Indian-occupied Kashmir under Omar Abdullah: Six years of disaster

Published: September 29, 2014

Omar Abdullah happens to be a hotel management graduate. But leadership, unlike hotel management, is not a profession; it is a responsibility. PHOTO: FILE

In Kashmir, politics has always been a game of possibilities, and it remains so even today. So long as the ‘core issue’ remains unattended, neither any change in the political leadership – in mainland India, in Pakistan or in Kashmir – nor any economic package or assistance really makes a difference. And today’s politically-motivated relief camps stand in the row.

Deep inside their hearts, all political parties know the extent of their political acceptance. No politician, howsoever articulate and famous, has won an election in Kashmir unless the subtlety of his election campaign encompassed decisive elements of the freedom narrative. So the rules here are quite simple – to win an election, you need to gain political sympathy by belittling others.

In today’s situation of crisis, while people continue to suffer due to massive floods, all pro-India political parties remain busy in scoring brownie points for the upcoming elections. In normal circumstances, political leaders invest money in extensive campaigning to motivating votes, most of the times garnering support for bijli (electricity), sarak (road) and pani (water), and not for India. There is a clear possibility that this conventional idea may no longer work, so the political parties are trying to gain public sympathy by distributing the relief.

This has been the legacy of Kashmir’s pro-India political parties, especially the National Conference (NC). When Omar Abdullah became chief minister six years ago, Indian media created a cult personality out of him, declaring him as the face of the youth.

So let’s assess what Abdullah achieved during his six year rule.

In 2009, soon after Abdullah was sworn in as the chief minister, Indian paramilitary troops committed the ‘twin rape and murder’ in South Kashmir’s Shopain town. Outraged by the crime, people across Kashmir took to the streets demanding the culprits be brought to justice. The government forces, as usual, opened fire on protestors. Several people were killed and many other injured. Fearing public reaction, Abdullah imposed curfew – a welcomed reaction, indeed.

In 2010, the Machil fake encounter took place. Although such an incident was not a new phenomenon for Kashmir, it certainly was a test for Abdullah. And he failed. Army, as an ‘occupational institution’, has always been more powerful in Kashmir than any other state institution politicians brag about. So then what happened to those culprits involved in the killing?

2010 was a year of renewed tragedies for Kashmir. People were out on streets demonstrating peacefully for what they saw as their right. Abdullah reacted with the age old policy – the institutions that he represented for the common Kashmiri brutally killed more than 120 civilians while thousands of other civilians were injured. Kashmir was put under curfew for three months altogether. People starved, but Abdullah managed to save his throne.

During the coming years, a subtle shift guided the policies of NC. The state decided not to allow space for pro-freedom sentiment, so it started to detain youth, mostly school-going children, under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). The move ended up giving NC some short-term respite.

In September 2013, the state government decided to host Zubin Mehta’s musical concert. A wider section of society expressed their displeasure against such a move. In a place when one’s political identity is being butchered by state policies every day, people cease to believe in such musical concerts. But Abdullah still went ahead with the move. Lies upon lies upon lies; everything was brought in public domain but not the truth. Who did he want to please after all?

The performance report of Abdullah came in 2014 Lok Sabha elections; NC failed to win any seat. For a ruling party, there was nothing more embarrassing. Such public reactions inevitably forced Abdullah to rethink over several miscalculations he committed during the past six years but it was useless to cry over spilled milk.

Over the past three decades, India has always looked for an opportunity to manipulate Kashmir’s sentiment of freedom; sometimes it is the lack of development, sometimes it is unemployment, sometimes it is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, and sometimes the youth on streets are drug addicts and school drop-outs, and so on.

When you condense the space for peaceful resistance, people will certainly look for other alternatives. And six years later, you have the result. Abdullah curbed the political space of pro-freedom voices all through the six years of rule. Now Kashmir has an organised and politically motivated youth taking up arms. Six years later people are still shouting,

“Hum kya chahey… Azadi!”

(What do we want… freedom!)

And Abdullah has no Gandhi to fall back upon. The message is clear – where there is occupation there will be resistance.

It makes me think over certain common sense issues.

Mr Abdullah, why should a common Kashmiri expect you to understand his feelings when you and your family are disconnected from the ground reality that he is exposed to?

Why should a young boy, as young as your son, respect you when he is convicted under the PSA for raising azadi slogans? Is that not his right?

What should a student at Kashmir University admire you for when you ban their free thinking?

You did nothing to improve the political situation of Kashmir during your six year rule. If you still expect people to count on you, while your credibility stands at the brink of collapse, then that is your political immaturity.

Abdullah happens to be a hotel management graduate. But leadership, unlike hotel management, is not a profession; it is a responsibility. And Abdullah has failed to deliver on that responsibility.

Whom does he represent, anyway?

Iqbal Sonaullah

Iqbal Sonaullah

A freelance journalist and a blogger from Indian-occupied Kashmir. His writing is a reflection of what he has faced while growing up in conflict. Currently, he is studying at the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He tweets @IqbalSonaullah (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • G. Din

    The fact is that the time for dynasties has passed from India. None knows that better than his father, Farouk, who refused to enter the election fray.Recommend

  • Rafi M

    When Omar Abdullah came to power, it did not really make any difference for a common kashmiri. These pro-india puppets have will always remain in Kashmir. And it is because of these people only that India is still manipulating the Kashmir’s freedom resistance.

    On one side while there are people like Omar Abdullah, on the other side there are also young people who fight on streets. Eventually every occupation ends, so will the Indian Occupation in Kashmir.Recommend

  • indian

    first of all the shopian murder and rape was false case there was no proof for that. the girls had drowned in river so please keep your lies to yourself.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “Eventually every occupation ends”
    True, but in history, every occupation has ended becoz the occupier sees the wisdom in getting out due to various reasons(political, economical etc). The trouble here for Kashmiri separatists/freedom fighters is that the great majority(u can even consider it an overwhelming majority) of Indians don’t see Kashmir being a part of India as an “occupation” but as a part of the motherland. What the separatists/freedom fighters think is irrelevant as far as an ordinary Indian is concerned, defending India’s integrity(which includes Kashmir as a part of it) then becomes a sacred duty. N to be very honest, the slogan “Hum kya chahey… Azadi!” is a beautiful sentiment. But u dont always get what u want.Recommend

  • Rahul

    Omar Abdullah came to power in a free and fair election. Hurriyat Conference or other organizations who have no presence in the valley are yet to demonstrate they are legitimateRecommend

  • Aziz Kashmiri

    A very nice write up! Way to go bro :-)Recommend

  • abhi

    Your article realy lacked any reasoning. How come failure or success of Omar Abdullah is related with failure or success of democracy or India? People of Kashmir have a choice to elect a more efficient government in the next election.Recommend

  • WB

    To sum up the blog in blogger’s own words: “Lies upon lies upon lies”Recommend

  • third_worldeer

    yes, they ‘drowned’ in two feet deep water…sure.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Then, vote him out. That’s the beauty of Democracy. Everyone has their turn.

    If you feel majority people of Kashmir are anti-India, how come the Hurriat are so scared to stand in elections and prove their support?

    Probably, they don’t believe the lies they tell the outside world – They are representatives of Kashmir. Some Representatives – never stood in Elections, never won anything, self appointed leaders, with only nuisance potential.

    I laughed so hard when one member of Hurriat, who believed his own lies and contested Elections thinking he will win.

    Do read all about it.

    Plus, J&K has 2 other parts which are not majority non-Muslim. There isn’t a chance in hell that any Seperatist will win even a single vote there.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Okay so if the author hates India so much why is he studying in Delhi with scholarship from Indian government? Why is the Pakistani overnment wo cares so much for them not giing scholarships o KU?Recommend

  • ab1990

    keep dreaming of independence all your life. Everyone in kashmir has been doing the same since 1947.Recommend

  • ahmed

    I love pakistan because i do not not find a single case of rape. Corruption, Kidnapping in Pakistan , . It all happenes in Kashmir . It s a conspiracy of Americans and Indian to blame pakistan for terrorsim laden was caught holdaying in Sydney but he was shown and proved to be in in Pakistan. Terrorist theory is a big conspiracy of India,Recommend

  • Asad

    Mr. Indian, your information regarding the criminality of your army is shrouded by your media. The stream in which you say the girls drowned has only knee deep water; the girls could have not simply drowned in that little water. And then how do you forget the Konan-Poshpora rape and murder, there have been hundreds of such incidents in Kashmir. Indian Army has been killing people only because people want an end to the Indian occupation.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    The desire of some Kashmiri Muslims for independence is not a legitimate demand for independence. The Indian military presence in Kashmir is a response to, not the cause of, externally sponsored attempts to hijack that illegitimate demand. Learn to live peacefully with people of other religions, rebuff attempts by other countries at spreading terror in India, and you will find that the Indian military presence, which admittedly has committed excesses in the pursuit of its duties, will reduce. You already determine who governs you. There is no higher form of independence than that.Recommend

  • Anoop

    2 feet water? Lol.. Where did you read this little tidbit?Recommend

  • Syed Iqbal

    Come brother to Pakistan ,we have been living in diasaster since Indepedence….Recommend

  • Jor El

    India has made terrible mistakes in Kashmir n there is no point in even trying to deny that. That, however, is no justification for Kashmir’s separation from India given that this call for separation is purely religious.Recommend

  • hueshang Ansari

    From the hindu press.Recommend

  • Hueshang Ansari

    Dream on. You have a Gaza on your hands. You have an
    insurgency. These Kashmiris don’t want to be part of
    Hindustan. Ever. Now, then, any questions?Recommend

  • JackZFlipper

    Are you going to blow yourself up? I will report you to police here in India. We never know with you people with such stupid views.Recommend

  • Hueshang Ansari

    With all due respects, it is not irrelevant at. The separatists are fighting
    for their country. it IS irrelevant what the rest of Hindustan thinks.
    Make sense? Not really. hindus are like stubborn children.Recommend

  • Hueshang Ansari.

    ‘water bottle’ truth is painful. is it not?Recommend

  • Hueshang Ansari

    Why should he? He lives in a SECULAR India. Freedom of Speech?
    Freedom of Expression? When it comes to Kashmiris,…hindus think
    they don’t apply to occupied lands. You see/Recommend

  • Sane

    You Indians are very skillful people; I must admire. Bombay attacked was an indigenous plan by your security outfits and you labelled it against Pakistan. Modi was the main culprit in Gujarat massacre of Muslims, but now he has been cleaned and made PM of India. You burnt Muslims alive in Samjhota Expressin in which your serving Indian Army Col. Prohot was involved, but you labelled against Muslim ‘Extremists’. But, still you couldn’t tell that during Bombay attacks how one of you security persons ‘Kukuray’ was murdered when he was about to disclose the truth of Bombay attacks by telling the world that this is planned by Indian security services.


  • Sane

    You support Omer Abdullah as he is the puppet of New Dehli like his father Sheikh Abdullah.Recommend

  • Surya

    I’m a kashmiri pandit and I do not want what you call azadi. I’m azad in India and kashmir is my home. We have been driven out of our homeland by separatist sympathisers but will find our way back to the valley. I have family who moved back to srinagar after years of exile. They go through the same police checks, curfews etc that the others go through but are still not advocating azadi. They are discriminated against by the majority population but still will stay in kashmir. Kashmir is a part of India and will always be – the pandits are the original kashmiris and we all are happy being a part of India. Recommend

  • Hassan

    all of us have our version of truth. on the same way you have written about your own version. but i wonder why are some people so crazy about what is written in the write-up. history of india’s ‘criminality’ in occupied kashmir is no longer a mystery. it is totally unfair to deny facts. Long Line Kashmir Resistance’.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “want” and “get what they want” are two totally different things … for eg, i ddnt want BJP to come to power on their own in India, they still came …Recommend

  • Jor El

    sheikh abdullah was omar’s grandpa …Recommend

  • BhikhariBasher

    In that case it doesn’t matter. if they don’t want to be part of Hindustan, they can go to their chosen homeland of Pakistan as per the rules of partition. Just like so many mohajirs went to Pakistan. We will be forced to apply those rules quite strictly for trouble mongers.Recommend

  • G. Din

    “… how come the Hurriat are so scared to stand in elections and prove their support?”
    Because one of them did stand for the election – and lost his deposit!Recommend

  • G. Din

    If he wants to blow himself up, why would you want to stop that? Go ahead, make our day!Recommend

  • ab1990

    the real truth is kashmir will never ever be a part of pakistan.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “You did nothing to improve the political situation of Kashmir during your six year rule.”

    Reading what you have written, I will agree with you that he is done nothing to improve the situation for those who consider giving space to chant slogans of Azadi is improvement in situation.

    Also, freedom of speech must be respected in a democracy but not freedom to secede., countries do not accept democracy as a way because they want to get disintegrated.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Living in denials must be eating pancakes.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Sheikh Abdullah was still a hero in Kashmir long after he had advocated Kashmir being a part of India, things changed much later.Recommend

  • Anoop

    There is something called a Hindu press? Hilarious.

    Then you would have no problem giving links from the web.. Please educate us Hindus by quoting the “Hindu press”.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Do you think people in Hindu Majority Jammu or Buddhist majority Ladakh think this is an indian occupation as well?

    Will Pakistan ever admit defeat bu the TTP? If No, why do you expect India to?Recommend

  • Anoop

    You have such great knowledge of Kashmir. I envy you.

    Here was thinking Sheikh Abdullah was Omar’s Grandfather, you educated me that he is actually his Father.

    But, who the is Farooq Abdullah?

    Please enlighten us, oh wise one..Recommend

  • ab1990

    Gaza? wow…..good joke. There are no questions on kashmir. There is one and only answer to every question on kashmir. Kashmir is part of india and those who try to attack india because of kashmir will see the full force of our nukes.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Even people in Hindu majority Jammu and Buddhist majority Ladakh?

    As as far I know 2 out 3 regions in Kashmir is pro India, it’s only an Islamist problem.Recommend

  • abhi

    Sheikh Abdullah was not father of Omar Abdullah.Recommend

  • Ram

    India is very clear on its stance on Kashmir, why is Pakistan flip flopping so many times, few says Kashmir banega Pakistan and some say they support independent Kashmir, who defines Pakistan policy about Kashmir is it Army or civilian rule

    Please do answer why are you in Delhi capital of India when you hate India so much please move to Islamabad for your higher studies.Recommend

  • Gp65

    no one has prevented Hurriyat from contesting. More than 65% people had voted in the election where Abdullah was elected. If his performance is unsatisfactory, vote for someone else this time.Recommend

  • Parvez

    If he puts across his point of view in a blog does it really mean that he hates India ?
    He studies in Delhi under a government scholarship because they allow him to do so……and it is both right and mature of the government to do so.
    Was this comment from you…..or from an imposter ?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Is that.. is that Brad Pitt?Recommend

  • IndianDude

    Dream on!
    You are right! The anti indian kashmiri muslims from the valley DON’T have to be part of HINDUSTAN. They can cross over to the land of pure.
    The muslims from the valley who dream of a better future are welcome to stay back.Recommend

  • IndianDude

    Agree 110%! Please GO!Recommend

  • Sane

    It does not matter Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah or Omar Abdullah. They were and shall remain puppet of Dehli.Recommend

  • Jor El

    U have ur point when u say “It is irrelevant to the Kashmiri muslim what the ordinary Indian thinks”. N as far as ur statement goes “hindus are like stubborn children”, u r entitled to ur opinion n i wont even bother to argue on that as it is irrelevant as far as i am concerned(btw i am not a hindu(religiously speaking)). But i stand by what i said earlier “u dont always get what u want.” For eg, i ddnt want the BJP to come to power on its own, but it did anyway.Recommend

  • Jor El

    A lot of ur statements r not worth even pondering into(i speak only for myself) but what the hell is “Kukuray” … is it a snack(if so, i haven’t heard of it n believe me, i need to taste it asap) …Recommend

  • Parvez

    Naaa….. the cheek bones are not there……..Matt Damon may be.Recommend

  • malik

    So I understand that the part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan is a place of honey and milk.Recommend

  • ab1990

    I dont know why muslims are still living in india if they are not safe here?

    Why do your actors come to india even after gujarat riots and mumbai attacks happened?Recommend

  • Ram

    As an Indian I am really ashamed on how we handled Kashmir, we have to admit this is our biggest failure, few try to blame this on Nehru. As an Indian we need to make this right and bring back normal life in Kashmir. We simply cannot afford bloodshed anymore.

    Having said that separatists make it even harder for there own people. While sitting comfortably in UK Canada, New Delhi in cozy internet cafes and getting best career, they will inspire poor young and uneducated youth to throw stones and get killed by Indian Army. Every young kashmiri killed is a browny point for Pakistan and Separatist as they get to post the mutilated body on facebook and get sympathy from the world.

    Politics is nothing but a business for you guys and you even does not spare your own sacred religion. Politics of religion divided Indian Muslims into three countries and you want to divide them again.Recommend

  • Hueshang Ansari

    Sure you can distort facts. And if the pandits want to live in an insurgency
    then it is up to them. They will not receive any special privileges from the
    Muslims Kashmiris. They will be a hindu minority, among MuslimsRecommend

  • Jor El

    U shud seriously consider changing ur Avatar. It doesn’t do u proper justice at all.

    P.S. The city is spelt Delhi, not Dehli.Recommend

  • Zee

    Hero, only for those who see Kashmir as utootang of india. Bide away, if you people are so proud on so called elections in Kashmir with 65% voter turn out then let the plebiscite be held as per UN resolutions!Recommend

  • Gp65

    They mean Hemant Karkare – the brave police officer who lost his life during 26/11 episode.Recommend

  • third_worldeer

    i know this becoz i am a localRecommend

  • Anoop

    Hurriat people are smart. They know well they don’t stand a chance. They will be out of their jobs if everyone knew how much support they really had.
    Pakistan knows this too.
    Thank God for the Internet. There is a medium to educate Recommend

  • Hameedullah

    I hope it is sarcasm, for your sake!Recommend

  • Jor El

    Thanks GP, was aware of what he/she meant … wanted to hear from the “horse’s” mouth …Recommend

  • Prashant

    Get your facts correct.

    “Hero, only for those who see Kashmir as utootang of india.”

    Sheikh Abdullah was not the Sher-E- Kashmir because India conferred him with this title, he was seen as a man taking a stand against the Raja of Kashmir. It is a different matter though that his grave has to be protected 24*7 by the security forces fearing desecration by his followers of yore.

    1987 was a watershed moment for Kashmir from an indian perspective, the elections were completely rigged and the volcano of anger among the Kashmiris erupted which later on turned into a violent struggle thanks to Pakistani weapons and training and eventually completely taken over by Pak groups. Ever wondered why Hizb ul Mujahideen is not as active in J&K anymore as Jaish and Lashkar ?

    India conducting a referendum in J&K is similar to Pakistan doing the same in Balochistan, it is called hitting an axe on your own foot and hence India would not do it.Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi

    Kashmiris don’t like hindus. They cannot be part of

  • Prashant

    “There is something called a Hindu press? Hilarious.”

    For some, 21st century is a thing of distant future.Recommend

  • Jor El

    Here something to think about:
    The azadi sentiment is confined to the Kashmir valley which is about 15,948 sq. km in area. The Jammu n Ladakh regions have long called for them to be seperated from the valley and be given either UT status or statehood.

    The Kashmiri pandits have called for a homeland in the valley(

    Though I do not support the division of the state on such lines, the point to be pondered about it why shudnt these people get what they want. Recommend

  • gp65

    ET 2nd try – please legt me respond to someone who has writen to me.
    First off, thanks for the benefit of doubt. Perhaps I was not clear about what I said. Let me explain. There are 2 distinct points I sought to make:
    1) I concluded that he hated India based on his tagline. If he thinks India is an occuying force, he should not accept freebies. Gurudeo Rabindranath returned the Knighthood when Jallianwala Bagh happened. Thousands of Indians joined a non–violent civil disobedience movement and went to jail to fight an occupying power. So what is this man from ‘occupied Kashmir’ doing in Delhi on an Indian government scholarship?
    2) Everyone has a right to their own opinions. This does not give them a right to their own facts.Recommend

  • Zee

    Why Balochistan? There is no UN resoultion on Balcohistan but yes there are issues which need to be settled and am glad that some progress is shown by the PK govt and establishment to address the issue.

    Comparing Apples vs. oranges will not give you (india) any fruit as every occupation sooner or later will have to end.

    Moreover, why crying on Pakistan support to Kashmir? We didn’t forget BangladeshRecommend

  • Anoop

    Being a Local doesn’t mean you know the entire truth, which anyway comes from seperatist elements. Neither am I asking you to trust Indian media.
    I am just giving you perspective. In Kashmir, all incidents, even if there is a hint of Security Forces involvement, even if untrue get blown out of proportion.
    Being a local means you hear the word of mouth and/or read the heavily biased seperatist sentiments.
    That doesn’t mean its the truth.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Did you know Shiekh was jailed by Nehru? Why was he jailed if he was Nehru’s puppet?
    Dude, you clearly know nothing about Kashmir, why are you making a fool of yourself?Recommend

  • Sane

    Who lost his life as your security services killed him, Reason… must be knowing.Recommend

  • Sane

    This is not occupied. Azad Kashmir has own President and Prime Minister. This part of Kashmir is not surrounded by 800,000 army personal as in Indian occupied Kashmir. Azad Kashmir does not have en-mass graves of freedom fighters like in Indian occupied Kashmir. There is no place in the world with honey and milk.Recommend

  • Sane

    Kashmiris in India have right of plebiscite as per UN resolution also accepted by India.Recommend

  • Sane

    Very true and correct. This is religious hatred which in killing. All religions have the right to live and must co-exist. If Hindu or Christian killed in Pakistan is as wrong as any Muslim or Christian is killed in India. State of denial shall aggravate this hatred and divide.Recommend

  • Sane

    Muslims are living in India to make another Pakistan. Your mindset and attitude is fueling them.Recommend

  • Sane

    Voters turnout?!! ha….ha….ha.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “Why Balochistan? There is no UN resoultion on Balcohistan …”

    If you are taught something for generations, even wrong becomes right but only for you as the rest of the world does not believe in living in denials.

    Do you really need to have UN resolutions to recognise the suffering of people, since you feel so much for the Kashmiris, why not give the same referendum to Baloch’s as they are also demanding the same.

    Taking moral high ground is difficult business without being unfair to your own.

    “Comparing Apples vs. oranges will not give you (india) any fruit as every occupation sooner or later will have to end.”

    Exactly, the issue is your definition of the word occupation is different to that of the rest of the world.

    “Moreover, why crying on Pakistan support to Kashmir?We didn’t forget Bangladesh”

    You did not forget Bangladesh but neither have you learnt. If you massacre millions on the east of India and want to take moral high ground on the west of India, no one is going to believe in your argument.Recommend

  • Jor El

    Which resolution ? Nbr pls.Recommend

  • Prashant

    That is the problem with many in Pakistan, “It does not matter.”Recommend

  • Parvez

    I can see that you have shut your mind to even try and understand the authors youthful anguish.
    On the subject of ‘ occupying force ‘…..when one sees figures of troops ( regular and nonregular ) one can not help but get that impression.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I did reply but for some odd reason my comments / replies of late are getting lost.
    It seems that you do not agree with the term ‘ occupied Kashmir ‘……..but if looked at dispassionately with the high number of troops ( military and paramilitary ) its difficult to call it otherwise.
    I still think your categorization of this young man as an ‘ India hater ‘ is a bit excessive…….hot blooded may be.
    I would have expected a little more understanding from you.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Thanks Parvez. Most of the military is on the LOC trying to prevent infiltration. The law and order within residential areas is for the most part being maintained by police with support from border security force – which is similar to Rangers in Pakistan. Are you okay with people in Balochistan blogging with tagline Pakistan occupied Balochistan because certainly it has Rangers all over the place. In fact if I am ot wrong, that would also be true of Karachi for close to a year is it not?

    The term Indian occupied Kashmir is used by Pakistan to describe that part of Jammu and Kashmir that India administers. Likewise what Pakistan calls AJK, India calls Pak occupied Kashmir. So his tagline is simiRecommend

  • nust

    I might be blind but he looks like Brad Pitt in a topi ._.Recommend