PTI and Indo-Pak peace process

Frank F Islam

With Mr. Imran Khan becoming the Prime Minister, the initial indications from both sides, India and Pakistan are positive, writes Frank F  Islam in Daily Times. Mr. Imran used Twitter to call for a dialogue with India to resolve conflicts, including Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi-expressed similar feelings and called for meaningful and constructive engagement with Pakistan.

Imran Khan has the opportunity to take the lead in resetting relations with India because he enjoys substantial goodwill among Indian opinion makers and secondly because it is believed that he has the backing of Pakistan’s powerful military establishment.

But defining and building a path to peace will not be easy for the two Prime Ministers. The two fundamental issues between two countries are Kashmir and terrorism. Pakistan wants resolution of Kashmir and India urges Pakistan to do more on curbing” cross-border terrorism”. On the basis of past experience, it seems that negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement will be difficult, complex and time consuming. It would be advisable to rebuild the relationship between Pakistan and India with small steps that could help set the stage for a full-fledged peace agreement.

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Backwardness and development of Jammu Kashmir

Altaf Hussain Haji

Backwardness is defined as lack of normal development especially social development. Social development includes poverty alleviation, citizenship, peace, democracy and governance. The percentage of poverty below poverty line  is 25.7% for rural sector, 13.7% for urban sector in India. Overall poverty is 21.9%. In an analytical article Altaf Hussain writes that in Jammu and Kashmir state, the percentage below poverty line (BPL) is 11.5% from rural sector and 7.2% for urban sector, over all percentage is 10.3%. The percentage of backwardness index of rural sector of Kashmir is 20.5%, for Jammu 40-05%, Ladakh 8 7.5.% The overall backwardness index of J&K is 36.36%. For Urban sector, it is 50% for Kashmir, 37.5% for  Jammu division and it is 87.5% for Ladakh. Total backwardness index is Kashmir – 40% Jammu – 60%  Ladakh 87.5%.

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New signposts of an unknown journey

Mehmoo Ur Rashid

Violence never left Kashmir since 1990. It underwent multiple changes. But 2016 announced the arrival of a new phase of violence. According to the commentator, incorporating opinion on Jammu and Kashmir, the core content of politics of conflict was transmitted to next generation and violence was bound to re-appear in newer forms. The forms could be dependent upon Kashmir’s internal political dynamic, international atmosphere and relationship between India and Pakistan. On all these counts nothing happened that could keep violence at bay. The result has been seen by all, more and more coffins and graveyards.

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The Climate Change

 Ashraf

 The unusual climate has been creating problems. In Kashmir the effects of climate change have been studied in detail. It reveals that between 1980-2013, nine bench mark glaciers have shrunk by 17%. The total glaciated area has been reduced from 29.01 square kilometers to 23.81 kilometers. There has been corresponding reduction in discharge of rivers dependent on glaciers. Another change has been the shifting of rainfall season from summer to spring, which could have adverse effects on agriculture. Our misfortune is not only negligence but depletion of green cover (because of felling of trees in forests) and deliberate destruction of our water bodies.

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Monumental Neglect Of Burzahom

Dr. Mumtaz Yatoo

Dr. Mumtaz Yatoo, who has done his PhD from University of Leicester (UK), is a leading Kashmiri archaeologist. He has been a Ford Fellow and is currently working as Assistant Professor (Archaeology) at Kashmir University’s Centre of Central Asian Studies (CCAS) where he is also the principal investigator of Kashmir Prehistory Project (KPP) which was started in the year 2014 in collaboration with Prof. Alison Betts (Prof. of Silk Route Studies), University of Sydney, Australia. During his PhD research at University of Leicester, Dr Yatoo successfully located six Neolithic sites in Kashmir which paved the way for KPP for further probing of the sites. In a detailed interview with senior journalist, Athar Parvaiz, for Kashmir Observer, he answered various questions about the prevailing status of archeological sites across Kashmir.

 

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Kishanganga Power Project

Dr. Javid Iqbal

 Kishanganga project was inaugurated by Prime Minister, though Pakistan continues to object. Indus Water Treaty (IWT) gives Pakistan control over waters of Western rivers, Chenab, Indus, Jhelum, but India has the right to make use of the ‘run of river’, and as such hydro electric projects on western rivers stand within the  provisions of the Treaty. Pakistan had taken the matter to Court of Arbitration, but the court ruled in favour of India, but left room for Pakistan to keep contesting the case. Pakistan started building its own project on the river. Yet Pakistan fears that Kishanganga project will give India control over the river. In Kashmir people are sore about NHPC exploiting state’s hydro electric resources and want the return of the projects to the state. The state has to buy power, inspite of power being generated on its projects.

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PakalDul HEP: Cost – Benefit Analysis

Iftikhar Drabu

The arrangements agreed for implementation and operation of PakalDul Hydroelectric Project (HEP) are damaging to the state and will result in heavy loss of revenue, writes Iftikhar Drabu. According to him, the state has conceded exemption of i) Entry tax, ii) Works contract tax iii) exemption from 12% free power, vi) water cess. All the exemptions amount to large sums of money which will benefit end consumer at the expense of state revenue.

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NEW ASIAN CONSTELLATION

Atul Aneja

 In an analytical article on the future role of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Atul Aneja writes that the Organization was seeking a greater role in the regional prosperity of the collective. He further writes that the recently held SCO Summit gave India fresh leads to engage with Central Asia.

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STATEMENTS OF CONDEMNATION DON’T SOLVE A PROBLEM

Dance of death is going on, and people are getting killed by guns of different ‘shades’. In this scenario of civil war, we seem to be helpless and adopting silence, writes daily Nida-i-Mashriq. According to the daily, the claimants  of leadership should stop this routine of issuing statements of condemnation and come out in the field, organize public opinion, and see that this madness of ‘civil war’ is stopped. It is their moral responsibility.

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KASHMIR AND THE ‘ARMED STRUGGLE’

Niloofar Qureshi

Except for Islamabad, no other government in the world supports ongoing ‘armed struggle’. The world continues to view militancy as terrorism. In her analysis, Niloofar Qureshi writes that the armed struggle (in Kashmir) has not yielded a single benefit. It has helped India diplomatically by declaring that terror and talks can not go together. With IS dimension being added to ongoing violence, no country or internationalist organization would like to get involved in Kashmir issue. The problem with the gun is that it ultimately goes out of control and this is happening in Kashmir. Inspite of declaring disassociation with IS, they have not been able to get hold of Zakir Musa who threatened to kill these leaders.

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