“Google doodle” joins ranks of Pakistan Independence Day celebrations

Pakistan gets one of the 21st century’s ultimate anniversary markers: a customized homepage on the Google search engine for August 14 when it celebrates its independence from the British Empire on August 14, 1947. (Photo: screen-grab of Google homepage)
Updated 15 August 2019
0

“Google doodle” joins ranks of Pakistan Independence Day celebrations

  • August 14 doodle shows historic Khyber Pass of Peshawar, a mountain road once a glory of the British empire 
  • Google has in the past dedicated doodles to legendary musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, philanthropist Edhi and others

ISLAMABAD: This year, aside from the swag of official events to mark 72 years of Pakistan’s inception, the country also got one of the 21st century’s ultimate anniversary markers: a customized homepage on the Google search engine.
Pakistan celebrates its independence day on August 14 each year to mark when Britain divided its Indian empire into Muslim Pakistan and mainly Hindu India in 1947.
The August 14 doodle shows the historic Khyber Pass of Peshawar, a tortuous mountain road that was once a glory of the British empire and remains a legend of high adventure.
This is not the first time that Google has featured a doodle for a Pakistani event or milestone. In the recent past, doodles have been dedicated to the birthdays of legendary musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, the king of the ghazal form Mehdi Hassan, and Pakistan’s most prominent and prolific artist, Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi.
 


Jammu and Kashmir: A disputed state under siege 

Updated 22 August 2019
0

Jammu and Kashmir: A disputed state under siege 

  • New Delhi fears protests if communication is restored and presence of troops scaled down in Kashmir
  • There is widespread anger and resentment among the people of the disputed region

SRINAGAR: It’s been more than two weeks since Indian administered Kashmir has been facing a security lockdown and prohibitory order. 
Markets in major parts of the Muslim majority region of Jammu and Kashmir are shut amid a communication blackout. 
Kashmiris have been barred from using any form of technology to communicate and denied even a basic phone call.
New Delhi’s decision on August 5 to abrogate two articles of the Indian constitution, Article 370 and 35-A, that gave the disputed state a special autonomous status under the Indian union has brought the Kashmir valley to a standstill.
The Modi administration has imposed strict prohibitor orders, reinforcing parliamentary troops to man each and every nook and corner of the valley.
The administration governing the Kashmiri districts relaxed the prohibitory order on August 19, allowing schools to reopen. It also restored some telephone landlines.
However, protests in some parts of Srinagar and Kashmiri towns forced the government to reimpose the communication ban. 
The schools remain empty days after reopening. 
People are gripped in fear. Uncertainty looms. Reports suggest that grieved communities have resorted to civil disobedience by keeping markets shuttered down and not sending their children to school.
There is widespread anger and resentment among the people. Majority of the Kashmiris feel let down by the government’s decision to strike down the special status passing a rush decree to annex their state without holding a plebiscite.
They say that their identity has been attacked and it’s not possible to live under abject humiliation.
Modi’s government fears large scale protests and resistance if communication is fully restored and the presence of troops is scaled down. 
If violence erupts, New Delhi fears that it stands to lose its political narrative domestically and internationally.
Jammu and Kashmir remains on edge. A disputed state divided between, India and Pakistan but fully claimed by both is under siege on New Delhi’s orders which has violated the UN charter.
It remains to be seen how long the Indian paramilitary forces will be able to contain the growing anger and angst among the local populace of the Muslim-majority region under Indian rule.