Committee: GA fourth committee- Special, Political and Decolonization (SPECPOL)
Topic: The question of self determination for non- sovereign regions seeking to exercise substantial autonomy- The Kashmir story.
Delegate: Divya Shetty, Manipal University
The Kashmir dispute dates from 1947. The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Pakistan fails to recognize the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on October 26, 1947 ceding Kashmir to India as they believe it was signed for the sole purpose of military assistance. Many wars have been fought between the two countries over the issue. Once this happened, a "free and fair" plebiscite was to be held to allow the Kashmiri people to decide their future. Pakistan ignored the UN mandate and continued fighting, holding on to the portion of Kashmir under its control. In 1957, Kashmir was formally incorporated into the Indian Union. It was granted a special status under Article 370 of India's constitution. India’s official position on Kashmir is that the territory is an integral part of India. Contrarily, Pakistan’s official position is that the people of Kashmir should decide which country they wish to join. China has an additional stake in the region, as it occupies about 20% of Kashmir and believes it to be part of Tibet, which is a part of China. Some Kashmiri independence groups have pushed for independence. Sixty years have passed by since Kashmir conflict was first debated in the U.N and yet the conflict continues to elude a solution. The first group of United Nations military observers arrived in the mission area on 24 January of 1949 to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. These observers, under the command of the Military Adviser appointed by the UN...