“Kashmir’s Right to Self-Determination: Honoring the UN’s 74-Years-Old Commitment Day”

Today, the 5th of January is celebrated as the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of IIOJK. On this day, in 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) adopted a resolution that ensured Kashmiri people a fair and free plebiscite in order to exercise their right to self-determination. This commemoration is meant to remind the international community of their obligation towards Kashmir, and to urge the UN – which 74 years ago struck this deal – to honor their commitment. The human rights violations and oppressive Indian rule have been widely shunned by the international community, the United Nations, and international human rights organizations. People of IIOJK have been enduring collective punishment inflicted by the Indian occupation forces and the situation has escalated to make the area the largest militarized zone in the world. Kashmiris launched protests to stand up to the illegal Indian domination, but the New Delhi regimes repressed this revolt through brutal violence. Ever since India has continued to impose its repressive rule by utilizing various schemes in the IIOJK.

The Indian forces have deployed a number of harsh laws such as the IIOJK Disturbed Areas Act, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act, allowing them to make arbitrary arrests of any person for an indefinite period and even kill them without following any legal procedure. This has worsened the already fragile situation in IIOJK, where people have been deprived of their basic rights including the right to life, food, health, free expression and assembly, ever since the government of Modi took unilateral and illegal steps on 5 August 2019. This oppressive environment of fear and chaos has prompted condemnation from the international community, calling into question India’s status as a respected member of the United Nations and world community. Recently, the UNGA successfully passed a Resolution on “Universal Realization of the Right of the People to Self-determination” with backing from 72 member countries. Pakistan will continue to provide moral, political, and diplomatic support to IOJ&K.