Is Plebiscite A Best Solution For Kashmir?

Wasim Ahmad Wani

Wasim Ahmad Wani

1947: When the Maharaja of the State of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession (IOA) on 26 October, following invasion by the tribesmen from Pakistan, India accepted the accession, regarding it provisional until such time as the will of the people can be ascertained by a plebiscite, since Kashmir was recognized as a disputed territory [A plebiscite is the direct vote of all members of an electorate on an important public question being referred to them, in this case accession of Kashmir to India or Pakistan.] It should be noted that the IOA itself does not specify any provisionality or conditionality of accession, while the White Paper specifies it clearly, thus creating a conflict between strict legal interpretation and repeated official promise made to the people of Kashmir.
UN Resolutions on Kashmir Issue
On 5 January 1949, UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan) resolution stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. As per the 1948 and 1949 UNCIP Resolutions, both countries accepted the principle, that Pakistan secures the withdrawal of Pakistani invaders followed by withdrawal of Indian forces, as a basis for the formulation of a Truce agreement whose details are to be arrived in future, followed by a plebiscite; However, both countries failed to arrive at a Truce agreement due to differences in interpretation of the procedure for and extent of demilitarisation .
1)Part 1: Ceasefire
2)Part 2 : Truce Agreement followed by ceasefire
3)Part 3: Plebiscite stage
However, both countries failed to arrive at a Truce agreement because both of them didn’t demilitarise their forces from both sides.
Is UN Still Relevant?
In UN Resolution it was mentioned that there are only two options either to join india or pakistan independence was just the wish nothing else as in a radio Programme in 1947 Nehru also commented that after the restoration of peace the fate of Kashmir would be decided by the people themselves so there was hope for people of valley that there would be plebiscite and they would see the better option for them. Jawahar Lal Nehru in a broadcast declared to the world on November 2 1947 “We have decided that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people the pledge we have given…..not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world ,we will not and cannot back out of it” HOWEVER it was in 1972 Simla agreement was signed and the last hope was destroyed by both parties (ind_pak) The treaty was signed in Simla, India, by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the President of Pakistan, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. The agreement also paved the way for diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh .simla agreement was signed on 2 July 1972.[ Few major outcomes of the Simla Agreement are:
Both countries will “settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations” India has, many a times, maintained that Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue and must be settled through bilateral negotiations as per Simla Agreement, 1972 and thus, had denied any third party intervention even that of United Nations.Hence a plibicite was never carried out and United nations became irrelevant.
Unity Is The Best Solution
The state of jammu and Kashmir has 3 regions jammu ,Kashmir and ladakh all the three regions have different religions and culture and obviousily there viewpoints also differentiate .Jammu where the majority are Hindus and they want to remain with India .Ladakh where are majority are buddist demand Union Territory States to Indian.Kashmir where majority are Muslims demand Independence from India. As all three regions have different demands so how can it possible that result of plebiscite would be in favour of Kashmir unless there should be one voice in all three regions then there would be possibility of fair plebiscite.All the three region have to unite because the fate of Jammu and Kashmir is in the hands of people of J&K.No one has sympathy towards the people of Kashmir all parties which is here because of their national intrest not for peoples of Kashmir. Todays Kashmir issue has became the religious issue because the majority are muslims who are demanding independence and they are considerd as anti nationalist, if there would have the demand from all the regions then the issue would have been considard as political issue. International intervention is must for Kashmir which is possible only if the issue remains political so that there can be global attation towards the issue of Kashmir
Conclusion: The only option left for the Kashmiris is to unite with other two regions then there is possibility of peace and if plebiscite happens then the result of plebiscite would do justice with all the regions there should be one voice among all the people of Jammu and Kashmir ,its the problem of peoples of J&K so let them decide by themselves. People of Kashmir have suffered a lot because of violence but they would do better through peaceful means… India and Pakistan have fought 3 wars but what was the result. So Dialogue is the best way for Kashmir. Both the sides should accept gladly the reality that violence leads to war and war towards destruction. Mahatma Gandhi once said “when two elephants fight it’s the grass which suffers” same is the case with Kashmir it was always Kashmiri’ peoples who suffered from last 72 years.

(The author from Kreeri Baramulla is a student at the Department of Political Science at Kashmir University. Views are his own)

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