India in the United Nations Security Council: A case of Delusion

06 Feb 2018 16:06:56

Pakistan accepted for the first time in May 1948 that in so-called 'Independent Jammu & Kashmir' there were four brigades of his army. Although India was prepared to resist the Pakistani encroachment with the help of Indian army, but Governor General Mountbatten was not in its favor. British Prime Minister Atlee also created the pressure on Nehru that military action should not be taken. In this situation, India registered its complaint against Pakistan on December 30, 1947 to the Security Council of United Nations. It may be remembered here that the matter before Security Council was not that of the accession of Jammu & Kashmir, as it was being publicized. The issue was this that Jammu & Kashmir has been accessed to India but the army of Pakistan is still present there in an unlawful and unauthorized manner. Therefore, the Security Council must direct Pakistan government to withdraw its troops from there. Presenting the case of India before the Security Council, the then Union Minister Gopal Swami Iyengar had said that the immediate issue before the Security Council is to remove the encroachment in Jammu and Kashmir and establish peace there. It was the moral responsibility of India to provide protection to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and so long as a single invader is present there, India cannot withdraw its forces.

Despite the lawful accession of Jammu & Kashmir into India, Pakistan continued to support the invaders against India. Pakistan did not care to even reply the letters sent by Nehru to Liyakat Ali, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. Pakistan kept on telling the whole world that he had nothing to do with the invaders, but after many years when a journalist asked Shaukat Hayat Khan, a member of Liayakat Ali Cabinet, whether Zinnah had given the orders to attack Kashmir or not, he replied, “Yes. Certainly, at that time nothing could be done without Zinnah's order.”

The United Nations Security Council received many proposals in this context. In the first proposal on January 17, 1948, both governments were asked to take necessary steps for improving the situation and to avoid any provoking statement or action.

On January 20, it was proposed that a three member commission be constituted for visiting the spot and taking stock of the situation. Both the counties accepted it. This Commission of United Nations submitted an important proposal for India and Pakistan on August 13, 1948 and on June 5, 1949.

  1. According to the first one, immediate ceasefire was to be ensured.
  2. According to the second one, Pakistan was directed that it should recall all its regular and provisional soldiers and citizens. It was also accepted that after Pakistan vacates the areas of Jammu & Kashmir, India should withdraw all its troops except such forces as were needed for maintenance of the law and order.
  3. The India and Pakistan governments should confirm it that the matter of state's accession will be decided by the people of the state.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru sent an immediate note of clarification that according to the opinion of Indian government, the implementation of the third point is possible only when Pakistan executes the first two points. If Pakistan does not execute the first two points, then the third proposal will not be binding on India.

On April 21, 1948 the Security Council, by way of amending the 20th January proposal, increased the number of members in the Commission to five. This Commission of the United Nations had the responsibility of supervising the ceasefire by India and Pakistan and registering the complaint of any violation with the Secretary General of the United Nations.

On July 27, 1949, India and Pakistan signed the 'Karachi Accord' in which the ceasefire line was fixed. And with this the role of United Nations Commission ended. But on March 30, 1951, through another proposal the United Nations constituted the Army Supervision Group for India and Pakistan, which had the responsibility of being watchful in case any party violates the ceasefire borderline, registering the complaint about it, making investigations into it and sending the report to both the countries and to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

In 1971, the Indo-Pak War and formation of Bangladesh once again caused serious tension between the tw0 countries. The troops of both the countries were in the areas of each other. Prior to this, the two countries had engaged in battle in 1965 also. On December 21, 1971, the Security Council passed a resolution and said that army on both sides must withdraw and that ceasefire line should be made effective for India and Pakistan both in the supervision of Army Supervision Group.

In July 1972, the 'Shimla Accord' was signed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. Under this Accord, the line of control was also determined by the two countries.

India was of the opinion that the formation of Army Supervision Group had taken place to supervise the ceasefire line of the 'Karachi Accord'. And now after the 'Shimla Accord' in force, the 'Karachi Accord' had become redundant and irrelevant. Therefore, 'Army Supervision Group' for India and Pakistan had no role to play, but Pakistan did not agree with this.

On this the Security Council said that since the two parties have not agreed, the Army Supervision Group made for India and Pakistan may be disbanded. And thus the Security Council may take decision about it. But the Security Council could not take a decision about it, and the Army Supervision Group continues to function even till date. This may be mentioned here that India also recognized this Group but never registered a complaint to the members of the Group after January 1972. India only provides the accommodation and conveyance facilities to the members or supervisors of the Group, but their activities in the Indian Territory have been banned.

What baffled everyone was that the British diplomacy dominated the proceedings of United Nations Security Council, due to which the aggrieved India and the invader Pakistan were treated on equal terms. For no reason the Pak invasion was identified as the cause of dispute between the two countries. The United Nations' supervisors are still present here and still there have been four long battles between India and Pakistan. What reports were given by these supervisors after the Kargil war and what action was taken by the Security Council on those reports, is still not clear. Contrary to this, the Security Council and the United Nations passed resolutions to free the Indian areas from invaders, but in these resolutions their inclination was always towards Pakistan. In executing the proposal of getting the land evacuated from Pakistan no interest was ever shown.


[This article is an extract from the book “Jammu Kashmir: An Analysis of Facts” authored by Sh. Ashutosh. Further chapters of this book will be covered later in a series.]



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