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A fact sheet from Kashmir

After spending a week in the pleasant weather of my birth place, Kashmir, I returned to the scorching heat in Kolkata and straightaway attended an international seminar on “Jammu & Kashmir – Way Forward” at the Tollygunj Club recently. Most speakers presented a grim picture of the situation in valley while emphasising that the sovereignty of India over Kashmir is non-negotiable. A good take away was the recognition amongst panellists with the background in defence services that the Kashmir problem is of a political nature and security forces can only have a limited role. Let me present here a fact file of what is happening in Kashmir now, much much different from the earlier days of militancy. These facts were gathered during my stay in a tense Srinagar, and following interactions with different sections of the society — friends who have held senior positions in the Government and a mix of educated youth who have acquired professional degrees from universities outside Kashmir in India and abroad, common people like Taxi drivers, Boatmen, shop keepers and also a couple of visiting journalists. Click here for details