THE people of India illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been facing the worst kind of Indian state terrorism for challenging its illegal occupation of their soil for more than 73 years. Unfortunately, the international community has failed to fulfill its obligations towards resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. Even the world’s august body, the United Nations Security Council, has not been able to implement its resolutions on Kashmir passed several decades ago.
The UNSC had adopted an important resolution on 05 January 1949, acknowledging the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observe the Right to Self-determination Day on 05 January to remind the world community that the United Nations’ resolutions on Kashmir remain unimplemented even after the passage of more than seven decades.
India had illegally occupied the then Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir against the aspirations of the Kashmiris after landing its troops in Srinagar on 27 October 1947, leading to the creation of the Kashmir dispute. This Indian invasion was in gross violation of the Partition Plan that had resulted in the division of the Indian British Colony into two sovereign states of Pakistan and India in August 1947. India consisted of Hindu majority areas while Pakistan comprised Muslim-majority areas of western provinces and East Bengal. As per the understanding behind the Partition Plan, the then princely states were given the choice to accede either to Pakistan or India. With overwhelming 87% Muslim population, Jammu and Kashmir had natural tendency to accede to Pakistan but that could not happen due to Indian invasion.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir strongly resisted India’s illegal occupation of their soil and they launched a Movement to liberate it from the Indian yoke. Their resilience forced India to seek the help of the world community to settle the Kashmir dispute. Sensing a humiliating defeat to its armed forces, India approached the UNSC on 01 January 1948, seeking its help to resolve the dispute. The World Body in its successive resolutions nullified the Indian invasion and called for settling the dispute peacefully.
A resolution passed by the UNSC on 05 January 1949, is of enormous significance as it states that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir either to India or Pakistan will be decided by the Kashmiri people through the exercise of their right to self-determination in a free and impartial plebiscite held under the supervision of the World Body. India had promised before the world community to settle the Kashmir dispute by allowing the Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination. However, instead of fulfilling its commitment, it is applying every brutal tactic in IIOJK to force the Kashmiris to give up their just struggle for securing freedom from its subjugation. After strengthening its occupation, India started claiming Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part to mislead the world about the Kashmir dispute and the prevailing grime situation of IIOJK. On 05 August 2019, Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government moved even a step further by repealing the special status of the occupied territory, illegally and unconstitutionally annexing it with India and putting it under strict military siege. Since then, the Indian troops have stepped up their state terrorism in IIOJK to intimidate the Kashmiris into submission. However, the worst kind of Indian brutalities have failed to subdue the freedom sentiment of the Kashmiri people and they are committed to take their ongoing freedom movement to its logical conclusion at all costs.
It is a fact that the UN has played an important role in settling many international disputes including East Timor, Kosovo and Southern Sudan. But it has totally failed to discharge its obligations with regard to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute despite the passing of many decades, resulting in the continued sufferings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The criminal silence adopted by the international community and the UN has emboldened New Delhi to continue with its brutal actions in IIOJK.
It is high time for the UN to take practical steps to implement its resolutions for settling the Kashmir dispute according to wishes of the Kashmiri people to save them from the Indian state terrorism and ensure durable peace and stability in South Asia. The World Body must fulfil its responsibility sooner than later to save the region from a catastrophe as the Kashmir dispute involves two nuclear powers – Pakistan and India.
—The writer is a journalist, based in Islamabad.