On 19th May 2020, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) organized a Webinar on the topic, “Latest Situation in Kashmir Vis-À-Vis Indian Policies”. This Webinar was organized to examine the prevailing situation in Kashmir while analyzing the Indian strategies and what can be the possible policy options for Pakistan.
His Excellency Sardar Masood Khan - President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir stated that predictions regarding Indian aggression has become true. India has introduced a law that enables the non-natives to reside in Kashmir. This law gives them permission and further facilitates the non-natives in acquiring permanent residence in Kashmir. According to our calculations, around 2 million Hindus will be settling in Kashmir in the first wave. In this way, Kashmir will be turned into a Hindu sate and Muslim majority will be reduced. Kashmir is under a triple lockdown. The 5th August act is a siege and its purpose is to kill people. India has violated the ceasefire at the LOC a number of times while targeting the civilians, which has caused damage to the infrastructure also. Crimes that are being committed there can be listed as crimes against humanity, genocide war crimes and ethnic cleansing. So the International Community of the multilateral institutions are directly relevant here. Therefore, we must engage them because this lack of engagement is making India prevalent.
Lieutenant General Khalid Maqbool HI(M), (Retd) - Former Governor of Punjab shared valuable insight regarding latest situation on the LOC and possibility of a military conflict. He stated that the grand strategy of India is to destabilize Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. We can expect increased activities on the Line of Control through ceasefire violations in which our civilian population would be primarily targeted. However, Pakistan Army has been able to counter these violations very effectively. War cannot be ignored and Pakistan is prepared for it, if the freedom movement on both sides eventually activate the borders.
Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, HI - Former Pakistan Representative to UN stated that the pandemic has given an opportunity to the Indian Government to further intensify the repression and take even more draconian steps at a time when the world is preoccupied by fighting COVID-19. At this time, countries and human rights organizations are distracted and the media attention is fixed particularly on the health crisis. Facing a health emergency with hands tied and lips sealed each one of us can now directly feel some of the pain of a lockdown as we ourselves have been practicing some degree of social isolation. The International Community has a responsibility to address this dire situation but Pakistan holds the major responsibility. The Kashmiri’s look to us and we cannot let them down. Our policy has to be consistent and need consistency in our diplomatic circle. Kashmir today lives in a state of multiple deprivations since last many years that has taken away their fundamental liberties and prevented them from exercising their right to self-determination.
Ambassador Riaz Khokhar - Former Ambassador of Pakistan to India stated that Kashmiri’s must be saluted, they have made enormous sacrifices. Modi is committed to a policy on which they may not have a national consensus but this incremental genocide policy is being supported by the majority. This policy has been adopted to change the demographic character of Kashmir. There is a long history of multilateral diplomacy where the Western countries could have played a decisive role. No Indian leader has been sincere about finding solution for Kashmir. We must take the International Community into confidence and turn it into a diplomatic force.
Ambassador Abdul Basit - Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India stated that Hindutva is nothing new. We need to pursue a consistent policy on Kashmir as it has cost us and the Kashmiri’s to a large extent. Kashmiri’s are determined and have never given up and will continue to do so. Pakistan requires coherent efforts and come up with a consolidated Kashmir policy. In this pandemic, India is taking advantage by pursuing illegal policies aimed at targeting the right of self-determination of Kashmiri’s. The point is how Pakistan should be countering these Indian policies and need clarity in this regard.
Dr Muhammad Khan – Professor, Department of Politics and IR, International Islamic University stated that Pakistan has been frequently warning International Community about India’s False Flag Operations in Jammu and Kashmir. In 21st century, India conducted small and large scale false flag operations against Pakistan. The broader objective of India with regard to these false flag operations was to malign the image of Pakistan, both regionally and globally There is a specific objective pertaining to each false flag operation, but different depending upon situation in the design of this the broad objective.
The Webinar was attended by approximately 52 participants and was moderated by Lieutenant Colonel Khalid Taimur Akram (Retd), Executive Director, CGSS.