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Jammu and Kashmir’s Monthly Magazine RNI : JKENG/2007/26070 ISSN 0974-5653

because there is more to know
The J&K Stories
Jammu, April 1, 2009 / Vol 3 / Issue 4 || Price Rs. 30 || Postal Registration No. JK-350/2009-11 ||

Epilogue’s Consulting Editor D Suba Chandran
travels to the troubled country to bring home
ground reports with fresh perspectives

Race for Lok Sabha

J&K's Voting Trends

in Parliamentary Polls

Muslim Factor in Indian Elections


An Exclusive Study on Film Industry in Ladakh Gandhian Perspectives and Practices
Economic Reconstruction Agency under the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank has
launched several schemes to augment the water supply in Srinagar city. The various schemes with a
cumulative storage capacity of 39 MGD include Rangil water supply scheme, Nishat-Doodhganga
water supply scheme and Nishat-Dalbund water supply scheme which will cater to the drinking
water needs of the population of about 10,93,995 souls of Srinagar city.

Scope of Works Total Storage Capacity Population to be benefitted (souls)

Rangil water supply Scheme 10MGD 294000

Areas to be benefitted
Khulmulla, Zakura, Owantabavan, Bakshipora,Tengpora, Muj-Gund, Parimpora, Lawayopora, Shalteng,
Colonies on Right and Left side. National Highway, Left side of National highway Bypass (Bemina,
Muminabad, Firdousabad, Tengpora(left), Right side of National highway Bypass(Hamdania colony,
Khumani colony (partly), Nundreshi Colony, JVC)

Nishat Doodhganga water supply Scheme 21.5 MGD 614132

Areas to be benefitted
Jawahar Nagar, Kralpora, Natipora, Rambagh, Nowgam, Rajbagh, Gulshan Nagar, Gogji Bagh, Solina,
Chanapora Colony, Budshah Nagar, Allochi Bagh Part, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Tulsi Bagh, Wazir Bagh, Lal Mandi,
Hazuri Bagh, Amira Kadal, Shivpora, Rajbagh and Magarmal Bagh, Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Abiguzar, Kral
Sangri, Karapora, Brein, Patnta Chowk, Sonwar, Buchwara, Gupkar Road, Ram Munshi Bagh, Athwajan,
Mahraja Bazar, Sari Payeen, Lal Mandi, Jawaharnagar (partly), Basant Bagh, Bar Bar Shah.

Nishat Dalbund water supply Scheme 7.5MGD 185863

Areas to be benefitted
Saida Kadal Bridge, Zinsha Masjid, Rainawari Chowk, Soorateng Chowk, Shiraz Chowk, Nowhatta,
Naidyaar, Hasibhat, Chowdary Bagh.

Taking J&K Closer to World

Bringing World Closer to J&K

because there is more to know

Volume : 3, Number : 4
ISSN : 0974-5653
RNI : JKENG/2007/26070

M O N T H O F A P R I L 2 0 0 9

Developments in Pakistan have always

been a matter of keen interest in India
and particularly in Indian side of
Jammu and Kashmir as they directly
impact the peace process. Our
Consulting Editor and IPCS Deputy
Director D Suba Chandran offers, in
this issue, fresh perspective on the

Epilogue Ø

April 2009

S hortly before the historic cross-LoC trade was launched between two parts of
Jammu and Kashmir, the United States Institute of Peace had come up with a most
comprehensive study on making borders irrelevant. Under a special endowment from
USIP, Epilogue carried reproduced the study in fall. It was a painstaking research
taken by Hassan Askari and PR Chari, two leading policy experts of Pakistan and India,
Oct. 2008


W e have brought out three issues on assembly elections 2008 and the November
issue was first in the series. Elections were being held in the backdrop of a worst
separatist and communal agitation in state. With a commentary on the prevailing
political and security atmosphere, the November issue carried a complete
backgrounder on the past elections.

Nov. 2008

I n the middle of elections our small team of staffers along with some 30 volunteers
traveled across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir to gauge the public
mood. The conclusion was that there will be a hung assembly with NC as largest party,

A limited number of unbound back volumes is available in our stocks.

PDP second and Congress third. Looking at the pages of our December issue one can
see all parties have come up with same number of seats as we had predicted except
the BJP.
Dec. 2008


A collectors issue, the special number on our second anniversary came as fastest
possible, yet professionally correct work, on J&K elections. Result were declare
on December 28 and our issue carrying complete elections analysis and elections
trends at constituency level was out before the government was sworn I.

For booking your copies call us at 9797599365

Jan. 2009

T he coalition government of National Conference and the Congress headed by

Omar Abdullah Omar Abdullah took over on January 5 but it did not declare a
shared agenda. Epilogue's February issue put together opinions of well meaning
people from across the country setting out an agenda for Omar Abdullah government

Feb. 2009

C onnectivity is a major issue in J&K and people in many areas taunt the
government saying that roads were laid in remote areas only because
they close to borders. Our March issue looked at the connectivity via roads,
rail and air to bring to the fore the missing links.

Mar. 2009
because there is more to know CONTENTS

Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Who Said What 4
PAKISTAN Prologue 5
Consulting Editor
D. Suba Chandran TREADING FAILURE Letters 6
Epilogue’s Consulting Editor D Suba Chandran
Associate Editors travels to the troubled country to bring home
Irm Amin Baig ground reports with fresh perspectives Note Book
Tsewang Rigzin 11 Essential Entries 7
Art Editor
Keshav Sharma IN FOCUS
Pakistan President Obama’s Remarks 36
Research Officer Treading Failure on New Strategy for
Raman Sharma
Afghanistan and Pakistan
Mailing Address
PO Box 50, HO Gandhi Nagar, 14 Jammu and Kashmir : Ecology
Jammu Trends in Parliamentary Elections Ecology in the Face of
Phones & email
Economics 41
Office : +91 191 2493136 20 Muslims Factor in Indian Elections

Editorial: +91 94191 80762 Column

Administration: +91 94190 00123 25 Pakistan : Kashmir Problem : Treading Failure Gandhian Perspectives 44
and Practices 31 From Lahore to Lahore :
Prof. Noor Ahmed Baba
The Road to Anarchy
Edited, Printed, Published and Emperor Jagangir on
Owned by Zafar Iqbal Choudhary. History, Culture of Kashmir-II 47
Published from : Ibadat House, 33 From Mumbai to Lahore :
Madrasa Lane, Near Graveyard, Does Pakistan Understand ? Prof. Jigar Mohammad
Bathindi Top, Jammu, J&K -
180012 and Printed at : DEE Special Report
DEE Reprographix, 3 Aikta
Ashram, New Rehari Jammu A film industry ripening
in the Himalayas

Disputes, if any, subject to

jurisdiction of courts and Culture
competitive tribunals in Jammu
only. Red faces, Crimpson Roses 54
and Pink Panties
RNI : JKENJ/2007/26070
ISN : 00974-5653
Price : Rs 30

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
H E A R & H E A R
Who Said What

In Verbatim
“Elections are always attractive targets for the militants”
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while interacting
with media persons in Srinagar.

“I believe stronger governments not only in Pakistan but

India will help in reaching out to an amicable solution
of the dispute,”
Senior Separatist Leader, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq in a
newspaper interview.

“Kupwara encounter was definitely an indication of

stepped up infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir”
The chief of army staff, General Deepak Kapoor on a
prolonged gun-battle in North Kashmir

“There is no stopping to the killings of Kashmiris by

troops despite government of India acknowledging that
militancy had come down to all time low and there were
no militancy related incidents taking in the Valley,”
Chairman of J&K Liberation Front Yasin Malik while
addressing a gathering after Friday prayers.

“The situation in Kashmir is improving. The present

government can widen the canvas of dialogue process
for development and peace-building initiatives in the
Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, at a news conference
in New Delhi

“BJP remained a supporter throughout and I myself was

a member of the BJP. They were actively supporting me
and they were a part and parcel of the (Amarnath land
row) agitation”
Leela Karan Sharma, Former Convener SAYSS and BJP
Candidate from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha Constituency.

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
From the Editor

Leadership Vacuum

Zafar Choudhary

little over three months dominated Leh district has allowed
after the keenly watched Congress to dominate the political
and most competitive scene while the Muslim dominated
assembly polls, Jammu and Kargil district has strong presence of the
Kashmir is once again in the NC. There are 46 assembly
middle of elections and the parties are constituencies and three Lok Sabha
engaged in interesting battle of political constituencies in Kashmir Valley while
survival. Again in the poll season, one four assembly segments and one Lok
can see the vivisection of politics in the Sabha constituency in Ladakh. Coming
state which has been a key factor after down to Jammu, it is wrestling between
the death of Sheikh Mohammad BJP and the Congress –the two national
Abdullah in 1982. For last over two and political parties –over 37 assembly
half decades Jammu and Kashmir could segments and two Lok Sabha seats
not produce a leader to command where another regional party, the
support in all three regions and Panthers Party and key Kashmir players
different sections of people. As leaders –the PDP and the NC- are also
take the narrow lines to protect their stakeholders. How limited role and
shrinking bases, the parties are now space the parties have been left with in
the overall political landscape of bases of political parties, limited
being seen more like sub-regional
Jammu and Kashmir can be clearly seen popularities of their leaders and the
entities. There are five key political
through the current electoral battle. In deepening divides on the lines of
players –National Conference, Peoples
the ensuing Lok Sabha elections while regions, religions, castes and languages
Democratic Party and Panthers Party as
the ruling coalition partners NC and define the complexity of Kashmir issue
regional parties and BJP and the
Congress are contesting six seats in an and bring home a point that there is a
Congress as national parties –in the
uneasy and imbalanced alliance, other complete leadership vacuum in the
state and they can be fixed at the levels
parties are concentrating on one or two state. Leaders of the parties with their
of districts or sub-regions comprising
seats each and with symbolic acceptance not going beyond three or
three to four districts. National
participation on other seats. While NC four of the 22 districts command very
Conference is though the only party
and Congress decided to share three little to negotiate for resolution of the
with some representation in parts of the
seats each, the decision could not be Kashmir issue. Elections offer a good
state but its main influence is mainly
formally announced as both parties opportunity of taking policies and
concentrated in central Kashmir district
wanted to have one secure seat. And in programmes of parties to all regions and
of Srinagar, Badgam and Ganderbal.
their calculation Ladakh emerged as the all sections of societies but the leaders
South Kashmir is arguably in complete
only secure seat for either of them. This have their priorities fixed in the areas
grip of Peoples Democratic Party while
clearly underlined that none of the where they can actually get some votes.
in North Kashmir there is a stiff
competition for survival between NC ruling coalition partners was confident Feedback :
and the PDP. In Ladakh, the Budhist to win any of the six seats. Shrinking

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
Readers Write

Promising peace without progress? industry of Jammu and Kashmir but the decade-long
pending railway project of Jammu-Udhampur-Katra

P eace, progress and prosperity are inseparable

both in letters and spirits and therefore our
leaders must take care that while promising one, the
is still seems a whim, crores of ruppess have been
spent on this prestigious rail-link but its future is
doubtful. The so called pro-Jammu and pro- Hindu
other should not be overlooked. From Sheikh Bhartiya Janta Party never ever even whispered on
Mohammad Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad and then this serious issue, millions of pilgrims across the
Omar Abdullah, all leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, world visit the holy shrine of Mata Shri Vaishno Devi,
have always played and politicized peace at the cost they were the first to lead the Jammu agitation on
of development. While peace factor is yet to be the lines of religions just to score political mileage
achieved, the progress and prosperity has been but they themselves never rose the issue of
blatantly compromised with. Epilogue's March issue development of the state, likewise the Pro-Kashmiri
(Connecting Jammu and Kashmir) was an eye opener PDP do also concentrate less on the issues of
on where our state stands on road, rail and air connectivity and development of the state but keep
communication network. We are indebted to their politics around de-militarization and dual
Epilogue for highlighting the issue of poor road currency. The oldest party of the state N.C is also
connectivity and frequent accidents but this not and exception, they had ruled the state for
concern should not stop here. It is very unfortunate longest period but again they also failed to deliver to
that the native district of the former Chief Minister the people.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, is the home to many major road
accidents in the state. The self acclaimed advocate
and champion of progress and development, Ghulam Udhampur
Nabi Azad must respond for these fatal accidents. He
is known as Progress- ambassador of the Congress
party but unfortunately he could not mend the
quality of roads even in his own district forget the
…and after three months
entire state. Now again in the election season the
political parties in the state are out with their
political agendas, whereas the partners of the
coalition government are even hesitant to declare
C hief Minister Omar Abdullah after assuming the
chair himself formulated an agenda of
governance for first 100 days for his government.
their manifesto(s) in the absence of any Common Though the young leader exhibited enough political
Minimum Programme of governance. Both PDP and maturity in all the three months of his government
BJP are fighting the elections on provocations of but now the people of the state reserve the right to
anti-nationalism and communalism respectively. But know where they actually stand after three months.
the people of the state must not get entrapped and The youth of the state celebrated the victory of
vote only for peace and prosperity and that can be Omar irrespective of their region, religion and party
achieved after bridging the gap of progress. The only affiliation. Perhaps they wanted to give Omar a
key to attain peace in the state is through over all chance to lead the state and work for their welfare.
development and progress of the state with However, such a change is yet to be seen.
accountability of the political bosses. It is good to
witness that Jammu and Kashmir receive its first and K MAHMOOD,
only International Airport at Srinagar, it will of
course help the Horticulture and floriculture

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
11 Essential Stories


17 more varieties of rice in

Jammu and Kashmir
A s many as 17 new varieties of rice have been released by the
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology
(SKUAST), Kashmir, in the state in the recent past. With this a total of
60 varities of rice had been released by the university so far, Vice
Chancellor Prof Anwar Alam said.
Giving details of various achievements made by the University, Prof
Alam informed that the University had released 17 varieties of rice in
the recent past. He said animal disease and pest diagnostic control
measures and vaccines have been also been developed at the
University. The University has identified vaccine for foot rot, which is
a unique achievement, the Vice Chancellor added. Mr Alam said the
University has established Rajiv Gandhi Chair in contemporary studies
under UGC funding. He said the University is the 10th such University
out of 227 Agriculture Universities in the country to do so. Prof Alam
said the University has a proposal of establishing five more Krishi
Vigyan endras.


26/11 mastermind appears in J&K

T he recent infiltration bids in
Jammu and Kashmir have come in
for some surprise for security agencies
melted at the passes.
The sources said the Mumbai
mastermind, who is among the 38
militants. Eight soldiers of Army's
para commando unit including a
Major were also killed during the
when they found Muzamil, one of the people named in the chargesheet filed encounter.
main Lashker-e--Taiba mastermind of by the police in 26/11 attack, had Muzamil is considered as one of the
the Mumbai terror attack, as the brain held a meeting with other terrorist hardcore terrorists with very good
behind large-scale intrusion from groups earlier last month including knowledge of topography of Kashmir.
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e- Besides several suicide attacks, he is
Security agencies monitoring wireless Mohammed despite the fact that also wanted in connection with
intercepts along the Line of Control these two outfits belong to a masterminding the Akshardham
(LoC) tracked a conversation where different sect of Islam. temple attack in 2002 at Gujarat.
Muzamil was asking Hizbul Mujahideen The terrorists later spoke to Hizbul His sudden surfacing on the terror
Chief Syed Sallahuddin to push a large Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahuddin -- network of Jammu and Kashmir has
number of militant cadres into the a conversation intercepted by belied the claim of Pakistani
state. security agencies -- asking him to authorities that he had been detained
Muzamil alias Yusuf, whose real prepare some of his men to be ready during a special operation following
identity was yet to be established, has for large-scale infiltration into the the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
been seen as the brain behind the valley. Security agencies have also seen an
large-scale infiltration bids from The border in North Kashmir has increase of wireless traffic between
across the border, official sources witnessed large-scale infiltration in terrorists in Kashmir and their
said, adding the new strategy adopted last fortnight which includes the one handlers in Pakistan-occupied-
this time was to push in more and that led to a fierce encounter at Kashmir thus breaking the three-
more terrorists before the snow Kupwara leading to killing of 18 LeT month-long lull after 26/11.

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
11 Essential Stories


Little more industrial How Islamic is stone

growth can offer over
4 lakh jobs A s gun is seen fading away from conflict landscape of
Kashmir it is now over to stones. This has, interestingly,
triggered a debate in the religious circles. Is stone pelting by
mobs permissible in Islam? Religious and separatist circles in
J ammu and Kashmir government is one of the largest
employers among all state governments in India but
still unemployment is seen as a major problem in the
Jammu and Kashmir are busy debating the issue these days.
A statement by Maulana Showkat Ahmad of the Jameet-e-
Ahle Hadis last month said stone pelting was not allowed in
state. As government finds it difficult to live up to its
Islam. He had advised the local youth not to resort to stone
promise of providing employment to every educated
pelting. He had also quoted
youth, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is trying to
a saying of the Prophet
tackle the problem by focusing on industrial development
against stone pelting.
and campaigning to convince the job aspirants to look for
Now Syed Inayatullah
private sector avenues. Speaking at a leadership session
Andrabi, an Islamic scholar
organized by the Federation Chamber of Industries,
and chairman of Mahazi
Kashmir in Srinagar, Abdullah said that small industrial
Azadi, has asked Maulana
sector has a pivotal role in sustained economic
Showkat to 'apologize for
development. He said that small and medium
his quoting the Prophet's
entrepreneurs in the State provide jobs to 8 lakh people.
sayings (Hadith) out of
“The sector, if properly supported to grow, can absorb
another 4 to 5 lakh people easily reducing the pressure Andrabi said: 'Let us note
on job market. Here comes the role of government which that what the most revered
it will render in its full capacity”, he said and added that Prophet has said in the
the thrust area in the education sector would be on Hadith cited by Maulana
enhancing employability of the educated youth. The was basically regarding the
Chief Minister said that in the past, it has been observed ineffectiveness of a small
that big industrial houses came in the State, took stone to deliver the desired
advantage of the packages and concessions but left result when it comes to
midway without contributing to the larger goal of hunting or taking on an
industrialization. “We have to encourage local enemy.'
entrepreneurs at large, but continue our efforts to rope Andrabi said all the Hadith
in big industrialists as a bonus”, he said. Answering a said was that 'the small
point raised in the session regarding State's joint power stone would not produce
ventures with NHPC, Abdullah said that he is open to the desired result, it would
pragmatic views in this regard, but they should be based only harm the person or the
on sound facts and not merely slogans. “If you convince animal'.
me on the subject, you will find me logical”, he said and Senior separatist leader and
added that it is wiser to get at least 20 per cent free chairman of the breakaway
power out of 100 per cent potential rather than zero per Hurriyat group, Syed Ali
cent, waiting for indigenous funding for power projects Geelani, had also said that
for decades. stone pelting could not
The Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Ali been regarded as 'an anti-
Mohammad Sagar says that the industrial growth was Islamic act in a situation
kickstarted in the State by late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah where harsher measures
in 1977 and private sector received a considerable boost were being resorted to by
under his leadership. He said the number of small the security forces against
industrial units in the State which were around 600 in the protesters'.
Seventies, jumped to 33,000 in over a decade. Police and security forces

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
11 Essential Stories


pelting? Retirement age up by 2 years

have been facing severe stone pelting mobs,
especially in the old city areas of summer I n A late-night swoop,
the Board of Directors
of Jammu and Kashmir
capital Srinagar ever since the land row
protests broke out over the allotment of Bank pre-empted the
forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board retirement of over a
(SASB) in July last year. dozen top executives by
Hundreds of protesters and security men extending their
have been injured across Kashmir during retirement age from 58
these years to 60 years. While the decision may bring cheers on the faces of the
protests and older lot on the verge of retirement, those who retired in the last twelve
shutdowns. months were found sulking.
Typically, Reports say that the Board of Directors on March 29, enhanced the age of
these superannuation of officers from 58 years to 60 years with effect from April 1,
situations 2009. The resolution further says that in pursuant to above the words “58
see mobs years” in Rule No 250 of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited Officers
indulging in Manual-2000 stands substituted by the words “60 years” with effect from
heavy stone 01.04.2009.
The officers who received the warm send off by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank
pelting at
during the last one year feel like sons of lesser Gods and term their farewell
the security
party as a cold send-off by the bank.
men who
The decision of extension in retirement age was taken on the
respond with
penultimate day of closing of financial year by the Board of Directors
batons and
with two State Government directors on board. The consent of two
tear gas
government nominees on the Bank's Board cannot be taken in isolation
shells and in
as it reflects the opinion of the Jammu and Kashmir Government and its
likely resolve to accede to the demand of government employees for
situations enhancing their retirement age.
even open A dozen top executives who got a breather in mid-marathon service span and
fire to quell were due to retire during April to June quarter this year included AK Mehta,
the mobs. executive director & chief operating officer, Abdul Majid Mir, executive
Srinagar director & chief financial officer, Ajit Singh, President. Haseeb A. Drabu, the
senior Chairman and Managing Director has already been granted extension for
superintende three years by the State Government, which was endorsed by RBI from
nt of police, September 1, 2008. Previously, he had been granted an extension of three
Afadul months expiring on August 31 last year.
Mujtaba, had Reports of behind-the-curtain move of enhancing the age of superannuation
quoted in officer cadre was on its peak during August last year when the Kashmir
verses from Valley and entire Jammu region was engulfed in a frenzy for and against the
the Holy government's order cancelling the allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine
Quran in Board when all offices and establishments remained closed for over two
December months.
last year Efforts were made by the Bank's top management to gather all relevant
saying that provisions pertaining to superannuation in some of the public sector banks
stone pelting from the central offices in Mumbai. While the decision was well within the
was against knowledge of all beneficiaries, the contents of the said resolution was made
the tenets of known to the bank staff and people on April 1 only when most of the people
Islam. took this news as a goof up on All Fools' Day.

Epilogue Ø

April 2009
11 Essential Stories


Bollywood returns with 'Love in Kashmir'

B ollywood is fast resuming its honeymoon with
the picturesque Kashmir Valley - once the most
favoured location for filmmakers in the country.
Several film units have already started shooting in
Kashmir, which has been in the clutches of violence
since 1989, when insurgency erupted in the valley.
Film producer Sunil Kapoor is presently in the valley
shooting for 'Love in Kashmir'. The producer has
completed 30 percent of the film's shooting.
Kapoor received great help from the state government
to shoot the film, Minister for Tourism and Culture
Nawang Rigzin Jora said, adding more producers were
willing to come to the valley. Jora said the tourism
department was keen to lure the big Bollywood
banners back to the Kashmir Valley and was
committed to providing them the best of facilities for
their shoots, including free access to locations.
He asked Bollywood filmmakers to also make use of
locales in Ladakh and Jammu regions, which also
provide vast and varied potential for film production
houses. He said shooting a film in the state was much
cheaper than in Europe. 'Kabhi Kabhi' and 'Arzoo' were shot in the valley. However, the
The Kashmir Valley used to be the favourite destination of the militancy forced filmmakers to look for other places with the
Bollywood producers and many hit films like 'Kashmir Ki Kali', worsening security situation in the valley.


Kashmir glaciers facing meltdown

K ashmir is experiencing the effects
of global warming, with high
altitude glaciers retreating at an
mountain range, some glaciers have
been totally disappeared. You know
now you can't find glaciers beyond July-
According to locals residing in Sonmarg,
most of the glaciers, including Thajiwas
and Kolahoi, have receded during the
unprecedented rate, thus threatening August in most of the Peerpanjal range. last 50 years.
the eco-system of the valley. Owing to So, those glaciers which used to be "The glaciers of Sonmarg, which were
global warming, most of the small there for the whole year, are difficult to very popular once, due to the global
glaciers in Kashmir have melted totally, find now and those who were the bigger warming it is being felt that glaciers are
while the larger ones have decreased in ones have receded tremendously," said reducing day by day. No one is taking
size. Arjimand Talib, the head of Kashmir care of it otherwise if care is taken
According to a study carried out by the branch of Action Aid International. there are 90 percent chances of saving
Action Aid International (AAI) last year, According to the data collected by the Sonmarg glaciers," said Abdul Rehman
many areas in Kashmir have seen a AAI from the eight districts of the Malik, a local resident.
complete disappearance of small Kashmir showed that the water level in The recent springtime floods in Kashmir
glaciers. almost all the streams and rivers has have largely been as a consequence of
"The surface area of the glaciers has decreased by about one-third, in some fast melt down of snow in the
been decreased by two third in many cases even by half, during the last 40 mountains, coupled with the spring
cases in Kashmir. In the Peerpanjal years. rains.

Epilogue Ø
10 ×
April 2009
11 Essential Stories


Confusion causes chaos and closure of

Khardongla road
H eavy snowfall together with
unnecessary confusion in the
movement of traffic on Khardongla road
movement on non scheduled days to
cross Khardong without taking into
account the 'convoy days' which
Traffic shall be regulated as per the
schedules already in place and no traffic
either civil or army shall be allowed to
this winter resulted many passengers to reportedly led to the road blockade. move on non scheduled directions/days.
frequently strand on the road for many The army authorities were also accused
days in the severe cold winter months for allowing passenger taxis and buses Following the road clearance report by
with temperature dropping down to to ply on this road only after the military BRO, light vehicles of civilian traffic
below – 40 Degree Celsius. Khardongla convoys. Annoyed by the road blockade, such as taxis shall be allowed to move
Pass is the road that connects Nubra allegedly caused by the army, stranded first and then the army convoy including
region with the rest of Ladakh. passengers in a letter addressed to the army buses which shall be followed by
Khardongla road, at an altitude of deputy commissioner cautioned that civilian buses and heavy vehicles.
18,380 feet, is famously known for such inconveniences and negligence
being the highest motorable-road in the towards the civilians by the army, if The BRO will place information boards
world. repeated, would amount to damage the at different locations on the Khardongla
civil-army liaison in Ladakh region road which shall have information about
In view of the difficulties with the which had so far been an exemplary for the condition of road in Ladakhi, Hindi
movement of traffic in winter months, the last many decades. It has been and English.
the traffic regulatory authorities have observed that on few occasions road
laid down scheduled directions/days for closures were also caused on account District Administration and the Police
traffic to move between Leh and Nubra. of the lack of communication among shall arrange two Gypsys to be attached
According to which traffic movement the army, the police and the Border with the North and South Pullo police
from Leh to Nubra are on every Road Organization (BRO) personnel posts to help them monitor the road
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and that are stationed at North and South inspection smoothly, and police shall
from Nubra to Leh on every Pullu and the Khardongla top posts. have their personnel posted at
Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (this But the police say it becomes difficult Khardongla Top with a wireless set.
system is also called the 'up convoy' to liaise with the army and the BRO
and 'down convoy' days). Every every time since a police post is not in Ladakhis, with required driving licence,
Monday is the road maintenance day. place on Khardongla top. shall be recruited to operate bulldozers
As the road remained closed for days at Khardongla as locals are found more
this winter with many passengers On repeated confusions and chaos over acclimatized to the inhospitable
stranded in large number Mr. AK Sahu, movement of traffic on Khardongla road atmosphere at Khardongla.
deputy commissioner, Leh had to in addition to the frequent road
depute some top district officers to blockades, the deputy commissioner All civil and army traffic shall be asked
see if the road restoration was carried convened a meeting with all concerned to follow the rule strictly and not to
out at full speed and passengers were organizations on March 6 to discuss the move without proper permission to
safe. Passengers and some public matter. The meeting was attended by avoid danger of road blockade and loss
representatives expressed their the chief engineer Project Himank of life and property.
concerns against the army for Brigadier Bhadwan, SSP Leh S.R Samuel,
allegedly violating the traffic rules Col. Bikramdeep Sighn of the 3 Infantry Khardongla road is an important axis
which had apparently caused road Division and army officials from the 14 from the strategic point of view as well
blockade a few times. Corps besides other district officials and as for the inhabitants of Nubra valley.
representatives of the passengers who The movement of defence convoy is also
Anguished stranded passengers and taxi were stranded at Leh at that time. Some very frequent since a large number of
drivers had resentments against the of the important decisions that came troops are deployed in the inhospitable
army for allowing military convoy out of this meeting are: terrain at Siachen Glacier.

Epilogue Ø
11 ×
April 2009
11 Essential Stories


BSNL Connecting and Jora's

Disconnecting Ladakh Portfolio
raise hopes
T he breakdown of the Optical Fiber Line
(OFC) laid down between Srinagar and
Leh paralyzed the entire
on national TV channels informs us that
converting a postpaid mobile into prepaid or
vise versa is not only possible but the and
telecommunication system in the region in process to do it doesn't any thing to a
the month of February. With the installation costumer. expectations
of two satellite media on an emergency
basis, the services have been restored to
some extent. The OFC breakdown was
Subscribers are often subjected to
unwanted sms. BSNL seems to generate
G iven the tourism potential
of Ladakh and the land
becoming a popular tourist
reportedly caused by avalanche at Gumri huge revenue by sending thousands of SMS destination on the world
about 40 kilometers from Drass towards to its subscribers. Subscribers are often tourist map Shri Nawang
Zujila. made to subscribe to BSNL tunes Rigzin Jora assuming as the
unknowingly at Rs 25 per month with Minister of Tourism & Culture
After giving some relief to its subscribers additional Rs 12 per tune. Few lucky at the State Government has
with the installation of two emergency subscribers may get an SMS that reads: 'to
raised hopes and expectations
satellite media, the BSNL Leh held an discontinue the BSNL tune sms UNSUB to
among travel trades for
interactive session with its costumers 56700'. So do it and find out if you are also
promotion of Ladakh as a
wherein the telecom district manager, Mr. among the ignorant subscribers to BSNL tunes
destination in a very planned
Sharad Trivedi expressed the difficulties who pay a monthly Rs 37 unknowingly and for
manner. Speaking on the
BSNL faces in the restoration of the OFC nothing in return.
occasion of the national ice
line. Mr Sharad said all actions and
hockey championship at Leh
possibilities had been explored with the Broadband and WLL services in Ladakh
this winter, Mr Chering Dorje,
Army and the Border Road Organization for continue to be dead due to the OFC
chief executive councilor
an early restoration of the OFC but it was breakdown. This seems to cause
found to be impossible to restore it before LAHDC Leh expressing his
unrecoverable damages to many
reopening of Srinagar-Leh highway. hopes said that Rigzin Jora as
businessmen and travel agencies who rely
Participating costumers complained against the Minister for Tourism &
upon the internet for many things. However
excessive billing, difficulties in making Culture would tremendously
in the coming few months,
payments, numerous unwanted sms, not help Ladakh's prosperity.
telecommunication system in Ladakh is
giving rebates on bills during periods when likely to get stabilized and strengthened Although a large number
services are completely down. They further after the installation of a Main Switching foreign and domestic of
suggested having booth system facilities for Center (MSC) for Ladakh at Leh. BSNL tourists visit Ladakh every
making bill payment etc at different public official sources say that the MSC would be year, there are still a lot of
places. After listening to the complaints, Mr. installed in summer months after the unnecessary obstacles for the
Trivedi said that BSNL would give rebate on reopening the Leh-Srinagar highway and promotion of tourism in the
services which had been affected on this would immensely reduce the problems region. In the last more than
account of OFC breakdown. in the telecommunication services in three decades Tourism
Ladakh. In addition to the MSC, installation industry in Ladakh has
Subscribers also enquired if it was possible of more mobile towers and connecting far- remained confined in and
to convert a postpaid mobile into prepaid flung rural villages and hamlets with DSPT around Leh only since the
but the BSNL officials categorically said that satellite phones are some important steps place was first opened for the
it was not at all possible. However, in which might change the entire world tourism in 1974. Many
contradiction to their answer , the telecommunication scenario of Ladakh areas in Leh and Kargil are
Government of India through an advisement region in 2009. still restricted for tourism.

Epilogue Ø
12 ×
April 2009
11 Essential Stories

More than 74,000 numbers of tourists have KASHMIR & DIPLOMACY

visited Leh district last year in which over
20,000 is an increase against the figure
US in diplomatic effort to
recorded in the year 2007. It is often
argued that such restrictions have become
reduce tensions over Kashmir
irrelevant in today's information and
technologically developed digital era.
Organizations associated with the tourism
T he United States has launched a diplomatic effort to ease tensions
between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, in order to allow Islamabad to
focus more effectively on fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban on its western border
industry hope that Rigzin Jora as the with Afghanistan. Democrat Senator Mark Udall from Colorado raised the
minister for tourism will be able to do issue at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing recently, asking a panel
away with many unnecessary restrictions of senior US defence officials if Washington is in discussion on “urging India
imposed on the development of tourism. and Pakistan to continue finding a way forward on Kashmir”. "Together with
my great diplomatic wing man (special representative for the region)
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, this effort actually has started," US Central
In a letter to
Command chief Gen David Petraeus said. He did not name Kashmir in his
the tourism
response but argued that calming tensions between the two South Asian
minister some
nuclear neighbours would be of “enormous importance” to the fight against
Kargil based violent extremists. Petraeus said more recently the Pakistan-India standoff
NGOs through in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks diverted Islamabad's attention at a
Kargil Ice and time when its forces were engaged in focused anti-terrorism operations in
Snow Sports Bajaur and other tribal regions. Michele Flournoy, the under-secretary of
Club requested defence and one of the architects of the Obama administration's policy
the minister to toward the region, called the issue of scaling down Pakistan-India tensions as
de-restrict the “a really critical matter”. "This is the issue – one of the issues that really
areas of Shakar- Chiktan block for drives a more regional approach in our strategy – that part of helping Pakistan
domestic and foreign tourists. Similarly to shift its attention and its resources and its efforts is reducing the tensions
villagers and public representatives of it has with India.”
Nubra and Changthang in Leh district have
also represented before the minister with
the request to lift the restriction for
tourism in their areas and open new
trekking routes. A delegation of the Ladakh
Taxi Operator Co-operative Ltd Leh led by Charted Engineers, Govt. Auctioneers, Arbitrators,
its president Mr Nawang Tsering even Risk Inspectors, Industrial Designers,
called on the minister in Jammu to discuss Capacity Assessments, ISO 900/1400/1800 Consultants,
the problems they face in the short tourist Preparations, Certification, Bank Valuers/Agency
season of Ladakh. The delegation in (SURFAESI Act 2002)
through a memorandum urged the minister
to take up the opening of areas up to Contact for :
Yarma Gonbo in Nubra on one belt and up Details Project Report For Industrial & Other Ventures,
to Turtuk in Nubra on the other belt for ISO-9001:2008/ISO:14001/ISO:18001/22000
Tourism. Similarly opening of Lukung to Consultations, Audits, Certification,
Tsaga via Chushul in Nyuma, and Mahey to Environment & Safety Standards & Training.
Demchok, and Anley kuyul via Nyuma was Project, Management Consultancy Jobs and
also requested. Opening of the restricted
Certification as Charted Engineers, Bank Valuation &
Auctioning of Property/Assets. Industrial Designers.
areas is expected to further boost the
growing tourism industry of Ladakh besides Opp. Gen Bus Stand (Out Gate), B.C. Road, Jammu - 180001
Tele fax : 01912542157 Mob. : 94191-26230, 94191-13902
benefiting hundreds of taxi operators and
Website :,
unemployed youth. Email :,

Epilogue Ø
13 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends


Trends in Parliamentary Elections

he voting trends for the 58.12. Similarly, in 1984, the
Parliamentary elections in percentage of the voter turnout at the
J&K are similar like the national level was 63.56 but at the state
trends in the Assembly level, it was 66.41.
elections. The data of the
voter turnout from 1967 to 1984 reflects The state is represented in the Lok
a reasonable level of voting generally at Sabha by six members. Of these, three
par with the voter turnout at the are represented from Kashmir region,
national level. However in 1967 and two from Jammu region and our from
1980 elections, there is a gap between Ladakh. Like the Assembly elections,
the national and the state level voting. the Parliamentary election also reflects
In 1967, the percentage of the national intensity regional variations. Following
level voter turnout was 61.04 while in is a brief analysis of each Parliamentary
the state it was only 53.42. Similarly, in action since 1980.
1980, the percentage of the voter
turnout at the national level was 56.92 1980 Parliamentary Elections
but at the state level it was only 48.05.
During 1971 and 1984 elections, During 1980 Parliamentary elections,
however, the average voter turnout at the three constituencies of Kashmir
state level was higher as compared to region-Srinagar, Baramulla and
the voter turnout at the national level. Anantnag were represented by National
In 1971, the percentage of the voter Conference. The two constituencies of
turnout at the national level was 55.27. Jammu region, however, were
The percentage of the voter turnout at represented by the Congress. Ladakh
the state level in that election was was represented by an independent

Table No. 1
1980 Parliamentary Elections
Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled
Baramulla Khawaja Mubarak Shah JKN 67.57
Srinagar Farooq Abdullah JKN UC
Anantnag Gh. Rasool Kochak JKN 60.47
Ladakh Phuntsog Namgyal IND 44.47
Udhampur Karan Singh INC (U) 53.38
PAAWAN VIVEK Jammu Girdhari Lal Dogra INC (I) 62.46

Epilogue Ø
14 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends

candidate. The contest took place in During the 1984 Parliamentary who won the seat from Anantnag,
five constituencies. The sixth elections, the seats were shared equally Girdharilal Dogra who won form
constituency of Srinagar, was returned by the Congress and the National Udhampur and Saif-ud-Din Soz who won
by JKN without a contest. Among the Conference. Polling 46.17% votes, the from Baramulla. 35 Independent
prominent candidates were Dr Farooq National Conference won three seats of candidates also contested the election.
Abdullah of JKN (uncontested return), Valley. The Congress polled 30.23%
Karan Singh (Congress) and Girdhari Lal votes and registered its victory in two The regional polarization between JKN
Dogra seats of Jammu and one seat of Ladakh. and Congress as reflected in 1984
Among the prominent winning elections marked a continuity with the
1984 Parliamentary Elections candidates included Akbar Jahan Begum nature of party competition since 1977.
The Parliamentary seats since 1977 tend
Table No. 2 to be divided between JKN and Congress
SEATS CONTESTED AND WON BY POLITICAL PARTIES on regional basis. The JKN, for instance,
1984 Parliamentary Elections
captured two of the three seats in
Party’s Name Seats Contested Seats Won %age of votes polled
Kashmir in 1977, and all the three seats
JKP 1 0 0.03 in 1980 and 1984 Parliamentary
INC 4 3 30.23 elections. The Congress meanwhile
JKN 5 3 46.17 registered its victory in one of the two
seats of Jammu in 1977 and both the
IND 35 0 17.41
seats in 1980 and 1984 Parliamentary
BJP 1 0 1.71 elections.
LKD 1 0 0.11
JPP 1 0 4.35 1989 Parliamentary Elections

Table No. 3
The 1989 Parliamentary election took
WINNING CANDIDATES WITH PARTY place at a time when militancy had
1984 Parliamentary Elections taken a full-blown form and the popular
Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled resentment, specifically in the valley,
Baramulla Saif-ud-Din Soz JKN 69.69 was at its peak. The impact of such a
situation could be seen during this
Srinagar Abdul Rashi Kabuli JKN 81.08
election. As the normal electoral
Anantnag Akbar Jahan Begum JKN 58.51 activity was almost as impossibility, this
Ladakh Phuntsog Namgyal INC 55.59 election, at least in Kashmir region,
Udhampur Girdari Lal Dogra INC 56.98 proved to be of farcical nature. The
major opposition party of the region,
Jammu Janak Raj Gupta INC 46.51
the Muslim United Front boycotted the
election and various militant
Table No. 4 organizations directed the people not
1967-1984 Parliamentary Elections
to participate in the electoral process.
Most of other opposition parties also
Constituency 1967 1971 1977 1980 1984
refrained from fielding their candidates
in the elections. The National
Srinagar JKN IND JKN JKN JKN Conference therefore finding no
Anantnag INC INC INC JKN JKN competitors could win all the three
seats in the valley. While Srinagar
Parliamentary constituency was
returned uncontested, in the rest of the
Jammu INC INC IND INC(I) NC two constituencies of Baramulla and

Epilogue Ø
15 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends

Anantnag, challenge came only from Table No. 6

the independent candidates. In these SEATS CONTESTED AND WON BY POLITICAL PARTIES
constituencies also very few people 1989 Parliamentary Elections
came out to cast their votes. As Party’s Name Seats Contested Won Seats Won %age of votes polled
consequence only 5.07% voter turnout JD 2 0 30.05
was constituencies, people exercised INC 3 2 38.95
their votes in few pockets only. Of the
JKN 3 3 6.81
total votes polled in Baramulla
constituency, around 60% votes were IND 49 1 9.60
polled in two non-Kashmir speaking BJP 2 0 7.15
Pahari Assembly segments, namely Uri BSP 1 0 4.06
and Handwara. There were many
JPP 1 0 2.16
Assembly segments in both the
constituencies of Baramulla and
Table No. 7
Anantnag where there was a negligible WINNING CANDIDATES WITH PARTY
level of voting. For instance, only one 1989 Parliamentary Elections
vote was cast in Patan Assembly segment, Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled
15 in Gulmarg and 180 in Sopore. Baramulla Saif-ud-Din Soz JKN 93.79
Srinagar Mohammad Shafi Bhat JKN UC
It was the impact of the militancy in
Anantnag P.L. Handoo JKN 97.69
Kashmir valley that the overall voter
turnout of the state was affected. Ladakh Mohammad Hassan IND 52.65
Udhampur Dharam Paul INC 40.66
Table No. 5
DETAILS OF 1989 ELECTIONS Jammu Janak Raj Gupta INC 41.82
Constituency Percentage of votes
Though the Congress party could exceed 5%, the recorded voter turnout
Baramulla 5.48
register its victory in both the was substantially high this time. While
Srinagar UC constituencies of the region, it had to the overall voter turnout for the state
Anantnag 5.07 face a very tough competition from the was 48.96% for Kashmir Valley, it was
Ladakh 86.36 Janata Dal. While the total percentage 46.65%. In terms of each constituency of
of the votes polled by the Congress was the valley, it was 50.20% voter turnout
Udhampur 39.45
38.95, the percentage of the votes in Anantnag constituency, 46.65% in
Jammu 56.89 polled by the Janta Dal was 30.05. The Baramulla constituency and 41% in
National Conference, though won half Srinagar constituency. There were
As against the Valley, Jammu and
the seats, yet its share of votes was less however some pockets within each
Ladakh witnessed normal electoral
than 7 percent. constituency, especially in Srinagar,
activity during this election. The two
where the voter turnout was quite low –
constituencies of Jammu region
1996 Parliamentary Election
actually witnessed a tough competition Table No. 8
with 6 parties and 24 candidates in fray DETAILS OF 1996 ELECTIONS Voter Turnout
in Udhampur constituency and 5 parties Due to the situation of militancy, 1991
Constituency %age of votes turnout
and 2 candidates in Jammu Parliamentary election could not be
Baramulla 46.65
constituency. With the exception of two held in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The next Parliamentary election took Srinagar 40.94
Assembly segments adjacent to valley,
namely of Doda and Banihal in place in 1996. Anantnag 50.20
Udhampur constituency, a reasonably Ladakh 80.93
high voter turnout was recorded – The 1996 Parliamentary election was
Udhampur 53.29
around 57% in Jammu and around 40% in controversial. Unlike 1989 when the
voting percentage in the valley did not Jammu 48.18

Epilogue Ø
16 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends

around 14% in Habakadal Assembly to participate in the 1996 Parliamentary However, 1996 Parliamentary election
segments, 17% in Idgah, 18% in Zadibal, election was a normal activity in Jammu and
19% in Khanyar and 20% in Amirakadal. Ladakh – with 80.93% polling recorded in
With the National Conference opting Ladakh region and 53.43% in Udhampur
Such a high voter turnout led many to out of elections, the contest in the constituency. The effect of militancy,
allege that the security forces had used valley was limited mainly between the could be seen in the district Doda,
coercion to force people to cast their Congress and Janata Dal, though the which though registering a substantially
votes. A relatively higher number of BJP, Panthers Party, Awami League and high voter turnout of 53.43% also
invalid, in fact pointed to some truth in the Congress (T) also fielded recorded a high number of invalid votes
these allegations. Around 7.47% votes candidates. The Congress polling – 13% in Doda Assembly segment, 8% in
were declared invalid in Srinagar 27.46% votes secured two seats and the Kishtwar, 5.4% in Inderwal and 4.23% in
constituency, 7% in Baramulla Janata Dal polling 17.63% secured one Bhaderwah. This percentage is certainly
constituency. In some of the Assembly seat. While in Baramulla constituency, higher when compared to the average
segments, the percentage of invalid the Congress polling 36.09% votes of 2.99% invalid votes in Jammu region.
votes was still higher – 17.47% in Sopore, registered its victory with comfortable
11.80% in Sangrama, 11.29% in majority, in Srinagar constituency, it The Congress polling 52.10% votes
Baramulla constituency, 11.75% in had to face a tough competition from emerged victorious in Ladakh. In
Rajpora, 10.44% in Hashmbug, 9.25% in the Janata Dal. Its share of votes was Jammu region, the two seats were
Pulwama, 8% each in Pampore and Doru 18.63% as compared to 18.10% of Janata shared between the Congress and the
in Anantnag constituency, 12.48% in Dal. The Anantnag constituency was BJP. A large number of votes were also
Idgha, 12.20% in Hazratbal, 10%embly won by Janata Dal candidate polling polled by Janata Dal and the BSP.
segments in Batmalloo, 9% in Chadura, 32.76% votes.
8.45% in Khansahib, and 8.21% in
Srinagar Assembly segment. Table No. 10
1996 Parliamentary Elections
An interesting aspect of the 1996
Party’s Name Seats Contested Seats Won %age of votes polled
Parliamentary election was that the
JD 5 1 17.63
National Conference, the major
regional party did not participate. INC 6 4 27.46
Seeking legitimacy in the political space JKN 3 0 0.83
now dominated by separatist forces, it
IND 84 1 24.28
wanted to compete the slogan of 'Azadi'
BJP 5 0 19.04
by its call for 'Autonomy'. However,
failing to get an assurance on BSP 2 0 5.95
'Autonomy' from the centre it chose not JPP 5 0 4.80

Table No. 9
1996 Parliamentary Elections
Name of %age of %age of
Constituency votes polled Invalid votes Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled
Baramulla 46.36 6.98 Baramulla Ghulam Rasool Kar INC 36.09
Srinagar 41.00 7.47 Srinagar Ghulam Mohammad Mir INC 18.63
Anantnag 50.13 6.78 Anantnag Mohammad Maqbool JD 32.76
Ladakh 80.93 1.48 Ladakh Phuntsog Namgyal INC 52.10
Udhampur 53.43 3.73 Udhampur Chaman Lal Gupta BJP 37.58
Jammu 48.28 2.41 Jammu Mangat Ram Sharma INC 34.24

Epilogue Ø
17 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends

1998 and 1999 Parliamentary valley in 1999 was with as low a support people against participation in
Elections as 4.81% of the total electorate in elections and as electioneering
proceeded and got intensified, the level
Table No. 12
of violence was also intensified.
1998 Parliamentary Elections Militants attacked almost every
Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party political leader of prominence,
disrupted elections rallies of almost
Baramulla Prof. Saif-ud-Din Soz JKN
every party, and even attacked party
Srinagar Omar Abdullah JKN offices.
Anantnag Mufti Mohammad Sayeed INC
Table No. 15
Ladakh Syed Hussain JKN VOTER TURNOUT
Udhampur Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta BJP 2004 Parliamentary Elections
Constituency %age of voter turnout
Jammu Vaid Vishno Dutt BJP
Baramulla 35.65
Srinagar 18.57
Table No. 13 Anantnag 15.04
1996 Parliamentary Elections Ladakh 73.52
Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled Udhampur 45.09
Baramulla Abdul Rashid Shaheen JKN 43.94 Jammu 44.49
Srinagar Omar Abdullah JKN 57.27
Voter turnout, as one could expect in
Anantnag Ali Mohammad Naik JKN 37.66
theses circumstances, was quite low in
Ladakh Hassan Khan JKN 45.04 the Valley. As against the turnout of
Udhampur Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta BJP 49.01 44.67 percent in Jammu region and
Jammu Vaid Vishno Dutt BJP 43.46 73.27 percent in Ladakh, it was
recorded at 22.73 percent for Kashmir.
Electoral process continued to be Srinagar, 6.89% in Anantnag and 11.05% However, the impact that the politics of
affected by the militancy throughout in Baramulla constituency. boycott or violence could have on the
the decade of nineties. After 1996, electoral politics, cannot be seen as
Parliamentary election also took place 2004 Parliamentary Elections evenly spread throughout the Valley. Of
in 1998 and 1999. During both the times, the three Parliamentary constituencies,
percentage of the voter turnout in the Like the 1998 and 1999 Parliamentary it was in two constituencies of Srinagar
Valley of Kashmir was affected by the elections, the 2004 Parliamentary and Anantnag that the boycott politics
call of poll boycott given by the election was also affected by the call seems to have taken its toll. Of the 31
separatist organization All Party for poll boycott. Many a militant Assembly segments in both these
Hurriyat Conference. During 1998, the organization had issued upon warning to
Table No. 16
voter turnout in Anantnag was 28.15%, OVERALL PERFORMANCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
in Srinagar it was 30.16% and in Table No. 14 2004 Parliamentary ELECTIONS
Baramulla it was 41.94%. The impact of 2004 Parliamentary Elections Political Seats Won %age of
the politics of poll boycott was however, Region-Wise Party votes obtained
more seriously felt in 1999 when 11.93% Region %age of voter turnout INC 02 27.83
voters in Srinagar Parliamentary
Jammu 44.67 JKN 02 22.02
constituency, 14.32% in Anantnag
Kashmir 22.73 PDP 01 8.58
Parliamentary constituency and 27.79%
in Baramulla constituency. Entry of Ladakh 73.27 BJP - 23.04
three members of Parliament from the State Total 35.15 PP - 3.02

Epilogue Ø
18 ×
April 2009
Voting Trends

constituencies, as may as fourteen Charar-i-Sharief, 45.38 percent in multiplicity of actors and a very real
segments recorded less than 10 percent Kangan, 43.96 percent in Ganderbal and competition, between the PDP and NC
voter turnout, of which nine segments 39.63 percent in Chadura all located in in Kashmir region and between
actually registered less than 5 percent the outskirts and rural areas, Higher Congress, BJP and NC in Jammu region.
turnout. As against these two voter turnout was also recorded in the It was this nature of competition that
constituencies, Baramulla constituency border areas and Pahara belt including ultimately reflected in dispersal of
recorded a higher voter turnout of 35.18 those areas which have been facing the seats among the political parties. Of the
percent. brunt of violence. Voter turnout was as six parliamentary seats, two were
high as 82.72 percent in Gurez Assembly captures by National Conference (NC) in
While the impact of boycott politics segment, 54.34 percent in Karnah, and Kashmir region, two by Congress in
seems to be complete in the urban 44.15 percent in Lolab. In the border Jammu region and one by PDP in
areas, in the rural areas, especially township of Uri which felt the impact of Kashmir region. An independent
those that have been traditionally violence during the election with candidate won the sixth seat of Ladakh.
prone to militancy, a higher voter People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Such dispersal of seats was matched by
turnout was recorded. Srinagar Mehbooba Mufti's rally being attacked the dispersal of voters in such a manner
Parliamentary constituency, for and killing eight people in the process, that there was almost an even division
instance, which saw as low a voter the voter turnout was 57.62 percent. among three parties. Congress
turnout as less than one percent in (27.83%), BJP (2304%) and National
Habbakadal, and between 3 to 5 Despite the effect of politics of boycott, Conference (22.02%) (Table) to
percent in Amirakadal, Khanyar, the 2004 Parliamentary election was understand the nature of such
Zadibal, Idgah and Batmalloo – all urban quite competitive. The competitiveness competition, it is important to refer to
Assembly segments, also recorded a of the electoral politics was established regional peculiarities of electoral
voter turnout of 61.01 percent in with each region reflecting a politics, as these came to operate
during this election.
Table No. 17
The history of Lok Sabha elections
2004 Parliamentary Elections
1952 October 25, 1951 to February 21.
Constituency Winning Candidates Winning Party %age of votes polled 1957 February 24 to June 9.
Baramulla Abdul Rashid Shaheen JKN 38.13 1962 February 16 to June 6.
1967 February 15 to February 28.
Srinagar Omar Abdullah JKN 50.29 1971 March 1 to March 13.
Anantnag Mehbooba Mufti PDP 49.55 1977 March 16 to March 20.
1980 January 3 to January 6.
Ladakh Thupstan Chhewang IND 51.84 1984 Dec 24, Dec 27, Dec 28 (Polling in
Udhampur Choudhary Lal Singh INC 39.61 Punjab was held on Sept 25, 1985 and
Assam on Dec 5, 1985).
Jammu Madan Lal Sharma INC 38.94 1989 Nov 22 and Nov 26.
1991 First round was held on May 20, 1991.

Following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

Table No. 18
on May 21, the second and third rounds of
polling were postponed to June 12 and June
1989-2004 Parliamentary Elections
15. Voting was the lowest ever in general
Constituency 1989 1996 1998 1999 2004 elections' history in India, with only 53 per
Baramulla JKN INC JKN JKN JKN cent of voters exercising their franchise.
-- In Punjab elections were held in 1992.
Srinagar JKN INC JKN JKN JKN However, Lok Sabha poll were not held in
Anantnag JKN JD INC JKN PDP Jammu and Kashmir
1996 April 27, May 2, May 7 and May 21.
Ladakh IND INC JKN JKN IND 1998 Feb 16, Feb 22, Feb 28 March 7.
Udhampur INC BJP BJP BJP INC 1999 September 4, Sep 11, Sep 17, Sep 24
and Oct 1.
Jammu INC INC BJP BJP INC 2004 April 20, 26, May 5, May 10.

Epilogue Ø
19 ×
April 2009
Minorities Scene

Muslims Factor in Indian Elections

ote bank politics is the arch villain in Indian poll history whereby
Muslims have astutely been used as vote bank by political parties
like Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the left parties – all of them proclaim to be
sympathetic to Muslims and their plight. Albeit BJP aggressively criticize
this policy and calls for equal opportunity for all citizens, it has left no
stone unturned in branding Muslims as vote bank. For Muslims, the vote
bank stigma hung as double-edged sword: on the one hand, the Congress
and other secular parties have exploited the fear psychosis of Muslims for
which the BJP managed to polarize the issue with extra vehemence and
cornered the community into political alienation and communal
prosecution, while the Muslims got only empty and meaningless promises
and sops that came aplenty, signifying nothing even though elections
after elections have come and gone, on the other.


Epilogue Ø
20 ×
April 2009
Minorities Scene

Muslims as Vote bank interested in securing votes than paying apparatchiks. It was a great anomaly as
heed to their welfare. It is not that well as betrayal for Muslims, who felt
schemes have not been initiated for disillusioned, alienated and angry with
A close look at the voting patterns and
Muslims, but overall economic, political the Congress. And with this asperity
behaviours of Muslims since 1952
and social development of Muslims Muslims sought refuge in non-Congress,
elections reveal two crucial factors:
remained glaringly pathetic, as the non-BJP parties, who could at least
first, for almost four decades, or till the
Sachar Committee has recorded. More provide them freedom from communal
end of Rajiv Gandhi government in
heartening was Congress penchant to riots.
1989, as political observers are of the
woo Hindu votes in response the favour
view, the Congress, via projecting itself
done to Muslims in Shah Bano case. Shift towards RJD/SP/BSP
as pro-minority party, had enjoyed a
monopoly over Muslim votes, except
withdrawal of Muslim support in 1967 The alienation of Muslims In search of a peaceful living and
elections due to three broad issues: from the Congress party first security, Muslims switched over from
Muslims' discontent over the UP Chief Congress to other secular parties. And
began when on 18 April 1976, to an extent, Muslims in Bihar and UP
Minister, G B Pant's policy on Urdu,
minority status of Aligarh Muislim in famous Turkman Gate have been saved from the wrath of
University and spate of communal incident, part of late Sanjay communal riots. Security for Muslims
violence, but the community returned has been top priority since
Gandhi's cleaning drive, independence, which means, security,
back to it in 1971 elections, and then a
occurred in which Muslims not from external enemy but those
tilt towards Janata Dal in 1977.
However, “the RSS elements in the protestors were mercilessly within the country during riots. Political
Janata Party coalition” forced Muslims fired. So, from the demolition parties know this Achilles Heels of
Muslims, and in order to exploit this
to leave it and voted for the Congress in of homes at Turkman Gate to psyche, they continued to play vote
1980 election. Post-Babri mosque
destruction, a palpably huge swing of
that of the Babri mosque, bank politics. Two Yadavas – Lalu Prasad
Muslims' antagonism with Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav – tried
Muslim votes to parties like SP, RJD and
Muslims-Yadav (MY) combination
BSP is the second going from the Congress grew with a belief successfully. The Muslims found in them
Congress. that the party has been more the saviour of their religious identity
interested in securing votes and accordingly went for collective but
Alienation from Congress tactical voting with a sole objective to
than paying heed to their
defeat the BJP. Lalu's order to arrest
welfare. Advani during rath yatra made him hero
In Congress party, Muslims, who have
been haunted by the trauma of of Muslims. Alas! In 15 years of RHD rule
Then came the Babri mosque/
communal partition and its after- in Bihar, Muslims remained on the edge.
Ramjanabhoomi issue. It was a turning
effects, had found a safe haven for their point in Indian history. In the post-
survival due to its commitment to the shilanayas of November 1989, while the Appeasement vis-à-vis under
secular ideals. The alienation of rath yatra provided the Hindu representation
Muslims from the Congress party first communalists a champion of Hindutva
began when on 18 April 1976, in famous in L.K. Advani, Muslim saw the revival of Isn't it so ironical a fact that a
Turkman Gate incident, part of late post-partition scare of communal community that has been branded as
Sanjay Gandhi's cleaning drive, polarization. Rajiv Gandhi, who ordered vote bank is not adequately
occurred in which Muslims protestors the unlocking of the Babri mosque in represented in the Parliament? A 300-
were mercilessly fired. So, from the 1986, favoured Hindu religious page study by Professor Iqbal Ahmed
demolition of homes at Turkman Gate to emotion, which led to its demolition in Ansari of Hamdard University, New
that of the Babri mosque, Muslims' 1992 was the biggest shock that Muslims Delhi, 'Electoral System And Inclusive
antagonism with Congress grew with a received from the policy of a party it Democracy: Muslim Under-
belief that the party has been more extended support like blind

Epilogue Ø
21 ×
April 2009
Minorities Scene

from 1952 to 1994, while the 70 parliamentary constituencies where

Appeasement for Muslims is no community's share in the state's Muslim population ranges between 20
less than a filthy abuse, which population demanded at least 21 percent and 66 percent, but they have
has been used and abused by representatives. This scenario has over not been in a position to win these seats
and over resulted in a very large number on their own though they are capable to
the BJP to corner the of Muslim dominated constituencies tilt the electoral balance in these
community and parties it sided represented in the Parliament by non- constituencies. Only one Muslim has
in hustings. For example, Muslims, who paid no heed to their been elected from Delhi to the Lok
plight. Sabha in 50 years, whereas their
based on population ratio,
numbers in the national capital would
there should have been 47.45 In the last 25 years, the number of have suggested seven members.
per cent more elected Muslim Muslims elected to the Lok Sabha with
representatives in Parliament the solitary exception of 1984, has In UP, for example, as against 17 per
remained at 30 or less, or 5.5 percent, cent Muslim population, their
from 1952 to 1999, and
whereas Muslims comprise 15 percent of representation in the Assembly from
Rajasthan had only two the population. This deprivation exists 1952 to 2002 remained only 8.5 per
Muslim MLAs from 1952 to despite the fact that there are at least cent. Interestingly, in the first
1994, while the community's
share in the state's population
demanded at least 21
representation', shows that Muslims
have not, in comparison to their
demographic strength, been
adequately represented in Parliament
or most of the state assemblies. This,
the study concludes, has led to a feeling
of 'discrimination and alienation' among
Muslims, who form about 15 per cent of
India's one billion population.

In spite of all the claims and counter

claims, various governments – either
UPA or NDA – took little or no heed to
Muslim problems, but indulged in vote-
grabbing gimmicks in order to give the
impression of being serious about
Muslim backwardness. Appeasement for
Muslims is no less than a filthy abuse,
which has been used and abused by the
BJP to corner the community and
parties it sided in hustings. For
example, based on population ratio,
there should have been 47.45 per cent
more elected Muslim representatives in
Parliament from 1952 to 1999, and
Rajasthan had only two Muslim MLAs

Epilogue Ø
22 ×
April 2009
Minorities Scene

Assembly polls in 1952, Congress 2006 in which Hindus are allegedly terrorism, has one agenda: to garner
nominated 41 Muslims, of whom 40 found to be involved, the BJP has had votes as well as to prosecute Muslims
were elected, which came down to 4 strong, nationalist stand. But the respectively.
in 2002. While Congress has given double stand of the BJP, calling Hemant
tickets to just 6.67 per cent Muslim Karkare as “deshdrohi”, and Advani's Towards creation of separate
candidates since 1952 when the
political parties
number should have been about 13
There are at least 70
per cent, the BJP has negligible share.
The record of left parties, RJD, SP and parliamentary constituencies In 1953, a group of intellectuals mooted
BSP has generally been fair. where Muslim population the idea of forming a political party for
ranges between 20 percent and the Muslims and spoke about the low
The appeasement policy, as propagated representation of Muslims in
66 percent government. More than 55 years later
by the BJP, reached to the highest peak
in mid-1980s, when the Congress very little has changed, so far political
surrendered to the dictate of Muslim In 1953, a group of space for Muslims is concerned.
clergies in Shah Bano case by negating However, feeling trapped between two
intellectuals mooted the idea of
the Supreme Court verdict. The party monsters – Scylla (the appeasers) and
forming a political party for Charybdis (critics of the appeasement
accused RJD in Bihar and SP in UP, which
could emerge as a political force on the the Muslims and spoke about policy) – Muslims in recent times find
basis of caste politics, taking advantage the low representation of subterfuge, not to be appendage to any
of the situation and aggressively political party any more, but to create
Muslims in government. More exclusive political identity, which is
propagated against the danger of Hindu
communalism, as has been the wont.
than 55 years later very little based more on reactionary response
This resulted in further polarization of has changed, so far political than genuine concern for community's
political atmosphere in the country and space for Muslims is concerned development. The ultimate result is the
Muslims have been blamed for BJP emergence of a host of Muslim political
phobia, even though the community outfits in different parts of the country.
wholeheartedly liked and supported A B
Maunala Abul Kalam Azad is Whether Muslim League Kerala State
Vajpayee. an example every Muslim Committee (MLKSC) and All India Majlis-
leader of today must consider e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), with
their influence confined to Malabar
Terrorism, security and double while floating a new political region of Kerala and Hyderabad, PDP,
speak party. Else, either Muslim National Conference – all one seat each
parties would be confined to in 14th Lok Sabha. However, one party
Security from terror attacks is one big that has made mark is Assam United
ghetto conclaves, or branded
issue behind every voter's mind while Democratic Front (AUDF) of Badruddin
pressing the EVM. Since 9/11 attack
communal, giving greater Ajmal that bagged 10 seats in the last
terrorism world over has dawned as the reason for the communal Assembly election.
biggest curse for Indian Muslims, who parties to encash Hindu vote
have been the subject of suspicion, Uttar Pradesh United Democratic Front
torture, undue harassments and (UPUDF), a conglomeration of over 20
prosecutions, in addition to the stigma vehement criticism of the government minuscule Muslim political outfits,
of being anti-national tethered to their over sadhvi Pragya Singh's treatment by under the patronage of Shahi Imam of
persons. However, it is the stands of the ATS, aided and abetted with fake Delhi's Jama Masjid, former Union
different political parties that matter in encounters, particularly at Batla House Minister C.M. Ibrahim and others with
elections, and Muslims have realized in South Delhi, which is still shrouded in the avowed intent to replicate the
this fully. On all the terror attacks prior mystery, has convinced Muslims that Assam experiment in UP, the UP Milli
to Malagaon bomb blasts of September both Congress and BJP, in the guise of Mahaz, Ulema Council, a newly created

Epilogue Ø
23 ×
April 2009
Minorities Scene

party that held rallies in Delhi and along with proper share in political more speedy effort and leadership
Lucknow, Secular Ekta Party, MMK power for the community. While Muslim skills. Maunala Abul Kalam Azad is an
launched in Chennai, Peace Party of leaders demand secular ideals from all example every Muslim leader of today
India floated by a surgeon, Dr others, they just fail to show courage to must consider while floating a new
Mohammad Ayub to unite Dalits, exhibit it in words and spirit when political party. Else, either Muslim
Muslims and the backward classes, or election time comes, or when issues are parties would be confined to ghetto
People's Democratic Front (PDF) or related to Hindus. Instead of going the conclaves, or branded communal,
Insaan Dosti Party led by former Jinnah way, Muslim leaders must follow giving greater reason for the communal
director-general of police S.M. Naseem the Gandhi way. Non-involvement of parties to encash Hindu vote bank. The
– all have little political presence with Muslim leaders of various national sum and substance of a formidable
leaders, who keep on wafting on political parties on issues that concern Muslim presence on equal footing in the
minority issues. Muslims is as big a culprit as silence on elections is the pragmatic approach as
issues related to Hindus. to how Muslims could contribute to the
The logic that other minorities like development of both the country and
Sikhs, Dalit and backward caste Hindus For all the new leaders and ulemas, the community via astute political
have their own political parties cannot mainstreaming Muslims into political affiliations and alliances, rather than
be an alibi for creating a separate space within the existing system, or open confrontation and tacit
political party for Muslims. There is alliances with secular parties could be separation. Time has come for Muslims
more than one reason for it: one of the the ideal option, though with little to act.
long-nursed view that Muslims were
responsible for partition makes every
Indian wary of any Muslim party, even
though it is genuinely nationalistic in
The category of as many as 11 Lok Sabha constituencies have undergone change
from General to Reserve in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
contour and content; second, Muslims
The number of Parliamentary constituencies reserved for SC has been increased
have no clout, or credit among Hindus to
from 79 to 84, while for ST it has risen from 41 to 47, a net addition of 11 seats.
win a single seat across the country;
The general elections will be held in 543 Parliamentary constituencies out of which
third, Muslim leaders, like Syed
499 will be newly delimited constituencies.
Shahabuddin, always harp on issues
The entire country, except the three states of Assam, Nagaland and Jammu and
exclusively for Muslims, not for Kashmir, would be using the photo electoral rolls for the first time.
different communities as whole; and Out of 543 parliamentary seats, photo electoral rolls will be used in 522
fourth, communal appeals, not the constituencies as well as in all the legislative constituencies I Andhra Pradesh,
community appeals, make Muslim Sikkim and Orissa.
leaders suspicious of their intent. If Photographs of 82% electors are printed in the electoral rolls, except Assam where
Sharukh Khan, Sania Mirza, and Pathan the scheme could not be implemented.
brothers can be celebrities in India, why The latest delimitation exercise has added 43 million new voters in the country. In
can't Muslims be equally successful on 2004 polls, there were 671 million voters and in 2009 the number has increased to
political front? 714 million.
Presently, there are 8,28,804 polling stations in the country, as compared to
Rather than creating exclusive Muslim 6,87,402 polling stations in 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
political parties, what Muslim leaders, Of these, as many as 12,901 new polling stations have been set up for villages having
unlike the sycophants and tattlers in less than 300 electors.
different parties at present, need to Unnao emerges as largest LS constituency, Lakshadweep smallest after the latest
delimitation exercise.
hammer out is a plan as to how to work
The number of electorate in Unnao will be 18,97,474 while those in Lakshadweep
with mainstream political parties and
will be nearly 44,424
bargain hard with them to isolate and
UP has the highest number of polling stations i.e. 1,28,112 while the lowest number
defeat communal forces and extract are in Sikkim with 581.
promises of implementation of In 2004, there were 6,87,402 polling stations and this year it has increased to
economic and educational benefits 8,28,804.

Epilogue Ø
24 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan


Treading Failure

wo terrorist attacks in militants, dressed in police uniform
Lahore in the same month. entered the Police Training School at
The first one was a brazen Manawan in Lahore, took 800 plus
attack on the Sri Lankan trainee policemen as hostage. An
cricket team, in which a operation was launched to release the
group of militants attacked the Sri hostage, which lasted for more than
Lankan cricket team, which was on its eight hours, ending in the killing of four
way to the Stadium. The militants killed militants and few policemen.
more than eight security personnel in
one of the busiest areas of Lahore, and Terrorist Attacks in Lahore: Fall of the
worse, they kept firing and walked Last Bastion?
across to escape in the vehicles that
were parked. Few important issues need to be
underlined in the recent terrorist
The second attack in Lahore took place attacks in Lahore on the Sri Lankan
D SUBA CHANDRAN on 30 March. A group of less than ten team and later at the Police Training

Epilogue Ø
25 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

School at Manawan. First, the attack fertile ground for sectarian violence
took place in Lahore, the capital of LAHORE UNDER ATTACK between the Shias and Sunnis, and also
Punjab, which is considered as the most Lahore, the cultural capital of a major catchment area for 'jihad' in
stable and secular province of Pakistan. Pakistan, less than twenty J&K and Afghanistan.
Second, the attack was against cricket kilometres away for the Wagah
players, a game that has remained border, has been under attack in Sectarian organizations such as the
secular and attracts the attention of the last two years. Some of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and
everyone inside Pakistan. Third, the last major attacks include: jihadi organizations like the Jaish-e-
attack was, actually a bolder operation Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba
on the models of the terrorist attack in 30 March 2009: flourished in Punjab, thanks to the
Mumbai in November 2008. unofficial patronage of these
3 March 2009 : organizations for narrow political and
Lahore has been increasingly under Militants armed with AK-47 and strategic reasons. From the days of Zia,
terrorist attacks in the recent years, hand grenades attacked the Sri SSP was allowed to grow to target the
especially since the Lal Masjid fiasco. Shite population, while JeM and LeT
Lankan cricket team, which was
For long, the religious parties have been were directly encouraged by the State,
on its way to play the second test
trying to spread their influence in to carry out operations in J&K and
match. The attack killed seven
Punjab, especially Lahore. Qazi Hussain mainland India. Later, especially the
Ahmed, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami
people. The militants escaped SSP and JeM started focussing on
tried to find a foothold in Punjab. It led without any injury. Pakistan's western front, and started
a crusade to ban the Basant, especially working with the Taliban and al Qaeda.
kite festival and prevent marathon race 11 March 2008 : The state, especially its intelligence
from being organized in Lahore, for The second suicide attack in agencies believed that since there
both were considered un-Islamic. March 2008 and the third in the organizations are fighting the
Thanks to the moderate and secular history of Lahore. There were two Americans and Indians elsewhere,
civil society in Lahore, Qazi's efforts simultaneous suicide attacks on Pakistan, especially Punjab has nothing
never succeeded. It was the secular Federal Investigation Agency to lose. A myopic view, bound to
court that could ban the kite flying, due (FIA) headquarters and another in backfire. It did and the chickens have
to heavy injuries. Model Town. The attack killed 30 now started coming back to roost.
and wounded more than 200.
The critical question, that needs to be Cricket: Clean Bowled in Pakistan?
addressed here is: Is the relative ease in 4 March 2008 : Terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team
which the terrorists attacked the Sri The city witnessed a suicide in March 2009, has larger implications
Lankan cricket team in the middle of attack, the second in less than for the future of cricket in Pakistan. In
Lahore city and escaped with such an three months, when two suicide the last few years, many leading cricket
ease, signals a new beginning? teams have refused to play, citing
bombers exploded themselves at
Obviously, it is the success of this security reasons. Some of the major
the Pakistan Navy War College.
attack, that would have emboldened countries that have cancelled to tour to
The attack killed 6 and injured
the terrorists to undertake the second Pakistan include Australia, New Zealand
attack on the Police Training School.
more than 20.
and the West Indies. England played
recently, but did not agree to play in all
Though the Jhang district in Punjab is
10 January 2008 : venues; the team during its last visit,
known for its sectarian violence and The city witnessed the first suicide refused to play in Karachi. South Africa
there have been many recruits from this attack, when a suicide bomber has to reschedule the programme.
province into the Taliban, Punjab has exploded outside the Lahore High India, after confirming the tour early
remained immune to terrorist attacks. Court. 24 people were killed and this year, cancelled the itinerary after
The State, especially its ISI knew, that injuring 80 injured. The dead the terrorist attack in Mumbai. Sri
select areas of Punjab have become a included 19 police officials Lankan team, agreed to fill this gap,

Epilogue Ø
26 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

only to see its players miraculously of 3 March 2009 in Lahore is, eight end, for it will vindicate what India has
escape a dastardly attack. Had it not security personnel killed, six Sri Lankan been telling.
been for the brave act of the driver of players injured, but no casualty –
the Sri Lankan team bus, the attackers absolutely whatsoever on the terrorists The more immediate question for New
would have succeeded in making a side. Some of the recent video footages Delhi is: What does the latest attack
colossal damage. clearly demonstrate the terrorists mean for India? Lahore is close to the
casually walking after the attack and Wagah border and India has direct bus
Cricket as a game, so far has remained riding in motor bikes and auto services to this city from New Delhi and
outside the purview of terrorism or rickshaws. This is the level of security Amritsar. Increasing terrorist attacks in
jihad. The game has remained secular. that the State could think of – to a team Lahore pose a direct threat to India, as
Danish Kaneria, the main spinner in the that has replaced other teams in the it means, that Pakistan is unable to
current team is a Hindu; Yousuf last minute, as they have been prevent the eastward march of
Youhana, though later embraced Islam withdrawn due to security reasons. fundamentalist organizations from
for personal reasons, was a Christian Callous and criminal abdication of Afghanistan. Clearly, the Indus has been
when he joined the team. Despite some security responsibility of the State. breached. What are India's options now?
murmurs of increasing religious
influence, cricket as a game in Pakistan Instead, a section within Pakistan has Swat under Shariah
has remained outside the purview of started talking about “hidden hand”
fundamentalism. Neither there have and “foreign conspiracy” hinting that Maulana Fazlullah, leader of the Taliban
been attacks, nor any one dared to issue India is responsible for an attack, which openly advocates against women
a fatwa that cricket is un-Islamic. has taken place in a city within an hour's education and has been targeting girl
Remember the burning of CD shops in drive from Lashkar's headquarters. Do schools in Swat. He has asked men not to
Islamabad and elsewhere in Pakistan, India and the US (the other foreign shave and wear their tunics with a
for music and movies are considered as hand) has the reach, investment, specific length. Music and dance are
un-Islamic? Despite all tensions and support base and more importantly, the banned. Any one who has refused to
problems, India played one day and test political will, to carry out such an attack adhere to his diktats are publicly being
matches, like the rest of the world, in in Lahore? Clearly, this is an attack that executed in the main chowk in Mingora,
all venues. could have been carried out either by which is now called as Khooni-Chowk.
the Lashkar or the al Qaeda. One is
The way in which the attacks have been likely to see a political investigation, In the Swat Valley alone, the Taliban has
carried out, completely pooh-poohs all ending up in blaming the al Qaeda, than succeeded in destroying more than 120
notions of security. The tally at the end the Lashkar. If al Qaeda is blamed, girl schools, besides 80 other schools.
Pakistan can get Women in particular are bearing the
some sympathy brunt of this Taliban onslaught. Women
and support have been asked not to leave houses
from the US, without assisted by a male member,
that they are who is a relative. Women activists
being targeted currently are taking to streets, as the
for helping the video footage of a girl being whipped in
international public has found its way to the
community to electronic media. Her mistake: she
fight the War on went to the local market, with a male,
Terrorism. On who is not her relative.
the other hand,
if the Lashkar is Women have been asked not attend
to be blamed, hospitals with male doctors. Even if
Pakistan will be there is a medical emergency, they
at the receiving cannot go for treatment alone. They

Epilogue Ø
27 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

have to wait for a male, who is their restoration of judges? Was that based on both in the province and at national
relative to take them to the hospitals. a principled stand or there are other level.
Says a nurse in a local hospital in Swat, political reasons? An analysis of Sharif's
“Women, however sick, can only be real intentions would reveal his The second reason, why Sharif was
admitted if accompanied by a male objectives on the issue of restoration of emphasizing on the restoration of entire
relative. Every woman fears she will be judges and his decision to increase the judiciary, mainly the reinstatement of
killed if she comes out, so even sick and pressure, which was clearly based on Iftikhar Choudhary is the fact that the
pregnant women have to visit hospital politics than on any principles or latter may act as a bulwark against any
with their husbands.” convictions. Presidential intrusions in Punjab, in
Beauty parlours have been closed. terms of dismissing the government or
Women cannot even go to local The reasons were threefold. First and engaging in any other foul plays against
markets. Those who have been working foremost, 2008 election results. PML- the PML-N. Besides, Sharif also believes
in governmental and non-governmental N's success has been limited only to that Iftikhar Chaudhary, if reinstated, is
offices have been asked to resign or Punjab; both for the National and likely to question the National
threatened to face the consequences. Provincial assemblies, except for few Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) which
Says, a teacher, mother of two, who was seats in NWFP, the PML-N has won the Gen Musharraf signed with the PPP. The
teaching in Mingora, until recently, rest from Punjab. Even in Punjab NRO, amongst many other issues,
“Life bores us to tears. There is no provincial assembly, though the PML-N sidelined the cases against Benazir and
entertainment. We can't even think has got more seats than the PPP and Zardari, enabling them to take part in
about cable TV, cinema, film and music. PML-Q, theoretically, Zardari could elections. The NRO, clearly is based not
Imagine I can't even go shopping or to form an alliance with the PML-Q. Given on moral grounds, but on political
the bazaar as women are banned by Zardari's tendencies to ignore pragmatism. If Chaudhary is to declare
Taliban.” commitments he has made, Sharif fear the NRO as null and void, the entire
that the PPP could destabilize his political process that followed it,
The government, unfortunately has government in Punjab. With the including the February 2008 elections
signed a deal with the Taliban and has popular support in Punjab at an all stand cancelled. This means fresh
agree to impose the Shariah. While the time high in favour of Sharif, he will elections, which is precisely what Sharif
local population is reeling under the not mind destabilizing the government wants.
Taliban rule, Fazlullah is euphoric. He is and forcing an early election.
considering to expand his areas of Finally, both the Sharif brothers are
operation outside Swat and include the With popular disaffection on the PPP waging a war in the courts against their
neighbouring Dir now. After all, if it has growing, Sharif believes if there is a mid disqualification. Sharif believes, his
worked for him and the Taliban in Swat, term election now, he will be able to support for the lawyers' movement and
it is likely to work elsewhere. win more seats, especially in Punjab, in his 'principled' stand on the
such a way that there will be no reinstatement of sacked judges and call
Punjab: After the Restoration of opposition here. Sharif's calculations for an independent judiciary will earn
PML-N are true; if there is a mid term election him support amongst the legal
Zardari almost took Pakistan to a total in the near future, most of PML-Q will fraternity. The issue today clearly is
disaster in March 2009, when he get wiped off; and even PPP is unlikely neither moral nor legal – it is political.
decided to take a confrontationist to repeat its performance. PML-N will Given the politicisation of the lawyers'
approach vis-à-vis the PML-N of the be the biggest beneficiary in Punjab and movement and even some of the recent
Shariffs on the lawyers issue. Earlier, he that is what Sharif wants. statements made Iftikhar Chaudhary,
had dismissed the PML-N government in Sharif's expectations are not totally
Punjab, as he realized that Sharif was Even today, after the reinstatement of unfounded.
unlikely to prevent the lawyers' the Chief Justice and his own
movement from entering Islamabad. government in Punjab, Sharif will be Clearly, Sharif is playing according to a
looking for yet another reason to come plan, keeping in mind his personal
Why was Sharif so insistent on the back to power with complete victory interests and that of his party. He is

Epilogue Ø
28 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

well aware, in this process he is likely without any further delay. Besides the Though Aitzaz Ahsan, who led the
to destabilize the entire nation and Adle-Nizam courts in Swat, there are lawyers' movement is confident of
also the slow but steady political numerous illegal feudal and tribal disposing the pending cases, history of
process being set in the other three courts all over Pakistan, imposing the the legal process in South Asia inform
provinces – Sindh, Balochistan and will of tribal and feudal lords. the reality. Also one is not sure, what
NWFP. Punjab, today after the has been the understanding between
restoration of the PML-N appears Besides the role of non-State actors, the Chaudhary, President and the Army,
relatively stable. But this stability will State actors, the military and which led to the PPP government
remain, only till Sharif find another intelligence agencies have wrecked agreeing for the restoration. Is
reason to start a confrontation. havoc in Balochistan, FATA and NWFP Chaudhary likely to pursue the cases of
Return of the Justice: since 2001-02. There have been disappearances as he did before
What Next in Pakistan? numerous killings and disappearances sacking?
of leaders, activists, journalists, social
Almost after two years, Iftikhar workers and students belonging to More than the judicial challenges,
Chaudhary has been reinstated as the pashtun and Balochi tribes. political ones are significant. More than
Chief Justice of Pakistan's Supreme the lawyers movement and Iftikhar
Court. While a movement threatening As a result, the popular expectation of Chaudhary, the real beneficiary of the
internal stability – the lawyers' the oppressed is high. Will Iftikhar entire episode is Nawaz Sharif and his
movement with support from the PML-N Chaudhary be able to deliver justice? PML-N. Ever since Zardari refused to
and some minor parties has come to Much will depend on how swiftly and honour the agreement that he had with
end, there are serious challenges facing speedily he acts. Thanks to the lawyers' Sharif on the restoration of deposed
Iftikhar Chaudhary, Asif Ali Zardari and agitation for the last two years, the judges, he manipulated the events very
Nawaz Sharif – representing three pending cases today are massive. tactfully. He was well aware, that his
pillars – Judiciary, Executive and
political opposition.

First major challenge is the popular

expectation and the present reality.
Restoration of the deposed judges is
seen as a huge victory towards
establishing an independent judiciary.
Many in Pakistan, especially the
oppressed – from the feudal lands of
Sindh and Punjab to brutally suppressed
Balochistan, there is a huge expectation
on Iftikhar Chaudhary, that he will be
able to deliver justice and provide the
much needed relief.

Ironically, as the lawyers' movement

succeeded in restoring the depose
judges, during the same week, the
TNSM leadership in Swat has given an
ultimatum to the mainstream legal
process to completely stop working, so
that the agreement which Sufi
Mohammad has signed with the
government will be implemented

Epilogue Ø
29 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

party has support only in Punjab and has clip the wings of the judiciary, if he On the other hand, Zardari today is a
no support in the other three provinces. becomes the Prime Minister again. Don't wounded tiger. He know, he was
He was also well aware, none of the forget what his goons did in the cornered and forced to take that
other regional parties – ANP, MQM and Supreme Court and how Sajjad Ali Shah, decision. Will he engage in downsizing
BNP are likely to support him or his the then Chief Justice was manhandled the powers of the judiciary through
party, in case if Zardari decides to by the same PML-N party workers! Sharif Parliamentary resolutions? Will the two
remove the PML-N government from can have a memory lapse, but the Institutions – Chief Jusitice and
Punjab, as his party does not have judiciary should not. Certain stripes President work together?
adequate numbers to form the cannot be changed, irrespective of the
government on its own. In fact, Zardari's change in time. Finally, the entire episode revealed how
decision to impose Governor's rule only isolated Zardari today is, even within
proves how correctly Sharif judged the With a Sharia movement in his own party. It was evident that the
situation. Pr i m e M i n i s t e r G i l a n i w o r k e d
Swat threatening to expand
effortlessly towards reaching an
Sharif's objectives in supporting the further and the tribal agencies understanding. He was in constant
lawyers' movement at the cost of even a in the North Western Province touch with the Army leadership, and
temporary dismissal of his government firmly under the control of now it is an open secret that the both
in Punjab are three fold. First, he Kayani and Gilani forced Zardari to
wanted to be seen as a champion of a
Baitullah Mehsud, terrorism accept the decision to reinstate.
civil right movement. Clearly, despite within Pakistan is expanding Internal opposition from within the PPP
the politicisation, lawyers' movement to include major cities was so evident, when Sherry Rehman,
had the popular support and there was including Islamabad, Lahore the Minister for Information resigned
widespread expectation that Zardari after certain TV channels were blocked
would reinstate the deposed judges.
and Karachi. Clearly, from telecasting the long march of the
Today, Sharif is seen as someone who Pakistan is walking on a razor lawyers' movement. Will the PPP be
has fought for an independent judiciary. line facing a complete anarchy. able to face another crisis of this
Second, if the lawyers' movement and magnitude, without losing its unity? Will
Zardari's callous reluctance towards The larger challenge, however is how Zardari be able to hold the PPP
reinstatement result in large scale Iftikhar Chaudhary, as a Chief Justice together?
instability, leading to the dismissal of will function and dispose cases,
government at national and provincial especially relating to those acts done Reinstatement of Iftikhar Chaudary as
levels, it will only strengthen Sharif's and undone by Musharraf. From the Chief Justice along with other
position. With Benazir assassination National Reconciliation Ordinance judges is a welcome development.
sympathy wave have declined and PML (NRO) to civilian disappearances to the However, this does not mean, that the
seen as a champion of a cause, Sharif is controversial November 2007 action judiciary has now become independent
likely to reap huge political dividend, if against the judiciary, there will be or all crises have come to an end. Rather
there are new elections. Third, Sharif numerous instances in which Iftikhar it only shows how opportunistic and
brothers facing disqualification Chaudhary is bound to revisit, while adamant its political leaders are.
charges, need a sympathetic legal deposing other cases. Also, there are
community to come back to power as likely to be numerous other cases With a Sharia movement in Swat
Chief and Prime Ministers. involving the present President – threatening to expand further and the
Zardari. While Zardari would like to tribal agencies in the North Western
Clearly, Sharif's reasons to support the continue to exercise his existing Province firmly under the control of
lawyers' movement were political. It is powers, the opposition is bound to file Baitullah Mehsud, terrorism within
unlikely that his exile and the cases in judiciary and pursue actions in Pakistan is expanding to include major
subsequent return to Pakistan has made t h e Pa r l i a m e n t a n d Pr o v i n c i a l cities including Islamabad, Lahore and
him wiser. He has actually become Assemblies, to curtail President's wings. Karachi. Clearly, Pakistan is walking on
shrewder. He will be the first person to How will Chaudhary respond? a razor line facing a complete anarchy.

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30 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan


The Road to Anarchy

March 3rd 2009, Lahore: terrorists attack Sri Lankan Cricket team
March 30th 2009, Lahore: terror strikes Police Training Academy

M edia reports on the March 30th issues of governance. Terrorism is not

terrorist attack on the Pakistani just making life difficult for the
Police Training Academy in Government but has also weakened the
Lahore was the 18th of the kind in the sprit to govern.
past three months in that country. The
fact that the authorities could bring the In this grand drama that is unfolding,
March 30 situation under control within the 'Mumbai attacks' was 'Act I'. With
hours did not digress from the Mumbai, the first civilian Government
seriousness. Such a revelation sent in Pakistan in nearly a decade had to
shockwaves, and has exposed the answer a series of uncomfortable
fragile condition prevailing in Pakistan. questions. It came under immense
But these attacks are not aimed only at pressure from the international
undermining Pakistan's administration community vis a vis India even as it was
but at overthrowing the same. fending off similar pressures on the
Afghan front. The First Act went off
The systematic, choreographed attacks well for the terrorists as it ensured that
in the region look less and less like a Pakistan was suitably embarrassed on
terrorist operation, and more and more the global stage. It also left ample room
like precision-driven commando for speculation about an 'all-out war'
operations with larger political with India. After the 'limited over' Kargil
objectives. It began with the War and the Parliament attack this was
assassination of Benazir Bhutto in the third of the kind.
December 2007, which was a ploy to
weaken the political maneuverability of It was in this background that the Swat
Pakistan. The assassination rendered Valley peace deal was singed. The deal
the political situation in Pakistan more only added insult to the injury, whereby
fragile than already. This was witnessed the State of Pakistan declared that it
in the uneasy relations among the had lost a part of its sovereignty to a
various political parties on the one rag-tag militia. The Second Act was to
hand, and the Opposition-inspired, ensure that Pakistan was not a place
anti-Government protests, on the other. where outsiders were welcome. The
SRIPATHI NARYANAN, In turn, this exposed the inability of the March 3rd attack on the visiting Sri
Department of Defence and Strategic civilian administration to ease the Lankan cricket team implied that no
Studies, University of Madras tensions, to be able to focus on real one would want to visit Pakistan,

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April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

sportsmen or businessmen. The purpose the battleground and Pakistan as the way. In the case of nations like
of this incident was not another case of 'frontline State'. But the last two years Afghanistan and Pakistan, terrorism has
muscle-flexing, but a polite reminder to have made the 'frontline ally' the sought to destroy the symbols and
all visitors, starting with tourists but not battleground. symbolism of the State first, and the
excluding foreign diplomats and State not very long after. There could
political leaders. Post-Marriot Hotel The near-nonstop feud among various also the case for religions being as an
attack, the targeting of the Sri Lankan political parties within Pakistan has not additional tool alongside terrorism for
cricketers was to cripple the already helped, either. The constant political perpetuating a 'hate-campaign' against
failing economy and cut off all foreign one-upmanship has not only added to other nations, States and religions.
direct/indirect investments. the woes but could also act as stimulant W h a t e v e r t h a t b e , d e f i n i t e l y,
to other problems. If this situation is propagating religion and/or a religious
Act III in this play was to undermine the allowed to fester, a deadly combination State is not certainly a goal or an end of
writ of the State even more. In the first of weak political leadership, and the r e l i g i o n - c e n t r i c m i l i t a n c y, n a y
two cases, the Pakistan State could fend simultaneous spread and strengthening terrorism. Afghanistan is a standing
off the situation, whether on the of terrorism could ensure that the proof, and Pakistan is an emerging one,
political or military front, with limited future of Pakistan is bleak, at best. For, too.
or no external support. But the attack all the ingredients for a 'failed State' are
on the police academy exposed the already in place.
inadequacy of the State apparatus to
the challenges posed by terrorism in The road to anarchy may not be far way
mainland Pakistan. Near-similar attacks as it is under construction. This road,
had taken place on the army outposts, when completed, will be the highway
convoys and patrols in the past, but they for future terrorism. This highway will
were mostly along the terrorism- connect the turbulent regions of the
infested Afghan border, with no law or world by land, sea and through air. That
law-enforcing agency for decades, if is Afghanistan and Iraq on land, nations
not centuries. The attack on the like Somalia and Sudan through sea, and
academy could well discourage fresh the rest of the world by air. By the time
recruits for the police force. Thus, this highway gets 'inaugurated' (God
Pakistan would be fighting for its forbid!), terrorism would become the
survival, as Interior Minister Rehaman 'rule of law' for some in many parts of
Malik said after the attack on the police the world than at present. Unlike most
academy. scripts, the Final Act in this sordid
drama would not see any happy-ending.
All these attacks have not only shown It could well be the last play on the
the weakness of the Pakistani forces but stage called the Pakistani State.
also exposed the vulnerability of the
State and the nation as a whole. The Over the years, it has suited the agenda
frequency of such attacks has exposed of the terrorists in the region to borrow
the loopholes in the Government symbols and symbolism from religion.
system, and keeps reminding the The rest of the world has bitten the bait
Government of the same. Not to without thought. For propagating
mention that the free run that the religion, religion-centric laws and a
terrorist enjoys in carrying out such religious way of life, they do not need
operations has only made Pakistan the terrorism as the tool. Most other nations
global battle ground for fighting in the region have practiced all three
terrorism. The post-9/11 US-led 'Global for centuries now, and terrorism has not
War on Terror' began with Afghanistan as changed the rules in their case, either

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April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan


Does Pakistan Understand ?

umbai attacks, among the fervour'. The knee-jerk reaction of
worst and audacious terror blaming Pakistan for the tragedy
strikes of the modern did not find favour with the
times, have been an important Pakistanis. The Pakistan media, in
factor in escalating tensions in particular, blamed the Indian
Indo-Pak relations for the past government of taking the easiest
three months. Pakistani reaction way out by “raising the convenient
spanned from sympathy, denial, Pakistan bogey, hoping to deflect
anger, bargaining and to the the barbs and arrows directed its
acceptance of the possibility that own way, from citizens and from
“some part of the conspiracy has its media.”
taken place in Pakistan.”
The Zardari government's
The initial Pak reactions, during immediate and unconditional
the first days of the siege were offer of cooperation—to send the
extremely sympathetic. Salman ISI chief to India—was taken as
Masood, who has covered many of appositive step and powerful
these bombings for the New York evidence that it had had no hand in
Times, said, "Perhaps now Indians the attack. However, following the
will understand how the ordinary stiff resistance from the Pakistani
Pakistani feels—helpless, besieged opposition parties and the Army,
and pessimistic about the future". the government of Pakistan
However, this initial wave of backtracked from its decision. The
sympathy was obscured, once the Pakistani media was of the opinion
Indian government pointed fingers that the government was exposing
at elements from Pakistan its intelligence agency to a session
especially the Lashkar-e-Taiba. of "levelling of charges" by the
Pakistan accused the Indian
government, and especially the The fear that the Mumbai attack
media, of falling into the trap of was a plot staged to capitalise on
'finger-pointing', 'hasty the internal disturbances and
TANYA SAIRA GEORGE conclusions' and 'jingoistic divert Pakistan's attention from

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33 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

War on Terror was

evident in the media
reports. Added to this 27 November 2008 “Pakistan played no role in the Mumbai attacks”
conspiracy theory, was – Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar
“Let us not jump to conclusions, let us not go in for knee-jerk reactions.”
the apprehension that – Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
the attacks were a part
of larger goal to 28 November 2008 Pakistan agrees to send ISI chief to India, back tracks later.
weaken Pakistan from 30 November 2008 “Pakistan to act against any group if India gives proof…We have nothing to hide
within and to force the and nothing to be ashamed of.” – Foreign Minister Qureshi
Pakistan army out of
1 December 2008 “We have yet to see evidence.” – PM Gilani
the western borders,
thus providing relief to 3 December 2008 "These (terrorists) are stateless actors who have been operating throughout the
the Taliban militants. region. We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he (Kasab) is
definitely a Pakistani,"
– President Zardari
While asserting the
innocence of the State 13 December 2008 “India has provided no proof that Kasab is Pakistani.” – Qureshi
of Pakistan, President 19 December 2008 “Ajmal Kasab belongs to Pakistan.” - Nawaz Sharif
Zardari went on to He backtracks from the comments on December 24 and demands concrete
charge “state-less” or evidence.
non-state actors who 6 January 2009 Mumbai evidence “not credible”. – Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir
wanted to hold “the
entire world hostage”, 7 January 2009 “Ajmal is A Pakistani National” – National Security Advisor Maj. Gen. (retd)
Mahmud Ali Durrani.
for the Mumbai
He is sacked soon after for “irresponsible behaviour” by Gilani.
attacks. He observed
that both Pakistan and 10 January 2009 No need for “so much noise” on Mumbai. “Though it's their internal matter, it was a
India are victims of big intelligence failure and now we'll have to defend two countries.”
– PM Gilani
terrorism and only
cooperative efforts 13 January 2009 “India has not given any evidence on Mumbai attacks but just information.”
– PM Gilani
can help curb the
menace in the region. 17 January 2009 Dossier contains “leads and good clues”. – Interior Minister Rehman Malik

30 January 2009 “Pakistani territory was not used so far as the investigators have made their
Challenging Zardari's
conclusions. Pakistani territory not used. It could have been some other place.”
assertion that there – High Commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamshul Hasan.
was no proof that the
30 January 2009 “I assure you that my soil will not be used for terrorism and if anyone is found
arrested Mumbai guilty, the law will take its own course.” – PM Gilani
attacker hailed from
Pa k i s t a n ' s P u n j a b 12 February 2009 “Some part of the conspiracy has taken place in Pakistan.”
– Interior Minister Rehman Malik
province, former
premier Nawaz Sharif, 15 February 2009 The 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings and the Mumbai attacks are linked.
– Foreign Minister Qureshi
in an interview to Geo
channel, said “Ajmal 22 February 2009 "We are waiting for their response and we will take our next step in light of the
Kasab belongs to information provided by India." – Foreign Minister Qureshi
Pa k i s t a n . I h a v e

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34 ×
April 2009
Troubles in Pakistan

checked myself. His house and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, foremost being provided by Indian based
village has been cordoned off by the among India's wanted list and the militant groups and criminal
security agencies. His parents are leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, organisations. However, Indian
not allowed to meet anybody. I don't affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, investigators refuted this claim,
understand why it has been done.” under house arrest and detained at with the Home Minister P.
But he backtracked from the least 124 people in a nationwide Chidambaram dismissing the claim
comments on December 24. crackdown. as "rubbish".

The 70-page Indian dossier was After being in constant denial Then the Pakistani government
provided to Pakistan in the first mode, Pakistani National Security issued a statement saying
week of January as evidence of the Advisor Maj. Gen. (retd) Mahmud Ali investigators needed more
Lashkar-e-Taiba's role in the Durrani on January 7 admitted that evidence from India to proceed with
Mumbai terror attacks. It urged the lone captured Mumbai terrorist the investigation. The request for
Islamabad “to hand over the Ajmal Kasab is a national, more information provoked an
conspirators to face justice in India, vindicating the Indian stand. He was angry reaction from India, which
dismantle the infrastructure of sacked by Gilani for his said it had already shared
terrorism in Pakistan, prevent “irresponsible behaviour”. exhaustive evidence of Pakistani
further terrorist attacks from the Prime Minister Gilani on January 10, complicity.
Pakistani soil and to adhere to all accused the world of “double
bilateral, multilateral and standards” in dealing with the On February 12, Pakistan admitted
international obligations to take the Mumbai attacks and terrorist that the Mumbai terror attacks was
Mumbai attackers to task.” incidents in Pakistan, saying there “partly” planned on its
was no need for the international territory—bringing an end to 79 days
A Foreign Office spokesman community to make "so much noise" of Islamabad's flip-flop on the
commented that the Indian dossier about the strike in India's financial involvement of elements from the
painted a one-sided picture of the hub. While on January 13, he state in the carnage and breaking the
Mumbai attacks and the Pakistani claimed that the material provided tension between the two countries.
authorities were examining it by India on the Mumbai attacks
minutely to separate the facts from constituted "information" and not As Siddharth Varadarajan wrote in
fiction. Foreign Secretary Salman evidence and said that "pragmatic The Hindu, the “time has come for
Bashir brushed aside Prime Minister cooperation" was the way forward India to think of carrots too, not just
Manmohan Singh's charge that ISI for dealing with the 26/11 terror sticks” since it is the first time that
and other official agencies were attacks. the Pakistani state has ever publicly
involved in the Mumbai terror acknowledged that specific
attack saying that such an approach Early in February, The Dawn, citing individuals and organisations based
was "fraught with grave risks" even Pakistani investigators, stated the on its territory were actively
as he dismissed some details of the attacks were planned in a European involved in staging a terrorist attack
evidence provided by India as "not country and Dubai over the on India. India should shed its
credible". Internet, and that the planners used distrust, ensure that the
Bangladesh for logistical investigation is brought to fruition,
Under immense international support—the final plan was refined and the offenders brought to
diplomatic pressure, Pakistan put in India with significant support justice.

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35 ×
April 2009
US on Pak, Afghan

President Obama’s Remarks on New

Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Washington, DC

ood morning. Today, I am
March 27, 2009 announcing a comprehensive,
new strategy for Afghanistan
and Pakistan.

This marks the conclusion of a careful

policy review that I ordered as soon as I
took office. My Administration has
heard from our military commanders
and diplomats. We have consulted with
the Afghan and Pakistani governments;
with our partners and NATO allies; and
with other donors and international
organizations. And we have also worked So let me be clear: al Qaeda and its
closely with members of Congress here allies – the terrorists who planned and
at home. Now, I'd like to speak clearly supported the 9/11 attacks – are in
and candidly to the American people. Pakistan and Afghanistan. Multiple
intelligence estimates have warned
The situation is increasingly perilous. It that al Qaeda is actively planning
has been more than seven years since attacks on the U.S. homeland from its
the Taliban was removed from power, safe-haven in Pakistan. And if the
yet war rages on, and insurgents control Afghan government falls to the Taliban –
parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged –
Attacks against our troops, our NATO that country will again be a base for
allies, and the Afghan government have terrorists who want to kill as many of
risen steadily. Most painfully, 2008 was our people as they possibly can.
the deadliest year of the war for
US President BARACK OBAMA American forces. The future of Afghanistan is inextricably
on March 27, announced the long-awaited linked to the future of its neighbor,
new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Many people in the United States – and Pakistan. In the nearly eight years since
at the White House, saying the situation
many in partner countries that have 9/11, al Qaeda and its extremist allies
in Afghanistan has become "increasingly
perilous." Obama said that Afghanistan sacrificed so much – have a simple have moved across the border to the
could not be allowed to come under the question: What is our purpose in remote areas of the Pakistani frontier.
control of the Taliban or the al Qaeda, Afghanistan? After so many years, they This almost certainly includes al
which he said, was plotting new attacks
on the United States from safe havens ask, why do our men and women still Qaeda's leadership: Osama bin Laden
from Pakistan. Here is the full text of fight and die there? They deserve a and Ayman al-Zawahiri. They have used
President Obama's policy speech: straightforward answer. this mountainous terrain as a safe-

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36 ×
April 2009
US on Pak, Afghan

haven to hide, train terrorists, Afghanistan, and to prevent their return urgent danger to the people of Pakistan.
communicate with followers, plot to either country in the future. That is Al Qaeda and other violent extremists
attacks, and send fighters to support the goal that must be achieved. That is a have killed several thousand Pakistanis
the insurgency in Afghanistan. For the cause that could not be more just. And since 9/11. They have killed many
American people, this border region has to the terrorists who oppose us, my Pakistani soldiers and police. They
become the most dangerous place in the message is the same: we will defeat assassinated Benazir Bhutto. They have
world. you. blown up buildings, derailed foreign
investment, and threatened the
But this is not simply an American To achieve our goals, we need a stability of the state. Make no mistake:
problem – far from it. It is, instead, an stronger, smarter and comprehensive al Qaeda and its extremist allies are a
international security challenge of the strategy. To focus on the greatest threat cancer that risks killing Pakistan from
highest order. Terrorist attacks in to our people, America must no longer within.
London and Bali were tied to al Qaeda deny resources to Afghanistan because
and its allies in Pakistan, as were of the war in Iraq. To enhance the It is important for the American people
attacks in North Africa and the Middle military, governance, and economic to understand that Pakistan needs our
East, in Islamabad and Kabul. If there is capacity of Afghanistan and Pakistan, help in going after al Qaeda. This is no
a major attack on an Asian, European, we have to marshal international simple task. The tribal regions are vast,
or African city, it – too – is likely to have support. And to defeat an enemy that rugged, and often ungoverned. That is
ties to al Qaeda's leadership in Pakistan. heeds no borders or laws of war, we why we must focus our military
The safety of people around the world is must recognize the fundamental assistance on the tools, training and
at stake. connection between the future of support that Pakistan needs to root out
Afghanistan and Pakistan – which is why the terrorists. And after years of mixed
For the Afghan people, a return to I've appointed Ambassador Richard results, we will not provide a blank
Taliban rule would condemn their Holbrooke to serve as Special check. Pakistan must demonstrate its
country to brutal governance, Representative for both countries, and commitment to rooting out al Qaeda
international isolation, a paralyzed to work closely with General David and the violent extremists within its
economy, and the denial of basic human Petraeus to integrate our civilian and borders. And we will insist that action
rights to the Afghan people – especially military efforts. be taken – one way or another – when we
women and girls. The return in force of have intelligence about high-level
al Qaeda terrorists who would Let me start by addressing the way terrorist targets.
accompany the core Taliban leadership forward in Pakistan.
would cast Afghanistan under the The government's ability to destroy
shadow of perpetual violence. The United States has great respect for these safe-havens is tied to its own
the Pakistani people. They have a rich strength and security. To help Pakistan
As President, my greatest responsibility history, and have struggled against long weather the economic crisis, we must
is to protect the American people. We odds to sustain their democracy. The continue to work with the IMF, the World
are not in Afghanistan to control that people of Pakistan want the same things Bank and other international partners.
country or to dictate its future. We are that we want: an end to terror, access to To lessen tensions between two
in Afghanistan to confront a common basic services, the opportunity to live nuclear-armed nations that too often
enemy that threatens the United their dreams, and the security that can teeter on the edge of escalation and
States, our friends and allies, and the only come with the rule of law. The confrontation, we must pursue
people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who single greatest threat to that future constructive diplomacy with both India
have suffered the most at the hands of comes from al Qaeda and their and Pakistan. To avoid the mistakes of
violent extremists. extremist allies, and that is why we the past, we must make clear that our
must stand together. relationship with Pakistan is grounded
So I want the American people to in support for Pakistan's democratic
understand that we have a clear and The terrorists within Pakistan's borders institutions and the Pakistani people.
focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and are not simply enemies of America or And to demonstrate through deeds as
defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan – they are a grave and well as words a commitment that is

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37 ×
April 2009
US on Pak, Afghan

enduring, we must stand for lasting and Pakistan. Our nations will meet how we will ultimately be able to bring
opportunity. regularly, with Secretary Clinton and our troops home.
Secretary Gates leading our effort.
A campaign against extremism will not Together, we must enhance intelligence For three years, our commanders have
succeed with bullets or bombs alone. Al sharing and military cooperation along been clear about the resources they
Qaeda offers the people of Pakistan the border, while addressing issues of need for training. Those resources have
nothing but destruction. We stand for common concern like trade, energy, and been denied because of the war in Iraq.
something different. So today, I am economic development. Now, that will change. The additional
calling upon Congress to pass a troops that we deployed have already
bipartisan bill co-sponsored by John This is just one part of a comprehensive increased our training capacity. Later
Kerry and Richard Lugar that authorizes strategy to prevent Afghanistan from this spring we will deploy approximately
$1.5 billion in direct support to the becoming the al Qaeda safe-haven that 4,000 U.S. troops to train Afghan
Pakistani people every year over the it was before 9/11. To succeed, we and Security Forces. For the first time, this
next five years – resources that will our friends and allies must reverse the will fully resource our effort to train and
build schools, roads, and hospitals, and Taliban's gains, and promote a more support the Afghan Army and Police.
strengthen Pakistan's democracy. I'm capable and accountable Afghan Every American unit in Afghanistan will
also calling on Congress to pass a government. be partnered with an Afghan unit, and
bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Maria we will seek additional trainers from
Cantwell, Chris Van Hollen and Peter Our troops have fought bravely against a our NATO allies to ensure that every
Hoekstra that creates opportunity ruthless enemy. Our civilians have made Afghan unit has a coalition partner. We
zones in the border region to develop great sacrifices. Our allies have borne a will accelerate our efforts to build an
the economy and bring hope to places heavy burden. Afghans have suffered Afghan Army of 134,000 and a police
plagued by violence. And we will ask our and sacrificed for their future. But for force of 82,000 so that we can meet
friends and allies to do their part – six years, Afghanistan has been denied these goals by 2011 – and increases in
including at the donors conference in the resources that it demands because Afghan forces may very well be needed
Tokyo next month. of the war in Iraq. Now, we must make a as our plans to turn over security
commitment that can accomplish our responsibility to the Afghans go
I do not ask for this support lightly. goals. forward.
These are challenging times, and
resources are stretched. But the I have already ordered the deployment This push must be joined by a dramatic
American people must understand that of 17,000 troops that had been increase in our civilian effort.
this is a down payment on our own requested by General McKiernan for Afghanistan has an elected
future – because the security of our two many months. These soldiers and government, but it is undermined by
countries is shared. Pakistan's Marines will take the fight to the Taliban corruption and has difficulty delivering
government must be a stronger partner in the south and east, and give us a basic services to its people. The
in destroying these safe-havens, and we greater capacity to partner with Afghan economy is undercut by a booming
must isolate al Qaeda from the Pakistani Security Forces and to go after narcotics trade that encourages
people. insurgents along the border. This push criminality and funds the insurgency.
will also help provide security in The people of Afghanistan seek the
These steps in Pakistan are also advance of the important presidential promise of a better future. Yet once
indispensable to our effort in election in August. again, have seen the hope of a new day
Afghanistan, which will see no end to darkened by violence and uncertainty.
violence if insurgents move freely back At the same time, we will shift the
and forth across the border. emphasis of our mission to training and To advance security, opportunity, and
increasing the size of Afghan Security justice – not just in Kabul, but from the
Security demands a new sense of shared Forces, so that they can eventually take bottom up in the provinces – we need
responsibility. That is why we will the lead in securing their country. That agricultural specialists and educators;
launch a standing, trilateral dialogue is how we will prepare Afghans to take engineers and lawyers. That is how we
among the United States, Afghanistan responsibility for their security, and can help the Afghan government serve

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April 2009
US on Pak, Afghan

its people, and develop an economy international assistance so that it is None of the steps that I have outlined
that isn't dominated by illicit drugs. used to provide for the needs of the will be easy, and none should be taken
That is why I am ordering a substantial Afghan people. by America alone. The world cannot
increase in our civilians on the ground. afford the price that will come due if
And that is why we must seek civilian In a country with extreme poverty that Afghanistan slides back into chaos or al
support from our partners and allies, has been at war for decades, there will Qaeda operates unchecked. We have a
from the United Nations and also be no peace without reconciliation shared responsibility to act – not
international aid organizations – an among former enemies. I have no because we seek to project power for its
effort that Secretary Clinton will carry illusions that this will be easy. In Iraq, own sake, but because our own peace
forward next week in the Hague. we had success in reaching out to and security depends upon it. And
former adversaries to isolate and target what's at stake now is not just our own
At a time of economic crisis, it is al Qaeda. We must pursue a similar security – it is the very idea that free
tempting to believe that we can short- process in Afghanistan, while nations can come together on behalf of
change this civilian effort. But make no understanding that it is a very different our common security. That was the
mistake: our efforts will fail in country. founding cause of NATO six decades ago.
Afghanistan and Pakistan if we don't That must be our common purpose
invest in their future. That is why my There is an uncompromising core of the today.
budget includes indispensable Taliban. They must be met with force,
investments in our State Department and they must be defeated. But there My Administration is committed to
and foreign assistance programs. These are also those who have taken up arms strengthening international
investments relieve the burden on our because of coercion, or simply for a organizations and collective action, and
troops. They contribute directly to price. These Afghans must have the that will be my message next week in
security. They make the American option to choose a different course. Europe. As America does more, we will
people safer. And they save us an That is why we will work with local ask others to join us in doing their part.
enormous amount of money in the long leaders, the Afghan government, and From our partners and NATO allies, we
run – because it is far cheaper to train a international partners to have a seek not simply troops, but rather
policeman to secure their village or to reconciliation process in every clearly defined capabilities: supporting
help a farmer seed a crop, than it is to province. As their ranks dwindle, an the Afghan elections, training Afghan
send our troops to fight tour after tour enemy that has nothing to offer the Security Forces, and a greater civilian
of duty with no transition to Afghan Afghan people but terror and repression commitment to the Afghan people. For
responsibility. must be further isolated. And we will the United Nations, we seek greater
continue to support the basic human progress for its mandate to coordinate
As we provide these resources, the days rights of all Afghans – including women international action and assistance, and
of unaccountable spending, no-bid and girls. to strengthen Afghan institutions.
contracts, and wasteful reconstruction
must end. So my budget will increase Going forward, we will not blindly stay And finally, together with the United
funding for a strong Inspector General the course. Instead, we will set clear Nations, we will forge a new Contact
at both the State Department and metrics to measure progress and Group for Afghanistan and Pakistan
USAID, and include robust funding for hold ourselves accountable. We'll that brings together all who should
the Special Inspector General for consistently assess our efforts to have a stake in the security of the
Afghan Reconstruction. train Afghan Security Forces, and region – our NATO allies and other
our progress in combating partners, but also the Central Asian
And I want to be clear: we cannot turn a insurgents. We will measure the states, the Gulf nations and Iran;
blind eye to the corruption that causes growth of Afghanistan's economy, Russia, India and China. None of these
Afghans to lose faith in their own and its illicit narcotics production. nations benefit from a base for al
leaders. Instead, we will seek a new And we will review whether we are Qaeda terrorists, and a region that
compact with the Afghan government using the right tools and tactics to descends into chaos. All have a stake in
that cracks down on corrupt behavior, make progress towards the promise of lasting peace and
and sets clear benchmarks for accomplishing our goals. security and development.

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April 2009
US on Pak, Afghan

That is true, above all, for the coalition The United States of America did not The road ahead will be long. There will
that has fought together in Afghanistan, choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. be difficult days. But we will seek
side by side with Afghans. The sacrifices Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed lasting partnerships with Afghanistan
have been enormous. Nearly 700 on September 11, 2001, for doing and Pakistan that serve the promise of a
Americans have lost their lives. Troops nothing more than going about their new day for their people. And we will
from over twenty other countries have daily lives. Al Qaeda and its allies have use all elements of our national power
also paid the ultimate price. All since killed thousands of people in many to defeat al Qaeda, and to defend
Americans honor the service and cherish countries. Most of the blood on their America, our allies, and all who seek a
the friendship of those who have hands is the blood of Muslims, who al better future. Because the United
fought, and worked, and bled by our Qaeda has killed and maimed in far States of America stands for peace and
side. And all Americans are awed by the greater numbers than any other people. security, justice and opportunity. That
service of our own men and women in That is the future that al Qaeda is is who we are, and that is what history
uniform, who have borne a burden as offering to the people of Pakistan and calls on us to do once more.
great as any other generation's. They Afghanistan – a future without
and their families embody the example opportunity or hope; a future without Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless
of selfless sacrifice. justice or peace. the United States of America



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April 2009
Thinking Conservation

Ecology in the Face of Economics

lanet earth, the lone life to externally imposed changes, which
sustaining system of the may eventually destroy it and allow its
universe, simulates an ecological replacement by something different.
theatre. With biosphere as its stage,
this ecological theatre performs an Such a system or rather a group of
evolutionary play, the characters or systems has also developed in fresh
players of which constantly change waters, which though occupy only a
through natural selection process and small part of the global stage in terms of
probably by other mechanisms or even area and volume yet holds an immensely
perish away if their capacities to sustain momentous and key position. This is
fail to cope up with the genetic because the fresh waters not only
pressure. The players, on this stage live define biosphere but also greatly
turbulently while their truest obligation support it. The freshwater bodies
is all about remaining persistent on the though usually small and relatively
stage. Most players walk-on or walk-off temporary, are susceptible to being
the stage owing to other organisms dried up easily, or freeze in concuss with
seeking space and removing rivals from the changes in the climate. Similarly
the stage by the process of competition, other global catastrophies resulting
predation or parasitism. Since various from the insults inflicted by the master
resources like energy, water and of the stage, Homo sapiens, embark
materials needed for growth are their influence upon them. It is through
variously scarce in all parts of the these impacts on fresh water that the
stage, hence such competitive global impact on human kind has
ecological battles are quite common manifested most seriously. So the future
and as a consequence, the organisms of freshwaters thus holds the future of
have developed interacting systems of mankind as well. If the freshwater
eating and being eaten, which players are made to walk-off the stage,
collectively have shaken down to use so shall be our fate too.
these resources efficiently and
therefore have given a superficial The fresh water bodies such as rivers,
appearance of an “ordered ponds and lakes, which being opulent
ecosystem” or “homeostatic reservoirs of history are the discernible
ecosystem”. This order remains structures, the physical properties of
Dr. S.M. ZUBER is associated
unshaken as long as the system which facilitate a physically distinct
with the Himalayan Ecological and
Conservation Research Foundation, remains undisturbed. However, this structure which varies by day and
J&K system is always extremely vulnerable season. As a matter of fact, the

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Thinking Conservation

distribution of chemicals further matter but discharge the major nutrient 2001) yet the same gains significance as
confers an additional form to the load to the receiving water. This it enables one to paint a picture of
system. Superimposed upon these discharge of sewage and excesses of almost all the goods and services
structural components is still another fertilizers has imposed an accelerated offered by an environmental resource.
type of organization provided by the rate of succession upon many inland
distribution of the biota. waters of the world thereby resulting in Economic valuation involves placing a
their infelicitous senescence. price tag on the goods and services that
Though lakes enjoy a complete life are provided by environmental
cycle yet the process of senescence is In economic sense, such natural resources, whether or not the market
accelerated by human intervention. resources are considered to be as prices are available for them. The
The natural process of lake succession common property resources, economic value of any good or service is
from its creation to destruction is a collectively owned by the society at generally measured in terms of what we
gradual process for all but a few small large or owned by no man, with open are willing to pay for the commodity
lakes. Some lakes get quickly filled up access to everyone. While coming to less what it costs to supply it.
with the sediments, while some others terms with protecting such a resource, Pa r a d o x i c a l l y e n o u g h , p e o p l e ,
are eventually destroyed by the same conservation biologists throughout the industries and governments use and
catastrophic processes which were once globe have recently adopted a damage these resources without paying
the root of their genesis. Once a lake is methodology and vocabulary of more than a minimal cost or sometimes
created, a biotic community starts economics in their arguments for the paying nothing at all. In such a situation
establishing in it. The lake then protection of diversity. Although a “market failure” occurs described as
progresses to some trophic equilibrium ethical, aesthetic, scientific and the Tragedy of the Commons - in which
which once ensconced, changes slowly educational methods of valuation of a the value of the common property
but may oscillate back and forth resource are available as well but the resources is lost to all of society. Market
depending upon the size and nature of pure incentive behind adopting such a failure occurs when resources are
the drainage area, average depth of the methodology of conservation lies in the misallocated, which therefore, allows a
original basin and upon fluctuations in fact that government and corporate few individuals or businesses to benefit
local climate especially temperature officials currently base their major at the expense of the larger society.
and erosive rainfall. A lake if left to policy decisions on economic valuation Consequently, the society on the whole
itself may gradually change from an and when the loss of biological diversity becomes less prosperous from certain
oligotrophic to eutrophic state and vice is perceived to cost money, perhaps economic activities and not more
versa. The ever increasing human governments and various corporations prosperous.
intervention into the natural processes will take appropriate measures to
has resulted in yet another type of prevent it. When people and organizations are
eutrophication- the cultural made to pay for the consequences of
eutrophication, which unfortunately Ecological economics is an emerging their actions, they will be much more
has turned out to be the most potent discipline, similar to environmental likely to stop damaging -or at least
factor in accelerating the natural economics and resource economics that minimize their damage to the
ageing process of a lake. In fact people integrates economic valuation of environment. In spite of being aware of
are the causative agents of cultural biological diversity with ecology, the importance of resources, we are
eutrophication which ensure severe environmental science, sociology and somehow unable to decide upon a wise
enrichment of natural waters by public policy. The economic valuation plan for the same. Many a times, the
municipal sewage along with thus helps in identifying or environmental resources are complex
agricultural drainage - the premier approximating the optimum. Although and multifunctional and we may not yet
causes of cultural eutrophication. economic valuation exercise may not be aware of all the goods and services
Ironically, sewage treatment plants reflect all the values like intrinsic provided by them. At such a time, the
settle out and break down particulate values of the system (Verma et al., extent to which one can justifiably

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April 2009
Thinking Conservation

utilize a natural resource rests on ecological studies have been conducted being carried out by adopting the
acquiring a thorough knowledge about by National Institute of Hydrology, principles of economics.
all the values that are gained and lost Regional Centre Jammu, University of
under each of the resource use options Jammu, Jammu, University of Kashmir, With the view that the underlying cause
possible and then careful consideration Srinagar, Central Ground Water Board, of environmental damage is so often
of resources can successfully be carried S K U A S T, L a k e s a n d Wa t e r w a y s economic in nature, it becomes
out through preservation and Development Authority etc on various imperative that the solution must
sustainable use or total development. waterways festooning the face of J&K. incorporate the economic principles.
Economic valuation is concerned with Since their studies focused mainly on The basic theme of the present day
the proper allocation of the the assessment of physico-chemical and investigations thus revolves around the
environmental resources in order to biotic status of the water bodies, hence assessment of the ecological status of
improve the human welfare thereby, to paint a complete picture of their the aquatics followed by the economic
serving to improve the management of current status, ecological health of the importance of this valuable wetland.
environmental resources in such a way ecological systems and their economic
that it can be utilized not only by the implications need to be assessed. Thus, in view of these considerations,
current generation but is made Although the author has conducted efforts need to be made to raise
available for the posterity. economic valuation study of Lake information on the thrust areas of
Mansar but many lentic and lotic concern like: i) reckoning the ecology of
The principle of ecological economics systems and other wetlands like the riparian, lacustrine and wetland
could thus prove to be a viable tool in Gharana in Jammu, Hokarsar & Hygam ecosystems with respect to its total
conserving and protecting the natural in Kashmir are still waiting for their turn biodiversity; ii) enumerate the existing
resources for the generations to come. to undertake valuation studies so that. threats to these natural systems such
In the context of Jammu and Kashmir Consolidated efforts are needed to be as: anthropogenic influences, incidence
which has a vast array of natural aquatic extended in this direction so that a of water borne diseases and increased
resources but everywhere abused and market for valuing these resources water quality degradation and iii) enlist
misused by people, ecological could be evolved and strategy framed and value the economic benefits
economics would go a long way in saving for developing a comprehensive plan for extracted from the lentic and lotic
our prestigious resources from mitigating the sufferings and secure systems.
extinction. future for these resources. In this Sub-
Himalayan state efforts involving the The information raised thereof would
Economic valuation of natural resources conservation of natural resources need go a long way in formulating cost
encompasses all the values that are thus to be clubbed with evaluation of efficient and more productive strategy
currently being extracted from them. In monetary benefits derived from these for the conservation and preservation of
such a case, instead of option and resources by adopting the principles of these wonderful blessings of nature.
existence values various actual/current economics.
values through direct and indirect
valuation techniques needs to be The study on the
captured. Since stakeholders extract ecological dynamics
multiple values from the aquatic vis-à-vis economic
resources, hence actual values alone valuation of natural
cannot been totaled to arrive at total ecosystems is thus
economic value (TEV). need of the hour.
wherein the efforts
The conservation of natural resources involving the
of Jammu and Kashmir State is a much conservation of a
thought and deliberated topic and many natural resource is

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April 2009

Gandhian Perspectives and Practices

t is a century back that Mohandas intellectual, moral and political
Karamchand Gandhi in 1909 wrote commitments and ideals.
one of his seminal works Hind Swaraj
that contained some of the basic Gandhi was a great influence in
principles of his philosophical position Kashmir. He had a role in getting
that shaped his political life. In the Kashmir's secular nationalist movement
context of Kashmir I thought it of led by Sheikh Abdullah closer to Indian
interest to visualize that how his ideas National Congress. This proximity
and actions would relate to different gained significance at the crucial time
aspects of the Kashmir Issue. There are of the partition of the Indian
many principles and practices that subcontinent. He also had a significant
Gandhi enunciated in his life that would role in moving Maharaja of Kashmir
have a number of lessons and from his pro independence stance to
implications in relation to what is decide in favor of accession to India.
known as Kashmir problem in its During the crucial days ahead of British
different dimensions. withdrawal from the subcontinent
Gandhi made a visit to Jammu and
In the Hind Swaraj, Gandhi makes an Kashmir between July 31 and August 2,
important statement that no power on 1947. In the course of his visit he met
earth can continue to rule over a people the Maharaja, the Maharani and the
against their will. This also reflected his leadership of National conference in
commitment to Self Determination. Kashmir. It is believed that he had some
This commitment seen in tandem with role in getting pro-independence Ram
his teachings on and practice of Chandra Kak removed from the position
Satyagraha (Civil Resistance), truth, of premiership of Kashmir at this crucial
non-violence, self rule and juncture to be subsequently substituted
decentralization of power has a number by Maher Chand Mahajan as the Prime
of lessons in relation to what is known as Minister of the state. Mahajan with his
Kashmir problem in its different proximity with the congress and its
dimensions. So, it would be of great leadership played crucial role in
conceptual and even practical negotiating and in fact effecting
significance to visualize Gandhi's accession of the state with the India's
position in relation to Kashmir problem dominion government.
both in its internal and external
PROF NOOR AHMAD BABA dimensions in the light of his Gandhi during his visit tried to impress

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April 2009

Maharaja that he needs to be prompt in no power on earth can continue to rule commitment that in spite of accession
deciding about the accession of the over a people against their will is also by Maharaja State's future dispensation
state with either of the two emerging vindicated by the fact that after losing will be determined by its people?
dominions inline with popular the trust of people government of India
sentiment within the state. In this he has been finding it difficult to rule the Similarly we understand that Gandhi's
would have assumed that National state through the normal legal-political vision for India was a sort of republic of
Conference as a prominent party of the machinery hence the recourse to republics with high degree of
large segment of the Kashmiri coercive machinery to keep control on decentralization of powers. He did not
population predominantly Muslims the state and its people. He maintains visualize India to be a centralized state
would be unwilling to accede what was that controlling by inflicting fear that Nehru and others associated with
to be the dominion of Pakistan. It is also through coercion can never be the framing of the constitution made
a fact that Gandhi in-spite of his non- sustained for long. So what India to be. Gandhi was much more
violent commitment supported subsequently followed in Kashmir need likely to be supportive of autonomy
government of India's decision of to be judged in the light of the urges of the popular government of the
sending its force to Kashmir on the principles that Gandhi stood for through state led by Sheikh Mohammad
request of its Maharaja to meet the in his life. He, with his above referred Abdullah. For Sheikh Abdullah and his
emergency situation created by the commitments, in my understanding, government it was very difficult to
tribal entry into the state of Jammu and may have had to face a number of convince the Government of India and
Kashmir from what had become predicaments in relation to government those who were involved in framing of
Pakistan. However, once the conflict in of India's failure to meet the pledges the constitution about the desirability
Kashmir prolonged into a stalemate that it made to Kashmir and its people of granting greater autonomy to Jammu
between India and Pakistan and was at the crucial juncture. How would he and Kashmir within the Indian Union.
taken to the United Nations for have responded to Government of The government of India conceded this
position to state more or less as an
soliciting its arbitration in the matter he India's backtracking from its
is reported to have expressed his
disapproval? He wanted the two
governments, India and Pakistan to sit
together and exhibit their will to
amicably resolve the issue without
involving the external parties. This is
what the two governments have failed
to accomplish so far.

But, this is the fact that Gandhi could

not live long to witness the Kashmir
problem getting complicated both in its
internal and external dimensions. His
broad position that no people can be
taken over by force only, has in part
proved to be correct as Indian control
on the valley of Kashmir and parts of
Jammu was facilitated by endorsement
it got from one of the popular parties,
the National Conference, for accession
with India. His another statement that

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April 2009

expediency to meet the extra ordinary Secondly, for the same factors of losing
situation in which Kashmir had become
part of the international agenda and not
as part of its conviction to empower the
popular support, government of India
gradually became dependent on non-
democratic, repressive and immoral
state say on the Gandhian terms. Many measures. because there is more to know
people in Delhi wanted to undo this in
the earliest opportunity. This mindset Gradually Kashmir has become a zone
in Delhi is what created fissures of conflict with a very high degree Monthly Magazine
between government at Delhi and militarization putting a lot of strain on
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah heading the
Kashmir government. This resulted in
its people and its divinely gifted
environmental assets. Gandhi in terms
Extensively Researched
the un-constitutional and in Gandhian of his principles would not have
idiom, immoral dismissal of Sheikh approved of this. His opposition to
Written with Clarity
Abdullah from the government in the western modernity was partly because
state, his prolonged improsenment it tampered with nature and its gifted and Insight
without any charges being assets. Eventually the only place
substantiated, and subsequently where Gandhi had seen the light even Covers Four Key Issues
running the state through a series of during turbulent times of 1947 became
unpopular regimes. In my opinion, this
was violation of many of the Gandhian
an abode of disaffection, violence,
blood letting, death and destruction.
principles. Gandhi's commitment to State and people of Jammu and
decentralization and his principles of Kashmir remained divided between Economy
truthfulness would have seen him in India and Pakistan making the two
solidarity with protesting people in bitter enemies of each other. This, in Culture
Kashmir and their imprisoned my opinion, would not have been
leadership. approved by Gandhi as these Strategic Affairs
contravened some of the basic
What followed was still worse. The principles that he was committed to
gradual erosion of the state autonomy all through his life
through regimes that had no popular
base within the state made democracy Unlike the General run of the News
its first victim. Elections were not fairly KNOWLEDGE
held, state machinery became
The J&K legislature is bicameral in
dependent more or less on repressive
nature comprising of State Legislative
agencies. Internally it undermined the Assembly and State Legislative
legitimacy of Indian hold on Kashmir Council. The Legislative Assembly has
and made it increasingly dependent on
the coercive structures. Internationally
strength of 87 seats while the
Legislative Council consists of 36
it undermined India's moral authority on seats.
two counts; Has a self life That Extends
ØJ&K is the only state which has its own

One, that after losing popular support

state flag as well as its own For Beyond the
within the state in post1953 era, it
internationally withdrew its commitment ØLotus is the famous state flower and News Period Covered
to ascertain the opinion of the people on Chinar is found in abundance in J&K
the future dispensation of the state. State. For subscription enquiries

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April 2009

Emperor Jahangir on
History, Culture of Kashmir - II

he Mughal emperor Nuruddin years. An account of them, and a list of
Muhammed Jahangir (1605-27) their names, are given in the Raj-
not only maintained political tarang, which, by my father's order, was
stability in Kashmir during his reign, translated from the Sanskrit (Hindi in
but, more significantly, appreciated text) into Persian.In the Hijri year 712
and articulated cultural features of (1312-13) Kashmir was illumined by the
Kashmir which made it a land of religion of Islam. Thirty two
attraction and established it distinct Muhammadan princes reigned over it
from the rest of the world. In his for 282 years, until, in 994 (1586), my
Memoirs, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, he gives father conquered it. From that date till
huge space to the life and works of the now, being a period of thirty five years,
people of Kashmir. His narration of the the country has been in the possession
various features of the socio-economic of the Crown (Mughal).” His mention
activities of Kashmir provides huge shows that the Mughal emperor found
publicity to people of Kashmir in terms the Kashmiris a politically conscious
of their contribution to the cultural people and the ruling class of Kashmir
developments in the region. For him, gave a it a definite political identity. It is
Kashmir was one of the ancient also evident from Jahangir's mention
historical region of the world. He that before the establishment of Mughal
presents the historical events of rule in Kashmir, its rulers carried various
Kashmir in accordance with both the types of the constructive
Kashmiri and his own perceptions. In his programme.He was highly impressed
Memoirs he mentions Rajtarangini as with the people perception and build
the source of the history of Kashmir. heritage of the Sultan Zainul Abidin
This establishes that Jahangir was (1420-70). For Jahangir, Zainul Abidin's
interested to know the people's history building works, magnanimity and
of Kashmir through its own sources. endurance brought huge social fame
Moreover, he records the oral traditions and support to him and he became an
of Kashmir and use them as sources of important theme of the oral traditions
his narrations. of Kashmir. According to Jahangir,
“Sultan Zainul Abidin …ruled Kashmir
Jahangir traces the history of Kashmir with absolute sway. They (Kashmiris)
from ancient period onwards. Giving speak of him as the great Badshah. They
the glimpses of the political life of tell many strange customs of his. There
Kashmir, he writes, “In old times the are many remains and traces of building
country (Kashmir) was in the possession of his in Kashmir. One of these is in the
PROF JIGAR MOHAMMED of Rajas. Their dynasty lasted for 4000 midst of a lake called Wulur, and of

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April 2009

which the length and breadth are more withdrawl of soul from the body). narration shows that establishment of
than three or four kos. It is called Zain- When, from the ways and methods of his the Mughal rule in Kashmir was resisted
lanka, and in making it they have sons, he perceived in them signs of by the Chaks for long time. For him, the
exerted greatly. The spring of this lake haste in seeking for rule and sultans of Kashmir were the great
is very deep. The first time they brought government, he would say to them, “To builders in terms of construction of the
a large quantity of stone in boats and me it is very easy to abandon rule, and bridges, mosques, palace and
poured it on the place where now the even to pass away from life, but when I monastries. He mentions existence of a
building stands it had no result. At last am gone you will do nothing and the beautiful and lofty mosque in Srinagar,
they sank some thousands of boats with built by Sultan Sikandar in 1393 and
100 gaz out of the water, and made a rebuilt by Sultan Husain in the early
terrace, and on one side thereof the sixteenth century.
sultan erected a temple for the worship
of his supreme God. Than this there is no Jahangir makes sufis, Rishis, aritficers,
finer place. He (the Sultan) often came merchants, Brahmans, Sunnis and Shias
to the spot by boat and engaged in etc. as important themes of his
worship of the King of Wisdom. They say Memoirs. He mentions that Mir Sayyid
he spent many “forty days” in that Ali (a famous sufi of Kubraviya order) of
place.” Hamdan visited Kashmir. His monastry
was also established in Srinagar. For
Jahangir also mentions some oral Jahangir, majority of the merchants and
traditions of Kashmir regarding the artificers of Kashmir belonged to Sunni
folk's perception Zainul Abidin's sect and majority of the soldiers
methods of making a person dutiful and belonged to Imamiyya Shia sect. He also
God-fearing through peaceful means. mentions the presence of the
He quotes an incident narrated by some Nurbakhshi sect in Kashmir. Jahangir
people of Kashmir. According to him, found the Rishis as the most contented
“One day a wicked son of his (Zainul persons and actively engaged in the
Abidin) came to that place to kill him, public welfare activities in Kashmir.
and finding him alone, drew a sword and time of your prosperity will not endure Describing the characteristics of the
went in. When his eyes fell on the long, but in a short time you will obtain Rishi of Kashmir he writes:
Sultan, however, on account of his the recompense of your evil deeds and
venerable dignity and the might of his your own dispositions.” Having spoken “There is also a body of Faqirs whom
vertues, he became confused and thus, he gave up eating and drinking , they call Rishis. Though they have not
bewildered and turned away. The Sultan and passed forty days in this manner… religious knowledge or learning of any
shortly after came out and seated On fortieth day he gave up the deposit sort, yet they possess simplicity, and are
himself in the boat with this same son, of his existence, and entered into the without pretence. They abuse no one,
and started for the city. On the way he mercy of God.” Jahangir mentions that they restrain the tongue of desire, and
said to his son, “ I have forgotten my Zainul Abidin's sons brought the end of the foot of seeking; they eat no flesh,
rosary; get into a canoe and fetch it for their family through mutual rivaleries they have no wives, always plant fruit-
me.” The son having gone into the and conflicts and the persons of Chak bearing tree in the fields, so that men
temple sees his father in the same tribe replaced the family of Zainul
may benefit by them, themselves
place, and the graceless man woth Abidin in terms of political power. For
deriving no advantage. There are about
complete shame of face falls at his him, the Chaks were the people of
2000 of these people.” It is important to
father's feet and asks pardon for his common soldiers of Kashmir before
mention that the Rishis believed in the
fault. They have told many tales of such their acquisition of the sovereignty of
mysticism and spread the concept of
miracles as this of him, and they say also Kashmir. He also mentions Yaqub Chak's
the Unity of Being. Nuruddin or Nand
he had well practised the the science of resistance against the Mughals army in
Rishi was popular among both the
khala (ilm-i-khala-i-badan i.e. Kashmir, led by Raja Bhagwan Das. His

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April 2009

Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir being ruinous. As it was the palce whre that the people of Kashmir is rice, but it is
propagator of the welfare of all. veritable qibla (place turned towards in inferior. They boil it fresh and allow it to
Jahangir's mention shows that the Rishis prayer) and visible Deity used to sit, and get cold, and then eat it, and call it
works received huge social support in it is really a place of prostration for this batha. It is not usual to take their food
Kashmir. suppliant, therefore its neglected state warm, but people of small means keep a
did not appear right to me. I (Jahangir) portion of the batha for a night, and eat
Jahangir was very much impressed from ordered Mutamid K. who is a servant it next day.” Jahangir also witnessed
the Brahmans of Kashmir in terms their who knows my termperament to make the use of both vegetables and meat in
knowledge and sincerity to their every effort to put litte garden in order Kashmir. But both the vegetable and
religious practice. He also found some and repair the buildings.” meat were prepared in a way which did
very attractive temples in Kashmir. He not suit to his own taste. Commenting
records the cultural identity of the on the use of rice with vegetable in
Kashmiri Brahmans and their temples in Jahangir records the music as a Kashmir Jahangir writes, “It is not
these words: “There is also a body of dominant means of recreation custom (in Kashmir) to put salt into the
Brahmans living from of old in this in Kashmir. He mentions batha. They boil vegetable in water, and
country, who still remain there and talk throw in a little salt in order to alter the
in the Kashmiri tongue. Outwardly on
several musical instruments flavour, and then eat them along with
cannot distinguish them from such as lutes, dulcimers, harps, the batha. Those who want something
Musalmans. They have, however, books drums flutes and Kashmir tasty put a little walnut-oil into the
in the Sanskrit language, and read vegetables. Walnut oil soon becomes
were very experts in play with
them. They carry into practice bitter and evil-flavoured. They also use
whatever relates to the worship of them. For Jahangir, the cow-oil (raughan-i.e. ghi), but this
idols. Sanskrit is a language in which the Kashmiris used to sing in taken fresh, and fresh from newly-made
learned of India have composed books, Kashmiri language butter (maska). They threw it into the
and esteem them greatly. The lofty food, and call it “sada-pak” in the
temples which were built before the
compositions and musicians Kashmiri language. As the atmosphere is
manisfestation of Islam are still in and singers were able to cold and damp, it becomes altered by
existence, and are all built of stones, combine two or three modes being kept for three or four days.”
which from foundation to roof are large, Jahangir also found various types of
together, even many of them
and weigh 30 or 40 maunds, placed one pickles made in Kashmir. For him, garlic
on the other. Near the city there is a were skill in chorus. pikcle was the best. But the peas and
small hill which they call Kuh-i-Maran as wheat of Kashmir were of inferior
well as Hari Parbat. On the east side of Jahangir observed the food habits, quality. Regarding the quality of wheat
the hill there is the Dal lake, which dress and crops of Kashmir very and its use Jahangir writes, “The wheat
measures round a little more than 6.50 minutely. He not only records them in is small and of little substance (kam
koss. My father (may the lights of Allah his Memoirs in accordance with local maghz). It is not the custom to eat
be his testimony!) gave an order that perception but also makes his own bread (nan).” He mentions the use of
they should build in this place a very comments on them. For him, the the flesh of sheep (handu) and some
strong fort of stone and lime; this has Kashmiris produced multiple crops. But birds such as fowls, geese and ducks.
been nearly completed during the reign he found rice as the major staple crop of
of this supplicant, so that the little hill Kashmir. His narration of the rice shows Jahangir mentions the availability of
has been brought into the midst of the that Jahangir collected huge various kinds of fishes with both the
fortifications, and the wall of the fort information regarding its use in scales and without scales. Jahangir
built round it. The lake is close to the Kashmir. According to him, “Rice is the witnessed a method of fishing which
fort, and the palace overlooks the principal crop. Probably there are three
was peculiar to Kashmir. He gives a long
water…At this period it appeared to me parts (of Kashmir) under rice and one
description of the fishing in Kashmir. He
to be very much out of order and under all other grains. The chief food of

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April 2009

records the fishing of Kashmir in a very (kurta), and call it pattu. If they do not even many of them were skill in chorus.
interesting manner. According to him, put on a time, they (Kashmiris) believe
“…I saw an unusual kind of fishing on the that the air affects them, and even it is Jahangir preserves some of the local
part of the fishermen of Kashmir. In a impossible to digest their food without customs of Kashmir in his Memoirs. One
place where the water was up to a man's it.” Kashmir's pashmina shawls are very of these customs was the lighting of
chest, they propelled two boats that much appriciated by Jahangir. lamps on the bank of Jhelam river. He
were side by side, and so that at one end describes this custom in these words;
they were in contact, and at the other Though he does not mention the term “…the Kashmiris had lined with lamps
end they were 14 or 15 yards apart. Two pashmina, his description of shawls both sides of the Bihat. It is an ancient
boatmen held long poles in their hands, from two types wools, one from Tibet custom that every year on this day
and sat on the outside edge of each boat and another from local Kashmiri wool everyone, whether rich or poor,
so as to regulate the space between (pattu), shows that Pashmina shawls whoever has a house on the bank of the
each boat, and they should proceed were most precious. Describing the river, should light as on the Shab-i-
equally. Then ten or twelve boatmen different kinds of shawls, woven in barat. I (Jahangir) asked the Brahmans
got down into the water, and laying hold Kashmir, Jahangir writes, “The shawls the reason of this, and they said that on
of the ends of the two boats that were of Kashmir to which my father (Akbar) this day the fountain-head of the
joined together with their hands, gave the name of parm-narm, are vry Jhelam was disclosed, and the custom
trampled the bottom with their feet, famous; there is no need to praise them. had come down from old days that on
and moved on. Another kind is tahrma (naharma); it is this date must take place the feast of
thicker than a shawl and soft. Another is Veth tarwah. Veth means the Jhelam
The fish which were between the boats called darma. It is like a jul-i-khirsak, and they call thirteen tarwah; as this
wanted to get out of the narrow space, and is put over carpets. With the day is the 13th of Shawwal, they light
and came against the feet of the exception of shawls they make woolen lamps. In this way they call it Veth
boatmen. Immediately one of the materials better in Tibet. Though they tarwah. Undoubtedly the lamp-lighting
boatmen dived , and another one bring the wool for the shawls from was good. I (Jahangir) sat in a boat and
pressed upon his back and with his two Tibet, they do not make them there. went round to see it.”
hands kept him coming to the surface. The wool for shawls comes from a goat
The latter caught a fish and produced it. which is peculiar to Tibet. In Kashmir Jahangir's narration of the historical
Some who are expert in the art catch they weave the pattu shawl from wool, events of Kashmir pertaining to its
two fish with their hands, and bring and sewing two shaws together they people shows the Mughal emperor's
them to the surface. Among them was smooth them into kind of saqarlat policy of integration of the region with
an old boatman, who generally at each (broad-cloth), which is not bad for a the Mughal empire. He tried to establish
dive brought up two fish. This kind of rain-coat.” Jahangir also mentions that that he was concerned with the local
fishing occurs at Panj Brara, and is generally the men of Kashmir shaved issues and sentiments of the people of
peculiar to Jhelam. It is not used in their head and wore a round turban. Kashmir. His Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri helps to
ponds or other streams. It also obly understand the nature of Kashmiri
takes place in the spring when the water Jahangir records the music as a society in the 17th century. The
is not cold or impetuons (gazanda).” dominant means of recreation in description of the distinct social groups
Kashmir. He mentions several musical and their beliefs also show that
Jahangir mentions woolen tunic (Kurta) instruments such as lutes, dulcimers, Kashmiri culture was one of the well
as the most popular dress of the harps, drums flutes and Kashmir were established cultural identities of the
Kashmirs and shawls most precious very experts in play with them. For Mughal empire and their preservation
dress item. He also mentions the Jahangir, the Kashmiris used to sing in and propagation were instrumental in
climatic factors behind the use of these Kashmiri language compositions and associating the Kashmiris with the
woolen dresses. According to him, “ Men musicians and singers were able to different socio-political and economic
and women wear a woolen tunic combine two or three modes together, aspects of Mughal India.

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April 2009
Films in Ladakh

A Film Industry Ripening

in the Himalayas

ntil the end of the twentieth century Bollywood films
had dominated Ladakhi society like most cities of the
country and it was difficult then to image that films
could be made by locals also one day in their own mother
tongue. Things have changed since then as over two dozens
of films have been made by local producers in Ladakhi
language just in a span of little more than half a decade.
Prior to the year 2002 there was almost no tradition of
producing films by Ladakhis and in Ladakhi language.
SANTSAMS, meaning Border, produced by the Face Of Ladakh
(FOL) in 2002 was the first Ladakhi feature film. Success of
the first few films, coupled with the affordable digital
technology, has certainly encouraged more Ladakhis to have
produced and released series of films so far. As a result of
which a large number of registered film societies have
sprung up today in Leh. One of the main objectives of these
film societies continues to support some humanitarian
projects out of the revenue they generate from their films.
Mr. Tsering Wangdus (Lonpo) who has written and directed
several films produced by the Ladakh Vision Group says that
they have supported some heart and kidney patients,
provided infrastructure to few private and government
schools and also helped promote winter sports in Ladakh.
“300 rupees per show from the income earned from all films
now goes to the Red Cross funding which is handled by the
district administration,” says a film producer.

Having made several films for seven years many producers

are today cynical about the sustainability of the industry in
Ladakh given the lack of infrastructure and the small
number of audiences. “A good quality of film can be only
made with a high budget, but then it becomes difficult to
even recover the expenses incurred in the film making,”
Wangdus observes. Like Wangdus many other producers in
Leh also claim that they don't earn any profit but it
sometimes becomes difficult to recover what they spend in
Tsewang Rigzin making films since completing a film, from script writing to

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April 2009
Films in Ladakh

editing, takes a year or two depending

upon the nature of the film. Almost all
films so far carried strong messages and
cautions about preservation and
promotion of Ladakhi traditional and
cultural values and on prevailing social
issues along with love stories in parallel.

Since Leh doesn't have some good

theatre halls, all films are shown in the
government owned Leh auditorium.
There was some objection against the
allotment of the auditorium to give film
shows, but when the issue was brought
before the LAHDC General Council for
taking its view, it was decided that local
films serving as platforms to many
upcoming Ladakhi talents to develop
their skills should face no obstacles in
getting the hall hired. A Censor Board
headed by the additional deputy
commissioner with representatives
executive councilor of the Hill Council. ever feature film to be shot, digitally
from various religious organizations is
This has been a tradition since the year edited and produced by Ladakhis in
also in place which reviews each film
2002. Ladakh. Today Tsondus is available in
before its release. The Censor Board
DVD with English subtitles. Similarly
sometimes asks the producer of a
Leh this year has already seen the many other films are also subtitled in
particular film to remove some scenes
release of three feature films, DHANGS English.
in the film which they presume as
by Chospa Creation, LASLDEL by Ladakh
offensive or objectionable. Allotment
Vision Group and SEMs-DUK by AK Ladakh Vision Group is trying the entry
of the auditorium is given to a producer
Production. All the three films managed of its latest film, LASDEL, to the film
only after a film is approved by the
to attract big crowds even in the cold festival at the State level to be
Censor Board. Rigzin Kalon, with
winter months. KHORWA, meaning the organized by the JK Academy of Arts,
experience in assisting film making
cycle of life and death, a film on AIDS, Culture and Languages in Jammu
productions in the Bollywood, made a
by the Himalayan Film Studio and LAS shortly. DELWA a love story produced by
Ladakhi film called E-MITSE – the
GYUDAS, the fruit of deed, by the the Ladakh Vision Group released in
present life. For the sustenance of the
Golden Mask Group are among the ones 2004 has been perhaps the most popular
Ladakhi film industry Kalon believes
to be screened in 2009. “Film makers, so far as people in Leh still refer to
that given the unique cultural backdrop
especially in Ladakh, put in a lot of hard DELWA as the good film.
of Ladakh it is important to maintain a
work in making films. But we face more
benchmark and originality in stories
of criticisms and less of One of the unique things about Ladakhi
rather than following a pattern of a
encouragement,” says Stanzin who films is almost all films are made by
particular film industry. His film E-MITSE
makes both documentary and feature people whose backgrounds are not from
had to be released for a second time
films at the Himalayan Film Studio. any prestigious film institute but they
after removing a scene which was
Tsondus (Effort) an educational film by rather come from different walks of life
opposed by some as objectionable.
the SECMOL Media studio was released and yet manage to attract a big crowds
Most of the films have so far been
in 2003. This film apparently is the first to the films they make.
released by the chairman/chief

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April 2009
Films in Ladakh

The Single Handed Film Maker: circumstances led him to give up his course in Chandigarh, he brought out his
studies after he passed class 9th and then first video album ETCHES in 2004. It was
Tsering Zangpo from Sakti (Serthi) he worked as a helper at an audio around the time when video album
village and Stanzin Dorjai from Gya cassette shop and a photo studio for culture was flourishing at a fast speed
village, both with rural backgrounds, sometime. Recalling his depressing days in Leh. But today piracy with VCDs
who had hardly seen a television in their Zangpo says, “Having lost one of my seems to have affected video albums
childhood, have set up the Himalayan hands, I used to feel inferior and badly. Today Zangpo is a scriptwriter,
Film Studio. Their first film before handicapped to others and therefore I producer and a lyrics and music
KHORWA was MIG-CHOOU – The Tears – in often used to think of doing something composer. Till today he has composed
2007. exceptional to prove myself second to over 80 songs lyrics with their music
none”. besides making films and albums. The
Zangpo's story is an exceptional one Himalayan Film Studio today makes
since he has passed through some tough Zangpo gradually developed interest documentary films as well. The recent
vicissitudes in life after he lost his left and passion for songs and music. With 'Living with Change' a documentary film
hand in an electric short-circuit while loans and supports from his friends, he by the WWF on Climate Change and
he was on a school picnic in 1994 when produced his first audio song cassette in Global Warming was made at the
he was in class 8th. Zangpo says some 2002. After taking a three month music Himalayan Film Studio.

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April 2009
Valentine’s Day

Red Faces, Crimson Roses

and Pink Panties

hen you see the image of a
heart with an arrow stuck
through it on Valentine's Day,
don't be surprised if the arrow is not of
cupid. It probably is the arrow shot by
the Sangh Parivar or one of the many
groups who protest against Valentine's

So what is the whole fuss about? Why is

this day celebrated and after whom?
There are many famous legends about
St Valentine after whom the
Valentine's Day is celebrated, the most
popular one being about his other major festivals celebrated in
conducting marriages of young lovers India.
in secret in third century Rome. Every
year, 14th February draws different Around this time, the Muslim rightist
responses from different sections of organizations as well as 'swadeshi'
our society. Youngsters in urban areas organizations like the Bajrang Dal.
flock to restaurants which have Shiv Sena and the latest Sri Ram Sene
candle-lit dinners accompanied with started organizing protests against
romantic music, exchange roses and this 'cultural import'. Other than the
Card shops are full of soft toys and Bajrang Dal, specific to Kashmir, the
chocolates. Islamic group Dukhtaran-e-Millat or
Daughters of the Community,
India post 1991 saw liberalization Kashmir's only women's separatist
bringing in many products from the group is also known for its fiercely
west, and also values and traditions of conservative social views.
the west. So in came Mcdonalds, Protests are marked by activities
Benetton, English slang words and ranging from burning down Valentine's
Valentine's Day. In the last few years, Day cards and shouting slogans of
the commercialization of this day by 'Down with Valentine's Day', to beating
means of cards, chocolates and up of youngsters found to be
stuffed toys and the hype created by celebrating this day, among other
various offers, events and media made activities. These hardliners get more
RENU POKHARNA it a big occasion along the lines of creative every year.

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April 2009
Valentine’s Day

This year was no different, in an Valentine's Day in Jammu and Kashmir centre, Lal Chowk and also conducted a
extreme case, a brother and sister duo series of surprise raids on restaurants,
in Ujjain were chased and harassed by 4 Valentine's Day in Jammu and Kashmir internet cafes and card shops. DeM
Bajrang Dal activists who were later this time was different, other than the claims that Valentine's Day is unIslamic
arrested by the police. In another brutal usual moral policing done by Dukhtaran- and for the last four years has been
case, a sub-inspector of Haryana police e-Millat and some other groups and organizing such protests across the city,
was suspended after he allegedly beat some low-key celebrations, this year which actually resulted in an automatic
up a couple after dragging them out of saw a unique initiative by the restraint on part of the youth of the
their house. Already, nearly 600 Socialistic Democratic Party. The SDP valley when it came to celebrating the
activists of the Shri Ram Sene, Bajrang activists celebrated Feb 14 th as "Indo- day.
Dal, Shiv Sena and other fringe groups in Pak Love and Peace Day" and
Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi gathered on the banks of the river But perhaps, Asiya and other activists
were taken into preventive custody on Chenab at the border town of are missing the economic opportunity
Friday, the 13th. Akhnoor where they sent dozens of that might be there for the people of J
boats filled with messages of peace and K during Valentine's Day. J and K
In an incident that made a mockery of a and decorated with balloons and can actually give competition to the
group threatening to get couples married flowers across the border. The river state of Himachal Pradesh when it
on Valentine's Day, a couple purposely got flows into Pakistan. "We return the comes to making money on Valentine's
caught and were married by a Hindu guns sent by you and send you flowers Day by the sale of flowers. Apparently,
priest in the presence of the Bajrang Dal. of love and peace", a placard read. this year, floriculturists in HP made a
Little did the activists know that the irony The boats also contained letters huge fortune by exporting carnations
was on them since the couple wanted to written by victims of violence and and other flowers to Chandigarh, Delhi,
get married but their families were not terrorism from the entire state sent Ludhiana and Dehradun. Due to the
ready to accept it! as a symbolical gesture which will right kind of terrain and climate, the
later be handed over to the Pakistan farmers in HP reap huge profits on
In other cities, faces were blackened, High Commissioner at New Delhi. cultivation of flowers. Figures estimate
heads shaved off of young men found yearly earnings of Rs 220 million.
celebrating February 14 th, and in a Meanwhile, in Jammu, many shops
bizarre cases, donkeys with remained opened till late as people The Civil Society Campaigns – A
Valentine's Day cards on their backs preferred to give flowers at the novelty this year
were paraded and the cards later set stroke of midnight. The Jammu police
on fire by the extremist groups. A claimed that their officers in plain All over India, more than love being
group of girls in Patna even offered clothes were deployed around the celebrated, it was freedom which the
flowers to the photo of Chief Minister city to prevent any mischief. youth wanted to celebrate, freedom to
Nitish Kumar for developing the state Incidents of burning of Valentine's follow what they believe in. And to
of Bihar. Day cards and flowers was reported defend this freedom, more groups
from many parts of the city, with Shiv around India this year decided to do
Even Rajya Sabha members couldn't Sena (Hindustan) being held more than just buy roses for Valentine's
resist bringing this day up during the responsible for this. Their leader Day. The Valentine's Day this year saw
course of proceedings on 13th as many claimed that this was a Western the power of civil society initiatives
members demanded a ban on right-wing gimmick to increase sales and against supported by technology that bridged
groups which were acting like the the rich 'Dogri culture. across distances in the form of the 'Pink
'Indian Taliban'. Brinda Karat (CPM) said Chaddi' Campaign. The campaign
that the Centre should take steps to In Srinagar, it was Asiya Andrabi on her started on 'facebook' as a 'Consortium of
ensure safety of young people on the rounds as usual flanked by 3 other Pub-Going, Loose and Forward Women'
Valentine's Day. activists of the DeM, who raided the city and turned into a full-fledged medium

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April 2009
Valentine’s Day

of protest when the group called for a How right are the right-wing groups?
nationwide campaign of sending Mr
Pramod Muthalik 'pink underwear' on The arguments cited by these groups
Valentine's Day. Notably, Mr Muthalik's against the Valentine's Day fall flat in
Shri Ram Sene group gained notoriety
after manhandling and beating up
the face of teeming globalization, it is
like a group of Luddites refusing to be
even tolerant of the change in culture.
women in Mangalore pub as they
considered women drinking liquor
'against Indian culture'.
The Shiv Sena calls for 'civilized love and
affection'; ironically the Shiv Sena is
named after Lord Shiva, whose 'shivling'
The J&K
The group's campaign received an (Phallus) is worshipped throughout the
enthusiastic response from all over the
country as parcels of pink underwear
state of Maharashtra. The Dukhtaran-e-
Millat leaders call these celebrations as
against Islamic teachings.
landed in the group's office in Hubli. In
retaliation, one of the group's members
said at first they had thought of sending
the same panties to an orphanage, but
If these groups really want to 'save the
public places' and 'protect their
because there is more to know
would now burn them as they carried culture', maybe they should spend more
vulgar slogans. Notably, the Sene called time catching those who write their
names on monuments, or spit and litter
off protests in Bangalore stating that
the parks, but that doesn't figure on any
they had information of some
of their manifestoes! Culturally, maybe
miscreants creating disruptions on
they should become more aware about
Valentine's Day and then blaming their
the openness of the culture that they ABDULLAH NEWS AGENCY
group for it.
are trying to protect. The sculptures of Lal Chowk, Srinagar
Khajuraho and many other temples in 9419074859
Other groups that organized such
India are a good example to begin with.
protests in different ways were Youth
There is nothing 'uncultured' or 'western'
for Equality, All India Confederation of
about these beautiful sculptures
Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and RAINA NEWS AGENCY
depicting various sexual positions.
the Northeast Support Centre in New Residency Road, Jammu
Delhi which organized peaceful protests
This moral policing only serves one
and symbolically celebrated the day.
purpose - that of getting some publicity.
There were also groups like the Earth But it serves as a reminder to all of us to ABC STATIONERS AND
Saviours Foundation and the Delhi unit the amount of intolerance in our DISTRIBUTORS
of the National Panthers Party who society. As India embraces the global Leh
played the knights in shining armours to economy, cultural imports are bound to
hapless couples by rescuing them from be there. Valentine's Day and Halloween
harassment by the moral vigilantes. A are not celebrated by many in India, but CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY
group of Eunuchs also joined in those who do, should be allowed this
equipped with pepper spray and chilly
New Delhi
freedom of expression. No single group can
powder to keep the protestors away decide what is good and bad for the whole
from couples. of Indian culture. India is a vast country
with many linkages outside and also OXFORD BOOK STORE
Police was deployed at possible targets for diverse within, this is what makes the New Delhi, Mumbai,
the fundamentalists like malls, Indian mosaic beautiful. A few elements Calcutta, Bangalore,
multiplexes, parks, and other public like this shouldn't be given the right to Chennai & Goa
places. dictate terms for the whole society.

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56 ×
April 2009

Celebration of
Cultural Exuberance

J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages.