In the wake of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s kowtowing Islamabad’s agenda vis-à-vis Kashmir in his interview published alongside Sant Kumar Sharma sums up the case for Jammu and Kashmir in the light of documents related to UN resolutions dealing with the issue
Syed Ali Shah Geelani is leader of a section of separatists living in Srinagar, claiming to be speaking for Kashmiris. Does he speak for all of them? What is there to prove that he is the ONLY leader representing every Kashmiri? His saying so? To back his claim? His claim, what else?
The response his calls for hartal, bandhs, shutdowns evoke in towns of Kashmir, some towns and areas in fact? Are these reactions rooted in the fear psychosis that prevails? Or are they the result of his so-called immense popularity, unquestioned leadership or popularity among masses. Does he represent the silent, suffering majority too?
Does he represent the people living in Jammu, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, and others too? Fortunately, he has made no claim to do so. He said he represents Kashmiris. Not Dogra Hindus of Jammu, not Dogra Muslims, nor Sikhs and the Buddhists which constitute a majority in the vast Ladakh region. Either, or any of them. At all.
Then why should his words or claims be considered the final word on Jammu and Kashmir? Not Kashmir, but the State of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed on August 14, 1947, midnight when a new nation, our neighbour, Pakistan, was born. Due to the British realizing that they were no longer in a position to govern. And deciding to retreat to Britain, from a foreign country thousands of miles away they had come from.
Incidentally, Mirwaiz Farooq, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah, Saifuddin Soz, Ghulam Nabi Azad, all hailing from J&K, do represent some people of the State. Or, themselves only? Not one Hindu leader has been deliberately named among these people.
Mr Geelani says the UN has passed 18 resolutions on Kashmir about self-determination (no, the UN passed resolutions about Jammu and Kashmir, not Kashmir alone). Ok. This omission of the name Jammu is not acceptable under any condition(s). Then reading these documents, in full, not partly or selectively to advance an argument, is perhaps not fair.
Quote the UN documents in full, and understand and interpret them fairly, not to suit one’s own arguments, only. Like it happens in ``Alice in Wonderland’’, let us begin at the beginning, then come to the middle, and finally reach the end.
The first UN resolution on J&K is that of April 21, 1948, and its full text of this resolution can be assessed at the official UN website. As explained on Wikipedia site, it says:
United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on April 21, 1948,
After hearing arguments from both India and Pakistan the Council increased the size of the Commission established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 49 to five members, instructed the Commission to go to the subcontinent and help the governments of India and Pakistan restore peace and order to the region and prepare for a plebiscite to decide the fate of Kashmir. The resolution was passed by the United Nations Security Council under Chapter VI of UN Charter. Resolutions passed under Chapter VI of UN charter are considered non binding and have no mandatory enforceability as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII. (Emphasis supplied.)
In March 2001, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan during his visit to India and Pakistan, remarked that Kashmir resolutions are only advisory recommendations and comparing with those on East Timor and Iraq was like comparing apples and oranges, since those resolutions were passed under chapter VII, which make it enforceable by the UNSC (United Nations Security Council). In 2003, then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced that Pakistan was willing to back off from demand for UN resolutions for Kashmir. Moreover, in November 2010, United Nations excluded Jammu and Kashmir from its annual list of unresolved international disputes under the observation of the United Nations Security Council.
The resolution recommended that in order to ensure the impartiality of the plebiscite Pakistan withdraw all tribesmen and nationals who entered the region for the purpose of fighting and that India leave only the minimum number of troops needed to keep civil order. (Emphasis supplied). The Commission was also to send as many observers into the region as it deemed necessary to ensure the provisions of the resolution were enacted. Pakistan ignored the UN mandate, did not withdraw its troops and claimed the withdrawal of Indian forces was a prerequisite as per this resolution.
Whole of this text is available on the website the link for which is given herein.
Another UN resolution, which is of tremendous importance in understanding what the UN stand on the issue is that of August 13, 1948.
1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.
2. The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting.
3. Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistani troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the commission.
The UN said in this resolution that the material conditions on ground had changed, since April 21, 1948, after Pakistan’s admission of involvement of its nationals in the fighting in J&K. This document too is available on the official UN site. In Part II, it says:
1.When the commission shall have notified the Government of India that the tribesmen and Pakistani nationals referred to in Part II, A, 2, hereof have withdrawn, thereby terminating the situation which was represented by the Government of India to the Security Council as having occasioned the presence of Indian forces in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, (Emphasis supplied) and further, that the Pakistani forces are being withdrawn from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India agrees to begin to withdraw the bulk of its forces from that State in stages to be agreed upon with the Commission.
2. Pending the acceptance of the conditions for a final settlement of the situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Government will maintain within the lines existing at the moment of the cease-fire the minimum strength of its forces which in agreement with the commission are considered necessary to assist local authorities in the observance of law and order. The Commission will have observers stationed where it deems necessary.
3. The Government of India will undertake to ensure that the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will take all measures within its powers to make it publicly known that peace, law and order will be safeguarded and that all human political rights will be granted.
4. Upon signature, the full text of the truce agreement or a communique containing the principles thereof as agreed upon between the two Governments and the Commission, will be made public.
The link to these details can be accessed at
The UN had said that other things were meant to follow, subject to the fulfillment of conditions by Pakistan. It never said that only India had to agree to certain conditions, under duresss, and there was no obligation cast on Pakistan.
In this, India was obliged to take some steps, only after (Emphasis supplied) Pakistan had done its bit. The steps to be taken by India were not to be unilateral, whether Pakistan’s fulfilled certain pre-determined conditions or not.
The separatists do mention India’s role as defined by the UN. Why not about what obligations it had cast on Pakistan? It is about time they explain the role expected of Pakistan by the UN. Or others do.