The author is the Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, based in the United States.
âThe Kashmiris are not enemies of India and have no grudges against its people. We want a strong India and Pakistan and this is only possible when the Kashmir issue is resolved to pave the way for peace, prosperity and development in the region. Syed Ali Geelani, veteran leader of Jammu and Kashmir.
âIt is never too late to defend the right to self-determination and the UN jurisprudence on Kashmir. Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, President, JKCHR.
On Republic Day of India, the people of Jammu and Kashmir extend their warm congratulations to the people of India. It is on January 26 that India celebrates its Republic Day to honor the date of entry into force of the Indian Constitution.
Kashmiris, however, deeply regret the betrayal of the Indian government – not the Indian people – of its noble ideals in Kashmir, which marked its entry into the family of nations after long years of British rule: rights violations, disregard for the international law and binding United Nations Security Council resolutions on self-determination
The Kashmir issue is one of the oldest unresolved international issues on the agenda of the UN Security Council. The situation in Kashmir has certain characteristics that distinguish it from all other deplorable human rights situations in the world.
1. It prevails in what is recognized – in international law – as disputed territory. According to the international agreements between India and Pakistan, negotiated by the UN and approved by the Security Council, the status of the territory must be determined by the free vote of its people under the supervision of the UN.
2. It represents the repression of the government, not of a secessionist or separatist movement, but of an uprising against the foreign occupation – an occupation which was to end according to the decisions taken by the UN. Kashmiris are not and cannot be called separatists because they cannot secede from a country they never joined in the first place.
3. It was met with recklessness studied by the UN. This gave India a feeling of total impunity. It has also created the impression that the UN is underhandedly selective in the application of the principles of human rights and democracy. There is a stark contrast between the outcry over the massacres in some areas, on the one hand, and the official silence (with a few faint whispers of disapproval) on the murder and mayhem of many many on the other. largest number of civilians in Kashmir. and the systematic violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention. This is not simply a case of passivity and inaction; in practical terms, this amounts to encouraging and encouraging murderous tyranny. If tyranny is not tolerated on the territory of a UN member state, is there not a greater reason for it to occur when the territory is a territory whose disposition must be determined by a free and fair vote under the impartial auspices of the world organization?
4. It is a paradoxical case where the UN is disabled and rendered incapable of dealing with a situation to which it has devoted several resolutions and in which it has established a presence, but with a limited mandate. The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is one of the oldest UN peacekeeping operations; the force is stationed in Kashmir to observe the ceasefire between India and Pakistan.
5. Kashmir is the only international dispute in which a solution to the conflict – the right to self-determination – has been suggested by the parties themselves, India and Pakistan. Mahatma Gandhi said: âIf the people of Kashmir are in favor of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them. But they should be left free to decide for themselves.
6. Kashmir is the only region that shares its borders with three nuclear powers in the world: India, Pakistan and China. The potential for nuclear war has always existed between India and Pakistan, now because of the Chinese element, that potential is now real. The uncertainty over Kashmir will not only lead India and Pakistan to disaster, but will also destroy any possibility of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.
All these peculiarities of the situation in Kashmir are becoming more and more disconcerting since the mediation initiative that would put an end to human rights violations and pave the way for a solution would not involve any deployment of UN forces, no financial expense and no conflicting relationship with India.
In this context, the following considerations are most relevant for an assessment of the dispute by the world powers.
When the Kashmir conflict erupted in 1947-1948, the UN, Britain, China, France, Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia defended the position that the future status of Kashmir must be decided in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people. of the territory. The United States was the main sponsor of Resolution 47, adopted by the Security Council on April 21, 1948, and based on this unchallenged principle. The basic formula for the settlement was incorporated into the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) on August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949.
They are not resolutions in the ordinary sense of the word. Their provisions were negotiated in detail by the United Nations Commission with India and Pakistan, and it was only after the consent of the two governments was explicitly obtained that they were approved by the Security Council. . They thus constitute a binding and solemn international agreement on the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
We are appalled by the lack of action by the world powers to help stop the carnage in Kashmir and their near indifference to the situation in our country. The disparity between their inaction and the repeated assertion that the protection of human rights and the encouragement of democratic solutions are their main foreign policy objectives is difficult for us to understand. Nevertheless, we are still confident that they will understand that what is at stake in the dispute is not only the survival of the people of Kashmir, but also peace in the populated region of South Asia and the basis of a view of the civilized world.
Currently, the policies of the world powers have led the Indian government to believe that it only takes political maneuvering to allay international concerns about the appalling situation in Kashmir. Dr Syed Nazir Gilani said best: âWe should bring down the skies and the roof of the United Nations, alert our friends all over the world, stress that the notification on 35A was a serious violation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir, a violation of the agreement between the Indian government and the people of Kashmir and a violation of the agreements between India and Pakistan.
The Trump administration initially showed some concern at least over the savagery of the Indian occupation in Kashmir. However, after the Howdy Modi event, which was jointly attended by Prime Minister Modi and former President Trump, there appears to have been a tilt towards India. It is plausible that the tilt was caused by the prospect of profitable US investments in this great country.
As Americans, we appreciate the importance of expanding economic relations between the United States and India, but who knows better than newly elected President Joseph Biden as a global diplomat that American investments in India will remain. exposed to grave danger as long as the South Asian subcontinent remains a scene of continuing conflict, with the specter of war still looming and nuclear exchange not an impossibility.
Even from a purely economic point of view, if not for the sake of peace, genuine democracy and respect for human rights, the restoration of normalcy in South Asia deserves to be a political objective for the sole superpower of the United States. world – the United States. With the Kashmir dispute being the main cause of conflict, its marginalization can hardly serve American interests in the long run.
Without reservation, it can be said that if anyone plays a role in resolving the Kashmir dispute – the bone of contention between the two very potentially dangerous countries – they not only deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, but also a special place. in history.
Resolving the dispute will bring unparalleled honor to whoever helps make it happen. This honor could be returned to President Biden if he becomes involved in the resolution of the Kashmir conflict. Its involvement should not be seen as favoring India or Pakistan, but as advancing the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights.
Biden, during his election campaign, said: “In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary measures to restore the rights of all the people of Kashmir.” And Vice President Kamala Harris went further: âWe must remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. We keep reminding the Biden administration that after all, a promise is a promise.
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Anadolu Agency.
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