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Kashmir Ping Ponged at United Nations

In his maiden speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) (September 27, 2014) Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length about the challenges faced by the world of extremism, and terrorism used as a policy to execute the agenda to promote religious fanaticism. Most of his speech was focussed indirectly on India´s political rival Pakistan alleging it to harbour terrorism. He also reminded affluent countries to shoulder responsibility to tackle the issue of environmental emissions, climatic change, and poverty eradication to help poor country like India pay for the costs, as promised. India´s Vedic culture, he suggested, must be adopted by the west to gain spirituality.

Kashmir occupied living under the fearful shadow of one million strong Indian military force lost more than one hundred thousand people, thousands of women raped, thousands more disappeared and billions worth property razed; yet Mr Modi considers mention of Kashmir problem at UN as "pointless exercise" expecting the world to focus on "more pressing issues". India insists on Kashmir, being a "non-issue" and because it "de-facto" controls Kashmir the ongoing uprising uncontrollable, remains unresolved. Kashmir discussed internationally bringing forward India´s indignant reaction is quite understandable as the world body asks questions putting India into a tight spot.

Ironically, as expected Mr Modi did not utter a word about the visa ban by US government that banned him to enter US since the Gujarat riots of 2002 when thousands of men, women and children were butchered and burned alive by Hindu religious zealots aided and abetted by the "security" forces of Modi government. BBC reports (September 27, 2014) that "the lawsuit charging India´s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi with crimes against humanity during the 2002 Gujarat riots was timed to cause maximum embarrassment during his five-day American charm offensive". Mr Modi´s political party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has all along been accused of indulging in terrorism by other ´secular´ political parties of India.

Interestingly enough, as reported, India´s Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi also involved in a lawsuit by the same US lawyer under the same American statute, charged for an anti Sikh massacre in Delhi and elsewhere in 1984. Indian fundamentalist organisations patronized by BJP are reportedly involved in scores of unabated anti Muslim riots.

A day earlier, Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif in his address at UNGA reminded the international community of the duty to solve a long standing political problem of Kashmir. Mr Sharif stressed the point that this August world body has several Resolutions passed to allow Kashmir a referendum to choose their future political status. He also reiterated Pakistan´s willingness to a third party intervention or of United Nations to mediate and solve this humanitarian problem.

Nawaz Sharif touching the sensitive nerve internationalizing Kashmir issue got Indian media into extreme jitters and challenged Mr Sharif´s speech as scripted by Pakistan´s ISI (Inter Services Intelligence). Pakistan rejecting the insinuation counter-alleged Modi´s speech scripted by RAW (Research & Analysis Wing); adding that ISI influences its government in the same manner RAW does to its own government, and "no one should have a problem with that". Mr Sharif in the recent past travelled to India to attend MR Modi´s swearing in ceremony and resolved to improve relations with India while solving all outstanding issues. But, unfortunately, India tends to misunderstand the gestures and takes it as Pakistan´s weakness especially when Sharif´s political future seemingly is in doldrums.

Like Mr Sharif, Mr Modi speaking from prepared notes in a rhetorical fervour claimed India to be among largest contributors of soldiers to United Nations and impressed upon it to include his country for decision making about what peacekeepers are expected to do. Perhaps in the back of his mind Pakistan´s role to contribute in such UN exercises has always been commendable and has earned laurels on international level to conclude missions assigned successfully with professionalism. Pakistan´s cherished history of contributing in Peacekeeping missions right from September 1947 has served in countries among many like Somalia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Congo and Liberia.

Mr Modi anxious for permanent seat on Security Council reminded the audience that present permanent members with VETO powers "represent a bygone era" and stressed that United Nations is "no longer a platform for serious discussion". He, however, did not elaborate on the "serious issues" imperative for a forum "representing bygone era" to discuss and take action. For the last sixty five years India used Soviet Union´s VETO to prolong a decision on Kashmir and later after the fall of Soviet Union in a somersault shifted its alliance in favour of US to use its VETO services. Now claiming a superpower status, it wants to use the VETO to do the job and get out of the clutches of existing super powers.

Mr Sharif, in his speech, impressed upon the UNGA that allowing more permanent member seats was not an option for the world to solve issues facing the world and remain peaceful. Pakistan, in a counter allegation, accused India of sponsoring terrorism on two fronts to destabilize & weaken Pakistan from inside to execute bigger plan on the pattern of creation of Bangladesh in 1971. In this connection, the ruling National Conference leader Dr Mustafa Kamal of Indian occupied Kashmir is on record having said that "Indian army and Intelligence Bureau (IB) are conniving to launch a Bangladesh-type operation to annex Kashmir administered by Pakistan".

The narrative of BJP´s political hierarchy to deal with Kashmir is an indicator to divide it region wise; Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. The feelers are given out to see the reaction of people in Kashmir as BJP is trying to keep Hindus of Jammu or Buddhists of Leh (Ladakh) happy that it (BJP) is fighting for their cause as Kashmir, as claimed, for many years has given the minority regions a "raw deal". Any step in this direction would be dangerous fraught with serious consequences and will be unacceptable to people of Kashmir.

Democracy, a concept yearned by civilized people gets implemented because they understand it and believe it to deliver justice, equality, guaranteeing rights and peaceful co-existence. The sheer illiterate numbers running in hundreds of millions does not make a country "largest democracy" as the ruling elite by exploiting poverty stricken inhabitants give rise to fascism and de-mocrazy. Kashmir firmly believes that Barrack Obama, the President of democratic United State of America representing nearly 314 million people, will not encourage Mr Narendra Modi to do a Gujarat and annex Kashmir by using India´s military might



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