By Zaman Bajwa
It was a historic day, when two leaders sat together for humanity. President of United States of America, Mr Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister of United Kingdom Mr Winston Churchill signed Atlantic Charter on 14, Aug, 1941. According to charter the nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.
Right after seven years of this charter, the Asian Sub-continent was divided into two countries, Pakistan and India, but the state of Jammu & Kashmir remains disputed between these two countries. A United Nations commission obtained acceptance on January 5, 1949 by both parties for a peace plan involving a cease fire, demilitarization of the state and referendum under the supervision of a United Nations appointed administrator. The Security Council recommended that the people of Jammu & Kashmir will have the right of self-determination to decide the future status of state. This resolution was negotiated with both India and Pakistan and accepted by five members of the commission. The ceasefire was effective accordingly but the plan of demilitarization failed due to Indian stubbornness.
India disavowed from its commitment which was made in UN. Also forgot the promise of her Prime Minister Nehru with people of Kashmir on 2 Nov, 1947. Mr Nehru said, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by people of Kashmir. That pledge we have given and the Maharaja supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the World. We will not and can’t back out of it.”
India still occupies Kashmir with its 700,000 army and supportive agencies. The people of Kashmir are under continuous occupation and torture from the last 68 years. India is suppressing the voices of Kashmiris by different draconian laws like AFSPA and PSA.
During this time period, people of Kashmir tried different ways to convey their message. World witnessed uprisings in Kashmir in 2008, 2010 and latest one in 2016. Extra-judicial killing of social media activist Burhan Wani gave a new face to this movement. People are on streets for their basic human right of freedom.
India is using different inhumane ways to crush peaceful protesters who are demanding their right of freedom. Hundreds of people got injured and arrested by Indian occupation army. India is blinding people by using pellet guns and PAVA shells. Use of brutal force and inhuman acts forced human rights organization to speak about it. Major newspapers and media houses are talking about the situation in Kashmir. Physicians for Human Rights organization published a report on pellet guns and they declared India responsible for it.
Now the office of United Nations is handed over to a new Secretary General, Mr António Guterres, who gave a special message of peace on arrival of New Year. Mr António Guterres declared 2017 as year of peace in his message. People of Jammu and Kashmir are looking towards him and hoping that he will play his role to fulfil the promise of self-determination by India at United Nations.