Published On: Sun, May 22nd, 2016

Demographic changes in Kashmir to influence UN supervised referendum

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani — Indian government is in full action to introduce demographic changes in Kashmir to influence UN supervised referendum. To carry it through, it has to ambush the people of Kashmir, Government of Pakistan and the United Nations.

nazir-gilaniIf India has any case in Jammu and Kashmir it is pending adjudicationof the right of self-determination under UN supervised free vote of the people.  The Indian entry into the State in October 1947 is temporary and sub ordinate. Indian entry has been successfully questioned by the Government of Pakistan at the UN and people of Jammu and Kashmir have established the sovereignty of their future decision. It is in regard to this choice of the people that Indian Government has been facing a political and a militant resistance to its imposed presence in the State.

Indian Government is satisfied with the demographic arithmetic of Jammu province, where the Muslim majority has been trashed into a Hindu majority, by massacring around 5 lakh Muslims in 1947. However, Indian administration has to live with an annoying discomfort of Muslim majority in the Valley and an aggregate Muslim majority in the entire State. Indian mind-set is disturbed by the common position of Hurriyat and the pro India parties that the State has not merged into the Union of India. Hurriyat does not accredit any association with Indian union in any manner.

Regardless of the local positionsmaintained  by the two main disciplines of politics, that is, Hurriyat of July 1993 and pro India parties, United Nations in its Resolution of 30 March 1951 has settled all Indian misgivings on the subject. UN has observed that ‘the area from which such a constituent assembly would be elected is only a part of the whole territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. The UN Resolution goes on to clarify that, “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations”.

The UN resolution cautions the National Conference that, “any action that assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle”. Therefore all acts or steps taken by the Jammu and Kashmir Government after 30 March 1951 Resolution shall have to correspond to the principles laid down in the UN Security Council Resolution.  The relationship of the State with the Union of India as defined under article 3 of the J&K Constitution adopted on 17 November 1956 (as integral part) has no merit and is without any legal sanction.

The communal India under Modi government has taken over the control of all liberal and secular forces in the country. Liberal and secular India too has remained communal at source, when it came to the Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir. Change in the demography of Kashmir has always remained a core interest of Indian policy in the State. Since the first two day visit of UN Secretary General Dag Hammrskjold to Srinagar on 20 March 1959 Indian Government has succeeded to make subtle moves in disturbing the demographics of Kashmir.

Indian Government used the cover of the UN Secretary General’s two day visit to Srinagar and on 31 March 1959 succeeded to strike a quid pro quo with the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed and got the requirement of an entry permit for an Indian citizen to visit or enter the State rescinded with effect from 01 April 1959. The permit system for entry into and exit from the State which had been in force since 1947 was abolished with effect from 01 April 1959.

It was done to facilitate and encourage the inflow of Indians into the State.  The loss of visa control was aimed at disturbing the local demography. It needs to be examined whether the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, in view of UN Resolution of 30 March 1951 or otherwise had any authority to rescind the existing entry control notification. It is unfortunate that the matter was neither agitated in public nor brought to the attention of the United Nations.

Indian Government used the cover of militant resistance and waged a low intensity war against the people of Kashmir. It ensured the death of a generation and has created a serious number deficit in the State. Another major attempt was made in May 2008 to grab Kashmiri land and to parachute non-State Hindu population in the Valley, Government of India reached an agreement with the Srinagar Government to transfer 99 acres (0.40 km2) of forest land to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) in the main Kashmir valley to set up temporary shelters and facilities for Hindu pilgrims. Kashmiri Muslims came out in full force to oppose the move. The arrangement was suspended temporarily and no one would have a clue, if it has gone ahead in stealth.

There are attempts to settle non-State retired army officers in Sainik Colonies, settle Wet Pakistan Refugees, non-State beggars in temporary shelters, non-State white collar officers serving in the State and non-State students studying in various institutions in Kashmir. Indian administration has plans to parachute non-State Hindu colonies in the State. Delhi is working on a fast track basis to finalise the acquisition of 350 Kanals of land for Rajya Sainik Board, to settle non-State retired army people in district Srinagar and district Budgam. Government also plans to settle the Kashmiri Pandits in separate colonies away from the normal contact of Kashmiri Muslims.

Government of India is all out to overwhelm Kashmir in all aspects of its status and dignity. It has proposals to lease out land in Jammu and Kashmir to outsiders through their local contacts for industrial development. The local investors would act as frontmen to tie-up with non-state subjects for new industrial venture. It is a replica of the business arrangements that were proposed by British East India Company prior to the occupation of Indian sub-continent.

India wants to seek a massive incursion of non-State Hindus into the State through a number of seemingly innocent proposals to overcome the Muslim majority status in Kashmir. Emboldened by the lack of monitoring and understanding against this sinister move Modi Government has embarked upon a dangerous coercive move through a proposed legislation in the Parliament. Modi government is preparing to introduce a controversial “Geopolitical Information Regulation Bill” in its parliament aimed to coerce people through a heavy fine and imprisonment to accept Indian narrative on Jammu and Kashmir, currently pending adjudication under UN supervision through a free vote of the people, is unlawful and a violation of UN Resolutions on Kashmir.
BJP lead Government has started cruising in to use all foul means to coerce and subjugate the people of the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir and is using coercion to seek co-operation from others on her narrative against the wishes of the people of Kashmir.Indian designs aimed at changing the status of the State are a violation of the UN writ contained in the UN Security Council Resolution of 30 March 1951.

The decision of the Government of Pakistan as a member nation of the UN and as a party to the Kashmir dispute to refer to the UN Security Council the Indian unlawful attempt to show disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir as part of its territory, is a wise decision and the contestation needs full support. Indian breaches of International law applicable in the settlement of Kashmir dispute need to be agitated for the attention of the world.
Pakistan has entered into a Stand Still Agreement with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in August 1947, much earlier to Indian machinations to parachute its forces on an unwilling people in the Valley and Pakistan is currently under a constitutional arrangement with the Government of Azad Kashmir to ensure that the people of the State are able to vote freely under a UN supervised referendum to decide their future.Indian stance that Pakistan has no locus standi in the matter is without any merit and the people of Jammu and Kashmir have continued to challenge Indian presence in the State. Indian presence in its occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir had to be brief and conditional. If Indian Government has engaged itself to assault the title of the people to self-determination and decides to challenge the writ of the United Nations, it would be justified for the people of Kashmir to use all means to undo the present occupation.
UN Security Council needs to take an urgent notice of the Indian designs and consider other options to seek compliance from India. It is high time that UN comes out of hibernation on the principle of equality and self-determination and cautions India that her attempt would endanger peace in the region.
Kashmiris and their sympathisers should also scrutinise the work of J&K State Subject Inquiry Commission, established to investigate the fake State Subject Certificates. We need to be satisfied with the five reports (2001-2013) of the inquiry commission submitted since it was constituted in 1999. India should not be allowed to enforce demographic changes to influence the outcome of any future referendum in Jammu and Kashmir.

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