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Kashmir's first politician blog appears

Shahnawaz Khan

Srinagar, April 21, 2008:

Omar on facebook
Abdullah with sons in a picture on his Facebook account.

Already a trend in the West, a politician blog has made its debut in Indian administered Kashmir.

Net savvy pro-India Kashmiri politician Omar Abdullah, who has already been on the social networking site Facebook, has jumped into blogging -officially as his blog appears on recently launched website of his party National Conference, www.jknc.org.

Abdullah is the third generation leader of National Conference, who took over the reins of this party from his father Farooq Abdullah in 2002.

For the party, which until recently used to roll out badly written filthy press releases to the local media, the new website and its leader's blog written in chaste English is a big public relations transformation.

Young Abdullah seems to appeal well to the new generation with latest technology.

Making his first post on the blog, Abdullah acknowledges that blogging among politicians in the subcontinent is still in infancy, and promises to express his views on issues ranging from politics to weather.

Omar on facebook
With family on Facebook.
"I'm sure some, probably a lot, of what I have to say will provoke sharp reactions among the readers. I hope to provoke debate, discussion and through the comments that I receive, some amount of self improvement," Abdullah writes in his first post adding, "This is a new experience for me and with a certain amount of nervousness and trepidation."

In subsequent posts Abdullah writes about his "frustration at the way cell phone users are treated in J&K", his views on Indian Premier League and also takes a dig at chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad for his "haste to open the Srinagar-Leh highway".

"He (Azad) travels to Sonamarg (by helicopter) and opens the highway linking Kashmir with Kargil and Leh. No sooner is the road thrown open that a vehicle carrying journalists to cover the event is almost swept off the road by an avalanche and one official's vehicle is swept off the road with the driver just escaping with his life," Abdullah writes accusing Azad of trying to open the snow clad highway ahead of time "with one eye on the elections".

Readers can leave their feedback on the blog and a few have already appeared.

Related links: Omar Abullah's blog



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