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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At Your Risk

Ifran says that the famed lake of yesteryears attracts more fear than enjoyment now


Irfan Hashim (Greater Kashmir)

At a time when the state government claims that attempts were being made to attract more of tourists to Kashmir, a visit to the banks of world famed Dal lake near Mughal Garden at Nishat in the City reveals a different picture.

Barely two miles from the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convocation Complex (SKICC), where on December 5, a Union minister pitched views on how to attract tourists, is the lake-view point at Nishat, just opposite to the Mughal Gardens.

There hardly might be any tourist who while visiting the Mughal Garden must have skipped to go for a sight seeing of the magnificient lake from there. But the same old wooden structure is in such a dilapidated condition that the short picnic can prove disastrous if anyone falls into the lake.

Hira Mani, a tourist from New Delhi said he was about to slip in the lake during his recent visit to the Valley.

“This speaks volumes of carelessness on the part of authorities. If the place is unsafe they should raise caution boards with danger sign on it,” Hira, said.

Similar were the views of Gowhar Ali of Naid Kadal who recently visited the site with his wife and young kids.

“It was risk going to the spot, I will never visit the spot again,” Ali who is mostly abroad told Greater Kashmir.

Shopkeepers of this picturesque area are irked at the fractured platform with so huge vents that one walking there may straight slip down into the lake.

“Tourists have been aghast over the issue. They say the place is risky than being a enjoyable spot,” said Muhammad Shafi a shopkeeper while serving the coffee to the customers.

“Many a tourist and local who came here for enjoyment got hurt in the past few months. Although several repairs have been made, none lasts for more than a few weeks,” he added.

The shopkeepers said the platform condition has affected their business.
“Although we are not directly associated with the Dal-view point, the place is going so infamous for the dilapidated condition that people shy away from coming here,” the shopkeepers said.

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