The November 1 agreement between an Indian private air carrier and the Dubai-based Lulu Group to facilitate the export of market garden products and handicrafts fulfilled the promise of opening up the huge market in the Middle East to farmers. and craftsmen from Kashmir.
In March 2019, when the center banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) in Jammu and Kashmir under illegal activities [Prevention] Law, Kashmir Traders Association [KTA] is one of the organizations that strongly condemned this decision. KTU Secretary General Bashir Ahmad disagreed with the centre’s claim that JeI was “involved in anti-national and subversive activities in the country aimed at causing disaffection”, as well as “in contact close with militant groups ”, claiming that it was“ a religious organization that worked for Kashmir even in difficult situations and helped everyone regardless of caste or religion.
At that time, some had criticized Ahmad for unnecessarily pushing KTA into a problem unrelated to trade, as it could give the impression that instead of defending the cause of traders in Kashmir, KTA was plunged into local politics. Certainly this point of view has its merit, but since every organization and association is made up of members of society, local politics cannot be completely divorced from the discussion, even if it is not part of the goal and the objective of an association.
Thus, the only way for an organization or association to preserve its professional integrity and its fair image is not to avoid speaking out on contentious issues, but to exercise due diligence and ensure total impartiality. doing so. Ultimately, while discussion of unrelated issues is optional, standing up to defend the rights and promote the progress of the organization or association to which one belongs is obligatory. Unfortunately, this is where KTA seems to have stumbled badly.
The November 1 agreement between an Indian private air carrier and the Dubai-based Lulu Group to facilitate the export of market garden products and handicrafts held the promise of opening up the huge Middle Eastern market to farmers and Kashmir artisans. However, even before this revolutionary initiative which would give unprecedented impetus to the horticultural and handicraft sectors took hold, Islamabad made a mistake by unilaterally stopping the Srinagar-Sharjah overflights.
Although Kashmir’s farmers and artisans are the biggest losers due to Islamabad’s unreasonable decision to close its airspace for Srinagar-Sharjah flights, KTA has not spoken a single word against it. Since its mandate includes trade promotion, KTA should not be offended if its stoic silence on the cancellation of the overflight clearance is interpreted as a tacit endorsement of Islamabad’s decision or even seen as following the separatist line by conscientiously disregarding Pakistan’s brazen perfidy.
What’s funnier is that the entire pro-Pakistan lobby, which has otherwise accused New Delhi of following a policy aimed at keeping Kashmiris impoverished and therefore economically dependent on the center, is silent about the brazen attempt. of Pakistan to sabotage the prospects of the people of Kashmir to improve their financial status. The All Parties Hurriyat conference is calm, as are the Kashmiri civil society and its intelligentsia. However, this is understandable, because with armed “mujahedin” ensuring that Pakistan’s motivated interests in J&K are not compromised, the silence imposed on the issue of canceling overflights is only natural.
On October 23, the former chief minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah, expressed his apprehension over the overflight authorization granted by Islamabad to Srinagar-Sharjah flights. He said that “regarding the Srinagar-Sharjah flight which was announced today – has Pakistan changed its mind and allowed flights from Srinagar to use its airspace? Otherwise, that flight will die the same way the Srinagar-Dubai flight died during UPA2. At that time, it was largely believed that he was only spitting out pessimism as a political gimmick to undermine the centre’s spectacular achievements. However, now that the overflight clearance has been withdrawn by Pakistan, Abdullah’s prognosis is good!
Surprisingly, even at the cost of being ridiculed for peddling factual inaccuracies, the President of the People’s Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, has maintained her pro-Pakistani bias by blaming the center of this crisis by saying: Pakistan to use its airspace for international flights from Srinagar ”, adding that this was“ only [a] Public relations extravagance without any preparation.
The silence of those who regard Pakistan as the benefactor of Kashmir and serve its motivated interests speaks volumes about how common Kashmiris are betrayed by their own brethren who vehemently claim to be their sympathizers. Since this rot has taken hold inside, the plight of Kashmiris is unlikely to improve anytime soon and therefore, one can only hope and pray that people become more assertive to change the debilitating equation that prevails. today in the Kashmir Valley!
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