Reticent UN on right to self-determination

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5th January has special significance which relates to Right to Self-Determination, peace, justice, respect and human dignity of Kashmiris of which they have been deprived for the past more than seven decades. Every year on this day, international community, especially the United Nations Security Council is reminded/prayed to fulfil their commitment/obligations of ensuring Right to Self-Determination to Kashmiris through free, fair and impartial plebiscite, under the auspices of United Nations, as envisaged in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir. It will not be out of context to say that the right to self-determination is a most fundamental human right, from which all other rights flow and demanding this is not as in or unlawful demand because many countries in the world had struggled and achieved it. Most relevant is that the Indian God Father Mr. Gandhi had also struggled for this which culminated at the independence but it is very sad that this right has been denied to Kashmiris for many years by India (Bharat).

The UN resolution was adopted at the meeting of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) on 5 January, 1949. (Document No.5/1196 para-15, dated 10th January, 1949). The UNCIP had received from the Governments of India and Pakistan in Communications, dated December 23 and December 25, 1948, respectively their acceptance of the following principles which are supplementary to the Commission’s Resolution of August 13, 1948; 1. The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite; 2. A plebiscite will be held when it shall be found by the Commission that the cease-fire and truce arrangements set forth in Parts I and II of the Commission’s resolution of 13 August 1948, have been carried out and arrangements for the plebiscite have been completed; 3. (a) The Secretary-General of the United Nations will, in agreement with the Commission, nominate a Plebiscite Administrator who shall be a personality of high international standing and commanding general confidence. He will be formally appointed to office by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. (b) The Plebiscite Administrator shall derive from the State of Jammu and Kashmir the powers he considers necessary for organizing and conducting the plebiscite and for ensuring the freedom and impartiality of the plebiscite. (c) The Plebiscite Administrator shall have authority to appoint such staff or assistants and observers as he may require. The UNCIP unanimously adopted this Resolution on 5-1-1949. Members of the Commission: Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Czechoslovakia and U.S.A.

Kashmiris are waiting for compliance of UN resolutions for over seven decades with tears of blood but contrary to this, they are maltreated, harassed and killed for their legitimate right. Arbitrary powers conferred upon the ‘Bharati’ forces with virtual impunity from any legal action, are a part of deliberate Bharat’s State policy wherein, arbitrary arrests, detentions, extra-judicial killings, killing of innocent civilians, have been used as a weapon of war. The motive behind these crimes against humanity is to force the Kashmiri people to abandon their struggle for fundamental right of self-determination and there is no worthwhile check upon them to stop this genocide.

There is no court to provide justice to the oppressed Kashmiris as the judiciary is also functioning under great strain in Jammu and Kashmir. Reports from credible sources reveal that judges are reluctant to challenge the actions of the security forces, (just recently, upholding the decision of the Modi Government by the Supreme Court to strip the occupied Jammu & Kashmir of special status is a glaring case in point).

The oppressed Kashmiris see the blue helmeted officers on their soil who are performing as part of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), with the ray of hope that their case is alive and one day they will see the dawn of the Independence but hardly a step forward is seen in this regard rather situation is worsening day by day as Bharat is adamant rather showing her teeth to the UN not to respect UN resolutions on Kashmir. During the military service along the LoC, while accompanying UN Military Observers, I had personally observed the Bharti forces disrespecting the flag bearer ‘UN Military Observers’ while carrying out their mission on our side near the LoC to the extent that warning shots were fired upon them by Bharti forces, warning them not to come closer to LoC.

The promoter of the Hindutva philosophy, Prime Minister Modi, has surpassed all his predecessors by annulling the special status of the region and making it part of the Indian Union unilaterally on August 5, 2019. With this ever worst kind of illegal and unilateral action of 5 August 2019; Bharat is engineering demographic and political changes in occupied Kashmir to convert Kashmiris into a disempowered minority in their own homeland.

Whereas, the fact remains that Kashmir case, on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council, is set out in accordance with established rules and regulations which neither can be changed without consensus nor a member state cannot change the agenda unilaterally. With the dawn of New Year, UNSC and world community is requested to take cognizance of the situation and mitigate the sufferings of oppressed Kashmiris so as to make the year 2024 as peaceful, which is only possible through implementation of the UN Resolution of 5th January 1949 in its true spirit.

(The author, Major R Muhammad Mahmood Khan, from Ghaziabad, AJK, sporadically shares his insights and contributions with the Pakistan’s national press.)

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