Kashmir Dispute: A Wanted Role of United Nations By Dr Muhammad Khan

Kashmir Dispute: A Wanted Role of United Nations By Dr Muhammad Khan

TOWARDS the end of World War-II, the war victors established the United Nations Organization (UNO) on 24 October 1945. It was anticipated to be a more efficient and responsible international organization compared to the League of Nations for establishing control and to regulate the global affairs for attaining international peace and cooperation. The process of decolonization and right of self-determination are considered to be the symbol of UNO. Owing to decolonization and right of self-determination, many new states came into being and colonized and enslaved communities were freed. India and Pakistan were among those states which decolonized in the initial years after the establishment of UNO. Nevertheless, territorial boundaries of these newly independent states were manipulated in a way to give advantage to India (Baharat) while Pakistan was deprived of its due share of territories, which otherwise could have been its parts, based on Principles of partition.

The Muslim majority Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir was invaded by India on the false claim of Instrument of Accession. In a way, Kashmiris were deprived of their basic right to join their dreamland – the newly-birthed state of Pakistan. It was the first violation of the UNO-mandated right of self-determination by the last Viceroy of India. The people of Kashmir revolted over violation of their right of self-determination and initiated war against Dogra Rule and the invading Indian Army. In response to the Kashmiri revolt and Pakistan’s assistance in Kashmir’s struggle for their rights, India referred the Kashmir case to the United Nations Organization on January 1, 1948.

UNSC immediately asked for the ceasefire and passed resolutions including two UNICIP resolutions for the solution of Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of its subjects. Through its Resolution No. 38, dated January 17, 1948, UNSC called upon India and Pakistan to refrain from exasperating the situation in Jammu and Kashmir by any means. Through another resolution, (R-39), passed on January 20, 1948, UNSC offered assistance for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through a three-members Commission.

The UN is a party to the Kashmir dispute until its rightful resolution in accordance with its Resolutions. On its part, India adopted policies of gradual relegation of Kashmir dispute; its incorporation into Indian Union was accomplished on August 5, 2019 through annexation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as union territories. It is worth mentioning that since the 1990s, India even disallowed the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to visit the Line of Control (LoC) from the Indian side to IIOJK for monitoring the ceasefire violations. It is worth mentioning that UNMOGIP was established in 1948 by the UN Security Council for monitoring the ceasefire line (later called LoC) for reporting any violations of ceasefire by either side.

In the last three decades, India even tried to convince the UN members that UN resolutions over Kashmir are no longer valid, hence need deletion from the record of this world body. Besides, it wanted rolling back the UNMOGIP from both India and Pakistan. India has been refusing any role of UNO by quoting Simla Agreement-1972. In fact, Simla Agreement-1972 did not reject or relegate the UN resolutions nor can this agreement undo the mandate of UNMOGIP and its role. This can only be done through another resolution by the United Nations Security Council.

Kashmir is the oldest unresolved dispute on the agenda of the UN. Whereas, over two dozen UN resolutions are calling for fair and impartial plebiscite for the decision of the dispute, India has resisted their implementation. Many a time, the UN even nominated the plebiscite administrators and aides, but India always acted as a stumbling block to all these efforts. India did this all under the fear that an impartial plebiscite would pave the way for Kashmiris to decide their future away from India. Today, the people of Kashmir question the role and credibility of the UN for not giving them their right of self-determination.

Kashmiris believe that the UN and international community have done nothing about their right of self-determination. With the re-emergence of Kashmiris’ struggle in 1990, UNO and major powers could have acted decisively to break the impasse. However, nothing was done by this world body and civilized international community. Rather, the UNO and international community remained silent over the illegal Indian act of annexation of IIOJK into the Indian Union by relegating the statehood of occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indeed, in the absence of any worthwhile response from UNO, India intensified its reign of terror over Kashmiris, killing those demanding their right of self-determination and incarcerating the popular leaders in order to silence the opposition. In order to do so, India continued enhancing the strength and role of its security forces in IIOJK. Under its prohibited and discriminatory laws, Indian security forces are given sweeping powers to kill Kashmiris at will with total impunity.

Despite over seven decades passing, the people of IIOJK are being killed, tortured, raped and their land is being illegally handed over to non-Kashmiri Hindus from various parts of India following the illegal annexation of August 5, 2019. This all comes under gross violation of human rights, which has to be stopped. Today, the people of Jammu and Kashmir demand from UN that (a) India must stop human rights violations in IIOJK, (b) India must be stopped from making demographic changes in IIOJK, (c) India should be asked to demilitarize IIOJK and (d) Kashmiris should be given their right of self-determination in the light of UNCIP Resolution of 5 January 1949.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Email: drmkedu@gmail.com

views expressed are writer’s own.

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