In 1947, as the Radcliffe line was drawn, the state of Jammu and Kashmir became a casualty of partition with parts of it coming under Pakistan control and parts under Indian control. As it became a disputed territory, the commitment made by the two controlling countries to the United Nations to hold plebiscite to ascertain the views of all inhabitants remain unfulfilled. Subsequently, India and Pakistan have fought three wars and engaged in many border skirmishes, creating high tensions between the two countries.

The initial plebiscite should have posed the question of whether Jammu Kashmir would become part of India or Pakistan, but as the years have gone by and new generations have grown up, there has been increasing agitation from the Kashmiri people for a united Kashmir, free of both countries.

This is a question of great importance for many British citizens, as 70% of the Pakistani diaspora community in the UK hails from Kashmir.

Join our panel of experts, Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Professor Dibyesh Anand, Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster and British Kashmiri activist, Sasha Bhat; chaired by Kashmiri writer, academic and economist, Nitasha Kaul, this event will analyse the changing narrative inside and surrounding Kashmir.

About The Speakers

Dibyesh Anand

Professor Dibyesh Anand. Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster. He is the author of monographs “Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination” and “Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear”.

 

Sasha Bhat

Sasha was born in Srinagar, Kashmir and left the valley due to the conflict. Her love of the valley is her driving force to share the culture, traditions and stories of Kashmir with people around the globe. She is currently based in Bradford and works for the NHS, Council and voluntary groups. 

Sardar Masood Khan

Sardar Masood Khan is a Kashmiri diplomat who serves as the 27th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

 

About The Chair

Nitasha Kaul

Dr Nitasha Kaul is a London based Kashmiri novelist, writer, poet and academic. She writes and speaks on the themes of identity, democracy, political economy, gender, borders, Hindu nationalism, Kashmir, and Bhutan. Her books include ‘Imagining Economics Otherwise’ and of a Man Asian Literary Prize shortlisted novel ‘Residue’.