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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 152 of 2020

0933hrs:

All on course.............I must say that this year the summer hasn't really arrived yet and we're on the verge of entering the month of June.

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Today, I was cajoled into venturing out of subdivision Dadyaal for the first time since some date in March (prior to the lockdown I had already confined myself indoors). Albeit only to an adjoining subdivision. Here's some footage:



The Sufi saint who used to seclude himself here on this hilltop is thought to have vanished at some point, never to be seen again:



Today also coincided with our 7th weekly programme in search of clarity on our internal narrative in AJK, which hopefully will create the necessary space for defining clarity on the internal narrative of the whole of the erstwhile Jammu Kashmir & Allied:



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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 151 of 2020

0742hrs:

Yes, I can say with some conviction that not only is my morning routine restored but I'm now making some headway in making my day increasingly productive too.

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I just want to assess the viewership of our weekly programme in pursuit of giving shape to the internal narrative in AJK (and by extension J & K) thus far, after 6 weeks of consecutive broadcasting every Sunday at 2100hrs (9pm) AJK time:

Programme 6.0 - 24/05/20 - 2,600 views
Programme 5.0 - 17/05/20 - 1,700 views
Programme 4.0 - 10/05/20 - 2,800 views
Programme 3.0 - 03/05/20 - 4,000 views
Programme 2.0 - 26/04/20 - 3,800 views
Programme 1.0 - 19/04/20 - 2,300 views

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A novel but very energetic and persistent awareness campaign led by a Scottish teacher is helping many of us enjoy tea (or its equivalent kahwa or green tea in my case) together but virtually from all over the world, while discussing Kashmir. I should also be speaking at around 1900hrs (7pm) AJK time:



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Friday, 29 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 150 of 2020

0736hrs.....

I've managed to bring my waking pattern forward to 0600hrs now.........I've still to make my day more productive though....

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So, our aspiring citizens of AJK are also playing a part in global peacekeeping and losing their lives for it. I think such roles should be acknowledged:



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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 149 of 2020

0801hrs:

So, I've woken up early......by 0630hrs for the 3rd day on the trot.......What I need to improve on is how I spend my day.......

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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 148 of 2020

0807hrs:

There seems to be a lot happening in the background with reference to the 5 countries that have a 'stake' in our territory.

It is almost like a chess game but it needs unravelling.....

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 147 of 2020

0741hrs:

I think I've cracked the code for my sleep dilemma that took its toll during the last ten days of Ramadhan. Now, on the third day of Eid I've seemed to have broken the pattern of staying awake all night, which at times was till the next days' afternoon. On a couple of occasions I even remained awake beyond 36 hours.

This morning I've woken up fresh at c. 0630hrs....

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The day was proceeding well when I got a call to accompany a crowd to Ramkot Fort, perched on the border between AJK and Pakistan. This was an impromptu although belated Eid outing:

We also went live with some coverage:



At the Fort itself:



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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 145 of 2020

2358hrs:

I've realised my phone's clock is a few minutes fast....and that's a good thing in my context. It helps me get things done on time, more often than not.

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We are into our 6th weekly programme on the trot now, in our pursuit of clarity over our internal public narrative in AJK:



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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 144 of 2020

2359hrs:

This was another one of my JIT (Just In Time) moments. Even though I've been practicing this daily routine of writing a diary for almost 2 and a half years now; I can still forget to post on any given day.

So, I'm still missing something in my daily routine or from life in general.

Search.......is my advice to myself.

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The following picture is heartening to see:




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Yes, there is a bit of culture visible in Dadyaal but its not all locally influenced:



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We also took this opportunity to get some historical background on Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square:



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Friday, 22 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 143 of 2020

0819hrs:

The most intense battle between good and bad or utility and waste is within oneself. If one can conquer the beast inside who wants you to be conveniently bad or wasteful in habit, you win the world.

Talking of habits, here's an interesting yet apt sociological observation by a co-citizen of mine. Before I translate his observations I'd like to emulate his style with a famous piece of prose written by the Urdu poet, scholar and philosopher Jaun Elia :


Translation:

My connection with politics is just to the extent
that no ungenerous (soul) becomes the king of my city

Jaun Elia

.......

Has anybody heard of the Kashmir Liberation Cell? 

Well, here are some clues in reference to the merits - or lack of - of its existence:


..........

I genuinely felt the need to post the following:



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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 142 of 2020

2039hrs:

I'm using a very slow version of the internet at the moment.....whereby just opening this page takes at least 10 minutes!

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The scenario is looking ominous in the Valley of Kashmir:



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I know my inclusion here is going to flutter a few feathers in Rawalpindi:



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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 141 of 2020

2305hrs:

I understand that the internet is much cheaper and faster in Pakistan compared to AJK and GB. For what I pay for 75 GB of data a month, gets you unlimited data at faster speeds in Pakistan. 2,000 Pakistani rupees in total.

Yes, we have been pondering over alternative and direct internet access with the world, bypassing the Pakistani system which has been trying to control our minds as well as everything else in our territory.

In this digital age, functional internet access can also be added to the list of fundamental rights that all citizens of the world should have the option of avoiding or adopting.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 140 of 2020

2336hrs:

Flowing with the tide.....

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Here's an impromptu discussion with Municipal Administrator Dadyaal Choudhary Aftab Ahmed Khan at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square, on bringing this city's infrastructure on a par with the most developed cities in the world.



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Now, this is my kind of discussion:



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Monday, 18 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 139 of 2020

2253hrs:

Wow!

Are we transitioning from a colonial era to a corona era?

These are deep anxieties in AJK.

Hence:


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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 137 of 2020

2302hrs:

So.....just a couple of days after remembering Arif Shahid's martyrdom for his pursuit of the internal narrative, Murtaza Shibli suffers a hit and run barely days after whitewashing the Pakistani narrative on Kashmir, on a Pakistani TV channel of all places!

Murtaza Shibli is a British Kashmiri journalist and security expert. He is the author of the book: '7/7' and he has worked widely in Asia, Europe and Africa as a communication practitioner. I have enjoyed his acquaintance from over 10 years ago but the last time we met was at a conference in Muzaffarabad in 2011. Incidentally, I was uncomfortable with his generous views about Pakistan then and thus was astounded to hear what he had to say a few days ago on Pakistani television. 


Murtaza lives between Srinagar, London and Lahore.

Here's the interview (uploaded 10th May) which inevitably created commotion within the ranks of those who are paid to protect the national project called 'Pakistan':



I'll just outline some of the main points that would have shaken the foundations of Pakistan's propaganda check list:


1) Pakistan didn't and possibly couldn't do anything in response to India's de-operationalisation of Article 370 on August the 5th 2019.


2) Pakistan has gradually uncoupled itself from the Kashmir 'Cause'.

3) Pakistan's behaviour has always been cyclical and reactionary.

4) Pakistan has repeatedly asserted the myth that it has fought many a war for the sake of Kashmir. Furthermore, that there is no empirical evidence for that assertion whatsoever.

5) Pakistan's strategy for the 1965 war with India was nothing more than hyperbole and the lack of logistics reflected that assessment.

6) Pakistan's Kargil expedition was unknown to many, even in the armed forces itself and thus ulterior in its motive. No clear rationale or raison d'etre.

.....By this stage, even the interviewer was visibly shocked!

7) Pakistan couldn't foresee or manage the heavy influx of Kashmir Valley migrants (for military training in 1990) and he quotes Asad Durrani's 'Spy Chronicles' in this matter.

8) Pakistan have always wanted to 'manage' the conflict and not (never) seek long term remedies or relief for the inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley. He emphasises the word 'never' in this regard.

9) Pakistan has never tolerated the Kashmiris having their own indigenous narrative and have always considered that a threat to their own narrative. Irrespective of however well meaning any such initiative may have been. It's also important to note that he's not even talking about an independent Kashmir. That's a poison yet more intolerable from a Pakistani State perspective.

10) Pakistan has always been insistent on controlling the narrative on Kashmir and thus have never failed in sabotaging alternate peace initiatives to keep the conflict brewing. Murtaza re-uses the words 'control' and 'manage'.

11) By Burhan Wani's death (in 2016) Pakistan had already washed its hands off the Kashmir cause and had already surrendered (diplomatically to India). For 2-3 days the Pakistanis had no idea what to do or even how to react.

12) All Pakistani political entities play politics with Kashmir and manage false perceptions to give an upbeat impression to their own citizenry and the people of the Kashmir Valley.

13) Pakistan has consistently messed up. Its (strategy) toolbox has always been empty.

14) Pakistan's weaknesses (as stated above) have always been cleverly concealed. For example, if post August the 5th 2019 the Valley had revolted en masse and many thousands were killed, this would have given propaganda ammunition to Pakistan to decry human rights violations in the Kashmir Valley. Murtaza takes umbrage at suggestions by some quarters in Pakistan that the Kashmiris didn't rise up and describes them as shameless in the extreme.

15) The Pakistani State has fetishized Kashmiri suffering.

....by this stage the interviewer - Aniq Naji - is clearly rattled and explains that there is an innocent and emotional attachment by normal people in Pakistan with the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. Many have given up more pressing needs (health and education) to happily contribute to the war cause.

....Aniq Naji views this as a genuine outburst and complaint from one fellow brother to another but I feel that much of the analysis delivered by Murtaza Shibli is yet to really sink in. I also have no doubt that even worldly wise media anchors such as Naji have been cushioned from such realities of war propaganda.

16) Murtaza agrees and feels that the Pakistani public's emotions have been repeatedly exploited by the Pakistani State.

......Aniq Naji now touches on a point which he should be more aware of...i.e. he uses the term 'international border' for the LOC (or what many still describe as a ceasefire line) which he feels that by Delhi's direct intervention in J & K it has effectively become.

17) Imran Khan gave a long winded and laughable speech at the UN which could have been much briefer to be potentially effective. His stance was also contradictory in that in the same breath he - Imran Khan - claimed that Pakistan could go to any length for Kashmir but he also ruled out war.

18) If war is out of the question then so should militancy be. In other words, why should Murtaza Shibli's Kashmiri brothers be used as fuel for conflict?

19) Consistent lies have been fed to the people of Kashmir and Pakistan since 1947. Hundreds of thousands have suffered as a result. 

20) Pakistan should take stock and admit its failures. It has never been serious thus far.

Murtaza Shibli reiterates that he has no grudge against the people of Pakistan and considers them to have always welcomed Kashmiris and made them feel secure in Pakistan.

However....  

In reaction to this interview, Murtaza Shibli has received a lot of unhealthy feedback from various passionate quarters of Pakistani society. It intensified to the extent that a particularly over-zealous Lahori biker conducted a motorcycle hit and run whereby Murtaza became unconscious and received some bodily injury too.  


Despite all that Murtaza isn't pointing any fingers. Here's a statement from him:


"I was knocked over by a hit-and-run accident earlier in the day in Lahore. Apparently, I was knocked over by an unknown biker who was driving with a vicious speed.

Some people are suggesting it could have been deliberate but I have no recollection of the event and was knocked unconscious. I have injured my head and one of the collar bones.

The CT scans show superficial injuries but my head feels quite heavy. It is strange that I have no recollection of the incident as I fell unconscious on the road. It was someone who knew me by face who informed my family and I was taken to the nearby Jinnah Hospital. Even i have very little recollection of my time at the hospital. Now that I am back at my place it feels strange as I am quite dazed by the experience and in quite some physical pain.


I think it was just an accident and should not be linked to my recent interview that some felt was quite brutal in honesty and perhaps somewhat hard-hitting  

End of Murtaza Shibli's statement......

Equally apologetic and reasonable was Aniq Naji, the Pakistani host who had interviewed Shibli, for perhaps more than 1 reason:




There are others who took a dimmer (or even a more enlightened) view of the motorcycle hit and run episode in Lahore:





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Now, let's come back down to earth a bit. 

The following highlights a very shameful aspect of our behaviour and we would do well to make the perpetrators accountable. If we don't, its a downward spiral:



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Friday, 15 May 2020

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 135 of 2020

1347hrs:

Even putting together 100 minutes of 1 minute clips by 100 aspiring citizens of AJK, according to a quota apportioned to each subdivision based on their respective populations, is proving a lot more difficult than envisageable.

Here's our current status despite 10 days of canvassing over 200 co-citizens:


Barnaala 0 4
Smaahni 0 3
Bhimber 1 4
Mirpur 6 7
Dadyaal 2 3
Darlya Jattan 0 1
Charoi 1 2
Khuiratta 1 2
Kotli 6 7
Nikyaal 1 2
Sehnsa 2 5
Baloch 0 2
Trarkhel 1 1
Palandri 2 3
Mong 0 1
Thorar 0 1
Rawalakot 4 5
Hajeera 5 5
Abbaspur 2 2
Bagh 2 3
Sharda 1 2
Athmaqam 2 3
Pateeka 0 5
Hattian 0 4
Chikaar 0 1
Leepa 0 1
Muzaffarabad 3 11
Haveli 0 2
Khursheedabad 0 1
Mumtazabad 0 1
Harigel 1 2
Dheerkot 0 4
43 100
Male/Female Ratio 40/3

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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 134 of 2020

1952hrs:



It has been 7 years to the day when Arif Shahid was shot dead outside his home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His crime? Effortlessly working for the reunification of Jammu Kashmir & Allied. His untiring energy created havoc for the Pakistani narrative in AJK and GB. The primary servants of that narrative were thus ordered into action. Four bullets were targeted at his neck with precision, as can be clearly seen from the following photo:


This is what he looked like in normal life:




I'll be writing a report on this martyr today, Not least because a lot of information on social media about his work and efforts have factual errors.

One of the more correct reports on his assassination was written shortly after his murder by a preeminent intellectual of Pakistan Parvez Hoodbhoy: 


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I've been meaning to write a report in reference to his sharp yet calculated murder for some years now. This is a shame on my sense of priority at times, that its taken 7 years for me to do so.


Here's a video which has collated various clips from speeches of Arif Shahid throughout his life:




Arif Shahid counts among a rising number of individuals whom I've had some acquaintance with and who've been shot mercilessly by actors whose footprints many would allege lead to the Pakistani State.

Two of them were Pakistani citizens:

1) Syed Saleem Shahzad:




2) Maulana Sami-ul-Haq:




Then there's one of the most precious assets of Jammu Kashmir & Allied:

Shujaat Bukhari:




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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 133 of 2020

0513hrs:

Now, this article was from way back on September the 10th 2019. Which seems a very long time ago and I probably would have remained oblivious of it if somebody didn't Whatsapp me earlier this morning!



I don't agree with his conclusive paragraphs though. For many years I have strongly felt that the most effective role Pakistan can play in Jammu Kashmir & Allied is to play no role at all! This also means vacating the territories of AJK and GB in a gradual phased manner. Something I've been advocating since 2012.

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It is important for us to understand the extent of pre 1947 governance in Jammu Kashmir & Allied:



For those of you who cannot read the photo caption:

1920-----Amar Singh technical institute Srinagar!


It was started in 1913 and inaugurated in 1914 by Maharaja Partap Singh. Students were taught arts, sculpture, painting, designing, carpentering, architectural techniques and masonry. Fredrick H.Andrew was its first principal and later became principal of Mayo College of Arts, Lahore.

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Monday, 11 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 132 of 2020

2319hrs:

The burden gets heavier by the day but it is equally engaging, at times even enthralling and thus not adequately described as a burden but a pleasurable duty.

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Meanwhile, in that forlorn territory most often than not ignored by the other constituent parts of J & K:



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Sunday, 10 May 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 131 of 2020

2300hrs:

The People's Assembly 2.0

Coinciding almost neatly with today's version of our weekly programme: 'In Search of the Internal Narrative 4.0 - Dadyaal AJK':


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The following programme on JKTV may begin the much awaited unravelling of a very clever plot:




As the programme link is not directly embedded in the tweet above. Here are my comments in real time and in response to what Afzal Khan MP of Manchester Gorton constituency (and originating from Bhimber in AJK) had to say on behalf of Labour's new leader Keir Starmer:



The timelines quoted below coincide as responses to each particular statement/viewpoint submitted by Afzal Khan MP:

At 12:05 
British State policy is effectively flawed, self serving in the sense that it makes Britain immune from any responsibility of creating the J & K conflict in the first place in 1947. It is also amazingly circular because if you explain to any British political party that India and Pakistan are not capable or inclined to work with the people of Kashmir - except on their own terms with no regard for the local/people's/narrative - for the sake of the Lord just yesterday both armies exchanged fire on the LOC and killed an innocent mother in Polas, Abbaspur, Poonch Sector! 

So, when you explain that to a British political party they then alter their tone slightly and talk of UN resolutions which again have no local input from J & K and are essentially bilateral in nature. They are also only advisory and have no executive/legal/political significance except to replay the status quo which Britain designed in 1947. A strategy based on nurturing hatred between Hindus and Muslims. So, the United Kingdom has it carefully worked out whereby it circles the argument from London to Delhi and Islamabad, occasionally referring to New York as an alibi when need be before returning to Delhi and Islamabad. 

Whatever happens London remains intact and the people of Jammu Kashmir & Allied remain disenfranchised and tormented throughout each circle and cycle. This is dishonest on the part of the United Kingdom and they have to give way to a democratic, ethical, legal and peaceful outcome designed by the ultimate affectees of this British postcolonial design: The various inhabitants of Jammu Kashmir & Allied in an unconditional and inviolable manner.

At 13:30
The Labour Party has a very poor record of speaking about human rights in AJK and GB. Perhaps, it could improve in that sense. It seems to view the pro Pakistani voter as a hornet's nest, not to be touched if possible.

At 14:18 
The work being carried out that he refers to is not likely to be result orientated as it conflicts with British State policy. It could even spell the end of the Labour party if this work was carried to its stated end!

At 16:14 
The people can only decide if they design the process. When they are not on the design table that means that they are only part of the menu. Afzal Khan and others need to understand that.

At 18:23 
See....this is the crux! Debbie Abrahams and Co came to AJK (GB not included of course) but their short stay was under a very controlled environment with no access to civil society. 

This Is Machiavellian!

At 18:59 
Afzal is misinformed. Both UN OHCHR reports are available at ajkpublicagency.org

At 19:27 
UN OHCHR Report - 14 June 2018

At 1927
UN OHCHR Report - 8 July 2019

At 20:11 
So, you wish to keep the United Kingdom immune from this human tragedy that Britain created here in 1947. That is a bit selfish.

At 22:36 
They do not respect them and the United Kingdom is still not fussed enough about it. That is Indian and Pakistani human rights violations in Jammu Kashmir & Allied.

At 24:34 
That's what hurts the Pakistani narrative so interestingly this whole issue boiling has some motives that suit Pakistan. 

However, we must remember that the India Pakistan relationship designed by Britain operates like a railway track. It has a habit of pushing parity and has clear parallels in it. It allows the United Kingdom to continue churning the cycle of hatred based on religious identities administratively designed during the British Indian era. I am very hopeful though. The United Kingdom is full of sensible people with centuries of thorough research at hand and a most wonderful mixture of communities from all over the world residing within it. It's their collective soul we are searching for.

At 26:20 
He has plenty of time and we as civil society wish to invite him to AJK at the soonest. Thank you.

(Other notable comments followed by my response):

Fiaz Rashid 
It’s shame on the Labour Party representatives to argue that the 72 years Kashmir issue hasn’t found on the Labour Party agenda!!! That There there is a policy vacuum on Kashmir!!!

Reply
Tanveer Ahmed 
I think that reveals a lot!

Fiaz Rashid 
Labour Party is taking Kashmiris for a ride

Reply - Tanveer Ahmed
A 73 year old ride!

Fiaz Rashid
......there has been no change in policy......however there is no policy on Kashmir.

Reply - Tanveer Ahmed
There is but it has been hidden from view to date..

Fiaz Rashid
Starmer is giving different messages to different groups 😃

Reply - Tanveer Ahmed
Like a good politician!

End.....

We can in fact deliver an actual embed of the programme on JKTV's page:


Note: My comments are not in this version of the programme. They are in the anchor's own page viz. Shams Rehman

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Daily Diary (DD) - Day 341 of 2021

2110hrs:  I didn't finish the missing historic links of Sharda translation until 0900hrs this morning. I had been working on it intermit...