Jammu and Kashmir’s Monthly Magazine

RNI : JKENG/2007/26070

ISSN 0974-5653

Epilogue
because there is more to know

Now Telling The J&K Stories

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CON NN E C T I N G J AMM U & K A S HM I R R OA D R A I L A I R
CHALLENGE IN KASHMIR MEDIA

Perspectives from the Ground

Print Media in Kashmir Post 1989

An extensive water supply storage system shall be created for adequate storage of water supply incremented through drilling of Tube Wells across the lengths and breadths of Jammu city. 41 Over Head Tanks and 19 Ground Level Service Reservoirs with a cumulative storage capacity of 106 Lac Gallons shall cater to the water supply requirements of the population of about 10,60,000 souls of Jammu city. OVER HEAD TANKS (OHT) AND GROUND LEVEL SERVICE RESERVOIRS (GSLR) (TARGETS) JAMMU (EAST) Scope of works Total Storage Capacity Population to be benefitted Construction of 21 Over Head Tanks 35.00 Lac Gallons 3,50,000.00 Location of OHTs in Jammu East : Shastri Nagar, Tube well no. 9 , Channi Himmat, Tube well no. 1, Rail Head, Trikuta Nagar , Gandhi Nagar, Balmiki Nagar, Nanak Nagar Sec 7, Sainik Colony Sec D/G, Sec C, Sec A, Sec F, Ambika Vihar / Langer, Thangar, Old Bandhurakh, Greater Kailash near Peer Baba, Ajeet Nagar, Dashmesh Nagar, Work shop Kunjwani, Babliana Construction of 09 Ground Level Service Reservoirs 12.50 Lac Gallons 1,25,000.00 Location of GLSRs in Jammu East Trikuta Nagar, Boria Pumping Station, PHE Complex Narwal, Tube well no. 1, Dodhi Gujjar, Sainik Colony Sec F/G, Nawabad (0.5 lac), Narwal, Qasim Nagar. JAMMU (WEST) 35.50 Lac Gallons

Construction of 20 Over Head Tanks 3,55,000.00 Location of OHTs in Jammu West : Parade, Ram Mandir, Rahari, Rani Park, Bakshi Nagar, Id Gah, Roop Nagar Stage-II, Stage-III, Suryavanshi Vihar, Indira Vihar, Ranjeet Pura, Rajpura, Relief Commissioner Office, Puran Nagar, Agricultural Complex, Jambolochan, Muthi, Tomal, Muthi Village, Resham Ghar Construction of 10 Ground Level Service Reservoirs 23.00 Lac Gallons 2,30,000.00 Location of GLSRs in Jammu West Company Bagh, Parade, Rehari, Roop Nagar Stage-II, Stage-IV, CPS Muthi, Peerkho, Relief Commissioner Office, Bakshi Nagar, CPS Medical College

B R I D G I N G

T H E

I N F O R M A T I O N

D I V I D E

Taking J&K Closer to World Bringing World Closer to J&K

Epilogue

27
Volume : 3, Number : 3 ISSN : 0974-5653 www.epilogue.in
F O R T H E M O N T H O F M A R C H 2 0 0 9

because there is more to know

RNI : JKENG/2007/26070

Besides regular columns, reports and reviews, present issue is essentially divided into two sections. One section, the cover feature, looks at the connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir through road, rail and air to discuss the vital issues of economy and security. The other section is on the Kashmir politics and peace

Epilogue Ø 1 ×2009 March

J&K'S SUMMER AGITATION
ummer of 2008 will always be remembered as a dark chapter in the secular and tolerance history of Jammu and Kashmir. On Amarnath land row, the lunatic and hawkish voices had completely taken over the sensible voices. We launched a search for the voices of peace and reason and came up with as many ideas as possible. We are happy that no chance was given to the narrow regional or religious views to creep in our pages. Sept. 2008

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INTRA-KASHMIR CONTACTS AND TRADE
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, respectively. Oct. 2008

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ELECTIONS: CHALLENGE 2008
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

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HUNG ASSEMBLY
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, 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

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MANDATE :
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.

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Jan. 2009

AGENDA FOR OMAR GOVERNMENT :
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

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Feb. 2009

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A R E Y O U M I S S I N G O U R PA S T S T O R I E S

Epilogue
because there is more to know

www.epilogue.in Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Associate Editors Irm Amin Baig Tsewang Rigzin Art Editor Keshav Sharma Research Officer Raman Sharma Mailing Address PO Box 50, HO Gandhi Nagar, Jammu Phones & email Office : +91 191 2493136 Editorial: +91 94191 80762 Administration: +91 94190 00123 editor@epilogue.in editor.epilogue@gmail.com subscription@epilogue.in Edited, Printed, Published and Owned by Zafar Iqbal Choudhary. Published from : Ibadat House, Madrasa Lane, Near Graveyard, Bathindi Top, Jammu, J&K 180012 and Printed at : DEE DEE Reprographix, 3 Aikta Ashram, New Rehari Jammu (J&K) Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction of courts and competitive tribunals in Jammu only. RNI : JKENJ/2007/26070 ISN : 00974-5653 Price : Rs 30
Epilogue Ø 3 ×2009 March

CONTENTS Who Said What Prologue Letters Note Book 11 Essential Entries 4 Essential Entries

4 5 6

9 14

IN FOCUS
Connecting Jammu & Kashmir Road, Rail, Air
Pay Parity Better Service Conditions must for good governance Environment J&K on Global Carbon Market Column Emperor Jagangir on History, Culture of Kashmir-I
Prof. Jigar Mohammad

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15 19 22 25

Message from Kashmir to New Delhi Looking at the Lessons of 2008 Analysing Conflict through Gender Perspective The Himalayan Wonder or Blunder Development & Environment Expanding Road Network in Jammu and Kashmir Looking Beyond Fair Weather Roads The Fight to Dubai

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28 32 37

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Media Print Media in Kashmir Post1989 Reviews Books

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H E A R

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H E A R

Who Said What

In Verbatim
'No state wants heavy presence of troops with extraordinary powers. We also want to cut it down…in fact the process has already been initiated' J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, responding to Opposition PDP concerns on human rights violations 'National Conference and Congress are together just to enjoy power. They don't have any policy or programme for J&K' Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at a public rally

'Security forces apparently did not follow the standard procedures of operation' Union Home Minister P Chidambram reacting to killing of two innocent youths in Kashmir by Army

'There was a major breakthrough to resolve the Kashmir issue with India during my premiership but the gains were turned upside down by the subsequent military regime of Pervez Musharraf' Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with visiting Indian peace activists 'Peoples reposed their faith in democracy (in 2008 elections), now they are being killed…this is how you want to bring peace in Kashmir' Opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti while interrupting Governor's address in state assembly

'Unless and until the Kashmir issue is resolved either through implementation of the United Nations Resolutions or trilateral talks, the peace and security will continue to elude the subcontinent' Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a press statement

Epilogue Ø 4 ×2009 March

P R O L O G U E

From the Editor

Prevent What is Preventable

Zafar Choudhary
oads are said to the lifeline of a nation's economy. Unfortunately, the road network in Jammu and Kashmir is a cause of disappointment. While economic poverty in the state can easily be attributed to the roads, it is this poorly maintained surface communication network that is emerging as a major cause of an alarming number of unnatural deaths. A recent road accident that resulted in killing of 41 persons should come as a cause of action for the government and the civil society to think over ways and means of ensuring the human security on the roads. Thousands of innocents have lost their life to conflict in the state over past two decades is a well known fact but the second major death trap for the people of Jammu and Kashmir is now arguably on roads. On a daily average 1.5 to 2 persons are being killed in road accidents and put together the number of people killed in road accidents every year is now going higher than the number of those killed in militancy. The gloomy phenomenon of road accidents involves the fact that most of these fatalities occur in Jammu division. The National Highway 1A between Jammu and Srinagar and the NH 1B connecting Doda and Kishtwar districts account for 60 per cent of the total annual deaths in road accidents. Government, unfortunately, is going beyond the cosmetic measures. After every accident the Chief Minister, his Ministers and bureaucrats fly to the

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Wreckage of bus that fell down a gorge in Doda district of Jammu division killing 41 persons. Against permitted seating capacity of 27, bus was carrying 54 passengers.

accident sites with sympathies and some relief announcements but measures are visible on ground to avoid recurring such incidents. The Doda region alone saw killings of 100 persons in a period of six months. The death trap on roads has become a matter of deep concern and needs a resolute attention particularly in wake of the a World Health Organisation report projecting that by the year 2020 road accidents will be third highest threat to public health and life in South Asia. A comparative analysis of WHO report for South Asia and road mishap statistics in Jammu and Kashmir presents a highly worrisome scenario. The analysis reveals that

traffic fatalities in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to go up by 144 per cent by next 10 years. Now is the time that the government should take clear initiatives. The human and economic damage caused by the road crashes is largely preventable. Flaws in road design and engineering coupled with driver behavior can be overcome with concerted efforts. Setting up agencies with separate budget and the powers to enforce regulations and address road safety at an institutional level can be an important step forward. Feedback : zafarchoudhary@epilogue.in

Epilogue Ø 5 ×2009 March

L ETTERS

Readers Write
Heritage conservation not task of bureaucrats, politicians alone
ubarak Mandi was declared by the NDTV on behalf of its jury to be one of the seven wonders of Jammu and Kashmir state at a select gathering in Jammu on the evening of 18 February. It would be formally displayed on its channel on Ist March. Mubarak Mandi is one of the few surviving buildings which would represent Dogra architecture. What happened to it on 1st August, 2004 shocked citizens of Jammu, in particular. On that day on the order of an executive engineer of the Estate Department, some canopies and galleries of the Mandi complex were demolished as he would have done in case of any other building which according to him, was in a dillipedated condition. But in this case damage spread and was irrepairable. I led a delegation of the Heritage Foundation, as its Vice-President, to the Divisional Commissioner who took a very sympathetic interest in the matter and stopped further demolition of the Mandi. The matter has since been engaging the attention of the government. But its decision to move all its offices elsewhere has yet not been implemented fully. For contruction of alternative buildings is yet not complete. Why cannot they be shifted to rented buildings meanwhile? In a meeting of the citizens of Jammu convened by the successor Divisional Commissioner, he announced that Gandola service would be constructed from Bahu Fort to Mubarak Mandi which would become a great tourist attraction. Everybody appreciated the idea excpt me. My argument was that it

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might shake the very fragile foundation of the Mandi. I suggested that the entire complex be handed over to the Archeological Survey of India and no step should be taken without its expert opinion. The Gondola idea was dropped for the time being and eventually on the request of the state government the survey adopted the entire complex for conservation. The previous government had appointed a high level committee headed by then cabinet minister Gulchain Singh Charak to take up the task in cooperation with the Archeological survey which had submitted a blue print for it. Somehow I could not get its copy though Mr. Charak had promised to give it to me. I cannot therefore make detailed comments on it and confine myself to some general observations, which I presume are not covered by the Archeological survey of India.

Here it is pertinent to quote form 6th century Indian treatise on architecture Mayatmatha which devotes a whole chapter on conservation. It says. “The characteristics of these temples should be resorted with their own material……The sage wishing to restore must proceed in such way that they retain their integrity.” Another modern authority on the subject Vije Surya, former Director Conservation, Sri Lanka quotes his own experience of his country where professional adopted the following principle: “it has to be kept in mind that the proper restoration of a highly specialized nature, requiring in the person who carries it out, a thorough knowledge of evolution of art, architecture and culture which produced it.”

Epilogue Ø 6 ×2009 March

L ETTERS
Readers Write

In the context of Mubarak Mandi, who should try to find out who were its builders and who are their descendant—not merely the names of the rulers---,who was the architect who conceived the design and what material was used for its construction, what type of people, including the concubines of the Rajas, lived and their lives there whose quarters were fitted with special type of curtains, through which they could see outside but could not be seen by outsiders. If modern architects are trying to trace the names of the real builders of the Taj, who should get the credit for building the wonder of the world and not Shahjahan, why it should not be done in the care of the Mandi? May be some old people, particularly in the neighbourhood, can throw some light on these vital facts. Meanwhile full photo record should be made of not only the outer design of the complex but also its interior, including paintings, drawings and carvings on the walls. Meanwhile the idea of organizing Jammu Mela, which attracts huge gathering with many eateries, should be re-examinsed for its possible negative effects on the ecology and buildings of the Mubarak Mandi complex, in consultation with expets. Another vital fact to be kept in mind is that Mubarak Mandi should be preserved as a part of an integral whole and not as an isolated island cut off from its

surroundings. There are still quite a few buildings on the roads leading to Mubarak Mandi which are in conformity with their original design and in harmony with it. But they might go the way of the other buildings which after renovation and modernization have lost their original character and have thus spoiled the integrity and harmony of the area. The government should make technical knowhow available to them as also to those who have so far maintained their original character about how to add all modern facilities in their houses without changing their outward designs. For instance, one finds that buildings in London, on many streets, have maintained their centuries old façade while making any changes in the interior with changing times. In India Jaipur is an outstanding example of a uniform pink façade of the buildings contructed long time ago while interior follows inevitable changes over time. In short, it must be realized that conservation of one of the seven wonders of the state is not the task of bureaucrats and politicians alone. Knowledgeable citizens, personalities in the field of culture and art, academics and intellectuals should help them which should also be sought. Till then the above suggestions may be considered. BALRAJ PURI Director Institute of Jammu & Kashmir affairs

Thanks for remembering us
Dear Editor Officers of All India Services work in unique circumstances in Jammu and Kashmir. Being paid well is though important for all those who work in any system but our problems go beyond that. Epilogue's story 'Lost in Pay Din, Officers of All India Services' (February, 2009) was a timely intervention to highlight some important issues particularly at a time when state government employees were asking for implementation of the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission. A circular has been now issued by the government on revised pay structure of AIS officers. I would suggest that your magazine look into some other issues also. Senior officers of the State Services lose no opportunity in cornering the AIS officers. They want to come at par with us in case of promotions and postings. But what 'at par' they talk about? Under special political circumstances they enjoy all the privileges and importance. One particular political class has already made its policies well declared on roll back of All India Services from Jammu and Kashmir. Recently when there was pay controversy, the AIS officers were the only class who did not protest despite clear rules on drawing salaries under revised scales of pay. We left it purely to the state government as we never favoured any confrontation.

An IAS officer Writer has requested to keep his identity secret

Epilogue Ø 7 ×2009 March

L ETTERS
Readers Write

Open letter to Chief Minister
Dear Sir, I congratulate you on becoming the Chief Minister of J&K State. Please spare for minutes to go through the contents of this letter. I understand that you have a tough time ahead as the victimised people of J&K state in particular, expect a lot from you so that their wounds they received since 1989 got healed. Consider me neither advisor nor to advice you on any matter but being you well wisher, I dare to suggest, “the sense of insecurity and uncertainty to life of common people is to be addressed on priority. The common people have suffered irreparably the Army, paramilitary forces, State Police etc. have been humiliating and torturing the people and used to get further compounded at the hands of gunmen. The in human behaviour being exercised by security para-military forces while dealing in critical situations at times, requires and warrants no explanation. They have to exercise restraint so that sense of fear among people is removed. Second, the erratic supply of electricity to the common people even for lighting purpose poses a serious problem and can be redressed by redrafting the agreement signed with Government of India to the extent that electricity produced from the waters of state moved meet the requirement here at minimum, thereafter the residual should go to central pool despite money on much power projects is spent by the concerned agency of Govt. of India. Third, the unemployment among educated youth, which poses threat to peace, can be checked up by filling up the vacant posts in different Government/Semi-Government Departments estimated at over seventy though sands on war footing basis. The filling up such vacant positions should be arranged outside the purview of public service commission state service recruitment board as these organization are already charged of heavy assignments on this behalf and consume in dully longer durations”. Fourth, corruption, the menace is eating the vitals of society. Those identified corrupt officials, in Govt/Semi-Government departments, whose details are available with the Government but could not be shown the door from reasons known to the then Authority are required to be removed from services forthworth, signal of seriousness of your leadership will percolate tremendous scope for development and expansion are required to be strengthened adequately, thus will not only provide employment avenues but revenue to state as well. The transport system on the state is not managed well, with the result; the commuters in particular are dissatisfied with it. The city Srinagar/Jammu, district headquarters, town main places are to be cleared from the persons who forcibly occupy the paths for business purpose during day time a cause of dceslocation to satisfactory traffic system, so that the menace of high headedness of such persons gets stopped. I have lot to write but in view of your heavy engagement schedule, I hereby close it. With kind regards Sincerely Yours Mohammad Ashraf Kakoo Director Planning and Development Department Amdakadal, Lal Bazar Srinagar – 190011 (Kashmir)

Epilogue Ø 8 ×2009 March

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11 Essential Stories
CROSS-BORDER WEDDING

JKLF Chief Malik ties knot with Pak artists
ashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik tied the nuptial knot with artist Mushaal Hussein Mullick in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, with the couple expressing hope that the Kashmir issue would be amicably resolved as early as possible. Speaking to reporters soon after the 'nikaah', the 42-year-old Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman said he had prayed for an early and amicable resolution of the Kashmir issue as prayers offered on an auspicious occasion like a wedding are always accepted by God. Britain-born Pakistani, Mushaal, a painter pursuing a bachelor's degree at the London School of Economics, said the Kashmir issue is a "serious and noble cause" that is supported by every Pakistani. "I hope that the Kashmir issue is solved through non-violence. I'll be very happy," she said. Malik, clad in a grey sherwani, and Mushaal, bedecked in jewellery and wearing a green and red 'lehnga', mingled with guests during the ceremony held at Safari Club in Bahria Town, which is located near the bride's home in Rawalpindi. Among those who attended were top leaders from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Lt Gen (retired) Hamid Gul and presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar.

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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Saffron production on decline
espite the low production, saffron traders in Kashmir are hopeful they would make up their losses with the increase in demand and high prices of saffron in international markets. The highly prized spice saffron is cultivated on the high plateau land on the southern outskirts of Srinagar and the crop is rain fed. However, during the last cultivation season, the area received scanty rains causing sharp reduction in saffron yield. Traders said that the production of saffron in Kashmir during the previous season was around 6000 kg, but last year not even half of it was reaped. There has been sharp fall in saffron production in Iran also, another major saffron producer in the world, due to draught. This has

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doubled saffron prices in the international markets and the saffron cultivators and traders in Kashmir hope that that the price rise would compensate their production loses. "The cost of the saffron depends on the international market. Globally, the price of the product has increased. It is a good thing that farmers will concentrate more on farming of the crop. Lack of rainfall during the month of August, September and November affected the saffron yield, which fell sharply. But the price of the product has gone up. So, we hope that we would be able to compensate the loss," said Bashir Ahmad Dar, Director of Agriculture, Kashmir. Despite low production, the demand for saffron

continues to be high as it is desired all over the world for its aroma, coloring and aphrodisiac properties. "There is high demand for saffron, but the production is very less. Now, it costs around 3000 rupees for ten gram of saffron," said Ghulam Nabi Bhat, a saffron grower. Saffron is one of the world's most expensive spice. The delicate flowers are harvested in autumn. The flowers begin to grow after the first rains and the blooming period is usually mid-October when the temperature is just right. Kashmir's cool climate and rich soil with excellent drainage and organic content make the location an ideal thriving ground for this spice, but a lapse in any one of the conditions can spoil the entire crop.

Epilogue Ø 9 ×2009 March

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POLITICS

PEACE PROCESS

Ruling coalition survives first roadblock
arely a month of its coming into being, the National Conference-Congress coalition government in J-K hit first roadblock when the minor coalition partner Congress dictated its terms on the major partner National Conference in Rajya Sabha elections. Four Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) to be filled from J-K were running vacant since November last year. The Congress had earlier indicated that National Conference will bag two seats, one will be allowed for the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party and one for Congress. There were three separate notifications for four seats. Congress played a last minute tantrum and fielded its two candidates on easy seats –Saifuddin Soz and Ghulam Nabi Azad –and they won without contest. Two sections of the Congress, owing allegiance to Soz and Azad, respectively, went to the town shifting blame on each other. NC PEACE PROCESS

Kasuri blames ‘the bad luck'

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took it as not only arrogance but also as a deceit from the Congress as its two candidates –Dr Farooq Abdullah and Mohammad Shafi Uri –were left to face a tough contest. Ahead of elections Dr Abdullah rushed to New Delhi to lodge his protest with the Congress leadership but a meeting could not materialize. A strong message was, however, put across which prompted the Congress leadership to initiate a damage control exercise. Azad and Soz along with a party General Secretary and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan rushed in to Jammu to manage number from independents and some cross voting from at least two members from BJP and the Panthers Party. Dr Abdullah won easily while his party colleague Shafi had a narrow victory in the election held on February 13.

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ndia and Pakistan were close to reaching broad outlines of a solution to the Kashmir dispute but it could not happen due to "sheer bad luck", says former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid M Kasuri. Kasuri also said there was a substantial understanding on a joint mechanism that would comprise representatives from the two countries besides both sides of the divided Kashmir. The agreements could not fructify because of "sheer bad luck", he told the leading Indian journalist Karan Thapar in an interview for CNBC TV18. Kasuri also said that Pakistan was hoping that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Islamabad in 2007, but he could not find time due to the elections in Uttar Pradesh. "Yes, you see...We wanted Kashmiris to be involved and India was not that keen, so we arrived at this modus vivendi that your Kashmiris would travel to Pakistan, our Kashmiris would travel here (India) and meet your leaders and your Kashmiris meet our leaders in an indirect form," Kasuri said when asked about TrackII talks to reach an understanding on the Kashmir issue. "We would have preferred a direct Kashmiri participation," he added. Kasuri was Pakistan's chief points person for talks with India during the rule of then president Pervez Musharraf.

EU to study J-K poll impact
he European Union (EU) is sending a fact-finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir, the first after the assembly elections in December 2008, which recorded a 62 per cent turnout, surprising both the national and international communities. The Troika mission will comprise Sweden, Spain and France and will be headed by the ambassador of the Czech Republic, Hynek Kmonicek. It will visit both the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region. Although since 1994, this has been a regular annual feature, a source in the EU establishment here, who refused to be named, said the fact-finding mission would help the European

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Union “get a broader and better understanding about Jammu and Kashmir”. Much has changed since the first EU Troika mission, when the separatists hailed it as a result of their efforts to draw international attention after militancy erupted in Kashmir in 1990. Later, ambassadors of many Islamic and western nations, including the US and the UK, visited the Valley. This time, the mood in the state is essentially reflective of the changing scenario, with the focus increasingly shifting towards economic issues. After the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's admission that terror groups had used its soil also helped change the perspective in Kashmir, political observers said.

Epilogue Ø 10 ×2009 March

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PEACE PROCESS

HONOURS TO INDIAN DREAM

Narrowly missed Kashmir accord
ndia and Pakistan engaged in nearly three years of secret high-level talks that narrowly missed achieving a historic breakthrough over Kashmir, according to a report in the New Yorker. The effort which began in 2004 stalled in 2007, and the prospects for a settlement were further undermined by deadly terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November, the Washington Post said Sunday said citing an article by investigative journalist Steve Coll set for publication in New Yorker magazine's March 2 issue. The attempt ultimately failed, not because of substantive differences, Coll writes, but because declining political fortunes left then Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf without the clout he needed to sell the agreement at home. Although Musharraf fought for the deal he became so weakened politically that he “couldn't sell himself”, let alone a surprise peace deal with India, Coll says, quoting senior Pakistani and Indian officials. Coll, a former Washington Post managing editor, writes that the resolution of the Kashmir issue was the cornerstone of a broad agreement that would have represented a “paradigm shift” in relations between India and Pakistan: a moving away from decades of hostility to acceptance and peaceful trade. Under the plan, the Kashmir conflict would have been resolved through the creation of an autonomous region in which local residents could move freely and conduct trade on both sides of the territorial boundary. According to Coll's account, the secret negotiations consisted of about two dozen meetings in hotel rooms in various overseas locations. The sessions revolved around developing a document known as a “non-paper”, diplomatic jargon for a negotiated text that bears no names or signatures and can “serve as a deniable but detailed basis for a deal”, the article says. The US and British governments were aware of the talks and offered low-key support and advice but otherwise elected to let India and Pakistan settle their disputes unaided, the article says. Relations - and hopes for resuming the peace initiative began a downward slide after Musharraf left office, it said. In Kashmir, anti-India fighters began an aggressive campaign of public demonstrations and terrorist attacks that seemed designed, Coll writes, to send a message: “Musharraf is gone, but the Kashmir war is alive.”

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J&K Assembly's ovation to Slumdog millionaire team
he J&K State Assembly on February conveyed its greetings to the famous musician AR Rehman and other team members of the movie Slumdog Millionaire for winning the prestigious and internationally acclaimed Oscar awards. The House unanimously expressed its goodwill and congratulations to Mr. Rehman and his team members for doing the country proud by winning the Oscars. Leader of the BJP Legislature Party, Mr. Chaman Lal Gupta drew the attention of the Chair to the achievement of Mr. A. R. Rehman and other team members of Slumdog Millionaire and suggested that a message of felicitation should go out to them from the House. The Speaker, Mohammad Akbar Lone welcomed the suggestion and the House adopted the felicitation message which read as under: “This House unanimously expressed its goodwill and congratulations to AR Rehman, renowned musician and the other team members for receiving the prestigious Oscar Awards and earning fame for the Nation in recognition to their outstanding work in the Movie namely, Slumdog Millionaire”.

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Epilogue Ø 11 ×2009 March

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Recession hits Kashmir's carpet industry
he centuries-old carpet industry of Kashmir is facing a severe crisis in the wake of the global economic slowdown, endangering the livelihood of over 150,000 weavers. Industry leaders are expecting a sharp fall in domestic sales as well as exports this fiscal as demand is falling. "Last year, the total sales of Kashmiri carpets (including exports) were Rs.500-600 crore (Rs.5-6 billion). This year, it is feared the sales would hardly touch around Rs.200 crore (Rs.2 billion)," said Ahsan Mirza, a local carpet exporter. "This is a huge slowdown that threatens the very existence of the carpet industry in Kashmir," he said. Exquisitely designed and handmade, Kashmiri carpets have been the proud possession of many a connoisseur of art and luxury around the world. There are more than 30,000 carpet weaving looms in the valley from which over 150,000 local weavers earn their livelihood. "There are 300 to 400 carpet showrooms in the country where the local carpets are displayed and sold. The global economic crisis and the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks have dealt a serious blow to our industry," Mirza said. Apart from the weavers, nearly 25,000 people are also depending on the industry to find a source of income. "These people are associated with the industry as dyers, washermen and other processing people, who are responsible for bringing DIPLOMACY

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the finished product to the market from its weaving stage," Mirza said. Saying the slowdown in the market would continue for at least two years, Mirza urged the government to help the industry. "This is the most appropriate time for the government to look into the matter and work out some kind of package to safeguard not only the interests of the weavers but also those of the exporters and local retailers in the country," he said. Weavers also expressed concern over the worsening economic scenario. "If the industry fails, I would have to starve since I have no other means of sustenance," said Abdul Rehman, a 46year-old weaver from Kanihama village of central Kashmir. Zubair Ahmad, director of the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT), said the institute was providing "all technical support" to the industry to weather the crisis. "While we are there to go all out to provide the technical support to the industry, I would suggest the government should seriously address the problem. The value-added tax (VAT) has already been abolished, now the government should provide soft loans to the weavers, manufacturers and exporters," Ahmad said. "The state-owned Handicrafts Development Corporation has a network of sale outlets throughout the country. The corporation must also engage itself in sustaining the industry so that it comes out of the present crisis," he added.

Apologetic Miliband corrects Kashmir stance
ritish foreign secretary David Miliband has publicly accepted that he was undiplomatic on the India tour, after facing severe criticism for linking the Mumbai attacks to the Kashmir issue. The British Foreign Secretary has apologised for his remarks linking the Mumbai terror attacks to Kashmir. In an interview to the New Statesman he has been quoted as saying: “Look, you learn everyday in this job. You've got to try and take that forward. I know words matter in diplomacy.” In an article he wrote in the daily The Guardian (which

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was reproduced in February issue of Epilogue) during his India trip, Miliband had said, “The best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is cooperation. Although I understand the current difficulties, resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms, and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders.” His comments had drawn a lot of flak from many quarters in Indian media and abroad, alleging lack of understanding of the Kashmir issue.

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GOVERNMENT

UPHOLDING HUMAN RIGHTS

Undermining the legislature
he eleventh legislative assembly, elected through the recent November-December 2008 elections, is currently in its first session. Conventionally it is called the budget session of the state legislature but the present ruling coalition is coming up with a Vote on Account for three months instead of a regular budget. Continuing with the bad precedence set by the previous regime, the government has reduced duration of session to mere 11 sittings. Over past few years the ruling regimes in the state have been blatantly compromising the precedents and conventions in fixing durations of the sessions. It had all begun with the formation of the Peoples Democratic PartyCongress coalition government in 2002 when the ruling establishment made first compromise with established norm of budget present presentation and went through the mode of a Vote on Account for three months. While the decision on Vote on Account was itself bad in taste as the government had come into shape in November and it had five months in hand to study finances and present a full budget but the Finance Minister said that he wanted more time 'to set this things right'. Not only that the precedence of full budget presentation was unjustifiably compromises with, the government also reduced the assembly session to two weeks to complete a mere formality. Opposition cried hoarse at this decision but it is worst that even in case of legislature it is the ruling establishment which has the last laugh and not the legislature, per se. in following years many such compromises were made with absolute arrogance. When Ghulam

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Nabi Azad took over as Chief Minister he set a new trend by advancing the budget session to J a n u a r y. H e j u s t i f i e d t h i s unprecedented development with the claim that an advanced budget session will enable the government to avail more time for developmental works. Nowhere in the country are such practices put in place. And interestingly, later Azad himself would say that most of the funds earmarked for developmental works are lapsed due to an inefficient bureaucracy. While his statement on inefficient bureaucracy needs to be dealt with separately but he must have understood later that advancing budget session and reducing its period could never have made anyone efficient. For six years the timing and the period of the session of legislature has remained more or less a process to suit the whims and fancies of the ruling regime. The new government has also continued the same practice with a Vote on Account and a session reduced to mare eleven sittings. At least the first session of new assembly should have kept enough time for the new legislators to understand the legislature and talk about the issues of importance. When Omar Abdullah took over as a Chief Minister he made a highly encouraging state on continuing the good practices of the previous coalition government reviewing those which were not really good the public. In this context the Chief Minister should have first picked up the duration of the assembly session for review renewed the practice that was in place till 2002 when his father Dr Farooq Abdullah was the Chief Minister.

CM hints stripping forces of powers
midst a growing concern on the human rights violations, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has indicted that he will repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act 'if the situation continued to improve' in Kashmir. He told legislative assembly that his government will not tolerate the killing of innocent persons, at any cost, whoever the killers might be, adding that the "if the situation continues to improve the way it has been improving, the coalition government will work towards withdrawal of laws like AFSPA and Disturbed Areas Act in Jammu and Kashmir."

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Meanwhile, criticising the government in Jammu and Kashmir for failing to release detenues, the breakaway Hurriyat Conference (HC) today said more than 1,500 separatists are languishing in different jails in and outside the state for years. A spokesman for the HC Aiyaz Akbar said despite assurance by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah before and after the Assembly elections that detenues would be released, nothing has been done so far. He said instead those released by court were being rearrested and booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Aiyaz said more than 1,500 Kashmiris, including 40 HC leaders, were arrested under the PSA and other laws, since the election process started in the Valley. He expressed concern over the continued arrest of senior Hurriyat leaders, including Shabir Ahmad Shah and Masarat Alam.

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4 Essential Stories
ELECTED: Former APPOINTED: It was like politics Deputy Speaker, coming full circle for the senior advocate and Congress leader GHULAM NABI AZAD senior politician when he regained his lost position in MOHAMMAD AKBAR New Delhi. One of the longest LONE was on serving members of members of the February 25 Congress Working unanimously Committ ee and elected as Speaker General Secretar of the 11th y, Azad had to Legislative lose all these Assembly on the positions in 2001 inaugural day of when he was the Budget made JK unit Session. Minister Chief of the for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rahim Congress . After Rather proposed the name of Lone for the post of Speaker many ups and downs, Azad has again and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand seconded the been made AICC General Secretary. proposal. Speaker Pro-tem, Chowdhary Mohammad With a seat in Rajya Sabha, he is Aslam sought vote in favour of Lone, who got back to the national politics where unanimously elected by a voice vote. After being his earlier inning spanned over 20 elected as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Pro-tem Speaker Chowdhary Mohammad Aslam, PDP Legislature Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti and BJP AWARDED: Six years after he was acquitted of espionage Legislature Party Chief Prof. Chaman charges, Kashmiri journalist IFTIKHAR GILANI's Urdu translation Lal Gupta escorted Lone to the of his own book was in February selected for the Sahitya Chair of the Speaker. Akademi award. Gilani, who spent seven months in Tihar jail, wrote a memoir of his days in incarceration - My Days in Prison. He translated it in Urdu under the title, Tihar kay Shab-o-roz, with renowned author Nusrat Zaheer who specialises in satire. The book is the first-ever book taken out by Penguin in Urdu. Gilani's book was among 16 awarded by Sahitya Akademi in the translation category. The honour carries Rs 20,000 in cash and an engraved copper plaque. The award will be formally given sometime in August this year. Gilani, the son-inELECTED: Mehbooba Mufti was elected as law of Kashmiri separatist leader leader of the Peoples Democratic Party Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was picked up legislature party in the assembly and later as by the security agencies in June 2002 from his Delhi residence leader of the Opposition in the House. on charges of espionage. He was accused of providing Representing Wachi segment in the assembly, information to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. Amidst she resigned her South Kashmir Lok Sabha seat widespread media furore, he was acquitted by the court in to accept the new challenge January 2003 but not before spending a harrowing seven months in Tihar jail.

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Understand the Pain

Message from Kashmir to New Delhi

How should the State as well as the Centre ensure lasting peace, individual security and overall development in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) when the people overwhelmingly voted for a democratic government? This is a crucial question before both, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. In a changed political scenario, there is a greater need for focused approach towards building people's confidence and creating an atmosphere of rule of law, ensuring people's rights, pushing economic development as the key factors in response to the successful completion of the seven-phase Assembly elections in November-December 2008 in the state.
he return of democracy has truly brought about a change to the state echoing what Barack Obama said about his victory in the US presidential election. The message from the Valley is loud and clear: people have wholeheartedly accepted Indian democracy and rejected the separatists who have been waging war on their behalf. But are we sensitive about the injured psyche of the people of Kashmir, who have undergone torturous 15 long years of the violent state of affairs? Shunning the call for azadi, common people have realized that there is more scope for peaceful existence under a democratic government than in responding to the bloody call for secession. Above all, the people, over all these years, have found themselves at the receiving end and pushed to the brink of brutal living at the hands of the militants and the security forces; hence, they preferred change for a peaceful and prosperous Kashmir. The high voter turnout underlines the fact that the policies of secessionists are negated, as people are tired of living

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under non-stop violent state. They want peace, and peace is where rule of law under a democratic government is. Also, they realize how and why Pakistan has been dragging them into the quagmire of death and destruction in the name of secession. By choosing democratic government the people have opted for development, rather than conflict, violence and bloodshed that have taken a heavy toll of their social and economic development. In comparison to other states, J&K lags far behind on the development front with tourism, the backbone of Valley's economy, badly hit over the years. Hopes of economic and political stability that could be revived under an able government have been kindled once again. A genuine development can be possible only when there is a complete end to the violent ways that people have opted for in this election. Now the onus is on the governments – both Central as the State – to take forward the pledge and democratic initiative that people have taken. We

M SHAMSUR RABB KHAN

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Funeral procession of a youth killed by security forces in Kashmir

have speeches, comments and writings on the victory of democracy in J&K that augurs well for India not only in the sense that it has heralded a new era but also in that the people have opted for a political solution through the ballot, not the bullet. New Delhi must heed the message from the valley that people have been trapped between a hostile army and the militants and have faced unprecedented sufferings and losses in the form of serious human rights violations since 1989. They want peace, security and development. But the killing of two youth allegedly by

The killing of two youth allegedly by the Army at BomaiSopore and mysterious death of Shabir Ahmad Shiekh, a close relative of J&K Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik has once again triggered massive demonstrations across the state with people demanding action against the accused army personnel, and has once again reopened the wounds that the people want to forget

the Army at Bomai-Sopore and mysterious death of Shabir Ahmad Shiekh, a close relative of J&K Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik has once again triggered massive demonstrations across the state with people demanding action against the accused army personnel, and has once again may reopen the wounds that the people want to forget. The brutal intimidation of youths sparked off protestors across the valley with angry citizens chanting pro-freedom and antiIndia slogans and clashed with police and CRPF. Police recovered the body of Shiekh, a resident of Maisuma and an auto-driver by profession had not

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returned home. According to preliminary investigation, he was strangulated and his body did not have any other marks. If the government does not act fast in punishing the guilty, this incident might turn out be a big issues, and most likely would be taken over the separatists. Breaking from the past practices, Omarled government must hold security forces accountable for human rights violations as an important confidencebuilding measure to promote lasting peace and ensure that those who commit abuses are investigated and appropriately prosecuted for their crimes. Unless there is a complete end to human rights abuses, there can be no lasting political settlement in J&K. Oma, in this context, can work towards repealing laws such as the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, and the Public Safety Act. These laws provide the armed forces with extraordinary powers to search, detain, and use lethal force, leading to numerous human rights violations in addition to providing immunity for security forces. A September 2006 report, 'Everyone Lives in Fear: Pattern of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir' found that the army as well as the militants, many backed by Pakistan, were responsible for human rights abuses in J&K. According to Amnesty International (April 2008), Hundreds of unidentified graves – believed to contain victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses – have been found in J&K. a fair investigation to all these human rights violations might give the people a belief in rule of law and justice system, besides paving the way for an end to separatist calls.

Since 2006, the graves of at least 940 people, for example, are reported to have been discovered in 18 villages in Uri district alone, while 1,051 people have been 'disappeared' in Baramulla district alone in the past 18 years. One such alleged massacre, as reported in the Time magazine, occurred on 6 January 1993 at Sopore to which it

Since 1990, the Armed Forces Act, which gives special powers to the army, has been enforced in J&K. Besides endangering the human rights, this Act has badly affected the state's economy, which is mostly dependent on farming, animal husbandry and tourism. With the Act in force, people have been denied to earn livelihood in sectors like sericulture, cold water fisheries, wood which is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow, saffron. Though exports from the state amounted to Rs. 1,150 crore in 2005-06, industrial development faces several major constraints including extreme mountainous landscape and power shortage
described as: "In retaliation for the killing of one soldier, paramilitary forces rampaged through Sopore's market setting buildings ablaze and shooting bystanders. The government

pronounced the event 'unfortunate', but it left the people bleeding with rage and alination. While the army claimed that those found buried were armed rebels and foreign militants killed lawfully in armed encounters, the report recounts testimonies from local villagers saying that most buried were local residents hailing from the state. The report alleges that more than 8,000 persons have gone missing in J&K since 1989. In 2006, a state police report confirmed the deaths in custody of 331 persons, and also 111 enforced disappearances following detention since 1989. While the people suffer unprecendented atrocities, officials enjoy impunity for torture, deaths in custody, abductions and unlawful killings. Albeit the rate of disappearance has gone down from 60 in 2006 to 9 in 2007, the grim security situation still haunts the people. In May last year, the J&K High Court directed the state police to file murder charges against 11 officials of the ITBP in connection with the disappearance of Ashraf Ahmad Koka, a resident of Gond, in October 2001. Because of militancy in J&K, the financial condition of the state is in shamble with hardly any serious move on improving the key development indicators. For example, nearly 40 per cent of the 2008-09 budget of Rs 18,400 has been spent on public administration, while tax revenues account for just 20 per cent of the total expenditure. The government, with bloated bureaucracy at the helm of affairs, hardly initiates any move to investment in key sectors. The state has recently lost excise duty refund from the central government, for example, in the 2008-09 budgets, the Centre

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restricted this refund to the valueaddition done by factories located in J&K. After the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Package for J&K in 2002, the state received nearly Rs 5,000 crore investments from outside, but with the central government diluting the incentive half-way into its promised tenure, the feasibility of the investors' units in the state has gone awry. Since 1990, the Armed Forces Act, which gives special powers to the army, has been enforced in J&K. Besides endangering the human rights, this Act has badly affected the state's economy, which is mostly dependent on farming, animal husbandry and tourism. With the Act in force, people have been denied to earn livelihood in sectors like sericulture, cold water fisheries, wood which is used to make high-quality

cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow, saffron. Though exports from the state amounted to Rs. 1,150 crore in 2005-06, industrial development faces several major constraints including extreme mountainous landscape and power shortage. In a positive development, however, Omar Abdullah has started the development process by putting economy before politics. He visited Mumbai recently to fetch India Inc. to invest in the state though he will have to move mountains, sometimes literally, to get J&K on the list of preferred locations for investors. While wise men talk on TV about menace of terrorism in J&K and write everything about keeping the integrity of the state intact, hardly anyone points to the plight of the people, their

unmatched sufferings and their sorrowful daily life. Unlike the people like General S K Sinha, the previous last governor, who stirred the pot by allotting a large plot of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board, New Delhi must reachout to the Kashmiri people with a large heart and motherly affection. No matter how violently we disagree with their ideas, or how angry we are about Pakistani misadventure, given the human rights abuses committed by our own men in uniform and unabated violence that India has inflicted on the people could lead to pro-Pakistan slogans or the call for azadi, else all's well if the government in Delhi works well. But there is a way. To keep the Kashmiri alienation at abeyance and bring normalcy back to the troubled state, New Delhi, in close cooperation with Omar Abdullah, needs to put an end to regular human rights violations and push forward the development agenda to in addition to healing the wounds of those who have suffered. The land called Kashmir that always fascinates all, and many of us, who Kashmir Ki Kali, can agree how beautiful and innocent the land is. So are the people. Only a friendly government in New Delhi could feel the pain, the trauma and the terrorstricken citizens.

Separatists laking a march towards UN Office in Srinagar.

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Political Aspirations

Looking at the Lessons of 2008

During the June-July 2008, we witnessed a popular uprising in Kashmir against the Amaranth Land transfer. This saw a high degree of mobilization of people converging into a movement for independence and political emancipation. Towards the later part of the year, we witnessed people participating in the electoral process in reasonably good numbers. At the face of it, these two developments look to be paradoxical and somewhat antithetical to each other. However, slightly deeper introspection into the developments should make us understand that the two reflected two different facets of human living. Such paradoxes are a normal feature in human societies.
ife at the level of an individual or a society has some paradoxical challenges that need to be dealt with. Human needs are plural, multifaceted and hierarchical in terms of their importance to a person or a group depending on their subjective placement. All living creatures have certain instinctive urges placed within them by nature for their security and survival. For example, a hungry person's first priority is food, in cold conditions one strives for warmth, unemployed looks for a job, employed would seek better terms of service, poor seek minimum means to survive with food and shelter, prosperous look for luxury and status, so on so forth. In fact, it is subjective placement that determines one's interests and prioritizes our objectives of observation, attention and striving. So we need to understand that the human needs are not only plural but these are also hierarchical in character.

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PROFESSOR NOOR AHMED BABA

First and foremost in human life comes the instinct for survival and basic physical requirements for living. Karl Marx says, 'We eat before we begin to think.' Even religious scriptures including the Islamic, recognize this hierarchy. For example, for a hungry person in desperation, Islam withdraws the distinction between Halal and Haram (permitted and forbidden). The Shariah has different provisions for people placed in different situations. Life is not a one-dimensional reality. For living a good life there are multidimensional requirements. But it all begins from the basic needs of human living that is food and shelter and everything that facilitates the process of meeting basic need for survival and physical comfort for human beings. This survival and physical comfort is prerequisite for a common man to strive for higher ideals of life. Therefore, as in our situation, common man can be legitimately concerned about the means of living. He has to seek employment, wants improvement

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in infrastructure, needs roads, bridges, electricity, and requires health and the educational services available in good quality and at reasonable distance. These constitute the core of needs for any society, in contemporary times, including the Kashmiri. Beyond the physical needs, comes the quest for honorable status both individually and collectively. This in the context of Kashmir includes the fulfillment of political aspirations rooted in special circumstances that Kashmir has gone through for last more than 60 years. It is natural for Kashmiri community to seek fulfillment of its basic needs along with its quest for political emancipation. Unfortunately, the political leadership in Kashmir particularly the ones who claim to be the true representatives of the popular aspirations have failed to take cognizance of the multifacetedness of the human needs of the society that they claim to represent. Their understanding of politics has been naïve and shallow. Since most of them have all essential services available they are unable to appreciate the genuine concerns of the common man. Most of them enjoy physical security from the State while as the common man is vulnerable to both state and non state coercive agencies. They enjoy reasonable degree of security in food and shelter while as the majority of the common people have to strive hard to secure these. The common man craves for the elementary health service available within his locality as he or she cannot afford the luxury of getting specialized treatment either in Delhi or abroad. That is why while leading people for political emancipation; they completely ignored the legitimate and mundane concerns of common man in Kashmir. Their understanding of politics exhibits their

i n t e l l e c t u a l p o v e r t y, l a c k o f understanding for the complexities of leading a political movement in the face of its associated challenges. They have no answers for common man's common concerns. Instead of being helpful their

It is natural for Kashmiri community to seek fulfillment of its basic needs along with its quest for political emancipation. Unfortunately, the political leadership in Kashmir particularly the ones who claim to be the true representatives of the popular aspirations have failed to take cognizance of the multifacetedness of the human needs of the society that they claim to represent. Their understanding of politics has been naïve and shallow. Since most of them have all essential services available they are unable to appreciate the genuine concerns of the common man. Most of them enjoy physical security from the State while as the common man is vulnerable to both state and non state coercive agencies.
style of politics many a times hampers the interests of these very people. Their type of politics undermines working atmosphere of the poor and vulnerable, and affects (has a negative bearing on) the interest of the school going children and the ill in desperate need of health services.

Compared to them the parties that are known as mainstream in Kashmir have exhibited a better appreciation of common man's concerns. Whatever their degree of sincerity they have been able to approach common person in Kashmir as his well wisher caring not only for his basic needs but also for higher and long term political aspirations for emancipation. It was Mr. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his party that from the early years of its emergence in this millennium introduced a new idiom to politics in Kashmir. While approaching people, he and his party exhibited capacity to bridge the different levels of societal needs in Kashmir. While seeking mandate for day to day governance, he also spoke of attending to different aspects of political aspirations of the people, be it related to their empowerment, cross border interaction, peace building between India and Pakistan, redressing the pain and misery of common man, spoke of demilitarization and repealing the repressive laws enforced in the state. Even the National Conference taking a leaf from this example improved its discourse on politics. This party also speaks of promoting peace process and mechanism for addressing Kashmir issue saying that elections are no substitute to resolving Kashmir issue on permanent basis and talks of promoting dialogue at different levels for addressing the issue. So the mandate for the present chiefminister is twofold. One, he must address the day to day and the mundane concerns (like meeting the basic economic needs and catering to physical infrastructural development) of the common person. That includes even securing long term development of the state and safeguarding and securing its rich assets and legitimate interests. Second, he and his government must

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also try to address political concerns of the common Kashmiri. It may include helping to bring peace process between India and Pakistan back on the track; giving relief to people by reducing the presence of and or relocating military and paramilitary forces and working for withdrawing repressive laws that grant immunity to the security agencies. Prisoners held in different jails without the due process of law need to be released. Common person's sense of security needs to be restored. He needs to pursue the restoration of the autonomy with requisite amendments for widening its contours and correcting the flaws because of which it was easy to erode it. Compared to this, different segments of Hurriyat leadership lacked the capacity to appreciate and address the different levels of people's aspirations. Their conduct of politics has made the common man in Kashmir to suffer more and have failed to motivate him for a

sustained and long term political campaign. Most of the people on this camp lack capacity to understand complexities and intricacies of political struggle and the forces it has to contend with. It has not been able to optimize its strength and inspire common man by its selflessness. They have demonstrated their lack of capacity to coordinate and live together for larger common objectives. They have also failed to reconcile their individual egos and identity with the collective good. Many of them want exclusively only top slot in politics. They do not realize that such a status is not sought but bestowed by people for their own assessment of their leaders. There are exceptions that have not been incorporated sufficiently into the collective struggle. Intelligent and resourceful are often pushed out. There in no institutional and organizational arrangement for contact with people at their door steps. Today the challenge for them is to go for a kind of intense

and collective introspection aimed at assessing the situation around and finding out ways and means of optimizing their capacity to secure maximum out of the people's sacrifices. Exhibit a degree of dynamism in relation to requirements of the situation around. Introspection does not mean addressing only people, emotional outburst or self portraying, it means an intense thinking at a select level involving, critiquing one's own self and finding answers to the complex questions that confront us individually or collectively. This introspection cannot be done in public meetings. It has to be done selectively and confidentially by people who matter in public life involving also those who have capacity to raise questions and strive for answers to questions that are difficult. It cannot happen in moments; it may have to go close door for days till something satisfactory comes out and may have to be repeated periodically as a regular feature.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP AND OTHER PARTICULARS OF EPILOGUE, JAMMU AS REQUIRED UNDER RULE 8 OF THE REGISTRATION OF NEWSPAPERS (CENTRAL) RULES, 1956 FORM – IV (See Rule 8)
1. 2. 3. Place of Publication Periodicity of its publication Printer’s Name Whether Citizen of India Address 4. Publisher’s Name Whether Citizen of India Address 5. a) Editor’s Name Whether Citizen of India Address 6. Name and Addresses of individual who own the Newspapers I, Zafar Iqbal Choudhary, hereby declare that the particulars belief.
February 28, 2009 Date : February, 2009

Madrasa Lane, Bathindi Top, Jammu Monthly Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Yes Madrasa Lane, Bathindi Top, Jammu Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Yes Madrasa Lane, Bathindi Top, Jammu Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Yes Madrasa Lane, Bathindi Top, Jammu Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Madrasa Lane, Bathindi Top, Jammu given above are true to the best of my knowledge and Sd/Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Publisher

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Invisible Players

Analysing Conflict through Gender Perspective

In the broader discourse the conflict in Kashmir –militancy, separatist politics, and resistance –is seen as exclusive domain of the man. However, the hindsight reveals a larger role of the women. Thousands of them are engaged in invisible yet the most arduous roles that go on become the essential part as also the essential fallout of the conflict. Many of them are the sole breadwinner of their families, many are in perpetual search of their missing husbands and sons and a significant number of them are the well defined part of resistance movement.
he conflict, which is going on from almost two decades now, in Jammu and Kashmir and is the manifestation of both the internal as well as external factors, is defined by ascendancy of gun on the one hand and the political expression of separatism on the other. It has placed people of Kashmir in a variety of roles, as victims of violence, as perpetrators of conflict, as active agents of militancy as well as separatists, as sympathisers of the movement, etc. Along with a number of militant organisations, numerous separatist organizations have been floated. Besides these, there are a number of civil society organizations, NGOs, peacemakers, etc. There are diverse realities of women and men in Kashmir conflict and having an idea of them can go a long way in recognizing gender specific experiences as vital resources in analysis of conflict. Gender, which refers to the role and identities of the men and women prescribed by society, as a tool of analysis makes us to question the differences between values and perceptions carried by men and women as social and political

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agents. It further leads to the probing of their roles in a situation as also their capacity to engage into different processes. A gender analysis of conflict situation deviates from stereotypical interpretations of men's and women's roles and identities by appreciating their experiences and needs at the times of conflicts. Conventionally, some groups like women and children are thought to be excluded from combat both as participants and targets but, the facts and figures of any conflict present a different picture. Today these traditionally excluded groups form the majority of civilian deaths and are increasingly becoming targets of war activities. In the wake of the increased involvement of traditionally excluded groups in different ways in the conflict situation, it's important to explore the varied and unconventional roles played by women in Kashmir conflict and the need to study the Kashmir conflict with a gender perspective. In Kashmir, men were the first ones to take arms and hence, the first ones to target

VIBHUTI UBBOT

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and get targeted. But it is difficult to say that conflict here, like elsewhere, has been devoid of role of women. They may not be visible in the same form as men or may not be taking up similar role as men. But they may be essential part of the conflict and their activism may be manifested in different forms as compared to the activism of men. A range of expectations and investments are attached with the social position of Woman (and the associated categories of wife, mother and daughter). Women are the traditional carriers of their families and that's what keeps their activism alive. In many cases of conflict, it becomes clear that when the men are in fight, women do not sit inside. In Kashmir too, women are active in many ways. They come out searching for their men, confront authorities and make every use of their disempowered positions to negotiate with them and their invisibility to move around. It has been often found that women are preferred agents to be sent to the police stations and talk to the police officers, when there is a need to do so. It is in the process of women acquiring new roles during the conflict situation that the very nature of Patriarchy starts changing Patriarchy changed its nature in a variety of ways in Kashmir. With the onset of

Mothers of missing youths staging a protest demonstration

Patriarchy changed its nature in a variety of ways in Kashmir. With the onset of armed conflict in Kashmir and the necessity of women assuming the role of bread winner and the head of the household, gender and patriarchal hierarchies underwent a reshuffling. The new social order was particularly welcome as the previously existing social institutions started collapsing in the wake of missing men and disturbed environment. Women learned new skills and took up all sorts of jobs. Women's traditional roles of being nurturers under the motherist narratives got expanded in the situation. The women started controlling resources. But the process of this patriarchal bargain didn't go much further. While patriarchal rigidities loosen up during the conflict situation, there is always a possibility that deep within, gender hierarchies and deeply anchored patriarchies at different levels are sustained. Though the extent of change in the nature of patriarchy in Kashmir still remains to be discovered, women have continued to form a very important part of the resistance and protest politics in Kashmir.

armed conflict in Kashmir and the necessity of women assuming the role of bread winner and the head of the household, gender and patriarchal hierarchies underwent a reshuffling. The new social order was particularly welcome as the previously existing social institutions started collapsing in the wake of missing men and disturbed environment. Women learned new skills and took up all sorts of jobs. Women's traditional roles of being nurturers under the motherist narratives got expanded in the situation. The women started controlling resources. But the process of this patriarchal bargain didn't go much further. While patriarchal rigidities loosen up during the conflict situation, there is always a possibility that deep within, gender hierarchies and deeply anchored patriarchies at different levels are sustained. Though the extent of change in the nature of patriarchy in Kashmir still remains to be discovered, women have continued to form a very important part of the resistance and protest politics in Kashmir. Throughout the last six decades, women have projected themselves as the face of the protest in Kashmir's Politics. They have been visible in all the demonstrations and have been in the forefront in all the agitations – whether it was the agitation during the loss of the

Epilogue Ø 23 ×2009 March

CHA L L ENG E

IN

K A S HM I R
Invisible Players

holy relic in early sixties, or during the rallies of Sheikh Abdullah when he would be released from the jail till mid seventies. In the later period also, they have been active participants in the movement politics. However, it is also important to note that the participation of women in protest politics has not been transformed into their emancipation and empowerment in public spaces. The fact that women have not been able to make any impact in the formal political activities, especially those related to the power politics, makes this very clear. In contrast to the large number of women protestors, the number of women who contest elections or who get elected has been very small. H o w e v e r, d e s p i t e t h e l i m i t e d participation of women in formal political activities, it is important to analyse their participation in protest activities. Women have been in the forefront in the present stage of resistance politics which started in 1989. In fact, it has been the active support of women to the militancy due to which it was legitimized in the initial period. Considering militants as 'our boys' who were doing heroic jobs, the women all over the Valley of Kashmir generated a mass support to the armed struggle. During early nineties, when the mass support in favour of militancy and separatism was demonstrated through huge mass rallies, women were actively involved in it. Throughout the period of militancy, in fact, women have become the symbol of the mass protest. They have

their educational and other kinds of freedom have been strongly resisted by women. Failure of various attempts to veil women of Kashmir shows the silent but powerful resistance of women to the forces of religious fundamentalism. The experience of armed conflict for There is another, altogether different women cannot be built upon a single kind of agency of women as manifested discourse. They have variety of ways to in their active role in the militancy. formulate their objectives as social Dukhtarane Millat and the Muslim actors. In case of Kashmir, for instance, Khawateen Markaz are the two women one can refer to two absolutely organizations which saw their different dimensions of the expression emergence in spontaneous phase of the of women's agency. In one case, women movement and are the symbols of the have forcefully but silently expressed entities breaking away from the usual, their agency by opposing the being able to put up a woman face to fundamentalist forces and their the resistance. They staged massive attempt to talibanise the Kashmiri protests against the state and supported society and impose moral and cultural the movement with all their might. These codes. All attempts to put obstacles on organizations have played important role the mobility of women, and curbs on in breaking the male monopoly over militancy. However, these organizations have also contributed in reinforcing the moral and cultural codes inhibiting the freedom and the movement of women. Though taking women into the very male world of conflict and leading it from the front, these organizations have not been bothered about the issues involving women like rape as weapon of war, woman rights and many more. On the Dukhtran-e-Millat Chief Aasiya Andrabi contrary, these organizations, Dukhtarane Millat and the Muslim Khawateen Markaz guided by sectarian norms are the two women organizations which saw their have tried to put women in emergence in spontaneous phase of the movement and are veils in Kashmir. Hence, conflict can be seen as a period the symbols of the entities breaking away from the usual, of intense renegotiations being able to put up a woman face to the resistance. They between men and women in staged massive protests against the state and supported the which new bargains based on movement with all their might. These organizations have new resources are struck. The fundamental rules of gender played important role in breaking the male monopoly over relations come into question in militancy. However, these organizations have also conflict but shedding light on contributed in reinforcing the moral and cultural codes this dynamics is very important for holistic understanding of inhibiting the freedom and the movement of women. the situation.

been visible in any kind of protest against the agents of the State and in the process, they themselves have emerged as a powerful agency in the state.

Epilogue Ø 24 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K

By Rail

The Himalayan Wonder or Blunder ?

This is one project that oscillates between a dream and a disaster. As Indian Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav sounded his last whistle on the rail budget day, he promised that the dream of linking Kashmir to rest of the country is still a cherished one. A day later, the red engine rolled and whistled in Baramulla. The train ran along a 100 kms track within the Valley. But back to the dream of connecting Kashmir, it oscillates. The Katra-Qazigund rail link, which perhaps would be the second highest link in the world, has been suspended since July 2008. The Northern Railways has apprehensions that the alignment is unsafe. Doubts which have come a little too late, almost over five years after construction work first started at this project.

The Alignment Blunder:
he rail link to Kashmir is arguably the most challenging project of the Indian railways. And the 148 kms Katra-Qazigund track is where the challenge lies. It meanders through the Shivaliks and then the lofty Pir Panjal range. Besides the picturesque value of it, the stretch runs across two major fault lines. The Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), and the Pir Panjal Thrust, both of which are active. The reason this area falls under the seismic zone IV, makes it prone to moderate and high earthquakes. And history has been a witness to this risk. In the last century, the MBT thrust has been responsible for over 12 major quakes, including the 1905 shock in Kangra (8.5 Richter scale) and the equally destructive 2005 Kashmir earthquake (7.5 Richter scale). The present alignment, say the Northern Railways, cuts across the MBT, running high on quake risk. A belated concern, which should have been kept

T

in mind while clearing the alignment five years back. Many argue that geological surveys were also not done prior to starting the project. Perhaps, a trend which is becoming an inherent trait of all major construction projects in the state. Geological surveys were, however, carried out later by Konkan Railways. Fractured rock, dolomite and limestone made the task of laying the track all the more daunting. Many tunnels have collapsed and others face severe water seepage problems. Now, the new alignment proposed by the northern railways, cuts down the distance of 125 kms to 70 kms. It will also be double tract as opposed to the single line at present and reduces the cost from Rs 7,300 crores to 6500 crores. But the advantages listed by the Northern Railways still do not guarantee whether the alignment is completely safe and risk free. Repeating the past mistakes, no survey has been done for this proposed link.

PAWAN BALI

Epilogue Ø 25 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Rail

Also, another important question is whether it is feasible to completely shun the existing work, which has been done over the last five years? Estimates suggest that losses of over Rs 2000 are expected if the alignment is discarded and and over 40,000 .people will be affected. Villagers, who gave up their agricultural land, and took up small time works with the railways, also are living in uncertainty. The new alignment proposed will also scrap the construction marvel-the Chenab bridge. The arch bridge, which was tipped to be the highest in the world (359 m high), is under scrutiny for not matching upto the safety standards. The northern railways has now objected that it might be unable to withhold the weight once it's completed. But engineers at the work site have countered the objections. As per the contractors and construction companies, the design has been passed by Swedish and British experts, and the bridge slope ensures long term safety. The engineers also agree that present alignment is risk prone, mainly at three main locations. But these can be rectified and a few changes could still salvage the project. But then is it a risk which

could put a lot on stake? Perhaps, the entire mess over the project is just another reflection of how lack of planning can in a jiffy turn dreams into disasters THE RAIL LINK WONDER: Its bureaucratic and technical blunders apart, the project promises much more than connectivity. It promises a socio-economic and even a p o l i ti c a l c h a n g e . O n c e completed, it could be vital in ending Kashmir 's geographical isolation. The only road link to Kashmir at present is the JammuSrinagar National Highwaythe road which hits a bottle neck every now and then. The Mughal road, which is under construction since the last two years, still has to connect Kashmir to Jammu region. In such a scenario, Kashmir 's dependence on a single, unpredictable link adds on to its geographical isolation. During the Amarnath Agitation, the threat of an economic blockade, had its psychological and political repercussions-an incident which perhaps explain the larger impact of this disconnect. The rail link to Kashmir promises to bridge this. Also, it has cut across the silence of many unknown villages. For the 145 kms Katra –Qazigund track, the railways have to construct over 300 kms of link roads. This in turn means that

An artist’s imagination of the highest railway bridge which was supposed to have come up a Kashmir link.

Tracking the dates:
1898: The project first proposed by Dogra rulers 1902-1905 The British attempted a 2ftguage electric line to Kashmir 1994 : The project cleared by the India government 2001: Declared a national priority project 2002: The present alignment hastily adopted during the tenure of AB Vajpayee 2004 : Work started on Katra –Qazigund track 2005: 54 kms Jammu –Udhampur track inaugurated after 23 years 2007: First deadline for the completion of UdhapurBaramulla track 2008: Northern Railways stops construction work 2009: Parliamentary committee visits site for review 2009: 8-member expert committee formed to review alignment

Epilogue Ø 26 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Rail

: Existing alignment and new proposed alignment and the alignment which was proposed by Konkan railway in 2003

villages like Bakkal, Kauri in Reasi and cut off areas of Sangladan, Gool , Gulabgarh are suddenly wakening up to their dream of a road. The meandering track has connected over 150 villages, many of them suffering the years of militancy and neglect. The rail project has also translated into employment. This in turn has been an antidote for m i l i t a n c y, w h e r e i n youngsters gave up gun and took up jobs. One such village is Khari in Ramban, where over 800 men surrendered and had been employed with the railways. The project, which now has been shelved temporarily, has hit all segments bitterly.

Ø The railway project in the State comprises

three sections- Udhampur-Katra, KatraQazigund and Qazigund-Baramulla, taken up at a cumulative cost of Rs 11000 crores.
Ø its full commissioning the QazigundUpon

Baramulla track would would generate direct employment for 3900 persons in the Valley, in addition to indirect employment. The Railways is also processing 400 cases for providing employment to one person in each of the land loser families, those which have given to the Railways more than 75 per cent of their holdings, in Kashmir. Appointment letters have been issued to 120 candidates so far, who are undergoing training in different parts of the country.
Ø Railways

The rail link is a construction wonder too. The Chenab bridge, would have been the world's highest, beating the current record holder- the Millau Viaduct bridge in France . Also, the entire link from Udhampur to Baramulla was designed with 127 major and 225 minor bridges, 74 tunnels and over 30 stations. Of the 148 track between Katra and Qazigund, 83 per cent would be in tunnels (this wll include country'slongest rail tunnel of 11 km). The statistics itself explain the magnaopus project. And its impact on socio-economic fabric is also visible as forgotten villages rediscover themselves. But in the midst of its celebrations and disappointments, the dream of a rail link to Kashmir fluctuates. And we can just hope, that the project soon finds its anchor and does not lose its way in the days ahead.

were constructing 270 kilometers of access roads to carry machinery and equipment to the Project sites. After the completion of the Project, these roads would connect 60 villages and will be of immense use for the locals of the concerned areas.

Ø special feature of Katra-Qazigund The

section is that 80 per cent of the 148 kilometer track will be covered by tunnels and 12 per cent by bridges, thus leaving only 8 per cent open.
Ø The Katra-Qazigund section was supposed

Comparison of Northern Railways new proposed alignment/ and Konkan railways Alignment shorter alignment proposed in 2003, which was refuted by Northern Railways

to have world's third highest railway bridge but recent reports of change in alignment have sparked off doubts which the authorities are yet to clarify. The bridge on river Chenab was supposed to have a total length of 1320 metres, the single longest arch span of 480 metres and the height from the bed level to the rail level of 359 metres –highest anywhere in the world.

Epilogue Ø 27 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K

By Roads

Development & Environment

Expanding Road Network in Jammu & Kashmir

When we come across two words “Development” and “Environment” together, there is a temptation in public discussions, forums and even in policy circles to think of them in antagonistic terms. But before jumping to such a conclusion we ought to think that what for both development and environment strive, that is whether they have different goals for human community or planet earth as a whole, or they have some overlapping or things in common.

Dr SHAHID IQBAL

People cross this make shift bridge when Jammu-Srinagar NH stretch is washed away in rains.

Epilogue Ø 28 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

oth development and environment aim to achieve a quality of life and also that of our surroundings, be it an urban conglomerate, a rural hinterland or even a core wilderness. So when both development and environment strive for a better quality of life on planet earth then one need not jump to conclude that development and environment are antagonistic. What we need is a balanced development and a stable sustainable environment, in perpetuity, with none hampering the progress and stability of the other. When we think of development it has to be accountable for what it takes from environment or society and hence it must pay towards a social or environmental responsibility also. Similarly the environmental gains should also be quantifiable and not overemphasized in an attempt to hamper the development directly or indirectly. Connectivity is a backbone of economic development and better roads, rail and air network is a major contributor of economic production and growth. When the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance started levying cess on petrol and diesel there was a hue and cry across the country about rise in fuel prices but when looked into the motive behind that move it revealed that how important the road network is. The cess on fuel was to generate some 10000 Cr rupees in a year which was to be utilized for betterment

B

and expansion of road network in the country. The North-South and East-West corridors, connecting the entire country, and also the mega expressways were a result of the resources generated from the cess levied on fuel. Economist explained that due to bad condition of roads the annual losses owing to enhanced freight cost were far more than the total cess levied. Thus the tax money saved the cost of transportation through improvement of road network. That explains how important the road network in is for a competitive economy and better livelihood. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) had also been a novel idea of connecting all the villages of country by the year 2009. And it is pertinent to mention here that this scheme has also been blamed for the greater damage to the forests as the rural hinterland was brought on the map of road network. In this backdrop we analyze the expanding road network in Jammu and Kashmir – whether it is in tandem with the environment or at the cost of environment. Road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir is major issue of concern. The present connectivity between Kashmir valley and Jammu, and also rest of the country, is the one and only National Highway 1A, which too remains closed for days together in the rainy season or snowfall during peak winter. The clearance work done on war footing during the landslides or snow avalanches ensures connectivity between the twin capital cities which otherwise would be next to impossible. There is also connectivity problem in the rural districts like that between capital cities but in the former case the road clearance operation would obviously not that quick thus facing a connectivity disadvantage. The total road network maintained by different

Ä Connectivity is one of the most

serious problems in Jammu and Kashmir coming in the way of economic development and poverty alleviation. While there is only one surface transport link with rest of the country, the road disparity within various districts is quite huge. There are many areas, like Matwah and Dachhan in Kishtwar district, where many people are yet to see a motor vehicle; reaching their on foot takes two to three days.
Ä main dedicated rail link State's

with rest of the country is upto Jammu only where J&K's rail head is situated. Link between Jammu and nearby Udhampur district is operational since 2005. Onward link to Katra is nearing completion and KatraQazigund line is running through alignment troubles. This project was initiated in 1995. An intraKashmir train service between Badgam and Anantnag was thrown open in October 2008 and the Badgam-Baramulla link has been operationalised in February 2009.
Ä Aviation

sector has recently seen some encouraging development. J&K is now on the global aviation map after Srinagar airport was upgraded to international standard and a weekly direct flight has been established with Dubai. Besides Srinagar, J&K has two other airports –Jammu and Leh with facilities of inter-state and intra-state flights.

Epilogue Ø 29 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

agencies as on March 2008 has crossed 40,000 Kilometers in the state. Both central and state government agencies maintain these roads under their respective jurisdiction or areas of activity in the state. The lead player State Public Works Department mans some 16000 Km road in the state excluding the National Highway component which is maintained by the Border Roads Organization. The Border Roads Organization is responsible for more than 5000 KM of the National Highways in state. Three major Projects of BRO in Jammu And Kashmir State are Project Beacon, Project Himank and Pr o j e c t S a m p a r k r e s p e c t i v e l y connecting two capitals, Kargil and Leh, and border districts. Apart from organizations responsible for construction and management of road network in the state, that is public transportations, roads are also constructed by few departments for their own developmental requirements which also adds to connectivity in the rural areas. The Forest Department has a total of more than 10000 KM roads, called Forest Roads, which have been constructed for management of and working in forest areas. But most of the forest road is unsurfaced, as is about 40% of total road in the state. The Irrigation and Flood Control Department too needs its own connectivity network in priority areas where work has to be done every year to control flood or manage irrigation, thus having a road network of about 500 KM to its credit. Compared to that Rural Development Department, also known as Community Development and National Extension Scheme Department, alone has constructed a road network of about 3500 KM in the state. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has enlarged the connectivity to the villages in state as is

being done in the entire country under this scheme. PMGSY aims at connecting villages with a population of 1000 and 5000 in plains and hilly ares respectively. For tribal majority villages the qualifying figures for PMGSY connectivity has been kept at 500 and 250 respectively, thus the expanding road network in the rural hinterland could be anybody's guess. The Forest Department has received most of the proposal of land diversion from the PMGSY in the last year. The expanding road network has a definite bearing on the local ecology and environment which needs to be compensated and restored so as to maintain an environmental balance. The Forest Conservation Act strives for that by ensuring compensatory afforestation in lieu of the land diverted to indenting agencies for construction of roads. Double the land area diverted for development or construction has to be brought under compensatory afforestation as per the directions of Hon'ble apex court in T. N. Godavarman Vs Union of India case. The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which came into being on Supreme Court directions has a key role to play in deciding the diversion of forest land throughout the country. Forest Bench of supreme court has been termed as green bench but the recent judgments give an indication that the golden era of Godaverman is fading out. May be it is due to unsatisfactory compensatory afforestation or undue environmental breaks on development but the bottomline remains that environment should not be held hostage for the increased needs of development. Jammu and Kashmir state has its own Forest Conservation Act of 1997 under which the land diversion clearance methodology has been provided at different levels. The Chief Conservator

Ä There

is only one surface transport link between Kashmir and Jammu through 298 kms National Highway 1A. This road remains invariably shut due to rainfall, snowfall and landslides and its cost of maintenance is reported to be highest in the country.

Äconnectivity in Jammu and Road

Kashmir is one of the lowest among the states in India. While average toad length per square kilometer in India is 313.08 kilometers, in J&K it is only 35.71 kilometers. Similarly the average road length per lakh of population in the country is 297.71 kilometers, in J&K it is only 104.64 kilometers.
Ähas a total road network of India

3313569 kilometers of road network, which is largest in the world –this includes 65569 kilometers of national highways, 128000 kilometers of state highways, 470,000 kilometers of district roads and about 2650000 kilometers of other rural roads.
Ä road network in J&K is of Total

36205 kilometers. Of this, state's Public Works Department maintains 15768 kms; the Border Roads Organisation 5985 kms, Irrigation and Flood Control Department 477 kms, Forest Department 10620 kms, CD & NES 3355 kms. Only 57% of the total road network is well surfaced.
Ä 6207 total villages in the Out of

state only 4610 have road connectivity. This means 31.90 % of the total populated areas of the state are not connected with even the fair weather roads.

Epilogue Ø 30 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

of Forests, Principle Chief Conservator of Forests and the J&K Government Advisory Committee are three level or authorities which give clearance for diversion of forest land depending on the area involved. If diversion of forest land could be an indicator the quantum of expanding road network can judged. But at the same time neither all the forest land diverted is for roads alone nor all the roads constructed involve forest land diversion. So the environmental cost of development in the state can be fairly analyzed accordingly. Ending 2005 a total of 283 cases of forest land diversion stood sanctioned at various levels involving a total forest area 8159 Ha diverted for development. The major indenting agencies involved in road construction seeking road diversion are GREF, PMGSY, Public Works Department and National Highway Authority of India. Other agencies in favor of whom forest land stands diverted are National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Northern Railways, Konkan Railways, Air Force, Irrigation Department and Army as well. For the land diversion a relative amount as compensation for forest land involved is recovered from the indenting agencies before the land is diverted. During 2004-05 the total forest area diverted was about 482 Ha and against that the compensation amount charged was about Rs 26 Cr. Similarly in 2005-06 about 1400 Ha land stood diverted for which the compensation amounted to Rs 123 Cr and the figure stood at about Rs 70 Cr for 2006-07 from a total of 82 cases. This involved diversion for hydroelectric projects and connectivity networks in majority. The amount so realized is used for compensatory afforestation to offset the harmful impacts on the environment owing to developmental activities.

The Mughal road had been into controversy owing to the stretch passing through Hirpora wildlife sanctuary and the stalemate as an outcome of issue erupted in Poonch regarding damages to forests by the Hindustan Construction Company. But later the Supreme Court gave a go ahead for construction of road across Hirpora wildlife sanctuary as well and the road is supposed to be made motorable later this year. It will provide an alternate connectivity between the twin capital cities, but will be of most importance for twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. Moreover it will have a greater bearing on economics and business as it is set to alter many dimensions prevailing at present owing to no alternate connectivity between valley and Jammu, or even rest of country. So what we contested in the opening paragraph seems to be true, focusing on the quality of life can help us to generate a common understanding not only of the development but also of the environment which undoubtedly plays a central role in our lives. But the success will depend on how efficiently the environmental glory is restored alongside the ongoing expansion of road network in the state. Amartya Sen has pointed out in his book 'Development and Participation' that “Development is Empowering and that Power Can Be Used to Preserve and Enrich the Environment, and not just to decimate it”. The substance of this statement is of a great relevance and holds true when the developmental empowerment is utilized for preserving as well as enhancement of environment. Development is an ongoing phenomenon so should be the endeavor to preserve the environment to ensure a sustainable and healthy livelihood on the plane. The concept of

distributive justice has to be kept in mind in deciding the so called conflict between development and environment. And it will be of a greater importance not to view development and environment in antagonistic terms but as two parts of a same process with common goal of quality of life. It will not be out of place to mention here that the relationship between the Development and Environment needs to be seen an adequately broader way, taking note of constructive prospects as well as destructive possibilities. And those having mandate to preserve the environment need not be seen as anti development but as facilitators of that quality of live which the Development too strives to achieve. In the present competitive world road connectivity in deed is indispensible but at the same time we have to collectively bear in mind that environment to is a global issue of concern today and we cannot afford to turn a blind eye towards environmental issue as well. The developmental agencies need to pay due attention towards the environmental responsibility as well, as the environment is giving in to development it should also be restored to sustainable level. The social and environmental responsibility of development can hardly be undermined. Present environmental trends appear to be incompatible with the basic requirements of a sustainable development so the time calls for a developmental strategy cohesive with the environmental preservation and development. Environmental irresponsibility is often blamed to have roots in the political and ideological roots, this may not be without substance but at the same time we need to accept our individual and corporate responsibility towards the environment.

Epilogue Ø 31 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K

By Roads

Looking Beyond Fair Weather Roads

The sinking of 150 meter stretch of Doda-Assar road in mountainous Doda district of Jammu province in February proved how important the need of alterative road networks is. It also made us to think about the status of preparedness and disaster management as far as road connectivity in the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir State concerned.
ot only that, it has also raised fingers on the long term planning of the infrastructural development in the state, as the geologists have pointed out a possible Baglihar link to the Doda road sinking. The road accidents on the same stretch have also been a cause of serious concern. A valley based newspaper had lead headline on 26th February as “Doda Roads Devour 41 More” when a bus plunged into the gorge while driver was negotiating a narrow stretch on Bhaderwah-Doda road. Many accidents had occurred when the road sunk thus resulting in death of half a dozen people. The visit of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on the sink-site shortly after the tragedy struck was indeed an attempt to instill confidence among the rescue workers and administration on one hand and showing solidarity with the victims of tragedy on the other. With sinking of this stretch of road Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar were completely cut-off from the JammuSrinagar National Highway. Hunt was then on for exploring an alternative road link connected the areas affected. Here we analyze the different dimensions of this tragedy and look into possible remedies which may be of help

N

EPILOGUE MONITORING DESK

A long queue of trucks on NH

Epilogue Ø 32 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

in a long term planning for ensuring connectivity to the road-starved areas of the state. The road stretch which sunk carried down along with it two trucks, a maruti van and an ambulance with those travelling in these vehicles, leaving most of them dead. The area is marked by shooting stones and landslides as a common happening and the rout is the sole lifeline connecting the districts of Doda and Kishtwar to the national highway and hence other parts of the state. Landslides and shooting stones

are a common in hilly areas road across northern India. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be termed worse that that in Teri Gharwal areas of Uttarakhand where the roads crossing cliffs and mountains are blocked every now and then due to landslides. A slight downpour leads to heavy landslides and results in disconnecting the major portions of state. But the state over a decade has devised efficient strategy and infrastructural back-up to meet tragedies like that. Given that there is no possibility of alternative road networks there, the road clearance response is prompt and disaster preparedness and management has been institutionalized. The Administrative Training Institute of Uttarakhand also acts as a nodal point for disaster management and the Disaster Management centre of the Massoorie located Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration has developed as centre of excellence of a period of last few years. The situation of roads is almost similar in hilly districts of Jammu and Kashmir but what is needed is a preparedness of highest order and strategy for management of such disasters. The scheme of disaster management networks in state is quite extensive and dealt on a bureaucratic mode but the need of the hour is a

Projects upcoming

underway

/

Ä National The

Highway Authority of India is developing 437 Km long Lakhanpur-Pantha Chowk stretch of National Highway 1A as a four-lane road at an estimated cost of Rs 7172 Crores. This widening is expected to be completed by 2014 and the project involves two long tunnels of 16.7 km length, 12 short tunnels of 6.2 kms and 34 major bridges.

Ä road 1404

projects stand approved under NABARD programme at an estimated cost of Rs 2009 Crores

Ä 59 road schemes have been

sanctioned under Central Road Fund at an estimated cost of Rs 404.50 Crores.
Äschemes involving 4773 885

kms of roads have been sanctioned by the Government of India at an estimated cost of Rs 2222.63 Crores under Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Yojna (PM's Rural Road Scheme).
Ä nhance To e

inter-state connectivity, a Rs 73.73 Crores project stands sanctioned by the Center for linking Bhaderwah with Chamba in HP.

Epilogue Ø 33 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

full time disaster management and response team. Under the present scheme of things the District Disaster Management team is headed by the district magistrate and has some sectoral officers as its members. Obviously the district magistrate has to be the leader in coordinating the disaster preparedness and management but the team has to be that of full time professionals having trained in management of such disasters and gained experience over a period of time. The sectoral officers may act as resource persons for this dedicated disaster management team. The team can be drawn from various departments as a full time organization and not that the team has to be looked for when the disaster has already struck. The disaster management cells have to be established at the tehsil and block headquarters along with a well equipped and trained response team. Since the problem faced by our roads is given fact and cannot be denied, what we need is line of defense ready to take over when the tragedy knocks the door. The second angle to the Doda road sink is that of its link with the Baglihar dam on river Chenab. Geological experts have already identified some spots prone to landslide in the area. Among the worst hit areas are KouraPani, M a l h o r i , J a t h i , A s s a r, M a r s u , Trungal,Gagla , Kashi and other villages adjoining the Baglihar reservoir. As has been proved by various scientific studies in India the big dams also develop seismic pressure owing to storage of an extremely large quantity of water thus altering the topography and geology of the area. Moreover the seepage from the rear of dame is known to create soil loosening in the hills leading to landslides and sinking of the areas. Same reason is being associated

with the Doda-Assar road sink. Experts compromised. Now the government has say that this incident took place come with formation of State Level because of rise of river Chenab due to Environmental Impact Assessment creation of reservoir for the Baglihar Authorities to look into the locationHydro Electric Project. As per the laws specific EIA methodologies and formulated by the Ministry of processes and plug the loopholes. The Environment and Forests, Government Baglihar has been linked to the Dodaof India, Environmental Impact Assar road sink but till date no denial or Assessment (EIA) study has to be alternative reason has come from those conducted before the commencement who conducted the impact assessment of such projects thus looking into study of the area or those involved in feasibility and outcome Total Road Total Surfaced impacts in the long term District length Roads future of the project life, both directly and indirectly. Jammu1 2193 2110 It also takes into account the 1917 1875 Baramulla2 seismic threats and likely 1499 1470 impacts on the local geology. Srinagar3 Though EIAs are considered 1453 1440 Anantnag4 to be sacred documents but 1383 745 evidence and experience Leh shows that many a time such Badgam 1178 1159 reports are fabricated after 5 1079 1060 Pulwama EIA became a lucrative 959 815 business for scientists. Today Udhampur6 some consultancies in India Kathua 884 802 have ready-made EIA reports Kupwara 861 833 only local information has to 842 561 be added. Scientists at EIA Doda7 wing of Indian Institute of Kargil 615 356 Forest Management, Bhopal Poonch 572 377 came across some EIAs 333 275 carried out in Sikkim and Rajouri Arunachal Pradesh Figures above show road length position as it was in mentioning the flora and 2006 and therefore the table has not taken into fauna species which do not account the creation of eight new districts in 2006 h a v e e v e n a r e m o t e ** This network does not include the National Highways 1 Jammu district was bifurcated into Jammu and possibility of existence even Samba in the distant neighborhood 2 Baramulla district was bifurcated into Baramulla and of the states. This raised Bandipore alarm over the way EIA 3 Srinagar district was bifurcated into Srinagar and Ganderbal contracts are awarded and 4 Anantag district was bifurcated into Anantag and studies carried out. It is irony Shopian that for a handsome amount 5 Pulwama district was bifurcated into Pulwama and Kulgam of money how life of 6 Udhampur district was bifurcated into Udhampur and thousands in the vicinity of Reasi such projects is endangered 7 Doda district was trifurcated into Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban and the environment is

Epilogue Ø 34 ×2009 March

CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

the construction of this hydroelectric power project on river Chenab. The connectivity disorder has serious socio-economic outcomes as due to shortage of goods and services resulting due to road blockade or damage has

direct impact on the day to day life. In the absence of transshipment of goods there are fears of black-marketing and overcharging by the unscrupulous shopkeepers. But in this case the Doda administration was prompt enough to take corrective measures so as to avoid

creation of such a situation where common man has to suffer because of such mishaps. As already mentioned the Chief Minister's immediate visit also helped in another way – by making the administration to launch relief and rescue operations on a war footing. The

The Mughal Road
People living in the remote hamlets of Pir Panjal have for long pinned their hopes on the opening of the centuries-old Mughal road to end their geographical isolation. The troops of Kasim Khan, also known as Amirul Beher (the commander of Ocean), the Afghan Governor of Mughal emperor Akbar had taken this road to conquer the Kashmir valley in 1586. Work on the road started in May 2004 with the appointment of two divisional engineers, one stationed at Bafliaz in Poonch district, and another at Shopian in Pulwama district across the Pir Panjal. The 83.9 km road linking Bafliaz to Shopian is expected to be completed in three years at a cost of Rs. 255 crores. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced Rs.160 crores for its construction and during the current financial year, Rs. 50 crores will be spent for the purpose. Once the road is ready, passengers travelling from Poonch-Rajouri to Shopian will travel a distance of 126-156 km against the present 588 km. The road is being seen as an alternative route to the busy Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 1A and the people here are hopeful that economic opportunities in the form of tourism will improve once the road is opened. Lack of opportunities had forced many from this belt to emigrate to Gulf countries but now some of them would like to invest here. Mohammad Aslam (48), who has returned from Saudi Arabia after 20 years, says: "The Mughal Road would surely bring economic opportunities for the people here. I have bought land in my village which falls on the last edge of the Mughal

Road to start a rest house." Land prices have, in fact, risen in Surankote, the last major township on the road. A kanal (5400 sq. ft.) now costs Rs. 1.20 lakhs, which is the prevailing rate of land in prosperous urban centres in the State. Project officials say the construction and maintenance of the road will not be an easy job. The JammuSrinagar National Highway 1A passes through Banihal, which is nearly 5,200 feet above sea level. In contrast, the Mughal Road is located at over 11,500 feet above sea level and passes through a highly unstable area of the Himalayas. At present, only 26 km of the road is operational throughout the year. Under the plan, there would be 14 permanent bridges and eight service bridges with the longest one being 30 m. Forty-nine km of the road is steep and 20 km rolling beside mountain stretches. Traffic can be smooth only for three to four months as there is early snow in this belt, according to an engineer. Luv Puri

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CONN E C T I NG

J &K
By Roads

Doda-Assar road sink has provided many lessons to be learnt both by the state administration as well as the common man. Given the hilly terrain and no effective alternative connectivity in such areas preparedness for such mishaps has to be kept in mind, which would include the exploration of alternate routes as per need and also ensuring supply of stocks and supplies. The various roads constructing agencies ought work in consonance and with a holistic approach. These words sound quite flowery and doing that may seem to be unrealistic but at the same time there has to be way out. One thing that can be done as a compromise formula would be prioritizing the works of different organizations in different regions and areas. The PMGSY roads can be planned in such a way to serve as an alternate connectivity to PWD and BRO roads in some cases apart from the real mandate of connecting villages with a particular number of inhabitants. The expanding road network per se would be no solution until the roads are built keeping in view the location specific problems, constraints and needs. For Doda-Asser stretch of road which sunk last month there will many after effects. The alternate route may soon be discovered and connectivity restored but the geological link to the Baglihar role in this case would surely give the inhabitants many sleepless nights in the times to come. So whether or not the Baglihar factor is the attribute of this sinking road will have to be established beyond any reasonable doubt in favor of the inhabitants of this area. This stretch of road came into limelight due to its impact on the connectivity of two districts which were completely isolated but there are reports that many more roads in the vicinity of Baglihar

are on the sinking way where cracks have developed. When the work on reconstructing Doda-Asser road is on way, another like tragedy may be waiting in the backyard to happen. So the need is to examine the issue in its entirety and not as a particular incident to be resolved. A geological team can be sent to the area to look into the real causes and

based upon such survey a detailed disaster management and preparedness plan has to be made if the we need to have a permanent solution for the times ahead. There cannot be custom tailored solution for all such mishaps so local innovations and location specific needs should be given due stress and importance.

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CONN E C T I NG

J &K

By Air

The Flight to Dubai

MOHAMMAD ASHRAF

n a big leap forward, the first ever direct international commercial flight from the upgraded Srinagar International Airport have off for Dubai on February 14. Notwithstanding the controversy about the nomenclature of the Airport, it is now an International Airport. We seem always to be stuck in names and lose the substance. As Shakespeare said, “A rose is a rose by whatever name you call it!” Srinagar name which is 2,000 years old, is in itself universal and globally known because of being the capital of Kashmir, probably the most talked about place on the Earth at the moment. Take off by an International flight from Srinagar is a historical occasion. So far only chartered Hajj flights had been operating from this airport to Jeddah for last three years or so. The demand for starting international flights from Srinagar had been pending for last 35 years. It was in 1975 that the proposal for converting Srinagar Airport into an International Airport was mooted. It has taken decades for the proposal to finally materialise. While celebrating the occasion we must not forget that this is only the beginning and not an end in itself. This is more so because of a tradition in our part of the world of starting a new venture with a lot of fanfare and then after sometime forgetting it altogether. The venture then remains symbolic and fades away with time.

I

First international flight that landed at Srinagar airport on Feb 14, 2009

The present start of the flight also smacks of a similar attitude. Normally, one would have expected lot of ground work both in Kashmir and Dubai before the formal inauguration of the flight. It is reported that just a couple of days before the flight only 20 seats have been booked. It seems to be more a political gesture than a real commercial venture! Moreover, the service introduced, the Air India Express is the one which had been started for the use of the labour class with all economy configuration. People in authority need to realise that this flight is an opening to a vast field of trade, commerce, tourism, and above all an end to the centuries old isolation of Kashmir from the rest of the world. There may be some teething troubles in the beginning but with a positive and constructive attitude of the concerned authorities these can be easily overcome. Firstly, the flight is not going to any other part of the country but to a foreign land. The first mandatory requirement is the visa. It is these days possible to get online visas from a number of countries. Dubai also has online visa facilities which can be obtained by travel agents in collaboration with local hotels in Dubai. It is not known what arrangements for grant of visitor visa have been made by the

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By Air

Airlines? Because of an introductory promotional return fare offer of around Rs.13,500 it may be cheaper to fly to Dubai than to Mumbai, and Delhi. The most interesting proposition for new travellers from Kashmir would be an all inclusive week long package-tour to Dubai. This can be easily worked out by the Air India office in Dubai with local travel agents there and then marketed in Kashmir by its own office or General Sales Agents which may have to be appointed among local travel agents in Srinagar. To make the trip attractive and popular among Kashmiris, it may be worthwhile to connect Dubai with Jeddah so that Umra is included in it. There could be packages for Umra only. There are a number of local travel agencies in Kashmir which are at present conducting Umra and even annual Hajj pilgrimage. These could easily make use of the flight by rerouting from the earlier routing of Srinagar-Delhi-Jeddah-Delhi-Srinagar to Srinagar-Dubai-Jeddah-DubaiSrinagar route. In fact, even the foreign tour operators bringing groups to Kashmir from Europe and other places could try this routing for direct access to Kashmir. Entire Middle East has a large population of western expatriates working in different construction companies, institutions, government offices, oil companies, and so on. According to an estimate there are about 20 million western expatriates working in the Middle Eastern Region from Egypt to Oman. All these people get their holidays in July-August, the hottest months there. This is the best season in Kashmir for foreigners but an off peak season for domestic tourists. Most of these foreigners instead of visiting their home countries, travel to different tourist destinations in South East Asia like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand,

Singapore etc. Some even go to Kerala to see monsoon rains. Kashmir for them would be a short haul destination and much cheaper and easier to go than from their home countries. A large number of these foreigners are keen to visit the adventure packed land of Ladakh. At present they do it through direct flights from Delhi to Leh where three airlines operate daily flights especially in summer. There is only a single flight per week between Srinagar and Leh. In the past the Indian Airlines had been operating 3 to 4 flights per week. If the frequency of Srinagar-Leh flights is increased at least to three per week, it will be possible to connect the Dubai flight with these with a night stop over in Srinagar either way. This will not only increase traffic to Ladakh but will also give some boost to Kashmir Tourism. Apart from this there are extensive possibilities of promoting special interest tourism. This includes both the adventure travel like mountaineering, trekking, skiing, rafting, and soft recreational tourism like Golf, Angling etc. Dubai has a number of world class Golf courses and some prestigious tournaments such as the Desert Classic with prize money of 2 million dollars is held there every year. Tiger Woods, the world's number one player is always present in the said championship. Dubai itself has a number of top Golfing associations and in some the membership is more than 5,000. Kashmir's Royal Spring Course in Srinagar designed by the famous architect Robert Trent Jones Junior II is among the top ten in the world. The Course which cost more than 8 million dollars to build has been visited by many players from Dubai. There are two more courses being re-laid as per international standards. These are at Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Thus we have

the possibility of attracting Golfers from Dubai for a week long Golfing holiday. They can spend two days each at the out stations and three days in Srinagar. Once the frequency of flights increases, people can fly in for a weekend of Golf. In addition, there are numerous possibilities of exporting cargo especially handicrafts, fruit, exotic vegetables, flowers, and trout fish. As mentioned earlier we have a tendency to forget everything after a grand inauguration. As such it is very important for the State Government to set up a multi-disciplinary Task Force preferably under the chairmanship of the State's Chief Executive to work out details for utilizing this new opening in Kashmir to the optimum level. Some representatives of the private sector could also be included in such a high powered grouping. The Task Force will not only take measures for streamlining the operation of Dubai flight but would also be able to suggest operation of flights to other possible destinations in the Middle East, South East Asia and probably to Central Asia. They could also examine the feasibility of starting chartered flights to Srinagar from all these short haul markets. Commencement of all these activities holds immense possibilities of employment in various sectors utilizing these flights. As stated by a fellow journalist in one of the stories on the subject, the Kashmir's International Connection could be a better Confidence Building Measure than even the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus! Let us hope, this CBM evolves into a real opening for Kashmir in all possible ways and does not get frozen in time like the Muzaffarabad Bus? Past experience makes one apprehensive that the venture may end like that unless the Chief Executive takes personal interest in it!

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By Air

J-K on global aviation map
or J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah it was his childhood dream come true but for the business community in Kashmir it was the opening of a route to economic prosperity as Congress President Sonia Gandhi welcomed the international air flight to land at the Srinagar airport on February 14. This was J-K's first connection on the global aviation map. Gandhi received the first international flight from Dubai which arrived at the newlyrefurbished Srinagar International Airport. She also inaugurated the new integrated airport terminal building which is having modern passenger-friendly facilities. The inauguration of the international airport at Srinagar marks a new epoch in the aviation history of Jammu and Kashmir. It heralds a new beginning in the air transportation link between the beautiful valley and the country and outside. It would be a major boost to the tourism sector as visitors from here and outside would get direct air connectivity from Srinagar. The airport had been declared international by the Government of India in 2005 and the work on its up-gradation and refurbishing of the terminal building started soon after. The new integrated terminal building has been beautifully designed keeping in view the environs of the valley. Spread over an area of about 20,000 sq. mtrs, the building has central heating and air conditioning, besides flight information display system, CCTV for surveillance, checking counters, baggage carousals, public address system, departure conveyor system and capacity to handle 500 domestic and 450 international passengers. The building has 16 check-in counters, 8 baggage scanners, 16 immigration and 8 custom counters besides four conveyor belts. The expansion of the apron has been designed to cater for parking of nine aircrafts and strengthening it for parking B-747- type aircrafts.

JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY
ADMISSION ANNOUNCEMENT: 2009-10
The University will hold Entrance Examination on May 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2009 for admission to following full-time programmes of study in 51 cities spread all over India and in Kathmandu (Nepal): CATEGORY 'A' – ADMISSION THROUGH ENTRANCE EXAMINATION : PROGRAMMES : M.Phil/Ph.D in International Studies, Social Studies, Humanities, Foreign Languages, Life Sciences, Governance, M.Phil/Ph.D and M.Tech / Ph.D. in Computer and Systems Sciences. Pre-Ph.D / Ph.D. in Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Biotechnology, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and Molecular Medicine. MPH / Ph.D Master of Public Health. M.Phil in Portuguese, M.Tech in Computational and Systems Biology, Master of Computer Applications (MCA), M.A. in Political (with specialization in International Relations). Economics (with specialization in the World Economy), Geography, History, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, English, Linguistics, Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu/Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Arts and Aesthetics, M.Sc in Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Physics. B.A. (Hons) in Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Russian and Spanish (with entry points to both Ist and 2nd year) CATEGORY 'B' – DIRECT ADMISSION TO PH.D PROGRAMME : The University admits a limited number of candidates directly to Ph.D. programme on the basis of their performance in viva voce examination (without Entrance Examination) both in Monsoon and Winter Semesters in all Schools/Centres (except Life Sciences). In addition direct admission to Ph.D is also offered in Group of Political Theory and Comparatives Politics (International Relations), Mathematics Sciences, Adult Education, Women's Studies and Study of Discrimination and Exclusion. CATEGORY 'C' JRF HOLDERS : The University also admits a limited number of candidates to M.Phil/Ph.D and Pre-Ph.D./Ph.D. programmes who have qualified a National Test entitling them to a JRF in Schools of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Computer and Systems Sciences, Information Technology and Biotechnology without appearing in the Entrance Examination. FOREIGN NATIONALS : All foreign nationals present in India are required to appear in the Entrance Examination at any one of the Centres of entrance examination subject to their fulfilling minimum eligibility requirements and they will be competing among themselves. RESERVATION OF SEATS : 15% seats of SC and 7.5% seats for ST are reserved for candidates belonging to these categories. 3% seats are reserved for PH (Physical Challenged (Handicapped) with a minimum of 40% disability) candidates in each category i.e. General, SC, ST and OBC, 27% seats are reserved for OBC candidates (non creamy layer) subject to availability of sufficient infrastructure. HOW TO APPLY : Sets of application form and prospectus can be had (i) either personally from the Counter in the Administrative Block of the University on cash payment of Rs. 200/- per set from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on all working days (Monday to Friday) : or (ii) through post by sending crossed Bank Draft (valid for six months) for Rs. 300/- drawn in favour of Jawaharlal Nehru University payable at New Delhi alongwith a self-addressed (unstamped) envelope of the minimum size of 30 cms and 25cms. Clearly indicating the Category for which the application form is required on the envelope to the Deputy Registrar (Admissions), Room No. 28, Administrative Block, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi – 110067, Money Orders and Cheques are not accepted. PLEASE DO NOT SEND REQUESTS FOR APPLICATION FORM THROUGH PRIVATE COURIER SERVICES. LAST DATE FOR ISSUE OF APPLICATION FORMS (I) BY POST : MARCH 6, 2009 (II) AT CASH COUNTER : MARCH 16, 2009 ?DATE FOR RECEIPT OF COMPLETED LAST APPLICATION FORMS : MARCH 16, 2009 Any dispute with regard to any matter relating to admission shall be subject to the jurisdiction of Delhi Courts only. For details refer to Admission Announcement in Employment News of January 31 to February 6, 2009 Visit us at our website : http://www.jnu.ac.in for detailed information.

F

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Better Service Conditions must for Good Governance

eginning November 2008, past six months saw various dimensions of strikes and protests by the state government employees demanding implementation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations in their favor as well as enhancing the retirement age by two years, hence making at 60, at par with the Central Government employees and those in more than a dozen states across the country. Finally after much water had flown down the river a deal was struck between the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), a conglomerate of departmental and secretarial employees across the state, and between the state government team lead

B

by finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather. The outcome of the deal has widely been described as “Too Late Too Little”. But as to how the decision came to be acceptable to more than four lakh state government employees despite expressing strong reservations against the outcome is an issue to be looked into, at the same time the constraints and paucity of sufficient financial strength with the state government to meet the hiked pay expenses cannot ignored. Post- deal many employees associations have voiced their serious concern about the way JCC struck the deal with the government and are calling for another onslaught on the government

HAMAAD SALIF

Government employees staging a protest demonstration at Lal Chowk, Srinagar

Epilogue Ø 40 ×2009 March

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blaming both the parties for compromising the interests of employees as regards the payment of arrears, enhancement of retirement age and implementation of revised scales as well. Epilogue team went across the employees' bodies as well as the government circles to analyze the exact factors warranting such a cold response by the government and also measure the warmth of anguish or signs of satisfaction among various factions of the employees organizations. The recommendations of Sixth Central Pay Commission were implemented by the Government of India starting September 1st, 2008 and the effect was given from January 1st 2006 for fixation of pay and drawl of arrears therein. The central government implemented the pay panel report in respect of the central government employees and the All India Services officers posted in the cadre states. The state governments as a convention had to follow the pursuit in respect their employees as well. Many states were prompt enough to announce the implementation of the pay commission report in toto for their employees beginning September 2008 and gave all the benefits to their employees as was done for the central government employees. Many other states introduced state specific measures viz a viz fiscal constraint and budgetary management and the like factors. At the time of implementation of Pay Panel report by the centre the state of Jammu and Kashmir was under the governor's rule since the dissolution of assembly in July 2008. The various employees' bodies started making representations before the Governor N N Vohra and the state administration impressing upon them to give effect to the recommendation of central pay commission in their favor as was done by many other state for their

employees. But for promises and assurances nothing concrete emerged from the talks between the Governorled state administration and the employees organizations. Nonetheless issue of pay hike became an election agenda with major political parties

The most important issue of increase in retirement age was left untouched. On this issue various departmental organizations of the various departments have raised eyebrows on the manner in which JCC brokered the deal with the government. Local newspapers were flooded with statements resenting “sell out “ by the leaders of JCC and called upon the second rung leaders to take on the government in a renewed onslaught. But it was much more than difficult to put forward another strike under such circumstances when a deal had just been concluded by those among whom four lakh employees gad reposed their faith
promising to effect pay hike immediately after coming to power. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah are on record having forcefully promised the pay hike as first decision of the NC-led Government when the party is returned to power. Similarly Congress leader and former

chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad too promised in a similar vein across the state. Azad in known for tightening the noose on government officials in his much publicized campaign against corruption and at the fag end of his tenure as Chief Minister Azad did announce raising retirement age to 60 and initiating fast-track recruitments for about 80000 posts in various departments. He was praised by all for both the initiatives as retirement age enhancement promise gave a shoulder of relief to those due to retire in the present year and the next and at the same time it created a ray of hope for unemployed youth to get government jobs at the other end, through the fast track recruitment announced by Azad. But within a month of this announcement the government lost the confidence of house when the Peoples D e m o c r a t i c Pa r t y a n n o u n c e d withdrawal of support owing to the Amaranth Land Controversy related to diversion of forest land to the shrine board. With withdrawal of PDP the coalition was reduced to majority and Azad preferred to resigned instead of seeking a motion of confidence in the House. The new governor was also appointed to the state after term of outgoing governor S K Sinha came to an end. it is pertinent to mention here that at the time of all these developments in the political scene of state a strike called by clerks of all the departments across the state had already completed four months. The work in offices was severely affected rather paralyzed in the whole state owing to strike called by the clerks which ran unsuccessfully for more than a hundred days, witnessed by marked protests both in Jammu , Srinagar as well as district headquarters. In the wake of clerks strike the big babus had to do the clerks jobs themselves as left with no other

Epilogue Ø 41 ×2009 March

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option. The demands posed by the clerks were lost in oblivion with the fall of congress-PDP coalition in July 2008. Now the question is whether the JCC lead pay strike did met that end or it was something different. The answer will be clear if one analyses the outcome of JCC-Government deal on the pay hike. The total financial implication of the pay hike as per sixth central pay commission report for state government employees would mean a Rs 3600 Cr burden on the state government. It will not be out of place to mention here that this amount was to be incurred if the central recommendations were adopted for state government employees in their entirety. After formation of the NCCongress coalition in the state during first week of January 2009, almost every other day was a strike across the state for putting pressure on the government to affect hike in pay or remind the government of its electoral promises. Almost six weeks after the government and JCC leaders could come across the table to discuss modalities of pay hike and implementation of pay commission recommendations. It was finally decided to hike pay of employees from August 2009 including payment of July 2009 salary as per revised pay scales. Arrears accruing to revised hiked salaries were decided to be paid with effect from January 2006, similarly as was done by the central government. But the most disappointing for more than four lakh employees in the state was the modality of payment of arrears. The government decided to pay the arrears in five installments spread over five financial years as compared to two installments decided by the central government for its employees. Not only this, the arrears are not to be paid in

cash but will be deposited in the GP Fund account of the employees with a moratorium of three years on withdrawal from GP Fund accounts. The employees had been waiting for the arrears to meet various due needs in the time of soaring prices by the gift came

Commenting on the pay hike Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a meeting of district officers at Poonch District headquarters stated that “ with pay hiked I expect the employees to act with missionary zeal”, which struck the headlines in print and electronic media. Irked at the essence of this statement an organization of employees asked whether the missionary zeal expected from the employees is same with which the government has offered soaps? When compared the substance of both the statements would be miles apart. It is true that for an efficient administration and visible deliverables the employees are undoubtedly to be taken care of, as regards their basic rights
from the government in a locked container whose key was deposited with the government at least for three years. The most important issue of increase in retirement age was left untouched. On this issue various departmental

organizations of the various departments have raised eyebrows on the manner in which JCC brokered the deal with the government. Local newspapers were flooded with statements resenting “sell out “ by the leaders of JCC and called upon the second rung leaders to take on the government in a renewed onslaught. But it was much more than difficult to put forward another strike under such circumstances when a deal had just been concluded by those among whom four lakh employees gad reposed their faith. Resentment is still brewing among various sections of the employees organizations against the government decision and seeking to convince the government to rethink about the pay hike modalities. Before the final deal between the JCC representatives and the Government, a high level state committee was set up by the government to chalk out the modalities of the pay hike for state government employees. The committee headed by a financial commissioner strongly recommended the increase in retirement age to 60 years at par with centre and many other state. But ironically the superannuation age issue did not catch any attention either from the government or the real stakeholders, that is, Joint Coordination Committee representing the state employees. This has been a cause of serious concern leading to strong resentment among employees. It is a known fact that presently about 80000 posts are either vacant since long or newly created waiting for filling up so the enhancement in retirement age would not have a much visible impact on unemployment given about only 3500 employees due to retire in an year on an average. Moreover this would not have translated into a much bigger financial implication as well. The state doesn't

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When Epilogue highlighted the situation, shortly after that the government came out with a direction to AIS officers (IAS/IPS/IFS) to draw salaries and arrears as per central pay commission recommendation with effect from September 2008. When it is a known fact that AIS officers have to be paid in accordance with the central pay rules still it took six months for the government to accept what was a basic right. If those at the helm of affairs in the state are not given the due rights then the plight of employees can be understood
have much of its own resources so has to depend on the centre of packages and aids in most of the cases. It is a known fact that thousands of crores of rupees are allocated every year to Jammu and Kashmir under infrastructure and development schemes. It is irony that no aid can be sought forcefully for those who are responsible for utilization of these funds, development of the state and development of economy as a whole. Certainly when viewed from this angle the peanuts offered by the government causes a resentment among the employees as has been voiced by them continuously since the government decision came out. Commenting on the pay hike Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a meeting of district officers at Poonch District headquarters stated that “ with pay hiked I expect the employees to act with missionary zeal”, which struck the headlines in print and electronic media. Irked at the essence of this statement an organization of employees asked whether the missionary zeal expected from the employees is same with which the government has offered soaps? When compared the substance of both the statements would be miles apart. It is true that for an efficient administration and visible deliverables the employees are undoubtedly to be taken care of, as regards their basic rights. Epilogue carried out a story on the issue of pay hike for All India Service officers, in the previous issue, wherein it was highlighted that the basic right of top 300 officers manning the state administration were compromised for no fault of theirs. The hiked pay was to be given to them in concurrence with the central government employees, that is September 2008, but instead the government asked the AIS officers not to draw the revised salaries. This created a controversy across the services and many officers did not pay

heed and went ahead to draw the salary. When epilogue highlighted the situation, shortly after that the government came out with a direction to AIS officers (IAS/IPS/IFS) to draw salaries and arrears as per central pay commission recommendation with effect from September 2008. When it is a known fact that AIS officers have to be paid in accordance with the central pay rules still it took six months for the government to accept what was a basic right. If those at the helm of affairs in the state are not given the due rights then the plight of employees can be understood. For an efficient administration the basic needs of the employees have to be met and the government has no alternative but understand the position of employees and pay heed to their financial requirements in the times of a slowed down economy and also take care for better service conditions to ensure good governance for benefit of masses - the electors, in short.

Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri (J&K)
VACANCIES IN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY
Applications on prescribed form are invited for the following positions as per UGC pay scale in college of Engineering & Technology, BGSB University, Rajouri, J&K 1. Principal - (01) 2. Professor - (05) Computer Sciences & Engineering (01) / Information Technology (01) / Electronics & Communication Engineering (01) / Civil Engineering (01) / Mechanical Engineering (01) 3. Assistant Professor (10) - Computer Sciences & Engineering (01) / Information Technology Engineering (02) / Electronics & Communication Engineering (02) / Civil Engineering (02) / Mechanical Engineering (02) 4. Lecturer (27) - Computer Sciences & Engineering (04) / Information Technology Engineering (02) / Electronics & Communication Engineering (04) / Civil Engineering (06) / Mechanical Engineering (06) / English (02) / Applied Physics (01) / Applied Mathematics (02) Prescribed applications form alongwith detailed advertisement notice can be obtained personally from office of Assistant Registrar (Establishment) BGSB University, Rajouri, J&K or OSD, BGSBU Camp Office, Opposite Channi Himmat, Jammu (J&K) or can be downloaded from the University website : www.bgsbuniversity.org. Last date for submission of completed application form alongwith Demand Draft of Rs. 600/- (in favour of Registrar, BGSB University, Rajouri, payable at JK Bank, University Branch, Dhanore, Rajouri) is 16th March 2009 Application forms of those candidates who have applied earlier for positions where interviews have not been conducted so far shall be considered if eligible. They shall however be required to submit latest copy of biodata.

BGSBU/Estab/09/25150 Dated : 16.02.2009

Sd/Registrar

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E N V I R ONM E N T

Carbon Trading

J&K on Global Carbon Market Map

IRM AMIN BAIG

he word “Carbon” attracts varying reactions from developed and developing worlds as regards its effects on the environment especially global warming. There had been a much larger debate on the evidence behind global warming and the developed countries, major contributors of Greenhouse Gases, had refused to join the multilateral cooperation in the field of mitigating global warming by way of cutting emissions as it would mean a loss in economy for them. Two major developments in the present decade wrote a glorious chapter in the history of environmental activism and a great step towards recognizing and sharing a mutual responsibility for a safe environment across the globe. Firstly Russia ratified the Kyoto protocol in 2004-05 a decade after it came into being, and hence the Kyoto Protocol took effect from 2005 when the basic requirement of participation of member states totaling a global share of 51% GHG emissions ratifying the protocol was met. The Kyoto protocol aiming at phased reduction of GHGs was delayed by a decade due to USAs noncommittal attitude about the protocol and with USA being largest emitter of GHGs (more than 20% of world) the minimum requirement for Kyoto implementation was missing which was n a r r o w l y f u l f i l l e d b y Ru s s i a ' s ratification after a decade. Second

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major development was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report about global warming which proved beyond any doubt that the GHG emission was the major cause of global warming hence fixing the responsibility of major emitters that is developed countries. The Noble Peace prize for IPCC further strengthened the cause and all these developments became the reasons of USA softening the stand at the Bali Conference organized under the aegis of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Nusa Dua, Bali. This was the backgrounds which lead to a resurgent Global Carbon Market by means of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) came a blessing in disguise for the developing countries which contribute very less to the global warming given their low level of industrialization or otherwise. The methodology of Carbon Trading is today known to everybody and member states are competing in carving out larger benefits, on either side, that is ,both developed and developing countries. Carbon Sequestration has come to be an accepted methodology which, for a lay man, would mean “the more you reduce carbon emission or increase storage the more you ear”. The carbon trading market has

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E N V I R ONM E N T
Carbon Trading

expanded across the globe, be it saving e n e rgy, u si n g a lte rn a ti ve fu e l combinations or afforestation/ reforestation and the like. Initially India selected four states as priority states for taking up the Clean Development Mechanism activities. This list included the state of Jammu and Kashmir and later a couple of other states was also included. Jammu and Kashmir put its first step towards exploring the CDM benefits with a high-level one-day workshop titled “ Setting up of Research Priorities & Piloting Activities for Carbon Sequestration in Jammu and Kashmir”, March last year. The workshop was attended by state ministers, bureaucrats, scientists, scholars and officers from various technical departments apart for a galaxy of senior officers having experience in CDM and scientists drawn from across the country. this marked the beginning of the CDM in state. Based on the recommendations of the workshop a Core group of officers of forest department was decided to be set up headed by the Conservator of Forests, Research Circle J&K. Further it was decided to establish Carbon Cell under the J&K State Forest Research Institute was proposed to be established in the state which is underway at SFRI'S Jammu campus. The carbon cell once functional will serve as nodal centre for CDM in J&K state and also a resource pool for anybody in the state wishing to learn about the Clean Development Mechanism or entering the carbon

market with proposing such projects especially Afforestation and Reforestation Projects for larger chunks of land in the state. The state of the art Carbon Cell will have a round the clock internet facility, library and high speed data transmission soon. The officials manning the Carbon Cell will be from the core group and special invitees or associates of the SFRI as and when called to share the technical expertise.

The officers from the Forest Department and other allied departments under the Ministry of Forests, Ecology and Environment as well as other line departments and stake holders across the state will be trained at the Carbon Cell aiming at high level capacity building and knowledge dissemination as far as carbon sequestration and global warming issues are concerned.

In almost an year since the first workshop organized in Jammu the State Forest Research Institute organized a score of meetings and interactions of core group apart from prioritizing a roadmap for CDM in Jammu and Kashmir. The institute has also entered into collaboration with Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and Sri Mata Vaishno Devi University in various CDM methodologies and joint projects. The Rajouri campus of BGSBU recently been taken up as green campus by SFRI for plantation across hundreds of kanals of land which will help in carbon sequestration apart from rehabilitating the hilly campus area. Apart from that many workshops were also o r g a n i z e d f o r stakeholders across the state. Recently the a team of GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) interacted with state forest officers at SFRI on 16th-17th February 2009 to discuss project formulation and feasibility of the areas to be taken up wherein they also visited the forest areas along with Core Group and other forest officers. The high-level meeting on 5th6th March 2009 will be counted as major step forward when officials from Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India and their counterparts from State Government put the record straight about emergence of Jammu and Kashmir state on the Carbon Market Map by means of carbon sequestration. Meanwhile the SFRI has under consideration two

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research studies respectively on Methane Production Estimate of Jammu and Kashmir with strategies to reduce it through livestock up gradation and second on Biogas Potential Village Mapping of Rajouri District which will serve as baseline for taking up CDM projects and also serve as livelihood strength for the rural poor. But a question in mind would be – whether it is feasible to venture into the Carbon Market in the times of recession across the globe? Before narrating a straight answer we need to weigh the various dimensions of global carbon market and associated issues. There is no doubt that in the recession hit global economy afforestation and reforestation projects under CDM will not be much beneficial for those eying at earning carbon credits in the global carbon market. Reason being that a certifier emission reduction (CER) at present fetches roughly US $ 2-3, which is less attractive given the long gestation of forest crops and only 1 % of CERs attributed to forestry projects across the globe. Other methods of CDM, like shifting to alternative fuels, saving energy by shift towards energy conservation etc would be easier and quicker as compared to forestry projects. But at the same time the importance of forestry projects under CDM can hardly be undermined given their unique benefits as the trees serve as carbon sequestration machines and also provide livelihood options apart from a dual cleaning process of the environment. The Carbon Market could be compared to the Futures and Options in the stock markets where the persons holding the shares or bonds can sell them when the prices are high in the market, in short the Bear and Bull mechanism. Likewise the price of one CER will not be static for all the times to

come but fluctuate hopefully towards a higher end in the times to come once the economies are back on the track. At present the environment crusade seems to have taken a back stage with shattering economies worldwide but it cannot be ignored in toto instead we can call it a stage in the developmental cycle. So, by the time the crops mature the CERs are expected to be attractive in the global market so it is advisable to go for short gestation forestry projects of 20-30 years which will give annual returns over a longer period of time thus outweighing the present down trend in carbon market owing to a host of factors. It is a fact that today only one forestry project stands sanctioned under the CDM across the globe that too from China. But the picture is not dismal for India with 31 projects registered and at various stages in the approval pipeline under CDM mechanism. So with other states having submitted a reasonably good score of forestry CDM projects J&K cannot be a mute spectator as it is not time to discuss whether or not to go for CDM projects the carbon market has become an established fact and we too need to be competitive enough to ensure smooth sailing in the emerging carbon trading thus harnessing a host of benefits for the people. It is fact that India signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and ratified it in 2002. And today under the clean development mechanism India has emerged as a leader in terms of country approved CDM projects across the globe. The Designated National Authority (DNA) under CDM established in 2003 at Delhi has been successful competition in the country as regards submission of forestry CDM projects, which is evident from a greater number projects submitted for approval by private sector across the

country. Today India has become a leading destination among non-Annex-I countries with regards to CDM implementation. But the majority of registered project in India are renewable energy project focusing on hydropower, and wind energy, so there is a need for putting greater thrust on the forestry CDM projects as well which also fulfills the resource need of the country and J&K can prove as preferred destination for such projects. Jammu and Kashmir, as per the estimates of GTZ, has an expansion potential on 12.5% of its geographical area thus figuring among top potential states thus the benefits from CDM projects in the state can be analyzed to be of a greater extent. It is rightly said that the journey of thousand miles must begin with the first step and that first step has been taken by the J&K state in the global carbon market. Now the outcome will depend on as to how the stakeholders across the state come forward to avail the opportunity and work ahead in letter and spirit to showcase the state on Global Carbon Market Map. The State Forest Research Institute has taken a lead to emerge as a nodal centre in the beginning and it does not end here because there has to be a continuing process coming true to emerging expectations whether in the field of technology or livelihood demands. Newer CDM projects can offer a greater number of self-employment to the rural youth which is the need of the hour. Also it will generate a sense of technical competition at one hand and growing a culture of green entrepreneurship on the other. The State Forest Department has a lot of avenues which can be explored under the Clean Development Mechanism, not only under Afforestation and Reforestation

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category but also those like Biofuel crops cultivation, alternative energy techniques like harnessing wind and solar energy for community benefits, and so on. What all will be needed in the times to come, for making CDM a success and make Jammu and Kashmir glow on the global Carbon Market Map, will be a highest degree of professionalism, innovativeness and collaboration between different organizations, departments and stakeholders across the state. The CDM should not merely end up as a glorified environmental slogan but should proceed in such a way to produce visible deliverables for the stakeholders and the community in larger perspective. Small innovations does matter, to cite an example, like the Uttarakhand State Forest Department took up water harvesting initiative in its establishments across the state which proved to be greater success generating community interest as well, the West Bengal State Forest Corporation took up eco-tourism in a different way – trekking in the areas being worked for wood harvesting and construction of mud houses and tents which helped them to deliver their duty well apart from generating huge resources especially from visiting foreign tourists who loved the moments in mud house in wilderness for anything between Rs 10000 to Rs 20000 per night. The government had a vision and this showcased a real eco-tourism apart from generating huge resources which were utilized in strengthening the department and created additional infrastructure for tourism. In Jammu and Kashmir there is no dearth of resources, efficient manpower and highly qualified professionals and experienced administrators but what we need is a vision and collaboration

between different organizations and departments because these are not the initiatives which could be carried out in isolation as the works are overlapping so are the resources. Similarly the Carbon initiative in the state needs to be taken on a multisectoral approach to achieve success for state as a whole. The centers of excellence should emerge as knowledge centers to disseminate the latest advances in technology, methodologies as well avenues and opportunities. Moreover training the manpower needs to be an ongoing phenomenon as skill up gradation has to be a part of the overall endeavor to achieve success in this field because every now and then newel technologies and methods are coming into field or market and the stakeholders must be abreast with the latest developments. The coming two

years will be crucial for the state to emerge prominently on the Carbon Market Map and for that the government has to go for a holistic and muti-pronged approach to woo the private sector on one hand and extract efficiency from various departments / organizations on the other. At present there may be reservations about or opposition against the perspectives of CDM in state but to come to a conclusion the concerned corners have to come across the table to discuss pros and cons, opportunities and threats, strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and then put a common front based on a kind of common minimum program for CDM in Jammu and Kashmir state. When Slumdog Millionaire can bag record eight Oscars making India proud there is no doubt that Jammu and Kashmir can also emerge as a leader in CDM in India, as India is emerging globally.

Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri (J&K)
Centre for Biodiversity Studies WALK-IN-INTERVIEW
Interviews for Research Fellows (05) on a consolidated fellowship of Rs. 8,000 per month for remaining period (about two years) of the project titled ‘Bioresource based training for rural women of Rajouri the hinterland of J&K’ sponsored by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Sciences and Technology, Govt. of India will be conducted on 03 March, 2009 in the office of Director, Centre for Biodiversity Studies, BGSB University, Rajouri from 11:00 A.M. onwards. The candidate should have good academic record with, 55% marks or an equivalent grade (B in 7-point scale) at the Masters Degree in any discipline of Life Sciences. Eligible candidates should reach the venue at 9.30 A.M. on the said date along with original and attested copy of relevant documents pertaining to qualification and experience and biodata. No TA/DA shall be paid

BGSBU/Estab/09/25209 Dated : 18.02.2009

Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed Zarri Principal Investigator Bioresrouce Training Project

Epilogue Ø 47 ×2009 March

C O L UMN

History

Emperor Jahangir on History, Culture of Kashmir - I

he Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (1556-1605) annexed Kashmir to the Mughal empire in 1586 and it remained under the Mughals upto 1753. The Mughal emperor Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir treated Kashmir as most favourite part of the Mughal India. Since he was a naturalist, Kashmir's natural heritage became the sources of his inspiration and creativity. Though all the Mughal emperors from 1586 onwards worked for the protection and propagation of historical and cultural heritage of Kashmir, Jahangir's methods and approach for drawing the attention of people towards Kashmir's history and culture were unique. He visited Kashmir frequently. He treated Kashmir vertually the summer captial of the Mughal empire. However, during his visit to Kashmir he generally collected information regarding the historicity of the places, productions, population and natural features of the region. He recorded the historical facts of Kashmir in his Memoirs entitled Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri. It is written in Persian language by Jahangir. Jahangir records the historical places, natural resources, social life and phases of changes in Kashmir in a very convincing and interesting manners. He mentions that Bihat (Jhelam) river flowed very fast and during rainy season generally the bridges on it were broken. Jahangir was very much impressed from the cultural importance of the Veri-Nag or Vir-nag spring. Therefore, he tried to know the

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PROF. JIGAR MOHAMMAD

people's perception about it and he himself went there and assessed it value in terms of a water resource. According to him, “The source of Bihat is a spring in Kashmir called the Vir-nag; in the language of India a snake is Vir-nag. Clearly there had been a large snake at that place. I went twice to the spring in my father's lifetime; it is 20 kos from the city of Kashmir. It is an octagonal reservoir about 20 yards by 20. Near it are the remains of a place of worship for recluses; cells cut out of the rock and numerous caves. The water is exceedingly pure. Although I could not guess its depth, a grain of poppy seed is visible until it touches the bottom. There were many fish to be seen in it. As I heard that it was unfathomable. I ordered to throw in a cord with a stone attached, and when this cord was measured in gaz it became evident that the depth was not more than one and half the height of a man. After my accession I ordered them to build the sides of the spring round with the stone, and they made a garden round it with a canal; and built halls and houses about it, and made a place such that travellers over the world can point out few like it.” ( T h e Tu z u k - i - J a h a n g i r i , E n g l i s h Translation by Alexander Rogers, edited by Henry Beveridge, Delhi, 1994 (Reprint), Vol. I, p. 92). For Jahangir, the streams and springs of Kashmir provided plenty of water to the people of the region. But for drinking purpose Dal lake water was used by the most of the people of Kashmir. Jahangir also gives a brief

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description of the Wulur lake. For him its length and breadth were more than three or four kos and was also called Zain-lanka. Jahangir worked for the presevation and publicity of springs and fountains of Kashmir. One can estimate the extent of Jahangir's interests in these water resources from their mention in his Memoirs. When he visited a fountain of Inch village he recorded the characteristics of it in these words: “I first visited the fountain of Inch. This village had been given by my father to Ram Das Kachhwaha and he had erected buildings and basins at the spring. Undoubtedly, it is exceedingly sweet and delightful place. Its water is perfectly clearand pure, and many fish swim in it.” The fountain of the Machhi Bhawan and the spring of Achhabal attracted the attention of Jahangir very much. The latter not only described the attractive features of these, but also evaluated the historical value of them. Appreciating the significance of Machhi Bhawan fountain as an important source of enjoyment Jahangir writes, “…there is a fountain that they (Kashmiris) call Machhi Bhawan, above which Ray Bihari, on e of the servants of my father (Akbar), built an idol temple. The beauty of this spring is more than one can describe, and large trees of ancient years, planes, white and black poplars, have grown up round it.” Regarding Achhabal spring Jahangir writes, “The water of this spring is more plentiful than that of other, and it has a fine waterfall. Around it lofty plain trees and graceful white poplars, bringing their heads together, have made enchanting places to sit in. As far asone could see, in a beautiful garden, Ja'fari flowers had bloomed, so that one might say it was a piece of Paradise.” Similarly, Jahangir records the springs of Loka Bhawan and Andha Nag. According to him, “This spring (Loka Bhawan) is a

pleasant spot. Although at present it is not equal to the others, if it were to be repaired it would be very good. I ordered them to construct a building worthy of place and to repair the reservoir in front of it.” But Jahangir found the Andha Nag a spring which water was not good for the health. He not only heard about the poor quality of the water, but also witnessed it. He writes, “It is known that the fish of this fountain (Andha Nag) are blind. I delayed a while near this spring, and threw in a net and caught twelve of the fish. Of these, three were blind and nine had eyes. Evidently, the water of this spring has effect of making them blind. Certainly this is not devoid of strangeness.” Jahangir's description of the some of the places of Kashmir highlights the historical significance of them. He traces the history of Shihabuddinpur village of Kashmir. According him, “This village is one of the celebrated places of Kashmir and is on the Bihat. About a hundred plain trees (chinar) of graceful from clustered together on one plot of ground, pleasant and green, join each other so as to shade the whole plot and the whole surface of ground is grass and trefoil; so much so that to lay a carpet on it would be superfluous and in bad taste. The village was founded by sultan Zainul Abidin…” It is important to mention that the Sultan Zainul Abidin (1420-70) was the most enlightened ruler of the fifteenth century Kashmir and immensly promoted building industries in Kashmir. Jahangir's mention of Shihabuddinpur village in historical perspective shows how much the Mughal emperor was concerned with the processes of the historical changes in Kashmir. When Jahangir visited Bara Mula town he asked the people what was the meaning of Bara Mula? The people of that area told him that Bara Mula was derived from Hindi

language. It was made of two words ; first Barah or Varah which means boar, and second Mula which means place. Thus Bara Mula means place of boars. According to him, “Among the incarnations that belong to the religion of the Hindus, one is the boar incarnation, and Barah Mula by constant use has become Bara mula…It is one of the noted towns of Kashmir, and 14 koss // distant from the city, situated on the bank of the Bihat. A number of the merchants of Kashmir live in it, and have built houses and mosques on the bank of the river, and spend their days in ease and contentment. Jahangir mentions the village of Pampur as the producer of the largest quantity of the saffron(Zafran). The places such as Buliyasa, Qambarbar, Srinagar and Panj Brara are mentioned by Jahangir with reference to the the potentialities of cultural development. Jahangir's account of the geography of Kashmir is very useful for the study of the historical geography of the region. He has not ownly shown the different places of Kashmir in terms of topography, climate and production, but, more importantly, he has also described the several places of Kashmir in terms of the distance of one place to the other and the administrative division of Kashmir. Measuring the distance of one place to the other Jahangir writes, “Kashmir, from the place of Bhuliyasa to Qambarbar, is 56 Jahangiri koss long, and its breadth is never more than 27 koss, or less than 10 koss. Shaikh Abul Fazl (a court historian of the Mughal emperor Akbar) has, in his Akbarnama, stated, by guess and conjecture, that the length of Kashmir from the Kishan Ganga to Qambarbar is 120 koss, and its breadth from 10 to 25 koss. I, out of prudence and caution, appointed a number of trustworthy and intelligent men to measure the length and breadth with ropes (tanab). The

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result was that what the Shaikh (Abul Fazl) wrote as 120 koss came out as 67. As it is agreed that the boundary of country (Kashmir) is the place up to which people speak the language of that country, it follows that the boundary of Kashmir id Buliyasa, which 11 koss on this side (i.e. east) of the Kishan Ganga. So according to the preceding figures, the length of Kashmir is 56 (67-11) koss. The variations in breadth were found to be not more than 2 koss. The koss that in use during my reign is that prescribed by my father. That is a koss is 5000 yards and the yard is 2 shar'i yards, each of the latter (yards) being 24 digits (angusht).” Jahangir found Srinagar as the most attaractive and well-planned city of Kashmir. He has recorded the existing features of Srinagar City. He describes the dominant features of Srinagar in these words: “The name of the city is Srinagar, and the Bihat river flows through the midst of it. They call its fountain-head Vir-nag. It is 14 koss to the south. By my (Jahangir) order they have made a building a building and a garden at that source. There have been built in the city four very strong stone and wooden bridges, over which people come and go. They call a bridge in the language of this country kadal. There is a very lofty mosque in the city, one of the marks of Sultan Sikandar, made in 795 (Hijri) (1393 A.D.). After some time it was brunt, but was rebuilt by Sultan Husain. It had not been completed when the mansion of his life fell down. In 909 (1503-04) Ibrahim Maqri, Vizier of the Sultan Husain, finished it handsomely. From that day till now it is 120 years since it has been in existence. From the Mihrab to the eastern wall it is 145 yards, and its breadth is 144 yards, containing four (taq) alcoves. On all sides of the hall they erected beautiful cloisters and pillars. In short, no better memorial of the rulers of Kashmir has

been left than this. Mir Sayyid Ali of Hamdan (may his grave be santified !) was for some time in this city. There is monastry to his memory. Near the city there are two large lakes full of water the year round. Their flavour does not vary; they are the means of coming and going of the people, and for the conveyance of grain and firewood on boats. In the city and parganas there are 5700 boats and 7400 boatmen.” Jahangir provides very useful and interesting information regarding the administrative divisions of Kashmir, its mode of the payment of revenue and routes between Punjab and Kashmir. According to him, “The country of Kashmir has thirty eight parganas. It is divided into two provinces; the territory on the upper part of the river they call Marraj and that on the lower Kamraj. Regarding the mode of payment of revenue he writes: “it is not the custom to use gold and silver for the payment of the revenue from land or in commerce, except for a portion of the cesses (sa'irjihat). They (Kashmiris) reckon the value of things in kharwars of rice, each kharwar being three maunds and eight seers of the current weight. The Kashmiris reckon two seers as one maund and four maunds or eight seers make one tark. The revenue of Kashmir is 3063050 kharwars and 11 tarks, which in cash represents 7 4670000 dams. (dams were copper coins and 40 dams were equivalent to one rupee).” Jahangir's account shows that it was not easy to enter Kashmir because of the existence of a few and difficult routes between the Punjab and Kashmir. However, he has given two routes, Bhimbher and Pakli, through which one could enter Kashmir. For him, “Though that by Bhimbhar is the shorter, yet if one wishes to find spring in Kashmir, he is confined to the road by Pakli, for other roads at this season are blocked with snow.”

Jahangir's description of the various features of the different places of Kashmir indicates that the Mughal emperor had very minutely and sincerely observed those features of Kashmir which were rare in other parts of India. According to him, “Kashmir is a garden of eternal spring, or an iron fort to a palace of kings-a delightful flower-bed, and heart expanding heritage for dervishes. Its pleasant meads and enchanting cascades are beyond all description. There are running streams and fountains beyond count. Wherever the eye reaches, there are verdure and running water. The red rose, the violet, and the narcissus grow of themselves; in the fields, there are all kinds of flowers and all sorts of sweet scented herbs more than can be calculated. In the soul enchanting spring the hills and plains are filled with blossoms; the gates, the walls, the courts, the roofs are light up by the torches of banquetadorning tulips.” Jahangir's interests in the water resources and historical places show that the Mughals were very much conscious of the preservation of the natural heritage of Kashmir. The Mughal emperor acted as a conservator of the resources. He identified these resoureces having potentialities of the socio-economic development. Moreover, he also provides the popular perception of these resources. Jahangir's interests in these resources brought rich dividends to the people of Kashmir in terms of constructive activities. By recording the features of the water resources and historical places Jahangir acted as the propagator of the concept of the protection of heritage of Kashmir to create social consciousness towards them.

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MED I A

Coming of its Own

Print Media in Kashmir Post 1989

he international media scene was revolutionized by CNN”s coverage of the 1990 US-led invasion of Iraq. It was a watershed, as the State-controlled monopoly of 'gatekeeping' and 'surveillance of the environment saw itself withering away. The arrival of multiple satellite channels saw the state media fumbling in its efforts to complete with the new media technology. Coincidentally, the imbroglio in Kashmir projected a fertile playground for the media. The coverage of events, their interpretation, and the audience or reader's role were all getting reincarnated. It was media's seismic upheaval. The local media were confined to a regional Doordarshan Kendra, a local radio station called Radio Kashmir and the Urdu Press, which constituted a few Urdu newspapers coupled with some feebly conspicuous newspapers. The English press was literally non-existent. The circulation was compatible with the readership. Urdu being the official language, its press had a dominant presence. Given its past history in the socio-political context, the Urdu press was an institution in its own right. Due to the lack of the private sector in Kashmir, thereby administrative support and government patronage was the bane and lifeline of the press. The press would tread very safely and cautiously. The growth of insurgency and the arrival of

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multiple satellite media changed this scenario. Al-Safa, a recently launched newspaper, blends activism with realism, projecting the charged up socio-political scenario with a perspective much more bold and critical than the traditional Urdu Press. The result was that unidentified persons gunned down the editor. Local Radio and Television channels provided highly censored and camouflaged versions of the situation, originating from the Army High Command. Credibility of the local media was at its lowest ebb. The news production units of Radio and TV were shifted to New Delhi and even local news was relayed from the National Capital. Lot of insecurity prevailed on the ground situation. The local press was under tremendous pressure from all sides – the government as well as the forces operating above and below the ground. Facing the heat from the administration and the armed forces, the local press doled out government versions of events, which did not conform to the reality. With many ideological, militant and political groups vying for media space and attention, there was practically no reportage – just claims

SABEHA MUFTI
The Writer teaches at the Media Education Research Center, University of Kashmir, Srinagar.

The Post – 1989 developments in Kashmir were monumental and the local press was not trained on professional lines to report interpret or analyse news.

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MED I A

Coming of its Own
and counter claims, allegations and counter-allegations. For the reader there was no alternative media fodder. Media content was by no standards an intellectual outpouring. The local print and electronic media persons were under so much pressure that several times the press went on strike. The government stopped the supply of newsprint and advertisement and put curbs on other essential requisites of newspaper production. This was done as a pressure tactic to make the local print media toe the government line on issues of security and governance. In the National dailies, the news pertaining to Kashmir was printed as news briefs in the form of a daily toll of death, destruction and violence. The credibility of national print media plummeted drastically. A majority of the Kashmiri readership saw itself aligning with the local vernacular press, understandably accepting the pulls and pressures faced by the local media. For the information pertaining to hartals, curfew relaxations, and other local information which governed the daily life in those conditions, the vernacular press was the lone window to reality. The post-1989 developments in Kashmir were monumental and the local press was not trained on professional lines to report, interpret or analyse news of that magnitude. Traditionally, most of the newspapers were run by a few individuals. The local Urdu press was also accused of having an ideological bias that is of being part of the prevailing anti-India wave. The situation was all the more exacerbated by stringent laws like TADA and POTA. The local press vacillated between objectivity, credibility, its image, fairness and professionalism. Different forces operating in Kashmir – the governmental, non-governmental and those operating from the shadows – all rode piggy back on the local press. There were no on-field investigative stories; much of the human rights violations went unreported. It was a very precarious situation for the media, risking the antagonism of the powers centres of the time. By 2001, the growth of professionalism became visible in newspaper have opened bureau offices in Pakistan – administered Kashmir, New Delhi and Jammu, thereby widening the ambit of their coverage. There is also an increased local interest in mainstream Indian politics and other issues. The Local media made a mark with the coverage of a few Kashmir-based events. For them, conflict is naturally a dominant theme. Events like the Khundroo blast of November 2007, which devastated a major a major arms dump in South Kashmir, which the national media ignored were extensively covered, interpreted and analysed with respect to the security, social and environmental aspects. Similarly, after the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, the local media, especially print media, played a major role, being the first to arrive on the scheme of disaster and calamity ahead of relief and rescue operators. Although it is also very true that as a fallout of the 19 years of turmoil, the social, security and psychological consequences on the local media in Kashmir are very visible. They are now empowered and have a strong presence on the Kashmiri mediascape. The emergence of two major Urdu newspapers Uzma and Ittelaat, in the last one year have revolutionsed the vernacular Urdu journalism. Both of these are online 16 page multi-colour newspapers with exhaustive local, regional, national and international coverage. The online access to local newspapers has opened a new window to Kashmir. There is a huge Kashmiri Diaspora in the West and Middle East for whom the online Urdu and English Newspapers provide a link to their homeland. Hence, the local print media have a bright future ahead, aided by news media technology.

There were no on-field investigative stories; much of the human rights violations went unreported.
In the early 1990s, a few English newspapers appeared on the scene, first as weeklies testing the waters and then thriving local dailies. At present, there are about eight major English dailies and five major Urdu newspapers. The total count touches about 600 in Kashmir, half of which are printed from Kashmir. Several national dailies like the Indian Express and The Hindustan Times launched their state editions as Kashmir turned into a nerve centre of news. Till the mid 1990s, the local print media did not get much space and opportunity to asset its freedom and professionalism, although in Kashmir, Urdu newspapers have the widest reach. During the whole period turmoil, the local media was caught balancing ideology and professionalism. Most of the time, there was a visible reflection of ambivalence in the content. Apart from inadequate field reporting, media suffered from the complete dependence on official statements and the lack of analysis. Revealing the truth was also a precarious terrain. Still, on several occasions the government had to give clarifications and answers especially in response to disappearance and custodial killings.

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Reviews

Strengthening Democracy in South Asia

ELECTORAL PROCESS AND GOVERNANCE IN SOUTH ASIA Edited by Dushyantha Mendis Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2008, pp. 479, Rs. 695.00

AJAY DARSHAN BEHERA
is reader at the academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. He is the author of violence, terrorism and Human Security in South Asia and has so-edited Pakistan in a Changing Strategic Context

ow significant are elections to the democratic processes has been highlighted by recent developments in South Asia. The general elections held in Pakistan in February have the potential to shake up the power structure and possibly redefine civilmilitary relations. One of the outcomes of the April elections to the Constituent Assembly in Nepal has been the abolition of the prevailing constitutional monarchy and the adoption of republicanism. The significance of the electoral processes for representative democracy and political participation needs no emphasis. In a way, it is central to the democratic functioning of states. However, it is no easy task to institutionalize the electoral processes, particularly in postcolonial states that have a short history with the democratic experiment itself and where the idea of democracy as political colonial legacy, the political evolution of the South Asian Countries and differed. And therefore, their experience with democratic practice and political participation has also varied. Dushyantha Mendis's edited volume on Electoral Processes and Governance in South Asia is an attempt to understand

H

the electoral processes as they operate in the South Asian countries. It focuses on the experiences of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The volume is divided into three parts. Part I contains the country papers. Part II is arrangements' and Part III focuses on 'group discrimination at elections'. Comprising sixteen chapters including the editor's introduction, the book makes for dense reading. The various chapters manage to capture the historical and constitutional evolution of the electoral processes, the various flaws in them and suggestion son how to improve and make them more robust. Though the countries under discussion have different political systems and political culture, in regard to the electoral processes they share certain similarities. Despite the adoption of electoral systems based on universal suffrage, the challenge for all of them still remains as to how to make the democratic system more inclusive. The power structure in most countries is till held by a narrow elite. The state because of its vast control of resources becomes an important site of competition. Many of the ills of the electoral processes can be linked to this issue. Control of the state and its resources becomes important for the patronage networks to sustain and in

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democratic systems winning elections at any cost appears to be the larger motive of the political parties. Mendis's argument is that this had led to excessive politicization and the political contest has become vacious and violent. The criminalization of politics is a major problem in the electoral processes of the South Asian Countries under discussion. Despite the many expedients to overcome this problem discussed in the chapters, Mendis feels and correctly so that they may be impractical. His suggestion that electoral processes will improve with increased economic liberalization, however, is contentious. Most of the contributors still vouch for the statutory and institutional framework. Despite the weakness of such frameworks, in certain cases, the problem is that they have not been allowed to function and quite often get undermined. Thus, the problem does not seem to be in Zulfikar Khalid Muluka writes, 'Apparently there seems nothing wrong with the statutory framework and institutional arrangements … prejudiced practice results in a negative outcome' (p. 258). It is only in the context of India that the authors are most positive, despite some lacunae. The critical role that the Election Commission plays in the conduct of free and fair elections is held up as a model to the other countries of South Asia. The objective of the statutory and institutional framework is to make the electoral process as mass-based as possible through free and fair elections. One of the important issues is the question of the legitimacy of the elections – that the electoral results

are acceptable to the contending political parties and the people at large. Therefore, the conduct of the elections and the institutions responsible for the conduct of the elections has to be above board. While the experience of India and Sri Lanka in this regard has been fortuitous, the same cannot be said about the experience elections the other seven elections have been allegedly rigged.

was around 50 percent, it is believed that it was as low as 20 percent. The experience of caretaker governments in conducting elections in the context of Pakistan and Bangladesh has also been mixed. The credibility of caretaker governments in Pakistan has been low. For, instance the Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi's caretaker government in 1990 ensured the defeat of the Pakistan People's Party. Except for the 1988 and 1998 caretaker governments, the conduct of the other governments has not been impartial. Though Bangladesh's experience with caretaker governments has been somewhat more beneficial, it has led to the politicization of the higher judiciary. There are many other countries which see the advantages of a caretaker government. But the important counter to unelected so-called neutral caretaker governments backed by a statutory and institutional framework to conduct free and fair elections, how can they have the same faith in a caretaker government. The lack of faith in elected governments to conduct elections suggests that they lose their democratic credentials when they have to conduct elections. This is not very encouraging for the democratic process itself. What has been the role of the political parties – so important to representation in a democracy ? Again, not very encouraging. In the case of Pakistan, time and again they have let down people by siding with the military. In the case of Nepal, the political parties have not shown the sagacity to be responsive to the needs of the masses. The sheer lust for

It is not easy task to institutionalize the electoral process, particularly in postcolonial states that have a short history with the democratic experiment itself and where the idea of democracy as political culture has yet to seep in and take institutional roots. Despite a common colonial legacy, the political evolution of the South Asian countries has differed. And therefore, their experience with democratic practice and political participation has also varied.
The Election Commission, the body responsible for the conduct of elections, has eight out of nine general elections have been conducted by military regimes or under their supervision. With the frequent manipulated electoral process, the people's faith in the elections has declined, sadly reflected in the declining voter turnout. The voter turnout in the 1997 elections was 38 percent. Though official figures of voter turnout for the 2002 elections

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power at times resulted in instability and a political vacuum leading to the rise of the Maoists. What is the final verdict on whether participation in the electoral process is increasing or declining ? The conclusion is mixed. In India the growth of coalition politics has resulted in the inclusion of more and more social groups and regional identities. There does not seem to be any large-scale discrimination against any social group. While there is not discrimination against any religious minority, the trend since the last few elections is a rising polarization in the political process on religious lines. In Bangladesh, discrimination against Hindu voters takes place not because they are Hindus per se but because they constitute the Awami League's main vote blocks. In Nepal, marginalized castes and ethnic groups do not have equal access to the electoral process which is a result of historical inequalities in Nepali society. Pakistan had a discriminatory electoral system for Non-Muslims through a system of separate electorates until it was changed by the then President Pervez Musharraf in 2002. Gender participation remains significantly low all over South Asia. The general conclusion is that, 'ethnic and religious divided do not appear to have distorted electoral systems so much as social and economic divides in South Asian countries' The strength of the book lies in highlighting the political trends in relation to the electoral processes. Despite occasional repetitions, because of the structure of the book, the collation of articles is useful in understanding an important aspect of the democratic functioning of South Asian states. Some of the articles are rich in data and detailed discussion. The weakness of the book seems to be in not being able to offer any muscle power in the electoral processes. Each country's experience seems to be different in dealing with this with very little degree of success. The editor could have taken the trouble of including a concluding chapter on what lessons South Asian countries can learn from each other to make their own electoral processes, even if not perfect, at least a little more robust. The strengthening of electoral process is critical to the future of inclusive democracy in South Asia. Every citizen should develop a stake in the democratic functioning of not only their own state but as well as in the neighborhood.

KNOWLEDGE
Ø maize and wheat are the major cereals of J&K. The Rice, Basmati rice of RS Pora Tehsil of District Jammu is world famous for its taste and aroma.
Ø is largest producer of Apple, Walnut, Almond and many J&K

other temperate dry and fresh fruits.
Ø holds number one position in saffron production in India. J&K Ø is a major exporter of superior quality carpets, wooden art, J&K

embroiderical clothes and many other valuable crafts.
Ø Lake in Kashmir is the largest fresh water lake in Asia. Wullar Øairport is the highest altitude airport in India. Leh Øis the largest district of J&K of while Shopian is the smallest Leh

as per area.
Ø Jammu district is the most populous district of J&K while Leh is

the least populous.
Ø has got one International airport at Srinagar. J&K

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Application Forms along with Information Bulletin shall be available for sale from January 20, 2009, at the following offices on payment of Rs. 800/- by Demand Draft, drawn in favour of Registrar, BGSB University payable at J&K Bank, BGSB University Campus, Rajouri: 1. Office of Assistant Registrar (Admissions), University Campus, Rajouri - 185131 (J&K), 01962-262616; 2. Camp Office, Opposite Channi Himmat, Bye Pass Road, Jammu - 180015, 0191-2466892 / 2464402; 3. Regional Office, Rose Lane Colony, Indira Gandhi Road, Parry Pora, Baghat Barzulla (Near S.S.R.B) Srinagar, Kashmir, 09419011449; 4. Can also be downloaded from University website: www.bgsbuniversity.org

For Details contact: Dean Academic Affairs, 09419103563 & Assistant Registrar (Admissions), 09419171665
No. BGSBU/Acad/08/23632 Date: January 07, 2009

Sd/Assistant Registrar (Academic Affairs)

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Inspires; J&K Bank Initiates Relief
Highlights of Economy Wide Relief, Rehabilitation and revival
J&K Bank Interest Relief for J&K : Relief in terms of interest includes an interest rate reduction in the range of 100 basis points to 300 basis points across all categories of borrowers including SMEs, agriculturists and horticulturalists, producers, consumers and government employees. This sectoral initiative from the bank covers all types of facilities, like term loans, working capital, consumption loans, consumer loans, housing loans and vehicle loans. J&K Bank Relief & Restructuring Package for MSMEs : All accounts covered under the guidelines issued by R.B.I. vide circular dated December 8, 2008 which were standard accounts on September 1, 2008 would be treated as standard accounts on restructuring provided the restructuring is taken up on or before January 31, 2009 and the restructuring package is put in place within a period of 120 days from the date of taking up the restructuring package. Also, the period for implementing the restructuring package would be 120 days in respect of all accounts excepting real estate, capital markets, and consumer/consumption loans. The Bank may as part of debt restructuring takeover outstanding of principal amount only from State Financial Corporation. J&K Bank Industrial Revival and Rehabilitation Scheme : The comprehensive restructuring package for Revival and Rehabilitation of sick industrial units identified by the bank and that have potential for growth shall provide the requisite financial assistance to such units. J&K Bank Special Relief Package for Transporters : Repayment period in case of Transport Sector in J&K shall now be 7 years instead of 5 years, as at present. In case where transporters have difficulty in repaying installments on account of disruption in earnings due to closure of transport movement during turmoil, branches shall be advised to apportion the amount equivalent to 1, 2 or maximum 3 installments pertaining to August, September & October 2008 and adjust the same in remaining tenure including extended period and rework the repayments accordingly for the said period. J&K Bank Preferred Interest Rates for Government Employees : Preferred Interest Rate for J&K Government and PSU Employees reducing thereby its interest rates on housing, consumer, consumption and education loans to government employees. In a move to provide adequate financial assistance to middle income group government employees, the bank has in its package given special relaxation in the eligibility criteria for availing different loans to such employees. J&K Bank Special Schemes for Fruit Growers in J&K State : 70% of the credit limits would be considered as permanent core component and the remaining 30% as revolving part. The credit limit under the scheme should be renewed/reviewed annually subject to adjustment of 30% of the total limit by the borrower till formal renewal of the limit and drawals in the account to be allowed upto 70% of the previous years limit.” Reduction in the charges of inter branch fund transfer

Orders of implementation of the initiatives announced shall carry retrospective effect from Ist January 2008.