K’ dispute in international agenda amidst elections

…UN moves underline live and standing resistance narrative



‘K’ resistance remains live and standing despite the din and crescendo of election and drumming-up of state narrative by electronic media. Deft moves in UN in recent days relate a tale that resonates with what ‘K’ resistance is all about. During the current month of December, UN Secretary General–Ban Ki Moon without taking notice of ongoing JK election related in a widely carried statement, “As I have stated in the past, if both countries request it, I am ready to engage further to assist in resolving this issue” [PTI post: dated 9th Dec:2014]. While underlining the global concerns on sub-continental security, an outfall of ‘K’ dispute, he elaborated his statement, relating, “I once again encourage both governments to resume discussions and identify confidence-building measures that will allow them to come to an agreement on Kashmir, which will serve the security interests of both countries as well as of the region.” 

Ban Ki Moon went further, while stressing the engagement of people of J&K State in conflict resolution, “Kashmiris need to be engaged in the process and their rights must also be respected at all times”. Ban Ki Moon had reasons not to take note of ongoing election, as entailed in 1951 and 1957 UN resolution. These resolutions relate elections being of no consequence vis-à-vis ‘K’ resolution. 1957 resolution in fact took no cognizance of constituent assembly that concluded its deliberations on November, the 26th 1956, setting out elections rounds every five years. Instead, UN stuck to its own mechanism for ‘K’ conflict resolution, which is a UN supervised plebiscite to lend credence to self determination, ruling out elections being the medium for such an expression. 

The argument that UN resolutions have become irrelevant does not hold water. These resolutions have neither an expiry date nor a fixed shelf life, as stands related time and again. Revision or amendment of these resolutions is subject to a review requested by parties in the dispute. Highest decision making body of UN—Security Council has the ultimate say. Post Shimla, so called bi-lateralization carries the rider of UN auspices, which implies multi-lateralization. Such a take is evident, as Ban Ki Moon or his predecessors have never refused to take a call and express opinion vis-à-vis Kashmir dispute. Or, the global powers as such, time and again urge both sides to come to an agreement. Ban Ki moon in initial days of October 2014 twice urged India and Pakistan to stay engaged in dialogue to diffuse tension, resulting from repeated cross LoC firing. 

UN stays seized of regional conflicts, even in a unfortunate situation where international power play curbs meaningful initiatives vis-à-vis conflict resolutions. Thursday last week UN General Assembly adopted a resolution co-sponsored by 81 countries reaffirming that the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination was a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights. The resolution also called for cessation of military interventions. While international power dynamics tolerates such interventions for varied reasons, such a tolerance has its limits, primarily regional conflicts spilling into global power equations. Moreover holding territories against the will of people habituating within the confines runs its time span before the realization dawns that a façade cannot assume a factual form. History has a habit of repeating itself.  

UN moves provide ample justification for resistance, where elections are propagated to equal self-determination in a polity, which is disputed. Façade cannot be a fact. Election run in heavy security presence in highest militarized zone in the world, which has a telling effect in many outlying areas poses questions on veracity of poll? An election devised by crafty division of political spaces, where ‘B’ team stands lined up by agencies to take over from ‘A’ team face to face with creeping anti-incumbency factor cannot be constructed as fair. Particularly in a tailored situation, where ‘B’ team is as much tuned to Delhi state narrative as the ‘A’ team. Moreover, the tailored situation ensures that anti-incumbency is not en-cashed by political formations in opposition to dominant narrative of the state. 

Crafty division of political space has served Delhi well, as mass rejection of opposition electoral papers and large scale rigging, a norm in earlier decade’s post 1947 is no more needed. ‘B’ team taking over from ‘A’ or vice versa simulates what poet of the east—Allama Iqbal calls ‘Jamhori Tamasha’ a spectacle of democracy, where voters are counted not weighed [Bandou’n Ko Gina Kartay Hai’n Toula Nahi Kartay]. Weighed in the sense that the totality of their take remains un-assessed beyond the vote cast. People vote, lest their day to day affairs suffer. Time and again, despite voting, people have expressed their desire for a lasting political settlement. What is a vote for putting in an administration running day to day affairs is taken to be a victory of sorts for democratic India. 

That India is democratic beyond Lakhanpur, JK’s point of exit is as clear as daylight [Azhar-u-minal Shams in vernacular]. In recent times though threats to democratic order loom large with building intolerance to religious and cultural divergence. Vis-à-vis JK, other way round, democracy gets derailed at same spot—Lakhanpur. From here, democratic dose administered is tailored to the given situation. Kashmir remains face to face with marked democratic deficit, despite ‘Jamhori Tamasha’ conducted every six years. ‘Tamasha’ fails to address Kashmiri aspirations holistically. 

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival