International solution needed for Kashmir issue, Azad Kashmir president says

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International solution needed for Kashmir issue, Azad Kashmir president says

May 5,2019

The president of Azad Kashmir said the decades-old Kashmir issue is an international matter, not a bilateral issue, and should be solved accordingly.

Speaking in a panel organized by the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE), Masood Khan, the president of Azad Kashmir, underscored that Kashmir is an international issue and cannot be a matter of bilateral relations since the U.N. was a party in the dispute in the initial phase.

“The continuation of the Kashmir issue poses a threat to international peace and security,” he added.

Pointing out that the majority of people of Kashmir wanted to be a part of Pakistan before the Indian occupation, which was supposed to be temporary, Khan underscored that despite the U.N. decision to hold a referendum asking people of Kashmir what they want, “India made false promises” on the matter. Stressing that after both countries became nuclear powers the U.N. passed a resolution suggesting that India should show willingness to solve the issue, Khan highlighted this as proof that the U.N. also recognized the root of the problem as India. Commenting on the recent tension between the country, Khan emphasized that the nuclear dimension of the recent escalations was also one of the reasons why Kashmir should be regarded as an international matter since a possible nuclear war will create an enormous refugee wave, sparking a global recession and causing millions of people to be exposed to nuclear fallout.

After the withdrawal of the British from South Asia in 1947, the subcontinent was politically divided into two new states, namely Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India. Millions of people had to migrate from one side to the other. India and Pakistan divided the land without much problem. However, they could not agree on the status of Jammu and Kashmir, a region with a Muslim majority. Although each side claimed control of the entire region, the region was divided into three parts. While 45 percent of the region is under the control of India, 35 percent of the region is controlled by Pakistan. China, another regional actor, controls the remaining 20 percent.

Therefore, the British left the status and the fate of Jammu and Kashmir to the people of the region. The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 47, calling on India to conduct an impartial plebiscite. However, the claim over the Jammu and Kashmir region turned into a crisis that caused several wars between the two states and has not been solved in the last seven decades.