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United Nations Resolutions
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Kashmir Issue at United Nations

The UN has maintained a presence in the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir since 1949. The United Nations has an important role to play in the Kashmir dispute. The issue was first taken to the UN in 1948 by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian Premier. On the 1st of January 1948, India took the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to the United Nations (UN) and the result of this action was various UN Resolutions aimed at stabilizing and resolving the Kashmir dispute, the most important being UN Resolution 47 (1948) which states that the future of the region “shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people.”

The Security Council set up the UN COMMISSION ON INDIA AND PAKISTAN (UNCIP). Having brokered the ceasefire at the United Nations, Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two parts. 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, 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.

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.

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.

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.”

Although Nehru initially supported the plebiscite, he reneged on his promises in the 1950s to allow the Kashmiri people a right to self-determination. This decision reflected Nehru’s true vision for Kashmir, namely that it was an integral part of India and should remain a part of India. In his book, Glimpses of World History, Nehru talks about a ‘Greater India’ which not only encompasses Pakistan but extends further. Hence, the question of Kashmir ceding to Pakistan or gaining independence had always been untenable to Nehru, himself a Kashmiri pundit.

Currently, the Ceasefire Line in J&K is monitored by the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). It is commanded by Major-General Hermann Loidolt of Austria. According to the UN, the Group’s mission is "to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of December 1971."

UNSC Resolution 38 (17 Jan, 1948)

UNSC Resolution 39 (20 Jan, 1948)

UNSC Resolution 47 (21 April, 1948)

UNSC Resolution 51 (03 June, 1948)

UNCIP Resolution (13 Aug, 1948)

UNCIP Resolution (5 Jan, 1949)

UNSC Resolution 80 (14 March, 1950)

UNSC Resolution 91 (17 Jan, 1951)

UNSC Resolution 96 (17 Jan, 1951)

UNSC Resolution 98 (17 Jan, 1952)

UNSC Resolution 122 (17 Jan, 1957)

UNSC Resolution 123 (17 Jan, 1957)

UNSC Resolution 126 (17 Jan, 1957)

UNSC Resolution 307 (17 Jan, 1971)

JKIM: First & largest Political Party of Kashmiri Shias

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