Stories about Jammu and Kashmir

The dangers of being a journalist in Kashmir

Earlier this week, Kashmiri journalist Gowhar Geelani was charged by the police in Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly “indulging in unlawful activities through his posts and writings on social media”. This was just the latest in a slew of attacks unleashed against press freedom in Kashmir; reporter Peerzada Ashiq and photojournalist Masrat Zahra are also facing charges for their “factually incorrect” news story and “anti-national” social media posts respectively. Evidently, the facts mentioned in Ashiq’s story clearly did not go down well with the authorities since he highlighted a critical issue of one region reaping undue benefits at the cost of a marginalised region. Hence, the ...

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How will the new domicile law impact Kashmir?

Kashmir has always been special. As Thomas Moore noted, “Who has not heard of the Vale of Cashmere, with its roses the brightest the earth ever gave. Its temples and grottos and fountains as clear as the love-lighted eyes that hang over their wave.” The fame of Kashmir has spread far beyond the lofty Himalayan peaks. Yet, despite all the admiration the region has received, it seems that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have always been disdained. With each passing year, people are losing their fundamental rights in Kashmir while the world turns a blind eye towards them, despite repeated complaints ...

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Kashmir is not equipped to deal with COVID-19

Despite the alarming spread of COVID-19 across the globe for months, several nations with high population densities, like India, failed to enact timely preventive measures. On March 24th, Narendra Modi ordered 1.3 billion Indians to self-isolate and announced a nationwide lockdown. This followed his earlier plea for Indian citizens to clap for healthcare workers in the country, saying it would serve as a, “symbol of our effort, of our self-restraint and our resolve to fulfill our duty in service of the nation.”  This resulted in a cacophonous din of clapping from balconies across the country, something which has widely been criticised ...

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The problem with Iran’s statement on Delhi’s anti-Muslim violence

At the expense of sounding morbid, one can say India’s state-abetted anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi earlier this month presented an opportunity for Iran. In the context of downward trends in Indo-Iran ties in recent times, the potential for Iran to establish its credentials as a Muslim power in South and West Asia through a strong stance on India’s brazen anti-Muslim policies has risen considerably. However, Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statement on the Delhi pogroms failed to build upon strong rhetoric from Iranian state clerics last August when India annexed occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It, in fact, has harmed Iran’s thus-far ...

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What does Hafiz Saeed’s arrest mean for Pakistan?

In a recent development, Hafiz Saeed, the head of the proscribed Jamat-ud-Dawah, has been sent to prison for five and a half years by the anti-terrorist court in Lahore. Naturally, this news quickly made it to the the headlines across the globe since Saeed’s name is included in the list of banned terrorists by the United States (US) and United Nations (UN). Saeed is also wanted by India for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. But one cannot understand the impact of Saeed’s arrest if one is unaware of exactly what Saeed has been up to for all these years. Saeed ...

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Erdoğan’s Pakistan trip comes at a crucial juncture for both the countries

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is due to visit Pakistan tomorrow, February 13th, for a two-day visit. Erdoğan’s trip is timely for both countries. Turkey is in the middle of a crisis with Syria, where the Syrian government-led forces have attacked Turkish troops in their quest to retain the remaining territory from the opposition forces; with Erdoğan stating that Syria will “pay a very, very heavy price” for the attacks. Similarly, Turkey also deployed its forces in Libya in early January this year to support Fayez al-Sarraj’s government against the eastern opposition led by General Khalifa Hifter. Hence Turkey’s ambitions to remain a regional power ...

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Will Imran Khan regret skipping the Kuala Lumpur Summit?

The flawed gains-and-losses calculus of Imran Khan’s PTI government recently produced what may well be the most aberrational and peculiar foreign policy decision by any country this year. Imran cancelled his attendance of the Kuala Lumpur Summit (which he himself reportedly jointly proposed with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mahathir bin Mohamad months ago) after visiting Saudi Arabia – who along with key allies shunned the event – and asking for a $5 billion rollover loan. Regardless of erratic attempts by some to use Mahathir’s politically-correct ‘assurances’ that the Summit was not meant to ‘compete’ with rival powers to downplay the capitulation to the Saudis by ...

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India’s Kashmir propaganda: A leaf out of Israel’s book – Part 1

This article is the first in a two part series which adopts a historical perspective in order to analyse just how closely India’s actions in Kashmir over the years have mirrored Israel’s policies in Palestine.  ~ Merely comparing the human-rights situation hasn’t ever sufficed, so let’s get down to the serious comparisons. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading India is clearly fond of Israel, but India, regardless of its ruling party, has been close to Israel in strategic terms for a long time. From Israeli support to India in wars against Pakistan to India’s status as Israel’s largest weapons market, Indo-Israeli ties are very ...

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Maleeha Lodhi: Spilling tea with the architect of Pakistan’s diplomatic coup at the UN

On a bright Sunday morning, right after Pakistan managed to raise the Kashmir issue at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting – despite India throwing everything and the kitchen sink to stop it – we sat down for a conversation with UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi at her official residence on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We unpacked how Pakistan managed to orchestrate the UNSC meeting after five decades, what’s next for Pakistan at the UN, and what a typical day in her life looks like during these extraordinary times. “The fact that the UNSC meeting took place showed that ...

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Why repealing Article 35A will bring unmanageable chaos for India

In 2014, the non-governmental organisation ‘We the Citizens’ attracted a large audience when it filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India questioning the validity of Article 35A. This was not the first time this article was questioned in court. It was also brought into the spotlight when Dr Charu Wali Khanna, a Kashmiri Pandit woman by ancestry, filed a petition to change the constitutional provision of Article 35A. She wanted succession rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), despite being adjusted outside the state. Since then, this article’s hearing has been postponed by the court, considering how this ...

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