Opinion

US-China: Is The Ice Thawing?

29/04/2024
Asad Mirza Last week the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken was in China, ostensibly to diffuse the tension build-up between the two super powers. However, in this latest bilateral exchange, China appears to have taken an upper hand over the US. The top American and Chinese diplomats held tough talks in Beijing last week, as the sparring superpowers sought to clarify their growing differences on an array of bilateral and global issues that could further strain the already t...

Sarvanand Koul Premi - Martyr to a belief

28/04/2024
B. L Saraf In mid sixties of the 20th Century I was pursuing graduation studies in S P College Srinagar . Coming from a far off place called Shopian and having been brought up in a rural atmosphere it seemed natural that whenever my father -Pandit Saroop Nath , be in the city he would ,invariably , send for me or, time permitting , himself visit the college. Father did s...

Elections 2024: How The Indian Muslims Would Vote

22/04/2024
Asad Mirza A rather perplexing phenomenon has been observed in India during the last two elections in particular, that though the uneducated and rural voters exercise their franchise committedly, the urban voters - mostly highly educated prefer to shun casting their vote and then bemoan the verdict. The election festival in India has started yet again and with the first phase of the mammoth exercise starting off on 19 April, the political pundits are wondering once again, how the I...

‘Navreh’ message for the displaced Pandits of Kashmir

21/04/2024
K N Pandita The New Year (Navreh = Nava Varsha) of the now displaced community of the Hindus of Kashmir Valley is celebrated according to the Saptrishi calendar entering the 5100th year. This five–thousand–year–old calendar was suddenly discarded and rubbished with the advent of Muslim rule in the mid-14th century. However, historians like the author of Baharistan-i-Shahi written in the early 16th century, did use the Saptrishi calendar alongside the Hijra calendar which the Muslim m...

Connecting the Dots

19/04/2024
Asad Mirza The on-going conflict in Palestine has revealed the intricate cobweb of false promises, ambiguous stands and false jubilations by the western nations on adopting a hollow UN resolution. As the Israeli aggression against Palestine entered its seventh month, the world witnessed a number of unrelated events or proclamations adopted by the western powers to get the genocide stopped in Palestine. Though at the first glance, most of these incidents seems unrelated but at closer ...

PM’s significant visit to Srinagar

03/04/2024
K N Pandita More than a hundred thousand people are said to have attended the public address of the Prime Minister when on his recent visit to Srinagar. The entire nation is happy that there is a positive change in the security situation in Kashmir Valley. It was the first requirement for starting a slew of developmental projects. Party cadres in the valley have done admirable groundwork and motivated the masses of people to respond to the initiative for peace and development unde...

A Defining Moment: Disassociation from Separatism,Pledging Loyalty to India

23/03/2024
by Farooq Ganderbali In a significant turn of events, the daughters of prominent separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, Sama Shabir, and Ruwa Shah, have publicly distanced themselves from the separatist ideology and pledged their loyalty to the sovereignty of the Union of India. This bold move, highlighted through identical public notices published in local newspapers, marks a significant shift in the political landscape of the region. Ruwa Shah, the granddaughter of Syed Ali Shah Gee...

China Announces 'Transparent And Moderate' Defence Budget

19/03/2024
Asad Mirza Chinese President Xi Jinping has again reiterated his latest moniker ‘New productive forces’ at the just concluded session of the National Peoples Congress. He stressed on the need to be guided by this thought in high tech sectors such as new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and increasing China’s military might. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, China's top political adv...

Increasing Islamophobia in the UK

26/02/2024
Asad Mirza Last week two unrelated incidents once again showed how easy it is, to form a narrative against Islam in the UK. Just 20 years back described as a ‘multicultural and ethnic hotpot’ under the Labour-era. The UK is once again witnessing the increasing calls against Islamophobia under the Conservative rule. The massive rallies against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza after 7 October, last year, were responsible for increasing threats of Islamophobia in the UK. According to Tell...

Shivratri is being observed & celebrated all over on 8 th of March

26/02/2024
By Rajinder Premi Shivratri is the most sacred religious function of the Kashmiri Pandits. Scrupulously, this religio-spiritual delibeation is observed by the Kashmiri Pandits,. for seeing the cosmic vision of Shiva and Parvati. Since the majority of the Kashmiri Pandits are followers of Shiva, so Mahashivratri festival is observed for 15 days, beginning with the 'Parva' of Hurya Okdoh or Krishna Paksha Pratipda-- wanning moon to the 'Parva.of waxing moon, which is Amasya. ...

Global Leaders Assemble for the Munich Security Conference

19/02/2024
Asad Mirza The Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2024 got underway in the background of the continued war in Palestine. Significantly, India’s external affairs minister made India’s position on Palestinian statehood clearer at the conference, besides holding talks with other global leaders. Indian External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar has called for a ‘permanent fix’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In his speech at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2024, Jaishankar stated ...

Rafah Under Siege

14/02/2024
Asad Mirza It seems that at last, the international community and leaders have become fully exasperated with Israel over its continued aggression against Israel. The EU Vice-Chief and US president have sharply criticised Netanyahu’s plans to lay siege to Rafah. After decimating Gaza completely, it seems that Israel is hell-bent on laying siege to Rafah, the last border point for Palestinians, on its border with Egypt. Israeli strategy right from day one, after it claimed the Hamas...

"Kashmir's Evolution: A Tale of Two Perspectives"

07/02/2024
by Farooq Ganderbali As February 5th approaches, a distinctive shift in sentiments is palpable among Kashmiris on both sides of the border. Traditionally observed as Solidarity Day with the People of Indian Kashmir, this year takes on a unique stance as Kashmiris express solidarity with those living in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The narrative presented by Kashmiris from the Indian side reflects a story of transformation, progress, and newfound freedom. The dark times of ...

Cultural Genocide of Palestinians

06/02/2024
Asad Mirza The Israeli blitzkrieg against the Palestinians in Gaza has exceeded 125 days. During this period more than 100 Gaza heritage sites have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli shelling and bombardment. The war in Palestine, which was seen once as a human tragedy, has also exposed another side of the Zionist program, that of a ‘cultural genocide’ - the continuous shelling and firing has destroyed more than 100 Gaza heritages belonging to both the Muslims and Christians, in...

Where the Muslim Leadership Erred

24/01/2024
Asad Mirza The unravelling of the Mandir-Masjid controversy over the years has exposed the amateur and impulsive handling of the issue, by the Muslim leadership. Had they acted wisely earlier, then it would not have been such a cakewalk for the Hindu chauvinists. Modern politics is not a game of chance, but agenda setting and narrative building most often lead it. These two essential components of any political party’s strategy often translate in success for it. In India, the most ...

Ram Lalla Mandir: Critics ‘Sink’ in Ocean of Faith

23/01/2024
K B Jandial Close to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP, using Pran Pratishtha of Bhagwan Ram’s temple at Ayodhya, has successfully created a strong narrative, dubbing Congress and its I.N.D.I. Alliance as anti-Hindu. Leaders and spokespersons of these parties, in fact, contributed to the emerging scenario by their unrestrained comments and observations, perceived to be anti-Sanatan & Pran Pratishtha. The public ecstasy generated on Bhagwan Ram temple transcends religious and territoria...

Indo-Iran Ties Strengthened Further

23/01/2024
Asad Mirza External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s two-day visit to Iran, last week, was a crucially timed diplomatic engagement. The visit besides discussing the regional security situation was also aimed at further strengthening the political, economic and cultural aspects of the bilateral relations. As the crisis in the Red Sea spurred by the Israel-Hamas war escalates, India has begun a diplomatic outreach to crucial regional players to secure the country’s trade and stra...

Terrorist Attacks in Iran Threaten Regional Peace

15/01/2024
Asad Mirza A blame game has been orchestrated by Iran to target Israel for allegedly playing a part in the terrorist attack in the Iranian city of Kerman, last week. Though the Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, Iranian officials reject it and instead blame Israel for its complicity. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi joined mourners in the southern city of Kerman on Friday last week for the funerals of 89 people killed in twin blasts claimed by the Islamic State (Daesh), a...

Farooq fears Gaza fate may engulf Kashmir

30/12/2023
K N Pandita Not only Farooq Abdullah but PDP Chairperson Mahbooba Mufti also has been harping on India talking to Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue. Kashmir issue surfaced with Pakistan’s incursion into J&K in October 1947. Frooq’s father Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and his two generations altogether enjoyed power for nearly 35 years. During that long period none of the three felt Kashmir would face dire consequence if India did not talk to Pakistan. Had they any fear of the sort, th...

Islamophobic Politics Amplified in Europe

25/12/2023
Asad Mirza Recent events and political upheavals in many European countries point to the increasing Islamophobic and anti-Islam right-wingers inching closer to power in these countries. Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is often in the news for making bold statements, but she recently scoffed at Islamic culture and said that there is no place for it in Europe. She says there is no place for Islam in Europe: 'There is a problem of compatibility' Her comments were made at a pol...

Revocation of Article 370: A New Dawn for Jammu and Kashmir

20/12/2023
by Farooq Ganderbali The recent judgment by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India regarding the revocation of Article 370 has sparked a wave of change and hope in the hearts of the common populace of Jammu and Kashmir. For years, the region grappled with complex issues, including security concerns and economic stagnation. The decision to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has brought about a transformative impact on the region, paving the way for a bright...

New Resolve to Tackle Climate Change

18/12/2023
Asad Mirza The Dubai COP 28 summit, started a fortnight ago with little promise of any major breakthrough on climate rules. However, the governments and delegates this time proved their critics wrong and the final agreement announced that for the first time the world has agreed to move away from the coal, oil and natural gas that are the principal causes of global warming. Though right form the start or even before it started, the vibes from the Dubai Summit were not positive. H...

Gaza Imbroglio Continues Unabated

11/12/2023
Asad Mirza As the Gaza conflict enters its 66th day, the last week saw a U.S. veto on a UN resolution. The US also approved an emergency sale of $106 million worth of tank ammunition to support Israel's military actions. GCC countries held a special session on the issue in Doha. Meanwhile countries like Spain continue to support the Palestinian cause in face of mounting criticism at home. A report published by the WHO, on 10th December speaks volumes about the ground situation ...

Heatwaves Strain Global Workforce: The Implications of Climate Change on Productivity

07/12/2023
Dr M Mashhood Alam With the ongoing global warming trends, the negative impact of these changes on the global work force and their productivity levels falling may increase. In recent years, the world has witnessed an alarming increase in heat waves, leading to adverse effects on various aspects of human life. Climate change induced heatwaves have not only been detrimental to our health but have also begun to disrupt the global workforce. The Organisation (ILO) reports that workers...

Afghan Tragedy Unfolds in Pakistan

04/12/2023
Asad Mirza The deportation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan back to Afghanistan, as per a government directive is causing untold suffering and miseries to the Afghans living in Pakistan for the last 20 years or so. It seems that the decision is based on financial woes currently faced by Pakistan yet it involves other elements too. For the last two months the international attention has been focussed on the continuing Gaza crisis, yet in its background another human tragedy has b...

World disability day 3 December 2023

02/12/2023
Javed Ahmad Tak Today is third day of December 2023 and throughout globe the day is celebrated as international day for persons with disabilities, so that they get equal opportunities their rights are safeguarded of rights and full participation in all areas. This year the theme under the UN resolution is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities” The theme is big but disability sector lack basic fa...

Pick and choose in Judicial appointments

30/11/2023
B L Saraf “While hearing a petition alleging delay on the Central Government’s part in clearing names recommended by its collegium for appointment and transfer of judges, on 20th November a bench of the Supreme Court raised the issue of ‘pick and choose’ policy adopted by the Centre in implementing these recommendations. The court observed that of the 11 names of judges recommended by the collegium for transfer only 5 have been transferred. Pain and anguish was palpable when one o...

Islamophobe Greet Wilders, the new Dutch PM?

27/11/2023
Asad Mirza Last week’s elections in Netherlands threw up a rather surprising victory i.e. Greet Wilders, a known rightist and Islamophobe. Perhaps his victory marks the continuing trend of right-wing politicians coming to power in Europe, particularly during the last two years, on the basis of appealing to the masses on populist slogans, but offering nothing concrete. Last week, veteran Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders vowed to be prime minister of the Netherlands eve...

Gaza’s Forgotten Children

25/11/2023
Asad Mirza The World Children’s Day, on 20th November this year, was observed during the Israel’s war on Gaza, in which estimatedly 5,500 children have been killed. International humanitarian agencies are concerned about the unfolding tragedy but it looks as if the international community is sleeping and not bothered about taking any concrete action in this regard. Reportedly the 50 days-old war in Gaza has claimed the lives of 5,500 children, since 7th October, according to a P...

S. African Solidarity With Palestinians

20/11/2023
Asad Mirza The Palestinian conflict has entered its 45th day with rising casualties on the Palestinian side. After the initial death of 1,200 Israelis in the attack by Hamas on 7th October, the numbers of killed on the Palestinian side stands at 11,000. Though many nations have paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians, only one i.e. South Africa, has clearly taken diplomatic actions against Israel, besides calling for an immediate stop to the Israeli aggression. Afte...