Srinagar, Sep 19: Former Union Minister and senior congress leader, Prof Saif-ud-din Soz on Wednesday pitched for initiation of dialogue process, saying that the central government has gone very wrong in not choosing the way for reaching the minds of the people of Kashmir, particularly, the youth who carry unrest in their minds.
“It will be quite wrong for the system not to reach their minds,” Soz said while addressing a presser.
“The anger in their heart and mind has to be understood. It will be futile for the system to take the position that there was no need for any discussion and dialogue with the people who adopt the course of violence,” Soz said as per the statement issued, adding “I have satisfied myself that if the system of governance wants to work for the durable peace, it has to understand the cause of unrest in the minds of Kashmiris. No amount of repression through barrel of the gun can yield peace on ground.”
“This feeling in me got buttressed enormously in recent times through my exchange of ideas with many knowledgeable people. I had a very interesting discussion with Johan Galtung, a Spanish intellectual with enormous knowledge on possible solutions to the conflicts that have afflicted many parts of the world. This exchange was through Skype and mails,” he said.
“Please imagine, why I am telling you this sorrowful tale. It is because I have a strong feeling that Govt. of India had a better course available that would yield positive results i.e. talking to the angry people of Kashmir. Perhaps, the JRL (Joint Resistance Leadership) could talk better, if the talks had opened!,” he said
“One is the urgent need of responding to the RSS’s avowed designs to create a situation of building a Hindu Rastra. The RSS Chief Mohan Bhagvat’s ‘Yakut Bharat’ points to the same situation. This posture of the RSS is extremely relevant to Kashmir,” he said, adding that the mainstream parties should also take full notice of the fact that even the subtle (superficial) situation of distance in approach to political and social issues between the RSS and the BJP has evaporated in recent years and the Indian society has fallen to very bad times, particularly Muslims and other minorities!
“In my opinion, the Kashmir mainstream parties should come full circle on the overtures of the RSS. This has become a crucial imperative for Kashmir as it (Kashmir) is pointedly on its RADAR!,” he said, adding that the second matter relates to the RSS’s open threat to seek revocation of Article 35-A.
Article-35A that provides various privileges to the people of J&K State is being contested by the RSS which is seeking abrogation of this Article through a petition before the Supreme Court of India, he said, adding “You have shown tremendous solidarity for this cause (protection of Article-35A). You rose to the occasion, in every nook and corner of Kashmir. Greetings for that solidarity! Please sustain that interest and enthusiasm. But, then, I would like you to take a little more notice of the RSS.”
“You are conscious of the fact that the RSS has always been consistent on two things. One is its clear angle on Muslims and other minorities; the second is its perception that Kashmir is an integral part of India and it needs no special privileges!,” he said
“To dwell on this subject a little more, I would invite your attention to what Walter Anderson and Shridhar Damle, who are quite conversant with the working of the RSS, have emphasized in their recent book ‘The RSS – A View To The Inside’. They have recorded great praise for the RSS on its phenomenal growth since 1980s and they have also stressed that the RSS is unparalleled as an organization with an almost Pan-India influence and operational footprint. They have, however, found through their credible research that Kashmir Valley is the only place where it has no functional Shakhas or branches,” Soz said, adding that “it is a silver lining for you in your struggle against all shades of parochialism, sectarianism and bigotry.”
“I have a strong feeling that you can rise to the occasion and win the battle!,” he said
Investigation started in Jammu cable car incident: DRIL
Srinagar, Jan 22: The investigation regarding the death of two labourers during the mock-drill of car cable accident in Jammu is underway while as the reports added that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were not followed during the mock-drill.
Two labourers died while four others sustained injuries on Sunday evening after a rescue trolley had fallen during the mock drill near the Mahamaya temple.
Talking to a local news gathering agency, Executive Vice President of Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited (DRIL) said that the investigation into the incident is going on. “Police is investigating the matter. We cannot say anything in this regard until the investigation is completed,” he added.
However, reports informed that the SOPs were not followed while conducting the mock-drill ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for its inauguration.
It added that as per the SOPs, while performing the mock drills, the executing agency needed to inform all other agencies concerned.
“The rescue trolley involved in the incident was meant for a maximum of four people, but there were six in it. Also, all people performing the mock drill should have worn headgear and had to be hooked to the rope,” reports quoting sources said, adding that no safety guidelines were followed during the mock drill, otherwise precious lives could have been saved.
Mufti-Jagmohan camaraderie proved detrimental for Kashmir: Sagar
Srinagar, Jan 22: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday paid tributes to the victims of Gawkadal massacre saying that people have not forgotten the massacre let loose on the civilians on that day.
In a statement issued here, addressing a gathering of party functionaries, and workers of Srinagar District at party headquarter Nawa –e-Subha Srinagar, party’s General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar said, “Those who are passing the blame and shedding crocodile tears now on the plight of Kashmiris are the one who actually traded the miseries of the people for grabbing power,” adding that Mufti as home minister trusted Jagmohan on kashmir, what followed is history.
Sagar in the statement said that Mufti through his nominated Governor unleashed havoc in Kashmir and that as home minister of India Mufti presided over 18 massacres in Kashmir including Mashali Mohalla massacre, Islamia college massacre, Chara- e- Sharief massacre, Shopian massacre, Pulwama, Kulgam massacre and Habbak massacre.
“Mufti-Jagmohan camaraderie proved detrimental for Kashmir, it is this camaraderie that is credited with unleashing Operation Catch and Kill, crackdowns and other human rights violations. Not just that Mufti extended draconian laws like AFSPA to Kashmir and besides that Ikhwan was also a brain child of Late Mufti Syed,” he said adding, “Continuing with their legacy of political bankruptcy Mufti’s entered into a trade policy with BJP with a sole design to destroy the respect and dignity of kashmiris.”
Sagar maintained what was left of our special status; Mufti a former lieutenant of G M Sadiq took it upon himself to destroy it. “The BJP-PDP coalition opened flood gates for all such forces as are contriving hard to harm our state’s special status.”
He said that Dr Farooq Abdullah owing to communal disposition of late Jagmohan insisted on then government at the centre not to appoint him as state’s governor. “It was late Mufti who nominated him and was instrumental in thrusting him on the state. No sooner did he become Governor, Dr. Farooq resigned as a mark of protest. What followed is written in bold red letters in the annals of history,” he said.
The meet was attended by District president Srinagar Peer Afaq, JKNC Women’s wing president Shameema Firdous, Ali Muhammad Dar, Irfan shah and others.
Sagar maintained that Mehbooba trailing her father path traded the very dignity of chief minister’s post by bald-facedly presiding over the large scale maiming, killings, blinding, nepotism, corruption, human rights violation during her stint as chief minister. “It was for the first time that people were not allowed to pray at Jamia Masid for many months altogether,” he said.
Tourism deptt organsies first road show of winter in Pune
Pune: Tourism Department in collaboration with Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) held an impressive Travel Show in Pune on Monday seeking the cooperation of the travel associations and the media from the city for the promotion of J&K tourism.
Over 150 leading tour operators from the city attended show who also interacted with the members from the KHAROF.
Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh who attended the show said Kashmir has immense tourism potential and people are most peaceful and loving in nature.
“Everyone should visit J&K State and see the nature’s beauty. The beauty also lies in the hospitality of the people who are very warm and welcoming,” he said.
Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak shared her experience of visiting Kashmir.
She said she found it safest place for travellers especially for woman.
“Even if we travel in auto at late evening, we are safe as people of the Kashmir are very good in nature and they take care of the tourists very well,” she said.
She urged the travel agents from Pune to promote J&K in a big way so that the travellers from Maharashtra will also visit paradise on Earth.
Earlier, Deputy Director Tourism Kashmir Riyaz Shah gave a detailed presentation on the tourism products which Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh has to offer.
The seminar is a part of series of road shows the department is organizing to promote J&K for the travellers within and outside the country.
Shah said J&K state is diverse in every aspect – be it leisure, adventure, culture, handicraft, cuisine, landscape, religion, architecture.
“Whatever you name it, we have it. J&K is a complete package. For a traveller, he has everything to see in one state,” he said, adding, “We are home to many famous gardens and heritage sites like Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat fort, Burzuhama ruins over 3000 years old, Mubrak Mandi, Shankar Acharya temple (250 B.C.), one of the biggest sun temples in India Martand Sun temple which was built in the 8th century, the Nara Nag temple ruins, and also famous sufi Shrines like Char-i-Sharief, Mukhdoom Sahaib, Ashmukam, Khankah Mohallah and many more.”
Riyaz Shah said that lot of filmmakers from Bollywood and even South India are shooting in Kashmir and the department is facilitating their shooting permission through single window system.
“Even now Malaysian and Thai films are being shot in Kashmir,” he said.
He also invited corporate houses for conventions and meetings to J&K saying the state has finest properties to hold such events.
President KHAROF Abdul Wahid Malik in his welcome address offered discounted packages for the travellers from Maharashtra.
He said Kashmir has over 60000 bed capacity and KHAROF is one of the largest hotel associations catering to over 24000 bed capacity from budget to star category hotels.
He invited the travellers to visit Kashmir saying the place is not only most beautiful place on the Earth but safest also.
KHAROF also released its annual directory during the show.
Earlier, the Tourism Department and KHAROF addressed media in a separate press conference.
Former KHAROF President Javed Bashir Burza briefed the media about the overall tourism infrastructure development in Kashmir.
Sanjay Nahar, the founder of Sarhad, a social organization dedicated to work in border areas, was also present in the press conference who informed them about the safety of the travellers in Kashmir.
Dr Vishwas Kelkar, president, Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) also spoke on the occasion.
Senior Vice President Syed Masood Ahmad Shah, Secretary General KHAROF Maqsood Misri among other office bearers also participated in the event.
Chairman Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum Nasir Shah moderated the show. Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance Manzoor Pakhtoon, Patron Association of Kashmir Tour Operators Nazir A Mir also participated in the show.