After India moved to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Pakistani administration has been indulging several optical tactics in a bid to douse out the internal uproar. The inability of Pakistani establishment to deter this move which essentially crippled the terror complex in Kashmir nurtured by the rogue state over past decades has been the main issue being raised in Pakistan by the opposition and the electorate. In one such optical move Pakistani Prime minister Imran Khan has indicated towards escalating the issue to the United Nations Security Council. While addressing a joint session of Pakistani parliament he said “We will fight it at every forum including the UN Security Council.” This move could prove to be a huge mistake for Pakistan.
In the very unlikely scenario that the UNSC pays any heed to Pakistan’s call the rogue nation is poised to be at a huge disadvantage. The UNSC resolution 47 which forms the bedrock of United Nations involvement in Kashmir, has been used by Pakistan intellectuals and Pakistan’s establishment alike to claim ‘India’s occupation’ over Jammu and Kashmir. However, basic analysis of the resolution shows that it is totally contrary to Pakistan’s claims and it only recommends a technical mechanism to resolve the dispute over the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Also Pakistan establishment’s claims to involve the UN regarding recent legislative developments in the Indian State also further don’t hold any substance as legalities of the accession and by extension the terms and conditions associated with it or any other legal provisions do not come under the ambit of the said UNSC Resolution 47. Hence, India’s move of abrogating the article is not even covered by the resolution.
Moreover the first clause of the UNSC Resolution 47 unambiguously instructs Pakistan to withdraw its armed forces and militants supported by these forces from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, so that the peaceful mechanism of dispute resolution put forward by UN Security Council can be executed.
The resolution reads: “1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavors:
(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;”
The resolution calls for the complete demilitarization of Kashmir and withdrawal by Pakistan, unambiguously stating that Pakistan must withdraw the ‘Pakistani nationals’ on the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK. It further states that India shall then carry out a plebiscite in the region when these conditions are met. But Pakistan’s support to terrorism in the valley and sending of Pak nationals for terror attacks has ensured that it never complied with this clause, a point India will very well highlight when presenting its case in the UN. This condition has never been fulfilled by Pakistan and instead, Pakistan has invested decades in changing the dynamics and demography of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and fueled terrorism in the area. This crucial fact is hidden by Pakistani propagandists on every forum when they call for a UN intervention on the Kashmir dispute.
Pakistan has not just failed to bring in effect these conditions but has also justified and promoted further intrusion by Pakistan backed terrorists into Indian sovereign territory. While Pakistan has been pulled up for its propagation of cross-border terrorism by several nations and originations, India is poised to raise the issue of Pakistan’s failure to adhere with the clauses the UNSC resolution in the highly unlikely scenario that the UN shall intervene regarding recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
Moreover the UNSC resolution 47 was passed under the Chapter VI of the UN Charter makes “recommendations” to the parties with a view to a peaceful settlement of any dispute. Essentially these recommendations are non-justiciable and only bank on the moral responsibility of the stake holders; in which Pakistan has also failed evidently.
While Pakistan has no legal standing or moral standing against India under the existing UNSC resolution, for India it would be another walkover where it can not only highlight the blatant desecration of the UNSC resolution by Pakistan but also draw the attention of international community to Pakistan sponsored terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir but the entire South Asian region- bringing focus on Balochistan, Afghanistan and other areas. Nonetheless, for India the option of withdrawing its petition form the United Nations, as indicated by MP Subramanian Swamy in the Rajya Sabha, is always an option; which will essentially strip the international organization of any locus standi on the issue.
It is also to note that by moving to the UN, Pakistan would also violate its agreement of bilateral resolution of any outstanding issue with India, which has been India’s stance for long. Shimla Pact signed between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan on 2nd July 1972 clearly stated that “That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.” The Lahore Declaration signed during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in February 1999 had also reiterated India’s stand and stated that both shall intensify efforts for an early and positive outcome of the “agreed bilateral agenda”. Though all the outstanding issues are poised to be resolved bilaterally, Jammu and Kashmir certainly is an internal matter for India, and Pakistan’s involvement in the issue amounts to nothing more than a foreign intervention on India’s sovereignty.
While Pakistan has no case for India’s move under the existing UN resolutions, India will have an opportunity to highlight Pakistan’s non-compliance with the resolutions and its support of terrorism in the valley. With this, Imran Khan could walk straight into the trap of Narendra Modi. India could also withdraw the petition filed by Jawaharlal Nehru seeking UN intervention altogether as has been suggested by Subramanian Swamy, ending every avenue of mediation once and for all.
However, it remains to be seen if Pakistan’s hollow threat of taking the issue to the UN materializes as many nations and international organizations have already reiterated the ‘internal’ nature of the legislative developments in Jammu and Kashmir. While most countries refuse to comment on India’s move, USA, Sri Lanka and UAE have termed it as India’s internal matter.