If the dispute concerns only India and Pakistan, are Kashmiris the cattle on “no man’s land”?




India joined the prestigious 15-nation United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent member in January 2011, with the Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri describing it as “resounding endorsement” from the international community. As the two-year generative term ended on December 31, 2012, it is now Pakistan’s turn to focus the attention of international community where it wishes.



 In the very first week of 2013, LoC violations surface and the two nations are drawn apart with hairsplitting details on it. However, it was too early and too risky to take it to an international level. After a fortnight of altercation and shifting blames, these two nations surprisingly consent on applying restraint and respect for LoC. Nonetheless, and to the misfortunes of India, Pakistan did not miss to make its move by seeking UN intervention to investigate the issue. With the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, stating that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has received an official complaint from the Pakistani Army about ceasefire violation by Indian Army on January 6, India seems to be caught on the wrong foot.

With the best ever ploy in contemporary international politics, Pakistan organizes an open debate on peace keeping under the aegis of UN Security council taking full advantage of its presidency; a venue is set for HS Puri – one he couldn’t have said no to. Fully aware of Indian defiance, as the nation (India) for decades has refused to comply to third party intervention (UN) in resolving the disputes of Kashmir and LoC, the Indian ambassador was hooked as the bait. Puri in the debate suffices it to the point that UNMOGIP’s role has been overtaken Shimla Agreement of 1972, a stand his predecessors and India have latched to

 Puri’s suggestion that UN observer group’s presence on LoC was not required and the poor justification that resources could be used somewhere else has put India at the losing end. Pakistan has not only scored a point for Indian defiance, but also brought the Kashmir issue in focus, yet again. With strong reaction from the international community and the statement that implies that India has no jurisdiction to terminate UN observer group along LoC has hit hard the Indian polity. Many separatist leaders in Kashmir have also expressed the discontent over terminating UN’s presence, which they view as sign of acknowledging that Kashmir is a disputed territory. As it seems very unlikely to unravel the mysteries of beheaded soldiers and the new agendas, one thing is for sure – India has lost a bit of a credit for its run for permanent member seat. In all this, a Kashmiri has a right to ask the most important question to all – Is territory more important than human lives; if it concerns only India and Pakistan, are Kashmiris the cattle on “no man’s land”?