Press Release 05/10/2021
Event Organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute
Seminar on Fighting the Kashmir Cause: A StratComm Response
In an attempt to eulogise the struggle of Kashmiris and highlight the mechanisms needed in this digital age to reach out to the world, a seminar was held by IPRI with Member of British Parliament, Naz Shah, and Maleeka Bokhari, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice, Pakistan, in the chair.
The MP from Bradford West, who has walked the extra few miles to make an impact on issues concerning minorities and women in Britain, said that abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A are not just a law change, but have had an impact on a generation struggling for its legitimate rights.
She said the need of the hour is to take Kashmir issue to the centre-stage, and vowed to do her bit in this regard as a legislator in the House of Commons. She regretted that even today many in the world do not know the basics of Kashmiri struggle, and said that until and unless the social media and other forums are activated on the pattern of coverage of Gaza onslaught, nothing will change for good.
“We need to project the issue in an objective manner, and a strategic shift is needed in explaining the Kashmir cause,” the MP stressed. The most militarised zone in the world with a genocide taking place in it is unaddressed, she regretted. While underscoring the need for a new media strategy, as well as lobbying in real time, Naz Shah observed that the initiative has to come from the grassroots level.
Ms Maleeka Bokhari assured the audience that the Government of Pakistan will “use all lawful resources” to project the cause of Kashmir, and referred to the 131 page dossier that Islamabad had brought to fore on Kashmir, which documents 96,000 extra judicial killings, 11,200 rapes, 108,000 children orphaned and last but not least 20,000 widows.
She said that rape is being used in Kashmir by the Indian security forces as a punishment tool, and a generation has been maimed.
Executive Director IPRI Dr Hussain Nadim and Acting President IPRI Brig (retd) Raashid Wali Janjua in their keynote addresses pointed out the efforts that IPRI as a think tank has done to strategize the Kashmir cause in the intellectual and social media realms.
Dr Hussain observed that a proper and more resolute strategy in communications is needed to make the world know the cause of Kashmir in its proper and scientific data-centric perspective. Likewise, Brig Wali said the real story of Kashmir is yet to be told, and noted that a renewed effort is needed to rediscover the struggle from human perspective.