Former Lawyer, Journalist, Writer

Sajid Yousuf

My Story

Meet Sajid Yousuf Shah who is born in North Kashmir’s Kupwara District and brought up in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. He is attempting and dedicated his whole life to bring positive change in the Kashmir Valley. Sajid Yousuf Shah, 29 is a young Entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of The Real Kashmir News and President of All JK Youth Society. He believes in the concept of hardwork, dedication and teamwork. He says journalism play an influential role in creating image of the nation in society. And considering the internet-based connectivity and other forms of communication it’s easy to reach out millions of people, and that make it hard to decide what’s fake and what’s not. He want to reach people out and share their views unaltered to help them further. At the very young age Sajid Yousuf started Activism in the Jammu and Kashmir which led him towards the gateway of success. Sajid Yousuf writes for many National and International publication and he is very vocal and active on TV Shows, TV Debates. He made his presence on Regional, National and International Television screens.


India’s G20 Summit in Kashmir Is a Big Deal

The Group of Twenty (G20) is now “the premier forum for international economic cooperation.” The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. Founded in 1999 and upgraded after the 2007-08 financial crisis, “it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues.”

Most in the US and many in the West are unaware that India holds the presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. This is a matter of great importance for a diverse democracy of over 1.4 billion people. Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has rightly argued that “India is uniquely positioned to bring countries together.”

In 2023, India stands as an engine of global growth. As per Georgieva, “In a world facing multiple challenges and rising geopolitical tensions, this leadership is critical—and beautifully captured in the theme of India’s G20 presidency: One Earth, One Family, One Future.” One earth means conserving the planet; one family means protecting the vulnerable; and one future means ensuring everyone can prosper. As a Kashmiri, I am delighted and excited that India is hosting the G20 summit in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. That this event can be held in the heart of Kashmir Valley is hugely significant. Although long-disturbed, this land has become remarkably more peaceful and is increasingly integrated with the rest of the nation.

G20 Summit Showcases Kashmir’s Progress
For Kashmiris, hosting the G20 summit is a matter of great pride. Kashmir Valley can showcase its stunning beauty, its rich culture and extraordinary tourism potential to the rest of the world. In particular, young people are excited to be the center of world attention in a positive manner, and they relish the idea of engaging with world leaders and top thinkers.

Beyond momentary engagement, Kashmiris see the G20 summit as a milestone on the path of economic development. In the past, Kashmir was linked to troubled hotspots in the world such as Palestine and Chechnya, but that story is changing dramatically. Kashmir is now largely peaceful, has an educated population and grew by 14.64% in the 2021-22 fiscal year when many economies were reeling from COVID-19. Note that India’s fiscal year begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March. Growth in the 2022-23 fiscal year is expected to be higher. Kashmiris want the jobs and prosperity, not to mention momentum for peace, that growth will bring.

National Public Radio (NPR) and other Western media have painted a grim picture of Kashmir. In August 2022, NPR carried a story, which claimed that “resolution to decades of conflict remains a distant dream.” As a Kashmiri, I am saddened by these stories. The population of Kashmir Valley is youthful, and the young are no longer mired in conflict. They care more for the environment, the pollution in Dal Lake, the sustainability of economic growth, climate change that is melting the Himalayan glaciers and the delicate ecology of their uniquely beautiful valley. Fundamentally, the young want to get on with their lives and know a better future can come only with peace, not conflict.

Since 1947, Pakistan has played a pernicious role in Kashmir, sent jihadis across the border and stoked a bloody insurgency. This role is well chronicled and does not bear repetition here; however, Pakistan’s actions have setback a generation of Kashmiris. Growth does not thrive in turmoil and uncertainty, and peace and stability are necessary preconditions for businesses to thrive. Thankfully, the Indian government has provided the right conditions for entrepreneurship, business activity and growth since 2019. By repealing Article 370, it has allowed non-Kashmiri Indians to own land in Jammu and Kashmir, causing investment to flood into the region. This has made Kashmiris like me optimistic about the future.

G20 Summit Provides Economic Stimulus and Hope
The G20 summit has been a godsend to Kashmir Valley. To prepare for the event, New Delhi is building infrastructure, investing significant sums and training local people. The multiplier effect of the summit is likely to be significant. People now forget that Delhi was a sleepy provincial city before the 1982 Asian Games. That event converted Delhi into a national engine of growth, and it is hoped the G20 summit will similarly transform Srinagar. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has rightly said that this event “will give a massive boost to the economy of the region.” Notably, the G20 Kashmir summit will add to the IMF’s bullishness about the Indian economy.

Union Home Minister’s JK Visit: A Significant Step

 A new dawn for Jammu & Kashmir, Sky is the limit

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to Jammu Kashmir is significant as the erstwhile state has witnessed massive transformation and development in these three years after 370 abrogation. Since 2019 Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed many firsts. The connectivity of projects, the tourism bloom has made much difference – the initiatives taken by centre that a common kashmiri could have never imagined made a special mention of Govt’s outreach programmes. This all has been possible by the efforts of centre, Jammu kashmir youth and especially the outreach process by HM himself under the guidance and directions of Prime Minister.  Union Home Ministry  has been very successful in rewriting  J&K’s history and that is a reason, Union Home minster is receiving  a huge appreciation from the youth of Jammu & Kashmir especially valley for bringing democracy at grass root level. 

This is his second visit to Jammu & Kashmir post 370 abrogation. Home minister is meeting several delegations in Jammu and in Kashmir. In his first visit in oct 2021 post abrogation he drove straight to meet the family members of the slain police officer killed in terrorist attack and gave a Govt job to the widow of Parvaiz Ahmad (slain police officer). Whenever he is in valley, he visits slain police man’s family. In June 2019, he visited Karan Nagar to offer condolences to the bereaved family of Irshad Ahmad (Slain SHO). Home Minister has personally monitored kashmir situation ever since he assumed his charge as union Home minister – This shows the love, care affection and apnapan union government has towards Kashmir and Kashmiris. 

His visit to Baramullah Kashmir scheduled on Oct 05, 2022 is seen as a positive step. He will talk about several issues with the people of Kashmir in the rally and highlight various things regarding development in Jammu and Kashmir and what central government is doing on various fronts for the development of J&K.  According to sources there are many other developmental works which the Home Minister will inaugurate or will lay a foundation stone, including a cancer hospital which the wakf board has planned in the downtown area of Srinagar. According to Kashmir BJP unit, there is a chance that Shah may announce some reservations for the Pahadi community or OBC. People in Jammu and kashmir are keenly waiting for Home ministers visit. Shah will address people at Rajouri and Baramulla. Pahadi community hold a strong influence at both locations.

It’s a matter of fact that with the abrogation of 35A and  370, not only were the links between the UTs of  Jammu & Kashmir  and Ladakh strengthened with the rest of India,  but the local government administration became more responsive and people friendly. The mantra of development became the buzzword and stone pelting became history.  Terrorism sponsored by Pakistan reduced considerably.  But now Jammu & Kashmir is on a path of real progress and recently we saw opening of cinema theatres in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian for the first time. If we talk about development In terms of connectivity, five tunnels are being constructed in the UT at the cost of US$ 3.42 million. These are expected to be completed by 2024. In October 2020, construction work began on the Zozila Tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity on NH-1 between Srinagar Valley and Leh. Talk about the funds, besides the regular flow of funds under various schemes, an amount of Rs 30,757 crore had been allocated in the Financial Year (FY) 2020-21. Under the Prime Minister’s development package announced in 2015, Rs 80,068 crores continued to be spent for 63 major development projects (54 in J&K and 9 in Ladakh) across sectors such as road, power, health, tourism, agriculture, horticulture, skill development, etc.  Over 1.05 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir in the first six months of the year 2022.

In nutshell Jammu Kashmir is on real path of development and progress, and Home Minister’s visit has a significant role. Social media is flooded with posts and reactions from young youth who see Home Ministers visit as hope for Naya Kashmir. Youth are eagerly waiting for some big announcements from Home Minister.

(The writer is from Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir, he can be reached at [email protected])

Why Bharat Jodo Yatra is a family saving campaign

Is the Congress is inviting its leaders to participate in its Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir on January 30, it is important that the so called Bharat Jodo Yatra ( which otherwise is Family Saving Campaign) is analyzed objectively for its relevance, and the hope it offers.

A number of questions arise: Is this another political circus with the intent to regain political power? Is it a sincere message of love and unity? And if so, can Congress be counted on to deliver the utopia that it promises? And also can a party that has attempted to destroy our social fabric, and even carried out pogroms be the messenger of love and unity?

A truly objective evaluation of the track record of Indian National Congress is disappointing and even scary; it reveals a picture of expedient opportunism and questionable morality.

The duty of Congress as main opposition party is to find fault with the present government. But the Congress believed so deeply its own propaganda of “event management Sarkar” that it lost touch with reality. As a result, its criticism often seemed simply unhinged.

The fact of the day is, the Congress is a “sinking ship”; many of us have heard that by now. Yet it’s a bit astonishing to think how far the political party has fallen. This Bharat Jodo Yatra is actually Family Jodo Yatra , It is “hollow” and essentially a “family saving campaign” to keep control of Gandhi’s over the party, and another attempt to establish Rahul Gandhi as leader.

I have strong reasons to prove that this campaign is not unifying the country but trying to create hatred. The badge of secularism that it every time flaunts has often jostled with a sense of entitlement, an insatiable thirst for power. It has a record of instigating hate to keep its vote bank going.

The 1984 anti-Sikh carnage is a classic example of the Congress Party’s double talk; strictly speaking, it was a pogrom, validated by every criterion that defines such sectarian violence.

To call it a Hindu-Sikh riot is to mislead. The Congress Party exclusively instigated, planned, and executed a one-sided, organised massacre of over 3000 Sikhs. Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission was a one-man commission headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India – it confirmed the involvement of the Congress.

The Commission report details accusations and evidence against senior members of the then ruling Congress Party. They were accused of instigating mobs to avenge the assassination of Indira Gandhi by killing Sikhs in their constituencies.

Now the question is how can a party that carried out pogroms be messenger of peace and love. The truth is that present Congress is facing a strong political shrinkage as they face corruption charges. it is very important for the country to know how hollow this Yatra is.

Congress proved to be a poor opposition, they are inefficient, and are shocked to see the development carried by present Government under PM Modi. When 100 per cent rural electrification was achieved, the Congress asked what about electricity in every home.

When that was achieved, they asked about 24-hour electricity. Fair questions, but not a good look for a party that has ruled nearly 60 years but failed to provide any of these. To sum up, the Congress has lost its sheen and doesn’t look to be in a position to even pose a challenge to the current BJP regime in the 2024 general elections.

Do we really think Rahul Gandhi can create jobs? Do we really think Congress can reduce inflation?’ The “Bharat Jodo Yatra” is clearly about destruction of social fabric of our country. If the name doesn’t directly say so, you only have to see what they are saying in and through the Yatra. The same old song of love and hate.

The people who will be moved by this narrative — and there will be many — already vote Congress or at least vote against BJP. Of course the Congress will say it is very much talking about inflation, unemployment and other economic issues through the Yatra – but the reality is it is instigating hate.

Their message is lost because it is not concrete, tangible, or focused. The Congress will say it is very much talking about inflation, unemployment and other issues. It takes time to make your message reach 1.4 billion people. And the public knew that this is nothing but branding Gandhi Parivaar.

I submit that this Yatra is just a gimmick, and only a desperate attempt by a family unaccustomed to remain out of power, like a fish out of water, aiming to come back to power and enjoy the loaves of office.

In Kashmir as they are planning for a big event but least knowing we Kashmiris will not forget the exploitation this party has done during the last 70 years of their rule. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits by this party has destroyed the social fabric.

All available evidence, reports and witnesses confirm that the government in J&K headed by the NC & Congress, and at the Centre by Congress, from 1986-87 to 1989-90 miserably failed to protect the lives, places of worship and properties of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir.

The J&K government headed by Farooq Abdullah was seen conniving with the secessionist and terrorist forces and the Central government headed by Rajiv Gandhi was seen completely ineffective, wittingly or unwittingly, to handle the situation.

It would be a big shame for Congress; they are responsible for dividing Kashmir into two parts. Congress is responsible for taking Kashmir to UN and giving POK to Pakistan. It was a huge blunder. And we Kashmiri people are still paying the heavy prices for it.

This Family Jodo Campaign is a big shame; a joke everywhere, and also in Kashmir. Should Nehru have approached the UN when the Indian army was winning the battles against the Pakistani invaders supported by Pakistan army? Had it been given free hand, the army would have pushed the Pakistani invaders out of the entire territory of J&K.

Congress along with NC and PDP are responsible for promoting corruption, nepotism, and favoritism in Kashmir. Common Kashmiri knows now that New Delhi has brought a terror-free atmosphere in J&K, however, three families who ruined the life of common people in their regimes are trying to fuel uncertainties for their political gains.

Abdullahs, Muftis and Gandhis as they will be part of the Yatra want to bring Kashmir back to the 90’s. But Kashmiris are clear now and would not allow these three dynastic political parties to bring violence back to Kashmir. 

Succession of leaders’ children to high political positions is a reality. In Jammu Kashmir, NC and PDP ruined the state with their dynastic politics. One person starts a party and it becomes a family enterprise with the head of the family its president or chief executive.

The dynastic rule is presented in the garb of democracy which at times blurs the line between the two. Only 02 elite families have been ruling the then state for the last 70 years. The trend was set by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah himself when on his death his son Farooq, inherited the throne and apparently the party with the largest support base in the state, followed by Omer.

Same in PDP – Mufti Sayed then Mehbooba, Tasaduq Mufti, Sartaj Madani, now daughter Iltija Mufti. Political scientists believe that holding on to and consolidating power within families “gnaws at the very roots” of democracy.

Truth is, during their regime, before 2014, there was a great amount of communalism in India. Congress never had any genuine love or concern for Muslims, but had an eye on the large Muslim vote bank. They kept playing with the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims.

As a Kashmiri Indian, I believe that India is more united today than it has ever been since Independence; there is no symbolic barrier between Kashmir and India; there is stability in Assam in contrast to the turmoil of the 1980s. And the umpteen number of massive protests (Farmers’ stir, CAA agitation) is ample proof that democracy is alive and kicking under the Modi government.

Sajid Yousuf Shah is an Advocate, BJP leader and a TV panelist.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

October 22, 1947: Operation Gulmarg and a Black Day in History of Kashmir

As the Pakistani invaders captured Mirpur, Muzzaffarabad, Uri and Baramulla with minimal resistance from J&K forces, the fall of Srinagar looked imminent.

The darkest day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir was the intervening night of October 21-22, 1947, when Operation Gulmarg was launched under the command of Major General Akbar Khan to seize the land. October 22 is observed as a black day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.


When India got Independence and was partitioned to create Pakistan in August 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh. On October 20-21, 1947, about 20,000 tribesmen took over the bridges spanning Neelum river on the Hazara road linking Muzaffarabad and Abbottabad (now, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and occupied the first major town of Muzaffarabad by October 21, and then moved further towards Uri. The first India-Pakistan War had formally begun that day. Major General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army, who had organised the attacks, later elaborated his feat in the book ‘Raiders in Kashmir’, published in Karachi.

Besides General Akbar Khan, among other people who planned and executed Operation Gulmarg was Shaukat Hayat Khan, a close aide of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The state machinery chose October 22, 1947 as the date for the attack. Shaukat Khan in his book ‘The Nation That Lost its Soul’ accepted that he was appointed supervisor of the Kashmir operation.

The first target of the invaders was Muzaffarabad and Mirpur. The attack on Mirpur and Muzaffarabad was mounted on October 22, 1947. Those who could not recite “Kalima” were killed (on the basis of their religion), their belongings looted by the raiders. Minorities (Hindus and Sikhs) had two options—either die or escape to Jammu. The raiders successfully captured Mirpur and Muzaffarabad, which was considered one of the great victories of Pakistan.

Now, their plan was to capture Srinagar by taking the route to Baramulla district, which is close to Muzzaffarabad. The attack on Baramulla commenced on October 24. The Pakistan Army assisted 20,000 kabalis (Pakistani tribesmen) in civil clothes to capture Baramulla and Srinagar. The tribesmen destroyed everything that came in their way.

The invaders did not even spare St Joseph’s Hospital in Baramulla; they killed patients, medical staff and burnt down the hospital building. Nuns performing their duties at the hospital were raped and killed by the invaders, including Pakistani Army men in civil clothes. They didn’t even spare sick, wounded patients at the hospital. They picked up young women as sex slaves and killed children, old women and men of all ages. The attack was so lethal that only 3,000 citizens of Baramulla out of a total population of 14,000 were said to had survived—a sad fact that Major General Akbar Khan, the main perpetrator of the attack, mentions in his book ‘Raiders in Kashmir’.

As the invaders captured Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Uri and Baramulla with minimal resistance from the J&K forces, the fall of Srinagar looked imminent. On October 24, Maharaja Hari Singh appealed to India for military assistance to stop the aggression. He was scared of losing Srinagar; his request was considered on October 25 in a meeting of India’s Defence Committee, headed by Mountbatten and included Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Baldev Singh, minister without portfolio Gopalaswami Ayyangar, and British commanders-in-chief of the Army, Air Force and Navy.

The committee concluded that “the most immediate necessity was to rush arms and ammunition already requested by the Kashmir government, which would enable the local populace in Srinagar to put up some defence against the raiders,” according to Lt General K.K. Nanda’s book ‘War with No Gains’.

However, according to Jyoti Bhusan Das Gupta’s book ‘Jammu and Kashmir’, Mountbatten warned that “it would be dangerous to send in any troops unless Kashmir had first offered to accede,” arguing that it would result in an India-Pakistan war. He suggested the accession should be considered as provisional, and “when law and order had been re-established in Kashmir, a plebiscite should be held as regards Kashmir’s future”.

The Defence Committee sent V.P. Menon, secretary, Ministry of States, to Srinagar to “make an on-the-spot study” the same day. He returned to New Delhi the next day with his impressions, and suggested sending troops to Kashmir, pointing out the “supreme necessity to save Kashmir from raiders”.

In the meantime, the new prime minister of J&K, Mehr Chand Mahajan, warned: “We have decided by 25th evening to go to India if we get a plane or else to Pakistan to surrender.”

Menon was then flown to Jammu to advise the Maharaja about the government’s view, and that’s when the Maharaja finally signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, and Menon returned to Delhi with Mahajan. The Instrument of Accession was signed on matters of defence, communications and foreign affairs.


The lion of Kashmir Maqbool Sherwani was associated with the National Conference. He misguided the invaders when asked about the road leading to Srinagar. Pakistan’s plan was to capture Srinagar airport because it was the only option for deployment of Indian Army in case of immediate warfare. Controlling the Srinagar airport meant cutting off the Valley from the rest of India.

However, Maqbool Sherwani misguided the raiders and suggested them a wrong path that led them astray. However, after wandering on the wrong path for some time and realizing they had been misguided, the raiders returned to find Sherwani and punish him. They found him in Sumbal Bandipora, 35 kms from Baramulla, and pumped 14 bullets into his chest to set an example for Indian patriots.


After the accession, India airlifted troops and equipment to Srinagar under the command of Lt Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai, where they reinforced the princely state forces, established a defence perimeter and defeated the invaders on the outskirts of the city (Shalteng). There was a battle in Budgam too, close to the airport. By November 8, the Indian Army had taken control of Srinagar, on November 9, of Baramulla, and by November 13, of Uri.

However, with Pakistani forces formally entering the battlefield in support of the tribesmen, the war would continue for over a year, until a ceasefire was declared on the night of December 31, 1948, and the terms of the ceasefire were accepted on January 5, 1949.

The cycle of violence was started by Pakistan in Kashmir region by killing thousands of Kashmiris, including Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. Thousands of Hindu/Sikh women are still missing.

India observes October 22, every year, as ‘Black Day’ to protest against Pakistan and its role in instigating violence and terror in the Valley. On October 22, 1947, the Pakistani invaders looted and committed historic blunders in the state with a ferocity that shocked the people of J&K. The Indian Army came to their rescue and pushed the invaders back.

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