The India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) held a roundtable on “Rising State Repression in IIOJK” in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell, Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on January 20, 2022. Welcoming the guests, Director ISC Dr. Saif Malik said that ISC is Pakistan’s first ever India focused centre that specifically looks into the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that August 5, 2019, brought many changes for the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and has made the lives of people more miserable. In fact, August 5 is Kashmir’s 9/11. Referring to the unabated human rights abuses, he wondered how the world that calls itself “civilised” can be sensitised about the situation in IIOJK. He urged the world to pay attention to the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri people and said that if the atrocities against the people of Kashmir are not halted, the peace and security of South Asia will remain elusive.
Mr. Ershad Mahmood, Director General Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell was of the view that the human rights conditions in IIOJK are gradually attracting significant international attention. Referring to the report by an international law firm Stoke White and other reports by human rights groups, Mr. Ershad said that Amit Shah and Ajeet Doval are key architects of present Kashmir policy that completely rely on excessive use of power and repression to achieve political goals. Although India’s human rights record has always been tainted, but during Modi’s era, hate speech has been institutionalised in India. Lynching Muslims and Christians has become a normal activity as a group of extremists have taken over the Government of India. He also highlighted the fact that by arresting noted Kashmiri journalists and human rights activists, India is clearly signalling that there is no space for any sort of activism.