Kashmiris be heard as Kosovo


Some elements may raise eyebrows at it, but an overwhelming majority of the people had liked the Declaration of independence by Kosovo in February 2008. Now there is another happy development on July 22, 2010; the International Court of Justice has issued an advisory opinion on the following question posed to it by Serbia, "Is the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self Government of Kosovo in accordance with International Law?"

By a 10-4 majority, the court ruled that, because “general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declarations of independence”, Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008, coordinated with and supported by the American and most EU governments and subsequently recognized by 69 countries, “did not violate general international law.” The clear implication is that no declarations of independence violate international law and that all are, therefore, “legal”.

Based upon the above Judgment John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer has strongly advocated independence for Palestine in the "Arab News" that "in American and EU eyes, a Kosovo declaration of independence from Serbian sovereignty should be recognized even if Serbia does not agree. However, their (US and EU) attitude was radically different when Palestine declared independence from Israeli occupation on Nov. 15, 1988. Then the US and the EU countries (which, in their own eyes, constitute the “international community”, to the exclusion of most of mankind) were conspicuously absent when over 100 countries recognized the new State of Palestine, and their non recognition made this declaration of independence purely “symbolic” in their own eyes and, unfortunately, in most Palestinian and other eyes as well. For the US and the EU, any Palestinian independence, to be recognized and legally effective, must still be directly negotiated, on a wildly unequal bilateral basis, between the occupying power and the occupied people –” and must be agreed to by the occupying power. For the US and the EU, the rights and desires of a long-suffering and brutalized occupied people, as well as international law, are irrelevant."

We welcome the majority judgment of the ICJ on the question of the unilateral Declaration of independence by Kosovo from Serbia and also favor arguments forwarded by John V. Whitebeck in favor of the statehood of Palestinians. We believe that there should be no slavery or subjugation or colonization or occupation or brutalizing of any human race in this world. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Law of God people have the right to be free and to shape their destiny according to their values of life. Universal peace can only be achieved by being kind to humanity all over the world without any distinction of race or religion or cast.

Here is Kashmir the oldest unresolved dispute on the agenda of the Security Council, with about 14 UN resolutions urging India and Pakistan to grant the right of self determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Security Council had laid emphasis on the principle of plebiscite to be applied to the disputed state to ascertain the wishes of the inhabitants of the region on their destiny. To mean business it nominated Gen. Nimitz as administrator to hold and supervise plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan gave assurances to the people of Kashmir to respect their decision under the principle of referendum. In this regard India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said to the All India Congress Committee on 06 July, 1951, "People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future."

Again Nehru stated on 26 Jun, 1952 in the Indian Parliament, “If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said, ‘We do not want to be with India’, we are committed to accept that. We will accept it though it might pain us. We will not send any army against them. We will accept that, however hurt we might feel about it, we will change the Constitution, if necessary.”

On 07 Aug, 1952 he said, "I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction.

"I started with the assumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign."

The then Indian and Pakistani Prime ministers–”Muhammad Ali and Pt. Nehru met in the aftermath of 1953 uprising by the Kashmiris in Delhi and issued a Declaration to reaffirm their commitments on conducting plebiscite in the state under the auspices of the UN organization.

Unfortunately, India under one pretext or other did not abide by its international commitments on Kashmir. And on the contrary enhanced its military strength to perpetuate terror and illegal occupation, and make draconian laws to imprison and kill Kashmiris. India’s state terrorism forced Kashmiris to launch a mass struggle against the occupation forces. This has resulted in so much bloodshed of Kashmiris. The current uprising is writing on the wall, which is asking India to stop hoodwinking the world opinion as the Kashmiris are not any commodity of sale and purchase and they will not tolerate brutalizing campaign for long.

The people of Kashmir equally do not believe in changing the nature of the Kashmir dispute from a tripartite question to a bilateral position. Therefore, the world body should take note of the current developments in Kashmir and initiate measures as they did in Kosovo to resolve the issue with the help of all the three stakeholders–”the Kashmiris, Pakistan and India. The United Nations, having upheld the unilateral declaration of Independence by Kosovo, should also take up the forgotten Kashmir problem and accordingly endorse the peaceful demand of the Kashmiris for freedom to ensure a durable peace in the region. For realizing that end and moving towards the final resolution of Jammu and Kashmir the international community (especially US and UK) in general and the UN Security Council in particular should use all its moral, political, economic, and diplomatic influence in order to

1. Stop forth with the ongoing killings of the innocent Kashmiris.

2. Achieve a speedy withdrawal of over 600,000 Indian forces from the region.

3. Facilitate a tripartite resolution process towards a just and durable settlement in line with the right of self determination of the Kashmiris.

The concern over the current state of affairs in Kashmir as showed by the UN Chief Ban ki-Moon should not stop only there but the Chief of the world body should see how the Indian guns become silent, thick clouds of tyranny vanish and the sun of freedom beams over Kashmir.