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Chosen the path of militancy, but primarily, we are for peace, not war: Naikoo

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By Al Jazeera

Srinagar, Nov 22: The Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo has said that the militant outfit is not against negotiations with India. But, he said, negotiations can only lead to a fruitful outcome when they take place between parties that recognize each other as equals.

Negotiations cannot happen between a master and a slave or, as the great thinker of Palestinian armed struggle, GhassanKanafani, very aptly put it, as “the conversation between the sword and the neck”,” Naikoo told Aljazeera in an interview.

 

He said that some Indian leaders insist that we must talk within the ambit of the Indian constitution; what they really mean is capitulation. “They are not interested in honoring our legitimate political demands. They are only interested in pushing for policies and mechanisms that further entrench the occupational apparatus.”

To a question about his belief in the strategy of armed resistance, Naikoo said, “The Indian military occupation of Jammu and Kashmir which we are fighting against is the longest-running and the most brutal occupation in the contemporary era, which compares with the occupation of Palestine in its scope and intensity, yet the reality of abuses here is much less known.”

“Yes, we have chosen the path of armed struggle, but primarily, we are for peace, not war.

“It is the nature of the occupying Indian state that has compelled us to resort to violent methods of resistance. Kashmiri people did not pick up arms for more than 40 years since occupation began in 1947. It was only after continuous repression and scuttling of all peaceful means of resistance that we were compelled to do so.

“There are many United Nations resolutions that call for a plebiscite to determine the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“But the Indian state has repeatedly refused to recognise or implement them, and they keep labelling Kashmir as their internal matter, which goes against the legality and history of the dispute.

Armed struggle is not exactly our first choice, but it is a difficult choice that some of us have made, and we will remain steadfast on our chosen path.

“You must know that this scenario is not unique in history. Such has been the case with all freedom struggles against colonial rule, be it the Indian freedom struggle against the British, or the Algerian movement against the French, or the struggle of the Libyan people against Italian rule. The people of Kashmir are the life-blood of our resistance.”

The Hizbul Mujahideen commander said that by raising guns against “Indian rule in Kashmir”, we want to let them know that we will not accept the “occupation of our land” under any circumstance. “We will respond to their force with force since that seems to be the only language they understand.”

He said: “We will continue to stand up for our right to self-determination and we are ready to fight until our last breath. Most of all, we want to let them know that we might die in the struggle, but we will never surrender.

“No colonial occupation has continued forever, and it is our firm belief that the Indian rule in Kashmir will also collapse sooner or later, until then, we will fight.

“Obviously, such resistance comes at a cost, and Indian forces continue to kill Kashmiri people with impunity.

“The determination, resistance and sacrifices of our people – men and women, old and young, widows and orphans, half-mothers [mothers whose children have disappeared] and disappeared sons, those in prisons and in torture centres, motivate us to carry on.”

He said that the groups demand is freedom. “Freedom, for us, means the complete dismantling of India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir and all the structures that support it, be they military or economic.”

“We want to get rid of the structures that have enslaved not just the territory of Kashmir but also the free expression and social and economic well-being of our people. We want our freedom with justice and dignity.

“We consider Pakistan as our ideological and moral friend. Pakistan is the only country which has consistently supported our cause and raised the concerns of Kashmiri freedom struggle at international forums.

“Pakistan’s creation as the homeland for Muslims of the Indian subcontinent links us to it historically as we were a Muslim majority region whose geography was contiguous with Pakistan. Most importantly, even if the Pakistani state’s support for Kashmir cause has, at times, wavered circumstantially, the people of Pakistan have always stood by us and our cause.”

Naikoo also thanked the people who in one way or other are fighting this “illegal occupation”. “We must also understand that we as armed fighters are not different from people. We are different organs of the same body.

“There is no essential binary of difference between armed fighters and common people. Occupation’s bullets do not make a distinction between civilians and fighters, nor do its prisons. We are united with our people in life and death.”

 


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Joint Hurriyat hails Pak SC’s ruling on Kashmir, GB

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Srinagar, Jan 20: Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik Sunday held a meeting at the octogenarian leader Geelani’s residence.
At the meeting, the leadership, as per a statement, expressed satisfaction over the verdict announced by the seven judge-bench of Pakistan Supreme Court that upheld the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the Pakistan government to provide more citizenship, legal and social rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan (GB) besides stating that the lingering dispute of J&K be resolved by means of plebiscite.
“Pakistan Supreme Court in its fresh verdict has laid stress on the fact that till the issue of Kashmir stands unresolved, Pakistan and India must ensure that the people of this region enjoy maximum rights for areas within each country’s control,” the statement read.
At the meeting, the leadership expressed serious concern over the “perpetual incarceration” of many political prisoners languishing in Indian jails and the ill plight and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in various jails including Tihar Jail ,Kathua, Udhampur, Kotbalwal, Samba, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jodhpur and other prisons stating that world organizations should take strong note of the condition of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in these prisons and how legal processes and procedures are misused to detain them and prolong their detentions.

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JK Bank quarterly results: Market experts predict 65% long-term upside potential

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Srinagar, Jan 20: J&K Bank results for the third quarter have come up with numbers having enough indicators to tell the market pundits that the bank is bound to see a positive growth in the coming days, starting the current quarter.
The bank has exceeded expectations according to the market experts who say the numbers are quite assuring and the script is being strongly recommended for buying with upside potential of 65% in the long term.
As per recommendations by major broking houses like Prabhudas Leeladhar, ICICI Direct, Anand Rathi and Elara Securities, the bank looks strong in long term perspective. At the current price the stock is a great investment opportunity to those interested in the stock market.
Commenting upon the expected move of J&K Bank, Rakesh Kumar, Analyst at Elara Securities said in a written statement: “Jammu & Kashmir Bank’s operating performance was above market estimates as margin improved by 22bp QoQ (basis points Quarter-on-Quarter) due to higher credit yield.”
Kumar, as per the statement, said that lower-than-expected provisions and higher operating profit beat “led to significantly higher net profit of Rs 1.07bn versus our estimates of Rs 0.17bn.”
He added on the balance sheet front, credit grew by 12 per cent YoY while deposits witnessed growth of 18 per cent YoY.
“Within deposits, the rest of India’s (RoI) term deposits grew at an average 48% over the past two quarters, and we believe that such a continued phenomenon will result in increased cost of funds over the long term,” Kumar said.
He said that JKBK has exposure worth Rs 13.5 bn to stress-laden IL&FS Group, of this, the bank has reclassified exposure as sub-standard in Q3FY19, and this resulted in higher slippages at Rs 10.3bn (past two quarters average at Rs 5.1bn), and, as a consequence, both GNPA and NNPA saw a sharp uptick. However, despite higher credit cost, coverage ratio at 66 per cent was close to its past four-quarters average at 68 per cent.
In sync with Elara Securities views, Simi Bhaumik, Technical Equity Analyst (Offficially registered with SEBI) told Zee Business online: “Technically the J&K Bank strip looks strong in long-term perspective. In short-term, the stock has moved from Rs 39 levels to Rs 41 levels. If it breaks the Rs 41-42 levels, it can move for its another resistance at Rs 48. After breaking this level and sustaining above that, one can expect the Rs 65 target.”

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Khyber Gulmarg wins best destination hotel award 2018, again

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Srinagar, Jan 20: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, has once again been awarded by Outlook Traveller, India’s prestigious travel magazine.
At the recently held Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotels Awards 2018, the resort was conferred with the Best Destination Hotel Award.
The 3rd edition of the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards was held in Haridwar recently where the best boutique properties around the country were awarded for their contribution to the hospitality industry.
The chief guest for the night was Satpal Maharaj, the Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand.
“We are truly overwhelmed with the response from both guests and traveller writers and of course the eminent jury. This honour is testimony to the hard work by the team at The Khyber ensuring a superlative, international class guest experience and a memorable time in Gulmarg enjoying the natural beauty and activities available all year round,” said Umar Tramboo, MD, Pinnacle Resorts Pvt. Ltd, promoter of The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg.
In a short span, since it opened six years ago, The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa has been hugely appreciated for its impeccable service, warm hospitality, and facilities at par with international standards.
The Khyber has consistently received recognition from several hospitality and travel awards including Condé Nast Traveller India, the Last Word in Travel, as Favourite Boutique Hotel –India, for six consecutive years.
In addition to luxurious guest rooms, The Khyber has a Wellness Block, which houses the world-class international spa, The Khyber Spa by L’OCCITANE along with a state of the art gym with the latest equipment, separate steam and sauna chambers for men and women. It also offers an impressive heated indoor pool offering dramatic views of the mountain ranges.
About the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards
Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 are meant to celebrate an industry that is well in its prime and will remain so long as people seek new experiences and retain their wanderlust.
These are much coveted travel awards, which are given to brands that have left an everlasting impression on their guests through their hospitality and services.
The esteemed jury members along with EY, the process advisors for the event, made the celebrations on the banks of the holy Ganga a great success.
The jury for the 2018 edition was: Aman Nath, chairman, Neemrana Hotels; Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; fashion designer Anupamaa Dayal; Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy of Red Scarab Media; and Charukesi Ramadurai, travel writer and blogger.

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