The one organization that has stood firm in pursuit of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) since the First Kashmir War between Pakistan and India in 1947-48, in the aftermath of the partition of the Sub-Continent is the United Nations. Indian obstinacy, its hegemonistic ambitions and utter disregard of the 1947 Partition Plan for the Indian Princely States led it to invade Kashmir. Pakistan’s efforts to liberate Kashmir in consonance with the aspirations and ambitions of the Kashmiri Muslims, who were in absolute majority in the Princely State, led to the Pakistan India War on Kashmir. The territorial dispute would have been resolved and the accession of Kashmir would have been settled long ago. Pakistan managed to win freedom for some portions of Kashmir, but the Indian leadership resorted to the United Nations calling for a ceasefire. Consequently United Nation Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 39 in 1948 and a UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) was established to investigate and mediate the issues between India and Pakistan.
Later on UNSC on the complaint of Government of India concerning the dispute over state of J&K passed Resolution 47 in 1948, thus paving the way for withdrawal of forces by both India and Pakistan and creating conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide the future of the state. The UNSC Resolution 47 also upgraded membership of UNCIP and its role to observe ceasefire. In March 1951 Karachi agreement was signed by India and Pakistan establishing a ceasefire line to be supervised by UN military observers. UNCIP was terminated and UNSC passed Resolution 91 in 1951 and established United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to observe and report violations of ceasefire between India and Pakistan. After Indo-Pakistan War-1971, Simla Agreement was signed in 1972 by both countries and a Line of Control (LOC) was defined in Kashmir.
Unfortunately, India harbouring ambitions of devouring Kashmir and annexing the whole of the State of Jammu and Kashmir started a malicious propaganda against the UNMOGIP. It lodged a series of complaints against the UNMOGIP, blaming it of partiality towards Pakistan. India argued that the role of UNMOGIP has elapsed as ceasefire was now being observed through Simla Agreement. United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), however, maintained that UNMOGIP will continue to function as no UNSC resolution has been passed to terminate it. Honoring UNSC resolutions, Pakistani military continues lodging complaints with UNMOGIP on ceasefire violations while India disregards the UN mandate. UNMOGIP continues to monitor, investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit findings to India-Pakistan and UNSG.
It is pitiful that the moment Narendra Modi’s government assumed power, it hurriedly decided to forcibly annex and integrate the disputed territory of J&K, revealing its intentions to wrap up Article-370 in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and fortifying measures to strengthen its illegal occupation of J&K. Consequently, UNMOGIP in New Delhi was asked to vacate its official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant, thereby insulting the world body and indicating its intention to violate UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir dispute and continue its human rights violations in IOK, unabated.
India tends to ignore that Kashmir is a disputed territory and cannot be annexed to India through its coercive strategy and immoral tactics adopted by the BJP led Indian Government.
UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir are still relevant and so is the case with UNMOGIP which is playing a very important role in maintaining peace and order in Kashmir. The warped logic that India is presenting regarding the UNMOGIP’s relevance having expired in the wake of the Simla Agreement of 1972 between Pakistan and India post 1971 is preposterous. It is tantamount to ridiculing the UN and its efforts to maintain peace in the world.
The UN Secretary General is justified in snubbing India on the issue of UNMOGIP when the Indian Government directed the military observers to vacate the official accommodation allocated to them in New Delhi, on the Indian plea that UNMOGIP has ceased to be effective and become irrelevant. The ground reality is that UNMOGIP continues to monitor, investigate complaints on ceasefire and regularly submit findings to both India & Pakistan and UNSG. Their role has been significantly valid and vital to maintain peace in Kashmir.
It is an insult to an august body like the United Nations by ordering its military observers to vacate their official accommodation from the Indian capital under dubious as their role had become irrelevant. The BJP Government in India is trying to remain oblivious of the fact that UNMOGIP was established through UNSC Resolution 51 on the complaint of the Indian Government itself and now it is the same Indian Government which is opposing the role of UNMOGIP to maintain peace in the region. Indian duplicity knows no bounds and its doublespeak needs to be exposed while its machinations and evil conspiracies to fortify its measures to strengthen its illegitimate occupation of Kashmir must be denounced in the loudest terms.
If an eminent personality as the UN Secretary General has taken exception to the Indian affront to UN and UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir dispute especially the Indian intention to remove UNMOGIP from New Delhi, then the same must be applauded.
UNSG’s response is credible, convincing and justified that UNMOGIP is very much relevant as no UN Resolution has been passed to terminate the UMOGIP and stopping it from monitoring, investigation ceasefire violations and submitting finding to both parties (India-Pakistan) and UNSG. It behooves the civilized nations of the world, who raise their voice for the sake of humanitarian causes, to stand up and be counted by taking cognizance of Indian intransigence and high handedness in violating UN Resolutions and causing insult to UN on the issue of maintaining UNMOGIP. The watchdog of the UN, which in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, is the UNMOGIP, then it must be permitted to maintain its premises in New Delhi and continue its noble task of violations across the LOC by either India or Pakistan, unhindered.