Rebuttal Letter to G.N. Fai Regarding Inaccurate Statements Made By the Latter at E.U. Meetings Print
Written by Paul Beersmans   
Friday, 05 January 2007 00:00

Subject: UN Must Fulfill Kashmiri Obligations

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council, made a contribution on kashmir-global-network in Digest Number 2343 (January 5, 2007) titled: 'UN Must Fulfill Kashmiri Obligations'.

We have some observations regarding his analysis:

1. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai refers to the non implementation of the January 5, 1949, United Nations Security Council Resolution.  This is a wrong statement: the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) didn't issue any resolution on January 5, 1949, as the Security Council didn't convene that day.  The resolution he is referring to is a United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolution.  UNCIP was that day dealing with the Kashmir-issue as usual in Geneva and came out with this UNCIP-resolution, so this is certainly not a UNSC-resolution.

2. The January 5, 1949 UNCIP-resolution is in fact a confirmation of the August 13, 1948 UNCIP-resolution.  Also here, too often this first UNCIP-resolution is referred to as a UNSC-resolution and also here it is not a UNSC-resolution but a UNCIP-resolution issued after its deliberations on August 13, 1948 in Geneva.

3. Nevertheless, the January 5, 1949 UNCIP-resolution is there.  Without doubt this resolution confirms the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris whether to acceed to India or to Pakistan.  It is a pitty that Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is not going through the complete text of this UNCIP-resolution.  Indeed, he is only stressing the aspects regarding a 'free and impartial plebiscite' and at the same time omitting that the pre-condition for the whole procedure is the withdrawl of the Pakistani troops form the State of Jammu and Kashmir.  UNCIP-resolution of January 5, 1949 reads in Par. 4. (a); as follows:

'After implementation of Parts I and II of the Commission's resolution of August 13, 1948, and when the Commission is satisfied that peaceful conditions have been restored in the State, the Commission and the Plebiscite Administrator will determine, in consultation with the Government of India, the final disposal of Indian and State armed forces, such disposal to be with due regard to the security of the State and the freedom of the plebiscite'.  

4. When we go through Part II of UNCIP-resolution of August 13, 1948 we can read there in Par. A. 1. as follows:

'As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council  the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State'.

5. Up to now Pakistan didn't fulfill the conditions of UNCIP-resolution of August 13, 1948 and of January 5, 1949.  As a result we come to the conclustion that Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is blaming the wrong authority for not fulfilling the Kashmiri obligations.  From the first UNCIP-resolution onwards, Pakistan was not willing to withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Jammu and Kashmir State and still is not willing to do so.  As a result the UN is not able to go ahead with the plebiscite.  The title of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai's contribution should read: 'Pakistan Must Fulfill Kashmiri Obligations'.....

6. Notwithstanding all this, the UN nominated a Plebiscite Administrator: the American Fleet-Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.  The UN hoped Pakistan would fulfill its obligations and, in that case, wanted to be able to go ahead with the plebiscite procedures without any delay.  Fleet-Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and with him the UN were waiting in vain.

7. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is defending the right of self determination of the Kashmiris.  In our eyes this is not only a basic human right of the Kashmiris.  This is a global basic human right.  Therefore, we fail to understand why Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is limiting this right only to two options: accession to India or to Pakistan.  Why are other options excluded to Kashmiris?  Why this limited right of self determination?  While having contacts with Kashmiris so many options are brought forward: independence, partition, Union Territory within the Indian federation, etc.  What about the right of self determination of these Kashmiris?  

So far our observations regarding the statements of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai in relation to the 'UN Must Fulfill Kashmiri Obligations'.

Besides the aspects linked to the 'UN obligations' Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai also made some other statements:

* He writes that 'Kashmir has been historically independent, except in the anarchical conditions of late 18th and the first half of 19th centuries'  This is not correct: before Kashmir was under the domination (oppression?) of the Moghuls and even earlier Jammu and Kashmir niever excisted as it was in its 1947 borders.  Jammu and Kashmir, within its 1947 borders, came into existence through the expansionist, capitalist, hegemonistic, agressive moves of the first Maharajas, Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, of Jammu and Kashmir.  Gilgit Agency was completly annexed as late as 1890!!

Once a separatist leader said to me that the treaty of Amritsar of 1846, by which the British sold the Valley to the Maharaja, is illegal and should be abolished.  I fully agreed with this separatist leader: the Maharaja didn't have the right to buy the Valley from the British and the British didn't have the right to sell this area, an area they even didn't have under their control, to the Maharaja.  In accepting this argumentation, I told this separatist leader that the logic conclusion was partition of Jammu and Kashmir: by abolishing the treaty of Amristar, Jammu has nothing to do anymore with the Valley as the only link between them is exactly this treaty.  Abolishing the treaty would mean a 'de facto' partition of Jammu and Kashmir.  Since, I never heard anymore separatist leaders claiming the abolition of the 'illegal' treaty of Amritsar of 1846.

* Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai referred to Kashmiriat, a culture being distinct from other cultures.  We wonder what Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai has meant by this.  We have the impression Kashmiriat has just become a slogan:

       - the Pandits, without doubt belonging to the Kashmiri culture in the Valley, like dogs were hounded out from their century old ancestral places and the prospects for their return are very weak.  This ethnic-religious cleansing has to be condemned in the strongest way.   

        - not only the Pandits, aslo those belonging to other communities be they Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh or Christian face death if they dare to raise their voice against terrorism, fundamentalism or violence.

We can continue arguing and disussing the Kashmir-issue for years and years and years.  What hurts us the most is the irresponsible attitude of different actors/leaders.  while they are safe and living a good life, the civil society of Kashmir has been scattered and wounded in its fundaments.  This situation has become a breeding ground for all evil: no-one can make anymore the distincition between honest nationalists striving for a noble cause, between bandits taking advantage of the troubled situation or between fundamentalists preaching intolerance and promoting even more violence. 

In our eyes DE-MILITANTISATION is the only way out.  Only through de-militantisation normalcy can return in Jammu and Kashmir.  Moral values of a normal functioning civil society must return.  Kashmiris have the basic human right to live in honour and dignity.  Therefore, let truth, justice, tolerance and mutual respect prevail.

Paul Beersmans
Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir

Last Updated on Friday, 10 September 2010 20:21