In a major foreign policy triumph, Kashmir has once again surfaced at the world body forum, and the good point is that its right to self-determination has been unanimously recognised. This is a leap forward, and will certainly go a long way in furthering the cause of more than 10 million Kashmiris, who are in a perpetual state of subjugation at hands of excesses committed by the Nazi-inspired BJP government in India. The Pakistan-sponsored resolution titled ‘Universal Realisation of the Right of the Peoples to Self-Determination’ was on Friday adopted with a consensus voice at the UN General Assembly in New York. It is, indeed, a shot in the arm for the people of Kashmir and inevitably an acknowledgment of an assertive foreign policy by Islamabad.
The resolution categorically supports the right to self-determination for “all peoples under subjugation, alien domination and foreign occupation”, including those of Indian-occupied Kashmir. The fact that it was co-sponsored by 72 countries and was adopted unanimously is worth appreciating. For the first time after a long hiatus of polarisation has such a resolution been passed by the UNGA, which testifies that the world is changing, and no longer can the fundamental right to life, liberty and human emancipation be check-mated at the hands of realpolitik. This is a solace to the Kashmiris too, as for a longer period of time their plight was subject to jaundiced bilateralism between the major powers and New Delhi. This is why this vote of cognizance by human rights respecting states should pave the way for doubling the efforts of liberalising all such nations that are under the yoke of an extended colonialism.
It is also pertinent to recall that in the month of August when India assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric reminded New Delhi that the world body’s position on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute has not changed. India has already damaged its case by unilaterally abolishing the special status of Jammu & Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 and 35A under its very own constitution. This is the writing on the wall and derives a conviction that Kashmiris would be heard sooner than later.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2021.