Issue Brief on “71st United Nations General Assembly Session (UNGA): What to Expect for Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK)”

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif arrived at New York on September 19, 2016 on his most important visit to attend the 71st session of the UNGA. He will be making a forceful case to present the atrocities being committed by India in IOK.

The General Assembly is the United Nation’s (UN) primary representative body that gathers 193 members on one platform to deliberate on all pressing issues, including those that could lead to war if left unattended. And Kashmir is top on the list of such issues, along with Palestine, but has remained unresolved since 1948, when the world body pledged to resolve it.

This raises the question that what role has the UN played in the Kashmir dispute over the past decades?

UN has been the most active in the Kashmir dispute and determined many years ago through resolutions that the people of IOK have the right to self-determination. UN began to formally address the Kashmir dispute in 1948 and formed the UN Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) which adopted numerous resolutions on Kashmir declaring that final disposition of the Kashmir dispute was to be through impartial plebiscite under UN auspices. India initially backed the resolutions passed over Jammu and Kashmir. However by 1950, India changed its position and refused to accept any arbitration on Jammu and Kashmir, claiming the IOK as part of the Indian Union. However, the UN has repeatedly rejected any such disposition and discarded the elections in IOK unilaterally arranged by India.

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