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Calling Off Kashmir Dispute

There has been no transparency in discussions arising from bilateral talks on Kashmir. From the last few years, calling off the Kashmir dispute has been the favourite argument arising out of Indian media commentators and political leaders. It is because of existing narration of implanting fervent Indian nationalism inside Kashmir valley.

Economic development, financial incentives and being part of India’s GDP growth have been other reasons given to call off Kashmir dispute. But is it fair? Why did India and Pakistan make attempts to reconcile through international agreements in the past at the first place, despite several wars fought on the borders?

British research has also deemed instrument of accession controversial. Importantly, what makes India run away from its moral responsibility when thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in the conflict? When were economic grants more sacrosanct than human lives? Maybe, when it comes to Kashmir, all humanist ideals, which Indian politicians adhere to, fall apart.

Indian sponsored elections and the Constituent Assembly can never equate to plebiscite, as recommended by the UN in Security Resolution dated 30 March, 1951:"“Affirming that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the "All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference" and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle (plebiscite under UN auspices).”"

To add to that, Article 103 of the UN Charter clearly overrides all failed commitments of India and Pakistan through pacts: “ In the event of conflict between obligations of the Members of United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.” As, India and Pakistan have hailed UN Charter in Lahore Agreement and signed other multiple bilateral agreements in the past, India cannot evade its responsibility of being a UN member.

Between the years 1948 to 1971, the UN has passed 23 resolutions. These resolutions have been passed through Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, which make them advisory and as recommendations. Chapter 6 calls for peaceful resolutions instead of war. It bounds India to adopt these resolutions passed on Kashmir ‘morally’, if not ‘legally enforceable’ as from Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

However, according to Article 35 of UN, any country that is a UN member can bring a dispute into attention in the General Assembly. Quite recently, Pakistan, under Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif brought Kashmir dispute into attention in the UN General Assembly after the reaction of 2016 protests in Kashmir Valley.

UN encourages ceasefire between two nations. It is for this reason UN Military Observers Group was formed. No resolution has been passed to terminate the functions of UN Military Observers Group as of now. The present Hindutva government has also failed in winding up the UN Observers Group mission in Kashmir. It is likely because UN encourages a peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute.

Many countries in the recent past such as Norway, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Turkey and United States have called for a peaceful resolution. But India on the other hand, has been evading this responsibility for national interests. Kashmiri people have been betrayed and trapped in this propaganda of India by calling it as an integral part.

To be clear, it is the state of India that is provoking Kashmir to be a nuclear flashpoint in recent years. It is also the State of India that is provoking violence in Kashmir because of implanting a strategy of calling off the Kashmir dispute completely, despite giving false promises to Kashmiri people and making them wait for decades since partition.

If economic incentives could win the hearts of Kashmiri people and end the conflict, we wouldn’t have seen worst forms of anarchy on the streets on Kashmir. Youth have become protestors not because they don’t have jobs but because of political injustice. Seasons of calm have never stayed for long inside Kashmir Valley.

India has no legal proof regarding resolution-seeking activists and political amalgams being on the payroll of people that harm the national interests of India. It is infact an excuse and a false propaganda to choke the political aspirations in Kashmir and to further trivialise the issue.

It is worth mentioning that Simla Agreement doesn’t suggest a resolution as per ‘wishes of Kashmiri people’. So, it cannot be deemed as a substitute for passed UN resolutions. Infact, these bilateral agreements have vested interests which ignore the real sentiments of Kashmiri people.

Looking at the political and religious diversity of J&K, it would be better if new set of resolutions are drafted by UN. Not only because the past UN resolutions and bilateral agreements have yielded nothing, but it would make India more aware of its responsibility to address the political grievances. But in present circumstances, UN unfortunately hasn’t taken any concrete steps. This aloofness is alienating the aspirations of Kashmiri people and making Kashmir look like no dispute at all.

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