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Kashmir Musings: A Weekend Convening of the Political Salon with Ather Zia

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 2:00pm


Kashmir Musings
A Weekend Convening of the Political Salon 
with Ather Zia

Saturday, February 2, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

During the insurgency of 1989, men disappeared in Kashmir. Women, mostly mothers and wives, stepped into the streets breaching cultural traditions to grieve and demand answers. Today in Kashmir, the political climate remains unsettled as relations between India and Pakistan rapidly deteriorate. Half a million troops saturate the region, carrying out with impunity summary executions, custodial killings, torture, disappearances, and arbitrary detentions. Border crossings and shelling by both Pakistani and Indian troops have resulted in the worst bouts of violence since a 2003 cease-fire. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda is demanding the Indian-controlled region be liberated from what they call infidels. As the harsh winter months unfold, packs of wild dogs run rampant in the capital, one of many indications of steadily deteriorating local governance.

In this Political Salon, Kashmiri Ather Zia will report on her recent year on the ground researching human rights, militarization, and the nearly 10,000 cases of politically-motivated disappearances in Kashmir. Together with Kalpana Raina, she offers insights on the region's future through the lenses of gender, loss, memorialization, and representation.
photo courtesy of Yawar Nazir

About the Speakers

Ather Zia, a native of Kashmir, is a published journalist, activist, poet, essayist, as well as a former civil servant in Kashmir. Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Convergence Journal, Blazevox, Cerebrations, and others. She is a blogger for The Mantle where she writes the "Kashmiri Musing" column and is the editor of the online magazine, Kashmir Lit. Ather is currently finishing her dissertation in anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.

Kalpana Raina is a managing partner of 252 Solutions, LLC and sits on the World Policy Institute Board of Directors.  Previously, Ms. Raina was a senior executive with The Bank of New York; prior to that she served in Mumbai as the bank’s Executive Vice President, International. Ms. Raina has served as a director of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. since September 2009, and as a director of Information Services Group, Inc. She is a member of Women Corporate Directors and The National Association of Corporate Directors, and a past member of The US-India Business Council.

About the Sponsors

The Political Salon - organized by Steve Sokol since 2003 to promote dialogue among the next generation of leaders in business, policy, and the media - regularly convenes a diverse group of mid-career professionals to discuss a range of foreign policy issues and global affairs. Attendees are diverse in terms of nationality, profession, and political persuasion. The World Policy Institute has been formally hosting the Political Salon since July 2010.

The World Policy Institute is a non-partisan center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers, and solutions. World Policy fellows, events, policy development and media outreach, alongside our flagship World Policy Journal, provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate in support of a sustainable market economy, effective governance, and broadened security strategies.

The Mantle provides a forum for the next generation of leaders to be heard—a space for opinions that are different from those found in traditional, established outlets. The Mantle encourages emerging voices from around the world to participate in the shaping of social and political discourse. With increasing interconnectedness brought on by the forces of globalization, we believe it is imperative everyone be given a chance to shape social, economic, artistic, and political discourses.

With special thanks the Heinrich Böll Foundation for supporting the Political Salon.


[Image courtesy of Yawar Nazir]



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