UN mediation of Kashmir
The United Nations has played an important role in maintaining peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir soon after the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, when a dispute erupted between the two States on the question of Jammu and Kashmir. India took this matter to the UN Security Council, which passed resolution 39 (1948) and established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate the issues and mediate between the two countries. Following the cease-fire of hostilities, it also established the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to monitor the cease-fire line.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History of operations
- 3 United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
- 4 Map issues
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Following the outbreak of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, India's Governor General Mountbatten flew to Lahore On 1 November 1947 for a conference with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, proposing that, in all the princely States where the ruler did not accede to a Dominion corresponding to the majority population (which would have included Junagadh, Hyderabad as well Kashmir), the accession should be decided by an `impartial reference to the will of the people'. Jinnah rejected the offer. The Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan met again in December, where Nehru informed Khan of India's intention to refer the dispute to the United Nations under article 35 of the UN Charter, which allows the member states to bring to the Security Council attention situations `likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace'.
India sought resolution of the issue at the UN Security Council on 1 January 1948. Following the set-up of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948. The measure imposed an immediate cease-fire and called on the Government of Pakistan 'to secure the withdrawal from the state of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the state for the purpose of fighting.' It also asked Government of India to reduce its forces to minimum strength, after which the circumstances for holding a plebiscite should be put into effect 'on the question of Accession of the state to India or Pakistan.' However, it was not until 1 January 1949 that the ceasefire could be put into effect, signed by General Gracey on behalf of Pakistan and General Roy Bucher on behalf of India. However, both India and Pakistan failed to arrive at a truce agreement due to differences over interpretation of the procedure for and the extent of demilitarisation. One sticking point was whether the Azad Kashmiri army was to be disbanded during the truce stage or at the plebiscite stage.
The UNCIP made three visits to the subcontinent between 1948 and 1949, trying to find a solution agreeable to both India and Pakistan. It reported to the Security Council in August 1948 that "the presence of troops of Pakistan" inside Kashmir represented a "material change" in the situation. A two-part process was proposed for the withdrawal of forces. In the first part, Pakistan was to withdraw its forces as well as other Pakistani nationals from the state. In the second part, "when the Commission shall have notified the Government of India" that Pakistani withdrawal has been completed, India was to withdraw the bulk of its forces. After both the withdrawals were completed, a plebiscite would be held. The resolution was accepted by India but effectively rejected by Pakistan.[note 1]
The Indian government considered itself to be under legal possession of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of the accession of the state. The assistance given by Pakistan to the rebel forces and the Pakhtoon tribes was held to be a hostile act and the further involvement of the Pakistan army was taken to be an invasion of Indian territory. From the Indian perspective, the plebiscite was meant to confirm the accession, which was in all respects already complete, and Pakistan could not aspire to an equal footing with India in the contest.
The Pakistan government held that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had executed a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan which precluded it from entering into agreements with other countries. It also held that the Maharaja had no authority left to execute accession because his people had revolted and he had to flee the capital. It believed that the Azad Kashmir movement as well as the tribal incursions were indigenous and spontaneous, and Pakistan's assistance to them was not open to criticism.
In short, India required an asymmetric treatment of the two countries in the withdrawal arrangements regarding Pakistan as an `aggressor', whereas Pakistan insisted on parity. The UN mediators tended towards parity, which was not to India's satisfaction. In the end, no withdrawal was ever carried out, India insisting that Pakistan had to withdraw first, and Pakistan contending that there was no guarantee that India would withdraw afterwards. No agreement could be reached between the two countries on the process of demilitarisation.[note 2]
Scholars have commented that the failure of the Security Council efforts of mediation owed to the fact that the Council regarded the issue as a purely political dispute without investigating its legal underpinnings.[note 3] Declassified British papers indicate that Britain and US have let their cold war calculations inlfuence their policy in the UN disregarding the merits of the case.[note 4]
History of operations
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UN Security Council plebiscite resolution
The Security Council of United Nations on the complaint of Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 (1948).
- This resolution required among other things that Pakistan withdraw from the areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir which it had captured in 1947 immediately and conditions be created for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide the future of the state. The Indian Army should withdraw and maintain a skeletal force to ensure proper functioning of the civil affairs of the state after satisfactory withdrawal of Pakistani tribesmen and forces.
- It recommended to the governments of India and Pakistan to restore peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir and provide full freedom to all subjects of the state, to vote on the question of accession.
- Furthermore, it recommended to the government of India to establish Plebiscite Administration to hold fair and impartial referendum as soon as possible, a nominee of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to be appointed as the Plebiscite Administrator, release all political prisoners, invite the major political groups to share the administration at the ministerial level while the plebiscite is being prepared and carried out. UN Official statement: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on the map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. The Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control of Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by the Republic of India and the Government of Pakistan since 1972. Both the parties have not yet agreed upon the final status of the region and nothing significant has been implemented since the peace process began in 2004.
Status of Indian controlled territory of Jammu & Kashmir
Meanwhile, elections were held in Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir, which brought up the popular Muslim leader Sheikh Abdullah, who with his party National Conference, generally supported India. The elected Constituent Assembly met for the first time in Srinagar on October 31, 1951. Then The State Constituent Assembly ratified the accession of the State to the Union of India on February 6, 1954 and the President of India subsequently issued the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution extending the Union Constitution to the State with some exceptions and modifications. The State’s own Constitution came into force on January 26, 1957 under which the elections to the State Legislative Assembly were held for the first time on the basis of adult franchise the same year. This Constitution further reiterated the ratification of the State’s accession to Union of India. New Delhi: The Government of India states that "the external artificial boundaries of the Republic of India, especially concerning the international borders under its jurisdiction created by a foreign body are neither correct nor authenticated".
Status of Pakistani territory of Kashmir
However, these tidings were not recognized by Pakistan, which asks for a plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the people. The people there set up, now called Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the West help by Pakistan that it controls. The much larger region of Pakistani Kashmir in the North-West, which was a special dependent territory named Northern Areas in the erstwhile state, generally bore no mention in Pakistani laws and Constitution as being of any status, until in 1982 the Pakistani President General Zia ul Haq proclaimed that the people of the Northern Areas were Pakistanis and had nothing to do with the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad: The Government of Pakistan maintains un-provisionally and unconditionally stating that the formal "Accession of Jammu and Kashmir" to Pakistan or even to the Republic of India remains to be decided by UN plebiscite and a formal referendum for a final settlement of the dispute. It accepts UN's map of the territory. It also states that the designations and the presentation of the Kashmir's regional map based on UN practice, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Commonwealth Secretariat or the publishers concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. There is no intention to define the status of Jammu and Kashmir, which has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. It further says that boundaries must be based on religious, cultural, racial, historical, geographical and not political orientated.
Status of Aksai Chin in China
Beijing: The Communist government of the People's Republic of China maintains its control over what is known as the Chinese Kashmir of Ladakh plateau, China states that Aksai Chin is a part of Chinese provincial region the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and does not recognise the addition of Aksai Chin to the Kashmir region.
- China did not accept the boundaries of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, north of the Aksai Chin and the Karakoram that were proposed by the British Empire.
- China settled its border disputes with Pakistan in the Trans-Karakoram Tract of 1963 with the provision that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute. However recognized by Pakistan as part of China as it is claimed, stating that the Line of Actual Control is not demarcated or boundary undefined, the frontier is yet to be finalised, between Islamabad and Beijing as part of the Sino-Pak border agreement.
United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
The Security Council Resolution 47 (1948) also enlarged the membership of the UNCIP to 5 members. India and Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement in March 1951 and established a ceasefire line to be supervised by observers. After the termination of the UNCIP, the Security Council passed Resolution 91 (1951) and established a United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to observe and report violations of ceasefire.
After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the two countries signed the Simla Agreement in 1972 to define the Line of Control in Kashmir. India and Pakistan disagree on UNMOGIP’s mandate in Kashmir because India argued that the mandate of UNMOGIP has lapsed after the Simla agreement because it was specifically established to observe ceasefire according to the Karachi Agreement.
However, The Secretary General of the United Nations maintained that the UNMOGIP should continue to function because no resolution has been passed to terminate it. The military authorities of Pakistan have continued to lodge complaints with the UNMOGIP about ceasefire violations. The military authorities of India have lodged no complaints since January 1972 and have restricted the activities of the UN observers on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
Map of UN's version of the Kashmir region
As with other disputed territories, each government issues maps depicting their claims in Kashmir as part of their territory, regardless of actual control. It is illegal in India to exclude all or part of Kashmir in a map. It is also illegal in Pakistan not to include the state of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory, as permitted by the U.N. Non-participants often use the Line of Control and the Line of Actual Control as the depicted boundaries, as is done in the CIA World Factbook, and the region is often marked out in hashmarks, although the Indian government strictly opposes such practices. When Microsoft released a map in Windows 95 and MapPoint 2002, a controversy was raised because it did not show all of Kashmir as part of India as per Indian claim. However, all the neutral and Pakistani companies claim to follow UN's map and over 90% of all maps containing the territory of Kashmir show it as disputed territory.
- Hurriyat and Problems before Plebiscite
- Syed Ali Shah Geelani
- Kashmir conflict
- Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly election, 2014
- Korbel (1953, p. 502): "Though India accepted the resolution, Pakistan attached to its acceptance so many reservations, qualifications and assumptions as to make its answer `tantamount to rejection'.
- Korbel (1953, pp. 506–507): "When a further Security Council resolution urged the governments of India and Pakistan to agree within thirty days on the demilitarization of Kashmir, on the basis of Dr. Graham's recommendation, Pakistan once more accepted and India once more refused....Dr. Graham met the Indian request for retaining in Kashmir 21,000 men, but continued to propose 6,000 soldiers on the Azad side. Pakistan could not accept the first provision and India continued to insist on its stand concerning the Azad forces. The meeting, which ended in failure, was accompanied by bitter comments in the newspapers of both India and Pakistan about United Nations intervention in the Kashmir dispute."
- Korbel (1953, p. 507): "With the hindsight of six years, the Council's approach, though impartial and fair, appears to have been inadequate in that it did not reflect the gravity of the Kashmir situation.... The Security Council did not deal with either of these arguments [India's assumption of the legal validity of the accession and Pakistan's refusal to recognize its validity]. Nor did it consider the possibility of asking the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the juridical aspect of the conflict under Article 96 of the Charter. Nor did it invoke any provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter, which deals with `acts of aggression'."
- Subbiah (2004, p. 180): "From the beginning, the Security Council framed the problem as primarily a political dispute rather than looking to a major legal underpinning of the dispute: the Instrument of Accession's validity or lack thereof."
- Ankit (2013, p. 276): To Cadogan [Britain's permanent representative at the UN], irrespective of “whether forces in question are organised or disorganised or whether they are controlled by, or enjoy the convenience of, Government of Pakistan,” India was entitled to take measures for self-defence: repelling invaders, pursuing invaders into Pakistan under Article 51 of the UN Charter and charging Pakistan as aggressor under Article 35.
- Ankit (2013, p. 279): Mountbatten, too, pleaded directly with Attlee along political as well as personal lines: "I am convinced that this attitude of the United States and the United Kingdom is completely wrong and will have far reaching results. Any prestige I may previously have had with my Government has of course been largely lost by my having insisted that they should make a reference to the United Nations with the assurance that they would get a square deal there."
- Noorani 2014, pp. 13-14.
- Schofield 2003, pp. 67-68.
- Wellens, Karel (1990), Resolutions and Statements of the United Nations Security Council: (1946 - 1989) ; a Thematic Guide, BRILL, pp. 322–, ISBN 0-7923-0796-8
- Schofield 2003, pp. 68-69.
- "Plebiscite Conundrum". Kashmirlibrary.org. 5 January 1949. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
- Schofield 2003, p. 70.
- Varshney 1992, p. 211.
- Schofield 2003, pp. 70-71.
- Schofield 2003, pp. 71-72.
- Schofield 2003, pp. 82-85.
- Varshney 1992, p. 212.
- A Brief History of Kashmir Conflict, The Daily Telegraph, 2004-11-10
- UN Security Council, Resolution 47 (1948) of 21 April 1948, 21 April 1948. S/RES/47 (1948), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- "Major Events". Jammu and Kashmir Government, India. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- "The Story Behind". Jammu and Kashmir Government, India. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- "A Comprehensive Note on Jammu & Kashmir: The Northern Areas". Embassy of India, Washington D.C. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- "Kashmir (region, Indian subcontinent) :: The Kashmir problem". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "Factbox: all about India, China's border dispute". IBN Live. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- Ankit, Rakesh (2013), "Britain and Kashmir, 1948: "The Arena of the UN"", Diplomacy & Statecraft, 24 (2): 273–290, doi:10.1080/09592296.2013.789771, (subscription required ())
- Bose, Sumantra (2003). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01173-2.
- Korbel, Josef (1953), "The Kashmir dispute after six years", International Organization, Cambridge University Press, 7 (4): 498–510, doi:10.1017/s0020818300007256, JSTOR 2704850, (subscription required ())
- Noorani, A. G. (2014) [first published in 2013 by Tulika Books], The Kashmir Dispute, 1947-2012, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-940018-8
- Panigrahi, D. N. (2009), Jammu and Kashmir, the Cold War and the West, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-136-51751-8
- Rai, Mridu (2004). Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights, and the History of Kashmir. C. Hurst & Co. ISBN 1850656614.
- Schofield, Victoria (2003) [First published in 2000], Kashmir in Conflict, London and New York: I. B. Taurus & Co, ISBN 1860648983
- Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History, HarperCollins India, ISBN 9350298988
- Subbiah, Sumathi (2004), "Security Council Mediation and the Kashmir Dispute: Reflections on Its Failures and Possibilities for Renewal", Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 27 (1): 173–185
- Varshney, Ashutosh (1992). "Three Compromised Nationalisms: Why Kashmir has been a Problem" (PDF). In Raju G. C. Thomas. Perspectives on Kashmir: the roots of conflict in South Asia. Westview Press. pp. 191–234. ISBN 978-0-8133-8343-9.