Abdul Rashid Shakir
The United Nations was founded in 1945 with a manifest mission to maintain international peace and security by upholding international law, safeguarding fundamental human rights, ensuring territorial integrity and protecting sovereignty of its 193 member states, located in all continents of the world. In this regard, Charter of the United Nations clearly spells out its mandate to investigate and mediate territorial disputes between different countries. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948, also commits its member states to recognize fundamental human rights, public and political freedoms including freedom of thought and opinion of its citizens.In January 1948, United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 39 (1948), establishing the United Nations Commission for India and Parisian (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate on the Kashmir dispute. The UNCIP adopted a resolution on January 5, 1949 to decide the accession of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) to India or Pakistan through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite under a UN-appointed Plebiscite Administrator. The January 5 is, therefore, commemorated each year as the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
But it is heart-rending to see Kashmiris being deprived of this fundamental human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and promised by UNCIP’s Resolution of 05 January 1949. India has wilfully, rather forcefully, denied the grant of this right to self-determination to people in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) in order to cement its rule in the valley. It has not only tried its utmost to suppress their lawful desire to exercise rights to self-determination, but has also introduced various draconian laws to alter demography of the area. The IIOJ&K Disturbed Area Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and Public Safety Act have served as brutal tools for arresting any individual arbitrarily for indefinite period of time. They have even afforded them the reason for extra judicial killings of the innocent Kashmiris, vying for their just right of self-determination. The most ruthless and blatant of all moves in this regard is India’s constitutional subversion of 05th August 2019, whereby it annexed IIOJ&K as one of its Union Territories by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution that gave IIOJ&K special status of a disputed area.
India even paved way for the changing demographic composition of the area at a massive scale by annulling Article 35-A of its constitution to allow non-Kashmiris to own property in IIOJ&K.
The January 5, the Day of Self Determination for people of IIOJ&K, reminds the United Nations and the world community of their long outstanding commitment made to the innocent people of IIOJ&K more than seven decades ago. It is the high time that they must play a decisive role in putting an end to the trepidation and miseries of Kashmiri people in IIOJ&K. Pakistan implores the world leaders to exert their influence on India to bow before collective conscience of the world community in rejecting Indian state’s inhumane acts of violence to suppress Kashmiri people’s due right of self-determination.
Business and economic considerations aside, the world must give priority to stop massive violations of fundamental human rights by the state of India in IIOJ&K.