Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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UN report on Kashmir is a challenge to Delhi
By K C Singh
A 49-page and first-ever United Nations report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on "Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan" took India by surprise last week and elicited an extremely strong reaction from New Delhi. With a three-week session of the 47-member UN Human Rights Council beginning in Geneva on June 18, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an extremely tendentious report focusing on the situation in J&K is bad news. Currently, India is not a member of the council while Pakistan is till 2020. High commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, of the Jordanian ruling family, said he will urge "the Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive indep...
Kashmir Times News Report
Migrants: The Borders Are Closing
By Gwynne Dyer
There are actually fewer migrants crossing the Mediterranean and landing in European Union countries this year than in any other recent year: only 37,000 so far, although the flow will increase with good summer weather. But they are nevertheless the 'last straw' as far as some EU countries are concerned. Patience is running out. Last week Italy's new populist government stopped a ship that had just rescued 630 African migrants from the usual overloaded, sinking boats from coming into any Italian port. "Saving lives is a duty, turning Italy into a huge refugee camp is not," said Matteo Salvini, Italy's Deputy Prime Minister, in a tweet. "Italy is done bending over backwards and obeying - this time THERE IS SOMEONE WHO SAYS NO." Eventually the even newer socialist government of Spain volu...
Kashmir Times News Report
Peace process in Jammu and Kashmir suspended
By Satish Misra
Cruel killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari on June 14 during the holy month of Ramzan virtually on the eve of the Eid is a sinister conspiracy against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Yet another citizen, who was the voice of reason and was supportive of the political process to resolve all outstanding issues coming in the way of restoration of normalcy, has been silenced by violent means. He had stood for dialogue and had supported the political process to resolve all issues. Peace in the troubled state has been eluding people. Every time an effort to initiate a process to usher in peace is undertaken, it is nipped in the bud. Pattern has been the same. Bukhari's elimination is aimed at derailing the process of peace that began with the unilateral declaration of ceasefire by ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Is Church trying to destabilize Modi Sarkar?
By Ram Puniyani
A VHP spokesperson, Surendra Jain (June 7th) stated that the Church in India is trying to destabilize Modi Sarkar. This was in the backdrop of the statements by two Archbishops, the one of Delhi and other from Goa. Archbishop of Delhi, Anil Couto, on 8th May 2018 addressed a letter to all parish priests and religious institutions in the Archdiocese of Delhi asking them to pray for 'our nation'. The letter begins with the observation "[w]e are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation". The letter then requests the 138 parish priests and 5 religious institutions within Delhi to observe 'a Day of Fast every Friday ... offering our penance and all our sacrifices for our sp...
Kashmir Times News Report
Who killed Shujaat Bukhari and why?
Not that Kashmir and Kashmiris are alien to killings. Over the past about three decades Kashmiris have developed sufficient sense and acquired sufficient 'experience' to make their own intelligent guess about both, the hand behind the trigger and the motive of its dastardly act. In nine out of ten cases, their instinctive guess is right though they rarely risk sharing it publicly. Bukhari's case falls into that rare category where the precise determination of the killer as well as the motive can only be guessed vaguely, not determined with certainty. To an extent, it bears similarity with the mysterious killing of Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone. Both are generally known to have been shot by militants and yet, strangely, both lie buried in the Shaheed Mazar which is exclus...
Kashmir Times News Report
Is Indian democracy dying?
By Dr Arshad M Khan
The prominent journalist and editor, Shujaat Bukhari was leaving work when he and his two bodyguards were shot and killed. Suffice to say newspapers are the lifeblood of democracy and Indian administered Kashmir under the decades-long grip of a half-million strong security force has a questionable claim. Yet brave journalists, unafraid, write and sometimes pay the consequences. Following Mr. Bukhari's murder and the thousands attending his funeral, the security services have raided presses shutting down newspapers. The internet is not quite as easily controlled, so some have been busy updating their sites. Since Gauari Lankesh was brutally murdered at her doorstep in September 2017, another four journalists have lost their lives. She, too, espoused views contrary to the ruling party's c...
Kashmir Times News Report
SCO entry to help boost India-China trade ties
Sino-US tiff creates opportunity for Delhi
By Subrata Majumder
Chinese media were euphoric that the 18th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Qingdao, China, where India and Pakistan were admitted as new members of the organization, will open a new page for better relations between the two countries. Chinese newspaper Global Times headlined the event "China, India ready to deepen their economic ties." The Chinese media noted that despite Modi's refusal to be party to China's Belt and Road Initiative, the summit provided the ground for China to enhance multilateral cooperation among BRI member countries. Out of eight members only India was against BRI. Other member countries reaffirmed their support to the initiative to expand economic connectivity. India's refusal was prodded by a trust deficit. Modi was emphatic in saying that...
Kashmir Times News Report
A journalist in the Valley
Shujaat Bukhari advocated peace, wore many hats, walked a tightrope, in an unforgiving landscape
By Nirupama Subramanian
It is perhaps the best tribute to Shujaat Bukhari that he was slandered by both sides of the polarised debate on Kashmir. He was excoriated in Kashmir as a "tout" of the intelligence agencies who pandered to the "Indian" narrative. Days before his brutal killing, he was accused online of being a "collaborator" and "traitor", who had "sold the struggle". Outside Kashmir, Shujaat was a target of Hindutva supporters and a gaggle of other Kashmiri-baiters. One prominent Hindutva tweeter had accused him of taking money from the government to start his paper and then "playing the ISI script". On the day he was shot, he was defending himself on Twitter against accusations of "bias" by the member of an influential think tank in Delhi. Those who practise journalism in the harsh terrain of conflic...
Kashmir Times News Report
People's spaces
By A.G. Noorani
MANY consider the following opinion, authored by US supreme court justice Louis Brandeis in 1927, as one of the greatest defences of free speech: "Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties; and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. ... They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that publ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crumbling Gurudwaras Blur The Lines On The India-Pakistan Border
By Haroon Khalid
Indian Air Force jets flew over our heads; we could hear them buzz a few seconds after the planes disappeared into the bright sunny day. They flew in pairs. I don't know how far the jets went inside Pakistan's airspace. Before us was the Gurdwara of Nanak, a sad structure with only its skeleton surviving. Inside there was graffiti which read, "Ibadat sirf Allah ki karien". Under the dome of the sacred shrine there were pictures of the 10 Sikh Gurus. The faces of all of these portraits had been chiselled out. Next to the pictures, there was a verse from Nanak's poetry establishing his commitment to monotheism. A few cowherds stood around me staring at the headless pictures of Sikh Gurus. This was the village of Jhaman, a historical village on the outskirts of Lahore, a village that had...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ala Bhatt's sister Shaheen battled depression, had been suicidal
"I've lived with depression since I was 12-years-old and since then I've been suicidal on more than one occasion. I've experienced the sheer terror of contemplating a life filled with unrelenting anguish, and I've been consumed by the terrifying thought of having but a single means of escape from a bleak, unbearable future," read an excerpt from Alia Bhatt's sister Shaheen's article for Vogue magazine, in which she has opened up about her battle with depression. The article is in wake of celebrity chef-food critic Anthony Bourdain and celebrated fashion designer Kate Spade's deaths. Both of them had committed suicide and depression is suspected to be the driving factor. The headline of her article for Vogue reads as, "Shaheen Bhatt on the recent suicides: "It could have been me." In Nove...
Kashmir Times News Report
Race 3: Film Review
Salman struts around like a clueless stuntman
The formula - a bunch of super-rich blokes and bling-bedecked broads gypping each other in a game involving power, pelf and perfidy - has worn awfully thin. No amount of surface gloss and 'explosive' action can lend a fresh veneer to the rickety vehicle that Race 3 is. With all the junk in the trunk, it delivers a ride that is bumpy, noisy and aimless. Salman Khan throws his box-office weight behind the scrappy enterprise, but the unimaginatively scripted thriller can only plod its way through a heap of inanities. Served up ill-advisedly in 3D, the bluff and bluster are amplified beyond endurance. Helmed by Remo D'Souza, Race 3 is a dance of dunces that hits a convoluted track from the moment it kicks off. The game has too many players and not enough rules to keep them sane. It is about ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Yoga Enhances Beauty
By Shahnaz Hussain
Everyone wants to look beautiful to feel better. Personal appearance is important for a sense of individuality and well being. People take pride in their young looking appearance which boosts their confidence. Generally people opt for beauty treatments to lift moods and boost self-esteem. Beauty therapy makes a significant difference in quality of life which has positive effect on everybody around them. You do not have to be born beautiful. You can acquire beautiful, supple, glowing and flawless skin by treating yourself from inside through selection of yoga poses and exercises rather than relying on expensive cosmetics and time consuming salon treatments. You can enhance your beauty with yoga by incorporating strict guidelines in your daily life. Regular yoga practice pranayama and m...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crumbling Gurudwaras Blur The Lines On The India-Pakistan Border
By Haroon Khalid
Indian Air Force jets flew over our heads; we could hear them buzz a few seconds after the planes disappeared into the bright sunny day. They flew in pairs. I don't know how far the jets went inside Pakistan's airspace. Before us was the Gurdwara of Nanak, a sad structure with only its skeleton surviving. Inside there was graffiti which read, "Ibadat sirf Allah ki karien". Under the dome of the sacred shrine there were pictures of the 10 Sikh Gurus. The faces of all of these portraits had been chiselled out. Next to the pictures, there was a verse from Nanak's poetry establishing his commitment to monotheism. A few cowherds stood around me staring at the headless pictures of Sikh Gurus. This was the village of Jhaman, a historical village on the outskirts of Lahore, a village that had...
Kashmir Times News Report
Finding hope amidst despair
By Bharat Dogra
While it is realistic to say that the overall situation is depressing and extremely difficult, we should nevertheless make full use of the openings that still exist. At no other time in human history was there greater need to find and utilise all openings of hope despite the widely prevalent despair. During the first two decades of the 21st century it has become increasingly clear that this is going to be the most critical century of human history in the sense that survival issues or existential issues created by human activities are likely sooner then later to have an over-whelming impact. Among environmental issues there are climate change and at least eight or and nine other issues (like freshwater shortages, species extinction and drastic changes in oceans as wel...
Kashmir Times News Report
How controversial is 'The Spy Chronicles'?
By Imad Zafar
The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, co-authored by former ISI Chief Asad Durrani, former RAW Chief AS Dulat, and journalist Aditya Sinha, has rightly created a buzz around the subcontinent. After all, two former counterparts from rival agencies coming together to compile a book on sensitive issues - especially pertaining to backchannel diplomacy and events relating to security and foreign policy matters - is a unique experience on its own. The book is narrated conversationally, where Sinha initiates the conversation between Durrani and Dulat. It has seven chapters, and each and every one is detail oriented. It seems as if no topic is left untouched - from policy in Kashmir to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden; from backtrack on diplomacy to non-state actors, they...
Kashmir Times News Report
How to bring peace in Kashmir?
By Vinay Kaura
An explosive mix of cross-border terrorism, proxy warfare, insurgency and persistent civil unrest has converted the Kashmir Valley into a 'hybrid' conflict zone in which many junior and middle ranking officers of India's security forces consisting of state police and the Central paramilitary organisations realize early that the way they have been trained to fight will not work in this environment, and that their institutional leadership does not have all the answers they need. It is always difficult to assess the strength of an ongoing insurgency since due to its sheer nature fighting insurgency is altogether different from fighting a conventional battle. Thus, the number of militants killed during an insurgency can't be the true barometer of the success quotient of a counterin...
Kashmir Times News Report
More to be done to make challenge to BJP effective
By Satish Misra
In fact outcome of 14 assembly and Lok Sabha by polls, held on May 28 in 11 states including the biggest state of Uttar Pradesh, has lessons for both the ruling BJP and the opposition. Euphoria notwithstanding, battle for the next general elections is wide open with victory likely for either camp. While the opposition has taken 11 out of the 14 seats, the BJP has only three in its kitty. The BJP's vote share and its core constituency is almost intact with only a marginal knockdown. Biggest state of Uttar Pradesh is a mighty challenge for the Modi-Shah duo. Conversely, it is the most decisive boost to the anti-BJP opposition while loss in other states is possible to make up by BJP's victories in other regions and states but losing a state that had elected 71 of its MPs would make retaini...
Kashmir Times News Report
Meeting on the Island of death from behind: The Kim-Trump Summit
By Dr Binoy Kampmark
Everything about this summit is in the showy warm-up run. "I am on my way to Singapore," tweets US President Donald J. Trump, "where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World." Such descriptions from America's ever hustling television president tend to become child like, whether glowingly or indignantly. On this occasion, he was glowing. "It will be certainly an exciting day and I know that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before". Detractors and sceptics were fretting in the woodwork. Former US Representative from Florida David Jolly was one: "Under scrutiny from loyal allies, Trump chooses to strengthen his alliance with Putin and Kim Jong Un." The slip into psychobabble becomes easy: "Notwithstandin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hello Dear 'Firstborn'
By Tajamul Hussain
Your ordinal position, the birth order, in which you're born in the family, has everything to do, not only with your place in the family but with how you've been living your entire life. When you're a baby, you captured entire parent's initial attention, much as 3,000 more quality hours spent with mom and dad between the ages 4-13 than your next sibling. Your parents being new parents experimented on you. You're the guinea pig. They're extremely attentive, stringent with rules, and overly neurotic about the minutiae. They tried every trick from the stacks of books they read about child rearing. Some things worked some didn't. And you got the brunt of all of it. If you're lucky enough not to have other siblings you'd develop the exact personality traits of the spoiled child. You're the ol...
Kashmir Times News Report
EC finds discrepancies in electoral rolls in MP
By Kushal Jeena
After revealing discrepancies in the electoral rolls in the poll-bound state of Madhya Pradesh, the Election Commission has asked the government to empower the independent body to take action to put an end to the practice of government officials in preparing bogus electoral rolls at the behest of political masters. The four teams of officials that the Election Commission had formed in the wake of complaints of bogus electoral rolls filed by the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh, found out during its investigation that many voters, who had died in the past are still listed in the rolls, names of some who have migrated long time ago have been shown against the same address in the voters list. The team in its report submitted t0 the Commission identified that some names have been listed si...
Kashmir Times News Report
Political heroes then and now: Pranab Da and Sunil Dutt
BY Humra Quraishi
Congressman Pranab Mukherjee travelling to Nagpur, to the RSS headquarters to deliver a speech was difficult to accept or digest. He could have delivered the same speech in New Delhi whilst sitting in his drawing room or on the front lawns to his bungalow in Lutyens' Delhi. There was something very upsetting and sad and disappointing about the entire spread. Making me wonder rather aloud - where are the loyalists? Where are our political saviours? Who is there to stand up for a cause, to protect structures - human and otherwise? Why is on one lashing out at the Right-wing goons for denting and damaging heritage monument- the Taj Mahal? Why that eerie quiet in political circles, as lynching is spreading out, seemingly out of control? Where are the political heroes? What could be the way ou...
Kashmir Times News Report
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