By Mrinaal Datt
Demystifier : ED Original where the content is written in such a way that it is knowledgeable and easy to comprehend at the same time.
This article has been written as a demystifier for the following reasons :
A. People don’t know the Kashmir issue.
B. People don’t know the Balochistan issue.
C. We need to tell them and clear the facts since it was coined by Narendra Modi in his speech and there is an uproar in Balochistan and Pakistan for the same.
Ever since the Indian Prime Minister’s recent comments on the controversial issue of Kashmir and its Pakistan Occupied Areas, a huge storm has kicked up on both sides of the border especially relating to the area of Balochistan.
There is a huge question mark in the minds of the people as to the legal status of this troubled area in the backdrop of the infamous war between the two countries, the subsequent UN resolution and the current situation.
Being a law student who spent the past one year researching on the dreaded K-word, I try to separate fact from fiction (right from the beginning).
FICTION: That the Hindu King of Jammu & Kashmir was torturing the majority Muslim population in the state and to support their protest against the king, Pakistan “helped” them by supplying arms and ammunition.
FACT: The then King Hari Singh was, in fact, a very kind king who was loved by all. Pakistan had sent rebel groups to infiltrate and create tensions in the yet undecided state.
FICTION: India interfered unnecessarily in the internal affairs of Jammu and Kashmir and “forced” His Highness Hari Singh to sign the Instrument of Accession in favor of India.
FACT: His Highness Hari Singh appealed for military help from India against the apparent takeover bid by Pakistan to which India agreed, on the condition that he secede to India.
FICTION: The Instrument of Accession was never ratified.
FACT: The Instrument of Accession stated that “not the king, but the people of the state will decide their future” which in fact they did. In the 1950’s, the elections to the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir took place which unanimously ratified Kashmir’s accession to India.
FICTION: India took the matter to the United Nations and Resolution 48 came into existence between the two countries according to which a plebiscite was to be conducted by India to decide the fate of Kashmir which it failed to do.
FACT: While it is true that the matter was referred to the UN and the Resolution signed but what most people don’t know is that the pre-conditions to this Resolution were never completed. The UN specifically asked Pakistan to withdraw its army from the disputed area (while India continues to station its army there for security purposes). Despite the UN and India’s repeated requests, this condition was never complied with. Hence, no plebiscite was conducted.
FICTION: After the war with Pakistan, the area occupied by it belongs to Pakistan- namely Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and the rest of the Northern areas.
FACT: In the previous decade various PILs were filed by persons in Pakistan questioning the legal status of these northern areas, the Supreme Court of Pakistan rejecting the appeal of the Government ruled that Pakistan has no sovereignty over the areas and asked the Government to take steps to establish democracy in these areas.
FICTION: Balochistan and Azad Kashmir have separate Constitutions and Pakistan does not interfere in their functioning.
FACT: While the Constitutions are in place, they still come under the rule of the President of Pakistan. The elections in these places are a farce, to say the least, candidates disappear, ISI muffles every little voice of dissent, Shia muslims are not allowed to serve in the local army as the Pakistan government does not trust them anymore. “Azad Kashmir” is far from free as the council set up for their self-administration was scrapped and the leaders of Pakistan continue to rule them.
FICTION: India has no right over Kashmir.
FACT: At the very instance when the Security Council admitted India’s complaint, it indirectly recognized India’s right over Kashmir. Further, time and again Pakistan’s calls to discuss the Kashmir issue have been declined on the ground that there is no legal basis to the same. Kashmir no longer figures in the list of Disputed Territories recognized by the United Nations.
By now, you might think that India did actually have a right on Kashmir, to begin with, but a lousy foreign policy by the previous governments made India’s claim weaker over the years.
But with constant ceasefire violations, unchecked killings in PoK, the Modi Government seems to have realized that beating around the same bush won’t do it any good and so has now went on attack. By raking up Balochistan, he has again shifted the focus back to where it should have been.
Your move, Pakistan.
Picture Credits: Google
An aspiring lawyer, a blogger, promotional manager and supervisor for firms like AapkaConsultant.com and Aap Vakeel Hain, a social worker for WWF for Nature in Mohali and a content creator for 3 different firms, Mrinaal Datt is surely the perfect example of a jack of all trades. Add it to her latest gig at MTV and that surely validates her talent. A political enthusiast, an avid reader and vlogger on YouTube, she is one of the most influential students in her institution who works to make a change.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.