Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based ‘World Kashmir Awareness Forum’ said that the assertion of Indian Ambassador to the U.N., T.S. Tirumurti, “I think it’s important to recognize that the issues relating to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are internal affairs of India” was factually and legally wrong statement. The fallacy advocated by Ambassador Tirumurti deserves some clarification.
To begin with, under all international agreements, accepted by both India & Pakistan, negotiated by the United Nations, and endorsed by the Security Council, Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations. If Kashmir does not belong to any member state of the United Nations, then the claim of the distinguished Ambassador that Kashmir was an internal affair of India does not stand.
Secondly, Ambassador Tirumurti may remember that it was here at the United Nations that Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General said on August 8, 2019, that “The position of the United Nations on this region (Kashmir) is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.”
Dr. Fai added that the people of Jammu & Kashmir who have a defined historical identity, are at present engaged in a mass struggle to win freedom and release from the foreign occupation of their land. This struggle is motivated by no bigotry or ethnic prejudice; its aim is nothing but the exercise of the right of self-determination explicitly agreed by both India and Pakistan.
“The idea that the dispute over the status of Jammu and Kashmir can be settled only in accordance with the will of the people, which can be ascertained through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, was the common ground taken by both Pakistan, and India. It was supported without any dissent by the United Nations Security Council. There was much in these submissions that were controversial, but the proposal of a plebiscite was not. This is clear from the statement made on January 15, 1948, by Indian delegate, Sir Gopalasawami Ayyangar, at Security Council,”… Whether she [Kashmir] should withdraw from her accession to India, and either accede to India or remain independent, with a right to claim admission as a member of the UN – all this we have recognized to be a matter for unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir after normal life is restored there,” Fai maintained.
Fai warned that it is not the inherent difficulties of a solution, but the lack of the will of the world powers to implement a solution, that has caused the prolonged deadlock over the Kashmir dispute. The deadlock has meant indescribable agony for the people of Kashmir and incalculable loss for both India and Pakistan. The peace that has eluded the South Asian subcontinent should be made secure, Fai concluded.