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Is Kashmir Not Even That Big?

In my last post I explained how Kashmir is a small area of J&K, holding the whole state and region to ransom. I explained that Kashmir valley is about 6,000 square miles in area. It is indisputable that Muslims are a majority in J&K, but the separatist Muslims are concentrated in a fraction of the state — the Kashmir valley. The figure of 7% area was calculated based on the following information obtained from the Jammu and Kashmir page on Wikipedia:

The main Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area.

I realized that the Wikipedia page does not give the length of the valley. However, using the above mentioned area, it seems the Wikipedia user who wrote the above assumed a length of about 100 miles. I generally trust the information on Wikipedia, but in this case it seems someone got too enthusiastic, unless the following data given on the BBC News page on Kashmir’s “future” is incorrect. The BBC News site discusses various scenarios of Kashmir’s future on its page, and its Scenario Six matches what I was talking about on my last post. The site says:

With an approximate land mass of 1,800 square miles (80 miles long, 20 to 25 miles wide) it is much larger than Monaco and Liechtenstein – but only one-tenth of the size of Bhutan.

There must be something wrong with the figures on BBC site, which makes the area of the valley only 2.1% of the state’s total area of 86,000 square miles. Tell me about a storm in a teacup!
Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating Kashmir’s secession from India. I just want to tell the separatists that such a small size of land would be untenable as a country. With some Kashmiri leaders already talking about accession to Pakistan, and Pakistan waiting in the wings, you could be out of the frying pan into the fire. Also read the UNHCR report on Pakistan’s Human Rights Violations in so-called “Azad Kashmir”. A quote:

In the first seventy-two hours after the earthquake, thousands of Pakistani troops stationed in Azad Kashmir prioritized the evacuation of their own personnel over providing relief to desperate civilians. The international media began converging on Muzaffarabad within twenty-four hours of the earthquake and fanned out to other towns in Azad Kashmir shortly thereafter. They filmed Pakistani troops standing by and refusing to help because they had “no orders” to do so as locals attempted to dig out those still alive, sending a chilling message of indifference from Islamabad. Having filmed the refusal, journalists switched off their cameras and joined the rescue effort themselves; in one instance they shamed the soldiers into helping. But unlike the death and destruction, the media were not everywhere. The death toll continued to mount.

Now, this is UNHCR, not some Indian propaganda. Ready for some “azadi”, guys?

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Featured Articles News

Kashmir Is Too Small For Azadi

[हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें]
Headline on CNN about Leh floods: Death toll from Kashmir flooding rises to 112
Correction: Leh is not in Kashmir. There was no flooding in Kashmir.
A Vaishno Devi Pilgrim: I just returned from Kashmir. Things are peaceful there.
Correction: Jammu is not in Kashmir. There is no jehad in Jammu.
A University of Texas Website Article: refers to the 1999 war in Kargil, Kashmir
Correction: Kargil is not in Kashmir. It is in Ladakh province.
One of the frequent gripes that Kashmiris have about people from mainland India is that they don’t understand Kashmir and Kashmiris. That is true to a large extent. One of the myths that needs to be broken is that “Kashmir is J&K”, because it is actually only a small part of it – 6.98% to be exact. Even the saying that “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one” is not correctly worded because Kashmir is not the Northernmost part of India; Ladakh is. And if you believe in the official Indian map, then Gilgit and Aksai Chin are the Northernmost parts, none of these being part of Kashmir. Kashmir is well South of the Northern tip of India, so it is geographically a natural part of India. Even Azad Kashmir or PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is not Kashmir. In this blog post I will explain why this discussion is important, considering the existing imbroglio going on in the Kashmir valley.

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News

Arguing About Kashmir

Even though Kashmir is lost to our community (the Kashmiri Hindu community), it is impossible for people of our generation not to get riled up when the issue of Kashmir comes up. A detailed post on Kashmir has been on my mind for a long time, but numerous resolutions for this blog’s upkeep have resulted in a naught (edit: it’s there now!). That has not kept me from waxing eloquent on the comment sections of other blogs, particularly if the bloggers or other commenters have perspectives contrary to my point of view. This post is an attempt to document some of the comments I made on those blogs.