Dost Muhammad Barrech
EVERY year Kashmir Solidarity Day on 05 February is observed across Pakistan with great zeal and zest portraying solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
Arguably, Kashmir is very dear and near to the heart every Pakistani. Against this backdrop, the former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf says that “Kashmiris blood runs in the veins of Pakistanis, and the Pakistanis blood runs into the veins of Kashmiris”.
The question remains that why do the people of Pakistan have a great deal of affection with the people of Kashmir? The reply to this question is quite clear that the connectivity of Pakistan with Kashmir via rivers, roads, most considerably ethnic and cultural linkages force them to be united and connected.
The occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India for the last seven decades in every canon of law is illegal as it was against the Partition Plan as well as the UN resolution.
The revoking of Article 370 by the Modi government on August 05, 2019, further added miseries in the life of Kashmiris. To bear in mind, on 19 July 1947 the Kashmiri leadership passed a resolution of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan giving a lucid message to the world that what Kashmiris wanted.
Kashmiris had never acceded to India, they cannot be called as separatists. Over the last 74 years, India ignored the partition plan, the pledges made to the people of Kashmir and the United Nations Security Council.
India leaves no stone unturned to use different mechanisms and arguments to persuade the world that the Kashmiris do not right to self-determination. It also tries to portray the indigenous struggle of Kashmiris as terrorism. However, Pakistan has both philosophical and historical reasons to support the Kashmiris self-determination.
Pakistan support of Kashmir is, by and large, based on historical reasons while the continuation of resistance against India showcases the resilience of Kashmiris and rejecting the Indian occupation.
India on 1st July 1948 took the case of Kashmir to the United Nations (UN). The UN Charter under Article 35 of Chapter 6 dealing with settlements of disputes reflects that the Kashmir issue is alive in the cards of the UN. The UN so far has adopted more than 23 exclusive resolutions which is a tangible testimony that the Kashmir issue is alive.
The acknowledgement of the Kashmir dispute by the UN, by all means, is a legal strength for Pakistan giving a strong platform to Islamabad to raise the issue of Kashmir at the international level. India plays a double game with the world articulating that the UN resolutions are old and invalid.
On the contrary, The UN Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir are valid and enforceable. Both India and Pakistan on August 13, 1948, and on January 5, 1949, agreed on the resolutions and confessed that these resolutions as international agreements of binding force.
It is pertinent to mention here that the United Nations Military Observer Group is based in both Indian Occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir validating the claims made by both states.
Kashmiris desire for implementation of the UN resolutions but India argues that these are old and invalid. India ought to inculcate that the UN Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir has already been passed in the light of the UN Charter under Article 34 of the UN. The right to self-determination of Kashmiris cannot be suppressed it is simply out of the question.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Declaration gives the idea of self-determination to the oppressed people including the Kashmiris. Born free and equality are two fundamental notions of freedom snatching these rights would prove counterproductive for India.
Philosophical, universal ethical standards bind Kashmiris with Pakistan, paving the way for commonality of interest as well as raising the consciousness of the West.
Ironically, torture remains a political tool of India in occupied Kashmir. India is a signatory to the conventions that prohibits the use of torture but New Delhi so far has not ratified it.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) made a serval request to India to grant permission to visit India-occupied Kashmir but requests of the OHCHR fell on deaf ears.
As the saying goes “where there is power, there is resistance.” The resistance of Kashmiris against the Indian armed forces will intensify nor are Kashmiris willing to succumb to the Indian pressure.
They are as committed to self-determination as they used to be. In short, Pakistan also needs to get into introspection and should realise that without a robust economy, political stability, national cohesion, diplomatic overtures and mobilization of Kashmiris Diaspora the Kashmir cause is unlikely to be won.
—The writer is a Research Associate at India Study Centre, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.