Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

'Satyamev Jayte'- let the truth prevail!

An elderly citizen asks if the justice is really just

Readers' Forum (Kashmir Times)

Dear Editor,

In a seminar held recently the army stated that out of 1400 complaints registered against the security forces since the last 20 years, only 26 complaints were found to be true. Considering the number of security forces at 7 lakh, the proved cases are less than two per year. The records sound impeccable of sorts. However certain questions like who were the accused, who were the witnesses, who were the prosecutors and judges do arise in a lay man's mind.

I think the figures suggested are an eye wash more so because the claims contradict army's own figures given out in the past. It refutes the figures given by another state agency- State Human Rights Commission. These claims also contradict state government's statements made on the floor of state legislature not to speak of reports by various international agencies. How about the recent findings of thousand graves unmarked and unnamed? Is this complaint included in these investigations?

If the human rights records of our security forces are so brilliant then why do they hesitate to cooperate with civil courts trying to enquire about such cases?

There have been cases of security men killing their own colleagues. Therefore I think that their claims hold no value as they are undertaken as a part of PR exercise. All I can say is 'Satyamev Jayte'- let the truth prevail!

M.N. Nayeem,69
Rainawari, Srinagar.

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