The third committee of the UN General Assembly on December 4, 2017, unanimously adopted Pakistan sponsored Resolution regarding the right of self-determination for the people facing foreign occupation, notwithstanding intense lobbying by India against its passage. The resolution expresses firm opposition of the UN General Assembly to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression, and occupation since these have resulted in the suppression of the right of the people to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world. It further calls on the occupying states to immediately cease their military intervention and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation, and mistreatment. That is what India is doing in the occupied Kashmir.

The passage of the resolution is surely a diplomatic triumph for Pakistan and justifies the nomenclature of Indian Held Kashmir to the area under Indian control kept through use of brutal force and blatant violation of human rights. It represents India’s isolation on the issue as it also covers the occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India though IHK has not been explicitly mentioned in it. The Indian held Kashmir is an occupied territory because it is not part of India but a disputed territory whose future is to be determined through a referendum under the auspices of the UN as per its resolutions on the subject.

The Indian stance about Kashmir being its integral part was unequivocally rejected by the UN through its resolutions 91 and 122 when she had a resolution passed by the constituent assembly of IHK for the accession of the territory to India. These resolutions repudiating the Indian stance said that the question of accession of Kashmir to either of the dominions could not be settled by any arrangement other than referendum held under the auspices of the UN, which has never been held.

India is maintaining its hold on the territory through the presence of more than seven hundred thousand personnel of the security forces who enjoy a license to indulge in blatant violation of human rights, rape, torture and even killing the protesting Kashmiris with impunity under cover of Armed Forces Security Protection Act (AFSPA).

Human Rights organizations within India and international organizations like Amnesty International (AI) have been regularly monitoring the situation in occupied Kashmir since 1989 when the people of Kashmir launched an armed struggle for independence from the India and making their reports public. According to these reports, Indian security forces in Kashmir have killed nearly 94 thousand Kashmiris during the last 26 years, raped more than ten thousand women and killed more than seven thousand persons while in custody. The latest report of the AI gave a hair-raising review of how the Indian Armed Forces have let loose a reign of terror against the people of Kashmir with impunity under the protection of AFSPA, particularly section 7 of the Act, which grants immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for human rights violations. The report hurls a scathing criticism at the Act for having created an ambiance 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 reign of terror and oppression let loose in IHK in the backdrop of the murder of Burhan Wani, and the ensuing uprising is yet another ranting testimony of Indian disregard for human rights and inhumane behavior. Since the start of the protests, 7700 Kashmiris have partially lost their eye sights because of use of pellet guns and hundreds of them have been killed. The blood-letting goes on unabated. And to cover up what its security forces were doing in the occupied Kashmir, India was relentlessly campaigning to isolate Pakistan and continuously violating the ceasefire line along the LOC and the working boundary, the highest in ten years. The brutality unleashed by the Indian security forces, especially the use of pellet guns will go into the annals of history as the worst form of torture against humanity.

India was trying to obfuscate facts in attempting to pass on its crimes against humanity as counter-terrorism efforts and unfortunately among the takers of this version are the countries which very much-regarded resistance by the Kashmiris as a freedom struggle before 9/11. The countries like the US and its Western allies who never tire of professing their credentials as upholders of human rights, human liberties and the right to self-determination, are showing criminal indifference to what is happening in the Indian Held Kashmir. They have put blinkers on their eyes and stuffed their ears to block the vibes emanating from the oppressed people of Kashmir who are fighting for their right to self-determination for the last 70 years. They are looking at the events in IHK through the prism of their changed strategic and commercial interests in the backdrop of 9/11 and the war against terrorism.

The non-resolution of Kashmir dispute is a grave threat to peace and stability in South Asia and the world at large. Kashmir undoubtedly is a nuclear flashpoint. Its resolution in line with the UN resolution was imperative to avoid chances of possible strategic miscalculation. The UN and the world community have an abiding obligation towards the people of Kashmir to facilitate the exercise of their right of self-determination as enshrined in the UN resolutions.

India also needs to realize that its war-like stance towards its neighbours, especially Pakistan and the illegal occupation of Kashmir is ultimately going to harm her interests and security. Its economic progress and security are inextricably linked to peace and stability in the region. It is better advised to honour its commitments regarding the implementation of the UN resolutions. That is the only way peace and security could be ensured in the region on a permanent basis to the benefit of all the countries. The sooner this realization sinks in the minds of the Indian leadership, the better.

The non-resolution of Kashmir dispute is a grave threat to peace and stability in South Asia and the world at large. Kashmir undoubtedly is a nuclear flashpoint.