Kashmir Right of Self-determination is a Legal Binding – Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
On Jan. 5, 1949, the U.N. passed a resolution recognizing the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the global body. Each year, residents on both sides of the Line of Control mark this day as the Right to Self-Determination Day.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in his message to mark “Right to Self-Determination Day” said that Pakistan was ready to play its role in ensuring the undertaking of a plebiscite in line with U.N. commitments. On Jan. 5, 1949, the U.N. passed a resolution recognizing the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the UNSC. The importance of the inalienable right to self-determination has been acknowledged in all important human rights covenants and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Due to Indian intransigence, the U.N. Security Council has failed to fulfill its pledge to the Kashmiri people, which is a legal binding and must be implemented without any further delay.
India’s occupation of Jammu and Kashmir is illegal, with Delhi’s brutality intensifying after it scrapped the disputed region’s special autonomy on Aug. 5, 2019. “Around 900,000 occupation forces have converted the region into the largest prison in the world. Around 8 million people are under siege. It is the largest curfew which has halted the life of 8 million people. Post-Aug. 5, 2019, India has unleashed a new reign of terror in India Occupied Kashmir, locking the region down and abusing the human rights of innocent people especially women, children and the elderly with impunity. Kashmir is completely blackout and isolated from the rest of the world. Internet and mobile phone services have been suspended. No journalist or foreigner is allowed to travel to Kashmir. Before imposing Curfew on the 5th of August, India has asked all visitors and tourists to leave Kashmir.
Kashmiri people on both sides of the line of control are the same people and bonded with blood relations, which was divided by force by Indian troops. Pakistan has a firm commitment to extend moral and political and diplomatic support on humanitarian grounds to just struggle of Kashmiri people for their right of self-determination, which was granted by the United Nation.
Indian action on the 5th of August 2019, the suspension of the legal status of Kashmir is against the UNSC resolution, against the spirit of the Simla Agreement and against any norms of the international community. Kashmir is a recognized disputed territory among China, Pakistan, and India. Unilateral action by India is considered a severe violation of International law.
India used all dirty tactics to suppress the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination, including excessive use of force. Around 1 million Indian-troops are deployed in Kashmir, but, for the last 72 years, India failed to change the mind-set of Kashmiri people, and could not succeed to suppress their struggle. India must have learned the lesson that the People of Kashmir cannot be suppressed. Sooner or later India have to surrender and leave Kashmir for Kashmiris. The sooner is the better.
As usual, this year the Kashmiri has marked this day too. According to the Kashmir Media Service, Kashmiris across the world marked the Right to Self-Determination Day with a pledge to continue their struggle until the Kashmir dispute had been resolved through a free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) of Srinagar said that the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council on Jammu and Kashmir had legitimized the struggle of the Kashmiri people to achieve their right to self-determination. “These resolutions are testimony to the fact that the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir was unjustified, illegal and against all norms and standards of international law”.
The APHC appealed to the international community, particularly the United Nations, to conduct an impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir so that the Kashmiris can decide their future themselves. The APHC also condemned the continued lockdown of the territory by the Indian government.
Trust, nations, and individuals with human conscious may raise their voice in favor of Kashmiris and their suffering may reach to an end soon. Immediate lifting of the curfew, withdrawal of one million troops from Kashmir and stop the violation of human rights in Kashmir, are the urgent steps to be taken by India.
Author is a Sinologist, ex-Diplomat, Academician, Researcher, member editorial board (World Scientific), Peace-activist, Geo-analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization).