London, November 02 (KMS): The President of London-based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR), Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, has written a letter to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, drawing his attention to the plight of the oppressed people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Syed Nazir Gilani in the letter deplores that Britain has failed to discharge its obligations regarding sufferings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The letter titled ‘People of Jammu and Kashmir and Role of British Government’ has also been sent Keir Starmer, MP (Labour); Sir Ed Davey (Liberal Democrats); Deborah Abrahams, MP Chair APPG on Kashmir; António Guterres, Secretary General United Nations; Mme Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; President International Court of Justice – Peace Palace, The Hague.
Following is the full text of the letter;
Dear Prime Minister
JKCHR wishes to bring to your attention the ever worsening plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir described by the United Nations as “people of legend, song and story, associated with snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys and life-giving waters”.
The two OHCHR Reports of June 2018 and July 2019 and the third report of May 2018 by the UN Secretary General are the second major and significant step after the UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld visited Kashmir in March 1959 to assess the political and economic conditions of the people.
I wish to point out that Great Britain has failed to live up to her sense of duty and honour towards the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, in the manner, in which Britain and US subscribed their interest in the plight of Jews in Russia in 1891 and the Christians in Morocco in 1909. The first intervention by US in Russia was on the principle “sic utere tuo ut alteram non laedas” and the second intervention by Britain and France in Morocco was on the basis of “The Laws of Humanity”.
The Jews of Russia in 1891 and the Christians of Morocco in 1909 did not have as strong a connection with US and Britain, as the Muslim Kashmiris of today have with US and UK as American Kashmiris and as British Kashmiris.
The jurisprudence of Kashmir case begins with a principal reference to the role of Great Britain. Prime Minister of Britain was the first person who was informed by the Prime Minister of India on 26 October 1947 that Government of India was sending its military to Kashmir to ‘help’ the ruler. The telegram assured the British Prime Minister that the decision was temporary, Indian army would be withdrawn as soon as the law and order were restored and the conditional agreement of accession would be put to a public vote.
British Prime Minister updated the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 27 October 1947 and pointed out the assurances given by the Prime Minister of India. Prime Minister of Pakistan also received the same assurances from the Prime Minister of India on 28 October and 31 October 1947. The intermediary role of Britain began much before Government of India decided to make a reference to UN in January 1948. On 15 January 1948 India surrendered the conditional accession at the UN Security Council for a UN supervised Plebiscite.
Britain has played a lead role in formatting a UN template on Kashmir and in the appointments of UN Representative on India and Pakistan and the UN Plebiscite Administrator in Kashmir. The first was to secure a demilitarization and the second to arrange a UN supervised vote. India has asked at the 608th meeting of the UN Security Council for a minimum number of 21,000 (twenty one thousand) military personnel and has emphasised that “this force will have no supporting arms such as armour or artillery”.
Unfortunately the ‘help’ of 27 October 1947, continued to degenerate into a repression. The Indian action of 5 August 2019 has changed the “trust duties” into an occupation and the life of the people of Jammu and Kashmir has been reduced to a ‘process”. The “quality” of life has disappeared. Muslims of Kashmir are facing a life that the Jews and Christians faced in Russia in 1891 and in Morocco in 1909.
Should Britain act differently in the case of Kashmiris, in particular the Kashmiri Muslims? The answer is probably not. Britain has maintained at the UN Security Council (606th Meeting of Security Council) that “The ultimate objective of a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations….has been written into solemn agreements by the two Governments and endorsed by this Security Council. These agreements have been affirmed and reaffirmed by the two governments many times”.
Does Britain and member nations of the UN have any say in the Indian action of 5 August 2019? The answer is yes. UN Security Council has concluded that it has ‘a positive duty’ and “unless the parties are able to agree upon some other solution, the solution which was recommended by the Security Council should prevail”.
Mr. Prime Minister, we would respectfully like to urge you, to very kindly consider the Indian action of 5 August 2019 in reference to a conclusion drawn by the UN SC at the 611th Meeting. Netherlands has made it clear that “The party that would dare to violate an agreement thus reached would load upon itself a very grave offence against the other party, against the United Nations, and against the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination”. Government of India without doubt has loaded upon itself a “very grave offence”.
The people of the State have been placed under a military siege. The State is run through a Delhi agent and a non-Kashmiri. A 93 year old law protecting the rights of the Kashmiri people has been disturbed to enable the non-Kashmiris to settle down in the State. India has violated the caution made in the UN SC Resolution 91 of 30 March 1951.
British interest in Kashmir dates back to 22 November 1947, when the Prime Minister of Great Britain suggested that a reference be made to ICJ. Britain has flagged Jammu and Kashmir as “the greatest and gravest single issue in international affairs (284th meeting of UNSC on 17 April 1948) and in view of early snowfalls in Kashmir has pressed to hold a plebiscite by October 1948.
Mr. Prime Minister, the question is, whether we have a way forward? The answer is yes and it has been provided by France at the 539th meeting of the UN Security Council. France has said that, “Resolution of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949, to which we must always return because they won the express agreement of both India and Pakistan. If the parties are unable to reach agreement on the plan submitted to them, provision is made for arbitration, and, to make assurance doubly sure, arbitration is to be carried out by an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators appointed not by a political body but by the President of International Court of Justice”.
We need a kind of interest that US, Britain and France showed for the protection of Jews and Christians in Russia and Morocco in 1891 and 1909. “The lack of agreement does not concern the right of self-determination. It concerns the ways and means and procedures to establish the conditions for a fair expression of the will of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir who want to make their choice free from any kind of fear or intimidation. (566th meeting of UN SC).
Pakistan and India have submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the UN SC on 8 and 9 January 1948 respectively. They have agreed, “to refrain from any step incompatible with the Charter and liable to result in an aggravation of the situation, thereby rendering more difficult any action by the Security Council”.
Mr. Prime Minister the Plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir had to be completed by 01 November 1950. Indian action of 5 August is a military re-occupation, replacing the elected Government by a Delhi representative is a political vandalism and effacing the signs and symbols written in Urdu and re-writing them in Hindi is a cultural invasion.
British Kashmiris sincerely hope that you would urge upon the Government of India to honour her pledge made to the Prime Minister of Great Britain on 26 October 1947, to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October 1947, to the Government of Pakistan on 31 October 1947 and at the UN Security Council on 15 January 1948, for the withdrawal of her forces and of a UN supervised Plebiscite.
The images of atrocities committed against the people of Kashmir coming out remain a cause of serious concern to the British Kashmiris. We need to intervene to protect the people. United Kingdom has been one of the co-sponsors of a resolution to send a UN force as a neutral authority to protect the people in Jammu and Kashmir.
It is time to consider the protection of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The UNMOGIP is already in Kashmir. It needs a fresh supplement to act to monitor the human rights and serve as a credible protection. Indian security forces need to be non-arms bearing and they should be brought under the two disciplines of 27 October 1947 for their four duties and UN Security Council Resolution 47 for their behaviour, number and location.
Mr. Prime Minister, kindly rest assured of our best regards and highest considerations.