The Kashmir-Jammu conflict is a territory-based conflict mainly between India and Pakistan. India has been claiming the whole territory of Kashmir and Jammu and presently occupying 43% of the region including Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. Pakistan owns 37% of the area with the regions Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. (Jammu and Kashmir | History, Capital, Map, Population, & Government, 2020) Ever since the territory of Kashmir was being tried to be captured by both the nations into their own boundary. During the Indo-Pakistan war of 1947, rebel forces grew up under the patronization of the Pakistan army and consequently, Pakistan entered into direct conflict in the name of protecting their border and India deported their army for the same sake and the conflict continues till now.
Proposition by United Nation
The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) was created following this situation. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948 and called for a cease-fire and asked the Government of Pakistan to ensure the withdrawal from the state of Jammu and Kashmir of Pakistani nationals who have intruded into the state. It also asked the Government of India to reduce its armed forces from the zone, after which the conditions for holding a plebiscite would be put into. (Tavares R., 2008). However, the agreement could not be realized due to differences in interpretation of the procedure. The UNCIP reported to the Security Council in August 1948 stating that “the presence of troops of Pakistan” inside Kashmir represented a “material change” in the situation.
The second conflict after 1947 was the 1965 war between India and Pakistan over the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani and Indian forces had violent clashes over disputed territory along the border. The situation turned worse when the Pakistan Army tried to occupy it using force. However, the attempt was unsuccessful, and the second India-Pakistan War reached a stalemate. The Security Council passed Resolution 211 on September 20 calling for an end to the fighting and to initiate negotiations on the settlement of the Kashmir problem. This had an immediate result and India accepted the ceasefire on September 21 followed by Pakistan on September 22. But the residing conflict over the territories was still not solved (Milestones: 1961–1968 – Office of the Historian, 2020). In mid-1999, alleged insurgents and Pakistani soldiers infiltrated Jammu and Kashmir which resulted in a large-scale conflict between the Indian and Pakistani armies. In the final stage, major battles by Indian and Pakistani forces occurred resulting in India recapturing most of the territories which were held under Pakistani forces (Nanda R., 1999)
International Law in Jammu-Kashmir Conflict
This conflict is not only a threat to the peace, security, and stability of the two countries but also to the whole South Asian region. Jammu-Kashmir is an important asset for the politics of India and Pakistan and so both want to go to any extent to own the whole state of Jammu Kashmir. At the same time, the whole conflict poses serious questions about the basic human, political, cultural, and economic rights of the Kashmiri people. So it becomes a principal subject of International relations and international human rights law. International institutions and major states in international affairs are thus bound to take some effective measures to solve this issue in accordance with the norms and principles of international law. The principles of international conventions and covenants are universal in nature and Kashmiri people have every right to question the violation of these rights in their own country. India and Pakistan should not be given any scopes to violate or interfere in the social, cultural, economic, and political rights of the people of those regions. The principle of non-discrimination is complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and its main aim is to respect the rights of other (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The obligation to respect means the states should abstain from handing over the enjoyment of human rights. It is the primary obligation of State parties and signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ICSECR). Since Jammu and Kashmir is not the finalized part of any states, it is the responsibility of India and Pakistan, both to ensure the basic human rights of the Kashmiri people since both the countries are the signatories of the mentioned covenants (Indian Embassy, 1998). One major point is missed that there is another party, the Kashmiri people who demands for independence from both the states and arise as a different nation. This group needs to be backed up by proper diplomatic and international assistance, so that they can present their view and the world can know what the people living there want. The consecutive wars, the massive loss of life there, the uncontrolled use of natural resources in those areas is causing prime disadvantage only to those people living there and not the states. In spite of being under the mandates of United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these people are not getting the basic security even, due to the long-standing conflict between the two states in the name of the occupation of some territory. So any solution to this dispute should not only be between India and Pakistan but also the Kashmiri insurgents who are fighting for full independence. Before a final settlement, there are certain measures to be considered and taken by the international community to help the Kashmiri people in the process of Confidence Building measures (CBM’s) (Lavoy P., 2006). Both the nations need to increase their bureaucratic cooperation at every level. A third party intervention and mediation can be efficient towards the resolution of the Jammu Kashmir dispute. Finally, good governance, political, social and economic development should be encouraged through participatory democracy in all the administrative regions of Jammu and Kashmir to create a democratic, political and trustworthy situation, so that the final solution of this conflict could be made in a more peaceful and diplomatic way.
Jammu and Kashmir | History, Capital, Map, Population, & Government. (2020). Retrieved 10 November 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Jammu-and-Kashmir
Tavares, R. (2008). Resolving the Kashmir Conflict: Pakistan, India, Kashmiris and Religious Militants. Asian Journal of Political Science, 16(3), 276-302. doi: 10.1080/02185370802504316.
Milestones: 1961–1968 – Office of the Historian. (2020). Retrieved 10 November 2020, from https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/india-pakistan-war
Nanda, R. (1999). Kargil- A Wake-Up Call (1st ed.). Lancers Books.
Indian Embassy. (1998). A Comprehensive Note on Jammu & Kashmir. Virtual Gallery.
Lavoy, P. (2006). Pakistan’s Kashmir Policy after the Bush Visit to South Asia Strategic Insights. Center For Contemporary Conflict, V(4).
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
Author: Jubaida Auhana Faruque, currently a final year honors student in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Dhaka. She is a MUN enthusiast and a classical dancer.