Pakistan vindicated at UN

Malik Muhammad Ashraf

President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood on last Thursday after the conclusion of his visit to Pakistan said: “I think it is the duty, especially Pakistan’s to bring this Kashmir issue to the United Nation platform more strongly”. He also reiterated that all parties should refrain from changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir, as the solution was to be found through peaceful means in accordance with the UN charter and UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions as agreed in the Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India.

What he said was reaffirmation of Pakistan’s stance that Kashmir was an international issues waiting to be resolved in consonance with UN resolutions. He also explicitly repudiated Indian action to end the special status of Kashmir, its annexation to the Indian Union and also rejected Indian moves to change demographic features of the state through the promulgation of the new domicile law.

Indian actions are not only blatant violation of the UNSC resolutions but also a breach of the international law and 4th Geneva Convention. The foreign minister was right on money while saying” Pay attention. These are international obligations. The UN must play that role of responsibility which is due. The Kashmir dispute is a reality and no one can deny it or remove it from the UNSC agenda,”

India has been hiding behind the Simla Agreement to claim that the Kashmir is a bilateral issue between, effectively warning Pakistan against internationalising it. Yet the fact remains that the Agreement reiterates that the relations between the two countries would be governed by the UN Charter

The resolution of the Kashmir dispute, as pointed out by the foreign minister is the responsibility of the UN. But it is regrettable that in spite of the acknowledgement of the dispute no credible action has been initiated for the implementation of the UN resolutions. The UNSC in its three informal meetings in the backdrop of annexation of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir also reiterated that Kashmir dispute must be resolved in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the relevant resolutions. UN Secretary General has also repeatedly emphasised this fact. While these statements are welcome but the fact is that mere statements are not going to dissuade India from what it is doing and also to nudge it towards the solution of this festering dispute. It needs UN intervention in regards to implementation of the UNSC resolutions. Indian actions besides being illegal also constitute an affront to the world body and the international community.

India has been hiding behind Simla Agreement to claim that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India and therefore Pakistan could not internationalise it, notwithstanding the fact that the Agreement reiterates that the relations between the two countries would be governed by the UN Charter. The bilateral mechanism surely did not obviate the possibility of Pakistan taking the issue to the UN. 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. So Pakistan is very much within its right to invoke UN resolutions, after having been frustrated to find solution through the bilateral arrangement.

Forty-eight years have gone by since the signing of the Simla Agreement but India has never shown any seriousness in resolving the Kashmir issue and every time an opportunity for a dialogue was created it wriggled out of it on one pretext or the other. Indian evasiveness to resolve the issue forced the people of Kashmir to launch freedom struggle in 1989 which continues even after 5th August with greater intensity. Indian action has also jeopardised peace and security in the region about which Pakistan has repeatedly warned the UN and the world community. Kashmir is admittedly a nuclear flash point. It was about time for the UN and the world community to pay attention to it before it is too late.

As suggested by President of UN General Assembly, Pakistan should re-raise the Kashmir issue at the UN forum more vigorously to invoke the UNSC resolutions. India should not be allowed to get away with its unilateral and illegal action in the IIOJ&K. The diplomatic offensive launched by Pakistan in the wake of 5th August action by India and subsequent steps did achieve tremendous success as the international community did not buy the Indian argument that it was her internal issue. The international media also played a significant role in reiterating that stance and highlighting the miserable situation of the Kashmiris and the abuse of human rights by the Indian Security forces. The situation is ripe for building pressure on India to rescind the actions taken in IIOJ&K and pushing her towards finding solution to the dispute. Nonetheless the greater responsibility lies with the UNSC, UN Secretary General and the President of the Assembly to move beyond statements. — Courtesy Daily Times

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