Mufti’s death reveals the vulnerabilities of the PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged as a mainstream political force in the late nineties. The party was floated and formed by the gerontocratic politician, Mufti Mohammed Sayyed who passed away on the 7th of January, 2016. All political parties (the PDP being no exception) need a unifying glue to hold together and sustain them. […]

Kashmiri Pandits Are a Pawn in the Games of Hindutva Forces

I recently appeared on the Al Jazeera Head to Head programme where I was a panellist for Mehdi Hasan’s interview of BJP/RSS veteran Ram Madhav. Among the topics discussed (relating to the BJP/RSS ideology of Hindutva), was the issue of Kashmir. I am a Kashmiri woman, a feminist, author of a novel called Residue (with […]

Why Can't Muslims Unite?

The continuing stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the former’s hanging of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr is threatening to divide the Muslim world along sectarian lines, a prospect that could complicate the global fight against the ISIS. The feud between the two countries began when Saudi Arabia executed 47 people in a single day, including […]

Mufti Mohammad Sayyed:The man and his controversial legacy

Mufti Mohammad Sayyed- the gerontocratic politician who was twice Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir- passed away yesterday. Born in 1936 in the town of Bijbehara, Sayyed graduated from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1959 and went on to become a politician. He received his ‘break’ in the ‘Democratic National Conference’- a breakaway group of […]

Mufti’s death leaves PDP at a vulnerable space

Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, died on Thursday morning at AIIMS in New Delhi. Reports about his declining health began to pour out since August 2015, but the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a local political front he founded in 1999, maintained that the 79-year-old leader was recovering and looking forward […]

Execution of Sheikh al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Baqir-al-Nimr,  a prominent Shia cleric and vocal critic of Saudi Arabian authorities on last Saturday for allegedly disobeying its ruler. His execution has evoked widespread condemnation and angry demonstrations worldwide including in US, UK, Iran, Syria, Bahrain, Kashmir etc. Sheikh al-Nimr was most popular among youth in Eastern Saudi Arabia. In […]

Big quake warning: don’t ignore this one too

The recent earthquake in Manipur – measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale – that claimed at least eight lives and injured more than 100 is a serious wakeup call for India’s disaster management preparedness. It’s true the Northeast falls in the very high risk seismic Zone V. But the statistic that should be worrying policymakers […]

Mufti Sayeed's Health

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been in Intensive Care Unit of AIIMS since December 24. He is “sick, requiring oxygen therapy”. A recent statement issued by the hospital said he is “on antibiotics, antifungal drugs and supportive therapy and is being closely monitored by a team of experts”. More media reports about his health […]

It’s time India stops blaming Pakistan for every terror attack

Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore on Dec. 25 was heralded as a historic moment in India-Pakistan relations. But the deadly attacks on the Pathankot military base on Jan. 2, and the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif on Jan. 3, have emerged as major spoilers. The bonhomie achieved on Christmas Day is dissipating fast. The developing […]

India-Pak must break the pattern of camaraderie cameos interrupted by negative asides.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi warmly received by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, at Lahore, Pakistan on December 25, 2015. The inevitable has happened. We have been targeted again — this time, an air force base in Pathankot. It makes no sense to say “we told you so”. But the fact […]