The United Nations has expressed deep concerns over the situation in held Kashmir and has called for India to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms in the restive region. The remarks come from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who has just concluded a diplomatic trip to Pakistan.
The UN chief stressed on the importance of exercising maximum restraint and de-escalate ‘verbally and military’ the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. He offered to mediate on Kashmir provided that both sides ask him. He called for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, which date back to 1948 calling for a plebiscite among Kashmiris on their right to self-determination.
Pakistan welcomed the offer considering it as a victory that its narrative on Kashmir was being echoed by the UN chief. Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the comments and called on the UN to do more to intervene in Kashmir. The prime minister has warned that Kashmir could become of the flashpoints in the world if the UN does not play its part.
India was certainly not displeased at the UN chief’s statement which he made on Pakistani soil. The Indian foreign ministry rebuffed the offer and said that was no role for any third-party mediation. It is deplorable that India has rebuffed an offer by the UN chief. This clearly shows that India does not want to resolve the issue as its atrocities on innocent Kashmiris would be exposed.
India has not allowed UN observers along the border regions leading to blatant and unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. The UN military observer group (UNMOGP) should be given complete and unhindered freedom of movement and implement its mandate. The UN chief has not asked much but rather stated that human rights should be respected in Kashmir as well. Despite that India arrogantly rebuked the offer from the UN chief.
It has been seven months since Indian imposed a stringent lockdown on Kashmir and unilaterally annexed the region. The UN has done enough but to express concern and issued statements. The inability to pressurise India or take any intervening steps remains the failure of the UN. The people of Kashmir demanded more than expressions of solidarity and concerns.
The UN should accept its failure over not passing any resolution as India remains indifferent over the plight of Kashmiris. India is certainly not interested in the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute and wants to continue with its Hindutva-driven politics. The global community should listen to its conscience and continue to raise the Kashmir issue.