CONCLUDED: The two-day festival at centuries old Hemis monastery is over. The yearly extravaganza is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, the reincarnation of Buddha. Hundreds of foreign tourists watched the colourful festival. It was presided over by the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual leader of the Drukpa sect. The festival marked the conclusion of the month long padyatra of Buddhist monks for over 400 kilometers in Himalayas who started from Manali in Himachal. Monks crossed five high passes including Shikun la and Singge la – both are at an altitude of about 5,200 meters above the sea level.
APPOINTED: Paramdeep Singh Gill, a J&K cadre 1974 batch IPS officer, has finally took over as the police chief in Punjab. After the decision was made public last month, there were certain hiccups but now the appointment has been approved. Gill was holding the post of State Vigilance Commissioner in J&K. Punjab government amended rules to bring Gill on deputation from J&K helping him to supersede Punjab cadre IPS officers, including his own elder brother R S Gill, who was the acting chief of the state police in Punjab.
PASSED: The assembly of PaK at Muzaffarabad approved its yearly budget of Pakistani Rs 3540.60 crores last week after a week long debate. There were as many as 36 demands for grants from Finance Minister Chaudhry Latif Akbar.
PERFORMED: A Chinese musicologist Prof Liu Yuening performed for 90 minutes using a Chinese traditional instrument Yangqin in Srinagar. She told the audience in a Cultural Academy sponsored event that Yangqin is actually the Chinese Santoor which is known as Cimbalom in Central European countries.
INTERACTED: Valley’s known figures in academics, economics, media and other spheres including lawyers had an interaction at a thematic seminar conducted by a foundation of Kashmir’s leading newspaper Greater Kashmir. They delivered speeches and read papers on ‘Kashmir-The Way Forward’. But the newspaper reported that the participants “found it hard to suggest or even hint at any way forward but eloquently – some of them passionately – pointed out the lacunae in the resistance and the leadership”.
REVEALED: Pakistan’s former president Parvez Musharraf said Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference couldn’t come up with any concrete proposal for the resolution of Kashmir issue. In his talks with ‘all stakeholders of the Kashmir issue’, he said, “but no one could guide me in the right direction”. On his four point formula, he said he convinced the entire leadership in Kashmir, except hardliner Ali Shah Gilani.
APPOINTED: Authorities appointed additional district magistrate Baramulla Muhammad Ashraf Shanthoo to hold magisterial inquiry into the killing of youth in CRPF firing in the town. Four youth were killed and the town is still under curfew.
MET: The Co-ordination Committee of ruling coalition met in Srinagar but Dr Farooq Abdullah was absent because he was in Egypt. Though official sources said the Co-ordination Committee confined its discussions to strengthening of the coalition and making governance more effective, reliable sources suggested that a cabinet expansion was also discussed.