Monday, January 26, 2009

Tackling the Issue of Unemployment

One of the biggest challenges that the present government of the state is facing is the problem of unemployment of educated youth. Prior to elections almost all political parties had vowed to induct youth into government service with wide ranging promises made by them to employ 70,000 to 4,00,000 youth. However to what extent these tall promises on the pretext of which youth were lured towards electronic voting machines and were made to vote in their favour, would be fulfilled remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, induction into government sector alone is no solution to this problem bereft with very huge dimensions since every year large number of youth with degrees keep coming out of various colleges and universities of the state. Even if a few thousand youth get employed, the problem is likely to surface again in the same proportion after a gap of couple of years. Therefore the solution lies not just in filling up the existing or creating a few thousand fresh vacancies in govt. departments but in following:

1. Industrialization of the State
2. Entrepreneurship development
3. Imparting skill based technical education to the youth
4. Orientation of youth towards self-employment
5. Incentives, huge loans and subsidies to potential investors
6. Luring national and international investors towards the state
7. Development of infrastructure for industrialization
8. Augmention of necessary facilities like power supply, transportation and financial support.
9. Facilities for necessary training and marketing of manufacturing goods.
10.Identification of viable commercial activities and making raw material available.

Some of the investment opportunities as identified by the J&K State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) are as under:

  • Food Processing
    Agro based industries
    Information Technology
    Electronics and precision engineering
    Handloom and handicrafts
    Sericulture and silk industry
    Textiles and readymade garments
    Live stock based industry
    Leather and leather goods
    Sports goods industry
    Processing of gems and Precious Stones
    Selective mining projects and mineral based industry
    Green House (Ladakh)

FICCI has made wide-ranging suggestions to beef up five potential areas of investment, namely, Horticulture, Handicrafts & Handlooms, Tourism, IT and Biotechnology. According to FICCI, Horticulture was the bulwark of rural economy in the State which produces 10 lakh tonnes of apples per annum besides other fruits like pears, cherry, plums, apricots, with an annual turnover of Rs. 300 crore and forex earnings of over Rs. 80 crore annually. To give a boost to investment in Horticulture, FICCI has suggested provision of proper marketing facilities to the cultivators to ensure sustained employment and income, setting of Export Promotion Zones to promote export of items like strawberry, mushroom & cumin seed, promotion of development of growers association that can quantify the quality of the product into Grade A, Grade B, etc, initiatives for development of new varieties of fruits like kiwi fruit, wild apricot, black cherry, broccoli and mushroom and agreement with airlines to transport cargo from Leh, Srinagar & Jammu to centers of consumption like Delhi, Chandigarh & Mumbai.

FICCI has also noted that the Handicrafts & Handloom sector has already proved its worth by its vast employment and revenue generating potential in the State. The sector does not consume scarce resources, nor does it cause pollution and is environment friendly. The investment opportunities, in this sector include setting up of spinning mills to spin bulk quantity of good quality yarn, setting up of dyeing, calendaring and finishing facilities for woolens, and marketing of haute couture items like pashmina shawls and accessories. FICCI has suggested a five-fold approach for this sector: These include improvement in the productivity of weavers through enhancement of skills, introduction of more efficient looms & other related equipment, widening of market access of the handloom products produced in the state through effective marketing, focussing on product diversification and new designs, development of a cluster approach for design development, market assistance & production processes and focusing on brand promotion of the Kashmir handicrafts, product development and holding of exhibitions in international market.

In the field of Tourism, FICCI has stated that J&K was endowed with natural beauty of snow-clad mountains, lakes, streams and rare flora & fauna. While the Hindu shrines in Jammu, the Sufi shrines in Kashmir and the Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh make J&K ideal for Pilgrim Tourism, the State offers other attractions such as adventure tourism, ski tourism, golf tourism, and eco tourism. FICCI has suggested the following:
1. Declare Srinagar airport as an international airport and make it a charter destination
2. Some of the unexplored tourist destinations like Wardwan Valley in Kishtwar, Zanskar Valley, Pangong / Tsomoriri Lakes, Nubra Valley, Gurez, Telel, Bungas can be exploited fully by using feeder air services or even helicopters
3. Gondolas / Cable cars & other Ropeway systems in different tourist areas should be developed as already done in Gulmarg
4. The Patnitop complex needs to be upgarded & refurbished given the large tourist inflows it attracts from the neigbouring states

In Information Technology, FICCI notes that the State has acquired skills in various fields, most prominently in the IT & Engineering sectors. It has over 10,000 highly trained and skilled professionals available for employment, a Software Technology park has already been developed in Srinagar with Central assistance, having adequate bandwidth & connectivity and an Electronic Industrial Estate has been set up at Rajbagh in Srinagar. FICCI’s suggestions in IT include:

1. The talent pool present in the state needs to be groomed – Establish a technical university on the lines of Indian Institute of Information technology (IIIT)
2. Encourage local youth to set up their own units by the provision of soft loans by J&K bank, SIDCO etc
3. Ensure uninterrupted supply of power to the IT units
4. To give a boost to the sector IT can be used in new areas like banking, e-commerce, e-governance etc
5.To attract potential investors like the NRIs, government should open websites giving information about the investment opportunities in the state, tax concessions & various incentives offered, potential markets etc.

In Biotechnology, the chamber notes that J&K was a repository of herbal plants, medicinal plants & genetic materials from high altitude herbs holds immense potential for biotechnology sector and some infrastructure in the state is already present for carrying out R&D, for example, the Agriculture University of Jammu & Kashmir, regional research laboratory & the field research laboratory, Leh. The State also possesses rich reserves of resources such as fruits, medicinal & aromatic plants, forest produce, ornamental plants, livestock etc. To attract investment, in this vital sector, FICCI suggests encouragement to private research initiatives in hybridization, micro-propagation, tissue culture and other biotechnological applications in horticulture to introduce plants which have a short gestation period, development of infrastructure for biotechnology research, promotion of Ladakh region since it provides excellent soil & climate for seed production, and encouragement to the use of biotechnology to introduce new and improved cattle breeds.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Saffron Terrorists wanted to create Hindu Rashtra through treason

Courtesy: Daily Greater Kashmir dated Jan. 23rd, 2009
Mumbai, Jan 22: The MCOCA court will debate the mammoth 4,000 page chargesheet submitted by the Anti-Terrorism Squad on Thursday. The chargesheet reveals radical intentions of creating a Hindu nation and extensive attempts by the saffron terror brigade to network with Israel and Nepal. Suspended Army man Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Swami Dayanand Pandey are allegedly the key perpetrators of saffron terror. According to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) the transcripts of audio video recordings recovered from Dayanand Pandey’s laptop is evidence enough to prove that Purohit had already kicked off efforts to liaison with establishments in Nepal and Israel to set up a separate Hindu rashtra. In a meeting which was attended by Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Dwivedi, Delhi based Dr R P Singh, a Col Bappaditya Dhar, Himani Sawarkar and others, Purohit is seen and heard saying: “I have contacted Israel and one of our captains has been to Israel. There has been a very positive response from their side. They have said show us something on the ground because we have just shown them everything on paper right now. They said wait and watch for six months.”
On behalf of the council of the right wing Hindu extremists, Purohit had even managed to clinch a couple of deals with his counterparts in Israel. The ATS transcripts show Purhit saying: “We asked for four things - continuous and uninterrupted supply of equipmental training, secondly allow us to start our office with a saffron flag in Tel Aviv, number three political asylum and number four support our cause in the United Nations that Hindu nation is born.” At one point Swami Dayanand Pandey is heard saying: “I had told you that day that two people from Israel had come to us. They sat here and talked for a while and whatever it is they promised to cooperate first.”
The transcripts also speak of the group’s plan to seek help from ousted Nepal monarch King Gyanendra. In his conversations with the other accused Purohit explains: “We must understand our requirement. I should tell you that we had a meeting fixed with King Gyanendra for June 24, 2006 and then again on February 13, 2007. We had fixed this meeting on the phone. The transcripts also mentions of Queen Aishwarya’s interest in Hindu fundamentalism and her association with Purohit. Swami Dayanand Pandey: “Who is this queen?” Purohit: “Gyanendra’s wife, the maharani. She is anyway attached to him. We have been in contact with her.” A Nepal army official who is acting as a middleman for Purohit and King Gyanendra, through whom Purohit had almost got a clearance to train cadres in Nepal. Talking in particular to Swami Dayanand Pandey, Purohit says: There is a Col Prajwal who is also a Brigadier in the intelligence. We had fixed a meeting with a lot of difficulty. I had proposed and the king had accepted that 20 of my men will be given officer training every six months. In a year I will get 40 people and 200 of my men will train for jawans. You being an independent nation ask for AKs from Czech republic and we will pay for the ammunition. The king had accepted the proposal. Just imagine if that had happened.”
The transcripts further show that during the meeting, a heated discussion ensued within the group where Retd Major Ramesh Upadhyay announced the last decision. “The thing is that the Constitution that we are following is not and will not be acceptable to us. Another Constitution will come into place, then the Hindu rashtra will be established but till then, it is not there,” Upadhyay stated. The ATS is hoping this evidence will help them secure conviction, even as they have made the other accused - Himani Sawarkar, serving colonel Bappaditya Dhar and Delhi-based Dr R P singh - the key witnesses in the case.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remembering Gow Kadal Massacre

Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dated January 21st, 2009
'Young boy shielded us, braved bullets on his chest’ Hakeem Irfan Srinagar. “Blood-stained bodies were spread all around. I was motionless, pretending as dead so that the troops don’t kill me.” This is how Muhammad Altaf Qureshi recollects the tragic memories of the most bloody military action against protesters Kashmir has ever witnessed since the outbreak of militancy in 1989.

Qureshi, 50, was part of the pro-freedom procession on January 21, 1990 but, Qureshi recounts, the moment the procession reached Gow Kadal, a city interior adjacent to Lal Chowk, cops from India’s Central Reserve Police Force showered bullets leaving at least 50 persons dead many more injured. The procession is said to have been provoked by strict curfew and security restrictions. “I was fortunate enough to live up to this day. I think survived by the grace of Allah so that I could tell the story of that black day to my future generations,” says Qureshi.While the incident is locally called ‘Gow Kadal massacre’, Qureshi believes was the “ultimate example of resilience and commitment people had with their aspirations.”He goes on to reminisce thus: “A trooper was showering bullets from a short distance and one of the youngsters in the procession tried to shield the people, taking all the bullets in his chest. It was bravery beyond one’s imagination,” said Qureshi who was then watching bullets coming out of a carbine.According to Qureshi hundreds of people had marched from Jawahar Nagar and Ikhrajpora, raising slogans in favor of Islam, Freedom and Pakistan came out to defy the curfew and campaign for freedom. “However,” he says “participant did not know where to go. There was no set destination. Some were suggesting going straight to the UN office in Sonwar. But the rest were saying the people from the downtown should join so as to make it more impressive. That is why the procession turned towards the downtown via Gow Kadal.”Recalling finer details of the ‘Gow Kadal Massacre’, Qureshi says some of troops were masked and their gestures would suggest that they wanted to take “revenge”.
“I still remember that masked face of few of the troopers. I still remember the eyes of a trooper. His eyes were full of fury and revenge. I tried to jump in the river with my Kangri (Earthen firepot) but somehow I couldn’t,” says Qureshi adding, “I preferred to remain with the dead bodies of my neighbours and other participants. I knew for sure I will be shot. In the pool of blood, I closed my eyes and remembered my Allah, recited the Kalima and the face of my three- month-old daughter flashed my mind.”He further recollects, “That scene is still intact in my memories. We all were like sack of flesh and bones without any life. The whole Universe seemed to have frozen for nearly an hour,” says Qureshi in an uncomfortable tone, suggesting the pain even after the two decades. Cops of J&K Police, Qureshi says, lifted him and tried to take him to the other place after an hour but he says, “I still pretended to be seriously injured. But in a swift glance I could see women from a distance peeping through alleys, wailing and pleading the troopers for removing the dead and inured bodies.”“I was taken to a nearby fire station by the Police from where I called up my home where my family was waiting for my corpse after hearing the news of the massacre,” says Qureshi with nearly sobbing tone. According the Qureshi people were told to move towards Maisuma through public address systems with their hands up. Locals in Maisuma had started preparing food, eatables and heating systems for the stranded people as the curfew continued even after the incident.Local photo Journalist Mehrajudin has witnessed the dead bodies in the police control room soon after the ‘Massacre’. He says, “It was a gory scene. Troopers were crossing over the dead bodies probably for recognition. But I broke down into tears. Every body tried to console but to no effect. After that no tragedy made me so emotional.”Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had also erected a plaque in memory of the people who died in the incident.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Unemployment in Kashmir and the Enigma of Indian Economic Packages

India has been pursuing its policy of what the economists term as a "DEPENDENCE SYNDROME" in Kashmir. India has been funding us in a very tactful manner over the years. They invest in areas like hydroelectricity which will ultimately benefit none else than India itself or else in opening new Anganwadi Centres whose workers have to ultimately rely on centre for their petty salaries. Their game plan is to keep Kashmiris always dependent upon central funds. They don't let us stand upon our own feet, they don't let us generate our own income and income for our brethren too by opening our own manufacturing units. They provide us crores in the form of wages but nothing much for our industrialization and economic self-reliance. That is the reason why most of our youth are unemployed and craving for government employment because there are hardly any opportunities in private sector.

Here are a few details regarding various much hyped, high profile economic packages announced by the central govt for Kashmiris in the past. Present Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, unveiled a Rs. 24,000 crore “package” for J&K in 2004. A huge chunk of the Rs 24,000 crore - totaling Rs. 18000 crore - was actually meant to be spent by the Government of India through National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to “improve transmission and distribution (T&D) systems in the State. Out of the Rs 18000 crore a big chunk was spent on the construction of Uri II and Kishenganga Power Projects – both in the central sector. The remaining amount of Rs. 6000 crores was to be used for paying salaries of Anganwadi workers since the 2004 “package” had also envisaged creation of 24,000 new jobs including 14000 caretaker jobs of Anganwadi (ICDS) centres, 5000 jobs in CRPF and 5000 in India Reserve Battalion (IRB). Let us do not forget that the “package” provided for financial assistance for only one year for these jobs and from the second year it was the State government that has been paying for all these jobs.

Same has been the fate of Rs. 6165 crore “package” announced by India’s former Prime Minister – Mr. Vajpayee that included 287-km Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramullah rail line at a cost of Rs 3500 crore and Nimu Zangal-Padam-Darcha Road linking to Manali-Sarchu Road at a cost of Rs.195 crore. Remember the project was to be executed by the Border Roads Organisation (Ministry of Defence) and Ministry of Surface Transport for defence purposes. The basic problem with these packages is that they do not help create a decent industrial and services base in J&K which could raise jobs and also government’s tax revenues. Therefore the economic packages announced by the GOI from time to time have proved to be packages of deceit since they have in no way helped our economy grow but have rather proved to be a tool to reinforce Indian occupation in Kashmir.

On April 8th, 2008, President of the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Sh. Venugopal N Dhoot while releasing the ASSOCHAM special publication on ‘Jammu & Kashmir: Striving for Industrial Revolution’ at a press conference held at Jammu urged the central government in presence of then Chief Minister of J&K, Ghulam Nabi Azad to extend a special package of Rs. 5000 crore to improve the necessary infrastructure so that investment flows towards Jammu and Kashmir fastens both in value and volumes from domestic and overseas industries. Dhoot requested the Union government, to allocate the suggested package to the state of Jammu and Kashmir through the Planning Commission. According to this study, the most promising areas in which Jammu and Kashmir can attract outside investments include food processing- agro-based industries, floriculture, handicrafts, leather processing and leather goods, besides sports, forest-based industry, processing of aromatic plants and herbs, pharmaceuticals based on herbs, bulk drugs, hosiery and made-ups. The state also offers immense business opportunities in hydropower generation, handloom and handicraft exports, gems & jewelry and development of tourism. Given the rich heritage and availability of required skills in gems & jewellery, the state offers to be a promising hub for the industry.

Particulalry in reference to hydro potential, Jammu and Kashmir’s hydel potential is estimated to be about 15,000 megawatt of which only four per cent has been harnessed as the state only generates over 600 megawatt of hydro power. The Central Electricity Authority has already approved two hydroelectric power generating projects. The state has also cleared the setting up of about 12 mini hydel plants. What is needed is their immediate execution. The study projected investments in about more than a dozen identified areas, job opportunities to the extent of 25 lakh youths with export potential of Rs 13,000 crore by 2012. In food processing and agro based industries, investment potentials for 2012 is estimated to be Rs.3000 crore with its export potential of Rs.2000 crore. This sector alone is going to create livelihood for state’s three lakh people. The Kashmir valley also holds the opportunity to become a destination for adventure sports like trekking, mountaineering, water skiing and river-rafting. While places like Ladakh will be the ideal destination for trekking and mountaineering, rivers like Beas, Indus, Sutlej and Kali Ganga will be best suited for river rafting, the study reveals further. It is also recommended that the state should create a Jammu & Kashmir Export Promotion Force to tap the potential international markets by way of opening up of various strategic and marketing offices in the metropolis and industrial cities of India and world to promote its exports. The state has the potential to export Rs 13,000 crore worth of goods in the next five years. The potential sectors for export include processed food, fruit juice concentrate, leather products, handicrafts, and silk, herbs and herbal products, honey, welding electrodes, pesticides, floriculture, sports goods, forest based products, gems and jewellery, and electronics.

Jammu and Kashmir stands amongst the top five smaller states in various developmental and infrastructural indicators and holds third rank in electricity generation, labour cost per worker, and number of technical institutes. It also ranks fourth in infrastructure expenditure amongst the smaller states and has fifth rank in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and number of primary schools in the state. Whereas the state has the sixth rank in female labour participation, has seventh rank in fiscal deficit. It ranks eigth in total investments, highest number of industrial workers. According to per capita SDP growth, the state ranks eleventh, and growth in manufacturing employment it ranks thirteenth. By reviving the state’s tourism industry, it can re-establish unemployed youths, through creation of infrastructure facilities such as modern bus and rail services and if feasible air services also. Foreign and domestic tourists could be attracted for the picturesque beauty, and the large natural lakes, snow clad mountains surrounded by thickly populated pine forests could make Jammu and Kashmir a prime tourist destination in the world. The state government should adopt the methods of successful tourism destinations like Switzerland and other European union countries.

Agriculture is predominant sector in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. Directly and indirectly, it supports about 80 per cent of the population besides contributing nearly 60 per cent of the state revenue. Further, state government should plan for higher production and productivity of each major cereal in order to achieve an annual agricultural growth rate of three to four per cent. The state government should also provide adequate training to farmers about the use of modern technology in agriculture. One important aspect for the increase in productivity is the adequate credit to the farmers, which is not significant in the state. The state should initiate this through the nationalised banks, so that the cultivators get adequate finance on credit for agricultural development. The state government should also adopt a suitable crop insurance scheme. By adopting these initiatives, it would further strengthen the confidence of the farmers. The government should also provide infrastructure to private investors to set up agriculture and biotechnology research institutes as the state has the potential for the cultivation of medicinal plants for natural health care. The state has extensive inland water bodies, particularly in the valley, which provide excellent habitat for almost any kind of temperate fish.

To counter the monster of unemployment, our higher education needs to be more professional and industry oriented. We have to enable our pupil to earn degrees that are saleable in the free economy markets and capable of facing the challenges of globalization. Our MCAs and MBAs get some or the other job, but most of our M.Scs M.Coms and M.As suffer on account of lack of professional skills. We need to impart graduate and post-graduate level professional courses in our higher education institutions like colleges and universities. Unplanned explosion of education and opening up new colleges and universities without adequate infrastructure, faculty and other facilities in place, that has been the hallmark of the previous regime has to be done away with. Most importantly India has to shun its policy of "Dependency" in Kashmir and allow, promote and foster liberal industrialization besides entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship development courses have to be offered to our general science, commerce and arts graduates in sectors like tourism developement, herbal drug cultivation, food processing, electronics and communication technology, modern agricultural, floricultural and horticultural practices etc. We need to open more and more institutes of technology and impart technical courses at grad and post grad level to our budding entrepreneurs.

Present government has to develop an ambience of industrial development and entrepreneurship. It has to get rid of hurdles and hiccups existing at present in the way of entrepreneurship development. It has to lure national and international investors and open up vistas for their manufacturing bases in the valley. That is the key to solving our problem of unemployment. All other measures like economic packages, recruitment in police forces and other depts will be just a cosmetic treatment to the problem. The gross domestic product (GDP) or gross domestic income (GDI) is one of the measures of national income and input for a given country's economy. GDP is defined as the total cost of all finished goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time (usually a 365-day year). It is sometimes regarded as the sum of profits added at every level of production (the intermediate stages) of all final goods and services produced within a country in a stipulated timeframe, and it is rarely given a monetary value.

At the state level, the growth performance of the state economy is measured using Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), which is the total income of the economy. The per capita income in J&K state is estimated at Rs 16,000. This level of per capita income is lower than the All India level of Rs 23,000. The gross state domestic product (GSDP) stood at $5.57 billion in 2005-06 amounting to about 5.5 billion dollars. The share of the state's income (GSDP) in total national income (GDP) is a meager 0.70% which desperately needs to grow up a lot in all three sectors – primary (comprising agriculture and livestock, forestry and logging, fi shing, mining and quarrying), secondary (comprising manufacturing, construction and electricity, gas and water supply) and tertiary (comprising trade, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financial services, real estate and related services, public administration and other services).
For a greater insight about the avenues where vast employment opportunities exist in the Kashmir valley which if fostered and promoted can greatly address our problem of unemployment, it is suggested to see the suggestions made by FICCI as the first comment this post.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On Raising Day, RR gifts liquor to students

Police confirms complaints, Army denies charge
Courtesy Daily Rising Kashmir News Jammu dated January 12th, 2008
Jan 11: Army has sparked off a major controversy by distributing wine bottles as ‘gift’ to the school children including girls, who had participated in the “National Anthem Singing Competition” on the Raising Day of 43 Rashtria Rifles at Thanmandi in Poonch district.
Sources said that 43 Rashtriya Rifles organized Raising Day at Thanamandi in border district of Rajouri on Saturday. The residents and children of various schools of the area were invited to participate in sports and cultural events.They said that some of the students were engaged by the army to participate in Ring Competition Game in which a student had to aim on ‘wine bottle’ from the ring. “The successful students, who managed to hit the target, were handed over the same bottle as reward for their performance. Some students were given packed wine as an award for participating in the event,” they said.Sources further said the students, who won “National Anthem singing competition” were also given wine bottles as reward by the army officers. “At total of 20 students including 11 girls were given the wine bottles,” they said.They further claimed that even some citizens, who were invited as guests, were also given wine bottles by the army.Displaying the wine bottles to Rising Kashmir, a student Sakina Kousar said that she got ‘this award’ from army in a packing. “When I opened the packing, I found ‘Golden Eagle’ wine bottle”, she said. Sakina along with Rubeena Raina, Imtiyaz and Nazir have received wine bottles as award for their outstanding performance in singing national anthem of India “Jana Gana Mana”. Imtiyaz said that he did not open the packing on the spot. “When I opened it in the home, I found ‘Golden Eagle’ wine bottle,” he said.Following the episode, senior residents of the area organised a meet and strongly condemned the distribution of wine bottles among the students. Muslim United Front Chairman Shafkat Wani said that he himself has seen these wine bottles in the hands of the students. “We have kept these bottles with us in which CSD is clearly mentioned”, he said adding, “We have decided to observe complete bandh on Monday and stage protests on Friday”.Demanding that army should take action against the erring soldiers, he urged the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to take up the matter with army chief, General Deepak Kapoor.When contacted, Station House Officer Police Station Thanamandi Ashiq Khan said that he has also received the complaints. However, army spokesman for Northern Command, F M Acharya denied that wine bottles were gifted to the students during an army function. “It was an excursion-cum-awareness program in which villagers and children participated. No wine bottles were distributed among the children or villagers,” he said.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kashmiris remember day of self-determination right

Kashmiris have remembered on Monday United Nations' resolution on the self-determination right in 1949.
Monday, 05 January 2009 16:58
World Bulletin / News Desk
Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observed the Right of Self-determination Day, today, to remind the world that the UN resolutions on Kashmir remained unimplemented for more than six decades now. It was on this day in 1949, that the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution, acknowledging Kashmiris' right of self-determination and giving them the right to decide their future by themselves. Kashmiri leaders adressed a seminar on the resolution, Kashmiri Media Service reported. Leaders maintained that Kashmiris have been offering unparalleled sacrifices for their right to self-determination and these sacrifices would not be allowed to go waste. A resolution passed on the occasion urged the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon to implement the UN resolutions on Kashmir. A procession was taken out in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar, which was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Rajbagh. The party leaders reaffirmed Kashmiris' resolve to continue the liberation struggle till its logical conclusion. In Islamabad, the APHC-AJK held a demonstration in front of the United Nations Observers' office, which was led by Syed Yousaf Naseem. The Executive Director of Kashmir Centre Washington, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai addressing a seminar and the Chairman of Kashmir Centre Brussels, Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo in a statement maintained that peace would elude South Asia until the people of Jammu and Kashmir were given the right to decide their fate by themselves. On the other hand, two Indian troops were injured in a clash in Mendher, which continued for the fifth consecutive day, today. A Kashmiri leader, Zafar Akbar Butt has stressed that the solution of Kashmir issue is possible only by implementing the United Nations resolutions, which promised right to self-determination to people of Kashmir. Zafar Akbar Butt in a statement in Srinagar, said, "The durable, fair and firm solution of the disputed Kashmir is possible only through the UN resolution and necessary for establishing peace in South Asia." Indian troops killed more than 50 Kashmiris and wound around 1000 in pro-independence protest since July. India deployed thousands of troops across Kashmir. Kashmiris were offenly imposed curfew. Human right grous have criticised Indian violence during protests.