China Study Centre, University of Peshawar has organized a webinar on, “the unfolding situation in Kashmir after 5th August 2019” on 4th August 2020. Many renowned experts analyzed the issue from different angles. Prof Dr Zahid Anwar, Director, China Study Center in his welcome address said that the BJP Government in India has unleashed a policy of extremism and expansionism to establish Hindutva and its abrogation of article 370/35A regarding Kashmir is galvanizing extremism and hegemonism in the region. This brinkmanship of the current Indian Government has threatened regional peace and stability. The purpose of this webinar is to analyze the implications of the abrogation of article 370/35A for Kashmir and the region at large. He welcomed the distinguished speakers.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, in his keynote address thanked China Study Centre, University of Peshawar for organizing the webinar on such an important issue. He said that India has colonized Kashmir and has broken the promise of self-determination to the people of Kashmir it made almost 70 years ago. India has the sinister design to bring demographic change in Kashmir and to turn Muslim majority into a minority and in this connection it is borrowing a leaf from Isreali book what it did in Palestine. PM Modi is extending Hindutva to every nook and corner of India and to Kashmir also. It wants to create Hindu Rashtra where all minorities will be second rate citizens. US-India Nexus emboldened India to establish regional hegemony and becomes a regional police-man. China is not an expansionist country nevertheless India ambition to become regional police-man has run into a clash with China. Recently what happened in Galwan valley and Indian attempt to fortify that area to build settlement there in order to reach Gilgit-Baltistan through another way created acrimony for China. Internationally a blatant violation of International Law has taken place. India is trying to change the status of disputed territory which is explicitly prohibited by the UN Resolutions. India is violating every provision of International Humanitarian Law. The people of Pakistan have no choice but to stand with the people of Kashmir. Pakistan has always diplomatically, morally and politically supported the people of Kashmir. International community is taking notice of the Indian atrocities against the people of Kashmir, UN, US, European Union, Turkey, Iran and Malaysia are expressing their frustration against what India is doing to the people of Kashmir. Another important development is opposition within India against BJP Government nefarious designs because the biggest damage MP Modi is doing is to India itself. Gone are the days when India could project its pluralistic, democratic credentials. Even when the world is not able to stem the hands of PM Modi we should continue to raise our voice because one day our combined effects of Pakistani, International and Indian voices will strengthen sanity to prevail. The people of Kashmir should be accorded the right of self-determination. We should speak for them and should do whatever we can for the just cause to end Indian annexation and occupation of Kashmir.
Rahimullah Yusufzai, Internationally renowned Journalist in his speech highlighted that Kashmir issue is very important but it is not resolved due to Indian actions in the last seventy two years. India is a big market despite that International community is raising voice about Indian atrocities against Kashmiri people. Pakistan should continue its effort to resolve the Kashmir conflict. India is creating problems for Pakistan in Baluchistan in former tribal areas and in Karachi. Recently China defeated India in Galvan valley and Ladakh. China and Pakistan collaboration is good for the resolution of Kashmir issue. Despite presence of nine hundred thousand troops in occupied Kashmir India did not win the hearts and Minds of Kashmiri people. India itself internationalized the Kashmir issue. India has tried to destroy Pakistan it is on record. Pakistan should continue to approach Security Council how to highlight Indian human rights violation and ban on media including social media in IOK. Through abrogation of article 370 /35A India wants to bring a demographic change in the occupied Kashmir. In the current situation I don’t think Pakistan and India will hold talks to resolve Kashmir issue peacefully.
Hasan Daud Butt, CEO, KPBIT in his speech said that economic development of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will raise the living standard of the Kashmiri people on this side of LOC. CPEC projects like Kohala and Azad Pathan will create conducive environment for the resolution of Kashmir Issue. India does not want that people of Kashmir on this side of the LOC become economically prosperous due to CPEC. Due to BRI and CPEC Azad Jammu and Kashmir will be economically developed and this give Pakistan a leverage and an opportunity to showcase it a better way.
Prof Dr Razia Sultana, Vice-Chancellor SBBW University Peshawar in her speech said that Kashmir issue is 72 year old and it is a perennial problem. It is a problem between two nuclear powers. The people in Indian held Kashmir are suffering. International community should not ignore the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan with the support of its friends should continue its struggle to end the suffering of Kashmiri people.
Prof Dr Nazir Hussain, Dean at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in his talk focused on the situation in Indian Kashmir and the policy of government of Pakistan. He highlighted that India came into being on the basis of secularism and the present government is making it a fundamentalist Hindu state. There are many insurgency movements in India and Indian brutal force has failed to subdue the freedom struggle in Kashmir. The resilience of Kashmiri people against Indian occupation and suppression is a ray of hope.
Prof Dr. Muhammad khan, International Islamic University, Islamabad said that the people of Kashmir struggled a lot. The United Nations Security Council resolutions No.1991 and 122 which were unanimously adopted do not allow any party to unilaterally change the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Legally Pakistan stands on a higher pedestal now in the light of 4th Geneva Convention and UN Resolutions regarding Kashmir. In the question answer session while answering to a question asked by a Chinese scholar among the audience about development in Ladhah Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that India wanted to severe the link between Pakistan and China to harm CPEC which China thwarted promptly in Ladhah /Galvan valley.
The webinar was joined by many students and faculty members and Chinese scholars. Prof Dr Zahid Anwar said that BRI is a win-win Initiative for regional economic integration and CPEC carries a plethora of opportunities which will strengthen the economy of Pakistan and economically strong Pakistan will be in a better position to fight the case of Kashmir. In the end he thanked all the participants for their joining the webinar.
Prof Dr Zahid Anwar
Director, China Study Centre,
University of Peshawar