INDO-PAKISTAN RELATIONS

Sharat Sabharwal

 

Indo-Pak relationship has seen cycles of taking a few steps forward followed by several steps backwards. The willingness shown by both to exchange prisoners was followed by preposterous practice of ill treating diplomats. Indian policy had been to manage relations by continuing dialogue with discreetly exercised deterrence. But now it is- no dialogue in the presence of terror and retribution against Pakistan provocations, writes Sharat Sabharwal.

According to him, Indian efforts at stabilization of relationship seem to have an unsatisfactory response from Pakistan. Pakistan has not abnegated the instrument of terror. Security forces are doing good work in Kashmir, but gains cannot be made unless political steps are taken to end widespread alienation in the Valley. The absence of such steps will confront our security forces with a situation which can be controlled at the cost of loss of lives in their ranks and among civilians.

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FROSTY TIES

Foreign Minister of Pakistan says that  he does not expect any improvement in ties, as the situation in LoC has become acute because of cease-fire violations, according to daily News International.  The daily writes that Pakistan High Commissioner was called to Islamabad to discuss the various complaints of harassment of Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi. But India has also complained that its diplomats face similar harassments. The continuing LoC violations are worrying, because the perception is that India is doing it to distract international attention from “brutal occupation of Kashmir”. Moreover, India seems to be disturbed by Iran’s invitation to Pakistan to participate in development of Chabahar Port.

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THE CASE FOR KASHMIRI LANGUAGE

Shujaat Bukhari

 Kashmiri language has suffered because of state apathy, writes Shujaat Bukhari. According to him, it was introduced at the top level, i.e.; at the University without having a strong base. But now it has been introduced at elementary stage. The real challenge is from Kashmir society itself. It is an irony that the people appear to be reluctant to embrace their own language. We must have to ensure that Kashmiri embraces the language as a bond of their identity.

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Online News Service in Kashmir

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has once again taken a serious note of the encroachments on river Jhelum and asked government to present a report. According to daily Chattan, it is unfortunate that people encroach upon the land on the banks of Jhelum and install buildings and the government is behaving like a silent spectator. Not only this, in many areas, people have felled  trees and widened the size of streams. The people do not realize that their actions are making the areas more flood prone.

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KASHMIR: THE BANE OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN

Saad Hafiz

The hostility between India and Pakistan has acquired new dimensions. In his analysis, Saad Hafiz writes that Kashmir holds much symbolic and historical importance for both countries. The disputed territory is also the primary source of water and power generation to both the countries. The general contours of Kashmir dispute have not changed. Pakistan can not coerce India into making territorial concessions in Kashmir. India  can not address the genuine alienation of people of Kashmir through the use of pellet guns and intimidation. A negotiated settlement is in the interests of both the countries. The most practical solution is to recognize existing border in Kashmir. As Indo-Pak relations return to normal, new ideas on sharing sovereignty can emerge.

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WILL ANOTHER WAR SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

In an analytical write-up, Urdu daily Nida-i-Mashriq writes that the Central government as well as BJP has not given any heed to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ms. Mehbooba’s plea to go for negotiations with Pakistan. The Centre believes that time is not right  for negotiations. The two countries are engaged in border clashes and shellings, not caring for the plight of the people living there. It is Kashmiris, from either side – who suffer, though Kashmiris want to live a life of peace and dignity. It is high time that good sense prevails and leaders opt for dialogue. War has never solved problem, but only created devastation.

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SAVING SHARDA: A SHARED DEMAND

Shujaat Bukhari

 Supreme Court of Pakistan administered Kashmir has  directed the government to protect the revered Hindu Sharda Temple near LoC in Neelum Valley. The senior Kashmiri Journalist Shujaat Bukhari writes that the temple was known as highest seat of learning in the region. The present petition has been filed by Delhi- based ‘Save Sharda Committee’, but two previous petitioners had been Rehmantallah Khan and Ghulam Nabi Shah. It  is located on the confluence of river Madhumati, River Neealm (Kishenganga) and Sargun. Its construction features are similar to that of Martand Temple (8th century) of Kashmir. Sharda temple is also known as Sharda Peeth, a centre of learning and Sharda Script is associated with this place. Sharda script originated  in Kashmir between 7th and 8th centuries and was extensively used in upper South Asia.

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REFLECTIONS ON KASHMIR SOLIDARITY DAY

As a routine Pakistan says that it will give political and moral support to self-determination movement, that India has been refusing implementations of UN resolutions, and blames international community for indifference. In its editorial comment, daily Kashmir Observer further writes that the actual behavior of Pakistan is quite contrary to these assertions. Pakistan indulges in rhetoric while talking about Kashmir. Pakistan says people of Kashmir should decide their own fate, foreign office spokesman says Kashmir should become a part of Pakistan. Pakistan army’s unusual interest in Kashmir has made the international community wary. United Jihad national chief and Jamat-ud-Dawa Chief say that they are fighting for Pakistan.

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AGRICULTURE LAND – ON THE DECLINE

The city of Srinagar has expanded on all sides and haphazard colonies have come up, making it difficult to provide civic facilities. According to daily Kashmir Uzma, the sad part is that houses are being built on agriculture land, resulting in shrinking of productive land and consequently we have to import food grains from outside.

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KASHMIR VALLEY’S POWER CRISIS

Adnan Bhat

 The state is facing a crisis of power shortage, facing a peak deficit of 500 MW, and during winter low discharge in rivers cuts down power generation further, writes Adnan Bhat. According to him, the state depends exclusively on hydro-electricity harnessed from rivers. At present 3200 MWs of power is generated, but state’s share is only 13% of this. So  state has to purchase extra power from NHPC. The problem is that despite the return of two power projects (Due  Hasli – Uri II) to state being  a part of ‘agenda of alliance’, the NHPC has refused to do so. Presently 15 new projects are on, and three of these are a joint venture of state and NHPC. Moreover, another hurdle is Pakistan’s raising objections on the projects, calling these violations of IWT.

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