Monday June 17, 2024

India guilty of violating UN Resolutions on Kashmir

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
October 13, 2019

The struggle of the people of Kashmir for freedom has to be regarded as a long human fight for right to self-determination backed by majority of the members of the United Nations Organization.

The state is larger in size than 96 independent states of the world with its area of 85,000 miles, nearly 2/3rd of which is under the occupation of India.

As a matter of fact, Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory within the meaning of international law. Its future status was yet to be determined when Indian forces invaded the territory on October 27, 1947, and obtained temporary accession of the state from its autocratic ruler while, at the same time, promising the Kashmiri people and the UNO that the future status of the territory would be determined by its people. The commitments in this regard incorporated subsequently into the UNO resolutions of August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949 , stipulate that the future status of the state shall be decided through a free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the world body. Around seven decades have passed but the promise has not been fulfilled.

That’s why the demand today gaining momentum is that the international community, in general, and the UNO , in particular, should use all their moral, economic and diplomatic influence in order to stop forthwith what the human rights activists across the globe say the massacre of the innocent Kashmiri people, including the youth; ensure a speedy withdrawal of more than nine million Indian occupation forces from the territory; induct the UNO Plebiscite Administrator; and secure the earliest exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Kashmir within the terms of the UNO resolutions.

Pakistan actively supports the cause of the Jammu and Kashmir masses on moral, diplomatic and political grounds. There’s wisdom if anybody says that Pakistan , India and Kashmiris should be ready to discuss the issue of Kashmir with an open mind, which can lead to its negotiated peaceful resolution. This point was emphasised at the Round-Table Kashmir Conference (RTKC) held in July 2003 in Washington . The charge d’affaires of the Pakistan embassy, in his remarks, had told the conference that there should be no preconditions to holding of negotiations, and talks should be meaningful and result-oriented, with a determination to resolve the long pending dispute. If there’s lack of political will, or there are preconditions, the dialogue process would only prove to be a non-starter. One can recall his words: “we’re here discussing a serious problem which has hindered normalisation and led to high tempers and tension in South Asia for more than half a century.” He had rightly pointed out that as students of politics the participants knew “change is but a reality,” and status quo or stagnancy is alien to nature’s rule of change, while politics is defined as an art of the possible.

Most relevant to the situation today is an incident of the year the RTKC was held in Washington . A 22-year-old Japanese student tried to commit suicide in the strife-torn occupied Kashmir because it did not match with what he had seen in travel brochures. “This is not the Kashmir I’ve known and read about. I was hurt,” were the words of the youth who said he was depressed by the ominous presence of gun-totting Indian army personnel and the absence of happy people. Koichiro Takata, an ophthalmology student, went crazy as he walked for nine kilometres from Srinagar city airport, and was anxiously thinking about all the police guards around him. He stabbed himself several times with a pair of scissors. “I was afraid and went crazy after seeing so many gun-totting men in the city. I thought my safety is in question and the gunmen will kill me instantaneously,” Takata told newsmen.

This incident, which took place in March 2003, explains turning of a heaven into hell and the height of tyranny to its people who have been refrained by India from exercising their right to self-determination. The situation has not changed in any way over the years. The strength of the armed force, around half a million across the occupied Kashmir in 1990, has reportedly increased 80 per cent to terrorise and torture men, women and children who struggle for freedom. The Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir , contagious to Pakistan , should have formed an integral part of Pakistan , as envisaged in the partition plan of June 3, 1947 , and the Indian Independence Act of July 18, 1947 .

In his address to the Chamber of Princes on July 25, 1947, the last British Governor-General and Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, in his capacity as the Crown Representative, had impressed upon the rulers of the states that “you cannot run away from the Dominion Government which is your neighbour any more than you can run away from the subjects for whose welfare you are responsible.”

But India, under a Congress-Mountbatten-J&K ruler Maharaja Hari Singh conspiracy, on the pretext of the so-called Instrument of Accession secured through fraud and violence, entered its forces in the state on October 27, 1947, committing naked armed aggression against its people who had already risen against the despotic Hindu-Dogra rule and established Azad J&K Government on October 24, 1947. While accepting the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, executed by the fugitive ruler Hari Singh but not validated by the United Nations Security Council, Lord Mountbatten had clarified that “consistently with the policy that, in case of any state where the accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state, it is my government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir…the question of state’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”

There’s no denying the fact that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as Governor-General, had ordered the then commander-in-chief to take prompt measures to repulse the aggressive advance of the Indian army to what is now occupied Kashmir . But the Quaid’s directive was held in abeyance and a wrong picture presented to him. In short, it was denial of the right to self-determination by India , despite its repeated acceptance and guaranteed by the UN that the people of J&K forcibly occupied by India rose in revolt and are still fighting to bring an end to its brutal domination in Kashmir . India has committed atrocities and breached human rights on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world.

So far, close to 95,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives, thousands of schoolchildren have been burnt alive and more than 80,000 Kashmiris, especially the youth, have been martyred. This is besides 89,000 killings, destruction of 104,751houses and shops, and molestation of 9,532 women. There’s no let-up in arrests of youths in Indian-occupied J&K in an atmosphere of terror.

The UN secretary-general Ban ki Moon was morally bound to heed the demand of the people of held Kashmir to help resolve the matter in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council. Why the active members of the world body dominated by Western wrestlers, especially the US and the UK, are shutting their eyes to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris prevented by India from exercising their universally recognised right to self-determination?