The people of Kashmir are observing October 27 as the day of grief, sorrow and above all a day of occupation because it was on this day in 1947 that India sent its army to occupy the land of Kashmir without the consent of its people and in defiance of international norms. So the occupation of Kashmir happened 72 years ago when Indian troops invaded Kashmir under the auspices of a fraudulent Instrument of Accession. British historian, Alaister Lamb has convincingly demonstrated that the Instrument was bogus as an original has never been found, and there is no plausible explanation for a disappearance of an original had it ever existed.
The people of Kashmir are constantly reminded of the fact that it was in 1948 & 1949 that the United Nations adopted resolutions that clearly states that the people of Kashmir have the right to determine their own future through a free and impartial vote. They ask the United Nations to follow through on its commitment given to the people of Kashmir.
We must mention here that, by no stretch of the imagination, can the situation in Kashmir be treated as India’s internal matter, as India argues. Kashmir is recognized as a disputed territory under international law and the United Nations bears the responsibility of preventing the massive violations of human rights that are being committed by the Indian occupation regime. The movement in Kashmir is not secessionist because Kashmir cannot secede from India to which it has never acceded to in the first place. Nor is the Kashmir conflict a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan; it involves not an undemarcated boundary between the two states but the life and future of 23 million people of Kashmir.
We must mention here that even by today’s violent world, the behavior of the Indian occupation regime in Kashmir is singular in as much as it has enjoyed total immunity. Not a word of condemnation has been uttered at the important capitols of the world, not even a call on India to cease and desist from its near- genocidal campaign. This is not merely a case of passivity and inaction; in practical effect, it amounts to an abetment and encouragement of murderous tyranny. If tyranny is not condoned inside the territory of a member state of the United Nations, is there not greater reason for the United Nations to intervene when the territory is one whose disposition is to be determine through a free and fair vote under the impartial auspices of the world organization.
We are dismayed by the lack of action by the world powers to help stop the carnage in Kashmir and by their virtual indifference to the situation in our land. The disparity between their inaction and their repeated assertion that the protection of human rights and encouragement of democratic solutions are their major foreign policy goals is hard for us to understand. Nevertheless, we still have confidence that they will realize that what is at stake in the dispute is not only the survival of the people of Kashmir , but peace in the populous region of South Asia and also the basis of a civilized worldview.
It is commonly acknowledged that, with India and Pakistan both being nuclear weapon states directly confronting each other, the dispute is potentially the most dangerous in the world. It is a fact that India’s illegal military occupation of Kashmir has already sparked two wars between India and Pakistan, and a third could occasion a harrowing exchange of nuclear volleys between South Asian nations. This, we believe should awaken the international community to the urgency of resolving the long outstanding Kashmir conflict through the international mediation. President Trump should exert its considerable power of persuasion to mediate a peaceful conclusion of the Kashmir conflict with India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership. Bilateral talks over Kashmir between India and Pakistan have proven sterile for 72 years and nothing in that dismal equation has changed. It should, therefore, be a major interest for the world powers to prevent this dispute from exploding into a conflict, which can be catastrophic for a large portion of the human race.
It is symptomatic of the United Nations approach that greater emphasis is placed on the reduction of tensions rather than on the settlement of the core issue, i.e., Kashmir. This encourages giving importance to superficial moves and temporary solutions even though it is known that such moves and solutions do not soften the animosity of the parties nor allay the life-and-death concerns and anxieties of the people most directly affected.
We, therefore, urge the Secretary General of the United Nations, indeed to intensify, its watch over the situation in Kashmir. We trust that his personal involvement in this matter will bring its influence to bear on all parties concerned to initiate a peace process with which the United Nations as well as the leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir will be associated so as to ensure that the settlement arrived at will be based on the principles of justice.
(Dr. Fai is the Secretary general of World Kashmir Awareness Forum. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kashmirawareness.org)