Pakistan sponsored resolution on the rights of self-determination is passed in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The text of the resolution is a strong message of solidarity for all people who are struggling against foreign occupations. The resolution is a hope of ray for all those are demanding equal human rights, as the free world is enjoying, for them. Among such people who have resisted foreign occupation one of the most important people, if not the most important one, is the Kashmiris.
Though the UNGA’s passing of the resolution can be seen as a victory, it is also true that its implications will not be far-reaching. It is one small step in making the world a better and safe place. Will it affect Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir positively? Yes, the reaffirmation of UNGA can be termed a small victory. However, at best, this reaffirmation of the right to self-determination will affect the lives and fate of Kashmiris only tangentially. The political commentators rightly point it out that the resolution’s aim is to divert world’s attention to the struggle by people for their inalienable right to self-determination especially those in Kashmir and Palestine.
Given that the resolution is not mentioning one particular people, it can be said that until and unless a resolution explicitly mentioning Kashmir is moved, general resolutions of this nature will not do much help to Kashmiris in gaining independence from India.
Islamabad needs to divert the focus of the world towards Kashmir. The trouble that Pakistan is facing is that after 9/11 India has successfully blurred the Kashmiri resistance and painted it as a form of terrorism. Pakistan needs to show the world that like any other people in the world, Kashmiris also reserve the right of resisting foreign occupation in whatever manner they deem fit.
While there is no doubt that Pakistan has a better legal and rights-based claim, however reaffirming the right of self-determination will bear no fruit to Kashmiris’ resistance to Indian occupation. There are already resolutions adopted in UN assembly that advocate the right of self-determination as a universal right of all colonized and subjugated people.
Nonetheless, this resolution can be utilized in bolstering the case for Kashmir, but the reality is that until and unless Pakistan lobbies the powerful countries, especially the permanent members of SC, such resolutions will achieve nothing for people of Kashmir or Pakistan. Pakistan needs to focus on the task of lobbying and building of support base for the cause of Kashmir, the job that has escaped from the minds of Pakistan’s representative in the United Nations.