If we examine Kashmir’s history, notorious events like the Kashmir Conspiracy Case of 1958-1959 were events when leaders like Sheikh Abdullah became hypocritical double agents and were interestingly bailed later on. It actually fueled a proxy war and questioned the character of our leaders. These events were actually not good examples of serving the nation one belonged to. They were actually cases of conspiracy fueled by intelligence agencies where our leaders became stooges in semblance of opportunism.
Kashmiri people have been victualed to observe the India’s national celebrations. There are many people who also observe August 15 as a black day – when daily life is interrupted in Kashmir on August 15, it serves as it’s predicament.
Through the Indian perspective, many sections of Kashmir observe January 26 – India’s Republic day or October 27 – when Indian army entered Kashmir; as black days in Kashmir’s history. It is mainly because a large portion of Kashmiri people do not have nationalistic scruples inclined towards India. But this is just one side of the history. If one retrospects with an unbiased perspective, and puts Kashmir’s ethno – national perspective in order, October 22, 1947 was also a misfortune on us, when the Dominion of Pakistan violated the Standstill agreement; or October 24 – when Pakistan dissolved the Revolutionary Provisional Government of Jammu and Kashmir or January 5 – when Pakistan changed Kashmir’s destiny by changing our right to self determination to right of accession or January 9, when Pakistan took the northern areas of Gilgit – Baltistan.
Historically, many people confuse the right of self determination with the right of accession. But if we dive into history, the UN had given the right of self determination on August 13, 1948, which was later changed, on Pakistan’s approval to right of accession to either India or Pakistan in the next resolution passed on January 5, 1949.
Whenever, Kashmiri people demand independence, a third option, Pakistani state actors laugh at our innocence because that clause is apparently not valid in legality – the end result of our desires rest in their favour, even though Article One is a fundamental right enshrined in the charter and international amalgams like OIC support it.
However, despite of this fact, the UN resolutions acknowledge that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed, entails collaboration of plebiscite administrator, de-militarisation and no victimisation. Post 1996, Kashmir has gained its place on the UN radar again through the reminder of a member state, which was initiated by Shimla agreement and then ascribed in the Lahore Agreement.
Kashmir’s independence is a de facto aspiration on which blood has been spilled, and international community plays mute. According to UNCIP resolution of 1948, the necessities that demanded our fair trial for statehood were three: a) cease-fire b) withdrawal of troops from Pakistan c) Irregularities inside the State. Once all demands were reached by both dominions, implementation of plebiscite was made valid. Historically, Kashmir was a Princely State, and was not British India. It also became independent alongside India and Pakistan. Accession was only provisional and supported will of the people and unification of the State. Based on religious contiguity, ideologues supported Kashmir’s accession with Pakistan, but when Maharaja wanted to stay independent, Pakistan ought to punish him by dethroning him. It is also worth mentioning that Maharaja had lost control of his State due to popular discontent in the masses that involved State sanctioned pogroms. Pakistan also stopped essential supplies to Kashmir and violated the Standstill agreement. It is because of these facts that communal violence grew and wars regained its course in times to come.
Analysts like Dr. Shabir Choudhary postulate that Kabali people had no interest in helping Jammu Muslims who were suffering from communal violence in Poonch massacres and were more inclined towards annexing the valley of Kashmir. Ironically, Pakistani army continues to live in parts of Kashmir that they historically annexed when Maharaja sought help from the Indian army.
The Instrument of Accession was only provisional and was more sovereign in nature. That has made the case of our conflict. More recently, British research has suggested that fishy developments lead to accession and firmer verdict on it should become legally debatable.
Right now, hypothetically, we don’t know how much fervidness will be shown in institutionalising plebiscite in Kashmir in years to come, because international politics is uncertain and leadership suffers with confusion.
UN resolutions seem advisory only and not enforceable as if they are there to fool people. Very recently, India told UN military observers group to vacate its chambers in New Delhi. In 2010, UN removed Kashmir from the list of disputed territories.
It is because of the above facts that our aspirations don’t strike a chord with either of the countries. A large portion of independence seeking Kashmiri people are labeled as ISI agents, whenever we discourse our identity crises. Also, Kashmiri nationalist movement hasn’t matured yet, because our people haven’t been nurtured to it.
Our people need to read other nationalist movements happened in the world, where the newly designed States helped in creating a strong economic and political background in countries. To qualify to be a nationalist, one has to be receptive to failures of the present and retrospect from history, and to be a nationalist leader, one has to learn international strategies out of geo-political movements. As Kashmiri people, we need to discuss problems from both sides, and not just think about only one perspective – our local one. Our goals need to be international.
Naveed Qazi holds an MSc in International Business and has worked in multiple sectors. He has been an independent political analyst for conflict zones such as Kashmir and more.