Indian Kashmiri Leader Yasin Malik Interacts with the Kashmiri Policy Community at Jinnah Institute

Jinnah Institute organized a policy dialogue on Kashmir in the context of improving bilateral Indo-Pak relations. Veteran Indian Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik was the keynote speaker at the event, which was attended by political activists from AJ&K, researchers and members of civil society.

Mr. Malik appreciated the gains made through the Indo-Pak bilateral dialogue and emphasized the need for further dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues. However, he felt that Kashmiri voices were ignored in the bilateral talks and this had developed a feeling of alienation among the Kashmiris. “India and Pakistan should not decide about our fate and tell us what it will be, it is the Kashmiri people’s right to be part of this dialogue,” he stated, adding that previous talks that had not been consultative lost credibility with the Kashmiris. He recommended that any process that aims at the resolution of theKashmir issue should be institutionalized and time bound.

He observed that cross-LoC CBMs generated a lot of hope in Kashmir and created an atmosphere for conflict resolution, however, it was insufficient to deliver only CBMs and not proceed towards actual settlement of the issue. He felt that previously India and Pakistan had more clarity in moving forward onKashmir, but at present there seemed to be nothing more than CBMs.Yasin Malik highlighted that his movement was peaceful and aimed at restoring the moderate and tolerant image of the Kashmiri people. “We want to present a moderate and dignified face to the world and say that we have no stake in radicalism. Radicals have no takers in the world and end up serving their own enemies,” he pointed out.

In response to a question, Yasin Malik observed that the media in Pakistan often referred to Kashmir only in the context of Indo-Pak bilateral relations. “When Kashmir was making headline news all over the world two years ago, we were surprised to find that Pakistani newspapers devoted insignificant space to Kashmir,” he said.  He emphasized that Kashmir continues to experience suffering at the hands of violence and the plight of the Kashmiri people still asks to be addressed.