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Modi Govt has done ‘nothing’ for Kashmir: Omar

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Srinagar, Sep 24: Former chief minister and NC working President Omar Abdullah said that Narendra Modi has done pretty much nothing on Kashmir in four-and-a-half years.

“His Red Fort speech last year had the same promises on Kashmir which he repeated this year. Nothing has changed on the ground. There is no evidence that the new governor will operate in a political manner,” he said in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times.

Omar also blamed Centre for forcing them to opt out of local body polls by not making its stand clear on Article 35A. “PDP and the NC, have 43 MLAs in the 87-member assembly. That means half of the state’s legislative footprint is out of the fray. You can well imagine how representative these polls are,” he said.

 

He said that with the country heading for four crucial state assembly elections later this year, followed by the Lok Sabha polls next year, “there is no political capital available for a meaningful initiative on Kashmir. Whatever happens in J&K will now happen post the general elections.”

NC working president said that Bharatiya Janata Party which rules the country at present has been inimical to the special status that Jammu and Kashmir enjoys. “Politically, it can’t, which is why the challenge to Articles 35A and 370 is being mounted through the courts. This challenge is being supported, overtly or covertly, by elements of the Sangh Parivar,” Omar said.

“The fact is that there’s a BJP-led government at the helm, so we have our misgivings. On the previous two occasions when Article 35A was challenged in the Supreme Court, the Government of India made itself a party to the defence of this constitutional provision. That hasn’t happened this time. Nor has the Centre assured us that there will be no tinkering with the special status, which has already been diluted as far as it could be,” he said.

Omar believes that the PDP-BJP coalition squeezed the political space in Kashmir, exactly the way the NC-Congress alliance had in 1987.

“The constituency that the PDP built for itself was cleverly positioned between the NC and the pro-secession Hurriyat. It was just mainstream enough to fight polls, but just separatist enough to appeal to those who didn’t find space in the NC’s political landscape of autonomy. The PDP won its 28 seats on one platform: vote for us to keep the BJP out. That constituency felt let down when the PDP rushed to embrace the BJP for power. The alliance proved to be catastrophic for the state,” he said.

He said that because of the disastrous BJP-PDP coalition and mishandling by the Government of India, the home-grown dimension is a far bigger problem than the external dimension.” For the longest time, your defence was that these militants are all coming from across the border; that this is a Pakistan-created problem. Today your militants are home-grown. They don’t need Pakistan’s nudge or push. That push is coming from within. What else explains that 200-plus militants have been recruited in south Kashmir alone. That was PDP’s ‘garh’ (bastion),” Omar said.

When asked whether, BJP is engineering a split in the PDP to prop up a government in J&K, Omar said that it won’t happen. “The critical mass to float an alternative doesn’t exist. There were fledgling attempts. The best thing is to dissolve the assembly and, when the conditions are conducive, go for elections,” he said.

Omar said during PDP-BJP rule, more and more youths joined militant ranks. “Leave politics aside — see the growth in the number of militants, see the number of youngsters who are leaving well-paying jobs or good education and taking to arms. Look at the fact that the Anantnag parliamentary election is now the most delayed by-election in the country since 1995, and the fact that within hours of panchayat elections being announced, panchayat ghars are being set on fire,” he said.


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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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