Will UN wake up before reveille is sounded for Kashmir? | By Maj M Mahmood Khan (R)

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Will UN wake up before reveille is sounded for Kashmir?

THE people of Jammu & Kashmir, dwelling both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and rest of the world are observing the Right to Self-Determination Day today (5 January 2023) with the renewed pledge to continue their ongoing indigenous struggle with full vigour.

The day is observed every year by Kashmiris to invite the attention of international community and the United Nations to grant them their legitimate right through implementation of the historic resolution on Kashmir, passed this day in 1949 by the United Nations Security Council which was adopted at the meeting of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) on 5 January, 1949.).

The UNCIP having received from the Governments of India and Pakistan in Communications, dated 23 December and 25 December, 1948, respectively their acceptance of the following principles which are supplementary to the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948;

(1).The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite;

(2).A plebiscite will be held when it shall be found by the Commission that the ceasefire and truce arrangements set forth in Parts I and II of the Commission’s resolution of 13 August 1948, have been carried out and arrangements for the plebiscite have been completed;

(3).(a) The Secretary-General of the United Nations in agreement with the Commission, will nominate a Plebiscite Administrator who shall be a personality of high international standing and commanding general confidence. He will be formally appointed to office by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

(b) The Plebiscite Administrator shall derive from the State of Jammu and Kashmir the powers he considers necessary for organizing and conducting the plebiscite and for ensuring the freedom and impartiality of the plebiscite.

(c) The Plebiscite Administrator shall have authority to appoint such staff or assistants and observers as he may require.

The UNCIP unanimously adopted this Resolution on 5-1-1949. Members of the Commission: Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Czechoslovakia and US.

On this day, UN is reminded of her commitments/obligations for the implementation of the Resolution of 5 January 1949 of which Kashmiris are waiting for the last more than seven decades, with tears of blood.

Due to non-implementation of the UN resolution, Kashmiris finally opted for rightful resistance to get their legitimate right and have lost over 90,000 lives including women, children, intellectuals/scholars/PhD students.

Besides that, thousands of houses have been burnt, livelihood destroyed, womenfolk disgraced/gang raped, abductions and custodial killings by Indian regular and BSF troops that are deployed in Kashmir (with the unprecedented strength of over one million) to shoot the Kashmiris at will under the cover of draconian laws.

The situation has worsened to the extent that talking of Right to Self-Determination has become a nightmare as RSS backed Indian government has snatched even all the fundamental rights from the Kashmiris by putting them under siege, restricting their movement, freedom of speech, freedom of press and they have also been deprived of their age-old semi-autonomous status by abrogating Article 370 of the constitution, contrary to all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on Kashmir.

In the follow up, the demographic changes are also being made by settling of non-Kashmiris in the State.

On this day, the Kashmiris appeal to the UN Secretary General, reminding him that Kashmir was an independent State under the umbrella of British rule before the partition of the subcontinent which was later invaded by India and in the aftermath, divided in parts through a imaginary line drawn on the map; named as Cease-Fire Line (CFV), in the follow up of Ceasefire between the warring forces of India, Pakistan and Kashmiri freedom fighters, under the guarantee of UN resolutions as a temporary measure till the settlement of the issue as per the aspiration of the people of Kashmir.

But how sad it is that the people residing astride the Line of Control (at places residing at stone throwing distance) cannot meet/greet each other to the extent that waiving hands to near/dear ones to other side is taken as war crime and dealt with as an espionage case.

While serving in Punch Sector (Azad Kashmir), just very close to the LoC, I am witness to a horrible incident where a family member of a hose across the LoC had died which was conveyed to his relatives this side of LoC through a loud voice and having noticed this, the Indian army personnel from the nearest posts stormed the house and took away all the male members present in the bereaved house.

There may be many other horrible incidents of similar kind and all is this happening because the non-implementation of UN resolutions.

As maintaining the worldwide peace is the main objective of the UN, it is imperative for the Secretary General of the United Nations to nominate a Plebiscite Administrator to conduct Plebiscite in Kashmir as early as possible to mitigate the sufferings of Kashmiris and also to save the life of millions of people as it is feared that if the issue lingers on, there may be a catastrophic disaster of human history as the rivals in this case are equipped with lethal weapons and ignition of any small incident may blow up into a full scale atomic war ; jeopardizing the peace of whole South Asian Region.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Ghaziabad, Azad Kashmir.