Stories about kashmir

Shujaat Bukhari: The saner voice in a place where insanity prevails

On Thursday evening, barely a day before Eidul Fitr, senior and most respected journalist Shujaat Bukhari was killed just outside his office in Press Enclave, Srinagar. Bukhari was the editor-in-chief of English daily Rising Kashmir published from Srinagar I was not far away from where the incident occurred. I was in the newsroom, where I along with rest of the staff was working on Friday’s edition of our newspaper when we heard gunshots. Panic gripped us, but one of my colleagues mentioned that it couldn’t have been gunshots, Eid was nearing, and maybe kids were out playing with firecrackers. Thinking ...

Read Full Post

The only thing we want to be free of is the horror that is Azaadi

All around the world, particularly in India and Pakistan, people mostly watch films for entertainment. Films that are smartly written and well directed are always liked by audiences. On the other hand, filmmakers who try to stuff messages in any film without the entertainment quotient usually end up falling flat on their faces. In both Pakistan and India, Eid is always a great occasion to release a film that is backed with some good content and has any known celebrity in it. This Eid has been a busy affair for Pakistan, with multiple domestic releases dominating the conversation. One of ...

Read Full Post

After all, killings of Kashmiri youth do not make it to primetime shows

A week ago, clashes erupted between Indian security forces and protestors just outside the Jamia Masjid Srinagar. What followed was scary, but was not happening for the first time. A police vehicle ran over two young boys; one was seriously injured and the other one, Qaiser Amin Bhat, died of his injuries at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) later on the same day. The incident was not something new; one such incident had already taken place in Srinagar earlier in the month, when a police vehicle ran over a youngster, Adil Ahmad Yadoo, killing him on the spot. Earlier, ...

Read Full Post

How controversial is ‘The Spy Chronicles’?

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, co-authored by former ISI Chief Asad Durrani, former RAW Chief AS Dulat, and journalist Aditya Sinha, has rightly created a buzz around the subcontinent. After all, two former counterparts from rival agencies coming together to compile a book on sensitive issues – especially pertaining to backchannel diplomacy and events relating to security and foreign policy matters – is a unique experience on its own. The book is narrated conversationally, where Sinha initiates the conversation between Durrani and Dulat. It has seven chapters, and each and every one is detail oriented. It ...

Read Full Post

Fry, bake or freeze: These iftar recipes will give delicious and easy a whole new meaning!

For me, fasting is like a reset button. It reminds me that I can still be whole without all the vast amount of consumerism I am involved in every day. It is also a reminder that I can do more with my time, my money, and my life if I wanted to. I can still be happy with little things in life. This Ramazan, I invested my time in a weekend guest lecture for kids from slum areas. While I love my work, sometimes one needs an escape to breathe and get a better perspective on life, and this experience did just ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s insecurity, India’s leverage, and the most generous Indus Waters Treaty

The Indo-Pak relationship has become a byword and a cautionary tale in what nation states must not do when interacting with one another. Whether it is the complex Kashmir issue, cross-border terror, trade issues, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), or even the allegedly “low hanging” and easily resolvable issues of Siachen and Sir Creek, the two countries have been unable to come to terms. In the backdrop of failed agreements, lost opportunities and active sabotage of attempted détentes, one instance of cooperation on a critical issue bucks this trend, and that is the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). The treaty was ...

Read Full Post

Married to an “alien”

The threat of extremism appeared on the horizon about a decade and a half ago, plunging Pakistan into a different kind of war. The Armed Forces, until then, had been concerned with tackling and keeping malicious forces in check at the borders, but now they had a new enemy much closer to home. Each bombing and suicide attack has caused us great pain and we have lost thousands to senseless chaos since then. December 16, 2014 seemed just like another nightmare, but this incident had the entire nation in unparalleled shock. I remember the disbelief as I heard reports of terrorist ...

Read Full Post

Will ‘Azaadi’ be able to aptly capture the dream of a free Kashmir?

The latest offering to come from Lollywood is Azaadi, which circles around the dream of a free Kashmir. Judging by the trailer, the movie is packed with action that will, perhaps to some extent, keep the viewers at the edge of their seats. The cast consists of Moammar Rana, the legendary Nadeem Baig, and young, talented television actresses such as Sonya Hussyn, Mariam Ansari and Erum Azam. Rana plays the role of Azaad, who leaves his home and family behind to become a freedom fighter in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). While the story of the movie, including what compelled Azaad to take this ...

Read Full Post

Want to be a hero in India and get recognition in a movie? Go to IoK and kill a Kashmiri!

Indian democracy comes to weep in Kashmir. The elected government in Srinagar seems to exist just for show, for it is the military which holds all echelons of power and dictates the narrative and future of the valley. The legislature – the elected representative of the people – is seemingly more helpless than the common people of the state. If you hold a protest in the Kashmir valley, it is not taken as democratic dissent; rather, it is automatically viewed as an anti-national act. Your cry for justice is perceived as an act of defiance, and subsequently, a voice for Pakistan. ...

Read Full Post

The perversity of labelling eight-year-old Asifa as ‘the new Nirbhaya’

As India slowly wakes up to the horrors that were inflicted on eight-year-old Asifa Bano in January, collective outrage is gathering steam. New hashtags are trending every day. Horrifying details about the crime are emerging to shake us out of our consciousness. Armchair activists are leading the shout to get justice for Asifa. And rightly so. It is impossible not to be moved to tears after reading the terrible details about the Kathua rape case. From being drugged, to being gang-raped by men who wanted to ‘satisfy their lust’, to being strangled and bludgeoned to death in two horrific attempts, ...

Read Full Post