All human rights are equal and indivisible, to be treated with similar attention and emphasis. The Right to self determination, enshrined in the UN Charter and other International Covenants, is at the root of the realization of all these rights. In the last seven decades, Right to self determination galvanized the drive of decolonization and inspired newly independent states to adopt policies of national choice in protection and promotion of all human rights.
- The people of Jammu and Kashmir still wait to exercise their Right to Self Determination promised to them not just by the first Indian Prime Minister and one of its founding fathers but also by the United Nations. Instead of living up to its promises, India illegally occupied the territory through use of force, fraudulent instrument of accession and illegal decisions of subsequent puppet regimes. The fraudulent instrument of accession, as a document, does not exist. The decision of the puppet regime flouts UN Security Council Resolution 122 which clearly stipulates that no local elections or decision on Kashmir’s future disposition can substitute the UN supervised plebiscite to determine the will of Kashmiri people.
- Over a dozen Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir provide a framework for the Kashmiri people to exercise their Right to Self Determination. India cannot mislead this Council by blaming Pakistan for not demilitarizing the territory to enable holding of plebiscite. Security Council Resolution no. 98 clearly laid down specific the number of troops both India and Pakistan can maintain on respective sides of the Line of Control at (quote) “at the end of the period of demilitarization” (unquote). Absolute demilitarization was never a precondition for holding of the plebiscite.
- India also endeavours to subsume the Kashmiri struggle for the Right to determination as terrorism. India should not hide behind the global concerns on terrorism to justify its own atrocities and human rights abuse. The Commission of Inquiry called for by the OHCHR report, gives India a platform to prove its point. Pakistan has welcomed the Commission of Inquiry. India should also accept the Commission for the truth to prevail. India, do not fear the truth.
- India should also implement OHCHR’s recommendation to uphold the Right to self determination of the Kashmiri people. The fulfilment of this right is essential to safeguard all human rights of the Kashmiri people and to promote regional and international peace and security.
I thank you