Kashmir is an unresolved, multi-faceted dispute and a deep festering wound in Indo-Pak relations. Seen through a geopolitical prism, Kashmir has been made out to be a bilateral issue and a conflict-zone. This prevents the true understanding of the life of Kashmiri women and men for whom life and death pass as fragments of daily routine. Farhana Qazi, an American scholar who is the recipient of the 21st Century Leader Award from the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York and the Distinguished Humanitarian Award from Southwestern University in Texas, brings life to the under-reported and undocumented pain and sufferings of Kahsmiri women in her book, Secrets of the Kashmir Valley.The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI)launched the book on May 30, 2016. Ms Qazi, in her book, skillfully portrayed the people’s hope despite their pain, mixed it with political narratives, history of this ancient region and heart-wrenching stories of human sufferings. Her work is an epic tale of human tenacity and agony that has set place in Kashmir Valley: a great beauty with a great tragedy; a paradise on earth but a valley of death.
Her book is part memoir, part history. It can be divided into three parts: her memoir; her extensive interaction with Kashmiri women and men; and conclusion in which she proposes a solution to the Kashmir dispute and leaves the reader on an optimist note.