Apple growers pin hopes on Indo-Pak address over Kashmir at UNGA on Sept 27

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Srinagar, Sept 19: In one of the unique kind of development since decades in Kashmir , apple growers in southern districts of Kashmir—Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama are pinning their hopes on the addresses of Prime Ministers’ of India and Pakistan at United Nations General Assembly on  September 27th.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the prevailing situation in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A by Centre on August 5 has put normal life on a halt and the apple growers have also decided not to pluck apple crop and sell it to India’s mainland Fruit Mandis in the wake of revocation of special status as has been the practice in the past.

The growers are clueless about the future strategy in absence of leadership in the prevailing situation in Kashmir. “We are clueless as well as helpless at a time, when every activity is gathering pace with every passing day and only apple growers are not able to pluck the crop,” Khurshid Ahmad, a farmer from Kulgam told KNO.

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Ahmad said that growers here have not plucked a single variety of apples in the area, as the fruit Mandis remained shut this season so far. There is complete silence in the entire area.

“We believe that there will be something good for Kashmir at UNGA on September 27 and after that the farmers will pluck their apples,” a group of apple growers told KNO.

Apple varieties known as Italy- introduced in recent years in south Kashmir, Kinnor and Kullu Delicious are ripe and ready to harvest, but farmers have not plucked a single apple till date. ”In last few days, there is buzz that growers can pluck their crop after the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan would address the UNGA assembly in the nest week,” the farmers said told KNO, adding, they have started stocking the empty boxes in orchards.

According to the media reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have a possible face-off over Kashmir with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the UNGA and both are expected to address the UNGA on 27 September.

Earlier this week, Khan said he was the “ambassador” of Kashmiri people and vowed to raise the matter at all possible international fora.

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