Why after 2014?

Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde during his interaction with the children of Delhi Public School in Srinagar has said that there would be no security checks in Kashmir after 2014. The “security hazard” faced by the people every day will be over. He made a distinction between insurgency faced in North East and Naxal-hit regions, and terrorism faced in Jammu and Kashmir.
I wish to defer the examination of the substantive merits of a difference between insurgency and terrorism at this point. A political analyst and one who understand the jurisprudence of Instrument of Accession (IOA), admits that it is a provisional arrangement between the parties (Government of India and Government of Jammu and Kashmir) and that India as a responsible member nation of UN has been very clear at the UN in regard to the provisional character of its agreement and on the right of a people’s expression on the subject would address the statement differently.

Union Home Minister would have faced a serious difficulty in naming the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘terrorism’, if cease fire between Kashmiri militants and the Government of India had gone ahead for one or two rounds. Sitting across with the representatives of the Government of India would have caused the legitimacy of the use of a gun in Kashmir. Terms of a Cease Fire did not mean surrender but an agreement (MOU) between the parties for a temporary non-use of a gun. Sky was the limit in Indian offer at that point.
An honest Indian, Pakistani, Kashmiri or a fourth independent analyst, would have to overcome the dilemma presented in the report S/3821 dated 29 April 1957 in pursuance of the UN Security Council Resolution S/3793 dated 21 February 1957 presented by Gunnar Jarring Representative of Sweden on the Security Council (President of UN Security Council for the month of February 1957). At its 774th meeting on 21 February 1957 the Security Council adopted a resolution S/3793 and requested its President for the month of February 1957, the representative of Sweden, “to examine with the Governments of India and Pakistan any proposals which, in his opinion, were likely to contribute towards the settlement of the India-Pakistan dispute, having regard to the previous resolutions of the Security Council and of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. He was further requested to visit the sub-continent for this purpose and to report to the Security Council not later than 15 April 1957”.
After having discussions with the Government of Pakistan from 15 to 2o March 1957 and from 2-5 April 1957 and with the Government of India from 24-28 March 1957 and from 6-9 April 1957, he states in para 8 of the report, “During the last debate in the Security Council, the representative of Pakistan had stated that his country recognized, “no international obligations with regard to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, except those she had voluntarily accepted…in the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan dated 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949”. For his part, the representative of India declared that these two UNCIP resolutions were the only ones which bound his Government”.
The present generation in Pakistan and Kashmir have a duty to question the merits of the statement made by the representative of Pakistan at the UN Security Council stating that his country recognized, “no international obligations with regard to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, except those she had voluntarily accepted…in the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan dated 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949”.
It represents a serious flaw in the evidence available at the UN in regard to the policy advocated by the Government of Pakistan and the posture maintained in public in Pakistan and in Jammu and Kashmir. The record proves that Government policy maintained at the UN is irresponsible and does not embed any honest interest in the right of self-determination of the people. Governments in Pakistan have been less than honest with the people of Pakistan on the question of Jammu and Kashmir. To hide this fact about a non-committal policy at UN and keeping a fake posture at home, establishments in Islamabad have used surrogates in Kashmir.
Union Home Minister may have his reasons to define the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘terrorism’ and for setting 2014 as the deadline when security hazards would end. He too could not override the merits of para 13 and 14 pertaining to India in the Jarring report. Jarring in his report in para 14 states, “I explained to the Government of India that the Security Council had properly taken cognizance of their original complaint, and it was not for me to express myself on the question whether its resolutions on the matter had been adequate or not. I pointed out that regardless of the merits of the present position taken by their Government, it could not be overlooked that they had accepted the two UNCIP resolutions”. India maintained that, “In their view, it was incumbent on the Council to express itself on the question of what in their view was an aggression committed by Pakistan on India. In their view, it was incumbent on the Council to express itself on this question and equally incumbent on Pakistan “to vacate the aggression”. (Para 13 of the Jarring report S/3821 dated 29 April 1957).
Answer to the question asked by the Kashmiri student, “I am living under fear and this fear comes from security forces who are supposed to protect me. Why do I fear them”? need not be deferred to 2014. It has to be answered here and now in the discharge of a duty to protect life, honour and property. Union Home Minister is the immediate person to not only know but to see as well that the discipline which covers the presence of Indian security forces under the terms of the provisional Instrument of Accession and terms of the UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948 provide the answer. Even if for the sake of an argument one goes by his definition that the Indian State is faced with ‘terrorism’ in Jammu and Kashmir, his response to the ‘Kashmiri student’s question’ should be based on the principle that has governed the arrest of seven members of the elite Royal Marines on suspicion of murder in Afghanistan in 2011 by British military police. The arrest came on Thursday 11 October 2012 a day before the question was asked.
It is important to point out that the incident followed an engagement of elite Royal Marines with an Afghan insurgent—there were no civilians involved. The investigation will now be conducted by the Service Justice system, which handles offenses committed by British service personnel overseas. Ministry of Defence has made a statement that “These arrests demonstrate the department and the Armed Forces’ determination to ensure UK personnel act in accordance with their Rules of Engagement and our standards.” It is the first time that British service personnel have been held on such charges in more than a decade of war there. The Royal Marines, or “green berets”, were formed in 1755 as marine infantry for the Royal Navy and have a reputation as some of the toughest military professionals in the world.

Indian Security Forces have a higher burden of responsibility in Jammu and Kashmir. It is, far different and much higher than expected in any other State. In addition to their principal role in the State, these forces have to have high level of training, instructions of restraint and have to act properly under the rules of engagement. More so, there is no scope for them to be seen engaged with unarmed men, women and children. These forces should not be a source of grievance to the common citizen in Kashmir (Valley) and cause of an embarrassment for the Government of India.

Author is Secretary General – JKCHR, NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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