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India, Asifa and the UN

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Mustansar Hussain Tasir |

It was in the Patta Rasana village of Kathua district in Indian-administered Kashmir, where an innocent Muslim nomad child, Asifa, was kept for four days. One cannot imagine the grief and pain that little angel would have faced during her time of captivity. Just think of the ear-piercing screams she would have uttered. Even a moment of empathy would break hearts. The only crime of the innocent child was that she was a Kashmiri Muslim and was living under the gloomy shadow of India’s remorseless occupation.

Why can India enjoy this impunity, even when all the Conventions and Declarations give any exemption to none? Is this just because today the world major powers are finding more and more convergence of interests with Modi government, in pursuit of their larger plans for the region?

Wasn’t she a human being first? But as she was a Muslim girl living under the rule of Hindu extremist/nationalist regime, she might be lesser a human being. To her, all human consideration got weaker and she had to be made a scapegoat to terrorize the Muslim community of the valley. The horrific incident was created just to give Muslims of the region a message, that their lives and esteem were not safe and, that they must leave the area sooner rather than later. This was not a simple a case of ‘murder after rape’, but an incident hinting genocide.

The unfortunate part, however, is that many Hindus rushed out to the streets to support the perpetrator after the police investigation unearthed the real story behind the occurrence. The criminal apathy on the part of international organizations, including the elephantine the UN and its organs, is regrettable, however not unprecedented. No sane mind would have expected the UN to question  India’s commitment and its international obligation towards the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 09, 1948. It is because of the body’s history and track record is in front of everyone.

Read more: Deepika Rajawat: The lone fighter standing firm against Hindutva in Asifa…

It is imperative to have an overview of what the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide focuses on and how is it relevant in Asifa’s case. The Convention defines genocide as any number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Here are some points of the Convention for further clarity:

o          Killing members of the group;

o          Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

o          Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

o          Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Furthermore, the Convention also asserts that there shouldn’t be any immunity and perpetrators must be brought back and penalized without taking into one’s socio-economic or political status. The persons accused of genocidal crimes must be tried by a competent tribunal of the State, in the same jurisdiction, where the crimes were committed or by some international tribunal that enjoys jurisdictional authority over the parties.

Read more: Celebrities across borders mourn Asifa

All to make the world safer in providing, every ethnic, religious, or other community around the world, the right to live free of any fear of life, property, and esteem.  However, unfortunately, the UN and its sub-councils’ selectivity to break its inertia gives a clear message to the world, that it has nothing to offer, except lip-service, against the states which have, in one way or the other, sworn to be part of the structural imperialist order of the day. The human rights organizations under the UN are unable to curtail such incidents in the Jammu and Kashmir against Muslims and other minorities as well.

The horrific incident was created just to give Muslims of the region a message, that their lives and esteem were not safe and, that they must leave the area sooner rather than later. This was not a simple a case of ‘murder after rape’, but an incident hinting genocide. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which is a foundational document of international human rights law, drafted by UN Commission on Human Rights,  defines human rights as the, “rights that belong to an individual or group of individuals simply for being human, or as a consequence of inherent human vulnerability, or because they are requisite to the possibility of a just society.” The question here is very simple; why do all these structures and organizations have no relevance with cases such as Asifa’s? Aren’t the Kashmiris human beings? Why is the world, at large,  dead silent and paying no attention to the ever deteriorating human rights situation in the valley?

It is important to note that there is another side of the picture as well. Besides the international bodies and world powers, the Islamic world has also kept a culpable mum over all India’s atrocious acts of terror and mayhem against the poor Kashmiris. Criminal silence of all Muslim countries over Asifa’s genocidal murder clearly belies the case. Regrettably, the so-called ‘Muslim World’ is fussed up in quibbling within its own lines. So entrapped, are they, into these clashes and conflicts that they are unable to see beyond.

Read more: Hindu Nationalists demand release of Asifa Bano’s rapists

The Muslim rulers seem totally devoid of any vision or wisdom to see the swamps to which they are heading their nations. With their visions restricted to the length of their noses, they appear to be totally deprived of the emotions of benignity or benevolence for the ailing Ummah. How this course of action will change, is a topic of a completely separate article but in this regard, introspection is the master key.

The UN and its sub-councils’ selectivity to break its inertia gives a clear message to the world, that it has nothing to offer, except lip-service, against the states which have, in one way or the other, sworn to be part of the structural imperialist order of the day.

It is generally observed that, whenever critical questions are raised about the criminal wetness of the UN and all its organs, for not playing any substantial role to rein in the staggering human rights violations in the valley by India, some very typical answers are given. One of them is that the UN is a voluntary body and it actually lacks the mandate to impose its decisions and resolutions over the modern sovereign nation-states. Therefore, despite its observations on human rights by various states, it cannot forcefully compel any state to alter its course unless the state itself complies willingly.

However, if this is really the case, why does the UN coerce and impose its decisions on weaker parties, even if the party on which it slaps its sanctions is only reactive and resistant to the tyranny of the very country the UN is unable to stop from human rights violation? The case in point is India’s violations and the Kashmir freedom movements struggling to get their basic rights under UN resolutions. Why is this inequality and injustice of such abrasive nature? Has India got some certificate to do whatever it likes to?

Read more: Unholy Godmen: Asaram Babu rape conviction highlights abuse of religious sentiments

Why can India enjoy this impunity, even when all the Conventions and Declarations give any exemption to none? Is this just because today the world major powers are finding more and more convergence of interests with Modi government, in pursuit of their larger plans for the region?

It seems like that the UN is promoting a very specific message, through its actions, to the people around the world. It is that there are only two methods left in this world to enjoy ‘human consideration,’ either to achieve invincible ‘power’ or to submit before the ‘powers.’ Is that so?

The writer is an independent research analyst based in Islamabad and contributes to many national media publications. He is an M.Phil Scholar at School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR), Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad. His areas of interests include; Strategic and Security affairs of Middle East, South Asia especially the Indian Ocean Region. mustansar.tasir@gmail.com The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space. 


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