The inhuman humanity
Courtesy: MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF
Attention global humanitarians: this is not just a territorial dispute
What goes on in Kashmir with the acquiescence and criminal tolerance of the so-called civilised world, never tiring of espousing the cause of human rights and human liberties whenever dictated by political expediencies and their own interests, rightly earns them the epithet of inhumane humanity. What a shame that the self-styled champions of human causes, remain unmoved by the spilling of the blood of the people of Kashmir and the never ending orgy of rapes and violation of human rights by the Indian security forces. According to reports compiled by international human rights organisations the Indian security forces in Kashmir have killed nearly 94 thousand Kashmiris during the last 26 years, raped more than ten thousand women and killed more than seven thousand persons while in custody, under the protection of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, particularly section 7 of the Act, which grants immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for human rights violations.
The UN and the international community fail to realise that by remaining indifferent to the plight of the people of Kashmir and allowing the unabated oppression by the Indian security forces, they are actually contributing to destroying the prospects of peace and security in South Asia which has the potential to endanger the global peace as well as undermining their strategic and political interests in the region. The people of Kashmir have established beyond any iota of doubt that neither the Indian atrocities nor the apathy of the world community can dampen their spirit and the innate desire to decide their fate in line with the UN resolutions. The Kashmir dispute is not about territory but the inalienable right of self-determination and no matter whatever methods and modes of persecution are applied by India, the movement for freedom cannot be suppressed and people of Kashmir kept under subjugation for an indefinite period of time. History bears testimony to this fact.
The Indian stance about Kashmir being its integral part is absolutely wrong. Perhaps a cursory glance at the status of the Kashmir dispute is warranted to make it clear. The Independence Act granted the right to the princely states to join either Pakistan or India. They were, however, advised to keep the geographical proximity and demographic realities in view while deciding the accession. The much trumpeted instrument of accession by the Raja was also provisional. Lord Mountbatten wrote to the Maharaja in October 1947, accepting the accession (provisionally), and making it clear that the state would only be incorporated into the Indian Union after a reference had been made to the people of Kashmir.
In regards to the UN resolution on Kashmir it is relevant to point out that in the wake of the war that broke out between the two countries after the landing of Indian forces in Kashmir, it was India that took the matter to the United Nations, which facilitated an immediate ceasefire. The UN, during the course of its deliberations on the subject, passed twenty three resolutions, including two UNICEP resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5thJanuary 1949 calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir under the auspices of United Nations. It is quite evident that like the supposed instrument of accession and the partition plan, the UN resolutions also vividly recognised the right of the people to decide their own future through a process of self-determination. It is also pertinent to mention that the UN through its resolutions 91 and 122 also repudiated Indian stance that the issue of accession of Kashmir had been resolved by the constituent assembly of Kashmir. These resolutions reiterated that the question of accession could not be resolved by any means other than enunciated in the UN resolutions on the subject. This proves beyond any doubt that the Indian claims of Kashmir being an integral part of India represents travesty of the facts and lack any legal basis.
In the wake of 1971 war between India and Pakistan, Simla Agreement was signed and clause 6 of the agreement emphasised the resolution of all disputes between the two countries including Kashmir through peaceful means, bilaterally. The very fact that India acknowledged Kashmir as a disputed territory in Simla Agreement, belied its claims of Kashmir being its integral part. But unfortunately the Indians have never shown honesty of purpose in resolving this issue and have used varying tactics to suspend or scupper the process of dialogue. It has always remained evasive on the core issue of Kashmir. The Indians also claim that in view of the Simla Agreement, Pakistan cannot internationalize the Kashmir dispute. That stance is also devoid of any legality. Article 103 of UN Charter says ” In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the UN under the present charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present charter will prevail” What it means is that the UN resolutions on Kashmir will take precedence over all other international agreements on the same issue.
Pakistan has been making positive overtures towards India under the stewardship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for revival of the suspending dialogue. Addressing the UN General Assembly the Prime Minister also presented a four-point formula as a way forward in resolving disputes between the two countries. But India out right rejected it, and remains adamant as ever to accept the realities. The Modi government has even been trying to change the demographic milieu of the valley. The current spate of killings and atrocities in Kashmir clearly constitute an affront to the conscience of the world community and the UN. Indian behavior to act as a war-like state is ultimately going harm India more than anyone else. The sooner the Indian leadership realises this, the better for India, Pakistan and the people of the region. The current uprising in Kashmir is a wake-up call for the UN and comity of nations to come out of their self-imposed slumber and inhumane attitude towards the people of Kashmir, before it is too late.
The international community and the UN need to look at the situation realistically and fulfill their obligations towards the people of Kashmir. The only way to stop India from human rights violations in Kashmir and atrocities against its people is to have the issue resolved amicably either through dialogue between the two countries facilitated by the word powers like USA or through the implementation of UN resolutions. For Pakistan Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub-continent. For Kashmiris it is about their right of self-determination. Both cannot afford to withdraw from their taken and recognised positions.