FOR well over a year Indian security forces are persisting with the violation of cease fire agreement of 2003. During 2017 Indian security forces fired across the LOC 1900 times killing 254 people including civilians and soldiers deployed along the line. Since January till date more than 150 firing incidents have occurred and there seems no end to it. Reportedly the members of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) narrowly escaped the Indian firing on Wednesday at Abbaspur in Poonch sector when they were being briefed by the locals on the situation prevailing in the area in the backdrop of ceasefire violations by India. Two local persons were seriously injured in the firing.
The group has been operating on both sides of the LOC till before 1971 war between India and Pakistan. After the Simla Agreement in 1972 India argued that the mandate of UNMOGIP had lapsed because it was specifically established to observe ceasefire according to the Karachi Agreement. However Secretary General of UN maintained that the group should continue to function because no resolution had been passed by the Security Council to terminate it. The Pakistani military authorities, accordingly, have continued to lodge complaints with UNMOGIP. However the Indians restricted the activities of the group on their side of the LOC and even in the recent past asked the group to wind up and leave. That is a clear defiance of the UN resolution 47 that established the UNMOGIP like the UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite to decide the accession of the state either to Pakistan or India. The Indian stance also negates Article 103 of the UN Charter which says “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the UN under the present charter and under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present charter will prevail” What it means is that the UN resolutions on the subject will invariably prevail until and unless the UN adopts a resolution to end the validity of its earlier resolutions. Since all the resolutions adopted by the UN for plebiscite still stand, their validity cannot be challenged on any grounds.
It is also pertinent to mention that the Indian stance regarding Kashmir being its integral part also has no legal basis. The UN through its resolutions 91 and 122 also repudiated Indian contention that the issue of accession of Kashmir had been resolved by the constituent assembly of Kashmir. These resolutions reiterated that the question of accession could not be resolved by any means other than enunciated in the UN resolutions on the subject. This proves beyond any doubt that the Indian claims of Kashmir being an integral part of India represent travesty of the facts and lack any legal basis. However, India continues to defy the UN and the world community who unfortunately are not very enthusiastic about fulfilling their obligations toward the people of Kahmir; courtesy the US and its western allies who are looking at the regional situation from the perspective of their strategic and commercial interests instead of throwing their weight behind the internationally recognized principle of self-determination.
India is being propped up by US and its allies as a regional super power as part of their ‘contain China’ policy. Keeping the LOC hot is meant to divert the attention of the world from the Indian atrocities and the excessive use of force by her security forces in occupied Kashmir and also to portray the freedom struggle as terrorism which sells easily in the permeating international environment. The Indian government has invariably claimed after its own triggered clashes along the ceasefire line that those killed on its side of the line were the terrorists trying to infiltrate the IHK to carry out acts of terrorism. Unfortunately the US has been endorsing the Indian claims and putting pressure on Pakistan instead of getting the Kashmir issue resolved in conformity with the UN regulations. Its staunch allies in the western world also toe the same line, notwithstanding the fact that the international human rights organizations like Amnesty International have documented all the human rights violations by the Indian security forces.
Looking the other way by US and its allies in regards to the situation in Kashmir is actually a reward to India for serving their strategic and commercial interests in the region. While they keep putting pressure on Pakistan regarding incidents of terrorism in India influenced by the Indian propaganda, they keep enigmatic silence on the Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan and its covert support to insurgency in Balochistan, notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan has provided dossiers containing irrefutable evidence of Indian involvement to US leaders and Secretary General of the United Nations. The arrest of Indian Navy officer Kalbhushan Yadev in Pakistan and his confession of sponsoring terrorism and support for insurgency in Balochistan is yet another ranting testimony to the Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. In regards to ‘contain China’.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.