There have been busy times, both here in front of my workstation and in Kashmir. I find that if I don’t blog for one or two days, it gets harder and harder to start again. But with a bit of free time before my first review meeting I have the opportunity to update myself and the blog on the most recent events in the area.
You who have followed the news know that Pakistan has clamped down on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an Islamic charity organisation alleged to be the front of LeT, by initially raiding one of their camps in AJK and now arresting several of their members around Pakistan as well as freezing their bank accounts. As JuD was one of the more efficient organisers in the disaster relief after the earthquake that struck AJK in 2005, this move is not popular among many Kashmiris, who have protested with anti-US and anti-Indian slogans.
India, on its side, has continued the verbal attack on Pakistan, calling Pakistan the “epicentre of terrorism”. The PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh, seems eager to present an image of India as strong, as he stated that India had professed “the utmost restraint so far”, but that this should not be “misconstrued” as a sign of weakness.
In IJK, the fourth round of state elections took place on 7 December, with an average turnout of 59%. However, protests are still going on, and today the Coordination Committee has planned to organise protests in Srinagar after the Friday prayers.