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Kashmir Watch

The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.

 

As India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of Independence, they need to pause and reflect about the suffering of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally held out some hope for the strife-torn Valley, which has been through one of its worst phases in recent years.

 

Each year when Pakistan and India celebrate their independence, anxiety takes over the minds of many.

 

The clouds always appear ominous when it comes to Kashmir. But as India marks the 70th year of independence, the clouds look menacing.

 

One Sunday afternoon, after I finished work at my rural clinic in Anantnag, a friend asked me to accompany him to Zain Shah Sahib’s shrine located on a hill top in South Kashmir’s Ashmuqam village.

 

The government’s reply last month to the Supreme Court, saying that the questions raised in a petition challenging Article 35A require a “larger debate”, has predictably stirred a hornet’s nest in Kashmir.

 

It seems that in Pakistan the title of PM has become a burden too difficult to carry. First, Nawaz Sharif was ousted as Prime Minister by the Supreme Court.

 

The country has a new prime minister, four days after the last one was removed, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty over the government because there is likely to be a third prime minister by the end of next month.

 

The divisive issue of Kashmir is cannon fodder for a section of the electronic media thriving on uber-nationalism. Forever on the lookout for sensation, they either miss the wood for the trees or consciously conjure up smoke suggesting a forest fire where none exists.

 


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