Kashmir, Ather Zia, Srinagar, river, Pakistan, India, Critical Kashmir Studies, Jelhum River, Vistata, Anthropology of Policy, Instagram

this is the river Jhelum; flowing through the heart of Srinagar. also called Vistata in early Sanskrit texts and Hydaspes by the ancient Greek. this river is as much mythical as it is physical. locally called Vyeth, the Jehlum begins at the foot of Pir Panjal mountains in SE Kashmir and flows into Pakistan. the partition of the region by the British crown in 1947 did not consider how water management between the India and Pakistan would occur. the Indus water basin, which consists of 6 rivers including the Jehlum begins in Tibet, flows through Kashmir and branches into India and Pakistan. most sources of Pakistan’s rivers flow out first from the India. in 1960 the Indus water treaty divided the rivers to give each country equal control. Jehlum was given to Pakistan, yet dispute over water use continue. experts see a water war in the making. for Kashmiris, as the Jehlum placidly flows through their land they remember the tortured and maimed bodies of young boys, men, women, combatants and non-combatants that floated in its waters. the sand-diggers stoically recall the bodies they have caught. in 1996 the body of a popular human rights lawyers was found in Jehlum tussled in a gunny bag. he was killed in custody by an Indian army major. such stories abound around Jehlum, making it a river of melancholy and sad meditations. then there are other stories – of letters being floated down Jehlum to reach the loved ones on the other side, in the Pakistan controlled Kashmir – the Azad Kashmir. thoughtless partition of Kashmir is one of its unending pains, and Jehlum carries all of them –Ather Zia

Image (c) Ather Zia 2016. Originally posted on ASAP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BIyCyzrBWV0/?taken-by=anthofpolicy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s