Published On: Mon, Nov 23rd, 2015

“For India and Pakistan to address Kashmir”

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

Indian media turns turtle and fails in its duty to fairness, when it came to reporting on Kashmir, in particular the Valley. Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif raised Kashmir issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent meeting with him in Washington and the matter was left at that reference in Pakistan. However, Indian media did not waste a second to dilute the impact of an engagement on Kashmir between two very powerful people of two nuclear countries. Quoting State Department Spokesman John Kirby Indian media reported that “This (Kashmir) is for the two parties to work out.”

Clarification

It is generally understood that India went to the United Nations on 01 January 1948 and Kashmir became an international issue.  It is not so. In fact Prime Minister of Great Britain was the first to propose to the Prime Minister of Pakistan in his telegram of 22 November 1947 to have recourse to International Court of Justice. Prime Minister of Great Britain offered his good offices “to take private soundings from the President of the International Court of Justice to find out whether he is of the opinion that it would be practicable and he would be willing to try to get together a small team of international experts, not connected with India, Pakistan or the United Kingdom, in the event of a joint request being preferred by the Governments of India and Pakistan for this to be done.”

United Nations formalised the issues and put in place a comprehensive mechanism for the resolution of the dispute. It is unfortunate that Indian Government continues to misinform the people of India and without reason curse Pandit Nehru for taking Kashmir to the United Nations.  It lives with concealing and a distortion of evidence on Kashmir. Government of India (Governor General) in its letter of 27 October 1947 addressed to the Maharaja of Kashmir submits that, “…the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”

People of Kashmir have been urging the Government of India to honour her promise of 27 October 1947, and put into action the UN mechanism prepared by the member nations of the UN for the resolution of the dispute. The mechanism has accepted Pakistan as one of the parties. People of Kashmir retain the Principality in the dispute.

For India and Pakistan

If Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has flagged Kashmir issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry, it needs to be appreciated as the exercise of an expressed diplomacy. The Muslim youth of Kashmir has not given up on the use of a gun and continue to dare death and cause death. Indian security forces are not prepared to honour the terms of their admission, UN restraints and have a free use of AFSPA against unarmed civilians. Pakistan as a party to the dispute keeps a battle hardened army and it has to formulate a response to the no holds barred freedom of Indian security forces.

United States Role

State Department Spokesman John Kirby’s statement that, it is for India and Pakistan to address Kashmir, does not help India and the spin given to it by Indian media has no merit. In fact the United Nations on 6 February 1948 itself has asked both Governments of India and Pakistan, “to seek a solution by negotiation under the auspices of the Council, to co-operate with each other and with the Council in developing specific proposals”. United States of America has made its position further clear on the subject. At the 607 meeting of the UN Security Council on 5 December 1952, the United States has clarified the manner of bilateral engagement between Indian and Pakistan. It said, “…we welcome any agreement which parties themselves can reach on any basis which will settle the dispute, provided of course that basis is consistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

The spin given by Indian media to this statement is unhelpful and misleading. Pakistan military continues to make an input in Kashmir diplomacy and if things go wrong in civil diplomacy, it would be the military leadership that has to handle the narrative if there is a war. On a careful examination of the statement we find that State Department spokesman’s remarks are in concurrence with what the United States has said at the UN Security Council in 1952.

United States of America has to live with rest of the world represented in the General Assembly of 194 countries. It can’t afford to be cross examined and challenged by small countries for any non-compliance of the principles of UN Charter. United States of America is exposed to equality of vote at the UN General Assembly debates in New York and at the UN Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.

It has suffered numerical defeat when UNHRC censored Israel for her gross violations of human rights during 2014 Gaza war and on the issues of Palestine when in November 2012 an overwhelming majority of 138 in the General Assembly voted to accord Palestine non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations. United States of America could only manage 8 votes against 119 in favour for raising the flags of non-member observer States (Palestine) at the UN in September 2015. General Assembly decided that the flags of non-member observer States maintaining permanent observer missions at Headquarters shall be raised at Headquarters and United Nations offices following the flags of the Members States of the Organization.

UN Secretary General in Srinagar

Indian establishment should not over-inflate its calculations that containment of dissent and management of general sentiment is likely to serve any useful purpose of Indian interests in Jammu and Kashmir. Every contribution and process has a latent effect and it runs into a slow and steady build up. If mistakes had not been made by the Kashmiri leadership or if Tashkent Declaration and Shimla Agreement had not resulted in the non-reference to Kashmir at the UN Security Council from November 1965 to August 1996 (for some 31 years), the work started by the second Secretary General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld in 1959 would have produced a just settlement on the basis of seven principles laid down in the report of the President of the Security Council in document S/667 of 10 February 1948.

The second Secretary General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld visited Srinagar in 1959 in a UN plane supplied (with crew) by the Italian air force to explore the causes for the noncompliance of UN Resolutions. The visit was a week-long stay in Srinagar. UN Secretary General was accompanied by his political aide, Wilhehm Wachmeister, General Nimmo, the UN Chief Military Observer, Bill Ranallo, and Sean Finn – Administrative Aide ( operator of Hagelin Code Machine). Sean Finn was Scottish. On board was also a Hagelin’s cipher machine.

The flight had not been out of Delhi for long, the entourage of Secretary General received a priority message to say that the Egyptians had seized a boat with Liberian registration making its way through the Suez Canal, claiming it carried an Israeli cargo. The Canal had not been too long reopened after that well-known contretemps. A series of cables to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Dr. Fawzi, recommending release of the boat, was initiated from the flight carrying the UN Secretary General to Srinagar.

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 10 April 1953 until 18 September 1961 when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo. Sean Finn writes that “During the flight, the S-G took many photos, particularly of the Kanchenjuga Mountain Range, one of which was later published on the back page of the London Times, which at that time we would receive on special airmail newsprint.”

Anil Kumar Shastri

It is encouraging that everyone in India does not want to vanquish Kashmir through military spread and subterranean intrigue of various invisible forces. There are people in all walks of life and in particular some families in India that have made a historical contribution to efforts for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. One such family is the Shastri family. Senior Congress leader and son of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister of India, made a valuable contribution in Hamid Mir’s GEO TV Capital Talk show during his visit of Islamabad. He admitted that Kashmir remains the ‘core issue’ and once it is resolved all other issues would follow suit. Hamid Mir with his special gifts and understanding of Kashmir case engaged Anil Kumar Shastri and Senator Hasil Bizenjo in a constructive discussion on India-Pakistan relations.

Anil Shastri’s view is the quintessence of UN wisdom on Kashmir and remains in concurrence with French position at the UN Security Council, that, “The French delegation earnestly hopes that, once the Kashmir dispute has been settled, the solution of other outstanding questions between India and Pakistan will be greatly eased”. [S/Agenda 241].


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