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LONDON: A "Cross LoC Youth Conference 2018" gathered youth and academics from different regions of both parts of state of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday in London to discuss the issues concerning the region. The conference was part of one-day conference on Kashmir titled "Beyond Borders: Engagement and Dialogue Across Kashmir" organized by a Kashmir based think-tank, The Kashmir Institute, in collaboration with the South Asia Institute of reputed SOAS, University of London.

The organizers had divided the conference in two sessions - "Bridging Divide: Cross LoC Youth Conference 2018" - which was two session round-table discussion under Chatham rules between over a dozen students and scholars representing Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Jammu division, Kashmir division, and Gilgit-Baltistan. The afternoon session of the conference was a public panel discussion titled "Kashmir Beyond Borders: Peace, Engagement and Dialogue Across Line of Control" where Dr. Khalid Wasim (University of Cambridge), Dr. Goldie Osuri (University of Warwick), Dr. Mehroosh Tak (SOAS, University of London), Prof. Zafar Kahan (Formerly from London Metropolitan University), Victoria Schofield (Author and commentator), spoke in a session chaired by Dr. Navtej Purewal (Deputy Director, SOAS South Asia Institute).

In her opening remarks, Dr. Navtej Purewal, the Deputy Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute, thanked ‘The Kashmir Institute’ for partnering with the department in organising such a vibrant conference. "We are really glad to collaborate on this initiative and hope we can take this conversation ahead in near future," she said.

In the youth conference, participants gave the perspectives of their respective regions including sharing their experiences of how they relate to the ongoing conflict of the Jammu and Kashmir. The concluding outcome of the conference was that there has to be more intra-dialogue, regional connectivity within different regions has to increase, people to people contact should be facilitated and the Line of Control should not be seen as detrimental in finding a solution to the pending Kashmir issue. In the later part of the day, the panelists discussed the human rights violations in the Kashmir valley, particularly since the 2016 and why there is need to dialogue between India and Pakistan in order to find a way out for the region's growing problems due to the current political turmoil.

"This was our first joint initiative with the SOAS, University of London and we plan to work jointly in future, to connect more youth from two sides of the divided region and also focus on other aspects of Kashmir. Our work is to facilitate engagement between people of Jammu and Kashmir with each other and the youth conference will be one of our major focuses in coming years as our annual program. We are glad to organize it jointly with a reputed UK university, also where I was a student myself, and the aim is to focus on research on various regions of the state," said Fahad Shah, the Director of The Kashmir Institute, who was present at the conference. 

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Despite all these days, the pain of losing their remains. Grief, unfortunately, does not follow a defined trajectory. It is as palpable as it is indescribable. This bloody emotion that just occurred on March 18 at Balakote in Tehsil Mendhar. Won’t go away. Which bores down into you like a corkscrew, right into her (s) very core, and hollows her out, and fills the hole that’s left behind with something just a little less solid, a little less complete than what was there before. Some fill the hole with busyness. Some with work. Some with social lives. Some with booze. Some with relationships.  But they?

They guess their try and fill the hole with words. And they suppose that as emotional crutches go, they’ve heard of worse. Even now every time they think about the unfortunate incident, it never fails to wind and startle them. Stop them in their progressive tracks and they wonder will they ever, ever, get used to it? As the initial tears of shock dry up, what’s left behind slowly sinks down into them. And makes the life that’s left behind just that little bit heavier that it was before.

Will they ever adjust, they wonder to themselves, to the fact that their father, mother and 3 brothers are gone? Here they go again, nearly a decade later, talking about grief. Would they ever just get over themselves? Despite all these passed days, the pain is still here. Every time they write a piece about missing of their beloved ones and always think about the indescribable incident afterwards, ‘Well, tick. There’s that particular subject covered off. Right, what’s next when they will come to back from Govt Medical College (GMC) and Hospital?’ And then a couple of months later they will seem to always find themselves back in front of this real bloody life  screen, writing about it again, somehow trying to make sense of the fact that their loved ones  no longer around, without wanting to appear to be overly sentimental about it.  

Or self indulgent. Or just plain pathetic. And they are acutely aware of the fact that their real sibling dead in Pakistan shelling, and they find themselves-conscious about the fact that, despite this passage of time, despite all those years that have rolled by, all those words they have spoken and written, they still feel a gap where departed soul, which they can’t quite find anything to fill. And they feel like they’ve somehow failed. Parents die.

Children move on but injured badly. So why can’t they? And yet here they are again. Trying to get whatever they feel inside out onto this page of life. Because all they really know is that keeping ‘it’ inside, do they no good at all. So out it all comes. Roll out the dredger. Churn it all up again. It’s all still in there, simmering away beneath the sad surface. Whether they like it or not. And maybe, just maybe, the odd ‘churn’, the odd wallow, the odd ‘Feeling Sorry For herselfves’ session, will help them reconcile themselves to the facts before them. Because ignoring them certainly isn’t. Unfortunately, grief does not follow a defined trajectory‘would lost lives ever just get over it!’ Their reall as well imaginary reader or feeler responds, and that thought makes them want to shut up instantly. Because, rest assured, oh pragmatic one, the judge inside them thinks the very same thing.

Thinks that nigh on how the shell destroyed their all dreams off later, this is a subject that they should no longer need to ‘ address’ in any shape, manner or form. So for all those out there who may raise their eyes to heaven, rest assured, a very large part of their entirely agrees. On this incident one can views on said subject. ‘Would they ever just bloody move on? ‘But another, kinder, part of they are not so self-critical. Recognizes that this is how they feel about missing their lovely father, mother and three brothers. And still that is OK. That, unfortunately, grief does not follow a defined trajectory.

However inconvenient that may be. That time may be a great healer, but there’s no formula for how long. And if mind and heart Judge do not agree, or are irritated, or annoyed, or aggrieved, at them bringing up the subject again, head off now and click on the ‘Latest’ button about new shelling from across the border. And for anyone else out there who might equally struggle on occasion, sure stick around and they might just find some common ground. Her Uncle Mohd Shakoor and Grandmother Mansha Bee will bake in the oven of pain till to their final breath. In the end,we the people of this tehsil are drowned into the deepest pain-well and we have all kinde of support with Mahreen and Nohreen and pray to Allah that He may place the departed soul in most graded Jennat,the Jennat-ul Firdoss.

The writer is working journalist & President Press Council of Mendhar Poonch (J&K) can be mailed at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


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Rohingyas are an ethnic minority group of Myanmar’s western Rakhine province. The Rohingya’s in Myanmar account for nearly one third of Rakhine’s population. The large number of Rohingyas in 2012 illegally migrated to India through the porous borders of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Approximately 40,000 Rohingya are spread across six locations in India out of which 14,000 are registered refugees and have concentrated themselves mainly in Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir, Nuh in Haryana’s Mewat district, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Chennai. In Jammu District of Jammu & Kashmir they are settled large numbers which is around 7000 thereby posing great threat to the internal security of the region and thereby jeopardizing the unity and integrity of the nation. It is strange that Rohingyas, have found sympathizers in certain local NGOs and have located themselves in certain settlements and also accommodated themselves in rented accommodation. Strangely many of them having a Rashan Card, Adhar Card and PRCs. Many of them is also having property in the state which is astonishing in itself that how does these people manage to get the property in the state. All this indicate a great nexus between illegal immigrants and the subversives in the govt.

Sympathiser’s theory:

The sympathisers and human right activist often advocate the humanly touch to the current situation. The excuse of being signatory toUnited Nation Declaration of Human Right(UDHR) is commonly used tool. Addition to this article 21(Right to Life and Personal Liberty) and art.51(c) of Indian Constitution possess a legal obligation on the country to treat the rohingyas on a same footing as with any native citizen. Moreover India has ratified and is a signatory to various conventions that recognizes the Principle of “Non-Refoulement’, which prohibits deportation of refugees to a country where they may face threat to their lives. The principle is considered the part of the Customary International Law and is binding on all states whether they have signed the refugee convention or not.

Reasons why Rohingyas need to send back:

1. Non signatory to any refugee convention:

India is never been a formal signatory to any UN refugee convention, thus has no legal obligation to follow the norms specify in these conventions.

2. Exceptions of Non-Refoulement:

                                                         Talking about the principle of limitation of non-refolement the 1951 convention on refugee status provide two grounds.

a) National security

b) Public order

Hence, if it is any likelihood of ant threat to the national security of the country or disturbance to the public order, the refugee can be deported to their countryof origin. The state has to perform his primary duty towards the nation and its citizens through maintenance of law and order.

In case of Maiwands trust of afghan human freedom petitioner’s vs State of Punjab SC held that there must need a reasonable apprehension of threat to the security of India.

In case of Ananda Bhavani vs UOI SC held that if there is severe threat to the security of the country then deportation order without hearing will not be considered as a violation of human rights.

3. Anti-National activity:

The present Rohingya situation bears security implications for India and the region. The Rohingya are likely to provide fertile recruiting grounds for extremist groups. It has already been reported that Saudi Arabian and Pakistans agencies are funding terrorist outfits in Myanmar. Burmese, Bangladeshi and Indian intelligence agencies have found Pakistan’s terror groups hiring Rohingyas from refugee camps, training them, arming them and using them against the sovereignty of the India. The recent blast at Bodh Gaya and attack on Sunjwan army base camp highlights the gravity of situation. In 2015, a militant killed by security forces in south Kashmir – AbdurRehman al Arkani, initially identified by the pseudonym “ChotaBurmi” – was found to be from Rakhine, the Myanmar epicentre for the Rohingya refugee crisis.

4. Failing of Muslim countries in absorbing immigrants:

Many religious leader   has demanded that the Government of India should shelter the refugees. But a key question usually overlooked is the silence over Muslim countries not stepping up to absorb the distressed Rohingya? According to a 2014 Amnesty International report Left Out In The Cold, the Gulf Cooperation Council—which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE—has failed to absorb a single Syrian refugee since the crisis began in 2011. Malaysia Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are major countries absorb rohingyas, and the condition of rohingyas in Pakistan especially is deplorable.

5. Involvement in other criminal activity:

The Rohingya have been found involved in drug trade. Across Jammu, 25 first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against them for drug-trafficking. At least three FIRs are registered against the Rohingyas for flesh trade. That many of the Rohingya girls are brought to India on the pretext of work and “sold” to Muslim men is a claim made by intelligence agencies and supported by media reports. 

6. Burden on states economy:

We are already dealing with the big size of the population and the resources that state of J&K is having is not enough to fulfil the aspirations of the natives of the state,the additional burden lead only to the misery. Economically too state cannot afford the rohingyas to stay in the state.Immigration has increased pressure on the part of state government, as the government has to increase the expenditure on education and health facilities to the immigrants. There is a fear particularly during a recession that immigrants take jobs which would otherwise be taken by local people; in particular place and circumstances there can be competition and conflict.

7. Subversive nature:

There is constant fear of some deep rooted conspiracy in the migration of the rohingyas. There are many facts which support this subversive theory:

a)The new home of these illegal immigrants, ironically, is always Hindu-majority Jammu and never Muslim-majority Kashmir, the Rohingya are scattered over 42 sites, Muslim-populated Bhatindi a home to the largest and oldest camp, housing 192 of the 1,548 Rohingya families in Jammu, as of January 2018.

b)Bhatindi’s ‘Burmi market’, run by the Rohingya, is bigger and better-stocked than all the adjoining ones existing for decades.Localised who runs shop nearby, astonished on the fact that how refugees who had nothing on them have managed to own shops much bigger than his.

c)Rohingyas cover a large distance of approx. 2 and a half day journey from Kolkata to Jammu before reaching Jammu in the way they cross numerous stations and states and it is strange why they choose to come in the state which is less prosper and comparatively less stable than many others.

8. Foreigners Act:

Sec.3 of India Foreign Act 1946 provides that The Central Government may by order make provision, either generally or with respect to all foreigners or with respect to any particular foreigner or any prescribed class or description of foreigner, for prohibiting, regulating or restricting the entry of foreigners into India or, their departure there from or their presence or continued presence therein.Supreme Court in "Hans Muller of Nuremburg vs Superintendent, Presidency" gave power to the government to throw out foreigners. It was again upheld by the SC in "Mr Louis De Raedt&Ors v. Union of India"[1991 AIR 1886].

9. Community tension: 

There has been number of instances reported in Jammu which enhance the community tension. Whether it be a incident of Cow slaughter or involvement of Rohingyasin some anti national activity often leads to community tension.


It is indeed our culture and tradition that we must help rohingyas but it is also true that we can’t do it at our own cost. It is equally strange that western Pakistani refugees who came to India after 1947 still struggle to get citizenship of the state (PRCs) and many influential persons in state machinery advocated not only to allow the permanent settlement of rohingyas but also provide them with permanent citizenship if needed. The threat from rohingyas establishment is rising day by day, the acquisition of pivotal positions by rohingyas such as near army camps indicate towards a great conspiracy,Jammu Hindus also see this as a conspiracy to alter the demographic character of the area. Thus it is high time to get alert and raise voice against the illegal immigrants and Indians especially Jammuites must not see this issue with the eyes of humanism but with the eyes of national security.

(The writer is a student of Law, Jammu University )