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Kashmir Issue at U.N

After the annexation of Kashmir by Indian troops on Oct 27, 1947, a number of developments took place on the political and diplomatic fronts. On the 1st of January 1948, India took the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to the United Nations Security Council. After hearing the representatives of India and Pakistan, the Security Council unambiguously recognized Kashmir’s right of self determination and laid down in a historic resolution, dated April 21, 1948, that the future of the state be decided through a fair and unfettered plebiscite. Security Council set up the UN COMMISSION FOR INDIA AND PAKISTAN (UNCIP) to deal with and settle the issue. Having brokered the ceasefire at the United Nations, Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two parts. The part which is under the supervision of Pakistan is known as “Azad Kashmir” and the other part is known as the Indian occupied Kashmir. UNCIP worked out the concrete terms of the settlement in close and continuous consultations with India and Pakistan. These were crystallised into two resolutions adopted on the 13th of August 1948 and the 5th of January 1949. As both the Governments formally signified their consent of the UNCIP proposals, these constituted an International agreement as binding as a treaty on both the countries. Consequently, Admiral Chester Nimitz of U.S.A was designated as the plebiscite administrator and the ceasefire was immediately enforced. UNCIP thereafter started negotiations to draw up a plan for the withdrawal of the Indian and Pakistani armed forces from the state, in a manner and sequence that would not cause a disadvantage to either side or imperil the freedom of the plebiscite.

On the 2nd of January 1952, Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, promised: “We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation we cannot go back on it. We have left the question of a final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision.”

The United States of America, Great Britain and France have traditionally been committed supporters of the plebiscite agreement as it was seen to be the only way to resolve this issue. They sponsored all of the Security Council resolutions which called for a plebiscite, but India refused for demilitarization and plebiscite claiming that Kashmir was her integral and constitutional part. U.N then tried to secure a settlement through mediators but their efforts failed in the face of relentless Indian intransigence. Ultimately the U.N.O cooled off and gave up.

Unfortunately, the Kashmir issue became a matter of controversy only after India realised that she could not win the people's vote in Kashmir and in conditions of the cold war procured the support of the Soviet Union for its obstructionist strategy. As such, any progress towards the solution was blocked by India's refusal to accept that the withdrawal of forces on two sides should be balanced and synchronised. India's stance further hardened when Pakistan joined the military pacts sponsored by the United States of America. From 1955, India took the position that, in view of this alliance, it could no longer countenance the withdrawal of its forces from Jammu and Kashmir.

India found ready support for this position in the Soviet Union which, after 1958, blocked every attempt by the UN Security Council to unfreeze the situation and execute the peace plan originally accepted by both the parties. This caused the paralysis of the UN Security Council on Jammu and Kashmir – a condition which has lasted from 1958 to this day.

JKIM: First & largest Political Party of Kashmiri Shias

Copyright 2008-Ittihadul Muslimeen, Karanagar,Srinagar,Kashmir,190010