Kashmir - The Valley Of Tears

Kashmiri brethren for their inalienable right of self-determination promised to them by the UN in 1948 and 1949.

As a matter of fact, due to the apathy shown by the UN and the big powers India has always refused to implement the UN Security Council resolutions for the last 70 years that gave Kashmiris the right through plebiscite to join India or Pakistan.The US and the West have double standards.Take the case of East Timor, which was carved out of the largest Muslim country of the world. A resolution was passed within months and implemented within weeks.

In 1991, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, once again UN Security Council passed the resolution to punish Iraq, which was implemented immediately because it was in the interest of the US and the West. It does not look like that they will do it because only when public protest fits into the geopolitical designs of the US and the West that they declare it a popular movement and honour it with the award of a `colour label`.The `orange revolution` of Ukraine, the `rose revolution` of Georgia, the `cidar` revolution of Lebanon and much earlier velvet revolution of Czechoslovakia would pale before the Kashmiris` movement for their freedom yet they were given colours by the colour-blind big powers. It has to be mentioned that in none of the above cases there was a UN mandate whereas Kashmiris have been given their inalienable right of self-determination by the UN in 1948 and 5th January 1949.

International community should stop India from perpetrating atrocities on the people of Kashmir and also understand the gravity of the situation, as this conflict has the potential to big conflagration that could adversely impact the region and beyond. Historical evidence suggests that Kashmiris have passed through the longest ordeal and faced death and destruction. They had faced repression even before the partition when the British had sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh, a former governor of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, for 7.5 million rupees. Once again at the time of partition when people of Kashmir had dreamed of freedom from oppression, India accepted Lord Mountbatten as the first Governor General of India with a view to exacting undue favours from the `friend`.

The plan of annexing Kashmir was contrived and implemented by Lord Mountbatten and Nehru when Raja Hari Singh was coerced into signing the controversial document. According to another report, a fake document of annexation was prepared by them, and it was on the basis of this document that Endian forces entered the Valley and annexed Kashmir. It is an irrefutable fact that on 19th July 1947, Muslim Conference organised a convention and passed a resolution for merging with Pakistan, which stated: "This convention of Muslim Conference has reached the conclusion that geographical conditions, 80 per cent Muslim population, important rivers of Punjab passing through the state, language, cultural, ethnic and economic relations and contiguity of the state with Pakistan make it imperative to merge with Pakistan". According to the Partition of India, the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was to be decided in the light of its people`s wishes.

However, India occupied the State through military force and claimed it as an integral part of India. Earlier, changes in the Radcliff Award were made through intrigue by Lord Mountbatten by giving Gurdaspur to India otherwise India had no road link with Kashmir. When volunteers from Pakistan entered Kashmir to help Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom from illegal occupation, it was India that took the matter to the UN under Chapter VI of the UN Charter dealing with Pacific Settlement of Disputes.

According to Tashkent Declaration after 1965 War and Simla Agreement after 1971 War, both India and Pakistan had agreed to resolve all disputes through bilateral dialogue. Since then, India has always taken the position that Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter, and thus refuses to accept third party mediation. Former President Musharraf had more than once expressed Pakistan`s willingness to go beyond their stated position provided reciprocated by India. But India did not respond to these gestures; hence no progress could be made towards conflict resolution. He was of the opinion that the situation after 9/11 warranted a change in the strategy to resolve the issues, as the US had come out with the doctrine of pre-emptive strike. India mistook it as a carte blanche to all the `big and mighty` and thought it could apply the same in this region.

India has been harbouring the idea of limited war up to 2002 when it moved its forces close to the Pakistan`s borders. It was a war of attrition. And when India felt that Pakistan would not be cowed down, it ultimately withdrew its forces to the original positions. It was in view of post-9/11 scenario that Pakistan had hinted that both countries should go beyond their stated positions with a view to finding a solution of the Kashmir dispute, which was acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.

There is no doubt that People on both sides of the Control Line want peace and wish that Kashmir dispute be resolved through dialogue, as they do not wish to live in trepidation and fear.The US and the West should, however, realise that India has been using bilateralism only as a ploy to retain its illegal occupation of the disputed territory. But with a view to appeasing India because of its size and population, they do not force India to implement the UN resolutions or resolve the Kashmir dispute through bilateral talks. It should, however, be borne in mind that if larger and stronger countries continued to turn a blind eye to their cohorts`hegemonic ambitions, the dream to make the world a safer place to live would never come true.

In an article published in the Asian Age - an Indian daily, the writer had discussed the possibility of resolving the Kashmir issue on the lines of an agreement reached over Andorra in 1993 between France and Spain. Andorra is a co-principality situated on the border of Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains, and co-princes are Bishop of Urgel (Spain) and the French President. It joined the United Nations as a member state in 1993, and is recognized as a parliamentary democracy. The other proposal was to make Kashmir Valley an independent state, Jammu and Ladakh to remain under India`s control whereas Azad Kashmir and northern areas to remain under Pakistan`s control. But the problem is that whenever in Indo-Pak dialogue the point of resolution of Kashmir dispute came, India did something to foil the dialogue, as it happened after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

In case, India continues to balk at resolving the Kashmir dispute, and does not reciprocate with Pakistan to reach a solution acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir the only way out for Pakistan would be to invoke the UN Security Council resolutions. The international community has to understand that Tashkant and Simla agreements were signed by Pakistan under duress. One should not ignore the fact that Article 103 of Chapter XVI of the UN Charter clearly states: "In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the United Nations under the present Charter and any other international agreement, their obligation under the present charter shall prevail".

India is focusing on confidence building measures to enhance people-to-people contact, cultural exchanges and economic cooperation, but these are not alternatives to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute over which both countries had three wars.
International community should, therefore, help resolve the Kashmir dispute to avert the impending disaster.

Author: Suddhan Sadaf Shareef
Twitter: @SuddhanSadaf30

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