Kashmir’s two human rights defenders, Parveena Ahangar and Parvez Imroz received the Rafto Prize 2017 for their long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir, at The National Stage in Bergen Norway. The award carries a cash prize of US $ 20,000.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked a different feeling in Himachal Pradesh where he accused Kashmiris of pelting stones on their ‘Jawans of Army’. He was addressing an election rally. But he had no criticism from his coalition alleys, who are spending millions on tourism promotion. His partners didn’t react but the leader of opposition, Omar Abdullah took a jibe and tweeted “On the campaign trail PM Modi highlighting the failure of his ally Mehbooba Mufti and her administration.”
Flamboyant Dr Farooq Abdullah, the NC president, surprised all netizens in Kashmir when a video went viral showing him turned into a preacher who sounded concerned about the life hereafter and Western threat to Islam. The video was first of its kind, shot in Handwara where one of his senior party workers had passed away and Dr Abdullah was sitting next to the dead man. As part of the revival, the party is busy in outreach. Dr Abdullah has been visiting far flung areas.
A Kashmiri scientist, Dr Muneeb A Faiq, was a part of groundbreaking discovery from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and JIPMER, Pondicherry, about human body that mesentery (a peculiar part of human abdomen) is a single entity. And the finding was published in a highly reputed journal Colorectal Disease with a descriptive video of human mesentery dissected from a human cadaver. The anatomy research has put the 500 year old story of Da Vinci’s depictions of the mesentery to rest.
A passionate software developer but practising law, Shahzada Saleem, 26, a resident of Bemina, has designed a web browser Kashmir Society Browser in two months. The 17 MB browser has already stored web addresses of organizations, particularly of news outlets, frequently accessed by netizens in Kashmir. It is available at Google Play.
In Islamabad, Mushaal Mullick, the wife of Muhammad Yasin Malik, met Omar Hamid Khan, secretary Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), and discussed the expansion of the scheme to Pakistan administered Kashmir so that it can empower the Kashmir women. BISP has 106193 beneficiaries in PaK, who are refugees from Kashmir. She has said that Kashmiri women are skilled in making traditional Kashmiri shawls so their cultural potential could be utilized to help them earn for themselves and thus graduate out of poverty.