February 1: After an interval of four years, Kashmir returns to Security Council at Pakistan’s request, which India opposes but at Pakistan’s insistence, meeting is convened. Pakistan’s delegate Zafrullah Khan draws Council’s attention to recent Indian statements, which he sees as posing threat to the security of Pakistan and Kashmir. Reference is made to call by Indian National Congress President Sanjiva Reddy in Patna on 4 January 1962 “for liberation of areas under Pakistan’s occupation in Kashmir”. Also brought to Council’s notice is Indian Defence Minister Krishna Menon’s statement threat that India will “take steps to end Chinese and Pakistani aggression in India”.
India seeks adjournment of meeting owing to national elections, while Soviet delegate says the meeting is “unnecessary and uncalled for”. Adjournment until March 1 is announced. However, next meeting takes place on April 27 and is followed by 10 more.
June 22: An Irish resolution urging resumption of direct negotiations is once again vetoed by Soviet Union. While Zafarullah Khan stresses India’s commitment to UNCIP resolutions, Indian delegate V.K. Krishna Menon states that “accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was complete and final” and there is no provision in Indian constitution for provisional or conditional accession. He calls Pakistan an “aggressor” which does not stand on the same footing with India. He claims that “people of Kashmir have expressed their will and solidarity for India through three general elections”. He argues that Indian acceptance of UNCIP resolutions is not a commitment but an engagement, which can only come into effect when Pakistan has withdrawn its forces from Kashmir. Pakistan, he asserts, had no locus standi in Kashmir and urges Council members to persuade Pakistan to “vacate her aggression”. Also holds it responsible for non-implementation of UNCIP resolutions. He further states that India cannot submit to mediation or arbitration and “No power except a secession act by Indian parliament could cut Kashmir asunder from India.”
India is supported by USSR and Romania, its Warsaw Pact ally, with the Soviet delegate saying, “It was unrealistic to demand plebiscite and the UNCIP resolutions were not capable of mediation.” He states that Security Council “must respect the wishes of the people of Kashmir which has irrevocably decided to link its fate with India.”
Zafarullah, speaking for Pakistan, says no unilateral obligation is enjoined on his country to withdraw its troop from Kashmir. India, on the other hand, is required under UNCIP resolution of August 13, 1948 to withdraw “the bulk of her troops”. He points out that these principles have been accepted by both countries but no Truce Agreement has so far been concluded because of Indian intransigence. He offers Pakistan’s readiness to “refer the question to any body of international standing if the responsibility to withdraw troops begins before the drawing up of the Truce Agreement and act accordingly”. Zafarullah draws Council’s attention to “the universally accepted principle of international law” that a nation cannot invoke its constitution and laws to obstruct implementation of international agreements and treaties as India is doing. Elections to Kashmir Constituent Assembly, he points out, are no substitute for plebiscite, stressing that in its resolution of May 30, 1951, Security Council has specifically stated that any action by said Assembly cannot mean determination of State’s future in keeping with principles embodied in various resolutions on the subject including those of UNCIP. Pakistan envoy also points out that Kashmir Constituent Assembly represents, at best, part of the State, and it is universally accepted in law that a part cannot decide for the whole.
June 22: All Council members favour another resolution calling for resolution of Kashmir dispute through direct negotiations but USSR threatens veto, which it duly applies on June 22, its 100th in Security Council. Heated exchanges take place, with Zafrullah stating, “If India wants to be released from its obligations, it should propose as much to the Security Council and seek the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on all these matters. The validity of accession, question of sovereignty and other questions in dispute and issues not yet determined.”
Six months after this inconclusive debate, India-China border conflict breaks out with Indian army suffering major reverses and complete loss of face at Chinese hands. US and UK rush arms to “neutral, non-aligned” India and decide that to eliminate possibility of Pakistan taking military advantage of India’s situation to clinch solution of Kashmir, talks between Pakistan and India should take place. Averall Harriman of US and Duncan Sandys of UK rush to subcontinent and persuade Nehru to have direct talks with Pakistan on Kashmir.
November 29: Joint communiqué is issued in New Delhi but everything threatens to get unraveled when next day Nehru says status quo in Kashmir cannot be affected by forthcoming talks. Sandys who is on his way to London via Karachi flies back to New Delhi and makes Nehru retract statement.
December 26: Six rounds of talks start between Pakistan Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indian External Affairs Minister Sardar Swarn Singh. First round at Rawalpindi – December 26-29, 1962 – is confined to preliminaries, historical aspects and respective stands.Follow @kmsnewz