Kartarpur Corridor and Agony of Kashmiris

            Nayyar N Khan

Government of Pakistan welcomed the Indian cabinet announcement to commence the construction of Kartarpur corridor. The apparent aim is to promote religious tourism, but hopefully it would pave the path towards peace. The divided families of Jammu and Kashmir have been cheering, but with agony and melancholy. Though a bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad has been opened but for thousands of families to visit across LOC is a distant dream.

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The forgotten art of Paper making in Kashmir

Iqbal Ahmad

In ancient times, Kashmir had its own paper industry and paper was called Koshur Kagaz. This industry was lost during 20th century due to the advent of by Indian mill paper industry, as it could not meet demands of growing paper industry. The state museum and cultural Academy have been housing the manuscripts written on handmade paper. But no traces of history of handmade paper- equipment or method, are left anywhere. The British Settlement Commissioner for J&K during the last Dogra ruler, Hari Singh, Walter Lawrence, provides a brief description of paper making method. The pulps, a mixture of hemps and rugs is placed in stone troughs and mixed with water, and the layer of the pulp is extracted and placed in sun. Then it is polished with pumice stone and surface is glazed with rice water.

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Reasons  for J&K Assembly Dissolution

In an analytical article daily Roshni writes that Governor’s reasons for dissolving Assembly were – i)Making of a state government not possible ii) the horse-trading in winning the support of members iii) claimed numbers not being correct and iv) critical security situation.  National Conference (NC) leader’s statement and Congress not making its support clear, show that first reason was correct. As far as numbers are concerned, the veracity of the claim could be tested only on the floor of the house. Nevertheless, security situation has been very bad since the operation all out was started and there has been lot of bloodshed.

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The ignored Chopan community

Ishfaq Ahmad Chopan

Chopans, reside in every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley. Economically and socially a backward class, they deserve special status like Scheduled Tribe. They are landless, serving as shepherds, raring sheep and goat, moving to hilly places during summer. Legislative Assembly had also passed a resolution in 2000, and recommended Scheduled Tribe status for them. Hopefully, the government will consider all these recommendations.

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Governor’s rule and Public grievances

Governor’s rule seems to have brought about a change in the context of tackling peoples grievances, writes daily Roshni. According to daily, Governor has established a grievance cell for tackling grievances of people. Governor’s advisors have been meeting people and delegations. The Advisors have been directed to supervise the settlement of grievances in the departments under their control. A winter secretariat has been installed in Srinagar to look into people problems during winter.

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Kashmir Youth: A Possible Way Out

Aadil Gulam Dar

A growing number of young people in Kashmir are suffering from emotional despair, low self-esteem, a lack of cultural connectivity, and a loss of values, writes A. G. Dar.  According to him low esteem makes youth susceptible to drugs, violence and suicide.  Such a situation provides an opportunity for the exploitation of certain groups and individuals for political purposes. Educating young people about peace would mean those aspects of daily life, which are deeply connected to our identity, become part of curriculum. Education is key to empowerment.

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A major initiative in supply of electricity

According to daily Khidmat, the Governor’s administration has signed an agreement with Punjab government, that would help the state in irrigation of land and to get more  electricity. Under the agreement, Shahpur Kandi’ project will be installed on river Ravi. It will help the state to make free use of waters from Ravi – 1069 M.F. 32000 hectors of land in Kandi areas, will get irrigation facility. The state will get 41 MW of electricity, besides 20% from Thein Dam project.

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Paradise – that  is changing into hell

In an editorial note, the daily Uqab writes that Kashmir, once called paradise is fast changing into hell, a place that would not be fit for living. The pressure of population, changes in the way of living, and greed and negligence have all contributed towards its decline. Forests, water bodies, tourist places, have been adversely affected.

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The dynamics of India-Pakistan trade

Sajad Padder

Indian sub continent was an integrated economy prior to partition. Even after partition, 1948-49 Pakistan’s exports to India accounted to 56% of its old exports, 32% of Pakistan imports came from India. But 1965 war changed the situation. In 1989, Pakistan agreed to import 322 Indian items. In 1995, India gave Pakistan the status of  Most Favoured Nation (MFN.). The estimated Indo-Pak trade potential has been put at US $ 10 billion. Another study put it at 10.9 to 19.8 billion. The restrictive trade environment between India and Pakistan has led to a large informal trade flows between the two. Nevertheless, the regional trade integration in South Asia depends on the health of India-Pakistan relations.

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A new wave

Khalid Isaac

Many youth, who are well qualified, have come forward to participate in polls and are emerging as new leaders in political arena of Kashmir. This phenomenon seems to have unnerved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ‘National Conference’ (NC), as both parties are talking about joining hands and forming a government. So they are abandoning their ideologies for a cause- “power”. The participation of youth in local bodies elections means a challenge for PDP and NC. New faces could emerge after Panchayat and municipal polls, that could be a game–changer.

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