A woman in Kashmir took a sigh of relief as she slowly pierced the knife inside her belly and saved her unborn child from a world where valiant nations’ live to die every day.
Politics of influential regional and international powers vis-a-vis Kashmir
This month marks the one year anniversary of the Indian led constitutional and military atrocities on the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which has resulted in increased Indian oppression, territorial control and sub-regional chaos. The legal jargon and arrangements drawn around the Kashmir case is a true representation of lawfare being used to flesh out the politics of a few influential regional and international powers.
A look into the history reveals that India’s proxy war attempt in the shape of Kashmir conflict has been an issue of international relevance since 1948. The princely state of Kashmir was destined to accept the ominous decision of its Maharaja, who had pushed Kashmir into a ring of fire.
As the conflict in Kashmir broke out a few months after the independence celebrations of India and Pakistan, the United Nations worked out a peace arrangement outlined by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47.
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All hope for Kashmiri self-determination dashed
Under the UN proposed three-step process of peace building; Pakistan was directed to withdraw its freedom fighters from Kashmir, India was to reduce its military troops to a minimum level and an impartial plebiscite was to be conducted.
However, the recommended actions under the UN resolution were never abided, adhered and executed by both Pakistan and India, converting the preliminary territorial scuffle into a protracted conflict. During the process of which, all hope for Kashmiris’ self-determination (which served as the base assumption of the UN resolution) faded away.
Nevertheless, in 1949 a special status was granted to Kashmir in the Indian constitution under the leadership of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru (a visionary and respected representative of the Indian government). Such a legal arrangement for Kashmir in the Indian constitution implied the ownership of India over Kashmir, which was itself an illegitimate and unacceptable political endeavor, and should have been appealed against at the international forum.
Repeal of Articles 35-A and 370
However, the irrevocable repeal of Articles 35-A and 370 last year, not only violates the Shimla Agreement (1972) between India and Pakistan, but it further undermines the guaranteed freedom for Kashmiris, dispositions the legality of Indian occupation in the area, and denies Kashmir the apparent legal shelter it was previously residing under.
This action expresses the synonymy of BJP government with Fascist Nazi regime, coupled with their political mileage seeking practices and overall political negligence towards international law, norms and values. This shift was certainly much against their respected congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru and Indian constitutional provisions as well.
Expanding economic strength of China
Moreover, the recent declining political influence of United States and expanding economic strength of China in various regions of the world (in the shape of BRI) has created new politico-military challenges.
This has led to the emerging geostrategic reorientation of power at the international scene which further stimulates India’s motivation to swallow Kashmir, in the backdrop of its territorial conflict with China, quest to sabotage CPEC, and serve at the pleasure of its ally, US. Hence, controlling the geo-strategically crucial territory of Jammu and Kashmir provides a passage way for India to halt CPEC from its mouth.
In this kaleidoscope, the Kashmir issue appears as a case that seeks the mercy of international institutions and yearns for international accountability of India’s belligerent behavior. These international forums and institutions may consider themselves as the guardian angels of the world community, but they merely display impotence and passivism in practice. Thereby, possessing a track record of playing around the legal field for the interests of a few powerful countries only.
Passiveness of international forums with regards to Kashmir
This is reflected more prominently, as we witness the continuous violation of international law in the case of Kashmir. The morally binding political energy that has characterized the UN resolutions for Kashmir, must now be shifted more towards a jurisdictionally binding legal resolution to the Kashmir conflict. This means that by grounding the argument solely as a ‘threat to peace’ and an ‘act of aggression’ by India, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, Kashmir may find a substantively binding legal salvation for their political identity and social misery.
It is pertinent, now more than ever, to work towards a creative and constructive academic contribution to the issue, as we observe the continuing attempt of India to construct the unwarranted socio-political reality of Kashmir. As an initial step, a Kashmir Chair must be designated at all universities across Pakistan.
This should be accompanied by conducting focused research work, organizing conflict resolution workshops, publishing a green book on Kashmir, and steering confidence building measures through virtual dialogue forums on a yearly basis. These steps will certainly help our next generation to understand the dynamics of the Kashmir conflict in the right context.
Minahil Toor works as a Research Associate at the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies, LUMS. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Twitter handle is @MinahilToor. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.