‘Pakistan lacks viable Kashmir Policy’?


article takes further and examines the merits of the views expressed by Director General
Strategic Studies Institute and MNA Dr. Shireen M Mazari published in some daily English
newspapers in Islamabad on Friday February 26, 2016 on Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. While
addressing a workshop for the MNAs titled “Pakistan and Global Strategic Environment” at
Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, Dr. Mazari regretted that Pakistan currently lacks a
viable Kashmir policy, which is the first and foremost step Pakistan should take for the resolution
of conflict. 

One may wish concur with the view that ‘Pakistan lacks viable Kashmir Policy’ in the interests of
four Kashmiris distributed under three administrations at Srinagar, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and the
fourth a strong diaspora spread all over the world. A good Kashmir policy is in the interests of
peace and progress in India and Pakistan and the region as well. Currently the common people of
Jammu and Kashmir have to endure a burden of five Governments (three Kashmir and 2 of India
and Pakistan) and need to reconcile their lives according to five constitutions as well. There is a
huge interference in their lives from surveillance agencies and almost every single individual in
the Jammu and Kashmir is indexed for a security clearance. 

A clue how the Indian intelligence remains overwhelming in J&K has been confirmed by former
RAW chief A. S. Dulat in his book at page 205 titled “Kashmir The Vajpayee Years”. He writes,
“The IB had a sinister reputation in the Kashmiri mind. Part of it was because since
Independence, the IB had basically been running Kashmir, advising the home minister on
whatever happened there”. 

In general it would be fair to say that Pakistani academics part perform their duty and partly
perpetuate an ignorance or an undeclared Government policy on Kashmir. The first and foremost
question that arises as a common priority, is whether Pakistan has a Kashmir policy. The first
answer would be yes and the second immediate question would be whether it has followed it
since 01 January 1948 or since 15 January 1948 when Pakistan filed her defence against Indian
complaint lodged with the UN Security Council. 

There is a policy on Kashmir but Pakistani Governments have been lazy and slack in their
attendant duties in respect of UN mechanism on Kashmir and on outsourced duties under UN
Resolutions, Constitution of Pakistan and the Constitutional arrangements with the Azad
Kashmir government. Foreign office of Pakistan too has continued to share this ‘let go’ attitude of
political Governments on Kashmir. The first error of judgment made by the foreign office in
particular Kashmir desk was that it failed to flag for the attention of political Government in
recent years, that Indian-Pakistan Question was not raised at the UN Security Council for about
31 years and 2 months, that is, from 5 November 1965 to 15 September 1996. In September 1996
Kashmir lost its regularity at the UN Security Council agenda, which it had enjoyed in perpetuity
for 48 years from January 1948 to September 1996. 

It was hit by rule 11 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council and deleted from
the agenda. However, such deleted matters are allowed “to be provisionally retained in the list of
matters which the Security Council is seized for a period of one year if a Member of the United
Nations notifies its objection to its deletion before 15 September 1996”. 

Ever since Pakistan has arranged to notify the Security Council under this reminder provision
that it wants Indian-Pakistan Question (Kashmir) to be retained on the agenda. This year
Pakistan notified the UN Security Council on 7 January 2016 that it wants to retain three
questions, namely, The India-Pakistan question, The Hyderabad question and The situation in
the India/Pakistan subcontinent on the agenda. 

Although the present Government (Prime Minister) and the military leaderships (Army Chief)
have reiterated the Pakistan Kashmir policy at the 69th and 70th sessions of UN General
Assembly and at the Youm-i-Shohada in April 2014 and at RUSI (The Royal United Services
Institute for Defence and Security Studies) in October 2015 in London respectively, yet it is not

Governments in Islamabad and their support units in the foreign offices and other disciplines
working on Kashmir have not addressed the issue of outsourced work by UN to Government at
Srinagar and India in relation to a free reference of the people of Kashmir under UN supervision.
Pakistan Governments have failed to pressure the Government of Kashmir at Srinagar to set up a
neutral, inclusive and responsible Government (with representations from Azad Kashmir and
Gilgit and Baltistan) to carry out the work outsourced to it by the UN for self-determination.

Pakistan Governments have failed to highlight and pressure Srinagar Government that it is under
a caution of UN SC Resolution of 30 March 19501, reminding it that it is elected from “only a part
of the whole territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and therefore not fully representative to take any
one sided call in violation of UN mechanism on Kashmir. 

These Governments further failed to monitor the presence of Indian army in the Valley and point
out to the United Nations on a regular basis, that Indian forces that were allowed a temporary
admission in the State as a sub-ordinate force to defend the territory, protect life, property and
honour of the people have in fact turned into a force that is at war with the people. Governments
in Pakistan and AJK failed to flag for the attention of United Nations and other world forums that
Indian army was engaged in massive violation of human rights and more so was violating the
curbs placed on its number, behaviour and location in the UN Security Council Resolution of 21
April 1948. Indian army has no other role except providing support to Srinagar in matters of law
and order, so that the former could prepare a peaceful environment for the arrangements of a
plebiscite under the supervision of the United Nations. 

It is almost 68 years since Indian soldier was entrusted to be an aid in law and order situation.
Things have changed and jurisprudence of this duty may be looked upon with recent
developments. United Nations could investigate whether Srinagar Government needs the
presence and assistance of Indian army any more. In the light of the fact that Indian soldier is
engaged in a low intensity war with the people of Kashmir Valley, UN may consider its own
military presence there. 

On the Pakistan side of Kashmir, Pakistan “in the discharge of its responsibilities under UNCIP
Resolution” has introduced a Constitutional arrangement in the affairs with the Government
under the AJK Interim Constitution Act, 1974.It is disappointing to point out that for the For the
last 56 years Government of AJK continues to disregard its duties towards Self-Determination
under the Act 1960 and Act 1974. 

Prime Minister of Pakistan as chairman AJK Council along with his five nominated non-Kashmiri
members in the Council  has accepted a  Constitutional duty in the matters of AJK in particular
and responsibilities towards the right of self-determination under UNCIP Resolutions in general.
Kashmir policy is that Government of Pakistan would provide for the better Government and administration of AJK until such time as the status of Jammu and Kashmir is determined in
accordance with the freely expressed will of the people of the State through the democratic
method of free and fair plebiscite, under the auspices of the United Nations as envisaged in the
UNCIP Resolutions adopted from time to time. 

The Pakistan policy on Kashmir has yet to make a move on these subjects shared with the people
of Kashmir and in particular act in accordance with the wisdom given in Article 257 of the
Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. Government of Pakistan has assumed
responsibilities in AJK under UNCIP Resolution but has continued to fail to activate the UN
mechanism on the resolution of Kashmir dispute. The intra-disciplinary interest in Kashmir lacks
merit and needs a complete overhaul.

This article was first published in “Rising Kashmir” on Feb 29, 2016

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani


2 thoughts on “‘Pakistan lacks viable Kashmir Policy’?

  1. It’s an excellent and informative article which highlights the challenges faced by the Kashmiris on both sides of the ceasefire CfL that has forcibly divided Kashmir and its 22 million plus people between India and Pakistan since 1947. You quite rightly identified weaknesses in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. For example remaining silent on Kashmir issue at the UN for over 31 years between 1965 and 1996 resulting in deletion of of the issue on the UNSC agenda. This lack of due diligence unfortunately, has led to the annexation and bifurcation of Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir by India on 5 August 2019.

  2. There is,a catalogue of Pakistani mistakes. Pakistan has not been able to establish itself as a responsible country. The question is why do we expect Pakistan to do anything for us?. Pakistan is a guilty party at the un for attacking jk first back on 22 October. Yet, we expect Pakistan to be our ambassador.

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