Monday, July 25, 2016

India-Occupied Kashmir Uprising; Azad Kashmir Polls; RNC Convention; Qandeel Baloch

Why are Kashmir’s young men and women in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK) leading a massive uprising against Indian occupation of their land? Is Pakistan inciting them? Can this new generation of tech-savvy freedom-fighters be suppressed by 700,000 Indian soldiers deployed in IOK making it the world’s most heavily militarized occupation? Will Modi’s India finally listen to the voices of reason from within India to deal with the alienation of Kashmiri youths? Is it time to revive the Musharraf Formula that brought India and Pakistan very close to a deal in 2007?

Why did the ruling AJK PPP get wiped out in Azad Kashmir elections? And why did Imran Khan’s PTI fail to get much traction? How did Nawaz Sharif’s PMLN manage to sweep the polls there?

How did the Republican National Convention go in Cleveland Ohio? Did the RNC achieve its goals of uniting the party and reaching out to independents and Democrats? Did Donald Trump’s  "Messianic" convention speech help or hurt him?

Could Qandeel Baloch, also known as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, even be imagined in conservative Pakistan just a few years ago? Doesn’t the fact that she existed is in itself a sign of a social revolution sweeping Pakistan today? How will Pakistan protect its young women who are leading this social revolution?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discuses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

The Trump Phenomenon

Qandeel Baloch Leading Social Revolution

Kashmir in Context

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel


Nasir said...

Hardly any Muslim Majority country besides Pakistan has condemned India. At the UN no one is interested in Pakistani narrative on Kashmir. Wani is a terrorist on the UN list of terrorists. The position of US is Pakistan is not taking care of the terror problem it has and is duplicitous while it wants to control and have J&K which it will never have.

Riaz Haq said...

Nasir: "Hardly any Muslim Majority country besides Pakistan has condemned India. At the UN no one is interested in Pakistani narrative on Kashmir. Wani is a terrorist on the ..."

Nobody believes the Indian government narrative on Kashmir. Even Indian politicians and public are questioning it.

The Indian hold on Kashmir is becoming more and more tenuous as the new generation of Kashmiris refuses to accept Indian military occupation.

Riz Khan said...

Introspection and criticism within India is a sign of a mature democracy and a confident state much unlike Pakistan. While I was in Pakistan and still today no one dares to say anything critical about the Military-Mullah power structure.

Riaz Haq said...

Riz Khan: "While I was in Pakistan and still today no one dares to say anything critical about the Military-Mullah power structure."

You talk of a different India and Pakistan that I know today.

There's much more vibrant and vigorous debate in Pakistan than there is in India.

Just watch and compare Arban Goswami with Hamid Mir and you'll see the difference.

Except for The Hindu, the rest of major Indian newspapers are in Modi's pocket.

Read the following to see how Noam Chomsky and others compare Indian and Pakistani media:

Riaz Haq said...

How does the #Indian media toe the government line to define a terrorist? #Kashmir #BurhanWani … via @Kashmir Monitor

On July 10, India woke up to startling pictures of massive crowds at the funeral of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in Tral, Kashmir.
The disconnect between Kashmir and the rest of India was captured by the fact that even as Wani was a figure of mass adulation in the Valley, large sections of the Indian media had described him as a “terrorist” as it had reported on his killing by Indian security forces on July 8.
This included the Times of India, Times Now as well as NDTV – even as the Telegraph, Indian Express and Business Standard stuck to the plain vanilla “militant”.
How these respective organisations differentiated between a “terrorist” and a “militant” was unclear and undefined.
This might seem like hair splitting around semantics but it’s actually far deeper than that – even if this is a discussion that’s not been had in India.

“Terrorism” and “terrorist” are words laden with value judgment, used often by political players as a means of getting their own message and viewpoint across. In reality, there are few definitions of the word “terrorist” accepted across the board. Indeed, it is for this reason that a number of global publications have strict guidelines on how to use the term. In India, however, few press outlets seem to have rules about the T-word and much of its use in the country, it seems, is driven either by Arnab Goswami-esque jingoism and/or India’s highly troubled relationship with Kashmir.

There are few words in the English-language which have had as tumultuous a life as “terrorism”. In fact, the word didn’t even start its life in English but in French where the regime de la terreur was a label adopted by the new French state to establish order after the first uprisings of the French Revolution in 1789. The first avatar of the word “terrorism” was therefore almost completely different from its modern meaning.


“Terrorism” is, of course, exactly the sort of “meaningless word” that Orwell railed against, used not for its lexical meaning but to serve various political agendas.
In most cases, the Indian media uses it either to suit the purposes of the state or various nationalist narratives. The sharp difference between the way it is used when Muslims/Kashmir are involved versus other instances such as the North-East also points to a subtle anti-Muslim bias.

Riaz Haq said...

Dystopian Novel Challenges Misogyny As 'The Natural Way Of Things' by Charlotte Wood as reviewed by NPR's John Powers:

"Wood is clearly offering a metaphor for our own everyday world in which girls are "slut-shamed," rape victims get accused of bringing the violence on themselves, female celebrities are threatened sexually online and, at the outer limit, women are actually murdered in the name of honor, as recently happened to the Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch who was killed by her brother for dishonoring her family."

Novelists have always put their heroines through awful ordeals. But over time, these tribulations change. Where the 19th Century was filled with fictional women trapped in punishing marriages — think of Middlemarch or The Portrait of a Lady — today's heroines face trials that are bigger, more political, and more physically demanding. They fight in hunger games.

This fight takes a different form in The Natural Way of Things, a ferocious new novel by the Australian Charlotte Wood whose writing recalls the early Elena Ferrante — it's tough, direct, and makes no attempt to be ingratiating.

Set in a dystopian backwater, her short, gripping book begins as an allegory of thuggish misogyny then evolves into a far stranger and more challenging feminist parable.

The first chapters plunge us into a dusty, desolate prison camp deep in the outback. The prisoners, we learn, are 10 young women whose crime, so to speak, is to have been involved in sex scandals, from sleeping with a priest, to engaging in a cruise-ship orgy, to giving sexual favors to the judge of a talent show.

Now pariahs, they've been drugged and kidnapped, dressed in rough, ratty clothes, and sent off to do hard, pointless labor. Surrounded by electric fencing and cackled at by kookaburras, they are being systematically degraded.

With such a set-up, Wood is clearly offering a metaphor for our own everyday world in which girls are "slut-shamed," rape victims get accused of bringing the violence on themselves, female celebrities are threatened sexually online and, at the outer limit, women are actually murdered in the name of honor, as recently happened to the Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch who was killed by her brother for dishonoring her family.

All these cases remind us that female sexuality, and the bullying attempt to control it, remain dangerously volatile flashpoints in almost every culture.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Kashmir issue is no longer discussed as much and as forcefully as it was done befor Sep 11 2001? Today only Syria and Iraq makes internationals headlines followed by Islamic terrorism against western targets.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Why is it that Kashmir issue is no longer discussed as much and as forcefully as it was done befor Sep 11 2001?"

It's about to change as a new generation of Kashmiris rises up against the Indian occupation. Like the Palestine issue, the Kashmir issue is not going away. It'll continue to be in your face as long as it remains unresolved.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq, Nehru’s treachery, not only with Kashmiris but with others is well known. The fact is that Nehru till August 14th, 1947 was a freedom fighter. But on August 15th, 1947 he became an imperialist. He lied, cheated, bullied and invaded independent nation to create the modern day neu-imperialist empire of India. Frankly speaking the only difference between him and Churchill is that Churchill was trying to preserve the empire and Nehru was trying to create one. Churchill failed and Nehru succeeded. South Asia is now paying for the Nehru’s success.

G. Ali

Riaz Haq said...

#Facebook is censoring posts on #Indian-Occupied #Kashmir. #India #Pakistan #BurhanWani

NEW DELHI — Film makers, activists and journalists accused Facebook of blocking their accounts this week after they posted messages and images related to the violence in the trouble-torn province of Kashmir.

In recent weeks, the India-administered, Muslim-majority Kashmir state has been facing violence and curfews after protests erupted against the killing of a popular leader of a terrorist group.

As people posted images, videos and stories about police violence and people injured by pellet wounds on Facebook, some discovered their accounts were disabled.

On Monday, the account of Arif Ayaz Parrey, an editor with an environmental magazine in New Delhi, was disabled for more than a day. He administers the Facebook account of a discussion group called the Kashmir Solidarity Network, whose page was also removed.

“The Kashmir Solidarity page was started by a Kashmiri anthropology student in New York. This is not a hate forum, we share stories,” Parrey said.

More than 47 people have died and hundreds injured in angry clashes between the police and protesters in Kashmir this month, the worst outbreak of bloody violence in six years in the region claimed by both India and neighboring Pakistan.

Authorities banned newspapers for four days and restored cellphone service on Wednesday after it was out for 20 days.

“Our Community Standards prohibit content that praises or supports terrorists, terrorist organizations or terrorism, and we remove it as soon as we’re made aware of it,” said a Facebook spokesman in India. “We welcome discussion on these subjects but any terrorist content has to be clearly put in a context which condemns these organizations or their violent activities.”

India and the United States topped the list of governments that request Facebook for details of accounts in the second half of 2015.

India has more than 340 million mobile Internet users and has the second largest number of Facebook users after the United States. The company is seeking to expand its footprint here by introducing a pared down version called “Free Basics.” But earlier this year, New Delhi shot it down, saying service providers cannot charge discriminatory prices for Internet users.

A journalist in Kashmir said that many who shared stories about a new band of militants and videos of police brutality have been blocked.

“It looks more like Facebook censorship rather than something initiated by the government. Maybe they are trying to please the government proactively,” said Sunil Abraham, executive director of Center for Internet and Society. “Nevertheless it will have a chilling effect. You will think twice before exercising free speech on Facebook now.”

Ather Zia, a political commentator from Kashmir who teaches anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado, said after her account was disabled on Tuesday: "It is safe to assume creating awareness for Kashmir using social media or writing about the ground reality is under severe threat."

Meanwhile, users struggled to restore their accounts on Wednesday as they uploaded new documents requested by the company.

“I use my Facebook account not as a personal page to tell people about my last haircut or last holiday. I use it for work, I share media stories about whatever bothers me in the universe,” said Sanjay Kak, a documentary film maker whose account was disabled Tuesday. “Nothing I shared can be considered inflammatory or incendiary.”

Anonymous said...

I guess kashmir needs its own Tieman Square. India can take a leaf out of Chinese rulebook. That Burhan's funeral was a great opportunity wasted. All the terrorist sympathiser were in one place a tank column would have been pretty effective.

Anonymous said...

sweta said...

Enough discussions on the Kashmir situation in India by Indians themselves for the world to witness. Therefore no one cares what Pakistan has to say - it's not their country anyway.

Riaz Haq said...

sweta: "Enough discussions on the Kashmir situation in India by Indians themselves for the world to witness. Therefore no one cares what Pakistan has to say - it's not their country anyway."

I wonder why the Kashmiris chant "Kashmir Banega Pakistan" and wave Pakistani flags in every rally in Indian occupied Kashmir.

And I wonder why India needs 700,000 soldiers to put down the Kashmiris.

Riaz Haq said...

#India TV news anchor #BarkhaDutt slams #Arnab Goswami, says 'ashamed to be from same industry as him' @firstpost

Barkha Dutt on Wednesday took to social media to slam Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for his brand of journalism. The outrage was triggered apparently because Arnab in his prime time Newshour Debate on 26 July, which also happened to be Kargil Diwas, had called other Indian news channels sympathisers of terrorists and "pro-Pakistan". Not relenting at that he even sought stringent punishment for those "pro-Pakistan" media houses.

Reacting to this on air ferocity from the Times Now edit wing boss, Barkha Dutt, in a strongly-worded Facebook post, said, "I am ashamed to be from same industry as him."
Read the full post here:

Taking strong exception to the #ProPakistanDoves term used by Arnab for journalists, Barkha questioned his silence on Jammu and Kashmir alliance agreement that commits the BJP and PDP to talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat. She also called Arnab out on his silence on Narendra Modi's "outreach" programme to Pakistan.
Barkha also expressed "disgust" over media being silent on Arnab's allegations:
"Imagine, a journalist actually exhorts the government to shut down sections of the media, misrepresents them as isi agents and terror sympathisers, calls for them to be tried and acted against. And our fraternity remains locked into politically correct and timid silence."
Slamming Arnab for his hypocrisy, Barkha dubs him a chamcha and says:
What's striking is his brazen and cowardly hypocrisy. So he drones on and on about Pro Pakistan Doves without one word on the JK alliance agreement that commits the BJP and PDP to talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat and is silent on Modi's own Pakistan outreach- neither of which I object to- but since Arnab Goswami measures patriotism by such views why is he so silent on the government? Chamchagiri?
Arnab Goswami was caught in a controversy in May, after he called Tehelka journalist, Asad Ashraf, a cover for Indian Mujajideen. Ashraf was a guest speaker in Arnab's Newshour, which was discussing the Batla encounter.

r_sundar said...

Pakistan will never get Kashmir territory, period!!
If Pakistan is so worried about "people", it should first repatriate millions of Pakistani's left behind in Bangladesh, who want to come back.

Riaz Haq said...

r_sundar: "Pakistan will never get Kashmir territory, period!!"

Who gave you the right to make this decision for the Kashmiri people? Shouldn't the people of the region make that decision through a plebiscite as agreed to and promised by India's founding father Nehru? And the international community as expressed through multiple UN resolutions?

Riaz Haq said...

Azadi (Freedom) for #Kashmir by Arundhati Roy. #India #Pakistan #BurhanWani

The people of Kashmir have made it clear once again, as they have done year upon year, decade upon decade, grave upon grave, that what they want is azadi. (The “people”, by the way, does not mean those who win elections conducted in the rifle sights of the army. It does not mean leaders who have to hide in their homes and not venture out in times like these.)
While we denounce—as we must—the gunning down of unarmed protesters by the security forces, the attacks on ambulances and hospitals by policemen, and the blinding of teenagers with pellet guns, we have to keep in mind that the real debate cannot only be about the violation of human rights by Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley. Egregious though they are, those violations are the consequence—the inevitable and unavoidable consequence—of the militaristic suppression of a people’s struggle for freedom. Kashmiris are not fighting for the establishment of the rule of law or an end to human rights violations. They are fighting for azadi. For this, they are prepared to face down bullets with stones. For this, they are prepared to die in numbers. For this, they are prepared to exhibit acts of open defiance that may lead to their death or incarceration in the most densely militarised zone in the world. For this, they are prepared to take to arms, to fight to the death, knowing full well that they will die young. They have proved that with tragic regularity. They have been nothing if not consistent.


If there is to be a solution to this terrible, seemingly endless tragedy, we have to be able to think clearly, speak freely and listen fearlessly to things we may not want to hear. We have to find a new imagination. This applies to everybody, on all sides of the dispute.
Something beautiful could come of it. Why not? Why ever not?

r_sundar said...

NO. A liberty of the citizen is not unlimited.
Hypothetically speaking, in the future, some section of Fremont with its large Muslim population might become a Muslim majority city or county. On that clause, they decide they have to become a separate country following Sharia law.
See how the US government reacts...

Riaz Haq said...

r_sundar: "NO. A liberty of the citizen is not unlimited."

Citizen? Citizen of what country? Did the Kashmiris choose to be citizens of India?

Do the firm commitments made by India's top leaders like its founding father Nehru to the people of Kashmir and the world have any value?

The continued Indian occupation of Kashmir is neither legal nor moral. It's illegal because it violates security council resolutions 47(1948) of 21 April, 1948, 51(1948) of 3 June, 1948, 80 (1950) of 14 March, 1950 and 91(1951) of 30 March, 1951, that are binding on all UN member nations. It's immoral because it breaks repeated pledges to the people of Kashmir in late 40s and early 50s by Indian prime minister and various Indian officials.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of Singapore, Slovakia, the Stans of Central Asia etc.? They all were part of some other country at one point and separated.
Or ever heard of Quebec, Scotland and Porta Rico? All of them went through referendums to decide their fate.
As to your question “how the US will react”? You guys have been beating that drum for a while but are not willing to listen to the answer. Few years back B. Raman, an Ex-RAW officer asked the same question in a US senate hearing. California republican congressmen’s reply should be an eye opener for you.

REP. ROHRABACHER: So then why not give them a chance to vote on what country they want to be part of?
MR. RAMAN: Oh, there's no question. See, will the United States, if tomorrow, if one of the states here, it says it wants to have a referendum in order to decide -- for example, if Hawaii tomorrow says it wants to have a referendum in order to decide whether Hawaii should continue to be a part of the United States or not, would the United States tolerate?
Is there a provision in the U.S. Constitution --
REP. ROHRABACHER: Actually, I happen to believe that if a large part of the United States wanted to vote to become a part of another country, then we should permit them to vote and become part of another country. And if we don't have faith that those people will stay Americans, and if we don't permit them to have a vote, then that says something about us. But I think that we have faith in every American to vote to stay part of America.

US congressman can talk like this because he is part of a confident nation, not a make belief nation. Your constant refusal to hold plebiscite proves that you know the results would be against India.

G. Ali

Riaz Haq said...

Kashmir: Terrorism Or
Freedom Movement?

This article argues that the massive bloodshed continuing in Kashmir is not merely a result of cross-border terrorism as the Indian State would like us to believe, but that there is also a genuine freedom struggle going on against the repressive Indian State by the Kashmiris who are alienated equally with India, Pakistan and the militants and whose grievances have their historical roots in the events of 1947.

The Promise

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian Prime Minister hailed from a Kashmiri Hindu(Pandit) family whose ancestors had lived in the lush-green Kashmir Valley(Vale) and hence had a great deal of emotional attachment towards the Vale as can be inferred from the beautiful poems he had written comparing the Vale to a beautiful woman. Besides, he was a great friend of Sheikh Abdullah to the extent that when the Lion of Kashmir was arrested by Hari Singh for his Quit Kashmir movement in 1946, Jawaharlal had rushed to his rescue braving imprisonment.

Following the accession of Kashmir to India, Nehru promised the Kashmiri people in a famous speech at Lal Chowk in Srinagar that their wishes would be consulted in a plebiscite or referendum regarding the future of J&K. Naturally he was confident that the popular leader Sheikh Abdullah would be helpful in convincing his people to choose India in a plebiscite to be held in future and thus his beloved Vale would remain the Jewel in the Indian Crown. He would repeat this promise time and again in various speeches from 1947-1951 and the 1948 Indian White Paper clearly records that the accession of Kashmir to India is provisional until such time as the will of the people(self-determination) of the State could be ascertained by a plebiscite[7]. Some of the aging locals i met in Kashmir still remember the promise of plebiscite given by Jawaharlal Nehru in an emotional speech at Lal Chowk Grounds in Srinagar more than half a century ago.

The strongly nationalistic Kashmiris were fearful of joining India given the communal holocaust raging elsewhere in India during the Partition. This is clearly articulated in a famous speech by Sheikh Abdullah on 22 Oct, 1947 where he explains the apprehension of the Kashmiri Muslims in joining India, given the massacre of muslims in Kapurthala and elsewhere in India. However, Abdullah would consent to provisional accession to India on 27th October clearly stating that it was an ad-hoc accession ultimately to be decided by a plebiscite[8]. Throughout the next few decades, he would continue to oscillate between a pro-India position and demand for self-determination, constantly torn between his friendship with Nehru and promise to his people.

Riaz Haq said...

It is only with love that we can hold #Kashmir: #India Chief Justice TS Thakur (Kashmiri Pandit) via @dna

The problem, was not also, entirely Pakistan's support for militancy in the state, he (Justice Thakur) admitted. "How many of us can vouchsafe that Kashmir was given the same kind of democratic freedom that was given to other parts of the country? In Kashmir, we've heard that mayors are elected, but there were deputy commissioners who would be the returning officers who would reject all the nomination papers and declare the candidate of a particular party as elected and therefore the government would be formed even before the vote being cast."

Finding a solution, he said, appeared to be very difficult as "Jammu wants Article 370 to be abolished. Ladakh wants to be centrally governed, and Kashmir valley wants independence. And within that valley, the Hindus want a separate conclave for themselves".

The only way out, Justice Thakur felt was to embrace inclusiveness. "When we rejected two nation theory we went for an inclusive society. We need to nurture it. It is only with love that we can hold Kashmir," he said.

Raman said...

Can you provide a reference that human development index of POK vs IOK. Not your writing

Riaz Haq said...

Raman: "Can you provide a reference that human development index of POK vs IOK. Not your writing"

I have not seen any published HDI comparisons but here's an excerpt of a report by an Indian Journalist Shujaat Bukhari who visited Azad Kashmir in 2011:

"Muzaffarabad, with a population of just over 6,00,000, looks cleaner than Srinagar (PoK has 10 districts with an estimated population over three million in 2009). Even during my previous visit in 2004, I found that the stories of “under development in PoK,” fed to us on this side, are off the mark. This time, I noticed road connectivity and power supply to houses even on the upper reaches of a hill. In contrast, many villages in Jammu and Kashmir even today are without basic facilities. Neither does Muzaffarabad seem to be lagging behind in education and health compared to the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir though progress is more in tune with Pakistani literacy rates. In the past few years the development in these two sectors has been rapid. The literacy rate in PoK has touched 65 per cent which is higher than for any other area in Pakistan. In conversations, both the young and old in Muzaffarabad say that Pakistan has “never discriminated” against the region."

Riaz Haq said...

A 2015 story by another Indian Journalist Mehmood ur Rashid on the tale of two Kashmirs:

Last week, and it still continues, we remembered the all-devastating floods that hit us September, last year. It was an occasion to commemorate the resilience of Kashmiri Muslims as a nation, and also a time to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives while saving others. It was also time to introspect as to what went wrong and are we, as a people, serious in correcting the wrongs. But in all this one of the major, and pointed, themes was why no rehabilitation package was announced even when a year has passed by. Why New Delhi has been so unconcerned, and cruel, towards Srinagar. There were many comparisons that were drawn to underline New Delhi's discriminatory attitude towards Kashmir. When cloud bursts wreaked havoc in Kedarnath, Utrakhand,how quick the Central government was in compensating the loss. There was another parallel that was drawn to make a point. In 2005 a mega earthquake hit Kashmir, mostly the Pakistan part, and destroyed everything in its wake. In a matter of minutes Muzaffarabad was a scene of total ruin. Nothing was left at its place. Everything collapsed. More than 50,000 people died, making the tragedy simply unbearable. No one could do anything about the lives lost, but the way Muzaffarabad was re-built is a story worth telling, million times over.


the scale of destruction in 2005 earthquake was higher than that of 2014 floods. Loss of life is always irreparable, but in terms of rebuilding the infra-structure, and reestablishing the families, Islamabad made it a real take off point for developing Muzaffarabad. One of the great things that it did was to funnel the aid from across the globe, especially the Muslim world, into Muzaffarabad. Turkey reconstructed government offices and also the university. The rehabilitation work carried by Turkey continued for many years, and in 2009, four years after the earthquake, Recip Tayyib Ordgan, then PM of Turkey visited Muzaffarabad, and reassured its people that Turkey will continue its rehabilitation work in Muzaffarabad. Similarly Arab countries chipped in. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayd al-Nahyan hospital in Muzaffarabad is a standing example of the help that poured in from the Arab countries. Post 2005 earthquake Muzaffarabad is a story of how a small and tiny place belonging to a larger conflicted zone found its sympathizers and well wishers in the entire Muslim world. How the grief was shared by fellow Muslims.
Now compare this with what happened to LoC West, the India administered Kashmir, in September 2014 floods. Remember those rescue operations by the Indian Army, how selective they were in bailing out people. And also jog up the memories of the bills that were later raised for conducting those rescue operation. And when aid could have flown in from other Muslim countries, how it was disallowed and how people were made to suffer. How the condition of siege that we have now been in for decades was reaffirmed.

Riaz Haq said...

#India-Occupied #Kashmir behind Azad Kashmi in education ranking. … via @sharethis

Jammu and Kashmir has figured among worst performing states in elementary education in India while ‘Azad Kashmir’ across the Line of Control in Pakistan is leading in the same, two separate surveys have revealed.
According to a latest round of the National Performance Survey conducted by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), the percentage of students “able to listen, recognize words and read with comprehension in Jammu and Kashmir is lower than the national average.”

Against the national average score of 257 (on a scale of 0 to 500), the students in J&K scored just 232 in language subject. Similarly for mathematics, J&K scored 240 as against the national average of 252.
In language, the state is third worst performing state, triumphing only over Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Here, the students were able to answer just 56 percent of language questions correctly as against the national average of 64 percent. The top position went to Daman and Diu with a score of 74 percentile.
In the sub-category of Listening under Language, the state is at the bottom of all states as only 49 percent of Class III students were able to listen to a passage with understanding. Furthermore the average score of boys is lower than the girls in the state.

In Mathematics, J&K is tied up with Rajasthan as fourth worst performing state. In both the states, the students were able to answer just 61 percent of mathematics questions correctly. In all the abilities like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value and shapes category, the state score was lower than the national average. The girls scored slightly better than the boys in the state.


Under the Provincial and National Education Scores (Primary School), AJK has jumped to second position just behind the top ranked Islamabad. AJK has a score of 76.67 as against the Pakistani average of 70.33. All AJK districts have a high education score between 70 and 79.
Gilgit Baltistan (GB) comes fourth just after Punjab with a score of 73.78. The rankings in primary school sector are a lead by Punjab, AJK and GB. The middle school rankings, however, are completely dominated by AJK, which has six districts in the top 10.
“Bhimber (AJK) replaces Skardu as top district from last year. Overall, districts from AJK occupy four of the top five ranks,” the report says.
“Throughout the period we have been calculating the Alif Ailaan district education rankings, AJK has continued to perform well on the education score for primary schooling. This is the same in 2015,” the report said in its observation. The report also paints positive image for GB. “Despite poor performance on the school infrastructure score, GB districts continue to score well on the education rankings. GB is the only region in the country where none of the districts score lower than 50 on the learning score,” the report says.
Surprisingly the good performance comes despite the fact that educational infrastructure in AJK and GB is one of the worst in entire Pakistan.
AJK is at the bottom of the infrastructure ranking among all provinces. Less than 50 percent of 50% of schools in AJK can provide functional toilets, water or electricity.

Riaz Haq said...

US Urges #India to Curb “Rising #Intolerance and #Violence” . #Muslims #BJP #Modi #Kashmir

The United States expressed concern over the “rising intolerance and violence” while responding to a question about the rising instances of violence against people for beef consumption.
Answering a question posed by Pakistani journalist Jahanzaib Ali from ARY News TV, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said:
As we do in countries facing such problems around the world, we urge the government to do everything in its power to protect citizens and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Ali raised the question in the Daily Press Briefing of the US Department of State in light of recent reports of alleged violence against ‘beef eaters,’ like the one where two Muslim women were thrashed at Mandsaur railway station in Madhya Pradesh. They were suspected to have been carrying beef.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Indian people to realize their tolerant-inclusive vision, which is so deeply in the interests of both India and the United States.
John Kirby, US State Department Spokesman

In response to a question by the same journalist on the US involvement in the “Indian-held Kashmir” issue, Kirby said:

We encourage all sides to make efforts to find a peaceful solution to this, and I can tell you we are.. in close touch with our Indian counterparts there in New Delhi as this goes forward.

Anonymous said...

ok so a country with a very high probability of electing Trump in the next few months as POTUS is lecturing India about intolerance ?

Very good.This will be used by India's diplomats as an excuse to prevent deployment of the Indian Navy in the SC Sea and crossing any red lines vis a vis China at the US's behest.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "ok so a country with a very high probability of electing Trump in the next few months as POTUS is lecturing India about intolerance ?"

Yes, but India has already elected Narendra Modi who's far more bigoted than Trump. He has actually killed thousands of minorities.

Christine Fair calls Modi equivalent of a KKK grand wizard.

NO wonder a World Values Survey found India the most racist nation on earth:

Riaz Haq said...

Stratfor Analysis: Unrest in Kashmir Sets India and Pakistan on Edge


Until New Delhi addresses the grievances driving disillusionment among the residents of Kashmir Valley, the region's Muslims will continue to oppose Indian rule.
The threat of electoral defeat will compel Indian and Pakistani politicians to maintain an uncompromising stance on the conflict in Kashmir during campaign seasons.
Since the Kashmir issue has been closely linked to bilateral talks to normalize ties, Pakistan and India's relationship will likely remain fraught.

Kashmir is known throughout South Asia for its natural beauty, which draws visitors from far and wide. But beneath the region's alluring exterior, deep-seated grievances are beginning to jeopardize its stability. On July 8, Indian security forces killed Burhan Wani, the 22-year-old commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant separatist group that calls for the India-administered portion of the region (Jammu and Kashmir) to join Pakistan. The organization's fighters regularly sustain casualties, but Wani's death set off widespread protests in the state's capital, Srinagar.

In an effort to contain the situation, New Delhi temporarily shuttered at least four major Kashmiri newspapers, cut off mobile phone and internet access to the region and imposed a curfew that has yet to be lifted. These measures have not stopped the demonstrations, however, and clashes between protesters and security forces have left more than 50 dead and 3,000 injured. New Delhi has pointed the finger at Pakistan, blaming it for fomenting unrest in the region. But unless India recognizes and addresses the underlying political and economic issues sending Kashmiri residents into the streets in droves, popular discontent will persist long after the protests have died down.

An Intractable Dispute

Kashmir, historically a flashpoint for conflict between the nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, lies at the center of a 70-year territorial dispute stemming from the region's partition in 1947. At the time, Kashmir was a princely state, and its Muslim-majority population was ruled by a Hindu maharajah named Hari Singh. When the British rule of India ended, splitting the region into modern-day India and Pakistan, Singh was initially reluctant to side with either country. But a tribal rebellion in Pakistan eventually forced him to join India in exchange for its protection.

To Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's founder, this turn of events was unacceptable. Pakistan was created on the basis of the two-nation theory, an idea that says Hindus and Muslims make up distinct nations that require separate countries. By this logic, Jinnah argued, a Muslim-majority state such as Kashmir belonged with Pakistan. Unsurprisingly, India disagreed.

Today, India and Pakistan (as well as China) own portions of Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan, however, claim the region in its entirety and fought wars over it in 1947, 1965 and 1999. Kashmir is crucial to both countries for different reasons. For Pakistan, all of its major rivers — the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab — flow through its share of Kashmir. If India were to fully occupy the region, New Delhi would have an advantage over Islamabad as the upstream riparian state. At the same time, Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state. If New Delhi were to lose it, other separatist movements in India might be inspired to seek their own independence — a significant threat to a country with an array of distinct ethnic groups.

Kashmir's status is now the biggest obstacle to the normalization of ties between India and Pakistan. Presently, 600,000 Indian soldiers and paramilitary troops are stationed in the India-administered Jammu and Kashmir, and since the region's Hizbul Mujahideen militancy arose in 1989, some 90,000 people have been killed.

Riaz Haq said...

"Kashmir ki Kali" blindspot poster highlights #Indian oppression in #India-Occupied #Kashmir #BurhanWani

The number of young pellet victims with eyes badly affected has shot up to more than 300. Several artists in Kashmir are protesting, using creative expression to try and end the civilian deaths and crippling injuries in the demonstrations that have followed the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

“My attempt to recreate the poster, where Sharmila Tagore is hit in one eye by pellets, and Shammi Kapoor has an expression of disgust, is to highlight the pain inflicted on this kali (girl). There is no romance left about the place or the people,” Mr. Suhail told The Hindu.

Another acclaimed artist, Masood Hussain, has come up with a series of grey scale posters of boys with shrunken, shikara-shaped pupils, again drawing attention to destroyed eyes.

“It pains to see kids being blinded by pellets. All that an artist can do is stroke the canvas with that pain,” says Mr. Hussain, who has documented the daily life of ordinary Kashmiris for two decades now.

Pellet gun injuries are fast growing in Kashmir: 50 more protesters were hit in their eyes just on Friday. Most of those affected are in the age group of 15 to 25.

Asif Amin Tibet Baqual, founder and chief creative officer of BlackSheep.Works, a communication agency, sparked off a Twitter storm when his anti-pellet campaign generated 20 million impressions on the platform.

Mr. Baqual produced three posters in Braille with messages like: ‘Offensive state apparatus in Kashmir sees to it that dissent doesn’t see the light of day’.

“The anti-pellet campaign ‘kashmirblindspot’ is for the world community. Kashmir, unfortunately, has turned into a blind spot. Braille style is used as Kashmir is talking to ‘blind’ people,” Mr. Baqual said.

Riaz Haq said...

Chomsky Compares #India's occupation of #Kashmir with #Israeli occupation of #Palestine | …

Boston/Srinagar - In an email conversation with Mehboob Makhdoomi, Expert on Kashmir situation and Socio-Political commentator from Harvard, American linguist and political activist Prof. Noam Chomsky compared the conditions in Kashmir to that of Palestine.

He called the current development in Kashmir as "shocking" and termed the discussion between Kashmir and the rest of the India as "hysterical". He wrote that he has discussed this topic(Kashmir issue) in India in the past, where it aroused hysteria so much that his hosts insisted on police protection for several weeks of rest of his stay.

Earlier in July 2015, Chomsky advocated that Indian army should move out of the Kashmir. "Indian Army should leave Kashmir. Kashmir has had an awful story, especially since late 80's after that fake election and that there have been horrible atrocities," said Chomsky.

In the recent conversation, he had said, "the reason Palestine has been his priority is because of the crucial role of the United States, which means that the activists in the US can do something about it, which may not happen when in case of Kashmir."

He has also called the atrocities of Army in the Valley has a "superficial gesture". Chomsky said that he would have to do same on Kashmir, what he does for Palestine.

In the past, Chomsky has urged for a common federal arrangement by India and Pakistan for Kashmir, so that semi autonomous regions could loosely federated with each other.

The valley is tense after Burhan Wani's death on July 8. In subsequent protests, 44 have lost their lives, along with thousands injured. Curfew is in effect in most of the areas of Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Nine killed in #Indian Occupied #Kashmir on #India's Bloodiest Independence Day in 26 Years via @MailOnline

Nine people including a 16-year old protester and a police commander were killed Monday in Kashmir as clashes and gun battles raged across the disputed Himalayan region on Indian Independence Day.

The teenage boy was shot dead late Monday following clashes between security forces and protesters in Batmaloo area of the main city Srinagar, hours after two militants were killed in a brief shoot-out a few miles away.

"The teenager was brought dead to the hospital. He was hit by a bullet," Kaiser Ahmad, a doctor at Srinagar's main hospital told AFP.

Separately, doctors at another Srinagar hospital said a young protester died of his injuries on Monday, days after he was hit by a bullet, taking the death toll to 58 in the ongoing unrest.

Fierce clashes between protesters and Indian troops were reported across the Kashmir valley despite the authorities imposing a round-the-clock curfew.

Mobile and internet services were snapped and thousands of armed policemen patrolled the main cities and towns to thwart any violence on Independence Day.

Earlier Monday a paramilitary police commander was critically wounded in an ambush in Srinagar's Nowhatta locality and later died in hospital while two militants were killed in a shootout following the attack, an officer of India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) told AFP.

"We have lost a commanding officer. Two militants were also killed in the ensuing gunfight," said Atul Karwal, the force's inspector general in the region.

He said nine others were wounded with three, including two local policemen, in a critical condition.

The officer could not immediately confirm the identities of the slain militants but said they were "non-locals", usually a reference to Pakistani nationals.

Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state, since July 9 during an upsurge in violence sparked by the killing of a top militant commander called Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces.

Fifty-eight civilians, mostly young men, have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the region's worst violence since 2010.

- Flag farce -

In a separate gunfight on Monday, five militants were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) -- the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan -- in the northern Uri sector, the area's police chief said.

Imtiyaz Hussain said the militants were spotted by guards after they sneaked over to the Indian side of the heavily militarised border.

Two Indian army officers including a commanding officer were also wounded and were evacuated to an army hospital in Srinagar.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in August 1947 but both claim the territory in full.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian Occupied #Kashmir death toll rises to 64 after Indian troops open fire on un-armed anti-#India protesters

Government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir have shot five civilians dead and injured at least 15 others as clashes with anti-India protesters intensified.

Four people were killed on Tuesday when troops fired live ammunition, shotgun pellets and teargas to control hundreds of protesters after stones were thrown in Aripanthan village, north-west of the main city of Srinagar, a police official said.. Three of the injured were in critical condition, he added.

News of the killings brought thousands of other Kashmiris from neighbouring villages into the streets, chanting “go India, go back” and “we want freedom”. Large crowds continued anti-India chants on Tuesday afternoon at the funeral of the four civilians.

More protests broke out across the region as thousands of people took to the streets in defiance of a curfew. A fifth civilian was killed as government forces fired on protesters throwing stones in the southern Anantnag area.

Residents of Kurhama village in eastern Kashmir said soldiers arrived trucks and entered dozens of homes, beat men and women, ransacked property and broke into shops.

A local police officer said the incident came after a group of young people pelted an army convoy with stones. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said at least 15 villagers were taken to hospital.

The disputed Himalayan region has been extremely tense since government troops killed a popular rebel leader almost six weeks ago.

The death toll from the largest protests in years has now increased to 64, including two police officers. Thousands more people have been injured.

Shops, businesses and schools have remained closed because of the security lockdown and protest strikes called by separatists, who challenge India’s sovereignty. Residents have struggled to cope with shortages of food, medicines and other necessities. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the many injured.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, with both claiming it in its entirety. Anti-India feelings run strong in the Muslim-majority region, where most people favour independence or merger with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people have been killed since rebel groups began fighting Indian forces in 1989 and in the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 70% of Kashmiris want India out of Kashmir

Riaz Haq said...

#India's senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh calls it as he sees it: "#Indian Occupied #Kashmir". #BJP #Modi

Riaz Haq said...

Pro-India #Kashmiri #Muslim Lawmaker Quits #India's Parliament to express his anger over #Modi's "brutal policy"

SRINAGAR, India — A prominent pro-India Kashmiri politician resigned Thursday from India's Parliament and from his regional party to protest a government crackdown in Kashmir that prevented people from offering Eid prayers for the first time in the troubled region.

Tariq Hameed Karra, a founding member of the People's Democratic Party, said he quit to express his anger over the "brutal policy'" followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and the acquiescence of his party, a coalition partner.

His decision is a setback for his party in Indian-controlled Kashmir, which has been wracked by massive protests for the past two months following the killing of a popular rebel leader. More than 80 people have been killed and thousands wounded, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotgun pellets to quell the protests.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. Most Kashmiris want an end to Indian rule and favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

With the entire Kashmir Valley under a strict curfew, most people stayed indoors for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday. Usually bustling on the holiday, places of worship and marketplaces were deserted.

"For the first time in history, the people of Kashmir were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. Certain shrines and even the Grand Mosque were locked," Karra told reporters Thursday in Srinagar, the main city in the region.

"Kashmiri blood is being spilled on the walls, lanes and drains of the valley,'" he said.

He accused the Indian government of brutality and insensitivity toward Kashmir.

Separatist leaders have repeatedly urged police officers and politicians during the current unrest "to disengage from the Indian state.'"

Early this month, protesters set fire to the house of Nazir Laway, a local lawmaker in south Kashmir.

The governing People's Democratic Party is now left with two lawmakers in India's Parliament representing the region.

It emerged in the early 2000s as the strongest opponent to the National Conference, a regional rival which is now an opposition party, using pro-separatist views for electoral gains. It first came to power in Kashmir in 2002 and assumed power for a second time in 2015 in coalition with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party after failing to win enough seats to form a government on its own.

"Though I was all along feeling suffocated" by his party's alliance with Modi's party, "my conscience was shaken during the last two months," Karra said.

Riaz Haq said...

According to the ( 2016 MPI) report, nearly 39 percent of Pakistanis live in multidimensional poverty, with the highest rates of poverty in FATA and Balochistan.

The report found that over two-third of people in FATA (73 percent) and Balochistan (71 percent) live in multidimensional poverty. Poverty in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands at 49 percent, Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh at 43 percent, Punjab at 31 percent and Azad jammu and Kashmir at 25 percent.

Riaz Haq said...

Indians' comments about "PoK" calling it " s backwards as it was in 1947" show their utter ignorance about Pakistani Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir. Unlike Indian Occupied Kashmir held by the force of 700,000 Indian troops, Pakistani Kashmiris are totally free. There are no mass protests nor curfews nor ubiquitous military checkpoints humiliating Kashmiris in in Azad Kashmir. A UNDP report just came out that shows MPI (multi-dimensional poverty that includes income, health, education poverty) is less than half that in India. In fact, India is the second poorest country in South Asia after Afghanistan, according to Oxford's MPI data. "India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan...In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels" according to Colin Hunter of Center for Research on Globalization