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Kashmir: A Tale of Two Valleys

This article is based on a lecture he gave to the Royal Society for Asian Affairs on 1 December 2004. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not represent British Government policy. 

The Kashmir Valley has changed dramatically since 1947. This article is about two Valleys in Kashmir: one known perhaps too well, one not understood enough. By writing about both I hope to illustrate the pace of social and environmental change across Kashmir and reflect a little on some of the practical priorities for Kashmiris. I also want to briefly explain the changing identity of British Kashmiris, who are after all the principal contemporary link between Kashmir and Britain. 

Most people have heard of the famous Kashmir Valley. Far fewer have heard of the Neelum (or Kishenganga) Valley, which skirts around the northwest and north of the Kashmir Valley. The Kashmir Valley continues to change rapidly, but the Neelum – largely left undeveloped, since it straddles the Line of Control dividing Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir – gives an idea of Kashmir as it was. 

Authored by Alexander Evans 

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