【Islamabad】KASHMIR — nature's handmaiden — lies ravished by the BJP. India's Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah has revoked, with the stroke of a presidential pen, the special status of Jammu & Kashmir guaranteed under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. He has relegated them to the dustbin that contains the remains of Junagadh, Hyderabad and Goa.
○UN Resolution No. 47 of 1948
Since 1948, the Jammu & Kashmir problem balanced like an inverted pyramid, resting on UN Resolution No. 47 of 1948, which provided that the "United Nations would conduct a free and impartial plebiscite" in the disputed territory. That resolution was adopted paragraph by paragraph, not as a complete resolution — an ominous portent for a state that would itself be dismembered piece by piece. This international commitment underpinned Pakistan's persistent demand for a plebiscite.
Today, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are in Indian custody and control, while much of the rest is within Pakistan, except for Aksai-Chin which Pakistan handed over to China in 1962. India's action in altering the status quo of Jammu & Kashmir has implications which go beyond the illegal brutality of the act itself.
○Shimla Agreement／Lahore Declaration
It is a unilateral abrogation of the Shimla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999, both of which have bound India and Pakistan to this commitment: "Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organisation, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peaceful and harmonious relations." In addition, both signatories "resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them".
In his time, president Musharraf authorised his principal secretary Tariq Aziz to hold confidential negotiations on Jammu & Kashmir with Mr Satinder Lambah (former prime minister Manmohan Singh's private envoy). Lambah later revealed, after their abortion, that Pakistan had agreed not to pursue its case before the United Nations. In exchange, India "agreed to the reduction of military troops, not paramilitary, but that was subject to Pakistan ensuring an end to hostilities, violence and terrorism. That was a major prerequisite".
○The aim of Messrs Modi and Shah
The avowed aim of Messrs Modi and Shah is not Akhand Bharat. It is a saffronised India, a Hindutva hegemony. Shah will support Modi for one or perhaps two more terms to complete this BJP/RSS agenda, after which he will take over as prime minister. He can expect no opposition from Congress. It has already committed suicide. Pakistan should now prepare itself for at least 15 abrasive years of Indian hostility.
The writer, Mr. F. S. Aijazuddin, is a feature writer for DAWN, Pakistan's leading daily English language newspaper. www.fsaijazuddin.pk
A dark dawn
A dark dawn
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