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.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

There is no Such Thing as Half Pregnant

Jehangir notes that even the supremo is unable to open (or close) the gates of anarchy at will

(Mr. Jehangir Rashid, 34, was born in Nowshera, Srinagar. He completed his school education from Green Land High School in Hawal, Srinagar, and his college degree from the Department of Distance Education, University of Kashmir. He earned his Master's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Kashmir. He is currently employed as a Chief Correspondent in the Daily Etalaat, and worked as a special correspondent for the Kashmir Times. Jehangir won the Sanjoy Ghose Humanitarian Award for Writing for his reporting on the 2005 earthquake. He enjoys listening to old melodies and watching old movies and cricket matches.)

Rein in these miscreants!

Srinagar: Giving damn to coordination committee’s call that there will be no shut down on Saturday miscreants in uptown localities resorted to stone pelting forcing the shopkeepers to down their shutters in the morning. The chaos even forced pedestrians to retreat from the civil lines areas to escape the disturbance.

Importantly, Hurriyat-combine coordination committee had asked people to carry on normal business on Saturday. Even prominent separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani emphatically asked people not observe shut down. The statement in this regard was issued by some of the dailies here.

A group of miscreants in the morning on Saturday appeared in Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Regal Chowk, Abi Guzar and pelted stones on shop keepers and forced them to observe hartal. The miscreants even smashed the show cases of shops around Regal Chowk. Not only they pelted stones on the shops, they even used abusive language against the shopkeepers in this holy month of Ramzan

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar and Yasin Malik owe an explanation to the people about the frequent stone pelting incidents which put people in trouble more than the security forces. They must realize that the security forces thereafter, go berserk and attack the residential houses and beat up whosoever come their way. Even the old and ailing are not spared.

The same happened today when police as well as CRPF troopers entered the houses in the Sarie Balla area and beat up the inmates. They damaged the window panes of these houses and hurled abuses on the inmates.

These leaders need to ponder over the issue and identify the miscreants responsible for creating chaos in the society when world community is watching the Kashmir situation with apt interest.

The leaders should also realize that everybody including education department as also university authorities extended their co-operation to the Hurriyat leaders’ programme of resistance and they accordingly set the calendar of holding exams and entrance tests.

The parents were worried more today because the students were taking entrance test at different institutions like SP college and women’s college in Regal Chowk. The parents could not park their vehicles in the area given the disturbances. Thanks to the miscreants and their unholy activities.

These people also faced the wrath at the hands of police as well as security forces. The parents were waiting for their children to finish their exams and then they could accompany them to their homes. As the disturbance started showing its effects the police as well as CRPF cops resorted to baton charge and beat up the parents who were waiting on the pavement as well as over bridge.

Today’s activities annoyed Syed Ali Shah Geelani to the extent that he spoke to Yasin Malik and conveyed his dismay over the activities of miscreants in the up- town areas which is considered to strong hold of Malik.

There was let up in the stone pelting incidents in the afternoon in most of the areas even though the same continued in areas like Sarie Balla and Maharaja Bazar. Late in the evening the stone pelting incidents were reported from Chota Bazar, Habba Kadal and Rainawari.

Incidentally, here is the Hartal Schedule:

September 8 2008 --- General Strike
September 9 to September 11 --- No Strike
September 12 (Friday) ---- Strike after 12:30 pm and protests after Friday prayers till 5pm.
September 13 to September 17 ---- No Strike (Conduct of professional Exams)
September 18 ---- Protests at all District Headquarters
September 19 (Friday ) ---- Strike after 12:30 pm and protests after Friday congregation prayers till 5pm.
September 20 Saturday --- General Strike
September 21 to 25 No Strike
September 26 Jummat-ul-Vida Syed Ali Geelani will address Friday congregation prayers at Hazrabal, Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq at Jamia Masjid and Muhammad Yasin Malik at Chrar-e-Sharief. Peaceful protests after the prayers.
September 27 to October 02 No Strike
October 06 Lal Chowk March

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