UN Kashmir report after 59 years
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani
UN High Commissioner’s June 2018 report on Human Rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, is first major UN interest in Kashmir. It has exploded the myth that India is unaccountable and unassailable in its human rights record. People of Kashmir should not subscribe to any such narrative that the world has been overtaken by economic interests and power politics and turn a blind eye to human suffering. We need to perfect our art of storytelling.
Prima facie it may look like that, but the regular defeat of USA, Israel and a few countries in the General Assembly vote on Palestine, the establishment of UN Investigation Commission to investigate the war crimes in Gaza, establishment and extension of a UN Investigation Commission to investigate the war crimes in Yemen and UN Special Rapporteur’s report on the Poverty in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, are examples that prove otherwise.
India has rejected the UN Report on Kashmir as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. Government of India, political parties and the media, have gone into a well-coordinated frenzy to discredit the report. It is a self-serving response and has passed its sell by date. United Nations Secretary General has endorsed the report as the “Voice of the UN”. India succeeded to rope in Bhutan, Afghanistan from Asia, Mauritius from Africa, Belarus from Eurasia and Cuba and Venezuela from Latin America to speak against the OHCHR Report on Kashmir. The dissenting 6 countries out of 193 countries, do not make any threatening mathematics. The report holds up as the “Voice of the United nations”. UN Secretary General has said,”As you can imagine all the action of the Human Rights High Commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the UN in relation to that issue.”
Cuba would not endorse the Indian view for long. Once reminded by the Government of Pakistan and by credible NGOs working at the UN, that Cuba has remained actively involved in the debates on equality of peoples and self-determination of the people of Kashmir at the UN Security Council, Cuba would correct its course. The 6 dissenting voices against the overwhelming majority of 187 countries does not matter.
Government of India with all its size, number and spread as a lucrative market could not stall the diplomatic perseverance of the Government of Pakistan in general and the work of Kashmiri civil society on both sides of cease fire line and in the diaspora. JKCHR in special consultative status with the United Nations, continued to flag the profiling of the Kashmiri youth by Indian security forces for paid killing at the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries and took two delegations to OHCHR in Geneva.
On 26 September 2016JKCHR took the first delegationcomprising of Mohammad Yasin Chaudhry – Leader of the opposition in Azad Kashmir Assembly,Lord Qurban Hussain – Member House of Lords and vice chairman APPG on Kashmir in the British Parliament,Rana Muhammad Athar Javed Director General Pakistan House, , Amjad Hussain – Civil Society Activist, Mohammed Ilyas – Civil Society Activist and Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani – President JKCHR, to meet senior officials at OHCHR in Geneva, and proposed the compilation of a report using the mechanism of Remote Monitoring. The 14 June 2018 UN Report is the first such report on Kashmir in the last 40 years and the Remote Monitoring has been used in two other cases, namely, Turkey and Venezuela only.The49 Pages and 140 paragraph report has 23 paras are on the human rights situation in Azad Kashmir. The report has admitted that these concernsare of different Calibre and Magnitude and more of a Structural nature. While as the situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir is a “gross and systematic” abuse of human rights.
One other May 2018 report by the UN Secretary General on “Children and armed conflict” has overturned the Indian propaganda about terrorism and has reinstated the status of the Kashmir fighting as “armed conflict”. The report states that “Children continued to be killed and injured in the context of operations of national security forces against armed groups.” It records that “unverified reports” indicate national security forces use children as “informants and spies”.Using Kashmiri children to spy for them constitutes a war crime.
UN report has recommended the“establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”. It has established that the presence of 500,000 to 700,000 Indian troops make Kashmir “one of the most militarised zones in the world”. It has thrown up into discussion the status of Indian security forces and the continued violation of existing seven restraints placed on them. The question of right of self-determination has been flagged.
It has flagged an urgent need for demilitarization in Kashmir.Pakistan’s proposal made at the 761st Meeting of UN SC on 16 January 1957 to induct a United Nations Force in Kashmir assumes importance. This proposal has been addressed in the Joint Resolution brought by 4 Countries, namely, Australia, Cuba, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America passed on 14 February 1957.
Columbia had proposed an amendment to add arbitration and involvement of International Court of Justice. In the case of a continued disagreement between India and Pakistan the use of arbitration has been proposed by United Kingdom and USA in the joint resolution submitted at the 532nd meeting of UN Security Council on 21 February 1951. Sweden as President of the Security Council has warned India against taking any internal legislative matters which would violate the agreed mechanism of a UN supervise referendum.Philippines has also supported the replacement of all forces with UN Forces in Kashmir. UN report has come after 59 years and needs full support.
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani 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.