Pakistan on Sunday handed over yet another dossier regarding the ceasefire violations by India to the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) as tensions continued to rise between the nuclear-armed neighbours. Three girls and a boy were killed in “unprovoked firing” by the Indian forces in Singhala village of Khui Ratta sub-sector of Kotli district – a clear violation of the ceasefire, and one that has cost innocent civilian lives. The incident clearly falls within the mandate of the UNMOGIP – which is to investigate incidents against the ceasefire and submit them to the Security Council – but considering India’s stance towards the body, and its lack of effectiveness, one has to wonder how effective these dossiers really are.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the detailed dossier on ceasefire violations by India was given to the representative of the body on Sunday, which basically means that a document containing the incident report and evidence – if any – is handed over to the group to process. This handing over of documents is presented by the Foreign Office as an end in itself, a small triumph of sorts, but it must be remembered that it only initiates a long and protracted procedure – and even that is not guaranteed.

Pakistani authorities and the institutions on the receiving end of India’s violations perceive these dossiers as irrefutable truths, but for the neutral UNMOGIP, these only represent Pakistan’s version of the truth. Both nations report widely differing news on the same event and for a body observing from the outside, an investigation needs to be conducted to find out the truth.

While such investigations lie within the UNMOGIP’s mandate, the conditions on the ground make these an impractical expectation. India has stopped accepting the authority of the body over the Kashmir issue, refuses to allow its observers to carry out an open investigation and does not reply to the group’s missives since 1973. For the past several decades, Pakistan has maintained a one-way correspondence with the group, while India has shunned it.

Despite the fact that the UN Secretary-General’s position has been that UNMOGIP could be terminated only by a decision of the Security Council, for all intents and purposes the body is a historical relic. Even if it did carry out open investigations in Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK), the end result would only be the submission of a report to the Security Council – the rest is at its discretion, and we have seen how far that discretion goes.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office may be following the diplomatic procedure to the dot, but in the face of its utter uselessness, it is time to change tactics.