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Fighter jets disturbing Kashmir skies, army says ‘no information’

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Nisar Dharma

Srinagar, Apr 14: For at least four days now, fighter jets flying in Kashmir skies have been causing a fear among the people, who in all parts of the Valley reported seeing and hearing the fighter jets multiple times in a day.
“They have started flying them routinely only in the last few days. The jets create a thunderous noise. I don’t know why exactly the jets are flying so regularly. Are they preparing for a war? They did not use to do it earlier,” said Mohammad Younus, a resident of Awantipora, Pulwama, in south Kashmir.
In the summer capital, Srinagar, also, the people have noticed the jets.
“I saw it today morning and heard the same sound last night,” said Arsalan Shafi, a class-10 student from uptown Natipora.
Danish Shafi, a middle-aged shopkeeper at Jawahar Nagar, said the flying of jets reminded him of the ‘90s and the early 2000.
“Then, it was a regular sight. We used to see and hear them a lot. Seeing them nowadays concerns me. Are we back to ‘90s?” he asked.
A social media user asking about the flying of jets wrote: “Anyone has an idea why multiple fighter jets are hovering over the skies of Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) for the past many days and nights? Drills? Recon? Target acquisition? Intimidation?”
Army spokesperson in the valley told The Kashmir Monitor that it could be a “routine drill”.
However, he claimed not having any information about it.
The Indian Air Force (IAF), as per the state broadcaster, was scheduled to run Gagan Shakti, a country-wide exercise, between April 8 and 22.
“The aim of this exercise is real time coordination, deployment and employment of Air Power in a short & intense battle scenario. During Gagan-shakti, Indian Air Force will exercise the entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war waging capability,” the DD News report on its official website reads.
On April 7, The Indian Express reported that Gagan Shakti was planned by Indian Air Force (IAF) “with an eye on the two-front threat posed by China and Pakistan”.
As per the existing protocol, the report said, Pakistan has already been intimated of the exercise.
The exercise will be conducted in two separate phases for western and northern borders across India and deep over the Indian waters. More than 15,000 IAF personnel, including 300 officers, will move from their bases during the exercise which will see the involvement of over 1,100 aircraft. This would mean 3,000 to 4,000 sorties per day during the exercise.
To mention, Army chief General Bipin Rawat, back in January, had said his force was prepared for a two-front war involving Pakistan and China simultaneously.

 
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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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