Somewhere in Ganderbal....

More than 9,000 jobless youths thronged a recruitment rally at Manasbal Sainik School in Ganderbal district of J&K on Saturday. Armed with his certificates, Altaf Ahmad Hakim of Bambloora village said: ‘‘I have given up hope that our chief minister Omar Abdullah, whom we voted for, will provide jobs to Ganderbal youths. Even though I was not selected in this rally, I am hopeful that next time I will get the chance to join the Army.’’ Ishfaq, a graduate from Anantnag, said: ‘‘Joining the Army has been a passion for me. There is a lot of unemployment here and the Army can give me the chance to earn a decent living.’’ A youth from Thuru village in Ganderbal was optimistic about his chances. ‘‘I perhaps met the criteria and am hopeful of being selected,’’ he said refusing to reveal his name. Several militant outfits, including Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba, have in the past asked youths from Kashmir to stay away from such rallies and also threatened to kill family members of those who join the Army or other paramilitary forces.

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