India-Pakistan dialogue and Kashmir

OP-ED

India-Pakistan dialogue and Kashmir

The myth that India is unassailable has been exploded by these reports

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani

NOVEMBER 11, 2018

The reports of UN Secretary General published on 16 May 2018 launched in New York, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published on 14 June 2018 launched in Geneva and the report of All Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group launched in the House of Commons in London on 30 October 2018, all indict Indian security forces for their criminal conductin Kashmir.

The myth that India is unassailable has been exploded by these reports. Perseverance and tactical advocacy has always paid at the UN. United States of America and Israel have always lost the vote against Palestinians in the UN General Assembly and in the UN Human Rights Council. The manipulation and a veto could only be possible in the Security Council. The address by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan at the UN General Assembly, was a breakaway from the routine and Indians could not counter the sentiment and the fact.

People of Kashmir in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and all over the world observed 27 October as a Black Day and 6 November as Jammu Martyrs Day, in memory of those 200,000 Muslim men, women and children who were, rounded up by Indian security forces and the forces of Maharaja and massacred on 6 November 1947.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan, while talking to press has stated that Pakistan shall have to wait for Modi to complete elections in April or May 2019, for the resumption of any dialogue. Six to seven months mean a lot in politics and these mean a lot more, for a common Kashmiri mauled and put to death by Indian security forces, day in and day out. We accept that there is no alternative to a dialogue. We should at the same time be prepared to admit that India and Pakistan, have conceded at the UN that they could not succeed in their bilateral engagement under Article 33 of the UN Charter.

India has made a written statement at the UN Security Council, “The Government of India, ever anxious to proceed according to the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, desire to report the situation to the Security Council in accordance with the provisions of article 35 of the Charter. They, therefore feel justified in requesting the Council to ask the Government of Pakistan..” and India lists its three main demands.

Government of Pakistan in her written statement to the UN Security Council has stated, “The Pakistan Government are glad that Government of India have chosen to make a reference to the Security Council. In fact they have for some time been of the view that this is the only feasible method of peacefully settling the differences between the two countries. They have already unsuccessfully tried over a period of many months to see a solution of the disputes between the two Dominions by the methods described in Article 33 of the Charter”.

India and Pakistan could defer the consideration of their outstanding disputes, as long as it takes, for them to feel comfortable. However, the question or dispute about the “rights and dignity”, “security and self-determination” of the people of Kashmir overrides the ordinary meaning of any dispute. Right of self-determination is a title and basic human right, currently pending a UN supervised vote. In addition to India and Pakistan, 193 countries of the UN are seized of the responsibility, to conduct a UN supervised vote in Kashmir.

We have a new Government in Pakistan and it has rubbished the Kashmir policy of the previous Government. Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari has contributed a paper as a blue print of their action. Unless we understand the jurisprudence of UN package on Kashmir, jurisprudence of constitutional relationship between Government of Azad Kashmir and Government of Pakistan assumed under UNCIP Resolutions, role of Pakistan as a party to the Kashmir dispute under UN Security Council Resolutions and role of Pakistan as a member of UN under the Charter and seek to conjoin it with the role of other nations under the Charter, all our efforts would end up in a failure.

Our efforts are lost in optics and the sentiments fail to carry forward the merits of the case. Kashmir case as concluded by the United Nations, is about, “rights and dignity”, “security and self-determination”

Our tomorrow would not be any different, if we wait for India, to take up a dialogue with Pakistan, not as a regular agenda item, but as an AOB (Any Other Business) towards the end of a meeting. The present Government and other intra-disciplinary agencies working on Kashmir, should not support or encourage any regime of optics, that has mushroomed around Kashmir. For example, it would not help the Kashmir case, if British members of Parliament, hosted by Azad Kashmir Government, produce a report and do not urge their respective political parties, Government of Britain and FCO to take a pro-active interest in Kashmir at the United Nations and in their foreign policy.

We seem to be doing more harm to our case, than serving the constituency of Kashmiri interests. It hurts to point out and one feels ashamed to notice, that on 5 November 2018, Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Farooq Haider Khan and ex-Prime Minister Attique Ahmed Khan had their backs turned against each other and were addressing two small audiences in two separate rooms in the European parliament. The audience in these functions was overseas Kashmiris and interchangeable. There was a third event going on, on Kashmir in a third room. Their flip flop is proverbial. If we get into a race of hiring two or three MEPs each or tether one or two regulars for self-serving optics, it is criminal and unfair.

Our efforts are lost in optics and the sentiments fail to carry forward the merits of the case. Kashmir case as concluded by the United Nations, is about, “rights and dignity”, “security and self-determination”.

The writer is President of London based NGO JKCHR, which is in special consultative status with the United Nations. He is an advocate of the Supreme Court and specializes in Peace Keeping, Humanitarian Operations, and Election Monitoring Missions. Dr Gilani specializes in the Jurisprudence of UN Resolutions and Kashmir case. He was elected at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, to represent the Unrepresented Peoples and Nations of the World

Published in Daily Times, November 11th 2018.