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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THE ROAD TO EXPLOITATION

Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat

The people in J&K state have been consistently deprecating that their water resources have been exploited and NHPC has earned approximately 20,000 crores from seven hydroelectric projects (1993 to 2015) and the state has got a state royalty of 3,314 crore. However, the common man continues to suffer. Raja Muzaffar in his analysis laments that the exploitation of resources of state continues.

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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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