Political deliberations begin in J&K as Centre looks to restore normalcy

jammuandkashmir-nomalcyNew Delhi, Sep 15: With the High Court intervening, political deliberations in Jammu and Kashmir have begun. The High Court had directed the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar to facilitate meetings of political leaders but asked them to refrain from going to the media.

Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference met with Farooq Abdullah earlier this week. A meeting with NC leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah also took place.

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Under detention, Mehbooba has become agitated, while Omar sports anunkempt beard

img_0109Srinagar, Sep 02: The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir finally allowed two former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti to meet with their relatives. Both were under house arrest following the decision of the Union Government to abrogate Article 370.

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With Article 370 gone, how the lavish lifestyles of the Muftis, Abdullahs are set to end

abdullah-muftiNew Delhi, Aug 07: Article 370 is history now and a new chapter would begin in Jammu and Kashmir. A majority of the country is rejoicing, but the politicians in the Union Territory have cried foul and say that this is the biggest betrayal since the past 70 years.

Officials say that only separatism grew under a special status and now by making J&K a part of the Union, Indianness would grow. Under special status and protection, many have made merry and investigations by the National Investigation Agency suggests that the separatists in particular led lavish lifestyles, educated their children abroad and pocketed a large amount of money that was pumped in to create unrest.

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When Omar Abdullah wanted Guj RS votes counted faster than demonetised currency

Omar_AbdullahThe entire nation watched with keen interest, the Rajya Sabha elections held in Gujarat on Tuesday. There was palpable tension and drama in the run up to the results which came out in the wee hours of Wednesday. The impatience of the politicians and press was alike. One person on twitter even went on to message Ahmed Patel. He said please whatsapp me the result, I am going to sleep.

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From 66 to 7 per cent, why the dip in polling at Srinagar is a worry

lowpollingSrinagar recorded just 7 per cent polling on Sunday. This was the worst polling percentage ever recorded in Srinagar and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that he had never seen this level of violence.

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Failure to address unrest in J&K will lead to alienation, say Oppn leaders

kashmir-unrestNew Delhi, Aug 22: Opposition party leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate dialogue with stakeholders while also stating that a continued failure to address the unrest in Kashmir will further deepen the sense of alienation. T
he opposition leaders led by former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah also urged the Modi to impose an immediate ban on pellet guns.

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J&K: Go to polls if you cannot decide, former CM Omar Abdullah says

pdpbjpSrinagar, Jan 18: Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdulla has suggested that it would be better to go for fresh elections if the PDP cannot decide on its alliance with the BJP.
In a statement, Abdullah who is also the leader of the National Conference has said that from the statement issued to the media at the conclusion of today’s meeting by the PDP, it has become evident that the PDP-BJP Alliance stands, that no conditions have been set by the PDP, that no negotiations are being conducted and the formation of the new PDP-BJP Government is a foregone conclusion.

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Mr. Omar Abdullah please wake up

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‎Omar Abdullah may have dismissed the ISIS threat but the reality is that the dreaded outfit has been eyeing the Valley and the agenda was set when it declared the formation of the Global Islamic Council. Intelligence bureau officials say that it would be the Tehrik-e-Taliban which would wage the war at Kashmir for the ISIS. Wali ur Rehman a TT commander in June last year called for a Kashmir battle through a video and only last week did the same outfit pledge it’s support to the ISIS.
The waving of the ISIS flag cannot be dismissed so easily says IB. It happened in Tamil Nadu too where youth sported T shirts of the group. One got to witness an influx into Syria and Iraq from that state. The same can happen in Kashmir too.
Moreover we have input to suggest that the TT’s support to the ISIS comes in the wake of the Al Qaeda video which calls for Jihad in India with Kashmir being the focus. 
There are several youth being nurtured by the TT in Kashmir who will fight under the banner of the ISIS. There has been a lot of aggression in the Valley and Pakistan’s desperate bid to ensure infiltration into the valley is also attributed to the growing clamour for the ISIS. Pakistan does not want to lose control to the ISIS and hence is making all efforts. Moreover there is a group of youth who feel that the ISIS and TT will make a potent force. These youth feel that the Pakistan’s ISI has not done much and only a battle on the lines of Syria and Iraq will now be effective.
Yasin bhatkal too during his questioning had called the ISI a bunch of pigs who nurtured their personal agenda in Kashmir. He spoke about the need for an alternate force to fight in Kashmir. He said that the IM would look towards the TT for support. His words came true when the IM joined hands with the TT and ISIS to form the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.

Not 370, Kashmir needs peace and an opportunity

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Article 370 appears to be snow balling into a major contreversy. The BJP wants to debate it while Omar Abdullah is hell bent on not discussing it as he fears it may be withdrawn.
What do the people of Kashmir want and will Article 370 really help them in the long run. Many are of the view that this article is just there for no reason and it really is not helping them. Backroom talks between sucessive state and central government have diluted the provisions and today as it stands, it makes no difference to the people of Kashmir.
Professor S A R Geelani who hails from Kashmir has been very vocal about the issue. He says that there is a big misconception about this Article 370. While many says that there cannot be industrial development because lands cannot be purchased by outsiders, I would like to clarify that this is not the case. There is a proper rule in place that the government can lease out land to industries for 99 years. The government will also provide insurance to the industries for the first ten years. Industrial growth is not being hampered because of Article 370, but because of tension in the Valley. Think about it now. Is Article 370 the solution or peace in the valley the answer? Continue reading “Not 370, Kashmir needs peace and an opportunity”

Kashmir-Relaxation of AFSPA, its pros and cons

Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has indicated that the much hated security laws The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) will be relaxed in various parts of the Valley.

These laws have been termed as widely hated laws and the relaxation of these laws have evoked mixed reactions. What the administration in Jammu and Kashmir feels is that this could win the hearts of the public and there would be peace in Kashmir. While this is one part of the argument there is also the fear that this could be largely misused by our not so friendly neighbours who could pump up the infiltration.

C D Sahay, former RAW Chief feels that this is a good step and the Kashmir process could move forward due to such a move. There are key irritants in Kashmir which the Chief Minister wanted to remove and he seems to have the support of the government of India in such a move.

Why I would say this is a step forward is because there will be some accountability now. Each time a person goes missing one cannot put a militant tag on him and end the matter. However one needs to determine very critically is whether the problem in Kashmir today is as bad as what it used to be 10 years back.

I am sure that the Chief Minister has an idea of the situation over there. Law and order remains a state subject and if the government in the Valley is confident that the army can secure the border and prevent infiltration then it is a step taken in the right direction.

When I spoke about critical analysis of the situation I meant we must take into account various aspects. Is Pakistan down and out at the moment? I can say with confidence that the Hizbul Mujahideen is down and out today. They have people but the question is whether they have the capacity to keep infiltrating. I recollect that a couple of years back they used to infiltrate at least 3000 people every year and today it is a trickle. This would show that they are down. However we also need to look at the capabilities of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba who according to me are still very strong. All these aspects need to be analysed.

I personally am in favour of the relaxations of these laws. However I am sure that the army would not like to go into the areas where the laws are relaxed without the cover of these laws. Hence it is important that civil administration is imposed fully in such areas. There is an urgent need to test the new pattern and there is no harm in doing so.

I agree there is some discontentment about the law being relaxed selectively. All of us would like these laws completely, but the better thing would be to do it in a selective manner. The only time that we can relax these laws fully is when we have a statement from Pakistan. They need to assure us that they will not indulge in violence and if they can make this commitment then it is alright or else it could be dangerous to suddenly withdraw these laws.

Looking at this process, I feel that the CM should have followed more procedure while making such an announcement. We do have reasons to believe that things are better at the Valley. Instead of making a public announcement I feel he should have placed it before the Home Ministry had them discuss the issue and then gone ahead with it.

Prof S A R Geelani, from the Delhi University who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the Parliament attack case feels this is a sham. It could be considered to be a positive step only if it was relaxed completely. They are only talking about withdrawing it in selective areas and this does not good. We are fully aware that this would be twisted. They will still pick up people from areas where the law is relaxed and in paper would show the person to be from the area where the law exist.

This is a draconian law and my question is why should this law be there in the first place when there is a democratically elected government. On one hand you call it the largest democracy in the world and on the other you have such laws.

Such laws need to be relaxed in full and not in part as it always can be misused. Why should you give a soldier a right to kill a person without reason and on the basis of suspicion? We have enough laws to deal with the real terrorists and there is no need for a special law. Having such special laws have never done the country any good and in the long run innocents have suffered.

An Intelligence Bureau official pointed out that the situation in Kashmir is better today. The very tight vigil along the borders have managed to keep infiltration at bay to a large extent and there are only stray incidents that are reported today. We would not say that the problem is completely solved and the group to watch out is the Lashkar since they have been taking various other paths to continue this fight. They today realise the problems in infiltrating through the Pakistan border. In the past couple of months they have been trying to infiltrate in through the Bangladesh border. There is also a lot of movement from within the country and they are attempting to train youth from India to fight the Kashmir battle. Hence looking at this scenario it would be foolish to withdraw these laws in toto and hence needs to be done in a phased manner with a lot of care.