Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and UN failure

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India has been resorting to the worst state terrorism for the last over seventy-four years to continue its illegal hold on Jammu and Kashmir. It has given its troops, police and paramilitary personnel unhindered powers to commit atrocities on the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to quell their struggle for seeking their United Nations-recognised right to self-determination. Indian forces’ personnel enjoying unbridled powers and impunity under draconian laws are committing grave human rights violations – in fact crimes against humanity – in the occupied territory to intimidate the Kashmiris into submission. The most deplorable aspect of the matter is that the international community has acted as a mere spectator all through these years and failed to fulfill its responsibilities and commitments regarding the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. Unfortunately, the United Nations Security Council had adopted several resolutions on the Kashmir dispute but has not been able to implement them despite the passage of several decades.

One such resolution passed by the UNSC on 05 January 1949 holds enormous importance as it states that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir either to India or Pakistan will be decided by the Kashmiri people through the exercise of their right to self-determination in a free and impartial plebiscite held under the supervision of the World Body. Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observe the Right to Self-determination Day on 05 January, every year, to remind the world community that the UN resolutions on Kashmir still remain unimplemented.

Since India’s naked invasion of Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October 1947, Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism have martyred over 400,000 Kashmiris’ for resisting its illegal occupation of their homeland. According to the Kashmir Media Service data, Indian troops martyred 95,948 Kashmiris, including 7,225 in custody, since January 1989 till December 31, 2021. These killings rendered 22,940 women widowed and 107,857 children orphaned. The troops arrested 164,078 people, destroyed 110,451 houses and other structures and molested 11,246 women during the period. As per the data, the troops martyred 210 innocent Kashmiris including five women during the year 2021 and 31 of them in the month of December 2021 alone. Since 05 August 2019, when the Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government revoked the special status of IIOJK, the troops have martyred 515 Kashmiris.

India, which had promised before the world community to give the Kashmiris their right to self-determination when it had taken the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations Security Council on 01 January 1948 after sensing a defeat to its forces at the hands of resilient Kashmiris, has not fulfilled its commitments yet. Instead, it has applied every brutal tactic in IIOJK to force the Kashmiris to give up their just struggle for securing freedom from its subjugation. After strengthening its occupation, India started claiming Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part to mislead the world about the Kashmir dispute and the prevailing grime situation of IIOJK. Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government moved even a step further by repealing the special status of the occupied territory on 05 August 2019, illegally and unconstitutionally annexing it with India and putting it under strict military siege. However, despite exhausting all its resources and using all methods of repression, New Delhi has miserably failed to subdue the freedom sentiment of the Kashmiri people and they are committed to take their ongoing freedom movement to its logical conclusion at all costs.

There is no denying the fact that the UN has played an important role in resolving many international disputes like East Timor, Kosovo and Southern Sudan. However, it has never made serious efforts to implement its resolutions regarding the settlement of the Kashmir dispute, resulting in the continued sufferings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The criminal silence maintained by the international community and the UN has given a sense of impunity to New Delhi to continue with its brutal actions in IIOJK and in this way, they are also responsible for all death and destruction in the occupied territory.

The UN must take practical steps to force India to resolve the Kashmir dispute by giving the people of Jammu and Kashmir an opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination. The World Body must fulfill its obligations without any further delay to save the south Asian region from the dangers posed by the nefarious policies of the fascist Modi regime.

(The writer is a freelance journalist based in Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected])

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