Kashmiris delight as Turkish diplomat leads the UN General Assembly
On behalf of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, we American citizens of Kashmiri origin, offer you our sincere congratulations on your election to the august office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly. If the people of Indian occupied Kashmir had the freedom to express their sentiments, you would no doubt have heard their loud rejoicing at the fact that the distinguished representative of brotherly country – Turkey - is presiding this year over the parliament of nations.
In saying this, we are by no means unmindful of the fact that, in your capacity as President of the General Assembly, you have to be impartial between member states and perceived to be so. It is, therefore, on the ground of the recognized principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the respect for international agreements and for the resolutions of the Security Council that we approach you with the appeal that you exercise your good offices to mediate between Pakistan and India for promoting a solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council.
The salient facts about these resolutions are:
They are not resolutions in the routine sense. Their text was meticulously negotiated between the parties -- India & Pakistan -- and it is after each provision was accepted by the two Governments concerned that they were adopted by the United Nations Security Council. The assent of the two Governments was conveyed in writing to the Council. They thus embody a solemn international agreement.
They were endorsed repeatedly by the Security Council and by successive United Nations representatives.
They explicitly recognize the right of the people of Kashmir to determine the future status of their homeland. The right remains unaffected by the non- performance by either side of the provisions of the resolutions.
This determination has to be made through a plebiscite under the supervision and control of the United Nations. It is obvious that, if the people of any region of Jammu and Kashmir wish to stay either with India or Pakistan, their will has to be fully respected.
The people of Jammu & Kashmir are baffled that, while the resolutions of the Security Council have been strictly enforced in other situations; while the principle of the protection of human rights has been legitimately invoked for intervention by the United Nations to relieve the plight of peoples; while the future of Namibia and East Timor was determined through elections under the auspices of the United Nations; while Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were admitted as members of the United Nations; while the Soviet republics were allowed to opt for independence; the case of Kashmir which is larger and more populous than scores of Member states of the United Nations has been consigned to oblivion.
More than 100,000 people have been killed by Indian armed forces since January 1989; numerous houses burned and bulldozed; all the inhabitants of the Capitol city of Srinagar and adjacent villages and towns have come out to the streets to protest against the continuation of Indian occupation and more recently against the enactment of “Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020,” which is designed to change the demography of the State, when the world's attention is focused on the worst public health and economic crises of our times because of Covid 19; and yet there has not been even the faintest response from the United Nations.
This failure is not merely a case of omission. In practical effect, it amounts to a direct abetment of India’s murderous and genocidal design. It is India’s studied policy to sideline the United Nations in the Kashmir dispute so that no just settlement can be evolved. By remaining inert and unresponsive, the United Nations unwittingly aids and encourages that policy.
We must mention here that, by no stretch of the imagination, can the situation in Kashmir be treated as India’s internal matter, as India alleges. Kashmir is recognized as disputed territory under international law and the United Nations bears the responsibility of preventing the massive violations of human rights that are being committed by the Indian occupation regime. The movement in Kashmir is not secessionist movement, because Kashmir cannot secede from a country from what it never acceded to in the first place. Nor is the Kashmir dispute a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan; it involves not an undemarcated boundary between the two states of India and Pakistan but the life and future of 23.5 million people of the princely State of Jammu & Kashmir.
We are thankful to His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey for giving the hope to the people of Jammu and Kashmir when he said: “Turkey is in favor of resolving the Kashmir issue by taking into consideration the expectations of our Kashmiri brothers, through dialogue based on UN resolutions. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue and Turkey will continue to raise its voice against the oppression.”
Finally, we trust that you as the President of General Assembly will bring your immense influence to bear on initiating a peace process, which will lead to a speedy, just, and honorable settlement of the dispute and restore their inalienable rights to the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Dr. Fai is the Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum. He can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435 or firstname.lastname@example.org