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The case for UN intervention

  • Published at 12:06 am August 20th, 2019
Photo: Reuters

Has the international community failed Jammu and Kashmir?

The Kashmir issue has flared up again following the BJP revoking Article 370 without consulting the government in Jammu and Kashmir. This has caused a serious political crisis in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan as well. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan denounced the plan to divide Kashmir into federal territories, which is violating UN resolution while Pakistan downgraded its embassy in India and stopped trading with India as well.

In India Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi did not approve of the way BJP moved to revoke Article 370, terming it unconstitutional and against all the principles of democracy.

It is an irony that the United Nations could not succeed to resolve the dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir since 1948, having established the Line of Control and revised resolution of the UN Commission after recommendations by both Pakistan and Indian government. 

These revised resolutions indicated that the accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of holding a free and impartial plebiscite.

Present Secretary-General of the UN stated that the Kashmir issue needed to be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan on the basis of the Simla agreement in 1972, which stipulated that the LOC resulting from ceasefire of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice. 

In an editorial, the Guardian on August 11 spoke against arbitrary action initiated by PM Narendra Modi, ignoring UN resolutions. Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Dominic Raab also expressed concern around the situation and called for calm. Ironically, it was the British who were responsible for creating this artificial problem during the division of India in August of 1947.

Kashmiris by themselves have, time and again, revolted against the domination by India.It may be noted that Kashmir valley was on the boil after the killing of its young and charismatic military commander Burhan Muzzafar by police in July of 2016.

The spontaneous leaderless outbursts of anger and grief have caught everyone by surprise which replicated agitation in 2008 and 2010, defying curfews, braving bullets, and taking to the streets in overwhelming numbers. 

Two wars have taken place over the Kashmir issue and another war is looming at large between India and Pakistan if present development revoking Article 370 of the constitution and deployment of a massive army in Jammu and Kashmir by BJP government, led by Narendra Modi is not reversed.

No amount of condemnation and resolutions will resolve the problem of Kashmiris. It is high time that the UN intervenes between India and Pakistan by holding a plebiscite in Indian held Jammu-Kashmir and make a unified state of Kashmir along with Pakistan-held Azad Kashmir. 

Kashmiris should run affairs of the state by themselves. Both India and Pakistan should withdraw troops as well. UN action has become indispensable for peace and tranquility in the region. Enough is enough. 

Mohammad Amjad Hossain writes from Virginia and is a retired diplomat and former President of Toastmaster International Club of America.