When Shameema Akhtar lost her two sons to the Kashmir insurgency, her youngest son sat by their graves near their home in Tral. Then one day, he went missing -- and never returned.
The improvement in bilateral relations is reminiscent of the Vajpayee-Musharaf era, when India and Pakistan had begun a process that, years later, had neared the culmination of the deal on Kashmir.
Having lived outside all his life, communicating with locals in Kashmir is still difficult for him. “I feel stuck in the middle of these mountains,” he said of living in Shumnag village of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Helpless, these women have held repeated protests since their arrival in Kashmir. Prominent among them, two women have taken different paths — protest and electoral democracy — for the same goal: citizenship and travel documents to visit their families in Pakistan.
With the addition of Khursheed, the city now has at least five known militants and a spurt in the number of attacks, even in areas otherwise considered high-security zones, show signs of a resurgence here after the previous crop of militants was eliminated last year.
In Kashmir, youth responded by uploading pictures of themselves donning their best pherans while some like Mir chose to buy new ones as a mark of resistance and vowed to wear them throughout the year — much like his ancestors.
Dealing with countless cases of ordinary citizens falling on the bad side of the law, it struck Urfi that there was more happening around her than she had realised.
Such was the hatred spewed against Kashmiris on primetime shows, that even those who had been living for decades outside the valley were left with no option but to return home.
Mubeena Bano is among the hundreds of women of southern Kulgam’s Qaimoh sub-district whose sons became militants and were killed in a gunfight, leaving behind sorrowful mothers who carry the burden of memory and loss.