Azad Jammu and Kashmir

By comparison with the Northern Areas, AJK has relatively few waters suitable for development as trout farm sites, or which are able to support good populations of wild trout. Wild populations are known to exist in the River Neelum and its tributaries upstream of Kutan. Here brown trout are able to reproduce, and form the basis of a fishery. Rainbows have also been stocked, but it is not clear whether these have formed self-sustaining populations. Similarly Ratigalli Lake, a 4km2 high-altitude lake in the Neelum region, has been stocked with both species, but the extent of natural spawning is not known. There is no road access to this lake. Rainbow trout have also been successfully stocked into the Leepa River, a tributary of the Neelum, and catches of the species are made by local residents including army personnel.

The potential for angling-based tourism has not been realizable in AJK due to the difficult security situation in the Neelum Valley. For the same reason, DoF staff have difficulties operating three of the four trout hatcheries established in this area (described above), and UNDP/FAO personnel are currently not permitted to enter that part of the Neelum Valley which is the best for rearing of trout. Under these circumstances it was not considered possible to go ahead with the implementation of PAK/88/048 as originally planned, since the main thrust of the programme was the upgrading and further development of Kutan, Dawarian and Salkhala trout farms, all of which are located in the restricted zone of the Neelum. Consequently an alternative strategy utilizing sites outside this area is proposed. It should be noted, however, that if the security situation improves sufficiently during the project period, the strategy may be revised to include the existing Neelum units. Since the trout hatchery consultant was not permitted to visit these farms, however, it is inappropriate for him to make detailed recommendations for their refurbishment at this time.

The main problems encountered in identifying waters with potential for development as trout hatcheries/farms outside the Neelum area were:

  • Absence of any sizeable spring suitable for siting large hatcheries. Many small springs, each delivering 1–10 l/sec, are available in AJK. These are suitable as locations for very small hatcheries, or for on-growing a few hundred kilos of trout to market size as a family or community-level venture, but are inadequate for large-scale development as centres for trout fingerling supply to both government and private growout farms, and release to enhance wild populations. No springs exist in AJK of a size comparable, for example, to that of Hosho in the Northern Areas.
  • Most surface waters in AJK suffer high silt loadings during the spring snow-melt and summer rains (especially in areas affected by the monsoon). Further, summer temperatures in most rivers and streams rise dangerously close to the upper lethal level for trout. Outside the upper Neelum, almost all surface waters reach 20°C, and many the mid-twenties.
  • AJK has no accessible cold-water lakes or reservoirs which could be used as locations for cage culture of trout.

The long-term potential of AJK, both for commercial trout farming and for development of commercial and sport fisheries for these species, must therefore be regarded as much more modest than in the Northern Areas: probably less than 10%. For this reason the objectives of the project in AJK were modified and widened to place more emphasis on fisheries management and capture fishery development based on non-salmonid local species. Details of this part of the programme are given in the project document and the report of consultant I. Cowx, and will not be repeated here.

Despite these limitations and reservations, however, several sites apparently suitable for medium-scale trout farm development, and many suitable small-scale sites, were identified. For the purposes of the project, the following recommendations were made for specific locations:

Chinari River (also known as Qasi Nag or Katahi). This tributary of the River Jhelum carries ample water all-year-round. Due to present and planned hydro-power developments, the Electricity Department of AJK has kept records of flow rates in this river for many years. Minimum flow was recorded at just over 1m3/sec, in December 1982. For most of the year, however, the river carries over 2m3/sec, and the annual average is about 4m3 /sec. The river is prone to flooding in spring, when turbidity is high, but at other times the water is clear. A maximum temperature of 20.5°C was measured during August, but further regular monitoring is needed to ensure significantly higher levels are never reached. With this reservation, the Chinari River appears the best prospe for trout farm development in AJK outside the Neelum Valley. It is therefore proposed as the main centre for trout hatchery/on-growing for PAK/88/048.

The easiest site for development on the Chinari is at the Katahi hydro-power station, about 1km from the confluence of the river with the Jhelum. Road access is available to this site, which is also linked to the main electricity grid. The station draws its water supply from the river via a concrete canal 1km long and averaging 1 × 1 × 1m in cross-section, which carries 300 l/sec. The water finally falls approx. 100m through two penstocks to the power house turbines, and thence via concrete channels back to the river. Sufficient land is available adjacent to the power house for construction of fish raceways, and the power house itself is big enough to function as a hatchery building. Around it a concrete apron could accommodate 3m diameter fry tanks, and there is a house for staff on an adjacent site. Since the power station and canal are currently disused, and have been so for at least two years, the proposal was made to take over the site for trout farm development. Unfortunately the Electricity Department declined this on the grounds that it is planned eventually to repair and re-open the station for power generation. The proposal must therefore be shelved for the time being, but should not be forgotten in case the repairs to the power station do not materialize and the re-opening plan is abandoned in future. In this case the modification of this site would be the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way to further develop trout farming on the river.

For project purposes, however, it was necessary to find another site on the same river. The choice was restricted by the Electricity Department's plans for further power generation on the Chinari. A much larger, tunnel-fed power station will be constructed during the next few years, upstream of the Katahi unit. To avoid the adverse effects on water quality caused by disturbance to the river, which will inevitably occur during the construction phase, it was decided to seek a trout farm site upstream of the proposed new power station intake. A location was eventually chosen at Chak Hama, about 5km upstream from Katahi.

The Chak Hama site is currently accessible from the road only via a 500m foot track, but government estimates this can be upgraded to jeepable standard using local labour for a cost of around Rs50, 000 ($2,000). Similarly power supply must be brought the same distance from the road. The available riverside site comprises several hectares of gently-sloping land ideal for raceway construction. The stony land is high enough above the river to be unaffected by floods, and currently produces only a little rough grass which is cut for hay. It belongs to government. An existing canal carries water for two mills at a level approx. 3m above the highest part of the site. Widening and deepening of this canal is straightforward, and will provide plenty of water at sufficient height to feed into the roof of a hatchery building, as well as fry tanks and concrete raceways.

For project purposes, annual production targets for this site have been set at 25mt of market size rainbows and 200, 000 yearlings for on-growing here and by private/community-level farms by 1996. Calculations of incubator and fry/fingerling tank space required to meet these targets were made on the same basis as described above for proposed farms in the Northern Areas, and the resulting specifications and costings are included in the AJK project document. The government contribution to the project will cover the costs of construction of the following concrete raceways:

  • Approx. 400m3 for yearling production.
  • Approx. 700m3 for market fish.
  • Approx. 200m3 for broodstock.

Due to the spring/summer turbidity, water for use in the Chinari hatchery will require filtration. Details of equipment recommended are given in the report of engineering consultant J. Muir.

Chikar. The Chikar Valley contains many small springs, which combine to form the Noonbagla Nullah, which joins the Nagni River, a tributary of the Jhelum. Though the Nagni itself was excluded as a suitable site due to its maximum summer temperature of at least 25°C, the Noonbagla has a more moderate temperature regime due to its spring sources. At the time of the consultant's visit, in September 1991, it had a temperature of 15.5°C, and a flow rate of at least 25 l/sec, which is said to be the minimum for this water. Further observations on temperature and flow rate must, however, be made before investment is made at this location. A good, gently-sloping site was found just downstream of the new bridge (under construction) adjacent to the road. It is understood that the local government here is keen to develop a trout farm, and consequently it was agreed to include plans for a unit with annual production capacity of about 5mt within the project. Due to its spring-fed nature, there is also potential for establishment of a small hatchery on this stream, and a modest target of 50, 000 fingerlings has been set for this.

Calculations of incubator and tank requirements were again based on the same assumptions as above, and cost estimates for equipment required are included in the project document. Government will construct the following raceways:

  • 100m3 for fingerling/yearling production.
  • 140m3 for market fish.
  • Broodstock will not be kept at this unit. Instead, eyed eggs will be brought in from Chinari, or fry from Pattika.

Pattika. The existing Pattika hatchery will be upgraded by addition of new modern incubators and fry tanks. New building work on a hatchery building and small concrete raceways is already in hand. Target production has been set at 150, 000 rainbow fingerlings annually by 1996. Though most of these fish will probably be earmarked for release for stock enhancement, some can be made available to private/community-level on-growers if demand exceeds initial expectations. During the project period, Pattika will import about 300, 000 eyed eggs annually from overseas, but by 1996 a self-sufficient broodstock to supply all the AJK units should be available at Chinari.

Private sector and community-based units. Considerable interest is already apparent in AJK in the prospect of small-scale private or community-owned trout farms. These will generally concentrate on market fish production, and obtain their fingerlings/yearlings from the above government-operated units. Currently one small farm based on a 7 l/sec spring water supply is under construction by the army's 75 Brigade at Sroopa, Lamnian. Details of this 500kg/year unit are given in the report of consultant I. Cowx. A larger unit, with initial production target of around 2mt/annum, is being planned for the army base at Cham, 6km upstream of Chak Hama on the Chinari River.

In the private sector, strong interest has been expressed by the owners of land at Lamnian, where potential exists for an output of at least 10mt per year using water from the Lamnian River, and at Bheri, where springs sufficient to produce at least 500kg annually are available.

There is also interest from communities at Leepa. Here relatively large volumes of good water are available from both nullahs and springs, perhaps the best outside the Neelum Valley. However, road access is difficult, and the area can be cut off by slides and snow for half the year. Leepa is also very close to the ceasefire line, and exchanges of fire sometimes occur. For this reason UNDP/FAO personnel require clearance from the army before they go there, and this can be difficult to obtain. Consequently it was not considered possible to include the area in the initial project proposal, though it might be brought in at a later date. Private sector developments here, however, will be encouraged.




The Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India dates back to the partition of British India into two independent states in August 1947. At the time, the princely states under British suzerainty but not directly ruled by the British Government opted for joining either Pakistan or India taking into account their contiguity to one or the other country and the wishes of their people.

In the case of Jammu and Kashmir , the ruler was Hindu while the population was overwhelmingly Muslim and wanted to join Pakistan . India consistently pressurized the Hindu ruler to accede to India . Apprehending that the Hindu ruler was likely to succumb to Indian pressure, the people of Jammu and Kashmir rose against him, forcing him to flee from Srinagar . On 24th October 1947 they formed their own government. On 27th October, the Government of India announced that the Hindu ruler had acceded to India . This claim was made on the basis of a fraudulent instrument of accession. India sent its forces into the State and occupied a large part of Jammu and Kashmir . Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, solemnly declared that the people of the State would decide the final status of Jammu and Kashmir . For over half a century, the Kashmir dispute has bedeviled relations between Pakistan and India . Several efforts, for resolution of the issue, both at multilateral and bilateral levels have failed to show any meaningful result.

India took the matter to the UN Security Council in 1948. The UN Security Council through its Security Council Resolutions No. 47 (1948) , 51 (1948), 80 (1950) and the United Commission for India and Pakistan resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 declared that accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite. These UN resolutions were accepted by both India and Pakistan . Prime Minister Nehru declared before the Indian Parliament that India was committed to holding a free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir . However, India reneged on its commitment to hold plebiscite on the pretext of this stance.

In 1951 India projected the rigged assembly elections in the Indian occupied Kashmir as a substitute to the UN sponsored plebiscite. However, t he UN Security Council Resolution No.91 (1951) denied the authority of the Constituent Assembly to decide about the future of the state and reminded the parties that the final disposition of the state of Jammu & Kashmir is to be made in accordance with the will of the people of Kashmir . The UN Resolution No.122 (1957) reaffirmed the earlier resolution of 1951 stating that the elections could not be held as substitute to the plebiscite.

India now claims that Kashmir is an integral part of India . This contention is misleading and incorrect because of the following reasons:

• The disputed character of Jammu & Kashmir has been recognized by the UN, accepted by both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the international community.

• The Line of Control in the disputed area of Jammu & Kashmir is not an international boundary and recognized as such by India .

• There is complete alienation in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) against the Indian rule.

•  Pakistan and India in the Joint Statement of 6 January 2004 are committed to seeking a final settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

Outside the UN, direct negotiations between Pakistan and India were held from the very inception of the dispute in 1947. Several rounds of negotiations held during the past five decades have not resulted in any meaningful or substantive progress as India adamantly maintained that the status quo cannot be changed.

Over half a century, the people of Kashmir are awaiting the exercise of their right to self-determination. Non-implementation of the Security Council resolutions coupled with the massive violations of the human rights by the Indian Security Forces has compelled the people of IoK to resist Indian occupation.

In 1989, the people of Jammu and Kashmir , inspired by similar movements for freedom in other parts of the world, rose against the Indian occupation. India sought to suppress their movement with massive use of force, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children.

Since 1989, more than 90,000 Kashmiri people have been killed. There are over 700,000 Indian troops in IOK. There have been numerous cases of human rights violations. In spite of the brutal repression of the Indian Security forces, the peaceful struggle of the Kashmiri people continues undaunted.

In fact Indian state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir has become even more pronounced in the post September 11 phase. India has tried to use the global sentiment following the September 11 events to paint the Kashmiri freedom struggle as terrorism and its own repression of that indigenous freedom struggle as a means to fight against terrorism.

In an attempt to malign Pakistan and the Kashmiri freedom movement, India has stepped up its propaganda of cross LOC infiltration from Pakistan and our involvement in so-called cross border terrorism. These allegations are nothing but a ploy to shift focus from the massive violation of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian Security Forces in IOK. While making such baseless allegations, India refuses to allow a neutral mechanism to investigate these charges.

Pakistan has all along emphasized the need to further strengthen and enhance the monitoring of the LoC by the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). UNMOGIP is the UN's oldest peace-keeping operation.



After a long period of heightened tension and stalled dialogue, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Islamabad on 3 – 6 January 2004 to attend the 12th SAARC Summit. In a joint statement issued on 6 January, 2004 , the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India agreed to commence the process of the Composite Dialogue. The Joint Statement also committed the two countries to find a permanent solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute acceptable to all parties.

The Composite Dialogue that commenced in February 2004 between Pakistan and India is a means to achieve a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Earlier, Pakistan had set the stage for the resumption of the dialogue process by announcing a vital CBM in the shape of declaration of a unilateral cease-fire across the LOC in November 2003.

During the past 2 and half years, while the Composite Dialogue has been in process, Pakistan has tabled certain concrete proposals for working towards a final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The four-point formula presented by the President offers the best mechanism to break the impasse. The four-point formula envisages that:

• Official talks commence,

• Centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is acknowledged,

• Any proposal unacceptable to any party or Kashmiris is taken off the table and,

• Best solution acceptable to the parties and the Kashmiris is taken up,

All Kashmir related proposals demonstrate Pakistan 's sincere desire and reflect flexibility and readiness to take bold initiatives. Given sincerity, flexibility and courage on both sides, it should be possible to move forward towards a just settlement.

The Pakistani side has urged India to move forward together with Pakistan in a search for a final settlement that is acceptable to the Kashmiri people. We have also reiterated in unequivocal terms that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is the core issue, which cannot be sidelined and put on the backburner.

In addition to the Composite Dialogue, the two sides have agreed on a number of Kashmir-related Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), including intra-Kashmir bus and truck services, opening of crossing points on the Line of Control (LOC), meeting points for divided Kashmiri families on the LOC and greater interaction among Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the LOC. These CBMs have improved the political atmosphere in the region, which together with conducive international environment, offer a unique opportunity for both Pakistan and India to resolve the Kashmir dispute. While the CBMs have their importance, progress towards a settlement alone will raise hopes, reinforce confidence in the peace process and discourage violence and militancy that has persisted since 1989 largely as Kashmiri reaction to human rights violations and heavy Indian military presence in IOK.

On 11 July 2006 India used the Mumbai blasts to postpone the Foreign Secretary level talks to review the 3 rd round of the Composite Dialogue. India blamed elements from Pakistan for their involvements in the blasts. The Indian decision to put on hold the Foreign Secretary level talks has been seen as a negative development by Pakistan and the international community. The Indian decision was also at variance with the Joint Statement issued on 18 April 2005 by the leaders of Pakistan and India that “terrorist acts would not be allowed to derail the peace process”. While Pakistan has condemned the terrorist attacks in the Mumbai at the highest level and has offered assistance in investigating the blasts, India continues to point fingers at Pakistan .

Progress towards a settlement should not be linked to sporadic terrorist incidents anywhere in Indian occupied Kashmir or India . This would only add to the frustration of the Kashmiris who continue to suffer heavy Indian military presence, human rights violations and harsh laws, such as J&K Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Prevention Act. These gross human rights violations have been documented by Amnesty International and Asia Watch.

President Musharraf has emphasized the need for “out of box thinking,” sincerity, flexibility and courage to address this dispute. He has stated that a solution of this dispute must be acceptable to Pakistan , India and most importantly, the people of Jammu and Kashmir .

Pakistan has never shied away from bilateral engagement with India of which the ongoing Composite Dialogue is a manifestation. We hope that the process of composite dialogue will lead to peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides. Only a constructive dialogue would promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development of our people and for future generations.

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