UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai told the National Assembly’s Kashmir Committee, which she met on Wednesday, that the UN will end the human rights abuses that are taking place there. This is an important acceptance that the illegal Indian occupation there has led to massive violations of human rights by Indian occupation forces, but it also skims over the fact that the Kashmir issue, while it has an important human rights dimension, is actually one of national self-determination. Further, this national self-determination is not merely something for which the people of Kashmir are struggling, but where the UN Security Council has passed resolutions providing a solution, in the form of a UN-administered plebiscite. Instead of examining Kashmir for human rights violations as if that land was determined to be part of a member state, as with Bosnia, Rwanda and now Syria, the UN should show concern about the disobedience of its resolutions shown by India.
The UN should not be fooled by Indian wishes, and must not imagine that its attempt to stop the Kashmiri people from exercising their right of self-determination by converting the question of a people’s self-determination, into one of human rights, will ever be successful, even among the people of Pakistan, who remain comitted to the diplomatic and moral support they have committed to the Kashmiri people.