Ikram Ullah

Ikram Ullah

The author is from Srinagar, Kashmir. He is a researcher at the University of Marburg, Germany. His works have appeared in Foreign Policy, Warscapes Magazine and Greater Kashmir, among others. He tweets @ullahi_ (twitter.com/ullahi_)

Pakistan celebrates Kashmir Solidarity Day but does it really want Kashmir to be independent?

The day, February 5th, is a national holiday in Pakistan every year – the Kashmir Solidarity Day. It is to remind the people of Pakistan and the world of Kashmir, of the promises made to the Kashmiri people, which remain to be fulfilled till today. It is to stand with a people whose recent history has been that of a brutal subjugation, one that has brought misery to its young and old.  It is to convey a collective support, to remind the Kashmiri people that the ensemble of nations might have turned a blind eye to some of the worst crimes ...

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Whether it’s ghosts, child traffickers or braid-choppers, the resilient people of Kashmir will continue to rise

It was the mid 90’s, winter had descended on Kashmir, and we had just had our dinner. Lately, dinner conversations had been just about one thing – the daeyn (feminine ghosts). The daeyn had recently arrived in Kashmir. Some would say they were from the jungles in Kupwara, while others said it was from the woods across the Line of Control (LoC) and was wreaking havoc in Kashmir. My uncle, in a hushed tone, informed my father of the latest victim of the daeyn’s attack – Samad Khan. Samad Khan, popularly known as Khan sahib, came from Islamabad in the Kashmir Valley and worked in the local mosque. ...

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Gowhar, the nun-e-phol of Kashmir, and the ruthless killing machine that is the Indian CRPF

He was amongst the younger children. I remember him as a frail boy with prominent cheekbones. When he would smile, the dent in his cheeks would turn into a dimple. Whenever we would play cricket in the field and needed to toss, he would toss the bat up in the air with excitement and say, “Akh, ze, tra!” (One, two, three!) Being one of the younger children in the neighbourhood meant that Gowhar often got to play du taraf (both sides). For us, the older boys, children such as Gowhar were called nun-e-phol (a chunk of salt). It is an intriguing word in Kashmiri children’s vocabulary. ...

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How can India justify killing a 16-year-old Kashmiri?

I am enraged. And I am sure there are thousands of Kashmiri youngsters who are just as enraged as I am, for another young member of our ilk has been killed in cold blood. Suhail Sofi, aged 16, was killed in cold blood by the Indian police, while he was protesting against the deaths of two youngsters in Tral and the subsequent arrest of Masarat Alam, senior Hurriyat leader and pro-freedom activist. The message is clear by the Indian establishment – if one of your people is killed, you are expected to stay quiet and move on, and if you choose to ...

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