By Senator Rehman Malik
Overall situation in Jammu & Kashmir has turned into volcanic development. Indian PM Modi has jailed the Kashmiris in the largest cage of the world instead of giving them the legal right of self-determination which they rightfully deserve. The world and UN are sleeping and our reactions against the illegal acts of India are not sufficient enough to fulfill the expectations of the nation.
It is about time that Pakistan has to adopt aggressive, pragmatic and result oriented approach to get the implementation of UN resolutions.
It is unfortunate that the abolition of Article 370 by Indian Government has inflamed tensions further between Pakistan and India since August adding more problems for Kashmiris. For over a month, curfew is imposed in IOK further dismantling the fate of innocent people of Kashmir. It is a need of hour that we stand with our brothers and sisters living in Kashmir and take them out of this state of distress and misery that Indian Govt has put them in.
Before moving forward to the steps and provisions we can adopt to do so, let’s first present the whole background of the scenario for those who might not know about what actually has happened in Kashmir. On 5 August 2019, India’s Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah announced that the President had signed a decree abolishing Article 370 of the constitution, shedding away s the significant autonomy of Kashmiris, curfew was imposed across the IOK which is still in imposition. By scrapping the special status of Kashmiris the Indian Government violated the 11 resolutions of UNSC.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that allows the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent resident” of the state in Indian constitution whereas, the Article 370 gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article is drafted as Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions and as a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
It gives the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state. It was also inserted in Indian Constitution through the Constitution Order, 1954, which was issued by President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370, on the advice of the Nehru-led Union Government. It also protected the demographic status of the Jammu and Kashmir state in its prescribed constitutional form.
Since Indian Occupied Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority state controversially annexed by India, Hindu Extremist groups are encouraging Hindus to migrate to the state. The main motive of India behind this move is the ethnic Cleansing of Muslims in order to achieve the success of Hindutva Ideology by achieving majority in plebiscite in which the state subjects will only participate. They want to curb the freedom movement and restrict the Muslim Leadership from approaching the people so that they can achieve supremacy in the region of South Asia. They are intending to dominate the Pakistan and Chinese boarders adjacent to Kashmir.
The abrogation of Article 370 is obstructive for the people of Kashmir in many ways. As a consequence of cancellation of article, the people from the rest of India would have the right to acquire property in Jammu and Kashmir and settle there permanently. It would lead to a demographic transformation of region from majority Muslim to majority Hindu state which is a clear indication of ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Kashmir.
I have following suggestions for the Government to wisely take up this matter to the concerned authorities and address the fundamental cause of the matter:
a. Government of Pakistan immediately bring a resolution demanding the UNSC to get its own resolutions implemented in the same spirit as UN resolution on 9/11 was implemented. This should not only be demanded in speech of the PM but also he must manage to get the date of self-determination announced by the UN during this UN session.
b. The resolutions of UNSC have never been persuaded seriously by the UN and no fix date and time for the plebiscite as right of Kashmiris had ever been announced. It is of Paramount importance to urge the UN to announce the date for the plebiscite.
c. According to the UN charter, if a resolution is adopted then its implementation becomes mandatory to the Secretary General of United Nation. In this case UNSG has not played his due role by not announcing and arranging the date of plebiscite for oppressed Kashmiris which is undermining the capability of UN.
d. The speech of the Prime Minister undoubtedly will be a routine right of Pakistan being a member and I am sure Prime Minister is expected to emphasis in his speech demanding the SG UN to direct his office to initiate the process of plebiscite and fix a date for the voting under UN peace keeping mission. It is a legitimate demand post any such resolution.
e. I have been stating since 1 year that the anti-Pakistan Syndrome of Indian PM Modi is increasing day by day and he will harm Pakistan which I had stated it in my multiple columns. I had given my assessment even before Pulwama about the anti-Pakistan actions been taken by PM Modi and his NSA Ajeet Doval.
f. The President of the United Nations Human Rights Commission was of the firm view that the brutalities by the Indian Government are unprecedented and copy of the Human Rights Violation report may be used as a charge sheet against Indian Government, PM Modi and his NSA Ajeet Doval.
g. We have identified that in actual PM Modi is our main enemy and hence he needs to be exposed and punished for his misdeeds. Here are few proposals to ensure the trial of PM Modi as war criminal:
i. Government of Pakistan must take the case to the ICC under Rome Statute/ convention. We need to move simultaneously in ICC and ICJ. Both have almost the same mandate but different procedures.
ii. PM Modi can be dragged as war criminal by the Kashmiri victims through other Human rights bodies to the International Criminal Court under Rome Convention.
iii. The statements of the victims of the killings of their loved ones , forced disappearances, rape, genocide, pelleting and ethnic cleansing etc. Must be backed by the Copy of Charge Sheet along with the Human Rights Commission report to strengthen the case against PM Modi.
h. Our narrative abroad is very weak as compared to India as we are not prepared to counter it with effective projection against massive Indian propaganda.
I further propose that a Committee comprising of Senior Journalists and Media Experts may be formulated with officials from the Information and Foreign Affairs Ministries to be made responsible to highlight the issue of Kashmir and the brutalities being carried out by the Indian Occupational Forces under the direct command of PM Modi in International media/ competent. The Local media/ all TV channel should be directed by PEMERA to dedicate at least 20 minutes a day for the cause of Kashmir. The MOFA should organize a Seminar fortnightly inviting the foreign diplomats and Journalists to apprise them about the current situation of the Kashmir Under siege.
I hope the government pays some attention on my proposals as we need to fight hard on diplomatic and legal fronts. I would also like to propose to the govt to ban Pak airspace for Indian aircrafts. It should be opened only if PM Modi lifts the curfew from IHK.
Prime Minister should spend more time in lobbying to get the date of self- determination for Kashmiris as the Kashmiris & Pakistanis will not like if he returns empty handed without the decision of fate of Kashmiris.
(The author is former Interior Minister of Pakistan and presently Chairman, Pak Senate Standing Committee on Interior Affairs. He is alsoChairman of Think Tank “Global Eye He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @Senrehmanmalik.)