Diplomat discusses UN mandate on Kashmir dispute

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From Our Correspondent

ISTANBUL: India is “using force and trickery” to block the implementation of UN resolutions to hold a plebiscite in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir region, said Pakistan’s diplomat posted in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

“Owing to Indian intransigence, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has failed to fulfill its pledge to the Kashmiri people,” said Bilal Khan Pasha, the consul general of Pakistan in Istanbul.

Pasha said about UN resolutions that grant the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide the region’s political fate.

“The importance of the inalienable right to self-determination has been acknowledged in various human rights covenants and decisions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council,” said the Pakistani diplomat.

It was on January 5, 1949 that the UN committed to upholding the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“On this day in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) pledged the realization of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the UN,” Pasha said.

“This day reminds the international community, especially the UN Security Council, of the imperative of honoring this commitment towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the resolution, which remains unfulfilled, Pasha stated.

It was India which first took the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to the UNSC on January 1, 1948.

“The Security Council resolutions recognized that the final disposition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the UN,” Pasha said, referring to eight UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

He said both Pakistan and India accepted “this prescription, but India later went back on its pledge and since then has used all manner of trickery and force to avoid holding the plebiscite.”

Pakistan to ‘fulfil its obligations’ as party to dispute

Pasha said that Pakistan, as a party to the dispute, “will fulfil its obligations.”He added, however, that it would take both Pakistan and India to fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions and the mechanisms contained therein.

“It is India which is responsible for blocking and delaying the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.

“In defense of its continued illegal military occupation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, some Indian officials have often argued that it had accepted the option of holding a plebiscite (as well as demilitarization) in Jammu and Kashmir on the condition that Pakistan would first remove all its forces from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The argument is disingenuous and a complete distortion of facts. The essence of the earlier commission resolutions (of August 13, 1948) was that the obligations of the withdrawal of forces by the two sides were reciprocal and concurrent.”

Pasha said: “Further proof of India’s refusal to demilitarize is to be found in the report of (UN Representative for India and Pakistan) Sir Owen Dixon to the Security Council, contained in Document S-1971.”

Dixson, said Pasha, “concluded as follows: ‘In the end, I became convinced that India’s agreement would never be obtained to demilitarization in any form, or to provisions governing the period of the plebiscite of any such character, as would in my opinion permit the plebiscite being conducted in conditions sufficiently guarding against intimidation and other forms of influence by which the freedom and fairness of the plebiscite might be imperiled.’”

He, however, asserted that Pakistan, both the government and its people, stand “steadfast in their adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions and in our strong political, moral and diplomatic support to the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination.”

“The UN Security Council and the UN secretary general are legally and morally obliged to secure implementation of the binding UN resolutions and agreements on Jammu and Kashmir to which they are a party,” he added.