Though every day brings miseries to the lives of innocent Kashmiris in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), but 27th October is observed and remembered when India on the very same day in 1947, landed its troops in Srinagar in complete disregard to the aspirations of Kashmiris and against the international norms. Since then, the ethnic cleansing, through unending brutal tactics continue to rage on. Kashmir being the oldest and unresolved global conflict presents a daunting challenge not only to the regional but global peace and security as well which puts a big question mark on sincerity, effectiveness and efficacy of United Nations.
It could be easily recalled that the actual Kashmir conflict began in 1846 when the historic state of Jammu and Kashmir was illegally, immorally and inhumanely sold to a non-Kashmiri Dogra family for their services to the British Empire. Since then, the Kashmiris have been longing for their birth right of self-determination as their rightful aspirations were crushed with the irregular, grotesque, and illegal ascension, by Maharaja Hari Singh, who being a foreign ruler had not no consent whatsoever of the people of Jammu and Kashmir – as claimed by India. Then came the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian troops on October 27, 1947 which in history is marked as Black Day of occupation a clear inscription of the beginning of the most insidious and recent manifestation.
After the lapse of British Paramountcy on August 15, 1947, the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir obtained independence.
As per the international law as understood by all the three major forces in the Indian sub-continent – Great Britain, The Muslim League and the Indian National Congress – the sovereignty in Kashmir was passed on to its people and not its Maharaja alone.
Gandhi, Nehru and Patel had separately coaxed and coerced Maharaja Hari Singh to sign a letter of accession under duress. On the pretext of the so-called invasion of Kashmir by tribals from the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, India rushed its troops into Jammu and Kashmir.
As a matter of fact it was between August and October 1947, the people of the area now call Azad Jammu and Kashmir had already fought the Dogra army and liberated the territory, comprising more than 13,000 square kilometers. In the meantime, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan also got their territory liberated from Dogra rule in November 1947.
In fact, after the announcement of independence, the people of Kashmir revolted against the autocratic rule of Maharaja, who in order to save his rule sought assistance from the Indian government on October 26, 1947 through a so-called Instrument of Accession which is still a challengeable document.
British author, Alistair Lamb termed the Instrument of Accession signed between Maharaja Hari Singh and Indian government as bogus as the Donation of Constantine or the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. No one has ever seen the original, and no plausible explanation has ever been given by the Indian government for a disappearance provided an original ever existed.
The Kashmiris are constantly reminded of the United Nations resolution No 47, adopted on April 21, 1948 that states, “the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory,” as negotiated by United Nations both India and Pakistan agreed upon this resolution which was later accepted by the United Nations Security Council as well.
Well before the United Nations resolution No 47 was adopted on April 21, 1948, it was on January 24, 1948 when the US Ambassador to the UN Warren Austin said, “…When India accepted the accession of Kashmir, it made its act stand for a great principle by stating as a part of the acceptance, that it was conditional on fair plebiscite being held to determine the will of the people of Kashmir with respect to accession. I think an example was made in history at that point.”
If India had any delusions that people of Kashmir may accept accession with India then the time soon after the partition of sub-continent then it proved wrong. And soon after realizing this reality, India contrived one excuse after another to delay the plebiscite. India even nixed all the efforts of United Nations which proposed a reference to the World Court, arbitration or any other method of resolving minor demilitarization quarrels between India and Pakistan. Few years later, India dropped the facade of acceding to a plebiscite by unilaterally proclaiming its annexation of Kashmir, a step which has never been accepted by United Nations. Till date Kashmir continues to remain as a disputed territory in the annals of United Nations which clearly state that the future of the former princely state is to be determined by its people.
British Prime Minister Clement Richard Atlee was proven wrong by the history who on November 7, 1947 had said, “…he (Pandit Nehru) undertook that the will of the people should be ascertained, and he proposed that this should be done under the authority and supervision of the United Nations…I can’t believe that Mr. Nehru’s pledges have the sinister implications.”
Bertrand Russell in 1964 also exposed India’s creepy designs by saying, “The high idealism of the Indian government in international matters breaks down completely when confronted with the question of Kashmir.”
A new challenge that confronts us today is that a new generation of Kashmiris is raised with tears and blood and this generation no longer fears death as they believe what can the death do to them when the life has already done with them. They are fearless.
After struggling for almost seven decades the territory of the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir was once again invaded by Indian forces on August 5, 2019. The aggressive and aggravating actions taken by India before and after August 5 are reminiscent of the first occupation of a part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian Armed Forces on October 27, 1947.
It is high time United Nations Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres brings the situation in Kashmir to the attention of the Security Council under the provision of the Article 99 of the United Nations Charter. because the south Asian region is home to three nuclear powers who have been eyeball to eyeball for many years and many incidents like May 5, 2020 clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Pangong Lake in Ladakh and Galwan River valley prove the threat to the region as well as the whole world. The Article 99 authorizes the Secretary General to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”. If not now, then when can Article 99 be invoked to bring peace and stability to the region of South Asia.
I would like to call attention of the UN Secretary General to what Mr. Gross, the US Ambassador to the UN said in the Security Council on December 5, 1952. Mr Gross had said, “We feel that it is the role of the Security Council to assist the parties in seeking to reach agreement.”
The time is ripe for solution of the Kashmir issue after unending miseries of past over seven and half decades. There is no time for temporizing or complacency because the chilling suffering and misery of the Kashmiri people continues every day a peaceful resolution is deferred by champions of global peace.
(The writer is a senior journalist based in Islamabad)
Disclaimer: India continues to make Kashmiris’ life a misery ever since Oct 27, 1947 - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view