Stories about Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK)

The Ayodhya verdict and the veneer of Indian secularism

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour earlier in the week, Iltija Mufti, daughter of the former chief minister of occupied Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, stated that India is “turning into a cesspool of bigotry, selective persecution, of hatred against minorities, and this is not the country I grew up in.” It appears that the Narendra Modi government has been doing its best to ensure that it continues to lend validity to these claims, however, in light of the Ayodhya verdict, it seems that the Indian Supreme Court has also joined the party.  Now, let me first preface this by saying that highlighting the great disservice ...

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What does the future hold for Kashmir?

The ‘Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act’ put forward by the Indian Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, occupies a central role in the deteriorating bilateral relations between the nuclear–armed neighbours and the worsening domestic conditions in the region. Pakistan’s demands for justice against the human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) is being spearheaded by Prime Minster Imran Khan, who has termed India’s actions “a war crime” and a violation of 17 United Nations Security Council resolutions. While little headway is being made to restore the previous status quo, Imran’s efforts have materialised with six lawmakers from the United States ...

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The plight of the Uighurs

Whether you’re a Pakistani citizen living in Pakistan or in the diaspora, you must be familiar with the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Just a few weeks ago, India decided to revoke Article 370, taking away the special status of the disputed land and of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). After India’s actions in IoK, the Pakistan government and people decided to reach out to the international community for support, using various United Nations platforms to voice their concerns and holding local protests in order to bring attention to this issue. While, as a Pakistani, I empathise ...

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Spilling tea with Shah Mehmood Qureshi: India, Kashmir and the looming ‘accidental’ war

On an unusually warm Sunday afternoon for late September, the lobby of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) owned Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan is abuzz with Pakistani diplomats and American dignitaries; including Senator Lindsey Graham and Zalmay Khalilzad, the architect of the American-Taliban peace deal. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi are also in New York City for a packed week of diplomacy, with a particular focus on mission Kashmir, in the build up to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings. On the eighth floor of the Roosevelt, I sat down for an exclusive interview with ...

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Will the people of Kashmir accept India’s version of ‘normal’?

The word ‘normalcy’ is the most used and abused term in India today. Never before has this nation been so obsessed with these three syllables. Forty five days after the revocation of Article 370, Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) still remains paralysed, the majority of political leaders are in detention, civil society activists are under scrutiny, and the media has been asked to become the handmaid of the government. Under this backdrop last week, while hearing petitions filed with regards to the situation in Kashmir, the Indian Supreme Court asked the state to “restore normalcy” in the region as soon as possible. ...

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Is our solidarity with Kashmir conditional?

As I drove around Islamabad to reach my office on Defence Day, I saw a myriad of posters around the capital. They all communicated the same message: Pakistan is the bastion of Kashmiri interest; hence, Kashmir belongs to Pakistan. The hashtag ‘KashmirBanegaPakistan’ and retweets from Kashmiris who supported this message flooded my Twitter feed. Some of my friends even posted about their interactions with a few Kashmiris, after which they had concluded that all 14 million Kashmiris wanted to be a part of Pakistan. While the logic did not quite make sense, I could not help but wonder about this ...

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As a German, I am offended by Imran Khan’s comparison of Modi to Hitler

I wholeheartedly understand Imran Khan’s anger in light of India’s decision to revoke Article 370 in occupied Kashmir and plunge the region into chaos. After all, Imran had been advocating vociferously for increased dialogue between India and Pakistan, yet Narendra Modi‘s government did not reciprocate the sentiment. While Modi’s actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) undoubtedly deserve to be condemned by the international community, I feel that comparing the Indian prime minister to Adolf Hitler is rather extreme and unnecessary. As a German whose grandparents witnessed the barbaric acts unleashed by Hitler, and as someone who was made to study ...

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Does the road to the Afghan peace process still pass through Kashmir?

One of Donald Trump’s election promises was that he would withdraw American troops from Afghanistan; a promise which led to the president engaging in dialogue with the Taliban in order to ensure a peaceful exit. Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed as the United States’ (US) special envoy for Afghanistan and it looked like Trump may well deliver on what he pledged. This policy objective had offered a window of opportunity for Pakistan to improve its relations with America since it had become evident that the US would require the help of the Pakistan government if they wished to withdraw troops ...

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Will a 30-minute demonstration every Friday actually help the Kashmir cause?

Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been under lockdown for more than three weeks now. Narendra Modi’s desire to annex the territory was already made clear during his election campaign, and thus many have been asking why Islamabad was unable to pre-empt this. But given that Modi’s move on the geopolitical chessboard caught Islamabad off-guard, the question arises: how should Pakistan respond? Perhaps by rallying on the streets for 30 minutes. In a recently televised address, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he wanted the people of Pakistan to come out onto the streets for half an hour every Fridays in order to stand in solidarity ...

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Kashmir – a land marred by betrayals

The once heavenly abode of the Mughal kings, one of whom famously called it “paradise on Earth” – Kashmir today lies in tatters. It remains divided in bits and pieces. Its people seething in desolation and broken by the latest insult in a long list of insults. Dejected and disheartened by the apathy the world has shown while their political, cultural and religious identity has been assaulted and snatched. It has been 21 days since Article 370 was scrapped and an unprecedented communications blockade was put in place; practically insulating Kashmir from the rest of the world. Close to eight ...

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