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, February 25, 2012

Panacea for Kashmir

Finally, Dr. Padgoankar, Chief Interlocutor on Kashmir, speaks the mantra that he heard on 23 March 2011:

‘People in JK Yearn for Accountability, Transparency in Governance’

Umer Maqbool (Greater Kashmir)

Srinagar: A day after Union Minister and National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah made it clear that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi is yet to take decision on the resignation of Public Enterprises Minister, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, the Centre’s chief interlocutor on Kashmir, Dileep Padgaonkar Sunday said the Congress high command should take a decision on the matter in sync with the expectations of people of Jammu and Kashmir, who yearn for accountability and transparency in governance.

“As far as my viewpoint is concerned, there is overall sentiment for accountability and transparency in matters of governance in J&K and therefore decision on the matter (Peerzada’s issue) should in tone with the expectations of the people,” Padgaonkar told Greater Kashmir over phone.

Padgaonkar headed three member team of interlocutors appointed in the wake of 2010 unrest in which more than 115 youth were killed in the Valley.

“We hope that Congress, which too wants transparency and accountability, will take a decision on Peerzada issue that meets the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Padgaonkar said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has acted in good spirit by ordering an inquiry following the revelation by media that Minister helped his foster son to pass exam through cheating, but the position of Congress over the issue is still unknown.

“It was the media which came out with expose that Minister helped his son to pass matric exam by cheating. Subsequently Chief Minister called for an inquiry and it proved that Minister’s son was helped to pass the exam. The CM was expected to drop the Minister from his team. Later, there were news reports that Congress high command was opposed to taking any action against the Minister. However, Dr Farooq Abdullah has said that Congress high command is yet to take a final view on the matter,” he said.

Following the expose by this newspaper on January 30, about how Imam Souban, foster son of former Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed resorted to unfair means to pass matriculation examination in 2009, the state government ordered a probe by the Crime Branch. In its revelation, CB said three papers of the Minister’s son carried two handwritings. Following the mounting public pressure, Omar Abdullah divested Peerzada of the Education portfolio he was holding since the formation of the NC-Congress coalition government in 2009. However, Peerzada continues to hold the portfolio of cabinet minister the government as Congress high command, according to him (Peerzada) refused to accept his resignation.

The Centre’s chief interlocutor added that nobody in Jammu and Kashmir wants to tolerate any wrongdoings of public servants and people want transparency and accountability in governance and administration.

“In all the interactions that the group of interlocutors had everyone has said that there is need for transparent, accountable and efficient governance,” he said.

No comments: