Posts

The tectonic shift

Javaid Beigh

In an interesting and critical analysis of role of political parties, the author laments that the major political parties in the state have promoted their self interests. Ignoring the expectations of common man these parties have promoted their own kith and kin. He makes a strong case for the formation of  a ’Third Front’ in J&K.

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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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Anti-encroachment drive

Hassan Zainagiree

 The government has come out with a state environment policy, for conserving and protecting state environment, which is facing many challenges. As a first step, the government has started an anti-encroachment drive, and some government land has been retrieved. The first priority should be to do away with encroachments on water bodies. There should be no compromise in that, in decimating the hillocks of greed. There is no way to defend occupation of Kahchari land. The campaign to recover encroached land must be result- oriented, and must involve civil society to facilitate the task. But there should be no laxity in removing every kind of encroachment related to forests, water bodies, and highway.

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Religious sites that unite

Tasneem Kabir 

 The state has been a host with open arms, for the development of multiple faiths and religious persuasions. As such we have a plethora of religious sites and shrines. Nund Rishi, patron saint of Kashmir was Muslim mystic revered by Muslims and Hindus of region alike.  Lal Ded, who fed him as an  infant, when he was three days old, was known as Lalashuri and Lal Arifa and revered by Hindus as well as Muslims. Amarnath temple, one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism, is a cave at an attitude of 3000 m, as it is the site where god Shiva – explained the secrets of life and eternity to his consort Parvati. The Holy Family Church – is a Roman Catholic Church, and has a history of over a hundred and thirty two years. Now shift to Ladakh. Hemis monastery in Leh, is a haven for young Buddhists who stay and train to become accomplished monks. The Hemis festival is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) representative of reincarnation of Buddha.

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Think Local, Act Global

 Siddiq Wahid

The world realized that noise for uniformity in the interests of corporate wealth and political power was not same as unity in diversity. The rationality of inherited community values and wisdom and space for individual choice are important. The intertwining of economics and politics has made conflicted disputes in different parts of the world more complicated and disheartening. In case of Kashmir, it has become clear that, resolution of dispute will need forward thinking, rooted in historical experience and paradigm shift in policy. We must learn to draw the line, within ourselves between state power and free individual. In concrete  terms, it means living an ethical life. It means to be civil in public, to say no to stealing electricity, no to paying bribes, to grow what we eat, to cultivate relationship between ourselves, individually and collectively.

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 CAN’T WAIT FOR GODOT

Khalid Isaac

 Prime Minister had given some assurances last year and some measures had been taken. An interlocutor was appointed, who met people but not separatists, who stayed away. Even a unilateral cease-fire during Ramdan did not pay dividends. It is high time that leaders realize that violence is no solution, and they will have to sit and talk, writes Khalid Issac. He writes that a large number of people got killed because leaders told them that ‘azadi’ was round the corner. The separatists must understand international community is not coming to their help. They should think over the options available. UN resolutions are not relevant now. That means they have to adopt a middle path. PM has offered them an opportunity to come forward.

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‘DRUG ABUSE RAVAGING KASHMIR’S YOUNGER GENERATION’

 Zehru Nissa

 During past three years, 10,000 patients have sought help from Government Medical College Srinagar, for getting rid of drug addiction. According to Zehru Nissa, there is a constant rise in patients with psychiatric issues, resulting from substance abuse. In Kashmir, cannabis tops the list of substance abuse, followed by opium and related products. The reality is that there is absence of planned and concrete measures to plug supply of drugs, to create sensitisation and awareness among masses and to set right manpower shortage.

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KHAN AND KASHMIR

Javaid Iqbal Bhat

Imran Khan has shown grit and determination and his charisma has remained undiminished. The problem is what can his policy be. In an analysis J. I. Bhat writes that he has been against militarization of civilian areas-in Kashmir and FATA. He has been advocating of talks over Afghanistan. He has been in favour of Musharraf formula because the mainstay of that formula is delimilitarization. If he is able to make progress on a solution, it will be his great achievement. But critics say that he will not go beyond military brief.

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PRESERVE THIS TREASURE

 The daily Greater Kashmir has drawn attention to the fact that Kashmir has lost 22 hectares of saffron land in two decades. Lack of irrigation at proper time has adversely affected the production. It is a sorry state of affairs and concerned government departments have to take measures to improve production. There is a need to come out with a comprehensive project to sustain the cultivation of saffron on the part of government.

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