Kashmir is not a Territorial Dispute

May 2, 2104


Kashmir seems to have become black spot on the conscience of humanity. Kashmir is before the UN under chapter six which is related to peaceful settlement of Kashmir. India tries to solve it bilaterally but even the Simla agreement clearly states that it should be solved by direct negotiation or by other peaceful means. So the other peaceful means involve various options including third party, conciliation, and mediation or eventually if necessary by arbitration. Pakistan and India have not solved any issue bilaterally. At this time USA, although a strategic partner of India, has to pull out of Afghanistan and needs cooperation of Pakistan.

Kashmir is not territorial dispute; it is essentially a question of right of self-determination of Kashmiri people which is recognized internationally. Kashmiris living in European countries are raising voices for their right. Kashmiri people are the principal party of this issue and if they are in leading role, there is far greater chance of getting international support.

The artificial stigma of terrorism has put us in disadvantageous position at this time. After 9/11, India started blaming that freedom struggle in Kashmir is cross-border terrorism. We have to reestablish the difference between freedom struggle and terrorism. There is whole history of freedom struggle in Kashmir and a number of UN resolutions.

There is UN resolution that elections in Kashmir and decisions of the Assembly are not the substitute of plebiscite and do not change the legal situation of Kashmir. After rigged elections in Occupied Kashmir in 1987, the protests started against them. India suppressed the voice of people by force. When the protests were suppressed, the armed struggle started. So those elections changed peaceful struggle into armed struggle and this factor underscores illegality of elections. On 27th Feb the USA State Department issued new statement attacking very strongly the human rights violations of Indian government in Kashmir and all the black laws. 

In 1947 Pakistan and India gave in written to UN that they will implement UN resolutions. By applying the Chapter seven of UN for enforced implementation of UN resolutions, we need support of at least nine SC members which does not seem easy as India has always strategic partnership with one of the major powers. Initially it used Soviet veto and after Soviet decline, now it relies on American support. Unfortunately in last more than three decades, the Afghanistan-Pakistan situation has created an adverse international atmosphere for Pakistan. So we have to be patient and not press for immediate solution at this time. We should take principle stand and continue struggle with determination.
Regarding India’s illegal stance there are two main points.

Firstly in July 1947, the largest party of the Kashmiri leaders the Muslim Conference passed the unanimous resolution in favor of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.

Secondly, on 15th of August Maharaja of Kashmir, who could not make up his mind to go which side, offered to sign a standstill agreement. India did not sign it and Pakistan signed, which meant that British role of controlling the foreign affairs, defense and other communication was then transferred to Pakistan. So after signing that agreement, Maharaja had no right to sign the letter of accession to India. Even if it is accepted that there is letter of accession, it is illegal.

People of Kashmir who are determined for freedom should be provided our full political, diplomatic, moral and media support. The struggle of Kashmiris will succeed hopefully.