The one thing most commonly used, misused and what commonly becomes the burning point on any discussion on Kashmir is the UN Resolution. Those in Kashmir fervently defend it and those trying to commute ideas objectively pick out the faults.
The idea here is to clear some doubts which rise in the minds of Kashmiris as well as non-Kashmiris in the age of social media where any lie, when propagated repeatedly can be forced upon as truth. Every single time Kashmir is on the boil, our not-so-well-wishing neighbour, Pakistan uses the device of UN Resolution of 1948, and how Kashmiris should be given the right to exercise self determination through plebiscite.
Plebiscite as a term may not be the part of regular vocabulary for most people in the rest of the country but in Jammu and Kashmir, it is common knowledge considering it enters news headlines everytime there is unrest in the most beautiful part of the world.
It is important for those interested in Kashmir’s various problems to know some facts around the plebiscite that never happened. Most people today do not know that the hotly debated UN resolution that our neighbour swears by was infact rejected by it since it never wanted a plebiscite or self determination for Kashmiris.
The fact of the matter is that Pakistan has always raked up the UN resolution but never clarified as to how it can ever be achieved. One only has to imagine one thing. The first Prime Minister, Pt. Nehru agreed for a plebiscite. If Pakistan were so confident about the plebiscite turning in her favour, then what was the need for the attack by the Pakistani Army alongwith Kabaili tribesmen?
Odd as it is, Pakistan has been pretending that India didn’t abide by the UN Resolution of 1948. In reality it was Pakistan that rejected the UN resolutions 47 of April 1948.
UN Resolution Briefly
India went to UN in October 1947 after Indian Army thwarted the combined forces of Pakistan army and tribesmen who attacked Kashmir to capture the valley by force.
These were the four essential requirements in the resolution
1. According to Article 1(a) and (b), Pakistan must withdraw all its forces, including the tribesmen that had invaded the valley and then help creating a homogeneous environment for Kashmiris to express their choice through plebiscite without fear. In essence, Pakistan occupied Kashmir has to be freed.
2. Once the above is achieved, only then India would reciprocate and take steps to demilitarise the valley to certain levels. Though it allowed India to keep adequate amount of troops stationed in order to maintain law and order and to keep external threats at bay. The relevant details are specified in articles 2(a) to (c).
3. After the completion of the above two, India, with its machinery would then be responsible for conducting free and fair plebiscite under UN supervision in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
4. Various other steps were outlined in Articles 6 to 15 of the UNSC Resolution. Pakistan was to be given no role in this, since Maharaja Hari Singh had already acceded to India under the terms of the Independence Act.
Pakistan, the champion of UN Resolution or Plebiscite had actually REJECTED IT
The fruit of UN Resolution would not suit Pakistan’s designs specially after capturing a part of Kashmir and in April 1948, Pak rejected the UN resolutions.
This is also when Pakistan played the religion card to justify the forced attempt to capture Kashmir. The muslim card was a placebo that had unexpected returns for Pakistan. The language in Pakistan is not Kashmirr, the culture in Paistan is not Kashmiri. What is happening in Pakistan occupied Kashmir today would have happened in Kashmir too but no Kashmiri would objectively see or understand that fact.
If Pakistan’s intent was purely to merge Kashmir with herself on religious lines, giving up PoK would have never been a deterrent. Pakistan just never had any faith in plebiscite in 1948.
Pakistan has forever now, been playing the religion card and uses religion and plebiscite as the joint tool to fire Kashmir up. The funding, militant activity and constantly taking up Kashmir issue at international fora has been unfruitful to the extent that the most dangerous country in the world is not taken seriously anywhere in the world.
Kashmir for Pakistan is just territory that has the waters of Indus alongwith some strategic placement north of Punjab. Religion, sadly, plays a big role in India and the Kashmiris are no exception to this truth either.
The violation of UN Resolution by Pakistan has been a continuous process with the neighbour continuously changing the demography of PoK and strengthening of troops there. Pakistan swears by UN Resolutions every time tension erupts in Kashmir, but it never abides by the resolutions itself.
Image Courtesy – AFP