Parveena Ahnager speaking at University of Warwick, UK

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SRINAGAR: Kashmir’s Rafto Award winner human rights activist is in London, attending a seminar. Chairperson association of parents of disappeared parents (APDP), Parveena Ahanger is speaking at a conference titled “Post-Colonial Politics, Development and Emerging Powers” at the University of Westminster, London on Thursday, she announced on her facebook.

The conference is being organised by Department of Politics and International Relations, in collaboration with Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, University of Warwick, and UOW’s Kashmir Solidarity Society. The objective is to cover various struggles and issues connected to righting the human wrongs committed in the name of the nation-state with a specific focus on India in Jammu and Kashmir, the organiser statement said.

Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) within the University of Westminster’s Department of Politics and International Relations has put the theme of the Thursday session as Human Rights in the Face of Human Wrongs: Conflict in Kashmir and Beyond.

“There is an explicit focus on engagement with communities and impacting upon public debates around these contentious subjects,” the statement, posted by the organisers on the University website, said. “Kashmir is one such subject. While academic discussions around Kashmir remain wedded to approaches that treat it as primarily a territorial conflict between India and Pakistan thus ignoring the experiences of people of Jammu and Kashmir, here at the CSD we adopt a critical approach to understand Kashmir as a site of pain and suffering due to state-imposed indignities as well as a site of hope and struggle for human rights including the right to self-determination.”

Ahanger is the keynote speaker. The hosts have given her a translator. Her translator Omaid Nazir also flew from Srinagar. Off late, the APDP chairperson has been attending various offshore interactions on the issue. She earlier attended a meeting of the UN working group as well.

Parveena Ahangar is one of the many human rights defenders in Kashmir who has waged long campaigns to expose human rights violations. She, along with Parvez Imroz of JKCCS, has been the recipient of Rafto Foundation’s Prize for Human Rights 2017.

Sources said Ahanager would be flying to Geneva to attend another programme.

The Conference is also witnessing the screening of Iffat Fatima’s documentary The Dear Disappeared: Fayaz Ahmed Beigh. Dibyesh Anand is presiding over the conference.

Omaid Nazir is a Project Manager with the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons.

The conference was also attended by Translator – Omaid Nazir (APDP), Dr Frederiek de Vlaming (Nuhanovic Foundation) and Dr Goldie Osuri.

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