India News

Kashmiri writer Aziz Hajini’s b’day celebrated

Dr Aziz Hajini Sahib published 20 books in Kashmiri,Urdu and English and received many National and State level Awards and honours…reports Asian Lite News

Birthday of great man celebrated amid sobs yesterday, literary Quaid Late Prof.(Dr.) Aziz Hajini.

On this day all nears, dears and lovers especially the people of Hajin town remember this great son of soil with love and affection.

Salute to late Prof.(Dr.) Aziz Hajini an Icon of Kashmiri Language and Literature.

Brief Profile: 
Prof.(Dr.) Aziz Hajini was born at Hajin on 7th.March 1957 in a land lord family.
Dr.Aziz Hajini possessed an innate potential for creativity and intelligence which enabled him to progress and excel from his childhood in the field of Poetry,Writing,Theatre,Broad-Casting,Film making,Administration and Teaching.

Dr.Aziz Hajini obtained his School education in his native town Hajin. Later graduating from Government College Bemina, Srinagar emerged as the first Gold medalist in Kashmiri in 1979 from the University of Kashmir. After serving as Teacher for afew years,he got appointed as Lecturer(Kashmiri) through JKPSC
Under the patronage of Dr.Aziz Hajini the department of SED established the Cultural Education Wing(CEW) in DSEK(Srinagar).

He was posted in JKBOSE as Academic officer and later on took over as Dy.Director Academics. He served as Co-ordinator in Shaik-ul-Aalam chair in the University of Kashmir and also as Assistant Professor in the Centre for Shaik-ul-Aalam Studies. Dr.Aziz Hajini was also appointed as Secretary JKAACL.

He was thrice elected as president of the oldest and largest federation of literary organisations of Kashmir AMK(Adbee Markz Kamraz presently headed by Literary Icon Ameen Bhat-A house hold name in JK).Under the patronage of Dr.Aziz Hajini AMK attained name and fame at all levels in the country.

Dr Aziz Hajini Sahib published 20 books in Kashmiri,Urdu and English and received many National and State level Awards and honours.

He was immensely loved by his fellow writers, students and civil society members for his simplicity,humanity and down to earth approach in life.

Dr.Aziz Hajini carried the Kashmiri voice across the mountains to the farflung areas of of Jammu division like poonch,Rajouri,Kishtwar,Doda,Blessa,Bhaderwah,Ramban,Banihal and even up to Delhi in addition to propagating the Kashmiri voice from established plateforms like Sahitya Akademy,All India Radio Srinagar and Doordarshan.

Dr.Aziz Hajini-The Legend,A public Intellectual, A literally Hero,A Great Son Of Hajin town who gave an identity to Hajin and Hajinis passed away on 12 th. September 2021 at his Srinagar Residence(Hajini House-Kursoo Padshahi Bagh).

We Hajinis are proud of this Great Son of Soil who lives in our Blood and Flesh.

May ! His his soul rest in heaven and patience to all his nears,dears and lovers(Ameen).
Please pray for his eternal peace.

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Business India News

Huge push for revitalising agriculture in J&K

The project will focus on holistic planning and execution of “production to profit” agriculture with area and commodity-specific extension approaches based on agri-knowledge system..reports Asian Lite News

The government of Jammu and Kashmir, giving a huge push to sustainable agriculture in the Union Territory, has approved a five year project on “Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalizing Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir”.

The project, worth Rs. 463 crore, is aimed at empowering farmers and educated youth through technology driven and inclusive agri-extension services. One of the critical outcomes of the project would be creation of 2,000 Kissan Khidmat Ghars (KKGs), which will serve as a One Stop Center for extending farmer oriented services.

 “The extension system in Jammu and Kashmir faces many challenges, including serving a large clientele with structural complexity and functional diversity. Currently, there is a significant gap between extension workers and farmers, with a ratio of 1:1100 and contact intensity of one hour per farmer per year. The existing system is also plagued by defects such as lack of realistic base-level information, poor coordination and cohesiveness among the extension players and a low level of public confidence”, said Atal Dulloo , Additional Chief Secretary, APD.

 The project aims to address these issues by developing a dynamic agri-extension system using IoT-enabled real-time big data for farm-centric planning and resource allocation. This technology enabled system will form the basis for a proactive agriculture extension system with a cluster approach. This approach will use real-time regional analysis of climate and agro-ecology information to promote niche agriculture under given agro-climatic conditions”, he added.

 “Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalizing Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir” is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors in UT of J&K. The prestigious committee is being headed by Dr Mangala Rai, former DG ICAR and has other luminaries in the field of Agriculture, Planning, Statistics and Administration like Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAA, Dr. P K Joshi, Secretary, NAAS, Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner MOA and FW, Dr. H. S Gupta, Former Director, IARI, Atal Dulloo , Additional Chief Secretary, APD besides Vice Chancellors of twin Agriculture Universities of the UT.

The project envisages to promote sustainable and profitable agriculture with a significant increase in the share of agricultural GDP. To achieve this goal, the project will establish 2,000 Panchayat level KKGs, revitalizing the Block-level Extension Advisory Committee and promoting Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) as a hub of convergence of services at the district level. The project will also establish business orientation centers at SKUAST-Kashmir and Jammu and facilitate real time problem redressal through cyber extension including RS-GIS driven agro-advisories and ICT based virtual contacts and communication systems.

 The Kissan Khidmat Ghar will be a One Stop Center for farmers to access a range of services related to agriculture and allied sectors. It will serve as a knowledge center with modern ICT tools including a kiosk, to provide direct access to various information such as input supply, technology, marketing, and more. The KKG will be a platform for public-private partnership to manage the value chain effectively and economically. Each KKG will have a technical facilitator to provide end-to-end services to farmers at nominal charges.

 The project will also create a strong MIS system to maintain transparency and accountability in service delivery and information sharing with parent departments and administration. The KKG will function in close coordination with the Panchayat, fostering Public-Private-Panchayat partnership. The key functions of KKG will include execution of direct services in agriculture and allied sectors, input booking/delivery, market intelligence services, capacity building and skill development, facilitating custom hiring services and generating baseline information for policy planning and review of operational schemes at block and higher levels.

 The project will focus on holistic planning and execution of “production to profit” agriculture with area and commodity-specific extension approaches based on agri-knowledge system (JK Agri stack platform). It will converge functional extension resources and approaches for participatory planning and decentralized decision making to promote remunerative agriculture. It will also provide seamless agricultural extension services with perfect outreach and dynamic contact across the value chain and real-time resource person-client interaction. Besides, the project will focus on capacity building in agricultural extension and skill development for generating entrepreneurship and employment.

 Meanwhile, the project will also reorient capacity building programs and promote secondary agriculture with post-harvest and non-farm activities as the primary focus for harnessing better returns. This will include trainings in agri-business, marketing, secondary agriculture and non-farm activities. It will constitute an “Agri-Extension Club” promoting regular online Expert Extension Lecture Series (EELS) and skilling farmers and youth in mission mode for profitable agriculture, entrepreneurship development, agri-business start-ups, employment generation and livelihood security.

 The project will also synergize PPP extension systems and accreditation of service providers at the UT level with outcome-linked incentives. It will establish sustainable market linkages for physical and e-market and promote secondary agriculture. The project will also focus on the augmentation of mechanization, automation and digital agriculture, awareness programs, demonstrations and entrepreneurship in farm machinery services.

Picture Credits: Umar Ganie

 The project will promote research in extension, technology and service gaps, technology adoption, and impact assessment. It will use a bottom-up approach and employ IoT-enabled real-time big data to monitor the impact of the project at the backend. The project aims to promote a smart technology-driven seamless innovative, implementable and inclusive agri-extension service that empowers farmers and educated youth to realize the sustainably progressive growth of agricultural sector in the country. By providing farmers with access to modern tools and techniques, the project hopes to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security while also reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.

Ultimately, implementation of a smart, technology-driven approach to agricultural extension services has the potential to revolutionize the way farmers access information and support. By leveraging the power of IoT-enabled big data, the project can measure the impact of its efforts in real-time, providing valuable insights for future decision-making. As a result, the project has the potential to contribute significantly to the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to food security, poverty reduction and sustainable development, making a positive impact on the lives of millions of people.

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SPECIAL: ‘Disability is not inability’

Kashmir’s visually impaired Artist Nisar Ahmad says disability is not inability. Hailing from Gundpora Rampora village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora District, Nisar Ahmad despite having visually impaired, his visual impairment never let slow him down

Although a person considers it a misfortune and tribulation for him to be visually impaired by nature and does not consider his world as bigger than a black room, for this person, there is no place for misfortune in fulfilling his dreams.

Hailing from Gundpora Rampora village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora District, Nisar Ahmad despite having been visually impaired, his visual impairment never let slow him down.

Nisar Ahmad

Nisar started his early education from Govt. Middle school in his native village with students who were able to see the colourful world but Nisar tells going to school despite having a disability was not a barrier for him because it was all about the confidence and encouragement he kept with him.

Nisar explains trying to get things in life isn’t entirely about learning. They’re about confidence.

“When I was a child and got a mature sense of having a visual impairment, I remember being in tears about how to get home by myself. So today I try to answer all the thousands of questions that may stop people from dipping a toe in. We allow people to put their trust in others and ask for help.”

Nisar says, when I was in matriculation, my sister would record my study material in a tape recorder and later I would listen to it and remember to go on exams and make it. This was the routine that I completed my studies till graduation.

Because of my sight, I could quite easily stay inside because things are too difficult for me but “My parents and teachers were always so supportive.” he says. “It was very much normal life, get on with it.”

My teachers maintained my notebooks so that I may not feel my disability. Getting help from classmates was always a great feeling as well. I felt it as a great sense of achievement, a massive buzz.”

Nisar is also having a music and singing sensation and visual impairment did not stop him from embarking on music having realised that he can make the best out of his singing talent which he had from a very young age. When you ask him how he does music when he is visually impaired, his adage is disability is not inability.

“The way I do music is normal like any other artist because losing some parts of the body can’t be a problem as long as you have the brain to think and the heart to do something right,”

“It does not take any other effort. With help and support, I am able to make the best out of my talent with discipline to make sure that what I am doing makes sense. That is how I am going about it,” he said.

What hurts Nisar most is that he can’t see his parents with his own eyes. That remains his biggest wish in life though it seems impossible. However, he is confident there is a better future despite his visual impairment.

He urged persons with disabilities to make the best of their talents because disability is not inability.

“I am sure, despite disability, we still have the brain and confidence to achieve big things. I encourage fellow persons with disabilities to be focused and use their brains and confidence to show what they are capable of and I believe there is hope for a better future if they don’t give up. Focus on your aim then everything will be alright,” he said.

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Islamabad’s anti-India toolkit uncovered

According to the document, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry asked its agents present across the world to gather cases of human rights violation by the Indian Army in the valley to mislead the world against India….reports Asian Lite News

Despite being in a prolonged economic crisis, Pakistan is not seen deterring from its anti-India antics. Indian intelligence agencies have recently revealed Pakistan’s conspiracy to spread a false narrative on Kashmir with the help of a toolkit.

According to sources, the fake narrative will be shared on social media and demonstrations will be organised by Pakistan’s agents present across the world.

On the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity day, which is observed as a holiday in Pakistan on February 5, the country has plans to defame India at the international level.

In a document available exclusively to IANS, it was revealed that an elaborate anti-India toolkit has been prepared by the western neighbour to spread a false narrative and propaganda regarding Kashmir on social media.

The document that entails a toolkit of the conspiracy’s execution has been sent by the country’s Foreign Ministry located in Islamabad to its agents across the world.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, through faxes and emails sent to the agents between the period of January 26 and February 3, asked them to gather cases of human rights violation by the Indian Army in the valley to mislead the world against India.

Links of the videos have been shared in the document, which are to be used during demonstrations and posted on social media.

The videos depict that the Kashmiris suffer gravely at the hands of the Indian security forces deployed in the valley.

According to sources, the agents have been asked to prepare a strategy so that the false narrative gets extensive media coverage in foreign countries.

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Union budget allocates Rs 35581 crore for J&K

According to the documents, there has been massive hike in revised estimates for the current financial year…reports Asian Lite News

In order to revamp the economy and strive to fulfill people’s hopes, aspirations Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2023-24 in the Parliament on February 1, 2023.

The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir has been allocated Rs 35581 crore in the Union budget presented by finance minister.

The budget documents available with news agency reveal that Jammu & Kashmir has been allocated Rs 35581 crore in the Union budget for 2023-24.

According to the documents, there has been massive hike in revised estimates for the current financial year. The revised estimates for UT have been hiked to Rs 44538 against budget estimates of Rs 35581 crore.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has expressed his gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first budget of Amrit Kaal. The budget is to ensure sustained, equitable & inclusive growth and to achieve the milestone of 5 Trillion Dollar economy & to transform India into a global powerhouse, Sinha tweeted.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti slammed the union budget as ‘its not a people friendly one’. ”The budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is the same as the ones presented by the BJP-led government over the last eight-nine years.

Taxes have increased and money is not being spent on welfare schemes or subsidies. Taxes are being amassed for their crony capitalists. The taxes imposed should have benefitted the people, but they have broken their backs”, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister told to media.

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READ MORE-Budget 2023: Capex outlay hiked to all-time high

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J&K Youth Scaling New Heights

South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, considered as a hotbed of terrorism till 2019, has set an example in youth empowerment. In the district, a new record has been set by providing opportunities to 7,324 youth to set up their own business ventures…reports Asian Lite News

In ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’, youth have become agents of change and a driving force. They have rejected the Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and are scripting a new chapter in the history of the Himalayan region.

After the abrogation of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution of India, on August 5, 2019, the youth have been provided with a plethora of opportunities to build their careers and become what they want to be.

The government during the past three years has taken many steps to create supportive infrastructure, schemes and policies to meet the aspirations of the youngsters. Mission Youth, Jammu and Kashmir Rural Life Mission (JKRLM) and other government agencies along with J&K Bank are helping thousands of new entrepreneurs to set up businesses.

During the ‘Back to Village’ and ‘My Town My Pride’ programmes held last year, as many as 75,000 young entrepreneurs across J&K were provided with an opportunity to start their projects. They were provided financial assistance and other support to become self-reliant and job creators.

Finding reasons led to solutions

Transition of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory led to the government focusing on the youngsters in the Himalayan region. The helmsmen looked into the reasons about why youth were getting lured by the terrorists and anti-national elements. One of major reasons for the youth going astray was lack of employment avenues and negligible support from the former political regimes.

Failure of politicians to formulate comprehensive self-employment packages for the youngsters also led to the youth getting disillusioned and carried away. The youth were made to believe that getting employed in a government sector was the only way to have a secure future in J&K. Not many steps were taken to encourage the young people to become entrepreneurs.

Till 2019, setting up any business unit in J&K was a Herculean task. Many people were forced to give up their ideas much before they could complete all the formalities.

Popularising startup culture

Just three years ago, the youth were a disillusioned lot who were struggling to make their ends meet. However, the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India opened up a new world for the young people.

To encourage the youngsters to come forward with their ideas and innovations, the government focused on popularising the culture of startups in the Himalayan region. To begin with, the government provided incubation and seed funding to brilliant ideas and solutions allowing the young people to give a practical shape to their plans.

The creation of industry innovation clusters encouraged a new generation of entrepreneurs to set an example and become inspiration for others. J&K emerging as a hub for startups in the country proved to be a game changer.

The industry and academic institutions encouraging a culture of innovation and providing institutionalised handholding to the budding innovators and researchers led to many young boys and girls becoming role models and inspiration for their counterparts.

The initiatives like the Centre for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) have provided young minds with an opportunity to work on their ideas and sell these to the world. The government has been exploring the startup potential in all the sectors, including agriculture, dairy, transport, handicrafts, food and other allied fields.

Youth centric initiatives

South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, considered as a hotbed of terrorism till 2019, has set an example in youth empowerment. In the district, a new record has been set by providing opportunities to 7,324 youth to set up their own business ventures.

The youth-centric initiatives taken by the incumbent dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir should serve as an eye opener for the leaders who ruled the Himalayan region in the past. They used youngsters for their political gains and projected terrorism-infested areas like Pulwama as “no-go” zones where no development could have taken place.

Providing youngsters with an opportunity to set up any business unit or turn them into innovators were no priorities for the former rulers.

During the past three years, the government has shattered all the myths by concentrating on the potential of youngsters. As on date, every Kashmir district has a list of successful entrepreneurs, sportsmen and artists. Lists of wanted stone-pelters have disappeared from the police stations as the youngsters neither indulge in street protests, nor stone-pelting.

Local recruitment in the ranks of terrorists has gone down to zero as the youth have understood that laptops and pens are the real symbols of empowerment and holding a gun won’t take them anywhere except a graveyard.

Kupwara: Youths participate in army recruitment rally in Kupwara of Jammu and Kashmir on May 20, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

Youth clubs

The government has made youth partners in governance by setting up youth clubs under the aegis of Mission Youth. Around 4,290 youth clubs are functional in the Union Territory now. The volunteers in the youth clubs have been provided training in all aspects of government schemes. They are part of emergency and crisis management plans. They are involved in planning and decision-making as well.

The youth clubs are serving as the focal point for positive engagement of the youth and are striving to ensure that youngsters don’t fall prey to the radical propaganda and other social issues that can put them in trouble.

The youth in ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’ are leading from the front and have succeeded in pulling the Himalayan region out of the dark shadows of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. They have rubbished the vicious propaganda of the terrorist bosses sitting across the Line of Control. They have also turned their backs towards guns and stones that were provided to them by Pakistan and its stooges.

Channelising energies in positive way

The government channelising the energy of youngsters in a positive manner has proven to be a big setback for Pakistan and the terrorist handlers. Had the former rulers provided a chance to the youngsters to excel in their lives, Pakistan and the separatists would have never succeeded in burning J&K and turning it into a battleground for 30 long years.

The decision of the regime led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “bite the bullet” and abrogate J&K’s special status has changed the destinies of the common people in the erstwhile princely state, as they have embarked on the journey of peace, prosperity and development.

ALSO READ: Kashmir Tweed to join GI tag club

Lifestyle Lite Blogs

Kashmiri woman’s passionate venture attracts customers

Munir, who hails from the Sanat Nagar area in Srinagar, is presently pursuing her PhD in law from the University of Kashmir. In the past, art was just a hobby for her. When she started her Instagram page three years back, she was busy completing her masters…writes Ummar Jamal

In the contemporary world, you will find most of the youth making excuses for remaining unemployed. But not Khazin Munir, who despite being a doctoral student in law, earns her bread through calligraphy and other art and craft forms.

Munir, a self-taught artist from Srinagar, is the proud owner of the venture ‘KAAMEKAAR’, which is basically an Instagram page, where she showcases her artistic skills in calligraphy, wall-hangings, umbrellas, customised kangris etc., attracting many online customers to her artworks.

She said KAAMEKAAR is more of passion than a simple social media page to her. When she started the page, she was not really hopeful that it will work, but her artistic skills have been attracting scores of people.

“I have been very lucky to have got an audience who always admire me, support me and love me. I started it as a page for calligraphy, but gradually it became a multi-art page where you can customise calligraphies, wall-hangings, chocolate bouquets, nail and thread art, customised paper bags, gift wrapping, needle work art, small goody baskets, customised kangris etc.,” she said.

“Basically, if you want to gift something different to someone or want something special for yourself, we have got your back,” Munir added.

Munir, who hails from the Sanat Nagar area in Srinagar, is presently pursuing her PhD in law from the University of Kashmir. In the past, art was just a hobby for her. When she started her Instagram page three years back, she was busy completing her masters.

She said the page was started on the basis of hit and trial method. Her siblings pressurised her to do so, as they were keen to see the response of the general public. Within a few days of launching the page, Munir got her first order and since then has been no looking back.

With time, she realised that her hobby was making her stress-free and forget the many challenges in life.

“Art for many is just a stroke on paper or just a hanging on the wall, but for me art is strength, medium of expression, happiness, perfection and a way of life,” she said.

Munir completed her schooling from the Presentation Convent School till 10th and then from the Mallinson School till 12th.

She did not have a passion for art in her school days, but with time she began to develop a special liking for the creative form.

“I was not that artistic in school, but with time my personality made its way to the outer world. When I was doing my BA LLB, I used to participated in many competitions, both state and national-level. I won many prizes, which included some cash price also. I have represented the Kashmir University in many inter-varsity competitions at the national level,” she said.

Munir belongs to a well-educated family. Her father retired as the chief architect of Kashmir. Her sister is also an architect.

“I never thought of doing a small business or starting something like this, because I didn’t have a business background. But destiny has different things stored for me, and I am very happy for that,” she said.

Munir draws inspiration from her parents.

“I have seen my father work day and night, creating unique designs for his clients. He is a pioneer in his profession and I just wanted to adapt the mechanism which he has created for himself. I draw much of the motivation from him,” she said.

Munir, who has worked on several projects so far, said every project is interesting and special to her.

But her friend’s wedding decor, which had umbrellas, nikah potlis, backdrops, mehndi trays etc., nail and thread art at her father’s office and mandala art on a 12 feet wall are few of her artistic works that are very close to her heart.

She also said that digitalisation has made things easy and accessible.

“On a click of a button, one can now order any stuff. This gives a content creator and an artist a platform to showcase his/her work, get appreciation and last but not the least, earn a livelihood because job opportunities are very few now,” she said.

“After three years of continuous hard work, people have started recognising my Insta page… I get so many overwhelming messages from people now. Some praise my work while some compliment my patience. I feel elated to receive such messages, which motivate me to work harder in order to brush up my skills,” Munir concludes.

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Parliament Hosts Event To Commemorate Kashmir Genocide

Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community, and reminded that it was Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir that forced the erstwhile Maharaja to make a decision to accede to India

British Parliament hosts an event to mark one of the atrocious events in Indian history. All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora and allies commemorated 33 years of the Kashmiri Pandit Genocide on the 25th January 2023. The event took place at the Houses of Parliament, London, and was hosted by the Hon’ble Bob Blackman, Chair All Party Parliamentary, APPG group for British Hindus. An Early Day Motion, EDM, was also tabled to commemorate 33 years of Genocide for Kashmiri Pandits, signed by cross Party MPs, reminding that justice was yet to be done.

MP Harrow East, Bob Blackman addressing the audience

Bob Blackman reiterated his support for India and the Kashmiri Hindu community and reminded that it was Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir that forced the erstwhile Maharaja to make a decision to accede to India. He further said that efforts must be made to dispel widespread ignorance about the truth of the matter within the UK and the world. He also spoke about the recent anti-Narendra Modi documentary shown by the BBC describing it as a “hatchet job”.

Speaking at the event, MP Jonathan Lord, Woking, said that just as we must never forget about the Holocaust, we must not forget this Genocide.

Mr Sarvjeet Sudan, First Secretary (Political, Press & Information), Indian High Commission, saluted the spirit of Kashmiri Pandits as he recalled his own memories after the exodus. He further said that the sacrifices of the people must be remembered, and their stories must be heard.

Mp Bob Blackman, MP Jonathan Lord, Mr Sarvjeet Soodan and others at the event

MP Theresa Villiers sent her message to be read at the event as follows:

“The world must be told about the grave injustices committed against Kashmiri Hindus. 33 years after so many were driven from their homes, it is time to change the narrative on Kashmir so that the voice of Hindus can finally be heard. I am committed to doing this and I am sorry not to be able to join you at your event this evening.”

Messages worldwide were shared; including from Sh Surinder Kaul GKPD, Dr Agnishekhar, Panun Kashmir, Dr Dileep Kaul, Director, Jonaraja Institute of Genocide & Atrocities Studies (India). A message was also shared by Sh Bitta ji Bhat, father of Rahul Bhat, who was murdered in 2022 by terrorists.

The event took place as a reminder to the world that Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir were persecuted and forced to flee their homeland in 1989- 1990 and 33 years later, targeted Hindu killings are still taking place. Kashmiri Hindus await recognition of genocide and justice after 33 years after the night of 19th January 1990, when screaming mobs and loudspeakers from mosques blared in unison- Raliv, Galiv ya Tchaliv (Convert, Die or Leave).

The programme included readings from first-person accounts and second-generation stories of Kashmiri Hindus living in the UK and was supported by British Hindu organisations who vowed to be the voice for Kashmiri Pandits and demand justice.

The event was moderated by Ms Sonal Sher on behalf of the Secretariat for the APPG for British Hindus and the Kashmiri Pandit community in the UK. The attendees observed a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of genocide in Jammu and Kashmir and the victims of the Holocaust.

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Would Pakistan Stop Throwing Kashmir Tantrums?

Pakistan’s economy is in the doldrums, youth is misguided and employed in violent services, and the socio-political atmosphere is a mawkish drama we have all watched for 70 years, the actors keep changing but the absurdity remains the same…. A special report by Ruksana Saleem

As Pakistan hangs by a thread, it should take some time out from being the flag-bearer of Kashmiris, and maintain focus on its failing governance. The failed state is tirelessly swimming in the flood waters of 2022 which has pushed nine million people to poverty, left four million children on the brink of death, and 32 million displaced.

The citizens of the nation do not have access to sanitation facilities and safe drinking water, the paramount necessities of a human’s existence. Public health facilities, schools, and cropland exist only in past. By December last year the economy was at risk of default, security has been a joke, and the unpopular government continues to face international humiliation. But despite the state’s perpetual ordeals, last week Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called up India to resolve “burning issues such as Kashmir”. Later Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raised the Kashmir ‘issue’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but was left embarrassed when no global leaders shared his sentiment.

Pakistan secures over $ 10.5 bn in flood pledges

On a visit to J&K UT, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Micheal Rubin, declared – “Pakistan is in trouble. While Kashmiris under Pakistani control remain hobbled by a moribund economy and suppressed by Jamaat-e-Islami extremism, Kashmiris in India have security, taste freedom, and thrive.”

Today J&K UT is bubbling with developments. Youth is at the forefront of all activities. Gun culture and terror have been replaced with entrepreneurial tools and an enterprising mindset. Separatists and Pak-supporting elements are standing with begging bowls on streetcorners, unnoticed by people. Kashmiris have understood who truly cares for their well-being. They lived miserably in penury in the hands of sold-out leaders for decades. And they will not be deceived again.

In current situation, Pakistan can’t even think of Kashmir again; not just today but in the future too. While India is building a strong foundation for the youth in terms of education and self-employment opportunities paired with world-class learning centres and heavy cash inflow to jolt start-ups off ground, in Pakistan “public education is not a priority”, as published in the local daily Dawn.

64 percent of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30 and is still suffering the aftereffects of Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization of education. When extremism and sectarianisation of education are tolerated at educational institutes, which themselves are supervised by religious scholars and conservatives rather than independent thinkers, one can only imagine the condition of the country in the coming years.

A recent survey claimed that 70 percent of Pakistani youth wanted to migrate to other countries in whatever capacity they can be employed. In the local government elections in Karachi last Sunday (15th January 2023), the youth turnout was a mere 20 per cent, showing a lack of interest. A young man claimed to have voted for Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) because it is in “fashion” these days.

Many believed since “polls are already rigged”, what is the point of casting the vote?

This is the “new blood” of the nation. More than 27,000 schools have been wiped out due to the flood and with that, we can predict more than half of the school-going children will never see the inside of a classroom because the schools will not be rebuilt in at least coming ten years (parallel to the 2005 Pakistan earthquake aftermath). Their hopelessness and frustration foreshadow the doom the country will befall in absence of timely measures.

Rescuers evacuate flood-affected people in Jamshoro district, Sindh province, Pakistan, Sept. 15, 2022. (Str/Xinhua/IANS)

Pakistan is running on life support, more so in recent years, living off of donations. It depends upon them to fire up the economic engine. The UAE loan of $3 billion ($2 bn existing debt and additional support of $1 bn) and $10 billion for flood recovery from Geneva, can buy time but will not keep them afloat as a nation.

Amid all this on January 17, Pakistan’s parliament amended and toughened its blasphemy law, sparking fear and unrest among minority groups who have fallen prey to its abuse throughout history. Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of the rising Jammat party said it was necessary to make it stringent. Even when half the nation has no food to eat and innumerable water-borne diseases are killing hundreds daily.

The country’s economy is in the doldrums, youth is misguided and employed in violent services, and the socio-political atmosphere is a mawkish drama we have all watched for 70 years, the actors keep changing but the absurdity remains the same.

Every few years, the state falls back to a familiar place of despondency. The rouge country neither has the capacity nor the bright future to rise unless it invests its energies into itself. A false sense of stability and raising questions on Kashmir will only humiliate them further. It should focus on first standing on two feet without clutches, and forget Kashmir.

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Luxurious masterpieces from Kashmir to Kanyakumari

You can never go wrong when vacationing in the Indian Himalayas. Situated near Rishikesh, Ananda in the Himalayas is one of the most luxurious and best resorts in India. It is also a leading yoga retreat in India…reports Asian Lite News

India is strewn with natural beauty and historical masterpieces across the length and breadth of it. Stretching from the mighty peaks of the Himalayas in the north to the tropical beaches in the south, India’s expansive borders encompass an incredible range of contrasts, landscapes, cultures, and religions.

Wise people across generations have vouched that the best way to experience a journey is to hop on a train or go for long car rides. A few kilometres may lead you to the foothills, mighty plains of the north that are rich, enigmatic, and full of stories. Here are some royal, luxurious hotels lying in the route from Kashmir to Kanyakumari that might give you an experience rooted with the local culture and surrounding areas for travellers to explore with partners, friends, and extended family.

The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar

Built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1910, The Lalit Grand Palace was once a royal residence. Its landmark chinar tree is where Mahatma Gandhi met with Maharaja Hari Singh during India’s Partition. Besides views of the Dal, the 113-room palace offers a temperature-controlled pool, a spa, two restaurants and a bar. There are butlers on call and a 24×7 concierge service that can plan a wazwan meal at the hotel as well as other experiences in the valley.

Ananda Resort, Himalaya

You can never go wrong when vacationing in the Indian Himalayas. Situated near Rishikesh, Ananda in the Himalayas is one of the most luxurious and best resorts in India. It is also a leading yoga retreat in India. Ananda in the Himalayas is big on nature and it can be seen in their stay facility. Everything is designed to fit with their nature theme.

The Oberoi Sukhvilas, New Chandigarh

The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort boasts views-to-kill-for and lavish accommodations equipped with all modern amenities, including an Ayurveda Spa. The luxury tents are inspired by the canopied shelters made for the royals during their caravans. Each tent is temperature-controlled and features a bathroom with private garden views along with a temperature-controlled swimming pool.

Noor Mahal Palace, Karnal

Marvellous palace architecture, intricate decor, hand painted walls and ceilings, spacious lawns and beautiful sights, this place should definitely be on your Gram. Enjoy the outdoors, the spa table, and lounging in your room, equally. For the restless, obsessed with productivity, there are indoor games as well as sports, which includes lawn tennis, basketball, cricket and more. The restaurant’s vibe of bringing everyone together for a feast cannot be missed.

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

The place was owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad. This hotel is a perfect definition of luxury offering a breathtaking view of the city and spreads over 32 acres. The rooms and suites are charming beyond words. Enjoy warm hospitality and service that make you feel at home.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Stretching over 26 acres, Umaid Bhawan Palace is located on the highest point in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It features 347 rooms and was built between 1928 and 1943. Currently, it also serves as the residence of the former royal family of the city. The architecture of the palace is a mix of Classical Revival, Indo-Saracenic and Western Art Deco. Highly influenced by the Renaissance and Rajput heritage, this palace is a paradise for every history aficionado.

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari.(photo:IANSLIFE)

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala

A 16th-century traditional Kerala home structure, smack in the middle of the awe-inspiring backwaters, is a part of nature’s mystique in God’s Own Country. The property is world-recognised for its uber-luxurious yet traditional accommodation well-equipped with modern amenities and the open-roof bath creates the perfect place for guests to have an exquisite experience. Visitors can also avail some of the best Ayurvedic treatments and wellness packages specially curated for the mind, body and soul, during their stay.

Sparsa resort, Kanyakumari

Undoubtedly one of the best luxury resorts in Kanyakumari, Conveniently located at a walking distance from the shore, Each room and suite comes with views of blue ocean on the one side and offering tourists a glimpse of the typical quaint town on the other end. Enjoy a game of table tennis or pool, or lounge around the elegantly designed swimming pool and taste some delicious continental and seafood. And to burn away those holiday calories, the hotel has well-equipped gym too for you.

Annai resort and spa, Kanyakumari

A harmony of a defined architecture, spacious lawns, kids play area and tree blue swimming pools. The resort is a collection of luxurious rooms, villas and cottages are aesthetically furnished and beautifully designed to offer you every comfort and luxury. The setting, facilities, spa, cuisine and its whole philosophy is dedicated for your personal wellness in a luxurious environment.

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