Indian refusal of mediation over Kashmir

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Dr Muhammad Khan

INDIA once again rejected the mediation offer of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ over Kashmir. UN Secretary General has repeatedly offered his services for the peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute through negotiations. During his four-day official visit of Pakistan, Antonia Guterres’ clearly supported the just cause of Kashmiris and emphasized its solution as per UN resolutions. UN Secretary General said, “Diplomacy and dialogue remain the only tools that guarantee peace and stability with solutions in accordance with the Charter of United Nations and Resolutions of the Security Council.” Pakistan has always welcomed any such offer, since Indian security forces are carrying out massive human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Solution of Kashmir dispute is must to end the Indian occupation and to let the Kashmiris decide their fate themselves. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the Indian refusal as non-serious approach. He said, “Indian reaction to the UN chief’s offer shows that India is avoiding resolution of outstanding issues.” It is very unfortunate that, instead of moving forward over Kashmir for its solution, Indian External Affairs’ Ministry asked Pakistan to vacate the Azad Kashmir. Indian spokesperson said, “The issue of [Jammu and Kashmir] that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan.”
After illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir, India has started misleading the world primarily to hide the massive human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Besides, India is also trying to find excuses for continuation of its illegal occupation of the State which constitutes over 66% territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir dispute is on the agenda of United Nations Security Council, therefore, India cannot justify undoing the statehood of Kashmir by declaring it as union territories. What to talk of third party mediation, Kashmir is an international dispute, thus needs to be addressed by international community from the UN platform. Besides, India under BJP Government is discriminating Muslim population, constituting over 17% of its total population. Under direct patronage of BJP leadership the RSS has been trying to appropriate the Adivasi population for decades now. There are protests against what India introduced in the form of CAA-2019. Along-with CAA, Indian BJP Government is also forcing the people for National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Through these ‘RSS wants Adivasis to register themselves as Hindus, instead of Others’.
For decades now, the Sangh has been trying to articulate that all those living in India are Hindus. “Murli Manohar Joshi said that Muslims are Ahmadiya Hindus and Christians are Christi Hindus. Even some RSS people have declared Sikhs are not a separate religion but a sect within Hinduism. Later Sikh organizations protested against this act of Sang. As per political agenda of a Hindutva, Adivasis have been part of Hindu society and were driven away to the forests to escape forcible conversions by Muslim invaders. This is totally wrong, nothing of the sort happened in India. Had Muslims done that, no one could have been non-Muslim since Muslim ruled India for over 800 years. Apart from Muslims the Christian and Sikhs are also being persecuted by BJP and RSS. Christians are considered to be the soft targets for any sort of persecution. In today’s India no one can question RSS. It is free to undertake any sort of criminal act against any community. As per a Christian, “I am part of a little known denominational church. We do not get approval for building church. Only if we remove the name church or Jesus from the application there is any chance. But to build a temple, there is no need for even an approval.” This is height of religious persecution in India and still it is called as the secular state. BJP politicians demolished churches in Northern India, justifying that majority population is Hindu; therefore no Church is needed in such areas.
Tracing back the post-colonial track record of India, this so-called secular state has repeatedly violated the global norms, international law, UN Charter and UN resolutions. For the past one decade, there have been thousands of cases where minorities have been overtly persecuted and still India is calling itself as the secular state and world accepts that haplessly. Refusal to the mediation offer of United Nations Secretary General over Kashmir is a clear message that this belligerent state neither respects global institutions like United Nations nor it regards the set procedures and rules formulated by UN in the form of its Charter and Resolutions. India is well aware of the fact that Kashmiris will neither like to live under India for a single day nor would they accept the Indian Constitution. The people of Jammu and Kashmir greatly respect the logical statements given by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ over Kashmir. They also condemn the Indian refusal for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute. However, the people of Kashmir question the great powers and international community about their role towards implementation of UN resolutions for giving Kashmiris their right of self-determination. Ultimately, United Nations Security Council has to play a decisive role towards resolution of Kashmir as per wishes of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.