The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) organised a launch of the book “Secrets of the Kashmir Valley” by Farhana Qazi on May 30, 2016. The Chief Guest at the launch was Senator Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qayyum. The event was also addressed by a number of distinguished speakers and participants including Ms. Farzana Yaqoob, Minister of Social Welfare and Women Development, Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK); Ambassador Arif Kamal, Director, Global Studies, Institute of Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA), National Defense University (NDU) ; Ms. Mushaal Hussein Mullick, Chairperson, Peace and Cultural Organisation (PCO); Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Convenor All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC); Shamim Shawl, General Secretary Kashmir Tehreek-e-Khawateen; Dr. Amineh Ahmed Hoti, Executive Director of Markaz-e-Ilm, the Centre for Dialogue & Action (CD&A); Mr. Ahmed Quraishi, Executive Director, Youth Forum for Kashmir; Shaista Safi, Manager Programmes, Youth Forum for Kashmir; Tahir Mehmood, Programme Coordinator of MUSLIM Institute and Tooba Khurshid, Research Fellow, ISSI.
In his welcome remarks, Director General ISSI, Ambassador Masood Khan thanked Ms. Farhana Qazi for choosing the ISSI platform to launch her book which was published in India. He said that her basic objective to get this book published from India was to inform the Indian and American audience of the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. The book, he said, provides a way forward for the Kashmir cause. A noteworthy aspect of this writing is that she not only faced difficulties herself, but also witnessed the problems and sufferings faced by the Kashmiri women. She met those involved in the Kashmir struggle and observed the brutalities inflicted upon them. This is a distressing account of women persecution. Ambassador Masood said that the struggle of Kashmiri women is historic. Kashmiri women, despite their sufferings, have always supported their men. Despite molestations, pain and miseries they always supported the cause of freedom and the demand for the right of self-determination, whether it is through social media, political activities or imprisonment. This cause of freedom is not limited to one generation. The youth of Kashmir has reinstated this freedom movement and women are standing alongside them. This book unfolds the facts and makes us realise that this is an agenda which Pakistanis, the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and the Kashmiri Diaspora community abroad have to complete. We only need organisation and awareness.