India’s out of touch

The representative of the Indian Government, Rajeev Shukla, to the UN Assembly ‘s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee stated on Monday that “The right to self-determination cannot become an instrument to promote subversion and erode political cohesion or territorial integrity.” He argued for India as state’s territorial sovereignty over the area comprised by Kashmr, and that the state elections the coming weeks were ”the ultimate verdict on the disputed terriotry” (The Kashmir Observer). Pakistan’s Government, obviously, opposed the Indian comments, saying that the Kashmiri people are loudly rejecting the polls, despite violent responses from the Indian army and police forces.

Pakistan’s representative has a point: there has been wide-spread dissent and rejections of the coming polls. Also, Indian forces are continuing arresting pro-independence activists, such as members of the Hurriyat (Freedom) party. But, as Kashmiri parties, such as PDP and the National Conference participate in the polls and encourage the people to vote, proves that the Pakistani view is distorted. Instead of rendering the state assembly elections invalid, increased participation and dialogue should be encouraged.

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