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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PEACE IN OUR TIME?

Saad Hafiz

It is probably naïve to expect peace between India and Pakistan anytime soon. Their inability to resolve disputes is the cause, though the two go on trading allegations in UN. There is definitely trust deficit between the two countries. Simla Agreement should have served as peace maker. India had chosen road of peace and reconciliation. The Agreement could have served as a blue print for final peace agreement between the two countries. But it is Pakistan’s Generals who decide the terms or timing of peace. Since Mr. Modi has stopped treating Pakistan with kid gloves, Pakistan says India does not want peace. Pakistan continues to support cross-border terrorism. In these circumstances, Pakistan does not have the leverage to bring India to negotiating table.

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MAKE EXPORTS, NOT IMPORT SUBSTITUTION, FOCUS OF KASHMIR ECONOMY

Mir Saqib

The policy of import substitution aimed to replace the outside manufactured goods with locally produced to create employment and bring self-sufficiency was given a thrust. But there have been glitches. In the case of Kashmir, which has a seasonal and limited market, the main reasons for not being able to adopt the policy were, non-availability of raw material, competing with big companies difficult, local market limited and price competition is tough. Kashmir has options to increase its export. Kashmir is situated in an ecological and climatic zone that is different from rest of India. The flora and fauna are entirely different. Emphasis has to be given to  agriculture and horticulture sectors. There is much scope in the fields of animal husbandry, floriculture, mining minerals, medicine and health care and horticulture.

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A scandal of 23,000 crores?

The J&K Governor has cancelled the Group Mediclaim Insurance Scheme that had been enforced during the last days of previous Governor’s rule, writes daily Roshni. According to daily the policy was made compulsory for employees and optional for pensioners. The government enforced the scheme, and even first premium was deducted from employee’s salary. Employees had found the scheme not reliable and pointed out the same to advisor. Governor says he personally examined the scheme and found it to be a losing bargain, and full of irregularities. Now that it has been cancelled, the Governor should see that the premium paid by employees is re-imbursed to their accounts and those who were involved in the conspiracy be taken to task.

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