Sunday, December 9, 2018

Book Review - Between the Great Divide: A Journey into Pakistan-Administered Kashmir by Anam Zakaria

We have received "Between the Great Divide" by Anam Zakaria almost 2 months back. Actually, my husband wanted to read it. But being a patriot, my husband didn’t like the context after reading the first few pages. He took permission from Publisher to donate the book. Fortunately, he asked me to donate it to the library, unlike him I was able to read the book as a neutral party. So here I am to give my view about the book.

Book Blurb
Seventy years ago, as India and Pakistan gained their independence, the region of Jammu & Kashmir also found itself divided, with parts of the territory administered by Pakistan ever since. Located by the volatile Line of Control and caught in the middle of artillery barrages from both ends, Pakistan-administered Kashmir was until over a decade ago one of the most closed-off territories of the world. In a first book of its kind, award-winning Pakistani writer Anam Zakaria travels through Pakistan-administered Kashmir to hear its people - their sufferings, hopes and aspirations. She talks to women and children living near the Line of Control, bearing the brunt of ceasefire violations; journalists and writers braving all odds to document events in remote areas; political and military representatives championing the cause of Kashmir; former militants still committed to the cause; nationalists struggling for a united independent Kashmir; and refugees yearning to reunite with their families on the other side. In the process, Zakaria breaks the silence surrounding a people who are often ignored in discussions on the present and future of Jammu & Kashmir even though they are important stakeholders in what happens in the region. What she unearths during her deeply empathetic journeys is critical to understanding the Kashmir conflict and will surprise and enlighten Indians and Pakistanis alike.
The author has taken tremendous efforts in visiting Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region and gather information about the lives of those people. Instead of giving straight legal or documentary content, she has taken few life stories. She has taken us through the life of those people showing how their life is affected by all the political and military pressure of Kashmir.

Life is life whether it is from India or POK. People have to meet days end with the same basic needs. But here things are not normal, their struggle is visible in words of Anam. I am not getting biased, but the same would be the condition of India Occupied Kashmish. Still, it won’t justify terrorism and violence shown towards authorities. Let's not divert the topic. In short, authorities at both sides should read such books and take decision for the betterment of population.

  1. Cover – 4.5/5
  2. Content – 3.5/5
  3. Concept -3.5/5
  4. Overall – 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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