Zehra refuses to dilute Kashmir-centric book, walks out of contract

Pakistan based journalist and writer Nasim Zehra has walked out of the contract with Kolkatta-based Rupa publications after the publisher asked her to change certain words related to Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir in her book of the Kashmir issue
An official in Rupa publications, pleading anonymity, confirmed to Rising Kashmir that Zehra had walked out of the contract even though her manuscript had gone for initial editing.
He said after having detailed discussions with the publishing house regarding the inclusion of words ‘Indian Occupied/Held Kashmir’ and ‘Azad Kashmir’ in her book, the publishing house informed Zehra that she needs to dilute the words and replace them with Indian administered Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir.
Not relenting to the change of terminology demand of the publisher, the famed Pakistani journalist and writer decided to walk out.
“She told us that she had already discussed the terminology of the book with us and couldn’t change it now,” the official said adding, “She (Zehra) then informed us that she is walking out if the issue is dragged on by the publishing house.”
Interestingly, the Commissioning Editor of Rupa publications had informed Zehra that they need to have her approval for diluting the terms before her manuscript is set for copy editing.
As per sources in the publication house, the writer was informed that as discussed earlier certain terms need to be changed or diluted.
However, the last minute demand for change in terminology by the publishing house seems to have not gone down well with the writer, who informed the publisher that the changes in terminology weren’t acceptable to her.
Along with the changes in terms “Indian Occupied Kashmir” and “Azad Kashmir”, the writer was also asked to give her approval for changing some other terms in the manuscript.
Earlier this year, Zehra released a book on the 1999 Kargil war titled, “From Kargil to the coup: Events that shook Pakistan”. The book is an in-depth record of events from April till August 1999, called Kargil and are spread in many memoirs, newspaper reports and interviews.
Zehra has been a member of Pakistan President’s National Kashmir Committee in early 2000s.
She has studied business at the Quaid-e-Azam University and diplomacy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Zehra served as Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in 2006, and later at the Quaid-e-Azam University in 2010.
In 2005, Zehra was appointed as Pakistan President’s Special Envoy on UN Reforms. Zehra has also been on the President’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Policy and National Security.
She joined Pakistan TV channel Dunya News in November 2008 as an anchor and hosted Policy Matters until February 2013.

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