Report – Roundtable on “Self-Determination Day: Voices from Kashmir”

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Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) organized a roundtable discussion in collaboration with the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan on January 10, 2020 on “Self Determination Day: Voices From Kashmir”. President, State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Other guests included: Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi, Coordinator, Kashmir Cell, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Altaf Hussain Wani, Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations, Mr. Faiz Naqshbandi, Convener (APHC Mir Waiz) Mr. Khalid Rehman, Director General, Institute of Policy Studies, Syed Abdullah Gillani, Convener, All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mr. Ershad Mahmood, Executive Director, Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR), Syed Nazir Gillani, Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights, Former Ambassador Arif Kamal and Mr. Tanvir Sultan from business community.

Welcoming the guests at the roundtable, Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that following the events of August 5, 2019, the Kashmir issue has entered a new phase which has three aspects to it: legal, ideological and human rights. Legally, the events of August 5, 2019 are against not only the UN resolutions, but also the Simla Agreement. Ideologically, Hindutva is being promoted and there are efforts to change the demography of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir is dismal as the entire leadership of Kashmir is under detention and pellet guns are being used against the Kashmiri youth. Pakistan is raising this issue on all international forums and the world too is now reacting to the ongoing crisis in Kashmir. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released two reports on human rights situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, voices are also being raised from within India too. Ambassador Chaudhry expressed optimism that this long battle will be fought with perseverance and determination till victory is achieved.

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