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(1999) The Clinton Visit And Kashmir

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

Dr Josef Korbel, the Czechoslovakian member of the UN Commission on Kashmir (UNCIP) and the illustrious father of the present US Secretary of the State Ms Madeliene Albright, was a man of conscience and character with a strong sense of history and direction and deeply attached to human rights and humanitarian values. Although nominated to UNCIP by India, he always had a realistic and judicious approach to Kashmir Issue and often made observations and took decisions that went against his nominator. Having remained attached to Kashmir Issue for a long time and having studied it thoroughly, he had become an authority on it and after being granted political asylum by US government in
fifties, he wrote a book titled ‘Danger in Kashmir’, first published in 1954 and the second edition in 1967. The book is considered as one of the most authentic and valuable works on Kashmir Issue.

> After narrating details of Kashmir problem, its background and the stands of India, Pakistan, Kashmiri leaders and the UN, Dr Korbel makes some very realistic observations in the concluding chapter titled ‘What Next’(pages 351-353). These observations are correct as much today as they were three decades back. He terms them as ‘immutable guidelines’ for any future efforts to solve the Issue. These observations are, “The people of Kashmir have made it unmistakably known that they insist on being heard…… The accession of the State of Jammu Kashmir to India cannot be considered as valid by canons of international law…… The issue itself cannot be side-tracked. The history of the case has made it clear that time has only aggravated, not healed, the conflict…… No high hope should be entertained that bilateral negotiations will lead to a settlement. They took place on several occasions during the past years and produced no result…… The United Nations has a principal responsibility to seek a solution not only as the chief international agency for maintenance and enforcement of peace but also as an organ which was asked by India and Pakistan to intervene in the conflict and which has committed its prestige and authority to its solution through numerous resolutions…… If it (an equitable solution of the issue based on Kashmiri peoples wishes and aspirations-ed.) is not achieved, India and Pakistan, and indeed the whole free world may reap the harvest of short sightedness and indecisions of unpredictable dimensions”.

These observations were made in 1966 and since then some other realities, quite bitter though, have emerged. These realities are (1) That the wars between India and Pakistan through armed forces, media or diplomacy, have harmed both of them far more than they have benefited them and the process will continue. (2) That India’s hope that time
itself will solve Kashmir problem to her exclusive advantage and Pakistans dream of entire Jammu Kashmir State falling to her lap, are tantamount to living in fools paradise. (3) That Kashmiri leaders acting as puppets in the hands of India and Pakistan at the cost of their own national interests, are the real enemies of Kashmiri people (4) That by
>subjecting peace in the region to uncertainty, Kashmir Issue creates hurdles in the way of smooth and undisturbed functioning of the new global economic order. (5) That only a committee comprising personalities of international repute enjoying full support of those economically and diplomatically strong nations and organisations who can also influence India and Pakistan, c an persuade them to accept a peaceful, equitable and permanent solution and (6) That only a solution that (a) does not hurt the national egos of India and Pakistan, (b) does not harm their national interests, (c) does not cause mass-migrations, bloodshed or communal/ethnic disturbances and (d) is based on the national aspirations and freely expressed, unfettered will of Kashmiri people, can be acceptable to all the three parties to the Issue.

Now that it is clear that keeping Kashmir Issue hanging in the balance is not in the interests of its parties, and not even of the international community, it is high time that concrete steps are taken to solve it keeping in view all the  orementioned facts and pre-requisites of the solution being acceptable to all concerned.
The heads of the governments of G8 and P-5 Countries followed by the UN Security Council (the last through its unanimous resolution No 1172) had called upon India and Pakistan in June 1998 to solve Kashmir Issue and had undertaken to encourage and persuade them to do so. President Clinton is additionally committed to take keen personal interest in solving Kashmir Issue per his pledge given to Mr Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan in Washington on July 4, 1999. The practical way for all of them to honour their undertaking will be to
form a committee, call it International Kashmir Committee (IKC),  comprising representatives of the UN Secretary General, the P-5 countries, Germany, Japan, OIC and NAM and depute it to acquire approval, support and cooperation of India and Pakistan and Kashmiri political parties to find a peaceful, equitable and permanent solution of the Issue.

The people and the governments of India and Pakistan should realise that it is no use going on living in fool’s paradise. They owe it to their future generations not to be selfish and narrow minded about Kashmir and accept a peaceful, equitable and permanent solution of the Issue even if they have to concede some thing, to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for them (future generations). The Kashmiri political parties of all parts of the state, their leaders in particular, also owe it to their future generations to think only in terms of Kashmiris’ own long and short term national interests, of course, not totally ignoring the legitimate interests of India and Pakistan.

In the light of the ‘immutable guidelines’ given by Dr Korbel, of the new bitter realities mentioned above, of the pre-requisites of a solution acceptable to all concerned, and of the aforementioned duties of the International Community, India, Pakistan and of Kashmiris, the only formula that meets all these requirements is the JKLF Formula.

In the shortest form, this Formula provides that Kashmir Issue be solved in five peaceful phases. In the first phase the proposed IKC will acquire, through negotiations, the approval of the governments of India and Pakistan and of Kashmiri political parties to implement the Formula with their help and cooperation. The second phase will be simultaneous and total withdrawal from Jammu Kashmir State of all Indian and Pakistani armed forces and civil personnel and of all non-Kashmiri armed people present in the State. The third phase will be disarming of all Kashmiri militant groups including those raised by India and return of displaced Kashmiris to their homes. The fourth phase will be to reunite the divided State and change it into a democratic, federal and non-communal independent State having friendly relations with both India and Pakistan. The fifth and final phase will be that, 15 years after re-unification and independence, there be a referendum under UN supervision in which the people will determine whether the State should perpetuate its independence or become part of India or Pakistan and that popular verdict be accepted by all concerned as final settlement of the Issue and implemented. (For full details of the Formula ring +92-51-425689)  As can be analysed , this Formula solves the Issue not only peacefully, equitably and permanently but also without hurting the national egos of India and Pakistan, without jeopardising their national ideologies or legitimate national interests, without causing mass-migrations, bloodshed or communal/ethnic disturbances and on the basis of Kashmiri
peoples national aspirations and unfettered and freely expressed will. In short, this Formula solves the issue to reasonable satisfaction of all concerned, hence should not reasonably be objected to by any of the parties.

Permanent solution of Kashmir Issue will, on one hand, herald the dawn of a peaceful and prosperous future for over one fifth of humanity inhabiting the region and, on the other hand, strengthen world-peace and ensure undisturbed working of new global economic order.

With colossal benefits of permanent settlement of Kashmir Issue clear, the only and the basic thing that remains to be done is to bell the cat i.e. to take a practical initiative. In the present circumstances only two persons i.e. President Clinton and the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan can do it. Let the UN Secretary General, with the moral support of President Clinton and in consultation with the Security Council and in the light of its resolution No 1172, set the ball rolling by establishing the proposed IKC at the earliest and asking it to start work on the first phase of the Formula i.e. to acquire the approval, support and cooperation of the governments of India and Pakistan and of all Kashmiri political parties, to implement the proposed Formula. As mentioned earlier, President Clinton is already committed to take keen personal interest in solving the issue and there can’t be a better way and better time to do it.

President Clinton’s forthcoming visit to South Asia can change the very course of history of the entire region hence that of the world if he, Mr Kofi Annan and the proposed IKC succeed in making necessary arrangements to have an agreement signed at that occasion, by the governments of India and Pakistan and the heads of all Kashmiri political parties undertaking to extend full support and cooperation to IKC to solve the issue per aforementioned formula. If this historic feat is to be achieved, President Clinton, Secretary General Annan will have to do a lot and take some concrete and courageous steps to prepare the ground for the feat before Clinton’s visit to South Asia.

Besides emancipating South Asia and its about one and half a billion inhabitants, strengthening world peace and ensuring smooth running of the global economic order, the feat will immortalize both Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan and heighten the prestige and international image of the United States and the United Nations for solving the extremely dangerous international problem that no other individual, organisation or State had been able to solve for the last over half a century.   Losing this golden opportunity will be the worst blunder on the part of all those who could otherwise benefit from it.
(Amanullah Khan)
Chairman JKLF.


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