In Denial MODE

This is what the throne demands. When his distant relative Abdul Majid Matoo, a retired university teacher, gathered a good crowd in Beerwa, a segment that he lost in 2008, on a false promise, Omar stuck to his guns and said it is impossible. It was an official statement that offered the details.

The spokesman said Matoo had gathered the crowd on the promise that the Chief Minister will announce the district status for Beerwa. But Omar told the crowd that even though he sympathized with them he cannot make a false commitment.

“But when two or three among the organizers insisted that he should make the commitment even if it is later not met to please the gathered crowd the Chief Minister plainly refused and left the venue instead,” the spokesman said.

Omar, the spokesman said, firmly asserted to the organisers that it was not in his grain to befool the people and make false promises to them because his politics is based on principles of truth and integrity. “He will only promise what he can deliver,” the spokesman quoting Omar said. “Neither in the past nor in the future shall he ever make false promise to the people even if he has to face some temporary setbacks due to this attitude of his because people have reposed faith and trust in him and he cannot betray them.”

This might have got the projection of a moral high ground but it actually speaks of the compulsions of the throne. No chief minister can think of creating a district and had Ghulam Nabi Azad not been the CM of J&K there was no possibility of adding to the 14 districts ever.

At the same time, however, the Beerwa incident offers some details of the state of crisis that people in opposition are at their own levels. They sell anything to get the people to listen to them. This has happened every time and will continue happening. PDP hawked a job per family. Even Omar during his 2008 campaign was asking people that if elected he would permit use of cooking heaters.

Cell Phone And The RAGE
It is hate and rage. The people in Kishtwar were on roads for two hours on Friday last seeking justice and a mechanism that prevents the recurrence of the unfortunate events. Last week, the locals discovered a porn CD that pertained to a young girl and shot by the coaching centre owner in the centre itself. The girl was his student.

Police have already registered a case and started hunting the owner. Identified as Tariq Qayoom Tak, he was finally rounded up somewhere in Islamabad. Tak was teaching at the state-run higher secondary school and also ran a coaching centre in the town. It was in one of the rooms of this centre that he shot the video clip.

Police that raided his institute, residence and office have seized lot many things including some allegedly fake certificates. Police produced him before a local court, which sent him on a 10-day remand. Tak is booked under section 67 of IT Act and section 292 of RPC. Police is currently looking for an NHPC employee who allegedly is an accomplice in the porn CD shooting. It is yet to recover the computer that was used in making of the CD. Kishtwar Bar Association is unlikely to defend Tak in the court.

Police says they are investigating the issue and would make it a water tight case. The girl has already recorded her statement before the court and police thinks it will help them to send Tak to jail for a long time. He is also losing his job.

The incident has triggered a chain reaction in the town. Hundreds of residents on Friday joined a protest demonstration from the local Jamia Masjid to the office of the Deputy Commissioner. They blocked the traffic for two hours. They want only one favour – monitoring of the coaching centres.

At Ghani Kashmiri’s HOME
Gani Kashmiri, a Persian poet of international repute had to wait centuries to “earn” a name locally. Recently, his house, though many historians deny it, was repaired and reconstructed at a cost of 41.83 lakh and converted into a public library.

The newly constructed library is located in Rajouri Kadal close to the place where the poet is believed to be buried. However, the exact details about this personality are not available.

Born at Gurgari Mohalla, Zaina Kadal in fifteenth century, Gani’s forefathers had migrated from Central Asia. His real name was Muhammad Tahir and his pen name, “Gani”. Popularly known as Gani Kashmiri, he belonged to Asahie family in Srinagar. For most of his life, he lived in the city. He was formally educated in those times and went to Madrassa and Maktab. He was follower of Sheikh Mohsin Fani.

Some believe he died at a young age of 41 but his various verses allude to the fact that he lived much longer and passed away as an aged person. He died in 1668.  

Gani’s verses earned him fame in India, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran, the seat of Persian language and literature. The reputation of his work was such that, it is said, people in Iran would ask anyone returning from India if they had brought some gift from Kashmir. For them, Gani’s latest verses were a priceless gift.

It is said that famous Persian poet, Saayib visited Gani in Kashmir to enquire the meaning of a Kashmiri word Kralepan (potter’s thread) used in one of his famous verses, Moi miyan tu shudah kralepan  Kard juda kasa-e-sar ha zi tan.

The doyen of Urdu poetry, Mir Taqi Mir boastfully claims to have profited from Gani’s poetic collection. Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal is also believed to be one of his admirers. Iqbal writes:  Shair-o-rangeen nawa Tahir Gani  Faqr obatin Gani, zahir Gani.

A Panchayat DESPATCH
For a long time, the Panchayat will continue to mint news in Kashmir and the last it happened was in Shopian where a Sarpanch, Khursheed Ahmad Mir, claimed he was arrested and stripped in the police station.

Mir represents Khudpora Gundihad. He had visited the sub-district hospital Shopian where he felt humiliated because of the delay in his turn to meet the consulting doctor. In rage, he claimed, he tore away his prescription and left the hospital in a huff.

Official theory is slightly twisted. They say Mir vandalized the hospital, abused Dr Abdul Hamid forcing hospital officials to inform the police that drove there and arrested him.

Mir told reporters that he was driven to the police station, stripped and kicked into lock-up. He was set free only after local NC leaders intervened. Post publication of the news, police came with a slightly larger dossier terming Mir a criminal who among other things is involved in misappropriating Rs 25 lakh. Police have at least listed four FIRs that are registered against Mir. He was held for an act that amounts to commission of offence punishable under section 186 RPC and was set free on personal bond.

But such news would remain coming out from the periphery as long as ‘empowered individuals’ would feel ‘slighted’ by the system during routine.

The larger issue, however, is that after the exercise is over, there are still 1300 vacancies of Panchs and Sarpanchs in Kashmir. These vacancies could not be filed for varied reasons including the non-availability of candidates who would contest the election in certain areas. Chief Electoral Officer has written to the government seeking a direction about what should be done in these cases.

Election were held in 17 phases for 4130 Panchayats including 1966 in Jammu division and 2164 in Kashmir division besides 28719 Panches including 15,959 in Kashmir division and 13,760 in Jammu. However, about 1300 posts of Sarpanchs and Panchs in Kashmir division remained unfilled. While in some segments, the candidates didn’t come forward, in some constituencies, the election couldn’t be held due to stay order obtained by the candidates through the courts.

While the government is reportedly in the process of formally notifying the elected and constituting the panchayats, a thought process is afoot to see if the elected lot gets some kind of monetary benefit. Reports suggest that a number of models are under consideration. The priority seems to be building panchayat ghars and every single building would cost Rs 20 lakh. Of the 2500 panchayat ghars that Kashmir already had, 500 were set afire and 1000 others are in dilapidated condition.

The ABVP DIKTAT
Kashmiri students are being thrown out of the educational institution of Bhopal. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleges that Kashmiri students have bribed the corrupt staffers and are bending rules to get admission in these education institutions. Their claims are police is charging Rs 500 for fake verifications.

Due to this allegation some colleges are refusing admission to Kashmiri students, apart from asking proper verification from the already admitted students.  
The ABVP says that they are not against Kashmiri but do not want separatists to make their presence in Bhopal. The ABVP want Kashmiri students to go through a proper police verification processes, so that they are not doubted as “separatists”.

Now, BJP has recommended a committee to look into the matter. The committee is headed by Commissioner of Higher education with registrar of Barket-tu-llah University, Rajiv Gandhi Technology University and Gwalior University as members. The committee was formed after a delegation ABVP called on Lamikant Sharma, Higher Education Minister.

The committee is said to scrutinize the documents submitted by the students already admitted in the colleges of Bhopal. A good percentage of Kashmiris are studying in educational institutions of Bhopal. In one of the colleges in Madhya Pradesh, out of the 290 students from other states, 287 were from the Valley, the state government has said in the Assembly. Universities are said to strictly implement some new rules which they believe are not different from previous rules.

One of them is to follow the said ratio of 80:20 for the students from Madhya Pradesh and other states while admitting the students. Another rule is that the outside students have to follow is to file an affidavit about their backgrounds. And if the information in the affidavit is found to be incorrect or different from the original one, the student will be debarred from getting admission into any college in Madhya Pradesh for next three years.

It Is Peoples’ PARTY
In the just concluded polls for 40-seat Legislative assembly of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) clinched 20 seats out of 37 seats on which elections were held. Meanwhile PPP, which is set to form government in PaK, has expressed willingness to form a coalition government.

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) is the runner-up with nine seats. Incumbent ruling Muslim Conference secured third position in the elections by winning five seats and independent candidates won two seats, while one seat went to the joint candidate of PPP and PML (Q).

The Election Commission of PaK postponed polling for three seats (LA-30 Karachi Jammu-1, LA-36 Karachi Kashmir Valley-1 and LA-41 Abbotabad) after the death of three people in violence. Pertinently, the Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) boycotted the general elections after the Election Commissioner postponed elections to two Legislative Assembly seats of Karachi reserved for Kashmiri migrants.

MQM has moved a petition in the Sindh High Court to order holding of elections in the two Karachi constituencies, saying that the postponement for security reasons was malafide and manipulated by the PPP government.

The central leader of PPP and former PaK prime minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary said that they will follow the reconciliation policy envisaged by President Asif Ali Zardari and invite other political parties in government formation. PPP central general secretary, Jahangir Badar said that his party can form its government in PaK alone, but it would move forward by “taking along other political parties.”

Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry won from LA-3 (City Mirpur-III) and President PaK PPP Choudhary Abdul Majeed was declared victorious from LA-2 (Chakswari Mirpur-II). President of Muslim Conference Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan (LA-13, Bagh-1) and PML (N) leader Raja Farooq Haider also won their seats.

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