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Emergence of Kashmir issue on UN agenda

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The departure of British from the sub-continent in 1947 was the culmination of the decades-long struggle of the oppressed Muslims of the region. However, this began a new, violent chapter in the short existence of the two newborn states. Several issues like unclear borders, states which had not decided about their accession and the unwelcoming attitude of India towards a young Pakistan led to a series of disputes among the two states. One of such disputes is the Kashmir issue.
The Kashmir issue has been one of the longest standing disputes between Pakistan and India. This issue has been at the backdrop of three wars and has always been the epicenter for dialogue between them; be it diplomacy, trade or even peaceful co-existence in the region.
Ever since Kashmir was spilt into Azad Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), the citizens of the latter have had to suffer countless atrocities at the hands of their invaders. India has ignored all international conventions as well as UN resolutions on Kashmir and continued its acts of tyranny and oppression on its people. Fast forward to 2015, the ruling Bharti Janata Party (BJP) brought their own aggressive agenda of oppression against the people of IoK.
What started from small steps like ban on eating beef in September 2015, has now aggravated to a complete lock down and striping IoK of its special status by amending Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This coupled with the Citizenship Amendment Act introduced by the BJP in December 2019 is evidence that this is all part of BJPs’ greater agenda of isolating the Muslims living in India.
Article 370 had already been diluted by the Indian government over the decades. Out of the 395 Articles in the Indian Constitution, 260 Articles had already been extended to IoK through successive Presidential Orders. Nevertheless, the revocation of Article 370 was still a big psychological blow for the people of IoK. The day article 370 was revoked thousands of troops stormed into IoK and implemented a complete lockdown by severing all lines of communications like telephone and internet, arresting Kashmiri leaders as well as restricting people to their homes without even food and medical supplies.
The Kashmiri people did not sit idle as all this unfolded. They were quick to take to the streets their protest the Indian government robbing them of their special right guaranteed to them by the constitution of India. Often these protests would result in clashes with the Indian military forces deployed in Kashmir and matters would take a violent turn as the troops would use force against the unarmed civilians to break the protests. The IoK has been under an in human curfew since Aug 2019. During this period we have seen international media has not given due coverage to the human rights violations by Indian State terrorism. Indian authorities have virtually converted the valley in a Jail.
The BJP was not able to concoct this situation magically. This was a carefully devised and executed scheme which not only accomplished their devious objectives but also did not raise any red flags in the international community. This was only possible due to India’s strong diplomatic influence in the international community. This influence is primarily due to commerce and trade as India is home to the second largest population in the World and is an emerging market for developed countries as well as some Muslim countries.
Just across the border from where the Indian government is conducting these atrocities, Pakistan has not left these atrocities unseen or unchallenged. Pakistan has always considered the people of IoK as their brethren and has openly and fully condemned these acts of the Indian government. Pakistani Government has been on aggressive diplomatic mission to inform world community about the RSS ideology and the atrocities in IoK.
On the international arena Pakistan adopted a diplomatic offensive against the Indian government to show the World the reality of IoK. Unfortunately, these efforts have been challenging to say the least. This is because of Pakistan’s weak diplomatic position among the international community primarily because of the relative lack of economic interests in Pakistan as compared to India. This is not to say that the Pakistani efforts have not been futile.
It is because of Pakistan’s diplomatic offensive that the Kashmir issue has been once again internationalized even though the Indian government persists to call this an “internal matter.” However, this notion has been proven wrong as a result of Pakistani efforts. Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan has declared himself an “Ambassador of Kashmiri people.” After 1965, this was the first time Kashmir was discussed in the UN.
In the last six months, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has met two times for closed-door meetings on the situation in Kashmir. The United States Congress has passed two house resolutions on Kashmir, condemning New Delhi’s decision.
The way forward is for Pakistan to continue its diplomatic offensive with the same intensity and fervor. The fight for the liberation of IoK will be a long fight and will require focused efforts. The entire Pakistani nation, political and military leadership are all united on their stance on Kashmir and this unity will essential to continue the struggle for Kashmir and see it free from the oppression of India.