I should first of all like to congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the Assembly. We count it a good fortune of this Assembly to have your guidance. Your personal stature and renown and the fact that you represent a country with which Pakistan has friendly ties are a source of special gratification to us.
The outstanding development of the present century is the emergence of the peoples of Africa and Asia from an era of colonial domination. There are no two opinions about the need for completing this process of emancipation by liquidating the remaining vestiges of colonial rule wherever they might still exist.
Unity through diversity
The question that the world community has to face is how to reinforce the principle of equality and the recognition of diversity in the attitudes of Member States. A progressive equilibrium needs to be established between norms of international conduct and the need to accommodate maximum diversity. The physical and human realities of Asia and Africa make it imperative that unity should be sought through diversity. The need for tranquility is paramount for the countries of Asia and Africa to enable them to secure for themselves an orderly transition. They must be free to reach their own equilibrium and find their own levels. They must be assisted in a constructive manner to consolidate their political independence through economic and social emancipation. The international community should be mindful of its responsibilities. It should recognize that it is no longer possible to think in terms of spheres of influence. The dynamics of the present world situation are such that classification in terms of exclusive influence becomes futile. Events tend to bring about rapid shifts of gravity.
Realities transcend political alignments and groupings.
While promoting the growth of the African-Asian personality, the peoples of Africa and Asia are not only mindful of their own needs. They are also anxious to avoid the conflict and strife which could neutralize their national efforts, increase global tensions and jeopardize the very purpose and justification for the momentous changes that have taken place in recent times. It is now that we need to make a determined effort to prevent developments from taking place which could lead to a confrontation between the resurgent forces of Africa and Asia on the one hand and the more powerful countries of the world on the other.
The countries of Africa and Asia met in Bandung over ten years ago. On that historic occasion they demonstrated their collective desire to establish norms of co-operation and international conduct which have been acclaimed throughout the world. The Bandung principles represent a landmark in the evolution of an orderly international society. The concept of African-Asian solidarity is not exclusive or parochial. Its objectives are humane. It is our profound belief that in attending to our fundamental needs we promote the cause of world peace and cooperation. We feel confident that our efforts will receive commendations and encouragement. The greater cohesion of Africa and Asia and their freedom from exploitation and domination will be a powerful insurance against future conflict.
U.N. without China incomplete
No discussion of the scheme of things in Asia and Africa would be complete without a reference to the People’s Republic of China. In fact the lack of Chinese participation lends a distinct air of unreality to our deliberations even in this world Organization. In these crucial times, when developments are taking place which might well prove decisive to the entire future of humanity, it is highly regrettable that China has been excluded so far from the United Nations; but, if this exclusion continues, the United Nations will find itself powerless to apply itself effectively to international problems, particularly to those in Asia. At a time when the need for strengthening the United Nations is advocated, it is ironical that the one logical and most important step in that direction, namely the seating of the representative of the People’s Republic of China in this Organization, has yet to be taken. Our experience in recent years has proved conclusively that the United Nations without the People’s Republic of China is as incomplete as a triangle with two sides. Either the United Nations moves forward towards greater effectiveness or it is bound to be overtaken by events. If the world continues to stand by and allow this to take place, it will in fact be guilty of unpardonable short-sightedness.
The world has been deeply concerned over the conflict between India and my country. This has found expression in the statements of speakers in this debate. Though there might be a difference of emphasis in their statements, there are two common thoughts in them: first, sorrow at this conflict; second, the conviction that the cease-fire this time must lead to a final settlement of the grave political problem underlying the conflict, namely, the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which is in dispute. Pakistan shares both these feelings and this conviction.
India’s attack on Pakistan
The war with India is not of our seeking. It is a war of self-defence against an armed attack launched on our borders without warning on the morning of 6 September and aimed at the seizure of Lahore, our second largest city and the very heart of Pakistan. We are defending the integrity of our territory and the sanctity of the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which the Government of India has denied them, despite its promises and pledges to them, for the past eighteen long years. Those two principles are inseparable. We can no more surrender the one than forsake the other.
We find that impartial world opinion—the opinion that transcends the pressures and postures of power political—has awakened to the need for a just and final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Who except India could be so purblind as to deny that the problem of Jammu and Kashmir, the problem of the life and future of 5 million human beings, the problem that has twice led to war between India and Pakistan and that threatens the future of 600 million people, needs now to be settled on a just and permanent basis?
Support for Pakistan
It is because the Kashmir dispute so clearly involves principles of the widest human scope that Governments and peoples everywhere have supported Pakistan in the crisis which we are facing today. I should like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my country and my people, to express in this forum our deep and heartfelt gratitude for the moral and material support extended to Pakistan by many countries of the world. I should like in particular to mention that in our hour of peril we were not forsaken by our brothers in Iran and Turkey; the great bloc of Arab countries stretching from the great ocean of Asia and Africa to the Atlantic Ocean, to which Pakistan is linked, let me say, not merely by ties of religion and of common culture but by common adherence to the idea of justice and peace; and our great neighbor to the north, the People’s Republic of China, which gave us full moral support and, rising high above ideological differences, upheld the cause of righteousness to condemn the war of aggression launched against us by India. To the Government and people of Indonesia I should like to address a special word of thanks—that great nation of 100 million people unrepresented in this Assembly. From this rostrum permit me, on behalf of the Government and people of Pakistan, to pay a lasting tribute to the President of Indonesia, to the Government of Indonesia and to the great people of Indonesia, who gave us brave and unstinting support in our moment of need and crisis.
The people of Pakistan shall not forget the many proofs of true friendship given by the Indonesian President. The bonds that bind our two peoples have been tempered by this crisis and have become stronger than steel.
These countries and peoples have given us their support because our is not a local or a parochial cause. In supporting us, they support one of the main objectives of the United Nations: peace with justice. They uphold the principle that you cannot settle a problem pertaining to a people if you bypass that people, ignore that people; and they affirm that in this post-colonial age we cannot sanction a new colonialism—that of India’s domination in Jammu and Kashmir.
The attitude of these Governments is a proof that the old categories, the facile classifications, of the cold war are now obsolete. Some of these Governments are aligned, some are non-aligned; in both cases they have shown to them the considerations of justice and fairness comes before all other considerations.
Since the whole world has been concerned with the failure thus far to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, I must refer to at least two or three basic issues involved in it. The first and the foremost is the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The second issue is the sanctity of international agreements, especially those brought about by the United Nations itself. The third is the effectiveness of the United Nations in securing pacific settlement of international disputes.
I need hardly emphasize that the principle of self-determination is an integral element of the international order embodied in the United Nations. Indeed, being older than the United Nations, it is basic to the political civilization which this Organization seeks to represent.
This principle was the basis of many territorial settlements achieved In Europe from the middle of the last century which have proved enduring. The emergence of Norway in 1905, and of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia after the First World War; the incorporation of Schleswig in Denmark and of the Saar in Germany—these are outstanding examples which attest to the universal recognition of the principle of self-determination.
Peoples’ right of self-determination
It was against this background that the peoples’ right of self-determination was proclaimed in the Atlantic Charter of 14 August 1941; in the United Nations Declaration, signed in Washington on I January 1942; in the 1943 Moscow Declaration; and in the Cairo Declaration of 26 November 1943. This principle was finally embodied in Article I paragraph 2 of the Charter, which provides that one of the purposes of the United Nations is:
“To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”
The principle was also enshrined in Articles 55, 73 and 76 of the Charter. It was upheld in the Declaration of the Bandung Conference of 1955, in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, and in the Declaration of the Second Conference of Non-Aligned Countries in 1964.
During the lifetime of the United Nations, the accession to independence of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, as well as the emergence of a number of other African States that are now respected Members of this Organization from the status of Trust Territories was expressly based on the principle of self-determination, on ascertaining and respecting the wishes of the peoples involved.
The principle of self-determination was also at the root of the partition of the sub-continent and the emergence of India and Pakistan as separate sovereign States in August 1947. The same principle of self-determination was explicitly applied to those princely states the accession of which to India or to Pakistan was in dispute. Indeed, referring to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India stated this clearly on 2 November 1947:
“And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession: of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be by the people of that state.”
This principle was repeated by India’s representative in the Security Council on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute when he said:
“When he (the ruler of a small state) takes one view and his people take another view, the wishes of the people have to be ascertained. When so ascertained the ruler has to take action in accordance with the verdict of the people. That is our position.”
This is also the position of Pakistan with regard to Jammu and Kashmir. President Woodrow Wilson first enunciated this principle in his address before the League ‘To Enforce Peace’ when he said: “We believe that every people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which it shall live.”
In a speech on 24 January 1918 he said that “self-determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.”
That this principle has not been confined to one political system or philosophy is pointedly brought home to us by the first official pronouncement of the Soviet Government after the Revolution of 1917, which was the Decree of Peace adopted by the All-Russian Convention of Soviets’, Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies of 8 November 1917. This historic declaration demanded an immediate peace without forcible annexation and without indemnity, and defined as forcible annexation the retention by any State of any nation without the latter being given the right of free voting in the determination of the forms of its national existence “under the conditions of the complete removal of the armies of the annexing or the more powerful nation.” This Decree was reported in the Izvestia of 29 October and 9 November 1917.
More recently, the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, in its very first paragraph, stated: “...it is the inalienable right of all people to control their own destiny”.
Declaration of Cairo Conference
Still more recently, the Declaration of the Second Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Cairo in 1964, stated:
“The Conference solemnly reaffirms the right of peoples to self-determination and to make their own destiny.
“It stresses that this right constitutes one of the essential principles of the United Nations Charter, that it was laid down also in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, and that the Conferences of Bandung and Belgrade demanded that it should be respected, and in particular insisted that it should be effectively exercised.
“The Conference notes that this right is still violated or its exercise denied in many regions of the world and results in a continued increase of tension and the extension of the areas of war.
“The Conference denounces the attitude of those powers which oppose the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.
“It condemns the use of force, and all forms of intimidation, interference and intervention which are aimed at preventing the exercise of this right.”
This Declaration also stated:
“The process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible. Colonized peoples may legitimately resort to arms to secure the full exercise of their right to self-determination and independence if the colonial powers persist in opposing their natural aspirations.”
Every word in these declarations, these expressions of the great forces of history, sanctions Pakistan’s standpoint on Jammu and Kashmir. When we say that there cannot be any enduring settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir question without that settlement’s being freely accepted by the people immediately concerned, we take our stand on the principles so clearly reaffirmed in the Declaration of the Cairo Conference and enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity.
When we insist that India cannot be allowed forcibly to annex Jammu and Kashmir, that the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be given the right of free voting to determine their accession to India or Pakistan, that this right can be exercised only when India’s army is completely removed from Jammu and Kashmir, we follow exactly the Leninist Decree of Peace.
Is it imaginable that, on an issue of this nature, Pakistan will compromise on the basic principle of self-determination and ever be a party to a settlement that negates or displaces it in any way? Is it reasonable that any responsible Power, having due regard to the basic norms of international life, will ever expect us to do so?
Excuses against principle of self-determination
But despite the universal recognition of this principle, there are always some Powers that try, albeit vainly, to turn back the whole current of history. Human greed being what it is, we find colonial Powers—in Angola and Mozambique, in Southern Rhodesia and in South West Africa—denying a people their right to choose their own destiny as India denies it to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The technique employed by this small but assorted company is one and the same. It is not to question the principle as such, but to assert that it does not apply to the case involved. The excuse is always available to them that the colony is an integral part of their metropolitan territory, or that they are building multi-racial or multi-religious societies and, if they permit the self-determination of one group or area their whole State may disintegrate. In pleading this excuse, they try to exploit the fear of dismemberment among many sovereign States.
That this plea is specious and is meant only to delude the world is apparent to anyone who is acquainted with the history of modern colonialism and the struggle for emancipation of subjugated peoples.
Indian leaders argue that self-determination is a disruptive principle which will lead to the dismemberment of States in Africa and Asia. They assert that the survival of India as a democracy, as a secular State, indeed as a united country would be at stake if a plebiscite were to be held in Jammu and Kashmir, the very same plebiscite which India pledged to the people of Jammu and Kashmir eighteen years ago.
This argument has been answered by a well-known Indian leader. Allow me to quote Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan:
“…. if we are so sure of the verdict of the people of Kashmir, why are we so opposed to giving them another opportunity to reiterate it? The answer given is that this would start the process of disintegration of India. Few things have been said in the course of this controversy more silly than this one. The assumption behind the argument is that the States of India are held together by force and not by the sentiment of a common nationality. It is an assumption that makes a mockery of the Indian notion and a tyrant of the Indian State.”
Those are the words of a famous Indian leader, Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan. I do not consider it appropriate to go into the question of the nature of Indian secularism and democracy, although much can be said on that subject. I will only say that it would not be rational for Pakistan to wish the destruction or weakening of the Indian Union. Pakistan’s own progress and stability cannot be served by chaos and disruption across its border. Quite the contrary, whether Indian fears in this respect are the nightmare of a feverish imagination, or just another stratagem by which India has for eighteen years prevented the implementation of its own international agreement on Kashmir, is a question which needs to be dispassionately considered and answered.
The forcible annexation of Jammu and Kashmir by India is not a guarantee of Indian secularism, democracy or territorial integrity. On the contrary, it keeps alive those very fears and suspicions which made it impossible for the Muslim minority to accept a united Indian State. If the Nagas, the Sikhs and other communities have grievances against the Government of India, then the fate of Jammu and Kashmir can only act as a spur to their fears and suspicions. The Nagas and the Sikhs can be pacified, not by the example of forcible occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, but by a just redress of their grievances.
Bogey of Indian secularism
India has long used the argument that the fabric of Indian secularism is too weak to withstand a decision by the people of Jammu and Kashmir to opt for Pakistan. Indian propaganda has raised the specter of the majority community falling upon the 50 million Muslims of India if Kashmir opted for Pakistan. I will not try to answer the question whether such a mediaeval and reactionary and undemocratic argument is worthy of the country which claims to be a great secular and modern democracy. The fact is, however, that nothing of the kind will happen, unless the Indian Government permits it to happen. This is pure and simple blackmail to prevent the people of Jammu and Kashmir from exercising their right of free choice.
It is pertinent here to quote from an editorial in the Times, London, of 23 September 1965:
“...one of their arguments against any consultation of Kashmiri opinion —that it would lead inevitably to communal trouble throughout India—has been disproved in conditions far more tense than any such consultation could evoke.”
India asserts that the dispute between Pakistan and India is not concerned with the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir but is a struggle between democracy and secularism, between democracy and dictatorship, between nationalism and fanaticism. I shall not go into the history which made inevitable the creation of the two independent and sovereign States in the sub-continent. For 800 years Muslims ruled the sub-continent. It is for historians to ponder the question why in the long period of intermingling, followed by two centuries of unitary administration under the British, it was not possible for a sense of common nationality to emerge in the subcontinent. It is sufficient to say that history cannot be undone.
Struggle between Muslim and Hindu Nationalisms
The struggle which led to the creation of Pakistan was not a struggle between secularism and religion but between two nationalisms—the Muslim nationalism which led to the creation of Pakistan and which is heir to the 800 years of Muslim rule, and the Hindu nationalism which harkened back for its inspiration to the epoch of Hindu greatness before the Muslims came to the sub-continent. The creation of Pakistan, where Muslims would be free to develop In accordance with their culture and way of life, was the result of the democratic process of self-determination in which each of the provinces which today form part of Pakistan freely and formally expressed its desire to do so. Kashmir alone of those States, provinces and territories of pre-partitioned India has been deprived of the right to participate in this process of self-determination.
India’s solemn declarations on Kashmir
That is the basic fact. India cannot deny it because, in the very letter accepting the Maharaja’s accession, India’s Head of State declared on 27 October 1947:
“In consistence with their policy that, in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State, it is my Government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”
India cannot deny it because, immediately after the Maharaja’s accession, the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, of India said in a telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan:
“Our view, which we have repeatedly made public, is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people and we adhere to this view.”
India cannot deny it because the Prime Minister of India solemnly stated again on 2 November 1947:
“Let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added a proviso to the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir.”
Finally, India cannot deny it because the Prime Minister of India stated in the Constituent Assembly of India on 25 November 1947:
“In order to establish our bona fides, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people.”
That was a quotation from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir
This is exactly what we have said all those years, and we say today: let India establish its bona fides, let the people of Kashmir be given the chance to decide their future which was pledged to them by India, let this be done under the impartial auspices of the United Nations, let not violence and naked force but the will of the people decide the future of Jammu and Kashmir.
This is the basic issue involved in Jammu and Kashmir. Of equal importance is the issue of honoring of obligations undertaken through international agreements. This agreement was concluded between India and Pakistan when a plan of settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was negotiated by the United Nations Commission, submitted to the two Governments, and accepted by both Governments. The plan embodied in the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 provided for: a cease-fire and the demarcation of a cease-fire line; the demilitarization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; and a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations to determine the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan.
It was upon acceptance of both resolutions by India and Pakistan that hostilities ceased on I January 1949. Then, as now, the cease-fire was meant to be a prelude to a permanent settlement which was to be achieved through a plebiscite under United Nations auspices after a synchronized withdrawal of forces.
The whole history of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is India’s exploitation of the cease-fire, the first part of the agreement, for the purpose of evading the implementation of the other two parts, rather than of facilitating them.
But the non-performance of an agreement by one party cannot render it invalid or obsolete. If it did, there would be no order in international life and the entire basis of the United Nations Charter would be undermined. Even though the agreement embodied in the two United Nations resolutions was not implemented by India, the Security Council repeatedly made clear its binding nature as an agreement and affirmed that its provisions were recognized and accepted by both India and Pakistan.
As the distinguished representative in the Security Council, Justice Sunde of Norway, said at the 467th meeting of the Council:
“…. It is for the plebiscite to determine the ultimate fate of the State. “I would like to add that this principle, this keystone of the whole structure, has an importance which transcends the obligatory force if derives from the consent of the parties. The principle has its intrinsic value because it embodies the only criterion for the determination of Kashmir’s fate which is compatible with modern democratic ideals.”
That the UNCIP resolutions represent the engagement of the parties to the process and method by which the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute is to be reached has been reaffirmed not only by the Security Council. It has also been repeatedly admitted by India itself. I shall quote only two of these statements.
At the 608th meeting of the Security Council, the representative of India, Mrs. Pandit said:
“We do not seek to go behind the UNCIP resolutions or to ignore the vital elements of principle contained in them ... We have always adhered to the UNCIP resolutions... We cannot be a party to the reversal of previous decisions taken by the United Nations Commission with the agreement of the parties.”
At the 773rd meeting of the Security Council, the Indian representative and former Defence Minister of India, Mr. Kirshna Menon, said:
“We have accepted (the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan), we are parties to them, whether we like them or not”.
I repeat the words, “whether we like them or not.”
India is a party to the UNCIP resolutions, whether India likes them or not. That it does not like them is no ground to consider them obsolete. It had been made clear by the United Nations Commission itself that the lack of cooperation from either side would not be considered a technical or practical reason for not holding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
Such lack of cooperation, the Commission held, would be a breach of commitments formally undertaken by the Governments of India and Pakistan.
Binding nature of Plebiscite Agreement
The agreement with regard to plebiscite binds not only India and Pakistan; it also binds the United Nations. Because of its binding nature and because of the principle of the stipulations pour autrui it involves third party beneficiaries—namely, the people of Jammu and Kashmir—it cannot, I submit, be changed or modified even by the Security Council, far less repudiated by one of the parties.
This is the position of Pakistan. In surrendering it, Pakistan would surrender not only a basic principle of its national policy but the very principle of its allegiance to the United Nations.
I can pledge from this rostrum that my Government intends no such surrender.
The third issue which is involved in the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is that of the effectiveness of the United Nations for the pacific settlement of international disputes.
To all those who put their faith in international peace-making, it should be a cause for concern that this dispute has remained unresolved not only because of India’s intransigence but also because of the failure of the Security Council to overcome that intransigence. The history of the dispute is a history of opportunities neglected, of chances thrown away, of warnings disdained.
Since 1949, Pakistan has repeatedly approached the Security Council. Every time we asked, not for a verdict in our favour or against India, but for the Council to spell out the obligations of the parties under the international agreement. Every time we warned that the issue involved the questions of war or peace in the sub-continent. Every time we were ignored.
Ever since it had become plain to the Commission that India was determined to block the demilitarization of Kashmir and to prevent the plebiscite, there was no lack of opportunities for the Security Council to discharge its primary responsibility. When the Commission reported its failure, the Security Council should have realized the futility of further negotiations and should have called upon the two parties to fulfill their obligations. It did not do so. When the Commission suggested that the differences between the two Governments with regard to their obligations for demilitarization should be submitted to arbitration, President Truman of the United States and Prime Minister Attlee of the United Kingdom endorsed that suggestion and Pakistan accepted it. At that point too, the Security Council had an opportunity to support the appeals of the United States and the United Kingdom and to bring pressure to bear upon India to accept it. Again this was not done.
When Sir Owen Dixon, who replaced the United Nations Commission, reported that he could not make India agree to withdraw its troops from Kashmir and allow the people of the State freely to decide their future, it had become manifestly clear that India was no longer acting in good faith, and mere persuasion was no longer enough. Again, the Council refused to grasp the nettle. Again, it put its faith in further mediatory efforts, this time by Dr. Frank P. Graham.
When, after persevering efforts over a period of years, Mr. Graham made a clear report in 1958 about Pakistan’s acceptance of his proposals and India’s rejection of them, again the Security Council did nothing. It will be interesting to those Members of the Assembly who do not know it that, in the past seven years, the Security Council has not found time even to consider Mr. Graham’s report.
At each stage, India went one step further in defiance of the international agreement. The Security Council, instead of discharging its duty under the Charter, continuously yielded to India’s maneuvers until India became convinced that it could defy the Council with impunity. By letting that situation arise, the Council abdicated its functions under the Charter. This had a far-reaching effect. It jeopardized peace in our region. It gave rise to grave doubts whether the United Nations was capable of securing the implementation of an agreement which it had itself brought about. It brought the peace-keeping functions of the United Nations into disrepute.
Helplessness of Security Council
Having maneuvered the Security Council into a position of helplessness, India openly repudiated its obligations under the United Nations resolutions. The Council merely watched a process of continuous attrition. Since 1962, it found it difficult even to pass a resolution asking for the parties to negotiate with due regard to their commitments. It was not a question of imposing a solution on one party to a dispute. It was a question of securing India’s compliance with the agreement which it had freely and solemnly entered into. And thus the world witnessed the pitiful inadequacy of the principal organ of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.
It is a painful story, this story of the Security Council’s inaction. The world knows how all avenues leading to a peaceful settlement of the dispute — the recognised methods of negotiation, mediation and arbitration—were blocked by India. For no reason understandable in terms of the Charter, this inhibited the Council, instead of stimulating it into action. It is no secret that in 1964, when there was a mass uprising in Jammu and Kashmir, the Council met only reluctantly. A distinguished representative at that time said to us that we had brought a “dead horse” to the Council. Another expressed the opinion that we were using the Council for internal propaganda. I put it to the members of this Assembly: Could any situation be more exasperating for a country which is a party to an international dispute? Here was a question in which not only Pakistan was deeply and vitally interested. Here was a question which was also a matter of life and death for the five million people of Jammu and Kashmir. Here was a question which involved the peace and stability of Asia. But the Council was content with meeting, hearing parties and adjourning sine die.
When, through the years, we warned the Security Council that the problem should be resolved before it led to an explosion, our warnings either went unheeded or were termed an empty threat. I again ask the Members of the Assembly: What language is one supposed to speak when one wants to bring out the urgency of a situation and the grave dangers in its remaining unresolved? Pakistan spoke that language: it spoke the language of reason and remonstrance; it made constructive proposals such as the induction of a United Nations force pending a plebiscite. But nothing made India budge an inch. Nothing moved the primary organ of the United Nations into action.
India’s real attitude
Such was the position in the Security Council. Outside the Council, from 1949 to this day, India has spurned every offer, rejected every suggestion, and barred every avenue for the peaceful settlement of the dispute. It has ruled out recourse to the International Court of Justice. It has rejected mediation, conciliation and even good offices, including those of the Secretary-General. Whenever India has made a show of willingness to enter into bilateral negotiations with Pakistan, it has been only to tide over some crisis in its internal or foreign relations. In the long negotiations in 1962 and 1963, during the Sino-Indian conflict, India’s position was that it would retain the possession of Kashmir, which it had obtained by force, and all there was to negotiate was how best to establish it in that possession. Finally, India’s real attitude was made clear by its Home Minister on 1 July 1965, when he stated:
“Kashmir is an integral part of India. It is a settled fact which cannot be the subject of debate or negotiations.”
Such a declaration foreclosed the pacific settlement of the dispute. India brazenly sought to annex the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1964. Concurrently, for the third time, Sheikh Abdullah, the Lion of Kashmir, was thrown into prison in 1965 by the Indian Government.
Kashmiris take to arms
What was the result? The result was that the tensions which had been accumulating through the years exploded, and a situation arose precisely of the kind about which we had warned the Security Council and the world for over a decade. The people of Jammu and Kashmir could no longer be content with a non-violent rebellion and were forced to take to arms, which eventually led to war between India and Pakistan, one of the gravest situations ever faced by the United Nations.
Two paths for UN
In view of the background of this dispute, we are certain that both the United Nations and Pakistan, as a Member of the United Nations, have arrived at the crossroads. For the United Nations, there are two paths open. One is to continue to condone further evasions by India, to succumb to the pressures of power politics, and to foreclose the chances of a just and enduring peace between India and Pakistan. The other is to take prompt measures to secure a just and honorable settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and to save India and Pakistan from another catastrophe. Need I say that the fear and misery in both countries, the grief and suffering endured, the blood that has been shed, all cry out for an immediate settlement of the dispute on the only basis on which it can be finally settled: the basis of the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is upon the path chosen by the United Nations that Pakistan’s course will itself depend. If the United Nations works for a settlement, not on our terms, but in terms of the Charter, in terms of the international agreement accepted by both parties then Pakistan will not stint its cooperation in the slightest measure. If, however, delays still prevail, if the expediencies of power politics rule the day, then Pakistan will be forced to conclude that the norms and purposes of the Charter and the actual practice of the political organs of the United Nations are no longer in harmony. The choice that will be forced upon us will be the choice between a principle and a pledge, on the one side, and the dictates of power, on the other. It will be painful, but it will involve no dilemma. Pakistan will opt for the principles of the Charter rather than for the expediencies of this Organization. I have every confidence that, when we say that we might have to withdraw from this Organization, our fellow Member States will not consider this to be a threat or ultimatum by Pakistan, but the outcome of deep and long disillusionment over its ineffectiveness to resolve a dispute which has been a threat to world peace, just because one Member State, India, which holds an excessive number of sensitive posts in the Secretariat of the United Nations, refuses to honour its commitments.
Pakistan will never presume to dictate to the Security Council. But our fellow Members will appreciate that, when faced by a situation of the extreme nature of the one which confronts Pakistan today a country has to ask itself some fundamental questions. One of these questions is: What kind of peace do we seek? The second question is: What kind of peace is it that the United Nations assures for its Members
Peace with Justice
The United Nations Charter could not be clearer on the subject. Article 2, paragraph 3, makes it binding on Members to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international security and justice are not endangered. The point here is the conjunction of peace and justice. There are some who separate the two—who, in other words, elect, or want others to elect, peace at any price. But peace at any price is not the purpose of this Organization. Peace at any price could be achieved without this Organization. The United Nations came into being as the result of a war waged against aggressors. If that war had not been waged—if the peoples of Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States, and the resistance movements in Europe and other parts of the world had not fought against fascism—we still would have had a peace imposed by a victorious aggressor. But it would have been a dark, evil, iniquitous peace. It would not have been the peace envisaged in the United Nations Charter.
To impose an unjust peace on a Member of the United Nations is, therefore, to undermine the Charter. The very purpose of the United Nations, as laid down in Article I of the Charter, is completely disregarded when a country is enjoined to “live with” a problem, rather than make vigorous efforts for its resolution. A sophisticated expression of this trend has been the formulation of what is called the law of the cease-fire. This so-called law is nothing but a justification, a rationalization, for doing nothing to settle disputes, especially those which involve the life and future of millions of human beings.
The more one analyzes it, the more it seems to be but an expression of the philosophy of the status quo. This was the philosophy that brought death and dishonor to the League of Nations. It is the philosophy of those nations which are secure in their possessions and resources and have the ability to enforce their will upon others. It is not, and cannot be, the philosophy of those who have been robbed of their rights, who have suffered infringements and who cannot be expected to tolerate the status quo. Justice sometimes demands a change in it.
The test of the United Nations lies in whether it can ensure that this change will be peaceful and will conform to human justice. If it does not stand the test, the conclusion will be unavoidable that it is a monopoly of the “haves” and that it cannot adjust itself to dynamic currents of international life based on justice and honour.
Mr. President, you are aware of the very grave situation prevailing in India and Pakistan today. It would be dishonest for anyone to suggest that the cease-fire in anyway mitigates the dangers that lie ahead, if the root cause of the conflict is not removed.
It is no use to have the Security Council congratulate itself on the accomplishment of the cease-fire. Will it be any consolation to anyone that the United Nations has an observer corps merely to observe and report violations of the cease-fire? A cease-fire and its observation do not amount to peace. What is needed is firm action to eradicate the incentives to violence and fighting. What is needed is action to remove the seeds of war.
Pakistan’s acceptance of cease-fire resolution
Pakistan accepted the call for the cease-fire in the confidence that it would lead, not to mere exhortations and appeals, but to a self-executing machinery for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Security Council resolution 211, of 20 September 1965, described the cease-fire as “a first step towards a peaceful settlement of the outstanding differences between the two countries on Kashmir and other related matters.” As far as we are concerned, there are no “other related matters’’; there is only the Kashmir dispute between us. There is nothing in this resolution which precludes the implementation of the UNCIP resolutions which have been the sole point of agreement between the parties and which alone can ensure an enduring settlement. If anything is plain in this resolution, it is that the cease-fire should not lead to the spurious and bullet-riddled peace which has been the lot of both India and Pakistan for all these years.
Pakistan believes that the Security Council and the Assembly will not allow the spirit of this resolution again to be eroded. We have made proposals, and I will leave it to the judgment of Members of this Organization whether our proposals are just and fair. It is no use telling us that India does not accept them. If they are just and fair, and are the only ones that make a reference to the will of the people, then it is for this Organization and the world at large to make India accept them.
Indeed, India’s objections to these proposals follow the same pattern as the variety of pretexts which it has put forward for depriving the people of Jammu and Kashmir of their right to decide their future.
Proposal for UN
Today I present the following proposal. Let both countries withdraw their forces from the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Let the United Nations send a force consisting of contingents from African, Asian and Latin American countries, countries which have no interest in the outcome of the plebiscite in Kashmir and which are not involved in the exigencies of international power politics.
India has given the stock answer that it will not accept “foreign” troops on Indian soil. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India; that is precisely the point at issue. But what passes comprehension is that India which has sent its own troops to serve in United Nations forces in other countries, which has deputed one of its Generals as the Chief Military Adviser to the Secretary-General for many long years, which has pretensions to the leadership of the Afro-Asian community and seeks hegemony over the Indian Ocean region, should consider that the stationing of a United Nations force in Kashmir, composed of African, Asian and Latin American contingents, would constitute a “foreign” intrusion and an affront to the honour of India.
Plebiscite for Kashmir
If we had made the demand that Kashmir be given to us, the United Nations would have every right to look askance at our suggestion. We are asking that a plebiscite—the most orderly, peaceful and equitable method for the solution of the problem …. be held within a reasonable period. Those who read “Kashmir” for “plebiscite” and consider our demand unreasonable admit, in effect, that if Kashmir is given the chance to decide its fate, it will link its destiny with Pakistan.
This is the reality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. This is the primary fact of the present situation between India and Pakistan. For eighteen years, this dispute has been before the United Nations. For eighteen years it has been the victim of apathy and inertia. At times it has been caught in the coils of the cold war. But the human core of the dispute might have been obscured from other eyes; it could not be eclipsed in Pakistan’s eyes. The suffering of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, their being sundered from their brethren in Pakistan, their families divided, their hopes deferred, their voice unheard—these could not but weigh heavily on the conscience and feelings of the hundred million people of Pakistan.
When Pakistan, a country much smaller than India, was invaded by India, the sufferings of both Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir were fused. These sufferings formed a single resolve to fight against India’s aggression against Pakistan and Kashmir. These passions may be disregarded in the calculations of power politics, but history deals far more justly with them. When we say that we are giving the United Nations a last chance to settle the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, we are saying that we are determined not to let a righteous cause be abandoned. It is not the will of Allah that the victims of injustice and aggression should have no higher court of appeal.