United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
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The United Nations has played an important role in maintaining peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir since the transfer of Power to India and independence to Pakistan in 1947. Immediately after the freedom a dispute erupted between India and the successor nation-state of Pakistan on the question of the very basis of accession of Jammu and Kashmir by the ruler. New Delhi took this matter to the United Nation and the Security Council passed resolution 39 (1948) and established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate the issues .
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.
History of operations
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 territory of 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 Azad Kashmir (Pakistan)
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 informal "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 Tibet 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.
Formation of UNMOGIP and current status of operations
Resolution 47(1948) also enlarged the membership of the UNCIP and its role to observe ceasefire. India and Pakistan signed Karachi Agreement in March 1951 and established a ceasefire line to be supervised by observers. After the termination of UNCIP, the Security Council passed another resolution 91(1951) and established United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to observe and report violations of ceasefire.
After 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 Simla agreement because it was specifically established to observe ceasefire according to 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 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.
- Hurriyat and Problems before Plebiscite
- Syed Ali Shah Geelani
- Kashmir conflict
- Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly election, 2014
- 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.
- "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.
- United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
- UN Security Council Resolution 39 and 47
- BBC Timeline on Kashmir conflict