Unless the root is addressed, outcome will be no different.



“Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved through understanding.”       
(Albert Einstein)

As if the political destiny of divided Kashmir stands settled, Omer Abdullah, while addressing a public gathering at Handwara reiterated New Delhi’s stand, saying “Good Bye” to United Nation Military observers Group in India & Pakistan (UNMOGIP).  I am reminded of a historical speech of Sheikh Muhammed Abdullah at Eidgah, Srinagar on 4th July 1972 just a day after Shimla Agreement, where he lashed out at India and Pakistan and said, “The people of Kashmir are not dumb-driven cattle, whose destiny can be decided in their absence by India and Pakistan at Shimla”. He sought the resolution of Kashmir problem through plebiscite in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions. The UNMOGIP in divided Kashmir are as a result of the United Nations Security Council Resolution-39(1948) of 20th January, which was passed on the complaint of India regarding the tribal invasion of 1947.  The resolution decided to establish United Nation Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate over the dispute of Kashmir. To create a peaceful environment for holding a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir, another Resolution-47(1948) passed on 21th April 1948 decided enlarging the membership of UNCIP, to recommend various majors including use of observers to stop fighting between India & Pakistan over Kashmir. At the recommendation of UNCIP, the Secretary General appointed the Military Advisor to support the commission on military aspects and provide a group of military observers to assist him. Thus the first team of unarmed Military Observers arrived in Jammu & Kashmir in January 1949, with a mandate to supervise the ceasefire between India & Pakistan and to assist Military Advisor to UNCIP. These arrangements remained in effect until the conclusion of  Karachi Agreement on 27th July 1949, which established a ceasefire line to be supervised by UNMOGIP.  On 13th March 1951 following the termination of UNCIP, the Security Council again by its Resolution–91(1951) decided that UNMOGIP shall continue to supervise the ceasefire line in Jammu & Kashmir, with the revised mandate to observe and report, investigate complaint of ceasefire violation and submit its finding to each party and the Security General. After 1971 Indo-Pak War, ceasefire came into effect on 17th December 1971 and a number of positions of both sides of 1949 ceasefire line had changed hands. The Security Council without any loss of time on 2Ist December 1971 adopted another Resolution–307(1971) by which it demanded that a durable ceasefire in all areas of conflict remains in effect until armed forces had withdrawn to their respective positions which fully respected the ceasefire line in Jammu & Kashmir, to be supervised by UNMOGIP.
 In the past there has been a number of LoC violations by India & Pakistan. As mandated by UN Security Council Resolutions, the military authorities of Pakistan have always lodged complaints with UNMOGIP. The LoC ceasefire agreement forged between India & Pakistan w.e.f. on 26th November 2003, had made LoC relatively calm. It was recently in the Ist week of January 2013 as reported by The Hindu,  “An Indian Army Unit had started building observation bunkers along LoC at  Krishna Ghati, Mendhar - Poonch, thus violating 2003 LOC ceasefire agreement, which bars such constructions”. This resulted in the killing of three Indian soldiers since Jan 6, 2013 and subsequently India accusing Pakistani troops killing its two soldiers, on Jan 8, 2013, one of whom namely Hem Raj was allegedly beheaded. India raised a great hue and cry with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warning “there cannot be business as usual”. The Army and Navy Chiefs were in aggressive mood. Hockey players and Singers visiting India were sent back in hurry, as if war had to start. The operationalization of much touted visa regime has been withheld. Pakistan as usual registered a complaint of LoC violation and offered an investigation and enquiry by UNMOGIP as per its mandate. India outright rejected the Pakistan’s offer taking it as a third party intervention. Things continued to happen till military observers were seen off.
To cut the long story short, till the political aspirations of divided Kashmir remains unachieved neither the Shimla Agreement nor Indra – Sheikh Accord will do. As the former US president Jimmy Carter has rightly said “Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent,”.

(Ab. Qayoom  Khan (IFS) Rtd. is member  All India Muslim Majlis -e-Mushawarat. New Delhi)        

Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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