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, September 6, 2008

Economic Cost of Recent Mayhem in J&K - Rs. 20,000 Crores (Rs. 200 Billion)

The loss due to agitation in the valley is estimated at Rs. 9,000 crores and in Jammu at Rs. 10,000 crores

Amarnath land row cost Kashmir valley over Rs 90 billion

Srinagar: Over two months of protests, curfews and shutdowns caused due to agitations in Kashmir triggered by the Amarnath land row issue cost Valley according to an estimate over 9,000 crores (Rs 90 billion). The worst hit sectors include tourism, fruit, hosiery, carpets, handicrafts, dry fruits, and forest-based herbal products.

In the last one-and-a-half months, exports fell by at least 80 percent because of the agitation, which has brought the movement of goods, particularly fruits, to a virtual halt.

A news agency quoted the president of the Federation of Chamber of Industries, Shaqeel Qalandar, as saying that the Kashmir valley loses Rs 150 crores per day which makes it 9,000 crores for the two months of agitation.

The local traders here are demanding that the Central government should pay for their losses.

According to a recent survey done by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Jammu and Kashmir, was poised to attract fresh investment volume of Rs 280 billion by 2012, including export orders of around Rs 130billion.

Earlier, in a communique released from Jammu it was stated that the agitation caused the Jammu suffer losses worth 9,980 crores (99.80 billions).

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