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The cats and dogs helping to ease Kashmir's mental health crisis

After decades of violence, and now COVID, pets bring respite and joy

Kashmiri musician Zeeshaan Nabi with his Siberian Husky, Ranger: "Music, my mom and pets helped me survive, otherwise it gets hard to carry on," says Nabi. (Photo by Mugais Malik)

SRINAGAR -- Kashmiri musician Zeeshaan Nabi's eyes brighten and his smile broadens when he talks about his Siberian husky, Ranger, that he credits with saving his life.

"Music, my mom and pets helped me survive, otherwise it gets hard to carry on," Nabi says. Like thousands of Kashmiris who lived through the worst of the armed conflict in this restive region, 28-year-old Nabi suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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