Category: South Asia Research Desk

Kashmir Outcry: Unwrapping Humanitarian Crisis In The Region

Kashmir Outcry: Unwrapping Humanitarian Crisis In The Region

Initial Report 

On Monday, September 23, 2019, IICR organized a one day national conference, “Kashmir Outcry: Unwrapping Humanitarian Crisis in the Region”. After the recitation of Holy Quran, Ms. Sabah Aslam, Executive Director IICR welcomed the guests. She said Pakistan has a long standing commitment with the Kashmiri freedom struggle movement which was reiterated by the Founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself who referred to Kashmir as the “jugular vein” of Pakistan. Vicious legal murder of Kashmiris on 5th of August was a sinister act to subdue Pakistan and its efforts to stabilize. Since then Kashmiris are being suppressed from voicing their pain. Living in humanitarian blackout Kashmiri’s want to be heard. Pakistan have been advocating the case of Kashmir since the beginning of the issue which has taken robust effect. Since the dawn of uproar in IOK, Pakistan have been unveiling humanitarian infringement. 

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting was the honorable Chief Guest. She highlighted the sinister role which Delhi is playing in context to Kashmir. She said that the fascist, racist and extremist Indian leadership should be made subservient to the UN charter and international laws. In her address, she asserted that Pakistan stands by the innocent Kashmiris and the PM will expose the Indian atrocities during his present visit to the US. She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was constantly sensitizing the leadership of international community about the Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir as fascist Indian PM Modi was threat not only to regional but entire world peace. She said time has come that United Nations would have to force India to follow its Charter and its resolutions on Kashmir. She said that coming United Nations General Assembly meeting is a test case for all humanitarian organizations. Referring to Modi she further added that Delhi’s Human Right Abuses is a constant threat to regional stability. 

The program included two working sessions. First was chaired by Prof. Dr Syed Riffat Hussain of Department of Government and Public Policy at NUST, Islamabad. During the session eminent names enlightened the audience. Mr. Sayyid Abdullah Gillani, Repressentative of Syed Ali GIllani and Convener All Parties Huriyat Conference, juxtaposed Kashmir Issue with that of Palestine and stated that Indian market is the cause of international community’s silence. Amb. Afrasiab Hashmi followed him and explained in detail how India was moving from a self-proclaimed secular state to RSS influenced expansionist designs. He also hinted at the role of British in pre-independence era in making India Akhand Bharat. 

Sitting MNA, and Chairman Kashmir Committee, Mr Fakhar Imam held the Radcliff Award responsible for the cause of Kashmir Issue. He believed that the only way forward towards resolution of Kashmir Issue is to consider the will of Kashmiri people. He further said the innocent people of Occupied Kashmir are being tortured by the Indian forces. He added that India is perpetrating ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri people to achieve its sordid designs. Also he contended that real issue of the sub-continent was a clash between the kingship and the public as the congress did not wish to see Muslims in power. He further added that every citizen of Pakistan expresses heartfelt sympathy with the oppressed Kashmiri people. sketching back to pre-partition days he said that founder of Pakistan Quaid-e- Azam had far sighted that Muslims will not be secure under Hindu rule. 

Maj Gen ® Raza Muhammad, Chairperson IICR articulated that East is going to be the Kibla of economy soon in future. Therefore, the international community specifically west will not make any effort for maintaining peace and stability of the region. According to him, the solution to Kashmir Issue was only political, the government is right in its strategy and this is not the end. 

After a lunch break, the second working session was held, chaired by Dr Nazir Hussain, Director SPIR, Quaid e Azam University. Celebrated scholars contributed towards this session. Lt Gen ® Naeem Khalid Lodhi discussed connection between Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir and implications on the region of growing Kashmir crisis. He also talked about the American, Chinese, Russian and Indo-Pak Interests. 

International Law expert and Senior Managing partner of ABSCO,pk, Mr Ahmer Bilal Soofi was also part of the session. He discussed the legal aspects of mediation and also, how Pakistan held a high moral ground by taking this matter diplomatically to each forum. He also clarified that United Nations resolutions of 1947 and 1957 on Kashmir shall not be termed as just recommendations. Whereas these resolutions have a binding character and cannot be referred to as exclusively recommendatory in nature. He added that the notion that these resolutions were just a recommendations needs to be reconsidered and corrected. He then further enlightened that in early days of the united nations us used not to mention the title of the chapter under which it was passing the resolution despite it was the context and the substance of the resolution that would regulate the landscape of implementation 

Dr. Amna Mahmood, Chairperson Department of Politics and International Relations, Islamic International University suggested that Pakistan should keep in mind to maneuver a hard-liner policy as it seems that India is on lead as compared to Pakistan. She also elaborated the consequences of evacuation of Pak Army from Kashmir region. She also added that by revoking article 370 India has violated the Shimla Agreement. In addition she said that Pakistan should expand its diplomacy with the requirement of new dimensions in diplomacy and pull out itself from traditional sources of traditional international support. 

Brig ® Dr Muhammad Khan of the same university was of the view that the current strategies are not working and there is a dire need for convincing the international community regarding Kashmir cause. He said that revoking article 370 has created humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir. He 

also asserted the importance of plebiscite in Kashmir. While commenting on current scenario he said that the current strategies are not enough and workable anymore. He also emphasized at the need of implementation of UN resolutions. Session two also entertained questions from the audience in the end. 

In the end, Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad® made the closing remarks and mementoes were distributed. 

Conference was well attended by eminent foreign dignitaries, including 1st Secretary Britain High Commission, 2nd Secretary of German Embassy, Deputy Head of Mission from Ukraine Embassy, Deputy Head of Mission of Japan Embassy, 2nd Secretary of Sweden Embassy, 1st Secretary of Palestinian Embassy, Ambassador of Azerbaijan, 1st Secretary of Indonesian Embassy, Deputy Head of Mission of Kazakhstan Embassy, Deputy Head of Mission of Romanian Embassay ,govt. officials, academicians, social activists, academic scholars and students, personnel’s of international and national organizations and personnel from electronic and print media. 

India’s Stripping of Article 370: Destabilizing Regional Dynamics

India’s Stripping of Article 370: Destabilizing Regional Dynamics

Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR) successfully conducted a one day International Conference on “India’s Stripping of Article 370: Destabilizing Regional Dynamics” at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad November 22, 2019. Conference was aimed at highlighting the growing Indian atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir after the revocation of article 370 and how India is determined in destabilizing the region.

Conference was chaired by Former Foreign Secretary Mr. Riaz Khokar®. Other eminent panellists included Amb. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi®, Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad Khan®, Prof. Dr. Song Zhihui (Deputy Dean, School of International Studies, Sichuan University, China), Prof. Dr. Rifaat Hussian, and Ms. Sabah Aslam (ED, IICR). The panel highlighted that being a key player in regional and global politics, India must act responsibly yet India fails to calculate the horrors that any of its sinister intensions can bring upon the region and Kashmir. 

Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi®, first speaker of the conference, spoke on “India’s Misadventure: Putting Regional Stability at Stake”. The Ambassador told what happened on August 5, 2019 was started with India’s misadventure on February 26, 2019. Adding further to his comments he then highlighted the February 26, event as a political stunt which gave Modi a victory in electoral battle of March and April. He further said the international community is aware of Kashmir Issue but are reluctant to take any step. No matter how much India emphasize it as an internal matter, the world should not forget that it’s not, He added. Even though Kashmir has been described as Pakistan’s jugular vein still Pakistan would avoid war with India and go for diplomatic solutions no matter how worse the situation gets, as war between two nuclear states is not the solution. At the end he concluded with remarking revocation of Article 370 as an irreversible act and Modi will not ever consider revising it or restoring it.

Maj. Gen. ® Raza Muhammad, Chairman IICR, spoke on “Revoking Article 370 and its Geo-Political – Geo-Strategic Implications”. Mr. Raza Muhammad Khan said that the reaction of the International world against the Modi’s decision is just a cosmetic reaction even after India’s major changes in its maps in which they included the territories of Pakistan, Kashmir and China in the territories of India. Moreover he added that, the Surveyor General of India has passed these maps. Adding further he commented, India, however, seems to be acting as irritant for regional stability, peace and harmony. Indian intentions are clear now countries need to come out if not in support of Kashmir but for the sake of regional peace and stability. 

Prof. Song Zhihui said, China the all weatherly friend is with Pakistan in this hour as well. This is internationally recognized issue and has to be resolved through UN resolutions. The Chinese dream is not limited to the uplifting of China but of the region in the form of rise of the east. This all is also linked to CPEC, he affirmed that CPEC will flourish and give its desire results. 

The next speaker on panel was Prof. Dr. Rifaat Hussain, who spoke on the global fact that Kashmir is a tri-lateral issue rather than bi-lateral. He further said that any advancement regarding Kashmir should have been done through unanimous international decision and since India has taken this step unilaterally it has no legal significance. Mr. Hussain further added that Chinese statements are very clear in which they describe India’s act as unconstitutional and they are very clear about their rights. He said that the criticism of the international community is only confined to verbal condemnation and there has been very little pressure on Modi’s regime to reverse its decision

The last speaker Ms. Sabah Aslam discussed the radical aims of so called democratic BJP. She said that BJP is the political manifestation of Hindutva ideology and they are implementing its fundamentalist ideas through politics. She further said that the so-called secular India shape-shifted into radical India after BJP got in Delhi. Adding further she said that, their views are violent, actions are violent, which has changed inclusive India to exclusively Hindu India all because of BJP. Moreover the hatred is embedded in their minds historically as the assassinator of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse had affiliation with same organization as of Modi and Amit Shah. And what else one can expect from a political wing of an extremist organization RSS, if not inhumane curfew in Kashmir, mob lynching, and rape. In the end she concluded by saying that land of Kashmir has quenched blood of many freedom fighters and this will not go unanswered it doesn’t matter how hard Delhi try. 

The conference was well attended by Foreign Dignitaries, Govt. officials, Academicians, Social activists, Academic Scholars and Students, and personnel’s of international and national organizations

Former Foreign Secretary Mr. Riaz Khokhar gave the concluded remarks after the Question and Answer session. He said that India will not stop, and Modi is here to stay, at least till 2025 and year 2025 is RSS’s 100th anniversary. Pakistan needs to maneuver new strategies. Pakistan have to have workable relations with USA. 

Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad® gave the vote of thanks to the participants and speakers for their gracious presence. The conference was then followed by distribution of mementos and lunch.

Pakistan: A victim, Not Sponsor of Terrorism

Pakistan: A victim, Not Sponsor of Terrorism

Syed Nasir Hassan

The temptation to use violence to influence other people is not something new. This has been done in the past. However, in the modern world the discourse around use of violence has taken new forms. Most of the narrative building around use of violence to influence political outcomes has an extremist or terrorist idiom.

Pakistan has long been a victim of extremist violence. A key tactic for perpetrators of violence for political purposes is to exploit the peculiar vulnerabilities of their victims. For decades, Pakistanis have been facing terrorist attacks, mostly from people having some grievance against the state. The victims have mostly been unrelated people, possibly because they are soft targets. In some cases law enforcement and state officials too have been attacked. The violence was so endemic at one point that it crippled life in some regions. After a long and hard struggle waged by the people and the security agencies there are signs that the terrorists are finding it hard to continue their activities. 

Since its independence, Pakistan has faced many problems. These have included natural disasters as well as wars. However the scourge of terrorism has hit it the hardest. After the United States launched its campaign against Taliban and Al Qaeda in 2001, more than 65,000 Pakistani civilians and armed forces personnel have been killed in some sort of a terrorist attack or the other. There has been some disagreement on whether the policies pursued by various governments were the best under the circumstances. Irrespective of the merits of such decisions, the fact is that the impact of the fighting, particularly violence by non-state actor has been huge. For more than 15 years not a week went by without there being some cause for mourning all over Pakistan.

Pakistan is the only nation in the world to have refused to surrender to the terrorists, fought them with admirable fortitude and succeed in defeating them. It is sometimes argued that the fight was unnecessary or could have been avoided. This is not true. The narrative is meant, it seems, to undermine the efforts of the state and weaken the resolve of its security agencies.

Ironically, Pakistan has been accused by its neighbor to the east of being a state sponsor of terrorism. It is amazing the way such an argument so callously ignores the sacrifices and sufferings of the armed forces and security agency personnel, their families and the Pakistanis at large. The Pakistani military has carried out no less than eight full scale military operations to liquidate the entrenched terrorists. The United States decided to invade Afghanistan in 2001 following the Taliban government’s refusal to hand over the Al Qaeda leaders accused of plotting the 9/11 strikes in US. For its cooperation, Pakistan was designated a non-NATO ally. The blowback of the war included a rise in terrorism in many parts of the world.

After nearly two decades the US has been unable to declare victory and leave Afghanistan. For its part Pakistan has suffered unprecedented losses, both in terms of human capital and economic damage. And yet Pakistan has been accused of being a safe haven for terrorists. This can only be a false and dishonest accusation. Throughout the war on terror Pakistan has been the victim of terrorism rather than an exporter or sponsor of it. It is still striving to overcome the damage.