Seminar on

Kashmir Crises
Policy Options for Pakistan

Organised By

MUSLIM Institute

August 29, 2019

MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar titled “Kashmir Crisis: Policy Options for Pakistan” in Islamabad. Sardar Masood Khan (President, Azad Jammu and Kashmir) was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali (Chairman MUSLIM Institute) chaired the session. Mr. Usama Bin Ashraf (Research Associate MUSLIM Institute) moderated the proceedings of the seminar. Ambassadors, scholars, students, university professors, lawyers, journalists, political leaders, social activists and people from different walks of life participated in the seminar.

The summary of remarks shared by expert panellists are as follows:

Hall View during the Seminar.

Welcoming Remarks
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali

Chairman MUSLIM Institute

Ongoing situation, not only in Indian Occupied Kashmir, but in entire South Asian region is extremely critical. The core reason behind the recent escalation, is that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lead by PM Modi reiterated explicitly during its election campaign that BJP would cease the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir. However, the matter was not taken seriously and was considered merely a political campaign stunt. Eventually, the party unilaterally decided to end the special status of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir while abrogating Article 370 and all the related articles in the Indian Constitution. Not to speak of Article 370, the BJP has been also reiterating to change its Nuclear Policy from ‘no-first-use’ to ‘use-first-now’. These critical issues should not be regarded as mere normal political debates as BJP’s aggressive stance on nuclear policy could have drastic results for the whole region. Indian PM Modi also controls Indian National Command Authority for use of nuclear weapons which is an alarming situation for the world as he records an ill history of infamous titles in the past. India has been taking unilateral steps on Kashmir, now is the time for Pakistan to revisit its policy and instead of wasting time in inviting India for multilateral or bilateral talks, it should explore other options.

Guest of Honour
Ambassador (R) Arif Kamal

Former Director, ISSRA, National Defence University, Islamabad

Narendra Modi’s India has created new bitter ground realities in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and they have in their minds still other new realities to be created. Revocation of the special status of Kashmir is an assault on Kashmiri identity and legal status of Jammu and Kashmir. Whether Article 370 and 35A exist or not, the point of concern is that India wants to eliminate the identity of Kashmiris in terms of international law and their recognition in United Nations. Unilateral steps by Indian government since 1970 and recent assault on Kashmir demands internationalization of this dispute instead of keeping it a bilateral issue. Pakistan should immediately revisit Simla agreement to see what are the pros and cons of remaining or quitting that framework. The Hindutva (the ideology of an extremist Hindu Organization RSS) which is now signified as the rise of fascism in South Asia has yet another manifestation that is very much pronounced and Pakistan and international community should understand its evil agendas.

Stage View during the Seminar.

Guest of Honour (via Video Link)
Ms. Victoria Schofield

Renowned Author and Expert on Kashmir Affairs

War will bring more sufferings to the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan has following policy options to make the difference on Kashmir issue. There is need to be informed and understand the history of the dispute with all its complexities. Humanitarian approach should be adopted as it is more a humanitarian issue affecting the lives of millions of people in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Excessive militarization has resulted in frequent check posts everywhere in Indian Occupied Kashmir increasing tremendous stress for Kashmiri people. Schools have been shut down. The people of Indian occupied Kashmir also have the right to live without the fear of being harassed by Indian forces. Pakistan needs to lobby for dialogue and make international community understand regarding its stakes in this dispute.

Guest of Honour
Dr. Shabana Fayyaz

Head of Defense and Strategic Studies Department, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

The situation in Kashmir needs an urgent reconsideration as well as reformulation of Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. Investing in softer aspects of security, we should be looking into the hybrid Kashmir policy as this is an age of hybrid warfare. Kashmir issue is not only a security issue, but it is also a political, humanitarian, and historical dispute as well. We need to use social media platforms and print media to engage with the world at large. There is need to penetrate media circles in order to inform the international community about the plight of Kashmiris. Kashmiris, living in Azad Jammu and Kashmir are very important and they should be the part of solution, and become ambassadors. There is need to invest, exploit and explore the peace lobbies within India as well as within South Asia.

Guest of Honour (via Video Link)
Mr. Lars Rise

Former Member of Parliament, Norway

PM Modi has revoked Article 370 of Indian Constitution related to Kashmir, which in the opinion of international law experts, is illegal. It completely violates several UN Security Council resolutions which have been the basis for Kashmiris to struggle for referendum. The world has awakened through what has happened in Indian occupied Kashmir. Kashmir has gone through horrible brutality in last 72 years and it is in state of war since last 30 years. It has been neglected by the international community. After revoking Article 370 people from other parts of India can buy properties and apply for public office positions in Kashmir. Indian PM Narendra Modi has sent tens of thousands of soldiers, put hundreds of leaders under house arrest and has banned internet and other communication sources to keep rest of the world unaware of the situation inside IHK. PM Modi wants to colonize Kashmir with Hindus and wait till (through demographic changes) India can win the referendum in Kashmir which is a horrible perspective.

Guest of Honour
Professor Dr. Muhammad Khan

Dept. of International Relations, International Islamic University, Islamabad

Indian occupied Kashmir has virtually become an open jail. People are living their lives without proper food, medicine and as hostages. Whenever there is tension in Kashmir, the international community gets into business to stop the escalation of the war between India and Pakistan however they don’t play effective role for resolution of Kashmir dispute. India forcefully wants to annex the state of occupied Jammu and Kashmir in its union territory and this has been the agenda with the Indian government right from the beginning, and it is being implemented in phases. UN Security Council Resolutions are strong weapons in the hands of Pakistan and these resolutions should again be passed by the United Nations Security Council. Pakistan should convince the international community over the delicacy of the issue. United Nations High Commission reports on human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir are very important, and the contents of these reports highlight the facts and figures, what India is doing today in the garb of integration.

Participants and stage view of seminar.

Chief Guest
Sardar Masood Ahmad Khan

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Entire Indian Occupied Kashmir has been locked down. There are soldiers in front of every house and hospitals have been turned into graveyards due to the restrictions imposed on doctors and unavailability of medicines. More than 10,000 people have been arrested including children. The barbarity being committed by Indian PM Narendra Modi in Indian Occupied Kashmir has left Hitler and Milošević behind. Bharatiya Janata Party has a vicious plan to either convert all the Muslims of India to Hindus or expel them from India. They want to convert Muslim majority of Kashmir into minority and also to disintegrate Pakistan, not to mention the illegal settlements of Hindus in Kashmir based on the Israeli model of West Bank. Due to these illegal and cruel steps by Indian government, numerous international media, think-tanks and human rights organizations have vociferously condemned the Indian government. India always adopts the dead cat strategy when talking about Kashmir issue in bilateral talks by misleading with nonissues. Pakistan’s Army is already defending Pakistan against proxy wars of India and is also fully prepared for any direct aggression and misadventure. Moreover, entire Pakistani nation is united and shall continue its firm support to Pakistan Army. Pakistani people also need to be prepared for any warmongering threats of Indian government.

Concluding Remarks by Chair of the Session
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali

Chairman MUSLIM Institute

I am thankful to all august panellists, audience members and fellow colleagues from media. There is a dire need in Pakistan, that similar to National Action Plan, the Government may call All Parties Conference and formulate a short, medium and long term mutually agreed a national policy on Kashmir in consultation with Hurriyat leadership. Whichever Government comes in future, this policy should be pursued with diligence. I would again like to thank and appreciate the media who has kept on highlighting the Kashmir issue.

Participants view during the seminar.

Recommendations extracted from the discussion in seminar are as follow:

» Kashmir dispute should be pursued in UNSC as it is a threat to international peace and security.
» The international community should be properly briefed and lobbied via public relations’ channels and Pakistan’s Foreign Missions regarding Indian atrocities and designs of demographic changes in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
» The threat of a Nuclear War from a fascist Modi regime should be taken seriously. In past, BJP used to threaten for the revocation of Article 370, but regrettably, no one noticed. Now, BJP is threatening about the use of nuclear weapons.
» Due to grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity, the humanitarian approach should also be adopted. UNHCR and other human rights organizations should be engaged on regular basis in this regard.
» Pakistan should mobilize its interface with Pakistani diaspora as well as rational voices from Indian civil society, international media and international organizations to counter malicious Indian propaganda.
» Issue of oppression and persecution of minorities in India - specifically vis-a-vis movements like Khalistan, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and others should be highlighted to show the extremist policies of RSS backed BJP in India.
» Similar to the National Action Plan, Pakistan’s government may call “All Parties Conference” and formulate mutually agreed short, term and long term National Kashmir Policy with consultations of Hurriyat leadership.
» Pakistan should ban its airspace for Indian airlines. Moreover, there should be a ban on Indian imports directly or indirectly through other countries. Owing to huge human rights violation, crimes against humanity, violation of Fourth Geneva Convention, disrespect of United Nations Resolutions and threat of possible nuclear attack by Indian government, other countries should also be pursued to ban trade with India and enhance socio-political, economic and diplomatic pressure.
» Keeping in view the warmongering mindset of Modi led BJP, Pakistan should be ready to defend against any acts of aggression.
» Pakistan needs to invest in the softer aspects of security by adopting hybrid Kashmir policy including social media platforms. The young generation of Pakistan should play an active role in the international movement for economic boycott and sanctions on India.
» The unilateral step of Indian government on Status of Kashmir violates the Simla Agreement. Therefore, Pakistan should declare Simla Agreement null and void.

Participants view during the seminar.

PO Box: 562, Islamabad, Pakistan

Copyright © 2019 - MUSLIM Institute | Unsubscribe
Click Here for online version