- The UN has intervened in other cases before
It has been over a month since occupied Kashmir has been besieged by the merciless Indian forces. The persisting extremely volatile situation there where men, women and children are being brazenly maimed and obliterated, where unparalleled human rights abuses are being blatantly committed day, and where people are being held incommunicado from the outside world, has so far not been able to make any impact on the insensitive civilised world. The wailings and pleas of the viciously battered people of the occupied territory seem to have fallen on the deaf ears of the vociferous world community; proclaimers of peace, civility and democracy.
The unrelenting round-the-clock curfew imposed, under the diktat of the despotic government of Narendra Modi, has brought life to a complete standstill in the Valley; businesses have totally closed down, public transport has conspicuously gone off the roads, and medical aid, particularly for the diseased and the injured, has become totally inaccessible.
The situation in IOK is getting worse by the hour, not by the day. What, however, is mindboggling is the incorrigibly feeble response of the world community, the international human rights organisations, and above all the United Nations (UN) and the USA.
Why this glaring apathy, particularly of the UN, the USA, and the other powers that be? Thus far, whatever has been stated by the UN, the USA, and the other world powers and the Islamic world, is rhetoric. Nothing concrete has been said or done to reflect seriousness of the world community to sincerely address the problem; one that, the world knows, has every potential to explode to a catastrophic magnitude and cause unparalleled devastation not only to the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, but also the region and, perhaps, the entire world.
Brutalities by the Indian forces continue unabated. The ever-belligerent Indian government, is doing everything it can to suppress the freedom movement. Emboldened by the insensitivity of the UN and the world powers, India has rejected the UN Resolution. It is in a confrontational mode with Pakistan, for providing political, diplomatic and moral support to the movement. India must realise that the Pakistani nation has stood by the people of occupied Kashmir for over seven decades now. It will continue to stand by them till its last breath and till the last drop of its blood, whatever the consequences. Will the UN, backed by the USA and the other world powers, set its foot down and prevail on India to hold a plebiscite in IOK as was done in East Timor and South Sudan? The sooner the better, not only for the two volatile nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, who are at the verge of a potential nuclear conflict, but also for the region and, perhaps, for the entire world
The United Nations Security Council, after its closed-door consultative meeting on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, held on August 16, did say that Kashmir is a disputed territory and that it is not an internal matter of India, as claimed by the Indian government. UN Secretary General António Guterres had also emphasised the need to resolve this issue in accordance with applicable Security Council Resolutions and the UN Charter. The USA did say that it is seriously perturbed by the deteriorating Kashmir situation, and that the matter should be resolved through dialogue between India and Pakistan. Some of the Islamic countries also expressed the same concerns as the USA and other world countries, regarding the serious developments taking place in IOK. But that was about all. Nothing tangible has so far been said or done by the international community that could be termed significant and would resolve the Kashmir conundrum. The only country which came out strongly was Pakistan’s time-tested and all-weather ally, China.
As a matter of fact, the UNSC consultative meeting was called on China’s request. As reported by a leading newspaper, “Only one of the five permanent members, China, openly favoured Pakistan.” The remaining four, Britain, France, Russia and the USA only desired India and Pakistan to address the Kashmir dispute in a bilateral set-up, the report said.
The awfully feeble stance of the UN and the USA in particular, and the world community in general, vis-à-vis occupied Kashmir, reflects nothing but their hypocrisy in resolving issues of international consequence. This can be lucidly gauged from some commendable actions taken by the world body, the USA, and the other powers that be, in the past, on issues of international significance equally as important as the ongoing Kashmir issue.
East Timor is the first case in point. A quick glance of the history of East Timor will unfold the facts that led to the independence of East Timor from Indonesia. As reported in the international media, many countries of the world, including Australia, effectively looked the other way, prepared to appease Indonesia because of its size and power in the region. In 1978 Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, was the first to recognise Jakarta’s de facto annexation. But the UN condemned it out-and out and called for an act of self-determination. The crucial role that the UN played in getting East Timor ultimately freed from the clutches of Indonesia cannot be overemphasised. In the 1990s, a combination of the independence movement gaining strength, growing worldwide pressure and political reform in Indonesia led to a UN-sponsored referendum on independence on 30 August 1999. The historic ballot saw 78 per cent of East Timorese vote for independence. Unambiguously, the UN played a persuasive role and prevailed on Indonesia to grant right of self-determination to the browbeaten people of East Timor.
The second case in point is South Sudan. It gained its independence from the Republic of Sudan in 2011. This made it the newest sovereign state to have emerged on the map of the world in the 21st century, with widespread recognition. How sustained and effective was the role of the UNSC in supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army? As reported in the international media, “the Security Council, by its resolution 1590 (2005) of 24 March 2005, decided to establish the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army on 9 January 2005; and to perform certain functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and protection and promotion of human rights. UNMIS provided good offices and political support to the parties, monitored and verified their security arrangements and assisted in a number of other areas, including governance, recovery and development. South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following 98.83% support for independence in a January 2011 referendum”.
Thus, it can be dexterously concluded that the UN’s role in the independence of both East Timor and South Sudan was crucial. Backed by the powers that be, the world body played a pivotal role in helping these two subjugated nations gain independence from the clutches of their subjugators.
In the backdrop of these circumstances, it is perplexing to appreciate why the UN, the USA, and the other world powers are so averse to deal with the issue of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) with the same passion which they showed for East Timor and South Sudan. Doesn’t this reflect double standards? Resolution of the issue of IOK should be much easier. Why so? Because IOK already has been declared a disputed territory under the 1948 UN Resolution, which proclaims that the issue has to be resolved by granting the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir.
Brutalities by the Indian forces continue unabated. The ever-belligerent Indian government, is doing everything it can to suppress the freedom movement. Emboldened by the insensitivity of the UN and the world powers, India has rejected the UN Resolution. It is in a confrontational mode with Pakistan, for providing political, diplomatic and moral support to the movement. India must realise that the Pakistani nation has stood by the people of occupied Kashmir for over seven decades now. It will continue to stand by them till its last breath and till the last drop of its blood, whatever the consequences. Will the UN, backed by the USA and the other world powers, set its foot down and prevail on India to hold a plebiscite in IOK as was done in East Timor and South Sudan? The sooner the better, not only for the two volatile nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, who are at the verge of a potential nuclear conflict, but also for the region and, perhaps, for the entire world.