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Last Updated: May 15, 2007 - 2:05:15 AM
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When separatists too show concern for the environment
Jan 21, 2007 - 8:55:27 AM
All the major rivers of Jammu and Kashmir - Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Tawi - wind their way to Pakistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

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[RxPG] Jammu, Jan 21 - If you thought that Kashmiri separatists were always obsessed with a Kashmir solution and self rule, that wasn't all. Scant snowfall in the Kashmir Valley this winter has caused a deep concern among them for the environment.

With about 10 days left for the expiry of 'Chille Kalan'- the Valley's severest 40-day winter period that usually begins with Dec 20 and ends with Jan 30 - their worries are multiplying.

The general belief is that snow during 'Chille Kalan' stays on until summers, when it feeds rivers with fresh water. If there is a scant snowfall, people are likely to experience severe water crisis as well as drought-like conditions in summer.

All Party Hurrriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a worried man before he left for Pakistan.

'It must snow,' Mirwaiz said, adding 'otherwise I don't know what would happen in summers.'

'Kashmir cannot afford to have a water crisis,' he said.

Mirwaiz Farooq said that environmental concerns would be one of the issues he would be taking up with the government of Pakistan-administered Kashmir to overcome the crisis.

All the major rivers of Jammu and Kashmir - Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Tawi - wind their way to Pakistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

'If there is no water in these rivers, it is a matter of greater concern for them too,' the separatist leader said.

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