Article 370 of the Indian constitution was supposed to encapsulate the terms under which the Maharaja of Kashmir was supposed to have acceded to India. By removing this article, India has eliminated the only legal argument it had itself advanced to justify its claim to Jammu & Kashmir. By its own legal yardstick, therefore, there now is naked occupation. Sardar Pervez Mehmood president of Kashmir European Alliance said in a statement issued from Norwegian capital Oslo on the occasion of Kashmir black day being observed by the people of Kashmiri origin displaced far across the continents.
A new report released recently, compiled by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, offers a sobering reminder of the brutal tactics the self-declared world’s largest democracy is applying in Indian Jammu & Kashmir. The report says that accountability of Indian troops in the region is non-existent, pointing out that no security personnel in the held region accused of torture and other abuses have been prosecuted in civilian courts since the early 1990s. The report has also slammed Delhi’s abhorrent use of pellet guns, offering the gruesome statistic that over 1200 people have been blinded by these weapons from mid-2016 to the end of 2018. While India keeps trying to falsely paint the Kashmiri struggle for rights and self-determination in the colours of terrorism, it will be difficult for it to dismiss the serious evidence of human rights abuses highlighted by World forums. Amnesty International had also launched a report about rights abuses in the held territory.
The Modi government has closed all doors to a peaceful and negotiated resolution of the dispute. It has rejected a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan as well as third-party mediation. Following its Aug 5 unilateral actions, India says there is nothing to negotiate with Pakistan, nor does the Indian government contemplate a negotiated relationship with the Kashmiris. They will be now ruled directly by Delhi’s proconsuls. India has clearly opted for a military solution. The Kashmiri Muslims face an existential threat. They are vigorously opposing being transformed into a minority in their homeland by Hindu colonists. They have no choice but to intensify their freedom struggle. The BJP’s fascist plan to impose a final solution by changing Kashmir’s demographic composition will result in serious violations of human rights and humanitarian laws and could lead to a genocide in Indian occupied Kashmir.
The principle of a plebiscite prescribed in Security Council resolution 47 (1948) and subsequent resolutions reflects the legal recognition of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. The UN General Assembly, in Resolution 2649 (1970), and several subsequent resolutions, has repeatedly affirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of people under colonial and alien domination, recognised as being entitled to the right of self-determination, to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal, including armed struggle. These resolutions, furthermore, also recognise the right of such people to seek and receive all kinds of moral and material assistance in the legitimate exercise of their right to self-determination.
India must remember that a political and thus a peaceful resolution of Kashmir calls for a tri-patriate arrangement. At the end, it is Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris who will have to take the final decision to resolve this over seven-decade-old imbroglio. But a little friendly push from powerful global actors may help the stakeholders reach a mutually acceptable solution. Indian rigidity has left little hope on the bilateral front, especially under Mr Modi’s watch, as Delhi keeps harping on about terrorism, without earnestly responding to Pakistan’s offers for dialogue. Whether it is the US, the UN, or other global players, clearly a multilateral framework may be able to provide a conducive atmosphere for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Delhi may be posturing to look ‘strong’ domestically, but it must realise that meaningful dialogue is the only solution for Kashmir. Sardar maintained!