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Jammu And Kashmir - 2
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Militants hang local BJP leader

Jammu, Nov 30: Suspected militants hanged to death a local BJP leader triggering protests in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said today.

Suspected militants intercepted Ramesh Kumar, block secretary of BJP, in Donda Bonjwa area of Doda, last night, they told PTI.

They stabbed him on the outskirts of village and hanged him to death with a tree.

Police and poeple found the body with stab wounds and rope marks on the neck on the outskirts of the village, they said.

Kumar was also a former Special Police Officer (SPO) and was instrumental in the success of several anti-militant operations in the Kishtwar tehsil of the district, they said.

Following the killing, people of several villages accompanied by the BJP activists staged protests.

They said that militants targeting innocent people in the absence of police security.

--- PTI

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Increase in infiltration belies Pak promises </b>
Navin Upadhyay | New Delhi
Diplomatic efforts and international pressure have not changed the ground situation on the Indo-Pak border. Despite Pakistan's commitment not to allow use of its soil for terror export to India, infiltration into Kashmir has increased in the current year.

A Home Ministry status paper on internal security situation as on October 2006 revealed that the terrorist infrastructure still flourished in POK and "increased infiltration continued in the current year".

The report specifically named Pakistan and the Inter Services Intelligence(ISI) in plotting and facilitating terror activities in India .

The report is a major setback for the 'doves', who have been advocating reduction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir and opening up more border points for people-to-people contact between the two countries.

Painting a grim picture of threats perception from the neighbour, the report says, "LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayyeba) and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad) use territory and elements in Bangladesh and Nepal for movement of terrorist and finances."

The militant groups were also engaged in recruitment of Indian youth for training in PoK and their re-launch into India for sabotage and subversive activities."

Making a mockery of Pakistan's claim of containing export of terror to India, the report said that, "terrorist infrastructure in POK are yet to be dismantled and are being used by Pakistan-based and ISI-sponsored outfits like JeM, LeT, al-Badr, Hizbul Mujaheedin, etc."

The report claimed that these militant groups maintain continuous flow of finance to sustain terrorist networks and help them to recruit and train local modules to carry out attack on vital installations and economic infrastructure.

Underlining the strategy of the militants groups, the report said that they planned to "attack soft targets like market places, public transport system, places of worship and congregation etc."

Provoking communal clashes is also top on part of these militant groups, the report said.

"These outfits are well organised, interlinked and have the latest hardware and communication equipment," the report said.

Incidentally, the trail into recent terror attacks including the July Mumbai blasts, Varanasi serial blasts in March and the attack on the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore last December indicated increased use of Bangladeshi territory by ISI-backed terrorist groups and the growing terror net- working of Bangladeshi fundamentalist groups with LeT and JeM.

Alarmed over the situation, the Government has taken steps to sensitised the States and share with them specific intelligence inputs provided by the Central agencies about the plans and designs of terrorist outfits.

The Centre has also directed the states to set up well-equipped and specially trained special police units to deal with acts of terror.

Terrorist modules have been busted in different states by state security and intelligence agencies in association with the Central agencies.
Thanks, Gauhar - For posting an article, which discusses matters of Economic development in Kashmir.
It is so refreshing to read a piece, which is sans the he said she said petulant acrimony that passes for debate in some circles, these days.

In my opinion, Kashmiris have a right to trade freely across the border and also attract investment, albeit with some caveats, from whoever we deem appropriate.

Given a free rein on all matters Economic, there is no reason that we cannot surpass Bangalore and Chennai in a decade or less. We have all the necessary infrastructure for becoming a top outsourcing/ off-shoring destination and, not just for the phone call type of work, but the high end value added technical work.

I cry myself to sleep many a night, when I think of the immense talent, which is wasting away in Kashmir, because of stifling bureaucratic regime imposed on us by some babu sitting on his over fed behind in Delhi.



Swaraj at Gulmarg

If goal is eco tourism, why this alien five-star culture?

D�j� vu. The same story of Kashmir's prime land being leased out to non-State subjects, the same justifications of the government and the same Kashmiris up in arms. It is like a familiar tale being told again and again with the same result: people's resistance movement making government take to back foot but ultimately government having the last laugh.

After enormous public outcry, strengthened by Gulmarg people's stiff and clear cut resistance, government seems to have resorted to a volte-face yet again: trying to reassure that no land shall be leased out to non State subjects. But this stand is quite different than what is happening in the corridors of power these days.
One wonders what makes the government think of leasing out land to non State-subjects for development of tourist infrastructure. This decision is patently against the declared government policy of tourism promotion: encouragement of eco-tourism and its horizontal economic benefit and not vertical impact through participation of big businesses for development of 5-star hotels.

Government's argument that Kashmir's economy can't be compartmentalized and needs foreign investment is right in principle but what the government is actually doing is creating monopolies in an uneven field. Local partnership with foreign investment cannot be done for 100 per cent foreign ownership while locals retain zero ownership and are given jobs of sweepers and waiters!

In today's neo-liberal and globalised world free markets and foreign investments are the kind of realities which can hardly be wished away. Who would have imagined China being one of the biggest investors in Europe a few decades back? Who would have imagined Pakistani pickles and other cash crops freely available in markets in this Kashmir? Who would have thought India's Mittal acquiring Russia's largest steel maker � Arcelor � to become world's largest steel entity. Wasn't it difficult to imagine French media giants investing in Al Jazeera news channel to make it world's third largest news organisation or UAE's private port firm running one of Europe's largest ports?

But it is the reality of the first decade of this 21st century. Was something of this possible in the 60s or 70s? Kashmir's state of political economy would have to be seen from the same prism of 60s and 70s. Countries have taken decades to first consolidate their own industries, fine tune systems, nurture private entities, enhance their per capita incomes, achieve ideal states of population and economic growth rates and, most importantly, make people partners in growth and wealth creation through public ownership of business entities.

The problem with Kashmir is that we have achieved none of these goals � which are fundamental to any political economy before it brings in foreign capital that is intrinsically monopolistic. Foreign investment in any system must come in a level playing field. India and China, for instance, did so only when they were confident that their own business entities were in a competitive mode. They did so only through a mechanism of safeguards: majority stakes were kept with desi entities. Are we doing that?

What is being done with Kashmir through Gulmarg-type foreign capital invitations is akin to economic suicide. In simple words, this is not a level playing field where the local actors would be expected to compete financially with the non-local actors. The strong protest being spearheaded by the people of Gulmarg and supported by many political and civil society groups of Kashmir is conveying many messages in very certain terms. One, it is one of the rare mass-base people's resistance movement concerning economic issues in Kashmir. Two, it is a movement which is guided by both social as well as economic logic and rationale. Even if one goes by the face value of what the government is saying why is it going for outside investment in the tourism sector; it is a foregone conclusion that this step is patently against the interests of the Kashmiri people and no matter how the nuances of the deal are packaged, it is going to be an economic catastrophe for Kashmir.

We are aware of the fact that government's original plan was to lease out a few hundred kanals of land at prime tourist spots of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Dodhpathri and Bangus Valley to major Indian and international hotel and resort brands for developing hospitality and amusement infrastructure. In the face of huge public acrimony, the government chose to re-package its idea: that it would be first the State subjects of Jammu & Kashmir State who would be participating in the bidding of land which would start at Rs 1 million per kanal.

But even with the "State-subjects first" clause a lot of conditions apply: government would see if the party bidding for the lease was really the one that can deliver goods. Two, it is only after the party gets its infrastructure development plan approved by a "competent authority" that the party shall be allowed to go in. Three, even if the plan was approved the party must raise infrastructure within two years, failing which the lease would stand cancelled. Four, government would encourage local business entities entering into a joint venture kind of thing with outside agencies for management of these new tourist entities.

The problem is that the conditions and time deadline is such that it is almost impossible for any local business entity to complete construction within two years given the fact that these tourist spots remain snow-bound for about six months in a year. If these conditions are pre-meditated, designed to ensure that local business entities fail then leasing out land to non-Kashmiri business entities is inevitable. When the bidding starts at Rs 10 lakh a kanal, it is very probable that many local individual and business entities would be able to bid for any measure of land. Even if the final bid comes to Rs 20 lakhs, 500 kanals would mean Rs 100 crore. If we assume similar financial calculus to emerge for other four health resorts, that would mean Rs 500 crore in total. That is really no big deal for the State subjects individual or business houses to afford. And even if we add to that the infrastructure development costs � assuming that to be Rs 250 crores or so � it is still in the affordable range of the State subjects.

The ultimate solution lays in Kashmiri financial and business entities going public and raise money from the common people. Not to speak of a few hundred crores of rupees, thousands of crores of rupees can be raised from the primary market � which sadly nobody in the government seems ready to explore. Enormous sums of cash lie idle with banks in Kashmir. Thousands of crores of rupees is tied up with unproductive real estate assets. People have very limited avenues of productive investment.

The kind of Swaraj the people of Kashmir are advocating these days needs to be heard. Anything short of that would be tantamount to economic colonization.

(The columnist can be e-mailed at arjimand@...)

I disagree with you very strongly on the Kashmiri Pandit issue. I was there and old enough to be cognizant of developments. Old enough to understand the talk emanating from the Mosques in 1989. Fact remains, the minority people of Kashmir, a people whose only fault was their being Hindus were forced out from our nation by gun toting thugs.

What is so terrible about admitting this. What is so terrible about apologizing.

Just like Kashmiri Muslims, there are callous and caring Kashmiri Pandits.
I personally know Pandits, who condemn Indian atrocities without dancing around the topic. And, I also know, thankfuly, Kashmiri Muslims who condemn the ethnic cleansing of Pandits without dancing around the topic.

One such brave Kashmiri is the Reebok Human Rights award recipient- Khurram Parvez.



India has a problem with Minorities.

It has shown itself to be incompetent at managing its minorities, primarily due to the Upper Caste Hindus of India who run the govt.

Maybe its time the Indian Muslims and Dalits asked the UN Security Council to step in and take the matter of Minorities in their hands, and out of the hands of the Indian govt.

Read this article and figure out how it applies to the condition of Muslims as well.


India has failed in its attempt to declare Kashmir struggle as terrorist

Friday December 01, 2006 (1620 PST)

ISLAMABAD, Dec 1 (Online): All Parties Hurriyat Conference Occupied Kashmir
branch's Central leader Syed Salim Gillani has said that India has failed in its
every attempt to declare the freedom struggle in Kashmir as a terrorist movement
and the UN has to differentiate between the right of self determination and
terrorists movements otherwise the dream of world peace would remain a distant
dream .
He expressed these views while talking to reporters upon arriving at the
Islamabad airport on Friday from Indian held Kashmir for a 15 day visit .

He was given a warm welcome upon his arrival by APHC (AJK) Branch convener Syed
Yousaf Naseem and other Leaders .

He said that Pakistan has been a strong advocate for the Kashmir cause during
the past 59 years and has amicably highlighted the Kashmir issue at the world
for a .

He said that India cannot keep its oppressive rule on the Kashmiri nation for
long. He said that Kashmiris along both sides of the Kashmir should be allowed
to meet each other and provision of visa should be made easy .

He said we have never opposed Pak-India talks however Kashmir as a party to the
dispute cannot be negated. He said for the past 59 years we are in a state of
war however we would win this war with the sacrifices of kashmiris .

Salim Gillani also visited the shrine of Ch Falah Abbas at Faizabad and prayed
specially for the martyred Kashmiris .







TODAY'S EDITORIAL: Seeds of Violence
[2 Dec, 2006 0000hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

The widespread violence in Maharashtra is an indication of the repressed rage simmering underneath the glitter of an economically resurgent India.

The immediate provocation for Thursday's protests was the desecration of a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Kanpur.

The incident acted as a trigger for Dalit groups across Maharashtra, upset over the lynching of a Dalit family in Khairlanji near Nagpur a few weeks ago, to take to the streets.

The violence and destruction of public property that has followed the protests is deplorable. However, the Maharashtra government can't escape the blame for its inept handling of the Khairlanji incident and letting events go out of control.

The state machinery had sought to underplay a clear case of caste atrocity and blamed Naxalites for organising protests in Nagpur and around.

Agitators were branded as Maoist extremists and forced to go underground. The failure of the government to be a non-partisan arbiter of justice has left Dalits in the state a bitter and angry lot.

Dalits in Maharashtra have a long history of political mobilisation and assertion, thanks to Ambedkar and the freedom movement.

However, this is not reflected in the state's public institutions including the bureaucracy and police. Moreover, the upper caste elite of the state, especially in villages and small towns, has resisted attempts of Dalits to assert their social and political rights.

The failure of public institutions and the civil society to ensure justice to all sections of the population has left marginalised and oppressed communities across the country, and there are many of them, with a sense of victimhood and repressed rage.

This victimhood assumes violent forms at the slightest provocation. The standard response of the state machinery to all such assertions has been to spin conspiracy theories and use force to suppress even genuine political protests.

Political parties find it easy to whip up mob fury and destroy public property to express dissent, rather than explore civil and legitimate forms of protest.

The failure of state institutions and the political mainstream to democratise the public sphere has spawned the politics of identity.

Political parties, rather than stem the tide, have sought to exploit the situation by pitting one community against another.

Politics has been reduced to a cynical exercise of managing identities at the risk of compromising the collective well-being of society.

Civil society too has fallen for this divisive politics; the lynching of a Dalit becomes a concern only of Dalits while institutional discrimination against Muslims is reduced to a minority issue.

It is time political parties and civil society realise that a people succeed only when they stand together and negotiate their differences peacefully.



Optimism sets in on Kashmir solution (HT) Message List
<b>Optimism sets in on Kashmir solution</b>
Arun Joshi
Jammu, December 4, 2006
The optimism among separatist and mainstream groups in Jammu and Kashmir has grown for a possible Kashmir solution in not so distant future owing to improving atmosphere of trust and bonhomie between India and Pakistan�two crucial players in the solution seeking exercise.

This optimism rests on certain recent developments�decline in the trust deficit between India and Pakistan�manifestation of which is the joint anti-terrorism mechanism, surging public opinion in the two countries for an end to the cult of violence and the perfect chemistry that exists between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and president Pervez Musharraf.

The international attention too is more on Kashmir solution, without making a bid for intervention. And there is a clear unanimity that the Kashmir solution, in whatever form it emerges should be applicable to all parts of the state on the two sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

Most optimistic among them is the moderate separatist conglomerate All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has his own concept of United States of Jammu and Kashmir ready. He would carry it to Pakistan in January.

"But that time many things would be clearer than those appear today," Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times. "We will exchange our notes with President Pervez Musharraf over the Kashmir issue and give our inputs, so that hiccups, if any, are removed."

"To me Kashmir solution is very much on the cards."

Peoples Conference headed by Sajjad Lone has already prepared his group's "roadmap on Kashmir".

Sajjad feels that "India and Pakistan are doing their bit, but the leadership of Kashmir is absent from it. That is a cause of concern. It is not that India or Pakistan have excluded the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir, the leadership itself has excluded itself from the process".

More worrying for Sajjad is "not the weak leadership in Jammu and Kashmir but the absence of leadership in the state."

Sajjad, however, is a votary for an early solution of Kashmir crisis, and hopes that once the Jammu and Kashmir leadership steps in to fill the vacuum, the process would gain pace.

National Conference, the pre-eminent political force in the state, is sticking to its stand that greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir is the only way out. It has stuck to its guns and steered the course with wits continued commitment to the idea of greater autonomy�that envisages semi-autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.

NC president Omar Abdullah has reaffirmed his view a number of times that the "time is running out and India and Pakistan in consultation with Kashmir leadership should draw a time table for Kashmir solution."

Omar is happy that things are picking up, but wants those to be speeded up.
PDP�a major partner in the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, has launched a state-wide campaign in favour of its concept of self rule, which lays stress on the economic integration of the state, currently divided between India and Pakistan.

Thereafter, it wants to tackle the political aspirations part of it�empowerment of the people of all regions�first within the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir�a model that would be a suitable thing for the regions in Pakistan occupied Kashmir to follow.

"This is the only way out, where the Indian and Pakistani viewpoints converge- the boundaries become irrelevant and the borders are not redrawn," PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti says underlining the two major concepts that have emerged out of the notes of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf.

Singh has voiced his part of Kashmir solution�reducing boundaries merely to lines on map without redrawing the boundaries on the basis of region or religion. Musharraf wants the boundaries to become irrelevant. "Self rule also allows the two sides to retain their political sovereignty over their respective geographical areas."

The only people who are showing no signs of optimism, are the hardliners. Hard-line leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani says that what it appears to him is that all sides are working in the direction of a status quo.

"That is unacceptable to all of us. It is not going to work. The government of the day in Pakistan may work out for this, but the people will never accept it. Even if it is worked out, it is not going to be a lasting one."

But his is the only voice of pessimism in the overall optimism
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->COMPLETE REPORT CLICK

2004 2009
Committee on Foreign Affairs

<b>on Kashmir: present situation and future prospects</b>
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Rapporteur: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

HU MEMBERS Send Thank you email to Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne enicholson@europarl.eu.int


on Kashmir: present situation and future prospects
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its recent resolutions referring to Jammu and Kashmir, in particular its resolutions of 29 September 2005 on EU-India relations: A Strategic Partnership , of 17 November 2005 on Kashmir , of 18 May 2006 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2005 and the EU's policy on the matter , of 28 September 2006 on the EU's economic and trade relations with India , of 22 April 2004 on the EC-Pakistan Cooperation Agreement and of 22 April 2004 on the situation in Pakistan ,
– having regard to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on this issue,
– having regard to the report on the visits of Parliament's ad hoc delegation to Jammu and Kashmir adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs in November 2004,
– having regard to the devastating earthquake which struck Jammu and Kashmir on 8 October 2005,
– having regard to the visit of President Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 12 September 2006,
– having regard to the 7th EU-India Summit held in Helsinki on 13 October 2006,
– having regard to the visits made by Parliament's rapporteur to both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in June 2006,
– having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6 0000/2006),

A. whereas the territory which constituted the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir is currently administered in separate parts by the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of China, and has a total population of 13.4 million,
B.<b> whereas much of Jammu and Kashmir, in particular Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), suffers from extreme poverty and neglect, with enormous deficiencies in basic literacy and numeracy, access to healthcare, lack of democratic structures and major deficiencies in the rule of law and justice</b>; and whereas the whole of Jammu and Kashmir suffers from exceptional economic decline,
C. whereas the question of water resources is a factor underlying the dispute between Pakistan and India over Jammu and Kashmir and is central to any definitive resolution,
D. whereas Jammu and Kashmir has been divided by war for nearly 60 years, a period punctuated by armed conflicts between India, Pakistan and China; whereas the conflicts between India and Pakistan now involve international terrorism, and whereas both nations are now nuclear powers,
E. whereas a ceasefire has been in place on the LoC since November 2003 and, despite a few breaches, has continued to hold,
F. whereas the ceasefire has enabled India and Pakistan to engage in an on-going dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir which is now starting to be modestly successful, and whereas a number of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) are being implemented as part of the peace process; and whereas the Kashmiri people on both sides are being fully involved and integrated into that process, taking local responsibility,
G. whereas on the morning of 8 October 2005 an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter Scale, the most devastating international earthquake in living memory, struck a broad swathe of territory from Afghanistan through Pakistan and India, but with by far the greatest impact felt in Jammu and Kashmir, with exceptional losses in AJK,
H. whereas in minutes the earthquake claimed over 75,000 lives in AJK, later rising to 88,000, and claimed 6,000 in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, and left tens of thousands of people injured and millions entirely displaced, with minimal basic needs provision and without permanent shelter, employment, health care and education, on the Pakistani side; whereas dozens of towns and villages have been partially or totally destroyed, agriculture decimated and the environment contaminated, and whereas levels of development have been set back centuries,


1. Stresses that both India and Pakistan are important EU partners; notes that the EU has not been invited to take on a mediating role in the Kashmir dispute; nevertheless thinks that the EU may have something to offer based on past experience of conflict resolution in a multi-ethnic, multinational, multi-faith context; therefore offers the present resolution and any meetings that may come out of it as part of a shared experience from which the EU can also learn;

2. Notes that both countries are now members of the nuclear club; draws attention to the fact that<b> India is the world's largest democracy and has a functioning democracy at local level</b>, whereas Pakistan still has to show that it is respecting democratic principles in a great many areas;

3. Notes that the impact of the earthquake on the Pakistani Kashmiris has gravely exacerbated the already exceptionally sparse basic needs provision and has dramatically impaired institution and capacity-building potential;

4. Underlines the common heritage shared by India and Pakistan, exemplified in the ancient culture of Jammu and Kashmir; recognises and values the pluralism, multiculturalism and multi-faith nature and traditions of the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir;

5. Urges the Governments of Pakistan and India to resolve the crucial riparian issues affecting the head waters and the use of the rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir (the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers) as swiftly as possible; nevertheless, urges that the agricultural, fishing, livestock and human water requirements of the local people remain a key priority;

Impact of the earthquake of 8 October 2005
6. Strongly emphasises that the earthquake has had an immense impact on the lives of the people on both sides of the political divide, and that the vast humanitarian situation has completely changed the political conditions on the ground in AJK; regrets that it has made everyday life virtually impossible for millions of people who were already among some of the most disadvantaged in the region; underlines that day-to-day survival is now the overwhelming priority for the people;

7. Regrets that, in addition to the massive loss of life, AJK suffered incalculable material damage to its infrastructure (hospitals, schools, government buildings, communication channels) and to what were in many cases already fragile basic institutions and services;

8. Is deeply saddened that the earthquake had a disproportionate impact on children, nearly wiping out a whole generation of Pakistani Kashmiris, which may well be the most devastating long-term impact of the earthquake; is highly concerned about reports of child trafficking in the aftermath of the disaster, given that even before the earthquake mechanisms for child protection were virtually non-existent;

9. Draws attention to the plight of three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) created by the earthquake in AJK; in the absence of a convention on the rights of IDPs, welcomes the UN’s ‘Guiding Principles’ which offer the basis for a humane response to the insidious assault of forced displacement on human rights; demands that Pakistan respect these principles supported by the international community and strongly recommends that the EU focus consistently on them, as well as on broader issues of democracy, justice and human rights in Pakistan; notes also that on both sides of the LoC long-standing 'refugee' camps should be dismantled, and proper attention paid to their occupants' protection, needs and social integration;

10. Stresses that the disaster struck a region already weakened by 60 years of festering conflict, one which is in the eye of the storm of the war against terrorism, and where fundamental institutions have been constantly undermined by organised crime and terror networks exploiting Pakistan as a major base, using the rugged terrain and institutional deficiencies of that country to undermine regional stability;

11. <b>Is appalled that the already minimal basic “rights” enjoyed by Pakistani Kashmiris before the earthquake (i.e. food, water, shelter, sanitation, schools, and barely adequate health-centres) have been decimated, compounding a situation notable for a lack of democracy and the existence of oppressive and unjust laws, especially those applicable to women</b>;

12. Strongly emphasises that, in the context of the massive destruction and social upheaval wrought by the earthquake on an already weakened democratic base, and given the enormous seriousness of the humanitarian situation, continuing calls for a plebiscite on the final status of Jammu and Kashmir are wholly out of step with the needs of the local people and thus damaging to their interests; urges those playing 'big power' politics when millions are in basic need to redirect their energies to fighting the corruption that has wrongly diverted the flow of international funding away from the intended recipients; notes that, <b>even without the earthquake, any plebiscite would have been meaningless without a change in policy from Islamabad, which maintains that all of Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan's territory; underlines furthermore that a plebiscite without such a policy change could be no more than a rubber stamp on the status quo</b>;

13. Notes that Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir was less affected by the earthquake than its neighbour (tens of thousands made homeless, as opposed to millions on the Pakistani side) <b>and has been better able to cope; applauds the competence with which the emergency was addressed by the government, the local population and the army; notes that, as a result, of the 30,000 who lost their homes, all now have housing due in large measure to an intelligent self-help policy instituted by the government;</b>

Political situation: the aspirations of the people
14. Congratulates India and Pakistan on the peace moves currently under way, and welcomes the fact that bilateral talks, put on hold for three months after the July 2006 bombings in Mumbai, have re-started; stresses the need for the region, the EU and the international community to support the current bilateral talks and for a further strengthening of exchanges, with the aim of generating a more stable and prosperous future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir;

15. Has warmly welcomed the CBMs initiated by India and Pakistan, which are achieving a moderate degree of success in reducing tension and suspicion on both sides;

16. Draws attention to the fact that ordinary Kashmiris, by virtue of the humanitarian situation after the earthquake, are now becoming intimately involved in the modalities of the peace process, through the exchanges taking place and the free movement (albeit still limited) across the LoC;

17. <b>Regrets, however, that Pakistan has consistently failed to fulfil its obligations to introduce meaningful and representative democratic structures in AJK; notes in particular the continuing absence of Kashmiri representation in the Pakistan National Assembly, the fact that AJK is governed through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad, that Pakistan officials dominate the Kashmir Council and that the Chief Secretary, the Inspector-General of Police, the Accountant-General and the Finance Secretary are all from Pakistan; abhors the provision in the 1974 Interim Constitution which forbids any political activity that is not in accordance with the doctrine of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan and obliges any candidate for a parliamentary seat in AJK to sign a declaration of loyalty to that effect; is concerned that the Gilgit-Baltistan region enjoys no form of democratic representation whatsoever;</b>

18. Recognises that Pakistan finds itself in a particularly complex situation with pressure from many sources; nevertheless:
- deeply regrets that the lack of a national political will to address basic needs provision, political participation and the rule of law in AJK has left women there in a desperate situation following the earthquake;
- highlights particularly, in this context, the recent threats aimed at derailing planned amendments to the rape laws, and the repugnant Hudood Ordinances themselves which, despite the will of President Musharraf, have recently been reconfirmed by a national parliament in which neither the women nor the men of AJK have any representation; nonetheless welcomes and wholeheartedly supports the efforts made by reformist parliamentarians to repeal these abhorrent laws;
- notes too the difficult situation faced by homosexuals;

19. Urges the EU to take a firm stance against the abomination of the Hudood Ordinances and to revisit, critically, the 3rd Generation Cooperation Agreement it signed with Pakistan in 2004, Article 1 of which states very clearly that the Agreement must be based on a true respect for human rights and the upholding of true democratic principles, given that it is pre-eminently clear that Pakistan is not living up to its commitments, especially in AJK;

20. Urges Pakistan to revisit its concept of democratic accountability, minority and women's rights in AJK, which as elsewhere are key to improving conditions for the people and tackling the menace of terrorism;

21.<b> Deplores documented human rights violations by the armed forces of India and the all too frequent incidents of terror and violence perpetrated by armed militant groups based in Pakistan</b>; strongly urges both sides to do all they can to address these violations; welcomes Pakistan's public commitments to curb infiltration across the LoC by militants operating out of territory under its control, but believes it must take much stronger and more effective measures; welcomes the continued and determined commitment by President Musharraf to fighting terrorism, which, it is widely recognised, presents enormous challenges; approves and supports multilateral and bilateral EU Member State aid to assist Pakistan in fighting terrorism and in making determined efforts to improve the lives of the people of AJK;

22. Recognises and supports the aspiration of the Kashmiri people for a significantly reduced military presence in the area; points out, however, that meaningful demilitarisation can only take place alongside genuine action to neutralise the threat of infiltration of Jammu and Kashmir by militant outfits operating out of Pakistan;

23. Notes that while Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a unique status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, granting it greater autonomy than other states in the Union, there remain deficiencies in practice with regard to human rights and direct democracy; is pleased, therefore, to see recent moves in Jammu and Kashmir to strengthen democracy (as evidenced by the 75% turnout in recent local elections); urges India's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to exercise its full mandate with regard to any suspected or documented violations and, to lend it even greater credibility, urges the NHRC to make good the absence of any human rights professionals on its governing board; looks forward to enhanced progress in this area, and to positive outcomes from the new laws on child labour and on women and violence;

24. Recognises the difficult living conditions of a number of groups, such as the migrant Pandits of the Kashmir Valley; urges that discrimination against them and other groups, particularly in employment, be addressed head on; suggests that such groups seek to empower themselves by establishing committees of their own elected representatives, ensuring that women and under-25s are properly represented;

25. Suggests that India consider granting Ladakh the same provincial status as that enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir; hopes that the Kargil-Skardu trade route can be re-established as part of the CBM process and that the Ladakh/Northern Areas division can be bridged by crossing points similar to those already established elsewhere along the LoC; suggests that India re-examine the issue of whether the people of Ladakh could also enjoy representation in the Rajya Sabha;

26. Urges India to renew its focus on Jammu and Kashmir, including job creation and measures to promote tourism, and to examine how the (forthcoming) EU-India partnership could help with the creation of new skills-based jobs, especially for youth;

Response to the earthquake of 8 October 2005

27. Acknowledges that the response to the earthquake from the international community, India and Pakistan (with some initial exceptions due to bureaucratic rigidity and lack of coordination) was swift: there were immediate contacts at the highest level between India and Pakistan; domestic and local NGOs responded well, working with the local and central administrations;

28. Congratulates all those involved in identifying and addressing the public health needs of earthquake survivors in camps, which, despite the challenges associated with the provision of clean potable water and appropriate sanitation facilities in post-disaster situations, have not seen major outbreaks of water-borne diseases;

29. Notes that Pakistan established a Federal Relief Commission within days of the disaster to coordinate search and rescue and relief operations; regrets, however, that Pakistan declined Indian offers of helicopters, on the grounds of their pilots' nationalities, as well as cross-LoC joint relief operations, medical relief teams and repair of telecom infrastructure, all of which could have significantly contributed to reducing casualties;

30. Welcomes the funds so speedily pledged by Pakistan's neighbouring states (India, China, Iran, Afghanistan) and, on a wider regional basis, by Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and by the international community as a whole; congratulates the European Commission, and, in particular DG ECHO, already present in Pakistan, for its immediate and effective response; encourages donors to deliver as swiftly as possible on their original pledges;

31. Highlights the fact that the initially hesitant reaction to the disaster by the Pakistani military created a needs vacuum in the immediate aftermath, which was exploited by militant organisations on the ground, such as the Jamaat-i-Islami, and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the renamed Lakshar-e-Tayyaba (declared a terrorist organisation and, as such, banned by the Musharraf government in 2002), who swiftly became de facto providers of food, lodging, schooling for children and welfare for widows; is very concerned that this has bolstered the credibility of such polarising groups in the eyes of the local population, further undermining any potential for genuine democratic representation;

32. Urges the international community to use its massive reconstruction pledges to, among other things, support Pakistan’s democratic transition; is deeply concerned about corruption and especially recurring reports that these funds may be being diverted to support armed jihadi groups; urges the international donor community to do all it can to implement safeguards and to monitor closely the use of funds delivered;

33. Urges the EU and its institutions not to let the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir disappear from the radar screen and to ensure that aid and other programmes are designed and implemented with long-term recovery and institution-building in mind;

Confidence-Building Measures

34. Particularly welcomes the steps taken to reunite families divided by the LoC through the opening of five crossing points; is aware that the opening-up of meeting points on the LoC has been described as being demonstrably slow and not responding to the urgency of the situation on the ground; none the less, encourages and looks forward to increasingly frequent crossings; would like to see these extended to all citizens on both sides and recommends that India and Pakistan instigate measures to facilitate travel, e.g. increased consular services;

35. Believes it is vital to increase the frequency of cross-LoC exchanges at all levels of civil society and across all walks of life; suggests that exchange programmes be created between professional associations, schools and academics, including a common University with a campus on either side of the divide; to help reduce levels of mutual suspicion between the armies on either side, suggests that military-to-military contacts be initiated through exchanges between National Defence Colleges;

36. At the political level, recommends that a Joint India-Pakistan Parliamentary Committee be established to foster greater parliamentary exchanges and dialogue; similarly, that joint local government working parties be established to explore trade and tourism issues;

37. Encourages EU multinationals to recognise the investment potential of Jammu and Kashmir, and in particular the existence of a skilled, educated workforce on the Indian side; suggests that European businesses might enter into joint ventures with local companies and that investment insurance schemes be created to boost investor confidence;

38. Recognises the outstanding work being undertaken by the Commission's delegation in Islamabad;

39. Stresses that tourism has considerable potential to bolster the local economy; therefore encourages EU Governments to keep a close eye on the security situation, with a view to ensuring up-to-date, coordinated travel advice to those wishing to travel to Jammu and Kashmir;

40. Underlines that, as the EU's own experience demonstrates, one of the keys to improving relations between countries is through increasing bilateral trade flows; believes that, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, cross-LoC trade is particularly vital to generating economic growth, development and the unlocking of its economic potential; recommends that road and infrastructure projects be made a priority;

41. Warmly welcomes the forthcoming initiative to open a road trade route between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad; strongly encourages both sides to move rapidly to significant volumes of trade; urges swift agreement on the modalities of road freight, with an emphasis on simplifying them as far as possible;

42. Strongly supports continuing initiatives by the political establishments on both sides and at all levels and urges them to give priority to the needs of the people of Kashmir, both materially and institutionally, so that their political, economic, social and cultural disadvantages can be redressed; recommends that the EU be available to respond to requests from either government;

43. Notes that natural disasters sometimes create the political conditions for peacemaking; recalls that in a BBC interview on 21 October 2005 President Musharraf wanted the LoC to be made 'irrelevant' so that it could handle the groundswell of human misery from the aftermath of the earthquake; regrets that while the immediate aftermath of the earthquake offered India and Pakistan a chance to take joint and sustainable action, this opportunity was only partially taken up; urges the two sides to look upon the quake as a wake-up call that nature knows no borders and that it is only together that they can offer the people of Kashmir any hope of rebuilding a future;

44. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Member States of the European Union, to the Governments of the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of China, and to the United Nations.


Something you'll never see or hear from the 'friends' of "South Asia" or their agents of disinformation
Human Rights Violations in Azad Kashmir


[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Pakistan never claimed Kashmir as its integral part</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>ISLAMABAD – In what is seen as a significant shift in Islamabad’s stand on Kashmir, the Foreign Office on Monday said Pakistan never claimed Jammu and Kashmir to be its integral part and the dispute is about the “aspirations” of Kashmiri people.</b>

“First of all Pakistan does not claim Kashmir.Kashmir dispute is about aspirations of Kashmiris,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said while addressing weekly press briefing here.

She said this while answering a question on President Pervez Musharraf’s remarks in interview to an Indian news channel that Pakistan is willing to give up its claim on Kashmir in pursuit of an acceptable negotiated settlement.

Tasnim said, “Pakistan never claimed Kashmir to be its integral part. What we said is Kashmiris should be able to decide their future. We hope they would opt for Pakistan. This is what they have been saying.”
She said even if Kashmiris opted for Pakistan in accordance with the UN resolutions, in that case too we would talk to the Kashmiri leaders.

Tasnim denied that there was any shift in Pakistan’s stand and said even the country’s successive constitutions since independence never claimed Kashmir as part of Pakistan.

She said that this was the reason why Azad Kashmir had a president and prime minister. “Had it been part of Pakistan it should have had a chief minister and a governor,” she said.

She said that President Musharraf had not stated Pakistan would give up its stand on Kashmir unilaterally.
The remarks of Foreign Office spokesperson drew angry reaction from the media people who persistently asked her on what basis Pakistan could say it has no claim over Kashmir and what happened to slogans like “Kashmir banega Pakistan (Kashmir will become part of Pakistan).”

The journalists reminded the spokesperson that it was the father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who termed Kashmir as “jugular vein” of Pakistan asking her how could she say that Pakistan never claimed Kashmir.

Tasnim said that Pakistan had not given up its position on Kashmir and stood by the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council to resolve the issue according to the aspirations of Kashmiri people.

To a question on Baglihar dam, the spokesperson said that World Bank neutral expert had deferred his judgment because Pakistan had brought certain new elements in his notice on the issue and he was looking at them before giving the final decision.

She said that Pakistan expected him to abide by the Indus Water Treaty under which he had been appointed.

Answering another query, she said that Pakistan had no differences with Afghanistan on the formation of proposed Loya Jirga that would discuss ways to end violence in the neighbouring country.

She said that Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, in his visit to Kabul, gave comprehensive proposals regarding the formation of Jirga. She said that Afghan side would be handing over its proposals today to our ambassador in Kabul.

To a question on President Karzai’s speech in which he said that he could not stop infiltration from Pakistan, she said that terrorism was the problem for the whole region and due to Afghanistan issue, Pakistan had also been suffering from this menace since long.

“We are also victim of terrorism and facing it with bravery and courage having a determination to curb this menace,” she said.

She termed as baseless, the report of International Crisis Group that Pakistani pacts with pro-Taliban militants on the Afghan border have facilitated attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan and allowed the militants to expand influence in Pakistan.

She referred to a recent UN report as much credible that said, Afghanistan’s insurgency was linked to its booming drug trade. She added that according to this report, corruption and the failure of governance, posed a grave threat to Afghan nation building.

On US-India nuclear deal, the spokesperson said that Pakistan’s position on the accessibility to nuclear technology was very clear adding that Islamabad had genuine energy requirements and Pakistan should have access to nuclear technology to meet its needs.

On Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s visit to Saudi Arabia, she said that Pakistan had very close brotherly relations with that country and the prime minister would discuss all aspects of our relations with the Saudi leadership including regional issues like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon etc.

Tasnim said that the Egyptian Foreign Minister would visit Islamabad next week and he would discuss almost all the issues of mutual interest with his Pakistani counterpart.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>KPs reject Musharraf's formula on Kashmir</b>
NEW DELHI, Dec 25: Kashmiri Pandits today rejected Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's four-point formula on Kashmir and said the latest indications emanating from the ongoing Indo-Pak composite dialogue process were confusing.

A resolution adopted after a day-long conference, organised by the Kashmiri Samiti, the apex body of Kashmiri Pandits, said it was not very clear what prompted Gen Musharraf to come out with this out of box formula but it was clear that the Government of India was willing to discuss it.

Without going into the merits and demerits of the formula, the Government of India was willing to clutch any straw that Pakistan offered without understanding how this formula would fit into the spectrum of Indian claims.

"There is a unanimous Parliament resolution of 1994 describing Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India and asking Pakistan to withdraw from the territory under its control and then recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that there is no question of change of borders," the resolution said.

How could the two countries then discuss reduction of armies, creating five zones having self-rule and an overall joint control on the entire territory, it said and feared that the Government of India may accept the formula.

"The whole exercise leaves only the Kashmiri Pandits in the lurch. They are now in their 19th year of displacement and see little or no chance of their returning to their homes in the near future," the resolution said. The resolution demanded that Kashmiri Pandits be rehabilitated at their places of presented location in the country.

They, however, asserted that they were not against returning to Kashmir and threatened to resort to direct action programme¢ from January 20, 2007, (the day Kashmiri Pandits migrated enmasse from the Valley in 1990) if the Central Government failed to rehabilitate them within a certain time-frame.

Demanding their inclusion in any negotiations on Kashmir, the Kashmiri Pandits said they were very much a part of the political process and any process would be incomplete without their participation as they were the worst sufferers of terrorism in the Valley.

<b>"Whatever the future of Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits are an integral part of Indian ethos and civilisation and would like to contribute their mite in strengthening the country...They feel enough is enough and they cannot wait indefinitely for a situation that enables them to return to their roots," the resolution said.</b>

It also demanded that the Centre urgently set up an agency which can gather all details of the losses incurred by the Kashmiri Pandits and formulate a policy of compensation and rehabilitation with their representatives.

"If no action is taken on these in a reasonable time-frame, the Kashmiri Pandits have resolved to resort to direct action. They are determined to end the stalemate that has been thrust on them," the resolution warned. Mr Sunil Shakdhar, Kashmiri Samiti chairman, asserted that Kashmiri Pandits would not give up their right to live in Kashmir.

He strongly objected to the word ¡migrant¢ being used for Kashmiri Pandits who had left the Valley in and after 1990 following terrorism.

"Why are we being described as Migrants ? that way we are being clubbed with Bangladeshi migrants. We are in our own country and have been displaced from our homes," he asserted.

He cautioned against ¡¡political exploitation and said that from January 20, 2007, they would launch a direct action programme if the Government did not come out with a concrete programme for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

Dr L N Dhar, president of the Kashmiri Samiti, while rejecting so-existence with Muslims in the Valley, said Kashmiri Pandits should be rehabilitated at their present positions of stay, pending a resolution to the issue.

The Government should identify areas for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and rehabilitate them there, he added.

He also demanded that the Government declare null and void all distress sales of Kashmiri Pandits properties in the Valley, saying that 95 per cent of the Pandits had sold off their houses in the Valley since 1990.

The conference felt that the Government should initiate a process that would determine the extent of compensation to be provided to displaced persons.

Several prominent Kashmiri Pandits were felicitated for their contribution to the cause and for excelling in their respective fields. (UNI)
One of those muddled proposals. But he would have earned a lot of air miles travelling to US, UK, Hongkong, ...
Lone pill for Kashmir
Srinagar, Jan. 6: Sajjad Gani Lone today proposed the creation of separate semi-independent entities in the two Kashmirs as he unveiled the first comprehensive document by any separatist party for a resolution of the conflict.
Authored by Lone, who heads the People’s Conference, the document is titled Achievable Nationhood.
“It accords specific attributes of sovereignty to two parts of Jammu and Kashmir… and is sweeping even while India and Pakistan maintain territorial sovereignty (over the respective parts),” Lone, who released the document here, said.
<b>The 300-page document envisages creation of five “entirely overlapping relationships” between New Delhi and Srinagar, Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Srinagar and Islamabad and finally Muzaffarabad and New Delhi. </b>
Lone, the son of slain Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone, said the key to a resolution in Kashmir lies in <b>three international models — Hong Kong, Ireland and Nepal.</b>
For power sharing between Delhi and Kashmir and Islamabad and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the document suggests the replication of the Hong Kong model. “Hong Kong has attributes of an independent country, and even in defence, the Chinese role is limited,” Lone said.
PoK lures Kashmiris, vows to provide jobs
Islamabad, January 6: The government of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) has expressed its desire to recruit professionals from Jammu and Kashmir to meet its own shortages of skilled workers and appealed to J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to help facilitate an early decision on it from the Indian side.
Got this via email, if appropriate, spread the word please.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Baroness Nicholson has produced a draft report on Kashmir which for the first time redresses the balance for the Hindus. However she is under immense pressure to change the report before its published from the Pakistan lobbies. In fact if you search "Kashmir report by Emma Nicholson" on Google you will see thousands of lobbyists against this report from the Pakistani or Separationists groups.

The report should not be changed but the Baroness needs letters in support of her report from Hindus and Sikhs who think that she is right to say all that she did and that the report should not be changed.

I am giving the link below and if you agree you should write to her at House of Lords, London SW1 or send her emails on
Nicholson's  e-mail id  :- emma.nicholson (at) europarl (dot) europa (dot) eu

                                 nicholsonE (at) parliament (at) uk


Please do this urgently as she is under immense pressure to change the report to Pakistani requirements. I say this non-politically but for the benefit of the Kashmiri Hindus.

<b>Pak politicians want jihad to continue in J&K </b>
January 16, 2007 17:14 IST

Asserting that any decision on Kashmir must not be made without the approval of Parliament, leaders across Pakistan's political spectrum have rejected President Pervez Musharraf's proposals to resolve the vexed issue and <b>asked for continued "jihad" in the state</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rushdie blames Islamic terrorists for J&K problems

January 17, 2007 01:15 IST

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rushdie blames Islamic terrorists for J&K problems<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
He is wrong, Nehru should be blamed for mess and now Moron Singh to continue old failed legacy.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Fund-starved J&K spends lavishly on VIP bungalows </b>
Mohit Kandhari | Jammu
Work on CM's offices, residences costs Rs 23 lakh
Still struggling to complete permanent reconstruction of fully damaged houses after the October 8, 2005 earthquake, the fund starved Cong-PDP coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir is lavishly spending State's largesse on renovating and furnishing houses of powerful Ministers, legislators, and other VIPs, including some high profile bureaucrats without feeling the pinch.

As per rough estimates, an exorbitant amount of Rs 17.11 crore was spent on renovation work and Rs 5.5 crore on furnishing various accommodations during the last four years in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.

In 2005-06 alone, an amount of Rs 6.15 crore was spent on renovation and furnishing of residential quarters of Ministers, legislators and bureaucrats.

Tabling details of the expenditure incurred on renovation and furnishing work in the upper House on Thursday in the form of a written reply, the State Government informed the that a total amount of Rs <b>17.5 lakh was spent on renovation and furnishing the private residence and office of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in Srinagar and an additional amount of Rs 5.45 lakh was spent on furnishing the Chief Ministers official residence in Jammu between April and December 2006</b>.

An amount of Rs 9.71 lakh was spent on the government accommodation of Finance and Planing Minister Tariq Hameed Karra in Jammu and Srinagar followed by Rs 2.62 lakh on the residence of Roads and Building Minister Gulchain Singh Charak in Srinagar and Rs 2.67 lakh on the residence of Tourism Minister Dilawar Mir in Jammu and Srinagar in a short span of eight months in 2006.

In the year 2005-06, Rs 1.58 lakh was also spent on furniture and furnishing of PDP MLA Ghulam Hassan Mir, Rs 1.38 lakh on the residences of Social Welfare Minister Haji Nisar Ali, Rs 1.33 lakh at the residences of Education Minister Peerzada Mohd Sayeed in Jammu and Srinagar and Rs 1.18 lakh was spent at the residence of firebrand NC legislator Ali Mohd Sagar in Srinagar, Rs 1.16 lakh at the residence of Health Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, Rs 1.06 lakh on Transport Minister Hakeem Mohd Yasin's residence.

An amount of Rs 1.32 lakh was spent on the accommodation of Forest Minister Qazi Mohd Afzal while an amount of Rs 83,502 was spent on the residence of leader of the Opposition AR Rather in Srinagar. Rs 1.11 lakh at the residence of Prem Sagar Aziz, MoS, Rs 74,290 at the residence of Speaker of the State Assembly Tara Chand.

In addition to this, the Estates department purchased furniture and furnishings to the tune of over Rs 1.36 crore in the current year for officers in the civil secretariat.

Among the senior bureaucrats, chief Secretary C Phonsog and Principal Secretary to the<b> Chief Minister Anil Goswami are top of the list. The State Government spent over Rs 5.29 lakh on furniture and furnishings of the residence of Chief Secretary and Rs 2.48 lakh on the official accommodation of Anil Goswami in Srinagar. A sum of Rs 62,886 was spent on the residence of former Chief Secretary Vijay Bakaya in Srinagar and Rs 1.68 lakh at the residence of Divisional Commissioner Srinagar B Ahmed</b>.

Good going. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>An about face</span></b>[/center]

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>MIRWAIZ Omar Farooq’s declaration at Islamabad on Friday after a series of meetings with Pakistani leaders, including the President, that since armed struggle in Held Kashmir and political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute had not paid off, there was a need to give up the freedom fight and carry out fruitful negotiations with India, mirrors his defeatist attitude. It was almost unbelievable to hear him say, “We are not prepared to sacrifice any more of our loved ones”</span></b> especially as Kashmiri leaders in the Valley declared that the people would not let the blood of martyrs go in vain. In proof of Kashmiris’ opposition to the President’s various proposals that were vague, unworkable and unhelpful to the creation of durable peace, Syed Ali Geelani rightly pointed to the complete strike they had observed in Held Kashmir. That the entire downtown of Srinagar responded to the strike call demonstrated where the Mirwaiz really stands. It is quite obvious that to genuinely elicit the Kashmiris’ aspirations, the only sensible means to be acceptable to them as well would be the grant of the right of self-determination as determined by the UN Security Council. The Mirwaiz had better listen to the cries of the dead and the bereaved in his land and not be taken in by the optimistic assessment of the Pakistani leadership about India willing to give them a fair deal.

The statement routinely appended to every inchoate idea thrown up by Islamabad that the Kashmir settlement it sought would be in accordance with the wishes of its people assumed a different shape when Ch Shujaat Hussain expressed the belief while meeting the Mirwaiz that Kashmiris on either side of the LoC were supportive of the President’s proposals for self-rule, demilitarisation, free crossborder movement and joint control. Strangely, that baseless view found an echo with the Mirwaiz. Ch Shujaat should know that the “extraordinary” and “bold” decisions he had in mind would not find favour with New Delhi unless they are consistent with its stand.

President Musharraf’s call for discouraging the opponents of peace process since in his view it has raised hopes of finding a settlement in line with the Kashmiris’ wishes is wide of the mark. There is no sign of a change of wind blowing in the Indian capital. It is persisting rebuffing Islamabad’s conciliatory moves, sticks to its stand of atoot ang and is interested in normalising ties to draw the maximum benefit from economic and commercial exchanges. It must be clear to our leadership that abandoning the principled position will neither lead us to the dispute’s just resolution nor durable peace. Steadfastness rather than impatience alone can pay dividend.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>A deal we're ignorant of</b>
Kanchan Gupta

The UPA Government is doing a deal on Jammu & Kashmir while keeping India in the dark. The Opposition is strangely silent

Never mind the bunkum about peace and good relations between Pakistan and India that one gets to increasingly hear from neo-converts to Sufiana. At the ground level, little has changed in Pakistan and as much was evident on Monday when rallies were organised across that country to mark 'Kashmir Solidarity Day'.

On Tuesday morning, The Pioneer published on its front page a telling photograph of a little girl carrying a toy gun, obviously made to pose for photo-journalists, especially those representing Western media, against the backdrop of a banner with the twin swords of Islam, suitably daubed with red paint, proclaiming that the jihad for Kashmir shall continue till victory is achieved. The photograph was taken at a 'Kashmir Solidarity Day' rally in Lahore.

According to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, Monday was "marked with special prayers in mosques, one-minute silence, and hymning of sirens in the federal capital and other cities in remembrance of those killed during the Kashmiri struggle. Rallies, public meetings, seminars, and cultural events were also held to express solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir".

The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), which continues to remain the linchpin of Gen Pervez Musharraf's regime though it rarely misses an opportunity to berate the West's favourite military ruler, organised a huge rally outside Parliament. Belligerent mullahs of the MMA used the occasion to denounce Gen Musharraf for "betraying the Kashmir cause". Elsewhere, politicians, mullahs and retired Generals (many of whom are believed to still have links with the ISI) expressed "solidarity with the Kashmiris in their struggle for self-determination".

The rabid calls for jihad were offset by seemingly disparate but curiously inter-linked statements by Gen Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. Addressing a joint session of the 'Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly' - which is a mocking reminder of just how democratic Pakistan has been in accommodating so-called Kashmiri aspirations - Mr Aziz insisted "the Kashmir cause is in Pakistan's vital national interest" and "rubbished any impression of a sell-out". He demanded that India must "show flexibility" and respond to the "positive proposals" of Gen Musharraf to "achieve a just and lasting settlement acceptable to all Kashmiris".
Gen Musharraf, who spent the better part of the day plotting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on how to forge a united front of the ummah to resist any attempts to force Tehran to abandon its bomb-in-the-basement programme, took time off to tell mediapersons that the "decades-old dispute with India over the Kashmir region" can be solved by "focusing on reconciliation not confrontation". Asserting that this year's 'Kashmir Solidarity Day' was different, he told newspersons at Chaklala airbase, "There is a change of focus from a confrontationist stance to reconciliatory resolution of the dispute... and I am happy about it... We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel where we may be able to resolve the dispute for good, and for the benefit of the people of Kashmir and to give them final peace".
Now, let's juxtapose these statements with what another report in Dawn has to say. According to this report, a week ago Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri disclosed at a seminar in Lahore that "only five people (in the Pakistani Government) know about the drafts and proposals on Kashmir being secretly discussed with India". He then went on to add that two of the five were from the Pakistani Foreign Office - obviously he and Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammed Khan. Gen Musharraf and his National Security Council secretary Tariq Aziz, who has been involved in back channel discussions with Mr SK Lamba, are two of the remaining three in the know of what's cooking on Jammu & Kashmir. There is speculation about the fifth person: It could be Mr Shaukat Aziz, or it could be the head of the ISI which has played an important role in fashioning Pakistan's policy on Jammu & Kashmir. Mr Kasuri's disclosure was later endorsed by Gen Musharraf who told newspersons last Friday that "only a few people, including myself, the Foreign Minister and Mr Tariq Aziz are privy to the proposals".
What all this indicates is that the details of the deal on Jammu & Kashmir that is reportedly being worked out is a well-kept secret in Pakistan, which is understandable because any move by Islamabad to resolve the dispute will be immediately pounced upon by Pakistanis. But why is it being kept a secret in India where an elected Government is accountable to the people? We do know what Gen Musharraf has offered:

- Jammu & Kashmir will have a soft border and people will be allowed to move freely back and forth in the region;

- It will have self-governance or autonomy, but not independence;

- Troops will be withdrawn from the region in a staggered manner;

- A joint supervision mechanism will be set up, with India, Pakistan and Kashmir represented.

What has India offered in return apart from promising to pullout of Siachen without demarcating the actual ground position of our troops? And why is the Opposition silent?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Husky Ji :</b>

The Other Side of the Coin :

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Kashmir policy - the fault lines</span></b>[/center]

Every February 5 an annual ritual to demonstrate Pakistan's moral and diplomatic support to the beleaguered Kashmiris in IHK is held with great fervor. The Day provides an opportunity to highlight the brutalities of Indian army on helpless Kashmiris and to remind the international community of its obligation to help in immediate settlement of the issue. This year was no exception. The nation joined ranks across the country to demonstrate their solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren.

The messages from Pakistan leadership on the occasion however lacked conviction as we have now practically disowned the liberation struggle. Pakistan has made a definite U turn on its principled policy of seeking solution to Kashmir issue through the UN resolutions. In an interview with NDTV on Dec 5, President Musharraf observed that Pakistan would be prepared to give up its claim on Kashmir if India agreed to make it a self-governing and autonomous territory.

The sensational announcement, some call it a 'sell out', was made without reference to any Public institution like Parliament, or official body - the Cabinet or National Security Council. Despite government disclaimers that there has been no paradigm shift, the crude reality is that Pakistan has resiled from the old position and is now open to "new ideas". <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Some observes even claim that Musharraf's proposal amounts to recognition of India's sovereignty over Kashmir valley, Jammu and Laddakh.</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

A cursory glance at the contemporary political landscape should leave one in no doubt that current constellation of forces and factors are adverse to the early realization of the aspirations of Kashmiris. Since 9/11 there is no more a legitimate armed struggle against foreign domination or alien occupation. It is seen only through the prism of terrorism and the verdict is that freedom fighters are terrorists and deserve the destined fate. <b>Accordingly, the West has accepted the Indian claim that the struggle of Kashmir is in reality an act of subversion and insurgency fomented and financed by Pakistan.</b>

Our policy continues to be desultory even contradictory. Spate of proposals have emanated from Pakistan and none has created any positive response or resonance. Being half-baked and ill advised they have led to serious attrition to our historical stand on the issue. These proposals have also encouraged others to further muddy the waters. There is discussion on a variety of models - the Ireland formula, the Swiss model and the Economic Union proposals. Instead of tabling these ideas on the negotiating table in a serious and formal manner, they have become an issue of public discourse, and in ultimate analysis harmed the cause of Kashmir.

The history of negotiations with India clearly brings out the fact that it has been a bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, both sides arrogating to them the right to represent and interpret the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people. <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The joint communiqué following Vajpayee's meeting with Musharraf on January 6, 2004 also spoke of a solution "acceptable both to India and Pakistan".</span></b> No mention of the people whose future is at stake and at the heart of the problem. There has been no discussion on the modalities of Kashmiri leaders participation either, let alone a meeting of minds between the leaders of India and Pakistan. It has been stated that once the talks on Kashmir reach a substantive state, the Kashmiri representatives would be consulted. However, no efforts have been made to explain or ascertain who will represent the Kashmiris- the APHC, National Conference, or others. These organizations being poles apart in their outlook, maintaining conflicting and contradictory positions on the final resolution of the issue, defies any hopes of reconciliation or a unified approach.

Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir has also suffered from lack of direction. It has neither focused on nor has involved the Kashmiris in the negotiations, at any level. Statements reiterating support to a solution "based on the aspirations of the Kashmiris" have not become part of the policy. All these years we have repeated the mantra without associating Kashmiris with the peace process. There has been no mechanism or medium to ascertain the "aspirations" of the Kashmiris. The divergence in the views of Kashmiri leadership following Mir Waiz's recent visit to Islamabad and his appeal to his Kashmiri brethren to give up armed struggle would only lead to more confusion, division and frustration rendering consensus on "aspirations", even more difficult.

Kashmir in the present context of international turmoil and turbulence requires a consistent and realistic policy. Our unilateral concession to India instead of facilitating the solution has only complicated it. India continues to maintain arrogant and intransigent policy and interpret Pakistan's concession as weakness and adroitly exploits it. <b>The views expressed by Mir Waiz during his recent Islamabad visit would further encourage India to seek a solution "with in the Constitution of India", leaving Kashmiris vulnerable and divided.</b>

The sad fact is that Kashmir as "core" issue has lost its urgency and primacy as the determinant of peace and security in the region. The world focus is no longer on this issue. India has succeeded in preserving all its positions and has shifted focus from its unlawful occupation of Kashmir to the overall objective of advancing the peace process.

The course of negotiation, during last couple of years has confirmed this. While our unilateral CBMs did lower the temperature between Delhi and Islamabad and had partial success in creating limited public contacts and interaction on trade and commerce; these CBMs have been manipulated by India to create the façade of a new dawn of hope and friendship between the estranged neighbors without any significant advance on the settlement of Kashmir issue.

What is worse is that capitalizing on West phobia about Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, the Indian propaganda machinery has subtly but effectively exploited this fear and equated the Kashmiris struggle for self-determination to a terrorist activity, supported and sustained by Pakistan. <b>The well orchestrated campaign has narrowed the parameters of Kashmir issue to the "cross-border terrorism" and Pakistan has been put in the dock, and blamed for violation of its solemn commitment in January 6, 2004 Joint Communiqué that "Pakistan's soil would not be allowed to be used for any terrorist activity".</b>

None can question President Musharraf's sincerity in seeking solution for Kashmir, nor with his assessment that it can be secured only through negotiations and dialogue. However the haste and impatience to seek any solution has led to compromising our principled stand without any corresponding gain. Similarly the tendency to offer 'out of box' solution needs to be curbed. Kashmir is not merely a piece of real estate that can be disposed of, in any manner, by one or four individuals, now privy to the ongoing negotiations. During last 7 years there has been no full dress debate on our foreign policy in the parliament, nor any authentic and authoritative effort to seek consensus on Kashmir issue, in the context of changing international situation and geo-strategic interests. In the absence of a policy democratically debated and duly endorsed by public representatives, our initiatives would fail to mark any impact, or advance the resolution of Kashmir issue. Rhetoric is no substitute for strategy and posturing is not policy.

<i>The writer is a former ambassador</i>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Shariat laws now applicable in Jammu and Kashmir</b>
http://www.outlooki ndia.com/ pti_news. asp?gid=4& id=449812

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly tonight passed a bill
bringing the country's only Muslim-majority state in
the ambit of Shariat laws.

Moved as a private members's bill by Opposition leader
Abdul Rahim Rather in the Assembly, the House passed
the legislation by voice vote without any dissent.

With the Congress-PDP led government supporting the
bill, the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public
Distribution Taj Mohideen said "government does not
oppose it and the Law Department has not raised any
objection to it".

Mulsims in the state have so far been governed by
customary laws. Although some marriages in parts of
Kashmir were covered under Shariat laws, Jammu and
Kashmir had no legal frame-work for Shariat to be

Rather said Shariat laws will not be applicable so far
as criminal legislation is concerned. He said the
criminal laws will be governed by Indian Penal Code
and Ranbir Penal Code.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and MLA Muzaffar Hussain
Baigh said that application of Shariat laws should be
subject to review by a select committee as it could
create problems for those who have married

This would also cause problem for judiciary about the
fate of thousands of pending cases in the courts, he
said adding this would give a licence to Muslims to
marry four to five times in contravention to other

The Bill was discussed by a select committee before
its passage in the House.

The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Bill will deal with
all questions regarding inter-state succession,
special property of female, including personal
property inherited or obtained under contract or gift
or any other provision of personal law, marriage,
dissolution of marriage, including talaq, trusts and
trust properties.

The bill, which was introduced by Rather in the House
on 30th of September 2005, was then sent to Select
Committee on March 29, 2006 on a motion moved by
Mangat Ram Sharma.

Speaker Tara Chand set up a 9-member select committee
headed by the then deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar
Hussain Baigh on May 23, 2006.

The committee made certain amendments by dropping
words "maintenance" and "wakaf" in the bill as these
are governed by the code of CrPC and Jammu and Kashmir
specified Wakafs and specified Wakaf Properties
(management and regulation) Act 2004 respectively.

Excerpts from "Living Under the Shadow of Article 370"

http://kashmirheral d.com/featuredar ticle/article370 .html

J & K already had sufficient autonomy under Article
370 to run roughshod over minority rights and keep
them segregated from the rest of India six decades
after Partition. Article 370 is a special clause in
Indian Constitution, a prize that was extracted out of
India in 1950 by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah for
throwing his lot with India, after lengthy
negotiations with Indian leaders. Article 370 made
Jammu and Kashmir a country within a country, with its
own flag, emblem, constitution and Sadr-i-Riyasat
(Prime Minister). The architect of the Indian
Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar, opposed granting Article
370 but it was on India's first Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru's insistence and personal guarantee
that it was granted to the state. Thus the state's
residents lived under a separate set of laws,
including those related to citizenship, ownership of
property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other

That Article 370 was a temporary arrangement is
evident from its wording, which allows its abrogation
by the President of India in consultation with the now
long-defunct Constituent Assembly. The trouble began
even before as Article 370 was promulgated, and the
omens that were seen in 1951 presaged the damage half
a century of Article 370 would do. The Kashmiri
Muslim-dominated National Conference opposed the
extension of India’s citizenship laws, fundamental
rights and related legal rights to the state. They
also began to question the finality of the accession
of the state to India.

Hindus in Jammu rose up in protest in a movement known
as the Praja Parishad agitation. The Praja Parishad
movement strongly opposed any moves towards
independence of the state. Its slogan was 'Ek Vidhan,
Ek Nishan, Ek Pradhan' (One Constitution, One flag,
and One President).

The National Conference led by Sheikh Abdullah used
the leeway granted to it by India to grab all the
seats of the Constituent Assembly, squeezing out
representatives of Jammu and Ladakh, and those of
Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs.

Article 370 was designed to maintain the separate
character of valley Muslims at the expense of all
other groups in the state, and at the expense of the
stability and future of the subcontinent.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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