Col M Hanif (R)
THE Kashmir issue remains a nuclear flash point between Pakistan and India. In line with the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir of 1948/49, Pakistan has been struggling to convince the permanent members of the UNSC, especially its veto wielding major powers, to prevail upon India to resolve the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan by holding a plebiscite based on Resolution 47 of the UNSC on Kashmir. Resolution 47grants the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to decide through a plebiscite to be held under the UNSC supervision, whether they wanted the disputed princely state of Jammu and Kashmir to join Pakistan or India.
Despite that India had accepted the UNSC Resolution 47, since 1949, it has been using a delaying strategy to fail the UNSC efforts to hold a plebiscite and ultimately grab the state illegally, through use of force. Because of India’s long lasting intransigence, already both Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir. And, because of India’s belligerence and denial of the Kashmiri peoples’ right to the self-determination, since 1989 the people of India’s illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) have launched their peaceful freedom struggle to get their right to self-determination.
Since then, to crush their freedom struggle, India has used above 700,000 military troops, causing endless HR violations and genocide of the people of the state. Being a party to the dispute as per the UNSC resolutions, Pakistan provides political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On 5 August 2019, Modi-led BJP government in India has crossed all the limits of the international norms and law and took extreme practical steps of unlawfully grabbing Jammu and Kashmir using force, in utter violation of the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir.
The Modi government ended special status of the IIOJ&K and converted it into two union territories through an internationally illegal act of the Indian Parliament, in utter violation to the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir. To crush the Kashmiris’ reaction, Modi government has clamped communication and internet lockdown and curfew in the state, apprehended all the Kashmiri leaders and the youth and India is carrying out genocide of the Kashmiris by using above 900,000 military troops and India is also settling the Hindus in the state to change its demography in a major way. Despite Indian cruelties, the people of IIOJ&K are continuing their freedom struggle.
To support their just freedom struggle, and to show its solidarity with the Kashmiris, the successive Pakistani governments and its people in the country and abroad observe 5 February every year as the Kashmir Solidarity Day. This year also, the Pakistan and AJ&K governments, institutions, think tanks, political parties and the people are observing 05 February as the Kashmir Day. The day will start with a minute silence to show solidarity with the people of India’ illegally and occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and then various events will be organized to signify Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of IIOJ&K, in their struggle for self-determination and to honour” Kashmiri martyrs. The events to be organized will include the holding of discussions, debates, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, public meetings and processions to highlight following to get world support for resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per the UNSC resolutions.
The objective of observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5 February 2021 and highlighting the above grave situation in IIOJ&K is to draw the attention of world’s major powers, also the veto wielding powers of the UNSC, major world countries and the world at large to get their support for asking India to reverse its 5 August 2019 and subsequent steps to illegally grab Kashmir, to end genocide of the Kashmiris and for resolving the Kashmir dispute as per the UNSC resolutions. And, the world will be cautioned that if the world leaders fail to act to resolve the Kashmir dispute in the light of the UNSC resolutions, the situation will ultimately result into a catastrophic war between the two nuclear neighbours over Kashmir.
—The writer is an ex-research fellow of IPRI and senior research fellow of SVI, Islamabad.