The non-resolution of the Kashmir dispute by the UN even after seventy years is an affront to the conscience of the world community as well as the stature of the world body as harbinger of peace. It was on 27 October 1947 when the Indian troops landed in Kashmir after the much trumpeted signing of instrument of accession by the Maharaja of Kashmir which never saw the light of the day. Since then 27th October is observed as ‘Black Day’ by the people of occupied Kashmir, Kashmiri diaspora living in other countries and Pakistan to condemn the continued occupation of Kashmir against the will of the people and to express their unrelenting resolve to have the fate of Kashmir decided through a plebiscite as per the UN resolutions on the subject.

The foregoing development occurred in the backdrop of mass rebellion against Maharaja who failed to control the situation. Nevertheless while accepting the instrument of accession Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten said “it is my government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.” It is quite evident that under the prevailing circumstances it was a provisional accession and the Governor General intended to settle the question of accession of the state with the consent of the people of Kashmir. Similar commitments were made by the Indian leaders and perhaps it would be pertinent for the benefit of the readers to make mention of some of them.

Mahatma Gandhi in a prayer meeting on 26th October 1947 said “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so. They should be left free to decide for themselves”. It is also worthwhile to mention that even Jawahar Lal Nehru in a telegramme to the British Prime Minister and repeated to Prime Minister of Pakistan on 27th October said “ Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in my disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to it” In yet another telegramme to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 31st October, Jawahar Lal Nehru said” Leave the decision regarding the future of this state to the people of the state. It is not merely a promise to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world”

After the war between India and Pakistan in 1948 with regard to Kashmir, the former took the matter to the United Nations. The UN adopted 23 resolutions on the subject including seeking cessation of hostilities and settlement of the question of accession through plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nation. These resolutions made it obligatory on Pakistan and India to create condition for holding of the plebiscite but unfortunately the Indian non-cooperation did not let that happened and the UNICEP Chief Lord Owen Dixen a jurist from Australia resigned as a protest against the Indian attitude.

In the meanwhile, the Indian government kept on repeating its promises. As late as 18th May 1954, in a statement in the Indian Council of States Nehru said “So far as the government of India is concerned, every assurance and international commitment in regard to Kashmir stands”

However the Indian government reneging on its promises and commitments in 1957 had a resolution passed by the constituent Assembly of Occupied Kashmir for accession of the state to India and also incorporated it in the constitution of the state. Both these moves were categorically rejected by the UN through its resolution numbers 91 and 122 unequivocally stating that the question of accession of Kashmir could not be settled by any means other than the plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN. India paid no heed to these resolutions and since then is claiming that Kashmir was its integral part. Indian intransigence led to war between the two countries in 1965 and 1971 after which the two states singed Simla Agreement in 1972 in which India accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and along with Pakistan committed to resolve the issue through bilateral channels.

True to their record, the Indians never showed sincerity of purpose in resolving the issue and invariably wriggled out of the process of negotiations on one pretext or the other. The people of Kashmir frustrated by the Indian tactics finally decided to launch armed struggle against the Indian occupation in 1989. The Indians have tried bullets and other methods of repression with relish ever since the freedom struggle began in 1989 and the second wave that started in the wake of the murder of Burhan Wani.

According to the reports complied by Amnesty International, the Indian security forces have killed nearly 94 thousand Kashmiris during the last 27 years, raped more than ten thousand women and killed more than seven thousand persons while in custody under the cover of section 7 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990 which grants immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for human rights violations. The reports hurl scathing criticism at the Act for having created an ambience of impunity for Indian security forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir and enabling them to commit human rights violations without any fear of being tried.

The prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir with regard to human rights violations by the Indian security forces, despite the compilation of reports by human rights groups and AI, regrettably have gone unheeded by the international community and the powers that be, because in the unfolding global scenario, they are looking at the developments in this region through the prism of their own strategic and commercial interests rather than showing commitment and sincerity of purpose in regards to respect for human rights guaranteed by the UN charter and so vociferously advocated by them from every convenient roof-top ( though selectively). Regrettably the UN which is under obligation to resolve the Kashmir issue in conformity with its own resolutions also remains indifferent to the plight of the people of Kashmir. Broken promises, commitments and the unprecedented oppression against a subjugated population is enough to unravel the true face of secular India and the so-called biggest democracy in the world. India must remember that its turning into a war-like state relying on sheer military might to settle questions regarding fundamental and internationally recognized rights of people would never succeed. The world community and the UN also need to come out of their slumber and indifferent attitude before it is too late.

Mahatma Gandhi in a prayer meeting on 26th October 1947 said “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so.