KARACHI: As the country stands in solidarity with Kashmir on Twitter, political figure and social activist Jibran Nasir has launched an initiative that sheds light on an alternative reality for Indian occupied Kashmiris.
His page called ‘Case4Kashmir’ identifies itself as a ‘political movement aimed at mobilizing people globally’. The initiative further hopes to virtually amplify the pressure on India to put an end to the violation of Kashmiris’ rights.
The page’s ongoing campaign called #ImagineKashmir, narrates real life instances of Kashmiris across the border through juxtaposed images of various people.
In a conversation with The Express Tribune, Nasir explained how these images depict the shattered dreams of Kashmiris. “These are real life stories, embedded with links of the articles I found them from. I would have preferred not doing this campaign and simply sharing the work of Kashmiri artists, but sadly their voices have been silenced. No one can hear them and hear from them.”
He added, “They are not only in a physical but a virtual prison, so we have created a virtual means to amplify their sound by telling their stories.”
One side of the photos paint a perfect picture of a possible future with the other showing the harsh present of the mentioned person.
The campaign’s description adds, “Like every other nation, Kashmiris also dream of a normal life where they have democratic and fundamental freedoms to govern themselves and live without constant fear and terror of a foreign occupying force. The concept of a home where they are not ridiculed and dehumanized daily has always eluded them.”
One picture tells the story of a school boy who was shot in his left eye, the left side of his abdomen and his neck in 2018. This boy was depicted in an image juxtaposed against one that showed him as a doctor – portraying what his future could have been had he been alive.
Yet another shows a man who has been deprived of his daily earnings, with one side of the image showing him happily selling clothes while on the flip side, he’s seen holding his ear in sorrow.
One other image shows a happy youngster holding a rubab on one side and holding a gun on the other, quipped with a rather disappointing story. “It was my dream to provide him with higher education. I would constantly urge him to take up medical sciences. Losing a child to militancy is not easy”.
Nasir had initiated a similar campaign in 2016 to prevent the use of pellet guns against civilians in Kashmir. As for this time, he explained how his campaign further aims at ‘sensitising the western audiences’ but increasing ‘relatability’.
“Whenever we see a Kashmiri suffering in a picture, it goes unnoticed because of how desensitised the world has become. There is no shock value left. It’s as if people have accepted that this is how it’s supposed to be.”
Nasir went on to conclude, “I am hoping that when people see this, they are able to relate their own dreams with the Kashmiris’ and estimate the loss. This should be seen as a Pakistani effort that is inclusive of all religions and culture.”