Last week, J&K’s lone listed company did not only reveal its profits. It also elevated a lot its officials. While 11 Senior Executives were elevated to Vice Presidents, 13 VPs moved to top berths of Presidents. Now it creates a stage for filling up the two positions of the Executive Directors, lying vacant for some time.

New Presidents include Madan Lal Gupta, Raja Abdul Latif, Mohammad Afzal Khan, Bashir Ahmad Lone, Om Prakash Sharma, Fazle Mehboob Gani, Vagish Chander, Abdul Hamid Banday, Shafat Banday, Meera Jamwal, Roop Krishen Shah, Surjeet Singh and Abdul Rouf Bhat. Those becoming VPs include Syed Ashiq Hussain, Ghulam Qadir, Mohit Kumar Vij, Sohan Singh Bilawaria, Nishi Baru, Mohammad Ibrahim Wani, Abdul Rashid Sheigan, Zahoor Ahmad Khan, Vinod Kumar, Mohammad Yousuf Khosa and Inder Krishen Koul. The bank posted Rs 182.2 crore profit in Q1 of the current fiscal 2011-12 which is 25 percent more than Rs 145.90 crore profit of last fiscal’s Q1.

Encouraging MICE
Ahead of getting the keys of Centaur Lakeview Hotel, the SKICC is working overtime to build its brand. Its latest activity was to get a full-fledged team of the Indian Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) to Srinagar and Gulmarg to see the facilities it offers for promoting Kashmir as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination. ICPB is a 24-year old organization, an outcome of private public partnership that is working to promote India as MICE destination. SKICC MD, Dr G N Qasba said that the team was impressed by the facilities that SKICC has and it  had prolonged discussions with the tourism minister and his team. ICPB will be flying international trainers on MICE to help train and build skills of the local tourism and travel community. SKICC is rocking otherwise. Against 42 conferences it held in Q1 of 2009-10 and earned Rs 63.25 lakh, it has already hosted 60 conferences and earned Rs 75.75 lakh in the first three months of 2011-12.

Encounter FOLLOW UP
It is a tale telling a lot. Aggressive civilians from a vast Pulwama belt almost plunged into an about-to-conclude gun battle. They engaged in a fierce clash with the police and paramilitary men. Shakoor Ahmad Teli, alias Umair, a Lashkar recruit was trapped in Khaar Mohalla of Puchhal village. On Thursday morning when the gun battle resumed around Sarpanch Abdul Aziz Khan’s house where he was hiding, hundreds of people from the area started sloganeering for Azaadi. By the time the militant was killed and the operation was about finish, the mobs entered the village and triggering a long battle in which people resorted to brick-batting. Police used force to quell the mobs but failed. Later when police drove the militant’s corpse to Pinglana village, the residents attacked the police team in which a Dy SP and his assistant were injured. They set afire the van that drove the dead home. Police opened fire in which four persons were injured who were immediately evacuated to the hospitals. A total of  33 people including 10 civilians besides 23 cops were injured and a police van destroyed.

Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA), the latest entrant to the chessboard of Kashmir resolution, has planned its event as an all party kind of interaction. It, however, went off the script as Syed Ali Geelani was initially kept under house arrest and not permitted to attend the meeting at S P College. In Geelani’s absence when minister Ghulam Hassan Mir was speaking, he was jeered at. Mir, however, stayed put and defended Delhi saying ‘if Geelani was kept under house arrest by state government, why should Delhi be blamed?’ Congress’s Muzaffar Parray faced the same fate. Shahid Sidiqui, an erstwhile journalist who is now an MP also faced the hostile crowd. Barring Geelani who was permitted to speak, lawmaker Engineer Rashid was the only speaker who was not disrupted.

Get Asesino AVTAR
High Court asked the state government to file objections to an application filed by slain Jalil Andrabi’s family seeking leftover records of court file. Though the family has received most of the records, there are still some documents they do not have access to. Jalil Andrabi was kidnapped and killed by army and massive investigations by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led to Major Avtar Singh, who mysteriously fleds. Singh was arrested in Fresno (California) in a domestic violence case. Though the government has been asserting that it will get Singh back to face trial, nothing much has happened so far. The State Police Crimes (Investigation) branch submitted before the court on June 29 that court order on extradition was served to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) New Delhi. However, the family’s lawyer had sought a timeframe for the extradition of the accused Major.

They finally did it. Opposition PDP managed around 9000 panchs and sarpanchs (actually chairs hired by the party helped to get the count) to Srinagar and create an impressive show of its might in the TRC grounds. The government was initially reluctant and was using the best of its ideas to ensure it does not happen. When it happened, there were a number of high power security cameras taking live coverage of all entrants into the park. Whether  these cameras were for security purposes or identification parade of the panchs, was not known. After a very long time did the city witness the ‘invitees’ being respected and properly treated by a political party. PDP had invested handsomely to ensure the gala event is a reference. The only boring routine was that the elected panchs had to listen bashans from almost everybody who matters in the party for the whole day. They were given some good tips and advices as well.

Hizb Deputy Divisional Commander Subash Chander Shaan alias Wasif’s killing has surged the interest about the presence of Hindu militants in J&K. Officials say there were around 17 Hindu militants of whom four were actually mowed down. These included Uttam Singh alias Saifullah (killed on August 20, 2005), Kuldeep Kumar alias Kamran (August 24, 2006), Subash Chander Shaan (July 26, 2011) and Bipin Kumar (November 2008). The top Hindu militants who surrendered (November 9, 2004) before the police was Hizb commander Manoj Kumar Manhas alias Ansari. Those arrested include Chattar Singh and Rashpal Singh. Those still at large include Dhoni Chand alias Tofail, Sachin Kumar, (Kishtwar), Kripal Singh, Shan Lal, Kishen Chand and Sanjay Kumar (Rajouri) Lal Chand, Baldev Singh, Randeep Singh.

In Congress it flows from the top. The family is paramount. A Delhi newspaper recently said that eight out of the 11 general secretaries in the newly constituted state executive of the J&K Youth Congress are related to senior leaders, including Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Jammu MP Madan Lal Sharma. These include RS Pathania, who is VP, Mehboob Azad (nephew of Ghulam Nabi Azad), Satish Sharma (son of MP Madan Lal Sharma), Pranav Smagotra (nephew of state INTUC president Shiv Kumar Sharma), Jyoti Sharma (niece of PCC secretary Darshan Raina), and Imtiaz Ahmed Parray (son of slain counter insurgent Kuka Parray).

Over to LONDON
British newspaper Times has reported that Kashmir lobbyist Ghulam Nabi Fai was also heavily engaged in a campaign to influence the British government’s Kashmir policy. Unlike US, there is no law in UK that prevents functioning of a FBI detected lobbying system that Fai was running in US. But British intelligence is investigating the Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre. If Time is to be believed then the Foundation paid a cross-party group of British parliamentarians — two MPs and one peer — to visit Pakistan recently. These included Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer; Andrew Griffiths, a Conservative MP; and Simon Danczuk, a Labour MP. A Conservative MP, Richard Harrington, paid his own costs. Interestingly, Fai is one of the two directors of the Foundation that was set up in 2003. Nuclear physicist Dr Ayub Thukar headed the Foundation and after his sudden death in 2004, Prof Nazir A Shawl succeeded him.


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