Syeda Dhanak Fatima Hashmi

China has yet again proved to be an all-weather and trustworthy friend, backed Pakistan on the grave situation on Kashmir. Kashmir conflict is a major tripartite issue between India, Pakistan and China who have occupied 43 percent, 37 percent and 20 percent of the original princely state of Kashmir, respectively.

The Indian government’s abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories – Ladakh and J&K – has evoked little response from governments across the world. However, Pakistan and China have been the only countries to condemn India’s move, declaring that Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised disputed territory.

Although India on Friday fortified its decision to scrap provisions of Article 370 that have special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter, criticised Pakistan for interfering in the internal matters of the country and saying Pakistan was misleading the world but failed to justify its actions of human rights violation in Kashmir.

Kashmir issue is not only a territorial conflict, but it is also the issue of illegal occupation and violations of the Kashmiris’ political, religious, ideological and basic rights. India’s brutality and barbarianism has been exposed to the world.

At the UNSC meeting China expressed grave concerns at the current situation in Kashmir and said that the situation in the state is “serious and dangerous”. The Chinese diplomat at UNSC said that such unilateral practices as were carried out by the Indian government were “invalid”. China also said that India has “violated the bilateral agreement to keep peace in the border areas” by the constitutional amendment.

The Chinese envoy’s statement came after the UNSC held a closed-door meeting on the Kashmir situation after Pakistan approached it against India’s August 5 decision to scrap the provisions under Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir which has changed the status quo on Kashmir. China clearly urged India to refrain from any “unilateral action” on the Kashmir issue to avoid tensions.

Although the outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature but China being a permanent member of the UNSC and close ally of Pakistan, had asked for “closed consultations” in the Council. Moreover, Russia’s deputy permanent representative, DimitryPolyanskiy said before entering the meeting room that Russia’s view is that it is a “bilateral issue” between India and Pakistan, therefore it should be handled bilaterally.

India said that China and Pakistan tried to pass their thought as the thought of the world community, adding the view of China was not a global opinion.

Whereas, China holds the view that the issue of Kashmir is an issue that is left from history between India and Pakistan. According to the relevant Security Council resolutions, the status of Kashmir is undecided and it is an internationally recognised dispute. The Kashmir issue should be resolved properly through peaceful means in accordance with the UN charter, the relevant Security Council resolutions, and bilateral agreements. This represents the international community’s consensus.

China is deeply concerned about the current situation and opposes any unilateral action that complicates the situation and we call upon the relevant parties to exercise restraint and act prudently and in particular, we oppose actions that will aggravate the tensions.

The people of Kashmir have an inalienable right to progress and develop as a free nation. They want to rise and build a strong democratic society in Kashmir. They have all the right to live in harmony and peace with their neighbours. The right to self-determination is the only way out to this issue as the final decision should be with the people of Kashmir. Furthermore, the Kashmiris demand freedom not a plebiscite, which is the need of time. The fundamental solution to any conflict lies not in territorial negotiations between India and Pakistan, but rather concentrating on the necessities of the Kashmiris.

In a nutshell, Kashmir issue should be reviewed in the light of human rights violations being carried out by Indian fascist leaders in IHK. Kashmir is not merely a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and its ultimate solution is to give right to self-determination to Kashmiris with a view to deciding their future. The long-term solution of the Kashmir conflict involved plebiscite, referendum and recognizing the right to self-determination. To be free is the inherent right which should be reserved to every Kashmiri.

The Indian Government should respect the UN Charter and must stop bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris. India should fulfil its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws and implement UN Security Council Resolutions on Indian Occupied Kashmir.

There is no short-term solution of the Kashmir conflict and it will only pertain to addressing challenges for the people of Kashmir which they are currently facing. They have got every kind of human rights abuses as they live a life of being oppressed and indignity. There is no justice within the Indian system for the Kashmiris. India has been quite good in using democracy to justifying its violence in Kashmir. We should express solidarity with people of Kashmir who are oppressed and occupied.

As Kumi Naidoo, secretary-general of the human rights group Amnesty International, said in a statement that Security Council members needed to safeguard the human rights of the people of Kashmir. The actions of the Indian government have thrown ordinary people’s lives into turmoil, subjecting them to unnecessary pain and distress on top of the years of human rights violations they have already endured. The people of Jammu and Kashmir should not be treated as pawns in a political crisis, and the international community must come together to call for their human rights to be respected.”

–The writer is a social scientist,

research scholar and a public

policy analyst. She can be reached at dhanakfatima@yahoo.com