The right to self-determination is the foundation of the international
order. The essential postulate for the exercise of the right to
self-determination is that it should be a free and genuine expression of the
will of the people without any coercion or external influence. Any election,
referendum or plebiscite organised unilaterally by the colonial or occupying
authorities does not constitute a free expression of the will of the people.
No amount of autonomy granted by an occupying power can serve as a
substitute for the right of the peoples under colonial and alien domination
or foreign occupation to seek freedom.
India has prevented the Kashmiris from exercising their right to
self-determination as stipulated in the Security Councils resolutions.
Yet, despite the lapse of time, the resolutions of the Security Council
remain valid and binding on all the parties – India, Pakistan and the United
Nations. These resolutions will remain binding unless they are changed by a
subsequent resolution of the Security Council. The right of
self-determination is not subject to any law of prescription. It remains
alive until it is freely exercised. The right of the Kashmiri people to
self-determination will remain pending until it is exercised through a
modality which ensures that the Kashmiris are enabled to express their will
in a free and fair manner.
The road to peace in South Asia has to pass through the realisation of the
right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We feel that
it is essential to simultaneously address three aspects of the Jammu and
First, action must be taken to reduce tensions and to avert a possible
threat to peace. India should accept the offer of good offices made by the
Secretary General over the last three years. It should also respond
positively to Pakistans proposals on (a) the appointment of a Special
Representative of the Secretary-General, (b) expansion of UNMOGIP to monitor
and surveil the Line of Control and (c) the despatch of a fact finding
mission to Jammu and Kashmir.
Second, and most importantly, India must be persuaded to give up the use of
force as a means of resolving the crisis in Kashmir. Indias repression and
human rights violations in Kashmir must be halted.
Third, meaningful and result-oriented negotiations should be started to
promote an early solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. In such talks,
we hope India and Pakistan will display greater flexibility and imagination.
It must be understood that any solution to Kashmir will have to be based on
the freely expressed wishes of the Kashmiri people.
No settlement can be durable if it is unacceptable to the people of Kashmir.
The central focus of talks will have to be to devise acceptable ways to
ascertain the freely expressed wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The Jammu and Kashmir dispute defines the very character of the United
Nations. The Security Council employing all means at its disposal, namely,
mediation, arbitration and preventive diplomacy reached conclusions on the
basis of several resolutions, which define the modus operandi for the
resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Denial of these resolutions or
any obfuscation to block their implementation would be tantamount to
challenge the United Nations authority and to flouting the established norms
of international law.
In this background Im convince that Peace in Kashmir is possible only
through United Nations Resolutions.