Besides gross human rights violations in the valley, the growing Indo-Pak relations reinforcing possibility of a dialogue between the two shared prominent space in the Urdu Media in Kashmir valley.
Human Rights Violations
In its lead news, the daily Aftab (1 December 2003) reported, "about 100 people killed in the month of November." Giving details, the report read "Among victims, majority are youth. These include one and a half dozen women and children. Reliable sources said that more than two dozen policemen had also died. Apart from deadly grenade explosions, indiscriminate firing by security forces continues in the turbulent valley". It continued, "though the ceasefire on Indo-Pak borders is in effect but grenade explosions have rendered many ordinary Kashmiris physically handicapped. It is also believed that ordinary people are being labeled as militants and killed, no investigations are made". The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has said that it will protest against the increasing human rights violations on the forthcoming human rights day. In this regard the organization will present a memorandum to the UN headquarter in Srinagar, summed up the report.
In its lead news, the daily Srinagar Times (11 December 2003) reported "protestors beaten up, Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohd. Yasin Malik and many other Hurriyat activists (Geelani group) arrested". Giving details, the news report said "Police resorted to lathicharge and tear gas and opened fire in air to disperse hundreds of activists of Hurriyat (Geelani group) who were protesting against the human rights violations in the valley on the Human Rights Day ( 10 December). More than 100 protestors including APHC leaders Geelani, Yasin Malik, Javid Mir and Hashmim Qureshi were taken into custody." It continued, "the procession led by Sayeed Ali shah Geelani, Chairman (Geelani group) was heading towards the UN headquarters in Sonawar, Srinagar to present a memorandum of ever-increasing human rights violations in the valley when it came under severe thrashing by police."
Indo-Pak Relations & Kashmir issue
In its editorial "need to resolve Kashmir issue" daily bi-lingual Alsafa (4 December 2003) commented that the two countries were involved in a process leading to resolving bilateral issues amicably. "New proposals are being put forth by both countries to resolve the bilateral issues and strengthen the ties between the two. Both countries don’t show bones in accepting and acknowledging proposals from each other. It is an indication that both are sincere in their respective approaches." It continued, "Both countries have agreed to restore air, rail and bus services and in the coming days all the blocked roads between the two are expected to re-open. This will lead to return of normalcy in the sub-continent. But the root cause of all the prolonged issues between the two countries is Kashmir issue." Summing up, it said, "The resolution of Kashmir issue only would end tumultuous history between the two and guarantee the beginning of a new era. It would be unfair to think of lasting peace in the entire sub-continent without the resolution of this issue".
Dr G.M. Bhat in the weekly Chattan (15 December 2003) commented on the growing Indo-Pak relations and the possibility of a dialogue between the two in view of Confidence building measures (CBM’s) from both sides. "After the failed Agra Summit which led to hatred and distanced two countries from each other, both countries seem to come closer and endure to resume ties and build confidence. The ceasefire announcement by the Pakistan Prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on the Line of Control (LOC) including working border besides Siachen and the subsequent response by the Govt. of India to resume rail and air links besides establishing people to people contact is an indication that both countries are sincere and come closer. Also, the letter from Prime Minister, Vajpayee to its counterpart in Pakistan making it clear that he will talk to Jamali besides any other damn personality in Pakistan on the forthcoming SAARC summit substantiates the fact that atmosphere has become conducive for the Indo-Pak dialogue. It continued "on one hand the atmosphere is fast becoming conducive between two countries; the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is likely to enter into a dialogue with New Delhi. Meanwhile, leaders of APHC (Abbas Group) Mirawiz Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone are busy in Delhi. The trio will be meeting diplomats of Europe besides US think tank which includes former US Ambassador in Delhi Frank Visner"
The daily, Subah Kashmir (6 December 2003) in its lead news gave prominence to the statement of Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani in which he criticized Pakistan for not responding properly/comprehensively to peace proposals from India. "Pakistan is yet to respond to long pending demand by India. Though under the international pressure, Pakistan has taken some steps to strengthen relations but it has to do a lot more with regard to peace proposals and to improve relations with it (India)." It continued "Pakistan has to stop cross border terrorism and destroy militant camps operating within the country. The improvement in relations of two countries would allow two to invest and improvise upon the economic and developmental front. The world has come to know about the menace of terrorism after the events of 9/11 but we are fighting this menace since twenty years".