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, April 21, 2012

Winds of Change?

Life appears to be coming back to valley as a convention destination

 Big Corporate Houses Coming to Kashmir

 Srinagar: The efforts of JK Tourism to target high end segment and high spending tourists to visit Kashmir have started to bear dividends as some of the corporate houses have already chosen Srinagar as their next preferred conference venue and some of the big names like MRF tyres are experiencing the world class conferencing facility at SKICC along with cherishing the ideal and most pleasant weather of Kashmir. MRF tyres are having a three days national level conference in which all their regional marketing and sales heads are participating from all over India. The conference started yesterday and will end on Saturday. The participants are enthralled to see the kind of ambience and weather of Kashmir and are planning their post conference trips to the world famous tourist places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam besides they want to explore the golfing infrastructure as well, said a tourism official.

 Meanwhile, the world famous travel name Cox And Kings head of MICE and Bharat Dekho, Yousuf Poonewaala is in Srinagar to explore different possibilities and strategies to promote Kashmir as a venue for high end tourist activities like conferencing and golfing and other high end leisure activities. Poonewala interacted with Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani along with the Director Tourism Farooq A Shah this morning and offered the services and offices of Cox And Kings world over to promote Jammu and Kashmir as a high end tourist destination.

 After the meeting, Director Tourism Farooq A Shah said that the tourism department was in consistent touch with the Cox And Kings and other such established names in the high end tourist segments. “It is our endeavour to promote and position JK as the hub of high end tourist activities like conferencing and golfing,” he said. “We have recently met professional golf tours India and soon we will be having an important decision making team of them to explore all kinds of possibilities to organize national and international conferencing and golfing events.” The Director Tourism welcomed the offer of Cox And Kings and said that the department was ready to facilitate such names at individual and collective level so that JK becomes round the year and full time tourist destination and the potential can be utilized to the optimal level. (Kashmir Times)

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