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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer of Anarchy - 3

Sajad speaks about the "collatoral damage"

(Mr. Sajad Kralyari, 28, was born in Kralyar, Srinagar. He had his early schooling at the General Public Mission (GPM) School, and his higher secondary education from the Government High School. He completed his B.Sc. from the Gandhi Memorial College, Rainawari, Srinagar, and Master's degree in journalism from the Media Educational Research Centre (MERC), University of Kashmir in 2008. He subsequently did a brief stint in New Delhi before returning as a correspondent for the Rising Kashmir, working on business and economy related stories.)

Experts, Business Inc Fear Kashmir’s ‘Economic Collapse’

Srinagar: With curfews, restrictions and lock-downs continuing
unabated, traders and economists fear imminent ‘economic collapse’ if
the present crisis is not addressed forthwith with ‘political

Noted economist, Prof Nisar Ali, describes the current crisis as
‘explosive’, which the government was unable to cope-up with.
“We have already passed the first stage of crises and now things are
going worse. There are no sings of improvement and the government
needs to address this ‘political economy problem’. We are entering
into a phase of explosive crisis, which will bring severe days for
Kashmir,” warned Prof Ali.

The economist said the present crisis is a huge loss to the State
government, people and the business fraternity.

“The state’s average monthly income is Rs 1,600 crore, which has been
lost due to the continued crisis. Kashmir is also losing around 250
man days, which acts as a termite to the State’s economy,” said the
noted economist.

However, Prof Ali said that political will to implement the
recommendations of Prime Ministers task force and other working groups
will bring about the turnaround in the State’s economy.

“The Rangarajan report can bring about the necessary economic change
in the State,” said Prof Ali.

The expert blamed lack of political will to bring about the economic
change in the State.

“The State’s per capita income is far less than all India average and
implementation of the recommendations would go a long way to improve
this figure,” said Prof Ali.

Traders and business fraternity also echoed that lack of political
will to resolve Kashmir issue has led to the present crisis and its
solution would only prevent Kashmir from impending ‘economic

“The crisis is not new to traders. We have been suffering for over two
decades. Only Kashmir resolution can stop loss of precious lives and
death of trade in Kashmir,” said President Federation Chambers of
Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalander.

FCIK president said all the businesses in Kashmir are trapped in debt
and the state government should find political solution to the crisis.
“We are not far away from economic collapse when the entire business
establishment would be wound up,” said Qalander.

Qalander rued that lack of political will has cost human lives.

“We may regain the lost business but we can’t get back precious lives,
which we lost,” said Qalander.

The traders at hot bed of stone pelting Maisuma also seconded for
resolution of Kashmir issue.

“We get only 150 working days in a year on an average. Slightest
disturbance affects this area the maximum and only Kashmir solution
will bail us out,” said Shaber Ahmad Mandoo, owner of a printing and
advertising outlet at Madina chowk.

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