Continuing from where we left off in the last article, there are misunderstandings about the Kashmir conflict that must be clarified.
6. Third-party mediation is an interference in the internal affairs of India. Wrong.
It is commonly accepted that such objections are sophistry and that all members of the United Nations, by subscribing to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, become co-responsible for the rights of citizens of all other subscribing states. This is more applicable in the case of Kashmir which is internationally recognized as a “disputed territory” and not as a part of India, and whose future is to be determined by an impartially supervised plebiscite.
7. Abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A pave the way for the development of Kashmir. Wrong.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) reported in August 2020 that Kashmir had suffered economic losses worth $5.3 billion Indian rupees. Over 100,000 people have lost jobs since August 5, 2019.
Khalid Shah wrote in ‘The Print’ on August 8, 2020, “Development (in Kashmir) is only visible in Twitter hashtags and shoddy propaganda films. There is no flood of fresh investments.”
New Delhi-based “Observer Research Foundation” reported on January 28, 2020, “The horticulture sector is in distress, tourism is in shambles, and students are suffering because of the ongoing internet blockade. It is for the first time in the past 70 years that rural Kashmir is facing such a great degree of economic slowdown. The apples industry in Kashmir, worth INR 80 billion which contributes eight percent of JandK’s GDP, has been worst affected.”
Dr Syed Nazir Gilani has written extensively on the subject. He says that as a constitutional democracy, the Government of India does not have any powers that it has exercised on August 5, 2019 and has continuously misled the international community that the steps taken were necessary for the economic development. GOI does not need to resort to these extreme, illegal and unlawful actions to pursue economic development in the state, Dr. Gilani added.
8. The Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly endorsed Kashmir’s accession to India. Wrong.
The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was convened without an election in the State. 73 out of 75 members of this Assembly were declared to have been elected unopposed.
Secondly, the Indian delegate to the United Nations made a statement at the Security Council that the Constituent Assembly would not ‘come in the way’ when the UN will hold a plebiscite under its auspices in the State.
Thirdly, when in 1956, the Constituent Assembly declared that Kashmir was the part of India, the Security Council adopted resolution # 122 on March 24, 1957, clearly reaffirming, “the affirmation in its resolution 91 (1951) and declares that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the “All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference” and any action that Assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof, or action by the parties concerned in support of any such action by the Assembly, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.”
9. The resolution of Kashmir will lead to the disintegration of India. Wrong.
A fascinating answer was given to this question by Jayaprakash Narayan, known in India as “People’s Leader and Second Gandhi), “Few things have been said in the course of this controversy more silly than this one. (Will not changing Kashmir’s status lead to the disintegration of India?). The assumption behind the argument is that the states of India are held together by force and not by a sentiment of a common nationality. It is an assumption that makes a mockery of the Indian nation and a tyrant of the Indian state.”
Lastly, I wish the world powers take a leaf out of the writings of Justice V. M. Tarkundee—referred to as “the Father of the Civil liberties Movement in India”—who wrote in ‘Radical Humanist,’ New Delhi, in March 1990: “The cause of the Kashmir debacle is the initial denial of the right of self-determination and the subsequent anti-democratic policies pursued by the Indian government…An early solution of the Kashmir problem will be of great benefit to the people of both India and Pakistan. A grant of plebiscite to the people of the Kashmir Valley is the obvious solution.”