Lahore               -           A webinar on “India China Standoff at Ladakh and its Impact on Kashmir” was held on 9 July 2020, chaired by Chairman of the Karachi Council of Foreign Relations (KCFR), Ikram Sehgal. The prominent speakers in attendance were HE Sardar Masood Khan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and Ambassador Mustafa Kamal Kazi.

Moderating the seminar Dr. Huma Baqai requested Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed to initiate the discussions. Senator Mushahid maintained that India is the only country apart from Israel which has expanded its border though use of force.

He recalled that on 6 October 2019, Mr. Amit Shah (BJP, President and Home Minister) announced that Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Aksai Chin were an integral part of India and they will die fighting to get it back. Mushahid Hussain identified that to counter Indian policy, an outreach to Indian Society i.e.outreach to the Indian parliamentarians, civil society and other groups are necessary. He invited the audience’s attention towards recent statement by Democratic US Presidential Nominee Mr. Joe Biden, who attacked India for Human Rights violations in Kashmir.

HE Sardar Masood Khan (President, Azad Jammu and Kashmir) said that India is at war with its neighbors in South Asia and it has declared a war against his own citizens, particularly Muslims. It is trying to consolidate its occupation and colonisation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He revealed that ‘Hindutva’ is the doctrine behind all these aggressive moves vis-a-vis its neighbors in South Asia and also against China. He said that there been a hybrid war for decades between India and Pakistan.

Ambassador Mustafa Kamal Kazi considered Mushahid Hussain’s revelation of LAC as a weird perception; infact, a wishful perception of Indians. Ambassador Kazi informed the audience that India is a member of Washington Indo-Pacific strategy and the Trump administration has allocated US$ 1.5 Billion to ensure that the region is free from what the White House has describe as ‘malign’ China influence.

 

Ikram Sehgal said that Indians are actually boxed in by their public and the Bollywood hype, treating their actors and actresses as gods and demi-gods. Given that India was doing well economically and militarily.  Bollywood has been portraying that Indian Armed Forces can take on any anybody. However these hegemonic claims were hollow as they find themselves against China mountainous in a terrain which is very difficult.  In fact, the terrain is easily accessible from the Chinese side rather that than from Indian Side.

 

Concluding the webinar, Ikram Sehgal, emphasized about the lives life of Kashmiris.  He recalled an image published on social media and elsewhere, where a young boy sitting behind his dead grandfather lying on the road, who was killed by Indian forces and being dragged out of the car.

 

The Chair said “people say BlackLives Matter (BLM); I say “Kashmiri lives also matter”.