About the Lecture
The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Conflict is seventy years old. However, its current context goes back to 1989 when a proxy hybrid conflict was initiated to wrest the state from India. Initially considered essentially political in nature it witnessed a subtle transformation with infiltration of ideological and religious overtones over the last twenty eight years. This has challenged India’s plural and secular character and seen violent extremism with employment of other hybrid characteristics. This talk focuses on the backdrop, application of theories of conflict to the evolving situation over twenty eight years, the effect of worldwide extremist trends, India’s efforts at countering this in multiple domains and the potential of it triggering a larger conflagration in South Asia. The geopolitical aspects of the situation in the Kashmir Valley especially after the ideological turn and the recent violent incidents of 2016-17 will be discussed in detail with relation to the Global War on Terror and the emergence of radically oriented terror groups in Asia and other parts of the world.
About the Speaker
Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain is one of India’s most decorated military leaders and a second generation officer from the Indian Army. He has retired after serving 40 years. He served in Sri Lanka with the IPKF, in Punjab during the heyday of militancy, the North East India militancy and had seven tenures of duty in Jammu & Kashmir including the Siachen Glacier. He also served with the United Nations forces in Mozambique and Rwanda in 1994-95 during the turbulent years. Among his most prestigious and challenging assignments in the rank of Lt Gen was the appointment of GOC 15 Corps in Kashmir where he initiated a slew of innovative measures in 2010-12 to turn around the situation. His doctrine of balancing what he called soft and hard power and efforts to reach out to the Kashmiri people, while conducting kinetic operations against the terrorists, succeeded in stabilizing the proxy internal conflict.
Post retirement, with his hands on combat experience in Hybrid Warfare he is virtually the voice of the Army in the media, both print and visual. He writes for all major Indian media houses and speaks on various television channels on subjects of his focus, to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central and West Asia, Radical Islam and military and conflict related issues around the world.
He is associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, two of India’s leading think tanks. He was also honored by the Capital Foundation Society of Delhi for his achievements in the field of military leadership. A graduate of St Stephen’s College, Delhi he did his post-graduation in International Studies from Kings College University of London and attended two major long strategic programs at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), London and Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS), Hawaii, US.