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Eighth Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

December 02'

I N S I D E


Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Black & White     

Sushil Vakil

 

Guest Column  

Sunita Vakil

 

Essay 

Romeet K WATT

 

InsideTrack        

Romeet K WATT

 

Comment

Romeet K WATT

 

Potterism

Romeet K WATT

 

State Craft

Romeet K WATT

 

Total Recall

Romeet K WATT

 

View Point

Sushil Vakil

 

Side Lights

Romeet K WATT

 

Last Word

Romeet K WATT

 

 


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 T O T A L   R E C A L L 

United Nation's resolution and Kashmir

Romeet K WATT


First they ignore you,

Then they laugh at you,

Then they fight you,

Then you WIN

Mahatma Gandhi

 

NEW DELHI desires to deal with the Kashmiris in a domestic framework, and to hold any talks with Pakistan independently from and consequent to dialogue with the Kashmiris. India’s unwillingness to alter policy is armoured by its belief that Pakistan would play a spoiler’s sport if India commenced an extraordinary programme towards the Kashmiris. However, on the other hand, formally, the government of Pakistan still holds to the 1949 UN resolutions and their call for a plebiscite in which Kashmiris can choose to join either Pakistan or India. Yet, since early 2001 Pakistani government spokesperson have changed their tactics, articulating that Pakistan may agree to a resolution that satisfies Kashmiris.

 

Taking the UN resolutions by which Pakistan swears it would be clear that while the legality of accession of the state of J&K to India was consistently and explicitly accepted in those resolutions, the expression, ‘Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’ is derived from these very documents. The Kashmir issue was introduced in the United Nations when India complained to the United Nations on January 01, 1948 of Pakistani aggression on the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. It made it unambiguous that “the Indian government requests the Security Council to adjure Pakistan to immediately stop what it had just started as it is considered an aggression on India.”

 

On December 3, 1947, Nehru wrote to S M Abdulla that Kashmir had become to him a symbol of basic conflict in India and on the decision there ‘one might almost say, depends not only the future of Kashmir but the future of Pakistan and to a considerable extent the future of India.’

 

On January 20, 1948, the Security Council set up a three-member commission. On April 21, 1948, the council not only expanded its membership to five but also laid down the details of a plebiscitary solution. A plebiscite administrator was to be nominated by the UN Secretary General. Para 10(b) said: “The plebiscite administrator, acting as an office of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, should have authority to nominate his assistants ...... and to draft regulations governing the plebiscite. Such nominees should be formally appointed and such draft regulations should be formally promulgated by the State of Jammu and Kashmir.” This in itself is an obvious acknowledgment of the legality of Kashmir’s accession to India, India’s external sovereignty over the State, and the legal authority of the government of the State.

 

When the commission arrived in Pakistan in July, it received specific information that three brigades of regular Pakistani troops had been fighting in Kashmir since May. On July 15 1948, Mountbatten (from London) wrote to Nehru, “…… with such evidence before it, commission would …… reasonably favourable report ……… to resole the tangle …… acceptable to India.”

 

However the commission overlooked these incursions, and this led to loud protests from the Indian side. On February 16 1948, Nehru wrote to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, “I cannot imagine that the Security Council could probably behave in the trivial and partisan manner in which …… and it is not surprising that the world is going to pieces …… and the US and Britain have played dirty, Britain being the chief actor behind the scenes………”

 

The formal induction of the Plebiscite administrator was to be made by the State government although he was to be nominated by the UN secretary general. On August 13, 1948, the UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) adopted a resolution embodying its proposals for a settlement. It stated, “The presence of Pakistani forces in the territories of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is considered a tangible change in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir”. And that “Pakistan must guarantee the withdrawal of tribal men and Pakistani citizens who don’t originally live in the state and who entered the State of Jammu and Kashmir for fighting purposes”. India accepted it; Pakistan did not. On December 11, 1948, the UNCIP offered proposals in amplification of the first to provide for plebiscite. Both sides accepted it.

 

While the tribesmen from Pakistan and Pakistan’s troops were to be withdrawn completely, India was to withdraw only “the bulk of its forces,” retaining some “to assist local authorities in the observance of law and order.” That was not the only lop-sidedness. The existence of government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was explicitly recognised and so indeed was the State’s accession to India and assumption of “external sovereignty.” Accordingly, the resolution provided that “the government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir” will safeguard law and order and that “human and political rights will be respected.”

 

In sharp contrast, for other part of the State, the resolution said: “Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistani troops will be administered by the local authorities under the supervision of the commission.” This is in quick dissimilarity to the clear recognition of the state government, acting under the government of India, in respect of external relations. No supervision was provided for this part of the state.

 

It was also stated in the memorandum issued on 14 January 1949 by the Committee on India and Pakistan that “If Pakistan refused these proposals (referendum) or accepted them without putting into action the first and second articles of the resolution issued on 13 August 1948, so India is not obliged, by any means, to accept them”. Still, Pakistan has to evacuate part of the Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir, which it occupied illegally by means of armed aggression.

 

Frustrated by continuous efforts by Islamabad to scuttle the peace process, India in December 1950, rejected UN’s offer to mediate on Kashmir. “The only way to solve it is for India and Pakistan to know that the burden is upon them and no one else,” Nehru wrote to UN. The draft resolution has earlier taken exception to the convening of the constituent assembly and provided for super-session of the Kashmiri government, and the possible entry of foreign troops to resolve the tangle, something, which was not acceptable to India, in the light of bona fide proof that it was Pakistan who had indulged in the act of aggression.

 

On January 17, 1952, in a statement delivered by Jacob Malik, Soviet Representative in the UN Security Council, lashed out at Anglo-American attitude. He said: “the United States does not want the Kashmir question to be settled and is trying to bring Kashmir under its control....” and that for the successful resolution of the issue, the “ status be determined by a constituent assembly democratically elected by the Kashmiri people.”

 

In utter disregard of the UN resolutions by which it swears, Pakistan imposed a new regime in POK on June 21, 1952. Rules of business were presented on October 28. Rule 5 said: “ The president of Azad Kashmir Government shall hold office during the pleasure of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, duly recognised as such by the government of Pakistan in the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs.” As She was guilty of the invasion of J&K, it did not abide by the UN Resolution and neither withdrew its troops and infiltrators. Instead, it built airfields in the occupied territory, and imposed a full civilian and military control while claiming the territory as Azad Kashmir. For these violations the UN could not impose sanctions on Pakistan, as the Resolution was not under Chapter VII of the Charter.

 

The legality of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India was incontestable. Even so, India had agreed to a plebiscite in 1948. But among the prime clauses, which have rendered a plebicite impossible, is Pakistan’s annexation of POK, its refusal to withdraw its forces from occupied territory, and its policies towards the rest of the State.

 

Nehru’s note of August 25 1952 for S M Abdulla read, “The government of Pakistan is like someone riding a bicycle. They feel that the moment they return to normalcy, the bicycle stops and they fall down.”

 

On December 23, 1952, Valerin Zorin, Soviet Representative in the UN Security Council, once again emphasised that settlement, could be arrived at by “having the status of Kashmir determined by the constituent assembly elected by the people of Kashmir itself on a democratic basis.”

 

On February 19, 1957, in a statement delivered by Sobolev, Soviet Representative in the UN Security Council said: “...... the Kashmir question has in actual fact already been settled in essence by the people of Kashmir themselves, who consider their territory an integral part of Republic of India.” And then went on to vote against the inclusion in draft resolution any provisions which do not correspond to the true situation in Kashmir area.

 

On May 04, 1962, in a statement delivered by Platon Morozov, Soviet Representative in the UN Security Council said: “ ...... plebiscite ........ could have taken place ....... subject to ..... Pakistan troops ...... were withdrawn. Therefore we agree that ....... the question of holding it (plebiscite) has lapsed, since the provisos which were a condition for holding it have never been fulfilled.....”

 

To win Chinese support, Pakistan gifted 4853 sq km of the Kashmiri territory in the Shaksgam Valley to China in 1963, thus unsettling the territorial integrity of the State of J&K. Now, to repossess this province is next to impossible. China is illegitimately occupying Aksai Chin area, which is 19 percent of the territory. It will be next to impossible for the UN to make China evacuate the region.

 

Pakistan by a Constitution Amendment incorporated a part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), that is, Northern Areas, in Pakistan, thereby changing the territorial status of J&K and violating the UN Resolutions. Pakistan has changed the demography of POK by resettling large number of Punjabi ex- servicemen and Afghans from NWFP, thereby making plebiscite of erstwhile J&K irrelevant.

 

APHC and company, the political face of Islamabad in Kashmir has been demanding the implementation of the UN Resolutions, and this is seen as a major stumbling block in any future negotiations with New Delhi. But then, this is something, which New Delhi would never accept, irrespective of which party is at the helm of affairs. So it is time for representatives of the separatist movement to get realistic and practical; and as and when the official negotiations begin, enter them with an open mind, and not with these premeditated notions, which have been rubbished to the historical dustbin, not by India, but by their benefactor, Pakistan.

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