Indian violation of global conventions in IIOJK | By Prof Dr Muhammad Khan

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Indian violation of global conventions in IIOJK


LIKE its invasion of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, Indian annexation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on August 5, 2019 was illegal, immoral and a blatant violation of international law and UN resolutions.

Special status of IIOJK under Article 370 of Indian Constitution was a temporary, transitional and provisional arrangement, asserting that, Kashmir was not part of India.

This position was to remain effective until people of Kashmir determine their future status through a free and fair plebiscite under the United Nations.

In last over seven decades, the plebiscite could not be held in Jammu and Kashmir only because of Indian disinclination and impediments.

Indeed, India was trying to gain time and finally annexed IIOJK into Indian Union while relegating its statehood as a union territory on August 5, 2019 without any legal provision and in complete disregards to UN resolutions especially two UNSC resolutions; 91 and 122.

It is to be noted that Article 370 was to remain valid until conduct of the plebiscite in the state as per UN resolutions.

It got a provisional acceptance from the Constitutional Assembly of the India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) persuasively.

After provisional approval of this Article, the Constitutional Assembly of IOK was dissolved in 1956.

Undoing the Article was to be done by the Constitutional Assembly or at least Legislative Assembly of IOJK without which it stands illegal and unconstitutional.

On 05 August 2019, Indian Government implemented its long-awaited agenda of illegal annexation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir as union territory under Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act-2019. This illegal Act was implemented on 31 October 2019 without any consent of the people of the State.

Through this act, the State was relegated from the status, it traditionally enjoyed for centuries.

By disintegrating the State into two parts and lowering its status, India has indeed demeaned the entire Kashmiri nation.

Grounds were prepared for that through imposition of Presidential Rule, after the Governor Rule.

On 01 April 2020, India introduced yet another law for the grant of Kashmiri citizenship to Indian nationals; a plan to make massive demographic changes in IOJK.

Article 49 of the Fourth (4th) Geneva Convention-1949 provides adequate protection to local civil population of any occupying territory with respect to the right over their land and security against making any demographic changes in the composition of the original population.

Article 49 (6) of the 4th Geneva Convention exclusively deal with the protection of civil population in the time of war.

Since 1990, the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir has been a war zone with an overwhelming military presence of over 900,000 Indian troops.

Indian security forces have been involved in massive killing of Kashmiri masses with total impunity under repressive Indian laws.

Indeed, IOJK has the highest troops concentration level in the world with the status of an active war zone.

Article 49 (6) of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer by an occupying power of its own civilian population in the area it occupies or colonizes.

The Article stipulates that the “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

By any definition, India-occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir became an ‘occupied territory’ on the day; Indian Army invaded it on 27 October 1947.

India is a signatory state of the Geneva Convention-1949, therefore bound to observe and follow the Convention in its essence.

Shifting its own population in occupied parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir clearly aims at making the demographic changes by India.

Indeed, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act-2019 and Adaptation of State Laws Order-2020 are meant to make demographic changes in IOJK.

The Jammu and Kashmir is an international dispute with dozens of UN resolutions, demanding its solution through a free and fair plebiscite.

How can India devise these strategies in occupied Jammu and Kashmir which is not part of it? Once Article 49(6) clearly prohibits any measure meant for demographic manipulation by any state or an occupying power, how India is manipulating all this in the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir while degrading its centuries old status of a state. India had already manipulated the demographic changes in the Jammu Province of IIOJK.

Following the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and after amendments in the domicile laws; it is undertaking changes in the Kashmir Province (Valley) of IIOJK, by actively transferring its own population there.

From the perspective of international law, Geneva Convention, international covenants, UN Charter and UN resolutions and other human rights laws, Indian occupation of IIOJK and converting and annexing it into Indian Union is illegal and a wilful of violation of the international treaties.

From the legal perspective, India cannot change the status of a state under its occupation and whose resolution is pending at UN.

Besides, this all been done against the wishes of the people of IIOJK who are still under siege, clamp-down and curfew despite passage of two years.

As an international body, United Nations has not played an effective and cogent role towards resolution of Kashmir dispute.

In the post August 5, 2019 developments in IIOJK, UNSC held three closed-door meetings over Kashmir.

Unfortunately, not a single condemnation statement came out from these closed-door meetings against Indian illegal act.

Almost all the permanent five members of UNSC, making the elite club have been found seriously wanting over post August 5, 2019 developments in IIOJK.

International community and UN are mysteriously quite over the massive human rights violations, taking place in IIOJK.

UN and elite club could have realized their global responsibilities in the light of Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Away from local protests and rhetoric, the Government of Pakistan could have approached United Nations, International Court of Justice and other international forums against the illegal acts of India in IIOJK.

In the absence of any meaningful pursuance of the Kashmir dispute, India has further intensified its reign of terror over the hapless Kashmiris of IIOJK in the last two years.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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