This was a mixed year - good times and bad times. We received a wide mix of responses. We have used those letters that appealed to us the most.
Dear Mr. Sadiq,
I read the article, Kashmir's Majestic Chinars Under Threat on your web site with great interest. Very few such trees (Platanus orientalis) are found anywhere in the world and are indeed a treasure.
These trees should not be sawed, chopped, lopped or cut. Fresh cuts on trees provide an entry for pests and they become susceptible to fungal and insect diseases; hence, cuts must be avoided at all costs. To take proper care of these remarkable chinars, I suggest the following:
(1) Depending on the size of the tree, a 30-50 foot circle on the ground around the tree should be gently teased making sure that the roots that are sticking out of ground are not damaged.
(2) If there are any exposed roots, good soil should be placed covering them to 10-12 cm depth. The breaking of caked soil will allow better aeration for roots and better infiltration of rain water, addition of topsoil will cover exposed roots and protect them.
(3) Next, the whole area should be covered with a mulch layer--like dry grass, dried leaves, or chunks of bark--the mulch layer will help conserve the water by decreasing evaporation and letting rain water infiltrate the soil around the tree slowly. Make sure none of the mulch materials are diseased.
I am a Kashmiri--born in Srinagar and I, like you and many Kashmiris, simply love these magnificent trees which are both marvels of nature and a historical record our native land.
I send you my best wishes.
M. K. Wali
Ohio State University, USA
25 October 2009
Excellent site... with historical facts that address the issue of how did the situation arise... Can you please throw some light on how was daily life like, before the elections of 1989? Why was there peace (if there was?) How much of trouble was there, in those times (if it was there)?Cheers
I am an Indian living in USA and have been following the Kashmir issues for long time. I salute and appreciate your unbiased opinion on Kashmir, it is indeed sad that India and Pakistan had to fight so many wars for Kashmir and till date blood-shed continues.
Whilst Indian Government and people are to blame for ignoring Kashmir's development, Pakistan has no business in sending killers across the border, sometimes I wonder if anyone will see through this cowardly act of Pakistan of bleeding India through militancy in Kashmir.Harsha Nagarajarao
I see an over-simplication of the issue of Kashmir, in which Pakistan is simple termed the aggressor while India is the savior. Your every argument goes against Pakistan including it's policies in the past. How can a Hindu maharaja, an unelected ruler, who is basically an Indian puppet be allowed to simply hand over the state of thousands of people to India. I don't believe that he represented Kashmir as a whole, because the simple objective of government is to represent the people, and the goverenment of maharaja wasn't making decisions in the interest of it's subjects. It would be equally unwise to hand over a hindu state to Pakistan; the state which has a Muslim leader and wants to be part of a larger muslim state. The use of Maharja's authority to merge with India, as the base argument, stands clear criticism.
India, being the world's largest democracy with it's absolute control over Kashmir, cries out hypocracy. Your fact sheet on the website is just as opinionated as my email.
I'm an 18 year old from New York City and this is just my opinion. I know that you will not agree with me but I felt that it must be exchanged.
Thank you and Allah Hafiz,Shahzad Shaheen
Dear Mr. Sadiq and friends,
I have visited many websites on this issue. I have seen your website with different approach for the cause. Before writing this mail, let me say I have read others and your replies to them. I have a small thought. As you know India is a country of cultural diversity. they live as Indians while preserving their linguistic and cultural identity. they why you feel that Kashmirs will loose their identity as a part of Indian dominion. Self pride is on attributed to Kashmirs only. Each Indian is proud of being an Indian.
One more thing. you cannot blame Delhi for current situation in Kashmir. the reasons are obvious. Under article 370 of Indian constitution, Delhi cannot directly interfere in J&K. they need approval from J&K state Assembly. I hope you must be aware of this fact. therefore, you must realise that those who talk of independent Kashmir only wants to enjoy power. they are not interested in doing any good for society. they are not helpless in present condition to improve situation in Kashmir. but they just do not wish to. If you are unbiased, you will agree that Kashmir cannot generate enough revenue of its own from tourism only. therefore there will not be enough money to create infrastructure in the region. why cannot you live as a member of joint family and enjoy fruits of prosperity. Why you do not vote to abolish article 370 and allow business from other parts of India to invest in the region. this will also allow other central investment in the region like railways. you will see very fast growth in region.Vihang
"The rulers of Pakistan are hell-bent on strengthening the roots of colonial system of governance in Gilgit Baltistan but the voice for self-rule rising against the unjust and cruel means of the rulers is indicative of a big nationalist revolution in the region." These views were expressed by Chairman Gilgit Baltistan United Movement while reacting to the appointment of an ex-Supreme Court of Pakistan judge as the chief of the Supreme Appellate Court (SAC) of Gilgit Baltistan.
Manzoor Hussain Parwana said the appointment of a non-local, retired and above all a PCO judge as chief of the SAC was a joke with the people of Gilgit Baltistan. Such steps illustrates the intention of colonial masters to safeguard the imposing system in the region and suppress the rising voice of the masses for their basic legitimate rights and prolong the de-facto control. The appointment of the outsider and a retired judge on the post ignoring the adequate and indigenous judge had also exposed the hollow claims of government to give the local people a democratic setup. He added He announced to launch a movement for attaining the basic rights of the local people and call the masses to join hand with nationalist movement to resist against the illegal appointment of the non-local judge in the region.Manzoor Hussain Parwana
It seems like you speak Mr. Pranab Mukhergee's language. Your website is a true mis-representation of the facts. It seems like you are an Indian agent and a traitor to the people of Kashmir. Your information about the Bhasha Dam is very insufficient and biased. Bhasha Dam is not located in Sindh province. It is in Punjab province. There are no protests over this dam as it is being built at very high altitude and there are no populations that will be displaced by this dam. And what do you think about the Baglihar Dam in Kashmir which is a sheer violation of the Indus Water treaty of 1960? And what about the freedom movement in Kashmir? Your website must not ignore the most important issue of Indian oppression in Indian Held Kashmir. David Miliband has truly said that Kashmir is the bone of contention between Pakistan and India and it must be resolved as per the resolutions of the UN and his remarks have not only been welcomed by LeT but also the people and government of Pakistan alike. you being a Muslim are speaking the Language of those Hindus who have killed thousands of Muslims in Gujarat and Kashmir. You should be ashamed.
Wishing that you realize the truth very soon,
A Pakistani brother, IslamabadWaqar Anjum