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India and Pakistan have forcibly drawn a Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir as they dispute over who should possess the entire territory and population. The erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir has been divided and the right to self-determination has been denied to its people.

While the political conflict between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir gets some attention in international academia, the narratives of pain, suffering and division of people living on and around the LoC are mostly ignored. Based on his research, Dr Syed Waqas Ali will highlight different aspects of the lives of those on the LoC. The focus will be on individual narratives as well as on the collective memory of the affected communities.

This event is open to all students and staff at the University of Westminster, as well as members of the public. Members of the public should email Suzy Robson on [email protected] to attend.

About the speaker

Dr Syed Waqas Ali is the Head of Department of Governance and Public Policy at the National University of Modern Languages in Pakistan. He was awarded a PhD in Governance and Public Policy in 2015. He was a Commonwealth Professional Fellow in 2011, working on gender and peace building.

Dr Ali is an expert in the analysis of political party systems, democratisation and conflict resolution. He has been associated with the Conciliation Resources as well as the Centre for Peace Development and Reforms. He has worked with young people through capacity-building workshops and has offered training in research, dialogue and mediation.

The chair for this event is Dr Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet, economist, and artist. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Follow her on Twitter


This event is based on the Centre for the Study of Democracy's Post-colonial politics, development and emerging powers research theme. In addition to other issues, this investigates how religion, history, territoriality, political economy, militarisation, democratisation and resistance have contributed to a volatile politics that disconnects states and people. The explicit focus is on engagement with communities and impacting upon public debates around these contentious subjects.