Right to self-determination

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The United Nations has reaffirmed the right to self-determination for peoples subjected to foreign and alien occupation by passing a resolution moved by Pakistan. There are a number of states which are waiting for realization of their right to self-determination. The resolution was co-sponsored by 81 countries of the world which indicate the importance of self-determination to give right to the people of the suppressed sates. The 193-member Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, adopted the resolution without a vote. The resolution serves to focus the world’s attention on the struggle by peoples for their inalienable right to self-determination including those in Kashmir and Palestine. The resolution is expected to come up for the General Assembly’s endorsement next month. At the world body Pakistan highlighted the importance of the right to self-determination that enjoys primacy in international law. Pakistan has been tabling the resolution since 1981 and its adoption highlights issues like Kashmir and Palestine where people have been denied this inalienable right. The UN Security Council has promised a plebiscite in Kashmir but has done little in the last 70-plus years to make it happen. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are waiting for more than 70 years for realization of the resolutions earlier adopted by the world body for inalienable right of plebiscite in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian forces are involved in gross human rights violation in the held valley and these violations have been accelerated after India’s annexation of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 when the valley was placed under a continuous repressive lockdown with internet and phone communications cutoff. Curfew and blackout, the lockdown of the civilian population, to suppress their ability to express their demand for freedom and self-determination are obviously gross violations of human rights. India is also trying to change the demographics of the held territory by evoking the article 370 and conversion of the state in its union territories. It is the responsibility of the world body to fulfill its commitment for holding plebiscite in Kashmir.

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