ON Thursday, India was elected by the United Nations (UN) member-countries overwhelmingly for a non-permanent seat to the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) for a two year-term. India was the sole candidate from the Asia-Pacific region vying for a non-permanent membership, as it has strong lobbies and reportedly also bribes the smaller and poor countries if it wants to participate in the election. Anyhow, it is victory of trade and greed, and defeat of purposes and sublime principles equality and right to self-determination delineated in Article 1 of UN Charter, that are violated by India abundantly. Vikas Swarup Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told reporters that India would seek streamlining of the process of sanctions against terrorists and terror entities, adding that the process of imposing sanctions needs to be de-politicised. This speaks volumes of the Indian Government intentions to use the position to advance its agenda.
India has been elected at a t time when there is a strict curfew all across Kashmir; internet and phones are disconnected, elected representatives are either in police detention or under house arrest; public assembly is banned; and the region is off limits for the media. The raw footage that was recently aired by some international media outlets revealed massive protests and violent police action, including firing and teargas shelling. Secretary General United Nations has more than raised his voice against barbaric acts of India’s law enforcing agencies in India- occupied Kashmir. But the member countries seem to have rewarded the country which is violator of the human rights; where minorities especially Muslims have been relegated to the 2nd class citizens, and many of them have been deprived of citizenship under the new citizenship law. What has happened to the world conscience; is it completely dead?
It has been proved beyond doubt that India is a state that sponsors terrorism. Apart from Kulbushan Jadev who confessed that he was involved in acts of terrorism in Pakistan especially Balochistan, Indian retired major Gowaru Arya also confessed on an Indian TV Channel in May that Handwara was avenged in Balochistan and in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack by terrorists in Baleda area of Ketch, 14 km from Pak-Iran border. Thus India stands exposed for acts of terrorism in Balochistan and other areas of Pakistan and creating unrest through their stooges provide ample proof of India’s sinister designs. There is a slow and systematic ongoing genocide in Kashmir and the world is mute on this tragedy, as major powers give overriding consideration to India’s big market, and continue to appease India because it is the leading importer of weapons from the West.
It is outrageous that the EU, UN, OIC and the self-proclaimed international policeman – the US – have not censured India for its utter disregard to international conventions and UNSC resolutions. However, the expression of concern by them is mere an eyewash. It is a shame that trade and greed have desensitised foreign governments to such an extent that loss of human life and destruction of entire generations holds no value and meaning to them. This inaction of world powers and muted response from international rights bodies is dangerous because it not only sets a precedent for other governments to crush entire populations and get away with it. It makes the UN and other similar bodies like OIC irrelevant in the eyes of the oppressed. It is hoped that better sense will prevail and the international community will intervene to end the Kashmiris’ sufferings.
Pakistan’s stated position is that India does not qualify even to become non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), given its record of violations of UN resolutions, particularly pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. Unfortunately, US Presidents have been pampering India and in the past lobbied for inducting India as permanent member of the UNSC. During his visit to India, the then US President Barack Obama had stated: “He supports India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.” Former US President George W Bush had also expressed similar sentiments, but US cannot influence majority of the countries to vote for India to make it permanent member of UNSC on the basis of economic growth and largest democracy in the world. In fact, conditions of showing respect for and implementing UNSC resolutions should have been criterion for election for even non-permanent member of the UNSC.
In various meetings, Pakistan had taken the position that non-permanent members’ representation be increased and be given to several other regions, which would help democratize the UN. The world is aware of the fact that Israel and India have ignominious record of showing utter disregard to the UN and its resolutions, apart from violation of human rights. Pakistan and other South Asian countries would not feel comfortable to see India – a hegemonic state and an aspirant of a regional and world power – be provided an opportunity to further its interests and designs. People of Kashmir have suffered from oppression and repression for over seven decades. The developed countries or big powers should not give importance to the size of the market or to the so-called biggest democracy in the world, as it will amount to giving special consideration to big and mighty. Rather, India should have been asked to improve its record, and ensure that it will neither use brute force against its neighbours nor will it try to destabilize any one of the neighbouring countries in order to qualify for membership of the UNSC. The resolutions passed by the Security Council in case of Kashmir and Palestine could not be implemented because of veto power by super powers. In fact, the veto power negates the very concept of democratic approach, and contradicts principle of equality amongst members of United Nations.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.