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Chitra Subramaniam | The News Minute | August 13, 2014 | 05:33 pm IST

Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is New York is not new. Islamabad has a one point foreign policy – it is called Kashmir. It is raised at the UN and at birthday parties. They tend to get more ferocious when international aid dips. Pakistan is probably the only neighbour India has that has used its location dexterously to sustain non-issues. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, one each in 1965, 1971 (when Bangladesh was carved out) and 1991, but the basic premise of the UNGA remains unchanged on Kashmir.

Pakistan can seek to “internationalise” the Kashmir issue, but the reality is nobody cares, especially since its extremist credentials stand exposed. Firings on the border will increase as desperation sets in and innocent lives are lost on both sides, but by harbouring terrorists and fanning terrorism, Islamabad may have just exhausted that last drop of goodwill.

Kashmir was never a part of Pakistan and the UNGA has not recognized it as disputed territory. The international body got involved in the region following hostilities that broke out between the two countries following the partition of India in 1947. The UN clearly recognized that the fighting was led by Pakistan and under a scheme proposed by the international body, Kashmiris were allowed to vote which side they want to accede. The UN calls for a vote, but before that it calls all Pakistani troops to vacate the occupied areas.

The vote is predicated on a vacation of occupied territory by Pakistan and the UNGA Resolution 47 explicitly says “…to secure the withdrawal from the state of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not resident therein, who have entered the state with the purpose of fighting and to prevent any intrusion into the state…”

Read resolution here.

There have been numerous resolutions calling for peace and security in the region by the UN and India too has produced several doctrines none of which have worked because peace with India will mean the end of a state that has built itself for decades on its war-monger credentials. Additionally, none of the UN documents has gone back on its original premise which calls for the intruder to vacate.

Till recently, India’s foreign policy was very sensitive to Pakistan and during a period thought of nothing else but Islamabad to the detriment of other countries. Now there is some movement in New Delhi which may not fall into known patterns leading to new thinking. It is too soon to take a call, but Islamabad must surely recognize that governments may have seen through it including the Talibanisation of the country about which Malala Yousoufzai spoke very eloquently as she received her Nobel Peace Prize last week.

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