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Posts Tagged ‘Srinagar’

5 Years of Blogging

In Kashmir, People, Politics, Srinagar on 28 December, 2010 at 11:42 pm

5 years ago, this blog started with just a single sentence:

Ah! Kashmir: so near yet so far!

Kashmir, the dream of a Free Kashmir, remains so near yet so far today, as it did 5 years ago. It is near, for every Kashmiri breathes it and feels the pain of this geographical piece of land called Kashmir. These words may appear poetic, but they are not. The pain of Kashmir is felt, just like a cut by a sharp knife. This pain is as much physical as it is emotional. The images of Kashmir embedded in our memory are not, as most Indians might think and want to believe, of honeymooners, neither are they of a Kashmiri boatman selling shawls by the banks of Dal Lake. The images are of death. They are Read the rest of this entry »

Kashmir Government Not Powerful Enough To Name An Airport

In Kashmir, Srinagar on 9 February, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Although there should have been no hesitation in naming it after the saint, as Sheikh ul Alam does not represent any radical political belief concerning the Kashmir politics; he being a character that belongs to an era when there was no India, no Pakistan and of course no Kashmir conflict, forms a benign symbol.

If this symbol of Kashmir’s national being is disallowed expression at a place which is supposed to be visited by people around the globe, it strengthens the suspicion that India is always scary of Kashmir emerging as an entity that has its own history and symbols of national being.

Difficult to reconcile that if PDP passed a resolution and sought clearance from the then Prime Minister, A B Vajpaye, why Airport Authority of India did not respond to it? If for such an ordinary and harmless thing it takes concerned authorities in India so long, in case they really are unaware of the whole matter, then how is Kashmir going to solve its bigger problems through an institutionalised mechanism that is in place in the shape of state administration! The reluctance of certain sections at Delhi as alluded to by some sources, smells of the traditional politics of Delhi to disallow any kind of expression to Kashmir’s collective self. It is here that the right wing Sangh Parivar and ‘secular’ Congress finds a reason to join hands.

Both NC and PDP talked of sub-nationalism in their political campaigns in the recently concluded Assembly elections, if they cannot get an Airport in their state named the way they want it, they better stop talking about bigger things like demilitarisation, cross LoC trade, autonomy, self rule etc. It only makes a laughing stock of them.

(etalaat editorial)

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Section 144 Imposed In Kashmir

In Kashmir, Srinagar on 4 October, 2008 at 12:13 am

Section 144 has been imposed in Kashmir effective 5th October 2008, in view of the upcoming Massive Protest March planned for the 6th of October. Last time a massive curfew was imposed in the Valley to prevent a similar rally. The protests had started way back in the month of June against an order effecting the transfer of land in Kashmir to a Hindu Shrine Board. This time it appears that either the government and the separatists have come to an understanding or the government is quite confident of handling the situation better than it did the last time. It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian Armed Forces occupied the vale of Kashmir illegally in the October of 1947 by flying troops to the Srinagar Air Field, that one act was to change the destiny of Kashmir. Will this October Rally herald a new beginning for Kashmir?

 

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Forgetting Heroes

In Kashmir, People, Politics on 2 October, 2008 at 5:39 pm

This is just one of the ills that ail our civil struggle. Absence of self-introspection has plagued our society tremendously, we tend to forget our own sacrifices way too easily, detrimental to our own cause.

Asiya Andrabi’s words are almost always to get media attention. If she were as honest in demanding succour for those martyred and injured as her words claimed to be, she (or her organisation, since she is in Jail right now; on a different note: Kashmir suffers from a lack of Organisations, there are only individuals (read leaders lacking even the basic sense of leadership)) would have fought for their rights in a similar manner she fought for the closure of liquor shops in Kashmir. Geelani definitely has taken a leaf from this news item:

Seven-year-old Bisma looks shabby in ragged clothes. There are no chances of her getting a new pair on Eid. The father who used to get her dresses every Eid is no more. He was killed by Hindu fanatics during the economic blockade of the Valley in August.

According to Jigri the president of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) president Prof Bhim Singh paid for the admission of the children in a private educational institution.

“No body else has come to the rescue of the children,” she said.

Greater Kashmir

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Was It Just A Few Hectares Of Land? – I

In India, Kashmir, People on 19 September, 2008 at 1:06 pm

The city of Srinagar abounded with sparkling lakes, today just one survives, the rest having died unnoticed and silently. This one lake, the oft-quoted and oft-photographed, Dal Lake has withstood the onslaught of man’s greed and nature’s fury for centuries. This lake perhaps is the symbolic representation of a Kashmiri – one who has survived decades, nay centuries, of onslaught by foreign rulers, and continues to sparkle, like the lake, hiding its scars far within. Kashmir would see an era of Peace only when the seat of power was held by one of its own. Never have foreign rulers been able to control it for good and nothing has ever dampened the spirit of the people of this humble valley. A Vale surrounded by such tall mountains that it should never have been discovered by ‘the others’ to begin with. Invaders of all religions, colours, hues, wishes and desires have trampled this humble valley but never could they escape from the fire that burns within the heart of every Kashmiri, the desire to be free. Having lived under subjugation and enslavement, the Kashmiri body may have been enslaved, not the Kashmiri soul!

The year 1947 saw such turn of events, that Kashmir, instead of seeing a breather after an excruciating survival under the Dogras saw it being occupied by a country it did not know. A country it never had any ‘unconditional’ economic, social, political, cultural or religious ties with, any that it might have had were forced. The country was India and 61 years have passed without the slightest ebb in the hatred for the state of India in the hearts of Kashmiris.

Non-violent protest never seen in the past; art of subjugation learned from Israel by India; and a silent international community are the hallmarks of Kashmir since last three months. Was it a simply a case of the few hectares of land that were transferred or the blocking of the National Highway that has given birth to such staunch resentment in Kashmiri hearts? Are they willing to die of starvation rather than come on the table just because of these two issues? Even the rampant un-employment in the state never led to such massive civil disobedience. What is it then exactly? Is Freedom the uncomplicated and simple answer to this complicated and intricate problem that has been dragging on even before the states of India and Pakistan were created?

Freedom does suffice as an answer for a Kashmiri. A Kashmiri who is not well read may not be able to explain further this Freedom to a non-Kashmiri; a learned Kashmiri may elaborate to a non-Kashmiri as to what exactly this ‘Freedom’ means, but still the definition would be elusive. It has a thousand contours and colours, rather Oppression in Kashmir has a thousand contours and colours and the only way to even out those contours and the only antidote to this oppression, as all Kashmiris see it, is Freedom.

To think that it was just the Land Transfer or the Economic Blockade is naïve thinking, it would be murderous for India and the people of India to think of these two abstract reasons as the only and main cause of all the effect we have been seeing in Kashmir.

From a previous post on this blog 1521 For 1, written February 0f 2008:

For those who want to know, this is a clear indication that the fight in Kashmir is not just with the 460 odd always on run militants but something greater. What is that greater? That greater is the burning desire in every Kashmiri for Freedom. The never dying desire to breath the crisp fresh air of Freedom; Freedom from slavery, subjugation, torture and oppression or perhaps just the freedom from having to carry an Identity Card for moving outside our homes in our land or still just perhaps the freedom to know that every morning won’t bring the news of deaths by bombs and bullets. Increasing number of tourists visiting Kashmir or decreasing number of militants is not an indicator of peace, as the Government is trying to portray. Kashmir is a volcano about to burst, like it did in 1989.

And Kashmir did burst the summer of 2008.

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Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 11 September, 2008 at 12:57 am

Zardari, in his first press conference after being sworn in as President of Pakistan said:

“Insha Allah, we will have some good news” on Kashmir

and

he said [that] the PPP government will consult all political forces in Pakistan, both inside and outside Parliament, to forge some kind of a strategy to resolve the Kashmir issue.

This will be taken to the Kashmir Committee in Parliament, Zardari said, adding the work done through back-channel diplomacy will also be part of this. Indian Express

Definitely nothing is in the pipeline right now, one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route) before (or even after) the Indian elections (and not certainly from this man, read later on why). His second statement makes it obvious that work (of whatever sort) has to be started and is not yet done on the Kashmir issue. As he says, PPP will consult parties, forge a strategy which will be taken to the Kashmir Committee. And one should also not forget that as fate has it for Kashmir, no news which has been delivered by external forces has been good for Kashmir since the last 61 years. The only good news Kashmiris should expect and look forward to is the news we, the Kashmiris create and deliver. As the present non-violent movement evolves, Kashmir may see a bright new day, not so soon maybe, but not too far either.

The separatists in Kashmir have welcomed the dialogue process cautiously and they should not pin too many hopes on it either, Kashmiris have been time and again packed under words and abbreviations, be it the CBMs, the Healing Touch, the Formulas and now Good News!

Geelani:

“We won’t accept any decision which is thrust on Kashmiris. Solution has to come according to the aspirations of the people of J&K
Greater Kashmir

Yasin Malik:

“In the eyes of people of Kashmir, dialogue institution has lost its sanctity, because for the last 62 years dialogue process couldn’t yield any results. To restore the sanctity, this dialogue process must be time bound and transparent,” Greater Kashmir

Mirwaiz:

“As Kashmiris we have always welcomed Indo-Pak dialogue, but unfortunately Kashmiris were never allowed to be part of it. We welcome Zardari Sahib’s statement, but till Kashmiris aren’t part of it, it won’t deliver.” Greater Kashmir

Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ud Dawa (formerly LeT) has claimed that Zardari’s policy will be no different than Musharraf and warned Zardari of trouble if the policies are not changed.

…warned that if the president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and his government did not change the policies of the former president, Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan would be in great trouble.

Hafiz Saeed claimed that Zardari’s policy would only strengthen Musharraf’s policies. Greater Kashmir

Musharraf actually had no policy on Kashmir, he just put a gag on the Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan and that worried the top-bosses of these organisations, since liberation of Kashmir from India and merger with Pakistan appears to be their only goal. A goal a majority of Kashmiris are not comfortable with. Over 75% of Kashmiris want complete independence from India and Pakistan. Changing One master for Another is not really what the Kashmiris are demanding. The viability of independence as an option has been discussed elsewhere by Kashmir Bloggers and is not the topic of discussion in this post. Still, those who talk about Kashmir being a land-locked country, we do all know that no country in the world exists in isolation and Kashmir had survived fine without India till 1947, so no worries on that front. It should also be noted that the UN Resolution of Self Determination did include the option of Complete Independence but it was dropped after extensive lobbying by the then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Zafarullah Khan

The indulgence of the Jihadi organisations in any form at this point of time will be counter-productive for Kashmir. Kashmir has risen without any leader(s) asking them to and the protests will continue to evolve in a non-violent manner. Any act by the Jihadi organisations to lead or include guns will cause irrecoverable harm to Kashmir. Even Indian politicians are unable to peg this uprising on Pakistan, ISI or the Jihadi Organizations and they are looking for a chance to do so and Hafiz Saeed might give them just that.

And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was, here is a review of what Pakistani Bloggers think about this man:

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Adnan's Crazy Blogging World]

General Zardari As President

We are so lucky that we are ruled by drunk bearucrats, corrupt army generals and offcial dacoits!

Pakistan Zindabad!!

Adnan’s Crazy Blogging World

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Islamabad Metblog]

So We Get A New President

Allah save t[h]e country now … I wonder how many months it’ll take to have the whole country sold .. you think it can be done in Days?

Islamabad Metblog

This Is Zaradris Pakistan [Courtesy And Copyright of Lahhore Metblog]

Welcome To Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan

Benazir actually gave Pakistan as her last dowry gift to her widower. But I don’t think even she would have ever thought that Mr. Zardari would one day become “President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. In fact when I voted for PPP in last election, I never thought that PPP will make such a mockery of the mandate given by people of Pakistan.

Lahore Metblog

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I Will Quit If…

In Kashmir, Politics on 8 September, 2008 at 11:47 am

Omar Abdullah, a sad progeny of one of the greatest leaders of Kashmir, however controversial, Sheikh Abdullah, is no different than the gun-wielding Special Task Force personnel desperate to kill a Kashmiri. He is no different than the other henchmen of Indians in Kashmir, be it the Muftis, the Azads or the Ansaris or the hundreds of shameless and guiltless Kashmiris on the payrolls of one of the biggest daemon-cracy of World. These same people claimed all these past years that all is well with Kashmir on one hand and on the other helped execute one of the worst possible state-sponsored terrorism on the hapless people of Kashmir. These idiots had forgotten all along, rather stupidly that the desire for freedom can not be quelled by force- direct, indirect or psychological. I call them idiots, for their lack of understanding, for what they have done to our home, not theirs , since their homes stand protected by their paymasters away for Kashmir, for in Kashmir they should never imagine a home.

Omar Abdullah, the chameleon that he is, recently had claimed that

I WILL QUIT IF unbridled force IS UNLEASHED ON MY INNOCENT PEOPLE!

This statement, widely circulated in the press, and put on a blog by another henchman of India, a Kashmiri Leader, who claims the impossible in his introduction:

I am a kashmiri but i love both India and Kashmir.

For Victory Always

First of all I do not know how Omar claims Kashmiris to be my people, even if one would ignore the fact that he has no moral right to call Kashmiris my people and take the sham elctions as a yard stick, he lost from the National Conference’s stronghold rather shamelessly. He has not been elected even once and there he goes!

And if all that India has been unleashing all these months is not unbridled force, I wonder what would be! Ofcourse he has not resigned.

Then, to save his vote bank, and gain with a possible BJP government at the centre in the future, National Conference has welcomed the Amarnath Land Accord:

“a very good sign”.

This accord has been called as Immoral and Illegal by noted columnist A. G. Noorani and Mr. Noorani further elobaorates on how India will treat a demand for restoring the Article 370, the political gimmick used by Abdullah since long.

If the State can thus bend its knees before the Sangh parivar on an issue like this, what hopes of justice can Kashmiris entertain when it comes to restoring the raped Article 370 to a status of worth and respect?

And Now, Omar Abdullah Has Turned To Guiding The people Of Kashmir.

‘I do not believe that independence for Kashmir is a feasible or a viable option and I stand by that,’

Whoever told you that the people of Kashmir care for what you think?! Just like the ancient times you have strong political and family relation with India, there was a time when Kings and Queens would marry into different empires to strengthen their ties, that is what you have done, don’t we all know that your sister married Sachin Pilot. Strong ties anyone would say.

‘I believe that you can give Kashmir independence but you cannot give Kashmir freedom under the circumstances that prevail within the subcontinent – India, Pakistan and China,’ Abdullah argued.

So maybe we should shift Kashmir to a more viable location?

Be that as it may, it’s not my job to follow popular mood,’

You are a jobless politician vying for attention and some media space and let me gaurentee you you have got media space.

‘It needs political handling.

You had 61 years, you won’t get a day more Mr. Abdullah. We want no more of your task forces and unholy matrimonies.

What happened was a spontaneous eruption, arising out of the fear that the economic blockade brought into people’s minds,’

Economic blockade! You kidding who? Bullets haven’t stopped Kashmiris demand for Freedom, you think an Economic Blockade will put fear into peoples minds??

it’s not as bad as 1990, because in 1990 people like myself, my party colleagues, we were all fleeing,’

Ofcourse all of your people were fleeing for their lives. Why are you lying though, you didn’t flee. Wait a minute! You were not exactly in Kashmir then, had you even visted kashmir in 1990’s? When was it that you learnt Kashmiri, 2001?

And, A Question For You Omar Abdullah

When was the last time you saw a crowd such as this attend your political rally? And you call it popular mood! It is not facebook where you set your mood, it is a pity you have not yet understood Kashmir and if you and your henchmen don’t, you will soon be fleeing Kashmir, and the next time you return it will be to answer a Tribunal on War Crimes.

However Bad, Atleast They Playing Along.

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Welcome To Indian Kashmir!

In Human Rights, Kashmir, People on 3 September, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Alistair Scrutton on Reuters

Might Of The State

The world’s largest democracy locks up protest leaders without charge, shoots dozens of demonstrators dead, beats and intimidates ordinary citizens and raids homes without warrants.

Welcome to Indian Kashmir, where the biggest separatist protests in two decades have clashed with the might of the state.

Anger Against India

The crackdown may also be counter-productive. Residents say the deaths and violent crackdown have fuelled anger against India and boosted the separatist cause after years of relative peace.

Coercion

“The government of India does not have a strategy,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, diplomatic editor of The Hindu newspaper.

“It is relying heavily on coercion, arresting top and middle-level leaders in the hope it will break the back of unprecedented protests.”

Most Militarised Region

For decades there has been simmering resentment at the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops stationed in Kashmir, making it one of the most militarised regions on earth.

Target Killings

One surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution from Indian authorities, said he has received around 400 wounded people in three weeks, 150 of them hit by bullets.

“These are target killings. It’s simple to see,” said the doctor, explaining that many of the chest wounds were from weapons such as AK-47s. “Most of these were intended to kill. They were not to disperse a crowd.”

For complete article click here.

Declare Independence!

In India, Kashmir on 29 August, 2008 at 2:05 pm

For Kashmir,

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Start your own currency!
Make your own stamp
Protect your language

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Make your own flag!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Damn colonists
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

With a flag and a trumpet
Go to the top of your highest mountain!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Raise the flag!

–Bjork

I Am The Supreme Commander…

In India, Kashmir on 28 August, 2008 at 2:55 am

Indian President!

… of The Indian Armed Forces And This Is What You All (the people of Kashmir) Shall Get and Should Expect From The State Of India!

President of India posing with an AK-47 (Assault Rifle, allegedly recovered from Militants) on a Visit to the Indian Occupied State of Kashmir.

Yes, I Am A Daemon, But Kashmir Scares Me

In Human Rights, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, News, Srinagar on 27 August, 2008 at 8:19 pm

India, the largest Daemon-cracy of the world, continues it repressive, suppressive and oppressive policies in Kashmir, not realising you can’t kill a Kashmiri – he will live and continue demanding his right – that of freedom!

Here is a Round up of latest news reports from Kashmir, or rather of news that can be reported since there is an embargo on news in Kashmir, Ambulances are being targeted by the Army, Little Kids beaten to death and Water is a scarce commodity!

Yes, We Want People To Die Of Starvation

They said the team wanted to distribute about 5000 litres of apple juice to people at Dalgate this afternoon, but the troopers stopped them from doing so saying that distribution of any eatable or beverage amounts to violation of curfew.

Addressing the troopers, the group of journalists shouted, “Do you want people to die of starvation?”

And pat came the reply: “Yes”

The Peace Of Graveyard

Blocked, Kashmir! Any conceivable object that came the way of the troopers formed the road blockade. From logs of timber on Jammu-Srinagar highway at Khanabal, Botingoo, Bijbehara to CI pipes at different places along the road at crossings, to Concertina wire and CGI sheet fencing on different openings to Lal Chowk in Srinagar and between Khwaja Bagh and Khanapora in Varmul town, has been used to prevent the milling crowds, or call it swarms of people, from reaching the historic Lal Chowk, the venue of the sit-in called by pro- freedom parties last Monday.

Ban On Ambulance Movement

A woman from Bapora in south Kashmir’s Shopian district died last evening after the police and paramilitary CRPF troopers didn’t permit her to proceed toward a hospital.

Indefinite Curfew Continues

With the death of one more person in the hospital Tuesday morning, the toll in Monday’s firing by Police and CRPF troopers on processionists in the valley Stop Or We Will Shoot!mounted to eight. Authorities didn’t give any relaxation in curfew on third consecutive day,today,leading to massive shortage of essential commodities in the Valley. Uneasy calm prevailed in Kashmir as there were reports of people trying to defy curfew in some parts of south Kashmir.

Trust No Kashmiri

Sleuths of Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) Tuesday raided posh areas of Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Rawalpora and Airport Colony to get a clue about the absconding leaders including Shabir Ahmed Shah and Nayeem Ahmed Khan.

The Murder of A six Month Old

“CRPF troopers barged into our home yesterday night. After breaking all the windowpanes and abusing the inmates they beat us with bamboos. My wife was trying hard to save Muskan in her lap. She took several hits on her shoulder to avert any assault on the child but somehow Muskan received a powerful bamboo smash. She cried fiercely and then fell unconscious,” Tariq Ahmad of Pandach, a suburb in Ganderbal district, told the doctors attending the tender Muskan on Tuesday.

Die, O Ye Kashmiri!

Pouncing On Prey!A senior consultant in SKIMS said an ambulance that actually belonged to Wakaf Board, a government body to look after Muslim religious estates, which was ferrying the injured persons from Pulwama to SKMS, was damaged on way by the “unruly” CRPF personnel. Since Sunday morning, when the curfew was clamped across Kashmir, nearly a dozen ambulances have been damaged by CRPF.

Dr Mir wondered why the troopers manhandled doctors, beat up attendants of the injured and damaged the vehicles. “The authorities had already made it public through official TV and Radio that the ID Card of doctors or paramedics would be considered as curfew pass. But the way our people have been treated is shocking.”  He expressed concern over the ban on ambulance movement and said the persons injured in far off areas are treated locally and not being shifted to Srinagar for fear of CRPF. “It’s dangerous because we don’t have such an advanced surgical facility in peripheries.”

Begging For Water

Most worrying part of this tragedy is that dozens of orphanages across Srinagar and in parts of Islamabad, Baramullah and Kupwara are in a pitiable condition. The girls-only orphanage at Gopalpora used to get daily dose of water supply through a water tanker of state’s Public Health Department. “We are begging for drinking water. The area is already facing shortage of drinking water. Some neighbours are helping right now but the problem is grave,” said a warden at the orphanage, which is managed by the famed Yateem Trust.

Hear! Ye India, You Can’t Cow Us Down!

Jammu Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC) on Wednesday said the arrest of pro-resistance leaders will not cow them down. Condemning the arrest of pro- resistance leaders Muhammad Ashraf Sehari of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and Duktaran-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith) Chairperson Asiya Andrabi, JKCC spokesperson Masrat Alam said: “The arrest of our leaders will not break us. Our resistance will continue. Freedom movement is not dependent on individuals.”

And Scared Ye Are!

Sakooter, A Kashmiri Blogger Writes:

The world’s largest democracy is scared. The irony of it, it isnt scared of armed gunmen, but of unarmed peacefull protestors who would just want to go out in the streets and tell the world that they want “Azadi” or freedom from India.

Kashmiris want their right to freedom. That is what they wanted to tell the world and that is what the curfew imposed stopped them from doing — partially, for there have been men who dared the gun and got gunned.

Maybe the world is scared. But what makes me glad for once is the fact that India is scared. Scared that the truth will come out…

Source: Sakooter Speaks

[News Sources: Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Observer, Rising Kashmir]

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Nor Blocked Nor Hacked However The Embargo Continues

In Kashmir, News on 24 August, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Continuing with its embargo on outflow of news from Kashmir, Greater Kashmir, Kashmir’s most read and popular newspaper’s web-site had been previously blocked by the government and was not accessible. However, as of now Greater Kashmir has not been blocked but is rather undergoing maintenance and can be accessed through the URL www.GreaterKashmir.net.  It is pertinent to mention that Greater Kashmir is reporting extensively on the current scenario and is the only newspaper from Kashmir giving real time updates. Kashmir Observer, another local newspaper, had been hacked sometime back, but is now accessible. Etalaat.net, owned by mainstream politician Iftikhar Ansari, is accessible as is Rising Kashmir.

However embargo on reporting of news continues as journalists are being beaten up by the Indian Armed Forces, for they fear truth will be reported!

On Sunday, several journalists were beaten up by police and three were hospitalised, an association of Kashmiri journalists said.

Reuters

Local media say 15 journalists were among those beaten by Indian police as they tried to cover the protest, despite having curfew passes.

BBC

Inflammatory, What?

The local news channels in the meantime have been told to immediately stop telecast of their news and current affairs programmes.

This follows a directive by the district magistrate of Srinagar. “The DM has issued orders to stop with immediate effect, the telecasting of all news and other items, which are inflammatory in nature and thereby disturbing the peace and tranquillity of general public.”

Rediff

Can I Still Visit Kashmir?

In Kashmir, Srinagar, Tourism on 24 August, 2008 at 8:30 pm

An update to two previous posts, How Safe Is Kashmir For A Tourist? and Is Kashmir Still Safe? It is advised not to visit Kashmir and to put on hold any plans of visiting Kashmir in the near future.

Massive non-violent protests have erupted against the illegal Indian occupation. On Friday, the 22nd of August 2008, 1 Million people assembled and demanded Complete Freedom.

On Monday, the 25th of August 2008, an Independence Rally has been planned and people are bound to come out in massive numbers and will be undeterred by the indefinite curfew that has been imposed or the reinforcement of the already 0.7 million strong Armed Forces.

Go India Go! We Want Freedom!

Authorities imposed the indefinite curfew ahead of a separatist rally planned for Monday, but thousands of people defied the order in the latest in a series of demonstrations against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region.

In Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, a 60-year-old man was killed and his son critically wounded when police fired at a group of protesters, police said.

On Saturday evening, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets in Srinagar carrying torches and shouting: “Go India go! We want freedom.”

Reuters

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Chameleons

In Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 22 August, 2008 at 8:01 pm

The mainstream politicians, scared of being the target of public ire, are talking the good talk these days. Be it Abdullah or Mufti, both of them have supported the Hurriyat demand of opening of trade routes between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, revocation of special powers to the forces in Kashmir, release of prisoners languishing in Jails and even of Azadi. What one remains amazed at is that were they blind till now to the true desire of every Kashmiri? Why did they, as the rest of the India, need to see hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris on roads to know what the heart desires? Abdullah has dared to speak about Azadi, only after some prominent Indians have done so. Are they so naïve to think that a Free Kashmir will put the reigns of power in their hands?! That will never happen! Ms. Mufti & Mr. Abdullah should better keep quite and not indulge in chameleon talk, for they have damaged the cause of Kashmir like no other.

Kashmir Strikes Back

In History, India, Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 19 August, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Truth has always been relative to a people’s a belief. Truth for one nation is sacrilege for another. This has been true for Kashmir since forever. The Truth about Kashmir has taken such contours and colours for the people of India – that it is nothing less than blasphemy for the People of Kashmir. The Indian people have always wanted to see the Truth about Kashmir by eyes that have been blinded by a pride in their country, a pride that is build on rhetoric rather than reality – perhaps doing that does not weight down too heavily on their consciousness.

Kashmir = Terrorism / Kashmiri = Terrorist

Two words from a dictionary, Terrorism and Terrorists is the metamorphosis of a Nation – Kashmir and a living and bleeding people – the Kashmiris, for the Government, the People and the Media of India. The blood of Kashmiri people keeps safe the so-called integrity of the India, the largest Daemon-cracy of the World. The BLind INdian meDIA (Blindia) has always seen, heard and reported the plight of Kashmir with its blind eyes, deaf ears and biased radio waves. This all, coupled with the image of a vibrant and thriving Tourism (which has never been the largest bread-and-butter earner for a Kashmiri as has always been purported) and a (defunct) Peace Process in Place has helped the Indian Government unleash a reign of terror unseen elsewhere. Oppression, torture, disappearances, maiming, raping and genocide (Yes, Genocide) has continued abated for two decades.

Indira, The Slave of Delhi, The Peace Process And A Spark

The blame of the Kashmir problem is shared by many shoulders: the British, the Governments of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, the Right Wing Hindu Groups (ever since JanSangh), the Muslim Conference (later National Conference), Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, Nehru, Jinnah, Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah. One of these names stands the tallest. It was none other than Indira Gandhi whose earnest desire to control the State Of Jammu and Kashmir, in a similar manner as the provinces of India, that destroyed the straw-strong relationship of India and Kashmir. Her reign saw bullying and imprisonment (following the foot steps of  her father Nehru) of one of the strongest ever democratically elected Kashmiri Leaders – Sheikh Abdullah and thereafter leading an appointed and dictated to democracy in Kashmir after throwing the Kashmir State Flag to tatters (revocation of Autonomy).

Even the creation of Bangladesh, an extension of Kashmir politics, did not satiate her. Was it the fear of losing Kashmir to Pakistan that made her act this way? We will never know but indeed it was one of her progenies during the emergency who attempted to do what she did and he failed as miserably as she had (Kashmir never saw peace even after the revocation of Autonomy). Two decades behind bars may have broken the will of Sheikh Abdullah and he may have joined hands with her (Sheikh Abdullah would later consider his ‘coalition’ with Indira as the greatest mistakes of his life) but force and the nozzles of Kalashnikovs can never suppress the desire of a Nation to be free!

Oppression in different forms is the tool Congress has been using to suppress Kashmiris. When Congress dispatched its loyal than the King slave (Mufti Sayeed of PDP had laid the carpet), Ghulam – e –Dilli (Slave of Delhi, Ghulam nabi Azad), to Kashmir, its policy was in act once again and it was hopeful of reigning in Kashmir for good. The mistrust of the Kashmiri people, whose seeds were sown by Indira Gandhi, had grown into a full fledged plant and Congress, wrongly thought, that use of force and non-force in subtle and not so subtle manners was the best way to quell the rising.

The Peace Process, initiated by the BJP, acted as a decent cover for the Congress. The Peace Process was a celebration,  it was a time to rejoice and bask in the glory of the good relations India and Pakistan were developing. People were flying in and out of Kashmir. A lot was going down in the name of Kashmir: Indian and Pakistani actors kissing on screen were claiming to be doing so for Peace; Sufi Singers flew in, sang a song or two and talked about the essence of peace and how music helps further peace; Journalists from Pakistan flew in, talked to and listened to Kashmir University students and never wrote back what they heard; Ambassadors of exotic countries teed off at the Royal Spring Golf Course, shared a joke or two and talked about the beauty of Kashmir; Junoon’s concert in Srinagar was supposedly aimed at Peace in the South Asian sub-continent.

The blood of a hundred thousand Kashmiris had been treaded on for long by politicians; the Peace Process gave a lot more people a chance to do the same, for personal glory and fame. The Peace Process was never meant for the Kashmiri people in the first place.  The Peace Process, the Healing Touch and the Confidence Building Measures never made an iota of difference to the lives of Kashmiri people.

While all these abbreviations (CBM etc. etc.) were being thrown around the hapless people of Kashmir were seeing no real progress and no hope. The atrocities within the cities had reduced visibly but not in reality. Villages saw no respite at all, mortars turned more homes into rubble than ever, people kept disappearing and custodial death was still not news for Kashmir. As the International Media got stuck with covering Sufi Concerts, killings of an unprecedented nature took place in Kashmir:  young boys aged 8 thru 14 were shot dead; a 19 year old tortured with hot iron rods and killed; a young man was frisked and immediately shot (the personnel were later rewarded 100,000); a 75 year old man was brutally attacked by an ambush party; a handicapped person, limping his way home, was murdered. All these were dubbed Mistaken Identity Killing, but how does one mistake an 8 or 75 year old to a militant or for that matter a person limping home! While Kashmiris were killed, the CRPF and the Army was being praised, rewarded and supported by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister  once claimed that less people died in Kashmir by bullets compared to the road accidents elsewhere! He even had the audacity to compare the number of women raped in Kashmir and elsewhere. Oppression grew in a well planned manner: the killings were solitary, targeted and always of innocent people. Protests would roar and then ebb out as they were dealt with strongly. Sadly each incident was forgotten by the people. To keep the people distracted, development of no real importance was undertaken at amazing speed and the people, for some time, fell to it: an Amusement park was constructed; gardens to which entry was restricted earlier were opened up; forts were lighted up and a large (allegedly one of the largest in the world) tulip garden was laid! At the same time changes in the administration were being effected: Non- Kashmiris now held all the top executive decision making posts in Kashmir, this was akin to the pre-90’s Kashmir, when Kashmiri Pandits were appointed to all executive decision making posts. Fear was being instilled into the people’s minds and by appointing Non-Kashmiris the government was firming its grip on Kashmir. The obvious resistance indeed decreased in Kashmir.

One is reminded of Niccolo Machiavelli’s words:

“…remember that as resistance decreases, suppression increases and the peace offered by suppressive regimes is often no more than the peace of prison or of the grave…”

However a people, any people, can only be lured by fake promises of peace, of progress and of development for so long. The desperation was growing, a burst out had to happen, the people did realise that the peace offered by suppressive regimes is no more than the peace of grave, all that was needed was a spark and the Land Transfer and the Economic Blockade provided just that.

A Few Hectares Of Land

The transfer of a few hectares of land being transferred was not the issue (there were some issues associated with the land transfer which I will talk about in a later post), as I pointed out the desperation had grown to such a peak that it just needed a spark and the land transfer provided just that akin to the rigged elections of 1987. As much as the BJP, the VHP and the people of Jammu tried, they failed in giving the protests a communal colour as not a single Yatri was harmed inKashmir, unlike the burning of Kashmiris elsewhere; which in itself is a testimony to the character of Kashmiris and their real demand. The protests were so spontaneous and evolved in such a massive and disciplined manner that even the Hurriyat was taken aback and they definitely had no plan to direct the protests in the beginning. The APHC might have thought, and in some ways rightly so, that the protests would die out like all the others in the past, but that did not happen this time. Even though no strike call was given by APHC, the people spontaneously came out on streets demanding the revocation of the order. The order was revoked and the government of the day had to resign. There was jubilation in the air for some time. Since the Land Transfer was never the issue, Kashmir was back on the streets, this time arguably against the economic blockade but as the protests grew the people forgot and ignored the land transfer, the economic blockade and demanded no roads and no electricity.

The people demanded just one thing: Freedom. And its hundreds of thousands of people out on streets day and night.

A group of people, holding a big banner inside the TRC ground, had a clear message that was making rounds inside the ground: “No jobs. No roads. No gardens. No financial packages—we want freedom.”

Perhaps the most telling placard carried by a quiet youngster, sitting in one corner of the ground, had a message of revolution in Kashmir. “You can kill a revolutionary but you cannot kill a revolution”.

Greater Kashmir

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1521 For 1

In India, Kashmir, News, Politics, Tourism on 18 February, 2008 at 12:12 pm

The figures are out; it is a startling and disturbing revelation of figures by the Central Reserve Police (with Kashmir being the barrack for the reserve!). According to Sify News there are just around 200-250 militants active in Kashmir.

According to the official, only 225 to 250 trained militants of various outfits are currently active in the Kashmir Valley.

Sify News

1521 Well Trained Forces For 1 Militant

0.7 millions troops for 460 militants (other news sources put the number at 400, 450 and >1000; the average is 460) i.e., 1521 well trained, fully armed, professionally backed, free to move and immune from the laws of the land men for every single badly trained and bearded militant with restricted movement and immune from nothing but his fear.

What do these numbers tell us? These numbers do not merit keeping gun-pointing and ready to kill 0.7 million troops in Kashmir or do they?

India Wins…

For those who claim that India is just rooting out terrorism from Kashmir, then India has definitely won. Hasn’t it? 460 militants should not too tough to deal with.

…Not

For those who want to know, this is a clear indication that the fight in Kashmir is not just with the 460 odd always on run militants but something greater. What is that greater? That greater is the burning desire in every Kashmiri for Freedom. The never dying desire to breath the crisp fresh air of Freedom; Freedom from slavery, subjugation, torture and oppression or perhaps just the freedom from having to carry an Identity Card for moving outside our homes in our land or still just perhaps the freedom to know that every morning won’t bring the news of deaths by bombs and bullets. Increasing number of tourists visiting Kashmir or decreasing number of militants is not an indicator of peace, as the Government is trying to potray. Kashmir is a volcano about to burst, like it did in 1989.

The Stress Of 460 Militants

Is it really the 460 odd militants keeping the armed forces on toes in Kashmir? Why aren’t the troops being reduced in Kashmir? Why seek further therapeutic help (earlier measures have failed) for its men.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier measures taken by Indian army and paramilitary forces to de-stress their jawans working in Kashmir had failed as there was no decline in the number of suicide and fratricide incidents.

Sources said the army has decided to take the help of music therapy to de-stress soldiers working in hazardous conditions in Kashmir. “the army has in fact organized a meditation music therapy concert in one of its commands in Kashmir,” they said.

NewsBlaze

Two Failures Together

India has been seeking help from Israel , but to no avail. Israel has equally failed to curb the resistance movement in Palestine. Two failures together won’t make a success story.

Why all these claims without even a proposal to reduce troops though allegedly back of Hizbul Mujahideen has been broken!

We have broken the back of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen: CRPF

Hindu

Propaganda For What Or Whom?

One can not ignore the claim of Hizbul Mujahideen

“Revealing the minimal figures of active militants by IG CRPF is actually propaganda to boast morale of its men who are committing suicides, as they have become tired.” Islam said.

KashmirWatch

Not just that, even if we agree that the numbers are wrong, it is not just the militants that India fears, it is the people. With elections not too far away, a sense of normalcy has to be instilled in the world much before the elections (or their absence) takes place.

Hizbul Dares India!

“If the strength of militants has declined then why India has positioned lakhs of troops in valley. Why don’t they dare to decrease their strength,” he said.

KashmirWatch

India Dares Not!

“It would release the pressure from the militants who are on the run at the moment. It is not the right time to talk about reducing the strength of security forces at the moment.

We should focus on eliminating the militancy from the valley,” the IG said while replying to a question.

News Today

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