Day: January 4, 2018

Kashmiri aspirations must be respected

“If parties (India & Pakistan) come here and both of them call upon the Security Council to make recommendations for the solution of their (Kashmir) dispute, ought they not in advance agree to abide by it? They are not bound to ask the Security Council to make such recommendations, but if they do, I ask the Committee of Experts if they have not thereby implied that they will conform or try to conform to them.” Ambassador Warren Austin of the United States at the Security Council on May 26, 1948.

If promises are made to be broken, then Kashmir may be summoned to prove the treacherous proposition. Broken promises haunt Kashmir’s history, and explain its tragedy.

The Kashmir issue is simply this: the people of a large territory which is not part of any existing sovereign state were assured by the entire international community represented by the United Nations that they would be enabled to decide their future by a free vote. Until now, this assurance has not been honored.

With the lapse of British paramountcy on August 15, 1947, broken promises over Kashmir came not like single spies but in battalions, to borrow from Hamlet. Princely states enjoyed three options: accession to India, accession to Pakistan, or independence. But the choice, according to India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and tacitly endorsed by the British,