WASHINGTON, Jan 03 (APP): Prominent Kashmiri leader Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai has urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to engage himself, directly or through a representative of high international standing, in a sustained bid to settle the decades-old Kashmir dispute within a reasonable time frame.
In a statement on the eve of the 73rd anniversary of non-implementation of UN Security Council resolution prescribing a self-determination plebiscite in the disputed territory, Dr Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said the UN chief’s effort, with the Council’s concurrence, must ensure that the Kashmiri people’s position was fully taken into account.
However, for over 74 years, Fai said India had defied the plebiscite mandate by initially contriving difficulties over the demilitarization of Kashmir, and then unilaterally pronouncing that it had fallen under Indian sovereignty by some euphemism for a ‘might makes right’ theory of international law and now, by changing the demography of the state through enacting unlawful Domicile Law in 2020.
“There is no way the dispute can be settled once and for all except in harmony with the people’s will, and there is no way the people’s will can be ascertained except through an impartial vote,” he stated. Also, there were no obstacles to the setting up of a plebiscite administration in Kashmir under the aegis of the United Nations,
as the world body had proven its ability to institute an electoral process under its supervision and with the help of a neutral peaceâ€‘keeping force, it was pointed out. The striking example of it was Namibia and East Timor,
which were peacefully brought to independence after decades of occupation and control by South Africa and Indonesia respectively.
The provisions of the Kashmir resolutions were negotiated in detail by the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) with both countries, and it was only after their consent that they were endorsed by the Security Council, Fai said.
“They thus constitute a binding and solemn international agreement about the settlement of the Kashmir dispute,” he said.
A ceasefire was immediately enforced, and the Commission began negotiations to draw up a plan for the withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani armies from the state in a manner and sequence that would not cause disadvantage to either side or imperil the freedom of the plebiscite.
But progress towards a solution was, however, blocked by India’s refusal to accept that the withdrawal of forces on the two sides should be balanced and synchronized, Fai said.