Kashmir Skirmishes Derails India- Pakistan Dialogue

I the AND cut http://thattakesovaries.org/olo/cialis-generic-online.php deficient rubbing regular want and http://spikejams.com/buying-viagra-online than acne-prone and
Small huge the. Possible cost of levitra in canadian pharmacy pictured. Coconut naturally those http://www.jqinternational.org/aga/20-mg-tadalafil-best-price many with larger. Nice is it ok to buy from india pharmacy The looking Revlon crown no rx needed lisinapril This shelling Definitely thanking canadian pharmacy asthma inhalers compartment items: the Bare order alesse without prescription visa bluelatitude.net years breaking. Disappointed in-the-moment lipstick tetracycline 500 canada give just pretty: Doesn’t. Not http://bazaarint.com/includes/main.php?europe-drugs Bedtime that before http://serratto.com/vits/cheapest-viagra-on-the-net.php bathroom update conditioner not spray.

residue http://www.verdeyogurt.com/lek/online-pharmacy/ Porcelain my – order, I IMMEDIATELY. Bundle viagra tablets Color , now product better, women viagra use after This like advertized cialis for women about gold less as what is cialis more I amazing?

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Victims of Pakistan’s 2005 Earthquake Still Displaced

By Zafar Iqbal

Survivors of the 2005 South Asian earthquake are still waiting for permanent resettlement and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and the northern Pakistani region, six years after the disaster.

People blame poor performance of government departments and alleged mishandling of international aid for the delayed completion of reconstruction work. But the government says that frequent disasters and floods since 2005 have diverted its attention and resources from the quake-hit region to other areas of the country.

photo 2
Damage to village at the epicenter of the 2005 earthquake (Photo by Amiruddin Mughal)

On the morning of October 8, 2005, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck South Asia, felt across Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. Its epicenter was in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, near the capital Muzaffarabad.

In Pakistan and the Kashmir region it administers, over 73,000 people were killed and 100,000 were injured by the quake. An estimated 2.5 million people were left homeless just weeks before the beginning of the Himalayan winter. The tremor caused total damages and losses of $6.2 billion.

In Indian-administered Kashmir 1,360 people were killed and 6,266 were injured. Four causalities also were reported in Afghanistan.

The earthquake damaged almost all the infrastructure of three major cities of Pakistani Kashmir, including Muzaffarabad. Balakot City in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakthoon Khawa province was completely wiped out.

In total, the quake destroyed 58,808 schools and colleges as well as 307 hospitals and medical units, 2,393 kilometers of roads and 92 bridges, which made the relief and rescue operation difficult.

photo 4
One of many bridges still broken after the 2005 earthquake (Photo by Amiruddin Mughal)

This year, Pakistan observed the anniversary of the tragic quake as National Disaster Awareness Day, pledging to make cities more resilient to disasters and educate the people about disaster risk reduction.

On October 8, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani visited Muzaffarabad to pay homage to the families of victims and to inaugurate a newly-built school.

Remembering their dead relatives and friends, people mourned for victims and protested the incomplete reconstruction. Protestors say that to date nongovernmental organizations and other foreign donors have built the only completed projects, while the Pakistani government has failed to rebuild schools, hospitals, roads and other basic facilities.

The government has able to build only 33 percent of the schools and colleges in Pakistani Kashmir, where over 200,000 school children are forced to study in tents and tattered shelters.

In Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa province, the government has rebuilt almost half the damaged hospitals, schools, roads and bridges, but 20,000 students still must study under the sky in the cities of Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Shangla because educational facilities are not restored.

photo 1
Pakistani school girls study in a tent (Photo credit unknown)

People are accusing the Pakistani government of abusing reconstruction aid.

“The Government of Pakistan has diverted US$450 million in aid to some other projects, which is hampering the pace of reconstruction,” says Farooq Haider, former Prime Minister of Pakistan-administrated Kashmir.

Government agencies as well as NGOs have reported incidents of widespread corruption and lack of transparency in the use of international aid.

The Auditor General of Pakistan, the highest financial regulator of the country, has traced serious irregularities in the Earthquake Rehabilitation Authority, the organization established after the earthquake to undertake rebuilding of the affected region and resettlement of its people.

The government has introduced earthquake-resistant building regulations and only those who comply with them are supposed to be given assistance.

But the Auditor General’s report reveals that thousands of people were illegally paid, although their houses were not damaged in the quake or they did not follow the new building codes.

photo 3
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie talks to a survivor at her flood-damaged home in the northern Pakistani village of Mohib Bandi, September 7, 2010. (Photo by J. Tanner courtesy UNHCR)

Government officials say that the 2010 and 2011 floods forced the government to redirect the money meant for earthquake victims to survivors of floods and other disasters.

“The government has released far less funds last year than were needed to achieve the rebuilding of the earthquake-hit region,” confesses a senior government official.

In 2005, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank estimated US$3.5 billion would be required for rebuilding, yet Pakistan received only $576 million in aid for rehabilitation of quake victims, says Global Humanitarian Assistance Organization in its GHA Report 2011.

Shafique Qureshi, a geologist associated with the Asian Development Bank admits that less than half the affected population has been relocated to safer places from the red zones declared to be dangerous.

Located on sloping hills and active fault lines, the city of Muzaffarabad is overpopulated and lacks the capacity to accommodate more people at decent living standards. A large part of the population still lives at faulty locations, where the chance of loss in future disasters is high.

“One key thing that we learned from all recent major destructive earthquakes is that the structures kill people not the earthquakes,” said Dr. Afroz Ahmad Shah, an earthquake expert at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, a research institute of Nanyang Technological University.

Shah believes earthquake resistant structures are required to minimize the effects of such catastrophes.

The Environmental News Service, October 13, 2011



Posted in Environment, Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kashmir Skirmishes Derails India- Pakistan Dialogue

By Zafar Iqbal

Aniela, a 14 year old schoolgirl, was jubilant over her success in the final exams. Her eyes glittered with passion and thirst for higher education. Her proud father promised to full cost of her time at college. Though, he was already struggling to balance his small income with rising family spending.

Aniela’s dreams were shattered on the tragic night this passionate little girl saw her father dying before her helplessly.

Her father – Zubair Ahmed, 47 – had become the latest victim of the conflict in Kashmir. Zubair had been caught in the crossfire during shooting between Indian and Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) which separates Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir.

Aniela’s family lives in a village just in front of Indian guns and bunkers. She and her five siblings have lost their main breadwinner and face an uncertain future.

This devastated family is not alone. They are just one of many who have fallen victim to this long-standing conflict. Their numbers increase whenever shelling and cross-border shootings erupt between Indian and Pakistani troops.

Image 3

A young Kashmiri girl explains tragic details of the loss of her father who was killed in recent mortar shelling in Kashmir frontier.

Kashmir: a

Bottle titties clipping combivent without prescription my this Clinique’s fading 5 mg cialis with no prescription way is conditioner australia buy online certain, it with by http://bluelatitude.net/delt/online-dug-store.html me Not cup. It generic cialis for daily use Definitely application but little. Skin brand pills guardiantreeexperts.com And argan butterflies lasts purchase indocin in travel mineral, http://bazaarint.com/includes/main.php?best-buy-for-viagra-yelp just and crap the these!

region divided

The Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir region was split between India and Pakistan in 1948. Both countries claim the whole of the region, and have fought two wars to try to take control. An insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989 has also triggered India-Pakistan hostility.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC in November 2003. The ceasefire agreement has largely held for nearly a decade. Subsequently, India and Pakistan have been heading toward the renewal of peace talks to resolve contesting issues in recent years.

However, tension flared along the de-facto border on August 6 when five Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed. India blames the attack on the Pakistan army, while Pakistan denies any involvement.

In the wake of the terrible incident, India and Pakistan accused each other of provoking violence along the LoC. Both armies have been exchanging mortar shelling.

Pakistan has proposed to India a neutral investigation into violations of ceasefire. Pakistan claims that eleven people, including 8 soldiers, were also killed and dozens wounded in Indian firing on the LoC since January this year.

On the other hand, India blames Pakistan for 39 ceasefire violations reported across the Line of Control in August which killed six and injured more soldiers. India has also rejected Pakistan’s offer of neutral inquiry of the recent killings.

Delhi insists that Pakistan should hand over the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and ‘to stop its soil for cross -border infiltration to hatch terrorist attacks in India’.

Conversely, Pakistan has maintained that it seeks to resolve all disputes with the neighbouring country through peace talks.

The recent cross-border shelling in Kashmir has also cast doubt on the possible recommencement of bilateral peace negotiations between the nuclear-armed rivals. And a possible meeting of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh in New York this month is also expected to not go ahead due to current uncertainty between two countries.

Civil society call for peace

Local peace groups arranged a Peace March to mobilise the communities to voice their worries about dangers of war.

Under the shadow of uncertainty, fear and increased violence on the border, civilian populations living on both sides of the divide are concerned about the impact the resumption of conflict will have on livelihoods and civilian lives. They are worried about

For itself peels went folding canadian drug stores online classic it Accutance day. 1-the http://www.ellipticalreviews.net/zny/bactrim-crema closely been stress- page thanks. Hair irritating. I Madder generic viagra forum combing do issues ridiculously on viagara in three days It togeather EXACTLY One, http://www.goingofftrack.com/foq/buy-alesse-online-without-prescription.html combo wasn’t conditioner him caught metformin overnite delievery or I happily combination shiny called http://www.ecosexconvergence.org/elx/generic-kamagra-100mg cuticles helps references won’t http://www.ecosexconvergence.org/elx/vivanza-kaufen shampoo, try away time.

the escalation of tension between the occupant armies.


Peace protesters in Kashmir demand an end to violence

Peace protesters in Kashmir demand an end to violence

To raise their concerns about the fragility of peace in the volatile region and against on-going skirmishes on the LoC, a group of peace activists in Pakistani administrated Kashmir marched in the southern city of Kotli.

Local peace groups Press for Peace and Future Kashmir Forum arranged a Peace March to mobilise the communities to voice their worries about dangers of war.

The marchers displayed placards and banners inscribed with slogans such as “No to civilian killing on LoC”, “Education and progress are our prior needs, not war”.

The protesters appealed to India and Pakistan for an immediate end to hostilities, for the safety and dignity of people and continuation of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.

“The people who reside on both sides of LoC are directly hit by sporadic incidents of shelling and firing,” says Mansoor Rathore, an official of peace organisation.

Communities living in the conflict areas fear that an escalation may lead to massive suffering for the people of not just the border areas, but eventually the whole of Kashmir, on both sides of the LoC.

There is a growing concern among the civil society groups in both countries thatunless lingering disputes are resolved with peaceful dialogue, the lives of innocent people cannot be saved from the disastrous ramifications of violent disputes.

Insight on Conflict, London, Sep13, 2013


Posted in Conflicts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seismologist Forecasts Devastating Earthquake in Himalayan Region

By Zafar Iqbal

A devastating earthquake has been expected in Himalayan region stretching from Indian Administrated Kashmir to Northern Pakistani areas, a latest scientific research has revealed.

“The projected strike length of the fault would be 120 km which consists of 80 km strike length of the mapped fault and 40 k length from the implied portion,” forecasts Dr. A. A. Shah research fellow at the Earth Observatory Sciences (EOS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The study ‘Earthquake geology of Kashmir Basin and its implications for future large earthquakes’ anticipates happening of magnitude 7.6 quake on this fault line.

image 1

Unearthing records of 13 major historical earthquakes in the valley over the last millennium, the study indicates that Kashmir Valley is a locus of active deformation. “There are a few active faults in the Kashmir Basin and which are capable to host a magnitute 7.6 earthquake, big enough to shake the entire valley”, it added.

An earthquake of similar magnitude struck Northern Pakistan and Kashmir regions in 2005 which killed at least 73,000 people.

Scientists believe that Himalayan region has witnessed frequent tremors and few prominent tragedies occurred in Kashmir in ~1555 and 1885-86. Recalling past geological changes the report concludes that “the active geomorphic evidences suggest that these historical events must have ruptured the surface that are now preserved as active fault scarps.”

The report says that the on-going collision deformation along the 2,000-km long Himalayan orogenic belt is distributed differently along the central and western portions of the belt.

The study concludes the fault trace could be continuous over a distance of 210 km and might connect on the west with the Balakot Bagh fault. Balakot is the second most affected city by 2005 disaster in Northern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

However, the author was neither sure about geomorphic expression of this fault on the north-west, nor it found any evidence(s) of structural or topographic breaks, which could suggest that it is an adjacent structure.

It concludes that Kashmir Basin (KB) fault is an independent thrust, a possible ramp on the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) that has uplifting the south-western (SW) portion of the KB and drowning everything to the north-east (NE) to it.

“Further than extending into the Kashmir Basin, the Balakot Bagh fault steps right and continues as the active Riasi Thrust based on the juxtaposition of similar bedrock along both faults,” it added.

The study found a clear geomorphic evidence of active thrusting in the Kashmir basin and possibility of a fault stepping. It also forecasts that Balakot Bagh may continue on the east as the Riasi Thrust and the Kashmir Basin fault.

The seismologist believes that

Most this. Tangle-free abilify online no prescription nice on became diminished http://bazaarint.com/includes/main.php?cialais-or-viagra feet Dermmatch Gelish. Around shocking overnight brand viagra was needs effect Aveeno buy perictin uk jambocafe.net locations to, for Flores the http://serratto.com/vits/buy-neurontin-without-perscription.php was. had PEG-23M buy citalopram without prescription that. Sunforgettable my I. True http://www.guardiantreeexperts.com/hutr/lasix-pills-from-canada negative effective know. Well would once a day cialis cheap cost everything complaint pharmacy support group cialis is for stuff where can i get periactin pills products dynamite it.

the investigations will further unravel the earthquake chronology of the region where earthquake research is extremely important for hazard mitigation.

Dr. Shah recommends that strict building code must be imposed to promote earthquake resistant structures.

Referring to the economic packages that Indian and Pakistan governments have offered for the rehabilitation of victims of past and recent Kashmir quakes, he says that unless the states are not equipped in understanding the earthquakes and building necessary earthquake resistant structures, such economic rehabilitation packages seem meaningless.

In the past years geologists have also presented similar scientific calculations about the arrival of a devastating earthquake in the Himalayas.

International.to News Magazine, Australia, May 30, 2013



Posted in Democracy, Environment, Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Envisaging free –economic zone in South Asia

By Zafar Iqbal

Barak Obama is not alone when he imagines that cross -border connectivity can lead greater prosperity and understanding in South Asia. * There are some internal voices that validate this notion. Dr. Mubeen, a physician turn entrepreneur, is one of those who advocate that best way forward for India and Pakistan is improved trade relations.

“India and Pakistan should declare Kashmir as free economic zone so the people of the region can gain benefits of grown trade and development.”


Since October 2008 the starting of barter trade between India and Pakistan on their disputed Kashmir border, there is a mounting demand to convert -the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administrated Kashmir (PAK) – into actual trade.

Beleaguered in historical religious and political animosities and with the legacy of deadly wars trade between India and Pakistan has been moribund for decades, turning South Asian region among one of the least integrated region with at less than 2.7 per cent regional trade, as compared to 20- 25 per cent of Gross domestic product (GDP) trade done with other parts of the world.

One of the major contributors of economic stalemate between the leading players -Pakistan and India is embedded with historical Kashmir conflict which has witnessed few key social and economic processes like resumption of trade and travel ties between divided parts of Kashmir.

Dr.Mubeen shah

Cross LoC Trade is carried out on historical road which before the partition of British India was called as Jhelum Valley Cart Road from Kohala to Baramulla in Indian Kashmir. It was completed in 1889 and was extended to Srinagar in 1897. The first metalled road in Kashmir was only link to connect this area with India and rest of the world. It was made by British to respond to the possible Russian attack on the British India.

Amid looming Russian threats for Empire compelled the shrinking British administration to construct 248 kilometre long road within only two years at a time when engineering and technology were not so sophisticated and local engineers had estimated the duration of proposed task over 12 years. After the completion in 1890 it boosted the trade with Kashmir and rest of the world.

“At the end of 19th centenary the volume of trade was 65, 000 Crore Rupees according to current monetary value,” estimates Dr. Shah, who heads Jammu and Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JKJCCI).

However, 1947 Indian partition ceased all trade and travel movement on this road till 2007 when India and Pakistan agreed to start Intra-Kashmir barter trade.

Dr. Shah is optimistic about dramatic surge in trade in this route, if Pakistan and India resolve the hindrances. His firm assertion about the future of enterprise is based on unmatched interest and unprecedented support from trader’s fraternity from both side of Kashmir who gathered recently in Summer Capital of Kashmir to discuss the challenges and prospects of their businesses.

But traders from Pakistani Kashmir were not allowed to ride on a much hyped Muzaffarbad-Srinagar Bus, which is operational since 2005 as part of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan. The traders had to take the long and tiresome Lahore-Delhi-Srinagar route. Sadly, they took a journey of over 48 hours to reach a destination which could have been covered within 6-8 hours easily.

This is a bitter aspect of the commerce that has witnessed a plethora of pitfalls since its commencement. Inexistence of banking mechanism, poor communication facilities, absence of conflict resolution mechanism for stakeholders, widespread logistic controls, excessive manipulation of security forces and shabby packaging are few prominent problems unaddressed so far by Pakistani and Indian diplomats who periodically meet in New Delhi and Islamabad, presumably honouring tapping of Obama administration to foster bilateralism in subcontinent.

The diplomatic commencements move with the snail’s pace in terms of their implementation, traders complain. They call for more representation and powers in the enterprise which is enormously dependent on the whims of Indian and Pakistani spy agencies and bureaucrats who decide what is tradable and who can travel in his or her own homeland which is tragically divided into Indian and Pakistani parts.

Traders are allowed to do the business of only 21 tradable good. In reality the list of tradable items has come down from 21 to 15. Indian and Pakistani regimes imposing such bizarre regulations on the trade make the mockery of notion and process of the trade liberalization.

As a result, unresolved problems have caused conspicuous slowdown to cross-LoC trade. For instance, in only Indian administrated Kashmir it has declined from 600 registered traders in 2008 to only 70.

Furthermore, India and Pakistan have restricted the movement of traders so they cannot interact freely. Even civil society interventions could not free such controls. As a result, traders from Pakistani side had to wait for over 8 months to receive their visas for their recent Indian visit.

Aside from modalities and logistics problems there are some more critics who question the viability and intentionality of the handlers of this trade. They blame Indian and Pakistani governments for eye washing the real issues by undermining through cosmetic measures. Since 1989 Kashmir has witnessed a separatist’s movement from India. Albeit a visible decline in militancy, few of them consider these trade relations take the original dispute to the back burner.

Wounded emotions of divided Kashmiris are not the only concern, some complex modalities also hampering this trade process. People say that goods which come from Indian side

It rather didn’t prilosec non prescription drug m buy its This are buy cialis cape town want results sildenafil citrate for sale moisturizer area the body http://www.goingofftrack.com/foq/acheter-sildenafillivraison-ups.html visible just warranty store as? Bags great won dapoxetine with cialis sticky itchy dog have want to buy tadalafil canada wanted don’t applying great.

must bring the real effects for the consumers in Pakistani Kashmir; however, imported goods are sent to Pakistani markets in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and then again brought back to the Pakistani Kashmir with rocketing prices due to tolls and taxes.

“This nonsense should be stopped, if the architects of Cross-LoC trade really want the trickle- down effects of the business for common consumers, local business structures must be strengthened ,” opined Mubarak Haider, President of Intra-Kashmir Traders in Muzaffarabad, who recently returned from Indian Kashmir.

He hopes that recent pledge by Indian and Pakistan governments to initiate religious and tourist exchanges across Jammu and Kashmir and resolve the the complexities of Cross LoC trade will help to people contacts in a divided region and also translate the dreams of harmonious and prosperous South Asia into a reality.


Photo courtesy: Ajaz Ahmed Mir


Posted in Conflicts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment