Kashmir: failure of global conscience

Kashmiris are still away from their due right. As they are fighting unarmed, they may not be termed as ‘terrorists’. They have failed to attract the world attention as the globe is divided on the basis of economic, political and religious interests. International conscience may work subject to permission of a few powers who govern the affairs of the world.

Since the inception of the Kashmir issue in 1947, various proposals have been put forward for its resolution. According to my knowledge, more than twenty suggestions have been recommended from individual to country and from leaders to experts. Unfortunately, no one made much headway to leave their impact. Former US President John F Kennedy, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the former Jordanian King, and Prime Minister of Ceylon Mrs Bandaranaike presented their respective proposals. Countries like China, Japan and Great Britain also came forward with their solutions.

Li Peng, the former prime minister of China, expressed willingness of his country to assist the two countries in settling the issue through peaceful means. In the wake of atomic explosions in May 1998 by India and Pakistan, Japan declared Kashmir as a flashpoint. Japan offered on June 2, 1998 to host an international conference involving India and Pakistan to help to resolve their dispute on Kashmir.

The United Nations passed resolutions and recognised the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris. After 70 years, the global body has failed to convince its members to fulfil its resolutions. The United Nations is handicapped to work in the light of commitment made by its members. It is structurally weak. It has to depend on its members for budget. Moreover, the US issues visa to delegates to come to the United Nations. It is time to revisit the entire scheme of the United Nations so that it may work more effectively, independently, and without any pressure from any of its members. The veto power of five permanent members also needs to be reconsidered.

India’s August 5 decision is repudiation of its commitment from international principles. Its first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised to implement the UN resolutions. India and Pakistan signed two important agreements from Kashmir’s point of view. The Simla Agreement in 1972 and the Lahore Declaration in 1999 were signed. Both the countries pledged to decide the problems mutually or by other peaceful means. The Simla Agreement stipulates: “That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them.” Unfortunately, Kashmir is still unresolved.

In one of my columns I wrote that if the world is looked at with the goggles of a particular colour or interest, it may not succeed in achieving complete peace. I fear that the Kashmir and Palestine problems, if continue unresolved, may redefine the basis of all freedom movements and leave an indelible impact on regional and international levels.

India’s August 5 decision is repudiation of its commitment from international principles. Its first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised to implement the UN resolutions

Palestinians launched an unarmed movement, Intifada, in 1989. It perplexed the world that such a movement could be launched when the opponent was armed with modern equipment. Palestinians proved that they were not terrorists and only wanted their birth right of a separate state. Likewise, Kashmiris have not taken arms in their hands. They are facing atrocities and bullets of India by just raising slogans and throwing stones.

Is it not enough to affect the world conscience that unarmed people are fighting in front of trained personnel who are equipped with latest arms and ammunition? What more does the world expect from them? Will the world redefine ‘state terrorism’? Will the experts explore weaknesses of the basis and principles of democracy that allow extremists to rule a country and pass laws for victimising the minorities? Can democracy be permitted to support the majority rule at the cost of rights of the minorities?

It is time that the world realised that all major problems must be resolved beyond any vested or personal interests. It is in the favour of a global peaceful order and smooth survival of mankind.


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