The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a seminar titled “Hindu Nationalism and the Kashmir Dispute” on October 17, 2019. Speakers at the seminar included: Dr. Mujeeb Afzal, Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at Quaid-e-Azam University; Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik (Retd.), Former Secretary Defense and Ambassador Muhammad Saeed Khalid. Ambassador Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Coordinator Kashmir Cell, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also addressed the gathering as a Keynote Speaker. The panel discussion was chaired by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI.
The Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, welcomed the guests. He stated that the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A by Indian Prime Minister Modi is the fulfillment of a long ideological yearning under the Hindutva ideology promoted by the RSS, to make a predominantly homogeneous Hindu nation to the detriment of Muslim and other minorities of India. It is an attempt by BJP government of establishing “Akhand Bharat”, and Kashmir seems to be the first step in the Hindutva ideology being promoted by Prime Minister Modi and BJP. In the lead-up to the August 5, 2019 move which stripped the Indian Occupied Kashmir of its relative independence and placed it under the direct rule of the central government in New Delhi, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders. All this has put India’s secular credentials in question.