Kashmir — a bleeding wound

Indian security personnel guard a street during a lockdown in Srinagar, Kashmir. Tough restrictions were in force for Eid Al-Adha festival. (AFP) 
Updated 13 August 2019

Kashmir — a bleeding wound

  • Jammu and Kashmir is described as the jugular vein of Pakistan

According to the Partition Plan of June 3, 1947, which was passed by the British Parliament on July 18 that year, the former British colony was divided into two sovereign states. The Hindu-majority areas constituted India, while the Muslim-majority areas of the western provinces and east Bengal were included in Pakistan.

At the end of British suzerainty over the Indian subcontinent, more than 550 princely states became independent but with a choice to accede either to Pakistan or India.

However, India illegally occupied Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir through military invasions. With an 87 percent Muslim population, Jammu and Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan.

Prominent British historian Alistair Lamb challenged the Indian version of the story in his book “The Birth of Tragedy.” 

He wrote that the events after partition strongly suggested that Indian troops invaded Kashmir prior to the signing of the Instrument of Accession, and that for this reason the Indian government never made the document public at any international forum.

The Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly those living in the Jammu region in 1947, paid a heavy price for their aspirations to join Pakistan. 

The Indian occupation faced stiff resistance from the people of Kashmir, who launched a mass struggle against it. This resolute movement forced India to approach the UN Security Council on Jan. 1, 1948 to ask for its help in settling the dispute. Through successive resolutions, the UNSC nullified the Indian invasion and called for the dispute to be resolved by granting the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination. It also approved an impartial plebiscite, or referendum,
for the people Jammu and Kashmir to express their wishes, under UN supervision. Despite all the promises made by Indian leaders before the world community, the plebiscite has still not been held.

Disappointed by the failure of all efforts to resolve the dispute through peaceful means, the people of occupied Kashmir intensified their freedom struggle. 

People took to the streets in large numbers in every part of the occupied territory on a daily basis, demanding their right to self-determination.

However, Indian police and troops continued to use every available brutal tactic against the protesters, including firing pellets, bullets and tear gas shells at the demonstrators. 

More than 270 people have lost one or both of their eyes as a result of pellet injuries, while about 1,000 are on the verge of losing their eyesight. Hundreds of people, including leaders of the pro-separatism Hurriyet political, social and religious alliance, have been put behind the bars.

However, all these brutalities have failed to dent the resolve of Kashmiris and their commitment to the ongoing liberation movement. It is an undeniable fact that the Pakistani leadership has always supported the just struggle of the Kashmiris and never betrayed the trust placed in it by them. The father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, described Jammu and Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan. 

The current government is forcefully raising on the international stage the suffering of the Kashmiri people and the gross human rights violations by Indian troops in the occupied territory.

Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (Supplied)
Updated 25 min 28 sec ago

Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.
Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.
The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”
Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.
“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”
Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”
The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.
“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.
Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.
“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.
KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”
The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.
“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.