May 29, 2024

Moon Desk: Human Rights Day is observed around the world on 10th of December every year as it was on this day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). On this year’s International Human Rights Day, we are faced with a complex humanitarian crisis in Kashmir region. It demands attention from the global powers and the international community. United Nations has presented various resolutions in this regard but they have not been called into effect until now. The reasons for that are rooted in rivalry between Pakistan and India. However, to remember the cause for the Kashmiri people’s freedom is much needed on 10th December, which is the International Human Rights Day.

The inception of the Kashmir conflict dates back to the chaotic partition of the sub-continent by the British India in 1947. This has started the conflict between Pakistan and India that still persists till now. The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir still remains a point of contention between the two nuclear powers. The majority population of the region expressed their wish to join hands with the state of Pakistan. However, the Maharaja joined hands with India against the will of the majority population. Since then, many efforts have been made internationally and bilaterally in history, however, no fruitful outcomes have been reached.

In an effort to bring an end to this conflict, the United Nations has been working since 1945. It passed various resolutions during the early years of the conflict. These resolutions made it crystal clear that the people of Kashmir have the right to decide the ultimate fate of their region. These resolutions are widespread and known even by common people; however, they are still unimplemented. This leaves the people of Kashmir open to occupation and forced control by the successive authoritarian governments of India.

The human rights situation in occupied Kashmir is deeply concerning, with Indian troops involved in severe violations. Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, mass rapes, killings and limits on freedom of expression and media have all been widely reported. The huge presence of Indian armed forces has frequently been using excessive force, resulting in civilian fatalities and extensive suffering to the innocent people of Kashmir.

On this International Human Rights Day, the global community must recognize its shared responsibility to address the human rights crisis in Kashmir. The United Nations, in particular, needs to revisit the resolutions and actively engage in facilitating a plebiscite that allows the people of Kashmir to decide their own destiny.

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