Written By : Professor Azmat Khan
“The Legal Way Forward” is a newly published book of Chaudhry Muhammad Mefooz Advocate. Mr. Mefooz suggested that Azaa Kashmir Government can seek redress of the settlement of Jammu Kashmir issue under the UN article 35/2.
Professor Azmat of the United Kingdom disagrees and terms it as a very risky move. Commenting on the both arguments, Quayyum Raja, a senior JKLF leader and close friend of both Azmat Khan and Chaudhry Muhammad Mefooz Advocate, said that book has set a healthy debate but it is about time our collective leadership reached an agreement on a practical solution. The following is Professor Azmat Khan’s argument:
“Having read the document, “A legal way forward” , thoroughly I am afraid I can’t find that legal proclamation plausible.
While a lot of historical facts are rightly quoted and analysed in the book, the reference to Azad Jammu Kashmir Government moving a petition in the UN under Article 35 part-2 (to have one or all the occupiers evicted) would fail on 3 counts…
a) the same dispute was dealt by the UN through a failed mediation process under the first part of the same article, which was triggered by a complaint from India (member state) and that dispute remains unsettled to date despite UN having tried mediation through its appointed representatives and commissioners.
The AJK Government has no new grounds to seek UN intervention (if it did, it would have to first accept the UN jurisdiction over this case even before the case is opened. In other words their decision in this matter would have to be final (and not necessarily in our favour). Under the current circumstances they would need Pakistani permission (which has been the obstacle over the past 7 decades) and the suggestion that the AJK Government should first revert its “legal status” to align with the 4th October declaration before going to UN i.e. first remove Pakistani control over its affairs as a representative of the Maharajah regime is not going to be a simple two step process but will need a real revolution in the territory and impossible to achieve as the JKLF dreamers have discovered (it’s in their party Objective).
C) there is no precedent in the UN history where a non-member state has successfully succeeded on a complaint against a member state due to the P5 veto powers. In our case, it’s even more unlikely as China with veto power is allied with one of the parties and India is not without friends in the SC either.
That said, I think there is a stronger case against the UN itself as a failed “peace making” body for its failures in J&K to have it declared guilty of criminal negligence in the Kashmir case because it has sat over 100s of 1000s deaths since 1947.
But then again you need either UNHRC or another member state to take on the legal proceedings, which may not get us anywhere but it would definitely bring back our case into the world attention and may perplex our occupiers a little and make them rethink ..