Dispatches

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Independent Kashmir flags at a public rally in Dailgam, South Kashmir on August 12, 2016. Photograph by Fahad Shah. The entire South Asia has been shadowed by the staggering apprehension of security concerns, cross-border conflicts and poor connectivity. The insubstantial situation of the one of the densely populated region in the world has made it one of the least integrated in the world besides having common bonds across the international borders. India and Pakistan being two nuclear rivals and key states of the region have always been on forefronts since their creation in 1947. Religion has always been a dominant

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In the current atmosphere, when Indians and Pakistanis, politicians, sportsmen, entertainers, media persons and regular civilians are hurling abuses at each other, it renders me unpatriotic to say that Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru is one of my favorite books. On his death row, the deposed Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto wrote a letter to his daughter, in a similar fashion as Nehru did to Indira Gandhi, in which Bhutto also expressed his admiration for the aforementioned book. Does that exonerate my sin of daring to admire the writing of the first Prime Minister of India,

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Baba Jan, a left wing political activist from the Hunza Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. Photo courtesy thenews.com.pk Baba Jan appeared in the cover of the moon past midnight and immediately we hugged. He had been in jail, tortured and after a lengthy campaign he was finally out on bail. It was the summer of 2014, I had arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan earlier in the day and had called him numerous times. Each time another comrade picked up his phone and told me in a whispered voice, ‘Comrade Baba Jan is in a meeting comrade…is everything ok….he will see you tonight…we will call

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I apologize in advance for what seems like a rather pompous title to this essay. I mean, who the hell am I to be suggesting anything to anybody? Fair enough. I am nobody. Nevertheless, if you’re a person who values a diversity of opinions, I daresay mine is as good as anyone else’s. And I’m of the firm opinion that all Indians should support Kashmiri liberation. Please allow me to elaborate. I have, in the recent past, come out into the open as an Indian who is in solidarity with Kashmiri liberation. I don’t know just how big of a

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When I got the news and saw images of Amanullah Khan’s hospitalisation on facebook I felt the urge to write something about him. As I have been part of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front for couple of years in Britain and worked under his leadership and he dominated the Independent Kashmir politics for six decades. Unfortunately for me writing about Amanullah Khan does not seem as straightforward as has been about Maqbool Bhat. Perhaps it is due to my writing limitations or may be because Amanullah Khan’s politics has not been as straightforward as of Maqbool Bhat. It took me

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This year on March 31, a citizen movement, ‘Nuit Debout’ began in Paris. Similar to ‘Occupy’ in the USA or London and to the ‘Indignados’ in Spain, this movement had a tumultuous beginning. At its origin: a thought-provoking film and a good amount of media censorship. Preparing for the global protests of #NuitDebout this month. Photo courtesy: @nuitdebout On 24 February 2016, journalist François Ruffin released his first film, ‘Merci Patron’ (Thanks Boss). A refreshing documentary in which he takes on the challenge to bring financial reparation to a couple of factory workers from North of France. Both were dismissed

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Sixteen books on various aspects of Kashmir have been banned by the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) including my booklet ‘Maqbool Bhat: Life and Struggle’. My initial reaction to the news was a kind of amusement as all of my articles included in the booklet are freely available online. However, after reading the text of notification closely the amusement gave way to some serious questions about the reason for the ban and the nature of relationship between ‘azad’ Kashmir and Pakistan. The fact that the notification is also copied to the sub commander of the Intelligence Services of

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By Adnan Bhat | Photographs by Marta Tucci When a Buddhist mob came rampaging through a neighborhood in Ngapúra village of Myanmar and set it on fire, twenty-five-year old Dilafroz Jan was still in the house. She, however, managed to escape unhurt. Soon after the incident in 2012, Jan fled Myanmar with a group of twelve other Rohingyas and sneaked into India via Bangladesh. Traveling mostly by foot for the first three days through rough mountain terrain to reach the Myanmar border, it took them ten days. Then from the border, they boarded a boat operated by smugglers to reach

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At the time of writing, Lebanon’s politicians are once again poised to elect a new President. But political intrigue has given way to paralysis, which means the country has now gone without a figurehead for a record amount of time. But while lawmakers ponder, public services continue to deteriorate and the country’s refugee crisis has now become ‘too great a burden’. Mark Mistry takes a closer look at the immediate issues following a recent trip to Beirut.

While children play in the capital’s trendy al-Hamra district, seemingly oblivious to their disheveled clothing and displaced existence, their mothers, sick with worry about the origin of their next meal, keep a sombre vigil. They are among the four million refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, according to the latest UN figures. Destitute Syrians dot downtown Beirut, desperately trying to coax coins from passing tourists. Locals are rarely forthcoming – the complexities of Lebanon’s war-torn past has long removed any semblance of sympathy that might prevail. Syrian troops left Lebanon ten years ago. Bullet holes still pock-mark the buildings

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Andrew Whitehead at Line of Control, while reporting from Kashmir. My most recent visit to Srinagar, last spring, came twenty years exactly after my first reporting assignment in Kashmir. It prompted me to reflect on what’s changed over that time, and what hasn’t. And to consider why I keep on coming back to Kashmir, these days from choice rather than professional duty. Ahdoo’s hotel, when I first started reporting on Kashmir, was the only option for visiting foreign journalists. Wonderfully central, but woefully connected. This was the era before mobile phones and email. There were no PCOs in Srinagar, satellite

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