Writer and researcher Annie Zaman, who divides her time between Lahore and Yangon, was looking forward to participating in a conference at the Ashoka University in Haryana in July 2018, when the plans were scuppered by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. When the University sought clearance for the participants – as all conference organisers are now required to do in India – the Ministry said it would approve all applicants with the exception of those from Pakistan. Researchers and scholars from 56 of the 57 countries were welcome, but not anyone from Pakistan.
The irony is that Zaman was planning to talk about a subject that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has seen fit to raise: Balochistan. So what was Zaman planning to say? Since Zaman cannot travel to India to present her paper, Himal Southasian interviewed her on the subject.