Canada likes to project itself as a champion of human rights worldwide. How does this self-image measure up to reality?
Let’s look at some critical areas of the world.
Canada has spoken out forcefully against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims as well as in support of Uighurs in China. So far so good.
However, its uncritical support of Israel despite the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation, and its silence over India’s colonization of Kashmir are troubling.
When asked to support the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and call for an end to India’s egregious violations of their human rights, Canadian politicians give a standard answer.
“We raise these issues with Indian officials in private discussions.”
There is also another response. “We are a middle power and do not carry as much weight as some of the big powers.”
True, but then why take on China so publicly including arresting Meng Wenzhou at the behest of the US but no public comment about the well documented abuses of the Kashmiri people under Indian occupation?
This question will be addressed by a stellar lineup of academics, authors and activists in a webinar on October 22.
Hosted by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, the webinar will discuss “Canada’s Silence on India’s Colonization of Kashmir”.
It will offer an overview of the long-standing conflict over Kashmir which India’s current Hindu nationalist government has escalated.
Guest speakers include Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Graduate Director of the Center for Law, Justice and Culture at Ohio University.
She will discuss Human Rights, militarization, impunity and the ongoing siege of Kashmir.
Other panelists include Attorney Imraan Mir, co-founder of the Kashmir Law and Justice Project, Malavika Kasturi, Associate Professor of South Asian History at the University of Toronto, Siddiq Wahid, Scholar-in-Residence at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory at Shiv Nadar University, and Dr Azeezah Kanji, a legal and academic writer.
This panel of experts will explore the history of the conflict in light of international law; human rights situation and issues of impunity; Hindu nationalism project and the colonization of Kashmir; geopolitical perspectives in light of China’s involvement; and accountability and India foreign policy.
Canadian Foreign Policy Institute is a think-tank that has been in the forefront of addressing burning issues bringing Canadian academics onto a common platform to offer perspectives that are often overlooked by policymakers and the mainstream media.
The webinar’s co-hosts are Canadians for Peace and Justice in Kashmir, Just Peace Advocates, Friends of Kashmir Canada, World Beyond War, Canadians Against Oppression and Persecution, Kashmir Scholars Consultative Action Network, Academics Against Hate, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Samidoun Palestine Solidary Prisoner Network, Critical Kashmir Studies, Canadian Palestine Association and a host of others.
Canada’s popular media platform, rabble.ca is the media sponsor of the event.
Kashmir is one of the world’s longest outstanding international conflicts.
Since August 5, 2019, India illegally annexed the territory, downgraded its status, and put the Valley of Kashmir under siege.
The world’s most militarized zone is under a serious threat of demographic change that is aimed at altering the final resolution of the disputed territory.
The organizers invite those interested in participating (no guarantee of acceptance because all spaces may be filled out) to: