Kashmir, nuclear war threat and the UN's uselessness - MERVE ŞEBNEM ORUÇ

Kashmir, nuclear war threat and the UN's uselessness

Nasir Shafi, 11, disappeared during the ongoing protests in India's occupied Kashmir on Friday, Sept. 16. When his dead body was discovered in the woods near the village in the Harwan area in the evening hours, there were at least 300 pellet bullets in his back, one of his arms were broken, the bruises on his face showing that he was beaten were visible to the eye and part of his hair was torn off. Nasir, who was known his friends by the nickname "Mumin" (believer), was killed by Indian soldiers, according to villagers. But the Indian police, despite the 300 pellet marks on his back, were saying that Nasr may have been attacked by a bear, fallen off the mountain or had a heart attack.

On Saturday morning, Nasr's body was enshrouded in the Pakistan flag and was brought to the square where he used to play and pick walnuts from trees for the funeral prayer. Despite the curfew, thousands of Kashmiris attended the funeral. Women had worn their colorful clothing for mourning, men were shouting anti-India slogans. Voices chanting "What do we want? Freedom!" were rising to the sky. Nasr's father was crying for his youngest son by his side, while his mother was crying at home. As Nasr's body was being carried toward the graveyard on the hilltop, Indian soldiers took arms again. In Kashmir's other cities protests and clashes between the people and Indian military forces were continuing without cease.

Intense clashes in Kashmir have been ongoing since Azad Kashmir-based (Free Kashmir) Hizb al-Mujahid commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed by Indian military forces on July 8.

The death of 22-year-old Burhan Wani, who was the hero of all Kashmiris young and old alike, triggered great protests and as a result of the Indian military's violent response, 85 people died and 12,000 have been injured since July. Kashmir, where the unrest peaked once more after the shaky period in 2010, is face-to-face with the curfews declared by the Indian administration but resisted by the Kashmiri public, the human rights violations on civilians by the 500,000 Indian soldiers directed to the region and savagery.

Kashmir is actually a serious problem that has dragged Pakistan and India to war three times since their independence from British colony in 1947. The demand of the people of Kashmir - at least 93 percent Muslim - for independence and to join Pakistan is not recognized by India. India has declared all Muslims who do not accept the intruder Indian soldiers in Kashmir as terrorists and blames Pakistan for their demand for independence, while it is causing a great human tragedy in the region it has turned into a battle zone.

Kashmir is only one of the scenarios in South Asia to which we are no stranger. As a result of the policies of India, which has been intervening against a Muslim population of 13 million with disproportionate force and human rights violations and been treating demands for independence as terrorism , Kashmir has become a heartache where more than 70,000 Kashmiri Muslims died and more than 1.5 million people have become displaced.

The reason the Kashmir issue remains yet to be solved is, despite Pakistan suggesting to go to a public vote in accordance with the decisions of the United Nations to solve the problem, because India fiercely rejects this. The U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) 1948 resolution had decided for the people of Kashmir to determine its own future through a plebicite, while India and Pakistan fulfill their duty to restore peace. Following the declaration of the Azad Kashmir government, the plebiscite decision India was obliged to accept could never be implemented due to India's preventions. The UNSC's recently accepted resolutions were also in relation to the Kashmiri public's determining its own future, however, India has continued to prevent a public vote ever since then.

Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif brought the Kashmir issue to the platform once more at the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York last week and said that neither peace in Kashmir nor peace in Pakistan-India relations was possible before this problem is solved. Sharif requested that the U.N. investigate the human rights violations, violence and torture by Indian military forces on civilians in Kashmir and stated that this human tragedy needs to be solved through U.N. intervention. However, the Indian side, in addition to objecting to such a solution, it once more accused Pakistan of being a “terrorist state” and closed its doors to solution.

What's more tragic is that India is not the only one closing its doors to solution – the U.N. has done the same. Just as none of the resolutions other than those accepted in accordance with the joint interests of the five permanent members of the UNSC – which has failed to fulfill its claim to protect global peace – reached their aim, the U.N., the majority of whose accepted resolutions to date have remained ineffective and useless, is quiet in Kashmir as it is in many other places from Syria to Somalia, Cambodia to Rwanda. Yet, what needs to scare the world and push it to take measures is both India and Pakistan, between which the tension has escalated once more due to Kashmir, are nuclear powers. The two countries that previously went to war three times for the same reason have nuclear weapons this time and things are heating up once again.

Kashmir is an issue that negates the theories of those who are defending the U.N.'s twisted structure with atrocious brassiness by saying, “The U.N. was founded solely against great threats such as a nuclear war or World War III; it will deal with civil wars, massacres, genocide and human tragedies.” And today, despite the 1.5 billion people in the Indian subcontinent and the remainder of the world being under the threat of a nuclear war, the U.N. is doing nothing at all. No wonder why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says, “The world is bigger than five.”


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