UN Secretary General Antonio Gutress while responding to a question by a Pakistani journalist at a press conference in New York concerning dialogue between Pakistan and India said that he wanted meaningful parleys between the two countries and also expressed his willingness to facilitate any future peace talks between them. In regards to human rights abuses in Indian Held Kashmir by the Indian security forces he said “The office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently produced a very detailed report. So the UN has clearly done its job in that regard”

The Secretary General needs to be reminded that merely wishing meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan and producing a report on the human rights abuses is not enough. UN is under obligation to have the Kashmir dispute resolved in the light of its resolutions and act to stop India from the ongoing pogrom of Kashmiris who are fighting for their legitimate right of self-determination.

The bilateral arrangement to resolve disputes between the two countries as envisaged in the Simla Agreement has failed to produce tangible results even after the lapse of 46 years, mainly due to Indian intransigence and reluctance to engage in a constructive dialogue. It has invariably thwarted such moves on one pretext or the other. This has been the strategy of all the Indian governments. However the Modi government has not only shown disdainful indifference to resumption of dialogue but has taken the animosity against Pakistan to a higher level. It has not only spurned repeated overtures by Pakistan for peaceful resolution of all disputes through dialogue but has been making relentless efforts to malign and isolate Pakistan in the region and at the global level by portraying her as a state sponsoring terrorism notwithstanding the fact that India herself was practicing state terrorism in IHK and was involved in promoting insurgency in Balochistan and acts of terrorism within Pakistan as per the revelations made by Kalbhushan Yadav. The rattling noise that India has been making and continues to make is actually meant to divert the attention of the global community from the spree of killings in IHK.

Indian refusal to fulfil its obligations in conformity with UN resolutions and insistence on Kashmir being an integral part of India, forced the people of Kashmir eventually to launch of an armed struggle in 1989 to win their freedom. India has been using its military might to suppress the freedom struggle. According to reports compiled by human rights organizations within India and those working on global level like Amnesty International, the Indian troops have brutally killed 95147 people and raped 11060 of women since then.

The Indians have also been using ruthless force since the unfurling of the current uprising in the backdrop of killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016, which continues unabated. Reportedly the Indian security forces have killed 755 Kashmiris, raped 903 women, maimed and injured thousands of them through use of pallet guns and destroyed 3002 structures and buildings. The year 2018 was the bloodiest as more than 500 people were killed by the Indian security forces. In September 2018 alone the Indian security forces martyred 42 Kashmiris. The killings continue unabated which is an affront to the conscience of the so-called civilized world and the world body which has the responsibility to promote peace in the world and to protect rights of the oppressed people.

In view of the fact that the two countries have not been able to make any headway towards resolving their disputes including the core issue of Kashmir through the agreed bilateral mechanism, there is a need for UN intervention and the world community and acting decisively before the situation gets out of hand and peace and tranquillity in the region become casualty of their indifference to the unfolding human tragedy in the Indian Held Kashmir.

The Simla agreement does not in any way absolve the UN from its obligation to have the Kashmir dispute resolved in conformity with its resolutions on the subject. The agreement itself binds the two countries to regulate their relations in consonance with the UN Charter. Article 103 of UN Charter says “ In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the UN under the present charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present charter will prevail” What it means is that the UN resolutions on Kashmir will take precedence over all other international agreements on the same issue. It clearly means that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute remains the responsibility of the UN. It is pertinent to point out that the UN through its resolution number 91 and 122 had also repudiated Indian claims of Kashmir becoming integral part of India as a result of the promulgation of the state constitution of the constituent assembly of IHK. The resolutions unequivocally stated that the question of accession of the state to any of the two dominions could not be settled through any other means than a plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN.

The first ever 49 page report compiled by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein observed “The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering. This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims. It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”.

In view of the foregoing facts the UN and the world community would have to abandon their hypocritical approach to the obtaining situation in Kashmir and the deteriorating security situation in the region due to Indian atrocities against un-armed Kashmiris and her belligerent posture towards Pakistan. Secretary General of the UN must immediately form the commission of Inquiry recommended by the UN Human Rights body and also take the initiative of sponsoring a dialogue between Pakistan and India.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

The Secretary General needs to be reminded that merely wishing meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan and producing a report on the human rights abuses is not enough.