Monday, February 28, 2011


New Delhi Feb 28 (Only Kashmir): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said Rs.8,000 crore would be given as special developmental assistance to the troubled Jammu and Kashmir in the current fiscal. This is in addition to the special support of Rs.28,000 crore already earmarked by the central government.
"The government's special support to Jammu and Kashmir is anchored in the Rs.28,000 crore Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan. In addition, for the current year, about Rs.8,000 crore has been provided for the state's development needs," Mukherjee said in his budget speech.
Mukherjee also said task forces to assess infrastructure needs in the Jammu and Ladakh regions of the state had recommended projects amounting to Rs.416 crore and Rs.497 crore, respectively.
"I am providing Rs.100 crore for Ladakh and Rs.150 crore for Jammu for these identified projects in 2011-12," Mukherjee said. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to the state in November 2004, announced a reconstruction plan for Jammu and Kashmir involving an outlay of nearly Rs.28,000 crore.
The prime minister's multi-crore plan is aimed at expanding economic infrastructure, expanding the provision of basic services, providing a thrust to employment and income generation and
providing relief and rehabilitation to the dislocated and the families of victims of insurgency since 1989.
The government in October last year had also constituted two special task forces for Jammu and Ladakh regions to examine allocations for infrastructure. The task forces were given three
months to submit their reports so that immediate developmental issues for the two regions can be addressed within 24 months.


Sunday, February 27, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 28 (Only Kashmir): Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday said India and Pakistan had reached closer to the resolution of Kashmir dispute during the regime of former Pakistani President, Parvez Musharraf, however they couldn’t reach to a final agreement.
Favouring resumption of India-Pakistan talks, Mirwaiz maintained that delay in the resolution of the long-standing dispute could again lead to violence in the Valley.
In an interview with Geo and Jang in Dallas, Texas, Mirwaiz said Musharraf had briefed him on an ad-hoc arrangement on Kashmir.
“He (Musharraf) maintained that as permanent resolution was difficult to achieve in view of relations of Pakistan and India, ad-hoc arrangement was the only way to resolve the dispute. Subsequently, there was agreement on four points in which demilitarization of Kashmir, self-governance, open borders an establishment of a joint mechanism were included. But they couldn’t reach to a final agreement on it,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz underscored the need for resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan. “Hurriyat has always favoured Indo-Pak dialogue.
The current situation is conducive for talks and we are hopeful that the International Community will fulfill its responsibility. I want to maintain that the situation may again lead to violence and go out of control if the world doesn’t act,” he said.
Accusing the Government of India of trying to crush aspirations of Kashmiris through oppression, Mirwaiz maintained that the movement for right to self-determination would go on till it reaches logical end.



Jammu, Feb 27 (Only Kashmir): Highlighting the importance of good Indo-Pak relations in peace and development, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Sunday reiterated that friends can be changed but not the neighbours.
“We are always for better Indo-Pak relations and have taken many initiatives to this effect”, he said and called for positive and visible response from the other side of the border in this regard.Omar Abdullah was addressing separate gatherings of civil population and BSF Jawans at Zero line in R.S. Pura area of Jammu division this afternoon. He alongwith Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and IG, BSF inspected many villages and interacted with people to get first hand appraisal of the difficulties confronting them.The Chief Minister said that violations of ceasefire create lot of difficulties for the people in border areas on the both sides and even result in loss of human lives and damage to the properties.
“While we are taking every care from our side not to indulge in violation of ceasefire, Pakistan should also exhibit its responsibilities in this regard and help maintain truce at borders”, he said adding that peace at the borders is for the mutual interests of the two neighbours.
“In the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere at borders farmers can take part in agricultural activities across the borders and carry on their normal process of living”, he said adding that friendly ties between the two neighbours is the need of hour.
Omar Abdullah told the border people that government has worked out an arrangement with the BSF for providing rent to the land utilized by the BSF for fencing till the time it is properly acquired by the forces. “Papers for acquiring the land are being finalized and
Divisional Commissioner Jammu is on the job”, he said


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 26 (Only Kashmir): Opposition People''s Democratic Party (PDP) today said in order to resolve the Kashmir issue, a round-table conference should follow confidence building measures taken by the government.
"If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants to solve the Kashmir issue, a round table conference should be called in which all stakeholders, mainstream and separatists, should be invited," PDP
patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said addressing a large gathering of supporters here.
Sayeed said four confidence building measures must be implemented before the proposed round table conference is convened by the Prime Minister.
The four measures include release of political prisoners and stone-pelters, revocation of Disturbed Areas Act, curtailment of special powers given to the Army and reduction of the armed forces from civilian areas.
The PDP founder lashed out at the Omar Abdullah-led state government for allegedly arresting young boys on the pretext that "something will happen in June".
"Today, my youth are being arrested because government thinks something will happen in June, but you can only arrest a person, you cannot keep his ideas captive," he said.
"During my tenure, not a single political activist remained in jail," the former chief minister said, flaying the state government for arresting Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom.
Without naming separatists, Sayeed said the two sides have unanimity only on the three basic issues of prisoner release, revocation of AFSPA and reduction of armed forces.
Reiterating his demand for compensation to Jammu and Kashmir due to loss of water resources on account of the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan, Sayeed assured the farmers of the neighbouring country that his party does not aim to change the course of the rivers flowing into their territory.



Srinagar, Feb 26 (Only Kashmir): Given the diverse political aspirations of Jammu and Kashmir's three regions, no single political formation - mainstream or separatist - could claim the exclusive prerogative to speak for the people of Kashmir Valley, let alone for the state's people as a whole, the three central government-appointed interlocutors said Saturday.
Addressing a media conference here at the end of their latest visit to the Valley, the interlocutors - Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari - said: 'The political settlement has to be found only through a sustained and inclusive process of dialogue with all the stake holders, including the separatist outfits and the civil society organisations'.
Padgaonkar said any outbreak of violence could thwart the process.
'The stake holders, therefore, need to move away from rigid positions and act in concert to focus tightly on four issues of critical importance for the future.
'These include the need to preserve the unity and integrity of the state, assert the state's special status in the Indian Union, seek the most practical and effective way to respond to the diverse political, economic, social and cultural urges of the people, the mainstream political parties in every region would be required to evolve a consensus on a political settlement and then seek a similar consensus with other regions of the state'.
Padgaonkar said all the delegations the interlocutors met insisted that the situation on the ground had to change to enable the dialogue process to progress.
'For this, the delegations demanded an end to the intimidation and harassment by police and the security forces including the indiscriminate use of the Public Safety Act (PSA)'.
The exchange of views with the various delegations the interlocutors had met during the visit gave them sharp insight into the complexities involved in crafting a permanent, political settlement in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
'We will take these insights, demands and suggestions into account when we present the government our initial document on the contours of the political settlement,' Padgaonkar said.


Friday, February 25, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 25 (Only Kashmir): Breaking ranks from separatists who have refused to interact with Center''s interlocutors, Peoples Political Party (PPP) today said it will send a roadmap for resolution of Kashmir issue to the team.
"I am offering this roadmap on behalf of the people of Kashmir so that the notion that Kashmiris have nothing to offer ends. So we are offering this (roadmap) to the Government of India through the interlocutors," PPP chairman Hilal Ahmad War told reporters here.
War, who said it is an initiative being taken by the party on its own, is the first separatist politician in the Valley to establish contact with the interlocutors as others have so far described the process as an exercise in futility.
He said it was "sad" that interlocutors on Kashmir are trying to give the notion that nobody in the "pro-freedom camp" has a roadmap or solution.
"Just because some leaders in the resistance camp confess they have nothing to offer does not mean the search should stop there," War said.
He said Kashmiris do have solutions to offer to the Centre and Pakistan.
War asked the government to "soften" its Kashmir policy. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "needs to enact a role of a bold visionary" and consider a solution of Kashmir outside the "rubric of Indian federalism".
"To desire a leadership role in world affairs, India needs to be perceived as a country that can rectify its past mistakes," he said.
War said hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani''s five-point formula is not a roadmap but "confidence building measures"



New Delhi Feb 25 (Only Kashmir) : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said his government was working to provide 50,000-100,000 jobs to the youths of troubled Jammu and Kashmir. This, he added, would change their "mental makeup and mindset".
"We will do everything to strengthen the hands of the state government to provide a fairer deal to the youths of Jammu and Kashmir and provide 50,000 to one lakh jobs to Kashmiris," Manmohan Singh said, replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the president's address.
"It will change the mental makeup and mindset of youth of Kashmir," the prime minister said.
He said the central government has formed a panel of experts, headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C. Rangarajan, for a job plan in the employment-starved state. The panel will file its report soon, he said.
The state, Manmohan Singh stressed, had passed through a difficult time particularly last summer. "But since then, the situation has improved."
This summer, he hoped, "we will be vigilant enough" to ensure it doesn't happen again.
The prime minister said the government "will give no quarters to secessionists" in the state but asked political parties to "not disturb the peaceful atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir".


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Srinagar Feb 23 (Only Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullahon Wednesday asked fire-brand separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani not to make 'false claims' about being detained by the Delhi police.
Rubbishing claims of separatists that Geelani had been detained in Delhi, he said the separatist leader was 'completely free' and even takes his morning walks.
"He has been told to not to leave the city until he records his statement in connection with the alleged hawala case where one arrested person has told the police that some hawala money was passed on to him," said Omar.
"He can go any time he wishes to. Let him record his statement today and board a train to Jammu and catch next morning's flight to Srinagar. The weather in the Valley is very nice," added Omar.
"By spreading false claims about his detention, his only aim was to create disturbance in the Valley, but the people are wise enough and have not paid any heed (to him)," Omar told reporters after his meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] in Delhi.
The chief minister was referring to the failed bandh call given by the separatists on Tuesday for the alleged harassment of Geelani.
"The police, as I have been made to understand, have told Geelani that he can come anytime he wishes to, but can leave the city only after he records his statement in the hawala case," the chief minister said.
The recently-unearthed hawala trail in the Kashmir valley has put the spotlight on some senior leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, following which the chief of the hard-line faction of the separatist grouping has been asked not to leave Delhi so that he can be questioned.
Spokesman of the hard-line faction of Hurriyat Conference Ayaz Akbar said if Geelani was being implicated in the hawala case, it was an attempt to defame the movement in Kashmir.
Delhi police and Jammu and Kashmir police had recently arrested one of Geelani's close aides Ghulam Mohammed Bhat for allegedly receiving hawala money. Over Rs 21 lakh was allegedly seized from him, they claimed.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Jammu Feb 22 (Only Kashmir): A Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Voluntary Health Association of India- Jammu and Kashmir Chapter has called for strict implementation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products Prevention Act to reduce incidence of diseases caused due to consumption of tobacco in different forms.
According to VHAI Jammu and Kashmir tops the statistics of highest rate of passive smoking at 67 per cent, which is highest in India. The Association called for imposition of higher taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to discourage smoking in the State.
Led by Chief organizer, A.M. Mir, the Association today met Speaker, J&K Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B.B. Vyas, Commissioner, Sudhanshu Pandey,Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal and several other senior bureaucrats and highlighted the need to enforce the law with full vigor in the State.
Thousands of people die of cancer and related ailments annually caused due to smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products. To stop the high rate of deaths due to smoking, the Association called for launching mass awareness through debates, seminars and symposia in every nook and corner of the State.
The speaker and other senior officers, whom they met assured full cooperation of the administration in discouraging smoking to protect public health. They said smoking is a big health hazards which not only is responsible for large scale deaths but also incurs heavy economic loss to government as well as smokers.



Srinagar Feb 22 (Only Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today criticised the hardline Hurriyat faction's strike call against Delhi Police's restrictions on Syed Ali Shah Geelani in connection with the hawala money case against the separatist leader.
"If people want to shut down because someone's hawala money is alleged to have been caught then so be it," Omar tweeted on micro-blogging site Twitter over the Kashmir shutdown today.
The chief minister was replying to the queries posed to him by several Kashmiri youth on the social networking site.
"In a land where we don't think twice before shutting down for 4 months, neither tourism nor education work," he said.
Normal life in Kashmir was affected today following a strike call given by Hurriyat hardline faction to protest against the restriction order against its Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, barring him from leaving the national capital.
Clarifying the news spread through social networks and media over the arrest of Geelani in New Delhi, Omar had ysterday said there is no arrest warrant (issued against Geelani).
"There is no arrest warrant (issued against Geelani). He has only been asked to record his statement in connection with his alleged hawala money (by Delhi Police)," Omar had tweeted.
The recently unearthed hawala trail in the Kashmir Valley points to money being allegedly passed to senior Hurriyat leaders, including Geelani, following which the separatist leader has been asked not to leave Delhi.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, founded by Geelani, had called for a shutdown today against the restrictions on the hardline Hurriyat chairman.
The Delhi Police wants to question Geelani in connection with a hawala case in which his close aide Ghulam Mohammad Bhat and two others have already been arrested.



Srinagar Feb 22 (Only Kashmir): Reliance Communications on Tuesday launched its 3G services in the three districts of central Kashmir and promised to cover the whole Valley in the next two months.
With the launch, RCom became the first private company to launch the service in Kashmir Valley.
Vivek Kumar, the company's executive for the state told a news conference that the north Kashmir health resort of Gulmarg and south Kashmir tourist resort town Pahalgam would be provided the 3G services within the next one month.
He said that while providing the 3G service in the Valley, the company was strictly abiding by the directives of the central telecom ministry and also the security guidelines governing such services.
"Recently, we launched 3G services in Chandigarh, Punjab, Jammu and Mumbai," he said.
The company executives said with the 3G services in place, subscribers in Kashmir would have access to an Internet speed of 7.2 megabytes per second, 110 television channels, video conferencing, social networking and also mobile cinema.
"Reliance Communications will lead creation of a wire-free India through launch of affordable 3G service for all," he said.


Friday, February 18, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 18 (Only Kashmir): Security agencies should take care of human rights while fighting militants in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir police chief said today.
Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, who chaired a high level security meeting of top officers of civil administration, police and other security agencies, directed officers to adopt a people friendly approach in security management.
The meeting of top security officers comes at a time when the police have been involved in a crackdown against protestors to ensure that there is no repeat of last year's summer unrest.
More than 100 civilians were killed when protests, triggered by the killing a teenage student in June last year, erupted in the Valley in 2010.
"DGP laid stress on maintaining strict vigil and caution to thwart the evil designs of anti-national elements," a police spokesman said.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 16 (Only Kashmir): Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was today celebrated across Kashmir as thousands of people offered prayers at the holy Hazratbal shrine here.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah flew in from Jammu, the winter capital, to offer prayers and have a glimpse of the holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
"(I) am now off to Dargah Hazratbal for prayers and Deedar (glimpse). So much to thank The Almighty for," Omar wrote on popular microblogging site Twitter soon after arriving here.
Men, women and children thronged the Hazratbal shrine on the banks of Dal Lake throughout the day as the Holy relic is displayed five times, each after ever prayer.
While the government had illuminated most of the landmarks in the city, private homes were also well lit and decorated on the occasion of Prophet's birthday.
Sallalahuiliewasalam (PBUH)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH)


Monday, February 14, 2011


Srinagar Feb 14 (Only Kashmir): In the aftermath of protests against him by BJP activists during his visit to Ajmer last week, JKLF chief Yasin Malik on Monday alleged that the national opposition party was forcing Muslims in the country to resort to arms.
Giving details of the blasts at Muslim shrines and mosques in the country, Malik alleged that BJP was "pushing the Muslims of India towards resorting to arms".
He also said that by harassing Kashmiri people and leadership outside Kashmir, the BJP was pushing the youth of the state to pick up the gun.
Criticising the party for resorting to "goon culture", he alleged that it wanted to "set the entire sub-continent on fire".
"Since BJP lost power (at the Centre), they want to set afire the entire sub-continent," Malik told reporters at his party headquarters at Maisuma in Srinagar.
The former militant said during their tenure in power at the Centre, BJP released the Hurriyat leadership from Jodhpur jail and held talks with the united Hurriyat Conference followed by parleys with the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat and later with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
"The BJP claims to be nationalist but when we see their role during India's freedom struggle, they were informers of the British and even killed Mahatma Gandhi, who won freedom for India," he said.
Insisting that "proper space" is required for the "peaceful struggle of Kashmiri people", Malik said, "We have made a transition from armed struggle to peaceful struggle and this transition is unilateral.
We ask the Indian civil society to ensure that space is provided to safeguard this peaceful struggle," he said.
In response to Srinagar city police chief's recent allegation that the protesters in last year's summer unrest were "drug addicts", Malik said, "The Kashmir issue is 63 years and four generations old. Can this issue be sustained by drug addicts and those who have personnel problems?"
On a question about the political unrest in Egypt, Malik said there was no scope for Egypt's comparison with Kashmir as the army in the Arab country had "a strong sense of belonging and no Egyptian was killed by them".
"However, there is a lesson for the people of Kashmir from the Egyptian revolution that non-violent democratic movements have many takers across the world," he said.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 8 (Only Kashmir) : Describing Kashmir as a ''festering sore'', Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said the party would organise rallies in the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu on February 14 for an early solution to the issue.
''The Kashmir issue will not go away through brute force or repression... we will continue to press for an early solution to the festering sore and as part of the party programme rallies are planned at Srinagar and Jammu on February 14,'' PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told newspersons.
She was addressing a meeting of senior party leaders, legislators and district and zonal presidents specially convened to review the party's course of action for a permanent resolution of Kashmir issue. ''The people of the state had suffered for decades on account of political instability that had affected its economy, human resource development and left deep scars of pain on almost every family,'' she said.
''The people had in a historic transition, rejected violence after 2002 and given a chance to democracy with the hope that their land will be retrieved from turmoil, she said and regretted that the Union government had failed on doing so.
''This resulted in more frustration and caused major disturbances during previous three summers. But the government instead of reading the message clearly mistook the yearning for peace and peaceful resolution as a sign of fatigue and defeat landing an entire generation in a vortex of repression,'' she maintained.
The PDP president said after peaceful demonstrations in summers that resulted in large scale disruption and death it was hoped that the Centre would initiate meaningful measures for a permanent resolution.
''But instead of doing that only the security measures have been further tightened without providing any relief to the common man or even taking any action on its own eight point program,'' she alleged.
Ms Mufti regretted that Jammu and Kashmir was fast turning into a complete ''police state'' in which the only way of contacting the people was through brute force, arrests and torture.
''The belief of the PDP is that a permanent solution to Kashmir issue alone would rid the place of an almost institutionalised denial of civil liberties,'' Ms Mufti said and declared that the party would continue its peaceful campaign by utilising fully the democratic space.
Regretting the undemocratic attitude of the government and its agencies, she said it was not a matter of pride for a democracy like ours that an entire population should officially be advised to stay put in their homes after sunset to escape death. ''Instead of reducing the presence of security forces the state is witnessing an all time increase in their numbers and establishment of camps,'' she said.



Srinagar, Feb 9 (Only Kashmir): The time had come for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem, and people from the valley need to come forward to initiate the process, the moderate wing of the separatist Hurrriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said Wednesday.
In a significant move, the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat group issued a statement that said: 'We have reached a stage where we need to rise above political affiliations and show statesmanship in starting a political process.
'After all, it is Kashmiris who are getting killed and therefore, Kashmiris, through mutual consultation, will have to come forward to find a solution to the vexed problem.'
The central government appointed interlocutors on Kashmir have been approaching the separatist leaders for a dialogue but to no avail.
Both the factions of the Hurriyat, including the hardline wing led by Syed Ali Geelani, have declined to speak to the interlocutors.
Wednesday's statement assumes significance in light of media reports that the central interlocutors would make an all out effort to engage the separatist leaders in a dialogue before submitting the final draft of their recommendations to the central government.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Srinagar Feb 08 (Only Kashmir): The population enumeration process in Jammu and Kashmir has been proceeding smoothly and no obstruction has been noticed, said Census Director Farooq Ahmed.
The second phase of the Census operations is scheduled to start from February 9 to February 28.
Recalling the first phase of census enumeration, Ahmed said that the separatists and mainstream politicians of the restive Valley supported the process.
"No we have no reports of any obstructions from any quarter. And if you remember, before starting the first phase, all the separatists as well as the mainstream politicians supported us. They said we must cooperate with the census department and provide full details. And at the moment we don't have any problems of that sort," he said.
Apart from the question of separatists, the other factor that looms large over the census operation is the issue of ongoing different weather that may obstruct the census process in some areas.



Srinagar Feb 08 (Only Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir government will spend Rs 6.29 crore on renovation and beautification of the historic Jamia Masjid in the heart of the old Srinagar city.A meeting of top state government officials led by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon was held here on Monday with the Jamia Masjid management committee to discuss the renovation and beautification plans, an official spokesman said here Tuesday.
Among the works to be undertaken include construction of a modern shopping complex with facilities of parking of vehicles and parks around the mosque, where moderate Hurriyat Conference Chairman Miwaiz Umar Farooq delivers Friday sermons.
Rs 1.50 crore will be being spent on the construction of gate way and the wall of the old courtyard of the mosque and the development of the park, the spokesman said.
Besides, Rs 1.20 crore would be spent on installing the street lights, drainage and repair of the lanes.
He said Rs 53 lakh will be spent on the beautification of Jamia
Masjid and Rs 36 lakh on other developmental works around the Jamia Masjid.
The Divisional Commissioner was informed by Director Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah that the Department of Tourism has a proposal to spent Rs 50 crore on bringing the Naagar Nagar on the tourist map.
The Jamia Masjid was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. The attractions of the Jamia Masjid include beautiful Indo-Saracenic architecture, a magnificent courtyard and 370 wooden pillars.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir government will spend Rs 12.82 crore under Border Region Grand Fund (BRGF) for ongoing development works in district Kupwara.
“So far, Rs 10.50 crore have been incurred during the current financial year,” an official spokesman said after a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Kupwara M.S. Rather on Monday.
The meeting discussed preparation of perspective plans for next five years under BRGF.


Monday, February 7, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 7 (Only Kashmir): Lashkar-e-Toiba, which initially denied its involvement in the killing of two teenage sisters in Sopore town of Baramulla district last week, has claimed the responsibility now.
Posters appeared in the Sopore town, 52 kms from here, claiming that Lashkar militants killed Arifa and Akhtar, alleging the duo of working as "informers" for the security forces.
Laskhar-e-Toiba killed the girls because not only was their behaviour improper but they were also involved in a heinous crime of being informers," the posters read
However, the veracity of the posters could not be ascertained.
The message was written on the letter head of "Mujahideen Lashkar-e-Toiba Jammu Kashmir".
Arifa and Akhtar, daughters of Ghulam Nabi Dar, were shot dead at around 9.00 PM last week on Monday at Muslim Peer locality in Sopore town.



Washington, D.C. Feb 7, (Only Kashmir): “I would like to thank the people of Pakistan for their complete and unconditional solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their eagerness to help the people of Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination which was guaranteed at the United Nations Security Council as early as 1948, said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman, All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) while addressing a seminar, “India-Pakistan Relations: Breaking the Deadlock Over Kashmir.” The seminar was held at the George Mason University and was attended by over 300 students, faculty, scholars and community leaders. Other speakers included: Ms. Victoria Schofield, Hon. Dagfinn Hoybraten, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Ms. Iffat Gardezi, Mr. Ali Shahnawaz Khan, Mujtaba Mumtaz Wani, Ms. Insha Zulfikhar Khan, Ehtisham Kayani, Professor Yu from GMU and Israr Mirza, the President of PSA..
Mirwaiz said that the APHC is willing to enter into dialogue with the Government of India provided she responds to the four point proposal which was put forth in 2010 and they include the demanded of (i) withdrawal of security forces from residential areas, villages and towns, (ii) end to human rights abuses, (iii) release of all political prisoners and (iv) revocation of harsh laws like the AFSPA and Disturbed Area Act.
Mirwaiz welcomed the initiative of New Delhi and Islamabad to meet this week in Bhutan. However, he emphasized that the present situation inside Kashmir makes it clear that, if talks between India and Pakistan are to mean anything, then the leadership of the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be associated and, and the talks must be accompanied by practical measures to restore an environment of non-violence.
Contrary to the sensible course we suggest, the Indian authorities have in the past persisted relentlessly, even after the announcement of the intention to hold talks, in committing atrocities and holding Kashmir under siege. Today, it is a fact that India is involved in state terrorism in Kashmir. Furthermore, the 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces operate outside the rule of law under the protective umbrella of an Indian immunity statute, Mirwaiz added
Mirwaiz asked, who could defend torture, disappearances, or summary executions in this day and age? The genuine test of how much we care about such abuses is what we do about them, not just what we say about them. And the United States as a sole superpower has a moral obligation to respond to the cries of people who are involved in an indigenous, popular and non-violent movement in Kashmir.

Mirwaiz concluded that our endeavor to resolve the Kashmir issue is not just a quest for peace for the people of Kashmir, we cannot overlook the fact that South Asia is a region that is becoming more and more a major role player and competitor in all international markets. Thus, it may be appropriate to point out that the resolution of Kashmir will pave the way for the peace, security and stability to the region of South Asia which includes, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Noted writer and author, Ms. Victoria Schofield asked, why have both India and Pakistan fought over Kashmir? As we know the reasons are historical but the real question to be asked today in 2011 is are the reasons the same today as they were yesterday or in 1947. I would suggest that they are not. When India and Pakistan fought in 1947-48 and in 1965, their perception of what might happen in Kashmir was different from what it is today. At that time it was expected that the whole state would either become part of India or part of Pakistan. But I do not believe today that anyone seriously sees that happening.

Ms. Schofield also asked what needs to be done to resolve this long-standing issue? That is the most important question which has to be on the agenda between India and Pakistan peace talks. But where will Kashmir be on the agenda – on the top or on the bottom or on the front burner or on the back. I personally believe that it should be at the top of the agenda. Having established that – we can move to discuss: human rights abuses, rule of law, repeal of draconian laws, Sir Creek, etc.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center insisted that the genuine leadership of the Kashmiri people be included in all negotiations over Kashmir's future with India and Pakistan. No Kashmir solution that fails to command the consensus of the people of Kashmir has a chance of success. Furthermore, simple justice and morality require permitting Kashmiris to participate in charting their own political destiny.
Fai said that Indian delegates Mr. Gopalaswamy Aynager said on January 15, 1948 at the United Nations that the question about the future of Kashmir whether to withdraw from the accession from India or to acceded to Pakistan or remain independent, it must be decided by the people of Kashmir. India, however, was soon undeceived of its delusions over Kashmir's political yearning. Recognizing that its people would never freely vote accession to India, it contrived excuse after excuse to frustrate a plebiscite. India's proclamation has never been accepted by the United Nations, which continues to list Kashmir as disputed territory and subject to the Security Council's self-determination resolutions.
Fai said that the Kashmir is not the issue of fundamentalism. The proud distinction of the Kashmiri culture is the sustained tradition of tolerance, amity and brotherhood/sisterhood between the members of different religious communities. He reiterated that Kashmir question is not a fight between Hindus and Muslims, nor it is a struggle between theocracies of secularism. Kashmir issue is about the future and aspirations of 16 million people of the States of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their religious affiliations and cultural background.
Ms. Iffat Gardezi, the DCM said I am here to reiterate the Pakistan’s unconditional moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris for a just and peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute. We stand should to shoulder with our Kashmiri brethren. She said that defying all odds, the brave desire and aspirations of the Kashmiris for liberty and justice remain strong forever. Their tale f suffering has been written in the blood of their sons and daughters. But the spirit for freedom remains unfettered and grows ever stronger.
Ms. Gardezi continued that Jammu and Kashmir remains the foremost issue that has defined the nature of relations between Pakistan and India. Our history is replete with missed opportunities embark on the path of progress by adopting a reconciliatory approach towards each other. Resolution of Kashmir issue could have enabled both Pakistan and India to spend their finite resources more on the development of their people rather than on defense expenditure. South Asia cannot overcome the immense socio-economic challenges it confronts today in the form of poverty, ignorance, extremism and terrorism without resolving the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan is open to a meaningful engagement with India. However, there can be no solution of the Kashmir issue without the involvement and acceptance of the Kashmiri people.
Hon. Dagfinn Hoybraten, the Chairman of Norwegian Christian Party said the Norwegian government was concerned about the recent information regarding new discoveries of unidentified graves in Indian-controlled Kashmir despite India being signatory to UN's Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. He said that he raised the issue of Kashmir in the Parliament and asked question to our foreign minister Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre whether the Norwegian authorities would contact the Indian government or human rights organizations for an independent inquiry about the mass graves of hundreds of unidentified bodies. Our foreign minister responded by saying that ‘We are concerned that India and Pakistan, as all other countries, do act in accordance with their obligations to the international law.'
Ali Shahnawaz Khan, Executive Director, Kashmiri Scandinavian Council said that the recent upraising in Kashmiri has completely changed the ball game. People of Kashmiri, particularly youth of Kashmir have taken the mental of Kashmir movement. The way they confronted the Indian forces and turned the entire Kashmiri movement into a peaceful resistance not only impressed the people of Jammu and Kashmiri but also intentional community. It galvanized the huge support or the cause of Kashmir. It reinvigorated the indigenous character and non-violent face of the people’s movement. It is widely acknowledged not only in India but also world over that the upsurge has nothing to do with Pakistan.
Ehtisham Kayani said that Kashmiris have a history of violence, in our documented 5000 years of history. We are peaceful human beings and we believe in human brotherhood, but when our basic right of self-determination is taken away from us, our right to live is snatched from us, what do you suggest us to do. Kayani said that today the mantle of the freedom struggle of Kashmir has been successfully passed on to lout younger generation now and we are resolute and determined to take it to its logical conclusion.
Mujtaba Mumtaz Wani said that several facts must be accepted by everyone involving the issue. First, the majority of Kashmiris are not satisfied with the current situation. Second, the majority of the people in most regions of Kashmir support independence. Third, the parties on both sides of the region have infringed upon the rights of Kashmiris. Mujtaba continued that in order to give Kashmiris what they demand, the right of self-determination, pressure must be mounted on India. He said that it is indubitable that the Indian army has committed thousands of human rights violations in Kashmir.
Mujtaba concluded that the details of a referendum on Kashmir could be discussed and debated later. The main priority of everyone should be to attract attention to the issue and to put India in a position where it has to heed to popular will. Once the pressure swells to this point, international action and the creation of a plebiscite will undoubtedly follow. However, for now, we must ask the United States support justice and its principles of government by the people, of the people, and for the people. President Obama said that Egypt’s future will be ‘determined by its people.’ We must ask why Kashmir’s future is not to be determined by its people.
Ms. Insha Zulfikhar Khan said the wars between India and Pakistan only results in problems for the people who live in Kashmir region. It is important to analyze some of the issues that affect the people of Kashmir and why freedom is the only solution to this conflict. Over the years, more and more military troops have been sent to Kashmir. It is especially important to note hat India has sent numerous numbers of military troops to the Jammu and Kashmir regions. This military force is used to ensure that the freedom of ordinary Kashmiris is highly restricted. The people of Kashmir do not have the freedom of expression that is recognized as a basic right in the Charter of the United Nations. She said that the most applicable solution would be to withdraw the Indian troops from Kashmir and advocate for independence for Kashmir. Insha concluded by saying that it is time to unite for our survival, for our security and our own dignity forgetting all the differences.
Mr. Israr Mirza, President, PSA at GMU and Mr. Usman Chaudhary, the Vice President thanked the participants for taking time to travel long distances as far as Pennsylvania and New York to make the event a great success. Israr said that he recently visited Azad Kashmir and heard the stories of anguish and horror in the refugee camps. He alerted that the student community can play an important role in mobilizing the public opinion.


Sunday, February 6, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 6 (Only Kashmir): In the wake of the killing of an innocent youth in North Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today pulled up the Army for violating the Standard operating Procedure and directed security agencies to completely avoid violation of human rights.
At a meeting chaired by Abdullah this morning, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, was conveyed in no uncertain terms that the incident involving innocent people were detrimental to the peace process and the troops should strictly adhere to SoP agreed upon at various Unified Headquarters meetings, an official spokesman said.
"Any violation of human rights at any stage while conducting security-oriented operations or dealing with any law and order situation is required to be totally avoided in order to restore confidence of the people," Abdullah told the meeting.
He said the government?s policy of zero tolerance to any human rights violation should be strictly adhered and any individual who is found responsible for such violation should be dealt with according to the law.

The Corps Commander assured the Chief Minister that the directions would be implemented in letter and spirit, the spokesman said.
The meeting came after a specialised unit of the Army -- Four Para -- had laid a cordon in an area at Handwara in North Kashmir on Friday night that led to death of an innocent who allegedly did not adhere to warnings to stop by the troops.
Gen Hasnain, while accepting the mistake on the part of the Army, told the meeting that an inquiry was underway to ascertain facts.
Police, in the meantime, has registered a case against Four-Para of Army for the death of 21-year-old Manzoor, shot dead by the Army troops when he accidentally walked into an ambush laid by the troops for terrorists who were believed to have managed to slip in from across the border.
During the meeting it was suggested to the Army that they should carry non-lethal weapons when they lay cordon in civilian areas so that such incidents did not take place in future. .



Srinagar, Feb 6 (Only Kashmir): Hackers owing allegiance to protestors and stonepelters in Kashmir have hacked a website of Sikkim government and posted a message and pictures of the agitators on the page.
The hacked website -- -- belongs to the Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department of the Sikkim government, which promotes art and culture of the north -eastern state.
The group, which claimed to have hacked the website, identified itself as Z-Company and in the past several months has indulged in similar acts in the past.
"Everyday hundreds of innocent people are abused, raped and even killed in Palestine and Kashmir by the Indian and Israeli army, a third of the deaths are children, who are the real soldiers? The child holding a stone or the stranger holding a gun?," read the message posted on the webpage.
Hackers also left behind two pictures of stone- pelting protestors in Kashmir and Palestine.



London, Feb 6 (Only Kashmir): Chairman of the moderate Hurriyat faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today said that the US and other world powers should be pressed to facilitate early resolution of the Kashmir issue.
"The delegates should persuade the world powers including the United States to facilitate a settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes and will of the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the Mirwaiz said in his address to the 59th National Breakfast Prayer (NBP) in Washington on Friday.
"We need to use weapons of love, compassion and sympathy to overcome the hatred, anger and animosity," he said.
The Mirwaiz said Hindus and Muslims have lived together for centuries in Kashmir.
"It is simply because the people of Kashmir believe in a pluralistic society based on fairness, justice and co-existence," he added.



Lahore Feb 06 (Only Kashmir): Jamaat-u-Dawah chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on Saturday warned India to "quit" Jammu and Kashmir or be prepared for a "war" even as the extremist group organized protests at several places in Pakistan to mark KashmirSolidarity Day. Addressing a rally of about 20,000 supporters on the Mall, one of the main thoroughfares of Lahore, Saeed said in a belligerent tone: "I want to give a message to (Indian Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh... quit Kashmir or get ready to face a war". As his supporters shouted slogans like "Kashmir hamara hai" (Kashmir is ours), "Kashmir ki azadi tak jang rahay gi jang rahah gi"
(The war will continue till the liberation of Kashmir) and "Bhartio Kashmir chor do" (Indians quit Kashmir), Saeed unveiled his vision for settling the Kashmir issue.
"If freedom is not given to the Kashmiris, then we will occupy the whole of India including Kashmir. We will launch Ghazwa-e-Hind (the battle for India). Our homework is complete to get Kashmir," he thundered.
Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, claimed 800,000 Indian soldiers should be "held accountable" for alleged atrocities they were committing in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The Kashmir cause is heading towards a conclusion and this year is very important. As the US is fleeing from Iraq and Afghanistan, we will get Kashmir this year," he claimed. Saeed, who was put under house arrest for about six months in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the LeT, claimed his organization was not a "terrorist outfit".
"We are neither terrorists nor suicide bombers. We are only fighting for the freedom of Kashmir and till our objective is achieved, we will continue our jihad," he said. Saeed claimed things had changed around the world. If people came out on the streets as they did in Egypt, the governments in India and Pakistan too would have to go, he said. Alleging that India wanted to occupy Pakistan's Balochistan province with the help of the US, Saeed said his groups would not let this happen.
"We will save our country," he added.
The JuD "believed in dialogue but had no trust in India", he said.
"India is destroying Pakistan's agricultural economy by building dams on our water," he added.
Criticizing the Pakistan People's Party-led government, Saeed said,
"On Indian-held Kashmir, the point of view of Pakistanis is similar to that of Kashmiris, but the Pakistani government is under pressure from India and other foreign masters".He also criticized the UN, describing it as "slave to the US".Saeed claimed the Indian government "tried hard to implicate" the JuD in the Mumbai attacks but nothing had been proved against it and nothing would be because the organization was "not involved" in the incident.
"After 9/11, our organization was targeted and it was inflicted damage. (Former President Pervez) Musharraf hurt the Kashmir cause by proposing a third option," he claimed.
JuD deputy chief Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki and Jamaat-i-Islami secretary general Liaqat Baloch also addressed the gathering.
Saeed's remarks came a day ahead of talks between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of a SAARC meet in Bhutan to find ways to revive the peace process between the two countries.India has linked the resumption of the peace process to Pakistan prosecuting the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and winding up terrorist infrastructure on its soil.


Saturday, February 5, 2011


Srinagar, Feb 05 (Only Kashmir): Chief Minister Omar Abdullah after arriving to Srinagar here this afternoon straightly drove immediately to Handwara in North Kashmir to visit the family whose son has been killed in Army ambush.
Omar Abdullah stayed with the bereaved family for quite some time, expressed his deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident, showed sympathy and solidarity with the family.
“I am here to share your grief and be with you at this movement of great tragedy”, Omar told the bereaved family while consoling them and conveying his heartfelt condolence.
The Chief Minister described the incident most unfortunate and said that he has given categoric directions to the Army, Security Forces and Police in the Unified Headquarter Meetings to apply
highest degree of caution and restraint and stick to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to avoid any killings of civilian under all circumstances. “I repeat this once again”, he said and emphasized the need for such cautions while laying ambush for militants.
Assuring the bereaved family of proper probe into the incident, the Chief Minister urged them to exhibit patience and calm. “There are people who would try to exploit your pain and feelings for disturbing peace and order as was done by them after the killing of Tufail Mattoo last June”, he told the bereaved family and a large number of people who gathered there on the occasion.
He appealed them not to get led astray by such elements.
Omar Abdullah said that he would always condemn the killings of innocents by anyone whosoever he may be and assured that during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the State he would endeavour to put an end to such incidents and work for peace and tranquility in the State.
Omar prayed for the eternal peace to the departed soul and patience to the family who has lost their dear one.
Later, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir also visited the bereaved family on the instructions of the Chief Minister.



Srinagar Feb 05 (Only Kashmir): In a powerful message of being with his own people, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday did not wait even for the weather to clear and left for Handwara where a youth namely Manzoor Ahmad Magray 24 was killed in an army ambush Friday night.
"How can one not condemn the death of 21-year-old Manzoor at the hands of the Army late last night?" J&K CM Omar Abdullah posted on Twitter.
Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 24, was killed in an ambush laid by the army for separatist guerrillas in Chogal village of Kupwara district, around 70 km from here, at 10.30 p.m. Friday.
"An FIR (26/2011) under section 302 (murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) has been registered in Handwara police station against the security men deployed in Gund Chogal village on the night of Feb 4-5," a senior police officer said here.


Friday, February 4, 2011


Srinagar Feb 05 (Only Kashmir): A woman separatist group today held a demonstration in Srinagar against the killing of two teenaged girls by unidentified gunmen in Sopore town of north Kashmir earlier this week.
Zamrooda Habib of Muslim Khwateen Markaz, a constituent of of Hurriyat Conference (G), accompanied by her party members led a protest in Srinagar's commercial nerve centre Lal Chowk against the killings.
The activists carried placards were demanding justice for the two slain girls. "We protested against the inhuman killing of two innocent girls. Anyone involved in the killing should be
brought to justice," Zamrooda said.



New Delhi, Feb 4 (Only Kashmir): Centre's interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir today condemned the killing of two girls by militants in Kashmir and hoped that the guilty would be punished swiftly.
The panel appreciated the State government's efforts to punish the guilty.
"The condemnation expresses a growing disgust of violence perpetrated against innocents for political or ideological ends," the three-member group -- Dileep Padgaonkar, Prof Radha Kumar and M M Ansari -- said in a statement.
Arifa (19) and Akhtar (17), daughters of Ghulam Nabi Dar, were gunned down by three militants, including a Pakistani, at around 10 PM at Muslim Peer in Sopore town, 52 kms from Srinagar on January 31.
"Our group commends the state government for its vigorous efforts to bring the guilty to book and hopes that this is done swiftly and in a transparent manner," the interlocutors said.



Srinagar, Feb 3 (Only Kashmir): The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday said the World powers including the United States have the moral obligation to respond to the peaceful resistance initiated by the people of Kashmir for the inalienable right to self-determination.
Addressing the ‘South Asian Hospitality Meeting’ on the eve of the 59th National Prayer Breakfast in United Nations, Mirwaiz emphasized that the settlement of Kashmir dispute will guarantee peace and prosperity not only in Kashmir but also in the whole region of South Asia.
“Granting the right to self-determination to Kashmiris was negotiated with both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the United Nations. Therefore, the world powers including United States have the moral obligation to respond to the peaceful resistance initiated by the people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz said the people of different faiths need to build bridges and work together against divisive forces. “We have much more in common in our heritage to celebrate than to differ.
It is and has been God’s intention that we should live in friendship and harmony. We need to unite to bring justice to warfare, war crimes, and gruesome human rights violations, whether in Kashmir, East Timor, or elsewhere. May we dedicate our lives to work in strife-torn communities, building bridges between alienated and traumatized people, being extraordinary agents of peace and reconciliation,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz has been invited to the high profile meeting by Congressman Jeff Miller (Republican) and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (Democrat). President Barrack Obama will be the keynote speaker in the Co-Chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast meeting tomorrow. The breakfast is attended by some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries.
Bilawal Bhutto, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party also spoke during this event.
Delegates from South Asia, United States and Europe also participated in the function. The Kashmiri delegation included Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council and Ali S Khan, executive Director, Kashmiri Scandinavian Council, Oslo.
After his speech, Mirwaiz met with scores of parliamentarians, religious leaders, diplomats, businessmen, Members of Congress and leaders of inter-faith community.
Mirwaiz is also scheduled to be a key-note speaker in a seminar ‘The India-Pakistan Relations: Breaking the Deadlock over Kashmir’ at the George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia on February 5.
Mirwaiz will also be the chief guest at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on February 8. Pertinently the World Affairs Council is a non-partisan speakers forum wherein business and community leader’s who share a mutual interest in world affairs gather to hear from an impressive array of world leaders speaking on issues of public importance.
The International Circle is the highest level of membership in the organization. Over 250 heads of state, international policy makers and top government officials have addressed the membership of the Council during our 55-year history.


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Srinagar Feb 02 (Only Kashmir): For the first time, the Army has expressed concern over social networking sites, saying they are being used by anti-national elements to unleash propaganda against the security forces in the Kashmir Valley.
“Facebook and other social networking sites are being used as a tool of propaganda against the Army and other security agencies by elements hell-bent on disturbing peace in the Kashmir Valley,” said S A Hasnain, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
Hasnain’s statement assumes importance in the wake of protesters in the Egypt crisis using Facebook to mobilise people. More so, when the Valley is staring at yet another summer in nervous anticipation of fresh trouble.
There are already many pages devoted to the burgeoning Egyptian crisis on the social sites in the Kashmir Valley. Besides, the evolving situation in Egypt has become the exciting new subject of discussion on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Srinagar Feb 02 (Only Kashmir): Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba denied Wednesday killing two teenager sisters in Indian Kashmir in an attack that generated widespread outrage.
The two women, aged 17 and 19, were killed in Sopore town, 55 kilometres (35 miles) north of the region's main city Srinagar, on Monday night when they were dragged from their house and shot dead.
"The police claim about the involvement of our activists in the killing of the sisters is baseless," a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) spokesman told reporters in Srinagar by telephone.
LeT is blamed by India for the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 that left 166 people dead and hundreds injured.
New Delhi has consistently called on Islamabad to crack down on the LeT.
The chief minister of the region, Omar Abdullah, have been among those to condemn the murders.


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