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 is the Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in London. He is the author of monographs Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination and Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear and has published on varied topics including Tibet, China-India border dispute, Hindutva and Islamophobia, identity politics in Tanzania, and nationalism.

Sasha Bhat

Sasha was born and raised in Srinagar. She has a clinical background in systemic psychotherapy and has worked on community NHS programs for over 13 years. She has extensive knowledge of the voluntary and community sector and has managed patient engagement and service user initiatives with a strong track record of developing and delivering grass roots services. She currently works in Bradford.

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 Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet, economist, and artist. Her novel Residue was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, deals with themes of Kashmiri identity, nation-state borders, and absence. Currently, she teaches in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster. She continues to write and speak on issues of democracy, political economy, neoliberalism, Kashmir, nationalism in India, and Bhutan.