Farooq-KathwariA Kashmiri Diaspora couple in US seems believing in an old maxim: For it is in giving that we receive. A big shot in Kashmir handicrafts, Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors, and his wife, Farida, recently gave a gift of $1 million to Western Connecticut State University to create an endowment that will support the university’s Honors Program. Kathwari who emigrated to US at 21 for study eventually setup his business by selling crafts from Kashmir sent by his grandfather. The University was too quick to describe the couple’s generous gift an honour to their son Irfan’s memory. In absence of their son, it seems, the couple has found a generous raison d’être to carry with life.


Gani-vakilSoz is truly a sensational politician! He loves dovetailing controversies – either in, or out of power. So, when he finally steps down as PCC president, he sent sensation down in Pradesh Congress’s rank and file. But interestingly, the man known for his ‘sensational’ call – though not in good taste – only felt the sensation. As PCC’s top slot was passed to another ‘sensational’ Congressman from south Kashmir’s Dooru, G A Mir, his party colleague – who needs no introduction – objected the move and resigned in protest. Why? Because Abdul Gani Vakil believed Mir is a “tainted” junior whose appointment is “an unfortunate event” and a “black day” for the J&K Congress party. Well, is anybody saying, it is pot calling the kettle black?


Sajad-RafeeqClicking affair might never be the same again in picturesque valley. These days the young photography enthusiasts of valley are participating and winning the ‘clicking’ contests like never before. First, it was an engineer by profession and photographer by passion, Sajad Rafeeq, who shot to prime after winning National Geographic’s Mission Covershot 3. The achievement of this Pampore youth was followed by two Kashmiri students winning first and second prizes in a photography contest by Oxfam India and Women Power Connect in New Delhi. The winning duo – Viqar Syed and Syed Shahriyar – showcased their respectively wining photographs portraying an acid victim and a Kashmiri woman rowing her children to school. Now then, clicks are unlikely to cease!


Usman majeedAfter losing his cool, an official is now cooling his heels in prison. Well, something like this happened after an assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) Bandipora suddenly fumed up and allegedly laid his hands on a militant-turned-renegade-turned-legislator (Bandipora), Usman Majid. The incident is said to have taken place inside Usman’s chamber. After cops swung into action, the accused was arrested and sent to central Jail. Well, it was just a matter of swallowing a (bitter) political pill to prevent a term in prison. But then, not everyone likes an idea to swallow a pill!


airlinesSoaring toward sky seems nothing short of arduous journey these days. With closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway due to bad weather, the airfares too have skyrocketed. Airfares charged by airliners from Srinagar to Jammu or vice-versa surged from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. At a time when all current 21 flights operating at Srinagar International Airport justified hikes as a simple case of demand and supply, the experts are calling for making Mughal road fully operational to end the only surface communication link dependency of Kashmir with outside world. Wait, till another announcement!


Gen-MusharrafSome say, these are secrets than skeletons tumbling out of General Musharraf’s closet. The latest one making round in the town is: the firebrand general kept his junior Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the dark about Kargil Operation in 1999 despite the latter heading forces responsible to guard (Pakistan-administered) Kashmir (PaK). The revelation was made by former minister Lt Gen (retd.) Abdul Majeed Malik in his book, ‘Ham Bhi Wahan Mojod Thay’. Malik asserts that Kayani headed the 12 Division that was responsible to guard Kashmir (PaK) but he was not taken into confidence over the operation which brought Pakistan and India on the brink of a nuclear war. Kayani was later hand-picked by Musharraf as his successor in 2007 as the army chief and he served for six years as head of army. With the latest out, some say, Musharraf was indeed “one man army” himself!

To establish Swine Flu (H1N1) testing laboratory both at Jammu and Srinagar, the Planning & Development Department Tuesday released Rs 11.935 Crore in favour of the Health & Medical department


The police departmental has issued the formal promotion orders of 113 SgCts to the next rank of head constable having lien and seniority with Kashmir Zone in the pay scale of Rs 5200- 20200 with the grad pay of Rs 2800.


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