KARACHI – Oxford University Press (OUP) hosted a discussion around the topic ‘The Kashmir Conflict: Past to Present’ with Mujahid Barelvi and Sardar Masood Khan.
Well-known journalist, television commentator, and analyst, Mujahid Barelvi currently hosts the programme Sawaal say Aage on Dawn News. Before this, he worked for the CNBC channel and for the last two decades he has been appearing on television on a regular basis. Barelvi was elected twice as Joint Secretary and twice as Secretary General of the Karachi Press Club. His hard-hitting television talk shows Do Tok, Mujahid On-Line, and Doosra Pehlu have been extremely popular and long-running. Mujahid has written articles for political journals and newspapers, has authored books on Afghanistan and Baluchistan as well as a book in memory of Habib Jalib.
Sardar Masood Khan was born in Rawalkot, Poonch District, Pakistan. In 1980, he commenced a long and distinguished career as a diplomat and Foreign Service professional. During his diplomatic career, President Masood Khan has represented Pakistan in many parts of the world, including Europe, the United States, China, and the UN, in addition to numerous assignments within the Foreign Office. At the peak of his more than 37-year long career, he served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to China and then as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York. He retired from the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 2017 and entered politics in Azad Kashmir, where he was elected as the 27th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The event held at the Oxford bookshop in Dolmen Mall Clifton featured an invigorating conversation between the two discussants in which they delved into the intricacies of the Kashmir dispute and provided a critical perspective on the issues plaguing the region since its remote origins in the first half of the nineteenth century. Sardar Masood Khan traced the complex history of this long- standing conflict, which has dominated India-Pakistan relations since 1947, and the political discontent and dissent emanating from it which gave rise to the insurgency in the valley. The two commentators gave insightful details into the armed bilateral conflict over Kashmir, the three successive wars, the standoff at the Siachen Glacier, and Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, all of which provide an essential background to the present situation in Kashmir.
Earlier in his address, Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, OUP Pakistan, welcomed the guests and introduced bothSardar Masood Khan and Mujahid Barelvi.