It is a painful and irrefutable reality that the USA and its allies are one way or the other connected to and responsible for almost all the conflicts around the globe and also the stumbling block in their resolution. The non-resolution of the conflicts in Palestine and Kashmir are glaring examples of their hypocrisy and insensitivity to the human sufferings. It is because of their support and encouragement that Israel continues to grab the Palestinian land through establishment of new settlements and kill the protesting Palestinians with impunity. The two-state solution evolved and backed by the international community and enunciated in the UN resolutions remains an illusion.
The Palestinian struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state is replete with ruthless killings by the Israeli forces without the USA and its western allies even coming forth to condemn those brutalities. They have instead found it convenient to blame the Palestinians for the tragedies that have been happening at different times of the Palestinian struggle.
Since the eruption of the new wave of protests against Israel that began at the end of March, at least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israel fire during protests near the border with Gaza. A resolution in the Security Council deploring excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force and calling for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and occupied West Bank was vetoed by the US on June 1. The Arab countries knocked at the doors of the UN General Assembly where it has been endorsed by 120 countries out of 193, with eight votes against and 45 abstentions on Wednesday. The US ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as biased against Israel and accused the Arab countries of trying to score political points at home by seeking to condemn Israel at the UN.
The resolution adopted by General Assembly has tasked the UN Secretary General with the drafting of proposals for an ‘international protection mechanism’ for Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank. This could entail setting up an observation mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force. But the dilemma is that action on any option would again require backing of the Security Council, where it is likely to be vetoed by the biggest supporter of Israel i.e. the US. The other draw back in the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly is that unlike the SC resolutions, they are non-binding and have only symbolic moral value only. The General Assembly had also passed a resolution in December rejecting President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and to move the USD embassy there. It could not stop the US from implementing its decision. That is how the US and its allies treat the resolutions passed by the General Assembly.
Even the Security Council resolutions which do not conform to the strategic and commercial interests of the US and its cohorts have no value as such. The non-implementation of SC resolutions on Kashmir which pledge right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir is yet another classic example of these powers being selective in the implementation of the UN resolutions.
India has let loose a reign of terror in Kashmir. Since the beginning of the new phase of resistance against the Indian occupying forces in Indian occupied Kashmir in the wake of the killing of Burhan Wani on 8th July 2016, nearly two hundred people have been killed, 8424 injured by pellet guns resulting in loss of eye sight by 3055 protestors, besides rape of 765 women and destruction of 65861 homes and structures.
Encouraged by the indifference of the US, UN and the world community, India continues to brutalize the people of Kashmir. In early April, 20 people were killed in one-day in the state terrorism perpetrated on un-armed people of Kashmir, whose only crime was that they were fighting for their right of self-determination. The Indian security forces committed yet another act of ultimate barbarity on 1st June when reportedly they drove an armored vehicle wildly into a crowd of protestors, slamming into half of dozen people and crushing one man beneath its wheels wounding him critically. A picture depicting this gory incident had gone viral which clearly showed a man under the wheels of the vehicle. One of the persons hit by the vehicle reportedly died.
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who finally condescended to speak on the gory incident of 20th April, instead of condemning the brutality of the Indian security forces only restricted himself to saying that the UN was following the situation very closely and the UN could only get involved in such issues when both countries agreed to. That lukewarm response by the UN Secretary General was indeed very disappointing in view of the fact that as per its resolutions the UN was under obligation to resolve the issue through its good offices and also take due notice of the human rights violation in the IHK.
In fact the refusal by the UN to get involved in Kashmir has much to do with the structural inadequacies of the world body, which is dominated by the powerful countries like US equipped with the veto power. The US and its allies surely have their eyes on the lucrative Indian market and they perceive it as a pivotal cog in the scheme of things to achieve their strategic objectives in this region as well as globally. The dilemma is that even if any move is initiated on the issue in the UN it is surely likely to be vetoed by the US like it has been doing in the case of Israel.
Emboldened by this unqualified support from US and its allies India has not only shut Kashmir to the foreign media but it has also shown disdain for the role of UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan to monitor the situation. It does not even allow their entry into the valley. The UN has been able to resolve only those issues where the big powers had their interest like East Timor and South Sudan. No issue has better demonstrated the impotence of UN and hypocritical posturing by the US and its allies, as the conflict in Kashmir.
The current global environment and politics might be a hindering factor in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute but that should not deter or discourage the people of Kashmir and Pakistan to continue their efforts and struggle. History is witness to the fact that movements for independence and the right of self-determination could not be suppressed with military might. The perseverance and determination of the people of Kashmir would ultimately bless their efforts with success. For Pakistan, the best available option under the circumstances would be to keep agitating the cause of the people of Kashmir at the global level to stir the conscience of the world. The movements for freedom do have their own dynamics but what is important is the commitment and determination to achieve the objective.
n The writer is a freelance columnist.