“Maximum restraint” is the new catchphrase that the United Nations (UN) frequently uses nowadays. The UN uses it to veil its inaction whenever states like India and Israel violate every bit of international law in the territories they occupy. The fact that the secretary-general of the UN Antonio Guterres can only appeal for a maximum restraint tells us that the body has failed in fulfilling its primary task: saving the future generations from the scourge of war.

Now is the time for the UN to show the world that it is not a toothless organisation. Now is the time for Mr Guterres to act and save one people –Kashmiris– from the scourge of war that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) want to impose on Kashmir. Now is the time for the international community to be proactive and start seeing Indian move illegal as it considers Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

However, until now, the UN apart from issuing a few statements on Indian forces’ excesses in the Kashmir valley remained a silent spectator. It has long maintained a criminal silence over Kashmir. And it is this lack of concern on the part of the international community that the Indian government and its forces are acting in Kashmir with absolute impunity. How many more killing fields in Kashmir will it take for the UN to wake up from its slumber?

The global community, which thinks of itself as one human race under the UN, has failed Kashmiris since the day first. What explains the inaction of the UN in the present situation? Should one believe that the UN has become the mouthpiece of the United States (US)? The US thinks of the recent Indian changes in the constitution that affects Kashmir as India’s internal matter. Does the UN lack the courage to tell the US that it is not India’s domestic matter? Yes, it does, for the latter is the largest donor to the UN operations.

True that the UN does not have the option of forcefully bar India from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the UN can use other ways to pressurise the Indian government to reverse the changes to its constitution. The UN can at least pass a resolution and convince the rest of the world to do the economic boycott of the Indian state until and unless it does not leave the occupied territory of Kashmir. It can initiate a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against India. And it will show results no sooner than late.