Journalists Wusatullah Khan and Hamid Mir were about to leave the session on the Kashmir issue in the middle of the discussion at the Pakistan Literature Festival (PLF). Thanks to moderator Asma Shirazi, they did not leave as she handled the situation and continued the discussion from the point it was stopped. But a half clip of the event was making rounds on social media, prompting her to share the full clip.
“What happened in Muzaffarabad yesterday?” she wrote in a tweet and shared the full clip of the discussion. Shirazi advised the people running fake propaganda to see the clip.
Columnist Wusatullah Khan criticised the Kashmir policy during the discussion that prompted sloganeering from some people in the hall. The perpetual sloganeering and clapping prompted the Khan and Mir to leave the stage, with former lamenting the state of emotions of the people on issues.
Students were silent when the two journalists tried to leave. “This discussion had nothing to do with PTI or Imran Khan,” Shirazi said.
This is what Wusatullah Khan said: “The plight of Kashmir has become a source of livelihood for many people including Kashmir Committee and political leaders on both sides of Kashmir.”
“How many correspondents are there in Bangladesh? Our neighbours, who are impactful on our fortunes for the last 75 years, and sorry to say that you [Kashmir] are not a problem, it is an industry… the livelihood of the Kashmir Committee, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and all political classes of Kashmir is linked with this industry.”
“So why would I end my livelihood to bring some out-of-the-box solution to this issue,” he said.
He lamented that the Centre was explaining the Kashmir issue to people in Bradford, UK. This comment led to sloganeering from people at the back of the hall.
Khan further spoke about the “prescribed” Kashmir policy and wondered if the people who raised slogans knew about the Khurshid Hasan Khurshid, who thought about bringing out of box solution to resolve the longstanding dispute.
Khan paid homage to former Azad Jammu and Kashmir president Khurshid Hasan Khurshid, saying that he was the best leader this region has ever had.
The two-day PLF is being held at Muzaffarabad, AJK.