India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a Seminar on “730 Days of Hell: Kashmir Under Siege”, on August 04, 2021. The event was aimed at analyzing the implications of the abrogation of Articles 370 and Article 35A of the Indian constitution for Kashmiris, Pakistan, as well as for the whole region.
Dr. Saif ur Rehman Malik Director ISC, in his introductory remarks, highlighted the importance of the event by saying that the episode of 5th August 2019 is identical to 9/11. He further stated that Modi government by revoking Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution has changed the status of Kashmir. India has violated every norm of humanity and imposed a curfew across Kashmir amid Covid-19 and unilaterally changed the demography of Kashmir. Director ISC reiterated that although the centre provides various policies to the concerned departments, the events happened all across India but Kashmir is the main agenda of the ISC. Dr. Malik concluded his speech by following Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s fascinating poetry:
قتل گاہوں سے چن کر ہمارے علم
اور نکلیں گے عشاق کے قافلے
جن کی راہ طلب سے ہمارے قدم
مختصر کر چلے درد کے فاصلے
While welcoming the guest speakers, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, ISSI expressed that by revoking Articles 370 and 35A India has a desire to create Hindu Rashtra cementing Hindutva ideology in which there will be little space for the minorities. DG ISSI posed three pertinent questions on the situation that happened in Kashmir in the last two years. Why did the Modi government take a move which they knew would be opposed by all Kashmiri people and across the world? Why assault the identity of Kashmir itself? How would the Modi government extract itself out of this messy situation that it has landed itself in? He stated that India and the whole international community know that this act is a violation of UN resolutions and the Simla Agreement both of which wanted there should be no material change in the status of Kashmir.