The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a webtalk titled, “India and Pakistan: Searching for Humanity in South Asia” on August 6, 2020 by Dr. Akbar S. Ahmad, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International Relations at School of International Service at the American University in Washington DC. Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the discussant at the occasion.
In his introductory remarks, Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry welcomed the distinguished guests and highlighted the recent developments in Kashmir, India’s controversial decision to build Ram Mandir, the treatment of minorities in both India and Pakistan and the hostilities between the two countries. He highlighted that since Modi has taken over India he has embarked upon a different philosophy from the one that India has followed in the past. Modi is pursuing the Hindutva ideology which is exclusionary in nature and is having severe implications for the minorities living in India and the international image of India which used to be associated with democracy and pluralism. He further added that big power politics is going on in South Asia. US-China competition and US tilt towards India is impacting the regional dynamics and Pakistan’s relations with India. Unfortunately, India and Pakistan are not on talking terms at all, even their ambassadors have been recalled. Hence, it is crucial to explore humanity in these troubling times.