gilgit-Baltistan is characterised by 16 degree colleges and a newly established university. The student strength is in the range of 2600 including approximately 1700 at the university campus. Besides the established institutions, a good number are benefiting from distanc education. The available data does ot cover a significantly high outflow of students from regions in LoC West to educational institutions across Pakistan and abroad.

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studies in geology have attained the highest enrolment (495 out of 1833). However, this is a completely male-specific stream, though very much geared to the job market. There has been an upturn in the enrolment of both males and females in subjects such as CS & IT (190), botany (178), economics (130) and law (184). Concurrently, the MUST carries a high focus in disciplines related to engineering and technology, where the male participation compared with the female (932-168) is overwhelming. The Muzaffarabad campus of AJK University has more women than men (539-484). Here the women overwhelm disciplines such as chemistry, botany, zoology, economics, English literature, and art and design. At MUST, women dominate disciplines such as Islamic studies (379-75) and home economics (86-0), with a narrow participation in engineering.

Private universities Universities chartered in the private sector are Al-Khair University (1995), based in Mirpur, and Mohiud-din University, which has opened the first medical college (2009) in the territory. The Al-Khair has its primary focus in the disciplines such as business, information technology and education, besides conventional subjects in the humanities. It operates from the main campus in Mirpur, together with 29 affiliated colleges (only 10 of them in AJK). Student enrolment at the main campus is around 200. The AlKhair, though retaining its charter and base in AJK, seems to have turned its main operation to neighbouring Punjab. This should be viewed as a commercial venture with marginal benefit for the region.

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Mohi-ud-Din University Medical College promises a qualitative change in the domain of professional education in AJK. The charter and related arrangements entitle the medical college to run a fiveyear Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme, with capacity of 100 students in each class. The institution, although privately run, has also been given regular access at the government-run Mirpur district hospital for a period of 15 years. The student intake in the Medical College relates to 40 from the AJK and northern areas, in addition to merit-based enrolment from Pakistan: 20 nominees of the AJK government and 40 overseas students. The first MBBS class at the medical college started in April 2009. The institution plans to open degree programmes in Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D) and Dentistry in the comingyears.

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Distance education A window on distance education is provided by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), which has permission from the local administration to maintain a regional office in Mirpur. It is estimated that enrolment at AIOU exceeds 75,000 per semester.

Karakoram International University (KIU) The Karakoram International University in Gilgit (KIU), established in 2002, is public sector venture run by the federal government. It promises a qualitative change in the environment of the northern region. The Karakoram University is running degree programmes in information technology and computer sciences, communications, education, English language and business, alongside primary subjects in sciences.

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A distinctive feature of KIU is the newly emerging 'Faculty of Human and Mountain Area Development Studies'. This would focus almost entirely on multidisciplinary and integrated courses geared to sustainable development in the area. The university is attempting to create during the next few years, pivot around fields such as geology, mineralogy and mineral development, glaciology (including glaciers as climate change indicators and their significance for human communities), ethnobotany, hydropower generation, solar energy development, wildlife management, ivestock management, vocational development and regional studies. The university is also developing an Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism geared to the job market in that domain.

The outflow for professional education The outflow of students for professional education in areas such as medicine, engineering, agriculture and business remains an important feature of the higher education system. A major part of the outflow comes through seats offered at various institutions that are regulated by nomination boards in Muzaffarabad and Gilgit. An estimated 422 students from AJK benefit at the Pakistani professional colleges or universities. This relates to 129 medicine-related seats and 260 engineering-related seats, besides other domains such as agriculture and business. The dependence of Gilgit-Baltistan on professional education in Pakistani institutions is more pronounced. The sectorwise allocation of seats relates to medical (45), engineering (40), pharmacy (2), agriculture (15), veterinary (19) and polytechnic (72).

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Findings The LoC West is indeed in search of an educational edifice with the right focus and quality, and a greater connectivity with job markets within the regions. The policy-relevant circles in Muzaffarabad and Gilgit therefore need to revisit their 'vision' and upgrade planning as well as coordination mechanism while taking into account the region-specific needs and heritage. (The mere adoption of a 'vision' from Islamabad designed for macro level would only reinforce brain drain rather than precipitate intraregional development.) Higher education in AJK and GilgitBaltistan continues to run on a dual track. The older track relates to degree colleges that offer BA and BSc programmes for two years and produce generalists rather than specialists. They are deficient in academic standing and competitiveness. Now the public universities are focusing on Honours, MA and MSc programmes leading up to subject specialisation in targeted areas and are by and large, relevant to the job market. There is a growing

awareness that the older track should gradually be transformed to the new. However progress to materialise th option is indeed slow. The tendency to overwhelm the campus with disciplines in humanities rather than sciences and business, ought to be shunned as this runs counter to the desired levels of quality and job opportunities. An example of the right focus and of the promise for a better tomorrow, is carried in ventures such as the Institute of Geology in Muzaffarabad and the Faculty of Human Mountain Area Development Studies in Gilgit. The literary level and quantitative expansion are among the primary assets, which should help advance the higher educational streams. However, the need for qualitative improvement at the school levels will have to be factored while seeking a significant progress at the apex levels. Full blossoming of education is indeed faced with resource constraints that cannot be met from within the local resources. Intercession of external donors to meet the gap in the domain will be crucial.

The first among four universitie in AJK was established in 1981 while the sole university in northern areas is still in its infancy. The university level caters for degree programmes in BSc (Hons), MA and MSc and beyond. The development plans for universities to date suggest selective and incremental focus on sciences rather than humanities and introduction of subjects that may have greater relevance to the job market.

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Educational infrastructure and management: A perspective from LoC East Jammu and Kashmir State (hereinafter referred to as LoC East) has made significant strides in the field of education in the last 60 years. This is quite impressive from the point of view of physical infrastructure, data for which is readily available in various reports, and with regard to the actual ground realities, of achievements in knowledge advancement. The three constituent parts of LoC East - Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu - can all rightfully boast of a considerably more literate population than in the mid-20th century, as can the whole of South Asia in the postcolonial period. So in that sense, one must understand the statistics and their interpretation within the context of the postcolonial scenario and it would not be far wrong to say that from the point of view of parameters such as literacy, access and possibility, LoC East is no different from the rest of South Asia. But if we were to acknowledge, as we must, a difference between being 'literate' and being 'educated', the picture will have to be adjusted in no small measure. To put it another way, it must be stated at the outset that as we review the 'physical' infrastructure of the educational system one task, at least apropos of LoC East, must be to

constantly and consistently keep in mind the gap that exists between its quantitative and qualitative dimensions or, to use a phrase that arguably has gained niversal currency, between 'hard' and 'so t' infrastructure. This is important because it will speak directly to the recommendations that will follow. Thus from all accounts the literacy rates in LoC East have shown huge gains since 1947; however the 'Literacy Rate of a population is arrived at by culling out the percentage of the people whose age is seven years and above and who can both read and write a simple message with understanding in at least one language'. Such a definition is not helpful, for example, in understanding other parameters of what might be considered an 'educated society'. Similarly, given the increase in literacy rates and the proliferation of institutions of learning there should be, logically speaking, a concomitant increase in employment figures for the youth in LoC East - if not equalling the increase in literacy rates at least nudging forward half as dramaticall - but it can safely be said that any suchproportionate increase is missing.

Primary and higher secondary education The last National Census in India was conducted in 2001. However, the Socio-Economic Profile - 2008 (hereafter SEP- 2008) is a very useful interim report that not only updates some of the findings of the 2001 Census but also supplies comprehensive economic information on the geography, history and polity of LoC East. The following information of a general nature can be gleaned from this and other reports. The estimated total population of LoC East in 2008 was calculated at nearly 12 million, with those under 18 year of age constituting nearly two million, or approximately 16 per cent of th population. This gives us an idea of the immediate future needs for planning education in LoC

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East. The picture tha emerges for education from primary to higher secondary levels is encouraging. In 2001, the literacy rate in LoC East

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was just over 55 percent. However, in the past eight years there have been aggressive programmes such as the Total Literacy Campaign (TLC)

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and Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA); literacy rates have seen a remarkable jump to over 65 percent. Some other major indicators are as follows: The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the first eight years of schooling is over 74 per cent, which is considerably lower than the national ratio of 93.53 percent. The pupil to teacher ratio at the primary level is 1:34 and at the upper primary level is 1:16 indicating a good marker in the latter, while tolerable to needing improvement in the former. One very encouraging figure is the number of schools per 100,000. It is 13 schools, against a national average of 14 for the same population. An even more encouraging figure is the drop out rate among students up to the up er primary level. Nationally, it is 62 per cent. Regardless of the gap between quality and quantity, one thing these figures show is a desire for the education of its youth among LoC East's population and that this is growing. It can and must be taken advantage of. One of the features of concern in the official statewide reports is that thefigures, other than on literacy, for the two districts in Ladakh (namely Kargil and Leh) are minimal and, in some cases, not represented at all. In a sense this reflects a severely quantitative representational approach, since the population of Ladakh is barely two per cent of LoC East. However, interviews with members of the local governing bodies reflect that the statistics for the two districts are not far off those for LoC East as a whole, with Kargil lagging behind in some measure, reflecting the figures in the Literacy Report -2008 (hereafter LR2008). In absolute terms, the figures for education up to the higher secondary level are encouraging. There are 19238 government-run elementary schools. Private schools are

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also impressive in their numbers; 3691 schools in the state are registered with the Department of Education. As for higher secondary schools, there are 1562 government run higher secondary schools and 1093 private schools in this category.

Vocational education In addition to the above-mentioned schools, the government in LoC East, under the impetus of the Union Government of India, has aggressive vocational programmes. Here too, the numbers are impressive and there is every indication of a need for more such institutions to alleviate unemployment in LoC East. In this category of education, LoC East has 13 government run polytechnic institutes and some 47 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). However, there is little information on the qualitative output of these institutes; the government has recently embarked on a scheme, in conjunction with one of the state universities, to upgrade this skill development and training aspect of the state's educational planning. LoC East in conjunction with the Central Government of India, has

also announced the creation of 18 more ITIs to respond to the need. Although the brief for this report has been to focus on higher education, it may be worthwhile to consider including vocational skill development and training institutes within the ambit of its study. More on this is provided later.

Higher education Our discussion of higher education in LoC East should be prefaced with a brief overview of higher education in the country as a whole. Indeed, as may be gleaned from current media reports, the educational system within India has undergone considerable introspection in the past year starting with education up to Class XII (India has a system that is known as the 10 + 2 formula which considers the last two years of schooling to be a preparatory for the stream of study a student may wish to adopt) and spilling into higher education. Quite apart from that, it seems that given the nature of higher education, it is quite logical for us to think about it globally. This is not only because of the links between educational and research institutions globally - through sheer

the literacy rates in LoC East have shown huge gains since 1947; however the 'Literacy Rate of a population is arrived at by culling out the percentage of the people whose age is seven years and above and who can both read and write a simple message with understanding in at least one language'. Such a definition is not helpful, for example, in understanding other parameters of what might be considered an 'educated society'

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need such as environmental and climate change imperatives - but also because students travelling across borders have been a fast-growing global phenomenon. In this context, the fact that this logic should extend to an be actualised for improving and expanding the crossLoC relationship is commonsense. We shall address this in some detail in the section on policy formulation and direction in LoC East. For the moment, let us provide a brief overview of the higher education infrastructure.

Colleges The quantitative information apropos of institutions beyond higher secondary education for LoC East is reflective of the numbers for secondary education. In all, it has 74 colleges that offer degrees equivalent to the Bachelor's degree. Of these, 10 are in the category of 'Oriental Colleges', which means that the language proficiency in these is Urdu and Arabic. In all the other colleges the medium of instruction is English, although there is now a growing demand to make these colleges bilingual, meaning also offer-

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ing instruction in Hindi. This demand however is probably some time away from being actualised, as it would put a strain on those who can actually instruct in the vernacular, and also limit employment opportunities for their graduates. In Jammu province there is also a sizeable number of privately funded three-year degree colleges. The colleges are affiliated to either the University of Kashmir or the University of Jammu. This means, primarily, that it is these two universities that give legitimacy to the degrees conferred on their graduates; however the colleges operate with a high degree of autonomy. As a consequence the system at times is cumbersome, and it also makes for difficulty in monitoring standards of education. The colleges offer courses that culminate in bachelor degreesin various fields including the arts sciences, humanities, technology and medicine. Here it might be mentioned that certain colleges such as Islamia College, Amar Singh College and Sri Pratap College were established before the 1947 divide and generally represent the 'top' colleges within the LoC East. Indeed, there

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would be many individuals in LoC West who graduated from these colleges before 27 October 1947 who could provide the initial impetus, in various ways, to facilitate easier contact between these colleges, as their statutes and rules would in all probability facilitate easier dialogue between the two sides of the divide. Almost all, if not indeed all, the other colleges were established after the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir's division in October 1947. They are collectively known as 'governmentdegree colleges' and offer courses inthe sciences, the humanities, technology and the social sciences. However, there has been minimal reform in the past 60 years and it would not be inaccurate to say that in the past 20 years, due almost entirely to the insurgency and the exodus of teachers not a small number of them being Kashmiri Pandits who in many ways constituted the backbone of the educational system - the colleges have deteriorated and need to be revamped both in physical infrastructure and methods in teaching and research. In a somewhat separate category are institutions known

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as 'B Ed Colleges'. These are in fact one-year colleges, which accept students after they complete three years of a bachelor's degree. They are premised on the fact that to teach in the various government primary and higher secondary schools, the Indian governmentas well as the government in LoC East requires a specialised degree in teaching. There are approximately 140 of these in LoC East that produce a large number of teaching diplomas for citizens of LoC East as well as other areas, large numbers of whom do not hesitate to travel to th Kashmir Valley despite adverse security conditions to study and obtain degrees. It needs to be said that there have been no studies on the quality of education in the various colleges. The quality varies from institution to institution. One of the tasks that will need to be undertaken is an objective assessment of the quality of education including identifying those colleges in which it is good.

Professional colleges The institutions in this category include medical colleges, dental colleges, music and art colleges, engineering colleges, institutes of technology, institutions specialising in the teaching of traditional (Unani and Ayurvedic) medicine and so on. There are about 12 such institutions throughout LoC East. Some of the medical institutions, like the Sheri-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) are well funded and do provide pockets of very good services in health care. However, there is little doubt that the progress in LoC East has some way to go before it catches up to stateof-the-art best practices in hard infrastructure, diagnosis and patient care. There are also several private institutions, especially in medicine and engineering that exist and which, as a rule, are as good as the

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government sponsored ones in LoC East. As for the educational institution designed to cater to music and the arts, its scope is currently quite limited and there is considerable room for the development of institutions that promote these fields of study and research.

University education It is in the arena of university education that LoC East has a large network. With a population of approximatel 12 million people, it has seven fully fledged universities and two 'deemed universities'. Two of the established universities, the University of Jammu and the University of Kashmir, are the first state universities. They were established as one institution in late 1950s and then split into two independent universities in the late 1960s. Two more universities in the agricultural sciences62 are also fully state sponsored. In addition to these, three more universities have been established in the past six years namely, Mata Vaishno Devi University, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University of Science and Technology and Islamic University of Science and Technology.These universities hold an ambiguous status that might be termed public-private partnership. They were promulgated by religious

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endowment boards of the state; however all universities in India can only be established by an Act of the State Legislature or the Central Government Parliament, so these three universities have been proclaimed by an Act of the J&K State Legislature. They are different from the 'fully' state sponsored universities in that the latter are not obligated to fund them, this being the purview of the religious endowment boards that promulgated them. There are two institutions in LoC East that are termed 'deemed universities': the National Institute of Technology (NIT) and the Medical College at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences SKIMS). These institutions were started as professional institutes that were modest in size, but over the years have acquired a large enough infrastructure so as to qualify them to become full institutes. The University Grants Commission of India (UGC) has recognised this and has conferred a status that implies full university status after they fulfil certain requirements and a minimum period of gestation. In addition, the Central Government of India has in the last year announced its intention to promulgate, enact, fund and operate two central universities - one each in Kashmir and Jammu - with an initial funding of Rs. 1400 crores each.

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Policy Formulation Process and Direction in LoC West AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are fragmented and, therefore, do not manifest the drive that is essential for a qualitative advance and productive relationship between educational attainment and the job market. First, the two regions have followed the path of 'separate political development' in the past six decades. Second and more pertinent, is the intraregional scenario that is characterised by a near absence of cohesive approaches in planning and implementation in the domain of educational development. There is no 'jointness' in the vision or efficient mechanism for coordination among three sectors: schools, colleges and universities that were organisationally separated for management purposes. The sector, barring the newly emerged universities, is indeed a major source of employment rather than development. Moreover, the local administrations remain uncertain about their own roles in view of a gradual and not-too-ostentatious integration process with the larger Pakistani whole. The government structure in Muzaffarabad provides separate ministerial and top bureaucratic portfolios for school and college education. The universities, whether public sector or private sector, are charted by the administration in Muzaffarabad through an act of the Legislative Assembly with a built-in role for the State President as Chancellor and autonomous institutions such as Senate and Syndicate. However, the higher education domain, both at college level and at the universities, is overwhelmed by administrative advice, curriculum development and funding from or through Islamabad-based institutions: Ministry of Education and Higher Education Commission. The 'vision of education' and broader policy direction emanating from Islamabad does not ipso facto apply on the territory under the administration of Muzaffarabad. However, in most cases it is adopted in the territory by administrative or legislative acts. In doing so, the institutions in Muzaffarabad have not displayed sufficient skills to blend the 'vision in Islamabad' with the regionspecific heritage and needs. Similarly, the educational administration in GilgitBaltistan is run separately in various compartments while all fragmented levels within the region have evolved greater connectivity with Islamabad through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs. Among them, university education is contingent upon an almost exclusive control from Islamabad. The attainment in literacy levels is deeprooted in the

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region's history and political economy and therefore stands high among tangible achievements of the past six decades. However, higher education is a rather new phenomenon compared with schooling and, therefore, is still in the evolutionary stage. The window of opportunities to date, relate to two public sector universities and a private medical college in AJK, and one public sector university in Gilgit. Institutions dedicated to professional education and more openings for teacher training are still in the planning stage. The higher literacy, without corresponding productive activity in the regions, has strengthened migratory trends for opportunities in the wider job market and for quality and higher education. Until recently, transfer of residence to Lahore or Islamabad and in cases Karachi was seen as costeffective, promising access to the requisite higher education and jobs. The trend has perceptibly slowed down with the broadening higher education opportunities within the area, though brain drain remains among the foremost problems faced in LoC West. The government remains the single most important employer in the two regions However, productive activity in the private sector has not enlarged with the growth in literacy and subsequently in higher education. The relationship between education, quality and focus, and the job market therefore remains uncertain. Policy-relevant circles at the regionallevels are faced with a number of dilemmas and search for remedial courses. The imbalance between quality and expansion is the foremost problem. Second, the quality as well expansion is faced with serious resource

It needs to be said that there have been no studies on the quality of education in the various colleges. The quality varies from institution to institution. One of the tasks that will need to be undertaken is an objective assessment of the quality of education including identifying those colleges in which it is good.

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constraints. Third, development of ateaching community of high standing, using orientation and training tools is another dilemma. The planners would therefore like to sustain and improve the existing facilities rather than expand. However, this approach does not always receive support from political circles. They would also like to reprioritise and reshuffle emphasis on disciplines that have connectivity with the job marketand to relate the education policy with indigenous planning and development. In recent decades, the indigenous character of the policy formulation process has eroded at higher education levels. The erosion is, in part, an outcome of the globalisation phenomenon that is universally at play. It also results from the overriding influences from the federal structures and the Higher Education Commission (HEC). However, the erosion is only resented in as much as it relates to the native sense of identity and their cultural ethos. Of late, incremental steps are underway to make up for this deficiency. The governmental budgets in the regions are essentially related to school and college education. The AJK authorities spend Rs 6782.852 million (27.5 percent of its revenue budget) on education. Similarly, Gilgit-Baltistan incurs Rs. 623.922 million (13.7 percent of the rvenue budget) in the domain. Ironically however, 97 per cent of the AJK education budget is taken by recurring expenditure, mainly salaries, leaving behind limited operational capacity for development. Similar constraints exist in the northwest. The public sector universities in AJK have an overall budget of Rs 618.371 million; out of this 80 million has been diverted from AJK University to the newly established MUST.68 Their current developmental outlay is in the range of Rs.197 million. The Karakoram University in Gilgit spends Rs. 260 million as recurring budget and Rs 151 million on development projects. It is important to keep in view that for universities in AJK 70 per cent of resources come from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Islamabad. The university in Gilgit relies upon funding from HEC equal to half its budget. The educational management in the territory also mirrors the overall problem of governance and costeffective management. The regions need to enforce an organic relationship between the 'vision' and policy management, and to re-energise planning and policy coordination with an eye on quality of education and job markets. Moreover, innovative approaches are needed to overcome resource constraints.

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Policy Formulation Process and Direction in LoC East The large educational infrastructure of LoC East is managed throughthe combined structure of political, bureaucratic and professional inputs. Politically, two elected individuals who are designated Ministers for School, Technical and Higher Education with cabinet rank, address education. They, in turn, are assisted in implementation of policies by parallel bureaucratic support structures. In the arena of higher education, the parent body for all of India, for purposes of standards, regulation and funding is the University Grants Commission of India (UGC). The latter monitors the minimal standards for all the universities and colleges that are either affiliated to specified universities or wholly operated 'constituent' parts of the university. This, then, is the theoretical framework for state education. The structure is true of the government schools, as also colleges and universities supported by the government. In addition, as has already been stated, there are a large number of private schools. These, in both Kashmir and Jammu divisions, have grouped to form private professional associations (there are three in Jammu, one in Kashmir and,now, a joint all state body) that meet periodically to discuss such matters as curricula, syllabi and other issues; but it is not clear how effective these are as a lobby for elementary and secondary education. Private colleges however, do not as yet have such an association given the relatively small numbers. In practice the education portfolio is considered, as in many governments, a 'lesser' one. There is little focus on the desperate need for vertical synergies between the various levels of education, including at the intrastate or at the central government levels between schools, colleges and universities. Nor is there much coordination horizontally within LoC East between schools, colleges and universities. Indeed, in LoC East this is wanting even in usual activities such as interschool sports, debates and other cooperative competition. These did exist earlier, but in the past 20 years such cooperation has been the victim of the violence that has plagued the state; it has had the effect of a loss of memory about such activities and educational institutions have been habituated to become insular, thinking merely in terms of the classroom rather than allround education and, indeed, confining themselves to their given regions of Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu. As for the universities in LoC East, it would not be inaccurate to say that while each has its own strengths, there is no perception of one or the other being individually distinctive in a given field. Each pursues its develop-

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ment more or less independently of the others, resulting in duplications, overlapping curricula and redundancies in areas of research. This lack of coordination between them results in the paradox of an extensive network of higher educational institutions for a population of its size but an inability to optimise the benefits of such a luxurious infrastructure. So it would seem that the intra -Kashmir cooperation across the LoC should be preceded by some interaction between the universities within LoC East (and within LoC West), or even an independent research project that gives us a qualitative overview of the present and a broad roadmap for the future. In anticipation of some of the specific recommendations for the improvement of education in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir as a whole in a late section, it might be worthwhile to very briefly take into consideration some general assumptions or trends in higher education in India in particular and the South Asian region in general. A recent development in education in the postcolonial regions of the world has been to concentrate on 'science and technology'; this has been the inclinationin South Asia as well, and LoC East is not immune to the same temptation. Research by educationists and philosophers however, has pointed out how '... in most state-run schools (sic), science and technology prosper while essential values of critical thinking and mental freedom, so crucial to the health of a democracy, are sorely neglected.' The author, Martha Nussbaum, goes on to recommend among other things, the need for '[Indian] national dialogue [that] might include and focus on the question of how to revive the humanities, so that, from primary education to the university research level, they make the social contribution that they are capable of making.' Similarly, she suggests the dire need to concentrate on ways in which earning power, prestige and dignity for the teaching profession should be a point of consideration within the Indian educational system. And again, how the 'arts can and should be given particular emphasis in education infrastructure of the state in higher education. The many great artists of whom India is justly proud could be brought together to generate ideas about how this can best be done.'???? All of these suggestions would seem to apply to the initiative under consideration for the State of Jammu and Kashmir in its entirety. Indeed, I would tend t argue that Nussbaum's analysis and recommendations are true for South Asia in general and that it would stand us in good stead to keep that in mind when considering the potentialities and recommendations for cross-LoC interaction o educational co-

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operation. In this context, in a seminar a couple of years ago, the following were considered the five key questions on higher education in India: 1. Should institutions of higher education, including universities, diversify their curricula to cater to the specialized requirements of employers or should they concentrate on core competencies only? 2. How could the system be simplified because the times had far outgrown the regulatory capacity of the government institutions? 3. What should be the timeframe within which basic education ends and vocational education begins? 4. Should examinations be held at the national level? 5. How should the evergrowing gap between the demand and the supply of qualified teachers be bridged? It is fair to say that the country is in the midst of responding to these questions in higher education at this time. In addition to these specific issues, there are some others of a broader nature. In a recent discussion, Professor Varun Sahni, Vice Chancellor of the University of Jammu, was introspecting about what the challenges are for the university system in India. He indicated, I think rightly, that the challenges have to do with achieving a high degree of balance between several factors that impinge on this sector. Hese he listed as the balances between mass

The government remains the single most important employer in the two regions However, productive activity in the private sector has not enlarged with the growth in literacy and subsequently in higher education. The relationship between education, quality and focus, and the job market therefore remains uncertain.

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education and quality education, between private initiative and state support, between developed global competition and strengthening national institutions of higher education and between regulation and autonomy of educational systems. It seems to me that it is precisely these factors we should keep in mind as we explore the extant higher educational infrastructure on both sides of the LoC and aim towards utilising each other's strengths, dividing up responsibilities to minimise redundancy and build capacity for all citizens on either side of the LoC. In the context of the Kashmir problem, it should be noted that the Indian government's stated position, within the framework of its official position that excludes the 'redrawing of borders', is that it welcomes any form of interaction between the two sides of the LoC divide. To this end, the Group II of the Working Groups that were constituted by the Prime Minister of India, has recommended in its January 2007 report, that the government encourages: "Exchange visits between students and faculty members of the Universities on [the] two sides of the LoC; organized visit[s] of school students; short term courses in certain specific subjects; consideration for the grant of admission to PoK (sic) students in LoC East Universities; exchange visits of groups of journalists, academicians, lawyers etc; cultural trips in the fields of music, dance, etc. After due consideration of security aspects the landline and mobile communication should also be permitted." This passage from the report merits full quotation as it seems to leave considerable room for play and can be a central argument for this CR-sponsored initiative in its submissions to the governments of the two countries. It should be added that the Ministry of Home Affairs has acted on this official position of the Indian government; in an interview with the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, the latter confirmed 12 students from Pakistan have been given permission for visas to study in LoC East and furthermore, some of them had been permitted to study in Srinagar. Perhaps more importantly, the Ministry is willing to grant more such visas if and when they are applied for, and has pledged support for any applications received for admission into educational institutions on this side of the divide. These are encouraging signs for any assessment of the potential for cross-LoC engagements in higher education and, indeed, education in general. It is precisely such windows of 'opportunity structures' that need to be taken advantage of in order to advance the aims of the present initiative in the area of higher education.

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Assessing the potential for intraKashmir cooperation A hiatus of six decades in the way of trans-Jammu & Kashmir contact because of sibling rivalries between India and Pakistan has created perception gaps and accentuated ideology-based and grievance-propelled behavior patterns that have impeded conflict transformation in the state. However, it has not completely erased the sense of common history, appreciation of plurality, tolerance of diversity and the memory of social, economic and political interdependence among the citizens of the state's constituent parts. At the same time, it has to be acknowledged that the acrimonious lines drawn after intense contestations and wars over the past 62 years has rigidly separated the state during a period in world history that has seen the most dramatic changes since the start of the 16th century. The reality of frozen borders after centuries of de facto fluidity between its peoples that allowed trade, pastoral grazing rights and ethnic interaction has had its own impact on the body politic of this region; an impact which cannot be ignored when considering any assessments for cooperation in higher education or, for that matter, any other kind of social activity between the two sides of the Line of Control. In this context, the past five to seven years have seen arguably the most sustained and intensive engagement between New Delhi and Islamabad since partition of the subcontinent and, consequently, that of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. A good portion of this latest series of engagements between the twin-born states has been ambiguous, argumentative and even accusatory. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that from these oppositional positions has emerged an ongoing dialogue that

it would seem that the intra Kashmir cooperation across the LoC should be preceded by some interaction between the universities within LoC East (and within LoC West), or even an independent research project that gives us a qualitative overview of the present and a broad roadmap for the future.

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is responding, albeit incrementally, to cutting a path toward resolution of the dispute Indeed, the effect of this very separation lends efficacy to the consideration of institutional engagements between the two sides of the LoC rather than the more generic calls for 'making borders irrelevant' or even opening up the divide for 'people-to-people' contacts. The efforts towards the latter should and will continue, especially where the separation of organic units such as blood relatives, filial links and ethnic associations strive for contacts between each other across divides, no matter where they exist. But for state-to-state relationships to transmute into amity and cooperation, it is precisely institutional linkages that must be explored, nurtured and implemented. It is just such linkages that will be instrumental in giving substance to people-to-people contacts and credence to the idea of irrelevant borders without prejudice to either the historical reality of such unity or reification of that unity The possibility for mobilising 'opportunity structures' for conflict transformation and peacebuilding is linked to the space and political will to allow greater interaction across the LoC. In this context it is important to bridge the gaps, be they real or perceived, build on genuine commonalities and revive commonalities in the economic and social spheres among the citizens of the state as a whole. This presupposes an enhancement of cross-LoC movement of the natives, thus far limited, and its wider use to cover cultural and scholastic exchanges as well. Both India and Pakistan need to be encouraged to enlarge the area of their facilitation and take up a responsive mode in meeting the agenda of trans- Jammu & Kashmir interaction in the educational domain. This survey of potential for cross-LoC educational cooperation has been revealing in many ways. Educational progress made by two sides of the divide is, first of all, manifest at varying levels: LoC West has achieved a spectacular literacy rate while its structures of higher education are still in the evolutionary stage. LoC East has excelled in the domain of higher education, although is found wanting in state institutions for elementary and secondary education. Second, these attainments do not necessarily lead to an upturn in the productive activity within the state. In the case of LoC West, the higher literacy rate, without corresponding job markets, only strengthens migratory trends to the neighbourhood. Concurrently, the attainment in higher education in LoC East has enlarged the unemployment process. The educational development therefore ought to be backed up by development of indigenous job markets and the role of donors-enter-

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prisers from abroad ready to contribute to the development process. Third, the future educational development on both sides, commensurate with international standards, is faced with resource constraints. The process is subject to control by higher educationregulatory bodies, which have roles beyond the lead in curriculum development. They determine funding priorities and quantum within the ambit of a larger whole rather than in a regionspecific operation. There are some specific areas in which there is potential for cross-LoC cooperation in higher education. Before examining these it may be pertinent to identify two broader tasks that need to be addressed before they can be implemented effectively. The first area is the political sensibilities involved in any engagement between the two sides of the LoC. Any attempt at such relationships, in whichever field of activity, is contingent on amity between India and Pakistan. One way to address this sensibility is to keep New Delhi and Islamabad fully informed about the ideas and projects being discussed so as to cultivate an interactive and dialogic atmosphere at the Muzaffarabad - Islamabad and Srinagar-New Delhi axesalso. It may be done, for example, by inviting observation and participation by representatives of the two capitals in these engagements. This is important, precisely, to help the effort garner 'political will' in the two capitals. Another important dimension for any success on initiatives in higher education cooperation would be a candid and frank assessment of the conditions of the status of higher education that are prevalent internally on either side of the LoC at present. The process has already begun with this report, which gives us the

the past five to seven years have seen arguably the most sustained and intensive engagement between New Delhi and Islamabad since partition of the subcontinent and, consequently, that of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. A good portion of this latest series of engagements between the twin-born states has been ambiguous, argumentative and even accusatory.

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broa outlines of what is available on either side of the LoC, but is only a beginning. It will have to be supported with more specific surveys of either side, possibly by professional research firms. One key issue to be addressed in such a professional survey would be the gap between physica infrastructure and the quality in the learning teaching - research combine in the state as a whole. It would also identify priorities that need to be pursued in the medium and long-term. The above assessment points towards some short, medium and long-term institutional commitments in education between LoC West and LoC East. These rest upon opportunities for development, rooted in the LoC East setting, which are heritage-based on the one hand and need-based on the other. Toward this, the authors consulted educationists and various stakeholders and 'focus groups' on both sides of the LoC, and followed this up in an interactive conclave. Educationists on both sides of the divide, whether policy-relevant or academics,expressed great interest in more interaction in the educational domain with a desire to use the newly provided openings for movement, specifically among natives. This feeling was tempered by a realisation that such intraKash ir exchanges, because of the political rivalry between India and Pakistan over the past six decades, may have to be realised in incremental gains. What follows are some recommendations for short-term, medium-term and longterm engagement between the two sides of the LoC. The precise time frame and ordering of engagements such as those discussed below is clearly open to discussion and dependent upon a chain of possibilities being pursued and opened up. Nonetheless, the intention here is to stimulate ideas so as to generate further opportunities.

Another important dimension for any success on initiatives in higher education cooperation would be a candid and frank assessment of the conditions of the status of higher education that are prevalent internally on either side of the LoC at present.

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Short-term recommendations Getting to know each other better It was felt that given the opportunity structures in place in the overall relationship between the two sides of the LoC, participants in the interviews suggested three possible steps that could be initiated and co-sponsored by universities to get to know each other better. These were (a) visits by groups from among the teaching community and talented students, (b) an extensive process of consultation among academics to develop a list of themes based on common heritage and shared needs that qualify for collaborative research and professional seminars or workshops and (c) exchange of student groups, students for which purpose are nominated on the basis of their merit and talent.

Cross-LoC Vice Chancellors' Consortium The Vice Chancellors from both sides of the LoC should form a consortium and agree to periodic meetings between them. These would inject greater clarity in the vision for cooperation and unfold an actionable agenda on matters within their domain. The first meeting of the Vice Chancellors should be arranged at a third point, with an eye on subsequent meetings taking place within the former State of Jammu and Kashmir. Follow-up meeting through videoconferencing facilities could serve to sustain a dynamic relationship between the Vice Chancellors.

An academic website This could be a window of opportunity that would allow a bridge for information in the domain of scholarly endeavour. It could be co-managed by members from both sides of the LoC and provide academics with access to profiles of their counterparts and their work. This venture will be costeffective and timeefficien in view of the existing narrow and incremental openings for interaction across the LoC.

Institution of e-learning processes Encourage select universities from the two sides of the LoC to implement classes by videoconference in specified subjects. This is relatively easy to arrange and would greatly help to familiarise the two sides with each other and 'demystify', as it were, the other. University Vice Chancellors in Muzaffarabad, Gilgit- Baltistan, Srinagar and Jammu could be approached in order to utilize already existing infrastructure if it exists and institutions without them

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should be encouraged to obtain thetechnology.

Scholarly exchanges The above three steps should serve as a ladder for scholarly exchanges on two counts. First, the Universities on the two sides could agree to an exchange of publications and research resultsthat relate to shared professional and academic interest. Second, this could set the stage for eventual faculty exchanges among the institutions on a need basis. The exercise could begin with the universities drawing up a shortlist of disciplines in which faculty exchanges may be desirable.

Medium-term recommendations Special collaborative projects The academia and policy-relevant educationists across the divide have been inundated with studies and research on issues relevant to de-escalating conflicts rooted in identity-crisis and/ or governance. This carries potential for special collaborative projects that may take the form of workshops or seminars. For example, the International Resource Centre (AJK University, Muzaffarabad), the Centre for International Peace and Conflict Studies (Islamic University, Awantipora) and the Centre for Regional and Strategic Studies (University of Jammu, Jammu) could all examine the Kashmir dispute in relation to peace and conflict and could develop a collaborative framework to build a regional centre of excellence in a similar way to the focus on conflict resolution and peace studies in Northern Ireland in the years prior to and since the Belfast Agreement.

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Vocational training The potential for both sides of the LoC gaining from the experiences either side over the past 60 years is immense and can serve as yet another bridge across the divide. In this context, 'wazwan' as a distinct form of cuisine could be popularised and reintroduced in the Muzaffarabad area from Kashmir. Similarly, special skills in Himalayan tourism could be exchanged between Ladakh and GilgitBaltistan and trade or manufacturing skills between the two sides of Jammu could be both learned and synergised.

Liaison Council of Teachers in higher education Teachers in higher education from the two sides of the LoC could be encouraged to form a Joint Liaison Council of Teachers (JLCT) that could set in motion some broad interactions between practitioner pedagogues. This too may be contemplated with an incremental approach in mind and as a complementary step alongside the Vice Chancellors' Consortium. It could also start with a meeting of a small nucleus outside the region that could facilitate the process by drafting a workable broad agenda.

Committee of Stakeholders in Education Complementing the JLCT and the Vice Chancellors' Consortium (VCC) could be a Committee of Stakeholders in Education (CSE). This group would consist of stakeholders in education from across the LoC such as pedagogues, parents, students, electronic and print media, and business community members who will discuss various aspects of pos-

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sible cooperation. The JLCT and the VCC could consider nominations for members among them to be part of the CES.

Long-term recommendations Human resource development On the one hand, LoC West is preparing\ to upgrade and widen its educational programmes in the domain of human resource development and its teacher training institutions are being upgraded. Concurrently, AJK University is in the process of initiating a USAID project to a focus on M Ed. The importance of collaboration in this broad domain has been highlighted by academics. The two sides should jointly discuss the specifics of where there might be opportunities for reciprocity and collaborations in important fields such as this.

Collaborative research Collaborative research on various themes, whether heritage-based or needbased,should be encouraged between individuals sponsored by institutions from either side of the LoC. The heritage-based themes could consist of cultural history, languages such as Kashmir), Pahari, Tibetan, Dogri and other languages spoken in the region, archaeology, arts, crafts and religions including Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. The need-based subjects seen as relevant for collaborative study and research include environmental issues such as Kashmir-specific flora and fauna in the context of threatened extinction; wildlife conservation; implications of the fragility of high altitude mountain desert regions; water bodies and waste

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management; disaster management (including flooding, earthquakes and forest fires); climate change issues such as cooperative carbon credit planning; and intraKashmir trade.

Allocating seats for higher education The seat allocation for studies in higher education between the two sides of the divide is, in the main, seen as a measure to gain from their respective strengths and weaknesses in academic standing. In some cases, it is also viewed as a vehicle of mutual enrichment. In this context, one of the tasks of the above-mentioned joint groups, such as the Vice Chancellors' Consortium and the Committee of Stakeholders in Education would be to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various universities and then make recommendations to them as to how prospective students from the two sides might gain from making seats available to them. For example, the university at Muzaffarabad takes pride in its strength in subjects such as geology, physics and chemistry while it needs to learn more on 'Kashmir studies' and sectors in social sciences. Another example is the existence of Karakoram International University in Gilgit, which is preparing to introduce departments that would be of great benefit to the inhabitants of Ladakh in LoC East, where there is no university. The KIU development plan has a focus on geology, mineralogy and mineral development, glaciology (including study of glaciers amid climate change indicators and relevance to habitat), hydropower generation and wildlife management. The disciplines relate to shared interest in

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both sides of the state's northern regions. This flags the opportunities for student placements in the future. The solar energy development has moved from experimental success to production in Ladakh. Students from LoC West can benefit from this model.

Curriculum development Potential for collaboration in curriculum development is limited owing to the overall political environment and sensitivities at policy levels in India and Pakistan. However a beginning can be made in disciplines such as Kashmir studies, which is region-specific. Textbooks specific to cultural history and native languages can also draw on experiences of either side.

Joint degree programme The possibility of blending some degree programmes on either side of the divide with similar programmes at a comparable university or institution on the other side has been voiced as a test case. For example, the four-year IT and software engineering programme at MUST in LoC West could be adjusted to make space for the final year or six-month placement at the other institution. Similarly, economics, plant sciences and Kashmir studies could be other test cases. However, evaluation of such projects will be the subject of negotiations between institutions within the ambit of curriculumregulatory bodies in the larger national contexts on both sides.

This survey of potential for crossLoC educational cooperation has been revealing in many ways. Educational progress made by two sides of the divide is, first of all, manifest at varying levels: LoC West has achieved a spectacular literacy rate while its structures of higher education are still in the evolutionary stage. LoC East has excelled in the domain of higher education, although is found wanting in state institutions for elementary and secondary education.

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Interview

Prof Varun Sahni Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Jammu

Prof Varun Sahni

For past seven to eight years we have been seeing some path-breaking forward movements between New Delhi and Islamabad and consequently between two parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Cross-Line of Control travel and trade are the two key areas which make us think of more collaborations in future. How do you think about possibility of such collaboration in education sector? I think, there is no reason why there shouldn't be some collaboration in education sector, at some point of time, between two parts of Jammu and Kashmir. A lot of what is taught is common for both regions -common geography, common culture, common heritage. There are many areas which need joint studies and research. For example: how rivers flow, rainfall patterns, seismic activity etc. So it makes sense that a broader understanding in the higher education is forged and a scenario is reached where two boards of education sit together and work towards a common syllabus. That's a very visionary idea. But how to make the beginning in a concrete way? In making a beginning, perhaps, it is important to pick up completely non-contentious areas. For example, towards larger collaboration in educational frameworks, the beginning can be made with an annual

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conference on Chemistry. First conference in Jammu or Srinagar and second in Muzaffarabad or the vice versa and gradually this can be made an annual feature. Another area could be physics. There is possibility of greater collaborations in areas of astrophysics and nanotechnology. Even in such subjects, it would be advisable to avoid areas like nuclear physics. Though there is nothing apolitical but those areas which involve less politics will have greater chances of sustenance. I would suggest that subjects like politics and international relations should be last thing to become part of Cross-LoC educational framework for contradictory stands of people. Not only in particularly context of Jammu and Kashmir but also in broader cross-border educational frameworks international relations should not be pushed as first priority. Could you please list some particular areas of learning where you think Cross-LoC collaboration is not symbolic but rather necessary? Earth sciences -Geology, geography, geomagnetism and geophysics -are the most important areas where there is need of collaborative studies between two parts of Jammu and Kashmir. We are in the same seismic zone and some jointly supervised studies and research in these areas could actually help as early warnings. If earthquakes (like

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the one in October 2005) can transcend the boundaries, studies to help us prepare for catastrophes should too. Among other areas of collaborative learning are physics and chemistry which are independent of land and politics. Disciplines like Mathematics, Computer Sciences and even Life Sciences have greater scope. Given our shared geographical position and developmental needs, other like tunnelling and bridges engineering should also be looked at. However, one needs to be little careful about social sciences, particularly history and politics as these areas involve differing perceptions. It is very important that planning in Cross-LoC educational collaborations should have a broader vision to go beyond Jammu and Kashmir at some stage. May be, the second phase could be collaboration between other Universities in rest of India and Pakistan. For example, the Universities in Punjab on both sides. Towards Cross-LoC education collaborations, what role the University of Jammu is willing to play? See, a decision to this effect is an exclusive domain of the governments of India and Pakistan. However, once such steps are agreed upon by both governments, we at the University of Jammu are well placed in forging collaborations across LoC. In a plural and

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Interview

Prof Habib-ur-Rehman Vice Chancellor, AJK University, Muzaffarabad Habib-ur-Rehman If Cross-LoC educational collaborations are to become a possibility in near future, what is your idea of making a beginning? The best way to move forward in this direction would be through student and faculty exchange programme. These small duration exchange programmes can bring home good learning experiences on both sides and based on those experiences we can evolve further structures of collaboration. So, what could be the contours of collaboration? Frankly speaking, the quality of education and research and also the infrastructure is better on Indian side of Kashmir than ours. We are picking up. There are some disciplines we are not really very good at. Therefore our first aim would be look for some collaboration in Engineering, Economics, Art and Design and Medical Sciences. If Line of Control is opened for flow of education and research on both sides, our first priority would be to engage in these subjects. I think, we need to look at opportunities where Vice Chancellors and other stakeholders in educa-

tion are able to sit together and discuss other areas of collaborations. At some stage we should be able to go for joint research (PhD, MPhil etc) in areas of mutual strength. Research under joint supervision is a global trend these days and in Jammu and Kashmir we should seriously look at these collaborations. And what subjects you are strong at? We are better in Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Biotechnology. I think, in these subjects the students and teachers from Indian side of Kashmir can draw benefit from our strengths. What about joint conferences? That is another area of forging alliances in research and understanding and in context of Cross-LoC collaborations such conferences offer opportunities of getting closer to each other. These conferences are happening regularly at India-Pakistan level and next step should be to get the Universities of Jammu and Kashmir in. Recently we hosted as Zoological Conference which saw participation of 850 delegates including those from abroad. In 2009 we had a similar Chemistry sympo-

multicultural region like Jammu, the core challenge is to come up with model which makes everybody to feel that they are part of higher education system. This is how we (at University of Jammu) are structuring our system to make it much more relevant to the needs of social groups within which it is located. In pursuit of Cross-LoC education linkages, we can begin to offer something meaningwww.epilogue.in

sium. Next month we are holding a prestigious conference in Agriculture at Rawalakote Campus. I would like Epilogue to spread this message in Jammu and Kashmir that if anyone from Universities there intends to attend our conferences we would be more than happy to facilitate their participation. I found the Government of Pakistan, particularly the Interior and Foreign departments quite encouraging in this direction. Please tell us something about Institute of Kashmir Studies at AJK University The Institute of Kashmir Studies was set up with an ambition to generate objective understanding on Jammu and Kashmir by engaging students in research. However, the Institute remained dormant till 2008 and in 2009 we launched Master classes. Initial response was not very encouraging as students weighed employability options after obtaining degrees. However, now it has picked up tremendously and this also an area where we can engage in Cross-LoC collaborations.

ful to the communities that reside on the other side of Line of Control. Precisely, there can be Centre of Cross-border studies at our Poonch Campus which is just close to the LoC. At this Campus we also intend to have Centre for Research in Gojri and Pahari studies, something of interest to people on other side. This is how we can go taking small steps towards a larger beginning.

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HISTORY

19th Century Persian Sources

Kashmir State: Rajdarshani, Gulabnama and Tarikh-e-Kishtwar PROFESSOR JIGAR MOHAMMED

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he modern state of Jammu and Kashmir was founded by Ma haraja Gulab Singh (1846-57) in 1846. The credit of uniting three important regions, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into one political unit goes to Maharaja Gulab. Before him, all these three regions of the state were divided into several principalities. Even the modern Jammu region was divided into twenty two Rajput states during the medieval and early modern periods. Both Kashmir and Ladakh were separate political entities. But both the modern Jammu and Kashmir regions were very poor in terms of the sources of their history upto the 12th century. It was Kalhan who first time produced a master piece of history of Kashmir, also giving some information about the history of some of the states of Jammu region such as Jammu, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Punch etc. It is well established fact that Kalhan's Rajtarangini is the first historical work of the Indian sub-continent. There are consensus among the modern historian that the seeds of the Indian historiography were sown in Kashmir. Kalhan was the first Sanskrit writer who wrote his Rajatarangini in historical perspective quoting the different sources of his information. But for about two hundred years after Kalhan's death Kashmir did not produce a single historian. It was the establishment of the Sultanate in Kashmir during first half of the 14th century, when the Sultans of Kashmir realised the significance of historiography for the narration of the Kashmir's past and present. As far

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as modern Jammu region is concerned, not a single state of it produced any historical work during the medieval period. The trend of historiography was absent in all twenty two medival states of the modern Jammu region. However, the credit of reviving the tradition of historiography in Kashmir goes to the sultan Zainul-Abidin (1420-70). He is known to be the most enlightened and liberal Sultan of Kashmir.1 He asked one of his courtiers Jonaraja, a Sanskrit scholar and Kashmiri Brahman to start the writing of Rajtarangini from the period of Kalhan's death. Jonaraja accepted the assignment and revived the tradition of Sanskrit historiogaphy. But more importantly, Sultan Zainul-Abidin made the Persian as the official language got a number of the Sanskrit work translated in Persian language .2 Consequently, Persian became a dominant language in terms of literary and official works. Though most of the extant Persian historical works of Kashmir were composed under the Mughals from 1586 onwords3, it seems that during the pre-Mughal period Kashmir was in the process of the beginning of the Persian historiography. But from Mughal period onwards, Persian historiography reamined one of the most popular literary activities of Kashmir. Even the trend of the Persian historiography was continued under the Maharajas of modern Jammu and Kashmir state and Persian alived as the official language of modern Jammu and Kashmir for quite a long time (1846-89).

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The present paper intends to study three important Persian works, Rajdarshani, Gulabnama and Tarikhi-Kishtwar, as the sources of the history of Jammu and Kashmir state. It is known that in the early 19th century Maharaja Ranjit Singh founded the Lahore Darbar, the most powerful state of the northwest frontier of India. The principalities of the modern Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh became parts of the Lahore Darbar. Since Gulab Singh, one of the most sincere and competent army commanders of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was the conquerer of the most of the principalities of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, he was appointed as the Raja of Jammu by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and controlled the affairs of these principalities. But after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839 Lahore Darbar started to crumble and the the defeat of the army of the Lahore Darbar at the hands of the British army brought the complete end of the Darbar. Consequently, Raja Gulab Singh signed the treaty of Amritsar on March 16, 1846 with the British, according to which, he became the ruler of Kashmir and laid the foundation of Jammu and Kashmir state and entitled himself as the Maharaja of the state. He established political stability in the state and made his state as the abode of peace and development. The peace and prosperity of the state led to the beginning of the tremendous literary and intellectual activities under him and his successors. Under Maharaja Gulab Singh and his

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successor Maharaja Ranbir Singh (1857-85) the Persian writers found opportunity to write the history of the achievements of Maharaja Gulab Singh and his ancestors. The first important Persian historical work entitled Rajdarshani was produced by Ganesh Das Badehra in 1847.3 It has already mentioned that there were no trend of historiography in the states of Jammu hills. But Kashmir has very strong tradition of the Persian historiography from the 16th century onwards. Thus Rajdarshani may be treated as the first historical work of the Jammu region. Before the foundation of Jammu and Kashmir state Ganesh Das Badehra was a very active writer of the Lahore Darbar. He had produced a scholarly work entitled Chiragh-i-Punjab, which established him as a serious writer of the Lahore Darbar.4 As far as his social background is concerned, it is known that his family came into prominence as cleric and expert in the revenue affairs during the 14th and 15th century.5 His ancestors worked both in Jammu and Punjab during medieval period. He also started his career as a revenue official (Qanungo) of Gujrat (in Punjab) under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. When Maharaja Gulab Singh formed Jammu and Kashmir he was provided oppurtunity to work as an official in Jammu by the Maharaja. Ganesh Das expresses his gratitude to the Maharaja Gulab Singh for his favour to him. Paying homage to the Maharaja he writes " It may be laid down that I, name Ganesh Das alias Badehra, had been the Qanungo at the Chakla of Gujarat. As the men of His Highness the source of favours, Shri Maharaja Sahib of high excellence, knower of the secrets of the world, empyrean in status, sun like in dignity, Behram like in impetuosity,-Maharaja Gulab Singh, brought me from Gujarat on his attendance to Jammu, and exalted me to an office in his imperial

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government. Oftenly, this humble one made endeavours in inquiring the account of ancestors of the chiefs of this place."6 Although before the production of the Rajdarshani, Ganesh Das's works bore the Persian titles such as Chiragh-i-Punjab and Charbaghi-Punjab, he opted a Sanskrit title for his Persian work Rajdarshani. It seems that since Rajdarshani was written in Jammu under Maharaja Gulab Singh, a Rajput king, he selected a title which could be very attractive for the ruling class of the region. The literal meaning of the Rajdarshani is the royal audience. But the title of the book shows that Ganesh Das was very much influenced by the Persian historiography and followed the methods and approach of the same. It is important to mention that most of the Persian historical works of the Sultanate of Delhi and Mughal India were written to glorify the works of the ruling dynasty. Consequently, Ganesh Das also compiled the works of Maharaja Gulab Singh and his ancestors and other associated events with them. The different manuscripts Ganesh Das's Rajdarshani have been collected by Sukhdev Singh Charak, a noted historian of Jammu. According to him, he consulted three types manuscripts of Rajdarshani, preseved in the British Musuem London, India Office Library, London and Sri Pratap Singh Museum, Srinagar. Comparing all these three types of manuscripts, he and Anita K. Billawaria translated it into English. A photocopy of the Persian version of the Rajdarshani is preseved in the Museum of the University of Jammu. The Rajdarshani's narration of the historical events covers the history of life and works of the ruling families of Jammu from ancient to Maharaja Gulab Singh's period. For the writing of the political history of Jammu during pre-Maharaja Gulab

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Singh's period, Ganesh Das did not get any indigenous literary historical source. He generally constructed the history of Jammu through the collection of the oral traditions of the region. About the absence of the sources of the history of Jammu during the pre-Maharaja Gulab Singh's period and utility of oral tradition for making the history of the region he writes, "‌in spite of the best efforts no history of this country could be discovered, and the existence of the former rulers could be ascertained. However, I heard most of the accounts from the narrators of the old lore and from the Brahmins conversant with true knowledge of dynasties and from bards possessed of information of genealogies. Some anecdotes and traditions were narrated to me by grey (haired) heads and knowers of facts. Some stray facts were gleaned from various histories of India7 and from manuscripts of ancient Rajawalis. The record of the names, compiled in genealogical tables, of the dynasties of the illustrious kings and chiefs of thes place were in possession of the wise and eloquent Pandit Ram Krishan, Brahmvrat, Gosaon Pandit and Raina Narsingh Das. I gathered some facts from here and some facts from there and pieced them together. Thus I compiled this treatise in the fashion of a rajawali and named it Rajdarshani."8 Ganesh Das traces history of the ruling dynasty of Jammu from Ramayan and Mahabharat's periods. For him, the ancient rulers of Jammu were the descendants of the Lord Rama of Ayodhya. He mentions Agnigir as the first ruler of Jammu, who came to Jammu from Ayodhya. But it was Agnigir's son Jambu Lochan who founded the Jammu city and form that period onwards it started to be known as Jammu. He also mentions that some people derived the nomenclature Jammu from the Jaman trees, grown in huge number and

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some people associated it with Jamwant cave situated on the bank of the Tawi river.9 Ganesh Das gives a brief history of the works of the successors of Jambu Lochan without quoting any indigenous literary source. Though he writes about the kings of ancient Jammu, always uses Persian terminologies for the government officials and other people. The Persian terms such masnad, zamindars, Shikar, Jashn, thanas, khilat, Kanizak,Zar baft, Wazirs, peshkash, jagir,Darbar and Vakils etc are frequently used by him in narrating the events of the ancient Jammu.10 He also uses several Sanskrit terms such as Purohit, Darshan, Kuldev and Sant etc.11 This shows that the terms popular during the 19th century were applied to the study of the history of ancient Jammu with giving little consideration to the existence of these terms in a given period. Ganesh Das generally glorifies the policies and actions of the kings of ancient and medieval Jammu. For him, the kings of Jammu maintained relations with the different parts of India and Tibet and Iran during pre-modern period. He mentions the states such as Bihar, Assam (Kuch-Bihar), Bengal, Manipur,Orissa, Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Awadh, Mithila, Kurukshetra, Sarhind, Ajmer, Gujrat, Telingana and Konkan etc.12 He also mentions that people from Iran came to the Punjab and Jammu, and influenced the local culture. He shows the Iranian influence on the culture of Punjab and Jammu in terms of cultural synthesis. For him, the Lohri festival was started to be celebrated in the Punjab and Jammu under the influence of Iranian culture. The Sankranti festival has also been mentioned by him as a symbol of synthesis between Indian and Iranian culture. According to Ganesh Das, " …it was…Pasha-Jam and other offspring of Mah-Abad migrated

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from the regions of Paras (Iran) to the hills of Jammu and Punjab, and engaged in worship and made confirmity and obedience to to stars their vogue and worshipped fire… Hindus also mixed with them and adopted some of their customs, so that even to this day in the hills and the Punjab men and women lit fires on the Salakh-i-Gaus day (Sankranti, i.e. the last day of the constellation of Sagittarius) and hold celebrations. In the common dialect it is known as Lohri, and is called Loi, and it seems to be a ritual of the fire-worshippers of Iran and the Parsis and not of the Hindus. But some say that Hoshang-Jamshed, king of Khorasan, had come to the Punjab and introduced this custom there. God knows the truth. The Books of the Indians do not mention anything about such subjects, and moreover, these customs were not in vogue in Hindustan."13 He also mentions the invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni and Timur on Jammu and shows that the ruling class of Jammu was fought vigorously against the invaders.14 For Ganesh Das, Raja Baj Dev fo Jammu developed a good relations with Muhammad Ghori, and the Raja was honoured by him with Khilat and assignment at Sialkot. Ganesh Das has shown the influence of Iranian traditions on the government of Jammu as the result of the association between Muhammad Ghori and the Raja. Describe the Iranian influence on the government of Jammu he writes, "The Ghauri sultans used to address, in the Iranian tradition of calling the vakil (emissary) and mianji, the brothers, nephews and sons of the Raja as Mianji in all their correspondence and Farmans. All the Jamwal people considered this title a term of honour so they declared themselves Mianji. Some of them called their elders Mianji and for youngers used the short form 'Mian'. Since then the title of Mian had got vogue among the Jamwals and their kith

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and kin and relatives."15 Ganesh Das has called Jammu as "Dar-ul-Aman" (abode of peace) during the 18th century. He gives all credit to Raja Ranjit Dev (1733-82) of Jammu making his state prosperous and powerful. He has shown that when different parts of the Punjab were facing political instability and economic crisis because of Ahmad Shah Abdali invasion, Jammu provided shelter to the merchants of Punjab and other areas. Raja Ranjit Dev provided security and opportunity to these migrants of the Punjab. He also mentions the arrival of Mughal queen Begam Malika Zamani, the queen of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1719-48), in Jammu during the reign of Ranjit Dev. The arrival of the Mughal queen has been shown as an honour for Jammu. She laid out a beautiful garden on the bank of the Tawi river. Ganesh Das portrays Raja Ranjit Dev as the provider of respects to the Muslim sufis, Hindu sanyasis and Sikh saints.16 Ganesh Das has given interesting account of the emergence of three Dogra brothers, Gulab Singh, Dhian Singh and Suchet Singh, in Lahore Darbar as the participants in the policy making process. The services of these three Dogra brothers were very much appriciated by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The latter honoured them with huge jagirs and ranks. Ganesh Das has also given the a brief description of the war of succession in Lahore darbar after the death of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839. For Ganesh Das, Maharaja Gulab Singh tried with his best to serve Lahore Darbar at the time of political crisis, but when he found that the British in the AngloSikh wars had crippled and destroyed the power of the Lahore Darbar he founded the state of Jammu and Kashmir.17 Ganesh Das depicts women of Jammu very much persecuted through girl infanticide, Sati and other social evils. For him, first time

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Raja Ranjit of Jammu took measures to discourge these social evils. The Raja was the first ruler of Jammu who brought up a daughter and forbade the killing of the daughter in the royal famil. Similarly, he ordered that after his death his queens had not indulge in Sati. Regarding the views of the king against the Sati system Ganesh Das writes, "In his death bed, before becoming unconcious and in agony he (King) expressed, on the authority of numerous conventions and regulations, his last will to his sons, intimates and all wise chiefs and courtiers all kith and kin and others, that no woman should perform Sati with him. They submitted that this a question of prestige and honour for the Rajas; how he set out journey to the world of non-existence all alone, and the chastity-loving women are meant for this very day that they accompany the husband and lead him to the heaven hand in hand. He (Raja) replied, "Have you not heard‌If woman are medium to gain heaven, I refuse to go to heaven through women."18 Ganesh Das has called Jammu as "Dar-ul-Aman" (abode of peace) during the 18th century. He gives all credit to Raja Ranjit Dev (1733-82) of Jammu making his state prosperous and powerful. He has shown that when different parts of the Punjab were facing political instability and economic crisis because of Ahmad Shah Abdali invasion, Jammu provided shelter to the merchants of Punjab and other areas. Raja Ranjit Dev provided security and opportunity to these migrants of the Punjab. He also mentions the arrival of Mughal queen Begam Malika Zamani, the queen of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1719-48), in Jammu during the reign of Ranjit Dev. The arrival of the Mughal queen has been shown as an honour for Jammu. She laid out a beautiful garden on the bank of the Tawi river. Ganesh Das portrays Raja Ranjit Dev as the provider

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of respects to the Muslim sufis, Hindu sanyasis and Sikh saints.16 Ganesh Das has given interesting account of the emergence of three Dogra brothers, Gulab Singh, Dhian Singh and Suchet Singh, in Lahore Darbar as the participants in the policy making process. The services of these three Dogra brothers were very much appriciated by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The latter honoured them with huge jagirs and ranks. Ganesh Das has also given the a brief description of the war of succession in Lahore darbar after the death of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839. For Ganesh Das, Maharaja Gulab Singh tried with his best to serve Lahore Darbar at the time of political crisis, but when he found that the British in the AngloSikh wars had crippled and destroyed the power of the Lahore Darbar he founded the state of Jammu and Kashmir.17 Ganesh Das depicts women of Jammu very much persecuted through girl infanticide, Sati and other social evils. For him, first time Raja Ranjit of Jammu took measures to discourge these social evils. The Raja was the first ruler of Jammu who brought up a daughter and forbade the killing of the daughter in the royal famil. Similarly, he ordered that after his death his queens had not indulge in Sati. Regarding the views of the king against the Sati system Ganesh Das writes, "In his death bed, before becoming unconcious and in agony he (King) expressed, on the authority of numerous conventions and regulations, his last will to his sons, intimates and all wise chiefs and courtiers all kith and kin and others, that no woman should perform Sati with him. They submitted that this a question of prestige and honour for the Rajas; how he set out journey to the world of non-existence all alone, and the chastity-loving women are meant for this very day that they accompany the husband and lead him to the heaven hand in

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hand. He (Raja) replied, "Have you not heard‌If woman are medium to gain heaven, I refuse to go to heaven through women."18 Das has called Jammu as "Dar-ulAman" (abode of peace) during the 18th century. He gives all credit to Raja Ranjit Dev (1733-82) of Jammu making his state prosperous and powerful. He has shown that when different parts of the Punjab were facing political instability and economic crisis because of Ahmad Shah Abdali invasion, Jammu provided shelter to the merchants of Punjab and other areas. Raja Ranjit Dev provided security and opportunity to these migrants of the Punjab. He also mentions the arrival of Mughal queen Begam Malika Zamani, the queen of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (171948), in Jammu during the reign of Ranjit Dev. The arrival of the Mughal queen has been shown as an honour for Jammu. She laid out a beautiful garden on the bank of the Tawi river. Ganesh Das portrays Raja Ranjit Dev as the provider of respects to the Muslim sufis, Hindu sanyasis and Sikh saints.16 Ganesh Das has given interesting account of the emergence of three Dogra brothers, Gulab Singh, Dhian Singh and Suchet Singh, in Lahore Darbar as the participants in the policy making process. The services of these three Dogra brothers were very much appriciated by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The latter honoured them with huge jagirs and ranks. Ganesh Das has also given the a brief description of the war of succession in Lahore darbar after the death of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839. For Ganesh Das, Maharaja Gulab Singh tried with his best to serve Lahore Darbar at the time of political crisis, but when he found that the British in the AngloSikh wars had crippled and destroyed the power of the Lahore Darbar he founded the state of Jammu and Kashmir.17 Ganesh Das depicts women of

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Jammu very much persecuted through girl infanticide, Sati and other social evils. For him, first time Raja Ranjit of Jammu took measures to discourge these social evils. The Raja was the first ruler of Jammu who brought up a daughter and forbade the killing of the daughter in the royal famil. Similarly, he ordered that after his death his queens had not indulge in Sati. Regarding the views of the king against the Sati system Ganesh Das writes, "In his death bed, before becoming unconcious and in agony he (King) expressed, on the authority of numerous conventions and regulations, his last will to his sons, intimates and all wise chiefs and courtiers all kith and kin and others, that no woman should perform Sati with him. They submitted that this a question of prestige and honour for the Rajas; how he set out journey to the world of non-existence all alone, and the chastity-loving women are meant for this very day that they accompany the husband and lead him to the heaven hand in hand. He (Raja) replied, "Have you not heard‌If woman are medium to gain heaven, I refuse to go to heaven through women."18 Like the Rajdarshani, both the Gulabnama and Tarikh-iKishtwar were written in the 19th century Jammu. Diwan Kirpa Ram, the author of the Gulabnama, belonged to the aristocratic family. His family said to have acquired sociopolitical prominence in the 16th century. One of his ancestors, named Rai Ugra sen of Bikaner, joined the service of the Mughal emperor Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1526-30) as secretary (Peshkar) to the emperor. His grand-father Amir Chand worked as Madar-ul-Maham (prime minister) and Diwan under Maharaja Gulab Singh. His father Jwala Sahai acted as Diwan under both Maharajas Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh (185785). When Jwala Sahai died in 1865, his son Kirpa Ram was appointed as the Diwan of Jammu and Kashmir

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state. Being a person of aristocratic and literary background, Diwan Kirpa Ram wrote two Persian historical works: 1. Gulzar-i-Kashmir and 2. Gulabnama.19 As far as the Gulabnama is concerned, it has translated into English by Sukhdev Singh Charak. The Gulabnama is a detailed account of the life and works of the Maharaja Gulab Singh. Kirpa Ram gives a brief account of the works of rulers of Jammu of ancient and medieval period. For him, the rulers of ancient Jammu were the descendants of Lord Rama of Ayodhya.20 However, historically, the description of the events of the Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir from the period of Maharaja Gulab Singh onwards are very interesting and valuable. Since his grand-father and father had worked as Diwans under Maharaja Gulab Singh he had opportunity to collect the first hand information from them. More importantly, he was an eye witness to the functioning of the political institutions of Dogra rulers. He dealt with the birth and early Maharaja Gulab Singh very meticulously. According to him, the great-grand father Mian Surat Singh, grand-father Mian Zorawar Singh, and father Raja Kishor Singh possessed great valour and courage. Gulab Singh, Dhian Singh and Suchet Singh were mighty, cultured and brave sons of Kishor Singh. He gives date of birth of Gulab Singh in terms of both Vikrami Samvat and Hijri calenders. He mentions that Gulab Singh was born on the fifth day of month Katak 1849 Vikrami and 2nd Rabi, ulAwwal of 1207 Hijri.21 Kirpa Ram mentions that Gulab Singh entered the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh because of the prevalence of the decline of the local ruling dynasty of Jammu and its conquest by the armies of Punjab. Similarly, Dhian Singh, Kishor Singh (Gulab Singh's father ) also joined the services of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh.22 Kirpa Ram presents Gulab Singh instrumental

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in Maharaja Ranjit Singh victories of the different states of Jammu hills and Kashmir. He has given an interesting account of the conquest of Ladakh by Raja Gulab Singh's army commander Zorawar Singh Kahluria. Similarly, the decline of the family of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Anglo-Sikh wars are penned down in detail by Kirpa Ram. Kirpa Ram gives details of the treaty of Lahore, signed on March 9, 1846, between the British and Maharaja Dalip Singh of Lahore. According to him, the treaty of Lahore consisted of 16 articles.24 More importantly, the copy of the treaty of Amritsar, signed on March 16, 1846, beween the British and Raja Gulab Singh is given by him. The treaty consists of ten articles. According to the treaty, Maharaja Gulab Singh received Kashmir on the payment of seventy five lakhs of rupees to the British and had to act as an ally and tributary of the British East India Company.25 He also mentions events of Jammu and Kashmir state taking place after 1846 and the accession of Maharaja Ranbir Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh.26 Tarikh-i-Kishtwar of Shivji Dhar is an account of the history of Kishtwar. It was written 1881 in Persian language. It deals with wild life, city of Kishtwar, villages, castes and communities, sufis and the ruling families of Kishtwar. According to him, there were four important castes of the Hindus in Kishtwar. They are mentioned as Qaum-i-Thakur, Qaum-i-Brahman, Qaum-i-Mahajan and Qaum-i-Meghan. The Muslims are mentioned as the Qaum-iMusalman.27 He has also given a copy of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir's farman to his commander Dilawar Khan for the conquest of Kishtwar.28 Though Tarikh-iKishtwar narrates history of Kishtwar briefly, it provides som unique information pertaining to arrival of Sufism, existence of witch crafts in Kishtwar.

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ACROSS LOC

A basic introduction

The other Jammu and Kashmir PRIYANKA SINGH Pakistan occupied Kashmir, a part of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir comprises the so called Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan (which till 2009 was referred as the Northern Areas by the government of Pakistan) and is currently under Pakistan's control. PoK is as much an integral part of India as the rest of Kashmir as the Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession to India soon after independence.

This is first part in the series Across-LoC with Dr Priyanka Singh beginning with June issue of Epilogue. The author is Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. She compiles and edits IDSA's monthly newsletter PoK News Digest.

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he so called Azad Jammu and Kashmir has been given the trappings of a state- it has its own flag, a President, a Prime minister and judicial system but absolutely nothing in terms of concrete rights and authority. The office bearers in AJK are titular and remain in office only during the pleasure of the federal government in Paki-

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stan. In Gilgit Baltistan, which too is neither a province nor independent, the situation of political processes and practices is equally befuddling. Till 2009, it was under Pakistan's direct control under the Karachi Agreement. Presently, it has a province like set up under an Empowerment and Self Governance package introduced in 2009 to cow down rising political unrest there. Notwithstanding the exhaustiveness of the discourse on Kashmir, it is unfairly tilted in favour of Pakistan with the focus laying solely on J&K and not PoK, which is as much a part of the problem as that of the solution. PoK is conspicuous by its virtual absence in the debate revolving around Kashmir (and IndiaPakistan relations in this context). Hence in this regard, the Kashmir debate lacks comprehensiveness and is by and large incomplete. PoK ever since 1947 has been away from academic attention and media reach and therefore there is very little scholarship on the subject. However, there have been certain developments in the last decade or so, which have made PoK a crucial driver in the geo strategy of the region. The entity (read PoK) has

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somewhat unraveled in the recent past due to a natural calamity and certain significant strategic developments in the region. In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in October 2005, the so called AJK was able to at last garner some attention from the outside world. The state apathy reflected in a delayed or no response to the calamity. In such circumstances where people were left to fend for themselves, the militant groups existing in the vicinity came to the rescue of people and in due course build public support for them. Similarly, Gilgit Baltistan has recently been in spotlight because of several reports especially in the western media regarding the growing Chinese presence there. It was rather late that the issue of Chinese forays in PoK was accounted by the outside world. By that time China already had an entrenched presence/role in the PoK by way of infrastructure building and developmental projects. Chinese interest in Gilgit Baltistan dates back to 1960's when Pakistan ceded the Trans Karakorum Tract (also belongs to the erstwhile princely state of J&K) to China in 1963. Karakorum Highway, the spine of China Pakistan relations crosses through PoK and the route is the cornerstone of trade between China and Pakistan. Another turning point was the beginning of the Cross LoC Trade and transport between J&K and PoK. The bus service between the two sides of Kashmir was instrumental in bringing together divided families who had not seen each other for years. Trade between the two sides even though is fretted with teething problems, has given a ray of hope to economic prosperity on both sides of LoC. Besides, PoK is known to harbour the militant camps, mostly of

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groups involved in terror against India. Seclusion of the region from the rest of Pakistan and the world at large has allowed the training camps for several groups to flourish in PoK. Confessions of the lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab who admittedly was trained at one such camp in Muzaffarabad before heading to Mumbai via Karachi establishes the link between PoK and Pakistan -abetted terrorism against India.

Recent Developments The United States reportedly committed $ 500 million for the controversial Diamer Bhasha Project, a roller constructed concrete dam. The project had since long been embroiled in several controversies over issues such as sharing of royalties between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistanthe reservoir is situated in Diamer district of GB, however the power station is located in Bhasha in KP. The construction of the dam is al-

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leged to inundate large tracts of arable land in Gilgit Baltistan leading to a great deal of unrest in the region. Apart from this, the building of the Bhasha Dam is noted to submerge archaeological sites situated in the vicinity. Additionally, as evident by the earthquake of 2005, PoK is located in a sensitive seismic zone and construction of this magnitude is undoubtedly not advisable for the said region. It seems US in a fit to compete with China has jumped into the developmental fray and within this strategy it has decided to commit the amount (part of which will be financed by grants under the Kerry Lugar Bill and partially by way of investment). Even though India has not reacted officially to US plans, the development could incur complications in the existing dynamics between India and US relations- which already rests on a fragile equation vis a vis Pakistan. US has promised it will stay out of Kashmir (unless parties to the problem decide otherwise) hence it should be careful before indulging in any developmental activity in PoK.

The entity (read PoK) has somewhat unraveled in the recent past due to a natural calamity and certain significant strategic developments in the region. In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in October 2005, the so called AJK was able to at last garner some attention from the outside world. The state apathy reflected in a delayed or no response to the calamity. In such circumstances where people were left to fend for themselves, the militant groups existing in the vicinity came to the rescue of people and in due course build public support for them.

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China on the other hand is continuing to ride on the investment spree as part of which China International Water and Electric Corp (CWE), a subsidiary of Three Gorges Corporation, inked a hydropower project agreement with ATL (Associated Technology Limited) of Pakistan. The Korrak hydropower project located on the periphery of the so called AJK is slated to have a capacity of 720 MW and will cost $ 1.2 billion built over the next four years. Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Gilani has very often to pacify the situation in PoK issued statements to emphasize that Pakistan is committed to bringing about development and stability in PoK. In a recent meeting held to take stock of the Mangla and the Bhasha Dam, Gilani stated that Pakistan is committed towards Kashmiris in PoK. He noted that the two projects would help address the power deficit in Pakistan. Here it is worthwhile mentioning that the rehabilitation process of the people affected by the building of the Mangla Dam is yet to take off due to inordinate delay by the government of Pakistan. This has caused considerable resentment amongst those affected who are already under disaffection. PoK is rich in natural resources including water and bestowed with scenic beauty similar to J&K. All these years, when Pakistan concealed PoK from outside world, it could not openly exploit the resources available there. Lately, Pakistan is increasingly realizing it could open vistas of tourism in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. This would not only generate revenue for the already faltering economy of Pakistan but also address local grievances by creating employment opportunities for people. Water resources in PoK are key to

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China's interests in the region. It is building dams and hydropower projects in Gilgit Baltistan potentially to address the water problems that is likely arise in future. China intends to build resources in its vicinity which could suitably feed its requirements in future. It is also argued that the Uighur uprising in the Xinchiang province also is on China's mind while indulging in PoK. China wants to ensure extremist forces from Pakistan which could worsen situation in its troubled province are not exported to China via Gilgit Baltistan. Substantial presence in PoK, China believes, would deter any such eventuality. Dearth of infrastructure and overall development and the urge to

harness the geo strategic benefits has driven outside powers towards PoK. In the long term perspective, if external influence in PoK escalates it may well become a battle ground of competing regional interests. Significant developments in PoK in recent past call upon India to take serious note of it and devise a more pro active policy. This has not been the case in the past unfortunately. Even though the parliamentary resolution of 1994 reiterates India's position on PoK, there is need to make necessary changes in its posture having taken into account the Chinese involvement in PoK. Moreover, India should urge US to stay out of PoK, if it takes its strategic partnership with India seriously.

PoK is rich in natural resources including water and bestowed with scenic beauty similar to J&K. All these years, when Pakistan concealed PoK from outside world, it could not openly exploit the resources available there. Lately, Pakistan is increasingly realizing it could open vistas of tourism in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. This would not only generate revenue for the already faltering economy of Pakistan but also address local grievances by creating employment opportunities for people.

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Darbar Lar Sharief

A centre of spiritual enrichment that unites hearts and minds across LoC KD MAINI

In contemporary Jammu and Kashmir where religious radicalisation is fast becoming a serious concern, the Sufi tradition is the only way of forging love and affection among people and communities. Darbar of Baba Jee Sahab -18th century spiritual leader, social reformer, mystic and Sufi poet -is one such place where all lines blur and competing identities become one people. A destination of spiritual bliss for Gujjars and Bakerwals, the Darbar of Baba Jee Sahab is common practising place of Sufi traditions for lakhs of people from both sides of Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir

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hough hundreds of people throng the shrine every day, it is June 8 every year that lakhs of people from both sides of the Line of Control reach this beautiful abode, 45 kilometres north of Srinagar city to attend the annual Urs (congregation). Since travel across Line of Control is highly regimental process, therefore participation of devotees from Pakistan administered Kashmir is limited during Urs days even as they keep on visiting across the year. The shrine located in a hillock on the right bank of Kankhani stream in Kangan tehsil of Ganderbal district is also a symbol of Gujjar pride heritage and culture apart from religious attraction. Situated in between 200.30 latitude and 740.55' longitude on the elevation of 5900 hundred feet above the sea level. The climate is very cool and temperature varies from -90 to 310. The Darbar Sharief is surrounded by the Deodar forests, green pastures, multicolor natural flowers, meadows, fruit gardens and snow capped peaks. The main Shrine is a very attractive building constructed with Kashmiri style of wood work architect. This Shrine is a resting place

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of Hazrat Baba Ji Sahib Larvi and his son Hazrat Haji Mian Nazam-ud-Din Larvi. The Shrine is properly linked with motorable road. Power and water supply is available at site. The Sarais, Door matries and guest houses are available for the pilgrims. Free community Langer remain open for 24 hours. Hundreds of devotees visit the Shrine every day, took meal from the Langer and

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after prayer at Shrine and after Namaz in the mosque they gets the blessing of Shajada Nasheen of the Shrine and enjoy the cool climatic atmosphere with attractive natural beauty of the Wangat valley. There is a Chilla Sharief (meditation center) building near the Darbar Sharief where Hazrat Baba Ji Sahib Larvi had meditated for about 19 years. The stairs from the main Shrine moves

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downward towards Mosque, Quest houses, Idgah Ground, Bunglow of Priest, Langer Khana etc. Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib Larvi was a great religious saint, god fearing personality, social reformer and a Sufi poet of 18th century. He was born in the village Sanjohra in Balakote area (now in Pakistan) in 1863 in a Bakerwal family. The local priest named the child as Abdullah. His father Fazal Gul passed away when he was only four year old. He and his mother took shelter to uncle house after the death of his father. His uncle deputed him for grazing of cattle but the child was inclined towards spiritualism and most of the time meditating by sitting alone. This behaviour of Baba Ji Sahib was not suiting his uncle. Therefore Baba Ji could not accommodated there and returned back to his native house after few years. His mother was very kind lady. Keeping in view the his attitude towards spiritualism she allowed him for a saintly life. Therefore Baba Jee Sahib started meditation in a grave type cabin and meditated there for about seven years without taking meal. In the meantime his mother passed away. Now Baba Jee Sahib was in search of a Peer who could lead him in the right direction of spiritualism. In those days Nakshbandi Peer Nizam-ud-Din Kayani of Kaiyan Sharief Muzafarabad was very popular. Baba Jee attended his Darbar and became his true disciple. Pir Kayani directed him for start of Langer and Hijrat (migration from the native place). From the Darbar of Hazrat Peer Kayani, Baba Jee sahib attained spiritual power and new name Baba Jee Sahib due to his devotion, sincerity and religious qualities Baba Jee Sahib returned to Sanjora from Kayian Sharief and started the community langer and prayers. The people of the surrounding villages starting pouring in the house of Baba Jee Sahib for his blessings. In 1893, Baba Jee Sahib fulfilled the

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second desire of his Pir and migrated from Sanjohra to Wangat in Kashmir. With the passage of time he became very popular among the followers and devotees started coming in from different places. Baba Jee Sahib acquired a piece of land in the heart of Wangat village, established his Dera in 1895, started the community langer, constructed a Mosque for prayer and started preaching the true thoughts of Islam to devotees. The people started visiting the Shrine for the blessing of Baba Jee by traveling miles together on foots. It is said that the sick persons would get cured by taking meal from the langer of Baba Jee, the childless couples bore children and many others got their wishes fulfilled. Gradually Baba Jee Sahib became very popular among Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis and other devotees of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1901, Baba Jee Sahab visited Poonch for the first time when he was in search of a hand written Quran Sharief which was written by Emperor Aurangzeb. He recovered the same from a Sangu Gujjar family of Khanater. In 1902 he conducted extensive tour of Poonch-Rajouri districts in which thousands and thousands of people became his disciple. In 1906 he acquired a piece of land at Morha Sharief in Surankote and and established his Dera where he would reside for three month during winters. Historian Mohammad Din Fauq writes in Tariq-

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e-Aquama-e-Poonch that from 1905 to 1926 AD almost all the Gujjars, Bakerwals and Pahari people of Poonch and Rajouri had become his (Baba Jee Sahab's) disciples. Baba Jee Sahib was also a great poet. He laid the foundation of Sufi poetry in Poonch and Rajouri districts. Due to his encouragement number of natives of this area who were influenced from Baba Jee Sahib started writing Sufiana poetry. These includes Sain Qadar Bakash, Fateh Mohammad Daralvi, Khuda Bakash Zar, Bagh Hussain Shah etc. Baba Jee Sahib had also written two books on Islam namely Malfuzaat-e-Nizamia and Israr-e-Kabiri apart from Sufiana poetry book. In 1926 Baba Jee Sahib passed away at the age of 63. He was buried at the present Darbar Lar Sharief Wangat. After the death of Baba Jee Sahib Larvi his son Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi had become the Sajada Nashine of the Shrine who was not only a religious preacher but also a political leader of down trodden, suppressed and economical backward Gujjar community. He tried his best during his life to uplift this community along with Pahari people. Hazarat Mian Nizamud-Din was a member of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir in 1952 remained and he remained an MLA till 1972. Hazarat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi passed away in 1972 and his elder son Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi succeeded him.

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The Legend and the Legacy

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opularly known as Baba Sahab, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi, the Sajada Nashin of Darbar Laar Sharief Kangan, is a great spiritual personality and social reformer who performed a long and glorious inning in mainstream politics as well. He is respected by the devotees and disciples irrespective of caste, creed and religion. His followers are spread in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan administered Kashmir and many other parts of world, particularly the South Asian Muslims communities in UK and USA. He has dedicated his whole life for spread of real teachings of Islam among the masses and worked for social reforms against the evils prevailing in the society and upliftment of poorest of the poor. Baba Sahib has all his life worked for the spread of Silsila Naqshbandia Majadidiya of Sufi traditions throughout his life and acted strictly as per the Shariyah, but he is also influenced by the Sufism of Kashmir which taught tolerance, brotherhood and love for mankind. Therefore, Baba Sahib is equally popular among the non-Muslims. Hundreds of Hindu and Sikh follow him and visit Darbar Laar Sharief for his blessings. Baba Sahib with his humble and helpful approach towards the masses have attracted more followers towards Darbar Laar Sharief and converted the Ziarat into the fort of Islam. He followed the paths and imprints of his grandfather, Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib Larvi, who had migrated from Sanjohra, Balakote to Wangat on the advice of his Pir Hazrat Nizam-ud-Din Kiyani for spread of Islamic teachings among the masses residing in the mountainous areas of Jammu and Kashmir and ignorant about the real fundamentals of the religion. Hazrat Baba sahib has also adopted the style of discussions and sermons of his father, Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi who had not only brought the illiterate and ignorant masses under the fold of Silsilah-e-Naqshbandiya, but also worked for the upliftment of poor masses from 1926 to 1972. Therefore, after the death of his father, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was fully aware of religious, social and political assignments and familiar about the problems and miseries of the people associated with the Ziarat Lar Sharief. Not only that he immediately followed spiritual legacy of his father but also took over the

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political baton. Mian Bashir Ahmed vowed to represent his people the way his father did. He was Minister in 1972 in State Council of Ministers when he took over the charge of Ziarat Sharief as Sajada Nashien. For decades, his politics remained a mixture of spiritual thoughts, Islamic principles, social reforms, upliftment of the poor masses. In true traditions of the family legacy, Mian Bashir Sahab limited scope of his politics to only those aspects which were related to the betterment of the people. He never compromised on the issue of his ideology. Therefore, in literal terms, his stature in the politics was taller than the mountainous peaks of the Kashmir. He quit active politics in 1987 and continues to devote his rest of life to spiritual enrichment and social reforms. From 1987 onward he devoted himself towards meditation, social reforms, religious sermons, organizing Seerat Conferences and meeting the followers and devotees.

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Personality: Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed

The Leader Who Leads Both Ways -Spiritually, Politically

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azrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi born in Novem ber 1923 in a Dhoke Palnar near Wangat, Kash mir. He is a son of Sajada Nasheen (Spiritual Priest) Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi and grandson of Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib Larvi who was the great spiritual saint of Jammu and Kashmir. After hearing the news of the birth of grandson, Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib summoned the child from meadow to Drabar Lar Sharief and received him with love and affection. Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib was so kind to the child that he kept his lip in the mouth of newly born child and allowed him to suck the lips. It is believed that in this way Hazrat Baba Jee Sahib Larvi had transferred his spiritual powers to Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi. In 1930, when Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was seven years old, his father engaged Moulvi Abdullah Sahib of Budhal Rajouri for his education and Islamic teachings because at that time there was no Primary School in the locality. In 1932, Hazrat Mian Nizam-udDin Larvi got Primary School sanctioned for Wangat and Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was admitted in the School. Latter on he got admission in Middle School Kangan where he was attending the classes after traveling 11 KM on foot. In those days the whole family of Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi was shifting to Mohra Bachhai in Poonch District during winter season for the convenience of the devotees of Poonch Rajouri who were not in a position to visit Darbar Lar Sharief due to heavy snow on Pir Panchal. In this period Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi would attend classes in middle School Lathoong. He still shares many sweet memories of his school days. From 1931 to 1942, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi had started taking part in the matters of Darbar Sharief and Social activities. Most of his time was passed in serving the guests and pilgrims at Darbar Sharief. In this very period he was also fond of riding and accompanying his father's Karwans in remote areas. He was also attending the sacred convocations and congregation at Darbar Sharief where his father would deliver religious sermons. This type of spiritual atmosphere of Darbar Lar Sharief had left great impact on the life of Baba Sahib. Therefore, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed

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Larvi selected the path of spiritualism as his life and started meditations, prayers, meeting the religious personality and reading the books on Islamic thoughts and history. From 1932-33 onward, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi started visiting Srinagar along with Bhai Lala who was inclined towards Tehreek-e-Hurriat Kashmir and attended reading room which was established by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Baba Sahib was very much impressed from reading room discussion on the political scenario of Kashmir. In 1932 his father Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi had laid the foundation of Gujjar Jat Conference which worked for the people's welfare up to 1946. Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was also affiliated with the party and served the people with dedication. He played a great role in bringing the communities and tribes closer to each other and helped in

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reducing the tensions among the ethnic groups in this period. In 1942, Baba Sahib was married with Begum Ghulam Muriyam, daughter of a very reputed and respectable personality Choudhary Ghulam Hussain Lassanvi of Poonch. In 1948, Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi joined National Conference on the request of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was also associated with the party. The state Government nominated him as Zaildar of Kangan area. Later on in this very year he was deputed to Poonch-Rajouri as a special officer by the Government to restore the confidence of the people. He succeeded in helping the people during the turmoil days of 1948, he visited the villages, met the peoples organized religious congregations, restored their confidence and helped in their rehabilitation. In this very year, due to prevailing situation in Punjab at Sarhand Sharief, the Sajada Nasheen Khalifa Mohammad Hussain along with his family of 40 members migrated from Sarhand to Srinagar and met Sheikh Sahib for help. Sheikh Sahib requested Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din for their arrangement. Hazrat Niza-ud-Din deputed his son Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi for this purpose. Baba Sahib therefore took the family to Lar Sharief served them properly for two months and managed their safe return to Sarhand Sharief. From 1952 to 1967, when his father Hazrat Mian Nizamud-Din Larvi was MLA from Kangan Constituency, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi assisted his father in religious as political matters in this period. During 1965 Indo-Pak war there was great disturbance in Poonch and Rajouri and about 65000 families migrated to Pakistan administered Kashmir. In these circumstances, on the request of Chief Minister, Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi visited Poonch Rajouri. Baba Sahib after reaching Rajouri and Poonch started village to village meetings, projecting there problems before the District Administration and Government and helped them in their rehabilitation. Within one month period, he was not only successful in stopping the migration but also managed to bring thousands of families back from other side of the Line of Control to their native villages by using his personal influence when the crossing points on the LoC were opened by the Government for return of migrants during March-April, 1966. In 1967 Hazrat Mian Nizam-ud-Din Larvi quit active politics and diverted himself towards meditation. Therefore, the mandate of Kangan Constituency was given to Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi for the representation of the people. He was elected as MLA from Kangan and started serving the people for their political re-

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quirements and upliftment. He starts visiting the remote areas meeting the people to know their problems, deliver the religious sermons and bring the masses under the fold of Silsilah-e-Naqshbandiya. On February 15, 1971, he was inducted in State Council of Ministers with Irrigation portfolio in G. M. Sadiq Ministry. During the election of 1972, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was reelected from Kangan constituency and was again included in the Council of Ministers with Sheep and Animal Husbandry portfolio in Mir Qasim Ministry and worked as Minister till February 1975. On February 24, 1975, Mir Qasim resigned and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah became the new Chief Minister of J&K State. On the repeated requests of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi joined National Conference in 1976. He played a vital role in the success of National Conference in 1977 election by motivating his followers in all over the state in favour of National Conference, when there was neck to neck contest between NC and Janta Party. He was again inducted in the council of Minister of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1977 and worked as Minister for three years. From 1971 to 1980 he did his best to work for the poorest of the poor, down trodden sections of the societies and neglected peoples residing in the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir. In this period he worked hard for spread of the real teachings of Islam among the illiterate and ignorant people residing in the mountainous areas of J&K State. He also tried his best in search of amicable solution of Kashmir through negotiation with the people of J&K and motivated the Centre Government for taking the initiatives so that the confidence of the people could be strengthened. In 1980, he resigned from the Council of Ministers due to differences with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on the issue of the development of neglected peoples. After leaving the politics, he conducted extensive tours of remote villages of

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J&K state, lived in the houses of poor disciples, organized congregations, Majlis for the enlightenment about the basic principles of Islam in a very humble and polite way in the mother tongue of the followers. In this manner, he succeeded in bringing more and more followers under the fold of Silsilah-eNaqshbandiya Majadidia. Immediately after his resignation from the Council of Ministers in 1980, the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi established her contacts with Mian Bashir Sahab and proposed that the Central Government will accept his all recommendation for the development of the down trodden people of the J&K State if he joined the Congress party. Therefore, Baba Sahib inclined towards Congress Party and contested the election of 1983 on the mandate of Congress from Darhal Constituency of Rajouri and won the election by an impressive margin. However, on the eve of winning the election in 1983, he declared in a big rally at Dak Bunglow Rajouri that he will never contest election in future and work for the spread of the real teachings of the Islam among the masses and pass his remaining days in the service of the Silsilah-e-Naqshbandiya and Darbar Lar Sharief. Therefore, in 1987 when there was a pact between NC

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and Congress both the parties offered their mandate to Baba Sahib, he refused to contest the election and said that he is now fully devoted towards spiritualism and wanted to pass his remaining life for the religious teachings. In these circumstances the mandate of Congress Party was given to his son Mian Altaf Ahmed from Kangan Constituency who won the election with thundering majority. From 1987 till date Baba Sahib is living a saintly life and working for the spread of Silsilah-eNaqshbandiya and flourish of Ziarat Lar Sharief and now he is full of spiritualism and attained the status of a Wali of Kashmir of present times. With a development vision, Baba Sahab has got reconstructed Darbar Lar Sharief, Chillah Sharief, Guest Houses for ladies, Mosque and other buildings., the building of Langar Sharief and Mehman Khanas. He had performed Haj twice in 1985 and 2000. He visited Pakistan administered Kashmir in 1979 where thousands of his devotees received him at Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Sohawa Sharief and Islamabad. He was a state guest of Pakistan administered Kashmir government keeping in view his spiritual status. After VajpayeeMusharraf Islamabad declaration of 2004, Baba Sahib was the first religious-cum-spiritual personality who had visited Pakistan administered Kashmir in April 2004.

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He was received by the Prime Minister Sikander Hayat Khan of PaK whose family is religiously associated with Darbar Lar Sharief. During this visit Baba Sahib also went to Darbar Kainyan Sharief of his Pir Khana and Sohawa Sharief, the Ziarat of Pir Noran Shah Sahib. He attended number of religious functions and meetings at Muzaffarabad Islamabad and other places. By addressing the meetings apart from religious sermons, Baba Sahib also advised the public of both the parts of the Kashmir for peace, congenial and cordial relations so that the suffering of the people could be reduced. In 2008, Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi was decorated with Padam Vibhushan Award by Government for his contribution in the field of religion, social reformation, upliftment of down trodden masses and his efforts for humanity. Presently, as per his routine life he is still very active at the age 88. He narrates the facts related to the spiritualism in a very attractive manner. His style of teaching of Islamic Fundamentals and communicating the principals of religions to followers in their language is marvelous and heart touching. He is having great power to convince the others with his religiously knowledge and spiritual powers. After performing Namaz and meditation in the early morning, he comes out from his room and moves towards lush green terrace decorated with natural followers in front of his Bunglow at about 10:00 AM where the devotees starts pouring in and gathering around him for his blessings. These gatherings soon take the shape of religious Darbar when hundreds and hundreds devotees who come from all over the state, India and PaK irrespective of cost creed and religion sit around him and listen his sermons. Baba sahib, normally shake hands with them and devotees tries to kiss his hand with affections and sit in the gathering. Baba Sahib then

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identify the each person and enquire about their families, qabilas, their crops, cattle and their health and then starts religious sermons in the mother tongue of the devotees in such a Sufiana style that illiterates and ignorant persons very easily understands the spiritual talks of Baba Sahib. His discourses are normally based on the fundamental of the Islam, Islamic history and spiritual deeds of Hazrat Baba Ji Sahib and Hazrat Haji Baba. He then identifies the bad customs prevailing in the society and asks his followers to fight against these customs. Baba Sahib also encourages the devotees for better, prosper and neat and clean life under the domain of Islam. After the sermons of Baba Sahib, the disciples narrate their problems related to their health, religious matters and disputes. Baba Sahib gives them Tawiz and prayer for them. It is believed that the disciples get relief from the diseases and move towards peaceful and prosper life due to the blessings of the Baba Sahib. By this way he brings more and more devotees under the fold of Silsilah-e-Naqshbandiya Majadidia. On the eve of Urs Sharief on 8th of June, every year about one lacs devotees and disciples irrespective of cost and creed assemble at Darbar Lar Sharief to pay tributes to the ziarats of great saints and participates in the 'Dua' ceremony performed by Hazrat Baba Sahib at Ziarat Sharief in which he prayers for the welfare and prosperous life of his followers. The followers believe that after attending the 'Dua' ceremony the coming year passes with happiness and joy. They gets relief from diseases, their cattle give more milk, their crops increased and their day-to-day life remain peaceful and prosperous. The Urs Sharief days helps in creating affiliation and alliance among the communities and also gives the opportunity to followers scattered in all over the state to meet each other. It is fact that the followers are considering Darbar Lar Sharief as their second house where they assemble and relish their spiritual, social and religious pride.

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The official stand on Education in Ladakh STANZIN ANGMO Why is it that only Ladakh amongst the three regions of J&K still does not have a Central University? Why hasn't a college for a popular course like B Ed not was opened? The recently elected Chief Executive Officer (CEC) of LAHDC, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council has some interesting insights

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adakh's high altitude terrain and unique history and culture has always set it apart from any region in the country. It remains distinct, even distant even today and yet is seeking the winds of change in terms of development of the region. Seeking to discover its strengths and be in sync with the modern processes of growth sweeping the entire country. One of the biggest milestones in developing an identity of the region and evolve a path of development has been the establishment of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in 1995, an elected executive body responsible for all major areas of policy formation and governance across Ladakh district. Amongst the key responsibilities remains 'Education' which for any region and society is the key to its progress. Yet it is in this area, that Ladakh faces perhaps its greatest challenge. It has lagged behind for several reasons. Rooted in its particular socio-cultural patterns, it has found it difficult to 'fit' with a system in existence in the state of J&K. It has struggled over the years to adapt to and eventually evolve an Education system, which allows for the capacities and talent in the region to develop naturally and in tune with its own culture, history and social patterns. After the formation of the LAHDC, there has been change. Today people even in the villages have realized the importance of education and take the initiative to enroll their children in schools. Yet there remains a wide chasm between the quality of education offered in private schools in and around the capital city of Leh and in the rest of the region, which is rural, agriculture based. Rigzin Spalbar has been recently elected as Chief Executive Officer (CEC) of LAHDC, which is the highest political rank in Ladakh. The structure of the Hill Council comprises four posts of Executive Councilors for Education, Agriculture, Health and Public Works each. In

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this term, however, Rigzin Splabar has taken the responsibility for Education, which reflects the priority status to this area within the working of the Hill Council An interview with Mr. Spalbar offered interesting insights into the current system and what can be done to enhance the potential of the region, to open up opportunities for Ladakh youth so they can partake in overall growth and development processes across the country. Q: What are the steps you have taken to make the Education system more responsive to people's needs? Spalbar: We have introduced textbooks, which gives local references to help the student understand and grasp the subject matter better. For instance, if a student reads about something he or she has never seen or heard about they will get confused. In the new texts, they will read about things, which they experience in their day-to-day life. These textbooks are prescribed in all the government schools. Q: Was this kind of curriculum evolved by the LAHDC or was another organization responsible for this approach? Spalbar: This came from an initiatve by an NGO called Students Educational & Cultural Movement of Ladakh. (SECMOL) who in cooperation with the government attempted to galvanise the system of education through an integrated programme called " Operation New Hope". Q: Does SECMOL continue to play a role in the government education system now in place? Spalbar: It did to some extent but unfortunately due to some reason the cooperation broke down.

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Q: What according to your experience is the biggest challenge/s in Education field in Ladkah? Spalbar: The education system of Ladakh no doubt has many lacunae but I feel teacher's absenteeism is the biggest problem. According to many people, nepotism is the biggest issue be it selection of the teachers or the system of transfers. . Ladakh is a small place, and people with influence have been known to get continuous postings for their candidates within 30 km of their homes. On the other hand, some teachers are singled out for postings in far-flung places. Of course it is their duty but there is a lack of transparency in the system of transfers that needs to be corrected. Q: Understanding the problem is one thing but what are the steps you are taking to curb nepotism? Spalbar: Basically there is a Jury and a set of officials who decide the transfers. It is a different office but I have urged them to be conscious of biases and avoid them. Since I have taken the responsibility of Education in the Hill Council, I will be very strict in this regard." Q: Primary education is the basis or the foundation of the educational pyramid what are the steps you are taking to improve it? Spalbar: We provide the teachers with a voluntary training in B.Ed, which is very important for them but not compulsory yet. We also give them perks based on performance." Q: And the biggest issue confronting all young people in the region: Why Ladakh does not yet have a Central University while in both the other regions, in Kashmir and in Jammu, it was established last year? Spalbar: I think before getting a University, we should first improve schools and colleges here, especially colleges. We are trying to introduce new subjects in the college curriculum. I am aware there is a delay. That could be because we are affiliated with the Kashmir University right now but are trying to club it with the Jammu winter zone. Q: The Bachelors in Education (B Ed) is a popular course in Ladakh, as it increases the scope of employment but unfortunately we don't have a B.Ed college in Ladakh. Most of the students apply for correspondence course. Do you have a plan for opening a B.Ed college here? Spalbar: Do you want to open one? (Laughs). You can if you want to but no one seems to be ready to take the initiative. No we don't have any plan yet to open a government college yet {This article has been written under the 'Sanjoy Ghose Ladakh Women Writer's Award 2010-11}

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Luxury finds home in rugged Himalayan haven of Ladakh HEIDI MITCHELL

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he little boy in the maroon robe had me at "Jule," the traditional greeting of Ladakh. As his friends flitted about pouring yak-butter tea into tourists' bowls, he limped toward the back of the windowless Thiksey monastery's prayer hall, heavy copper pot trailing behind him. He offered a small serving of the creamy broth, and then he slipped back into his row and began to sway to the rhythm of the surrounding chants. This window into life in Ladakh (and access to the 13thcentury temple) had been arranged by Shakti, a twoyear-old Indian company that takes travelers used to high thread counts and high tea on treks through the Himalayas -- a region formerly the exclusive province of trekkers and religious pilgrims willing to trade comfort for the hope of transcendence. Still, located in Kashmir, in the northernmost region of India, Ladakh is not for the timid. For generations, India and Pakistan have disputed control of this Silk Road valley; border tensions are compounded by China's control of the eastern edge, where it has occupied a vast chunk of desert since 1962. It is not uncommon to see rows of army barracks along the highway and hear the crack of gunshots from soldiers at firing practice. And at 12,000 feet above sea level (K2, the world's second-highest peak, forms the northern border) it can be difficult to acclimate without a prescription for Diamox. But violence hasn't erupted in Ladakh since the minor Buddhist youth riots in 2006, and, though the State Department does warn Americans to avoid Kashmir, it makes an exception for this tiny Himalayan kingdom. Which means that any concerns in Ladakh are far outweighed by the extraordinary surroundings: scorched desert landscape, the milky-blue Indus River, glassy peaks and ancient white monasteries. The journey we took was a half-week of walking and driving, starting in Leh and meandering to Stok and Nimoo -- towns separated by death-defying overpasses and landslide-scarred valley walls. It promised all the exoticism of Tibet with all the grand service of Raj India. Shakti (www.shaktihimalaya.com), a travel enterprise based in Delhi, is managed locally by Hugo Kimber, an

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Eton-educated art history expert with a preference for ascots and roll-your-own cigarettes. Local guides facilitate communication. Ours, Jigmed and Pujan, were critical at almost every juncture, especially in navigating the red tape inherent in getting around India. Nightly delights Each night, my group of four women would take over recently renovated bedrooms on the second floor of a typical Ladakhi home. There were chef-prepared dinners, hot showers and heavenly beds made with Shakti's own linens. Handmade soaps stood beside the copper bathroom basins. The owners were often in residence downstairs; our guides translated and transported our luggage from house to house. Each morning, my friends and I rose before the sun, usually to a breakfast of fresh yogurt and pomegranate seeds. Sometimes we'd watch as young men took cows out to pasture, or women with thick braids and layers of heavy wool cloaks would make offerings at a stupa, a religious mound supposedly containing relics of the Buddha. At midday, Jigmed would lead us on walks through orchards and barley fields, or rock-hopping through dried-up riverbeds. At some point we would discover a hand-embroidered tent laid out with beaten-brass bowls of cucumber salad and banana bread. In the afternoons we might visit a monastery or make a shopping trip to a nearby town. Through the connections of our guides, we interacted easily with the Ladakhi people, who share ancestry and religion with Tibetans. A meeting with a medicine man to cure a ruthless case of Delhi Belly was arranged on the fly. In Leh, Jigmed bargained at the bazaar for us in his native tongue, to great success. Calling a soothsayer Calling a soothsayer Pujan, all the while, was arranging an unexpected, but major, event, which he announced one day with a question: "What time would you like the oracle to arrive?" Despite being Buddhist, many Ladakhis cling to ancient animist practices, and three oracles are still in the nearby valleys. Sure enough, at 7 p.m., the soothsayer turned up. With a splash of water here and a shake of some branches there, she went into a trance. Any skepticism was washed away when she put her mouth to our host's abdomen and seemed to extract something red -- toxins, we were told, as we pulled our chins off the floor. For the energetic, one day offered the opportunity of a four-hour hike, and the two of us who signed up were rewarded tenfold for our efforts. At every turn

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the landscape seemed to change, looking at times like the dunes of Arabia, at others like the pockmarked landscape of Afghanistan or the marigold peaks of Arizona. Never did we glimpse another person, although the offerings of thousands, in the form of white stupas, were sprinkled across the scenery like anthills. In the adjacent valleys we could see the faint purple haze of wild lavender. At the top of the final hill, an abandoned 11thcentury monastery that was once the home of the king of Ladakh (whom we passed in his SUV a day earlier; he receives visitors in more comfortable housing now), was ours alone to explore. A spiritual journey? Maybe not. But seeing the shock of a glacial blue river, the improbable fields of green streaking the desert, the trickle of red-cloaked monks streaming out of a hilltop monastery -- they'll have you believing in something, even if it's only that places like Ladakh can still exist.

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Obituary

A visionary of wildlife conservationist in Ladakh is no more KARMA SONAM RUMTSE

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he 4th day of the April 2011 was a sad day for me and for Trans-Himalaya's wild beasts too, as one of our beloved companion and a noted conservationist RinchenWangchuk's journey in this humanworld suddenly came to an end. All his near and dear ones -Dr. Rodney Jackson, all colleagues of SLC-IT, Leh, district administrators as well as so many senior citizens and NGO representatives had gathered at his residence to pay a mournful farewell to their beloved friend who sadly and untimely passed away on the March 26, 2011. Everybody was shedding tears with a depressing disposition and choked voice. At about 1:00 pm according to traditional Buddhist funeral rituals, the last journey of nono, the nobleman began. Everyone stood on both sides of the road to take last glimpse of their beloved hero, praying to the departed soul for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. With calm nature and down-to-earth human qualities, RinchenWangchuk was the son of a brave and highly decorated army-officer, Colonel Tsewang Rinchen. Born on August 11, 1969, he was an enthusiastic and zealous adventurer from his early childhood and climbed several times Stok- Kangri, one of the highest peaks of Ladakh. It was with this same spirit that in 1991, he was travelling with a group of friends to Saser Khangri in Nubra Valley of Ladakh, when a friend and he got separated from the group and lost their way. They were stuck at the high mountaintop due to adverse weather conditions. As his friend's health deteriorated, he stayed up all night long to save him and waited for hours for help to come by. Despite his great efforts, he couldn't save his friend and himself ended with severe frostbite on his leg. Twenty two year old Rinchen was just a young lad then, but had already learnt his purpose in life. After his graduation from Delhi, mountain lover Rinchen came back to his homeland Ladakh and since 1997 he decided to work for protecting the Trans Himalayan wildlife which began with his work for the

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International Snow Leopards Trust as a field associate. He had then assessed livestock losses by predators and researched different aspects to find good solutions to resolve the wildlife and human conflicts in Hemis National park. With his hard work and dedication towards conservation, Rinchen ultimately reached his dream vision with the introduction of a pioneering program called "Himalaya home stay" that provided alternative livelihoods and created goodwill towards conservation in the local community. This program has gone a long way in helping resolve the conflicts since 2002. He was Director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy India trust (SLT-IT) which he co-founded with Dr. Rodney Jackson in the year 2000.With this successful implementation of income generation program in Ladakh he succeeded to convince the communities to

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become more positive towards conservation. These initiatives have helped reduce retaliatory threatening and killing of the beautiful big cat of the Himalaya, the snow leopard in particular and all carnivores in general. This innovative program was a role model for conservationists on the question of how to cope with human wildlife conflict and its management through a simple technique to support local communities who suffered heavily due to livestock losses by predators, especially snow leopards. Rinchen's successful launching of conservation effort has been covered in various national and international publications and has been awarded nationally and internationally. He is probably the only person from Ladakh who had deep love and passion for nature and wildlife, especially the snow leopard, and the only person who has been honored with numerous awards, that include: The First Choice Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Market, London in 2004, Global Vision Award for Community Outreach, New York in 2005, Geo-tourism Challenge, conducted by National Geographic and Ashoka Changemakers, Washington D.C in 2008. Among his personal glories, he was the winner of

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the Helen Freeman for Snow Leopard Conservation in 2010 He also won the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Community-Based Snow Leopard Conservation in 2011. Apart from this, Rinchen travelled far and wide to remote places with a great vision to disseminate different conservation techniques. Out of this an innovative pilot project of the community-based livestock insurance program is also being launched in the Sham area. Moreover, Wangchuk implemented conservation education programs in various remote schools in which he emphasized educating Ladakhi children on importance of environmental issues. A biodiversity resource kit which provides useful resource materials for educators who wish to implement environment education programwas also developed recently under his leadership and guidance by the NGO Kalpavriksh and has been blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These are the materialized dreams of this great hero of Ladakh, who magically accomplished so many things within a short span of his journey in the Himalaya. The sudden demise of this visionary of Ladakh has been a great loss for the mountainous people and their wildlife. He has indeed left behind a void in the backdrop of the cold desert of Ladakh.

With calm nature and down-to-earth human qualities, RinchenWangchuk was the son of a brave and highly decorated armyofficer, Colonel Tsewang Rinchen. Born on August 11, 1969, he was an enthusiastic and zealous adventurer from his early childhood and climbed several times Stok- Kangri, one of the highest peaks of Ladakh. It was with this same spirit that in 1991, he was travelling with a group of friends to Saser Khangri in Nubra Valley of Ladakh, when a friend and he got separated from the group and lost their way. They were stuck at the high mountaintop due to adverse weather conditions. As his friend's health deteriorated, he stayed up all night long to save him and waited for hours for help to come by. Despite his great efforts, he couldn't save his friend and himself ended with severe frostbite on his leg. Twenty two year old Rinchen was just a young lad then, but had already learnt his purpose in life.

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Military Expenditure v/s Economic Development: Indian Perspective V.S. SAINTHIL KUMAR

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he UNDP developed the con cept of 'human security' to en compass not just the achievement of minimal levels of material needs, but also the absence of severe threats to them of an economic or political kind. 'Job security, income security, health security, environmental security and security from crime-these are the emerging concerns of security all over the world'. 'Human security is concerned with reducing and -when possible-removing the insecurities that plague human lives'. The definition has been expanded by the commission on Human Security: Human Security in its broadest sense embraces far more than the absence of violent conflict. It encompasses human rights, good governance, access to health care, and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his or her own potential freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom of the future generations to inherit a healthy natural environment-these are the interrelated building blocks of human, and therefore national security. This definition of security is too extensive for the purposes because it covers much of what is normally in human development, i.e. levels of achievement as well as those arising from violence. Inter-personal violence may have criminal or political objectives or both. Hence it is not the same as national insecurity, since it is experienced at the level of individual, community or group, rather than that of the nation. However, national insecurity

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(invasion from outside, or a high risk of it) can be an important source of such individual or community insecurity. Defense spending, being a component of fiscal policy, has numerous possible theoretical impacts on the economy. These may be positive or negative depending on the specific argument. An increase in defense spending may reduce unemployment caused by under consumption or under investment in the developmental activities. Defense research and development (R&D) may have positive externalities on te civilian sector through spin-offs and technological transfers. Some arguments relate more to Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Some examples being where defense spending may help with the creation of social infrastructure and other forms of public goods. Defense spending may increase the skill set of the population through training and education of military personnel. Defense spending provides security which promotes a stable business environment encouraging foreign investment. On the negative side, it is possible that defense spending crowds out private spending, where resources can be put to more productive use. Arms imports can have adverse balance of payments effects. Any R&D in the defense sector may divert R&D from the private sector where it may receive more practical application. Revenue generation by the national government to finance defense spending in the form of higher taxation may limit growth.

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Defense spending may also divert resources from the export sector of an economy where similar levels of technology may be put to use. Given the conflicting theoretical effects of defense of defense spending, much research has centered on the actual empirical findings. There are various schools of thought on the nature of the relationship between the defense sector and economic growth. Military Keynesians contend defense expenditure is a tool of fiscal policy and can therefore be increased to stimulate demand or decreased to dampen demand. Intrinsic to this view is that defense expenditure has positive effects on the macro economy. This impact depends on the extent of the multiplier effect, assuming there is not a corresponding increase in taxation to pay for the spending and the extent, if any, of crowding out caused by the spending. The Marxist view is more extreme and contends that defense spending is necessary because of under consumption in advanced western capitalist economies. The opposing school of thought to that of Military Keynesians is that defense expenditure has negative effects and if used as a tool of fiscal policy would only make the situation worse. This is usually based on a type of supply side argument where resources used in defense are more efficiently used elsewhere. This argument is considered stronger when used with respect to LDCs. Military expenditure- India's Status The defense budget of the Indian

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government does not present a true assessment of the country's defense expenditure. It does not include several items of expenditures that should normally be regarded as part of the country's defense effort. Four major items of defense expenditures excluded from the defense budget are: Defense pensions Expenditure incurred by the Ministry if Defense Expenditures incurred by the Home Ministry on various paramilitary forces such as the Border Security Force, Tibetian Border Police, Assam Rifles and IndoBangladesh border Works adding up to a million men in arms and elements of the space and the nuclear programme that relate to military, and some items under the heading "Strategic electronics" such as radar research that fall within the expenditure of the department of electronics. However, it is difficult to ascertain what proportion of these allocations actually goes in to defense.

Economic Development Development, which signifies progress in human well-being, used to be equated with economic growth, but it is now widely acknowledged that tis is very inadequate characterization. Average per capita incomes are one important means to achieve such progress, not only does average income fail to capture distribution across households, but it also may not be a good indicator of many important aspects of human wellbeing, such as people's health, education and their security. A serious of alternative objectives have been put forward, one of the earliest being the PQLI(Physical Quality of Life Index). Sen has suggested that the development objective should be the enhancement of people's capabilities, or the opportunities

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open to the people of being and doing a variety of things. UNDP's Human Development Report defined the objective succinctly as enlarging people's choices in a way which enables them to lead longer, healthier and fuller lives. These are important advances, but do not explicitly incorporate security as an aspect of development. People may have the potential to do and be many things, yet this potential may be cut off, or people's sense of wellbeing may be adversely affected with high levels of insecurity. Such insecurity includes the possibility of economic vicissitudes, health crises and injury or death as a result of criminal or political violence. Sustained political violence may lead to the break-up of communities and families, forced migration and the need to re-establish lives in strange and alien environments, or even a suspended existence in refugee camps. There is no question that if such events are widespread, they have a serious negative impact on many people's lives, and therefore adversely affect the achievement of development.

Theories of Defense versus Development The literature on defense and development that commanded the field through the 1970 and the 1980 became in the 1990s a literature on defense versus development .Here again a caveat has to be entered the debate on defense and development rages mostly in the development countries and not in the developing ones In India, for instance, the mainstream argument is that defense has no contradiction with development, in fact,it helps development .The scholars and opinion makers tried to show the tension s that exist between high military expenditure and the priority for development and some have ar-

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gued that the defense profile can be streamlined with a major reduction in the size of the armed forces by changing their very character and by wiping out a lot of fat and large nests of corruption in defense production and military procurement. The first study on the impact of defense spending on growth in the World War II era was conducted by Emile Benoit in 1973 .A Based on a sample of forty four developing countries, Benoit concluded that there was a positive correlation between economic development and defense expenditure in these countries from 1950 to 1965. His study became the Bible for those scholars who have been systematically arguing for high defense expenditure. Military expenditure, they found, had a clear negative impact on growth In the case of India, they found a high correlation between the defense burden and the investment gross domestic product [GDP]ratio. The relationship between defense burden and agriculture output was negative. However as for as India is concerned it is highly essential to spend the money for its national integrity in terms of internal security and its strategic location.

India's "Strategic Vision" India's 'Strategic Vision' for the 21st century should incorporate the following goals and components and which should be reflected in appropriate declaratory polices binding across the entire Indian political spectrum. India is to be the prominent power in the Indian sub continent. It already is in terms of size, natural resources and human resources. It has an unbridgeable lead in the sub continent in terms of economy, industrial development and infrastructure and hi technology wherewithal. India however is not the predominant military powers, as Paki-

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stan has been built up as the 'regional spoiler' state by China in terms of a nuclear weapons and missile arsenal. China has been engaged for the last two decades specially to arrest India's emergence as the predominant power in South Asia by its proxy efforts through Pakistan. India is one of the major powers of Asia along with China and Japan. To this end India's strategic strength should be built at an accelerated pace and strategic partnerships evolved to ensure that India becomes a determinant in any regional or global power considerations in political, economic and military terms. To achieve this "strategic vision" for the 21st centaury India needs to develop strategically and in military terms, following capabilities: Military preponderance in both the nuclear and conventional military fields. In terms of level, it should have an overwhelming military superiority in South Asia and relative parity with China. India needs to develop 'force projection' capabilities, especially naval and air. Sizeable air mobile and naval task forces should be available for rapid deployment in India's area of interest and 'area of influence.' India's naval power should be built to be levels which would permit sea denial if not sea control in the entire Indian Ocean region. Nuclear deterrence strong enough to deter even major powers to attempt political or military coercion i.e.; development of an ICBM and SLBM arsenal. India after fifty years of being a 'Soft State' needs to get into a resurgent mode befitting her size and resources .The time has come not only to have the will to built up her power attributes but also to learn and have the will to use power.

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India's Defense Budget The literature on defense and development relating to India is very limited in scope and praxis. As already noted, it has an overwhelming bias in favour of high defense expenditure. The bias hinges on three factors, one, the threat perception, the image of the enemy, its intention and capabilities, its international connections and clout. Two, power status, the belief that a high level of military power is necessary to command the deterrence if not the respect of the smaller neighbors as well as the major powers of the world. Three, that a high defense profile also means development of frontier military technologies like space, satellite launchers and missiles. It is argued that these technologies will have spin off impact on high industrial technologies, particularly electronics, computer sciences and telecommunications. Since the mid 1960s, India enjoyed some special advantages in building its defense profile. The first advantage was a very close treaty bound relationship with USSR. Moscow provided three commitments to India that secured India's status as a regional power in South Asia. The first was to supply India the bulk of its sophisticated military equipment, particularly for the air force and the army and later for the navy, on rupee payment that did not touch India's relatively poor forex earnings. The second was that in case of a war with Pakistan or China, the Soviet Union would stand fully behind India with military support. The third commitment was that India would get political and diplomatic support especially in the UN Security Council where Soviet veto could protect India from unacceptable political or security damage. During the 1980s India embarked upon an unprecedented spree of acquiring conventional weapons.

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Its defense budget increased by 50 percent from 1983 to 1987. In the following year, the defense bill rose by 23 percent. In 1987, onefifth of the arms exported to third world countries were sold to India. According to the Human Development Report, from 1987 to 1992, India was the largest importer of conventional weapons. Of the total import bill during this period, 15 per cent or $18.7 billion went on to the purchase of conventional weapons. This military power was demonstrated in the region in a manner that, in Indian eyes, confirmed India's status as the regional super power. Others saw it as a regional super-bully. During this period India sent peace keeping forces to Sri Lanka and Maldives at the explicit request of the Presidents of the two countries. Indian military forces were also engaged in large scale military exercises- Brasstacks- in Rajasthan and Punjab in 1986-87 that bordered on brinkmanship with Pakistan. Later in 1987 the Indian armed forces held another series of military exercises- Checkerboard- that almost led to a confrontation with China along the disputed India-China border in the North east.

Is it feasible to reduce the Defense Expenditure The growing defense bill and the overall defense bill, raises a significant question:Is it possible to reduce the defense budget without compromising the security needs of the country?. To answer the question we need to first take a close look at the various components of the defense budget. About a third of the defense budget is spent in paying wages and salaries to both the armed forces and workers in the ordnance factories and those in the public sector producing defense equipment. A significant proportion of this goes in to paying salaries and

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allowances to the 1.2 million strong army, the fourth largest in the world. There is considerable flab in all the three armed forces. For instance the Indian navy's uniformed strength is supported by an equal number of civilian employees. Admiral J.G.Nadkarni has suggested that the size of the Indian armed forces could be cut down by 25 per cent across the board with out affecting the country's combat ability. That's a clean $637.6 million saving in the defense bill. Indeed, this can not be done overnight. But it is important to change the recruitment policy in the three forces keeping above in mind. In the present recruitment policy, the maximum working life of the soldier is seventeen years, although he draws a pension for an average of at least thirty years. Among officers the maximum service life is twenty seven years. An officer's average service life, on the other hand is seventeen years, but they get a pension for at least thirty years. To reduce the pension bill it is suggested that compulsory military service for five to fifteen years for officers in various organizations under government control such as banks, public sector, joint sector undertakings, central government services, railways, port and telegraph departments and three years of compulsory service for engineers and doctors that would partly act as payment back to the society for the subsidized education they receive. There is also a significant potential for reducing the work force in thirty-nine ordinance factories and in public sector undertakings that produce defense related goods. The two together hire around 2,83,862 workers. Ordnance factories alone hire 1,76,415 workers. The salaries of these workers doubled during 1986-87 and 199091 because of overtime payments without any significant improvement in the quality or the level of production. Ordnance factory work-

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ers are overpaid for the work they do they cheat on the equipment they procure. There are reports that the central government incurs an annual loss of $16 million because of the irregularities in procurement that is done under selective tenders instead of open tenders. Some of the other suggestions made to cut down the defense expenditure are: Close down low technology defense factories such as those producing clothing because there is enough capacity in the private sectors to produce these goods at cheaper rates. Review the functions of the Director General of Ordinance Factories to see if the organization can be broken into groups according to the products they produce and Have the project reports of the Director General of Ordinance Factories prepared by independent consulting organizations to reduce the chances of inflated cost projections. Arms purchases are mostly controlled by non military finance personnel and bureaucrats. The secrecy shrouding procurement, the protection given to loss making resource devouring defense production units and the whole atmosphere of secrecy that blankets defense in India creates nests of corruption among bureaucracies, suppliers, procuring agencies and politicians. It is well known that defense import deals involve huge kickbacks; therefore there is a vested interest in defense related imports.

Epilogue: Significant cuts in defense expenditure - both revenue and capitalare possible even in the present threat environment. Several Indian specialists have suggested measures that can improve the operational efficiency of the armed forces while cutting down substantially the country's expenditures. These suggestions can be classified in to three categories:

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1. The reform and reorganization of the armed forces 2. The comprehensive overhaul of the exceedingly wasteful defense production apparatus 3. The entry of the private sector into defense production and 4. The abandonment of white elephant projects that have eaten up enormous resources over the years without producing any weapons. These four together can save the government and economy between $1.3 to $1.6 billion a year, a good 20 to 25 per cent of the defense budget. Even with the present size of the armed forces, the defense expenditure can be reduced by $637.6 million to $956.3 million. The level of defense expenditure is always justified on threat perceptions. In India's case the threat perception comes more loudly from Pakistan, but in real terms more from China. Confidence building measures have been adopted between India and both of its neighbors. However, these are working more successfully with China than with Pakistan, and agreements such as no attack of each other's nuclear installations do not actually touch upon the defense budgets. In any case the two countries are not running a nuclear arms race- perhaps they have the capability to make nuclear weapons and the capabilities have been capped. The military budgets actually relate to conventional weapons, particularly high-tech and highly expensive weapons imported from external sources. This essay has argued that it is possible to save in more areas of conventional weapons. I would like to conclude by suggesting that the mutual reductions of defense budgets will in itself be an effective confidence building measure, more so if the reductions are agreed upon by both sides, India will then be joining the global process of disarmament and arms control. Since, the Indian Military Expenditure is not affecting the economic developments; there is no need to reduce it in the present situation.

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EPILOGUE MAGAZINE JUNE 2011  

First ever joint Cross-LoC survey on educational opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir

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