Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time to accept the facts

Published in Daily Rising Kashmir

Time to accept the facts

Against the solemn pledges of its founding fathers, India can’t escape from its international obligation of granting the right of self-determination to Kashmiris

Waseem Shah 

Eight young souls have fallen prey to the military prowess of Indian forces since the beginning of 2010. Bolstered with the unbridled powers, the security forces have become reckless and callous with least regard for human life. They easily escape from any sort of accountability and enjoy the freedom to kill whom they like. Kashmir is nothing but a combatant zone where they (security forces) have been deployed to restrict, stifle and muzzle the voice of people.

According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, which is rarely seen in Kashmir. As even peaceful protests by Kashmiris demanding their right of self determination, promised by India, are being dealt with iron fist.

It was India who took Kashmir dispute to UN and promised plebiscite to Kashmiris before the whole world. In his historic address broadcasted by All India Radio (AIR) on November 2, 1947 then Indian PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by its people. This pledge we have given, while the Maharaja has supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but also to the world at large. We are prepared when peace and law and order has been restored to have referendum held under the auspices of UNO.”

But how bizarre it is, on the part of India which claims to be world’s largest democracy, to backtrack on its own promise so brazenly and then lay claim for permanent membership of UNSC of whose resolution it is continuously violating. Against the solemn pledges of its founding fathers and relentless struggle of the people of Kashmir, India can’t escape from its international obligation of granting Kashmiris the right of self determination. Time cannot abrogate moral values and commitments nor invalidate international community’s right to intervene in conflicts arising from denial of freedom. We have the example of East Timor, where a dispute was settled through a reference to the wishes of people under UN supervision, where Indonesia upheld people’s verdict.

How shameful for India that on one hand it parrots peace to the world and is proud of its peacekeeping efforts in many parts of world as in DRC, MONUC and on another hand dreaded killers and extortionists whose hands are drenched red by the blood of innocent Kashmiris who are demanding nothing but the life of their own choice.

Kashmir dispute is lingering because of hypocrite attitude of Indian leadership and with it the peace and security of South Asia is in peril, though subtle the re-engagement of India and Pakistan is a welcome step but needs to be followed with sincerity and without any pre-conditions attached to it, but yes talks which sans Kashmiris are bound to fail as is evident from the past. Kashmiris are the real stake holders as their every thing is on stake, neither they nor their national aspirations can be kept aside forever. 

Feedback at waseemshah57@yahoo