Kashmir and regional peace

Malik M Ashraf

THE very purpose behind formation of the United Nations after second World War, ostensibly was to promote global peace, prevent wars and work collectively for the well being of the mankind. But it is regrettable to note that the world body has neither succeeded in preventing wars and conflicts nor has been able to resolve issues like Palestine and Kashmir which pose a grave threat to the global peace and security. UN was created by triumphant allied powers of World War-II who actually drew up UN charter in such a way as to promote their own global interests. They have used this forum to achieve their imperialist designs and to refashion the world map according to their own skewed World view.
The right of self-determination has been applied selectively and similarly conflicts also have been either resolved or aggravated depending on the interests of the big powers. What happened in Iraq, Libya and Syria as result of the intervention of the troika comprising USA, UK and France as a consequence of manoeuvred UN resolutions, is the worst example of imperialism through the World body. The Palestine issue has not been resolved because the Zionist state has defied the UN resolutions with disdain supported by the US. The issue of Kashmir also remains unresolved because of the Indian intransigence, apathy of the UN and lack of support of the big powers who continue to show an indifferent attitude to its resolution due to their tilt towards India, dictated by their commercial and strategic interests, rather than adherence to UN Charter and UN resolutions on it.
Kashmir is nuclear flash point as also acknowledged by the big powers but they have not taken or supported steps to defuse the situation in South Asia or resolving the issue in accordance with the UN resolutions, the implementation of which is obligatory on the World Body. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his meeting with the new UN Secretary General on the sidelines of World Economic Forum justifiably pointed out to him that UN had a longstanding responsibility to play a role in the resolution of the issue through a free, transparent and impartial plebiscite that has been promised to people of Kashmir by the UN.
He was right on money to say that regional peace depended on solution of the Kashmir problem and that India was fuelling instability in the region by adopting a ‘ no talks’ posture and vitiating the atmosphere through incendiary statements besides muzzling the voice for the legitimate right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. He reiterated that a sustained dialogue process with India on all outstanding issue including Kashmir was vital for the region to make progress. There could not have been a better exposition of the situation obtaining in the region and the commitment and desire by Pakistan to have a peaceful neighbourhood. Reportedly UN Secretary General assured Nawaz Sharif that he would play a very constructive and positive role for the countries in region, including Pakistan.
The UN and the powers that be need to remove the blinkers on their eyes, see the things in their true perspective and prove their credentials as a promoter of world peace by fulfilling their obligations to the people of Kashmir. The issue is not going to die down with the passage of time as is evident from the freedom struggle launched by the people of Kashmir in 1989 and the current uprising in the backdrop of the killing of Burhan Wani. The People of Kashmir who are striving for their legitimate right of self-determination and Pakistan which is a party to the dispute and for whom Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition of the Indian sub-continent, would never allow India to continue with its occupation of Kashmir by using its military muscle.
The Indian stance in regards to Kashmir being its integral part lacks moral and legal basis. Her attempt to have the issue of accession resolved through the constituent assembly of occupied Kashmir that formed the basis of the new Indian stance was vehemently repudiated by the UN through its resolutions number 91 and 122 which unequivocally reiterated that the question in regards to accession of the state to either of the dominions could only be resolved through a plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN. The Indian leadership therefore is better advised in its own interest and in the interest of peace and security of the region to accept the ground realities to create a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.
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