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Legally binding


July 13, 2020

Last Wednesday the murder of a grandfather in front of his three-year-old grandson by the Indian security forces and the viral picture of the toddler sitting on the chest of the dead man, was an act of ultimate brutality.

The Indian security forces claimed that the man was killed in a cross-fire between militants and security forces in an unsuccessful attempt. But had the man been killed in the cross-fire he should have been hit while sitting in the car and the car itself would have been riddled with bullets. Nothing of the sort was found on the body of the car. The man, named Bashir Ahmed, was actually pulled out of the car and shot in cold-blood.

The incident is yet another addition to the barbaric killings of Kashmiris since the launch of their freedom struggle in 1989. Mostly unarmed civilians have been the target of wrath of Indian security forces. Bashir was killed in Sopore, which also witnessed the massacre of 53 civilians by the Indian security on January 6, 1993. Amnesty International has said that this was part of a consistent pattern of extrajudicial killings. The latest manifestation of extrajudicial killings by the Indian security forces is the martyrdom of 13 people in separate incidents in a single day on June 2, 2020 using the repeated and unsubstantiated allegations of training and infiltration of Kashmiri resistance fighters to hide their crimes.

The Indian security forces under the cover of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in force in Indian Occupied Kashmir(IO &JK) since 1990 have killed more than 100,000 Kashmiris besides being responsible for 7139 custodial death, arresting 159,450 civilians, destroying 109,462 structures, widowing 22,192 women, rendering orphan 10800 children and raping and gang-raping over 12,000 women. Human rights organizations including Amnesty International have been regularly compiling reports on such incidents and the blatant abuse of human rights lending credibility to inhuman indiscretions of the Indian security forces. The two reports compiled by the Human Rights Commission of the UN also corroborate the horrendous violations of human rights by the Indian security forces.

But regrettably the international community and the UN have remained unmoved by the plight of the people of Kashmir who are fighting for their right of self-determination as enshrined in the UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute. This has not only encouraged India to continue with its killing spree in the valley but also to end the special status of the state and its annexation to the Indian union in defiance of the UN resolutions, UN Conventions and international law. The continuous siege of the valley since August 5 last year has drawn only a muffled reaction from the international community. Nothing substantive has been done to dissuade India.

There is no doubt that the present government has made unprecedented efforts to highlight the Indian atrocities in IO&JK, reminded the world and the UN about its obligations towards the people of Kashmir and sensitized the international community about the dangers lurking on the horizon due to the actions taken by the Indian government and its RSS supremacist ideology. Due to its unrelenting efforts, the issue of Kashmir was twice discussed in the UNSC meeting after a lapse of 50 years. Though nothing was released officially about the deliberations of the Council meeting it was unofficially revealed that the UN body reiterated that the solution of the Kashmir dispute must be found in conformity with the UN Charter and the relevant resolutions. That in a way constituted a triumph for the diplomatic offensive launched by the government. Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to the UN General Assembly and his interaction with think tanks and the media during his visit to the US exhaustively elaborated the cause of the Kashmiris. He also has been lamenting the insensitivity of the international community and lack of action by the UN.

The New York Times in its editorial on August 5, 2019 commenting on the Indian action regarding IOK said: “The Indian government’s decision to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir, accompanied by a huge security clampdown, is dangerous and wrong. Bloodshed is all but certain, and tension with Pakistan will soar”. In yet another editorial on October 2, 2019 referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to nudge the UN into action on the situation, it explained why the UN and the international community remain oblivious to what India is doing in IOK in these words: “Imran Khan was a man on a mission at the United Nations, imploring members last week to persuade India to lift its siege of Kashmir. He may need to keep looking. Resting any hopes on the United Nations seems futile, given the approach it has taken to the dispute in recent decades. The United Nations’ lack of resolve is a sad sign of the dysfunction in international diplomacy as American leadership declines and divisions among world powers grow. President Trump has offered to mediate, but his warm relations with the increasingly autocratic Mr Modi – Mr Trump attended the Houston fan fest – hardly make him an honest broker. Countries are unwilling to risk crossing Mr Modi and losing access to India’s huge market.

“Mr Modi claims his clampdown would resolve that conflict and bring normality and development to Kashmir. But it seems more likely that it will only heighten tensions and make life more miserable for Kashmiris…..”

It is perhaps pertinent to point out that all UNSC resolutions adopted under chapter VI or VII of Article 25 of the UN Charter are legally binding on the concerned parties. The International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion on Namibia in 1971 removed the impression that only the resolutions adopted under chapter VII were legally binding on the parties concerned and those adopted under chapter VI were of recommendatory nature. As such, resolutions on Kashmir adopted under chapter VI are also legally binding. Why they are not being implemented has been best explained by The New York Times.

The writer is a freelance contributor.

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