Monday, October 26, 2020

India must heed UN and let Kashmiris decide their own future 

Apr 10. 2019
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Re: “Pakistan must stop patronising terror”, Have Your Say, March 27.

The Indian Embassy’s letter only reflects a delusional approach to the issues at hand and there is little point in continuing this discussion. Nevertheless it is important to separate facts and truth from fiction and falsehood. For here is a country that violates international law by committing aggression against another country, only to get an appropriate beating. And while playing the victim, India is in fact a worse perpetrator of terrorism, including state-sponsored terrorism directed against Pakistan, as was exposed by the arrest of Indian Navy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was involved in terrorism in Pakistan.  India’s talk of justice and rule of law sounds hollow when it acquits self-confessed terrorists such as Swami Aseemanand, the mastermind of the 2007 terrorist attack in India on the Samjhota Express (the “friendship train” between India and Pakistan) in which 44 Pakistani nationals lost their lives among others. The most notorious of India’s terrorist credentials is its decades-long and incessant state terrorism against the people of Kashmir.

As for the status of Jammu and Kashmir, readers need not go by what is claimed by either India or Pakistan. Just look at what the United Nations has to say on this matter. The simple fact is that Kashmir is not an integral part of India and never has been. According to international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. UNSC resolutions stipulate that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations”. The test of India’s adherence to international law is in putting an end to its repressive policies, killings and human rights violations in Kashmir, and having the moral courage to let the Kashmiri people freely decide their future through a UN-mandated plebiscite.

Yasir Iqbal Butt

Counsellor, Embassy of Pakistan

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