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woman in red hijab sitting on green boat during daytime

Kashmir's politicians, both separatists as well as mainstream, have maintained near-total silence over Taliban's capture of Afghanistan after a prolonged strife of 20 long years. However, the visibility of a wave of jubilation among the separatists, militants and their shrinking supporters is not completely concealed.

As news of the fall of Kabul flashed in the media on Sunday, 15 August, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, formerly a professor of Law at the University of Kashmir and the Central University of Kashmir gave vent to his euphoria. "And say truth has come and falsehood has vanished away", he tweeted a Koranic verse with its English translation. "Falsehood is indeed bound to vanish", Showkat commented, without linking his expression explicitly to Kabul's capture by Taliban.

Showkat embellished his tweet with Iqbal's famous verse: "Yaqeen-e-mahkam amal-e-peham mohabat-e-fatih-e-aalam. Jihad-e-zindagani mein yeh hain mardon ki shamsheeren."

"Can't imagine the feeling of Kashmiris", commented one Shoaib. Another follower appreciated: "Aap kii baat sach nikli"-acknowledging that the retired university teacher's prophecy had come true. Almost all of Prof. Showkat's eight books have been released and appreciated by Kashmir's tallest separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Two days back, when the news of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's escape to Tajikistan was circulating in the social media, Showkat cryptically tweeted a Kashmiri folk stanza, linking Kashmir to Kabul and Kandahar. "Ashraf Ghani in supersonic retreat", he observed, with praise on the Taliban co-founder Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar and a tangent on the third Ghani-senior separatist leader and former chairman of now defunct and disintegrated Hurriyat Conference, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat. Bhat, an erudite, moderate separatist, perceived to be Geelani's bete noire, has been living in oblivion since long.

But why are the separatists, militants and their supporters in Kashmir silent, even in social media, over Taliban's conquest in Kabul if they are perceptibly happy?

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Javed Sheikh was the son of one of Kashmir's most respected and renowned businessmen.

An old signboard hung outside an old dilapidated building in the uptown Koker Bazaar market of Srinagar city, has brought back memories of a famous Kashmiri family and a loving father who was proud of his daughters.

'Javed Sheikh & daughters, Koker Bazar, Maisuma, Srinagar'. This signboard has recently gone viral as it stands to prove that the countdown on gender bias had started in Kashmir at least 51 years back.

Javed Sheikh was the son of one of Kashmir's most respected and renowned businessmen, Sheikh Mohammad Amin.

The family had a timber empire in Kashmir and Javed was its sole owner. The family had palatial houses in Jammu city and Srinagar.

A glimpse of the family's wealth lies in the lavish use of Italian marble in their Jammu house which was built much before Independence.

Javed Sheikh was married to Dilshad Begum Sheikh in 1969. She is the youngest sister of Bollywood actor, Feroze Khan. Her other two brothers are actor/producer, Sanjay Khan and Akbar Khan.

Dilshad Begum is a known socialite in Kashmir and Delhi. She started her clothing line called 'Chosen Few'.

The reason why she chose the name, according to Feroze Khan's son, Fardeen Khan, is because she is very selective about who she sells her clothes to.

Kashmiri A glimpse of the family's wealth lies in the lavish use of Italian marble in their Jammu house Photo by Unsplash

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A lovely view from Kashmir Point Murree

The Jammu and Kashmir government is seeking a partner for a public-private partnership (PPP) to set up Indias best mythological theme park in Katra.

The project vision entails that the J&K government will provide all the support to help build a state-of-the-art theme park that helps increase economic activity, generates direct and indirect local employment as well as increases the overall experience of the tourists and citizens of the Union Territory.

The theme park will include adventure, mythology, education, and entertainment. The project location is prime, on the way to and from Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan with full connectivity. There is guaranteed footfall with 8.5 million footfalls in Katra in 2018, spread across all months of the year.

It caters to the existing gap as white space for recreational activities to be done post 'darshan'. It also provides conduciveness for economic activities in J&K. The J&K government and the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board have handpicked three prime locations for the project. The J&K government will also provide other benefits including all UT level clearances to be provided within 30 days of applying.

ALSO READ: Increasing Army Will Achieve Nothing, Says J&K

It will also provide support on other clearances and approvals, such as water at Rs 0.50 per cubic meter, power starting at Rs 3.85 per unit, additional incentives on stamp duty, green industrialization, etc. with the robust Infrastructure of Katra, which is well connected through air, rail and road. The project will also allow other permissible activities, including hotels and stays, F&B, shops, rides and gaming, adventure, and art and entertainment.

The J&K government is looking for a PPP partner who can join in this dream project. The requirement for a PPP partner includes engagement with an international partner with the experience of running a theme/amusement park with an annual footfall of 5 lakh. International safety standards must be adhered to throughout the project. In addition, the business operations should commence with specified minimum requirements within three years of signing the MoU. The final theme must be passed through the DIC, J&K, and the project should generate direct and indirect employment opportunities. (IANS/KB)


Victimization of social activists. Pixabay

At a hurriedly called press conference in Nakyal on May 6 in Pakistani Occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK), Awami Workers Party leader Nissar Shah advocate criticized the local Assistant Commissioner, Omar Farooq, for launching what Shah called a vindictive FIR against Shamsher Ali Sher advocate of Samaj Badlo Tehreeks (Change Society Movement) and a candidate in upcoming general elections.

This is not the first time that social justice activists in PoJK are faced victimization and it will most definitely not be the last. In the past, student activists of the Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) have faced arrests and torture at the hands of the occupation forces.

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