In Kashmir, direct hits kill the same way, the stray bullets kill. However what was tragic was that the stray bullets hit two minors who were sleeping in their home. In Batpora – Kunnad village, where counter-insurgent forces killed three foreigners, stray bullets landed in Makhni Begum’s home. One hit Kaneeza, who was six and another Faisal, her brother. The two were barely a few meters away from the encounter site. Kaneeza died and Faisal is struggling to survive.


After seeing ‘turmoil and poetry of the mystics’ in Kashmir,  film maker, poet, artist, fashion designer, music lover Muzaffar Ali felt motivated to organise Jahan-e-Khusrau, World Sufi Music Festival, after a gap of two years in Delhi. He has also indicated reviving Zooni, a biopic on the 16th century poet Habba Khatoon that is stuck in production and bank loans. “I’m very keen to revive my film but it can only be done if people want it. But there’s a lot of money involved. And the whole Bollywood trap is very confusing,” Ali was quoted saying. “We would need big stars and distortion of history to make it commercial. You cannot distort history! I can’t afford to play around with the Kashmiri sentiment for this film.”


Perhaps for the first time in a decade, Robert Plant sung Kashmir in Royal Albert Hall. The Led Zeppelin song from their sixth album Physical Graffiti, was actually released in 1975. Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (with contributions from John Bonham) over a period of three years with lyrics dating to 1973, the song became a concert staple, performed by the band at almost every concert after its release. The song has been described as one of Led Zeppelin’s two most overtly progressive epics.


While two-third of Kashmir will be in election fever, Jammu is not left alone. With six seats in the House of Elders falling vacant by April 17, the efforts to retain the nomination have begun. Those who will be completing their term include Jehangir Hussain Mir, Jugal Kishore, Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah Veeri, Master Noor Hussain, S Dharambir Singh Oberoi (deceased) and a PDP worker from Sumbal, Yasir Reshi. As many as 87 elected and 2 nominated Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) will take part in polling through open ballot.


The abnormal growth in government’s long arm, the police, was at full display in Hyderpora, when a police officer caught a news photographer by his throat. They had gone to cover a press conference of separatist triumvirate Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and M Yasin Malik. When police denied them a chance to talk to media and arrested them instead, photographers clicked the scene, something that was unacceptable to the cops. Though all journalistic bodies have condemned the assault, seemingly there is nothing that has happened in the follow up.


By Tuesday, almost forty Kashmiris from the cross section of the society would fly to the desert city to watch the final match of Super League on March 24. This is perhaps Kashmir’s first ever international sports event, an initiative of nearly 10 thousand Kashmiris working in UAE. Initiated in 2016, the League has grown phenomenally with nearly 400 players in 14 teams. Sponsors have hired a stadium where commentary in Kashmir is being broadcast live on internet. Dre Homes, a real estate company is a major sponsor of the cricketing event.

Gilgit Baltistan, part of erstwhile Kashmir state that is currently in sharp focus because of CPEC, is spread over 72,971 sq km and is home to 1.8 million people


3.8% population of Islamabad district is infected with Hepatitis C, Shopian has 1.3% and Kulgam 1.2%


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