India, at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet in Abu Dhabi, reaffirmed that Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is an integral part of India. While the OIC members reiterated that J&K is the epicentre of Pakistan and India dispute. The 57 member OIC condemned the atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir and reminded the international community about the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the J&K dispute.
Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs, said the J&K ‘matter is strictly internal’ to India. Moreover, the External Affairs Ministry rejected the OIC resolution on J&K that referred to ‘India’s high handedness and ‘mass blinding’ of the Kashmiri youths.
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J&K Plebiscite No Longer Relevant
Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader P. Chidamabaram said plebiscite in J&K is not applicable. He said there are different conditions, thus the offer of plebiscite is no longer relevant. “Plebiscite was offered under very different conditions. Since then the conditions have changed in J&K,” Chidamabaram added.
Chidamabaram made these statements in his book, “Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India’ launch in Chennai. He said “referendum was offered to a ‘united Kashmir’. Since then, the conditions have changed and nearly one half of J&K is Pakistan occupied now.” Chidambaram explained that plebiscite was offered to the whole of J&K, now Jammu thinks differently, Ladakh, Leh and Kargil think differently today.
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He pointed out that he was only talking about ‘healing’ the ‘divisions in Kashmir. “I certainly will not allow Kashmir to secede from India, that is not allowed, that is a no go area” said Chidamabaram.
The Kashmir dispute goes back to 1947. The conflict was referred to the UN in January of 1948. The UN in a resolution dated August 13, 1948 asked Pakistan to remove its troops and a ‘free and fair’ plebiscite was to be held to allow the Kashmiri people to decided their future. But now after 71 years, the conditions are no longer the same.