The President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, during the 12th Convocation of International Islamic University, Islamabad, conferred upon Dr Awais Bin Wasi a doctoral degree in English Literature for conducting a pioneering work on Post-1989 Anglophone Kashmiri Literature, produced by Indigenous Kashmiri writers in the backdrop of post-1989 milieu when a full-blown mass uprising erupted in the valley.
Given the paucity of literature on Kashmir issue with an indigenous perspective, the study holds tremendous significance for introducing the indigenous Kashmiris voices at the global literary landscape.
The researcher in his study has conducted a compelling critique of key creative works set against the backdrop of post-1989 milieu and authored by indigenous Kashmiri writers, including The Country Without a Post Office and Rooms are Never Finished by noted American-Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali, The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed, Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer and Prisoner No. 100: An Account of My Nights and Days in an Indian Prison by Zumurda Habib.
Dr Wasi tries to establish in his study as to how each of this work challenges the Indian narrative on Jammu and Kashmir by re-scripting history and showcasing local stories that have hitherto been ignored in the historical record. What is particularly compelling is Dr Wasi brings politico-historical and literary criticism together to contextualize each of these works within locally situated times, places and events which affords a greater understanding about the conflict’s everyday effects on local Kashmiris.
The most significant aspect of the study is, it, like other genres of literature such as Partition Literature, 9/11 fiction, Dalit Literature, Testimonio etc., has brought to fore the Post-1989 Anglophone Kashmiri Literature to the attention of global literary and artistic landscape.