Stories written by Athar Parvaiz
Athar Parvaiz has been an IPS contributor since 2008. Based in Srinagar, Indian Administered Kashmir, he writes about environment, health, human rights and development issues. | Twitter |

AFGHANISTAN: Killing Heroin With Saffron

Weaning Afghanistan’s poppy farmers away from growing the raw material for the bulk of the world’s illicit heroin has never been easy, but Kashmir’s saffron cultivators may have the answer.

INDIA: Kashmir Clamours for Normalcy

As armed insurgency in India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir ebbs, the elected state government is keen to hasten a return to normalcy by easing draconian security laws and reopening movie theatres and liquor shops, banned by fundamentalist militant groups.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Kashmiri Farmers Left High and Dry

Sammad Sheikh of Tangchekh village in north Kashmir cannot understand why the rice fields that his family cultivated for generations are drying up.

Cattle from Gurez's villages often stray across the LoC into Pakistani territory and are lost forever.  Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmir’s Fence Eats Crops

Touseef Bhat’s seven-acre farm in this scenic alpine valley of Bandipora district has an incongruous feature – an electrified barbed wire fence running through it.

Jammu & Kashmir's flourishing media is subject to subtle pressures. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmir’s Media Miracle Feeds on Conflict

"If one were to search for a positive outcome to the ongoing armed conflict in Jammu and Kashmir state, it would be the growth of journalism," says Prof. Shams Imran at the department of journalism, Central University of Kashmir.

Line Blurs Between Pro-India and Separatist Politics

As the blistering summer heat gives way to the first undertones of winter’s chill, the political landscape in the highly contested north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir also appears to be changing colour.

Abdul Razzak with a harvest of prized Kashmiri beans in the fertile Gurez valley. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmiris Hail Hague Stay on Dam

A ruling by the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) at The Hague, staying construction of a dam across a river that flows into Pakistan, has brought cheer to the tribal people who live around the site.

Kashmiri women protesting against forced disappearances of their relatives. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Grave Issues Trouble Kashmiris

Rights activists say that thousands of unmarked graves newly uncovered along the Line of Control (LoC) in Indian Kashmir may hold the bodies of ‘disappeared’ people rather than those of militants killed while trying to cross the fortified de facto border between India and Pakistan.

Saraswoti

NEPAL: Adapting to Climate Change Can be Simple

Saraswoti Bhetwal’s terraced fields stand out in the sub-Himalayan Lamdihi village as a mosaic of shapes and colours formed by beans, bitter gourd, chilly, tomato, lady’s fingers and other crops.

Srinagar's famed Dal Lake is now filled with filth. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmir Pays for Environmental Neglect

Years of poor policies and neglect are taking a toll on Kashmir’s unmatched ecological assets, that also happen to be international tourist attractions.

In an unusual scene, a university student performs before fellow students in Srinagar. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS.

INDIA: Kashmir in Search of Lost Culture

While the conflict in Indian Kashmir and the destruction it has caused often makes the news, its impact on culture has hardly gotten any attention.

Impunity for Killers of Women in Strife-torn Kashmir

Fracha Begam has been unable to come to terms with the deaths of her two teenage daughters, killed by unknown gunmen in the latest incident of violence against women in the Kashmir Valley.

A fisherman tries his luck in Dal Lake in Srinagar. Credit: Athar Parvaiz

INDIA: Pollution Threatens Kashmir’s Fish Species

Several species of fish unique only to the waters of Kashmir are in danger of extinction due to high levels of pollution, environmentalists say.

A tree axed by smugglers in Kashmir. Credit: Athar Parvaiz

ENVIRONMENT: Smugglers Axing Kashmir Forests

During the summer of 2010 Kashmir saw one of the worst face-offs between pro-freedom Kashmiri youth and law enforcement agencies. Smugglers used the unrest surrounding these outbreaks to conceal their steady ramping up of the black market timber trade, at times with complicity of authorities.

Kashmir's schools and colleges have been deserted for months now. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Political Stalemate Defines Life in Kashmir

All Shabnam Khan wants is a one-day break in the ongoing strike, so that her daughter can try her luck and get admission in a topnotch school here in the capital of Indian- administered Kashmir.

Stanzin Dolma of Choglamsar-Leh breaks down while showing the ruins of her home, wrecked by the August floods and landslides. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Extreme Weather Sows Uncertainty in Farmers’ Lives

When dark clouds waft above, hearts pound in fear and nightmarish thoughts strike the minds of the inhabitants of this desert town, which lies more than 3,048 metres above sea level in the northern Indian province of Ladakh.

Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq visits a young protester who was injured in police action. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmiri Youngsters Wage Online Struggle

Rasik Rasheed’s (not his real name) hefty Internet bills hardly bother his family. Cooped up at home due to curfews and strikes here for nearly three months now, youngsters like him have been busy not just with their studies but with waging what they call the Kashmir struggle on the Internet.

POLITICS-INDIA: In Kashmir, Tensions Put Life on Hold

The doctors at the hospital that Khalida Begum’s husband brought her to in the frontier district of Kupwara knew she was in a dangerous state. They thus recommended that she be transferred soonest to the maternity hospital here in Srinagar, where she was sure to receive far better care.

Kashmiri journalists protesting against curbs imposed on media Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Amid Renewed Violence, Kashmir Journalists Become the News

Abdul Rehman stopped in his tracks when he did not see his usual newspapers strewn out on his lawn one morning this month. But little did he know that he would not see newspapers, whether out on the newsstands or delivered to subscribers like him, for three more days.

Solid waste management is becoming a big problem in Indian Kashmir. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmir Youth Fight – to Save the Environment

Now that the armed conflict between Indian security forces and Kashmiri militants has eased considerably, youngsters are coming out to fight a new threat – environmental degradation – that looms over this beautiful valley often termed ‘paradise on earth’.

The hangul, found at the Dachigam wildlife sanctuary in Jammu and Kashmir region in northern India, is in danger of extinction. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Animals Nearing Extinction Need Urgent Attention – Experts

With threats looming large on the survival of several wildlife species in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India, experts warn that these species could go extinct in the coming years unless immediate steps are taken to prevent their extinction.

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